Thursday, February 18, 2016

February, 2016, Part 1, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care: Killing The MIddle Class and The Co-op Failures No One Will Own

Every month for years now we have had to discuss how bad Obama Care is turning out to be under the continuing theme, “the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care.” This month is no different. As the legislation continues to march through America, driving up health care and health insurance prices as it serves as dead weight on economic growth, it cements its rightful place as the worst piece of legislation Washington has ever produced.

It never had a chance to be successful since it really never addressed the underlying root causes of our ever increasing health costs in the country:
  • Americans eat too much of the wrong kind of food, resulting in obscenely high obesity rates for the country.
  • Our food chain is infested with overdoses of high fructose corn syrup, salt, and other unhealthy additives.
  • Americans smoke too much.
  • Americans do not exercise enough.
  • The country is in serious need of health care tort reform.
  • Barriers to insurance company competition across state lines need to come down.
  • Obama Care never “followed the money” to find out who is actually profiting from the ever escalating healthcare costs in this country and how to get those factors under control.
  • Obama Care never got the immense amount of fraud and abuse in current government healthcare programs, Medicare and Medicaid, under control in order to save money to efficiently fund other government health care initiatives.
  • Obama Care never put serious research money towards curing the major diseases that drive high healthcare costs such as high frequency cancers and dementia type diseases.
You cannot resolve any problem unless you understand and address the underlying root causes. No difference here: Obama Care legislation never addressed these listed root causes and thus, has no chance of ever being successful.

But it is not just missing the root causes of our healthcare costs that makes Obama Care so horrible. It resulted in millions of Americans losing access to their favored doctors, hospitals, and insurance policies. It has caused insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays to escalate substantially. It will likely add trillions of dollars to the national debt. It has exposed millions of Americans to higher than necessary identity theft chances. It has created government bureaucracies that are wastefully spending taxpayer wealth and being exploited by criminal elements. It has stifled economic growth and job creation.

These are just a sample of the types of idiocy that we have been reviewing for the past several years in this blog relative to Obama Care., To read those past posts, just enter the phrase, “the unfolding disaster,” in the search box above.

For the next several days we will be reviewing the latest unfolding disasters from the worst piece of legislation ever written by Washington:

1) We have often discussed the reality of Obama Care in that many Americans now have health insurance but cannot afford to use it because of high costs and high deductibles. That lesson of the legislation was driven home by a recent article in the Tampa Bay Times newspaper:
  • Gary Thompson pays $550 a month for health insurance for just him and his wife in the world of Obama Care.
  • This comes out to $6,600 a year for a two person family that earns $65,000. 
  • Thus, the cost for their insurance is more than 10% of their gross income and obviously much higher as a percentage of their net income after taxes. So much for Obama Care reducing healthcare insurance costs for Americans.
  • But they pay $6,600 a year in premiums but do not get any benefits from their policy until they fulfill their $6,500 deductible.
  • And this deductible is for EACH of them, i.e. they cannot combine their healthcare costs to attain that $6,500 deductible.
  • They have to pay $13,000 before they start to see any benefit from their policy: "You spend thousands of dollars a year on insurance," Thompson said, "and you can't afford to go to the doctor."
  • Thus, even though Obama Care insurance premiums in the Tampa area decreased an average 2.4% in 2016 vs. 2015, the still high deductibles make it very difficult to get any use out of the policies.
  • The Tampa Bay Times article quotes an expert in the field relative to the Thompson’s plight: "There's a group of people for whom coverage is going to be very expensive relative to what their income is," said Cynthia Cox, associate director of the program on health reform and private insurance at the non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation. "In some cases, it is so expensive that it is determined to be unaffordable."
  • While many Americans with Obama Care policies get Federal subsidies, the Thompsons make too much money to get a subsidy which means that people like them spend a higher percentage of their household income than lower earning Americans.’
  • The article also discusses the travails of Tampa area resident Wally Blackburn who recently found that the cheapest Obama Care policy coverage he could find for himself, his wife and his 23-year-old daughter would cost $2,100 a month, a whopping $25,200 annual cost. 
  • He ended up getting an $800 a month policy just for his wife, a $9,600 annual cost, and kept himnself and his daughter on their existing catastrophic plan which has a steep $6,500 deductible and will only cover them in case of serious injury or illness. 
  • Getting back to the Thompsons, the article calculated that in the worst case scenario, the couple could spend $19,600 before their Obama Care plan starts paying for their healthcare. Thus, the couple have had to make lifestyle changes such as rather than replacing their broken car, Gary Thompson is taking Uber to jobs, they have put off their retirement, and are also considering selling their house.
  • Mr. Thompson summed up Obama Care very well: "It's just so frustrating. We're at a point where coverage really isn't affordable for us." 
Many more people have health insurance under Obama Care and many of them can still not afford health care, just ask the Thompson’s.

2) A recent report on the US World Report website reinforces this notion that Obama Care is a total failure for middle income families across the country:
  • Bob Laszewski is an insurance expert who operates a health care company called health Policy and Strategy Associates and in his expert opinion, Obama Care has been a huge disaster for middle class America.
  • He also concludes that that middle class earners pay a much higher percentage of their wages for health care insurance coverage under Obama Care than poorer families who get Federal subsidies.
  • And every year these middle class families are seeing their Obama Care policies costs go up and up.
  • At the same time, Obama Care insurers are not making enough money on these policies because not enough younger, healthier people signed up for insurance coverage under Obama Care: “Every health plan I talk to tells me that they don’t expect their Obamacare business to be profitable even in 2016 after their big rate increases. That does not bode well for the rate increases we can expect to be announced in the middle of next year’s elections. Why is this happening? Because nowhere near enough healthy people are signing up to pay for the sick.”
  • But in a flashback to the pre-Obama Care days, these disasters should not be a surprise because a lot of those who voted for the legislation never read the legislation to begin with, including then Speaker of The House, Nancy Pelosi: “We are going to have to pass the bill in order for you to find out what’s in it.” [Note: I still maintain that this is one of the most inane, idiotic political quotes of all time.]
  • The article also ironically recalls the comments of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the lead creators for Obama Care, expressing his contempt for the Americans and admitting to lying about the bill in order to get it passed: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage, and basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass.” Guess who is stupid now, Professor Gruber?
Just another expert and observer of the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care and the hell it has brought to the country, the economy and American families.

3) Richard Pollock, writing for the Daily Caller on January 21, 2016, reviewed how the head of the Federal Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) should not be held responsible for the general failure of the Obama Care health insurance co-ops. 

Recall how previously we have discussed how these co-ops, that were formed by the legislation, were supposed to act as a competitive alternative to regular insurance company policies in areas where the were not a lot of insurance companies competing for customers. At least half of these co-ops have already failed, wasting over a billion dollars of taxpayer wealth and causing millions of their customers to have their policies jerked out from under them on short notice. 

But as is always the case with government failures, no one is to blame, no one ever takes responsibility for failure, and no one ever suffers any consequences for failure. Andy Slavitt, acting administrator for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), testified in front of Congress that it was not his fault or his agency’s fault that these co-ops turned into such a disaster. Instead, he blamed an unknown Federal government advisory committee, the CMS’s giant actuarial consultant company Deloitte Consulting, and Congressional budget cuts that affected the co-op program.

God forbid that anyone in the Obama administration, including Obama himself, ever accept blame for the myriad of failures this administration has stuck America with over the past seven years.

Just as an aside, Slavitt is a former executive at UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest health insurance company. Obama gave him a rare “ethics waiver” to join CMS. He took the place of former CMS leader, Marilyn Tavenner, who is now a health industry lobbyist. Conflicts of interest, anyone?

That will do it for today. More Obama Care disasters tomorrow after we learned today that no one is responsible for the Obama Care co-op failures and that it is middle class America that is getting hammered by the Obama Care structure, the exact opposite of what was promised by Gruber, Obama, Pelosi, and others.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Term Limits Now:

No comments: