Sunday, January 29, 2017

January, 2017, Part 2,The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care: Finland Single Payer Distress, Billons In Obama Care Taxes,and More

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.

This week we will be reviewing the latest unfolding disasters from the worst piece of legislation ever written by Washington:

1) According to a Washington Free Beacon article by Ali Meyer back in September, 2016, 8.1 million American taxpayers paid $1.7 billion in Obama Care penalties to the IRS in 2014. This is $1.7 billion that did not go into the economy to create economic growth and create jobs. This is an update from previous IRS analyses which showed back in 2015 that IRS found that approximately 7.5 million taxpayers paid a total of $1.5 billion in penalties. This means about 560,000 more taxpayers paid about $200 million more in penalties than was previously reported.

And according to the Congressional Budget Office, things were likely worse in 2016 with about 4 million taxpayers paying $4 billion in Obama Care penalties. Again, these are billions and billions of dollars that are taken out of the economy, hindering economic growth.

The idiocy of this logic continues to astound me. Many of those 4 million people are likely people who are financially penalized because they could not afford the ever increasing price of an Obama Care insurance policy. So the government confiscates money that the taxpayer could ill afford to put out for health insurance. Insane. 

And remember how Obama promised that no one earning less than $250,000 would see an increase in taxes as a result of Obama Care? Well, this is a tax, it is a mandatory fee paid to the government, the very definition of a tax regardless of what the law calls it. Another broken Obama promise or deception. Or as Senator Tom Cotton describes it: “Obama Care penalizes taxpayers who can no longer afford insurance that Obama Care made unaffordable.”

Cotton and five other Senators proposed some common sense Obama Care changes back in the middle of 2016 where individuals would not have to pay the penalty if Obama Care health insurance premiums in their state rose by at least 10% or if they could not afford deductibles under Obamacare’s current definition of affordability. Since this is Washington and this is a common sense idea it has little chance of ever becoming reality. And less affluent Americans will pay this tax for being...less affluent.

2) A lot of Obama Care supporters, realizing that their dream legislation is a mess, push all of their chips to the center of the poker table and claim that Obama Care is failing because there is TOO LITTLE government intervention in the healthcare industry in this country. They boast that other countries around the world have a single payer system where all healthcare is free and life is wonderful. They especially like to point to the Scandinavian countries as their single payer utopia.

Nice position to take if it was correct. Consider the single payer chaos going on in Finland, as documented by a Reuters article on December 21, 2016:
  • Massive reforms were needed to save the country’s single payer health care system, reforms that were difficult and painful.
  • The reforms aim to curtail runaway future health care costs as Finland’s population continues to age rapidly, a similar problem that we face in this country.
  • The reforms open the way for private insurance players to move into the single payer system, i.e. the exact opposite of a single payer system.
  • The needed reforms were met with demonstrations and labor strikes that included a cut in workers’ benefits and increased work hours.
Cuts in benefits, more expensive, does not sound like a utopian solution to me.

3) Sometimes politicians say the darndest things and it is tough to determine whether they are that much out of touch with reality or they think we are too stupid to understand reality when we see it. This was the case back in the fall in Virginia when two state politicians were doing a debate of the issues. 

LuAnn Bennett, a Democrat, thought Obama Care was a great thing: “For the last fifty years, both parties have agreed we have a health care crisis. By 2005 we had 47 million uninsured Americans, and health care costs had grown to 16 percent of our GDP. The Affordable Care Act has made healthcare more affordable.” 

At that point, many in the audience burst out in laughter at such an inane remark and Bennett looked down at the floor, seemingly thinking, “darn, busted, they know the truth.” The Grabien article that captured this insanity went on to explain that in Bennett’s state of Virginia, the Associated Press was reporting at that time that the nine Obama Care insurers in that state were seeking average insurance policy premium rate hikes that ranged from 9.4% to a whopping 37.1%, hardly rate increases that are making “healthcare more affordable.”

This scene can be seen at the following link:

4) We have previously reported on how two of the government’s biggest healthcare programs, Medicare and Medicaid, are filled with fraud and inefficiencies that various experts have pegged at a taxpayer cost of between $70 and $100 billion a year. In other words, these two program alone waste upwards of $100 billion that could be used to serve the health care needs of untold thousands of Americans without raising anyone’s taxes or fining those that cannot afford or choose not to buy insurance.

And apparently the government’s other big healthcare program, Obama Care, is not much better at protecting taxpayer wealth according to reporting by Ali Meyer of the Washington Free Beacon on December 20, 2016:
  • Obama Care’s Federal and state online exchanges apparently not only recently approved healthcare coverage for nine fake applications but also approved taxpayer subsidies to these bogus applicants.
  • These findings came from a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that conducted the secret test of Obama Care’s data processes.
  • The GAO sting involved 12 fictitious people that were provided with fake copies of Social Security cards, driver’s licenses, and proof of income. 
  • Only 3 of the 12 fake applications were caught, 9 got through to approval, creating a failure rate of a whopping 75%. 
  • And most distressing to any taxpayer, the nine fake people approved were given tax credit subsidies which averaged an obscene $1,580 per month, $18,960 per year.
  • These new distressing findings come a year after the GAO did a similar sting in 2015 with similar results, i.e. the Feds knew they had a problem and still did not or could not fix it.
Which raises an interesting question: if the failure rate for identifying fake applicants is 75%, how many of the claimed 10 million Obama health insurance customers are actually real customers and how many are fake customers just getting the tax credits? 

That will do it for today’s Obama Care disasters: fake people getting real insurance and real tax subsidies, an out of touch politician, single payer failure in Finland, and billions in Obama Care taxes that Obama said would never happen for most of America. More failures tomorrow.

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