Like Waiting For “One Direction” Tickets In A Blizzard

(SCENE:  Mitch BERG is walking his dog down Grand Avenue in Saint Paul.   He’s walking past an organic car repair shop when Avery LIBRELLE walks out, almost bumping into BERG).

LIBRELLE:  Merg!  Hah! I woke up this morning thinking “Merg must be feeling sad today! Obamacare is a huge success!”

BERG:  Well, it’s not really…

LIBRELLE:  Which bums you out more, Merg – that more people weren’t insured, or that less weren’t?

BERG:  Well, I’m just trying to figure out what all the happiness is about.

LIBRELLE:   Seven million subscribers!

BERG:  Let’s assume the Administration is giving real numbers.  That’s seven milion people who’ve signed up.  Not seven million paid, issued policies.  But if you put it up against the five million people wholosttheir coverage over the past year, that means we’re up a net two million – assuming they all actually pay their premiums, which all of them will not.

LIBRELLE:  You’re just jealous that no Republican healthcare plan gets people lining up for it!

BERG:  Wait – you say that’s a good thing!

LIBRELLE:  When people line up to buy something, that means it’s popular.    Like an iPhone!

BERG:  If that analogy held up – if Obamacare is extremely popular – then they’d have been waiting in line last October, when the plans first hit the market.  This is like people waiting in line to buy iPhone 3s before they go out of production.

LIBRELLE:  That’s stupid!  Nobody would do that!

BERG:  Unless it was your only shot at getting a phone, and you were going to wind up without a phone if you waited another day.  The “lines” had less in common with these…:

HyPsTrZ at the sacrament of unveiling.

…and much more in common with these…:

Waiting for bread in Moscow, 1980s

…or these:

Minnesota clinic, 2018. Just kidding – it’s a DMV line.

People trying to get something before an onerous deadline makes it impossible.

LIBRELLE:  Wow.  You’re a real debbie downer.

BERG:  As always, I’m a realist.  The Administration is trying to put lipstick on a dead pig in time to save the Democrats in time for the mid-terms.

LIBRELLE:  Hey – you used the word Democrat!  You hate women and their children!

(And SCENE)

Our Loathsome Elites

Julie Boonstra, in the middle of being treated for Leukemia, had to go chasing after alternative health insurance.

Because of Obamacare.

The WaPo’s “fact check” column, “Politifact”, leaped into action and did what it’s paid to do; uphold the Democrat narrative:

Media organizations investigating the ad’s claims note that Boonstra was able to find comparable new insurance under the law.

Which I’m sure was big comfort, what with being in the middle of being treated for Leukemia and all.

But that whole “finding alternate care” bit?  Ummm…


Obama Repeatedly Promising You Can Keep Your… by ShockDoctrin

Even if I didn’t love my doctor, I’d suspect that right in the middle of freaking Leukemia treatment would be a time when having the Presidentnot lie to memight be a good thing.

But today’s Democrat party?  They know what matters.

The messengers; they must be lined up and shot:

And the campaign of Rep. Gary Peters is also going after television stations airing ads in which her story is featured, threatening their licenses.

The reason our country is so polarized is that half of the population supports rank evil.

File Under “Things Everyone In The Twin Cities IT Community Knew A Year Ago”

MNSure’s development process was, and remains, a shambles:

An Optum report released Wednesday cites major problems with MNsure.

According to the report, “Program management structure and process is nonexistent.” Optum says MNsure’s management decision making was “occurring via crisis mode.”

Thing is, the warning signs were there.  

Why, if only our society had an institution – perhaps one with printing presses and transmitters and a legion of workers who consider themselves an order of aescetic info-monks, dedicated to bringing the truth to the unwashed masses…

…that don’t get financially tied to the institutions they’re supposed to be covering.

Something Is Rotten In Reykjavik

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A buddy forwarded this message to me:

Cops had to shoot the guy because he’s mentally ill and wasn’t getting proper care.

Icelandic website Visir later named the man as Sigrid Oscar Jónasdóttur and his sister Sigridur Jónasdóttir blamed poor health care for the mentally ill for the man’s death. “There are no resources for these people,” she told the site. 

That story doesn’t ring true.  Iceland has nationalized health care.

Healthcare in Iceland is universal. The healthcare system is largely paid for by taxes (85%) and to some extent by service fees (15%) and is administrated by the Ministry of Welfare. A considerable portion of government spending is assigned to healthcare. There is almost no private health insurance in Iceland and no private hospitals.[

Since it’s national health care, it MUST be the best possible system.  We know thatfrom endless assurances by Democrats that nationalized, universal care is the key to the best health for all.  So this shooting shows obviously some other plot afoot.

Obama blames Phil Robertson.

Look Back In Anger

Do you remember the puddles of smug joy that the clacque of jabbering Ivy League frat-boy buffoons and sorority-sister buffoonettes that run our governent squirted when they signed Obamacare?

Byron York sure does – and he documents the descent from the End-Zone Happy Dance of March 2010 to the paranoid catatonia in the West Wing today:

[The] Democrats who gathered in the East Room of the White House for the signing ceremony could barely contain their joy. They cheered, they laughed, they shouted, they pumped their fists, they wouldn’t sit down. They chanted “Fired up — ready to go!” as they had at Obama campaign rallies. When the president recognized Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the House, the chant turned to “Nancy! Nancy! Nancy!”

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Pelosi, of course, would be swept out of the speakership in the Republican landslide a few months later — a result that was based, in part, on the voters’ unhappiness with Obamacare. And today, some of the other Democrats in the East Room are now afraid for their jobs — because of the voters’ unhappiness with Obamacare.

After an effusive introduction from Vice President Biden, Obama turned almost immediately to the task ahead. “It will take four years to implement fully many of these reforms,” he said, “because we need to implement them responsibly. We need to get this right.”

At the time, no one had any idea just how ill-prepared Obama and his administration were to actually do the job they set for themselves. Three years later, approaching an Oct. 1, 2013, deadline for the establishment of the Obamacare exchanges, the administration was still scrambling to finish even the most basic tasks. What followed was disaster.

Read the whole thing.

Show it to your friends who are losing their coverage.

Let them get angry.

Blood Money

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Obama-care has more holes than Swiss cheese, the latest one being something called “risk corridors” that give DHS the power to pay extra to insurers who lost money on Obama-care policies.

No, those extra payments weren’t figured into the original cost, but it’s okay – the taxpayers can make up the difference.

In other words, corporate kickbacks will cover the unexpected costs of underwriting Democrat campaigns as the public catches on to the massive fraud the President played on them last election.  Donations from insurers to Democrats will be refunded via risk corridors, sort of like the incest that goes on between NPR and the DFL with Minnesota tax dollars.

Joe Doakes

The whole thing is diabolically ingenious.  Like Al Capone’s financial network.

Even More Sisyphean

Hundreds of peoples’ battles with Healthcare.gov; in this case, getting switched to  higher-cost, higher-deductible plans, with no further questions asked:

If you have an insurance plan that isn’t compatible with the Affordable Care Act, your insurance company might be automatically rolling you into the plan “most similar” to your own.

For one Washington state resident interviewed by The Daily Caller, his new “Bronze” plan is 80 percent more expensive for him and his wife. His wife is paying $220 more and he’s paying $150 more with higher deductibles.

The insurers are sending letters to subscribers when their existing plans juuuuust didn’t provide all the goodies they didn’t want to pay for in the first place, telling them that it was the insurance company’s best guess, and to check in if they want to downgrade. 

“It’s a confusing thing for people. Most of the plans didn’t contain all the provisions that were under the law. We had no choice,” [Rachelle Cunningham strategic communications manager for insurance company RegenceBlueShield ] said. “We’re trying to make it clear for them.”

Fearless prediction:  not a few Obamacare defenders among the pundosphere will chalk this up to stupid customers.

The Left Hand Doesn’t Know What The Farther-Left Hand Is Doing

It was one of the stories that got no play last session, in spite of the fact because it highlights the bizarre schizophrenia of using politics to allocate human capital, but while on the one hand AFSCME was working to unionize home-child-care providers – who are independent contractors and don’t have “management” – it was instituting full-day kindergarten, reducing the number of kids who’d be in daycare at all.

Which wasn’t entirely incongruous, if you think about it; to the DFL, racket money from daycare providers and union dues from a doubling of Kindergarten teachers are both just revenue streams.

But this?

The final rule, for the most part, confirmed a proposed rule, issued in July, which will cut the Medicare home health benefit by $22 billion over the next four years.

“Congress asked [Center for Medicaid Services],” Halamandaris said, “to do a comprehensive evaluation of the home health benefit, to isolate what works and what needs improvement, how to increase access and efficiency, and how to reduce costs while improving the quality of care. CMS did none of this. Instead, all they did was look to impose the largest possible cut —3.5 percent a year — on the Medicare home health benefit. This adds up to 14 percent over the next four years, or a total of $22 billion.”

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice has produced studies showing that the Medicare home health benefit has already endured more than its fair share of cuts. The benefit has been cut a disproportionate $78 billion since 2009. Add in the newly imposed cut and $100 billion in cuts will have been taken from the most popular and most-needed Medicare program. And as a result of these cuts by the end of 2017, 75 percent of Medicare-certified agencies will be forced under water with profit margins of zero or less.

“The clear conclusion is that saving money is more important to CMS than serving those who are so sick they cannot leave home without assistance,” Halamandaris pointed out. “It is obvious that they turned a deaf ear to our pleas on behalf of aged, infirm, disabled, and dying Americans.”

In other words, while the SEIU was working calling in markers with the DFL to unionize home-care workers, President Obama was working to shut the industry down completely.

Good job, guys.

Who Told You This?

Obamacare will have “death panels”, just like Sarah Palin said.

This according to Ted Nugent:

“It’s built into the plan. It’s not like a guess or like a judgment. That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled,” Halperin told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV. 

Oh, they’re not called “Death Panels” – but, as we discussed in the past, HMOs are built around the idea of “Case Management”, which means “make sure the cost of the care is commensurate with the benefit received”.  Don’t don’t transplant the liver of a 21 year old into a 70 year old alcoholic diabetic who’s already past their life expectancy if there’s  a 30 year old who’d benefit more, for an extreme example.

And no, it wasn’t Ted Nugent.  It was that noted conservative tool Mark Halperin.

Two Americas

John Edwards was right – there are Two Americas.

In one of them, people of means can get healthcare whenever and whereever they need to.

And in the other?  All the poor mopes who are jammed into Obamacare like Tokyo subway straphangers h take whatever they can and say “please, sir, may I have more?”:

As of this week, not one of the plans for sale on New York’s health benefit exchange would cover treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, one of the world’s largest and most respected cancer hospitals.

That could mean that the 615,000 individuals and 450,000 small business employees expected to eventually get their insurance through the exchange would have to go someplace else for treatment, or pay the bill out of their own pockets.

Other premier city hospitals are in the networks of just a few of the new plans.

Now, if you voted for Obama, you should be Happy To Die Pointlessly For A More Level Healthcare Playing Field, and not bitch about it.  This was what you wanted.

For everyone else?  I’d rather keep my “substandard” plan, which doesn’t provide me prenatal care, but does, y’know, cover diseases I could conceivably get, if that’s OK.

And I’m sure it’s not.

Messaging

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The conversation I’d like to hear . . . .

“I’m losing my health insurance because of Obama-care. You’re a Republican Congressman, what are you going to do about it?”

“Nothing.”

“What? Why not? Don’t you care about people?”

“Sure, I care; but Obama-care is the law of the land, passed by Democrats, implemented by Democrats, enforced by Democrats. As long as Obama-care is the law of the land, you’re sunk.”

“Can’t you fix Obama-care to let me keep my policy?”

“I’m afraid not. The only way to fix the problem is to junk the entire plan and start over. All of us Republicans support repealing Obama-care so you can keep your insurance but Democrats in Congress and the President agree they won’t let us solve the problem. The President and all his Democrats insist that you must lose your insurance policy, pay more for a replacement policy, and probably lose your doctor, too.”

Joe Doakes

Concise, truthful, and politically devastating among voters who are smart enough to be allowed the right to vote.

It’s Not Them. It’s You.

Obama’s poll numbers are crashing – as in, post-Fallujah-George-W-Bush crashing.

He’s cratering fastest among women – who were, along with African-Americans, the lynchpin of both of his victories.

Tammy Bruce looks over Obama’s collapse among women:

The unfolding realities of Obamacare and its destruction of health insurance plans and personal, patient-doctor relationships confirm women’s fears that health insurance under Obamacare is not superior, but is quite inferior to health care they were free to choose before this regrettable law was in force. What women voted against in 2010 has come true, and we’re not happy about it. This may come as surprise to Mr. Obama and the people in his inner circle, but women’s health care involves more than sound bites and pithy one-liners.

20131122-061335.jpg

With all the bad news descending on Mr. Obama as a direct result of his high-handedness and deceit on Obamacare, surely nothing could come as a greater shock to him than that women, the one constituency he has relied on the most, other than blacks, refuse to be swindled out of their health care freedoms and to be used to help perpetrate this massive fraud on the American people.

Well, I for one will believe it when I see it.  In particular, single women who don’t have children are among the most querulously gullible liberals there are.   They fell for that “vote to protect your lady parts” bilge in epic numbers, after all.

But maybe there’s hope.

Got Irony?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This is an actual ad promoting Obama-care.

It’s real (I checked Snopes). The message is that young women should buy Obama-care so they can get free birth control pills and therefore have as much sex as they want, without worrying about the consequences.

Two thoughts:

1. Buying Obama-care to get free birth control pills is like buying a house to get the free toaster.

And

2. Iowahawk is right: it’s amazing how much of modern feminism seems to have been thought up by horny teenage boys.

Joe Doakes

Most of liberalism and its attendant ideologies seem like the product of one form of arrested adolescence – self-righteousness, intense moralism mixed with minimal knowledge, or that know-it-all-ism that every 18 year old has, and that most 55-year-old Saint Olaf grads who still have Wellstone stickers on their Subarus never lost.

What If…

…the President’s “fix” were to throw the entire insurance market into complete chaos?:

The debacle threatens to swamp Obama’s entire second-term agenda, raising questions about his competency and credibility. Polls released this week show the president’s job-approval rating at a historic low and a majority of voters saying, for the first time, that he isn’t trustworthy.
“A White House interested in stabilizing this presidency would want to leave no stone unturned in the effort to deal with both those problems,” said William Galston, a former policy adviser to President Bill Clinton who’s a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a center-left policy research center…Insurance companies already have devised plans for next year, received the necessary approval from states and begun to sell policies. They aren’t required to continue to offer their existing policies and state insurance commissioners aren’t required to approve those 2013 plans.

“Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers,” Karen Ignagni, the president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, which represents the industry.

What was it that Kevin Williamson said? Politics are the worst possible way to allocate resources?

The Pain Of Disillusion

While we all knew that Obamacare was going to be a fiasco – and many of us who work in IT were putting specific parameters around the term “fiasco”, by the way – there was always a least one pleasant sideline:

Adriana, the Obamacare girl.

Now, I’ve worked in healthcare IT.  Executives in the trade have this notion that having a non-threatening, smiling woman on a website make the site a more pleasant, less-threatening experience. 

There might be something to that.  I dunno.

There might also be something to making the site actually work. 

But I digress.  According to ABC, Adriana is a Columbian immigrant, a legal resident, married to a citizen, and her photo was obtained through a – what else? – government program trading free family photo sessions for the rights to use the photos on Healthcare.gov.  That’s right.  Our government is trillions in debt, but on hiring camera models, they scrimp like Kazakh rug-traders. 

And  we’re told that  the cataclysmic self-immolation of the site has brought out the crazies – and some of them have found Ms. Adriana:

She learned over the summer that her photo would be on healthcare.gov’s main page, but she didn’t realize it would become so closely associated with the problems of the glitchy website.

“I mean, I don’t know why people should hate me because it’s just a photo. I didn’t design the website. I didn’t make it fail, so I don’t think they should have any reasons to hate me,” Adriana told ABC News.

Anyone who blames a camera model for a system’s technical fubars deserves to lose their current insurance, if you know what I mean.

Ms. Adriana:  Shot in the Dark needs a spokesmodel.  The site works.  And the locals – at least, the ones who agree with me – aren’t batspittle crazy.  And the pay is exactly the same as you’re getting from the Feds.

Por favor – podría considerar mi oferta.  That’s all I’m saying.

The Non-Trivial Challenge

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails

. President Obama famously promised: “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” Turns out that was a lie. You can’t keep your policy if you have a “junk policy” that doesn’t cover things which we now pay for. To keep medical costs down, we’re forcing you to shift to Obama-Bronze which leaves less in your pocket, but it’s for the Good of the Nation so suck it up.

The problem with the lie isn’t that it’s a lie. The problem is it enabled Democrats to win election to protect Obama-care from repeal. And once Obama-care is up and running, it becomes the universal justification for all Nanny State intrusion into our lives.

“If you like your job, you can keep it.” Well, no, you can’t. You work a blue collar job. Your job has high risk of injury, which requires medical care, which we now pay for. So to keep medical care costs down, we’re forcing you to shift to janitor which leaves less in your pocket, but it’s for the Good of the Nation so suck it up.”

“If you like your hobby, you can keep it.” Well, no, you can’t. You jog. Your hobby has high risk of injury, which requires medical care, which we now pay for. So to keep medical care costs down, we’re forcing you to shift to collecting Hummels which leaves less in your pocket, but it’s for the Good of the Nation so suck it up.”

“If you like your home security, you can keep it.” Well, no, you can’t. You have a dog or a gun or both. Your home security set-up has high risk of injury (to yourself and also to burglars), which requires medical care, which we now pay for. So to keep medical care costs down, we’re forcing you to shift to a police whistle which leaves your family vulnerable, but it’s for the Good of the Nation so suck it up.”

Reader challenge: think of an activity in your life where Democrats could NOT justify intruding on this basis.

Joe Doakes

Correct though Joe is in  his simile, I’m behooved to announce “this post was brought to you by a grant from the American Troll-Bait Council”. 

Thanks.

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Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Waiting for these campaign commercials to begin:

Hi, I’m Al Franken. I was behind on votes until my lawyers outmaneuvered Norm Coleman’s lawyers and the courts made me the 60th Democrat in the Senate. Not one single Republican voted for Obama-care but I’m proud to say I cast the last vote needed to make Obama-care the law of the land. Without me, it never would have happened. I’m Al Franken, I’m responsible for Obama-care, and I approve this message.

“I’m good enough by a standard that includes Chuck Schumer and Barbara Boxer.  I’m not sure what I’m smart-enough for, and doggonnit, people are nuts to like me because for the first five-year period of my life, I’ve been able to stay innocuous”