Utah nonprofit co-op’s collapse illustrates Obamacare’s Big Lie.

Via @Freddoso, this is possibly even a bigger deal than it looks. Basically, Arches Health Plan (the Utah Obamacare nonprofit co-op) has been essentially turned off, on very little notice. Over 65,000 people will pretty much lose immediately lose their insurance over this.

[The] 35,000 people who bought Arches [Health Plan cooperative]  plans via the exchange or from insurance brokers or agents will now have to find new health insurance for 2016. The co-op also has to stop writing new policies for businesses immediately, Utah Insurance Commissioner Todd Kiser said. Arches insures 31,000 people through employer-sponsored plans, a spokeswoman said.

It was either turn it off, or watch it collapse on its own: Arches was locked into the same death spiral that has been plaguing state nonprofit Obamacare co-ops. Turns out that taking a ‘temporary’ government subsidy right from the beginning apparently does nothing for your eventual profitability except mask for a while the uncomfortable fact that you’re never going to be profitable.  Who knew?

…Yes, that was a rhetorical question.

Continue reading Utah nonprofit co-op’s collapse illustrates Obamacare’s Big Lie.

No, @barackobama will not fire anybody over #obamacare. Or anything else.

I understand Ed Morrissey’s point, here

A competent executive would have made examples of a few people long ago as a message to the rest to improve their work.  The problem is that we don’t have competent executives in this administration, starting at the top.  Obama won legislative achievements in his first term without any operational success, which went unnoticed because either the metrics for success ended up being far too foggy (the 2009 stimulus package), or the delivery dates went too far in the future.  The lack of competence is so obvious now that a few firings probably won’t help matters; it will take a house-cleaning now to prop up Obama as an executive.

…but it’s not gonna happen.  Bluntly: this administration has never made Doing The Job Right a priority, and it’s too late for them to start now.  If Barack Obama had fired people, the Republican party would have seized on it as an admission by the President that he had (gasp!) made a mistake*.  This administration has spent the last five years trying to make Barack Obama look like some sort of sacred God-King; perfect, without blemish, no impurities or merely human frailties.  There can be no reasonable expectation that the White House is willing, or even capable, of reversing that policy and starting anew. Continue reading No, @barackobama will not fire anybody over #obamacare. Or anything else.

Quote of the Day, Now Hear The Litany Of #Obamacare’s Failure edition.

For added fun, read Mary Katherine Ham’s aforementioned litany aloud:

…if you have a catastrophic plan in the individual market, you’re losing the plan you may have liked for the privilege of paying more. If you had a middle-of-the-road individual market plan you liked, you’re losing that plan for the privilege of paying more often for fewer benefits. If you had a decent plan at a small employer, you’re likely to get dumped into the exchanges as mandate-heavy health care plans get too expensive for small businesses to afford. If you have a plan you like at a medium-sized employer, you’re likely to get dumped into the exchanges next year when the employer mandate kicks in, and your costs are already rising or benefits are going down. If you’re at a large employer with a very nice health insurance plan, sorry, you’re now going to have reduced benefits to avoid the “Cadillac” tax.

:pause: Continue reading Quote of the Day, Now Hear The Litany Of #Obamacare’s Failure edition.

Why are people surprised that @barackobama has no conception of good staffing? #obamacare

Bolding mine, but the last line probably is the most relevant question that can be asked about the current administration:

There is nothing that any president needs more than a team of competent people around him who can keep him and his key initiatives on track. President Obama is in his fifth year in office, and he isn’t getting the level of performance from his staff you’d need to be an effective principal of a middle school. At this point, that failure doesn’t just reflect badly on the staff; it reflects on the man who selected them. More and more people in the United States and beyond are asking the obvious and painful question: Why can’t the President of the United States find and keep a minimally competent staff?

Walter Russell Mead is right: Barack Obama’s inability to maintain a functional staff reflects incredibly badly on Barack Obama. It’s one reason why we like to see executive branch experience in our Presidential candidates, too. You see, contrary to popular belief it is actually fairly easy to learn how to make quick decisions… if you are ignorant. Or dumb. Or headstrong.  Or lazy.  Or any combination thereof.  Unfortunately, none of those conditions really help with the other part, which is the twin arts of being able to identify people who can do a job without too much supervision and knowing when “too much supervision” is actually “not enough supervision,” or “just enough supervision.”

Continue reading Why are people surprised that @barackobama has no conception of good staffing? #obamacare

The three interlocking gears of the #Obamacare #FAIL.

Originally, I was going to use the step-stool analogy, only the problem here is that in order for Obamacare to work all three problems need to be resolved.  At the moment the administration is more or less working on one full time, and desultorily working on another.  The third has yet to be addressed.  So… consider a set of gears, with three obstructions.  All three obstructions must be cleared before the machine can operate.

If it can operate. Continue reading The three interlocking gears of the #Obamacare #FAIL.

How you will know when #obamacare is doomed.

Semantically speaking, this interview with AMA President Dr. Arvis Hoven on the AMA’s future relationship with Obamacare is pretty much a null value exercise – here’s a sample, so that you understand what I mean:

Sarah Kliff: To follow up on the point of providing information to your patients, has the White House approached the AMA or approached you about any sort of partnership between doctors and the administration on getting the word out on the Affordable Care Act?

AH: Not directly, but we have been in communication with many, many individuals in the administration about our role as physicians in this, and what we can help them do, and what we can do to help our patients get the kind of information they need. We will keep working with the administration to do whatever we can within our power to make this happen.

…translation: Nothing has been said or promised in any sort of way that cannot be ruthlessly denied, should that need occur. The Obama administration has not abandoned us to the wolves, but only because the pack has not yet come over the crest of the hill. Once that happens, it is Katie bar the door. And the rest of the interview goes pretty much the same way: the AMA pretty much has no idea how it’s going to handle the looming situation, and is pretty explicitly out of the loop over implementation of Obamacare. But that’s not the thing I want to note. Continue reading How you will know when #obamacare is doomed.

Amazon.com’s vaunted customer service apparently lied to me.

I suppose that it was inevitable; they’re normally pretty good about this stuff, but apparently not today.  Short version: when I signed up for my Amazon Prime membership they charged the wrong card.  OK.  They neglected to send me a warning that my free trial was about to expire.  Well, that’s not required of them – a good idea, but not required.  Here’s the thing, though: when I called them about switching the initial charge from my debit account to the credit card (which I did, about five minutes after getting the overdraft notice from my bank*) they told me that they could and would do that, easily.  Well, it turns out that they don’t do that… which I only found out when I called to check why it hadn’t been done.

This is usually the point where I start shouting, but fortunately for the customer service rep I’m sick this morning, which means that I’m taking extra care with my temper. Continue reading Amazon.com’s vaunted customer service apparently lied to me.

I suppose that Carter *would* feel that way.

Somebody cruel asked former President Carter what his biggest failure was.  His answer? “I guess my biggest failure was not getting re-elected.”

Which sort of misses the point, doesn’t it? Because from what I dimly remember of the time period – and have read since – Carter didn’t lose because of the hostages, or because of the malaise, or because of the stagflation, or even because of the killer rabbit.  He lost because he was… well, Jimmy Carter.  It was a package deal, in other words.

Moe Lane

PS: Also from that interview: “I did the best I could, but I failed.”


“You did the best that you could” is what we tell our children in order to keep them from despairing at ever learning how to master the skill of winning, Mr. President.  In an adult such excuse-making is highly unseemly.