Feb
17
2015
4

Tweet of the Day, SOMEBODY Just Got A Reality-Mugging edition.

What changed, indeed.

I know, I know: the temptation is strong to point and mock. But think of it this way: spite and aggravation are wonderful motivators. Why not encourage those who are upset about being lied to take it out on WORTHY targets? – And don’t tell me that you can’t convince anybody to do that. This strategy will only work on some, sure. But ‘some’ are all we need. Even if it’s one or two in a hundred… that’s enough. The Democrats have no. Margin. At. All.

Selah.

Feb
16
2015
5

House Democrats in 2015 suddenly worried about tax hike that they refused to stop in 2014.

Shot:

Three senior House members [Sander Levin (Michigan), Jim McDermott (Washington), and Lloyd Doggett (Texas)] told The Associated Press that they plan to strongly urge the administration to grant a special sign-up opportunity for uninsured taxpayers who will be facing fines under the law for the first time this year.

Chaser:

In light of the heavy burden being imposed by the health law on people struggling in a weak economy, it’s worth remembering that less than a year ago, the House of Representatives voted on legislation to defer these penaltiesThe vote was 250-160 in favor of a delay, with the vast majority of House Democrats voting to impose these penalties rather than defer them. And the three House leaders who are now concerned that the process is unfair – Representatives Doggett, Levin, and McDermott – all voted against putting the penalties off for one year.

(more…)

Feb
15
2015
6

More Obamacare victims noticing that they’re gonna be on the hook to the IRS.

Bad news for Obamacare advocates:

Between 4.5 million and 7.5 million taxpayers received subsidies for insurance premiums when they signed up for coverage on Obamacare exchanges, federal officials said. These folks had to forecast their 2014 income when they applied. Those who underestimated their earnings either will receive smaller tax refunds or will owe the IRS money.

Some enrollees, however, had a change in circumstances — such as a raise, new job, marriage or baby — during the year that could affect their subsidy level. Obamacare enrollees were supposed to contact their exchange so it could revise their premium. Some people, however, did not know they had to notify the exchange or simply didn’t bother.

(more…)

Feb
14
2015
5

Wait. There’s a TECHNICAL PROBLEM with #Obamacare signups? Inconceivable!

And yet, it happened: “As the clock ticked toward the Sunday night deadline for Obamacare’s 2015 enrollment, federal officials on Saturday grappled with a glitch that prevented people from getting their income verified so they could sign up for insurance.”

In other news: it’s Saturday.

Via

Written by in: Politics | Tags:
Feb
09
2015
11

How to get Obamacare supporters upset about Obamacare: personally inconvenience them.

So, let me get this straight.  Ms. Pineman (the subject of this New York Times article) is a loyal Obama voter and Obamacare supporter.  So, she accepted the following:

  • That her plan – which she liked – would go away.  Despite being told – explicitly – that if she liked her plan, she could keep her plan.
  • That her new plan would not pay for her favored doctor.  Despite being told – explicitly – that if she liked her doctor, she could keep her doctor.
  • That her premiums would be going up.  Despite being told – explicitly – that her costs would go down.
  • That her networks would shrink.  Despite being told – explicitly – that the quality of her coverage would not suffer.
  • That her co-pay for an emergency room visit went through the roof. No explicit promise that I can remember on this one, but it’s always fun to watch an Obamacare supporter discover this particular wrinkle.

(more…)

Feb
03
2015
1

Obama administration punts on enforcing #obamacare. Again.

You know, if I didn’t know better I’d think that there’s something fundamentally wrong with Obamacare.  But that’s just crazy talk, right? …Right:

Consumers who received too much in federal tax credits when buying insurance on the health law’s marketplaces last year got a reprieve of sorts from the Internal Revenue Service this week. Although they still have to repay some or all of the excess subsidies, the IRS won’t ding them with a late payment penalty if they don’t repay it by the April 15 tax deadline.

“They’re trying to make this work,” says Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University who’s an expert on the health law.

They’re certainly trying, at least. (more…)

Written by in: Politics | Tags: ,
Jan
14
2015
6

White House remarkably blase about upcoming #obamacare subsidy case. Stupidly so, in my opinion.

This seems… unwise of the administration: “President Barack Obama is not sweating about the federal exchange subsidies. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) says that at a roundtable discussion with congressional leaders he asked Obama why the administration hasn’t informed the public that subsidies are an endangered species. The president replied that he doesn’t anticipate the need for a contingency plan.” I mean, it’s not like the Obama administration has a great track record here when it comes to predicting what the Supreme Court will do with Obamacare.   (more…)

Jan
05
2015
8

Harvard bitten by the Obamacare monster it helped spawn.

Hope that you don’t have an allergy to schadenfreude, because this is the pure stuff: ” For years, Harvard’s experts on health economics and policy have advised presidents and Congress on how to provide health benefits to the nation at a reasonable cost. But those remedies will now be applied to the Harvard faculty, and the professors are in an uproar.”  Turns out that adding mandatory procedures and extra coverage costs money; so does the ‘Cadillac tax’ on high-end plans like Harvard’s.  So Harvard went and passed those extra costs to policy holders – like everybody else did – and said policy holders are, well, freaking out.

Seriously: to quote Oscar Wilde’s famous witticism, you would need to have a heart of stone not to laugh at the way Harvard professors are reacting to the news that they now have deductables and out-of-pocket limits and co-pays and all the rest of it.  And it just gets funnier and funnier, the farther down you get.  I personally lost it when I read this bit (bolding mine) : “Some Harvard employees have said they will gladly accept a narrower network of health care providers if it lowers their costs. But Harvard’s ability to create such networks is complicated by the fact that some of Boston’s best-known, most expensive hospitals are affiliated with Harvard Medical School. To create a network of high-value providers, Harvard would probably need to exclude some of its own teaching hospitals, or discourage their use.” It’s the consternation at it all.  It’s like Harvard academics thought that there was a line, and they were on the right side of that line, and it was just the people that they didn’t care for who would have to deal with any minor consequences arising from the adoption of Obamacare.  Well, guess what? Turns out that we’re all just Bozos on this bus… and that includes the Bozos over at Harvard University. (more…)

Jan
03
2015
5

Millions of Obamacare subsidy recipients may need to pay back-taxes.

The problem for Democrats is not exactly this: “As many as 3.4 million people who received Obamacare subsidies may owe refunds to the federal government, according to an estimate by a tax preparation firm… H&R Block is estimating that as many as half of the 6.8 million people who received insurance premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act benefited from subsidies that were too large, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.” Although it’s definitely going to be a problem: ‘several million people suddenly discovering that they now owe back taxes to the government over Obamacare’ is not exactly a good scenario, especially if you belong to the political party that set that scenario up in the first place. But it’s still not the worst thing for Democrats.

No, the problem for Democrats here is that this is going to happen every year. The system is more or less designed to assume that people would twiddle with their coverage on a regular basis: as plans changed, improved, or degraded the consumer would be obligated to follow suit, in order to keep the subsidy.  This sounds perfectly reasonable… if you’re not the one doing it.  But out in the real world?  Well, I’ve written about this before: (more…)

Dec
19
2014
1

Vermont abandons single-payer plan. As we told you they would.

No, seriously.  Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont (Democrat, mind you) finally gave his state’s proposed single-payer health care system the axe because there was no way to pay for it.  Well, OK, there was: “Tax hikes required to pay for the system would include a 11.5 percent payroll tax as well as an additional income tax ranging all the way up to 9.5 percent. ”  But there was no way that that would fly among Vermont voters.

…which is what Megan McArdle and I both said last spring. It’s the perennial problem Obamacare (and state exchange) supporters face: if they were upfront about the costs, they’d never have gotten the various laws passed.  But the problem with kicking the can down the road is that eventually you run out of road.  There isn’t the money for single-payer, and there’s the only the interest in getting it when single-payer supporters don’t talk about the money.  And, as you can see from the Daily Carter article: the second you do start talking about the money politicians start to back right up.

Last note.  Peter Shumlin is not yet officially won his governor’s race: since there wasn’t a majority, the results are going to get tossed into the state legislature.  I’m sure that Shumlin doesn’t think that trying to push ahead with double-digit tax hikes would have said legislature ready to give his opponent the election. And neither do I.  But I also think that Shumlin doesn’t know that a sufficiently infuriated legislature wouldn’t do that, either.  …And neither do I.

Via Battleswarm Blog.

Dec
10
2014
4

The problem with Obamacare is not that it is called ‘Obamacare.’

(H/T: @seanhackbarth) Kathleen Sebelius, of course, has this precisely backwards.

Sebelius, who resigned in April following the botched roll out of President Barack Obama’s signature health law, said that current issues involving the Affordable Care Act have to do with its commonly used name.

“Obamacare, no question, has a very bad brand that has been driven intentionally by a lot of misinformation and a lot of paid advertising,” Sebelius said.

Obamacare didn’t fail because people said mean things about it. People said mean things about it because Obamamcare failed. I will acknowledge that people were saying bad things about Obamacare before it failed, but that doesn’t mean that we caused it to fail.  It means that we were very smart people who could see the train wreck coming long before the train wreck actually occurred.

I’m sorry (actually: no, I’m not) that Kathleen Sebelius wrecked her political career and reputation for the sake of a pathetically bad health care rationing system.  She should take some comfort (actually, I don’t care if she does or not) in knowing that she’s not exactly the only person in this position: many a Democrat has been blighted by this mad obsession with validating Hillarycare after the fact.

What? I thought that the Democrats wanted to force a name change. Fine.  We’ll go back into history to find one, then.

(more…)

Dec
09
2014
9

Trey Gowdy was (justifiably) brutal here when it came to Jon Gruber.

Six and a half minutes of Jon Gruber being picked up by his own self-regard, and then being mercilessly slammed hard into the ground. …That’s it. That’s what happened.

Jon Gruber will never work in This Town again.

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