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Taking Stock Of HealthCare.gov

Healthcare.gov. It’s December. We’ll look at what’s working, what’s not, and the path now for health care reform.

In this Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 photo, the shadow of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is shown as she speaks at the Community Health and Social Services Center in Detroit. Technology experts say healing what ails the Healthcare.gov website will be a tougher task than the Obama administration acknowledges  (AP)

In this Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 photo, the shadow of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is shown as she speaks at the Community Health and Social Services Center in Detroit. Technology experts say healing what ails the Healthcare.gov website will be a tougher task than the Obama administration acknowledges (AP)

Victory declared this weekend by the Obama administration in rescuing HealthCare.gov from its calamitous debut.  Critics compared it to George W. Bush’s derided “Mission Accomplished” claim in Iraq.  The website that barely breathed when the Affordable Care Act was rolled out October 1 is now said to be capable of handling 50,000 users at a time.  Small change in the world of cyber-Monday shopping.  A big deal if it ushers millions of Americans into new health care coverage.  The battle is still on. This hour On Point:  HealthCare.gov and health care reform, two months in.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Noam Levey, national healthcare reporter for the Los Angeles Times. (@NoamLevey)

Dan Schuyler, director at Leavitt Partners, a health-care intelligence business. Former director of technology for the Utah Health Insurance Exchange. (@dschuyler)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), member of Congress representing Tennessee’s seventh district. (@MarshaBlackburn)

Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), member of Congress representing Maryland’s eight district. (@ChrisVanHollen)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Inside the Race to Rescue a Health Care Site, and Obama — “The website, which the administration promised would ‘function smoothly’ for most people by Nov. 30, remains a work in progress. It is more stable, with many more people able to use it simultaneously than just two weeks ago. But it still suffers sporadic crashes, and large parts of the vital ‘back end’ that processes enrollment data and transactions with insurers remain unbuilt. The president, who polls showed was now viewed by a majority of Americans as not trustworthy, has conceded that he needs to ‘win back’ his credibility.”

Wall Street Journal: Insurers Seek to Bypass Health Site — “Federal officials said they had largely succeeded in repairing parts of the site that had most snarled users in the two months since its troubled launch, but acknowledged they only had begun to make headway on the biggest underlying problems: the system’s ability to verify users’ identities and accurately transmit enrollment data to insurers. One of the leading states operating its own exchange is considering ways to decouple itself from the federal infrastructure it relies on to confirm residents’ eligibility for federal tax credits. That technology has been affected by planned and unplanned outages.”

Los Angeles Times: Major health website bugs fixed, officials say, but more work needed — “Reporting on its attempts to improve the HealthCare.gov portal, officials said that Web pages on the site now loaded in less than one second, down from eight seconds in late October. The system now operates more than 90% of the time, up from 40% during some weeks in October. The average rate of timeouts or other Web page failures has dropped to less than 1%. It was as high as 6% in October.”

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  • Ed75

    The problem isn’t only the website, of course. Premiums and deductibles are generally up, and one can’t keep one’s doctors because the networks in the O-care plans are small, and if one goes outside the network one pays up to 100%. The reimbursement to doctors has been cut again. The O-care plans are a hair above Medicaid, which is now overwhelmed. The way they will save money is that people won’t be able to see doctors because of wait times and crowds.
    The health care system is in the hands of Pres. O. and Kathleen Sibelius, both rabid abortion people, what can one expect. Forgive the reference, but it’s like putting social services in the care of the KKK.

    • adks12020

      Medicaid is actually not overwhelmed. It has successfully signed up a large number of people in the past month. There were several stories about that last week. Premiums and deductibles have been rising steadily for the past 10 years. The goal of the plan is to slow the increase in costs that we’ve all been seeing already. Whether it has had any effect will take well more than a couple of months to determine. Your hyperbolic statement regarding abortion and the comparison to the KKK is ridiculous but I guess I should expect that at this point. To you, every issue is somehow related to abortion.

    • OnPointComments

      “As Fred Vogelstein reports in his coming book, Apple spent about $150 million developing the iPhone. The health-insurance exchange—which, let’s remember, is merely a website meant to connect citizens to insurance companies, something quite a bit less complex than Apple’s groundbreaking miniature computer—so far has cost at least $360 million, and possibly as much as $600 million.”
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/10/17/developing-obamacares-health-care-exchanges-has-cost-more-than-apples-original-iphone/

      $360-$600 million for a substandard website that the government hopes can handle 50,000 users at once and 800,000 users a day. 60 Minutes reported last night that starting today, Amazon will handle 300 orders per second (nearly 26 million orders a day) during the Christmas season.

      That’s the difference between how government works (or more aptly, doesn’t work) and private enterprise.

      And the government wants to run our healthcare.

      • Don_B1

        The operant phrase from the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, not known for liberal bias, except in the minds of radical right wingers, is:

        “It may be much less than you’ve heard.”

        See:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2013/10/24/how-much-did-healthcare-gov-cost/

        There the 2-year contract to CGI of $93 million is noted, but even that includes other things than the website.

        But the radical President Obama haters here have latched onto the outrageous number quoted above from the Republican-line toting Forbes magazine, so expect to find it from their sources until the cows come home.

        • OnPointComments

          In a Congressional hearing on October 24, two website contractors testified that their companies were paid $290 million and $85 million, respectively, for a total of $375 million.

          • Don_B1

            For what services? Most of the software contracts cover multiple functions across a lot of different websites and programs.

            In other words, you have nothing when you cite such numbers. Why don’t you just quote the total amount spent by Congress on the Transportation Department as the cost of the T.S.A.?

    • TFRX

      Nice dissembling there on so many things.

      Your old schtick, where you just randomly called anyone you didn’t like “rabid abortion people”, was better.

    • JGC

      “Meanwhile the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others…a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.” – Pope Francis, from “The Joy of the Gospel”

    • Don_B1

      There is nothing in the PPACA that restricts the size of provider networks; that is the doings of the insurance companies, which are unfortunately using that to try to hold down costs.

      But as the insurance companies lose out on policy sales to companies that provide larger networks, that will change.

      Are you telling us that you are against market forces in the healthcare market?

      After all, Medicare itself does not have networks to shrink, and the only force in that direction is Congress’s messing with across-the-board pay cuts. But there are other more efficient ways to achieve that by moving away from fee-for-service payment schemes and they can be much fairer to both doctor and patient.

  • Michiganjf

    NPR reported this morning that health care costs have grown at the lowest rate since the data has been collected, for the last three years!

    I thank the President for helping to restructure the way health care is handled at every level in our country!

    • OnPointComments

      Politifact: rated “Mostly False” the statement that “The growth in health care costs ‘has been reined in through the Affordable Care Act.’ ”
      http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2013/oct/04/jim-moran/moran-says-obamacare-has-reined-growth-health-care/

      “the lagging growth rate ‘largely reflects the lingering effects of the recent recession and modest recovery.’ CMS [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] said the downturn led to lower health spending as employers cut costs and the number of people with private insurance dropped.”

      “CMS officials said Obamacare had “no discernible impact” on overall health care spending in 2011.”

      “The Kaiser Family Foundation, in its April report, said the lackluster economy accounted for 77 percent reason the increase in health care spending has slowed.”

      • Michiganjf

        Did I mention the Affordable Care Act?

        No, I didn’t… but now I’ll throw that in as a major factor as well!

        • Michiganjf

          ,,,and what happened to all the conservative gibberish that heath care costs are EXPLODING under “Obamacare?!”

          • toc1234

            to quote Carville.. “its the economy/recession, stupid”

          • Don_B1

            The recession would cause a lot elective procedures to be postponed and a lot of poor people who are even less able to afford even necessary procedures. Thus at least some of this lowered cost may well be mere delay in their arrival, and even, because of the lack of needed care, the higher costs of more severe problems.

            But as Oregon’s experimental study with a randomized provision of health insurance led to increased use by the poor for lesser problems but then less severe problems down the road, the total costs are highly likely to be lower.

            What is not to like except the breaking of an ideological impediment to everyone getting decent healthcare?

    • nj_v2

      Show us the data, please.

      So if costs have been going up by x%, and now they’re going up by x – .2%, it’s time to party?

      • Michiganjf

        I’m not sure what your little chart has to do with anything.

        Your chart is for TOTAL HEALTH CARE DOLLARS spent in Massachusettes ONLY, is an old chart (2009) showing how health care spending increased each year BEFORE the ACA, and then shows old projections going forward!!

        TOTAL HEALTH CARE expenditures go up naturally as population increases!

        What my post refers to is what was reported on NPR this morning:
        that the average cost of premiums has DECREASED over the last three years… the first time that has happened since the data has been recorded and compared.

  • TFRX

    Good thing Chris Van Hollen is here.

    Becuase Marsha Blackburn’s Gish Galloping dissembling is something that needs to be countered.

    • Don_B1

      But the “balanced” approach of the others who thus will not outright call her on her outright false statements which will flow like the Amazon into the South Atlantic, the program will be like two against one, and Rep. Van Hollen will never get to finish taking down half of her dissembling and false statements.

  • geraldfnord

    Oh, good: starting the week with what is sure to be a temperate and entirely facts-based conversation free of partisan rancour.

  • OnPointComments

    My nephew has been trying to sign up on Healthcare.gov for over a month, with no success. He calls the 800 number and they reset his information (4 times so far), he re-enters all information, and it still doesn’t work.

    His experience echoes this story:
    “With Three Weeks Left, Consumers Fear They May End Up Without Health Coverage On New Year’s Day”
    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2013/December/02/Worries-health-coverage-after-online-insurance-marketplace-problems.aspx

    “…her effort to sign up for the health law’s coverage has been painful in its own way. Momi, a resident of Fort Mohave, Ariz., hasn’t been able to complete an application on the federal healthcare.gov website. Three attempts to submit an application over the phone haven’t panned out. Once when she called back, she says she was told they had no record of the application. Another time, officials told her they could see the application but couldn’t open it.”

  • toc1234

    just tried to log on…”HealthCare.gov has a lot of visitors right now!”

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    A website fix is still no fix for the basic reality that the Government can’t, and thus shouldn’t run a “marketplace”, let alone how this whole debacle was fraudulently sold to the American people.

    These are the real issues we should discuss, belatedly, not a fix of a glitch.

    • brettearle

      In other words,

      Social Security and Medicare should shut down?

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Transparency? Are you kidding?

    Lets talk some “death panels” or whatever you would like to call rationing.

    • jefe68

      We already have that, it’s called health insurance companies, and they ration care all the time.
      They have been doing this for years and yet you right wingers do not seem to care about that. The model of health insurance is to deny as much care as they can get away with.

      It’s hilarious that you then go on about the Palin meme about “death panels”. The regressive right wing meme patrol is in swing yet again.

      • brettearle

        It’s always a matter of whose Ox is being gored, isn’t it?

        They can see–and believe–the propaganda, leveled against the Left and the Left’s measures in ACA.

        But they can’t see the Reality of their “built-in Death Panels”, in the entrenched free-market enterprise of Health Insurance–pre-ACA

        • jefe68

          I hate to say this, I don’t think the ACA will stop insurance providers from finding ways not to pay for care. The for profit insurance market is still there and so is the business model that looks for ways to increase that profit.

          • brettearle

            I’m under the impression that, aside from covering pre-existing conditions, there will be greater flexibility for coverage.

            People, for example, with life-threatening illness, are not going to be refused treatment–if one drug doesn’t work, but another might.

            No?

          • jefe68

            I’m not sure. If you look at the plans being offered such as the Silver plan for example, and individual could pay up to $6000 per year in premium’s plus a deductible and on top of that they will have to pay for 30% of all costs. If you have a serious illness you’re going to pay for it.
            The business model of insurance companies is to find ways to deny care to keep costs down and profits growing.

            In my view our entire system is so flawed and dysfunctional I don’t think the ACA will really fix that much of it. The rising cost factors are still there and have not been dealt with at all.

            I also think that the Democrats are going to lose the Senate and that the GOP will gain more seats in the House and that’s the end of the ACA in. In some ways this plays right into their government being unable to do anything mantra. The Democrats have messed this up big time.

            Very good article by Robert Kuttner on this:

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-kuttner/could-obamacare-have-been-better_b_4369612.html

          • brettearle

            Thanks much. I like and trust Kuttner.

            You should be calling up and speaking your mind and knowledge on this….

            I am under the impression that at this point, a repeal is unlikely.

            How do you foresee this happening?

            Would there not have to be an overwhelming landslide in Congress to offset opposing votes and procedural strategy, by the Democrats?

            [Also, wouldn't SCOTUS possibly have to be involved, again--and wouldn't this be unlikely?]

            You can blame this on Axelrod; and maybe Emanuel: I believe that the President was pushed into rushing the reform through, in the first 100 days.

            Obama should have taken a deep breath…

          • jefe68

            If the GOP takes back the Senate, which seems very likely, then they will defund it to death.

            I believe there is a combination of factors here, but I would agree that all parties in the White House were over ambitious here. It’s a mess, that’s for sure.

          • Don_B1

            The PPACA was just about the least intrusive approach to providing healthcare to those who up to now have not been able to get an insurance policy and had to rely on Emergency Room Care and Medicaid, because it did leave a huge percentage of the population unaffected (though Republicans will continue to conflate the “normal/regular” changes in offered policies as having been forced by the PPACA.

            Certainly some new and some discarded provisions of the policies currently being offered have been driven by the PPACA minimum coverage requirements, but changes have been epidemic in the healthcare industry for decades.

          • jefe68

            As of November 17, 2011, the net profit margin (after taxes[56]) for various industries within the healthcare sector are as follows:

            IndustryNet Profit Margin
            Medical Laboratories & Research0.8%
            Long-Term Care Facilities0.9%
            Hospitals4.3%
            Medical Practitioners4.3%
            Health Care Plans4.5%
            Home Health Care5.7%
            Drugs, Generic6.0%
            Medical Instruments & Supplies13.6%
            Drug Manufacturers, Major16.7%

            http://www.justfacts.com/healthcare.asp

            There are some reason in these figures as to why health care costs will continue to rise.

          • Don_B1

            I share with many here a lot of respect for Robert Kuttner.

            But his article in the Huffington Post that you link does not mention one critical set of facts. There were at least three Democratic Party Senators who were adamantly against the public option:

            1) Senator Joseph Lieberman, the “senator from the insurance industry” (Hartford, CT) promised to filibuster any healthcare bill with a public option.

            2) Senator Ben Nelson (D, NE), an exCEO of an insurance company similarly opposed the public option.

            3) Senator Blanche Lincoln (D, AR) stated that she could not support a public option.

            As the Republicans were adamantly against a public option, not to mention the whole PPACA, although Minority Leader Mitch McConnell craftily let Republican senators join in offering amendments and participate in Senator Max Baucus’s “Gang of Six” (to eat up time and extend the process of crafting a bill, delaying its passage while they talked down its features) trying to formulate a final bill.

    • John_in_Amherst

      Aside from the fact that Insurance Company Death Panels have been the MO of American healthcare for decades, both parties are scared out of their wits at the thought of having to prioritize the spending of limited resources on ever-increasing numbers of ever-more-expensive medical procedures and drugs.

      • Don_B1

        Particularly when patients want the procedure or drug treatment even when there is no independent confirmation of the efficacy of the treatment.

        • BHA_in_Vermont

          Or worse! I have tendonitis in my elbow, I go to my PC who sends me to the orthopedic PA.

          I check in and the registration lady wants to send me for an x-ray. I tell her 1) I am unemployed 2) I did not damage my elbow in any fashion that would show up in an x-ray.

          She says “But you have insurance!”. And I respond: 1) Yes, but the x-ray still costs ME money and 2) I did not damage my elbow in any fashion that would show up in an x-ray so it is a waste of MY money AND the insurance company’s money.

          There was no x-ray but I bet a LOT of people “just do it”. I bet under an “outcome based” health care system, the PA would have seen me and made the decision as to whether I should have an x-ray or not.

          • Don_B1

            The medical actors here are undoubtedly paid a fee for each service; thus taking the x-ray generated income for them.

            That is why the provisions (still mild but showing the way) of the PPACA to turn the ocean liner in the direction away from fee-for-service is a step in the right direction which will lower health costs in the future.

  • hennorama

    The Republican “it’s not ready for primetime” talking point sure didn’t take long to emerge, did it?

    • Don_B1

      That and the claim that government cannot do big things, which is the biggest lie from the Republicans.

    • brettearle

      It’s their Obama Presidency, bete noire…

      • hennorama

        brettearle — given your language facility, you likely know the literal translation of your apt phrase.

        Per merriam-webster.com:

        “Origin of BÊTE NOIRE

        “French, literally, black beast”

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/b%C3%AAte%20noire

        • brettearle

          Actually, hadn’t thought of that, at all!

          I was going by connotation usage.

          I’ll let the politically correct skewer me–if they wish to.

          Most know that on this Forum I have been a strong personal supporter of the President.

          What’s more, I have stated recently, on the forum, that I find the President to be more likable than any other President in my lifetime.

          Thanks for pointing this out.

          Maybe just for symbolic reasons, I ought to delete it…..

          • hennorama

            brettearle — we help where we can.

            We assumed that your usage was intentional, with all its implications, and we were simply trying to assist the audience.

          • brettearle

            Hold on…

            Maybe I was misunderstood or I misunderstood you.

            Not having thought of the denotation, my usage was only intentional from the standpoint of the phrase’s connotation.

            And, certainly, I would also not use the literal meaning of the phrase as if I were mocking the Right to such a salacious extreme.

            The Right’s Bigotry is palpable, but not systemic.

            What did you mean, “intentional”?

            And what do you mean, `we’ “Keemasabee”?

            Are you now two again–or are you simply ganging up.

            So, anyway, I’ll give you the full benefit of the doubt….nevertheless,

            What do you mean “intentional”?

            [If you see the Right with greater bigotry than I, you have my permission to use it in a similar context. However, this is likely a matter of fractions:

            We both see bigotry on the Right. And I see it, more frequently than I would like.

            But I don’t believe that it is ubiquitous on the Right–as some on the Left believe.

            If we on the Left look at things through this sort of pre-conceived Prism, then it is my feeling that we miss some of what they’re screaming about–and we miss the “content of their” political “character”.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — one incorrectly presumed that you intended to imply, with the use of the subject phrase, that some of the President’s opponents hold a colorfully negative view of him.

            Perhaps it is my “facility with language” that was the actual issue, as the literal translation was at the fore.

          • brettearle

            It wasn’t my intention, yes.

            But, it is true that some–far from all–in the GOP, have copped an attitude that is tainted by the President’s ethnicity.

      • HonestDebate1

        No one dislikes Obama’s policies just because he’s a Democrat, a mulato, a liberal, they didn’t vote for him, or just because. It’s because the policies are awful.

        • brettearle

          ?
          Where did I say that?
          ?

  • emuser

    Marsha Blackburn is my representative. I want to hear her health care alternative to the Affordable Care Act. The status quo was not working. She is from a state that has some of the poorest, unhealthy citizens in this country. Now many of these folks can get insurance that was unavailable through TennCare. Please stop being the spokesperson for “NO” and tell us what new fresh ideas you can offer.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      I offer universal health care. pay a tiny bit in taxes–it goes into a universal health care pool–and we ALL get health care–and if w cared we could make it the best in the world, better than Norway or CUba or Venezuela, or CHina,or…maybe if we actually cared we could make it better than the health care in Dar Fur.

      Actually i would even be more motivated to become a doctor in a socialized system. We dont have doctors, we have insurance clerks–pawns for big pharma. Puppets for the oligarchy. I dont trust a doctor as far as I can throw him.

  • Mort Sinclair

    C’mon, Tom. Don’t let her get away with this rubbish!

  • toc1234

    Hey Noam…. for example, NYT reported last wk that NH only has one provider and 10 of NH’s 25 hospitals won’t be in the network…

  • Roy-in-Boise

    The Rep from Tennessee has not offered any solutions only continual attacks. It is as though the GOP really does not want a solution just a return to the past. Not exactly a plan for moving forward.

    • John_in_Amherst

      attacking the government IS the GOP plan for the future.

      • jefe68

        While getting payed and using tax payer funded health care to boot.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        always has been. they are pirates and finks and thugs.–the oligarchy. your corporate aristocracy.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        get back in your cubicle

  • Kathy

    Why is this crazy person being given a platform to spew nonsense?

    • brettearle

      Many of us support ACA.

      I certainly do.

      But without opposing views, the Forum loses credibility.

      • Kathy

        This isn’t an opposing view though, it’s a fanatic spouting nonsense.

        That’s generally a problem with US politics and Obamacare is a perfect example. The democrats are center right and leave little room on the right for a sane argument. Let’s be honest. Obamacare is a fiscally conservative free market plan to save the private insurance and fee for service medical system. The sane discussion should be Obamacare on the right vs Single Payer on the left. Instead we have Obamacare on the “left” and from the Republicans either no plan or libertarian free market mumbo jumbo about people negotiating with their doctors to bring prices down.

        • brettearle

          Either your interpretation is glib and presupposes a number of detailed assumptions about the sausage-making, beyond my expertise; or else you are pushing some sort of quick concise summary that only sounds confident and convincing–but likely isn’t.

          Maybe it’s a bit of both.

          As far as crazy interviewees are concerned, let them spew bias.

          In the ignorance of it, we can sift out the Truth and throw it back in the faces of those who are threatened by change; or else are too narrow-minded to acknowledge it.

        • Don_B1

          I agree that Rep. Marsha Blackburn is a dyed-in-the-wool radical rightwing fantasy world, but she is a glib one that can duck just about any question and has spent a lot of time learning the tested talking points.

          But if the audience that feels initially favorable toward her points will take the time to listen more carefully, they will discover the rhetorical slights-of-hand that she uses and will recognize them in the future.

  • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    You put Blackburn and Corker on? Is this really the best you come up with? I Live in Tennessee, I am familiar with these people.

    • Don_B1

      They went overboard to represent the Republican talking points, but less so than the rest of the Mainstream Press.

      I listen to Morning Joe on MSNBC a lot of mornings, but for the last month or so the first half-hour to hour is full of Joe Scarborough’s rants about how bad the HealthCare.gov site is and how it means government is incabable of doing anything this size. The repetitiousness is quite stunning, with hardly a word edgewise on the way Republicans are not working to really do anything to help the uninsured and underinsured to get decent coverage for health care, with the exception of a short complaint that the Republicans do need to develop a positive message.

      Right now the pack of political reporters, and they do run in a pack, eager to reinforce each other’s point, has the destruction of a President in its sights and can see little else.

      • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

        I totally agree with you. We depend on the press for unbiased reporting, but we do not get it .In the military I learned that propaganda works and that’s mostly what people are getting. Everything is spun.

  • HobbsJR02871

    My guess is GOP assumes most Americans are poor at both grammar and math, because GOP policies have defunded so much public education. Please note that two persons equate to “people,” but using “people” in your arguement does not imply a simple majority…now, extend that illogic to the remainder of Congressman’s arguements

  • northeaster17

    Ask your neighbors in KY Ms Representative.

    • Don_B1

      That would be too much cognitive dissonance for her to handle and not be pulling out her hair.

  • ThatDudeOnABike

    That interview with the rep from Tennessee was nothing but a stage for talking points! This is On Point! Come on. She threw out so much garbage that your other guest couldn’t provide a counterpoint.

    • Don_B1

      Tom really let the audience down with his lack of telling Ms. Blackburn that she needed to get out and see the real world!

      But she is well-practiced at it and has been rising in the House Republican ranks because of her glibness. So she has no incentive to change.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      to all you people who keep crying this is on point–yeah so –is still propaganda–as much the fat man or fox news and the loud-mouthed bully they got. just different technique.

  • toc1234

    Tom, ask van Holland about the Maryland exchange. he described it as a “mess” yesterday on meet the press…

  • hennorama

    Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    Patience is a virtue.

    • brettearle

      Perfect is ALWAYS the friend of the enemy of “The Other”…

    • OnPointComments

      Is “the good” when the website works 80% of the time?

      It’s more like “Competence is the enemy of ‘good enough for government work.’ “

    • HonestDebate1

      Exactly! The system wasn’t perfect but we treated it as the enemy and now we have a travesty.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    The people are smart enough to know that the current health care insurance system is a Crony Capitalistic endeavor, and that real competition for delivery of service is the best way to control costs. Most people are fine with giving the truly needy a subsidy to get this care. That in no way equates to embracing Obamacare as designed, and the fact is that a solid majority of Americans are against it, whether or not the technocrats and their apologists like it.

    Why is it so hard for Dem die-hards (never mind GOP cronyists) to admit that the entanglement of Washington politicians and lobbyists with our markets, be it financial or healthcare, is an a pure pandering ponzi scheme to give crony business partners who cozy up with whoever is in power in “public-private” partnerships, in the name of something good for us to get votes.

  • pwparsons

    Begging the question–Why can’t the current effective, popular,
    MEDICAIRE SYSTEM
    accommodate, or provide a Template for Single Payer, or
    Universal/MEDICARE FOR ALL and abolish this Rube Goldberg Contraption
    that does nothing more than increase and ensure popular cynicism toward
    Gummint, and/ or provide a captive, profitable, market for BIG PHARMA
    & Private Health Insurance?

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Because that would make too much sense.

      And besides, Single Payer is SOCIALIST (actually it is not, it is a social program not a form of government) and BAD and, and, and … would TAKE JOBS from people who’s only purpose is to dicker with the pharmaceutical companies and health care providers to get the lowest price for THEIR “pool” leaving the rest to pay MORE than the actual cost of service to make it up.

  • OnPointComments

    INSURERS CLAIM HEALTH WEBSITE IS STILL FLAWED
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/02/business/white-house-praises-gains-on-health-site.html?_r=2&

    “The issues are vexing and complex. Some insurers say they have been deluged with phone calls from people who believe they have signed up for a particular health plan, only to find that the company has no record of the enrollment. Others say information they received about new enrollees was inaccurate or incomplete, so they had to track down additional data — a laborious task that would not be feasible if data is missing for tens of thousands of consumers.”

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    So honestly not agreeing with this economic model makes you a saboteur?

    • brettearle

      Not in my book.

      But if you’ve got a better way, prove it might be better than what it was, pre-ACA

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        OK, but you’ll have to pass it to see what’s in it for me to prove it.

        • brettearle

          That’s a satirical dodge. Though your comment was clever, it was still a dodge.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            I have no “master plan” answer, and don’t have the ego to think I could.

            I think medically-assisted “Health” is a scarce commodity, and that the best way to make it as affordable as possible is to allow for transparent competition and pricing mechanisms work. After the will of a free people drive that market, we will see what the “solution” was.

            Do you honestly believe we could have asked the government how to come up with a $200 flat screen TV? Or an iPhone?

            Are you kidding?

            Safety net, yes. Government economic solutions to huge economic sectors, no.

          • brettearle

            I don’t believe that you can put Life-Death issues into the pure context of the Free-Market enterprise and hope to ever come out of it, in decent shape.

          • Don_B1

            The PPACA does not provide a solution to a huge economic sector, but it DOES regulate how the private insurance companies that want to enter the market selling policies shall sell them and sets minimum standards of coverage that a policy must provide.

            Right now, the website does not provide the necessary transparency to that competition, but that is all that is lacking, for the website to allow people to select and purchase a policy that will cover their needs at an affordable (with support as necessary) price.

            That will be the case as soon as the website is fully functional, which is almost true today and will be truer tomorrow.

    • ThirdWayForward

      So, the right should propose some other way of enabling everyone to have access to decent health care. They are saboteurs because they are not acting in good faith — they would rather see the country suffer than allow Obama to realize a successful program. Their shutdown of the fed govt made their aims crystal clear — saboteurs they certainly are.

      And it’s not so much the economic model to which the right objects — it’s their moral (amoral) conviction that not everybody deserves to have access to decent health care. This is a moral, not an economic issue. Deep down, they really do have enormous contempt for the 47% and nearly every Republican governor is doing whatever possible to sabotage the Medicaid provisions of the plan. Let us not forget that Medicaid is what covers your parents when they need to go into a nursing home.

      If it were economics, we would go to a single-payer system and enable Medicare to negotiate medical and drug prices. Our country, with its privatized patchwork system spends twice as much on healthcare as a percentage of GDP than do other industrialized societies, and on the whole we obtain inferior results for all that extra money spent.

      Obama’s health care reform is enacting what historically have been Republican center-right programs that preserve employer-sponsored health care rather than making a universal system for everyone.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        I still think we need a grand bargain of Single Payer, Competitive Provider in exchange for more libertarian (not cronyistic or Fed-corrupted) rest of the economy overall (no bailouts, stiff penalties for cheaters).

        I’m telling you, its Ron Paul/Dennis Kucinich or Ralph Nader.

        For the truly special case of human health care, have a carefully controlled, limited single payer system, but for the rest, more libertarian.

        Think about the biggest issues of recent history, Iraq, Financial Bubble, NSA.

        Folks like Paul and Kucinich (I’m sure we can find new faces) have areas of agreement around those issues that would be FAR more advantageous for this country moving forward than anything a Clinton or McConnell is going to ever get us.

        • Don_B1

          The PPACA (ObamaCare) is complicated because, and ONLY because it tried to find the least disruptive path on a step-by-step basis from the fee-for-service market-based approach extant up until this approach was adopted in 2010. Keeping private insurance companies in between the patient and their doctor with all the incompatible insurance formats and establishing exchanges where the insurance companies would market their policies allows those seeking insurance to make apple-to-apple comparisons between policies.

          But the computer software to accomplish this is not easy and can be messed up even worse than what the Federal Government has done through CGI; witness how Oregon, which set out to accomplish an even more “complete and perfect” site through the company Oracle. That has not been a transparent Oracle for the citizens of Oregon.

          But your proposals here are still only handwaving cloudy images of some ideal in a space that I can only call a fantasy. Once anything that you propose to implement gets written down it will look as or more complicated than Obamacare/HeritageCare even thought to be.

  • Cindy C Barnard

    Is this the Marsha Blackburn show? I have yet heard a comment out of her mouth that wasn’t hysterically inaccurate.

    Completely inaccurate that your options are limited with the Affordable Care Act, AKA ObamaCare!

    People seem to forget these exchange may be run by the gov. (only those 26 states who refused to take the money on the table, extend help to their citizens, and create their own exchange) but the insurers are private industry – the very people who offer our insurance now (most of which is through an employer).

    So you honestly believe these private insurers are not going to let you see local qualified doctors, and doctors of your choice. Insurance can be applied for by any health facility if they aren’t already signed up for that particular plan.

  • ThirdWayForward

    The Republicans really do not have principled objections to the health care reforms. They are trying to sabotage the program because they don’t want Obama to succeed.

    It’s very destructive, far more destructive for our country than any external agents could effect. Republicans are evil — this is another way that they show this to us once again. They would rather than those on the margins do not get health care, just like they would rather that those people don’t participate in elections.

    Yes, the Feds are terrible at implementing web-based systems — ask anyone who had to use Grants.gov to submit grant proposals.

    But virtually everyone is better off with
    1) coverage for children up through age 26
    2) elimination of pre-existing conditions as a barrier to insurance
    3) no dropping of subscribers from plans once they get sick
    4) a freer market for individual subscribers

    The existing private system was terrible — there were runaway cost increases for many years before Obama’s health reform was even proposed.

    If they had any scruples whatsoever, the Republicans would propose something like a universal voucher system for health care (but rationality and constructive counter-policy is not part of their current DNA — they are just snarling hyenas).

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      “Yes, the Feds are terrible at implementing web-based systems — ask anyone who had to use Grants.gov to submit grant proposals.

      But….”

      Try as you might, wish as you might, fueled by the best of intentions, you just can’t square a circle. Why is this so hard for people to accept? People are so emotional, rather than realistic, and you cannot run a country, or self-govern, emotionally. May be sad, but true.

      • ThirdWayForward

        Emotionality per se is not the root problem. People are being systematically bamboozled.
        Radical conservatives are not inherently stupid, they are being just misled and emotionally manipulated into the kind of political stupidity that characterizes the current Republican politics of obstruction and destruction.

        The current state of the Republican party has much to do with the hundreds of millions of dollars that plutocrats like the Koch brothers injected into the conservative political ecosystem in recent years. This has given Tea Party extremists the financial leverage to extort compliance from more moderate, saner Republicans.

        Meanwhile there is the incessant chatter by Fox and Clear Channel out there dishing out misinformation and whipping up fear and loathing of anything remotely associated with the federal govt or Obama.

        Much of what is evil about the Republicans today can be laid on the doorstep of the Kochs and the Adelsons of this world. We should send them the bill for the US govt shutdown.

        The world does not make any sense until you begin to look at who is pulling the strings.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          ok, look at the Fed, and who the strings connect to and then get back to us.

          • ThirdWayForward

            I agree with this — ALL string pulling needs scrutiny — there is also an undeniable, unholy alliance between the centrist Democrats (Clintonians) and Wall Street.

            Nobody has been prosecuted for the housing scam, bankers and finance con artists are still getting their bonuses, and the stock market is at historic highs while unemployment is not improving (much). Big banks have not been broken up (there needs to be a $1 billion limit on the amount of money one organization can throw around). Something like half the wealth of African-American households was destroyed. What does the lack of justified retribution tell us about who owns and runs the country?

            Both parties are complicit in allowing a massive transfer of wealth to financial con artists. However, the Democrats (some fraction of them) are still somewhat better vis-a-vis the plutocracy than the Republicans, who want all regulation and restraint on the financial system removed. It was collusion of the Republicans (like Gramm, Greenspan) and the Clintonian wise guys (like Rubin, Summers) who prevented the regulation of derivatives and paved the way for the systemic financial crisis of 2008.

            A financial Wild West with dark markets and unregulated insurance scams (derivatives) is in almost nobody’s interest, whatever your political ideology.

            Even the most naive, true-believing libertarian has to look at the boom-bust dynamics with some degree of dismay — in the end people are not rational actors, especially when it comes to investment gambling — they indulge in systematic self-delusion and succumb to group-think.

            Even worse than their destructive tactics on health care, which is terrible by itself, the Republicans, along with a sizable group of Democratic enablers, are completely obstructing any and all efforts to re-regulate the financial system and thereby to prevent or forestall the next big financial crisis.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            I suggest looking into the nature of boom-bust cycles. I am sympathetic to much of what you are saying, but not sure we agree on the mechanisms that brought those things to fruition.

            A libertarian concept such as rejecting the “too big to fail” and bail out concepts, would have gone a long way to curbing the risky and leveraged behaviors that the Fed-connected banksters engaged in. If they know there was no bail outs, they would not have opted to destroy themselves.

            Competition, Pricing and Accountability are powerful equalizers and reality-finders. IF we have transparent information, and there is not top-down cronyistic economic activism, those economic mechanisms, carried out by the people, can, and do work for us. When the elite get special deals, rigged markets and cheap money to gamble with, they take us all down.

            If folks honestly read the libertarian circles regarding the financial crisis, ideas of Corporatism etc, they could no longer with a straight face keep lumping such people in with the GOP or Clintonites for that matter. Don’t even bring up non-sensical, hypocritical situation of EASY MONEY FED CHAIR Greenspan being a libertarian example. He was in his younger days, but gladly rode the power train once it stopped for him.

          • ThirdWayForward

            Well, probably we don’t necessarily agree in our economic models. Financial regulations from the 1930′s I think did prevent the kind of meltdown that we saw in 2008, which occurred less than a decade after their repeal.

            I do think that more economic freedom of small-scale actors is best, and highly preferable over centralized control (which is easily captured by power interests). However, the problem with contemporary right-wing libertarianism (anarcho-capitalism, a la Ron Paul or the Ayn Randians) is that it allows for concentration of economic power such that the bulk of the population are eventually reduced to being wage slaves. Right-wing libertarianism does not decentralize economic power, and what one ends up with is plutocratic despotism (a la Russia or China — the nature of the plutocratic oligarchies being different). A nation of small enterprises and free workers would be a desirable goal.

            I agree that the bankers and financiers need to be held personally accountable. Those wise guys should not be able to keep their mansions and yachts and planes after all the money that they scammed from the rest of us.

            The way to make them accountable is to repeal the limited liability of corporations. That would make stockholders pay for the damages that their businesses do.

            It is easy to conflate libertarians, Ayn Randians, the Tea Party and radical Republicans (e.g. Ryan, Cruz) when they all espouse similar policies, such as gutting all regulations, transferring tax burdens from rich to poor, dismantling Social Security and Medicare without proposing any viable alternatives).

            True right-libertarians need to clearly separate themselves from all of these other groups, and maybe more importantly, to devise alternative political and economic programs that are deeply consistent with an honest philosophy of freedom (for all, not just for the rich and powerful).

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Appreciate your honest engagement with the ideas…

            “However, the problem with contemporary right-wing libertarianism (anarcho-capitalism, a la Ron Paul or the Ayn Randians) is that it allows for concentration of economic power such that the bulk of the population are eventually reduced to being wage slaves. Right-wing libertarianism does not decentralize economic power, and what one ends up with is plutocratic despotism (a la Russia or China — the nature of the plutocratic oligarchies being different).”

            This, however, is an opinion, or hypothesis at this point, as we have had nothing like the system they advocate for, nor the inherent feedback mechanisms they would argue end up protecting against the fears you raise.

            This is common, to conflate our crony-capitalisitic, fed-bubble driven history, and its failings, with some actual libertarian reality.

            “A nation of small enterprises and free workers would be a desirable goal.”

            Agreed. Although I would think some economies of scale are important to us, as long as there is competition.

            To be fair an honest argument against the Paul or Minarchist view would have to take what they say in response to your fears (above), which they have written and spoken about prolifically, as you will also find at Reason, FEE etc if one looks, and try and argue how their explanations are deficient.

            Arguing that we “have tried it” is not honest.

          • ThirdWayForward

            Agreed that a right-libertarian utopia (in the good sense of the word) has probably never been realized. What would be your closest historical and/or contemporary examples?

            Real libertarians need to separate from Ron Paul and the Ayn Randians. Ron Paul is against reproductive freedom (anti-abortion) and sexual freedom (anti-gay marriage). The Randians believe that might makes right, an attitude that is fundamentally incompatible with freedom (i.e. they believe in the freedom to dominate and exploit to whatever degree is possible).

            They also need to stop allowing radical conservative neo-fascists like Ryan and Walker use libertarian rhetoric to advance the economic interests of the plutocracy. These people are the enemies of freedom and the agents of an ever more pervasive system of wage slavery.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            I agree with many more of these sentiments. I would not accept that Randians believe might makes right, that simply.

            Interesting reading though, Comte and Rand.

            http://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/excursions/ayn-rand-altruism-part-1

            I have no sympathy for the social conservatives, the authoritarians. I believe pro-choice is libertarian for example.

            As for a monarchist or night-watchman state example, I don’t think there is one.

          • ThirdWayForward

            There is a middle ground between unconditional altruism (what Rand attributes to socialists) and unbridled selfishness (Rand’s position). I think it is reciprocity, a.k.a. The Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

            Rand sanctions the exploitation and domination of others, whereas a cooperative individualism based on reciprocity would not tolerate these beyond limits (how much exploitation and domination one would be willing to tolerate in pursuit of some other goal, such as efficiency).

            I think Rand is evil, and I don’t say this lightly. She really is an apologist for domination and exploitation, really the opposite of what I see as a philosophy that supports a free society. She provides a self-congratulatory philosophy for the rich and powerful. I think Randianism is more like Game of Thrones cynicism than any route to freedom.

    • JGC

      I pretty much agree with everything here, ThirdWay, except for “Republicans are evil.” Rapidly misguided, maybe, but not evil.

      • Don_B1

        @ThirdWayForward:disqus

        I would call the Republicans willfully ignorant and misguided people who ARE doing great evil in the way they are pursuing power.

    • OnPointComments

      If the Affordable Care Act is so-o-o-o good, and virtually everyone is better off, why is enrollment mandatory? Wouldn’t everyone voluntarily enroll if the plan is as good as you claim?

  • JGC

    Another big improvement for new employees who may be covered in their employer group plan: The ACA says that any plan years that begin on or after Jan 1, 2014 are not allowed to make full-time employees who are eligible for benefits in group plans wait longer than 90 calendar days to receive coverage.

    Previously, some employers were making new hires wait as long as 6 months to receive access to their group health care coverage.

    • hennorama

      JGC — please stop confusing people with facts. ;-)

      • brettearle

        Facts are heretical, are they not?

        I thought that premise was in some canon, somewhere….

        • hennorama

          brettearle — are you referring to the famous “Cañon Perdido” (lost cannon)?

          If interested, you can look it up.

      • HonestDebate1

        Facts can be extremely misleading.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Mystery? Only to technocratic modern liberals who wear blinders to the empirical realities of history.

    The real mystery is how this is so mysterious to them.

    • nj_v2

      “empirical realities of history”

      Wow, sounds impressive.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        You seem to be a smart, critically thinking, skeptical chap. Do you really believe in Technocratic solutions from the State, as our way forward?

        Did the Crony State do us right with the Iraq war? The Financial Crisis? The Surveillance situation? All these things were leveraged, if not made possible by unaccountable technocrats of the State.

        As much as we WISH, a big, powerful state with no transparency or competitive needs or checks does not serve the people in the long run.

        Either you agree with that principle or not. Once we agree, we can work on solutions inside the recognition of that reality. What is so radical about that?

        Rule of Law, one day people will rediscover it instead of rolling their eyes.

        • nj_v2

          We may broadly agree on extant problems, but you lose me in reflexive, dogmatic jargon.

          “Technocratic solutions”

          “Crony State”

          “Rule of Law”

          And now, “empirical realities of history.”

          You, apparently, have something specific in mind when you invoke these. Others are just left to guess.

          Since i see many of these references used most often in Libertarian doctrine (with which i don’t completely agree, though i understand the impulse), i hear them as codified references to some kind of a magical Libertarian Land where everyone is free to live unencumbered from the evils of Big Government to do as they please “as long as they don’t hurt anyone else” or some other silly oversimplification of what it means to live in a complex, functioning society.

          So, that’s what i have a hard time overcoming.

          If you want to talk about specific issues, the specific problems those issues comprise, and possible solutions, i’m all ears.

          But every time you toss up these bits of generalized, coded, jargon, it stops the process for me.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Appreciate that response, and I do know what you mean. Not many years ago I would cringe even at the phrase “Constitutional”, bristling with the surety that it was some scumbag big business, war pig GOP trojan horse.

            While I still believe there are scumbag, crony capitalist, war pigs in the GOP, I also bristle at a lot of the liberal catch phrases I once sympathized with almost religiously.

            But the thing is, is that Constitutional Republic, Rule of Law not Men, Corporatism, Crony Capitalism, tyranny, etc. are real things, real ideas. If one bothers to read and think about the related issues, instead of knee jerk discarding them, we realize there are some principles that, yes, come from historical empiricism. Things that have been shown to be true over the course of history due to human nature, the nature of power etc.

            I just think it is naive to think that those lessons of history do not apply to us anymore, and I don’t see how things like the Iraq War, the Financial Bubble/Crisis, and the current NSA craziness, can make anyone even remotely comfortable with discarding them.

            “Benevolent Dictatorship” will not work. “Command and Control Economics” will not work. “Power Corrupts”. “Just trust us” with a giant power bureaucracy will likely end badly.

            Yes, they are trite sounding bytes, but they actually mean something. Surely you can appreciate that.

            I just find it sad that the founding principles of our nation/governance are now looked at as out of date, or cute bygones of history, and that just because we have an internet, or a Federal Reserve printing money by the bucketful, everything is going to be ok, and the days of overreaching governments and corporate collusion with them, are over.

            The whole Big Brother/Nanny State concept seems closer than ever as a possibility we will not return from. I just think people have forgotten, or never even have contemplated, why such states are not something we want to live in.

  • Cindy C Barnard

    What I don’t understand is this – the very insurers that have always offered health coverage are the same ones, and a few more joining, that are offering insurance on the exchanges.

    The point being, many of the insurers on the exchanges are already covering mostly healthy people through employers and plans pre ACA. Insurers are already way in the black. Why all the worry that we’ll have an imbalance of people covered on the exchanges?

    I would think insurance companies are adept at handling various “groups” some with more or less sick people?

  • OMA_OPINES

    Ms. Blackburn has obviously got her talking points from the Conservative Establishment down pat and will never stray from them to acknowledge the facts of the other side. She represents her wealthy, entitled district well.
    I just heard the comment from the caller who is in the District that knows the truth first-hand.

    • William

      She backed up her points with the failure of Tenn. Care.

      • OMA_OPINES

        I believe other on-line posters as well as callers from TN would disagree.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          However, that caller from TN was not a credible witness, was she?

  • hennorama

    That was a very good explanation of some of the complexities involved with the enrollment process, especially the tax subsidy eligibility verification process.

  • http://www.openeyesvideo.com/ Glenn C. Koenig

    Sadly, this law is just a front end on an entire industry (doctors, hospitals, drugs, equipment, devices, and supplies) that is a management nightmare. Like many other industries today, it’s rigged to rake in wealth from the many to collect it into the pockets of the few.
    After all, if we keep talking about money and medical services and not actually health, when will anything improve? I just don’t see it.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Amazing how we hate the very people/industries creating the things we want.

      Did you make the same comments about Steve Jobs?

      Was he supposed to hand out those phones? Are all his tech gurus supposed to work for free, because you want one so bad?

      Point out the specifics about the “rigging” you are talking about, and then we can make some progress. Voting “D” won’t cut it.

      • http://www.openeyesvideo.com/ Glenn C. Koenig

        I didn’t mean to imply that I want all this for free. I want the system to do its job properly, that’s all. I’m willing to pay for medical services, as I do now. I don’t have any insurance because the system here in Massachusetts, after which the federal system was modeled (mostly) has left me out in the clod. I make just enough income to be ineligible for any subsidies, yet I’m officially unable to afford the astronomical rates for insurance. Therefore, I’m not fined, I’m just left to myself to take all the risk.
        I’m doing the best I can, paying for any medical care I think I need, and using the rest of my money to actually maintain my health (good quality food, exercise that I enjoy, stress reduction activities that I choose, etc.). That’s good as far as it goes. But I’m not covered if I need extensive medical services for anything.
        So, look. I never expect something for nothing. I just want a system that has costs in line with pretty much every other developed country on the planet, with outcomes that are at least as good or better than they are now.
        At the moment, that’s not what we’re getting, not by a long shot, and all this petty fighting about Obamacare isn’t improving that at all, as far as I can see.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Yes, the current system is broken and corrupted and overpriced due to a lack of transparent competition and thus pricing mechanisms. I wish the price mechanism and competition for basic health care services was working for you.

  • nj_v2

    Kind of sad to read the silly sparring here between the Obama apologists defending and making excuses for the Insurance Company Windfall Act and the Tea-/Liber-cons who think Obama is a an evil socialist and that the “free market” will solve all our problems.

    The Web site issues are just a temporary diversion from the real issues. Even when the mechanics of the system are worked out, we’ll still be left with a system based on private insurance companies gaming the system in ever way possible to maximize profit and while providing the most minimally adequate products possible, over whose cost there will be no effective control.

    Screw government making purchasing private industry products mandatory. Screw private profit for what should be a facet of the public commons.

    The only, the only, viable solution to healthcare, as the rest of the world has found, is single payer/universal coverage; Medicare for all.

    • hennorama

      nj_v2 — I agree with the thrust of your comment. However, while the PPACA is clearly imperfect, it is reality. We have little choice but to deal with it, and all of its benefits and imperfections.

      The PPACA was and is a compromise between the failed health care system extant prior to its enactment and implementation, and what you described as “single payer/universal coverage; Medicare for all.”

      There is no way to get to universal coverage in the current political environment. That’s reality, too.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        That’s crazy. I am more sympathetic to nj. You don’t take a cronyistic disaster that lets the very vampire scumbags you claim to despise, just as with the financial sector, continue to operate their crony schemes, as a “payoff”.

        You educate the public on the options, hear all sides, TRY to have an open mind, and have a bit of patience.

        The Dem choice to lie about this program and pass it before we see it with 0 votes from the other side, was a terrible, terrible partisan opportunistic thing to do with such an important American issue, and has unleaded even more chaos and division.

        • hennorama

          Government_Banking_Serf — thank you for your response.

          Best of luck with that.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Best of luck with what? Representative Democracy and Transparent, Constitutionally-restrained Government? As much as you guys who prefer technocratic management by unelected experts abhor it, I still think its the best chance we have.

          • hennorama

            Government_Banking_Serf — TY for your reply.

            Please “include me out” of your characterizations, as I am not part of the group you have described, assuming such a group even exists.

          • HonestDebate1

            Non-sequitur.

        • FrankensteinDragon

          i dont think patience is the answer. The time for patience is over. The time for talk is over. We should listen to churchill. Its time to take action into our hands. these thugs had their chance. Hickory dickory dock—

      • nj_v2

        There’s probably a better analogy, but i can’t come up with one now, but this [[ "The PPACA was and is a compromise between the failed health care system extant prior to its enactment and implementation, and what you described as “single payer/universal coverage; Medicare for all.” ]] is kind of like saying a car is a compromise between walking and a bicycle.

        The law is antithetical to the single-payer concept, and its passage can only delay the possibility of it being implemented.

        • hennorama

          nj_v2 — thank you for your response.

          You may be correct in your assessment, but what would be your plan of action, given the present political circumstances?

          • nj_v2

            The issue doesn’t exist in isolation. The entire political system is corrupt/broken on the national level, and the ACA mess is just one manifestation of that.

            Campaign funding, corporate control of the system, corporate personhood, media consolidation, etc.; these are the issues that need to be addressed.

            When polled, people are generally supportive of policies that can be broadly categorized as “progressive” or “liberal” (in the real, pre-subverted sense).

            Single payer could succeed if we had leaders that went to bat for it, but the current socio-political infrastructure prevents that.

            The occupy movement—and, in some ways, before they were co-opted by monied corporate interests, the Tea Party—was a first rumbling of the populist uprising against the corporate control of government.

            It was a start, but it will take more. More people. Better strategies. More effort over a longer time.

          • Labropotes

            My guillotine is ready. She’s not discouraged.

          • hennorama

            nj_v2 — TY again for your response.

            That is indeed a much larger topic; I agree with much of what you have written.

            As always, the operative word is “if.”

            Perhaps we need another Teddy Roosevelt for our liberal democracy.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            you are thinking as somebody in the dream–no man ever ‘placed’ in office was on your side. he is a card-carrying member of the overclass–whose only mandate is to enrich the rich and stomp on democracy.

            look to the people, not power

          • hennorama

            FrankensteinDragon — thank you for your response.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            then all you can do is rise

          • FrankensteinDragon

            revolt–it is the only way anything gets done in a tyranny. This is not our only problem we face at the hands of the tyrannical. The world depends on us seeing our differences, accepting it, and uniting, black and white, hispanic and black, east and west–and rising up against the international oligarchy. They distract us with software problems and shark week on the discovery channel and Brittany spears horrible voice and absurd notions and repulsive behavior. they distract us with racially charged propaganda, and silly argument like flag-burning and abortion or gay rights–of course they have the right–i will burn flags, i have had abortions, i dont care what homosexuals do or want–it is none of my business–but health and education–this is my business and my right. I shoudl have a right to vote down war, but i dont.

            Our doctors could grow a heart–walk out and build an alternative system together with all americans.

            it requires a few people with a backbone to stand up against ugly bullying evil power in washington and elsewhere–and say you cant push us around anymore–we wont take it–we are going to HIT back–and hard. You have no right and no power over me–so sit down you thug or i am going to take what is mine–what is ours, for us.

          • hennorama

            FrankensteinDragon — thank you for your entertaining rant.

            Your enthusiasm is refreshing, but misplaced.

            It’s also rather strange that you write “…we are going to HIT back–and hard,” then call someone else “you thug.”

            Perhaps a long look in the mirror is called for.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            yep–your reply is neither refreshing or entertaining. Your belittling nature is unattractive. NO health care is violence. COntinuous war is violence. The gap between the rich and the poor is violence. Undermining teachers unions—all unions and democracy is violent–and rude and cruel. ALL your presidents were tools of violence. Support of the status quo is violence. Do you plead with a foaming lion with rabbis or do you euthanize it?

            Thanks for non-conversation love.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            its incredible how you describe what I’m saying as violent and thuggish, but in other posts declare vets and soldiers heroic as if they are not committing violence or acting in the name of thugs and terrorists–committing terrorism. You believe they are doing something noble or honorable–violently–to get what elite interests desire–what the 1% desire and you don’t consider it thuggish or violent–they kill millions for oil, for wealth, for power, for markets, for pissing contests–and in your mind thats not thuggish. hmmm. you always make so much sense. We claim to act in the name of humanity, to protect th weak and the oppressed–that is what believe and think noble and so praise the vets–but is it? Is it? Or do some people just like being on Team America–no 1? Nobody wins a war. Cries for war sound a lot like rants to me. I may be an idealist (surrounded by thugs)–but I am right. And so man many think like me, but you wont hear those voice here on Off Point.

      • jefe68

        We still have a failed health care system.
        And we will in 2014 and into 2016.
        The ACA does some good things, but it’s so full of compromises and has been so mishandled in it’s launch, that it is now doing more harm than good.

        • hennorama

          jefe68 — TY for your response.

          I agree in general, except for your conclusion that the PPACA “is now doing more harm than good.”

          Just some of the “good”:

          -Closed the “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug plan
          -Provided easy-to-understand comparisons of the Medicare prescription drug plans
          -Required insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions
          -Gave tax credits to those who need help to pay health insurance premiums
          -Required children to have health insurance coverage
          -Expanded eligibility for Medicaid
          -Expanded eligibility for State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP)
          -Required health plans to disclose how much of the premium goes to patient care
          -Established an independent health institute to provide accurate and objective information
          -Implemented and funded proven health intervention programs
          -Expanded funding to train primary care providers and public health practitioners
          -Increased funding to expand community based prevention programs
          -Improved recruitment of public health workers

          -Health insurance companies now have to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care costs, and must refund any difference to policyholders.
          -Insurers must now publicly justify rate increases of 10 percent or more.
          -Insurers can no longer drop coverage because a policyholder gets sick.
          -Insurers can no longer limit the dollar amount of benefits they pay out over a year or over a lifetime.

          -Starting in 2014, health insurers will no longer be able to charge more to anyone because of a preexisting condition.

          Tens of millions of Americans have already benefited from the PPACA, including millions who have gotten preventative care without co-pays or deductibles, millions of seniors who have saved on prescription drugs, millions of young people who have gotten coverage on their parents’ health insurance plans, and hundreds of thousands (and perhaps millions) of small businesses that have claimed tax deductions for providing health insurance to their employees.

          Not to mention the many millions of Americans with a preexisting medical condition who can now get affordable health insurance, and who might not otherwise have been able to pay for necessary health care. In addition, those with pre-existing conditions who have employer-based coverage no longer need to feel tied to their employer, as they can now easily get coverage if they leave their job.

          • HonestDebate1

            I had ants in my pantry so I used 10 sticks of 50% dynamite. No more ants, problem solved. Not only do I not have ants, I don’t have to buy shoes anymore because the blast took off my legs, there are many benefits.

        • FrankensteinDragon

          its not compromise–its illusion to control the masses. nothing changes because the overclass doesnt want change.

          soon they will take me away to room 101.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        “little choice but to deal with it”
        rings of apathy and apologists

        Antebellum SOuth–”we have little choice but to deal with it.”

        The Holocaust–”we have little choice but to deal with it.

        and before y’ll get nutsy–the health debacle is somewhat of a holocaust–ask those who suffer the most.

        Women are like children–they shouldnt vote–”we have little choice but to deal with it.”

        MOmmy this man in a suit and tie is pissing on my head.–”oh dear, just deal with–there is nothing we can about it.”

        • hennorama

          FrankensteinDragon – TY for your response.

          While I may prefer a different solution, the PPACA is not going to be repealed, and significant changes are unlikely, given the complete polarization in Congress.

          Therefore, dealing with it, warts and all, is the available choice.

          Thanks again for your response.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            you are wrong.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      precisely

  • creaker

    There’s a bigger problem at work here – government contracts are rarely completed on time, within budget, and rarely deliver quality until they’ve delayed and upped the budget several times.

    We had something that had to deliver on a hard date – and government contracted work just never works that way.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      $600M and growing on a no-bid contract. It is a criminal enterprise.

  • OnPointComments

    What a lofty goal the Obama administration set for itself.

    LATEST OBAMACARE FOLLY: THE 80% STANDARD
    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/latest-obamacare-folly–the-80-percent-standard-173326169.html

    “Since it’s the holiday shopping season, imagine for a moment that Amazon could only fulfill your purchase requests 80% of the time. If their servers were overloaded, you’d get a message inviting you to come back later. Amazon would even offer to send you an alert when peak traffic was over, so you could finish your order with minimal chance of disruption.

    “What would you do? Log off and try again later? Put your smartphone near the bed so you could get up at 3 am, when the all-clear arrived and the site said it was a good time to finish your order? Right. You’d say so long to Amazon and probably never shop there again, while seeking a competitor able to get it right the first time.

    “Before the rollout of the Affordable Care Act revealed what a technical disaster it is, President Obama famously predicted the experience of applying for federally subsidized health insurance would be similar to making a purchase on sites such as Amazon. Obviously it’s not. But if Obama wants to further the comparison and perhaps redeem himself a bit, maybe he should mimic the way retailers try to fix a problem when their customers get hosed.”

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    I don’t know why Tom asked Marsha Blackburn if she thought the ACA would work now that the most obvious problems with the web site are fixed. She clearly has a permanent bias against anything that isn’t a repeal of the law which, by the way, is NOT a web site.

    And she channels Boehner: “The American People”. Lady, a LOT of THE American People DO want the ACA and do NOT appreciate those who chuck us to the side as if we didn’t exist. I would like to see the poll that asks “What do you think of the components of law” AND separately “What do you think of the government web site”. I’m sure the positive reaction to the web site to this point would be really low, but still above that of Congress. The positive response to the ACA components are much better.

    The most amazing thing to me about the web site problems is that they didn’t have enough hardware. If they had talked to Amazon, Google or any other big player and they would have had an idea of how much server power you need for 50K concurrent users. Sad.

    • OnPointComments

      A lot of “The American People” may want the ACA, but most do not. There has never been a poll that showed a majority of Americans were in favor of the law.

      CNN/Opinion Research poll, 11/18-11/20:

      Q: As you may know, a bill that makes major changes to the country’s health care system became law in 2010. Based on what you have read or heard about that legislation, do you generally favor or generally oppose it?

      58% oppose; 40% favor

      • nj_v2

        What’s your solution?

        • HonestDebate1

          What is yours?

          • jefe68

            Single payer.

          • HonestDebate1

            I meant a solution.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        Even if all those polled were 100% informed about the law, 58% is not “THE AMERICAN PEOPLE”.

        And most of those polled (for OR against) couldn’t tell you 5% of what is in the law. They form their opinion based on what they hear in the media. For example some weeks ago NPR reported on a protest against the ACA. One lady said she had been for it but when it turned out it wasn’t FREE like she thought, she was against it. Yeah, she spent a whole lot of time understanding the law when forming her opinions. And who knows, depending on her financial situation, it might have been nearly free due to subsidies for the poor.

        And the poll doesn’t specifically separate the law from the web site which apparently a LOT of people equate with the law. Website not working? = The law is bad. That’s good enough for Boehner.

        I have NEVER been polled as to my opinion about the ACA. Maybe I need to start answering the phone when Caller ID suggest it isn’t a person I want to talk to, probably some sales thing or a pollster. :-)

    • William

      What do you say to the people, up to 15 million, that are getting the ax to their plans to support you? Is that fair?

  • northeaster17

    What did Levy say at the end?

    • nj_v2

      Summary: Things are going to be a mess for the next four or five years.

      • HonestDebate1

        ….as they have been the last 4 or 5 years despite promises to the contrary.

  • Coastghost

    Following the 2014 elections, if ObamaFraud is plainly viewed (according to its inherent logic) as the persecution of the American electorate it plainly is showing itself to be, I’ll be surprised frankly if the entire mess of the Patient Persecution and (Un)Affordable Care TAX Act is not repealed in its entirety early in 2015.

    • northeaster17

      Thanks

    • nj_v2

      What’s your solution? What’s your alternative to the ACA?

      • HonestDebate1

        Is it your position that unless someone has a solution they shouldn’t criticize a debacle? It makes no sense.

        • nj_v2

          Once again, you’ve confused me with someone who cares the least little bit about what you have to say.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who knew? I thought you waited with baited breath for my every word.

            The thing is NJ, your question is a distraction and dodge. It need not be answered. If it’s not then your position is not elevated one iota.

      • Coastghost

        I simply don’t find government provision of health insurance an especially efficient contribution to the postponement of mortality: other citizens may be mollified by the government’s care and concern, but I certainly am not.
        Catastrophic coverage for all, if you insist, but comprehensive coverage for each and every one of us is loony tune from the very moment anyone mentions it. Not in this US of A.
        I mean, to bat the ball back: HOW can anyone take ACTA seriously at this point?

        • nj_v2

          I thought it was a simple question. Let’s try again.

          What’s your solution for a health care system, if not the ACA?

          • Coastghost

            Apologies for submitting an indirect response.
            I have no solution. Furthermore, I need have no ready solution to see that ACTA is no working solution, either.
            The Democratic Party with Obama at its head has given us this legislative monstrosity and this managerial nightmare: not only are the gears grating and grinding in parts that should not be immediately affected by ACTA implementation, but no credible sign yet exists that this proposal has any hope of working, as constituted. Already, Obama has begun doling out exemptions: bailing entire populations OUT of enrollment for administrative purposes hardly looks like any “fix” for the “fix” that ACTA purports to implement.
            So not only does ACTA fail to offer a functioning system: it freshly introduces complications to portions of the healthcare economy that threaten outbreaks of further dysfunctionality. At this point how can anyone credibly claim to see ACTA (as presently constituted) surviving to the end of 2015?

          • HonestDebate1

            Bingo.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — What does the Air Traffic Control Association (ACTA) have to do with this topic? ;-)

          • HonestDebate1

            Check your spelling.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Have no fear, the technocrats will chase the tail until everything is AOK. And the Fed will print plenty of $ to let the politicians peddle their wares.

    I am actually sympathetic to a single payer, tax-based voucher type thing to all Americans, to be spent in a competitive marketplace, along with laws that keep pre-existing conditions illegal, and meet catastrophic minimums.

    Given that pre-existing would be illegal, let the insurance companies battle it out, or better yet, let the hospitals offer direct care models, and let the people choose how/where to spend the $.

    But we have to be clear that we can’t afford Cadillac for all, and that in a free society, some people will spend more to have cadillac if they want.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Right. Basic care for all and those with the money can buy extended coverage. The rich will always be able to buy whatever they want and I’m not complaining about that, it has always been and always will be true.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Allright, lets do it.

        • Labropotes

          I don’t like it, but it’s a compromise I could support too. Of course, “basic coverage” would expand with every election. All this talk is a prelude to civil war.

    • hennorama

      Government_Banking_Serf — you would also need to include transparency of fees for services, comparisons of outcomes, etc., and address the current disparity between fees charged to those who have insurance coverage, and the much higher fees charged to those who do not have coverage.

      Have you looked at the system in Germany?

      Germany’s health care is a multi-payer system.

      Employers pay a little over half the cost for accident, long-term care, and health insurance, as a % of salary. This works out to a bit under 10% of wages for most workers. Employees pay most of the rest, and government subsidizes lower paid workers’ premiums.

      These premiums are paid into private non-profit “sickness funds.” Each member of each “sickness fund” pays the same rate of premiums.

      Higher paid workers and a few others can opt out of the “sickness funds” and instead pay for private insurance. About 15% choose private insurance, which usually has greater benefits.

      Importantly, the sickness funds are non-profit entities. They are mandated to provide a minimum range of coverage, and can’t refuse membership or discriminate based on age or other factors.

      Health providers are paid set amounts, on a fee-for-service basis. The fees are vary by state. Same-day health care appointments are common, and wait times are low to non-existent.

      For comparison purposes, Germany spends about 11% of GDP about $5000/person/year on health care. The US spends about 18% of GDP and a bit over $8600/person/year. German life expectancy and health outcomes exceed those in the US.

      Sources:
      http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.XPD.TOTL.ZS
      http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/29/health-care-abroad-germany/?_r=0
      http://www.aicgs.org/issue/structure-of-the-german-health-care-system/
      http://hl-isy.com/Healthcare-Reform-Blog/April-2013/Exchanges-Germany-utilization-040313

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Appreciate the reply. Sounds better than what we had, and better than Obamacare. Why can’t/couldn’t we have discussed things like that? Openly, patiently, instead of ramming an off-the-shelf blank check DNC bill down our throats, with us left to “trust” the elites in charge to do it right, which they haven’t, let alone the Health Care Industry windfall cronyism.

        Chicago politics vs. informed Constitutional Representative Democracy (sorry for the buzzwords nj).

        It is the elitism, the “you can’t handle the truth”ism, the “just let the unaccountable technocrats work this out in the dark”ism, and the rank partisanism, that sticks in so many people’s craw.

        • hennorama

          GBS – merci encore.

          The German system is very interesting. FYI, the German system has all of the following features:

          - public-private partnership
          - law requiring all to have health insurance, without providing coverage directly
          - heavily regulated, non-profit insurers who are legally required to accept all applicants
          - includes complete coverage of most health needs, with the exception of long-term care
          - also includes modest but often inadequate long-term care, which most choose to supplement with private insurance.
          - private insurance, also heavily regulated, but generally more flexible and more expensive

          And all with lower costs and better outcomes.

          Unfortunately, health care and health insurance are politicized, and the highly divisive political environment of the last thirty (or more) years has prevented reasonable and thoughtful discussion. Many of the ideas — of individual responsibility, private insurance, etc., are not controversial, and were originated and supported by conservatives, many of whom changed their opinion of these ideas when push came to shove.

          Thus, the votes included no Republican support, even from the man who wrote the following:

          “With private insurance finally affordable, I proposed that everyone must either purchase a product of their choice or demonstrate that they can pay for their own health care. It’s a personal responsibility principle.

          “Some of my libertarian friends balk at what looks like an individual mandate. But remember, someone has to pay for the health care that must, by law, be provided: Either the individual pays or the taxpayers pay. A free ride on government is not libertarian.”

          That was part of an op-ed written by then-Governor Willard Mitt Romney, published on April 11, 2006, the day before he signed Romneycare into law.

          See:
          http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB114472206077422547

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    It’s time to pull the plug on the Obamacare debacle.

    -$600M+ tax dollars on a broken website (a cautionary tale for ANY government run program)

    -$2.6T in 10 year costs
    -central planning unintended consequences
    -nothing to lower costs (see Massachusetts)

    There is certainly a better way to handle pre-existing conditions.

    • creaker

      Funny how people will always say there is a “better way” and never say what it actually is.

      • jefe68

        Because they don’t have one. There are plenty of models around the world to help guide us in this endeavor. The problem here is we are being governed by special interest and they are calling the shots. Which is why we have this mess we call a health care system in the first place.

        • HonestDebate1

          How many times have you been proven wrong on that? You should change your meme to, “I don’t like any of the numerous Republican proposals”.

      • OnPointComments

        Republicans suggested that Obamacare wasn’t ready and the mandates should be delayed; the Obama administration and Democrats refused and shut down the government instead of accepting the compromise. After the shutdown ended, the Obama administration announced delay after delay of Obamacare.

    • ThirdWayForward

      But no Republican has stepped up to the plate and offered any kind of alternative to cover pre-existing conditions. They liked the system as it was.

      They could have proposed catastrophic insurance for everyone, they could have proposed a voucher system for everyone, there are lots of things that they could have suggested, but today’s Republican party is not about solving problems — it is about clawing for power and grubbing for money, about obstructing and destructing. Where are sane conservatives? They have been suppressed by Ted Cruz zombies. It’s a huge national problem.

      $600 million for the website is not significant — we spend on the order of $2 trillion/year on health care in the US.

      Perhaps you also want to get rid of Medicare and Medicaid? These programs deliver health care more efficiently than private insurance — they save our economy money.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Incorrect. You have selective listening skills.

      • HonestDebate1

        “But no Republican has stepped up to the plate and offered any kind of alternative to cover pre-existing conditions. They liked the system as it was.”

        That’s a talking point disconnected with the reality. But even if it were true it is irrelevant. It’ like having a leaky faucet and burning the house down as a solution then justifying it by saying no one had a better plan.

        • jefe68

          Seems to me that the GOP strategy has been to burn down the house so to speak.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “THE GOP is at fault”
            This appears to be the Democrat talking point. Van Hollen led with it. The so-called independent LATimes journalist repeated it.

            What is the evidence? A few votes for repeal. It seems to me that the GOP has done NOTHING to hurt Obamacare. It is failing under its own weight.

            The GOP have tried to repeal what is a flawed scheme. There are about a dozen doctors in Congress. They are all GOP. They have been warning about the problems with this law since day one and it appears that all there warnings are now coming true.

          • jefe68

            The GOP’s fault is not even wanting to deal with health care at all.

            The other thing is they have been the party of NO since Obama took the oath of office.

            The problems with this law is it does not really deal with the big picture of our dysfunctional health care system.
            The GOP has not exactly shown itself to be a party of ideas. Unless you consider being obstructionist a good idea.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            jefe, you are a talking point machine.

            “the party of no” Really?

            There have been several GOP doctors in congress that have offered alternatives. But exactly what is the mechanism to not only debate but pass these alternatives while Obama and Reid are clinging to this failure? Until Reid and Obama signal that dems are willing to give up Obamacare nothing can happen.

          • BHA_in_Vermont

            Which of these has Boehner brought to a floor vote?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Huh? To what end? Do we want another one party scheme?

            Obama and Reid would have to agree in principle to give up Obamacare and then Dems and GOP members would craft reforms together. The GOP have already made the overture. Seems like the balls in Obama’s court right now.

          • Labropotes

            Jefe, I agree with most of what you’re saying. I believe the current dysfunctionality of congress is based on a real divide in public opinion. But it is greatly exacerbated by the fact that SSI went cash-flow negative in 2010. We have unrecognized liabilities in SSI, federal pensions, Vet benefits, etc. Neither party wants to confront America with the fact that it is going to default on its obligations, or inflate its way out of them. Those are the only choices so we change the conversation.

          • William

            But 80 percent of Americans were happy with their medical insurance plans so the GOP was in line with 80 percent of Americans.

          • HonestDebate1

            The house is on fire, some want to talk about who started it, or who invented fire, or how to replace the house if it’s destroyed. All the while the flames get bigger and the destruction becomes unrepairable. How about we shut up and put out the fire?

    • jefe68

      And that would be what exactly?

    • nj_v2

      What’s your solution? What’s your alternative to the ACA?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Creation of high risk pools. I saw one estimate that the annual cost would be on the order of $5B/year to subsidize the pool.

        • BHA_in_Vermont

          And that would be better WHY? ALL insurance works by those who turn out to out need it in any given year still buy, just in case.

          And what is “high risk”? A friend of mine died of a massive heart attack 5 years ago. Vegetarian, not an ounce of fat on him, had run the Boston marathon a few moths earlier. Show me the risk there.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’m not sure how your anecdote is relevant to this conversation. Did he have insurance? Did his insurance status kill him?

          • BHA_in_Vermont

            The point being he would NOT have been in the high risk pool but if someone had been around when the heart attack hit, he likely would have had a ton of medical expenses, insured or not.

            Which goes to the question: WHO gets put in the high risk pool? Many people who we would think are high risk, manage to live long lives with little medical needs. Others who live what we would think of as healthy lifestyles, still develop expensive medical conditions. We don’t have signs on our foreheads that say “health risk” or “no health risk”.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’m still not sure how this relates to the conversation. One of the primary ‘benefits’ of Obamacare is the elimination of pre-existing conditions in the insurance marketplace. Why? Because folks with these conditions were unable to find affordable (or any) insurance. My only point was that there are less costly solutions to this particular nut.

          • fun bobby

            that’s why if we allow obamacare type invasions of privacy they will just scan your DNA and then they can decide your rate with that

          • fun bobby

            sounds like he did not have any preexisting conditions

          • HonestDebate1

            We could save trillions by just paying for the surgeries.

    • Kathy

      There are better ways: a comprehensive government run single payer program along the lines of Canada or a comprehensive government run national health service along the lines of the UK. They produce better medical outcomes and are almost certainly better for the economy because they free the private sector from insurance costs and unleash would-be entrepreneurs to go out on their own instead of working “insurance jobs.”

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Kathy, since the government has proven that they can’t get a website right after spending $600M+, what makes you believe they’ll do a good job running the health care system?

        It is no accident that most of the medical innovations come from the US. We don’t need a Federal scheme to screw it up.

  • HonestDebate1

    Any bill this sweeping and transformative passed by a 100% partisan vote cannot survive. Pat Moynihan told us so. This was doomed from the start.

    • Labropotes

      The republicans didn’t attempt to improve the bill in any way. They kept saying that Obama intended to nationalize 17% of the economy when 60% of healthcare spending was already nationalized, and the remaining 40% so distorted by regulation and cost shifting that rational, healthy people kept their distance. Just medicare and medicaid are on track to absorb half of the federal budget in 10 years. Republicans could have chosen to have a open debate but they didn’t want to scare anyone.

      When one is watching the insane driving of a NYC taxicab, it’s easy to forget that you are the passenger.

      • HonestDebate1

        Republicans were shut out. They were told to sit in the back and be quiet. There was not a single affirmative Republican vote in either chamber. It took bribes, kickbacks and a meaningless signing statement to get Democrats on board. Then they used the gimmick of reconciliation to bypass the Senate. It was a gimmick because reconciliation was a budget procedure and never intended to be a legislative tool.

        There has never been a bill this sweeping and transformative passed in such a manner that survived. Ever. This is why the arguments that Medicare or Social Security got off to rough starts but came to be accepted, fail.

        • Labropotes

          Agreed. But we were on a ship headed for the bottom already. Republicans were not shut out. By staying out, they forced the advocates of a bill to go the way bribes and kickbacks. I agree with you that the ACA is a hopeless mess. The situation before was a hopeless mess, and the Republicans abdicated their duty to govern.

          • HonestDebate1
          • Labropotes

            What serious solution to Medicare and Medicaid spending, which are on track to be half the Federal budget, have the republican’s tabled? None. They made no proposal that gained traction even within their own party. Being shut out was simply a better narrative.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t accept your premise. The graveyard is full of Republican proposals that have died in the Senate without a vote.

            My statement stands either way. For whatever reason. there has never been a bill this sweeping and transformative passed in such a way. I think “shut out” is an accurate description but it doesn’t matter. IMO Obama thought he didn’t need Republicans and he was right regarding passing the bill. But he did need them because they represent a large part of the population.

            Obama also misrepresented (being kind) many aspects of the bill to get it passed. That is biting him too.

          • Labropotes

            Name one Republican proposal to control medicare spending that half of Republicans in congress would support.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “medicare spending”
            Seems like a change of subject but the bipartisan Ryan/Wyden Medicare reform plan would probably be supported by republicans and maybe even democrats IF there was a little leadership from Obama.

          • Labropotes

            Thanks for your responses. With the Medi-programs I meant to address a subset of the medical cost problem. Ryan/Wyden plan has no impact on costs for the first 10 years. After that the market that right now is choking on regulation will provide. Can kicking.

          • HonestDebate1

            They said Newt wanted grandma to eat dog food when he proposed a solution and they made an ad about Ryan literally throwing grandma over a cliff when he proposed a plan. I have a hard time seeing how that approach can be compromised with.

          • Labropotes

            The enemy is us.

          • HonestDebate1

            To a certain extent I agree. I just think it’s better to stay civil and in the arena of ideas. I think the tea party had a lot to bring to the debate but they were countered with accusations of racism. I like Sarah Palin but am told she is an idiot with a floozy daughter. I think Romney is a good decent man but he was made out to be someone who liked firing people and didn’t care if people lost jobs or died of cancer. Now that people are having their policies cancelled the story is it’s because of greedy insurance companies. The rich are paying the lion’s share of the bill but we are told they are evil. So are oil companies… and drug companies… and Wall street. Employers who have no choice but to drop coverage are A-holes.

            Nothing good comes from this approach.

          • Labropotes

            I think you are excellent at being civil. Kudos, seriously.

          • HonestDebate1

            Back atcha’, thanks. I try but don’t always succeed.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            So your gripe is the Ryan/Wyden plan didn’t go far enough?

            Unfortunately, there are political realities to getting any reform plan done (as HD has pointed out).

            Also, Medicare is loaded with fraud AND phony accounting. Since reimbursements are below market rates, the younger users of health care end up subsidizing Medicare users. It is not scalable to the rest of the market.

            Senator Tom Coburn has a plan to reduce Medicare fraud (20% of the spending). I have no idea why it hasn’t been taken up since it has been on the table since 2009.

            http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/?p=Healthcare

          • Labropotes

            Wouldn’t want to alienate the fraud vote.

          • HonestDebate1

            They all supported Ryan’s “A path to prosperity” in the house.

  • Labropotes

    Suppose we as a nation spent as much time thinking about how we can improve our productive economy as we do about “spreading [the wealth] around.” Those who advocate spending someone else’s money on themselves or others might feel righteous about it, but only those producing what everyone else is entitled to an equal share of make your largess possible.

  • fun bobby

    its funny that Sibelius shadow is so recognizable with her profound updo

    • Labropotes

      I thought the same thing.

      • HonestDebate1

        Me too, and there is something very ominous about the hand.

        • OnPointComments

          Note the stick coming out of the arm so that it can be moved liked a puppet. I bet President Obama is at the other end of that stick.

          • HonestDebate1

            Hilarious!

    • JGC

      I have to admit, that photo is kind of scary-looking. Looks like it could belong to the Bride of Frankenstein.

      • fun bobby

        “The Bride of Obamacare!” a campy horror pic for cure

    • lobstahbisque

      Please spell Sebelius correctly. Sibelius was a great Finnish symphonic composer in the post romantic era.
      He dead

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Ha. Are you a fan of Sibelius? This could be your Clockwork Orange moment.

        • lobstahbisque

          Glenn Gould did the music for A Clockwork Orange if I am not mistaken, although he was a big Sibelius fan.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Really? A Ludwig Van fan too?
            Although I guess Anthony Burgess was responsible for tying in Beethoven since he was the author.

          • lobstahbisque

            Thank you for the ‘van’. So many people write ‘von’ erroneously it turns out as he was of Dutch not German extraction. Gould liked the off the beaten track
            works and avoided the much vaunted middle period sonatas.

          • jefe68

            Sorry, it was Walter Carlos, now called Wendy Carlos. Early analog moog synthesizer.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI-mDTdeKR8

          • jefe68
          • lobstahbisque

            i’m pretty sure Gould selected the music. Gould was one of the first big name classical musicians to promote the Switched on Bach of W. Carlos. But there are many non-Carlos classical selections in the movie: I’m a Gould fanatic.

          • jefe68

            Love Glenn Gould, but Carlos did the soundtrack for the film. There are a few orchestral pieces, one being Beethoven’s Ninth played by the Berlin Philharmonic if I’m not mistaken.

          • lobstahbisque

            Right. The Berlin Phil. probably with Karajan conducting. I was confused with Slaughterhouse-Five apparently, in relation to Gould’s contribution. My bad.

      • fun bobby

        that’s funny i thought it was odd that the spell check knew her name

        • lobstahbisque

          Fancy that! Here he is…. Jean Sibelius.

  • fun bobby

    good sites are compatible with different browsers

  • HonestDebate1

    There are a couple of commenters advocating for single-payer as a solution. If that’s your position, for the sake of argument, let’s agree. My right-wing friends and I have said all along that Obamacare was not designed to work, it was designed to fail and force single-payer. Obama has said it may take 15 years, he has advocated single-payer while acknowledging that it was not politically feasible at this point. So, merits aside, does anyone think the “by any means necessary because the end justifies the means” tactic is ethical? In other words, are you happy to play along?

    • Bluejay2fly

      That is really stupid. If you look at the break down of most budgets you will see that healthcare costs (i.e. Medicaid and Medicare) are bankrupting many states and the Federal government. I am certain Obama knows that and is trying to take some of the pressure off by getting more uninsured out of the equation. I personally do not think it will work either , but It saddens me to think that we have intelligent people in this nation that dream up all these kooky conspiracies. I get tired of hearing that the US government blew up the twin towers on 9-11 all the way to the UN sending troops into every US state to enforce a worldwide weapons ban. If you want to believe in unicorns that sh*t ice-cream please do us all a favor and go back to the children’s table.

      • HonestDebate1

        Please don’t tell me what I think. I am going by what Obama is on record as saying.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpAyan1fXCE

        There are commenters already pining for it today. My questions are valid. And I am already at the kiddy table, I’m here.

        • Bluejay2fly

          While many people including the POTUS may be delusional and think a single payer system is possible that does not mean they created this legislation to catastrophically fail. That is like believing our military leaders let Pearl Harbor be attacked, blew up the USS Maine, or sank the Lusitania. It sounds like Jesse Ventura’s insane rantings about how every war starts with a false flag operation. As WFB Jr said “our party has committed intellectual suicide” PS I have been a Conservative since the 70′s.

          • HonestDebate1

            Okay, I’ll back off of that and merely say that they knew there was no way it could work as written.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Harry Reid disagrees with you. It isn’t some crazy conspiracy theory.

        “Sen. Harry Reid: Obamacare ‘Absolutely’ A Step Toward A Single-Payer System”

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/08/10/sen-harry-reid-obamacare-absolutely-a-step-toward-a-single-payer-system/

    • Sy2502

      Calling for single payer socialized health care after this debacle would be like hiring a plumber to unclog your toilet, and when instead he floods your house with raw sewage, being so impressed that you put him in charge of redoing the plumbing of the entire house.

      • Labropotes

        You mean, like business as usual?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        The Feds rehired the clowns that couldn’t get the website right in the first place for a cool $600M to fix it. No bid. They’d have no problem handing over the whole thing to their cronies.

      • HonestDebate1

        Exactly!

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        What about Health Care vouchers, guaranteed minimum, to all tax-paying citizens to spend in a truly competitive health care marketplace? Accepting that there will be Ferraris, but we won’t all have them, and having lemon laws.

        For the special case of health care, I could take that, as long as the Democratic Socialism sympathizers back off the rest of the economy.

      • ThirdWayForward

        The status quo before the ACA was not working and things were getting worse. Fewer and fewer employers were providing health care benefits. Middle class jobs in America are deteriorating — this is the underlying problem.

        But re: health care reform, the analogy is more like your spouse preventing the plumber from doing anything to fix the system. The plumber says that the toilet can be cleared with a snake and probably it will work for now, sort of, but the long term solution is to upgrade the pipes and provide clean-out capabilities. Your spouse goes bananas and threatens divorce should you contemplate the more permanent solution, so you do the snake thing, the toilet then clogs every year or two, you and your spouse have the same argument about it, and you keep paying the plumber $100 a shot to come do a partial fix of the situation.

        Here the long term solution is to get the divorce. Your spouse is crazy. But irrespective of whether you decide to stay in the marriage, it is better and cheaper to do the longer term plumbing solution.

        Health care costs were increasing and out of control before the present health care reforms. The reforms will help bring health care costs under control. Part of the increases in costs have been related to providing care for the un- and under-insured, a problem that will be greatly reduced once the reforms take effect. We are paying for the uninsured, one way or another — it is just a matter of whether we do it in a more intelligent way.

        It is the Republicans who prevent Medicare from negotiating drug prices. We could save $50 billion/year if those could be negotiated. It was also the Republicans who were screaming about “death panels” — they are the last ones to have any credibility about cost controls.

        We also need to be able to legally import meds from Canada and other countries — that market solution would rein in drug prices here, which can be many times those seen in other countries. It’s too bad that many Democrats joined Republicans in killing that legislation.

        • William

          But the majority of Americans were happy with their medical insurance so is it more about media hype than actually having massive problems with our medical system?

          • jefe68

            Until the insurance does not work.
            Most Americans don’t even know what they have as they are getting health insurance through their jobs.

            Here’s a fact you can chew on, about half the bankruptcies in this country are due to medical bills. Almost all of those bankruptcies were people or families who had health insurance.

        • Sy2502

          So here’s another analogy for you. There’s a guy with a broken leg and a bunch of people standing around doing nothing. So you go up to the guy and punch him really hard in the face. When the bystanders complain, your answer is “well, you all were just standing there… at least I did something!”

          • jefe68

            Your analogies are awful.
            Here’s a thought. If we do nothing we will end up with a a cost to GDP at about 20% or more in about 15 years.

  • JGC

    I am curious what state your son is in, if that would be possible to share.

    • Thom

      Michigan and we do not have a state exchange. he used healthcare.gov

      • JGC

        I see that Michigan also has a Republican governor. Even though he was reluctant to set up the state exchange, at least he recently obtained bipartisan support for the Medicaid expansion. The article said he was able to craft legislation by combining the expansion with some market reforms, which brought many of the state Republicans on board along with the Democrats. It helps when everyone works together to get the job done.

        • lobstahbisque

          …and winged unicorns fly through rainbowed skies….

          • Labropotes

            If unicorns didn’t fly across rainbow skies, how would I know what my stawks are worth?

  • Craig Burdick

    Has Microsoft ever released software w/o bugs? However flawed this rollout has been, am I the only one who is not surprised? As your guests point out, its complicated.

    • Sy2502

      There’s “a few bugs” and there’s “unusable”. A web site supposed to have signed up millions of people and only signs up a few thousand falls squarely in the 2nd category.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      “Trust the Powers that Be. Because its complicated.”

      That seems to be the frightening attitude in play for a large segment of the country these days.

      Hmmm. If only historical/political thinkers had only thought about issues of Power, and freedom from tyrannical tendencies.

      Oh well, at least I can vote D or R.

  • Bluejay2fly

    While on the subject of healthcare how come nobody debates the fact that medicaid and medicare are applied to 3.5 million people in Puerto Rico who do not pay Federal Income Tax and are not a state. Why, do we keep them as a dependency? Where is that debate.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Do they pay the FICA tax? If so, they are paying into Medicare.

      I wasn’t aware that they are excluding from the income tax so I looked up this wiki page. Apparently they don’t get a full share of Medicaid and they don’t participate in SSI so it is a little more complicated than your implication.

      “Also, Medicare providers receive less-than-full state-like reimbursements for services rendered to beneficiaries in Puerto Rico, even though the latter paid fully into the system.[11]”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Puerto_Rico

      • Bluejay2fly

        The fact that they get any money and are not part of the US is the problem. Our budget is like a body bleeding from many holes arguing about the size of one whole is futile. The ideal is to repair every whole that can be repaired and spending money on places and countries that we have a tangential interest in is wasteful. Hundreds of Billions have been spent on Puerto Rico by the US. I would also argue that what they receive in SNAP, WIC and other federal programs outweighs any revenue generated therein.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Hmmm. A net cost of $13B/year.

          You must really be upset with the $43B that goes to the District of Columbia and their 500K population.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_taxation_and_spending_by_state

          • Bluejay2fly

            Here is a thought 30K troops stationed in Korea spend 30K a year for 30 years how much money has left our economy for theirs? My point DC is in America and that money stays in our economy. Overseas bases, collectives, commonwealths, etc that money moves outside the US.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            ???????
            I don’t know but when I went shopping this weekend the store was loaded with Samsung TVs and tablets. I’m sure they are doing just fine. They’ve built 20 nuclear power plants SINCE the US stopped building them in the mid- ’80s. They have 5 more nukes under construction and 4 additional plants planned. Now they are exported their nuclear technology around the world.

            However, I’m confused as to what this has to do with Obamacare.

        • ThirdWayForward

          Where do you get the hundreds of billions figure? That seems way, way off. Do a reality check. This sounds like an obsessive, suspicious, resentful meme. What do you have against Puerto Rico in particular?

          The Afghan War costs $100 billion/year —
          We should end it NOW and bring all the troops home for Christmas.

          We spend $700 billion/year on our military, comparable to the rest of the world combined. Nobody knows how big the NSA secret budget really is. We are not bleeding from many small holes — the holes are large and obvious.

          • Bluejay2fly

            My point wasn’t some paranoid rant about that one whole in particular ,but about how dozens of these holes bleed us dry and the absence of analysis. Look up Radio Free America and see what that useless program has cost and why after the fall of the USSR it continued. It reminds me of when a pack of cigarettes cost 1.50 and they would always preach that by quitting a two pack a day you save over $1000 a year. Many government programs not only outlive their purpose but also become inordinately expensive relative to benefit over time. I will not argue big holes like the defense budget, SS and Medicare, etc are extremely costly and are ridiculously expensive. When one looks at the overall picture we have been TRILLIONS in public debt since the 80′s. Statesmanship, debate and frugality is no longer part of the political process. It has fallen away to fund raising, lobbying, and political propaganda.

          • ThirdWayForward

            OK, glad it’s not some singling out of Puerto Rico. I always have sticker shock when I find out how much they spend to put in a traffic light or repave a road.

            I think we should pay down the national debt by taxing wealth proportionately. If you own half the country’s wealth, you should also own half its debt.

            The top 1% own 38% of US wealth, and the top 1-5% own another 36%.

            We could make the first $10 million wealth-tax-exempt. A 2% tax on fortunes greater than $10 million would pay off the national debt in less than 30 years.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            As the debt issuer, the Fed, benefits the corporatists and wall street debt traders the most, I would agree to such a thing.

            But need balanced budgets as well.

            Grand Bargain.

          • ThirdWayForward

            Once there is a mechanism in place to deal with the long term debt problem, then balanced budgets can be implemented in a sane way.

            Somehow, I suspect that no Republican would ever sign on to such a plan. I’m not even sure how many Democrats would support it.

          • Bluejay2fly

            It is not the balanced budget Clinton had one. Our National Debt NEVER gets paid down. It has gone up exponentially since the 70′s that is a huge problem.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Clinton balanced budget was a bubble-based accounting trick.

          • Bluejay2fly

            I know. I was an Econ Major many years ago. Most people confuse a balanced budget with the public debt, not unlike thinking Frankenstein is the monsters name.

  • HonestDebate1

    I really think the 2014 midterms will be fraudulent unless these illegal delays are undone but I realize they can’t be undone through legislation because the law already does that. I really hate to see the pain but it’s coming either way and the voters should be informed. The employer mandate delay is a big deal. I saw family over the holiday who very much support Obamacare, gloatingly so. I think they really have no idea about the shoe that will drop when employers start dropping coverage and millions more policies are cancelled. It will be a tough pill to swallow, realizing they voted for representative who supported it.

    I would like to see health care separated from employment because it’s very misleading. Many people think their employer matches or contributes to their health care but they don’t. It all comes from the employees paycheck. I know as an employer that labor cost must be determined and budgeted for in any business plan. The cost to hire is the cost to hire. It does not matter how that cost is divided.

    If you want a $100 widget from Walmart and go to the store with just $100 then you can’t buy it. There is sales tax. Say the tax is 7%, the widget will cost you $107. So when you plan your budget the cost to you is what it is. Just because the money gets divided doesn’t change your bottom line. It’s the same with employers, there bottom line is not changed. I would rather see employees get all of the money and trust them to do with it what they want.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      On a different topic, you recently brought up the census bureau whistle blower who accused the regime of manipulating the unemployment numbers right before the 2012 election (8.1% => 7.8%).

      I had forgotten this but I was reminded that one of the first acts by Obama was to move the responsibility of the census from the Secretary of Commerce directly to the WH. It was such a big deal that Senator Gregg withdrew his name from consideration to be on Obama’s cabinet. NO ONE could explain why Obama was doing this. As usual, the MSM showed little curiosity. Perhaps we now know why Obama moved the census department to his direct control.

      • HonestDebate1

        I had forgotten that too but I do remember what you are referring to. It’s still a little hard for me to swallow without more proof but it is entirely plausible if not probable. They certainly made hay out of the numbers.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          They are playing the long game. Everything is political. There is no doubt he is the worst president in the modern era. Hopefully, history will honestly capture all the horrible details.

          • MordecaiCarroll

            No doubt????? I know you’re a partisan, Worried, but c’mon now

            The President who preceded him misled the country into an unnecessary and unjustified war against Iraq. (via manipulated and/or cherry-picked intelligence chosen to support their pre-determined goal of war against Iraq)

          • MordecaiCarroll

            This unnecessary war led to thousands of American military dead and untold numbers of Iraqi casualties. It also cost the country billions of dollars, and was paid for on the credit card. All for a war that never had to be (and never should have been) fought.

            The flawed rollout of ACA is worse than Bush’s Iraq debacle, without a doubt? You don’t really believe that, do you?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “The flawed rollout of ACA is worse than Bush’s Iraq debacle”
            Another straw man. My evaluation of Obama’s performance is for the totality of his presidency not just a flawed roll out. We can start with $7T in new debt in the first 5 years. We can then move on to the tepid economic recovery. The lack of leadership on almost every major issue…..

            It may turn out the Obamacare will kill more Americans than the Iraq war. However, there are some parallels. Let’s give both Presidents the benefit of the doubt and they truly conducted their policies in a ‘just cause’. However, both failed in ‘execution’ of the task at hand. I think we can concede that point. However, the ACA will certainly impact far more Americans than the Iraq war ever did. Then there are the unintended consequences.

            I don’t ascribe malice to Obama — just incompetence and maybe some hubris for good measure.

          • MordecaiCarroll

            “It may turn out the Obamacare will kill more Americans than the Iraq war”

            I guess those tens of thousands (probably more like 100,000) of dead Iraqis killed in an unnecessary unjust war don’t count for you. They’re “collateral damage”.

            And no, I will not give President Bush the benefit of the doubt when it comes to Iraq. There is too much evidence of cherrypicking and manipulation of intelligence to believe Bush and Cheney acted in good faith. Too much evidence suggesting that “intelligence was being worked to fit around the policy”.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yup, one big conspiracy. Saddam had the French, British, Germans and his own generals snookered. But Bush somehow knew Sadaam was a fakir.

            I believe that the Iraq war was a mistake. However, it was a plausible response to 9/11. It took the war away from our shores and we did eliminate a lot of Al Qaeda. It went off the rails during the nation building phase. It was completely mismanaged until they brought in Patraeus to run the surge. Bush hung on to Rummy way too long.

          • MordecaiCarroll

            yep, and that;’s why the French rushed to help us out in the war, because they were so convinced Saddam posed a threat.

            Remember “Freedom Fries”?

          • Bluejay2fly

            I got news for you the surge only worked because we bought not fought our way to peace. The amount of money we have spent over their to “aid” local leaders and the government was absurd.

          • jefe68

            The estimate of Iraqi’s killed in that awful war is a bit foggy. Some estimates are in the 100,000 plus and others are half a million. That’s 250,000 men, women, and children.

            More than 26,000 working-age adults die prematurely in the United States each year because they lack health insurance.

            http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/20/us-usa-healthcare-deaths-idUSBRE85J15720120620

          • jefe68

            Yeah, he does. For a lot of the regressive right who post on this forum, President Obama is a socialist tyrant who is out to take over the country…

          • HonestDebate1

            It always comes back to Bush and Iraq… but Obamacare is not about Bush or Iraq.

      • MordecaiCarroll

        Your account of Judd Gregg’s reasons for withdrawing his name from consideration for Commerce sounds a whole lot like revisionist history.

        Here’s what Gregg said at the time (via Wikipedia):

        “”For 30 years, I’ve been my own person in charge of my own views, and I guess I hadn’t really focused on the job of working for somebody else and carrying their views, and so this is basically where it came out.”

        Then there’s the matter of his post-Senate job.
        Judd Gregg became CEO of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), one of Wall Street’s largest lobbying trade associations.

        In short, he went for the quick buck as a lobbyist, like so many retiring politicians do. A classic case of the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          “Mr. Gregg said he and the administration “did not adequately focus” on policy disputes, citing the handling of the census and the stimulus package.”

          From an actual contemporaneous news item vs.a wiki page that could have been authored by a true revisionist.

          http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB123447333424979131

          • MordecaiCarroll

            The Wikipedia section I quoted was a quote from an AP interview of Judd Gregg at the time.

    • JGC

      The ACA now requires employers to report (on the employee’s W-2) their contribution to the healthcare coverage provided. The idea is to increase transparency and awareness of the cost of health insurance, and put the employee (the healthcare consumer) on the frontline to questioning the costs of their healthcare.

      • HonestDebate1

        That’s a good thing. I’m all for increasing awareness but am still creeped out by the IRS enforcing health care.

  • pete18

    There’s that word: transition. It’s the route “change” takes to reach its final destination: “fundamental transformation.” If you’re paying attention, you’ll hear the word transition
    a lot in Obama’s health-care speeches. You’ll also find it in that Justice Department brief the administration no doubt wishes Eric Holder’s minions had edited more furtively:

    The [Affordable Care Act’s] grandfathering provision’s incremental transition does not undermine the government’s interests in a significant way. Even under the grandfathering provision, it is projected that more group health plans will transition to the requirements under the regulations as time goes on. [Officials of the Department of Health and Human Services] have estimated that a majority of group health plans will have lost their grandfather status by the end of 2013 [emphasis added].

    Understand what this studiously unthreatening, gradualist gobbledygook means. A “group health plan” is employer-provided insurance; the phrase thus
    blithely refers to the “transition” of 156 million Americans
    who get health insurance for themselves and their families through work. It does not mention the so-called individual market, consumers who buy health insurance on their own. That’s because the administration assumes
    the “transition” of those 25 million Americans from their preferred plans to Obamacare will already have progressed well toward completion. And indeed it has, as we have seen in the millions of cancellation notices reported in the last six weeks.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/364667/scheme-behind-obamacare-fraud-andrew-c-mccarthy

    • brettearle

      Pete–

      Did you get my links, that I decided to send you–regarding the hecklers at the GOP 2008 debates?

      Your Disqus tracking system ought to tell you when my I entered them, as a comment, directly adjacent to one of your comments…..

      • pete18

        Got ‘em, haven’t read them yet. Will comment soon.

  • Bluejay2fly

    What nobody here is acknowledging is the fact that we have had a socialized system of healthcare for quite some time. People who get healthcare are: Prison inmates, People over 65, the Armed Forces and veterans, the qualifying poor, and the disabled. If you think that these groups have not cost the government far more than what they have contributed then guess again. The working poor who often have very crappy health insurance, if at all, are monetizing this quasi-capitalistic profit based system. It would have been better to go in one direction or the other because now our system has mutated into the most expensive and inefficiently administered healthcare in the world.

  • OnPointComments

    Some numbers from the Washington Post:

    FOR DEMOCRATS IN 2014, THE WEB SITE IS NOT THE PROBLEM
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/marc-thiessen-for-democrats-in-2014-the-web-site-is-not-the-problem/2013/12/02/814983bc-5b55-11e3-bf7e-f567ee61ae21_story.html

    5.5 million. That is how many people the administration needs to sign up in just 23 days because Obamacare drove them out of their health-care plans. That’s some 240,000 sign-ups every single day, just to break even.
    50 million. That is how many Americans will be surprised to find their employer-based health plans dropped or substantially changed next year because of Obamacare.
    53. That is the percentage of Americans who now say that President Obama is not “honest or trustworthy.”
    12. That is the number of Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2014 who are complicit in Obama’s lie.
    7. That is the number of states with vulnerable Democratic-held senate seats that also have Republican governors.

    “…Americans are not just angry about a broken Web site…They are angry about being lied to. That is why Democrats need to worry in 2014.”

    • Bluejay2fly

      Our health care system is a disgrace! I work in a prison and inmates get access to dental, optical, all mental health services including counseling and intensive therapy. I have seen adult inmates get experimental treatments which were insanely expensive and saw one man get a circumcision because he decided to be Jewish. If you were one of the millions of working poor without insurance and you go to a dentist, or a psychiatrist, or optometrist and say I have no money can you treat me it is a big FU! I saw people get thrown out of the reserves for dental issues because they were in college and could not afford a simple dental procedure. I cannot blame Obama for trying to fix this mess but he is about 40 years too late.

      • OnPointComments

        I doubt you’ll get much of an argument about prison health care. When wacko judges say that prisoners are entitled to gender change surgeries, it’s clear that the judges and the system are out of control.

        • Bluejay2fly

          So we accept the fact that the guy who raped a six years old girl for a week before killing her gets the supreme health care plan while the hard working poor get nothing.

        • fun bobby

          I think that one case is the exception rather than the rule. and yes its completely absurd even devil thinks it goes too far. prison medical care is often subpar.

      • JGC

        Access to Medicaid to help pay for prisoner care is apparently one of the big reasons why Michigan decided to belatedly opt in to the Medicaid expansion. As I understand it, the states are still responsible for covering the health costs of the inmates inside the prison walls, but if they need a procedure or surgery off-site, this can be picked up by Medicaid.

        That demonstrates another reason why we need to quickly reform the incarceration of people for small non-violent crimes.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        the military has socialized medicine. It makes sense for the military–because it makes an effective successful team. Why isn’t it good enough for a so-called democracy/republic waving flags?

        Oh right it is–the democratic republic only exists among the elite–the corporate-aristocracy–the oligarchy. Therefore, all liars/finks/and killers in washington have universal socialized healthcare.
        But not the commoners, not the peasants, not the middle classes, not the poor, not the dispossessed, not the weakest and neediest among us–some who might be Einstein’s or battle heroes or nobel winners–no–let them die because they are not NOT citizens. ONly the oligarchy counts.

    • hennorama

      WftC — these are NOT “numbers from the Washington Post.”

      You cited an op-ed from Marc Thiessen, former spokesman and senior policy advisor to Senator Jesse Helms, and former Pres. Bush II Chief Speechwriter. WaPo published the op-ed, but they did not originate these OPINIONS.

      • OnPointComments

        The link is to an opinion in the Washington Post.

        • hennorama

          OPC — indeed, but the figures are NOT “numbers from the Washington Post.”

          FYI, the same op-ed is also available on or via:

          indystar.com
          realclearpolitics.com
          http://beforeitsnews.com
          memeorandum.com
          dailynewsen.com

          (whatever those last two are), etc.

          Does that make Mr. Thiessen’s OPINIONS “from” these sites as well?

          • OnPointComments

            You caught me, you clever one. I was trying to sneak the op-ed by everyone, and thought I had been so devious, but I slipped up and mistakenly provided the link that allows everyone to see exactly what it is and who wrote it. I bet that’s how you found out. I’ll have to be more careful next time.

          • hennorama

            OPC — simply acknowledging the issue does not change it. There is a very handy [Edit] feature that you can use.

            One realizes this suggestion may fall on the “blind eyes” of a supporter of a candidate who wrote a book titled “No Apology,” but this Quixote devotee makes it nonetheless.

          • OnPointComments

            Please note on the more recent comment I posted that this is NOT an interesting article “from” the Wall Street Journal. The article is from Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma, and is on the Wall Street Journal’s website, but it is not from the WSJ, it is from Scott Pruitt. I know how easily you can be misled.

          • hennorama

            OPC — clearly old dogs can learn new tricks. ;-)

          • Labropotes

            hennorama, inventor of the nanodistinction. /sarc

          • hennorama

            Labropotes — “nano-” seems a bit of an exaggeration, wouldn’t you agree?

            After all, the diameter of a human hair is in the range of 15,000 to 200,000 nanometers (15 to 200 micrometers/microns), making “splitting hairs” more micro- than nano-.

            Of course, such differences are neither easily nor widely perceived. ;-)

          • HonestDebate1

            Exactly!

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Good evening….
        But not my post.

        See ya.

        • hennorama

          WftC — ACK! My apologies. Seeing red, I “wrote from the hip.”

          Immediate and appropriate correction will be made.

      • pete18

        Are the numbers wrong?

        • hennorama

          pete18 – TY for your response, and your question.

          Let’s examine the first figure:

          “● 5.5 million. That is how many people the administration needs to sign up in just 23 days because Obamacare drove them out of their health-care plans. That’s some 240,000 sign-ups every single day, just to break even.”

          The 5.5 million figure seems to refer to the number of people whose health insurance policy status is changing, which Mr. Thiessen inaccurately described as “Obamacare drove them out of their health-care plans.” The figure is close to others that have been widely circulated.

          However, the issue is not with this figure itself. Thiessen inaccurately wrote “That is how many people the administration needs to sign up in just 23 days…” The inaccurate implication is that these people can only change their policy status by “signing up” via the health care marketplaces. Just because insurers canceled their coverage (for whatever reason, all of which will conveniently be ascribed to “Obamacare”) does not mean they must get replacement coverage through the marketplaces, and to imply such is simply false. In fact, insurers are actively trying to convince these policyholders to simply choose another available plan, rather than go to the marketplaces.

          Remember, Thiessen understands the impact of every word he writes, as he has been involved in SOTU speeches. This leads one to conclude his inaccurate words are intentionally inaccurate.

          There’s more in the op-ed to dispute, but time and interest are limited.

          Thanks again for your response.

          • HonestDebate1

            They originally said 7 million was the minimum.

        • FrankensteinDragon

          yes

    • FrankensteinDragon

      what lie? Saying he is liar makes you sound like a childish liar. What did he lie about?

      This is not a light switch that can be instantly turned on and off people–tick, and instantaneous brilliant light. Be reasonable. COnsider your fellow man. SOutherners and Christians are so hypocritical–i say that because you can measure who is rejecting this plan–

      Instead of boo-hooing and getting calvin kleins in a bunch–work to solve the problem–start rowing the GD boat or get the hell out,

      NOw that its been said–I dont like the “AFFORDABLE CARE ACT.” Because I have to pay, by penalty of law, into a private commercial corporation that is obligated to make profit and pain is profit. It is against my natural right as a human being and i’m sure its against my constitutional rights to be forced to enrich more billionaires. F-them. But Obama didnt lie ever. He has always been clear about what he wanted and expected, and he was fought tooth and nail every step of the way. Cry babies on that side of the aisle are selfish children that throw temper-tantrums worse than jerry springer guests until they get exactly what they wanted. This is not a compromise. The insurance agencies just got 10 million more customers. Dont worry they will still find loop holes to deny your coverage so you can keep worshipping them.

      I would be happy to pay more taxes to help my fellow americans. I want to pay the state–the people–a neutral organization–with the soul purpose of providing health care to ALL–not to make some selfish baterry-operated poker RICH.

      If you want to wave your ridiculous flags–then make it mean something. To wave a flag is to say we are all on the same team. But you don’t care about your teammates so you have NO right to wave the flag, and no right to health care of any kind–but maybe you don’t–maybe you wave the Confederate battle flag–the slave flag. Very un-christain and very un-american.

      If you play basketball or football or baseball or hockey–essentially you are saying f the team–its all about me. Ball hog.

      • MelanieWadkins

        FrankensteinDragon,

        I couldn’t have articulated it better myself.

        • FrankensteinDragon

          ;)

      • OnPointComments

        The quotes are from President Obama.
        “IF YOU LIKE YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN.” 5 million individual plans cancelled. “PERIOD. NO ONE WILL TAKE IT AWAY. NO MATTER WHAT.” A majority of group health plans will have lost their grandfather status by the end of 2013, resulting in another 50 million to 100 million insurance policy cancellations. “NO MATTER HOW WE REFORM HEALTH CARE, WE WILL KEEP THIS PROMISE: IF YOU LIKE YOUR DOCTOR, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP YOUR DOCTOR. PERIOD.” Doctors in at least 10 states have received termination letters. A number of the nation’s top hospitals — including the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, and children’s hospitals in Seattle, Houston and St. Louis — are cut out of most plans sold on the exchange. Because of the ACA, many insurers are significantly limiting the choices of doctors and hospitals available to consumers. “THE ACA WILL CUT THE AVERAGE FAMILY’S PREMIUM BY ABOUT $2,500 PER YEAR.” “I didn’t say they’re going down. I said the rates are lower than was predicted,” said Kathleen Sebelius. Obamacare’s benefit mandates will raise individual insurance premiums in 42 out of 47 states, in many cases causing rates to double.
        He lied.

        • FrankensteinDragon

          I think YOU better consider what states your in and who is pulling strings to obstruct. Also, Obama DID NOT LIE! He said what he intended, what he agreed to, what he wanted for YOU, what he tried to get done–but he IS OBSTRUCTED every step of the way by political deviants and thugs and finks and traitors to America and humanity–not to mention–OBAMA is one man–NOT GOD, NOT the government, NOT the “FEDS”–he is part of a SYSTEM and he is dealing with an INSURANCE INDUSTRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! determined to disrupt progress. They are being forced to cover people with existing ailments–money out of pocket. THEY dont want to HELP YOU. THEY want you in PAIN!!!!!!!!! IT IS PROFIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Row the GD BOAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Before we paddle your but adn toss you to the sharks. Dont worry–NO ONE will save you without a the payment of a small fortune, in our capitalist world. Pay or die.

          Please dont scream at me. No need for capitals. Stop listening to FOX news and the fat man–THEY ARE LYING TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • OnPointComments

    This is an interesting article about a legal hurdle Obamacare faces from a State of Oklahoma lawsuit joined by several other states. A Washington DC district judge has refused the administration’s request to dismiss the suit.

    OBAMACARE’S NEXT LEGAL CHALLENGE
    The law says subsidies can only go through state-run exchanges.
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304448204579186322449012040

    Excerpt: (emphasis added)
    While the president’s health law is vast and extraordinarily complex, it is in one respect very simple. Subsidies are only to be made available, and tax penalties for not signing up for health insurance are only to be assessed, in states that create their own health-care exchange. The IRS, however, is attempting to enforce tax penalties in all states—including Oklahoma and the majority of the other states that have declined to create their own exchanges.

    Congress specified that credits and subsidies are only to be available in states that set up their own health-insurance exchange for a reason: It could not force states to set up exchanges. Instead, it had to entice them to do so.

    Should the courts decide the IRS is exceeding its authority and isn’t allowed to assess the employer penalties in states that have not established their own exchanges, the structure of the ACA will crumble—as one of the primary mechanisms the federal government has employed to force people into the health-insurance market evaporates.

    • HonestDebate1

      It keeps getting worse.

      • jefe68

        You better go hide under the couch.

        • HonestDebate1

          Nope, I am keeping my eyes wide open and my ear to the ground.

    • Cutler Hamilton

      Holy BS!!! I’ve been enrolled in both health and dental plans for almost a week now in South Carolina (not a state run exchange). I received tax subsidies in the process of signing up and getting health care. My small business will save a little over $200 per month in insurance costs. My coverage is much more broad, deductibles are similar to a previous BCBS plan I had. And the best thing about it is that it was even less for my girlfriend. We are both late twenties to early thirties. Good health. I do have a pre-existing condition. Quit whining about canceled policies. They were crap coverage anyways. Quit being such a “Debbie Downer” and just try the thing. Who knows, you might end up like Ted Cruz and really like Green Eggs and Ham!! So tired of the BS, crap, mularkey that people come up with.

      Honestly, I want better health care and a better health care system than what’s available to us now. If you don’t understand that plea, then you haven’t had to pay $10 for a single Tylenol in a hospital and you haven’t had to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a surgical procedure that only costs a fraction of that in other developed countries (Switzerland, Britain, Germany, Japan, etc.) where the health care system is even more socialized than Canada. What will it take for people who are so maddeningly against change in our health care system to wake up and realize that even though you are a US citizen, it doesn’t guarantee that you will be able to afford to keep yourself healthy? I mean think about that for a second. It’s 2013, and we still have a rather large percentage of the population who do not have insurance of any kind. So that means when they go to a doctor or a hospital and have no funds to pay for procedures, do we let people suffer because they have know insurance? Do we let people suffer period? No……we complain about having to pay for those skyrocketing prices because those people don’t have insurance! What kind of dumb-downed, rhetorical, whining, complaining, 5-year-old intellect based argument is that. “Whine!!!!! I have to pay for other people to be healthy!!! WHAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!”

      Why should the uninsured, the ones with pre-existing conditions, the poor, “illegal immigrants” suffer? What did they do to the rest of humanity that makes those opposed to change so loud and decry that they think it’s unfair? You know what’s fair? Nothing. Nothing is fair in this world. We don’t have one chance to get all things right but we do have a responsibility to take care of each other, especially those in dire need. Jesus, The Pope, and all your other so-called “Christian” politicians should agree with that if they still want to have a legit career in supposedly “helping the public”.

      • OnPointComments

        The article is about the rule of law. There was an interesting Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday on “The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws.” As Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said in his opening statement,

        The Obama Administration, however, has ignored the Constitution’s carefully balanced separation of powers and unilaterally granted itself the extra-constitutional authority to amend the laws and to waive or suspend their enforcement. This raw assertion of authority goes well beyond the ‘executive power’ granted to the President and specifically violates the Constitution’s command that the President is to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”… It is a bedrock principle of constitutional law that the President must “faithfully execute” Acts of Congress. The President cannot refuse to enforce a law simply because he dislikes it.

        …the President has—without statutory authorization—…[promulgated] an IRS rule that allows for the distribution of billions of dollars in Obamacare subsidies that Congress never authorized.

        In our society, the ends do not justify the means. We are a nation of laws, and President Obama is not following the law passed by Congress.

        • Cutler Hamilton

          One lone senator or congressman also doesn’t have the authority to defund a law because they don’t like the way it works or is working either. In other words, flexibility under Constitutional law at the benefit of US citizens is not a crime. I do not hold it against the President to make a subtle change to a law if half the legislational body (i.e. Congress, i.e. HOR) is and has been deadset against the administration from day one. The man deserves a little credit for getting something done or at least attempting to get something done amid the most politically toxic climate in recent history. Here in the South, many citizens are beginning to compare this era to the era prior to secession almost 150 years ago. We’re tired of the technicalities and “small things” that get blown out of proportion.

          Also, as far as executing laws goes, you can throw that out the window with the rest of the Congressional body. This has been the least productive Congress, EVER!! It’s 2013, the 21st century and our Congressional body is the laughing stock of the developed world. As citizens, everyday we have to struggle with that. It’s on our minds everyday. In our workplace, everyday. In our homes, everyday. We are ridiculed by the rest of the world because we have a select few in positions of authority who think it’s cute, or productive to shut down our whole system of gov’t because they don’t like something. You know what, maybe I ought to do that stuff too. You know what, as a rebuttal to your “this is a nation of laws” argument, this is also a nation of men and women who want to live…….period. They want to live without having the idea of every little single problem being blown up like we’re living in Pompeii under the threat of Mt. Vesuvius.

          This is not the first attempt at gov’t regulated health care. It won’t be the last. as far as I’m concerned, we are a minority when it comes to this system of gov’t. Socialized medicine has helped so many other countries, so many other people and you’re main argument is that we are “a nation of laws” ???? No sir. It was founded by men and women who spin in their graves when we reduce our judgements down to ink on paper. Being blind to reality and only seeing what’s convenient to advocate against progress is also called cruel intentions. Being blind to the suffering of our citizens in the wake of some supposed “loophole-like” discovery does not make a person any better or more righteous.

          In fact, if the man has to make changes because a larger, legislative body is unable or has been willfully inactive because they don’t like him, the larger body can go do you know what to themselves. If the HOR and the rest of the Republicans, Fox News, Roger Ailes, and Rupert Murdoch had decided to take advantage of the situation by providing a better alternative, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. But we can’t talk in “ifs” because that’s always “besides the point”. Nobody wants to talk about cooperation or compromise. Those are apparently good words to everybody else in the world who’s not a terrorist.

          By the way, who would really pay the price if found guilty of “breaking the law”. You gonna finally put the President out of office. That would sure stabilize stuff here. The markets would climb to 20,000 and everybody would be rich. Maybe we could go back to “free market” health care. you know where insurance company CEO’s make 200 times more than those paying for health bills reaching into six-figure territory. Maybe Goodlatte should read a couple of the posts I’ve written here to really understand what citizens really care about. I know I don’t speak for all of them, but I do remember a lot of us asking for change. We weren’t asking for a do nothing Congress and crazy Senators and Congressmen who have tried to repeal the same law 40+ times. We want leaders, not bought and paid for politicians, whose sole goal is “to make sure that this is a one-term President”. EPIC FAIL!

          • OnPointComments

            “America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the President, am obligated to enforce the law…. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear…for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.” –President Obama, 03/28/2011

            Then President Obama did exactly what he said the law prohibited him from doing, and he did it time and time again.

          • Cutler Hamilton

            Quote it all you want. Politicians do it all the time. Both sides. It’s not what a man says to gain popularity from the masses, it’s his actions. The lack of action by the Republican base, the HOR, has led to this polarization. Rather than taking an active role and working with Democrats to ease suffering and fix the healthcare system, all they’ve done is point fingers, bring up small technical flaws about a man, and try to be the least productive form of gov’t possible. Actually, I’ll take it a step further and quote Grover Norquist.

            “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

            If we can live in a country where a man in his position of power and influence can have the right to say that, then that’s all the more reason that the President should be able to change a law. Especially under the following circumstances:

            – This is the first time I can recall that conservatism has morphed into such extremes as to question the validity of a Senator’s and then President’s natural citizenship.

            – This is the first time I can recall such hypocrisy from a legislative body that claims to be “listening” to the American people and “acting” on the behest of what the American people want. Really? The day I want my Congress to be so ineffective and gridlocked is the day you know what freezes over.

            – This is the first time I can recall grown men and women in Congress denying blatant scientific FACTS!

            – This is the first time I can recall grown men and women making statements like “If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.” Makes the female anatomy sound like it’s some sort of baby-making factory. Disgusting.

            – This is the first time I can recall 90% of the general population asking for some form of gun-control after 20+ kids were killed by a madman with way to much firepower for any single person. It was the lamest effort to do something for the good of the country that I’ve ever seen. It is the ultimate illustration of the complete disconnect between me, a concerned citizen, and good for nothing politicians who care more about retaining there job than anybody else. They aren’t public servants. They’re servants to the corporations who can now pour as much money as they want into their pockets all in trade for protection and self-serving. AKA……Repeal the worst SCOTUS decision in history, Citizens United.

            – On that note, this is the first time I can recall that one election cost over $2 billion dollars.

            – $2 billion dollars could go a long ways to eliminate poverty.

            ETC……etc……etc……..

            So keep commenting. Give me the quotes. Give them all to me. I DON’T CARE IF HE CHANGES THE LAW! CONGRESS DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO AMEND ANYWAYS!

          • Zenplatypus

            You have a clear gift for prolixity, so perhaps it was inevitable that you’d stumble upon a formulation worthy of this perilous moment. “EPIC FAIL” neatly summarizes the idiocy of Obamacare and its namesake.

  • hennorama

    Thom — TY for your anecdote. Glad your son was able to enroll without any problems.

    Let’s hope he’s a trendsetter. Spread the word!

  • HonestDebate1

    Why? Just because?

  • FrankensteinDragon

    I dont understand why a simple software program cant be done right–with all our innovators in America. Maybe they should actually do something about it and invite all computer buffs to Washington and build a team–get it done. Lets put people to work. Oh wait no, if they do this, they wont hire americans–they will Chinese or Indians or immigrants to work for pennies and no bathroom breaks.

    Seems to me they dont want o anything about anything ever.

  • FrankensteinDragon

    there is a perfect solution.

    We in the north are of a different opinion from the south on every single issue. every single issue–as a culture (the root of culture is cult) and there can be no unity between such vastly different peoples in such as vast land. We NEED to divide. At least 2 nations. North and south. And we WILL see radical beneficial changes. We in the north will see most of our visions come true, and they in the south will keep their status quo–maybe even get more medieval and more theocratic–but it will make them happy–they will have everything they want and we will have what we want.

    We are two nations and that’s why nothing is getting done. its time to stop the BS rhetoric and illusions. We would all be better off with 2 nations.

    Please, for the love of your god–go away–just separate, secede, be gone, and may your god bless you, if it is right for him to do so…but just go away. be southie.

    we will welcome your oppressed, your starving–we will give them opportunity to become great in an egalitarian society.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Completely unnecessary dragon.

      The Feds shouldn’t be involved in health care. There is little accountability at the federal level. The states should run entitlement programs as they see fit. Also, the states don’t have the printing press so they have to run the system as a pay-go and fix problems in the present instead of robbing the next generation.

      Done. We just solved your so-called North/South issue.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        explain. I dont understand talking point rhetoric–i dont mean that sarcastically–I really dont know what you are talking about.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        but you totally ingore the fact that I say every single issue–not just health care–and you’re wrong about that too. But dont get so excited–you didnt solve anything. We are not the same country. We just are not. WHy do cling to such ridiculous notions that we need each other. We dont want you. We dont need you. Toodaloo.

    • fun bobby

      yes, without the south Detroit and Chicago would be paradises

      • FrankensteinDragon

        is that racial or classist? or related to the turannical absurdity of of economy and corporate culture –directly related to the umbilical cord that connects us to the South. NOthing is perfect, but we would have the political capital to reform and build rather than tear down. There is no reason why rust belt cities cant flourish. The reason american cities are decaying is because free trade radicals export our industry, our wealth, our jobs, and import cheap labor. This is fact, and cannot be denied with any credibility. A – B = C

        thanks for the fun times bobby

        • fun bobby

          good luck with your movement, the southern man don’t want you around anyhow

  • HonestDebate1

    Why did they roll out the website when they knew it was not ready? Why did they shut down the government instead of delaying it? Who has been fired or demoted because of the fiasco?

    It’s going exactly as planned.

  • marygrav

    I would like to make a Modest Proposal for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), to take back to the people of Tennesee. Yes, you should help to destroy Obamacare. In its place, each man woman and child should be given its own supply of cocaine. If they feel sick snort a little and they will be so high that they will forget they are sick.

    Cocaine and heroin is cheap now, and if the price goes up, the US can import its supply from Afghanistan giving Mexico some competition. Competition is the soul of Capitalism.

    Being female myself, I hate dumb women. Do she realize that with 31 States acting against Obamacare and the House of Representative voting it down over 40 times, which took away from getting the economy back on its feet, that the Affordable Health Care is lucky to be still viable.

    If she is so concerned about Rural Hospitals, she would be in favor of more income coming into them and be glad that all its clients can pay. She herself does not have to pay for health insurance because she is a member of Congress. She reminds me of Dr. Jim Frist. Remember him?

  • FrankensteinDragon

    I dont know who you think you’re talking to but there is no point in regurgitating your talking points on me. Obama did not lie. I dont care what Obama said. I understand the issues; I dont need your undereducated point of view–you sound like a shill. And I lived in Britain for years–i’ve heard this BS before. I was well-impressed with the health care system in Britain. In all aspects–service, hospitality, affordability, and care–light years ahead of America. Pleas save it for the fools. Some people dont have your luxury to live in your dream of dog eat dog–which is not very humane. Let me let you in a on little clue about life–its not about making money. And you cant take it with you.

    I actually care about my fellow man. When I hear UNited States–it actually means something to me. We the people means something to me. Republican individualism is psychotic. On a team I am an individual but I negotiate with my teammates and together we create harmony.

    I am willing to pay to contribute to my SOCIETY. And guess what my friend–what you pay in taxes is enormously less than what you pay to profit-motivated insurance companies–who profit off your pain. Their incentive is not to heal–it is to deny your care. What about all those who cant afford health insurance–MOST people. OH wait–those poor people–they don’t matter, right? I HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY to my people. Even the jerks I cant stand.

    Stop talking nonsense about lies. The only liars are those proliferating this rubbish about private health care.

  • Margarets Dad

    Good lord, Tom, are you running a serious public affairs show here or not? You only had to book two elected officials, and one of them is Marsha Blackburn, a professional dunce and liar who’s basically a national laughingstock? And you let her spew her lies while barely calling her on it? It’s time to stop taking people like this seriously. My respect for you and your show has plummeted.

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