Republicans Caving As ObamaCare Implodes

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Boehner’s days are numbered:

Robert Costa

Per Sen sources, Boehner has agreed to take up the Senate’s plan and allow it to pass with Dem votes.

6:49 AM – 16 Oct 2013

Basically he is giving the Democrats the vote they wanted and capitulated. These Republicans have no spine…cowards one and all. As DrJohn laid out yesterday, if the debt limit is not raised the whole country WILL NOT burn. There will be no default. It’s all a scare tactic that the MSM and the Democrats are using and the RINO’s are willing to just bend over and take it.

Shame.

Meanwhile ObamaCare visitors are plunging:

ocare-pyramid

The number of visitors to the federal government’s HealthCare.gov Web site plummeted 88 percent between Oct. 1 and Oct. 13, according to a new analysis of America’s online use, while less than half of 1 percent of the site’s visitors successfully enrolled for health insurance the first week.

…Based on a sample of two million users — or 1 percent of all online users in the U.S. — which Millward Brown Digital has permission to track, it suggests that the rush of traffic administration officials cited as the cause of the site’s problems trailed off within a matter of days.

Of the 9.4 million unique visitors to the site during the launch’s first week, according to the analysis, roughly a third attempted to register, and a third of that number — 1.01 million — completed registration. Ultimately, roughly 36,000 Americans signed up for an insurance plan online, the report said.

This comes as the inevitable sticker shock has arrived:

The Tribune‘s Peter Frost found that a typical user in the system — a 33-year-old single father in this case — would see his premiums “more than double” from the current average of $233 a month. But if the single dad wants his premiums to remain in range, he’ll need to sign up for an annual deductible of $12,700. The average deductible before ObamaCare for this consumer would have been $3,500.

Nor is that an isolated example, although it’s on the far end of the spectrum. In order to keep prices low, 21 of the 22 approved plans on the Illinois state exchange have deductibles of more than $4,000 for individuals, and $8,000 for families. Frost notes that the average employer-based coverage puts the individual deductible at $1,100.

Consider what this means to the consumer. First, the government forces Americans to buy comprehensive insurance when many don’t need it. At $466 a month, the single father in the example above will spend about $5,600 a year on comprehensive insurance, which would far outstrip the medical expenses for most 33-year-old single men, who might expect only a wellness check and perhaps a couple of acute visits to a clinic for urgent care a year. At retail costs, even with labs, that’s going to run less than a thousand dollars a year at most.

Now, though, his insurance won’t even cover that much. Before Illinois consumers see any benefit at all from their insurance policies, they will have to spend more than $4,000 each year out of their own pocket — and without the benefit of health-savings accounts (HSAs) to use untaxed income for that purpose. That means that some consumers will spend much more each year over and above their newly inflated premiums, making it less and less likely that they will ever see any benefits from their mandated insurance policies other than avoiding the small fine from the IRS for noncompliance.

This will only get worse. Megan McArdle’s article describing why this rollout was a disaster and why the law is unworkable is a must read in its entirety. There is a lot in it including questioning why the HHS decided to be the lead contractor on building the entire system itself:

I’m a longtime critic of federal contracting rules, which prevent some corruption at ruinous expense in money, quality and speed. But federal contracting rules are not what made the administration delay writing the rules and specifications necessary to build the system until 2013. Nor to delay the deadline for states to declare whether they’d be building an exchange, in the desperate hope that a few more governors might decide — in February 2013! — to build a state system after all. Any state that decided to start such a project at that late date would have had little hope of building anything that worked, but presumably angry voters would be calling the governor instead of HHS.

Federal contracting codes, so far as I am aware, do not emit intoxicating gases that might have caused senior HHS officials to decide that it was a good idea to take on the role of lead contractor — a decision equivalent to someone who has never even hung a picture deciding that they should become their own general contractor and build a house. Nor can those rules explain their lunatic response when they were told that the system was not working — “failure was not an option.”

Nor can you really blame the Republicans — an argument that makes sense only if you don’t examine it very closely. It starts by assuming (but never stating) that the administration passed a law that didn’t work as written, and then posits a civic duty for the opposition not to oppose laws that they oppose, but instead to help the majority party turn an unworkable law into something more to said party’s liking. This is absurd. Moreover, it’s not even a very good explanation for most of these problems. Maybe CMS turned lead contractor because they couldn’t get more funds to hire private help, but lack of funds does not explain why HHS took so long to write regulations and specifications, keeping insurers at loose ends until as late as this summer, and preventing their biggest contractor from writing code until spring. It does not explain why officials decided to launch a system that was so badly behind schedule, or to keep insisting, against all evidence, that it wasn’t broken. What explains this long train of poor decision-making is some combination of bureaucratic inertia, a desire to hide what they were doing from voters who might not like it and a terrifying insouciance about how easy it might be to build a system of this size and complexity.

My best guess is that by the time HHS officials realized that they hadn’t left enough time, the only possibilities were: 1. Ask Republicans for a delay; or 2. Launch a not-very-well-built-or-tested system upon an unsuspecting public. No. 1 would have been unpleasant for several reasons. Obviously, it would have been a huge political black eye. Republicans would probably have responded by joyously agreeing to a delay — of a year or more, which would either mean launching right before the 2014 elections or possibly never launching at all. Administration officials weren’t going to put the president’s signature achievement at risk that way.

After all, if they launched a nonfunctioning system, at least the state exchanges would hopefully work, and if enough people in the states signed up, it would be too late for Republicans to demand a rollback. They’d get the system working in a few weeks, and then everything would be fine. I’m guessing that even at the end, the senior officials didn’t realize just how bad this was.

And as many of us predicted, ObamaCare may implode all on its own:

If the exchanges don’t get fixed soon, they could destroy Obamacare — and possibly, the rest of the private insurance market. The reason that the exchanges were so important was that they were needed to attract young, healthy people into the insurance system. The worry was that if insurance is hard to buy — if you have to do your own comparison shopping and then call the insurance company, and fax in some paperwork and two years of tax returns — that the young and the healthy simply won’t do it. Sick people and old people who were getting huge subsidies — and maybe the ability to buy insurance on the private market for the first time in a long while — would overcome any obstacles, because if you’re spending $15,000 a year on health care, it’s worth a lot of your time to make sure that you have insurance. But if your biggest annual health-care expense is contact lens solution, you may just decide to skip it and pay the fine.

The administration estimates that it needs 2.7 million young healthy people on the exchange, out of the 7 million total expected to apply in the first year. If the pool is too skewed — if it’s mostly old and sick people on the exchanges — then insurers will lose money, and next year, they’ll sharply increase premiums. The healthiest people will drop out, because insurance is no longer such a good deal for them. Rinse and repeat and you have effectively destroyed the market for individual insurance policies. It’s called the “death spiral,” and the exchanges, like the mandate, were designed to keep it from happening.

Without the exchanges, the death spiral seems almost assured. The amount of work required to find a policy, figure out your subsidy, buy coverage and file the paperwork will be very high. And it’s unlikely that folks who can’t even be bothered to go to ehealthinsurance.com right now will do it. The Affordable Care Act made the task of signing up young healthy people on the exchanges even harder with its much-loved requirement that companies allow kids to stay on their parents’ policies until they’re 26, which took millions of potential buyers out of the pool. The ones who are left are going to be disproportionately poorer and less well educated than the middle-class offspring who can get cheap insurance through mom and dad. There’s a reason that virtually every person you’ve seen written up in an article as they tried to get insurance at a community center or clinic is some combination of over 55, retired or afflicted with a serious chronic condition.

Once the death spiral happens, it’s very difficult to recover from. That’s why if the exchanges don’t work soon, we need to hit the reset button and try again next year. This will be very, very difficult: Insurers are already selling policies under the new regulations, and those regulations have driven up costs for existing buyers. People who have been counting on being able to buy insurance through the exchanges will have to spend another year without. And of course, it will be politically embarrassing. But it will be even more politically embarrassing to get to December and find out that we have commanded millions of Americans to buy insurance on a system that doesn’t work. And it is not a good bargain to cover some people now, but in doing so, to make insurance unaffordable for millions more in a few years. If we can’t launch the system correctly, then we need to wait until we can.

Which is all the more reason the Republicans should of fought harder to defund this horrible horrible law. At least fight to delay it. But no, when the Democrats didn’t blink our leadership folded like spineless jellyfish.

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

65 Responses to “Republicans Caving As ObamaCare Implodes”

  1. 51

    Ditto

    @Tom:

    I read that Thomas Sowell article too. This and other similar clams have been debunked, on the NRO no less. Short reason: this isn’t a bill “for raising revenue”.

    I did not base what I wrote on Sowell’s article (which I did not read,) but on the Federalist Papers and the Constitution. Nor is what I wrote “debunked,” by Franck’s opinion article, because I didn’t claim that spending bills could only be created by the House. Nice try, but no cigar.

    This all started with a clean CR. That’s the baseline.

    Wrong. This all started with a Democrat Congress and President’s refusal to pass a budget as required by previously passed law. You continue to show your willful ignorance to how our Constitutional legislature was designed to work. The House is not subordinate to the Senate, the Democratic party, the MSM nor President, and is under no compulsion to give in to their demands. They are under no compulsion whatsoever to pass “a clean CR” (Continuing Resolution) in order to ignore the budget law that previous Congress passed and was signed into law. The House may take “suggestions” for bills from whatever source they desire, but there has never been a requirement that the House must succumb to political pressure from outside sources, be they the President, Senate, Democratic party or MSM.

    James Madison (You remember him, the person who wrote the Constitution?) made it quite clear that the power of the purse could properly be used to defund bad laws or those which a president does not enforce faithfully. I find it curious that you continue to rant and rave about the House’s proper practice of it’s Constitutional powers and responsibilities, yet you ignore President Obama’s blatant violation of the separation of powers to unconstitutionally, unilaterally after the fact, rewrite a law that he himself signed into law, months later simply to favor political cronies. He has fundamentally altered the ACA in arbitrary and illegal manner. The Constitution grants no such power to the executive office, and Madison declared that it would be tyrannical for the Executive branch to so unconstitutionally expand it’s power.

  2. 52

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Ditto
    WHY THE REPUBLICAN LEFT OUT A PRICE LIMIT TO THE DEMS,
    IS IN IT WEIRD OF THEM, WHY OH WHY?
    LOOK AT THE MONEY SPENT IN ONLY 24 HOURS, CHECK ON Nan G,
    BYE

  3. 53

    Ditto

    @ilovebeeswarzone:

    The geomagnetic fields of celestial bodies strengthen and wane at various times and (as with Sol and the Earth,) can be affected by stronger nearby geomagnetic fields. Don’t allow the fear-mongering that these types of “scientific” programs present cause you to become overwrought. Certainly there are numerous possibilities of any number of natural disasters that could possibly happen, but a person could drive themselves mad worrying about them.

    It is however quite wise to make reasonable preparations in case of disasters, as has often been proven of late, you should not count on FEMA to pull your bacon out of the fire. I am very big on self-sufficiency and preparedness.

  4. 54

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Ditto
    thank you for the advice, yes to prepare is to survive, even with the minimum,
    because if we get too much we get the thieves taking it all,
    that’s when a gun is good to have, to scare away the one who try to steal what you have for your own people to come out alive,
    bye

  5. 55

    james Raider

    @ilovebeeswarzone: #48,
    I should confess before answering, MsBees, that I use Google for my searches because even though they irritatingly swamp you with “paying” sites, they still seem to bring us a very rapid and reasonably thorough result on a search. I also use other search engines, which are improving, and will probably become as useful and effective over the next few years. I don’t make much use of Google’s other products or services, although Google Earth is an awesome piece of work. However, . . .

    Without making this a long story, I have zero respect for Google’s senior management, and zero respect for its Board of Directors — for many reasons. Oh, and Eric Schmidt is a real self-righteous sleazeball (just listen to an interview with him and you’ll see it) -this is the moron who said, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place,” . . . yah, he actually said that, defending his invasion of YOUR PRIVACY. He’s just perfect for Obama’s socialist intentions.

    Numerous events tipped the scale for me including Google’s caving-in to China’s Communist Party and its efforts against dissenters and human rights advocates. Google decided it wanted the business so bad, that it aided the Communist Party in its suppression of citizens and actually, so did Yahoo. They pretended to put up resistance to certain censorship, but they’d crossed the line and from there everything else they did here and in China was suspect. What’s this got to do with their California employees and how they treat them? . . . everything. Google is competing hard for the really good talent which is always hard to find and they have the cash and stock value to do whatever it takes to hire and retain that talent. That doesn’t make senior management any more intelligent, principled, or wise.

    It’s never easy to find people to respect who have either morals or principals. But when you’re managing a very large and influential corporation, you have responsibilities beyond serving your own ego, and unfortunately, the senior ranks at Google are void of such awareness. I wouldn’t invest a dime in their stock, but that’s just a personal perspective.

  6. 56

    Ditto

    @ilovebeeswarzone:

    WHY THE REPUBLICAN LEFT OUT A PRICE LIMIT TO THE DEMS,
    IS IN IT WEIRD OF THEM, WHY OH WHY?…

    Because the majority of the Senate and House Republicans are progressives, and are not all that different from Democrats. Most are the same Republicans who set aside the so called “Contract for America”, once they got in office and adopted big spending practices similar to the Democrats. They give only enough “conservative” lip service to get elected, and then turn RINO/CINO when they get to Washington.

  7. 57

    ilovebeeswarzone

    James Raider
    that’s interesting to know, you have an opinion well made,
    because you know how business work and you are credible,
    they are powerfull, why would they not be moraly in front and stand up to CHINA,
    WHICH WAS THE ONE NEEDING THEM MORE THAN GOOGLE, THEY WOULD HAVE WIN WITHOUT HURTING THEIR MORALITY,
    I AM WITH THEM SINCE THE BEGINNING OF MY WEB START,
    THEY WHERE OKAY AND NOW ARE CHANGING SOME RULES IN NOVEMBER, AS THEY MENTIONED,
    BUT IT DOESN’T SEEM TO DRASTIC , AND SO FAR I HAVE BEEN SERVED WELL,
    THE BIGGEST ONE GET THE MORE DANGEROUS TO LOSE THEIR SOUL, THAT’S WHAT THEY HAVE TO WATCH, AND WHO WORK FOR THEM WHICH WOULD BE GIVEN TOO MUCH POWER AND DEMOLISH THE MORALITY OF THE BUSINESS,TO HAVE THEIR OWN SELFISH IDEA TO REPLACE IT,
    THE HEAD MIGHT HAVE BECOME TO COMPLIANT TO OUTSIDE FORCES PLANNED TO COPY THEM AND TAKE OVER LIKE CHIA IS KNOWN TO DO TO AMERICAN COMPANIES,
    BYE,

  8. 58

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Ditto
    well this time has come to get them out because the people can no more afford traitor
    to the party,
    there are so many who could work hard and they have the intelligence and will to regain AMERICA
    SHE IS SINKING IN A THICK MUDD AND MUST BE RESCUE NOW AS AN URGENCY,

  9. 59

    Aqua

    @Richard Wheeler:

    Did any sane person not forsee this result?

    Unfortunately. Great win for the democrats. The thrill of watching the debt ticker roll over to $17 Trillion was just fun for the whole family. I looked at my granddaughter and said, ‘honey, that’s all yours.’
    I also find myself befuddled as to how we got here in the first place. I was told by Obama, you, Greg, Tom, and a vast assortment of liberal commentators that once the Clinton era tax rates were put back in place on the wealthy, it would be all unicorns and rainbows.
    As for the healthcare law; you guys (democrats) are screwed. The website is a disaster. I looked at the source code and so have some of the smartest people in the computing world. I heard Robert Gibbs say the administration needed to load up an airplane full of Silicone Valley engineers and get this thing fixed. They can’t fix this monstrosity. They need to start over and it is going to take a long time. It just doesn’t matter how many people you put on the project, it is going to take time. We have a saying in engineering, and I’m sure other industries use it as well; nine women cannot have a baby in a month.

  10. 60

    Richard Wheeler

    @Aqua: The result I was speaking of was the Cruz wing not being able to hold the Boehner wing. Result—a huge waste of time and money.An unnecessary shutdown of govt. A boost for Cruz monetarily—and politically on a short term basis.
    Good luck to the “Noles” Real and proud Indians.

  11. 61

    retire05

    I recently read that the White House tours are now, once again, open.

    How can that be? The Administration claimed it shut the tours down due to the sequestration. Nothing has changed. Sequestration is still in effect, yet now the Oval Office can ignore what it claimed was the reason for the shut down of the tours before?

  12. 63

    ilovebeeswarzone

    SO, ALL TED CRUZ AND MIKE LEE AND RAND PAUL AND MARCO RUBIO
    WHERE RIGHT TO THE BEAM, OBAMA SHOULD HAVE LISTEN AND APPLY THEIR SMART DEMANDS
    INSTEAD HE INSULTED THEM, HE SHOULD HAVE THANK THEM FOR SPARING HIS FACE,
    OBAMA NEED ADVICES FROM THE CRUZ TEAM, WHO KNOW WHAT THE PEOPLE THINK OF HIS OBAMACARE, AND WHERE HE SHOULD STICK IT,

  13. 64

    Aqua

    @Richard Wheeler:

    The result I was speaking of was the Cruz wing not being able to hold the Boehner wing. Result—a huge waste of time and money.An unnecessary shutdown of govt. A boost for Cruz monetarily—and politically on a short term basis.

    I would have preferred Cruz and company gone another route, but I admire their honor. Just about everyone knew the Obamacare roll-out was going to be bad. One consultant said they would be lucky if it didn’t look like a third world application. Even knowing this, Cruz, Lee, and some of the House members stood on principle. So we have GOP members in the senate saying it’s better to let the ACA fall on its own. On the other side, we have GOP members saying the law is going to hurt people and needs to be stopped. Who has more honor? Those that say let the law fall on its own, while taking out the health insurance of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of families, or those that say let’s not let that happen? I’m going with the latter.

    Good luck to the “Noles” Real and proud Indians.

    I thought Clemson was going to be tough, but the Noles mauled them. We have Thug U and the Gators coming up. Two tough rivalries. Win those decisively and it could be Alabama and the Noles for the big game. The SEC is tough, and Alabama could probably play against some of the big boys on Sunday.

  14. 65

    Richard Wheeler

    @Aqua: Noles Q.B. is a cool cucumber going into Death Valley and declawing the Tigers.
    BCS today has them #2, jumping the Ducks. Ducks should win out. If Noles can do the same– Gators will be hungry—I’d think they got a shot at rolling The Tide for the title. Good luck– Irish in 2014.

    How do you see 2014 mid term House and Senate results playing out? 2016 Repub. nominee?

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