Stop Lying To Us: Whatever It Is, A “Glitch” It’s Not

Now that my head has explode, I need the website to work more than ever, because it's a pre-existing condition...

Now that my head has exploded, I need the website to work more than ever, because it’s a pre-existing condition! Oh, the irony!

The willingness of the media to embrace a carefully chosen cover-word favored by the Obama Administration to try to minimize the disgraceful failure of the Affordable Care Act website to function by deceiving the public regarding its seriousness and implications must be condemned, while not minimizing the blatant absence of respect and transparency President Obama is displaying by allowing such Orwellian tactics to take place with his approval.

Ah, that “transparent” administration! Where did it go? How despicable, and the sycophants, media hacks and Obama apologists are equally despicable for winking at such a cynical attempt at brain-washing by euphemism. The message: “Hey, no big deal! Nothing to see here! We’re doing fine! It’s minor!” It’s not minor. The episode, typical of the whole Obama experience, is reminiscent of one of my favorite exchanges in “Jurassic Park,” after the computer system has failed and prehistoric carnivores are running amuck:

 John Hammond: All major theme parks have delays. When they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked!
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but, John, if The Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.

The catastrophic failure of  Healthcare.gov is no “glitch.” Look it up! A glitch is a minor flaw; every definition of it includes “minor.” Most include “self-correcting.” The horrible design of the website has stalled the effective launch of Obamacare, wasted hundreds of thousands of hours, foiled many millions of dollars worth of efforts to correct the problem, and remains unsolved after three weeks! That’s no “glitch.” That’s not minor. That’s not just an inevitable flaw that even the best systems have to adjust to when they get started. That’s a failure. The O-ring that blew up the Space Shuttle wasn’t a glitch, and nobody had the wretched bad taste and disrespect for the victims to spin it as such. Three Mile Island wasn’t a glitch; the Eastern Seaboard Blackout wasn’t a glitch; 9/11 wasn’t a glitch;  Benghazi wasn’t a glitch. Neither is this.

The ridiculous failure of the website has real consequences, serious ones, that threaten the operation of the entire ACA scheme—for a scheme it is—and that may cost billions of dollars. As Michael Gerson correctly points out…

“The greatest risk in the implementation of Obamacare was always adverse selection — that the exchanges would not attract enough young and healthy people to make them economically viable. If there are too many sick people in an insurance system, premiums rise, further discouraging younger, healthier people from participating, resulting in higher premiums, etc. — the insurance “death spiral.”No one even considered the scenario we are now seeing: a partially working system in which it is difficult to sign up but not impossible. This means that the most motivated consumers (the sickest) are likely to persevere in creating accounts, while the younger and healthier are more likely to skip an unpleasant process and risk a minimal fine. “If they don’t get the necessary volume and demographic mix in the exchanges,” Yuval Levin of National Affairs told me, “it could set off a catastrophic adverse-selection spiral that would not only render the exchanges inoperable but badly damage our large health care systems.”

Maybe that won’t happen, but it’s no glitch. It is serious. The failure–that’s failure, not “glitch”—of the website might have the opposite effect, too. I heard a PhD computer programmer on the radio yesterday explaining his experience, which involved multiple calls to the 800 hotline and over four hours of effort. He finally opened an account, but it is “pending” while his financial data is being checked. He noted that he is well-educated, computer savvy, and probably of above average intelligence. “Obamacare was designed for a group that is largely poor, less well-educated and less technologically savvy,” he said. “What good will the system be if it is too frustrating and too difficult and time-consuming to use for the very people it needs to serve?”

Hey, don’t worry! It’s just a glitch!

This morning CNN Headline News babe Robin Meade cheerily said, “Well, you don’t have to use the website, right? You can do it over the phone!” WRONG, oh comely abetter of Obama Administration spin and accountability avoidance! That 800 number just gives you pleasant encouragement and guidance about the system that isn’t yet working…glitches, you know. How dare the media participate in this deception? But I must admit, Robin looked fetching, as always…

The utter dishonesty and disrespect for the public being displayed here is appalling. Here is our contemptuous President, “levelling with the American people” yesterday regarding the fiasco…I’m sorry! “Glitch”:

  • “Of course, you’ve probably heard that healthcare.gov, the new website where people can apply for health insurance and browse and buy affordable plans in most states, hasn’t worked as smoothly as it was supposed to work…” Deceit and an insult. The website has not worked.
  • “…the number of people who’ve visited the site has been overwhelming, which has aggravated some of these underlying problems.” Lie. We know that the problem is systemic, and is not merely a matter of too much volume.
  • “You may not know it, but you’re already benefiting from these provisions in the law. For example, because of the Affordable Care Act, young people like Jasmine Jennings and Jessica Ugladai and Ezra Salap  — all of whom are here today — they’ve been able to stay on their parent’s plans until they’re 26. Millions of other young people are currently benefitting that — from that part of the law.”  Deceit. Who -is “you”? “You” are benefiting already, because Jasmine and Jessica and Ezra are benefitting? How is that possible? I am not benefiting, because I can’t get the damn website to work!
  • “So there are a wide range of consumer protections and benefits that you already have if you’ve got health insurance. You may not have noticed them, but you’ve got them and they’re not going anywhere and they’re not dependent on a website.” Lie. The ACA is an integrated program, sold, dishonestly, to the American people on the optimistic claim that it would address the insurance problem without costing more money than it brings in. If the website undermines the delicate balance of incentives, the system will be expensive and inefficient.
  • N“So the fact is, the product of the Affordable Care Act for people without health insurance is quality health insurance that’s affordable. And that product is working. It’s really good. And it turns out there’s a massive demand for it. So far, the national website, healthcare.gov, has been visited nearly 20 million times.Twenty million times. And there’s great demand at the state level, as well because there are a bunch of states that are running their own marketplaces.” No, it’s NOT working, because people can’t access it. This spin is so insulting, such obvious, contemptuous snake oil, that the news media should be screaming, shouting, protesting. No, they’re talking about glitches. How dare the President boast about twenty million visitors to the website when  those visitors were frustrated, cut off, and bounced around, their time wasted and misused? This is like a restaurant that gave its customers salmonella boasting about the fact that there was a waiting list to get in! How dare our leader talk to us as if we’re idiots? How dare the news media treat it as acceptable?
  • “Every day people who were stuck with sky-high premiums because of pre-existing conditions are getting affordable insurance for the first time, or finding . . . that they’re saving a lot of money. Every day women are finally buying coverage that doesn’t charge them higher premiums than men for the same care.” Again, deceit. James Taranto explains:

“If Obama is accurately describing the typical ObamaCare enrollee, then the program’s economic death spiral is under way. ObamaCare can work only if people without pre-existing conditions prove willing to pay jacked-up premiums and, since he mentioned it, if men are willing to pick up the tab for those lowered (or less steeply raised) premiums for women.”

  • “Keep in mind the insurance doesn’t start until January 1st. That’s the earliest that the insurance can kick in.”  Double talk . So the insurance is “working already,” but it hasn’t started yet. If it hasn’t started yet, it can’t be working.

That’s enough. We cannot trust a leader willing to look us in the face and utter such transparent (though designed to avoid transparency) garbage. We should not trust a massive new system managed by a bureaucracy that cannot get a key operating component to work after years of lead time and three weeks of furious repairs. We should regard with undiluted disgust a journalistic establishment that allows itself to be complicit in insulting and misdirecting the public by calling such a ominous mess effecting millions of Americans a glitch.

It is not a glitch, and anyone who calls it that is a liar and trying to mislead you.

_______________________
Sources: Washington Post 1,2; WSJ

141 thoughts on “Stop Lying To Us: Whatever It Is, A “Glitch” It’s Not

  1. All true, and all of it irrelevant. As was pointed out again and again during the ill-conceived shutdown, this law and everything that goes with it are here to stay, and the President, who’s also here to stay for 3 more years, does not have to do anything more than double down on it.

      • I absolutely agree, Jack, and I watch this all in dismay, but the fact is that the media is so deep in Obama’s pocket that he could say the sky was green and the media would either brush past it or call it a minor mistake that didn’t matter. The leadership isn’t just sub-standard, it’s non-existent at this point. That’s what happens when voters get so stoked up to vote against something that they don’t notice what they are voting for, or when voters elect rock stars over statesmen. In this case we have both factors coupled with the aforementioned compliant media and a presidential machine that has done one hell of a job shooting down anyone who even HINTS that the president might be wrong or that his signature accomplishment might not be all that it’s cracked up to be. I think it was Mark Twain who said something to the effect that a lie can travel the world before the truth can get its shoes on. In this day of instant tweets and texts, a lie can travel to the MOON and back before the truth is even awake, and the current leadership is making maximum use of that swiftness and the ease of reading these lies to ensure it stays in power and popular.

        • As an aside, let’s finally get Mark Twain off this quote. He never said it, but it’s always attributed to him. “A lie can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on” was most probably originated by C. H. Spurgeon (1834 – 1892), a prominent Baptist preacher and prolific author and writer.

          • That’s why I said I THINK it was him. Perhaps his name got associated with it because it’s easy to remember. That said, the saying holds. Although I also agree with Winston Churchill’s comment to the effect that sometimes (i.e. wartime, when a nation is fighting for its life) the truth is important enough that it needs to be protected by a bodyguard of lies, official lying is a tool that should be used rarely and only for truths that could endanger a nation’s survival or vital interests if they leak out.

            This isn’t a question of Clinton-era lying about not-as-consequential things to avoid justified embarassment to a president who acted like a pig. This isn’t a question of Cold-War-era lying to keep useful facts that not everyone needed to know out of the hands of an aggressive, predatory enemy. This certainly isn’t WWII-era outright propaganda and lying to keep sensitive information away from spies when there was a very real question of the whole world as we knew it changing, and not for the better.

            What we have here is lying becoming an official tool to sell official policy to an American public that has proven itself increasingly gullible and willing to accept whatever pronouncement comes from the White House, not unlike parishioners of 60-70 years ago accepting without question whatever Father said in his sermon. What is more, the current slate of leaders in this nation are, I believe, not all that concerned whether or not they are selling good or bad policy, it is simply that they are selling THEIR policy, and, by hook or by crook, they are going to see it through, no matter what the consequences may be. Even GWB knew when to back off on hard-selling the Iraq War when it became clear the occupation wasn’t going as well as we’d have liked and sacked its architect (Rumsfeld). Obama is going to see this through, no matter what it costs the American people, and if he has to lie to do it, then too bad.

    • Why is it “here to stay” more than any other law is? Laws are amended or repealed all the time. In what way is this one any more immune from that than other laws? Also, what shutdown? You mean the recently concluded political theater, where 18% of government workers were furloughed, and with full back pay? (The rest of the working world refers to that as a paid vacation.) That’s a slowdown, not a shutdown.

  2. Oh, and to the issue of adverse selection…

    adverse selection was hard coded into the system. The ACA needs every possible 18-25 year old possible to sign up and pay hundreds of dollars a month (for coverage they likely won’t need for years and years, and for deductibles of $12,000 and up), but at the same time they don’t have to because they can all stay on their parents insurance, which won’t increase by individually equivalent amounts.

    Failure was preordained, we fucking told you it was preordained, and the best that president McBumblefuck can do is say the people not being supportive caused the website to fail? Seriously? The coders failed because the audience didn’t clap loud enough for Tinkerbell?

    Fuck him, and fuck every single person making excuses for this clusterfuck.

    Mencken was right… Now if only I could find my knife and black flag…

    • “say the people not being supportive caused the website to fail?”

      That’s an inherent statist response to everything.

      That excuse and it’s plethora of sub-categories:
      “Not enough money was spent”
      “People didn’t believe in it hard enough”
      (insert group we need to vilify) undermined it, it’s their fault”
      etc etc

      is the excuse almost always fallen back on for why collectivist solutions don’t work for almost everything.

      I’m surprised subtle rhetoric hasn’t already been tested involving accusations of direct sabotage by conservatives.

      • I’m surprised subtle rhetoric hasn’t already been tested involving accusations of direct sabotage by conservatives.
        ************
        Give it time.
        Last Friday I flipped by MSNBC long enough to hear Old Tinkle Legs say, “because of the GOP Shutdown…”.

        • ” I flipped by MSNBC ”

          I only flip by MSNBC when I’m trying to get from the equally credible “Ancient Aliens” to the slightly less credible “Keeping up with the Kardashians”.*

          *No, I don’t watch these shows.**

          **only the tail end of Ancient Aliens if the ‘History’ Channel ever accidentally has something about history on afterwards.

  3. A better film analogy would be “Robocop II”, where a killer robot- directed by the brain of a mad killer- despatches a demonstrator with a gatling gun in front of an audience. “It’s just a glitch”, cries out its sponsor. In fact, that might be an analogy worthy of the entire Obama regime, not just his health care racket.

  4. This reminded me of a minor rant by one of my college professors when someone referred to the “Chernobyl Accident.” Much as a massive failure isn’t a “glitch,” something that can be blamed directly on poor human decisions isn’t an accident (as in the Chernobyl techs testing the auxiliary systems by shutting off the cooling fans at shift change. Whoopsy.)

    And wasn’t the 11th version of Robocop the one where he was in a TV Series and used nonlethal alternatives and it was a police prodcedural and oh god I wish I were making that turd up…

    • Oh, Chernobyl was much worse than that. And it wasn’t a shift change and the cooling fans on that one (that sounds more similar to 3 Mile Island, actually). They had the wrong people, a terrible idea, and execution so poor it bordered on sabotage. They actually manually pulled out the FIXED control rods, the ones that that are never supposed to be removed to cause their disaster.

    • That’s nothing, Luke. Consider such cinematic cartels as “Planet of the Apes” and “Twilight”. Definition of a Cult Classic: Something so atrociously bad that it acquires a morbid fascination among the public for that reason alone.

      Chernobyl was the result of a primative “swimming pool” type reactor with few backups, no containment structure and a poorly trained crew going as wrong as wrong can be. Three Mile Island was one of three reactors that had every virtue Chernobyl didn’t, yet the crew panicked and did just about everything wrong. Despite that, the containment dome held with only a minor release of steam that posed no real hazard. The big outrage was that they managed to destroy the functionality of that reactor to the detriment of the taxpayers. That “China Syndrome” stuff was the sheerest moonshine..

      • Dammit, Jim, I’m a microbiologist, not a nuclear scientist! The class was actually on epidemiology and used Chernobyl as an example of a “natural experiment-” We could never deliberately do that just to see what happened, but once it happened it was a great opportunity to watch the effects. We didn’t get too deep into exactly how things went down, it was just a rabbit-trail when someone referred to Chernobyl as an accident.

        Oh, and I’ll stake my flag out here and say that the plot of the Twilight books wasn’t too bad. They seem to have been the product of an imaginitive mind trying to tell a moderately interesting story, handicapped by terrible vocabulary and an insistence on making OMG HIGH SCHOOL LUURRVEEEE the most important force in th euniverse.

        • A classic “He’s dead, Jim” scenario! There are few things more eerie than walking through a hastily abandoned ghost town (more like a ghost county in this case) and seeing how things have slowly fallen into ruin. I guess it’s just as well that the Chernobyl area didn’t devolve into a science fiction post-Armageddon nightmare. That movie “The Day The World Ended” scared the Hell out of me as a kid!

          As to Twilight; if I had to indulge in mindless teenage fantasy once more, I’d still take Frankie & Annette over that moronicity. For those who like a lot of monsters, I’d first recommend “Abbott & Constello Meet Frankenstein”! Better monsters and more laughs.

  5. There is a lot of misunderstanding of health insurance and insurance markets in these discussions about the ACA/Obamacare.

    You are correct that it was not a glitch. The software engineers in charge wrote shoddy code and the people in charge of the infrastructure didn’t put enough muscle behind the system to handle the large loads.

    However, I find it dishonest (if not unethical) for people to suggest that because the implementation of the code is bad that the law will be bad. And that is the assertion that a lot of people seem to be making.

    One thing that needs to be remembered is that the national exchange is only needed for states that refused to implement their own exchanges. Oddly enough, those states that refused to implement their own exchanges are typically Conservative leaning ones who would tend to not want the Federal Government to have more power…. except that is exactly what they gave to the federal government by allowing the feds to implement the exchanges for them. They gave the feds more power.

    California has its own exchange. I know people who have signed up for exchange plans in CA.

    Now, on to some of the specific comments:

    “Deceit. Who -is “you”? ”
    You have never heard of the general “you” and not the specific “you”? Seriously.

    “I am not benefiting, because I can’t get the damn website to work! ”
    Not all benefits come from an exchange website provided insurance plan. Benefits also come, via the law, on the coverage requirements that are already supposed to be implemented. http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/timeline/timeline-text.html

    “How dare the President boast about twenty million visitors to the website”
    He talks about the visitors to the website to contradict the false claim by tea party folks that Americans’ dont want these insurance plans. The vast amount of people trying to log on proves otherwise.

    “ObamaCare can work only if people without pre-existing conditions prove willing to pay jacked-up premiums ”
    I reject this. Why? Because it is how group insurance works. When you work for an employer, the entire group pays one rate. That one rate doesn’t care if you were sick beforehand or otherwise. The pooling effect allows for lower risk insureds to offset the costs of the higher risk insureds. They do not pay “jacked up premiums” for the higher risked people. The pools are just large enough to enable the dings that come with those who have health issues to be offset by those who do not. Through these exchanges you should be able to get the pooling effect that you see for group insurance in the individual market.

    “Double talk . So the insurance is “working already,” but it hasn’t started yet. If it hasn’t started yet, it can’t be working.”
    Not double talk. Talking about two distinct things. 1) The benefits already in place to those who have insurance. 2) The insurance plans that start January first that you can obtain via the exchanges. Those plans in 2 have the benefits in 1. But other plans also have the benefits of 1.

        • The software engineers in charge wrote shoddy code and the people in charge of the infrastructure didn’t put enough muscle behind the system to handle the large loads.

          No, the problem is that it crosschecks in real time many separate government databases, and one of which, shod it time out (due to load) will produce an error. Not only does healthcare.gov need to have massive load capability, but so does the IRS, Social Security, etc.

          For some reason (read “utter stupidity”) they apparently thought that it won’t be a problem if systems that haven’t been updated since probably Clinton were polled for data by a single source many thousands of times a second.

          One thing that needs to be remembered is that the national exchange is only needed for states that refused to implement their own exchanges. Oddly enough, those states that refused to implement their own exchanges are typically Conservative leaning ones who would tend to not want the Federal Government to have more power…. except that is exactly what they gave to the federal government by allowing the feds to implement the exchanges for them. They gave the feds more power.

          California has its own exchange. I know people who have signed up for exchange plans in CA.

          Wrong. See the above for why. All sites have to use the same infrastructure, and that means they all suck. And again, Illinois didn’t refuse the money and we are using the healthcare.gov site, and it does not work. Period.

          And your belief that people are using it successfully proves that you don’t know the difference between “signed up for the site” and “signed up for Obamacare”. You will carefully note that they aren’t releasing the number of people who are buying plans, just people who, despite the odds, have managed to get an account on the site.

          Not all benefits come from an exchange website provided insurance plan. Benefits also come, via the law, on the coverage requirements that are already supposed to be implemented

          Yes, benefits like Major Medical policies now being illegal…

          The vast amount of people trying to log on proves otherwise.

          Or it proves that they are merely curious about what they would cost, since a lot of plans are getting canceled (like employers dumping coverage, or providers cut telling people their plans won’t be renewed).

          Because it is how group insurance works. When you work for an employer, the entire group pays one rate. That one rate doesn’t care if you were sick beforehand or otherwise. The pooling effect allows for lower risk insureds to offset the costs of the higher risk insureds. They do not pay “jacked up premiums” for the higher risked people. The pools are just large enough to enable the dings that come with those who have health issues to be offset by those who do not. Through these exchanges you should be able to get the pooling effect that you see for group insurance in the individual market.

          Again, you are either lying, or a moron. To start with, people with higher risk currently pay higher premiums. The new model is that those people pay the same as lower-risk people. As a result, the only way it can work is if the not sick pay more. In addition, the people most desiring this new coverage are, by definition, those who are sick and/or currently uninsurable. Every single person like that who signs on is a massive cost increase, requiring those who won’t use the coverage to pay, and many of those people don’t. Want. The plans. No 22 year old wants to spend anything on insurance for something that they think only happens to old people. They just don’t. A huge percentage of the uninsured right now are those who don’t want insurance – they made a choice to not get a policy. I, for example, have never – not once – gotten insurance through an employer. Never. Ever. Because I am “young” and frankly will only need it if something truly horrible happens to me (like getting hit by a bus).

          Look, it is simple numbers… To even come close to not being a net drain (and even if it worked perfectly as designed it would be a net drain, but we will assume it was once possible to be revenue neutral), the system needs people who won’t use resources to pay into the system. This is unlikely to happen for a number of reasons.

          1) The young don’t have to sign up. They can simply stay on their parents policy till they are 26 and not pay into the system. Since their parents likely ARE consuming HC resources, this is not a net gain. We will be kind and call it break even.

          2) The young, tech savvy generation do not suffer failure lightly. If some tech thing doesn’t work in the first couple of weeks, they will abandon it. If they can’t get the website to work in the first couple of tries, they just won’t come back. This is what I like to call the “habit-forming” stage – you see it in gaming constantly. If the game doesn’t work out of the box, adoption becomes almost impossible (if multiplayer is broken for a new release, you have maybe a week to fix it. If you fail to do so, the majority will never spend a significant amount of time with it ever).

          3) Even if someone wants to buy, you have cost issues. If you currently have a Major Medical plan, you will be losing it. You then get to pay many times more a month and get a huge deductible to boot. Say your MM costs 200 a month (they are usually cheaper), and the ACA plan is 600 a month… It doesn’t matter that a similar plan would normally cost 800, because you are still paying more than you were before – you have not saved anything. It would be cheaper to not get any coverage and simply pay the penalty. That would be the rational choice from an economic standpoint, and it is what I predict most will do.

          4) In with all of the above, you have the people who will cost the system the most – those who are currently uninsurable. They are the most likely to be the ones to sign up first, the most willing to spend 20 hours to get signed up and get a plan. I would wager heavily that these people make up the vast bulk (around 75%) of those who have actually gotten plans.

          As of not too long ago, the number of people who had signed up for the website (again, not gotten a plan, merely gotten a user name and password) was sub 500k. The number of people who have gotten plans is maybe – MAYBE – half that (and I suspect far less than half, say 30% or so at best).

          If you don’t understand why this system can’t work, if you keep thinking “it is only because of a lack of support that it fails”, then you are just beyond all help.

          Because all of this ignores the fact that there won’t be enough doctors to see these people.

          If you don’t understand THAT, then I could try to explain it to you, but I fear you won’t grasp that, either…

              • Great comments today, Steve-O. Spot on. I wonder how many investigative journalists are going to follow all that money, the…what was it? $630 million? that went into development of the website? How much of that has been paid out for actual services rendered, and how much of it is still in a holding account, awaiting directions for financing certain election campaigns?

                Yes: that is the level of earned distrust of certain political powers which is the new normal – fact.

                • You left out one of the better one’s concerning the website, Eeyoure. Namely, that the $630 million was seven times what the government had said it would cost.

                  • People don’t even raise their eyebrows to this sort of thing anymore, Karl. It’s become expected. Nor does anything less than a trillion dollars register. A million here and a billion there. For myself, I look on in awe that a computer system that did anything less than hold every piece of knowledge in Man’s history could nevertheless cost two thirds of a billion dollars… and still not work! The stark needlessness of the entire system in the first place is only another aspect.

                    • CBO is compelled to calculate projections based on the law working out perfectly and there being no fraud, waste, or abuse. Also it only projects 10 years out.

                    • They are better than best case scenario… If the CBO is told to assume something that is not true and can’t possibly be true (like a transportation bill that assumes gas prices of $1.00), they have to score it using those assumptions.

                      They aren’t best case, they are impossible case…

          • “Not only does healthcare.gov need to have massive load capability, but so does the IRS, Social Security, etc.”

            I.E. the people in charge of the infrastructure. Nothing you said her disproves what I said. Next…

            “Wrong. See the above for why. All sites have to use the same infrastructure, and that means they all suck. And again, Illinois didn’t refuse the money and we are using the healthcare.gov site, and it does not work. Period”

            There is a difference between rejecting the medicaid expansion and settign up your own exchange. Next…

            “And your belief that people are using it successfully proves that you don’t know the difference between “signed up for the site” and “signed up for Obamacare”. ”

            Are you high? I mean seriously, what kind of drugs are you smoking. Where did I say that people are using it successfully? I never said that. As I said prior, you are a liar. I never expect you to tell the truth. Good thing I didn’t hold my breath. I absolutely know that there is a difference between people signing up to use the site and signing up for a plan via the exchange. That you would take what I said and interpret it in the way that you did is just ridiculous. Next…

            “Yes, benefits like Major Medical policies now being illegal…”

            B.S. Next…

            “Again, you are either lying, or a moron. To start with, people with higher risk currently pay higher premiums”
            Not in group insurance. Next…

            “As a result, the only way it can work is if the not sick pay more.”
            Not in group insurance. Next…

            “In addition, the people most desiring this new coverage are, by definition, those who are sick and/or currently uninsurable.”
            So all those people you spoke of previously who are losing plans for whatever reason…. those people are sick or uninsurable? LOL. You cannot have it both ways. If employers are dropping mass amounts of people for whatever reason then it is not just the sick or uninsurable who are going to be getting new coverage. Make up your mind.

            “No 22 year old wants to spend anything on insurance for something that they think only happens to old people.”

            When I was 22 I made sure to have insurance. Most responsble people do. I do not believe I was alone in wanting to make sure I would be covered in a medical accident or extreme sickness. And now, if that 22 year old cannot find a job that has insurance as a benefit, they can stay insured on the insurance of their parents AND see the benefits of having insurance.

            “I, for example, have never – not once – gotten insurance through an employer. Never. Ever. Because I am “young” and frankly will only need it if something truly horrible happens to me (like getting hit by a bus).”
            My anecdotal experience differ from yours.

            “The young, tech savvy generation do not suffer failure lightly. If some tech thing doesn’t work in the first couple of weeks, they will abandon it. If they can’t get the website to work in the first couple of tries, they just won’t come back.”

            Right, that is why they stand in line for hours to be the first to get something even though they know it is likely to start off buggy. And that is why they stand in line again when the next release comes out.

            “If you currently have a Major Medical plan, you will be losing it. ”
            I will let you know in a few weeks if I lose mine. My work anticipates no major changes in the plans offered.

            “Because all of this ignores the fact that there won’t be enough doctors to see these people.”
            Oh, that lie. Too funny.

            The same number of people are currently in the system as will be in the system under the ACA. They can get treatment at the ER. That is a drain on the system and an inefficient use of resources. It also means that costs are passed on to the paying customers when people who cannot afford insurance allow their problems to become so great that they have to use an ER.

            The ACA only shifts where the people receive healthcare services. It doesn’t add a single soul to the system. Why? Because they are ALL currently in the system.

            • It’s too bad the anti-Obamacare folks got the delay they so much wanted. I, too, object to the use of the term “glitch.” The problems are serious and will take time to fix–but they will be fixed. When they are, people are going to find out they like it. Just ask the governors of Oregon, Washington, and Kentucky, who have thousands of people signing up and apparently like what they see and are willing to put up with some hassle to get health care.

              Personally, I think they should have called it the Personal Responsibility and Affordable Care Act, because I think it is my responsibility to pay a little more so that people who are sicker than me or poorer than me can get health care. I have also tried to instill that sense of responsibility in my daughters who are in that group that need to participate.

              The health care law has actually increased in popularity in the last month. Can’t help but think it has something to do with the people who have been able to access the web site (also the idiocy of the Republicans, to give credit where credit is due). It is only going to be more popular once more people can find out what the plans and rates are.

              Oh, and by the way, you can indeed apply and enroll by calling the 800 number. And navigators have access to calculators that can estimate your rates based on your age, income an residence, and in some cases can show you the actual plans offered by insurance companies.

              • Krusty is coming… Krusty is coming… Seriously? People are already finding out they DON’T like it as the letters arrive telling them their plan is cancelled, or their premium is about to double or the bronze plan is less coverage for more money. You’re not on the president’s payroll and you don’t have to add to the lies by shilling for this idiocy.

              • The healthcare law also increase with popularity as people are educated more about what the actual benefits are. The people who are most against it tend to be the least informed.

                • The people who are most against it tend to be the least informed.

                  Really? That’s odd, because we have yet to be wrong with a single prediction…

                  Doctors will quit and/or reduce the number of Medicare patients they will accept?

                  Check.

                  Premiums will increase?

                  Check.

                  The system won’t work?

                  Check.

                  It will be rife with fraud and abuse?

                  Check.

                  Employers will hold on hiring/lay of/cut hours in reaction to Obamacare?

                  Check.

                  Employers/insurance providers will drop people’s coverage?

                  Check.

                  People will not, in fact, be able to keep their doctors?

                  Check.

                  For being uninformed, we sure are right a lot…

                  • There may be doctors opting out of treating Medicare patients, but the number of doctors accepting Medicare has actually increased since 2007 from 87.9 to 90.7 per cent in 2012.

                    Some premiums will increase, due to a number of factors: the ACA requires that insurance companies include a range of preventive services such as well woman exams, pregnancy, and immunizations. So people are getting more for their money. And insurance premiums were going up anyway; the increase cannot be directly linked to Obamacare. In fact, insurance rates are increasing at a lower rate than ever. There is no objective data showing that insurance rates are “skyrocketing,” or that it is directly due to the health care law.

                    You’re right. The system is not working. But it will.

                    If you’re referring to the fraud and abuse of the people who set up the website, right on. If you’re referring to use of the site itself being “rife” with abuse, please show your sources.

                    There are many reasons employers are holding off on hiring, including the circus we just witnessed in congress. In fact, the number of people who are working part time against their wishes has actually decreased, and the number of full time people has increased.

                    The trend of employers was to drop coverage for employees and their families anyway. It cannot be directly linked to the ACA but it sure is handy excuse for being an asshole, isn’t it? In some cases, people are finding they can get a better deal by going to the Market Place than they were getting from their employer.

                    It’s true that some people may find that their doctor is not included in their health care plan, but this is a small percentage, as most people are still covered by their employer’s insurance and are not affected. Also, the vast majority of people signing up do not have insurance, so do not now have a relationship with a doctor.

            • Your arguments might make sense if you actually talked TO the other person rather than just snarking AT him. Seriously, this is a lot of heat, very little light, and 2 people patting themselves on the back for being smarter than the other.

          • AM — if you keep touting this “stay on your parents insurance till your 26,” I am going to lose it. First, that assumes your parents have insurance. Many parents don’t have insurance because of the chronic unemployment or underemployment in this country. Second, many parents retire early – and sometimes not voluntarily. Mine retired when I was 18. My dad owned his own business and decided he had enough to live on once I graduated high school. He was not wealthy though, so he didn’t buy me coverage. Or – if parents have kids later in life – they will be on Medicare before their kids turn 26. My husband is older than me and he will be on Medicare well before our kids turn 26. Personally, I went through most of my early to late-twenties without insurance (my law school required it and it was added to tuition). Here’s the fun fact about being a woman. We really need to go to a doctor every year starting around 16 — whether or not we are sexually active – and those tests and possible treatments are expensive.

            Also – you as well as some others on this site – don’t seem to have a good grasp of how group insurance works. If you and I worked for the same company (Just think of all the fun lunches we would have!), assuming we picked the same plan, our costs and our employer’s costs would be identical. This would be true regardless of our age, gender, and medical history. Because the pool is larger, insurance companies are gambling that even if someone comes on plan with Stage 3 breast cancer, there will be enough healthy people on that plan to cover those costs. This is not magic, it’s math. The larger the pool, the more the risk will be spread. We already guarantee coverage for the most at-risk in this nation – the 65 and over crowd and the poor. Adding the rest of us who are relatively healthy and are under 65? That just makes the math easier.

                • I thought about writing about statistics, averages, etc. but I have better things to do. So, let’s just say you’re right. If EVERYONE is covered, that means it will be more expensive for healthy people. But everyone gets sick and dies some time. So if your math is right, then the free market doesn’t work.

                  • No, because the people with higher risk should have to pay more, the lower risk should have to pay less – the increase is likely cost to the insurer should be carried by the people causing the increase. THAT would be “free market”. Forcing the healthy to shoulder the burden of the sick is socialistic.

                    • Worse, it has warped incentives. The way to encourage healthier life-style habits is to make people pay for the results of poor ones…including, by the way, not carrying insurance. If someone gambles and loses, make them pay the full medical costs, even if it takes all their earthly possessions and a lifetime of debt. That would probably drive most of the voluntarily uninsured onto the rolls…which the inadequate mandate penalties does not, and some say, intentionally so.

                    • But everybody is high risk at some time in their lives. Even if you are born with great genes and manage to live an accident-free-never-had-a-serious-illness lifestyle, cancer, stroke, or a heart attack will come to you one day. And if you happen to be uninsured at the time — few people can work if they are 80, and if they can’t, NO insurance company will give them coverage at 80 – you are SOL. That’s the problem. Sure, my company gives me coverage right now. But I am also young and healthy – that’s why I am working. People can’t save for retirement or college for their kids. Now we’re going to ask people to set up a rainy day $100,000 heart attack fund? This, of course, doesn’t even address the chronic underemployment in this country. Sorry, but your minimum wage job at Walmart isn’t going to cover your heart attack – or even your dialysis because you can only afford to eat Lucky Charms in bulk.

                      As to Jack’s point below. What about the family that can’t afford health insurance and their employers don’t provide coverage? Should the family not get a life-saving operation for their child because they will never be able to pay back the debt? Or antibiotics for a serious infection? If it will forever plunge the family into bankruptcy, they will opt for taking the odds that the child will get better on his own.

                    • That poor family could have gotten a Major Medical plan for maybe 100 bucks. Instead they will be forced to get a plan that will cost far more a month, plus have a deductible that poor family will never be able to afford.

                      Great work! You just fuxked them harder than if they had nothing and just Got thr treatment and filed for medical bankruptcy.

                    • You are insane. 1. Major medical does not cut it. 2. Even if it did, you show me an elderly or high risk individual who can get major medical for $100/month.

          • To start with, people with higher risk currently pay higher premiums. The new model is that those people pay the same as lower-risk people.

            Why is that a problem?

            Do not people with multiple pre-existing drunk driving convictions pay the same rates for auto insurance as people with perfect driving records?

            • Not even close, dude. You pay more for the type of car you insure (rare/classic cars cost more to insure than a Camry, sports cards more than a hybrid or sedan), your age, gender, and most especially your driving record. Why do you think people worry about their rates going up if they report an accident?

              • I’d point out that the comparison of health insurance to auto insurance is a pretty bad analogy. Apples & oranges, in fact. Auto insurance is mandated by the states because driving a car is an earned privilege based on competency and a record of responsibility. Medical insurance is (was!) a personal matter between an individual, his insurer and his doctor. It also involves highly personal information that no government entity should have access to short of a court ordered subpoena… not to mention the control of life and finances inherent in the entire scheme.

        • Well Dan, I think it is poor form to blame shoddy coding when all the analysis I have been seeing indicates it was the design requirements of the site that are the problem. It also seems to indicate that the problematic features of the site were demanded very late in the game and implemented in August at the earliest, which is poor management. The failures do not seem to be because of insufficient computing power, but are because the site requires people to enroll BEFORE they can see the plans. This requires data to be instantly requested and retrieved from several federal and/or state agencies (IRS, INS, etc). This is the feature that was a disaster and it was a very recent requirement on the site. The software engineers seem to have communicated that these late changes couldn’t be made to work smoothly.

          In short, shoddy coding is only a small part of the problem. The very conception of how the site would work caused these problems. The ideology of AHA is what caused this problem (you can’t let people see what the plans REALLY cost, can you?). The government was also made aware of this when testing showed that even a few hundred people would crash the system. It was implemented anyway, knowing it would fail catastrophically. Now remember, these same people want us to trust them with our healthcare.

          Its easy to pass the buck and blame the little guy. He doesn’t have the untied press doing PR for him.

          http://news.yahoo.com/house-republicans-probe-white-house-role-health-care-160320409–sector.html

          http://finance.yahoo.com/news/healthcare-govs-flaws-found-fixes-232400970.html

          http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/10/22/links-22-oct-a-tech-surge-might-not-cure-healthcare-gov/

    • “However, I find it dishonest (if not unethical) for people to suggest that because the implementation of the code is bad that the law will be bad. And that is the assertion that a lot of people seem to be making.”

      Of course they are, because it is a logical conclusion. Dan, I think it is mindboggling, and proof of hwo iron-clad confirmation bias paralyzes thought, that you don’t comprehend this. A huge new complex bureaucracy is created by law. Nobody reads the whole thing; it requires tons of regulations, also unseen, to work at all. It does not have strong support politically of popularly, and nobody can explain it except in platitudes. It’s opponents say: “This is crazy! This is too big, and the government isn’t competent to take this on! Moreover, it is Jurassic Park—it is so complex and dependent on aspects subject to human error that disaster is inevitable!!”

      “Oh, no!” say its advocates, who haven’t read the bill, “That’s not true! You’ll see!” And the very first test of whether the program can be competently managed and fulfill its promises fails spectacularly. Not even that, but nobody is held responsible, and the law’s managers lie about it, saying idiotic things like, “See? Look how many people tried to use it!”

      And you say it is “dishonest” for those who predicted this, and whose judgement about the ability of the government to deliver it confirms (though does not prove), to point to the incident to as further proof that the sales pitch was bull hockey?

      Just… wow.

      • Would it be dishonest to suggest that a baseball player will be a bad player because he strikes out at his first at bat? I am sure some people anticipate that player would be good. Others likely thought he should stay in the minors longer for development. But at the end of the day, seeing a batter strike out at his first at bat is not an honest way to judge how he will perform in the future.

        They could have (and should have) done a better job with the site. To suggest that because they didn’t is proof that the overall law will not work is ABSOLUTELY disingenuous (at the very least).

        • Terrible analogy. Better one:

          Would you continue to trust a self-described all star who shows up and tells a coach “you need me, and I’ll win every game for you, I’m the best there is at baseball”. Then the coach says “great, go out to home plate, I want to see you zing a few out of the park.” Then the self described all star walks to the pitcher’s mound and holds the baseball bat upside down and yell’s “OK coach toss me a few of those little white round things”.

      • The Kennedy Center’s website crashed the day Book of Mormon tickets went on sale this year. Regular subscribers were on hold for hours and many didn’t get tickets at all. My friend waited in line for 5 hours to get our group tickets. The fiasco was so bad that the WP did a story on it. It was the best damn show I’ve ever seen there.

        • Did the Kennedy Center spend over $600,000,000 and 3 years to prepare their website? Does the Kennedy Center’s website hinge on a law compelling people to purchase from there?

          No.

          You’re using the “They’re just as bad” rationalization #2 or the “Nobody’s Perfect” rationalization #18. If not, then it’s a flawed analogy; you see, the Kennedy Center’s impact is tiny compared to the failure of the Obamacare Website.

          • No. I am saying that a bad website doesn’t equal a bad product. Even if it took me a week to sign up for coverage, that does not mean that the coverage will be crappy or that it will be expensive. It just means that the website is crappy and that I hated the sign up process. But thanks for playing.

            • Fully aware of the point you were making. Again you fail to grasp the level of scale I pointed out. For a law compelling market participation that claims to solve the vast majority of medical insurance problems with the colossal amount of money and time spent to prepare the interface for even following the law, when that interface fails, that is an indicator not an exception.

              Thanks for playing, when you are done playing, trying being serious and comprehending what was said.

              • How is it an indicator? My example is even better than yours! The Kennedy Center put on the performance I saw. The government is not providing our insurance. It is only saying that you have to buy it from X, Y or Z company. That coverage is independent from the government mandate and the website.

                • I’d submit that my ‘example’ being the actual subject in question automatically qualifies as “better” than your example.

                  The government has compelled changes to how insurance is handled, that has the same effect as the government controlling insurance. That it isn’t a nationalized system (yet) doesn’t change how it affects the market. The changes made to the insurance industry do fundamentally change the product. Nice try pretending the government hasn’t directly effected the product. The coverage is not independent from the ACA.

    • So Jack says “ObamaCare can work only if people without pre-existing conditions prove willing to pay jacked-up premiums,”

      You reject that because, “…it is how group insurance works. When you work for an employer, the entire group pays one rate. That one rate doesn’t care if you were sick beforehand or otherwise.”

      Right so far: ACA healthcare is risk-sharing, like all insurance, including employee group plans.

      But then you say, “The pooling effect allows for lower risk insureds to offset the costs of the higher risk insureds. They do not pay ‘jacked up premiums’ for the higher risked people.”

      These two sentences are incompatible. In order for the lower-risk insured lives to “offset the costs” of the higher risk insureds, they must by definition be paying enough in premiums to cover all of their own costs plus some extra payment to cover the higher risk insured folks whose costs they are offsetting. In other words, they are paying jacked-up premiums.

      “The pools are just large enough to enable the dings that come with those who have health issues to be offset by those who do not. Through these exchanges you should be able to get the pooling effect that you see for group insurance in the individual market.”

      (I assume you mean private market, since the individual market doesn’t have groups.)

      Private group plans work much the same way: Low-risk employees are paying too much, and high-risk employees are paying too little to cover their own costs. By linking group membership to something independent of health — such as employment — they hope to avoid pricing the low-risk employees out of the market, which would place the burden only on the high-risk employees. The ACA hopes to accomplish the same thing by enticing young people to buy into the plan and fining them through the individual mandate if they don’t.

      • I said that the invididual market via state run exchanges SHOULD (key word there) be able to get the same pooling effect as group insurance currently benefits from.

        And no, the two sentances are not imcompatable. A singular person getting insured has certain risks involved. Throwing multiple people in that group lowers the risk of the individual insured because of the pooling effect. The larger the group, the more likly the risk of a loss will be likely to reach the anticipated loss despite any variations. The larger the pool, the easier it is to get the risk to even out and become more managable.

        • Dan, the credibility of what you are asserting depends on assumptions about affordability (of risks), which is dependent upon addition of individuals (and assumed affordability of their risks) to create a pool. You are assuming a particular pooling effect: affordability of pooled risks. Intuitively, assuming that effect, or deeming it inevitable, does not seem justified to me. The ACA is forcing navigation of untested ground – just my impression.

        • I misunderstood, when I read “individual,” I thought of individual purchases from the private market, not via the exchanges. I see what you mean there.

          I think those two sentences, however, are still incompatible. Let me see if I can explain why I think that:

          Imagine 1,000,000 people, each with a 1/100 chance of a $10,000 medical event. The expectation for 1 year is therefore that 10,000 people will have medical events in the year, costing $10,000 each, for a total outlay of $100 million. Divided over the entire pool, each person will have to pay $100 into the plan each year to keep it solvent. (I am neglecting administrative overhead and investment income.)

          Now add another 1,000,000 higher risk people to the plan, each of whom has a 1/50 chance of a $20,000 medical event (twice as likely, twice as expensive). The expectation for 1 year for this subgroup is therefore that 20,000 people will have medical events in the year, costing $20,000 each, for a total outlay of $400 million. Add to this the $100 million from the low-risk group, for a total of $500 million. Divided over the pool of 2 million people (fitting your assertion that “the entire group pays one rate”) and each person will have to pay $250 into the plan each year to keep it solvent. In other words, the 1,000,000 healthy people each pays $150/year more than they would if the riskier people had not been added to the group.

          You could adjust the payments, so that the unhealthy people carry a larger burden — most insurance plans try to do this by age — but that tends to undo the advantages of having them in the same group. You get one or the other.

          • The problem with that comparison is that you are assuming that the only people jumping on the plans will be those with higher risk and that the pool of people coming in wont be varying risks. There are a lot of people out there who don’t have insurance because they cannot afford it. The subsidies will get those people health insurance plans and those people will range from those who are currently deemed uninsurable and those who are good risks.

            My main point is this. My wife would be one of those high risk people. People who probably take more from the pool. But at work in my group policy, her costs are mitigated by the many others who have insurance just in case something bad happens. But work insurance hasnt gone up at all since the time I have been enrolled in the group plan. Why? Because the negative impact she has on the pool is negligible compared to the size of the pool. And this is just a workplace, not an entire state of insureds participating in the health exchanges. And that is what I am talking about. All those people participating in the exchanges basically form one big pool. So the risk of insuring that one person with higher than normal medical claims is offset by the risk of insuring the others with lower than normal medical claims.

            And at the end of the day, going back to your 1,000,000 people example. On a cost effectiveness basis, it is likely that insuring 1,000,000 people who all share similar risk is cheaper per person than insuring 1 person at that risk level. From economies of scale to the pooled risk and laws of averages, you will see much better performance at the larger pool level.

            • But work insurance hasnt gone up at all since the time I have been enrolled in the group plan.

              If I thought you were capable of being honest, I’d ask you to promise to let us know when you get your letter telling you the plan is either dropped completely or is radically modified…

              But since you don’t seem to grasp that you actually proves our point tells me that won’t ever happen you feckless, morally turpid pile of shit.

              • My work insurance hasn’t changed. In an ideal world though, do we want private employers dealing with this? Don’t we want: (1) all consumers to participate in the open market; or (2) your socialist worst nightmare, a state run system? Right now, only some employers can offer free or subsidized insurance. And even for those employers, that cost is a huge overhead. And while it might make that company more likely to attract the best talent (at least US-based talent), it will make it less likely to compete in the world market. As more and more industry goes overseas, US employers are losing because these benefits raise the costs of our goods even more. The automobile industry is an easy example and one that I am familiar with because of family. Something like $1200 (I haven’t checked into this in a few years) is added to the price of every GM car to cover insurance benefits. That’s crazy.

                  • We never had this ever? Really? What did we do before Medicare and Medicaid? Oh right, we learned that the needy and elderly couldn’t afford insurance, and they died or suffered from chronic and sometimes easily treatable conditions. So either we move to a system where we’re okay with that happening (and many are ok with that) or we recognize that we can do better.

                    • Oh right, we learned that the needy and elderly couldn’t afford insurance, and they died or suffered from chronic and sometimes easily treatable conditions.

                      yYou really do think that if the State does not do something, it just doesn’t happen, don’t you?

                      You absolutely reject the notion of private action.

                      What’s it like being a statist? Is the idea that the State will do everything you could ever meed as comforting a one as I assume it would be?

                    • If private action had taken care of the problem, then people wouldn’t have been dying en masse. It didn’t happen and it won’t ever happen on the scale that it is needed.

                    • People were dying “en masse”?

                      You do realize that between ages 75 and 85 people, taken as a whole, do tend to die “en masse”. You can’t pull out the greatest cop out argument and expect it to fly. Every medical advancement may make our lifespan longer, but you would probably still push “BUT PEOPLE ARE STILL DYING EN MASSE” Guess what, it will happen to us all. You social engineers literally literally literally think that humanity in organized efforts can stop nature. Idiots.

                      In socialized medical care, people will still DIE. It will happen. You will never alleviate people dying. Not one bit. In socialized medical care, people, and lots of them, will still die despite the excuse “they could have received treatment”. It happens in a free market system it WILL happen in a collectivized system. The costs of a collectivized system in terms of liberty (the important terms) and economy (a distant second) are appalling, given that all other things would be equal.

                      I know it bothers you that the free market system doesn’t look fair, because it doesn’t have your utopian central planners’ mitts all over it, but it is still better OVERALL for society.

                    • Ugh Tex, seriously? Talk about death panels. Yes, everyone dies, but granny tends to live a lot longer if she gets chemo.

                    • Easy Beth, don’t get emotional. Death panels would actually be a description of groups of individuals deciding who is worthy of survival or not in a centrally controlled system of rationed care. In a free market (just like a centrally controlled economy, like you bleary-eyed utopian nitwits believe can exist) people will die. I don’t know how you can deny that. But at least in the free market no one is deciding who dies and who doesn’t. But, that’s irrelevant…moaning about death occurring as a result of nature is hardly productive and mostly emotion-baiting, as I see it got you hook-line-and-sinker.

                      What matters is, we are sacrificing a ridiculous amount of autonomy, liberty, and economic independence so that 30,000,000 uninsured people can supposedly be dubiously insured while almost that many people have lost the insurance coverage they wanted. You had trouble with averages, but comparison signs ought to be easy: 30,000,000 recently uninsured people + liberty, privacy, independence SUCKS WAY WORSE than 30,000,000 compulsorily insured people (who’s insurance now, probably isn’t all that great). Not even a zero sum game. Congrats lefties. Collectivization of non-rights fails again.

                    • Tex, calling a woman “emotional” is about as bad as calling a black person “lazy.” You shouldn’t do it, ever.

                      As for your “nature” argument, it boggles my poor emotional, math-challenged female mind. Do you know what’s natural? Infectious diseases, cancer, heart-attacks, diabetes, etc. Not only is the whole point of modern medicine to combat nature, it is also a fact that the most vulnerable in our society (like the poor) are more likely to have serious medical problems. Your free market analysis fails. In every society that doesn’t have some form of assistance, the poor are more likely to die earlier because of lack of access to even nominal health care. This is not a theory — this is fact. And those premature deaths have cascading economic effects — not just for the immediate family but on the entire society that now might have to assist those affected families. Did you ever think that it might be cheaper in the long run for a government to provide access to health care to its citizens rather than pay for all the other costs if it doesn’t? Probably not. People look at an individual premium and conclude that this must be worse. Short-sighted idiots.

                      As for being a utopian nitwit — that is hardly the case. I know people don’t like appeals to authority on this thread, but I will mention this anyway. I worked as a bet-the-farm attorney for the insurance industry for over a decade. I know more than EVERYONE on this thread combined about how insurance works and how the industry operates. There is no free market analysis under which the poor and the elderly will do better.

                      So, if you want to have a free market system, that’s fine. But just be honest about it please. It’s a system that only works for the lucky and the wealthy. Don’t pretend that anybody else will do better. The people that support this argument fall into a few classes: the ignorant, the brain-washed, and the greedy. There probably is a fourth category for people who lack all capacity for empathy, but those people probably are criminals and have their own problems. Please decide to which of these groups you want to belong. Sorry to sound so elitist, but I am truly informed on this subject and it has been driving me crazy watching the analysis here and in the media generally.

                    • So I’m either a moron, incapable of independent thought, or money-grubbing…

                      Cool.

                      Beth, empathy is all well and good, but it doesn’t actually do anything. What’s worse, it leads to people doing things with good intentions but bad results, and then just making things worse while feeling good about themselves because they meant well.

                      It isn’t that I don’t feel bad for people, I just know that it is better to find a way to let them help themselves, because nothing you are given is ever so good as something you get for yourself.

                      The ACA doesn’t solve any problems except one – preexisting condition coverage.

                      Sadly, it creates a mountain of other problems that do nothing but harm.

                      But because the intention was good, it is righteous and beyond question and if you dare suggest it is going to be an abject failure then you just want people to die in the streets.

                      I feel empathy, I just am rational to understand that feeling bad about something doesn’t make it my fault or my job to fix.

                    • “Tex, calling a woman “emotional” is about as bad as calling a black person “lazy.” You shouldn’t do it, ever.”

                      Whether or not that was fair on Tex’s part in this case, if someone’s argument is emotional, it isn’t unfair to call it such whether she is a woman or not, just as an African American isn’t immune from being called lazy if he engages in lazy conduct, a Jew isn’t immune from being called avaricious if he is venal, and a West Virginian who has sex with his sister isn’t immune from being accused of incest.

                      Nor is yours a fair analogy. The fact that women, as a group, value emotion-based reasoning more than men is well-established, as are brain chemistry differences between the sexes. Indeed, these differences are often cited as reasons why women make “better” leaders and law-makers. A man can be called aggressive, violent or impulsive, just a woman can be called emotional.

                    • Thank you Jack. My wording was not meant to convey that Beth cannot keep from being emotional because she’s a woman, but simply because she was using an emotional argument. I can see where she misinterpreted my intent. Of course, I find it alarming her first assumption was to take on a victim status.

                    • I don’t cast myself as a victim ever and I didn’t take offense. But you used a poor choice of words and given all your other colorful adjectives you should hardly get the benefit of the doubt. It was merely helpful advice — women tend to take that descriptor harshly and I wouldn’t want to see you get hit or anything.

                      My argument is not an emotional one in any event. Mine is based on actual industry knowledge.

                    • It isn’t a poor choice of words. Calling an emotional argument emotional is actually a perfect choice of words. “PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE!!!” is an emotional argument if it turns out that people dying is an aspect of both options in the debate, because it serves only to drum up emotional support.

                      As for not being a ‘victim’ or not being ‘offended’ (which it kinda looked like you were to me), then it shouldn’t matter one bit the wording I used. You aren’t protected from being fairly described as emotional (in this instance) because some women may take offense at unfair uses of the word.

                      “Women tend to take the descriptor harshly and I wouldn’t want to see you hit or anything”.

                      Talk about casting your own generalizations on the very people you took offense for when you claimed I cast a generalization. It’s also the same faulty logic muslim’s use when they warn people not to draw cartoon’s of Mohammad.

                • First, health insurance isn’t pension obligations, just to getbtahtboit of the way…

                  I also want to point out that the “open market” for insurance hasn’t actually been “open” for decades and decades. If it isn’t part of the most regulated potion of the market, then it is beat out only by the banking/finance industry. From bars to purchasing insurance across state lines to mandated coverage, there is virtually nothing that one could describe as “open” or “free”.

                  FFS, I’m not even allowed to choose whether or not I buy the shit anymore.

                  And really, even with the subsidies people get, the deductibles don’t get that, so even people paying nothing will end up owning tens of thousands of dollars. That sticker shock will not go over well.

                  Look, the three things they could have done to make insurance leas expensive were the ignored by democrats. The law we got could have had no possible outcome other than increase costs. Period. Ever single rule and law of economics and rational though DEMANDS that prices go up, and access go down.

                  There is. No. Alternative.

                • Oh, and the whole “added cost to the car” thing?

                  Half. Half the sticker price on any GM (really any Big Three car) goes to pay pension obligations for the unions.

                  You want to know why the american auto industry is dying? Because they make middle-of-the-road to poor cars, and they have to add a huge pile of money onto the cost of making them because of the unions.

                  • I don’t know. Germany is heavily unionized and people seem to like those cars….. Also, many US cars get a bad rap. I always will drive a US-made vehicle.

                    • They aren’t unionized to nearly the extent we are, and they don’t have the very nice plans ours get – German workers actually have to pay towards retirement.

                      And I’d you drive american cars of the sub 70k range, you will drive cheap, shoddy interiors that are outclassed by foreign cars of half the price.

                      Sit in a new camera, then sit in a Kia 5speed.

                      Seriously, do it. You will see EXACRLY what I mean.

                      Fire is getting away from this trend, but most US cars still have interiors of almost nothing but hard plastic. They are not nice places to sit.

            • “My wife would be one of those high risk people. People who probably take more from the pool. But at work in my group policy, her costs are mitigated by the many others who have insurance just in case something bad happens.”

              Right. Her costs are mitigated by the others. Which means the others pay slightly more to fund that mitigation. But if everyone in the pool was just as high-risk as your wife, your cost to cover her would be much higher, maybe even too high to afford. All group plans have to confront this problem. ObamaCare is no exception. If too many unusually unhealthy people sign up, payouts will far exceed income.

              We’ve rejected the solution of turning down unhealthy people for coverage (we don’t need government health insurance if that’s our plan) so the only other solution is to force everyone into the plan. Some countries do that with a tax-funded single-payer plan (everyone pays the taxes, even very healthy people). Our plan is to force everyone to purchase coverage through the individual mandate.

              • A) Slightly more is not the same thing as “jacked up”. Jacked up is a term that implies many more dollars. Not a small increase. But as the pool gets bigger the amount of money that is needed to offset the bumps made by a higher risk person can flatten out.
                B) The reason we need an individual mandate is to reduce antiselection since we eliminated preexisting condition clauses.

                    • I tend to believe that healthcare is a right, not necessarily insurance.

                      But let me ask you why you believe healthcare is not a right. I want to see your reasonining as to what is or isn’t a right.

                    • Because it requires the actions of another. If I have to compell someone to fulfill my right? It is not truly a right…

                      Unless you support slavery, I suppose.

                      Also, Tex didn’t say healthcare. He said insurance.

                    • Liberal,

                      There are several self-evident rights that we’ve been endowed with. They generally consist of positive actions you can take within the limit of not infringing on other people’s rights. Anyone claiming a right that ultimately requires being derived from a compelled action or compelled confiscation of property from another is fraud. That’s called a ‘positive right’. They are neither positive, nor rights.

                      You have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness so much as your actions claimed under those rights do not infringe upon someone else’s claim to those rights.

                      To claim that a specific product, in this case medical insurance, is a ‘right’ is therefore to claim that you have to right to confiscate my property because you couldn’t keep yourself healthy.

                      Ablative, I’ll allow him to use the code word “healthcare” to cover for medical insurance. You see, back in the ’90s, when the industry renamed itself ‘healthcare’ I knew it was ultimately to re-brand itself as an utter necessity to sell itself more. As it inevitably sold itself quite successfully, people developed an attitude that ‘healthcare’ was a right. It wasn’t then, it isn’t now.

                      Before you claim that medical insurance falls under your Right to Life, just know we are all going to die. That doesn’t mean that nature has violated your Right to Life. Right to Life means any other individual is in the wrong to actively and intentionally end, shorten or endanger your life. That statement does not in any way compel a legal obligation for other individuals to ensure your life is extended by a few years, merely compels that other individuals abstain from actively or negligently harming you. It does compel a *non-legal*, but civic duty for your fellow citizen to safeguard your life when Clear and Present danger exists – such as did not occur when the catatonic crowd watched as the poor man was killed by the subway a while back. However, in no way does it compel the surrendering of vast amounts of property to *hopefully* secure you from an *indefinite* ‘threat’ to your life in the form of nature running its course nor to *possibly* extend your life by a modicum of years. Cold sounding perhaps, but, Rights don’t legally compel behavior one bit, they only legally demand certain anti-right behavior doesn’t occur towards an individual.

                      Not Anarchy

                      At this point usually an anarchist accusation usually flies forth, in a generic form of “well, if you believe no one should ever be compelled to do anything for the group or no one should ever surrender or collectivize any powers, you must not believe in government”. On the contrary, here’s yet one more way our prophetic and visionary Founding Fathers got it right. They understood for a body of citizens to operate freely and securely, certain rights, while not fully surrendered, would need to be partially collectivized. How did they pick and choose which of these collectivized rights, thusly named Powers? On deep meditation, especially in regards to the Federalist Papers, you’ll see that the Founders knew that inter-state rivalries could inevitably tear apart the nation in internecine economic and inevitably military conflict, so they collectivized certain economic regulatory powers…not too many, because they also knew that a generally unfettered economic is how citizens can best manifest their INDIVIDUAL rights for the COMMON good (voluntarily – the best way). Additionally, the early governments, from National, down to State, depending on the appropriateness of decentralization, knew that certain services of security were absolutely necessary because the free market could never provide those services.

                      During peace time, there is no free market demand for a military: yet, with invaders on the doorstep, the free market would never be able to generate a military quickly enough before the invaders conquered the land, thereby ruining the country and ending the free republic: so that is why we see a need to *partially* collectivize the right to self defense and institute a military. Other functions of necessary collectivized services follow this pattern of answering the question: “what solutions can the free market not generate quickly enough to solve problems that would destroy the free market or significant aspects of it?”

                      I’m not certain you’d accuse me of anarchy, but there’s the response to that.

                    • Ok.

                      I really just wanted to know why you felt that it wasn’t a right. I was hoping you would not use the typical “because it is not written in the Constitution” retort that I so often here that is so wrong. Fortunately you did not use that retort.

                      The one thing in your argument that I find a little flawed is this. There is nothing compulsory in the providing of healthcare to sick people. People are not forced into becoming doctors. And they know as doctors that they may often be called on to treat people, especially in an ER, when they do not have the ability to pay.

                      So if there is any right involved here, it is the right of a person to receive medical treatment from someone who made the proactive choice to become a medical professional.

                      It would only be slavery if the doctor was not being paid. But he/she is.

                      Now, there are people who do shoulder the burden of the unpaid costs and those are the other paying customers. So shouldn’t we be able to demand that those who currently lack insurance pay their fair share towards their coverage?

                    • Nonsense. No one has the right to make others take care of him, or pay for his needs. You have a right to take care of yourself. You are responsible for your misfortunes, and should benefit from your good fortune or the good you bring upon yourself. Making rights out of things like health care is the ultimate slippery slope. There is no end point. Right to basic care, or the best care available? If health care, why not food, clothes, shelter, a job regardless of skill? Pedicures? Breast implants? Gym memberships! Why not the best food, and lots of it? Why not the best clothes? A 12-room house? There must be a right to have a bed. A comfy bed. A king size bed. A Comforpedic bed. And furniture. And lawn furniture. Surely basic electronics—you gotta shave. Tooth paste. Everyone should have a right to good teeth. And caps. Certainly a computer these days. And how can one deny that everyone should have a car? A good car. A Jag! And really, a telephone and a TV should be rights too. A big screen TV. HD! And what good is a TV without basic cable? HBO!

                      It’s bad logic, bad ethics and bad policy, utopian, magical, willfully sloppy thinking, as well as impractical and unethical. Your rights are self-contained in what you can do for yourself, not in what others have to do for you.

                    • Liberal Dan,

                      “I was hoping you would not use the typical “because it is not written in the Constitution” retort that I so often here that is so wrong. Fortunately you did not use that retort.”

                      I hate to burst your bubble. But I think that the reason those non-rights weren’t written into the Constitution is because the Founding Fathers used a similar line of reasoning as I did when I wrote my answer to you. So in a way my answer may not be “It’s not in the Constitution”, but it’s close.

                      “There is nothing compulsory in the providing of healthcare to sick people.

                      I’m not sure how you can reconcile that comment with the law’s Individual Mandate.

                      “So if there is any right involved here, it is the right of a person to receive medical treatment from someone who made the proactive choice to become a medical professional.

                      It would only be slavery if the doctor was not being paid. But he/she is.”

                      And yet, in a system of artificially lowered prices for someone who OUGHT to be paying more, the system accommodates in one of two ways: either the service provider gets paid less (in which case the Doctor is compelled to work for much less than his market value) which debunks your last line OR other people will be compelled to pay MORE, which goes against the sound logic of my original answer to you.

                      Jack,

                      You’re starting to sound like a Libertarian.

                  • A) And add in all the plan members who are not high risk who are added. For all the high risk people you have low risk people. And I would likely be deemed high risk because of my weight but in reality i am very low cost because I don’t like to go to the doctor for the smallest little thing and I am relatively healthy.
                    B) Antiselection is a bad thing because if insurance companies are required to take you then you need to make sure people cannot just wait until they are sick to buy insurance. If you don’t eliminate antiselection, insurance just becomes a health discount plan and insurance companies would go bankrupt.

                    • AMS: The average profit margin for insurance companies is about 3%. Of course, profit margin doesn’t tell the whole story. Profit is calculated after salary is paid.

                      Insurance companies push for a medical loss ratio that sometimes dips to 70% (prior to the passage of the ACA). Now they are required to be at 80% or 85% depending on the plan. Though, I am not convinced that the restrictions on MLR will benefit consumers. There are ways around it that harm consumers if the insurers behave in a cartel like way.

                      Oh, and I understand math very well. Perhaps if you were not so busy trying to think of your next unclever insult and ill informed drivel you would actually learn something.

                  • Because that just wouldn’t be fair

                    I will admit that the fact that more people are losing their insurance than have been able to sign up amuses me, as does the fact that most everyone is getting dumped onto Medicare.

                    And the only response that the a house should gibe when asked to vote on a bill delaying any part of the ACA should be “Hey, we tried to do this, tried to help you, but you ignored us, calling us names and being cocks… So no. We aren’t changing a single thing. Either the whole law how’s forever, or you can go fucking pound sand.”

                  • That would make too much sense, I guess. Don’t deny coverage, but allow a reasonable charge depending on the condition. Reward the healthy, too—the longer one goes without using the system, the less the premiums. Give people an incentive not to run to the doctor for every sniffle. Insurance for the young and healthy. I suspect a free market would come up with something like that.

                    • So the people who are already behind because they lacked insurance and have a preexisting condition will have to pay more so they have more problems getting treatment for that condition and will likely never get ahead?

                      That is the problem with your suggestion. The sick people with huge bills are the ones less likely to be able to pay the larger costs you would place upon them, just perpetuating the cycle.

                  • They don’t make people entering group plans with preexisting condition conditions pay more. Why? Because of pooling.

                    With the exchanges the individual market should be treated as if it is the group market.

    • “He talks about the visitors to the website to contradict the false claim by tea party folks that Americans’ don’t want these insurance plans. The vast amount of people trying to log on proves otherwise.” Lessee, people are told by the government that they must have insurance—or else. Taking the government at its word, they then go to the website to see what’s available—and somehow that proves that they wanted it all along. And, that’s but one example from your paean to the wonders of centralized planning.

        • Initially. But it doesn’t matter that it “isn’t that much of an ‘or else'”. It’s still an OR ELSE from a central government compelling purchase of a product. Don’t you understand the awful anti-liberty scenario that is? Do you care about that stuff?

          • I compare it to the anti-liberty scenario of people using the ER without the ability to pay and then requiring us to pay for it.

            I say it is better to force someone to pay their fair share towards the risk of them using the ER than to let them use it for free and push the costs onto paying customers.

    • “He talks about the visitors to the website to contradict the false claim by tea party folks that Americans’ don’t want these insurance plans. The vast amount of people trying to log on proves otherwise.” Lessee: The government requires people to buy insurance—or else. Taking the government at its word, those people then head to the web site to see what’s available—and somehow that proves that they wanted the insurance all along. And that’s just one example from your paean to the wonders of centralized planning.

      • How I got my reply to post twice is beyond me. Jack, can you fix that? Also, I thought I was replying to Liberal Dan, but it appears under Windypundit’s reply. Or is that just an appearance?

  6. Last night I got interested in and watched this documentary on PBS:
    http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/waiting-room/#.UmbgBfkjIik
    It was about people with no health insurance trying to get help in the ER in an overwrought public hospital in CA.
    Most of them minorities.
    You would not believe what these people had to endure to get seen by a dr.
    If that wasn’t bad enough, several of them didn’t really get any serious help.
    For example, a man who worked 30 years laying carpet and now has painful bone spurs in his back.
    He got a prescription for Vicodin when what he really needed was surgery.

    So, I’m pretty sure, comparing this program with most of the other rubbish aired on PBS, this little film was meant to be a Liberal booster and cheerleader for the evermore embarrassing, steaming pile of failure that is Obamacare.
    A warning story with real human suffering, just in case you are still against your gov. meddling in your healthcare.
    That is what it was meant to be.

    What it actually shows is that people who are already behind the eightball, people who are already getting mistreated by the system, are now going to get double screwed by the fiasco that is Obamacare.
    Even worse: they likely voted for him so they could get his wonderful insurance.
    Probably trusted him on other promises as well.
    Think about that.

    I didn’t vote for him, I never believed one stinking word that came out of his lying mouth, I’ve been educated and I have a good job.
    I might get annoyed, might even get angry over the problems in our country created by this rank amateur playing president, but no matter what he does, I’m going to be alright.

    Now think about those who won’t.
    Think about the people who believed in his dumb ass.
    The ones who thought he was going to fix their healthcare problems.
    The ones who counted on him.
    The very people he professes to care the most about and wants to help.
    He not only didn’t help them, he’s making the situation worse.

    I just don’t understand why anyone is still supporting this deceitful idiot.

  7. Several more quotes from Jurassic Park are relevant here, as I recall the movie:

    – by Dr. Malcolm, relevant to the Obama administration’s chanting that “It’s a glitch, no big deal; chillax, people, we are fixing it, it is working now, and it is going to work wonderfully” (I don’t know this quote well enough to claim it’s accurate, but it’s close enough for ACA work): “The level of arrogance on display here staggers the mind.”

    – by the Aussie guy who is the raptor-phobe, just before he gets devoured (applies to “loyal opposition” as a last, sarcastic belch of defiance at Obama): “Clever girl…”

    – by the guy in the control room (Chief Engineer? – trying to cope with the absence of the corrupt computer programming expert): “Hold on to your butts.”

    Finally, Malcolm again (applying to myself): “See? Here I am now, sitting by myself, uh, talking to myself. That’s…chaos theory.”

  8. Dear conservative news commentators and show hosts,

    Can we tone down the schadenfreude a little bit?

    A few notes:

    There is nothing wrong with being happy that a terrible, liberty killing idea is failing faster than expected but don’t expect the leftists to ever become introspective and perhaps see fatal flaws in their ideology. Becoming outright giddy over this however only plays to the leftist narrative that we hate the idea because we hate the people who came up with the idea (which is absolutely not true- it is the idea we hate).

    I’m not certain seeing The pressure applied by the media on Sebelius can be aptly described as “the media finally doing its job and being unbiased”. Always remember, in every cult of the leader, the cult group will consistently consume its own in a buffet style of subordinate scapegoating. That is all we are seeing here; the media is just gearing up to continue protecting the image of their leader, this isn’t some breakthrough in ethical journalism. Remember although the American left hasn’t gotten as bad as these folks they still employ the same self-policing actions of Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Hitler and any other polity in which accountability and introspection is subordinated to ideology.

    Also, widespread discontent towards this unveiling doesn’t always mean that people are waking up to the big brother nightmare that is Obamacare. They still want a socialized medical industry and will likely clamor for an even more aggressive careen towards statism.

    • Ack: I forgot to mention in paragraph 2:

      Were Sebelius’s head to roll for this, it’s not like we’ll see her replaced with any great defender of liberty; her replacement will just be one more feckless yes-man leftist.

      And also in paragraph 1:

      Getting extremely giddy over this sacrifices the moral high ground and hearkens back to the Ben Ghazi congressional hearings where the hapless Hillary Clinton sat before vindictive Republicans who did their best to moderately channel Roland Freisler in their attempt to skewer her.

      • Fuck the moral high ground. There’s no value in being a high-minded loser, and that’s a big chunk of why the last 2 elections went the way they did. The shutdown distraction is over, now’s the time to hit the other side in the belly and kick them while they’re down.

      • Tex, I would venture to predict that no-one in a Cabinet-level position will EVER be fired by this administration. This government is an Obama Good-Ole-Boy Club, and until he is replaced, they are in until they decide to leave.

  9. As a point of interest, this topic, and the related one of the government shutdown, has garnered a true cyber-harasser, a mega-jerk who has sent me over ten e-mails using multiple addresses. His sole critique consists of calling me an idiot and other names, and citing his own authority, which consists of being fluent in 6 languages (I congratulated him on being absurd in so many) and PhD in linguistics, which does not reflect well on that field…but then, Noam Chomsky had already dimmed its luster. Now he’s harassing my wife too. I’ve had off-site email harassers from right and left—in general, the conservatives are more indignant and formal but give up quicker; the liberals are more insulting and vulgar, and are prone to cite their academic credentials.

    The current jerk, despite his bountiful erudition, really though a cartoon about legal ethics being an Oxymoron was 1) clever 2) likely to be new to a legal ethicist and 3) not 3000 years old.

    Ah, the joys of blogging!

    Linguists!

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