On The Significance Of The AFA “Signups,” The First Of Many Other Shoes Drops

I am rushing out the door to remind D.C. lawyers about ethics, but I can’t let this pass:

  • Yesterday, James Taranto addressed some of the same issues that we covered on Ethics Alarms regarding the dishonest use of the ambiguous 7.1 million deadline sign-ups as a definitive measure of Obamacare’s success. Two of the culprits he quoted were E.J. Dionne and Paul Krugman, leading me to wonder why such performances don’t make it obvious even to knee-jerk Democrats that they are unreliable, biased, and dishonest to the core. Here’s Taranto on Dionne, for example:

It won’t surprise you to learn that Dionne did not demand accountability from Obama and the other politicians who sold ObamaCare on the fraudulent promise “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” Rather, he asserted that the administration’s claim of having “hit its original goal . . . of signing up more than 7 million people through its insurance exchanges” was a definitive refutation of any notion that ObamaCare is “doomed.” What about insurance cancellations, narrow networks, high deductibles, blown deadlines, work disincentives, adverse selection and the law’s continuing political unpopularity? Dionne dispenses with all these problems in one sentence: “To be sure, the law could still face other problems, blah, blah, blah.”

Why wouldn’t this kind of blind, manipulative, Jumbo-worthy partisanship annoy everyone?

  • Yesterday the Gallup people released this, an extensive survey that gives some perspective on what the 7.1 million really stands for. No surprises there, either, for anyone not in a Dionne-like mental state. From Fox:

“A major new Gallup survey suggests the ObamaCare sign-up numbers are not as soaring as the White House claims. The massive survey, released on Monday, shows the number of uninsured indeed has fallen to its lowest level in years, likely thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index measured the share of adults without health insurance. That shrank from 17.1 percent at the end of last year to 15.6 percent for the first three months of 2014.The decline of 1.5 percentage points would translate roughly to more than 3.5 million people gaining coverage. But the numbers, released a week after the close of the health law’s first enrollment season, also suggest a far more modest impact on coverage than statistics cited by the Obama administration….”

The survey also shows that not enough young uninsured are signing up, a critical problem.

  • Whether the Gallup numbers are considered worthy of reporting by the other news media outlets should be a fascinating test of their depth of bias and lack of integrity. I’ll be watching…

No time for tags now—more later….


19 thoughts on “On The Significance Of The AFA “Signups,” The First Of Many Other Shoes Drops

  1. We all knew that getting young healthy people to sign up for this was going to be a challenge. The administration knew it too, as evidenced by their stupid keg-standing and shot-pounding ads, and the ridiculous Obamacare bar crawl. We likewise could see that things were getting desperate when the tone changed from “OK, kids, isn’t this a good thing!” to “Dammit, you greedy little millenials, you owe Obama your loyalty, help his program work, you’re screwing it up!”

    • And oh, how many of them scolded me when it was election time. “You don’t understand what this is trying to do!” “Don’t you see that there’s a huge problem that needs to be fixed?!” “Don’t you CARE that these people can’t pay these enormous bills?” Enjoy it, ya rubes.

      • It’s like I said on the post about Jeb Bush dismissing illegal immigration as not being a felony because it’s done out of love: YES, I DO care. I just don’t think that caring about a problem necessitates giving the government carte blanche to flail about forcing people to do things to fix it, or justifies any and all measures on the gorunds of WE HAVE TO FIX THIS PROBLEM.

  2. In Canada, When the Boomers were going through school, an average of about 60% of our provincial budgets went towards education, and as they greyed out, it changed so that 60% instead went to health care. Money follows the numbers, because numbers control the vote. It’s not surprising then, that programs like this are inherently designed to eat their young, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more blatant example of it. Perhaps this is wishful thinking, but I don’t think young people are stupid, perhaps indicated by their lack of support for the ACA.

    In Africa they have a saying; “It’s our turn to eat” (Which is actually the title of a book that includes the subject). It describes the practise of giving gifts, positions and favors to the group that helped elect you, usually to the extreme detriment of other groups, who have to wait until their leader gets elected, and then it’s their turn to eat. I think it’s both healthy to realize and tells something about our society that we really aren’t that divorced from systems of extreme corruption and tribalism.

  3. I guess that next step is to set up a Gulag for those healthy people that do not sign up. Where, oh where are those massive campus protests that occurred during the Vietnam War?

  4. It boggles my mind how complicated issues like health care can be. I do wonder what a total “government health care” system would cost, where everyone pays the tax and the health care is completely paid for by the government. Would it be more or less than my premiums and deductibles? Under such system, I would stipulate that under no circumstance can anyone be denied care or treatments (to avoid the death panel discussion)…like a constitutional right.

    Of course, with that said, the complexity ramps up immediately and you have to look at the destruction created. How many jobs lost? How many shareholders of health insurance companies lose their investments? Etc Etc Etc.

    I would think that the damage to employment in that one industry alone would create an economic collapse, but I’d certainly like to hear from people who know anything on this subject, because I certainly am only flinging my uninformed opinions here.

    • Look to Europe, whose entire health systems are either deeply in the red or sucking so much from the coffers that ACTUAL government responsibilities, like the military, suffer catastrophically.

    • I’ve always thought that there were two positions that made sense: Real, unregulated insurance, or a pure socialized system. Both have their strengths and weaknesses… Insurance is faster, and a better quality of care, but socialized healthcare is less expensive and doesn’t exclude anyone.

      Those socialized systems exist, and they are always less expensive. Period. It comes from having a single desk paying and benefiting from economies of scale. But those systems are also always slower, it takes an average of 18 months to have a hip replaced here in Canada. But if you’re looking at pure dollars, it’s always easy to compare with America. America has the highest healthcare costs on Earth.

      • They are NOT less expensive. The costs are elsewhere, usually in rampant deficit spending or by cutting funds to other actual government business.

        Additionally, lacking the competition of the free market, medical advancements will slow down dramatically and the incentive to create HIGHER quality LOWER cost products and treatments will disappear. Healthcare costs so much more in the USA for several reasons, primary ones:

        1) The USA is almost exclusively the source of medical advancement for the entire World. Period. That R&D comes at a premium. And further governmental regulation can only hope to increase that cost.

        2) We don’t have a free market medical service industry. This weird conglomeration of state interests, state subsidies, insurance companies, etc is a mess that only increases costs.

        If the Free Market were allowed to run, as HISTORY attests, prices decrease, availability increases and quality increases. As History will also attest, centrally run government programs decrease incentive for improvement, increase corruption of those gaming the system (which increases costs), and as costs increase availability will decrease.

        • Hey, you’re preaching to the choir, if I could choose between free market and socialism, I’d always pick free market. I agree with a lot of what you’ve said. You’re right, there are more costs associated, even when they’re hard to measure.

          But the fact of the matter is that the average price of specific medical devices and procedures cost somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5 times the same devices in other countries. I believe that’s because of the huge regulation the market gets, it ends up where they get all the costs of socialist policies, but none of the cost savings of a single desk.

        • No, free markets tend towards private industry monopoly, which can be just as bureaucratic and damaging as pure government programs.

          • As Ablative said, vastly superior quality tends to monopoly…. Because quality companies build their business and beat out competition. This isn’t, by itself, a bad thing. So monopoly is not a bug bear to fear.

            Monopolies are ONLY bad when they can take pseudo-political means to stifle the Free Market from generating competition against them. But in that case, it isn’t “monopoly” that is bad, but rather, the stifling of the Free Market that is.

  5. ACA debate is all irrelevant. It appears that the Democrats are angling to change their focus to the so-called unfair wage disparity in America. This will be the invented crisis that must be solved by voting for Democrats…

    The media will be all to happy to oblige by slowly and quietly focusing more on that topic in the coming months.

  6. Don’t forget that the Gallup numbers are a poll, and thus have a margin of error of probably around what they claim the increase in insured was.

    Also, their time-scale is interesting. “End of last year” could easily still include the people who had their policies canceled, and thus the delta could simply be them sucking it up and getting coverage they don’t like on the exchanges.

    Hell, it doesn’t even assume the exchanges are the cause – 27 year olds might have just opted to finally get the insurance their employer offers.

    So much wrong with that data.

      • Tex, you’re dead right. Saw a Huffington Post headline yesterday about this very poll. “New poll shows Obamacare a success”. Unfortunately, HuffPo runs so damn many Java scripts the story never loaded so I didn’t get a chance to comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.