Tag Archives: Obamacare

Racket of Rackets, by James Howard Kunstler

All bona fide rackets require care and feeding from a government. Modern medical care is no exception. From  James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

If you thought banking in our time was a miserable racket — which it is, of course, and by “racket” I mean a criminal enterprise — then so-called health care has it beat by a country mile, with an added layer of sadism and cruelty built into its operations. Lots of people willingly sign onto mortgages and car loans they wouldn’t qualify for in an ethically sound society, but the interest rates and payments are generally spelled out on paper. They know what they’re signing on for, even if the contract is reckless and stupid on the parts of both borrower and lender. Pension funds and insurance companies foolishly bought bundled mortgage bonds of this crap concocted in the housing bubble. They did it out of greed and desperation, but a little due diligence would have clued them into the fraud being served up by the likes of Goldman Sachs.

Medicine is utterly opaque cost-wise, and that is the heart of the issue. Nobody in the system will say what anything costs and nobody wants to because it would break the spell that they work in an honest, legit business. There is no rational scheme for the cost of any service from one “provider” to the next or even one patient to the next. Anyway, the costs are obscenely inflated and concealed in so many deliberately deceptive coding schemes that even actuaries and professors of economics are confounded by their bills. The services are provided when the customer is under the utmost duress, often life-threatening, and the outcome even in a successful recovery from illness is financial ruin that leaves a lot of people better off dead.

It is a hostage racket, in plain English, a disgrace to the profession that has adopted it, and an insult to the nation. All the idiotic negotiations in congress around the role of insurance companies are a grand dodge to avoid acknowledging the essential racketeering of the “providers” — doctors and hospitals. We are never going to reform it in its current incarnation. For all his personality deformities, President Trump is right in saying that ObamaCare is going to implode. It is only a carbuncle on the gangrenous body of the US medical establishment. The whole system will go down with it.

To continue reading: Racket of Rackets

 

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A Health Care Plan So Simple, Even a Republican Can Understand, by Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter is a lot closer to a workable, market-based reform to replace Obamacare than Congressional Republicans’ efforts. From Coulter at anncoulter.com:

It’s always impossible to repeal laws that require Ann to pay for greedy people, because the greedy run out on the streets wailing that the Republicans are murdering them.

Obamacare is uniquely awful because the free stuff isn’t paid for through income taxes: It’s paid for through MY health insurance premiums. This is unfortunate because I wanted to buy health insurance.

Perhaps you’re not aware — SINCE YOU EXEMPTED YOURSELVES FROM OBAMACARE, CONGRESS — but buying or selling health insurance is illegal in America.

Right now, there’s no free market because insurance is insanely regulated not only by Obamacare, but also by the most corrupt organizations in America: state insurance commissions. (I’m talking to you, New York!)

Federal and state laws make it illegal to sell health insurance that doesn’t cover a laughable array of supposedly vital services based on bureaucrats’ medical opinions of which providers have the best lobbyists.

As a result, it’s illegal to sell health insurance that covers any of the medical problems I’d like to insure against. Why can’t the GOP keep Obamacare for the greedy — but make it legal for Ann to buy health insurance?

This is how it works today:

ME: I’m perfectly healthy, but I’d like to buy health insurance for heart disease, broken bones, cancer, and everything else that a normal person would ever need, but no more.

INSURANCE COMPANY: That will be $700 a month, the deductible is $35,000, no decent hospital will take it, and you have to pay for doctor’s visits yourself. But your plan covers shrinks, infertility treatments, sex change operations, autism spectrum disorder treatment, drug rehab and 67 other things you will never need.

INSURANCE COMPANY UNDER ANN’S PLAN: That will be $50 a month, the deductible is $1,000, you can see any doctor you’d like, and you have full coverage for any important medical problems you could conceivably have in a million years.

To continue reading: A Health Care Plan So Simple, Even a Republican Can Understand,

You Will Never Hear These Truths Discussed In The Mainstream, by Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith believes a variety of obvious truths are being ignored. It’s hard to argue against the ones he cites. From Smith at alt-market.com:

The general public truly lives in two separate worlds. We have the world of the mainstream media, popular culture and political rhetoric; a world which constantly and desperately seeks to twist or destroy any legitimate measure of reality, leading people into a frenzied fog. Then, we have the world of concrete facts; an ugly, brutal world that upsets many people when they see it and leaves them with little more than the hope that the most innovative of us will perhaps reverse the disastrous course, or at least, survive to carry on a meaningful level of civilization.

The sad thing is, if a majority of the population studied and accepted the world of fact, then preparation and intelligent or aggressive action might negate any destructive outcome. Reality only grows more ugly because we continue to ignore it.

Have you ever come to a logical or practical conclusion in response to a national or global problem and waited in vain to hear it represented in the mainstream? Have you ever thought — if I can figure this out, why can’t they? And by “they,” I mean the people most commonly offered a mainstream platform. This includes so called “professional journalists,” political leaders, mainstream economists, highly paid “analysts,” etc. Well, I think more and more Americans in particular are finally considering the notion that these “professionals” are either not very smart, or they have an agenda that seeks to perpetuate the problem rather than fix the problem.

Yes, the intellectual class, the longtime gatekeepers of public thought and consent, are actually mostly morons and/or liars with a terrible purpose in mind. I understand that this does not come as a surprise to many of my readers, but remember, the masses are still trapped in a stupefying fog. The goal here is to bring just a few more of them out of the doldrums whenever possible.

To continue reading: You Will Never Hear These Truths Discussed In The Mainstream

 

Is Health Care a Right or a Good? by Andrew P. Napolitano

Both Obamacare and its proposed replacement treat health care as a right. The constitution specifies no right to medical care or any other good or service because we all can’t have a “right” that someone else must pay for. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

The political fiasco that unfolded last week as President Donald Trump and the Republican House leadership failed to pass legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, is attributable as much to the failure of politics as it is to the failure of politicians to understand the constitutional role of the federal government.

Republicans could not muster a majority in the House, which they control because a determined small group of them want to remove the federal government from the regulation of health care and believe that the replacement for Obamacare that House leaders have offered would keep too much of it in place. The president and his allies have argued that their bill would invalidate enough of Obamacare to return free choices to health care and to fulfill their campaign promises. Neither side has prevailed.

Here is the back story.

When Congress passed Obamacare in 2010, it did so without a single Republican vote. The premise underlying the highly partisan 2,700-page legislation is that health care is a right belonging to everyone in America and the federal government has a constitutional duty to provide it.

The political structure of Obamacare mandates that every person in America obtain health insurance, that every employer of more than 50 people in America pay for the health insurance of all employees who work more than 30 hours per week, that every policy of health insurance cover a large dimension of potential medical needs and that those earning under a certain annual income level receive health care at the expense of the rest of us. The failure to obtain and maintain health insurance triggers a tax burden — equivalent to the annual premium on a health insurance policy — for every year one goes without coverage.

To continue reading: Is Health Care a Right or a Good?

Trump and Healthcare, by Scott Adams

This may look like Scott Adams trying to make the lemon of the Obamacare fiasco into lemonade, but he’s probably got it right. From Adams on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Today we are witnessing one of the most important events in political history. But you probably can’t see it because the news is talking about healthcare, and how Ryan and Trump totally failed to get enough votes.

The real story is happening in parallel with the healthcare story, and that’s what renders it invisible. Something enormous is happening that has nothing to do with anything you are seeing in the news. In fact, you’ll probably read it here for the first time.

I’m dragging this out to see if you can guess the big news before I tell you. It is something I predicted would happen. It is something the country needs MORE than healthcare. It was, until yesterday, perceived as the biggest problem in the United States, if not the entire world.

And that problem almost totally went away yesterday. The smell might linger, but the problem has ended. We should be celebrating, but instead we will be yammering about healthcare.

Do you know what problem just got solved? It’s invisible for now, but later everyone will be able to see it.

Don’t see it?

Okay, I’ll just tell you.

With the failure of the Ryan healthcare bill, the illusion of Trump-is-Hitler has been fully replaced with Trump-is-incompetent meme. Look for the new meme to dominate the news, probably through the summer. By year end, you will see a second turn, from incompetent to “Competent, but we don’t like it.”

To continue reading: Trump and Healthcare

Obamacare Repeal or Obamacare 2.0? by Ron Paul

Ron Paul is not enthusiastic about the Republicans’ proposed replacement of Obamacare. From Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

This Thursday, the House of Representatives will vote on a Republican bill that supposedly repeals Obamacare. However, the bill retains Obamacare’s most destructive features.

That is not to say this legislation is entirely without merit. For example, the bill expands the amount individuals can contribute to a health savings account (HSA). HSAs allow individuals to save money tax-free to pay for routine medical expenses. By restoring individuals’ control over healthcare dollars, HSAs remove the distortions introduced in the healthcare market by government policies encouraging over-reliance on third-party payers.

The legislation also contains other positive tax changes, such a provision allowing individuals to use healthcare tax credits to purchase a “catastrophic-only” insurance policy. Ideally, health insurance should only cover major or catastrophic health events. No one expects their auto insurance to cover routine oil changes, so why should they expect health insurance to cover routine checkups?

Unfortunately the bill’s positive aspects are more than outweighed by its failure to repeal Obamacare’s regulations and price controls. Like all price controls, Obamacare distorts the signals that a freely functioning marketplace sends to consumers and producers, thus guaranteeing chaos in the marketplace. The result of this chaos is higher prices, reduced supply, and lowered quality.

Two particularly insidious Obamacare regulations are guaranteed issue and community ratings. As the name suggests, guaranteed issue forces health insurance companies to issue a health insurance policy to anyone who applies for coverage. Community ratings forces health insurance companies to charge an obese couch potato and a physically-fit jogger similar premiums. This forces the jogger to subsidize the couch potato’s unhealthy lifestyle.

To continue reading: Obamacare Repeal or Obamacare 2.0?

A Bad Week and Getting Badder Bigly Fast, by James Howard Kunstler

Between the brouhaha over Deep State surveillance of Trump, the debt ceiling, and repealing and replacing Obamacare, the president has some “challenges.” From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

Well, of course they bugged Trump Tower. Why wouldn’t they? Trump’s big blunder du jour is that he tweeted “wiretapped,” like some hapless sap out of a 1950s I Was a Spy for the FBI movie. (I know people who still say “ice box,” too.) So he left himself — or rather poor Sean Spicer — open for a week of legalistic pettifogging by reporters acting as litigators for the Deep State’s intel corps.

Anyway, Wikileaks “Vault 7” document release earlier in the month made it clear that US intel has the ability to cover and confuse the tracks of any entity —including especially US intel itself — that ventures to penetrate any supposedly private or secure realm. And, by the way, that probably settles the matter of who “they” are. Whatever statutory restraints once existed against CIA spying on American citizens is long gone by the boards.

You might suppose, too, that the combined forces of Hillary and Obama, along with the still-entrenched Democratic establishment, would have tried through late 2016 to stop The Menace of Trump at all costs. Somebody had done them dirty in funneling the DNC and Podesta emails to Wikileaks, and it was imperative to fight back — especially with FBI director James Comey (a Republican, after all), going all rogue on Mrs. Clinton. Hence, the manufactured Russia-did-it story that has gotten more mileage than any political hallucination since Senator Joe McCarthy, at his height of influence, played the newspapers like a whole orchestra of flugelhorns.

It’s hard to see how Trump might ever established the truth of this matter. One of the strange features of these internecine wars is that the Department of Justice — as far as we know — isn’t deposing scores of operations people from the myriad agencies under the NSA umbrella to establish who’s been doing what. Anyway, there’s enough loose scuttlebutt around Washington that Trump might have a pretty good idea of who at the various agencies hates his guts, and is working against him, and one wonders why he doesn’t just fire a bunch of them. Perhaps that’s yet to come.

To continue reading: A Bad Week and Getting Badder Bigly Fast