November 14th, 2013
Conservative Refocus Retrospective
By Barry Secrest
Originally published on 8/28/09
The questions being asked by the Media in this MIASMA of often conflicting information seem to commonly revert to what appears to be "Liberal talking points.”
One has to wonder if what the press accused the Bush Administration of doing is actually being done unabashedly by this White House in sending out to the "Axis Networks” specific agenda items which need to be focused on and massaged into "Holographic Being.”
Over this entire period and with regard to the Healthscare debate- the Statists' constant overall agenda seems to be continually focusing on convincing "We the People" that our medical care (i.e. doctors and hospitals and the like) is not as good as the world seems to think that it is.
We have read story after story trying to convince us in editorial form and otherwise that We do not have it as good as We think we do when it comes to quality. One can only thank the Star-Spangled Press for delivering this "excellent" if not subjective "news" whilst We are all currently dealing with an America which has had nothing but bad news followed by worse over the last 12 months. An individual need not look far when trying to comprehend what is going on.
How bad it really is?
Chiefly, the story which had been designed to sink us further into suicidal depression revolved around a United Nations report that The United States ranks 35th in the world when it comes to our actual health care quality, using their own equally applied rating system. Accompanying this revelation is our conflicting findings that the average American’s Life Expectancy has now been increased to 78 Years old. Interestingly, in looking at population samples with regard to this report, some very compelling facts come to mind. When Average Life Expectancy is ranked by population size, which seems to make a lot more of an "actuarial sense" on a host of illustrative fronts, the following facts come into focus:
Comparison in Healthcare Quality of the Top (5) Most Populated Countries
Total Population Rank
The United States
**Date sources: Cia Factbook 2009; 2009 United Nations Healthcare Census
As one can see, The United States ranks Head and Shoulders above any comparatively ranked population size with regard to healthcare quality. This data was quite surprising when the urge came over us to look at Health care Quality from an actuarial sense. It would appear that in all of this Data one fact becomes apparent. The larger the population size is- within a given country - the more the "Law of Decreasing Returns" applies.
There were several other fascinating things that came both to mind and into stark analysis when reviewing this data. The most amusing was the fact that the European Union, which seems to me to be the "Ideal Model" for our Social Media's self-esteem problems, scores below the United States in overall rankings, although their population is higher. This appears to score an overall point in the analysis' favor when looking at our argument "holistically."
The other point which "glares" to this individual is the relatively small population slice of the United Kingdom in comparison to these other countries when noting the almost negligible increase in Life Expectancy over the United States. We all have heard of the problems with their system, but it only serves a population of 51 million. The US is (6) times larger than Great Britain for Heaven's sake. Canada's population is even less at roughly 33 million but they have no problems---right?
It is indeed amazing how the press will throw out numbers, and we all must then "bow down" without applying any logical principles to the data we are being given. There are some whom might argue that the Healthcare comparison to the Top five Countries is unfair due to the fact that, Industrially speaking ,the US is far ahead of it's Population counterparts. To these people We would rebut that this simply speaks to the exceptionalism of America and it's "Capitalist System."
I hope that at least some few will look at this analysis and come away with the knowledge that simple data is not enough. The data needs to be couched in a commonsensical progression in order to be able to actually see what is happening. I will leave it to the Pros or the Pundits to argue the merit of all of this,however, this particular data seems to be in absence within the continuing debate.
"Trust but verify" seems not to be enough these days, does it?
With regard to the ongoing contentious battle over Healthcare and the efforts by the opposing political factions to either illegitimately control it or to allow "the remaining non-social" (natural marketplace forces) to determine the "authentic direction" of medicine's flow--we thought it might prove interesting to look at a number of facts that seem to be missing in the debate.
On its own, the debut Conservative Refocus article ,"Mainstream Media's Holographic Reality," has generated a readership of nearly staggering proportions. We have been amazed--not only by the interest generated but also by what the information covered in the article implies (which is in direct contradiction to both our Fearless Leaders in the Government and our Media--such as it is).
The initial report, as detailed below, shows how far ahead the US is with regard to Healthcare Quality in comparison to any other population of similar size:
Somewhat surprising, wouldn't you say? So it's not as bad as one might have been led to believe by both the Government and the Mainstream Media; in fact, it is quite the opposite.
In addition to the facts we initially uncovered, there are a few other interesting data comparisons that the Socialist Eggheads just seem to "simply overlook"--most likely due to the fact that the truth tends to massively foul-up their arguments in support of government-controlled Healthcare.
The first element of our comparison should, of course, initially setup the scale in which we are observing all of the data. So let's look at what our total respective Healthcare Comparison Economies produce while we are all "still" Capitalists:
Did you notice? It's enough to make even the most ardent Capitalist blush with regard to those stunning comparative numbers. But those US numbers appear to be dropping fast--just to be fair and to make all the Socialists and left-wingers feel better...(Gee...wonder why?)
Okay, so I know what you're wondering, and here is the answer to your naturally competitive/inquisitive mind outside of the medical system comparison:
When the Government and the Media keep insisting on how horrible our Country is and how we squander the world's resources, they invariably seem to leave out just how productive "We the People"--living in our Free Market Economy--are and that we are producing a better-than-substantial proportion of the world's economy.
Now, since that's been settled, let's look at how much we spend per person on our Healthcare coverage, as well as our per capita income:
It would seem that--with higher life expectancies and world best-of-class Healthcare--an individual's costs within the higher paradigm of per capita income should logically be a bit higher since the individual is in control of their own Healthcare. In addition, our system pays what could be considered a very comfortable living to some of the best and the brightest in the world, and by doing so attracts a great many doctors from all over the planet.
This can be attested to by the number of foreign doctors who have migrated to the US in order to seek a higher income and better lives. You know,the fabulous doctors that we all run into in our daily lives who are still a bit sketchy on their command of the English language. I expect--with the rationing which is involved with any Government healthplan--the number and quality of our doctors would most likely decline over time; this would also incur the byproduct of "waiting periods" for necessary but non-emergency care.
Now, let's look at total number of all Physicians and Healthcare Providers--including Dentistry--a valid inclusion (I should point out that Dental speaks to overall Healthcare quality far more than the Eggheads might suggest)--ask any Cardiologist:
Now these are simply staggering comparative numbers when you consider that we are comparing our many and varied available facilities and personnel to countries that have populations easily (3) or even (4) times the size of our population. This particular comparison simply begs the question: "Why does a competitive marketplace medical system absolutely dwarf socialized medical countries with regard to the available number of facilities and personnel?" Once again: Government care must naturally involve rationing in order to control costs.
Next we look at the number of hospital beds per capita, because this speaks to patient availability within a given country:
There is one particular wildcard when one looks at the number of hospital beds, and it is in regard to Outpatient Surgery Centers.
The fact is simply that the US has progressed so far within the medical arts that doctors here can perform far fewer invasive surgical procedures, thereby far lessening the negative effects on patients. Now a particular procedure in the US can be completed and the patient sent on their way in (3) hours--which when done 10 years ago might have required a three day bed stay. Thus this would equate a need for far fewer hospital beds.
Outpatient Centers currently number approximately 5,000 spread throughout the US and are rapidly increasing as a measure to control costs as well as to serve patients more readily. This type of center was started in the US back in the 70's and is now catching on in other countries. With Free Market principles in place, new types of treatments in the art of medicine continue to rapidly increase. But with socialized medicine, we can say goodbye to rapid innovations--which are initially too costly and offer no profit incentive.
Finally, as we all can see, the US is like an oasis within a desert when compared to other countries that have socialized medicine. Our quick study did not even look into the sterling cleanliness of most US facilites, nor did it look at treatment mortality rates--perhaps fodder for another in-depth look at the US' medical system in comparison to others.
The Final Budgetary Solution (until thats gone too)?
One final point that I find interesting, if not perplexing, is the ratio differences when we compare the Canadian system with the US system. Many have asked the question (including me) why are the Liberal Democrats and President so insistent on taking over the system aside from the obvious answers indicated in our previous work? If one notices the total per capita income of the US as opposed to the total per capita income of Canada--and then subtracts the amount that we spend on OUR medical treatments--we find that the per capita income becomes nearly equal. Then, when we look at the total amount the Canadian government spends on its citizens' medical care, which is about half of what Americans spend, the possible answer to this question becomes clearer.
The total Canadian expenditure for Healthcare is approximately $3,000 per capita per year, as opposed to the United States, which spends approximately $6,000 per capita per year. When one looks at the US' total budgetary income for 2009 the total is $2.1 Trillion. While the latest figures available show the total expenditure in the US for Healthcare is approximately $2.3 Trillion per year. If the US Government could hypothetically gain control over Healthcare and then essentially halve the amount that it pays on Healthcare--as in Canada--the Government then could have an extra $1 Trillion to put towards wealth redistribution and/or whatever else it desires, including shortfalls. This would assume that we would all be paying into the government essentially what we pay into our entire Healthcare system (and the like) currently.
In Benjamin Franklin's day, as the Minister Plenipotentiary for the American Revolutionary Government, Franklin's chief job was to facilitate diplomacy with regard to the French, but, in particular his focus was the procuring of loans from the French Government in order to finance America's war effort against the British. A fact that is often lost in the history books is simply that-- without the French's help--our independence may have never actually happened. Historically speaking --D-day, then was in essence figurative payback.
Must Be Something in the Water Up There....
The problem--in our current context--was simply as follows: Even in Franklin's day, the Continental Congress of the existing body of states was so ravenous in its incessant spending that Franklin actually became embarrassed at his having to beg the French for more war funds on behalf of his country on a wearily continuous basis. If not for his singular celebrity-like popularity with the French peoples, he might not have been able to obtain the funds at all.
On this basis, one must suppose, whatever is in the water of the Potomac has most obviously been there for at least 250 years, for Heaven's sake.
Always follow the money.....especially when Congress is involved. We are all aware of the studies that have come out indicating that the US pays far too much for its Healthcare.
Has anyone considered the possibility that perhaps all the other socialized medicine countries are paying too little?
*All statistics presented were gathered from The World Health Organization, Nationmaster.com, CIA Factbook, United Nations 2009 Census, and The CBO. Historical excerpts are from the book The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin.
November 6th, 2013
"It's a known fact, at least to the ever clueless Left defending Obamacare, that what insurance companies have apparently always wanted to do is to both cancel and rid themselves of most if not all of their paying customers--obviously so that they might stop paying taxes--but also so that they will no longer have to stay in business, which will, therefore, allow them to keep all of that money....which.... they will no longer be making."
"They're on to us folks...."
In July of 2010, the Obamacare rules and regulations, as promulgated by the US Government, were painstakingly updated to include one very key piece of information, which proves beyond a shadow of doubt that the President and other members of the US government lied and did so repeatedly with regard to the Affordable Care Act.
According to an NBC News story, the added information included this smoking gun:
"Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”
That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them."
Unfortunately for the White House, recent accounts indicate that the folly of Obamacare was known far earlier than the above citation. In fact, shortly after Obamacare was passed, Harvard economics professor and consultant David Cutler warned the Regime of his concerns for the law's implementation, as relayed from the following Washington Post article:
In May 2010, two months after the Affordable Care Act squeaked through Congress, President Obama’s top economic aides were getting worried. Larry Summers, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, and Peter Orszag, head of the Office of Management and Budget, had just received a pointed four-page memo from a trusted outside health adviser. It warned that no one in the administration was “up to the task” of overseeing the construction of an insurance exchange and other intricacies of translating the 2,000-page statute into reality.
So, there you have it, but the plot only thickens at this point, because the end game is most obviously in site, at least for the Obama Regime. Indeed, the President's imperative, as promulgated all along, was to eventually force America into a single-payer health system, as Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Administration earnestly tried during the Clinton years.
Step One: Paving The Way
First, it was essential for Obama to create an urgent political need to get public opinion flowing against America's formerly private healthcare system, which by the way, was the best in the world prior to 2011. Certainly, the task would be fairly easy since the overall Leftist media both inserted and controlled the conversation from the start. 2009, in fact, saw an avalanche of news article after news article oddly flooding the media, as if concerted by some phantom maestro in an effort to flow public affectation against private healthcare.
WHO Chart showing medical service providers in US as of 2010: Note the miniscule number of providers in both China and India, which make up over half the world's population in billions, as compared to America's 310 million individuals.
For instance, in 2009 we could find chief-apparatchik Paul Krugman, a Left-Wing principality of the New York Times, leading the journalistic fight for state-run Healthcare and against private healthcare in one of his many Leftist pieces titled "The Politics of Spite":
"The same principle of spite has determined Republican positions on more serious matters, with potentially serious consequences — in particular, in the debate over health care reform."
"The Republican campaign against health care reform has shown no such consistency. For the main G.O.P. line of attack is the claim — based mainly on lies about death panels and so on — that reform will undermine Medicare."
Medicare was, by the way, eventually forced to give up over $ 700 Billion of funding in favor of the Affordable Care Act as set by Obama, himself. But also within the same newspaper and appearing on the same day, was "Left-Wing Boy-Wonder" Nick Kristoff who thoughtfully included this rather prophetic attempt to knock down and drag-out America's private healthcare system, as indicated by his closing argument for a healthcare transformation:
"I can only Hope that the Legislators find it in their hearts to overhaul an existing insurance system that is the disgrace of the industrialized world"
In fact, newspaper articles were flooding the media from sea to shining sea in an effort to build support against our then present-day free market-based system. The effort from the Left as required by the Regime would eventually find success.
Step one would finally be completed on October 1st, 2013, with the Obamacare rollout to unquestionably disastrous results, as only six individuals Nationwide would actually be signed up on the first day, and in a nation of well over 300 million people.
Step Two: Riding Out The Storm
As the rollout proceeds, the Obamacare regulations will essentially act as an ever-tightening noose on private health insurance carriers. Individual insurance markets will be forced to continually slake customer after customer. Despite the artificed fanfare from Obama, which few if any paid attention to back in 2010, the grandfathered policies will never be able to continually survive the stringent standards required of compliance laws for very long. Regulatory compatibility will become more and more difficult. As the overall stable of customers are slowly depleted, specific plans will be left at an actuarial risk, thereby depleting carrier claims reserves and causing plan termination letters to eventually flow out.
While many insurance carriers lined up in support at first, as recruited by the Obama Regime, thousands of pages of regulations have been written since that time, and at the Secretary's discretion, but only as directed by the White House.
As time moves inevitably forward, private plans will also suffer from little-known but severe profit limitations as imposed by the Affordable Care Act. Beginning in 2011, one of the first rules of the Affordable Health Act mandated that companies would be required to pay no less than 80% of premium income on medical care for policy holders. In other words, no matter how precise actuarial underwriting efforts might be, plans which were designed to bolster healthy individual enrollment while also allowing starkly less in premiums, would no longer matter.
Profit will now be severely limited.
If a company fails to hit its mandated target of 80% of each premium dollar taken in to be applied towards medical care, the underwriting gain will have to be forfeited back to the policy holders by way of an annual refund. This, in essence, would mean that all administrative costs must be held to no more than 20% of every premium dollar. A difficult proposition at best for companies looking to control fraud or expand into both better plan designs and improving overall efficiencies.
According to a 2012 Fox News story, these limitations on profit, despite being an obvious Marxist construct, could cause more companies to either go out of business or drop specific plans, as is happening even now:
"This puts tremendous pressure on companies," Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman with America's Health Insurance Plans, told FoxNews.com. Foremost, they say the sudden implementation could force some health plans out of the market. Zirkelbach said the new rules could also force insurers to cut down on fraud prevention activities and prevent them investing money in innovation. "Capping what health plans can invest in those activities and to pioneer new initiatives is only going to make it harder for those new types of programs and services ... to come online," he said.
So, with subsidized government forces increasingly aligning themselves against the private market, the shrinking health insurance industry will see more and more carriers forced out of business, which is exactly where the next step comes into play.
Step 3: A Dangerous Deception
There were approximately 806 Health Insurance companies of all types in the US, in 2013. However, over the prior decade, that number was considerably larger, almost double in fact. But as Obamacare continues to take over insurance, that number will shrink considerably. While over 1/6th of the entire US economy is made up of the healthcare industry, that same industry was formerly funded in large part by private and or employer sponsored insurance carriers. Now, about 93 million individuals are covered under the US government's medicare and medicaid programs. The latest data conversely indicates that only about 15 million Americans are presently insured under private insurance health plans with the remainder of the health insurance carrying population being covered by employer sponsored plans, that number approaching roughly 145 million.
The actual problem of sharply increasing premiums began within the insurance industry back in the late 1960's, after Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" initiative placed the government in the position of eventually dictating fee for service levels which would, overtime, prove to be an industry-wide problem. Private insurance carriers would pick up the shortage in costs gaps associated with lower than nominal costs paid by the government. As the federal and State mandated programs grew, the government became the single largest US insurance carrier of all.
The short answer with regard to spiraling costs being, in effect, that an 800 lb. gorilla pays what it wants pretty much when it wants, with no effective recourse for any meaningful complaints.
As the government's role continually grew, more and more Doctors and providers were forced to opt out of the government's network, to the point that in the present day, many individuals have difficulty finding doctors who will even take on more federally funded patients. This is due simply to the fact that doctors can only see a certain percentage of Medicaid and Medicare patients before the level of reimbursement becomes highly unprofitable, ergo, the private market surges to the rescue for remaining private market patients. On the flip-side, the shortfall in payments by the government forces the private market and its insurance providers to pick up more and more of the costs, creating a death spiral of premium increases while the number of available doctors continues to dwindle.
In fact, a large proportion of medical inflation is based on the fact that the government often severely underfunds most given procedures. So while the political left insistently snipes at insurance carriers, almost as a hobby, the root of the problem lies within the Federal Government's insertion into the market well over a generation hence.
So, while Obama's two main promises centered on reducing health insurance costs while increasing the number of insured individuals, the fact that extreme government meddling will produce only worse results is only now being found out by the citizenry at large, as in the October 1st health Act rollout. Indeed, more people will stand to lose coverage than will gain it which is the grandest irony of all. However, the upcoming fix that Obama has promised will certainly only make things worse, noting the fact that according to the Washington Post, 9 out of 10 Obamacare enrollments have been redirected into Medicaid, rather than written through Obamacare, which brings us to the next step.
Step 4: Unintended Consequences?
As more and more individuals are signed up into Medicaid as a result of the healthcare.gov website redirection, the required number of enrollments making Obamacare actually function will simply not be enough unless drastic changes are made.
Obamacare will need at least 39,000 enrollees per month in order to perform nominally, as planned. However, since the 10/1/13 rollout, only a comparative handful have actually signed up for Obamacare, while Medicaid enrollment has proven to be an outrageous and yet dubious success. Many of these enrollments may have even transitioned from private insurance, regardless, the current profusion of Medicaid enrollees will massively blow up both federal and state outlays for what is essentially free medical coverage, and quite comprehensive at that, while private market enrollments will increase only slightly, at best.
But, while Medicaid offers first dollar coverage, essentially for free, private health insurance, Obamacare will require excessively high deductibles and phenomenal out of pocket costs simply to keep premiums outside of the "insanity range." The ironic part of this particular issue is the fact that the middle class taxpayers, who're paying out hefty taxes to support Medicaid, are the same individuals being crucified by the Obama Regime in the premium amounts needed to support the act's mandated coverages. Being considered poor, at least by government standards, will allow many people to have far, far, superior coverage to those who both pay for their own coverage while also paying for the poor's coverage, a thing that only a Marxist might find justice in.
But, then despite the coverage superiority, there is also a decaying quality of care issue associated with medicaid, which will only get worse as roles are expanded by government.
These upcoming conditions, as enumerated, rather easily explain why the President inexplicably sought to delay the mandate for employers, which will in 2014 create a tsunami of even greater consequences, while placing an immeasurable strain on employers, health insurance carriers, citizens and even the government itself.
Step 5: Top Down Bottom Up Inside out
But as the program stumbles forward, many individuals who find Obamacare simply unaffordable will most likely opt out of both Obamacare and any meaningful private health insurance coverage, and in complete if not abject disgust, and pay the fine. While before , these individuals were able to easily, if not ironically, afford coverage, now they simply cannot and as a direct result of Obamacare.
As insurance companies find it harder and harder to function within the hostile regulatory atmosphere, healthcare providers will also suffer increasingly if not by magnitude. Individuals will be forced to forego various procedures as many providers will require deductibles to be paid up front. Unfortunately also, the Obamacare enrollees will have another even newer problem. Many top hospitals, providers, and specialists and even doctors have already indicated that they will not be opting into the Obamacare networks due to insufficient reimbursements within the Healthcare Act's payment directives.
This will mean that many enrollees may either unenroll themselves or sign themselves up with a private insurance market, which does have the necessary network, assuming one's available, and in many cases one simply will not be. However, this will further strain private markets, which will be forced to enroll individuals with pre-existing conditions causing rates to move up even higher.
As these rates move up incrementally, many of the healthier individuals will be unable to afford them, prompting these to enroll either in Obamacare or Medicaid.
Some families will actually begin forfeiting income in order to qualify for Medicaid, while others will find ways to work the system for free coverage.
As this trend continues, the smaller private insurance carriers will continue to consolidate and merge. Eventually there would be very few carriers left and those would be the largest, however, even these carriers would continue to suffer while the healthcare providers will also merge and become larger.
If Obamacare is allowed to continue, eventually the entire system would be measured by only a few gigantic entities with a veritable army of specialized lobbyists and extreme amounts of rationing since the number of providers will be abnormally restricted. As written earlier, clinics and smaller hospitals will begin to suffer, as various lesser insurance carriers and medical vendors begin either opting out or selling out of their traditional roles within the healthcare system, itself.
Step Six: The Final Outcome
Rural medical care will also begin to suffer, as the rates being charged to lesser populated regions begin to overwhelm Obamacare's less affluent victims.
Job losses will soar, even as Medicaid roles are expanded, leaving fewer and fewer victims for Obamacare to advantage, while also forcing states to raise taxes to cover ever-increasing social funding outlays.
Seniors, who have seen their Medicare premiums increase expansively, will find making ends meet harder and harder, forcing many into poverty-like conditions, while others will be unable to gain medical care for life-threatening conditions, formerly repairable, under prior government healthcare.
Prescription costs, for those at higher risks, will be unaffordable, which will then put pressure on big pharma to maintain profits, thereby forcing even more costs onto remaining private insurers, which will still cover certain prescriptions.
Eventually, the entire system will substantially erode and begin to collapse, as the government will be forced to take over various clinics and hospitals within regions of starkly depressed economic conditions.
Corporations will be forced to slake both employees and healthcare plans as available receipts worsen. Individual disposable income will drop due to the increased amount of premiums being paid into a waning healthcare system. This will put pressure on virtually every sector of the economy. Taxes will need to be raised to support a system, which was fully independent only several years prior, while rationing will eventually become the rule rather than the exception, as intervals of required care will widen out significantly.
Finally, the government will act to save the system it initially sought to fix and thereby ruined with one fell swoop of legislation. America will become engrossed within a medical labryinth of unimaginable expense and unparalleled bureacratic complexity.
All of this because one single man and one particular party set out to force insurance on 3o million people, who probably didn't want it anyway, and to reportedly save $2,500 per year for families. Nevermind the 15 million who will soon lose coverage and are apparently considered expendable by the White House. But as politics comes into play regarding how to correct this undeniable debacle of deception, many within both parties have indicated a desire to actually sew the Frankenstein monster of Obamacare back together and try to improve it, and yet no matter what government does, it will still remain a slowly moving but still terrifying monster.
Going forward, the only credible answer will have to be one of "Full Repeal or No Deal," and once the blasted thing is dead and buried, government can specifically address the real problem areas, rather than trying to create yet another government leviathan of impending failure, if not doom. The only practical way to achieve this outcome is a simple push of the reset button, all the way back to the day before the law was passed--as if it never truly happened.
Regardless of the final outcome, perhaps now, some few Americans will finally understand why the Tea Party and the Conservatives, increasingly hated by the President and his Progressive Decepticons, fought so terribly hard and long to rid America of this fraudulently induced plague of collectivist impracticality.
It's simply because we were right, we knew we were right, and soon everyone else will know it, too....unfortunately.
Barack Obama Then:
“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”~Barack Obama, on 6/15/2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012
Barack Obama Now:
Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed. ~Barack Obama, 11/4/13
Barry Secrest is an author, political commentator, and multiple business owner of over 20 years, and has been a health & property & casualty insurance specialist and risk manager for over 26 years.
October 29th, 2013
"Valerie Jarrett tweeted out that Obamacare didn't terminate your health plan, the insurance companies did.
It's the most unreal thing, because why are the insurance companies changing their plans? It's because they have to comply with Obamacare! This is worse than disingenuous. It's worse than just out-and-out lying. This is insulting." -Rush
It was early February of 2010.
The battle for universal healthcare, later to become Obamacare, had previously been teetering as too politically controversial back in late 2009, only to later become hung in the US Senate. But, then a thing happened in California, which, in comparison to what we've seen with the ACA rollout of today, would be considered dismissively benign and at best, rather ironic.
On or about February 9th, 2010, Anthem Blue Cross released a rating increase notification to its customers indicating that premiums would be increased, on average, by about 39% across California. The rate hike notification sparked an immediate controversy that raged all the way across the nation via a concerned media, finally making its way into the Oval Office; however, it would turn out to be the caustic nudge that the Democrats ultimately needed.
Days after, in what then would have been considered a rare step, the White House requested a justification for the premium increase directly from the insurer. Obama, even more remarkably, had embarked now embattled HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius to write a sternly worded letter to the company, according to the LA Times, which read in part:
"With so many families already affected by rising costs, I was very disturbed to learn through media accounts that Anthem Blue Cross plans to raise premiums for its California customers by as much as 39%," Sebelius wrote to company President Leslie Margolin."
"These extraordinary increases are up to 15 times faster than inflation and threaten to make healthcare unaffordable for hundreds of thousands of Californians, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet in a difficult economy."
"Policyholders in the individual market deserve to know if their premium increases would be invested in better medical care or insurance company overhead costs like salaries, profits, and advertising. I am aware that the state of California is investigating this matter, and urge Anthem Blue Cross to cooperate fully. In the meantime, I will be closely monitoring the situation."
"At a time when healthcare costs are a critical threat to families as well as the nation's economy, I hope you appreciate the urgent nature of this request. I look forward to your prompt reply."
Interestingly enough, the cost of that particular rate increase pales notably in comparison with the increases we are even now seeing in both Obamacare rates and what will soon become millions of forced policy cancellations, as mandated by the US Government via the uber-intrusive Obama Regime.
The Anthem rate increase would became a demagogic battle cry for both the WHite House and the Democrats, which would eventually result in the Affordable Care Act becoming law in March of 2010, and nothing may ever be the same. In retrospect, most of us fatefully knew how it would likely go from the start, that is at least on the Conservative side, which is why we fought against it so stringently.
Indeed, if you listen very carefully to the CBS News clip, the news anchor states, "The President's healthcare law raises the standards for insurance policies, which many consider to be a good thing."
However, when you listen to the young lady featured within news story, she will tell you a story far different, in fact, from even the highly critical commentary offered by CBS news.
At one point, the young lady featured in the story, Natalie Willis, indicates, "before, I had a plan that had a $1,500 dollar deductible, I paid $199 dollars a month, the most similar [ Obamacare] plan that I would have available to me, would be $ 278 dollars a month, my deductible would be $ 6,500 hundred dollars and all of my care after that point would be covered at 70%."
Now Folks, how could that possibly be considered as Obamacare "raising the standards for insurance policies," when in fact it makes the new crop of Obamacare policies far less affordable with far less coverage, than ever before? Doesn't that in effect lower the standard for insurance policies?
Not only that, if the Obamacare policies offer a higher standard now than ever before, then why have insurance policies, which, in the past, offered abysmally high deductibles and outrageous out of pocket expense ratios, been historically considered of poor quality in industry-wide comparison?
But it's not just in California.
The Civitas Institute website offers a dour collection of Obamacare horror stories, hailing from the exact opposite side of America from California in North Carolina. When you begin reading these stories, they will tell you a tale of what could only be considered healthcare terror, stemming from what might soon be known as the "Nightmare from Pennsylvania Avenue" a/k/a Obamacare:
MOTHER OF TWO CHRONICALLY ILL CHILDREN “BEING DESTROYED BY OBAMACARE”…MEDICAL COPAY FOR VITAL MEDICINE SKYROCKETS BY 306 PERCENT…DEDUCTIBLES AND COPAYS SOAR
LOSING CURRENT PLAN “DUE TO ACA REGULATIONS”….PREMIUMS TO DOUBLE….WITH HIGHER DEDUCTIBLE
YOUNG, HEALTHY FEMALE TO SEE PREMIUMS TRIPLE…
CURRENT INSURANCE DROPPED “DUE TO ACA REGULATIONS”…PREMIUM WOULD INCREASE 81 PERCENT…A RISE OF MORE THAN $450/MO…FORCED TO DROP COVERAGE BECAUSE IT WILL BE UNAFFORDABLE
FULL-TIME WORKER HAVING HOURS CUT TO 25/WK…
LOSING CURRENT COVERAGE…NEW PREMIUMS WOULD BE 50 PERCENT HIGHER…COST $4,200 MORE PER YEAR…WITH HIGHER OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES
Problem is, these are just a sampling of what will soon be hundreds of thousands of stories from Sea to shining Sea, and eventually millions.
As the Left continually offers up excuses piled upon deflection, redirected towards blame aimed desperately at the loyal opposition, Obama's amateur apologists throughout the Social Media now find themselves bereft of any plausible explanation. Here are two prime examples from a professional author and former reporter of 30 years while in the process of trying to defend the Obamacare debacle:
"McConnell and Cruz can talk all they want, but it won't change the facts. The ACA is the law of the land and will be at least until Obama leaves office. ... Aren't there other things in this country that need attention??????? ..... The Right's obsession with the ACA is growing very, very old with a lot of Americans."
"The GOP will lose and lose BIG in 2016: "Some of the women I know have graduate degrees (law, business, etc) ,were literally going bankrupt or suffering badly in the 2012 economy , yet still supported Obama on these straw-man issues." .... As long as we pretend these are "straw-man" issues [the GOP] will will lose and lose LARGE, just as Cuccinnelli is about to do in the once solidly Republican state of Virginia (against a very flawed Dem candidate). ... For women, equality in the workplace, the right to choose, decent health care and day care, investment in education are NOT "strawman" issues. They are VITAL issues, just as they are for me.
Classic deflection, from the Left, and that once again from an author and professional reporter of 30 years. But, what they fail to ever address is simply the question of why a sitting US President would creatively lie, so blatantly if not continually, to the American People, when the ACA is doing precisely the thing that the President denied would ever happen, period:
“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”~Barack Obama, in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012
Nor is it that just that the President lied, but it was also the entire Democrat Party who joined in, while the Republicans fought tooth and nail to defeat the ACA, and down to the last man.
The base of the GOP's determination to rid the nation of such a damaging instrument of government in maximum- meddle- mode, were the Conservatives, to which the establishment members of the GOP state things such as this:
The leaders of the Republican Party, in full flight from their disastrous and juvenile shutdown stunt, now want to restock their ranks with grown-ups. “Let’s face it: it was not a good maneuver,” Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah told The Times recently. “You’ve got to have the adults running the thing.”
Really, Sen. Hatch?
So. Sen. Hatch, who has been in the GOP ostensibly since the Civil War, thinks that those who fought the hardest against these debilitating changes are the immature children of the party?
Meanwhile, the New York Times remains in classic deflection mode.
"The obsession with deficits is already taking a huge toll on the poor, who have seen cutbacks in vital programs, and could well see more if the Republicans have their way. Next week, for instance, a House-Senate conference on the farm bill will consider a proposal from allegedly “grown-up” House Republicans that would cut $39 billion from food stamps, which would push three million people off the program a year. Democrats will be so busy fighting off that proposal that they will have a hard time reversing the scheduled cut for all food stamp recipients that begins next Friday.
Senator Lamar Alexander says his party needs to persuade the public that it can be trusted with government. To do so, Republicans will have to do much more than simply reopen government’s doors."
Well, the doors have been flung wide-open, and we are in turn greeted with the following issues courtesy of those who've deemed themselves "the adults":
Enought yet? No? Okay, how about these:
Still not convinced?
And that's just in the past five days...
As Obamacare policies and outrageous expenditures are even now threatening America's still fragile economy, and while hundreds of thousands are now facing a health insurance crisis of the first order due directly to the Obama Regime and the Democrats, The New York Times chooses to cast its pitiful attempts at blame towards the Tea Party for something that never actually happened, which was a government default that never even came close to occurring.
Even as we have a growing NSA scandal, which has outraged the entire world against Obama's ever growing paranoidal tendencies, soon to be millions of Americans who will have had their insurance policies cancelled, a massive surge in Medicaid roles as a result of misdirected Obamacare sign-ups, millions unable to sign-up on the government run health websites, even while the US hurtles towards a $ 20 trillion dollar deficit, a nation mired in poverty with more than 11 million jobs having been lost since 2008, and a President who seems more interested in signing up illegal aliens to be US citizens rather than tackling these growing and very "real" problems, which now crucially threaten America.
Ironically, the Conservatives were against each and every one of these things as they summarily pop-up, and on a daily basis-- and are dutifully ignored by the Obama faithful. So how is it that the Conservatives are to be blamed, for anything, and even if so, for what, exactly?
While some in the media may now at least be groggily stirring, as per the CBS news story and many others coming out, the ringleaders of America's downfall stubbornly remain in full deflection mode, as per the usual.
Meanwhile, the same Democrats who were calling Conservatives "Terrorists, Arsonists, Hostage-Takers, and suicide Bombers," for trying to stop Obamacare, are now writing letters to the President asking him to delay his healthcare mandate...go figure.
But then, there was this story with our commentary, which was pulled from the Conservative Refocus News section and shotgunned out to thousands of sites at a truly prodigious viraling rate:
"Although we've heard of many problems coming to light, this particular problem could unravel the entire ACA plan ---and it's written into the law of the land.
Pay very close attention to this one--the law, as written, cannot be changed without Congressional approval. The Federal subsidies are the only way the coverage becomes affordable except that 36 states are not offering a state run exchange."~Refocus Notes
Excerpted from the LA Times:
The Affordable Care Act proposes to make health insurance affordable to millions of low-income Americans by offering them tax credits to help cover the cost. To receive the credit, the law twice says they must buy insurance "through an exchange established by the state."
But 36 states have decided against opening exchanges for now. Although the law permits the federal government to open exchanges instead, it does not say tax credits may be given to those who buy insurance through a federally run exchange. This week, U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman in Washington, a President Clinton appointee, refused the administration's request to dismiss the suit. Instead, he said the challengers had put forward a substantial claim, and he promised to issue a written ruling.
"This is a problem," said Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University. "This case could have legs," although "it was never the intent of Congress to establish federal exchanges that can't do anything.
Apparently no one noticed this when the long and complicated bill worked its way through the House and Senate.
The new suits take aim at the parts of the law that offer subsidies to those who are above the poverty level but still may struggle to pay for insurance. A single person with an income up to $45,960 can qualify for subsidies now, as can a family of four with an income up to $94,200. If the federal government cannot offer these subsidies in the 36 states without exchanges, it cannot enforce the mandate to have insurance, lawyers say.
Checkmate....or another executive bypass decree?
Either way, does it truly sound like the "Adults" are "in charge," or is it really more a case of the inmates stubbornly refusing to be dislodged, even as the building slowly burns into the ground? Perhaps "The Affordable Care Act" is nothing if not a precisely engineered bureaucratic contagion designed to efficiently take down fully 1/6th of the US economy--because in that particular event--it could and probably will be considered a raging success, that is, if the ultimate aim was for Obamacare to effectively become America's #1 artificially engineered health risk.
Beware the Obamacare strain....
October 22nd, 2013
The Liberals were dancing in the streets and howling with joy over both Obama and the Democrats' tactical win regarding the Debt ceiling increase in tandem with the failed Obamacare defunding effort.
Causatively, the Conservatives were ready to evacuate, if not completely eviscerate the entire Republican Party --that is until that other news began leeching out from the media, but only after the House vote was completed, of course.
The night before the final vote, Obama actually sounded Presidential in his deferral to all sides stating
"I've never believed that Democrats have a monopoly on good ideas"--"I'm convinced that Democrats and Republicans can work together to make progress for America."
Fear not, however, because right after the final vote had been completed by the House, the partisan Saul Alinksy side of the President took over once again, as Obama opportunistically began to slam the GOP, but only after the danger had passed, of course:
"All of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do."
"[the Conservatives should] go out there and win an election and push to change policies they do not like, but not try to break apart America's system of governing."
Oh, "He's Baa-ack."
Our initial response to all of this, here at Conservative Refocus, spoke to the fact that the reaction from both sides was quite premature, and that's to put it mildly, at least after our outside-of-the-box analysis of what was truly happening, had been completed.
In fact, the vast Right-wing Conservative punditry appeared, at least in part, to be feeding the frenzy of anger from Conservatives towards the GOP and across the spectrum--as had we-- before a thing began happening which changed our outlook dramatically, but only beginning on October the 2nd. In fact, things had now changed so drastically, even within the midst of these debates, that these culminating events were certainly not what they were, one week, one month, or one year or even three years ago.
This is why the ultimate outcome concerning the final House and Senate vote, in the final tally, was quite possibly the best thing that could have ever happened for the GOP, and there are three simple idiomatic reasons why.
The first reason for our non-serendipitous U-turn, was due to an event that began happening on October 1st, right in the midst of all of the passionate debate over both spending and the debt ceiling, and it was something that no one had truly expected. Indeed, it was also at about this time, that Conservative Senator Ted Cruz was said to have all of a sudden "disappeared," at least according to the Axis Press.
Now why is that?
Our initial reason was partially illuminated by the fact that the launch of Obamacare had turned into an even worse train wreck than anyone could have ever possibly imagined, and right out of the box.
You see, when the Obamacare State Exchanges were rolled out and placed into effect, they didn't exactly work very well, and that's being nice about it. Nor was it simply a few technical glitches, either.
With only a relative few people logging on to try to obtain health insurance, many of them simply couldn't. Indeed, after almost three weeks, there are many individuals who are still hung at even creating an account name, others are hung-up on the password, and still others can't seem to get past the security questions. In other words, the vehicle that was supposed to be used to make all of this Obamacare goodness happen, turns out to be shoddy third rate software at best, and apparently designed by Community organizers.
The truly great thing is that this is before the mandate even takes effect and with very light traffic, so just imagine if you will, what happens when millions begin accessing a site which was so poorly designed that it can barely stand even light traffic.
Can you say "Mega-train wreck?" No wonder Cruz disappeared, most of us had overestimated the Obama regime's technical prowess based only upon their electronic election savvy, one supposes. But, that's not the only reason for our sea-change in opinion, it was an unholy trinity of three major things coming together which did the trick...on to the next.
The second major reason was that there were those who were lucky enough to actually get into the program, but that's where the next massive problem only began. You see, the ones who finally got in couldn't seem to get back out fast enough, assuming they were actually able to view the rates. The ones that were able to view the rates, during the process of enrollment, apparently went through an extreme bout of sticker shock as a result, to say the least.
Indeed, and once again as much earlier predicted, Obamacare is not at all cheap, in fact it costs a small fortune, the coverage deductibles are prohibitively high, and the out of pocket costs are crazy bad, if not unlimited, and then there's the severe prescription limitations.
We knew that all of this simply wasn't going to play very well when the faithful Obama disciples became discombobulated, and only after the first several months of making their vast monthly Obamacare payments. Nor could they, at this juncture, blame it on the GOP because the Republicans had pretty much laid down their arms and gone quietly along with the Obama regime, with nary a whimper, after all was said and done.
To be sure, the private market health insurance offerings will begin to look very enticing, subsidy or not, never mind the fact that they don't share your personal info with every government agency in existence. Oh, but wait, there was this one teeny-tiny little catch...
But no one cares about price, or cancellations, especially when it comes to Obama's legacy, right? Hello?
But then, as the Obama Regime stands at the plate whiffing at the healthcare ball searing past, there's the third and perhaps crowning issue in all of this.
The initial Republican game plan could not have easily foreseen any of these variables breaking as bad as they actually did on the Obama Regime, but break they did--and bad doesn't even do the foul debacle justice.
The GOP had indicated that they would seek a one year delay for the actual individual inception of Obamacare; however, now that we can all see how bad it actually is, the GOP was obviously granted an ill-deserved reprieve. You see, if the inception had actually been pushed back one year, that would have placed the genesis of Obamcare's debut AFTER the 2014 election.
So, the overall populace who will be forced into buying Obamacare in 2014 could not have possibly known how truly horrible it actually is until after the election.
But, now, they will....
The Republicans, who were never for Obamacare in the first place, and in total, will end up building a mountain of usable political capital headed into the 2014 election, as the debacle only gets worse --while the Democrats' coiffure of public IOU's will be as full of useless paper promises as the US Treasury, itself.
Live by the sword, die by the sword, as they say, but it gets even better. Because of the fact that neither Obama nor the Democrats ever offered up a budget, the spending resolutions will be forced into continuing and at the House's ultimate discretion.
As things continually grow worse, Obama's ratings will begin to truly suffer, and the Democrats will then begin casting for ways to rethink their collective positions, albeit far too late. While this is happening, the political Left will continue trying to sell the Obamacare snake oil while accusing the GOP of both wishing and trying to get the "Affordable" Healthcare Act to fail from the start.
The Liberals will even cast wildly about for a villain, ultimately trying to blame Conservatives for the ostentatious failure of their solely owned program, however the Left will be unable to gain any traction with that particular line of attack, nor will the media get behind it, at least not fully.
Meanwhile, clinics and smaller hospitals will begin to suffer, as various lesser insurance carriers and medical vendors begin either opting out or selling out of their traditional roles within the healthcare system.
Rural medical care will also begin to suffer, as the rates being charged to lesser populated regions begin to overwhelm Obamacare's less affluent victims.
Job losses will soar, while Medicaid roles are expanded leaving fewer and fewer victims for Obamacare to advantage, while also forcing states to raise taxes to cover ever-increasing social funding outlays.
Seniors, who have seen their Medicare premiums increase, expansively, will find making ends meet harder and harder forcing many into poverty-like conditions, while others will be unable to gain medical care for life-threatening conditions, formerly repairable, under prior government healthcare.
Prescription costs, for those at higher risks, will be unaffordable which will then put pressure on big pharma to maintain profits thereby forcing even more costs onto remaining private insurers, which will still cover certain prescriptions.
This will, in turn, begin to force up rates massively as premium notifications will be required to come out in October of 2014.
The political Left will then offer up various radical avenues of repair which will only hit private industry, and therefore consumers, even harder. Then, in an upcoming continuing resolution funding debate, the Conservatives can push for defunding with the "full faith and credit" of the American people.
Here also is where Obama will most likely make a play for the penultimate authoritarian presidential power-play.
And all of this will hit just as the November Elections come into their final stages, and just as the employers will be forced into becoming part of the Obamacare mandate. Layoffs and hours cut will become far worse than they are even now.
So, whether you're happy or sad about the Dem's temporary victory, take heart or take leave as the situation applies, and this is just scratching the surface of the myriad problems which have yet to ooze out.
So, do we, who have been preaching about the very thing that we predicted for almost five years--which is unfolding even now--sound a little too vindictive in this rather dark tome of dystopian angst which is unfolding in America right before our very eyes?
Maybe, but at some point the Statist insanity that Americans have been victim to must be owned by the prepetrators.....or should that be perpe-traitors? At any rate, most of us have had enough of this protracted Utopian nonsense, so maybe the lowly-informed will finally take notice, and not a bit too soon.
Ergo, the GOP ultimately and perhaps even unwittingly, wins the strategic war, which brings up the old saying, "They have us right where we want them."
Because when your opposition is digging a very deep hole for itself, the worst thing you can do is to take away their shovel....