David Harsanyi: No, The GOP Doesn’t Have To Replace Obamacare. Just Get Rid Of It

Obama-998x665

Republicans have every incentive to come up with an appealing menu of health care policy alternatives to sell voters. But the notion that they need to assemble these ideas into a single obamacare-design-250Washington-centric reform plan that can be plugged into the void left by Obamacare’s demise is a puzzling one.

“They don’t need a breakthrough. The fact is, Republicans have offered a number of plans with varying levels of free-market reforms, but Americans aren’t in the mood for another wide-ranging effort from Washington.”

According to Mike Allen, in the new insider account of ObamaCare, America’s Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System, Steve Brill writes: “Nearly five years later, President Obama would tell me … ‘In hindsight, … there should have been one central person in charge, a CEO of the Marketplace.’”

“The president’s comment reflects his inability to grasp what a marketplace actually is, but it’s also a reminder that one of the most distasteful aspects of ACA is its centralized structure—which, for most liberals, was the point of the project.”

What does a contrived “marketplace” built on cronyism, coercion, and rent seeking, paid for by tax subsidies and governed by a regulatory structure that makes any genuine competitive pricing impossible need to be successful? More top-down bureaucratic management, of course.

torture-obamacare-popularity-contest

The president’s comment reflects his inability to grasp what a marketplace actually is, but it’s also a reminder that one of the most distasteful aspects of ACA is its centralized structure—which, for most liberals, was the point of the project. Even voters who aren’t directly hurt by ObamaCare tend to dislike the idea of DC dictating what their coverage looks like. For many voters, ObamaCare represents every problem with health care in the United States. Gallup’s recent polling found that Americans now say that the “biggest problem” in America is “the government.” And they’re talking about federal government. Read the rest of this entry »


‘People Are Going To Be In For A Shock’: Penalty For Uninsured Not Signing Up For Obamacare To More Than Triple

nlt-how-this-works

WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Americans will see their bank accounts shrink if they don’t sign up for Obamacare in its second enrollment season.

“The penalty is meant to incentivize people to get coverage. “This year, I think a lot of people are going to be in for a shock.”

—  Laura Adams, senior analyst of InsuranceQuotes.com

Uninsured Americans who decide not to enroll will face a penalty of $325 per person, more than tripling the $95 penalty those who did not enroll had to pay the first time around.

Children under the age of 18 will be fined $162.50. The maximum amount an uninsured family will be penalized is $975 under the flat-rate method. Read the rest of this entry »


Uninsured Opposition to Obamacare Reaches All-Time High

obama-flag-dot

Sarah Hurtubise writes:  Americans without health insurance have never seen Obamacare is such a negative light.

“The Obama administration’s outreach efforts to educate the uninsured on Obamacare also appear to be falling flat.”

Kaiser Family Foundation’s monthly health tracking poll found that in February, 56 percent of the uninsured view the Affordable Care Act unfavorably.

The percentage of uninsured with a positive view reached its lowest point since Kaiser began tracking reactions in March 2010 when Obamacare was passed into law. Just 22 percent of uninsured Americans have a generally favorable opinion about the law.

This pessimistic outlook isn’t all that surprising. Health industry experts have found that exchanges are more often than not selling coverage to those that were previously insured. According to reports, majority of exchange customers either had their previous coverage cancelled due to Obamacare regulations or switched over willingly to access premium subsidies.

Read the rest of this entry »


What if Americans rebel against the Obamacare mandate?

The Obama administration is trying to persuade millions of uninterested, or perhaps reluctant, Americans to purchase health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File-Pool)

The Obama administration is trying to persuade millions of uninterested, or perhaps reluctant, Americans to purchase health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File-Pool)

Byron York  writes:  The Obama administration is trying to persuade millions of uninterested, or perhaps reluctant, Americans to purchase health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges. But the heart of Obamacare is coercion. If Americans fail do what the law’s Democratic authors believe is best, the federal government will punish them, through the progressively higher penalties of the individual mandate, until it hurts more not to buy coverage than it does to give up and purchase it.

But what if many of those Americans rebel? Even if they know having health insurance is better than not having it, what if they refuse to be forced to buy the kind of coverage dictated by the government — which may not really meet their needs — at prices they don’t want to pay? What then?

Read the rest of this entry »


Train Wreck? We Told You So

WETOLDYOUSO

VINDICATED: Not So Extreme After All

Deroy Murdock writes:  One year from today — and perhaps much sooner — Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and other Republican “extremists” will look like heroes. For trying to defund the (un)Affordable Care Act, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid smeared them as “anarchists,” and both liberals and some weak-kneed Republicans have offered their own denunciations.

Read the rest of this entry »


Health Insurance Cancellation Notices Soar Above Obamacare Enrollment Rates

Did you Get a Cancellation Notice? Photograph it (after masking personal info) and email it to pundit@punditfromanotherplanet

2013-10-17T174418Z_1_CBRE99G1DA200_RTROPTP_4_USA-FISCAL-REOPENING-e1382644479592

Katie McHugh reports:  Hundreds of thousands of Americans who purchase their own health insurance have received cancellation notices since August because the plans do not meet Obamacare’s requirements.

The number of cancellation notices greatly exceed the number of Obamacare enrollees.

screen-shot-2013-09-25-at-2-02-55-am

Insurance carrier Florida Blue sent out 300,000 cancellation notices, or 80 percent of the entire state’s individual coverage policies, Kaiser Health News reports. California’s Kaiser Permanente canceled 160,000 plans — half of its insurance plans in the state — while Blue Shield of California sent 119,000 notices in mid-September alone.

Read the rest of this entry »


Carnival of Perverse Incentives: Why Divorce Attorneys Will Love Obamacare

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times

Someone in the White House thinks marriage is a bad idea.

Jacqueline Leo reports: Earlier this year, TFT showed that a high-earning couple, each with incomes of $400,000, would save about $27,000 annually if they divorced and filed their taxes separately.  Now we learn that the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, is dangling a similar fate in front of middle income earners.

A typical 40-year old couple with two kids could save $7,230 a year by divorcing if one partner earns, say, $70,000 and the other $23,000. Sixty year-olds earning $62,041 each a year would save $11,028 annually if they broke up. Read the rest of this entry »


A Challenge to Young Obama Supporters

Millennials who enthusiastically voted him in should support his legacy and sign up for Obamacare.

By  Jonah Goldberg

Okay, young’ns, here’s your chance.

In two consecutive elections, you’ve carried Barack Obama to victory. When he said, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” he basically meant you. You voted for Obama by a margin of 66 percent to 32 percent in 2008, and, despite a horrendous economy for people your age, by nearly that much again in 2012.

The president announced his candidacy in 2007 by insisting, “This campaign can’t only be about me. It must be about us — it must be about what we can do together. This campaign must be the occasion, the vehicle, of your hopes, and your dreams. . . . This campaign has to be about reclaiming the meaning of citizenship, restoring our sense of common purpose, and realizing that few obstacles can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change.”

And on the night of his reelection in 2012, he proclaimed, “The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.”

Between those two elections, the president pandered to you like no president in American history. As I wrote last fall, he visited college campuses more often than a Red Bull delivery truck. He’s carried water for you on college loans like an aqueduct. He made sure you can stay on your parents’ health-care plans until you’re 26, which is a really nice consolation prize when you can’t find a job.

And not to put too fine a point on it, but you kids ate that stuff up. It reminded me of H. L. Mencken’s line about Harry Truman: “If there had been any formidable body of cannibals in the country he would have promised to provide them with free missionaries, fattened at the taxpayers’ expense.”

Whenever curmudgeons like yours truly suggested that young people were getting caught up in a fad or that Obama was simply buying votes at the expense of taxpayers, you’d have a fit. You’d insist that millennials are not only informed, but eager to make sacrifices for the greater good.

Well, here’s your chance to prove it: Fork over whatever it costs to buy the best health insurance you can under Obamacare. Just in case you forgot, under Obamacare healthy young people such as yourself not only need to buy health insurance in order for the whole thing to work, but have to be overcharged for it. If you don’t pay more — probably a lot more — than what you could get today on the market in most states, Obamacare will come apart like wet toilet paper.

Read the rest of this entry »