Why Obamacare is “working”

The news is trickling out now.

Five years after Senate Democrats rammed through the Affordable Care Act in the waning days of December 2009 and Democrats in the House of Representatives passed it in March 2010, the guts of the bill are becoming public.

Why did the Senate have to pass the bill when it did? Because Massachusetts voters had just elected Republican Scott Brown, who ran for the US Senate seat in 2009, vacated due to the death on longtime Senator Ted Kennedy. Brown WON pledging to vote against the bill.

Not a single Republican voted for the bill. They needed ONE MORE VOTE in the Senate to stop it. Brown was elected, but would not be sworn in until 2010.

However, looking at the following examples the bill’s implementation in one small state, it is possible to understand why Republicans have been so weak and silent on the subject of nationalized health insurance. We urge readers to check out what is happening in their state.

The public was, and still is, against the bill, but insurance company executives just love it… so far.

Mergers: Insurance Division approves CCO sale to Fortune 500 corporation

Payoffs: Oregon insurers collect $169M in Obamacare payments

Redistribution of $$ to Select Insurance Companies:  Transitional Reinsurance Payments and Permanent Risk Adjustment Transfers for the 2014 Benefit Year

Tidbits from this piece of shot (sic):

“…the reinsurance program is working as intended…”

“…For the 2014 benefit year, over $7.9 billion in reinsurance payments will be made to 437 issuers nationwide.”

“…risk adjustment methodology is working as intended …

– by compensating issuers that enrolled higher risk individuals and protecting against adverse selection within a market within a state. For example, we have found that [i]ssuers that enrolled a large share of HIV/AIDS patients [and other high-risk patients]…received risk adjustment payments.”

These programs are called “premium stabilization programs,” and appear to be intended to work the way US Dept of Agriculture crop subsidies work, except that instead of payments to farmers, these programs “transfer funds from plans with low risk enrollees to plans with high risk enrollees.”

IOW, the healthy are subsidizing the sick. A fine free market idea, but now calculated by a giant government bureaucracy – DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight; 200 Independence Avenue SW; Washington, DC 20201

How much of the premiums you pay do you imagine will remain in Washington DC?

 

 

The bill was written by geniuses like Jonathan Gruber, which a Dec. 30, 2014 news story in The Daily Caller found: “Obama Adviser Jonathan Gruber In 2009: Obamacare Will NOT Be Affordable”

Here’s the money quote: “Gruber said that Obamacare had no cost controls in it and would not be affordable in an October 2009 policy brief, presented here exclusively by TheDC. ”

See how quickly you can find the flaw in Gruber’s so-called logic:

“The real substance of cost control is all about a single thing: telling patients they can’t have something they want. It’s about telling patients, ‘That surgery doesn’t do any good, so if you want it you have to pay the full cost.’”

“There’s no reason the American health care system can’t be, ‘You can have whatever you want, you just have to pay for it.’ That’s what we do in other walks of life. We don’t say everyone has to have a large screen TV. If you want a large screen TV, you have to pay for it. Basically the notion would be to move to a level where everyone has a solid basic insurance level of coverage. Above that people pay on their own, without tax-subsidized dollars, to buy a higher level of coverage.” [except for “high-risk” patients, who DO get covered, eh?]

What do we learn from this? To make a lie fly, you have to make it huge, complex and impossible to understand.

Apropos of that: when will people stop calling medical insurance “health care?” At the very least, they could say “health care insurance.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About InvestingforOne

I've been investing in various assets by myself using a discount broker for many years. Over that time, I've developed some theories that others might find useful. Plus, there is more to investing than money. Time, talent, work, friends, family all go into developing a good and satisfactory strategy.
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