Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 24, 2014

Then vs. Now: Have Those Dire Predictions About Obamacare Materialized?

California Healthline: “It may be too soon to know if the Affordable Care Act is making Americans healthier. But there’s a smattering of data that suggests the law is making the health care industry healthier, at least.”

“A tracker indicates that newly insured patients aren’t overwhelming doctors.”

“A batch of anecdotal reports suggests that hospitals’ uncompensated care spending is falling.”

“And a survey of physicians finds that — while many doctors are upset about the law’s added complexity — they’re generally happy with the pay that they’re seeing through the ACA’s new marketplace plans.”

“Taken together, the slew of upbeat reports for the industry isn’t surprising … But the positive findings are in contrast to a dire batch of predictions that accompanied the ACA’s bumpy rollout across the past year.”

  • sglick

    Cleary the ACA is working — as you hardly hear the usual RW AM radio kooks complaining about it except as simply part of a list of general things they hate about Pres. Obama’s domestic agenda/legacy.

    • HKap

      You’re right. They still hate it, but not on merits of the law. They hate it because it disproportionately benefits supporters of the Democratic party and the president.

      • Bibliovore

        Actually, given the volume of red states that take more in federal subsidies than they pay in federal taxes, I think it actually benefits rather a lot of supporters of the Republican party, or could if they get past the hate froth. It might be more accurate to say it disproportionately benefits *support for* the Democratic party and the president.

        • ProfitOverLife

          Helping ANYONE other than CEOs and the rich is what the Republican party hates. Because it makes for a less desperate workforce, which is bad for profits.

      • ProfitOverLife

        They hate it because the Republican party is the party in favor of cheap, desperate labor, and affordable health care lets the working class off the mat, at least a little bit.

    • Rick

      WORKING??? try this one on, if you think it is RW kooks only bringing us tales of ineptitude – my 52-yr old brother and his 50-yr old wife have a 16-yr old daughter and a 20-yr old. His premiums in the KY exchange are $14000+ and his deductible is $12,000+. that sounds a lot like a welfare plan to me, think he is paying the premium for about 3 other families. His wife and he make about $150,000/yr, but to some lame brains, that’s “rich”. But I have 2 UAW friends, married, who work on the assembly line in KC auto plants who do better, and get the set aside of the ACA because they are union members. Even they think that is pandering at its worst, and they benefit from it. May have been a “rich” family’s annual income a long time ago, but that time is long past. When taxes take about a $25,000 bite the his healthcare takes a $26-27 thousand bite, not a bunch left for college costs, and other niceties that people worked in factories had 30 years ago. Think what a lot of people are saying, thinking, is – this is not affordable. No, he is supporting those Welfare Queens that Alexandra Pelosi found, you know that documentary she made that Bill Maher told her to hide somewhere. Yep, don’t tell the truth, act like you are playing the Emperor’s New Clothes game and you think the Emperor has clothes on. Get any of those “Obama bucks” or “Obama phones” for free like they spoke of in NYC in her documentary “Welfare Queens”? BO has been the classic class warfare guy, has been excellent at pitting groups in America against each other. He, W and Carter are by far the sorriest Presidents of my lifetime, although LBJ would be right behind them with the classic “Great Society” that helped get the “America will be broke soon” ball rolling, and never looked back to see if it was making any improvements in our underclass. When it did not, all we had was a big bill. And doubling the historical deficit in 6 years is surely something to be proud of. So, yep, it’s those RW kooks, you know the ones who make about 10% the mistakes that Biden, Kerry make, and are right with their facts a bunch more than the Dems are. But keep thinking it is hate from the right that is Obama’s only problem. Don’t have room for all the problems, all the illegal crap. Do have to admit W began a lot of these unconstitutional moves, but this guy has turned shredding the Constitution into an art form, it’s the one thing where he is consistent. Come back in November, we can talk more then. That’s when they/we neuter BO for 2 years. Might even get enough Dem Senators to override vetoes on such things as the Keystone Pipeline, one where environmental experts have weighed in to say much more real and extrapolated pollution, and danger to the environment with using trucks, train tank cars and ships than utilizing a pipeline. Last bet – bet the supreme job-killer OK’s that pipeline around October 20th. Want to bet on that one? Last jab – have you seen the numbers of the rise of the 1% and the decimation of the middle class over the past 6 years? If not, send your e-mail and I’ll help get you caught up to speed. Does that strike you as “Progressive”? How about pandering to the dinosaur know as the American trade union, another very non-progressive stance. Not sure the left knows the meaning of the word progressive. The one thing I have noticed over the past 6 years is that Barack is one of those who knows a lot more when he is telling you something than he does when you ask him something. Know a few people like that, but he’s the king. And you and I both know he thinks someone made him King in America.

      • NRafter530

        He makes $150,000 and lived In Kentucky, one of the country’s poorest states? That does make him rich by Kentucky standards, sorry

        • Rick

          first, he lives in Louisville. Has no resemblance in cost, educational attainment, culture, opportunities to the rest of the state. Actually, much like when I lived in KS and the state of KS milked Johnson Co on a regular basis, KY does the same with L-ville. 2nd, might want to check out you Dem-soaked class envy thing. We all should be for everyone attaining what they can, and the last thing I think anyone should have to endure is sorry-assed politicians telling us what and how to think, while taking waaaay too much of what we earned. Keep playing that Marxian class envy thing, and you’ll just end up sour. It is not anyone’s “right” to your $$. That philosophy has been prevailing much too long in America, and really shadows, on a timeline, our economic decline. Unless you are in the top 1%. Ooops there I go, see how easy the malady grabs hold?

          • Mark_in_VA

            As long as you forgo all services provided by the government, I have no problem with you keeping your money. Unfortunately for you, that pretty much means you’re leaving the country.

      • Ygorbla

        That’s a lot of lies — too many to address each one individually — but as far as the “America will be broke soon” ball, that started under Reagan, not LBJ. Deficits started spiraling out of control under his administration, because he slashed taxes on his wealthy supporters without decreasing spending. Most of the country’s current problems date directly back to Reagan’s ideologically-driven crusade against the middle class; certainly most of the rancor that makes our political environment so ugly is directly attributable to him.

        Also, yeah, $150,000 / year ain’t exactly middle class; and I notice you carefully avoided claiming that Obamacare raised their premiums — that massive wall of text was to cloud the fact that you were basically just whining that it didn’t help them enough. (Because, again, they make $150,000 a year and don’t need help.) Who’s waging class warfare there?

        • Rick

          working well? By what metric? We have no idea the costs yet. Took 3 years for the LBJ administration to acknowledge that Medicare was 2x what they said it would be when passed. As far as it began under Reagan, you are quite history challenged. Even the left acknowledge the debacle of “guns and butter” (Google that if is confusing) was the beginning of the deficit problems. Plus, most of our problems come from entitlements, so to a great %, the current President does inherit the problems of all the years of piling on in our entitlement structure. No one says it began with Reagan, except you. Send me an address, I’ll send you a year-by-year deficit number starting with 1940, straight from a .gov site. Truth really is, the W and BO years are when the crap hit the fan, the deficit exploded. A bunch under W, 2x that bunch under Obama.

          • Lorehead

            No, you’re badly mistaken. Here are the facts.

          • Rick

            my source for numbers, clearly showing deficits doubled in BO’s term vs. W’s term. And by the way, I am no fan of either man, they both are, have were lousy Presidents.
            http://www.whitehouse.gov – Historical Tables

            Pure receipts vs spending, not some goofy chart from the Federal Reserve, known for their art of confusion, BS, lies. Now some will say the White House lies, too, but at least these are pure numbers, not some algorithm that wanders all over the place, and is a function of “Public Debt”, whatever the hell that is. Read The Creature From Jekyll Island. Doubt you will believe much from the FR after that. It is not an essay, it is a heavily footnoted, documented history of the FR. If you think they are not sneaky, bear in mind they used code names getting to Jekyll, and when they arrived, there were agents from Bank of England (Rothschilds), JP Morgan, Col. House (Google if that one throws you), and the Rockefellers. They may have had some honest moments in 100 years, but they have been few and far between. Please if you choose to respond, no more spitting, name calling. Send facts, names, but no more Federal Reserve analysis that are more complicated than differential equations, a 5th semester calculus course. That’s just meant to lose people in BS.

          • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

            the deficit is much lower today than when obama took office. it spiked due to automatic stabilizers in the great recession, and obama inherited the unbalanced tax cuts and unpaid-for spending on two wars and medicare part d.

            despite that he has wrangled things closer to balance, but if you think obama has made the deficit worse than W and Reagan did, then you are easily fooled, unwilling to understand the details, or innumerate.

          • Rick

            will send the site with the numbers. It is whitehouse.gov then you go to deficits. If 500 billion is higher than 1.3 trillion, then you are correct.

          • Rick

            not the numbers I see on http://www.whitehouse.gov. The 2009 deficit is much larger than 2008. And trying to make W the owner of 2009 is ludicrous if that’s what you are doing. BO = 75% of 2009 fiscal year, W was 25%. Plus, the whole thing exploded due to the Stimulus being such a loser. BO chose to follow wrong economists, it’s fully explained with footnoted numbers, sources, in James Rickards’ “Currency Wars”. the stimulus turned a $1 spending into .64 of increase in the private sector. Following Keynesian philosophy only makes a stimulus work under conditions, about 3 or 4 main conditions, and our economy had none of those. One way it works is a balanced budget when you begin. Another way is healthy unemployment figures, not a match there. Forgot the other 1-2 Was good only for gov’t agencies, who obviously blew their take when you look at 2010, 2012, 2012 deficits. Am glad to see the drop in 2013, I’ll give all respects to Executive AND legislative branches for that. Mostly legislative, though due to the cuts they forced on BO. Several economists today, and I’m talking U. of Chicago, MIT and Harvard economists, say and have already said, that in retrospect the Stimulus was a political move, some say largely pandering. It helped his allies, hurt the rest of the US, drove unemployment higher, and upped the deficit with a loss in private sector numbers. So, you stay tied to fools, rookies like BO, and I’ll pray for a Clinton or possibly a good Repub, which may or may not be forthcoming. Not sure anyone wants his mess, including Hillary. Possible that someone wanting to fix the ACA, and has a Repub Senate (the House is a foregone conclusion to be Repub), will draw a good one, someone with political and managerial experience, of which BO had none. Can’t be any worse a choice in ’16 no matter which party wins. The transparency became opaque, the economy caved, truth became an unknown dynamic, then, not knowing anything about all his constitutional and legal problems when asked about them = worst President in my lifetime and I am 62. Possibly, in 20-25 years, will be known for being the worst we ever had. That might pop up sooner, also.

          • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

            the stimulus overclocked on tax cuts (much less efficient), I’ll give you that, but you don’t seem to understand how budgeting and government spending work, you are ignoring or misunderstanding the role of automatic (counter-cyclical) stabilizers in a recession, and you are generally ignoring the year-over-year effects of things lied unpaid for tax cuts and wars.

          • Rick

            the stimulus, a Keynesian structure. When one looks back at those type solutions, certain parameters come forward that must be present for a stimulus of that nature to work. Those are balanced budget, unemployment at 5% or less (we were at 10.1 when it was applied). There were 2 more parameters that I cannot recall, but we met none of them, so stimulus was another cost of gov’t instead of boost for jobs, industry. and it was inwardly focused, most of it went to gov’t entities. The type that never raise any economic indicator one iota. The problem here is a man trying to ram a philosophy into a system. and the system is already overloaded with debt, unemployment. What should have been done instead is a wave of anti-business, anti-job regulation and law needed to be set aside long enough to get unemployment cut in half, tax cuts, incentives to hire, I could go on and on. We have painted ourselves into a corner with too much spending, especially on the unproductive segments of society. Next, he need spending cuts AND tax increases, especially on the 1%. But, as it appears that the 1% call all the shots, that did not happen. Instead, all tax increases he wanted were going to be on the people who used to be consumers, and now just eke by, tax burden has become so large for them it is a Herculean effort just to buy a new oven, a new car. So, consumption dropped, there goes more tax base. I want you to google something so you can see the hideous effect of a city running out of money. We can talk about why that is later, but think you already know that if you give it some thought. It is basically a two-headed monster. Anyway – Google this: Wawarsing Delaware Aqueduct. Have not done it yet myself, just saw a show on the History Channel about our crumbling, failing infrastructure, and it was prominent. THE problem is too much allocation of resources, tax money to the totally dependent, totally unproductive segment of our population. It has taken money from funds that were meant for roads, replenishing our plumbing, electrical systems, grids, away and put it where there is no benefit to the masses. All benefit has gone down a spiraling sinkhole. Maybe a good way to handle this problem is to take the unemployed, teach them rudimentary skills and put them to work fixing the infrastructure. Because someone needs to, and the rest of the population is busy working, grinding out a supply of tax dollars that are not being spent wisely. Give a guy a job, even force a job on a jobless person, make them join in the structured, responsible part of society, and we might see a transformation of that person. Now responsible, he can find work, even if it is rebuilding roads, water systems, electrical systems. And his pay allows him to get off welfare. It’s now $$ for productive use, instead of money for nothing in return. Our gov’t has led this dependency, some like it because it provides one party a bunch of votes. We deserve to fail with such inane, horrible, unworkable policies. Between slavery and buying votes with welfare benefits as the carrot, those two dishonest, human-wrecking systems are likely enough to cause your karma to receive a serious jolt. Maybe we have had karma catch up with us, as it did the British, and deserve country-wrecking people like Barack Obama. Now he’s feverishly at work trying to raise our electric rates about 30%, making us more in debt, less efficient for industry, all to solve nothing. Whatever we do, the Chinese and Indians are busy adding so much CO2 and sulfur into the air, that we are literally pissing up a rope trying to make the planet’s air better. It becomes symbolic, a soother to a certain political class, but it does not one thing for improving lives, reigniting an economy. Actually, it tears that down. We are at the breaking point as you will find when you do that Google. Tell me where the $$ went to fix that problem. Should not be too tough.

          • Rick

            or, possibly our government is taking too much, spending too much, especially on things that have no return. It’s that great story about give a man a fish and he will come back every day for another fish. Teach him to fish, and…………… See my long reply, it covers the effects of these failing policies and structures.

          • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

            also, your take on keynesian theory is weak sauce, especially with your double rick perry oops of “i forgot the other two”

          • Rick

            how many wrong conditions do you want? The author said 2 economists were searched out that had the same political philosophy as BO. The guy then listed top economists who knew it would fail. They were in places, and headed up departments, in universities such as U. of Chicago, Wharton School of Biz, Stanford, Harvard, Princeton. Instead, he found two obscure, under-credentialed ones to quote and use, and they were blatantly, completely wrong. The other two just add fuel to the fire, as any of the 4 would have rendered it non-workable, did nor need to be all 4.

          • Rick

            also, now you are parsing, and showing ignorance. If you do not understand Keynes, say so, otherwise, you are aware all our liberal administrations have followed him, quoted him almost to exclusion of any other philosophy.

          • Lorehead

            You are very badly misinformed on a number of topics unrelated to the subject of this discussion.

          • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

            wrong: reagan and bush ii tripled and doubled the deficit. obama’s been bringing it down, probably too quickly but he has had to deal with the comsequences of previous presidencies and the financial collapse.

          • Rick

            so, let’s see if I have this right. If the deficit is $100 when you take over, and when you leave it is $500, that’s a 5x increase. And if it is $500 bil when you take over, and you take it to 1.3 trillion, that is only 1.6 times. Problem with that logic is one is a $400 increase, the other an 800 billion increase. Pitiful argument, quite number challenged.

            also, numbers would have been worse if no one had forced cuts. BO did not want those cuts, possible he got that right, though not likely. But the numbers would have been higher without the cuts forced on him to get re-elected. Sort of like when Carville told WJC, “better pass a welfare cut bill, or you risk losing in ’96.” Got to keep that middle vote.

          • Lorehead

            The deficit today is half what it was at the end of George W. Bush’s term.

          • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

            Well, no, in terms of the deficit, that’s a year-over-year number and the recent ones have been around half a trillion a year (closer to 600b) and were up above a trillion in the aftermath of the recession.

            Remember, Bush had already squandered the surplus and was blowing the deficit up year-over-year even before he helped crash the economy.

            But given your argument above (amidst the arglebargle), I think I see what’s confusing you. You are routinely mixing up the deficit and the debt, and don’t seem to understand how ongoing expenses work from year to year based on commitments (such as wars) embarked on in the past.

        • Rick

          wrong, the Dem hating Repubs and vice versa began with Watergate. Been at each other since. Did notice that Reagan and Clinton were good enough pols to figure out a way to work with the other side. Someone along the way told this current dolt that he was king. Has zero leadership skills, skills of persuasion. Has so many problems going on his answer now in a majority of his messes is “I don’t know anything about that”. That’s getting to be a broken record. Why doesn’t he find out something about all his problems, screw-ups? That’s what leaders do. What this guy does is what professors and dictators do. They cannot negotiate their way, nor can he. He speaks well, he had the press fully behind him, that is the full extent of his talent.

          • Lorehead

            What a bizarre revisionist history. Since Watergate began with a Republican president bugging the headquarters of the Democratic challenger’s presidential campaign, the parties clearly must have hated each other by then.

          • Rick

            Nixon had turned paranoid. Read both All the Presidents Men and The Final Days as soon as they were published. Not sure how much enmity there was between the parties at that point. To show you how goofy he had become, and similar to BO, had turned paranoid. Why break in? He was on the eve of the most lop-sided election for President in our history. no one can figure why one would do that when a landslide was around the corner. But to characterize Watergate as a heinous crime is pure liberal fantasy – no one died, no one was even harmed. Now, Benghazi, that’s a different story, a different coverup, one that contained as much dishonesty as Watergate AND people died. You are talking about the difference in an anthill and a mountain when Watergate and Benghazi are compared. On thing close to equal in the two was the amount of lying, and White House led coverup. And as far as your “facts, that is a very confusing, contrived graph. It talks about “Public Held Debt as a function of the deficit. What the hell does that mean? Which GDP figures are used? Where are those corroborated? Plus, my facts about the BO deficits being 2x W’s, came from a .gov site where it is simple numbers – deficit in dollars. Who know how the Federal Reserve defines “public debt”? Doubt seriously you do. the Fed has many metrics, most meant to lose whomever reads it. All I did was look at OMB deficits. they were not “a function of the GDP”. Plus who knows whether their numbers are correct on GDP. Read Currency Wars, you stand to learn a lot, and one of the proven tenets is that the GDP has several definitions, some bogus. Most think better to keep it simple – straight deficit,which is spending subtracted from revenues. Who knows which of several GDP figures was used in that convoluted graph. They change GDP figures after they are first announced almost every quarter, and lately, it has been every quarter. So, your “facts” are based on variables that are hardly defined, rarely stay the same through time. Deficit as a function of GDP is a joke, and a bad one. Again, you need to find some definitions of these massaged numbers that come from the Federal Reserve. They have and continue produce some of the most hocus-pocus “facts” in our time. Just look up the simple number, which I did from the USTreasury.gov site. Very simple, non-massaged numbers – total revenue minus total spending. The metric your delivered is from Fed Reserve, and uses a formula only those trying to fool people use.

            It’s how you do things in a fiat currency setup. And no economist refutes that ours is a fiat currency.

            The main reason the debt has exploded under BO at twice the rate it did under W is lack of revenue. Business has grown paranoid because the CIC is asleep at the wheel. A bunch of people not paying income taxes now, and no adjustment in spending has been made to counter the incoming revenue losses. My 7-year old grandson understands that. No one understands, or believes what debt as a function of GDP means, and no one except partisans ever try to use it, because it is flimsy on a good day.
            Just look up the simple deficit. Again it’s on a .gov site, not a Federal Reserve site.

          • Rick

            Simply, the hatred was not “by then”, it was “after then” as the court proceedings, Congressional hearings drug on and on. Were you even alive in 1972? I was 20 then, so I lived it day to day, did not and do not get my info from biased, partisan sites or rehashing of history.

      • Mark_in_VA

        Not buying it, Rick. That is essentially my circumstance here in NoVA (only take about 7 years off of everyone’s age) and my family max out of pocket isn’t even $12K on my ACA plan, much less deductible. Ind deductible is $2K/$4.5K max out of pocket.

        I suppose you already know, though, if you’re going to lie, go big.

        Edit: oh, and premiums are about $12.2K/year.

        • Rick

          send me your address, I’ll send you substantive proof. Hope my brother had amnesia or a stroke of short duration, but he’s a numbers guy, doubt he is wrong. Is VA a state with their own exchange as KY is? Have a feeling the average Virginian is a lot healthier than the average Kentuckian. Appalachia alone a huge burden on our taxpayers. Maybe if your numbers turn out to be correct, even for him, he might want to investigate a non-exchange state. Because that is some serious dinero.

          • Mark_in_VA

            You can post redacted information here, thank you. I have no intention of posting my home address to a message board.

            Here’s the link to my current plan.

            http://innovation-health.s3.amazonaws.com/VA_IHPREMIER2000PD_010100_1.pdf

          • Rick

            thanks for that link, just looked at it, and it helps a lot for terms, how the costs are determined. Do have to believe my brother meant total cost was $12-14 thousand, not each part – the premium and the deductible. Need to see how close the KY exchange is to the VA exchange. Think that will shed all the light on the subject that I will need. Do appreciate you staying with me on this and providing the link.

          • Mark_in_VA

            VA is on the national exchange. Thanks to our worthless previous republican governor, and continued worthless supermajority republican general assembly, the state’s been shut out of the medicaid expansion and a state exchange. I expect as such it actually has fewer options, though I don’t know for sure. I know subsidies are irrelevant for my family because we make >400% of the poverty level.

      • Lorehead

        If you mean that their combined income is $150K, they’re in the top 10% and make three times what the middle household does. If you mean it’s $300K, they’re in the top 2%. Income inequality is so out of hand that they’re nowhere near as rich as the 1%, but a lot of people are in denial over the fact that they are not really middle-class.

        If you’re really, truly concerned at how tough it is for the 10% to make ends meet, just think about the other 90%. Reflect on the fact that most Americans have less than a third of that to live on, and on whether the policies you favor help or harm them.

        Now, as for the numbers, a quick visit to KFF.org’s premium calculator gives me an estimate that a pair of 40-year-olds with a 16-year-old daughter making $150K and living in Louisville, KY would pay $6,152 per year for a silver plan or $4,859 for a bronze. And nearly all the horror stories being passed around like this are lies.

        • Rick

          no, it’s $150,000 total. I do not know this, maybe you do – is your premium a function of your age AND your income? If it is, that’s a welfare plan. Will surely be double checking his numbers, just possible I misunderstood and he said the total is $12-14,000, instead of each price having a number that large.
          Definitely agree with you that 90% in this country are in big trouble. The loss of good jobs, the printing of fiat currency has not even begun to exact its final, full toll yet.

          Good work, I like analytical work, much better than vein popping, voice raising emotion, that’s for sure. Got me looking hard now, that’s for sure.

          • Lorehead

            Obamacare subsidizes premiums for families that make up to 400% of the federal poverty level. The reason that’s a “welfare” plan is that the money goes to the working poor, a Democratic constituency. When the government writes checks to Republican constituencies, they don’t call that “welfare.”

            You’re right to be worried, but badly misdiagnosing the problems.

        • Lorehead

          Excuse me; you said the couple were 52 and 50 years old. That means their estimated premium is $8,431 for a silver plan or $6,659 for a bronze.

          • Rick

            is that in a state that has an exchange? Or are those numbers from states where the Feds are handling it? Not sure there will be that much difference, but did see in the news that CA and NY need over a billion each to “fix” their exchanges, whatever the hell that means. Way way too early to make predictions. If it was a baseball game, we’re in the 2nd inning and the score is 0-0 or 1-1, now you choose the outcome. You and I both have no clue the outcome, but, I hark back to 1967 when the OMB and a congressional committee stated that the 2-year old law was already 2x what the Congress and LBJ had said it would be. Are they a lot smarter now? I am still waiting for the initial sign of brilliance from Pelosi, Reid, BO. They make great ramrods, lousy legislators and President. I’ll bank on it morphing so much over the next 3 years that it could end up good, and could end up affordable, but doubt the later, as there is no talent available to hire to administrate it.

      • Lorehead

        You get a lot of your facts wrong, but one simple one is that a household with income of $150K could not possibly be required to spend $14–15K on health-care premiums. First, the law exempts anyone who has to pay that percentage of their income from the mandate.

        Second, those numbers are nowhere close to being plausible, and if you didn’t realize that, you are so completely out of touch with economic reality that you have no informed opinion on this subject.

        • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

          I love well the b.s. is self-debunking!

        • embo66

          Also, that income declared should be adjusted gross income, i.e., what you finally pay federal taxes on after taking ALL of your allowed deductions. If that is indeed the $150K in question, then their premium could be as high as 9.5% of that — $14,250. However, the national average for a Silver plan under the given parameters (3 adults, 1 child) is only $$9,215.

      • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

        the use of the term “welfare queen” identifies you as a right-wing kook

        • Rick

          not my choice, fool, was what Alexandra Pelosi dubbed her documentary. Never used the term as my own in my life. Google it, it’s quite a story

          • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

            I don’t need to google it, dear, as I remember it quite well. And it is your choice to repeat a term. Finding a liberal who has used it before does not absolve you from the implications of its use (and the evident delight you take in it).

            I’d say the same thing to Pelosi, if asked.

            You have used the term on your own, unless you are suggesting someone else in involved in planning your comments. You wrote:

            “No, he is supporting those Welfare Queens that Alexandra Pelosi found…”

            So, there you have it, you using that term, on your own!

          • Rick

            anytime light is shown on the abuses that system has, I do revel. We all should be aware of how that whole thing works, or considering the trouble we are in, does not work. This is no doubt that stupid wars, and those began with Korea, have cost us dearly. Especially the one LBJ expanded while bringing in all the Great Society. Alexandra told Bill Maher, and I saw it, that it is not wrong as a liberal to expose corruption, a system that has been abused, is wrong. The trying to take care of everyone, a mortgage for everyone has done little good, and has bankrupted us along with war, gov’t waste, gov’t growth. Due to the gov’t, there has been no growth in our economic base. the US Gov’t is oppressive to the nth degree when it comes to trying to do biz. In past year, the CEO from Intel said, “I want to put a new Intel plant in America, but it will cost me a billion more than the 2nd most expensive place I could pick”. Chew on that one, and tell me that we have not cut off our own arms and legs. And due to electing an ideologue who seems to think he is King of America, with no experience in building anything or running anything, we kept going backward for so far 6 more years, after 8 years of the same from W. Leadership vacuum is killing us. Partisans are killing us. All moving to far left, far right is hurting us. I care not for anyone far anything. Most are crazy, you cannot even talk with them. Zealots are fine for revolutions, extreme change. They suck at running a country.

          • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

            you wouldn’t know the far left if it was putting you up against a wall

          • Rick

            was a History major at Vanderbilt. Top 20 university every year. Marvelous history department. Graduated in 1975. My area of concentration was 20th Century European history. I not only know about the Left today, I know the origins, the players, the originators of the socialism movement, (Rosa Luxembourg), that the Mensheviks had control in St. Petersburg in 1917 before the Bolsheviks used force to remove them. Anything you want to know about the origins or history of the movement? Highly likely that I am way ahead of you. Unless you are a professor of modern European history, you have no chance of knowing more about this than I do. What you need to do is get a book written by Harry Stein. He explains why he left the Lefties, and you are a perfect example of who Harry was speaking of when he said, “these nutjobs drove me away”. His parents were card carrying Communists in NYC. His background was nothing but Left, and he ran from it when he could not get a Leftie to have an intellectual conversation. He said he received no intellectual hookup, instead it was spitting, neck veins bulging, and insults, Could not get anyone to stay on point, they became emotional, and had trouble with reason, rationality, and debating the pros and cons of several political systems and movements. He then decided he needed a new outlook, an uncoupling from his background, his parents. Would be a good one for you. so, send me back where you are a professor of history, and I’ll check that out, and likely have to admit you know more than me should it be that is how you make, or made a living. Right now, you come at me with no numbers, except goofy ones, and all you can do to defend your position is hurl insults. Bet your neck veins are bulging right now. Harry would have predicted it. He lived it.

          • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

            all that education and never learned to write in paragraphs, with breaks between them.

            all that spew about leftists and you still think Obama is on the far left!

            all those words and you still resort to ad hominems.

          • Rick

            blah, blah, blah

            By independent roll call analysis, he was the most liberal of the 100 senators in his two years. What do you call that? Maybe you are like Dan Rather who called himself a centrist, a moderate. Tough to get Lefties to admit that’s what they are. Guess they have to get a look like Che Guevara, and help a guy enslave a country’s population. The only thing the far left ever did was make life super for 1%, and the other 99% were destitute, on their knees. That is why the movement failed. Cuba is all that is left under pure Communism, and what an example of comradeship that is. Note that emigration is a one-way street – out of Cuba. No one ever emigrates from anywhere else to Cuba. And getting out is sometimes met with gunfire on the beach. Great system.

          • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

            That’s an idiotic metric. The parties vote en bloc for the most part.

            Just the idea that you think the politics of the senate runs anywhere near far-leftism shows how skewed your thinking is.

            I imagine you’d faint dead away if an American politician ever suggested nationalizing industry or giving workers control of the means of production!

            You are free to speculate ignorantly about me. I do not call myself a centrist. Some of my views are moderate, sure, but I am a liberal and definitely lean to the left (liberal and leftist are not synonyms, btw).

            And… you’re talking about Cuba now. You seem lonely.

          • Rick

            lots of definitions they use. I know liberals who call themselves moderates. Unfortunately, nationalization of industry and the workers owning the means of production has failed. It was a great theory, but due to greed, monied interests, and despots taking the first crack at calling themselves Communists, it failed. Totally. Look at Cuba. Did not work in USSR, China going more capitalist all the time. Think the best thing said about capitalism is that it has afforded the best standard of living for the most people. Not a perfect system, just better than all others

            Margaret Thatcher had a saying that is tough to refute – “Socialism is a marvelous system until you run out of other peoples’ money”. Seems that is how it has played out, including here. Soon, the fiat currency inflates hugely, or collapses altogether as it has every time it has been tried. And am quite aware of the original meaning of liberal. Came from 19th century. Lefties are just dreamers. Every society should have some dreamers.

          • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

            you’re not following

          • Rick

            there’s nothing of substance to follow.

            You are wanting to parse the difference between the definition of a lefty and a liberal, and I am talking about human misery caused by a fail-from-the-start political/economic system.

            Tell me of the successful socialist states, I’ll pick them off like shooting fish in a barrel. You are a dreamer, I am a history/result driven realist. We can agree to disagree, you can dislike my systems as I do yours. Difference is, your chosen political/economic system ultimately fails and has failed every time. Typically, guys I talk to like you change the subject, or get ripped with reality when they talk about a system either from a historical perspective, or a current system (aren’t many left, as they all uh, failed) that won’t work, has never worked.

            Writers, political philosophers have/have had some great minds – Jefferson, Rousseau, even, and I hate to admit it – Rosa Luxembourg. She foresaw a Utopia that could not be delivered, but did not change the fact that she was brilliant. She just could not get her square peg to fit in the round hole. Always has been interesting to me how many Germans were in the beginnings of these philosophical movements. Took 2 Russians to make it run to their advantage, using others doctrine, calling it Communism, and all it was was thugs in philosophers’ clothing. You be the philosopher, I’ll be the realist. the world works poorly if it’s missing either. Especially long-term, it fails.

            How you like those paragraph breaks? Get lazy in a texting world, and I rarely even do that.

  • bpai99

    This means nothing – it’s Obama’s program, so therefore by definition it is evil and misguided. Any people it helps don’t deserve the help, anyway.

    “Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.” – George Santayana

  • Orion Daley

    The Daley Plan: The health of our nation is reflected in its people. Hence, Health Care cannot afford to be an industry if to serve them!

    The following proposes to redesign the health care system in order to protect the nation and welfare of the people from the obsolescence of the current one; avoid using our nation’s health as a tax strategy, while not having to impose excessive deductibles on the people . This is while assuring its benefit to strengthening the US economy with tax payer burden relief of existing Medicare and Medicaid programs while having the finest health care system in the world !

    1- To redesign the profit model of the health care / insurance and drug industry: They (the industry) spend a fortune on IT (information technology) systems where the sole purpose is for denying claims. Proposed is to have them instead process claims on behalf the Dept of Health. This is where they can make a percentage on each claim. Hence, the more claims processed, the more of a fortune they can amass. Consider that there are 300,000,000 Americans. That is regardless if employed or unemployed. Claims processors could bid for the business!

    2- The claims for health services provided (from a hospital, practitioner, etc) are to be sent to the Dept of Health. Obviously there would be normalization of pricing, but by no means intending to compromise quality that is provided. This does not mean that medical practitioners need to be the working poor, but obviously cannot price gouge either, as it would be more of a level playing field where quality at competitive prices from practitioners would be looked at favorably by the government.

    3- To finance the cost of operations (practitioners, Dept of Health, IT operations, etc), tax exempt bonds are assumed. It is not a requirement that anyone buy into these, but frankly Wall Street would drop their pants to get them. As a private investor, such as in having a 401K, etc, what is left after taxes is not much. Tax exempt means tax exempt and for that matter considered from your gross income and not from your net. In investing in such bonds, you have further lowered your taxable income while having built a very large one for retirement; or to be redeemed at which time you wish.

    4- The mechanics of finance: Let us assume that 25% of the total bond financing actually covers item #3 above. Then 75% is exercised on Wall Street to replenish the %25 that is to be used. If and when, and assumed often based on fair and competitive capital market practices, that the 25% exceeds its water mark (hitting 26 – 30%) as an example, that +% is returned to the investors who participate.

    5- Being far more profitable for all concerned, it can be pushed much faster through Congress. The stake holders in item # 1 can have far greater profits. This is while achieving this with far less convoluted tactics rather than an antiquated bait and switch claim denial model.

    6- Tax exempt investments will move the economy with far more momentum than otherwise – Wall Street has greater potential to make fortunes without having to be crooks –

    7- Tax payer burden is relieved of the estimated trillions of dollars of the federal budget per year in costs for Medicare / Medicaid which would be considered obsolete federal and state programs. Instead , this money could move in to our communities, while having the Federal Government cost effective in serving the people while reducing a major portion of national debt..

    Now could you imagine our three branches of federal government rally to a real solution.

    • http://mediajunkie.com/ xian

      copypasta spam

      • Rick

        did you mean antidisestablishmentarianism?

    • Econ101lab

      You want heart surgery from the low bidder? Or brain surgery from a Postal Worker? You remove the profit/high compensation from medicine and you don’t attract the best and brightest…you get mediocrity. No thanks.

      Don’t need all the fooforah. A simple regulation that providers post their prices online. Then make people the payors. You want prices to come down? Make it work like LASIK or LIPO.

      Who’s going to fund the return on the tax exempt bonds? And what is the guaranteed rate of return? Your estimate that the 25% of the bonds would finance your item #3 is delusional. I doubt you could finance 25% of the cost of operations with bonds. Where is the rest going to come from…in addition to the guaranteed rate of return?

      I don’t know where you came up with this, but it’s pretty harebrained.

  • Econ101lab

    “A tracker indicates that newly insured patients aren’t overwhelming doctors.”

    Makes sense as most of the enrollees are people who had insurance and had it cancelled by Obamacare. According to a March McKinsey survey, 74% of enrollees were previously insured.

    “A batch of anecdotal reports indicates that hospitals uncompensated care spending is falling.”

    A batch of anecdotal reports indicates that Obamacare is having terrible impacts on people buying insurance on the individual market…you know, all the people Harry Reid calls liars. Let’s get data, not anecdotes.

    “And a survey of physicians finds that — while many doctors are upset about the law’s added complexity — they’re generally happy with the pay that they’re seeing through the ACA’s new marketplace plans.”

    I’m sure you mean the doctors and hospitals remaining in the dramatically reduced networks. This is a self-selected sample, those doctors who volunteered for the large pay cuts. The rest are no longer in-network.

    And it’s not surprising the insurance industry is upbeat…they’re guaranteed a good outcome/bailout by the taxpayer. The insured however, not so much. So far prices are up, deductibles are up, networks are narrower, and the websites/exchanges still largely a disaster.

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