We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, September 23. 2011
The current uproar about the CLASS longterm care portion of ObamaCare is instructive of both how we got into this mess and how difficult it will be to get out of it. For those who watch TVs Falling Skies, where spinal implant harnesses attached to humans by aliens even when removed leave irremovable control over humans, that could also be our fate under ObamaCare. The blogosphere needs to step up its game to avoid or reduce this implantation.
Major blogs are now writing about the meltdown of the ObamaCare CLASS longterm care program, now that some internal memos have been revealed. But, with facts and figures, readily available reporting (including pre-admissions of failure before Congress reported in the New York Times), and my decades experience and certifications in employee benefits, I wrote about the unsustainability of CLASS long before, to be ignored. ( See here, ObamaCare’s CLASS Failure, and here, The Fraud Admitted.) I saw this before regarding my columns over many years on healthcare issues. Why?
Healthcare and insurance are not sexy issues, and require some deeper understanding to speak about intelligently. Most bloggers are involved in quick-takes on the hot issues of the day. Then, the blogosphere is politicized. Unless that issue can be highlighted quickly to undermine the opposition, and doesn’t require much research, it is passed on. This is even so when the issue is reported in the major media. Bloggers also know that very few of their readers are willing to spend much time on the fine details of most issues.
It wasn’t until ObamaCare that most bloggers began to write about healthcare. Suddenly everyone wrote as an instant expert. And, as often as not, superficially or confusing important facts.
Focus was on ObamaCare’s costs, on government controls over individual choices, and on the mandate, all important. However, the details of ObamaCare make readers' eyes gloss over. The Obama administration counted on that to pass the bill and since to keep the details muted. Of course, some specialized blogs went deeper, but are rarely read.
The CLASS portion of ObamaCare was known to be unsustainable from the get-go, which is why the bill itself required it to be examined after passage before implementation. But, the estimated $75-billion revenues from its early years’ was key to falsely claiming that ObamaCare would not increase federal deficits, before CLASS itself went into huge deficits.
Meanwhile, ObamaCare has step-by-step been entrenching itself within healthcare and its organizations. Early victims are health insurance agents and those many who rely upon them. I’ve yet to find a major blog that has written about this. Their comp is being cut by up to 50%, with more cuts to come, and many are leaving the business and those who need them with lessened defense against ObamaCare or giant insurance companies most interested in profiting from ObamaCare. I wrote about this here, In Defense Of Health Insurance Agents, And You, and here, CBO: ObamaCare Within 5% Of Nationalizing Insurance Companies, and here, Are Health Insurance Agents Worth It: The Canaries In ObamaCare Mine.
There are many more examples I could easily point out. Assuming that after the 2012 elections there’ll be a Republican president and Congress, despite pledges to repeal ObamaCare, we’ll find much of it welded into our spines. The mandate issue is focused upon because it raises libertarian hackles and because it seems the only promising course in the courts. However, even judicially excising mandates may not uproot Obamacare, if found severable despite the ObamaCare bill not including a severability clause. Also, by then, if there is a then at the Supreme Court, many portions of ObamaCare will be so far along, and many aspects of current healthcare so changed, as to be irremovable. Welcome to Falling Skies, the ObamaCare version. Falling Skies next season is next Summer, just in time for the 2012 election season. Will we survive the aliens? Will we survive ObamaCare? Can we reverse the alien harnesses? Will the blogosphere get ahead of instead of behind the ObamaCare issues? Stay tuned.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Thanks for the cheery news, Bruce.
It's true - you have been posting on these topics long before you joined the Farm. Also true - one's eyes do glaze over with the details. But the devil is in them.
As BD says, the devil is always in the details and in this case, there are a whole lot of details. As the former Speaker of the House said: "You'll have to wait until we pass it before you can find out what's in it". And what was in it was unbelievably complex. It seems as if everybody got a piece of the action, but the people will the system will service and it will cost them an arm and a leg - that's assuming they can even get to see a doctor.
But you're right - once its entrenched, the cost will keep going up and we'll be getting less for it.
"... despite pledges to repeal ObamaCare, we’ll find much of it welded into our spines."
Yes, I have noticed a bit of that already. And setting up new agencies/departments/advisors/whatever, which will then define what they are actually responsible for and how much authority they have - yikes!
"Meanwhile, ObamaCare has step-by-step been entrenching itself within healthcare and its organizations."
For the Social Democrats like Obama who want to transform the America of our Forefathers into the Europe they rejected, it has always been Two steps forward, One step back. The loss of freedom and the transformation into serfdom is gradual.
Scary. The insurance industry is already busted, it's more like a bill paying service these days. Happy the man who can pay cash for everything.
The giant insurance companies do not want to be in the insurance business, taking financial risks for healthcare provided. As in their initial support for HillaryCare, they want to be in the profitable, risk-free, claims processing business, with financial risk on the taxpayers. Then, small insurers, agents, and citizens beat HillaryCare back. Now, most smaller insurers are gone from the business, even large ones like Pridential. Now, agents are being decimated by slim comp. The care requirements of ObamaCare side-by-side with restrictions on earnings will bust many insurers. The statists will get their way and the giant insurers their way. It's getting down to the recipients of free meals versus the payers for that, and ObamaCare makes many new free lunchers.
I think the Federal government set up a CLASS-like long term care program for Federal employees maybe 10 or more years ago with very optimistic outlook and low premiums. As I recall, premiums had to be raised dramatically to stabilize the program. Have you looked at this?
The only solution to the problem of the 9% tribute the US pays to the medical services delivery and insurance scam is to outlaw it, nationalize medicine as in all other civilized nations, and drop the costs to 10% of GDP like all other civilized nations. While we're at it all health insurance executives and marketing whores should be put in front of firing squads and executed, like they executed the 40 million who were excluded from the old system.
The current regime will accomplish none of this. End the profiteering now. Nationalize the medical business now.