Friday, March 28, 2014

Hitler's Reaction to Obamacare

Hitler's Reaction to Obamacare

If this were not so true, it would be hilarious:

If you have difficulty viewing this video, go here.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Conversation About Obamacare

Screw You, Mickey Kaus

Screw You, Mickey KausBy Ann Coulter  March 27, 2014  RealClearPolitics

I've been thrown off my health insurance -- THANKS, OBAMACARE! -- and have spent hours and hours over the past month trying to figure out my options now that the Democrats have made my old plan, which I liked, "illegal." (I prefer to think of my plan as "undocumented.")

Whom do I bill for the hours of work Obamacare forced me to perform? How about you, Mickey? You're the smartest living liberal (faint praise), and you assured us that Obamacare was going to be fantastic.

By now, Obama has issued "waivers" from Obamacare to about 99 percent of the country. (Perhaps you've heard, there's a big midterm election this year.) As one of the few Americans not granted a waiver, I'm here to tell you: You have no idea what's coming, America.

I thought I had figured out the best plan for me a month ago after having doctors and hospital administrators look at the packets of material I was sent by my old insurance company -- the same mailing that informed me my old plan was "illegal" under Obamacare.

But when I checked online recently, I discovered the premier plan -- the "platinum," low-deductible, astronomically expensive plan that might be accepted by an English-speaking doctor who didn't attend medical school in a Hawaiian shirt and board shorts -- does not include treatment at any decent hospitals.

That's sort of unfortunate because THAT'S THE ONLY REASON I WANT INSURANCE! That's the only reason any sane homo sapien wants health insurance: to cover health care costs in the event of some catastrophic illness or accident -- not to pay for Mickey Kaus' allergy appointments. But my only options under the blue-chip plan were hospitals that also do shoe repair.

I called Blue Cross directly to ask if its most expensive insurance plan covered the only hospital I'd ever go to in an emergency. Since that's all I wanted to know, that's what I asked. (I like to get to the point that way.)

But -- as happens whenever you try to ascertain the most basic information about insurance under Obamacare -- the Blue Cross representative began hammering me with a battery of questions about myself.

First my name. (Does that make a difference to what hospitals its plans cover?) Then my phone number. By the time he got to my address, I said, CAN YOU PLEASE JUST TELL ME IF ANY OF YOUR PLANS COVER XYZ HOSPITAL? I DON'T EVEN KNOW IF I WANT TO SIGN UP WITH YOU!

Finally, he admitted that Blue Cross' most expensive individual insurance plan does not cover treatment at the hospitals I named. Their doctors are "out of network" (and the person who designed this plan is "out of his mind").

This was the rest of the conversation, verbatim:

ME: None of your plans cover out-of-network doctors?


ME: Why is it called "Premier Guided Access WITH OUT-OF-NETWORK PLAN"?

BLUE CROSS: Where did you see that?

ME: On Blue Cross' own material describing its plans.

BLUE CROSS: Oh. I don't know why it's called that.

ME: None of your plans cover (the good hospital)?


ME: I don't know who you are, but I have a very specific set of skills that will help me find you. And when I find you, I am going to kill you. (Click.)

True conversation. Except the last sentence. That was my fantasy.

I decided to approach it from the opposite direction and called one of the nation's leading hospitals to ask which plans it accepted. The woman listed a series of plans, but she couldn't tell me if I was eligible for any of them. For that, she said, I'd have to go to the Obamacare website.

Does Obamacare cover suicide?

I went to "" and -- I guess I had heard this, but had blocked it from my memory like a rape victim unable to remember her attack -- you can't even peek at the available plans until you've given the government reams of personal information about yourself.

How about they let me look at the merchandise first?

Inasmuch as the cost of health insurance under Obamacare is so high that it will generally make more sense just to pay for your own catastrophic health emergencies, I was not interested in telling Kathleen Sebelius everything about me in order to have the privilege of glancing at the government's crappy plans.

But that's the only choice. As the Obamacare website directs:

(1) Create an account. (Name, password.)

(2) Tell us about yourself and your family. (Every single thing.)

(3) Choose a health insurance plan. (That's where you finally get to see the plans.)

I wonder if other consumer-oriented businesses will start demanding names, addresses, passwords and phone numbers before the customer is allowed to browse the merchandise. Maybe Williams-Sonoma could pick up a few sales tricks from Ezekiel Emanuel! Oh, you'd like to see the bronze muffin tin? Sure, but first I'll need your Social Security number, date of birth and mother's maiden name. Sign here, here and here.

The main point of the Obamacare website is to encourage people other than me to get a government subsidy. There's also a section helping you register to vote. You just can't see the insurance plans. (Guess which one you need a government ID for?)

With zero help from the Obamacare website, I eventually figured out that there was one lone insurance plan that would cover treatment at a reputable hospital. The downside is, no doctors take it.

So my only two health insurance options -- and yours, too, as soon as the waivers expire, America! -- are: (1) a plan that no doctors take; or (2) a plan that no hospitals take. You either pay for all your doctor visits and tests yourself, or you pay for your cancer treatment yourself. And you pay through the nose in either case.

That's not insurance! It's a huge transfer of wealth from people who work for a living to those who don't, accomplished by forcing the workers to buy insurance that's not insurance. Obamacare has made actual health insurance "illegal."

It's not "insurance" when what I want to insure against isn't covered, but paying for other people's health care needs -- defined broadly -- is mandatory.

It's as if you wanted to buy a car, so you paid for a Toyota -- but then all you got was a 10-speed bike, with the rest of your purchase price going to buy cars, bikes and helmets for other people.

Or, more precisely, it would be like having the option of car insurance that covers either collisions or liability, but not both. Your car insurance premium would be gargantuan, because most of it would go to buy insurance, gas and air fresheners for other people in the plan.

If you have employer-provided health care, you may not have to make the 400 phone calls I had to, but the result will be the same: You're not getting what is commonly known as "insurance." You're getting a massive bill to pay for other people's chiropractors, marriage counselors, birth control pills, smoking cessation programs, "preventive care" appointments and pre-existing conditions.

Health insurance has been outlawed, replaced with a welfare program that has been renamed "insurance."

When Matt Drudge decided he'd rather pay for his own health care, liberals hysterically denounced him for not buying an Obamacare transfer-the-wealth, fake "insurance" plan. It used to be shameful to be a public charge. Now it's shameful to pay for yourself.

And it's shameful to work for yourself. The self-employed are currently the only Americans subjected to Obamacare. (In a way, it's lucky for the Democrats that there aren't enough of us to hurt them in this year's midterm elections!)

But we're the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. You may have an employer-provided plan now, but the waivers can't go on forever. If you live in America, your health insurance is going to disappear, too.

The government simply cannot force all insurance companies to give subsidized health care to a third of the country, to ignore the pre-existing health conditions of its customers, to pay for every little thing tangentially related to health -- like smoking cessation programs, marital counseling and pediatric dental care -- and also expect them to cover your cancer treatment.

It doesn't matter if you've been paying for insurance your whole adult life. That policy is now "illegal." Put your hands in the air, nice and easy, and step away from the policy ...

You 99-percenters still unaffected by Obamacare will blithely go to the polls this November and vote on some teeny-tiny issue, completely unaware of the total destruction of health insurance in America. The waivers have worked.

Now we'll have to wait 40 years for a future Mickey Kaus to come along and expose the disastrous consequences of this horrendous government program, just like the real Mickey Kaus did with welfare. But for now, I say: Screw you, Mickey Kaus. 


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Saturday, March 01, 2014

Critical Reading for Seniors

Many seniors may have forgotten that when the Democrats passed Obamacare (with no Republicans voting in favor and by means of parliamentory chicanery), they authorized a transfer of $500 billion (that’s billion) in future Medicare funding to help pay for their new program.  It’s not only younger people who are losing their doctors and having to wait for tests and treatment, it’s started for seniors as well.  Medicare Advantage is the first program to feel the cuts, but traditional Medicare is following closely.

Vote out every Democrat who runs in 2014 and in 2016 so this trainwreck of a healthcare program can be repealed and replaced.

Obamacare vs. Medicare

Jeffrey H. Anderson  March 10, 2014 Weekly Standard

One of President Obama’s greatest political challenges has been hiding the fact that Obamacare is largely financed by siphoning huge sums of money out of Medicare. In particular, Obamacare cuts—or guts—Medicare Advantage, the popular program that allows seniors to get their Medicare benefits through private insurers. In fact, it’s only these Medicare Advantage cuts that allow the Congressional Budget Office to pretend that Obamacare won’t raise deficits—an implausible notion that polling indicates only a very small percentage of particularly credulous citizens believe.

Late on Friday, February 21, in a 148-page, after-hours communication, the Obama administration declared that cuts to Medicare Advantage, long put off, will finally take effect in 2015. Predictably, and understandably, many conservatives responded by criticizing the announcement.

The cuts are bad in and of themselves, but cuts to the program have been a part of Obamacare’s written text from day one. So the real question is not whether Obamacare will cut Medicare Advantage; it’s whether the Obama administration—which doesn’t want those cuts to become evident when Medicare’s open-enrollment period begins on October 15, less than three weeks before Election Day—will take unilateral, lawless executive action to stop the cuts from taking place. That’s what has happened to date.

In the lead-up to Obama’s reelection, he and his administration weren’t satisfied with having mailed out full-color, taxpayer-funded propaganda brochures and run millions of dollars’ worth of taxpayer-funded TV ads featuring Andy Griffith, all touting Obamacare to seniors. They knew that such nonsense would quickly be exposed if Obamacare’s prescribed Medicare Advantage cuts were to take effect: Seniors would have started noticing those cuts on October 15, 2012.

To avoid that, the Obama administration launched an $8.3 billion “demonstration project.” The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services say such projects are meant “to test and measure the effect of potential program changes.” This one, though, was a shameless and almost certainly illegal effort to hide Obamacare’s Medicare Advantage cuts from seniors until they could no longer express their displeasure at the ballot box. How big a tally is $8.3 billion? It’s about seven times what Obama’s campaign raised in total.

The Government Accountability Office identified this “demonstration project” as a sham. The GAO highlighted the project’s myriad “design shortcomings,” including its excessive focus on 2012, its awarding “most” of its “quality bonus[es]” to plans that didn’t perform at above-average levels, and its lack of a control group. The GAO, not known for its bluntness, concluded by writing that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius “should cancel” the project and perhaps consider conducting “an appropriately designed demonstration” in the future. A few months later, the GAO reiterated that all demonstration projects “must meet the criteria set forth” in law, which the Obama administration had “not established” it had done, leaving the GAO “concerned.”

At the time, Nebraska Republican Ben Sasse, HHS assistant secretary for planning and evaluation until January 2009 and now a Senate candidate, said, “If a presidential administration can simply make up the authority to make law and give itself the power of the purse to implement its new law—which not only isn’t designed to make existing law work but is actually against the purpose of existing law—why do we need a Congress?” Sasse added, “In scope and intention, this is something completely new, and if it’s allowed to establish precedent, the only limit on what future administrations could spend money on, or how much they could unilaterally spend, would be their own electoral calculations about what they could get away with.”

Were Medicare demonstration projects typically so huge or so lacking in legal justification pre-Obama? Actually, they were usually small and uncontroversial. The GAO said that from 1995 through the onset of Obama’s ploy—a period spanning the bulk of the Clinton administration, all of the George W. Bush administration, and beyond—85 Medicare demonstration projects were conducted. Obama’s $8,300,000,000 gambit cost more than all 85 of those prior projects combined.

Now, two years later, the “demonstration project” is over, and Medicare Advantage is back on the chopping block. The CBO says that if Obama’s centerpiece legislation is implemented as written, about $200 billion will be funneled out of Medicare Advantage and into Obamacare over the next decade. Like low-premium health plans and their accompanying health savings accounts, both of which Obamacare aims to diminish or eliminate, Medicare Advantage has proven extremely popular: Its enrollment more than doubled, according to the New York Times, in just the past eight years. With over 15 million seniors now in the program—more than a quarter of all Medicare beneficiaries—Obama-care’s $200 billion raid amounts to about $13,000 per current Medicare Advantage enrollee.

But Medicare Advantage is hardly the only part of Medicare that is scheduled to be looted by Obamacare. The CBO projects that, over the next decade, about $1 trillion that would otherwise have been spent on Medicare will be rerouted to Obamacare. That represents more than 10 percent of Medicare’s entire projected funding—which helps explain why Medicare’s Office of the Actuary has projected that, by 2020, Medicare will reimburse doctors and other health care providers at lower rates than Medicaid will. Imagine if Obama had pitched Obamacare by saying, Folks, we’re going to pass health reform, and to pay for it, we’re going to divert more than 10 percent of the money that’s projected to be spent on Medicare. That pitch would have made Jimmy Carter’s “malaise” speech look like a triumph of political rhetoric. But, as the CBO notes, that’s exactly what Obamacare will do.

To be sure, Medicare badly needs to be reformed, and less should be spent on it. But at a time when we are $17 trillion in debt and our Army is shrinking to pre-World War II levels, money shouldn’t be reallocated from Medicare to finance a highly unpopular, $2 trillion overhaul of American medicine.

Similarly, Medicare Advantage needs to be protected, and Obamacare shouldn’t pilfer from it. But it would be far more objectionable for Obama once again to refuse to faithfully execute the law as written in hopes of extricating himself—and his vulnerable Senate allies—from a political thicket of their own creation. Conservatives should be a lot more concerned about abridgements of the rule of law and the separation of powers than about cuts to this or that program—even popular and worthwhile ones.

All of this—the Medicare Advantage cuts, the siphoning of more than 10 percent of all projected Medicare spending, the lawlessness—points to the need to repeal the monstrosity that is Obamacare. And it points to the need to advance a well-conceived conservative alternative to pave the way to full repeal. The 2017 Project has proposed one such alternative. It would free Americans from Obamacare’s unprecedented individual mandate, its skyrocketing health costs, its weakening of job prospects, its fiscal irresponsibility, its consolidation of power and money at the expense of Americans’ liberty, and all the rest of its 2,700 pages of federal largess. At the same time, it wouldn’t touch the employer-based tax break for health insurance for most Americans or fail to provide help to the poor and near-poor who get the vast majority of aid under Obamacare, thereby foreclosing a potentially huge political opening for Obamacare supporters. What it would do is fix what the government had already broken before Obamacare was passed. It would provide real reform by eliminating the unfairness in the tax code by offering a non-income-based tax credit to all Americans who purchase health insurance in the individual market, dealing with the problem of preexisting conditions through commonsense regulations and high-risk pools, and lowering health costs by facilitating a real, vibrant market and encouraging as little involvement by middlemen (whether the government or insurers) as possible. It’s the opposite of Obamacare’s failed approach.

There are other worthwhile conservative alternatives on the table—including a proposal by Senators Tom Coburn, Richard Burr, and Orrin Hatch, and one from the House’s Republican Study Committee—and there is still much discussion to be had about shaping an alternative to bring about desired results. But it should be less doubtful than ever that full repeal is both crucial and achievable, and that advancing a well-conceived conservative alternative is the key to that quest.




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