On Obamacare

It’s a fascinating train wreck, isn’t it?

I mean, seriously? With 32 days to go the insurance companies now have to (or can offer) offer everyone the plans they have been planning to cancel for the past two years?

What?

As I’ve remarked before one of the prime requirements for a technocratic government is that you actually have adequately competent technocrats. Something we’re not particularly seeing here, are we?

28 comments on “On Obamacare

  1. As I’ve remarked before one of the prime requirements for a technocratic government is that you actually have adequately competent technocrats. Something we’re not particularly seeing here, are we?

    Depends on how you define a technocratic government. I have know a few Third World governments that have been “technocratic” in the sense that they have been run by experts from outside political life. But they weren’t all that expert at anything much. No competition for government so no need to be especially competent.

    The question is how did Obama and his merry men get it so wrong. It has to be one of the most spectacular own goals in the history of modern Western politics. “Free” health care is one of the few policies that no one but a handful of ideologues object to. I assume it was a mixture of his own unbelievable arrogance, combined with a total lack of competence so no one had the slightest clue how hard this sort of thing might be, all made worse by an ar$e licking press that never questioned the Chosen One or any of His acts. But who knows?

    The interesting question is where do they go from here. A single payer scheme must be off the table for a generation. If the government can’t run a website, what can it do?

  2. As on of the “handful of ideologues” who objects to “free” (ie paid for with money stolen under threat of state violence) health care or anything “free” from the other-people’s-money bounty of the state I welcome the crash and burn fate of Obama care. One more nail in the coffin of statism.

  3. As one of the (I hope) non-ideologues who can see certain efficiencies and benefits from a tax-based health insurance system (please feel free to tell me why the NHS isn’t just that – really, refine this idea for me), I am still very pleased to see Obamacare crash and burn like this.

    As Mr Ecks has said, this was pure statism, conceived by the arrogant bien pensant. Only those red-neck, inbred Republicans could object to this couldn’t they etc etc? The idea that anyone with the ability to purchase health insurance should actually be reponsible for their own healthcare and that this might work out better for most people is just anathema to them. No, we know best!

    Well, as it turns out, we’ve had lots of fine words from Obama, as ever, but you wouldn’t let him loose to run your local brewery.

  4. The insurance companies now have just a few days to recreate their quotation systems for these products. So Obama can shift some of the blame to them if any of them make a mistake trying to do that in fewer working days than the state had months to set up its failing system.

  5. John77,

    Exactly. This change is only so he can shift the blame to the evil insurance companies gradually over the next few weeks. I would be at all surprised to see a push for single payer on the basis the attempted reform has been sabotaged by the insurance companies.

  6. That is why I have made myself a bit of a bore telling opponents of the EU they shouldn’t call eurocrats “technocrats” rather than “democrats”. They aren’t either.

    There is a Scots word “numpty” meaning a useless/stupid person. We have adopted the term “numptocracy” to describe our Holyrood Parliament but it is a word that could have wider application.

  7. The previous American system, Shambolicare, has now been replaced by the even worse Obamacare. That takes political genius, of a sort.

    I have every sympathy with the American electorate opting for Obama when the alternative was the awful McCain. For them to stick with O when they had the option of the properly grown-up Romney was a stinker of a decision.

  8. How did we get here? Obama is a decadent expressive, expressive being a personality type described by Dr. Peter Urs Bender. One trait of the expressive is that they are unrealistic dreamers. Can I get an “Amen?”

    Mr. Obama’s declaration that he won’t enforce the law for a year, the “fix,” is not legally binding, nor is it applicable in civil court. Should an insurance company reissue a banned policy, they can be sued for not providing what is in the law, and they will have no defense. Just because Obama said so means nothing in civil court.

    Additionally, the man who said, “If you like your insurance, you can keep it,” is the man to be trusted in that he won’t enforce the law as he said. Duh. No rational company would take such a risk, especially an INSURANCE company.

    Mr. Obama actually said that you can now blame insurance companies, and not the Affordable Care Act, for not renewing. I don’t think his handlers meant him to say that out loud.

  9. Technocrat is a good enough word, for those following the current managerialism-by-twats philosophy that dominates the western world.

    For me, the basic idea has been in operation in the Anglosphere at least for most of the industrial era. People work in paradigms based on experience. The ancient Jews were ethnocentric,shepherds, so they invented an ethnocentric shepherd god. The paradigm of the industrial era was the manufactory, and so the idea of the “nation as a factory” developed which has more recently shifted slightly to “nation as a business” with moronic slogans like “Great Britain PLC”.

    So that’s what we get, people running the country who think they are factory managers or office administrators or what have you. Technocracy might not be entirely accurate, but it’s a good enough collective noun.

  10. I still don’t understand why healthcare has anything to do with the federal government. Why can’t it be a state responsibility?

  11. The world’s foremost expert on implementing The Courageous State has been oddly silent on the success of governmental handling of health insurance in the US……

  12. Just because Obama said so means nothing in civil court.

    Yes, but the arrogant twat is attempting to rule by decree, thus taking the US one step further along the road to a banana republic.

    I can’t think of a single president who was less aware of the limits – or even the basic role – of the position than Obama. Or more likely, he’s so damned arrogant that he knows the limits but just ignores them.

  13. This is how bad it is:

    1. Al Sharpton has started reminding people that Obama’s half white.
    2 Kenya has released documents proving Obama was born in the USA.
    3. The Muslim Brotherhood has asked Obama to stop supporting them.
    4. The Washington Redskins have suggested that Obama change his name.
    5. Chris Matthews has lost the feeling in his right leg.
    6. Jimmy Carter sent Obama a ‘Thank You’ card.

  14. Also…

    7. People are starting to refer to Joe Biden as ‘the smart one’.
    8. The PGA has asked Obama to take up a different sport.

  15. Yo’ mama…

    Yo mama’s so dumb she voted for Obama. Twice.
    Yo mama’s so dumb she still supports Obamacare.
    Yo mama’s so dumb she helped write the code for Healthcare.gov.

  16. Mr Ecks – “As on of the “handful of ideologues” who objects to “free” (ie paid for with money stolen under threat of state violence) health care or anything “free” from the other-people’s-money bounty of the state I welcome the crash and burn fate of Obama care. One more nail in the coffin of statism.”

    As a definite ideologue, and one who has defended the American system at length for producing the medical drugs and techniques we all benefit from, I am not so sanguine. If the alternative was a real free market, then I might be for it. But I think that any attempt to fix this mess will end up with a more Statist solution than before. A Single Payer is what I used to think their real intent was.

    Ironman – “(please feel free to tell me why the NHS isn’t just that – really, refine this idea for me)”

    Because the NHS is really a job-creation scheme with some health provision attached. It is really not about our health, it is about votes and their jobs. Which is why they are so firmly against any sort of competition. We could probably agree on a model that we would both be mildly unhappy about, but it would have to provide some level of competition or in the long run it will descend into the morass of incompetence and corruption that we can see in the NHS today. France has a state run system but it does provide competition and so I would prefer that over the NHS even if it cost more.

    “Only those red-neck, inbred Republicans could object to this couldn’t they etc etc?”

    I guess Obama’s mistake was to make the redistribution obvious. A single payer system has everyone pay tax, preferably VAT so they have no idea how much they are paying, and then doles out the benefits. No one has a clue of the relation between what they pay in and what they get out. But Obama had to force people to buy insurance so they could see the sticker price of subsidising the poor right up front.

    Really poor politics. After all, usually “free” health care is a no brainer – everyone is afraid they may need the welfare state at some point. No one likes to see old people die at home untreated. With an infinite number of sob stories and all the good will from the voters anyone could want, they still managed to screw it up?

    “Well, as it turns out, we’ve had lots of fine words from Obama, as ever, but you wouldn’t let him loose to run your local brewery.”

    Maybe electing a community organiser was a deep laid Republican plot all along?

    dearieme – “For them to stick with O when they had the option of the properly grown-up Romney was a stinker of a decision.”

    Romney was in every way a great candidate. Except he was too liberal (which was a problem for me, but I assume not for most Americans). He had a great public record to run on, he had private sector experience, he had a good family life, moral character, everything. He was rejected for a buffoon prey to his fears and insecurities who had never successfully done anything but run for office.

    A republic so stupid does not deserve to survive.

  17. 9. Saudi Arabia and Israel are cooperating to take out Iran’s nukes. This one’s not a joke.

    It’s quite obvious what Obama’s game-plan is: as David Moore said, this is an attempt to set the insurance industry up as the fall-guy. But he’s not just got the companies to contend with. Insurance in the US is regulated at the State level, and each regulatory authority has to sign off on this fix. Washington State’s insurance commissioner has already repudiated it.

  18. But Obama had to force people to buy insurance so they could see the sticker price of subsidising the poor right up front.

    Indeed. And those who were quite happy to shaft everyone else are getting most upset that they’re expected to contribute too.

  19. Tim Newman,

    “I can’t think of a single president who was less aware of the limits – or even the basic role – of the position than Obama. Or more likely, he’s so damned arrogant that he knows the limits but just ignores them.”

    He spent more than a decade as a lecturer on constitutional law, how could he be ignorant of the legal limits to his office?

  20. He spent more than a decade as a lecturer on constitutional law, how could he be ignorant of the legal limits to his office?

    The primary role of a ‘constitutional lawyer’ is to twist language to prove the Constitution gives government powers that it was never intended to have.

    It’s not like the US Constitution is a difficult document to understand. The hard part is making ‘shall not infringe’ mean ‘can infringe any time it feels like’, or justifying giving what was meant to be an extremely limited national government control of the entire healthcare industry.

    So I’m not at all surprised Obama believes the President has the power to change laws any time he feels like it.

  21. Romney was in every way a great candidate.

    I disagree. As far as I can see, Republicans stayed away from the polls in droves because they didn’t see any point in voting for a Republican they could barely distinguish from a Democrat. Before the election I saw a few Republican sites cheer-leading for him, but most were saying ‘can I really hold my nose and vote for this man?’

    Any competent Republican candidate should have been able to beat Obama, but they picked one who had no chance of energizing their voting base, and hence couldn’t even get as many votes as the candidate who lost the previous election.

  22. “Any competent Republican candidate should have been able to beat Obama, but they picked one who had no chance of energizing their voting base, and hence couldn’t even get as many votes as the candidate who lost the previous election.”

    An error that it seems there’s every chance they’ll repeat again next time around…

  23. Obama wasn’t really a lecturer in constitutional law, he have classes in racial preference subjects, his speciality was on equal rights and affirmative action issues, not on the broader constitution at all. And one can well imagine that he got that role purely based on an “equal opportunities” basis, just as his entrance to law school was the same, an equal opportunities based entrance.

    He probably was and remains almost entirely ignorant of almost all parts of constitutional law. His whole back story is a carefully crafted piece of deception.

  24. Unless he interprets the constitution to make himself POTUS for life, will we get a chance to examine his college records so expensively kept off the public record once he’s out of office. I am sincerely looking forward to some no stone unturned real journalism to explain how conartist got control of the wheels of power without knowing how to drive.

  25. What has yet to dawn on Obama and Washington is that he (and they) aren’t in control of this. There are 51 (Washington DC has their own) state insurance commissioners who are the ones who actually have the power to implement Obama’s “fix”. Guess what? The vast majority of them won’t. Period. They have absolutely no incentive to do so… the insurance companies don’t want (and probably can’t) do it, they certainly can’t get their own bureaucracies to turn on a dime and get the regulatory work done, and as several of the commissioners and their trade group have pointed out, actually implementing the “fix” will blow premium prices on Obamacare policies through the roof… which could then become a political problem for the commissioners themselves.

    They have no incentive to do it, and the vast majority won’t. And it’s worth noting that the first state to reject the fix – Washington – has an insurance commissioner who is both a Democrat and a staunch Obamacare advocate. I live in Ohio. We have a Republican governor, a Republican House and a Republican Senate. You think Ohio’s insurance commissioner is going to engage in a high-risk fix of dubious legality to save Obama’s dumb ass?

  26. The other thing to note here is that as the dust is beginning to settle, people are starting to realize that Obama’s “fix” is a non-starter. I don’t think it was meant as a fix in the first place. In my own opinion the only reason he offered it was to try to keep House Democrats from voting for the Upton bill (and that didn’t work). The key is to watch what he does on Monday. If the White House starts a full court press on the state insurance commissioners, then Obama was serious about it as a fix. If the WH doesn’t got after the commissioners, then they were never meant it as a fix in the first place.

    My bet is that by the end of next week Obama and the WH will be trying something else.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>