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Is Obamacare’s Fatal Flaw Taking Effect?

The healthy must subsidize the sick, and the healthy are opting out. (Also read Stephen Green's "Your Obamacare Fail of the Day")

by
Paul Hsieh

Bio

May 22, 2013 - 12:10 am
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The past month hasn’t been good for supporters of the Obamacare health law. One leading advocate, Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana), admitted that the implementation would be a “train wreck.” A recent study of Oregon health outcomes cast doubt on the benefits of expanding government health care, such that even the left-leaning Slate called it “bad news for ObamaCare.” The American public remains deeply skeptical of the law. In response, the federal government has been mounting a big public relations campaign to sell Americans on the alleged benefits of Obamacare.

Some recent examples:

– The Washington Times reported that Secretary of Health Sebelius urged the country’s pediatricians to help promote the law to their patients.

– NPR reported that President Obama has asked the nation’s mothers to promote ObamaCare to their kids. Specifically, “The White House is counting on mothers to nudge their young adult children to sign up for health insurance.”

– Forbes reported that PR firms and ad agencies are anticipating a windfall of “hundreds of millions” (if not billions) of government dollars to promote ObamaCare to the public in the next few months.

– The Washington Post reported that Secretary Sebelius has been soliciting donations from health industry executives to help finance Obamacare implementation, because she doesn’t have enough money in her own budget to do so.

Meredith McGehee, government ethics expert and policy director for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, noted that this last move was deeply troubling because Secretary Sebelius appeared to be “using the power of government to compel giving or insinuate that giving is going to be looked at favorably by the government.” Given her regulatory authority over the industries being asked to donate, health executives could easily interpret her solicitations for money as a thinly veiled shakedown threat: “Nice little health company you have here; it’d be a shame if something happened to it.”

So why the big push to get patients signed up for Obamacare?

One clue comes from this recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel (former White House health policy advisor and brother to former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel). He stated that Obamacare wouldn’t work unless enough young healthy people signed up. In effect, the young people who incur relatively fewer medical expenses must pay enough in premiums into the system to subsidize the expenses of older, sicker patients.

In effect, the Obama administration is openly admitting that their health law won’t work without the willing cooperation of people who can expect to be harmed by the law — including young people, doctors, and health industry workers.

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Top Rated Comments   
So a former White House "health policy adviser" openly admits that ObamaCare is just a Ponzi scheme:

"In effect, the young people who incur relatively fewer medical expenses must pay enough in premiums into the system to subsidize the expenses of older, sicker patients."

Maybe the reason young people aren't signing up is that they get dozens of spam emails every day promising similar windfalls should they just send someone their bank account number...
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I find it very instructive, when discussing Obamacare with my younger colleagues, to ask them to substitute "car insurance" for "health insurance" and see how they like it. I say "just imagine--you are an excellent driver with no accidents, but you will now have to pay extra so that the terrible driver can enjoy the exact same premium. Oh, and they can buy their insurance AFTER they have an accident."

Needless to say, people are horrified once the notion of "fairness" is replaced with a little cold, hard fact.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm beginning to like that Supreme Court Decision. The thought of Americans themselves tearing this thing down is quite satisfying. Who knows, once people (esp young people) find out what they voted themselves into, they might start reading the news, questioning political candidates, and occasionally considering the other side of the story.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (40)
All Comments   (40)
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We do need to fix the health system,but not with the Obamacare.
Must be sn easier way to get health insurance.LIz
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am amused that the <30 hour tsunami is building.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ah yes, and now we will all find out that "There is no such thing as a Free Lunch", somebody must always pay the bill..... The game is to scam that person who is tricked into paying so they do not understand how the just got screwed.
This is true Socialism, or Communism, same stick, different color, but with the same affect....
Next we will find that no one is interested in working in the Medical Field because there will be no incentive, wages will be capped.
Why do you think some people choose high stress professions and others just coast along day by day at the old fishing hole setting in the shade.
Insurance is nothing more than gambling on your future.
Me, I will not join any plan, nor will I buy insurance. I will save my money and when I get sick I will pay the doctor bill myself, been doing it all my life and am approaching 80 years.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Death Panels will make the needed" adjustments".
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I just got a letter from my primary care provider saying he was "opting out" of being my primary HC provider, but would share his practice with another doctor. He would still see some patients but only on a limited basis. Why did he leave?

To work the adminstrative side of the practice, ostensibly to deliver better care through the "patient centered medical home" model. I don't begrudge him doing this if he really believes it, but I suspect like my most of friends who are physicians, working harder and getting paid less (and their liability insurance isn''t going down) just ain't worth it. They see where the money is going and it's in administering this massive bureacracy called Obamacare. A sad but entirely predictable outcome - the good doctors will become "boutique providers" and just eschew the Obamacare mess if they can, or go into administration.

47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
and how many unions that supported the president are looking for waivers
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Unions don't have a problem getting waivers but how about those conservative organizations? Boy how the IRS loved messing with them! Well somebody has to pay for it right? You can't have everyone getting waivers.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
It should have been obvious that health insurance must include the young and the healthy to be affordable, and therefore, the young and healthy must either be forced to buy it or pay a penalty comparable to the excess of what their premium would be minus the benefits they would have received.

If to get it passed they made the penalty too low, then it is indeed an imminent train wreck.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
It was always going to take affect. The problem was that the penalty for not buying the insurance was always too low, and it was made intentionally too low just to get the bill passed in the first place. The individual policy market is going to collapse, and collapse quickly.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I got a newsletter from the Southern Arizona VA yesterday. It had a short blurb that patients will no longer have to provide means tests , but the data will be automatically accessed from the IRS and Social Security.
Does this mean these agencies will do an anal exam of my charitable contributions and see if I'm politically reliable when they decide whether I get care? If they're already looking at church memberships and tea party groups, who wouldn't they use this as a criteria for who gets care?
We make a big mistake when we assume these leftists and apparachiks have any scruples at all about using the full power of the state to destroy us.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obamacare, and any kind of national health care system, will be killed by math.
Canada and Europe are already running into this.
With the exception those of us "lucky" enough to die suddenly and unexpectedly, we will all experience the slow decline and failure of our bodies. Eyesight will fade, joints will give out. Organs will lose their efficiency.
Thanks to advances in medical science and technology, it is possible to counteract these problems. For a while. But at great cost.
It's one of the two reasons for those statistics about spending a godawful disproportionate share of medical expense on the last year of life.*
In fact, because the cost is so high and the condition, "aging" so normal, most of us will face this.
But the paradigm of insurance is to share the cost of rare and expensive risk among many. Sharing the cost of something most of us will face turns it on its head. How would auto insurance work if it covered the cost of maintaining your car in pristine condition indefinitely? It can't, which is why when it's gone too far, it's "totaled".

So the only solution will be to "total" people. The octogenarian who *might* make it another 10 years with a treatment costing $100,000 won't get it.

In a market health care system, a few rich octogenarians might. But in a socialist medical system, if everyone does, it bankrupts the system. Either the service is denied, or, more commonly, it is provided to a special few.

*The other is that you don't really know when that last year is coming, and with all that spending, it might not be, but without it, it most certainly will be.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't think many of us deny that, but the crux is that a free system gives an individual and his or her family that chance to make that choice based on what they know about themselves. The other system lets some far removed stable of bureaucrats make the decisions for everyone.

I proofread a lot of retirement home newsletters and see lots of pictures of the older generation. Some of them are over 100, and you would never know it to look at them. Others are maybe 15 years younger, give or take, and look like they're over 100. Who are some bureaucrats to assess the relative quality of life for each individual. Obviously, some centenarians are still full of life and healthy for their age while others are barely scraping along at a much younger age. Those bureaucrats would sign them all off at the same line.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree with you, most people just can't accept death. In most cases it comes down to spending every cent in your savings to cheat the inevitable or passing that money on to someone with much more life to live. When my time comes I will not waste money trying to cheat death, the house always wins. My goal is to go as painlessly as possible. Real compassionate end-of-life care would make this easier but we are not enlightened enough for that yet.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good insight, and you hit it on the head: beyond the control aspect one of the goals of socialized medicine is to make it just like auto insurance. Except it isn't. (no one insures a junker, right?)
But to the leftist death cult, telling the octogenarians to hurry up and die is just part of their credo. It's part of their love affair with infanticide; a logical extension of their worldview.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
In a realistic sense, no society can meet the cost of providing everyone with all the health care service that now exists without bankrupting itself. The rest of the developed world spends about 2/3rds or less of what the USA does. We are running close to three trillion dollars a year in medical costs, and will be over that level once Obamacare kicks in. The cost of health care in the US has now reached the point where it is starting to overburden our economy. Economic growth is stalling out, and the problem will be considerably worse with the costs of Obamacare. Adding the burden of health care premiums to recent college graduates with big student loans to pay off and the result will be that many people will have so little disposal income left over that any major purchases of automobiles, houses, will be completely out of the question. The US standard of living will drop, the "Great Recession" will continue. Eventually we will no longer be able to afford the world's most expensive military any longer. We will have to withdraw back to what we can actually afford, which is going to be limited more towards actual "national defense" than attempting to police the world. Great Britain could no longer afford to maintain the "Empire", nor could the rest of Europe after WW2. The same will happen to the US. Our future role in the world will be considerably smaller than it is now. We cannot afford to maintain the health care system we seem to want, and will have to accept what we can afford. Which is going to be a lot more like what the rest of the developed world is providing right now.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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