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Belmont Club

“It’s On Me”

November 14th, 2013 - 8:31 pm

The Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff writes that Obamacare’s planned fix “is about to create a big mess”. “It’s just a big mess right now. . . . I don’t know what to tell people,” Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger told The Washington Post.” Apparently it’s about to get worse.

For insurance regulators and health insurance carriers, though, this supposed glide path is about to create a whole bunch of headaches. They have been expecting, for years now, that these insurance plans would be phased out of the market in 2014 — and have planned accordingly….

Here’s how Robert Laszewksi, an insurance consultant, put it in a note to clients earlier this morning:

This means that the insurance companies have 32 days to reprogram their computer systems for policies, rates, and eligibility, send notices to the policyholders via US Mail, send a very complex letter that describes just what the differences are between specific policies and Obamacare compliant plans, ask the consumer for their decision — and give them a reasonable time to make that decision — and then enter those decisions back into their systems without creating massive billing, claim payment, and provider eligibility list mistakes.

What happens when one sixth of the US Economy goes from Full Ahead for three years to all astern emergency? A Napoleonic era military maxim gives a hint. “Order, counter-order, disorder.”

Kliff’s essential argument is that the insurance companies, having spent three years scrambling an egg, must now unscramble said egg. They will have to revive contracts they canceled, pursuant to a law which required their cancellation, yet without any legal leg to undo the do. Hence the lawsuits that will arise, the confusion which will ensue, the absolute chaos which will reign can only but be dimly imagined. It will probably be a humdinger, the Chinese Fire Drill to end all Chinese Fire Drills, the Goat Rope Maximus, the Mother of all Snafus.  And that’s only for openers.

Nor is the return fire coming only from insurance companies. Kliff describes how the Left has declared war on any attempt to withdraw a single inch; to make any concessions which might erode their progressive “gains” in another article.

I covered the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for about two years really closely. … One thing you quickly learn covering the NAIC is that it has a wing of really progressive, liberal insurance commissioners, about five or six regulators who regularly work together…. It does feel a bit weird to have one of the most liberal regulators be the first out of the gate to oppose Obama. At the same time, it also makes sense: What Kreidler is doing is a full-throated defense of the Affordable Care Act.

The whole reason insurance policies are getting cancelled right now is because the Affordable Care Act wanted these plans – which have less robust benefit packages – to go out of business. [itals mine]

That’s why Washington is among a handful of largely Democrat-led states that specifically bar insurers from offering “early renewals”: Plans that start in December 2013 and dodge health law requirements. This includes some really big states, too, like California and New York.

The president probably knew — though he may once again declare himself to have been misinformed — that the liberal commissioner’s game plan all along was to cancel existing health care plans.  And he went along until public outrage forced him to backtrack. Now he’s caught between an irate public, an irate insurance industry and an irate Left Wing.

He lied to somebody. Maybe he lied to everybody. Where have we heard this before? In foreign policy. Only a few days ago Haaretz reported that “Israeli officials say U.S. misrepresented the concessions offered to Iran and that the current direction of talks would undermine sanctions while allowing Iran to proceed with nuclear development.” Perhaps Obama had been playing the same game with Saudis; telling them one thing about Syria while telling Iran another.  That would account for why they are so wroth with him that they’re buying nukes from Pakistan. Obama has put himself in the position of a groom who has promised to marry three different brides on the same day and is wondering how to weasel out even now.

Can it get worse? Yes it can! Think Progress reports there are now four different plans to save Obamacare.

At least the President will have the consolations of his foreign policy achievements. What laurels may he rest on you may ask? Today the Telegraph reported that Russia is sending a mission to Egypt to try and pry it from Washington. “Russia is launching a new front in its attempt to wrest power in the Middle East away from America, dispatching a high-level delegation to sell arms and influence in Egypt.”

Up for talks are the “possibility of establishing a Russian naval base in Egypt.” Obama’s achievement may consist in undoing Jimmy Carter’s one legacy, the governor’s pride and joy, the work of many sleepless nights, the single bright spot in Jimmy’s otherwise dismal presidency. Jimmy Carter’s shining glory — gone faster than a donut at a cop convention. If that don’t beat all then what does?

Obama can make up for it by reaching an agreement with Iran. But recently the president issued a warning to himself not to threaten Teheran.

Rejecting charges of appeasing Iran, President Barack Obama cautioned Thursday that tightening the economic vise on Tehran could be counterproductive and bluntly warned that going to war will never guarantee that the Islamic republic abandons its suspect nuclear program….

The notion might seem heretical in Washington, where successive presidents including Obama have professed that “all options are on the table” (including war) to force Iran to abandon what the United States and its partners regard as a covert effort to get the ability to build a nuclear weapon.

Iran now knows the Obama administration’s limits. Obama cannot even bluff, having pre-emptively forbidden himself from doing so. Of course he can always say, “I lied about not bluffing”. Full Ahead, Full Astern, Full Stop. Full Ahead. Hard a-Port. Hard a-Starboard. Damn the torpedoes! Full impulse power Scotty!! Who knows but something may work?

Iran is not bound by these limits. Recently Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah threatened war in the region if Washington failed to strike a deal with Teheran.

The Telegraph attempts to explain somewhat unnecessarily that “the rapprochement between Egypt and Russia, four decades after President Anwar Sadat threw out the Soviet advisers cultivated by his socialist military predecessor, Col Gamal Abdul-Nasser, is part of a crunching shift in the geopolitics of the Middle East.”

And what caused this crunching geopolitical shift?  The White House isn’t saying. However, the president did say of Obamacare’s shortcomings in his press conference that “it’s on me.” He must be mistaken. It can’t be on him. It is never on him, except metaphorically. He’s not going to pay for it. Somebody else always does.

Those who are interested can watch the Laurel and Hardy insurance company try to deliver Obamacare.

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Top Rated Comments   
Bring it on!

"Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst natural disasters to ever strike the United States. The U.S. Coast Guard played a significant role in the planning, response, and recovery efforts of the government in three mission areas: search and rescue, marine pollution response, and the management of maritime commerce. Of the estimated 60,000 people that needed to be rescued from rooftops and flooded homes, Coast Guardsmen saved more than 33,500, including rescuing from peril 24,135 lives and evacuating 9,409 medical patients to safety. The rescue and the response efforts were some of the largest in Coast Guard history, involving units from every district. Over 5,600 Coast Guardsmen participated in the Coast Guard's response efforts.

Efforts to document the service's efforts during Katrina began almost immediately after the storm struck the Louisiana coast. The Katrina Archives and Historical Records Team (KART) was formed to capture all historically significant documentation, both written and photographic, generated during the response. Additionally, recalled Reserve and civilian personnel were deployed into the field within days of the hurricane's passage to collect oral histories from as many responders as possible. In the end, KART collected over 614 gigabytes of information as well as 240 oral histories.

Our thanks to all Coast Guardsmen who assisted KART and the Historian's Office in preserving the Service's experiences and memories during Katrina operations."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Some five years and two months ago John McCain shook his head ruefully and said "He's a Community Organizer. What is that?" Now we know. A Community Organizer is someone who creates problems for other people to solve. He does not do what a lawyer should do. That is identify how to use the law to obtain relief for his client for the common good. He instead identifies a potential grievant and increases their sense of misery and then attacks the common good by demanding wealth transfers, that is Extortion, and saying, "There ought to be a law." Yes there ought to be, and there is. One that holds such people responsible for the costs they impose on others.

The loyalty of the Establishment to Obama is only secondarily explained by their belief in any specific policy. While they have many cranks and single issue obsessives about Free Stuff or the Middle East or Gender Issues on any of those the professional politicians and business leaders could kick the can down the road and dump Obama or anyone if they felt threatened. So why stick with him? Two reasons come to mind.

First is inertia. The fact is that doubling down has worked better than they expected. He got a second term with nothing to justify it. Opposing the herd leaves you with Hillary or GoP, that is to say with losers.

The second and real reason is hate. The alternative to the extremists now in power is not the accomodationists but the contributors to this blog's comments. To reject Obama would mean admitting that the Tea Party, those knuckle dragging inbred contemptible scum, were right about something. Rather than do that they would first see the world burn.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Jonah Goldberg's "Schadenfreuderama" is so delicious you need a smoke afterwards.

While the Dimwits are playing "crabs in a bucket," Comrade Zero's war on America continues in other venues, all but unnoticed [and certainly unreported by our Pravda Media]. Vodkapundit noted this today: the Obama Administration's war on the suburbs --

Worth copying and pasting the link. He and his troops are funding leftist orgs, and threatening not to fund repairs to roads and bridges, etc., to jackboot this usurpation of local authority through. Soviet Worker housing, Pruitt-Igoe Project, here we all come....

Can we impeach him NOW?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (47)
All Comments   (47)
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Is there a commercial opportunity in relocating businesses and productive people, and valuable cultural resources, fleeing New York? Some things cannot be moved and are valuable. Must we let so much good be destroyed because 75% of those living in New York are feckless. Do they deserve what will happen? Does anybody?

Maybe we could import two hundred thousand hard working and patriotic refugees from The Philippines to counteract the toxic effect of half a million illegal aliens and race baiting poverty pimp socialist politicians in New York.

How can other places protect themselves from infection by the red virus carried by fleeing proto-zombies from New York?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Chris Wallace on FNC just reported that aid is pouring into the Philippines. He noted that IKEA has donated more than the PRC!

Godless commies are not noted for generosity of the Spirit.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just saw on FNC where NYC Mayor-Elect Deblasio told a group of businessman:

"I am not a free marketeer."

"I believe in the heavy hand of government."

The businessmen reportedly were scared spitless.

Here comes Detroit on the Hudson!

The question is: Will the new improved NYC serve as a cautionary tale for the elections of 2014 or will we have to wait until 2016?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hospital Ship Being Loaded

"SAN DIEGO ( — The Navy’s hospital ship will soon be on its way to the typhoon-ravaged Philippines, bringing medical supplies and doctors.

It will be several days before the USNS Mercy can leave San Diego, and at least two weeks before it will reach the Philippines, but U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Steve Curry says Mercy will bring with it a full spectrum of supplies and services, like a large blood bank."...

"The USNS Mercy is expected to join the George Washington Carrier strike group, which arrived in the Philippines Thursday to support “Operation Damayan,” the military’s humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan.

The Philippines and American Filipinos have had a historically long relationship with the Navy. The Navy trains regularly with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Navy itself is made up of a large number of Filipino-Americans."

Wretchard, what is the translation of Damayan?

“We’ve completed our high-speed transit and linked up with our U.S. Navy logistical assets from Commander, Task Force 73, which brings 7th Fleet naval forces to participate in ‘Operation Damayan’ in the Republic of the Philippines,” said Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, commander, GWSG. “Specifically, the aircraft carrier, USS George Washington and the cruisers USS Antietam and USS Cowpens will go to a position just off the eastern coast of Samar island in order to begin to assess the damage and provide logistical and emergency support to include medical and water supplies.”

In preparation to provide relief support, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 flew a number of fixed winged aircraft to Naval Air Facility Atsugi this morning creating more room on the carrier’s flight deck for helicopter operations.

“One of the best capabilities the Strike Group brings is our 21 helicopters. These helicopters represent a good deal of lift to move emergency supplies around.”

Also, today the Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE-10) transported 11 pallets ashore – 8 pallets containing 1920 gallons of water and 3 pallets of food stores to Tacloban airfield. The Charles Drew is also moving several pallets of water to Guiuan airfield today.

“We have ships conducting a variety of missions. The USNS Bowditch (T-AGS 62) is surveying water conditions in the Leyte Gulf. USNS Charles Drew and USS Lassen have helicopters and supplies that are bringing emergency supplies into Tacloban, one of the hard hit areas. Emory S. Land also provides a good ship-to-shore hotel services to Tacloban. The George Washington, Cowpens and Antietam are off the east coast of Samar. A third area of focus is Ormoc, where we’re sending USS Mustin right now,” said Montgomery.

Currently, the George Washington Strike Group consists of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Cowpens (CG 63) and USS Antietam (CG 54), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82) and USS Mustin (DDG 89), and Clark-class dry cargo ship USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE-10), Pathfinder class oceanographic survey ship USNS Bowditch (T-AGS 62), and submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS-39).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The relief efforts on Leyte and Samar are really gaining speed.

From Samar in the Wall Street Journal

"And yet Guiuan, situated on the far southeastern tip of Samar Island, where Typhoon Haiyan made landfall a week ago, has in some ways been lucky. While many of its residents are homeless, most are alive.

In a town of 45,000 people, 87 died—closer to a 0.2% fatality rate. Guiuan officials estimate 23 missing and 931 injured.

Only in the past couple of days has the area become accessible, thanks largely to the opening of an air strip built during World War II to assist the American counter-invasion of the Philippines. Many had feared the worst for the area.

"I can't explain it," said U.S. Navy Capt. Russell Hays, a medical officer who arrived recently. "Given the devastation, I would have anticipated a fatality rate approaching 10%."

One factor helping the town was its mayor. Christopher Gonzalez, 33 years old, was unbending in getting residents who are often blasé about big storms into evacuation shelters—buildings constructed of concrete rather than the cinder blocks and wood of most homes...

"I forced the people to evacuate because this time was different," Mr. Gonzalez said in an interview in the heavily damaged town hall. "It's very hard to convince people to evacuate, because they are used to typhoons here."

And this from Tacloban

"But he also said that food trucks from Manila had begun arriving, a development that is likely to sharply improve morale among emotionally shattered residents. The city "is starting to come back," he said.

Already, there were signs of an improvement in the quality of life. Vendors began selling grilled meat at roadside stalls and wandering cigarette-sellers began touting their wares. At the airport, the number of military flights sharply increased after U.S. forces enabled the battered facility to handle nighttime flights.

"Every flag you can imagine is represented" in the relief missions being flown in to Tacloban, said Marine Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy, commander of the U.S. task force.

Some U.S. military officers say privately that they are confused about who is really running the snowballing aid operation: the national government, local leaders or the growing ranks of aid agencies now on the ground in Leyte and Samar islands, which lay straight in the typhoon's path.

The president's spokesman Herminio Coloma said Mr. Aquino is planning to return to Tacloban city on Sunday after creating a new umbrella agency to oversee the aid effort.

Relief aid is being flown or trucked in to Leyte and neighboring Samar. In addition to the Tacloban airport, relief flights are landing at the airstrip in Guiuan in Eastern Samar province, unloading supplies and picking up storm victims desperate to get out.

But the ground route has proved challenging. Under normal circumstances, trucks would take about 18 hours to haul goods from Manila to Leyte and Samar, via road and ferry. But ferry service is less than half what it was before the typhoon—down to about 11 roundtrips a day.

"We were experiencing bottlenecks at the port of Matnog," said Mr. del Rosario, referring to the closest port on the main island of Luzon to Samar. "Ferry owners were delaying their trips because they don't have enough passengers and cargo on the way back."

Mr. del Rosario said the situation is starting to ease."

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

In a statement from the Office of Management and Budget, the administration argues the law is intended to “sabotage” ObamaCare.

“[The bill] rolls back the progress made by allowing insurers to continue to sell new plans that deploy practices such as not offering coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, charging women more than men, and continuing yearly caps on the amount of care that enrollees receive,” the statement said.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
President Obama is "brainstorming" with the insurance companies.

It's like Animal House. The same addled frenzy, but without the humor.

"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Was it over when Abel killed Cain? Nothing is over until we decide!"

Roger Simon argues that Obama should resign.

I don't think he will, though I do believe the Dems will eventually try to persuade him to retire, a la Johnson or Nixon. Bill Clinton has broken ranks already on Obamacare.

Obama is waist deep in quicksand. The first rule of quicksand is don't struggle. Swim your way out. But he won't. And therefore this may end in the manner of the Beast From Hollow Mountain.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The whole thing will collapse - eventually. However, as it is currently stands, the executive branch holds all the cards for directing HOW, and there is almost certainly a draft of how to morph it into single payer without an actual Act of Congress. The insurance company bailouts are pre-approved, as an example. In the meantime, Reid will attempt to maintain a line of defense - nothing with teeth is going to get past him.

I'm not sure how - but the Legislature needs to regain some measure of control.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The new movie "Elysium" might be seen as a timely commentary on Obamacare.

The tissue-thin plot revolves around the unfortunate fact that the Ruling Democrats are lost in space, revolving round & round their own axis, ignoring the laws of physics, and hogging the best medical care. Meanwhile, down on Planet Earth, Los Angeles by 2054 after decades of Democrat rule has devolved into a third-world hell hole -- Detroit with smog -- where people die of diseases that would be curable up on the Democrats' space wheel. Needless to say, the Democrats on Elysium are plotting against each other ceaselessly, with Jodie Foster doing her impression of Bad Hillary! with a EUrophiliac accent. And the space Democrats use those irredeemably evil people, (white) South Africans, to do their Bull Connor work on Earth.

SPOILER ALERT! This is not a Russian movie. The Russians have had centuries of czars and Big Intrusive Government lefties -- they know how this kind of thing ends. No, this is still an American movie, even if it was made in Canada. There is Hope for Change, and by the end of the movie the Democrats are under new management and send their mobile hospitals to Earth to help the poor suffering tax-payers.

The viewer can't help but note that health care is still rationed at the end -- only this time rationed by how close the people are to the hospital ships, and by how hard they push past other sick people to get to the front of the line. Yes the label has changed, but it is still Obamacare.

And when the people of Earth are all healed, then what? They are still unemployed and living in poverty, while the Rich Democrats continue to spin aimlessly above their heads. Maybe a Russian was involved in this movie after all?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He gave a press conference where he and his apologists appear clearly flustered...clucking about it being the fault of the insurance companies, the shutdown, and now, Oprah...old white racists.

All this flustered clucking...and it finally dawned on me. The best minds on our side this was going to be one giant fluster cluck all along.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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