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Vapor Lock

February 5th, 2014 - 12:52 pm

News that Obamacare would cause the economy to shed 2.3 million jobs is being greeted with jubilation by some quarters.  This was foreseen long ago.  FactCheck.Org pointed out even in 2011 that unemployment is not the right word for the loss of remunerative activities caused by the program.  The word’s not “unemployment”. “That’s a distortion. CBO said some Americans would work less or leave their jobs if they can get health insurance outside the workplace.” It’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

Employment is a prison, didn’t you know? Nancy Pelosi exults that breadwinners now can escape the confines of “job-lock”. The Washington Post reports on this wonderful new addition to the political lexicon.

“Yesterday, the CBO projected that by 2021 the Affordable Care Act will enable more than 2 million workers to escape ‘job-lock’ – the situation where workers remain tied to employers for access to health insurance benefits,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) office said in a news release.

“Job-lock”. Now there’s a word. But it’s new days, mourning in America, the 21st century. A time of wonders and prodigies. Joblessness is no longer uncool but something everyone should look forward to.  Why, only the other day SFGate touted the benefits of “funemployment”.  It wrote about the wonderful new situation those who no longer have to work are finding themselves in. “People are saying screw it, and they’re leaving companies. We need to figure out how to make companies work better for everybody. Until that happens … early retirements and furloughs are going to continue. People are going to opt out of the system.”

One system you can’t opt out of though, is the Obamacare. Eugene Robinson says there’s no going back. Ever.

Now that the fight over Obamacare is history, perhaps everyone can finally focus on making the program work the way it was designed. Or, preferably, better.

The fight is history, you realize. Done. Finito. Yesterday’s news.

Any existential threat to the Affordable Care Act ended with the popping of champagne corks as the new year arrived. That was when an estimated 6 million uninsured Americans received coverage through expanded Medicaid eligibility or the federal and state health insurance exchanges.

Obamacare is now a fait accompli; nobody is going to take this coverage away.

That’s too bad. Because as John Podhoretz notes that the other thing the CBO report pointed out, besides the fact that the unemployment rolls would swell by 2.3 million, was there would be more people uninsured after Obamacare than before.

Even more damaging is this projection: “About 31 million nonelderly residents of the United States are likely to be without health insurance in 2024, roughly one out of every nine such residents.”

Why? Because, in selling the bill to the American people in a nationally televised September 2009 address, President Obama said the need for ObamaCare was urgent precisely because “there are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage.”

Now the CBO is saying is that in 10 years, about the same number of people will lack insurance as before. This, after new expenditures of as much as $2 trillion and a colossal disruption of the US medical system.

So you go round in a circle, two trillion dollars poorer to wind up in exactly the same place. Except this time forever. What’s changed, besides insurance bailouts, data loss, penalties, higher premiums and more deductibles? Nothing. But Robinson’s right about one thing. Obamacare wants to stay. Insists on staying. Like some HAL 2000 it can’t be disconnected.

The Cato Institute notes that embedded in the Obamacare statue itself are provisions createing an Indepedent Payment Advisory Board whose decisions can’t be repealed. Not even by passing a law against it. Health care decisions are made by the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which in turns gives orders to the HHS Secretary. And not even Congress can overrule it.

IPAB consists of up to 15 unelected government “experts.” Its stated purpose is to restrain Medicare spending. If projected spending exceeds certain targets, Obamacare requires IPAB to issue “legislative proposals” to reduce future spending. Those proposals could include drastic cuts that jeopardize seniors’ access to care, leading some critics to label IPAB a “death panel.”

But the really dangerous part is that these are not mere “proposals.” Obamacare requires the secretary of Health and Human Services to implement them — which means they become law automatically — unless Congress takes certain steps to head them off. Congress may replace the Board’s proposal with its own cuts, at least initially. But Obamacare requires a three-fifths vote in the Senate to pass any replacement that spends more than the Board’s proposal. In other words, to override IPAB’s proposal completely, opponents must assemble a simple majority in the House and a three-fifths majority in the Senate and the president’s signature

Once an IPAB “death panel” condemns you — that’s it folks. It’s job lock over forever. Funemployment forever, here we come.

One group that wants out — despite Eugene Robinson’s belief that Obamacare is the Hotel California — are union supporters of president Obama himself. Steven Mufson and Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post explain:

Leaders of two major unions, including the first to endorse Obama in 2008, said they have been betrayed by an administration that wooed their support for the 2009 legislation with promises to later address the peculiar needs of union-negotiated insurance plans that cover millions of workers.

Their complaints reflect a broad sense of disappointment among many labor leaders, who say the Affordable Care Act has subjected union health plans to new taxes and mandates while not allowing them to share in the subsidies that have gone to private insurance companies competing on the newly created exchanges. …

“We want to hold the president to his word: If you like your health-care coverage, you can keep it, and that just hasn’t been the case,” said Donald “D.” Taylor, president of Unite Here, the union that represents about 400,000 hotel and restaurant workers and provided a crucial boost to Obama by endorsing him just after his rival Hillary Rodham Clinton had won the New Hampshire primary. …

“The unions here are asking to double dip,” said Robert Laszewski, a health policy consultant in Washington. “It is an unfair request. The Obama plan is very simple: If your employer pays for your health plan, you are not eligible for a government subsidy. What the unions are asking for is government and employers to fund their benefits.” …

During preparations for a September meeting of the AFL-CIO, administration officials lobbied to alter a resolution so that it called for repair, not repeal, of the health-care legislation. The resolution passed unanimously. At the meeting, O’Sullivan said, “We’ll be damned if we’re going to lose our health insurance because of un­intended consequences in a law. It needs to be changed, it needs to be fixed, and it needs to be fixed now.”

What? They don’t like it? The unions want an exemption? Well they won’t be the only ones. As is well known, Obama and many top Federal bureaucrats exempted themselves from this wonderful program from the beginning. Which only goes to show how beneficial it is. Why else would these hard working, selfless bureaucrats and union officials to pass up the chance of leisure and idle abundance that only an escape from the “job lock” can provide?

No. They must remain at their hardship posts posts.  For the doughty apparatchik stern duty calls and the pitiless requirements of public service means they must make the sacrifice and remaining laboring in the vineyards of the Lord.

Ingrate resents liberation from "job lock"; unappreciative of "funemployment"

Ingrate resents liberation from “job lock”; unappreciative of “funemployment”

… and then there’s Immigration Reform, which is the next attraction.


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Top Rated Comments   
No. Just No. Do not hang 'em up.
Not by a long shot.
Keep swinging.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who died and made Sibelius err King, this being a gender neutral crowd, or stuck a hand out of the water so her panel can rule on our life or death? The Narrators will refuse to see this because admitting it means admitting that Sarah palin was *gasp* correct. That cannot happen.
"Help help I'm being repressed."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxGqcCeV3qk

These panels cannot be constitutional. Even John Roberts can't be that suborned. Congress cannot bind a future Congress from acting by a majority without changing the Constitution. The second thing the House has to do is refuse to fund this. The first thing they need is a Speaker.

I am "Job locked" into servitude to an employer I have learned to dislike under a manager I have learned to despise because of my entrapment into paying my Landlord (just read that incredibly Medieval word) and the Grocer. There ought to be a Law.

What makes wage slaves? Wages.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lad5bc6Gpb4
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Back when I was a database administrator I realized that if you corrupted your database you might as well destroy it. Even if you conspired to keep two sets of books, at least one set had to be the truth. Once there was no "true database" the whole thing was a waste of money.

It came home to me -- and I suppose to every other database guy -- that lies are the deadliest things of all. Once you lose track of the truth, it is no longer even possible to engage in intelligent deception. For you must know the truth first before you can lie. Otherwise you're just making random utterances.

I've suspected for some time that the Western elites, in their enthusiasm for moral relativism, have long ago lost track of the truth. There is no true copy of the database any more. Nowhere the real transactions are getting posted to. There is no uncorrupted log. It's all spin. And they believe their own spin. If so, we are truly screwed.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (62)
All Comments   (62)
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O/T - We've had discussions about the need for aircraft carriers in the Navy and using mine warfare to contain China.

The February issue of USNI Proceedings has relevant articles to both issues.

http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2014-02/responsive-and-relevant

http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2014-02/deterring-dragon-under-sea
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
off topic:

Many people believe that Zero Hedge is an agit-prop website for the Russians. Once in a while, the fig leaf goes askew at Zero Hedge and one can clearly see the SVR (Russian foreign intelligence). A good example of this happened today, refer to:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-06/f*ck-eu-us-state-department-blasts-europe-revealed-alleged-mastermind-behind-ukraine

Replace the "*" with a "u" to make the above URL function.

Ask yourself: "Who leaked the recording?"
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Eggplant, back in the summer of 2008, what was going on in Tbilisi in the months and years before Putin crashed in and conquered a third of Georgia (AKA the jumping-off points he wanted on the sea far from Sevastopol, and on the south side of the winter-impassable mountains), who was hanging out with the Georgian political and military leaders but the American Democratic Party's foreign policy establishment, free as birds what with the Bush presidency.

Albright, Brzezinski, Holbrooke, Soros and his NGOs, whatever else they may have thought they were doing, what they DID do was egg on the Georgians to give Putin juuuust enough not-entirely-implausible causal deniability to invade and grab off the territory he was after.

Somebody observing from afar, unbelabored with preconceived notions of east vs west, that is to say, innocent of the taint of synarchic (byzantine) politics, would instantly glom onto the fact that Putin could've had no better ally in the real estate transaction, than the crew from the Democratic Party/USA.

As a model, it worked like a charm, would this observer from afar be able to report, and add confidently that he would very likely see the same model in action again in the near future.
(show less)
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
OT:

Here they come again; what the hell is this?

www.infowars.com/u-s-postal-service-announces-giant-ammo-purchase/
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Army bought 3,000,000 rounds of AK-47 ammo and 600,000 AK-47 30 rnd magazine clips? Warehoused at Camp Stanley, in Boerne, TX? Where there's nothing between the hardware and the Sinaloas but a couple of barb wire fences and an ankle-deep river? Boerne, right on I-10, an hour to San Antone, two hours to Austin, 4 to Houston, 8 to El Paso, and (gulp) 45 minutes to m-m-me?
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Where there's nothing between the hardware and the Sinaloas but a couple of barb wire fences and an ankle-deep river?"

And should read, "...and a bunch of pi$$ed off Texans!"

buddy - They can come for my guns if'n they wants to......

from NE Texas.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
--yessir i'll fight --but allow as much as i'd druther not have it come to it.

You got to admit, storing THAT material in THAT place is surpassingly strange, if no enemy brigades are due to pass by needing ammo.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Try and buy some .22LR. It's almost impossible.

I'm the worst shot in my gun club. The only reason why I can display my incompetence is because I still have some .22LR. I buy .22LR at gun shows. The following works for me:

http://www.crossroadsgunshows.com/

People say the scarcity of ammo is due to Obama trying to disarm the population. I have no doubt that Obama would dearly love to disarm the American people. Fortunately Obama lacks the competence to achieve that objective. The NRA and other trusted sources have claimed that the ammo shortage was due to a reaction to Obama's failed efforts to disarm the populace, i.e. ammo hording. This makes sense because .30-06 is obtainable but .22LR is not. If the goal was to disarm the population then .30-06 would be the first to disappear. A tyrant would fear an angry mob armed with M1-Garands not a mob of Boy Scouts armed with squirrel guns.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Initially, says one expert, there will be benefits in the fact that there is plenty of slack in the labor market. The combination of many unemployed Americans and many people finding jobs just to get insurance means that if a few people cut back their hours, there will be more hours for the people who want them. In and of itself, that theoretically means people will be much happier, says Ken Jacobs, chair of the Labor Center at the University of California-Berkeley, though that effect would dissipate as the job market improves."

“GDP growth isn't a good in and of itself,” he says. “The question here is what's going to create the most happiness for the greatest numbers of people. Being in a situation where people have to work full time or 40 hours a week at a job that may not be the best match for them because that is the only way to get health insurance is not the way you create the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.”

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/02/06/the-philosophical-debate-beneath-the-obamacare-jobs-freakout

This is all you need to know about the utopian, liberal worldview. They have no concept of economics, wealth or life.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Work being a zero sum game, if you work more hours you are stealing the bread from someone's child? That being the case then lowering the number of live humans would cause there to be so much more for the few who remain.

The left is and always has been a death cult.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
"If you can have everything you want and live happily in the manner that you wish, you don't have to be rich."

Just lower your expectations enough, and sleeping under a highway overpass in a refrigerator box and raiding the grocery store dumpsters will be fine.

Obama wants us to "evolve" on the issue of acceptable lifestyle to match the society he is willing to provide.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Camping is fun for about 3 nights. After that I want to go home, have a nice shower and sleep in a comfortable bed.

More than once, Wretchard has described the age old political dynamic of socialist demagogues: There are poor people who put the socialist demagogue into power. The demagogue institutes policies that appeals to his political base but weakens the economy. More of the population becomes poor and the demagogue gains greater political power. The cycle continues until everyone is poor and the demagogue holds absolute power --or-- there is a reaction by the people being expropriated by the socialists and a fascist take over occurs usually with a significant fraction of the population getting killed.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I accidentally fat thumbed the report comment over Buddy... meant to hit the read more button Report big... Show more small. Blog good... GUI, not so much.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
s'okay, Rojo --when you did that, a dragonfly crawling on the outside window lurched, dumped a couple tiny philips screws, and took off toward San Antonio, flying low on one wing and belching a tiny stream of smoke
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
From the Wall Street Journal

More Men in Prime Working Ages Don't Have Jobs

Technology and Globalization Transform Employment Amid Slow Economic Recovery

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304027204579334610097660366?mod=WSJ_hp_RightTopStories

Given the "War on Women" meme, it is not surprising that affirmative action for women goes unmentioned. Given two equally qualified candidates, one male and one female, the female is likely to get the job to meet the affirmative action goals.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is a book out entitled "The Descent of Males" that points out that gains in female employment opportunities have been matched one for one by decreases in male employment opportunities.

I personally know of a case in which a highly qualified USAF male O-6 was passed over for general in favor of an unqualified female O-6 because, "Whoops! That's right, we forgot to promote a woman. Give it to her."

And I get the strong impression that in NASA that is SOP.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
The saving grace for NASA is very few women have any desire to go into aerospace. The few that do are guaranteed a stable career at NASA. However most of the women at NASA that I have worked with are competent.

The money is better in the private sector. People who work for NASA were normally bitten by the airplane or space bug at an early age (I got bit when I was 5 years old). Typically, people do rocket science because they love it.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I’ve just been reading “The Law” by Bastiat. Written and published about 1850 it could have been written yesterday if you took out the references to France and certain Frenchmen and replaced them with the United States. Bastiat was arguing against the socialism that was taking over France. An amazingly clear description of what began happening in the US 50 years later and continues to happen today.

“Unhappily, law is by no means confined to its own sphere…..it has placed the collective force in the service of those who wish to traffic, without risk and without scruple, in the persons, the liberty, and the property of others; it has converted plunder into a right, that it may protect it, and lawful defense into a crime, that it may punish it.”

Bastiat, Frederic (2011-04-13). The Bastiat Collection (LvMI) (p. 52). Ludwig von Mises Institute. Kindle Edition.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment

buddy larsen,
Damn, just damn. I'd call that tin foil hat territory, except that it is real. Take care of yourself. Avoid safes falling from windows and open manholes. Maybe you should get used to eating canned food and sleeping in a new place at random times.

The USS Forestall is heading to the scrapyard. Maybe John McCain, the man who should be reading buddy larsen's comment on the Senate floor, should watch it go by and remember the man he was, and hang it up. Maybe Arizona could send Sheriff Joe to DC to replace him.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
We are governed by bold ivy league elites who play by their own rules. The tired shibboleths of the past are being shed. Their government will expose the truth about rule by pen and phone, selective prosecution, quantitative easing and other modern names for old behaviors.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
With all due respect, Wretchard, your SFGate link actually goes back to a LATimes article of 2009, where in the height of the recession, the mainstream media propaganda machine revved up to explain that unemployment was really a liberating thing. Depressingly enough, the same tired argument is trotted out to laud Obamacare, five years later. So much better to be a taker than a maker, I guess.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
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