Just the latest from DoYouGotInsurance.com, whose mere name is an insult.
And shouldn’t it read, “Millions of people are losing insurance?” But then, truth in advertising rules don’t apply to government propaganda.
That sound you hear, the one like Satan’s zipper, is an A-10 Warthog firing its absurdly deadly 30mm Gatling gun at 1,200 depleted-uranium rounds per second.
Long disliked by the US Air Force, the A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jet may finally be heading for the chopping block due to budget constraints.
The “Warthog,” first designed as a tank buster to target Soviet armored vehicles in the middle of the Cold War in the early 1970s, is shunned by many aviators.
Although the twin-engine aircraft is slow, it is incredibly efficient at providing close air support for ground forces, making it an appreciated asset for the US Army.
But the US Air Force “never had a whole lot of interest in a subsonic close-air support plane,” explained Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with consulting firm Teal Group.
“This is a plane for large land combat engagements and for the foreseeable future, you probably won’t face too many of those and there’s also the budget pressure.”
We’ll come to regret this decision.
Hat tip, Max K.
Let’s let the Left berate us more about sustainability, shall we?
More seriously — although there was more than a nugget of truth in that gag line above — is that the $677,000,000 or billion dollars or whatever will eventually be amortized over millions and millions of paying customers. That’s up to 93 million paying customers, if the worst-case scenario comes to pass on how many people lose their current insurance. But whatever the final figure turns out to be, and I’m assuming the whole thing doesn’t blow up, that $14,196 will amortize down to less — a lot less.
Still, what are we getting for our money?
In 2008, the promise was to save each family of four an average of $2,500.
In 2009, the promise was to insure 47 million Americans who didn’t have insurance, and to save you those $2,500.
In 2010, the promise was to insure 47 million Americans who didn’t have insurance, and to save you those $2,500, and let you keep the plan you have and the doctor you like.
In 2011, the promise was maybe more like 30 millions Americans would get insured. I don’t remember any more talk about an actual dollar figure on your savings, but you could still for sure keep your doctor and your plan.
In 2012, Mitt Romney. ‘Nuff said.
In 2013, the promises, shifting though they were, all got broken. Premiums might be down, assuming you can get subsidized, but your copays and deductibles are all higher. As one smart commenter here put it a while back, the ObamaCare-approved plans are essentially catastrophic coverage at Cadillac plan prices. Instead of promising coverage to maybe 23 million Americans, the hope — and so far it is just a hope — is to get about seven million signed up by the end of next March. The official figure is 365,000 or so, but the real figure is significantly lower. How much lower is anyone’s guess, because guesswork is all this tight-lipped administration has left us. 800,000 or so have been added to the Medicaid rolls, which I suppose counts as coverage, if not actual insurance.
Your odds of keeping your current plan or your current doctor with each creaking ratchet of the ObamaCare regulatory apparatus — somewhere between 5 and 5.5 million Americans have had their plans cancelled by those strictures. That number will climb.
But let’s be generous and optimistic here. We’ll spot the administration 200,000 paid customers out of the 365,000 who put something in a basket. That number is almost certainly high. Let’s tack on the 800,000 people newly enrolled in Medicaid. That’s a gain of 1,000,000 with coverage. From that we subtract the 5,000,000 (we’ll go with the low figure here, again in the holiday spirit of being generous and optimistic) who have lost their coverage. So far, ObamaCare is 4,000,000 souls in the hole.
Be nice or pay the price — I like this; I like it a lot:
Employees of La Petite Syrah in Nice, France, posted a menu that rewards politeness and punishes rudeness. A photo was posted on Twitter with the line, roughly translated to “There are still people who know how to live!”
So, here’s the deal. Customers who can only be bothered to mumble, “un cafe” (without a greeting or a “please”) can expect to pay 7 euros ($9.63).
A lot of money for a cup of java. Fortunately, there are simple ways to cut that cost dramatically. If the customer includes a “s’il vous plait” (“please”), the price goes down to 4.25 euros ($5.85). But wait — don’t order quite yet.
If you really want to save cash, greet your barista with a “Bonjour” (“Good day” for those who never saw “Beauty and the Beast”) and the cost drops again, this time to a perfectly reasonable 1.40 euro ($1.93). You get a hot cup of coffee, and the employee feels appreciated.
I’m having top men looking into doing something similar with my comments section — top men.
This is gonna cost me, huh?
Most days I just post these Trifecta videos for you to watch at your leisure and without any extraneous comment from moi — but I must tell you I’m awfully proud of the conclusion to this one.
BONUS: Tammy Bruce is sitting in again this week for Scott Ott, and who doesn’t love Tammy?
What do you say — one a day from now until Christmas?
When I first read this, I laughed it off. But it may actually be a serious problem. The Democrats have gone to great lengths to purge those with pro-life views from their party and they’ve been quite successful. I suppose one could say the same about pro-choice candidates in the GOP; but it seems to me Republicans have accepted pro-choice candidates if they fit a particular congressional district. Democrats, not so much.
And I have no problem with members of Congress expressing their support or opposition to same-sex marriage and having a debate on those moral, liberty and freedom fault lines.
But do I really want to belong to a political party who has a member of Congressional leadership lobbying to deny a gay Republican candidate the resources to win a winnable district? I’m not sure I can stomach that.
Read the whole thing, but I will add one detail I think Bruce missed.
If the GOP hangs the “Gays Not Wanted” sign over the GOP caucus, it won’t just hurt them with gays. That sign resonates with every parent of a gay child, every brother or sister of a gay man or woman, everybody with a gay friend or coworker.
You might pat yourself on the back for keeping the gays out, but most of the rest of us are thinking, “What a jerk.” And “what a jerk” doesn’t bring people to the polls for jerky candidates, no matter how straight they might be.
People cast ideology aside when they think they, or their friends and loved ones, are being treated badly. The Democrats know this stuff deep in their guts, which is why they make so many overt appeals to inclusiveness to every group, no matter how small or weird or orange. The fact that Democratic policies breed division when actually put into practice — well, that all gets forgotten with each new outreach effort.
Some among the GOP think they can ignore this fact about human nature and still win elections.
The evidence suggests otherwise.
And over at Practical Politicking, Deb Fillman adds this reminder:
I am not suggesting we try to appease Democrats, or social liberals, or make an effort to sound more like them! Not at all. I’m suggesting that Forbes, and those who agree with him, need to respect the priorities of the Republican voters of the MA06 and the CA05. If Tisei and DeMaio are electable in those districts it means there’s enough Republican support there for them to win. It’s not about swaying the Democrats, it’s about getting the Republicans to turn out and vote for their candidates.
Rep. Forbes is certainly entitled to his opinion, and to express it, I’m merely saying that in doing so, he is shooting the party, and himself, in the foot and statements like his can have unintended consequences nationwide. Look no further than the impact of just a few statements made by GOP candidates in 2012.
Indeed. And I would remind my SoCon friends that endorsing a gay candidate isn’t endorsing homosexuality — it’s endorsing a vote in the House or Senate to end ObamaCare. And we need every vote we can muster.
One last thing — and it shouldn’t take a registered independent like myself to remind people of this. But party politics is about hashing out these disagreements during the primary, then getting behind the nominee.
You want better nominees? Then fight for them. But you’re going to go a lot further with a gay Republican than with a straight Democrat.
Yeah, it looks like we’ll have to have AM and PM editions some days now, especially with stories like this one from NRO.
Staffers who thought they were enrolled but haven’t heard from the Disbursement Office are instructed to send an e-mail to the office — not the Washington exchange — with personal information and a sentence explaining they haven’t heard from the office. They’ll be given a “Special Enrollment Period” that will still allow them to be covered by January 1.
The reaction lends evidence to Megan McArdle’s theory that just because Congresscritters and their staffs are subject to ObamaCare’s stern whims just like the rest of us, doesn’t mean they won’t get special treatment.
Otherwise, why bother joining the nomenklatura?
By my headline’s measure, Democrat Congressman Frank Pallone is Arnold Flipping Schwarzenegger.
Or Kris Kristofferson once wrote, “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to do but what you’ll let me.
Interesting thinkpiece on privacy and metadata from PJM’s newest contributor, Amy Peikoff. Here’s the crux:
I have suggested that we return to the era of protecting privacy on the basis of our rights to property and contract, as was the case before a famous 1890 law review article written by Warren and Brandeis. In other words, I reject the so-called “right to privacy.” You don’t want someone to see or hear what you’re doing in your home? Lock your doors, close your windows and shut your blinds. You want to keep your financial information private? Well, before the government started compelling the bulk collection and reporting of financial data, something for which can thank the third-party doctrine, you could protect your financial privacy simply by having a confidentiality clause in your contract with your bank.
A distinct “right to privacy” is not only superfluous; it’s immoral, because it tends to displace and undermine our fundamental rights to property and contract. Ironically, because our rights to property and contract enable us to achieve states of privacy, the consequence of recognizing a distinct right to privacy is less privacy protection.
I like this thinking, because it performs an end-run around years of bad law and bad precedent. It also strikes me as much more practical than the Hollywood-type scenario where the hero lawyer argues the perfect case to the Supreme Court, which rises at once and in unison to verbally overturn all the bad precedents while the bad guy lawyer fumes and the orphans and the kittens get all their candy and healthcare just in time for Christmas.
But I digress.
Imagine the bank offering to “put your data in the same vault where we keep your money safe.” That might not play to a lot of people — witness how many willingly surrender their privacy to Google, who then gives up their data or has it lifted by NSA. But I bet other folks like you and me might be willing to pay slightly higher fees for the extra service.
The same, as Amy notes, could apply to your phone company or your ISP. Are their regulatory hurdles? I assume so, but as we’ve seen recently there’s bipartisan support for reining in NSA, and so there might be support for an initiative like this, too. An Underwriters Laboratory-type nonprofit group, unaffiliated with any level of government, could provide the ongoing safety checks. Their costs would be paid by the privacy fees we’d pay to the bank, ISP, search engine, etc.
I’ve rambled on enough now — go read Amy’s whole piece.
“Brave Sir Robin” might become a regular headline around here, as the ObamaCare
train wreck rollout train wreck continues to unfold.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, the vulnerable Louisiana Democrat, tried Wednesday to distance herself even further from both Obamacare and President Barack Obama in the first television commercial of her reelection campaign.
The $250,000 buy continues a marked change in Landrieu’s tone from the start of the year and speaks to how devastating Democrats realize the health care overhaul may be to their hopes of holding the Senate.
Built around news clips, the 30-second ad highlights legislation Landrieu introduced to let people keep their health care plans after the public outcry over hundreds of thousands of cancellations.
Polling in the Louisiana Senate race has been limited, with the most recent poll more than a month old and those previous to that even older, and while they do show Landrieu with a lead over likely Republican nominee Bill Cassidy, they also show she pulling in less than 50% of the vote, and in some cases only garnering support in the low 40s. This is not where an incumbent wants to be even this far out from election, and especially not in a red state like Louisiana where Mitt Romney won by seventeen points just last year, and polling on the PPACA itself has been largely negative.
And I’ll add a couple things, too.
Sure, Landrieu “tried” to pass some phony-balony legislation which, even had it passed and been implemented without delay (ha!), still would have done nothing to reactivate cancelled policies, or to prevent millions more from coming. Her lame attempts were never anything more than window dressing with a dash of SQUIRREL.
What Landrieu was able to do successfully, was be one of ObamaCare’s staunchest proponents before it became law, and one of its staunchest proponents after it became law.
Now she’s running away from four years of her own best political efforts.
Don’t let her get away with it, Louisiana.
The positive spin: ObamaCare enrollment now up to 365,000 people.
The negative spin: That’s out of 7,000,000 needed by the end of march.
The really negative spin:
The topline figures exclude 834 problems, incorrect Medicaid enrollments, various glitches, ppl who haven't paid. …
— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) December 11, 2013
“There is also a lot of worrying going on over people making payments,” industry consultant Robert Laszewski wrote in an email. “One client reports only 15% have paid so far. It is still too early to know for sure what this means but we should expect some enrollment slippage come the payment due date.”
Another consultant Kip Piper, agreed. “So far I’m hearing from health plans that around 5% and 10% of consumers who have made it through the data transfer gauntlet have paid first month’s premium and therefore truly enrolled,” he wrote me…
Blue Shield of California said it has sent out thousands of payment request letters…
There’s going to be chaos come spring. A month ago I might have tempered that claim with “there might be chaos,” but there’s no longer any room left for doubt. The insurers simply must get millions into the risk pool, but my back-of-the-envelope math suggests that with less than three weeks before the new policies start to kick in, maybe 73,000 enrollees are actually paid up.
To get to that number, I took the 365,000 at face value and then multiplied by the generous figure of 20%, just in case Robert Laszewski is too pessimistic. The actual figure could be half of that — or even half of the half, if we take the worst-case numbers.
But nobody knows. The White House isn’t talking, Kathleen Sebelius is leading a mock-charge into her own office, and the press seems intent on keeping its collective head up its collective bottom until the next October 1-type crisis rolls around.
Which it will, like clockwork, on April 1. That is, if it doesn’t happen on January 1.
The chaos is coming. Anyone can see it who chooses to look — where is the leadership from the Administration, and where — dear lord where — is our Forth Estate?
No, not me. When it comes to VodkaPundit, this site is run on The Highlander Principle: There can be only one! But it’s been months since Steve Ballmer announced his imminentish departure from Microsoft, yet Redmond still hasn’t announced his successor. Jean-Louis Gassée has a theory:
So where does Microsoft turn, and why are they taking so long? Once you put aside the Mr./Ms. Perfect fantasy, there’s no dearth of capable executives with the brains and guts to run Microsoft. These are people who already run large corporations, or are next-in-line to do so. Exec recruiters worth the pound of flesh they get for their services have e-Rolodexes full of such people — some inside the company itself.
Now, place yourself inside the heart and mind of this intelligent candidate:
‘Do I want to work with that Board? In particular, do I want Bill Gates and his pal Steve Ballmer hovering over everything I do? I know I’ll have to make unpopular decisions and upset more than a few people. What’s in it for me – and for Microsoft – in a situation where unhappy members of the old guard would be tempted to go over my head and whine to Bill and Steve? How long would I last before I get fired or, worse, neutered and lose my mind?’
Consider it a litmus test: Any candidate willing to accept this road to failure is automatically disqualified as being too weak. A worthy contender makes it clear that he or she needs an unfettered mandate with no Office Of The Second Guessing in the back of the boardroom. Bill and Steve would have to go — but the Old Duo doesn’t want to leave.
How does a board replace or sideline the company’s two largest shareholders? Short of a shareholder revolt, it just isn’t possible. But if Gassée is right, Microsoft’s necessary reforms can’t happen while Steve & Bill still sit on the board.
The company can soldier on for years, with its enterprise cash cows to keep on milking. But without any growth markets to exploit, the company will remain ripe for disruption until and unless it gets real leadership.
I’m sure given enough time and resources Kathleen Sebelius may finally be able to get to the bottom of what she’s done.
And after a second thought, the “Fox, Henhouse” headline doesn’t quite do this story justice. Let’s change it to “Smoke, Mirrors.”
UPDATE: Politico’s take? “Sebelius pushes back against GOP critics.”
Well, of course that’s their take.
After all, GOP badmouthing is why ObamaCare is such a colossal cockup.
Just 28 percent give the president high grades for being able to achieve his goals (down 16 points from January); only 37 percent give him high marks for being honest and straightforward (down 5 points from June); and 44 percent give him high marks for being able to handle a crisis (down another 5 points since June).
“These are tough and sobering numbers for the president and his administration,” said Democratic pollster Fred Yang, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.
More at the link, including a PDF of the full report.
But what comes to my mind is, “Live by the targeted demo, die by the targeted demo.”
Wiggleroom won election in 2008 on three things. There was rational voter disgust with President Bush, rational voter fears about the economy, and completely irrational belief in the power of hopenchange.
Wiggle was reelected with even less. Silly campaigns, aided and abetted by the MSM, like the fictional “war on women,” helped drive targeted voters to the polls. Smear jobs on Mitt Romney, again aided and abetted by the MSM, helped keep other targeted voters at home. (Romney’s near-inability to counterpunch, plus the RNC’s technological inferiority also played big parts; I’m not at all saying they’re blameless for Romney’s loss.)
But what happens when that “supporter” who came to the polls based on little more than than a cute “lady parts” meme she saw on Buzzfeed, is confronted with a not-so-cute cancellation notice, and a non-working website trying to upsell her on unaffordable insurance? What wellspring does Wiggleroom have to win her back?
There isn’t one. Wiggleroom didn’t win on a set on bedrock principles from which he has now temporarily deviated. He ran and won on lies and smears and cutting-edge technology. The smears no longer matter because Romney is out of the picture, and there are no more voters to get to the polls via an iPhone app.
All that’s left is the lies, brutally exposed by the ObamaCare rollout.
Would you believe the Senator’s party affiliation had been mentioned twice before the second sentence (one in the subhead, once in the lede) in a child porn case?
You would, if he were a Republican.
Peter De Lorenzo on GM’s CEO-in-waiting:
[Mary] Barra, if you must know, was given the chief of Product Development title by Akerson even though that’s not the job she performed. The ex-HR Queen was plucked from near obscurity by Akerson and thrust into the role and given the title because Akerson openly said to anyone who would listen, anyone could run product. Yes, he said that. Repeatedly, too. (Akerson applied the same sick logic when he appointed “Amway Bob” Ferguson – the GM lobbyist with no apparent credentials of any kind – to run Cadillac.) Well, in fact, the dirty little secret is that Barra never ran product. Her strength was her knowledge of the GM system, and when Mark Reuss and the True Believers in product development were ready to launch a finished product into the system to get built, Barra was given the task of taking that product and making sure it was executed in the most efficient way possible. But did she actually perform as the head of Product Development? It never happened. Not even close, in fact.
I don’t see why he’s so upset. The HR- and faculty lounge-types have been running the White House for five years now — anyone can run it.
More seriously, can you think of a worse kind of person to run a massive auto company?
That’s no typo in my oft-repeated headline — but it might be the beginning of a new recurring feature. Read:
President Barack Obama’s job approval among American voters drops to a new low, a negative 38 – 57 percent, as the outlook for Democrats running for Congress and the U.S. Senate fades also, according to a national poll released today. He even gets a negative 41 – 49 percent among voters 18 to 29 years old and a lackluster 50 – 43 percent approval among Hispanic voters.
The president’s job approval compares to a negative 39 – 54 percent score in a November 12 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.
Today, Obama gets negative scores of 6 – 92 percent among Republicans, 30 – 62 percent among independent voters, 31 – 64 percent among men, 44 – 49 percent among women and 29 – 65 among white voters. Approval is 76 – 18 percent among Democrats and 85 – 9 percent among black voters.
American voters say 41 – 38 percent that they would vote for a Republican over a Democrat for the U.S. House of Representatives, the first time this year the Democrats come up on the short end of this generic ballot. Independent voters back Republican candidates 41 – 28 percent. Voters also say 47 – 42 percent that they would like to see Republicans gain control of the U.S. Senate and the House. Independent voters go Republican 50 – 35 percent for each.
You get the feeling 2012′s dirty tricks might prove mere prelude?