Every day, sometimes twice, VodkaPundit readers enjoy their ♡bamaCare!!! Fail of the Day. If, that is, your definition of “enjoy” extends far enough to cover “bemusement,” “alarm,” and “existential dread.” But not today.
No, not today — because as the “settled” law seeps further into our institutions and our economy, like The Blob terrorizing that movie theater, the failures are stacking up too quickly now for me to dole them out to you one at a time. Of course, the difference between ♡bamaCare!!! and The Blob is that the theatergoers could run for their lives towards the exits, while those of us in the real world have been mandated into our seats. So today I instead offer you…
The ♡bamaCare!!! Compendium of Doom!
Your big banner headline story is the most recent — but not last — legal challenge the law faces at the Supreme Court. At stake this time is the birth control mandate, which is widely expected to be upheld, but narrowed. The National Journal’s Sam Baker explains the outcome the left fears most:
The most sweeping option is a broad First Amendment proclamation that all corporations have a fundamental right to exercise religion, in this case by refusing to cover birth control in their employees’ health care plans. This outcome would be almost a sequel to the Citizens United case on campaign finance laws and free speech. It would probably open the door for any company to challenge a slew of state or federal regulations, and would allow any corporation to avoid the contraception mandate—potentially affecting millions of women.
“Forcing” women to pay a few bucks a month at Walmart or Target for their own birth control seems to me at least to be a small price to pay for protecting our First Amendment religious liberties, but these days freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to mandate.
Last week’s most under-reported — and certainly unintended — consequence of ♡bamaCare!!! comes from Joann Weiner at the Washington Post:
The government’s report shows that federal tax credits make health insurance premiums more affordable for everyone. The academics’ report, however, shows that women age 55 to 64 will face a huge spike in cost when they go out to buy individual insurance on the federal exchange. These women bear the brunt of the increased premiums and out of pocket expenses after the Affordable Care Act.
But those increased expenses for consumers should help make the state exchanges more solvent, yes? No:
A large number of young adults have obtained health insurance through New York State’s Obamacare website — but maybe not enough of them to keep the system afloat financially.
About one in three New Yorkers, 34%, who obtained coverage through the state online marketplace were in the key under-35 age bracket, the state Health Department said Thursday.
The exchanges require a minimum of 40% of under-35s to stay afloat, so it looks like New York — which earlier reports showed was going to be one the few states where rates would actually decline under ♡bamaCare!!! — has fallen 15% short of the requirement. Gerald Ford once famously refused to bail out New York City, but now it looks increasingly likely that the entire state’s exchange will go on the nation’s tab.
And if the dearth of young signups weren’t bad enough, wait until you see who has signed up:
Among those health-law marketplace enrollees who have seen a doctor or other health-care provider in the first quarter of this year, around 27% have significant health issues such as diabetes, psychiatric conditions, asthma, heart problems or cancer, the data show. That is sharply higher than the rate of 16% for last year’s individual-consumer market over the same time frame, according to the data, which was supplied by Inovalon Inc., a health-technology firm that receives medical claims directly from nearly 200 insurers that are its clients.
♡bamaCare!!!’s new & improved exchanges are more than 50% sicker and significantly older than the old & naughty individual markets they replaced. Maybe that’s why “sicker than average patients” will drive up rates in Michigan by up to 20%. Oh, who am I kidding — there’s no “maybe” about it.
Before this Compendium of Doom drives you to drink your breakfast (and lunch, and dinner, and sensible in-between snacks), I did manage to scrounge up two silver linings on ♡bamaCare!!!’s very dark cloud.
The first comes from Sharyl Attkisson, who reports that new enrollments might be as low as 3.4 million previously uninsured-Americans. So it’s not like we have that many new sick or damaged people to pay for, even if you include the salaries of the thousands of new IRS agents hired to keep tabs on our spending and subsidies and whatnot. And 3.4 million falls, shall we say, somewhat short of the 26 million the administration had hoped for, but you can’t make an omelet in Washington without breaking a few million eggs.
Our second silver lining comes courtesy of Paul Krugman, who, in this week of screw-ups, do-overs, unintended consequences, and epic failures of scope, chose to declare a Republican “incompetence doctrine” because when it comes to ♡bamaCare!!!, “almost all the news is good.”
So if making an ass out of Paul Krugman was the goal, then ♡bamaCare!!! is working just fine.