What We Know And Don’t Know About Obamacare, Part I

Obamacare's third open enrollment season launched yesterday. Here are six things we know about the program. (Tomorrow: four things we still don't know.) Credit:americanlegislator.org

Obamacare’s third open enrollment season launched yesterday. Here are six things we know about the program. (Tomorrow: four things we still don’t know.) Credit:americanlegislator.org

Obamacare’s third open enrollment season has kicked off, beginning the next chapter in its turbulent history.  Today’s post discusses what we know about Obamacare.  Tomorrow’s will discuss what we still don’t know.

What We Know

Fewer people are uninsured. How many fewer is a matter of dispute, but the improvement is substantial by any measure.  HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell credits Obamacare with reducing the number of uninsured people by 17.6 million since 2010.   And though you’ll likely hear this number repeated (and often rounded up to 18 million), it’s almost certainly exaggerated.   Continue reading

Obamacare’s Next Chapter

Chief Justice John Roberts ' opinion in King v. Burwell betrayed widely-held misconceptions about health insurance markets.  [Credit: Human Events]

Chief Justice John Roberts ‘ opinion in King v. Burwell repeated widely-held misconceptions about health insurance markets.  Conservatives should take note. [Credit: Human Events]

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act grew out of a long history of failed health insur­ance reform.” Chief Justice John Roberts, in upholding Obamacare subsidies.

Obamacare is the newest chapter in that long history of failed health insurance reform.  Conservatives who hope one day to replace it would do well to learn from its errors and conceits. Continue reading

Let States Exchange Obamacare For Something Better

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper established an Obamacare state exchange that is now "teetering," according to a state official. [Credit: mnginteractive.com]

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper established an Obamacare state exchange that is now “teetering,” according to a state official. [Credit: mnginteractive.com]

In the 34 states that did not establish Obamacare exchanges, Governors nervously await a Supreme Court ruling that could throw their health insurance markets into chaos. Meanwhile, many of the Governors who did establish exchanges are regretting their decision.

More than five years after its enactment, Obamacare has proven a bitter brew for many states.  Nowhere is this more evident than in health care exchanges.  Continue reading

Is Congress Still Relevant?

All 100 Senators gathered last year for this photo. They have done little since. Have they become irrelevant? [Credit: senate.gov]

All 100 Senators gathered last year for this photo. Under Harry Reid’s leadership, they have done little since. Have they become irrelevant? [Credit: senate.gov]

Here is all you need to know about the decline of the United States Congress: a US Senator recently asked a federal judge to block the Obama Administration from unlawfully subsidizing his own health insurance coverage.

The lawsuit illustrates how Congress has become a subservient branch of the federal government.  Subject to the whim of the Executive Branch, one of its Members must now appeal to the Judicial Branch for relief.  Actually legislating seems out of the question. Continue reading

Do You Believe In Government Conspiracies?

Secretary of State John Kerry last week offered up his theory on the Kennedy assassination, joining the many of Americans who subscribe to conspiracy theories. [Credit: The Guardian]

Secretary of State John Kerry last week offered up his thoughts on the Kennedy assassination, joining many Americans who subscribe to conspiracy theories. [Credit: The Guardian]

“Modern diplomats approach every problem with an open mouth.”Arthur J. Goldberg, former Labor Secretary, Supreme Court Justice, and UN Ambassador

If Goldberg is right, then there is no more modern a diplomat than our chatty Secretary of State, John Kerry. Kerry last week mused aloud on the Kennedy assassination during his interview with former network newsreader Tom Brokaw. “To this day,” Kerry said, “I have serious doubts that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.” Continue reading

Welfare or Work: A Difficult Choice

The choice between welfare and work is not always an easy one, according to a new study by the Cato Institute.  (Credit: LA Times)

The choice between welfare and work is not always an easy one, according to a new study by the Cato Institute. (Credit: LA Times)

(NOTE: This post was updated on September 23 to incorporate the government’s newly-released poverty rate data.)

If forced to choose between a full-time job that paid $24.40 per hour and enrolling in a package of government benefits that paid a comparable amount, which would you choose? Continue reading

The Moral Hazard of Government

Sting wrote the stalker's anthem, "Every Breath You Take," a song that takes on new meaning in light of newest NSA revelations. [Credit: Davids Zondy]

Sting wrote the stalker’s anthem, “Every Breath You Take,” a song that takes on new meaning in light of newest NSA revelations. [Credit: Davids Zondy]

The intelligence community’s gilded reputation, already tarnished by months of unauthorized disclosures, was dragged into the realm of the creepy last Friday when an NSA official told a reporter about an agency employee who had tapped secret government data to spy on his ex-wife. Continue reading

What Will The Poor Pay for Obamacare?

Credit Huffington Post

Millions of uninsured Americans with low incomes will find that coverage under Obamacare isn’t free. How they react to that bracing bit of news will help determine whether the law succeeds. [Credit: Huffington Post]

President Obama promised change.  Obamacare will bring it.  But one of its most far-reaching changes has nothing to do with health care.  Continue reading

Harry Reid and Government Power Creep

Why is this man so sad?  [Credit: themediahaven.com]

Why is this man so sad? The Senate’s most powerful man yearns for more power.  [Credit: themediahaven.com]

Nobody does sadness like Harry Reid (D-NV). His deflated body slumped over the podium atop his Senate desk, head shaking slowly, his faint raspy voice a mixture of resignation and exasperation, Reid spends much of his time as the Senate’s most powerful figure bemoaning his lack of power. Continue reading