CBO’s Alternate Facts About Obamacare

Millions may lose coverage next year if Congress does not repeal Obamacare.

That’s not what this week’s Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis says, but it is reality. CBO’s estimating models seem impervious to reality.

In the real world, the Obamacare exchanges are in crisis, millions of uninsured people willingly pay or avoid IRS penalties, and consumers struggle with rising premiums and cost-sharing requirements.  Read more on National Review Online.

No, Zeke, You’re Not Paying For My Medicine

Zeke Emanuel is tired of paying for your medicine. [Credit: Maryland Public Radio]

Zeke Emanuel is tired of paying for your medicine. [Credit: Maryland Public Radio]

Zeke Emanuel is tired of paying for your expensive medicine.

Dr. Emanuel, who served in a senior position at the Office of Management and Budget where he contributed to the recurring nightmare known as Obamacare, recently complained in the New York Times [“I Am Paying For Your Expensive Medicine”] that his insurance rates are high because the medicines you’re taking cost too much. Continue reading

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

More than five years after its enactment there still are many questions about whether Obamacare is working. Here are four of them.

More than five years after its enactment there still are many questions about whether Obamacare is working. Here are four of them.

My previous post discussed what we know about Obamacare as its third open enrollment season begins.  Here are four major questions about the future of Obamacare that remain unanswered.

Can insurance companies make money in the exchanges without corporate welfare? Obamacare contains some very expensive sweeteners to entice insurance companies to sell through the exchanges. These include risk corridor payments and $20 billion over three years in inaptly named “reinsurance” payments, money government takes from participants in group health plans and gives to insurers that participate in the exchanges. Both are scheduled to end in 2017.

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

Obamacare And The Daughters of (40% Less) Charity

The President last week professed his love -- appropriately chaste, of course -- for Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association and tireless Obamacare advocate.  [Credit: Wikipedia]

The President last week professed his love — appropriate and chaste, of course — for Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association and tireless Obamacare advocate. [Credit: Wikipedia]

I just love nuns generally.  I’m just saying.  – President Obama, June 9

And nuns just love him too.  At least nuns who run hospitals seem to.  And with good reason: the President advocates policies that enable hospitals like those operated by the Daughters of Charity to provide less charity.  Continue reading

The GOP’s Gift To Henry Waxman — Part II

Cold War era Congressman Chet Holifield wanted the federal government to finance a network of underground bomb shelters.  His successor, Henry Waxman, wanted the federal government to take over health care. Holifield failed; Waxman is still doing just fine.  [Credit: NY Times]

Cold War era Congressman Chet Holifield wanted the federal government to finance a network of underground bomb shelters. His successor, Henry Waxman, wanted the federal government to take over health care. Holifield failed; Waxman did just fine. [Credit: NY Times]

Chet Holifield was obsessed with The Bomb.

During a 32-year tenure that flowered during the Cold War, the Los Angeles Congressman sought federal money to help Americans survive a nuclear war.  He called for “a nationwide system of underground shelters” in which to huddle, safe from irradiated debris.

Though Holifield achieved success in other areas – he was known as “Mr. Atomic Energy” for his promotion of nuclear power — he left Congress in 1974 without fulfilling his subterranean vision. Continue reading

The GOP’s Gift To Henry Waxman — Part I

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and John Boehner (R-OH) took a bow when the House passed a $141 billion health care bill. But Henry Waxman deserves the credit. [Credit: Politico]

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) took a bow when the House passed a $141 billion health care bill. But Henry Waxman deserves the credit. [Credit: Politico]

“What a way to celebrate a birthday!”  — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) after the House passed bipartisan health care legislation

Sorry, Nancy.  It’s not about you.

The $141 billion health care bill that cleared the House last month and that is expected to win Senate approval next week is a tribute from the GOP-controlled Congress to former Congressman Henry Waxman, a man who worked tirelessly – and with great success – to expand health care-related welfare spending. Continue reading

Obamacare: The More You Pay, The Less You Get

Obamacare enrollment increased this year, but only the poorest among the uninsured have so far signed up. [Credit: Arkansas Times]

Obamacare enrollment increased this year, but only the poorest among the uninsured have so far signed up. [Credit: Arkansas Times]

Can government get people to buy a product that millions think isn’t worth the price?

That’s the question that health care analysts are asking as they pore over the results of the Obamacare open season that concluded on February 15. Continue reading

When Dead Men Rule

G.K. Chesterton worried that our predecessors would have too little influence on our politics. But Gene Steuerle says that they have too much. [Credit: christiancompletely blog]

G.K. Chesterton worried that our ancestors would have too little influence on our society. But a new book by the Urban Institute’s Gene Steuerle says that they exert too much control over our politics. [Credit: christiancompletely blog]

“Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors.  It is the democracy of the dead.”G.K. Chesterton

Chesterton fretted that modern democracies might show too little deference to past generations.  But according to the Urban Institute’s Gene Steuerle, the very opposite is true: in American democracy, dead men rule. Continue reading

Inequality: What We Earn vs. What We Consume

Is inequality better measured by what we earn or what we spend? The difference is surprising. [Credit: Politic.org]

Is inequality better measured by what we earn or what we spend? The difference is surprising. [Credit: Politic.org]

Is your standard of living better measured by what you earn or by what you buy?

The question may seem an odd one, but it is critical to understanding the problem of rising inequality. Continue reading