NY doctors avoiding ObamaCare like the plague

44% of New York MDs refuse to participate in ObamaCare; 33% are unsure whether they will or not. Of the 23% who are participating, three-quarters said it was because they were contractually obligated, leaving a mere 6% who actually want to join in ObamaCare. Those are some of the results of a poll reported in the NY Post.

Even more telling are some of the doctors’ comments.

  • “This is so poorly designed that a lot of doctors are afraid to participate.”
  • “I plan to retire if this disaster is implemented. This is a train wreck.”
  •  “The solution is simple: Just say no.”
  • “I am seriously considering opting out of all insurance plans including Medicare because of [ObamaCare].”
  • “OBAMACARE is a disaster. I have already seen denial of medication, denial of referrals,”
  • “I get screwed from insurance companies already. I refuse to get screwed any longer.”

The politicians can force companies to provide insurance for their employees; they can force individuals to buy insurance. But they cannot force doctors to provide actual health care.


Just ignore Anthem’s new narrow network

Re “ ‘Just give me the option’: Anthem’s narrow-network plan spurs frustration, confusion” (Monitor front page, Sept. 27):

There is a very simple solution to the problem. Don’t find a new doctor. Stick with the doctors you like. Ignore the insurance company’s network. You don’t need the insurance company’s permission to visit the doctor of your choice any more than you need anyone’s approval to buy whatever food, clothing or housing you prefer.

If you have a high deductible, the insurance company is not going to pay anything anyway, so why let it interfere with your choice of doctor? Just tell your doctor that you are bypassing the insurance company. He or she won’t have to fill out any insurance paperwork, won’t have to wait months for partial reimbursement from insurance. You will pay with a debit or credit card, or with check or cash – the same way you pay for almost everything else you purchase. Most doctors will give you a discount for paying directly and avoiding the insurance hassle. More and more doctors are deciding not to accept insurance, including Medicare or Medicaid. By skipping all the paperwork, they are able to reduce their overhead by 40 percent and are able to reduce their fees while providing better care to their patients.

Eliminate the insurance company middleman. Get the care you want from the doctor of your choice. Let your doctor and you decide your treatment, not an insurance company or government bureaucrat.

(My letter published in Concord Monitor, October 7)

Higher premiums, fewer benefits

Yep. That’s ObamaCare for you. Some actual comments from the official ObamaCare Facebook page:

  • “These prices are outrageous and there are huge deductibles. No one can afford this!”
  • “apparently I make to [sic] much at 8.55/hour to get subsidies”
  • “my old Plan: 100% coverage for $545 a month. New [ObamaCare] Plan: 80% Coverage for $945 a month”
  • A single mother of two said she is in school and working full-time while living “75% below the poverty level.” She said she was shocked to learn she did not qualify for a healthcare subsidy. “Are you F’ing kidding me????”

And that’s just from the few people who were actually able to connect to the system. Just imagine how many more complaints there will be when if they get it to run well enough for more than a handful people to connect.

Ted Cruz Might Just Have Won the Future for the GOP

Once denounced by McCain as ‘wacko birds’ hogging the spotlight, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are soaring. Nick Gillespie on why Cruz’s faux filibuster has nothing to do with Obamacare—and everything to do with building a broad-based coalition.

Nick Gillespie, editor in chief of Reason.com, just might be right. Here is another quote:

At a time when a record high 60 percent of all Americans agree the federal government has “too much power,” the wacko birds are flying pretty high, especially when they attack their own party for its utter malfeasance during the Bush years. There’s every reason to believe that the future belongs to the wacko birds and their general, transpartisan message that government is too big and too powerful. The trend throughout the 21st century, reports Gallup, is increasing skepticism toward Washington, D.C. The trend is particularly pronounced among all-important independent voters, who make up a plurality of the electorate. In 2003, 45 percent of them thought the government was too powerful. Now it’s 65 percent. They will vote for candidates—and a party—pushing limiting government.

It’s not just about Cruz. Gillespie also writes about Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and others. Read the whole thing.

Democrats worry about botched ObamaCare

On top of last week’s New York Times story that Democrats “were getting nervous that they could pay a political price if the rollout of the law was messy or if premiums went up significantly”, now The Hill has a similar story.

  • “Anxious Democrats fear a botched implementation of ObamaCare” …
  • Obama acknowledged “glitches and bumps” … some congressional Democrats fear much worse.
  • the administration “conceded that some people’s premiums will rise”
  • questions about whether employers will drop insurance coverage
  • worries that some full-time employees will be forced to part-time status

ObamaCare remains unpopular in polls.

– – – – – – – – – –

I wrote this back in May but apparently forgot to click the Publish button. Still true now so I figure I might as well publish it. Let’s make sure the Democrats do pay a political price.

All before its first official day in effect

Obamacare increasingly appears to be converting America into a nation of part-time workers, crushing the opportunity of businesses to expand and create new jobs, robbing millions of families and individuals of the doctors and health insurance President Obama promised they could keep, stifling medical innovation that could someday save countless lives, compromising the financial and medical privacy that was before sacrosanct, and in countless other ways subverting a private sector-based health care system that draws the lame, the ill and the injured from around the world.

That is a nice summary by Mark Tapscott. The rest of the article is a not so nice summary of all too many Republican “leader”s.

ObamaCare – the beginning of the end

“Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.” — Otto von Bismarck 

Seems like just yesterday that I wrote about the Law of Unintended Consequences. Then just a few days later several union leaders fired off a letter complaining about the unintended consequences of ObamaCare, “The unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are causing nightmare scenarios.”

Seriously, what did they expect from a 2000-page bill that nobody had time to read before they voted on it? If there is one thing that everybody should have learned about gigantic bills is that there will certainly be unintended consequences. The politicians ought to take time to read the bills and allow the public to read them, and they should allow extensive time for thorough debate. Will they learn? No.

But back to ObamaCare. July 2013 should go down as the beginning of the end – or perhaps the end of the beginning – of this terrible act. Right now, some reader of this column is disagreeing, thinking that “universal health care is not terrible; it’s a great idea.”

There is a huge difference between a good idea and a good bill. Even if we were to agree that the idea was good, the bill was terribly written. By now, all but the true believers must realize that its implementation is proving next to impossible and the unintended consequences are destroying jobs. As the Wall Street Journal opines, “The law’s implementation is turning into a fiasco for the ages.”

The unraveling began on April Fools’ Day. The government announced that a key part of the law, the Small-business Health Options Program (SHOP), would be delayed a year. Even though the law had passed a full three years earlier, the government had not written final rules until the previous month. The Chamber of Commerce announced that without SHOP the federal exchanges “will be of little or no value to employers, or by extension, their employees.”

Later in April, Sen. Max Baucus, chief author of the bill, said the law’s implementation would be a “train wreck.” A Democratic colleague, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, described the massive act as “beyond comprehension.” The government’s chief technical officer for the insurance exchanges remarked, “I’m pretty nervous . . . Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience.”

Also in April, a union leader called for the repeal of ObamaCare, saying that “in the rush to achieve its passage, many of the act’s provisions were not fully conceived, resulting in unintended consequences that are inconsistent with the promise that those who were satisfied with their employer-sponsored coverage could keep it.” (There’s that phrase again – unintended consequences.)

In May, a separate group of union leaders grew “frustrated and angry about what they say are unexpected consequences of the new law – problems that they say could jeopardize the health benefits offered to millions of their members.”

When the government wants to hide bad news, it usually issues a press release just before a weekend or holiday, hoping it will get little attention. Thus it was when the administration finally had to acknowledge that ObamaCare was a shambles. The Treasury Department announced at 6 pm on July 2 that they were delaying the employer mandate for one year, until January 2015, conveniently after the November 2014 elections. Can anyone seriously doubt that politics was a major reason for his decision to delay the mandate? Clearly, Obama and his political advisors know that ObamaCare is more and more unpopular with voters.

Which brings us back to the union leaders at the start of this missive. Shortly after the Treasury’s announcement, the leaders warned that ObamaCare would “shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.” One of the unintended consequences of the law is a perverse incentive for businesses to convert full-time employees to part-time. “The impact is two-fold: fewer hours means less pay while also losing our current health benefits.”

In another instance of hiding bad news, the government buried in the Federal Register an acknowledgment that without the employer mandate in place, it had no mechanism to verify an individual’s eligibility for subsidies. It would rely on the “Honor System”. And without employers reporting the insurance status of employees, the individual mandate is not enforceable.

For consumers that’s not such bad news. By a 2-1 margin, voters want the individual mandate to be delayed one year. Even Democrats (by a 43%-35% margin) favor a delay. Majorities of Republicans (84%) and independents (57%) favor eliminating the mandate completely. The only voter group still strongly supporting ObamaCare is Liberal Democrats. Surprisingly, even “Moderate Democrats are quitting on Obamacare” (Washington Post-ABC News poll).

So, after three months of bad reports from his own administration, from allies in Congress, and allies in the labor unions, President Obama felt it necessary to defend his law. It is hard to find a single major media outlet praising his speech – the Associated Press labeled it “another round of exaggeration”.

The point of this essay is not to highlight all that is wrong with ObamaCare – that would take many more volumes. It is to emphasize that the Law of Unintended Consequences can never be repealed. Politicians who ignore that law do so at our peril.


ObamaCare Poses a Massive Privacy Risk

With all the other flaws in ObamaCare, one that is rarely mentioned is a massive risk to privacy. The Data Hub which will interconnect the IRS, HHS, Social Security Administration and four other federal agencies is late (like every other part of ObamaCare) and security will suffer.

“It will create a huge opening for identity thieves and other such criminals” says Investors Business Daily. “It could create a privacy nightmare for millions of Americans.”

The Law of Unintended Consequences

I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. — Benjamin Franklin

There is one law that legislatures can never repeal. That is the Law of Unintended Consequences. When legislators rush into something that sounds good without carefully considering possible consequences, that is when they are apt to write a law that does more harm than good.

Thus it is a very good thing that the NH Senate held firm in requiring a careful study before implementing that part of ObamaCare known as Expanded Medicaid. As more and more people realize that ObamaCare is a “train wreck” in progress, it is all too likely that expanding Medicaid will worsen the train wreck.

ObamaCare itself provides multiple examples of the unintended consequences of rushing to pass a bill that nobody has had time to read, much less debate. One major section of the law comes into play when a business has 50 or more employees. It should be no surprise that many, many small businesses are becoming known as “49ers” because they are limiting themselves to no more than 49 employees. This is one reason for the extremely weak jobs market.

The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof reported a tragic example of the law of unintended consequences. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program initially covered children with physical or mental disabilities so severe that parents often couldn’t hold jobs. Later it was expanded to cover kids with learning disabilities. The program pays families with such kids $698 per month.

The unintended consequence of SSI is that it creates a terrible incentive for parents to keep their kids illiterate. For some poor families, the disability check is their major source of income. If their child begins to do well in school, they risk losing the check. Parents have pulled their children out of literacy programs just to keep the check coming. They may love their kids and want them to succeed but they are desperate.

Kristof noted that “nearly two-thirds of these children make the transition at age 18 into SSI for the adult disabled. They may never hold a job in their entire lives and are condemned to a life of poverty on the dole — and that’s the outcome of a program intended to fight poverty.”

National Public Radio (NPR) also reported on some of the perverse results of the disability program. It noted one mother whose “teenage son wanted to work, but she didn’t want him to get a job because if he did, the family would lose its disability check.” NPR suggested several items that should be goals of a disability program, then concluded that “The disability program stands in opposition to every one of these aims.”

NPR noted that the disability program traps people into a lifetime of poverty. “… in most cases, going on disability means you will not work, you will not get a raise, you will not get whatever meaning people get from work. Going on disability means, assuming you rely only on those disability payments, you will be poor for the rest of your life. That’s the deal. And it’s a deal 14 million Americans have signed up for.”

It’s not just the disability program that traps people into dependency on government. The panoply of welfare programs has the effect of punishing people who try to move out of poverty and up the income ladder. Someone who works harder, takes a second job, learns more skills, might earn $10,000 more but lose $15,000 of benefits. Hence, many say “I can’t afford to take that job. I’d lose my benefits!”

The Pennsylvania Secretary of Public Welfare calculated that a single woman with two kids can be better off with gross income of $29,000 plus numerous benefits, than if she earned a gross income of $40,000, $50,000, or even $60,000, with fewer or no benefits. At $29,000 gross income her net income plus benefits could be as much as $57,327. She would have to earn $69,000 to have a net income plus zero benefits of $57,045.

Expanding Medicaid would enlarge the dependency trap. More people would find that they could not afford to better themselves because they would lose even more benefits. One cynical pundit often remarks that the political class wants more people trapped into dependency because “beggars are easier to satisfy.”

As a caring society we want to help the vulnerable. But do we want to trap them into a lifetime of dependency on government, where they are punished for trying to better themselves? Is it good for society to have millions of people unable to contribute their skills and energy? Is it good for the recipients themselves to live in poverty their entire lives with no hope of ever becoming self-sufficient and moving upward?

For Kristof, “a tentative lesson from the field is that while we need safety nets, the focus should be instead on creating opportunity — and, still more difficult, on creating an environment that leads people to seize opportunities.”

Members of Congress upset that ObamaCare applies to them

Forgive me my Schadenfreude, but it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of people. Members of Congress and their staffs are concerned about a provision in ObamaCare that requires them to obtain insurance through exchanges.

One House Democrat, speaking on condition of anonymity [oh but of course, anonymity], said, “This was a stupid provision that never should have gotten into the law.” Well, that’s what happens when you vote for a 2000-page bill without even reading it.

An interesting wrinkle that is symptomatic of the federal government’s incompetence: They have known about this “problem” for more than three years but they haven’t done anything about it.

Even Moderate Democrats are Quitting on Obamacare

Just 46% of moderate and conservative Democrats support ObamaCare according to a Washington Post – ABC News poll. Some cynics would question whether there are any moderates or conservatives in the Democratic party, but 57% of Democrats describe themselves thus.

Among all Democrats, a full 25% strongly oppose ObamaCare. Among all adults, “strongly oppose” outranks “strongly support” by 39%-25%. Include the “somewhats” and the numbers are 49% oppose, 42% support.

Shall we make it easier for the government to spy on us?

Shall we give the government more opportunities to use our confidential information for political purposes? On the heels of the many IRS scandals, Investor’s Business Daily reports a regulatory filing that says:

the federal government can disclose this information “without the consent of the individual” to a wide range of people, including “agency contractors, consultants, or grantees” who “need to have access to the records” to help run ObamaCare

Prof. Stephen Parente warns “If you think identity theft is a problem now, wait until Uncle Sam serves up critical information on 300 million American citizens on a platter.”

Just one more example that ObamaCare is a train wreck in progress.

Regulation kills jobs

Government policies are stifling young, hungry entrepreneurs,” says Andy Pudzer, CEO of CKE Restaurants. Worst among these is ObamaCare.

About 40% of Mr. Puzder’s employees are part-time and therefore exempt from ObamaCare’s coverage mandates. “That percentage of employees will probably go up. … Through attrition, three full-time employees go away and you hire four part-time employees who basically have the same hours.”

As government raises the price of hiring living workers, by raising the minimum wage and mandating higher benefits, companies find it more efficient to replace humans with machines.

Mr. Puzder also expects fast-food restaurants to deal with ObamaCare by replacing workers with kiosks. “You’re going to go into a fast-food restaurant and order on an iPad or tablet instead of talking to a person because we don’t have to pay benefits for any of those things.”

Pudzer’s company is expanding rapidly and now has “3,300 restaurants in 42 states and 28 foreign countries.” It plans 300 new restaurants in the “business-friendly” state of Texas.

One place it is not planning to expand is California because “California is not interested in having businesses grow.” Compare how long it takes his company to get a building permit. In Texas, it takes 60 days; in Los Angeles, 285 days.

California’s cumbersome labor regulations have forced the company to “fire managers who don’t report their work hours because they present a legal risk.” He tells the fired managers “to go to Tennessee or Texas, where we’ll rehire them and they’ll learn entrepreneurial skills.”

Corporations based in California are increasingly moving “where labor and the cost of doing business are cheaper. The ultimate victims are middle-class entrepreneurs, like restaurant managers, and the low-skill workers they employ.”

Down in Concord

There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. — Indira Gandhi

Just like high school or college kids making up for lost time, the House leaders (Democrats) finished the budget process with a late, late, late night session. After wasting most of Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, the budget conferees met Wednesday at 9 am and did not finish until Thursday in the wee hours of the morning, 3:42 am to be precise.

The short story is that the House is to be congratulated for persuading the Senate to agree to all of the Senate’s demands. That’s right, the final budget is pretty much the Senate (Republican-led), not the House (Democrat-led), budget.

Observers tell me that the Democrats opposed this budget up until the very end when they caved. Senior leaders, including representatives of the governor, were holed up behind locked doors for hours apparently searching for a way out. There was even talk that they would reject the budget and go for a Continuing Resolution (CR) while they tried to negotiate a better budget. In the end, “the House acceded to the Senate” on almost every issue.

House Democrats are trying to put the best spin on it. The Democrat chairman of the House Finance Committee wrote that they “… produced a balanced and fiscally responsible budget investing in the priorities of the people of New Hampshire without increasing taxes or fees. … there is a great deal for us to be proud of in this budget.” But the fact is that the budget is almost entirely what was passed by Senate Republicans, which every single Senate Democrat voted against.

The Governor “applauded the bipartisan budget agreement” even though it is virtually identical to the Senate Finance Committee budget, which three weeks ago she slammed for (so-called) “deep cuts”, “nothing short of devastating”, and a “fiscally irresponsible approach”. Now she labels that same budget as “fiscally responsible” (which it is) and praises the restored funding (added by Senate Republicans).

Why do so many politicians not tell the truth? Either they lied weeks ago when they decried the Senate budget as terrible, or they are lying now when they say it is great. Perhaps both. (How do you tell when a politician is lying? His lips are moving.)

I would have more respect for them if they admitted, “We don’t like this budget. We wanted to spend much more money; we wanted to eliminate some programs and create other programs. We agreed to the Senate plan because we didn’t have a good alternative. Our only fallback was a Continuing Resolution, which would have given us even less money to spend.”

But politicians like to take credit for everything – even if they had nothing to do with them. If they told the truth now and admitted they don’t like the budget they couldn’t take credit for it.

Democrats cannot be happy about this budget. Total spending is $400 million less than the Governor requested, $300 million under what the House Democrats approved.

This budget has zero tax or fee increases. Democrats had proposed numerous new taxes or fees. They voted overwhelmingly (155-35) for a beer tax; they didn’t get it. They really, really wanted a massive increase in the gas tax; they didn’t get it. Ditto an increase in cigarette taxes. They proposed to delay scheduled business tax decreases; the Senate nixed that idea. Democrats passed increases in the Salt Water Fishing license fee and the Marriage License fee; Senate Republicans removed them.

Democrats included a provision letting the Governor raid 400 dedicated funds to spend the money elsewhere. Senate Republicans said no.

Senate Republicans added funds for LCHIP (the Land Conservation and Heritage Improvement Program) and for the UNIQUE scholarship program. The Senate increased State Aid Grants for water treatment projects. Democrats now try to take credit for these increases.

Democrats reduced funding for Charter Schools and put in a moratorium. Senate Republicans fully funded them and removed the moratorium. House Democrats repealed the school choice scholarship program passed last year. Senate Republicans killed that bill and removed a parallel provision from the budget.

Democrats had been emphatic about expanding Medicaid as part of Obamacare. The Speaker of the House, Terie Norelli, had declared that without Medicaid expansion, “I do not know if I could get the votes in the House to support the budget.” As late as Wednesday afternoon, conference Chairwoman Wallner said there would not be a budget agreement unless the Senate budged. The Senate replied that this issue was too important to rush into without a thorough study, they called her bluff and the Democrats folded.

In addition to the budget bills, there were 22 other bills reported back by conference committees. The changes appear to be slight and the bills seem uninteresting. There were eight bills where House and Senate conferees could not reach agreement. These bill also seem uninteresting; few will mourn their loss.

On Wednesday, July 26, the House and Senate will each meet to vote on conference reports. It is very likely that all will be passed and go to the governor for signing.

Will Obama be a great salesman for small government?

It is often said that Obama has (unintentionally) been the greatest gun salesman in history as gun sales have skyrocketed in reaction to his policies.

Now a CNN poll suggests that he might be a great salesman against big government:

  • Fifty-seven percent of those questioned say they disagree with the president’s views on the size and power of the federal government.
  • 62 percent now believe that “government is so large and powerful that it threatens the rights and freedoms of ordinary Americans.”
  • 53 percent say they don’t believe Obama is capable of managing the government effectively.

Another poll shows a 49% – 37% margin of disapproval for ObamaCare.

Obama’s not a lame duck, he’s just lame

Peggy Noonan has a way with words:

I think we’re all agreed the president is fading—failing to lead, to break through, to show he’s not at the mercy of events but, to some degree at least, in command of them. He couldn’t get a win on gun control with 90% public support. When he speaks on immigration reform you get the sense he’s setting it back. He’s floundering on Syria. The looming crisis on implementation of ObamaCare has begun to fill the news. Even his allies are using the term “train wreck.” ObamaCare is not only the most slovenly written major law in modern American history, it is full of sneaked-in surprises people are just discovering. The Democrats of Washington took advantage of the country’s now-habitual distractedness: The country, now seeing what’s coming in terms of taxes and fees, will not be amused. Mr. Obama’s brilliant sequester strategy—scare the American public into supporting me—flopped. Congress is about to hold hearings on Boston and how the brothers Tsarnaev slipped through our huge law-enforcement and immigration systems. Benghazi and what appear to be its coverups drags on and will not go away; press secretary Jay Carney was reduced to saying it happened “a long time ago.” It happened in September. The economy is stuck in low-growth, employment in no-growth.

Obama knows nothing about Obamacare

Obama’s “I know nothing” about the scandals in his administration might also apply to ObamaCare.

Investors Business Daily wonders “Is Obama just dangerously misinformed about ObamaCare? Or is he willfully misleading the country?”

  • The Congressional Budget Office expects 7 million workers — and possibly as many as 20 million — will lose their employer coverage because of ObamaCare.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said millions of seniors will get dumped from their private Medicare Advantage plans by 2017 thanks to sharp payment cuts required by the law.
  • small businesses now providing coverage face huge rate hikes thanks to ObamaCare’s many market regulations and benefit mandates.
  • ObamaCare’s high-risk pools have been a disaster, attracting a third as many people as predicted while costing far more than the administration budgeted.
  • Obama’s own health care number crunchers say ObamaCare will force national health spending up 7.4% in 2014, and add billions in costs over the next decade. The Congressional Budget Office says it will add massively to federal health spending.

Medicaid does not improve health

“Medicaid coverage generated no significant improvements in measured physical health outcomes.” That is the conclusion of a 2-year study of 12,000 adults just reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Oh, Medicaid coverage did have some effects: “it did increase use of health care services” and “reduce[d] financial strain” – on the participants that is. It greatly increased financial strain on us poor taxpayers who had to pay the bills. And for what? Measures of physical health showed no significant difference between the adults on Medicaid and those not.

Medicaid is the single largest expense in New Hampshire county budgets. Translated to my town’s property taxes, it costs Sunapee taxpayers roughly a million dollars per year.

Some in New Hampshire suggest that we should expand Medicaid as part of ObamaCare. It would cost us many hundreds of millions of dollars on top of already huge expenses. This report that Medicaid does not improve physical health should quash that idea.


The Coming ObamaCare Shock

As ObamaCare is rolled out this year and next, tens of millions of Americans will be shocked. Even Democrats who wrote and/or voted for the unpopular law are worried.

  • Sen. Max Baucus called it a “train wreck.”
  • Sen. Jay Rockefeller described it as “beyond comprehension.”
  • Henry Chao, an official in charge of implementing it, was quoted as saying “I’m pretty nervous . . . Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience.”

Insurance premiums will soar for millions of people, even after the government subsidies. Some young adults with individual health insurance will see a 46% increase. Small-group premiums are expected to increase by 13%-23% on average. Some of those may face a 90% increase.

Five million people will see major changes in their policies. Three million will lose their existing insurance. Six million will pay hefty fines. Millions more will see their hours reduced to under 30 hours per week so companies can avoid the insurance mandate and fines.

In total, it appears that there will be 30 million to 40 million people damaged in some fashion by the Affordable Care Act—more than one in 10 Americans. When that reality becomes clearer, the law is going to start losing its friends in the media, who are inclined to support the president and his initiatives. We’ll hear about innocent victims who saw their premiums skyrocket, who were barred from seeing their usual doctor, who had their hours cut or lost their insurance entirely—all thanks to the faceless bureaucracy administering a federal law.

Obamacare is like the Iraq war

“The Iraq War cost $1 trillion and produced a quagmire abroad. Obamacare will cost $1 trillion and will create a quagmire at home” We need an exit strategy declares the always excellent Reason magazine.

It isn’t affordable:

  • major insurers warned of double-digit premium hikes
  • the Society of Actuaries estimated that costs will rise 32 percent
  • MIT’s Jonathan Gruber admitted that his rosy projections were wrong. Gruber’s revised estimates now show premium hikes of nearly 20 percent by 2016.

It won’t produce universal coverage:

  • Obamacare has created perverse incentives that will encourage employers to drop coverage
  • small businesses will choose to stay small (under 50 employees) to avoid the mandate to provide insurance.
  • large businesses will pay the small penalty rather than the high expense of insurance
  • the individual mandate is easily avoided
  • “guaranteed issue” means that individuals can wait until sick to buy insurance

Obamacare is part of reason for high unemployment

Employers across the country have “cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff.” So says the Federal Reserve in its monthly “beige book”.

New taxes on insurance companies, $8 billion next year rising to $14 billion, will cause higher premiums. Several groups that represent small businesses have called for repeal of this tax.