Patterico's Pontifications

9/23/2013

What If House Republicans Actually Held Firm on Defunding?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:12 am

I had dinner with a friend a few weeks ago, and I raised the issue: what if House Republicans actually held firm on defunding ObamaCare?

I know, I know, it won’t happen. But this is a blog, not real life, so hear me out while we fantasize.

My friend, of course, said: well, then the press would kick into gear blaming Republicans, and Republicans would back down.

Well, duh. That’s what always happens. We pretend to take a stand, the media raises its hand to smack us, and we cringe and back away before the blow ever lands.

But I pressed on. What if we continued to stand firm, against all the historical evidence of our inability to do so?

You mean, what if someone surgically implanted a spine in these people? my friend asked. Exactly, I said.

We gamed it out, and I made a case, which I would like to make to you now, that we could actually win this thing. In theory. Here’s my thinking: as the pain of a government shutdown increases, if Republicans actually stood firm and made their case, it might start to sink in that the government shutdown might end if Obama just agreed to defund ObamaCare. Which people basically hate anyway.

We might pay a heavy political price for it. Or maybe, just maybe, we would gain some respect.

I believe that, to most of the public, politicians are like two kids squawking in the back seat. They always seem to fight, and you don’t really care what they’re fighting about. You just want it to stop.

So imagine the scenario.

Barry and Ted are in the back seat. They’re fighting because Barry wants to play his PSP and Ted says it’s making annoying noises that are too loud, causing it to be hard for him to read. You, the parent, agree the PSP is too loud, and wish Barry would stop playing it, but Barry argues that it was agreed at the beginning of the trip that he could play it. If the bickering continues, you’re going to snap at Ted because, just shut up, Ted. This was the agreement and we are sticking to it.

But what if Ted is unfazed by any threats of punishment, and the bickering continues? Let’s say you have a three-day trip ahead of you and you can’t take the bickering. But you have to stay strapped into the seat and you can’t stop the car for even one second. Ted tells you the bickering is going to continue, punishment or no punishment, because he is standing on principle.

Chances are you will be unimpressed and threaten him worse. You might even actually stop the car and spank him, and threaten to take away his books for two months, or four months — or forever.

But what if none of this had an effect? Ted, who has always been compliant in the past, simply will. not. give. in. It’s been two days into the car ride now, and the bickering is constant. You just want it to stop. You swear when the car stops, you will give Ted a punishment he will never forget. But all the while, Ted explains to you why he is taking this stand. He can’t concentrate, and he needs to read to get his book report done on time. If he can’t read his book, he can’t turn in the book report. Frankly, Barry should be reading too. And by the way, mom and dad, I know the beeping annoys you too because I heard you say so to each other. And when you guys agreed to let him play it, you thought he was going to bring his headphones. It’s only after it was too late to go back for them that Barry told you he forgot them.

Mom and dad, I don’t want to bicker. I’ll stop the second Barry stops playing his PSP. Let him read like I am doing.

At some point, if the bickering is bad enough? Mom and dad might turn to Barry, and say: we know we told you that you could play it, but you didn’t bring your headphones. It’s not quiet like we thought it would be. We agree Ted should not be bitching about it, but we can’t take the noise any more. Put the damn PSP away, Barry.

Could happen. Depending on how annoying the bickering became and how much the parents wanted it to stop, they might redirect their anger — if Ted’s argument actually makes sense, and they end up actually listening to it.

It’s a fantasy. Most kids would not have Ted’s principle, and would give in to the threats. That’s how we control our kids, and it’s shocking when they don’t comply.

I can hear one objection from this readership: no way I would give in to Ted. Ted would get beaten until he is black and blue, and he would damn well comply.

I hear you! But I think most parents don’t have your principles. They would give in to the need to stop the bickering.

Voters don’t care about this stuff. If we actually stood on principle, they might tell Barry: put away your little ObamaCare toy we don’t like that much anyway. Ted’s right, after all.

I know. I know. It will never happen.

But a guy can dream, right?

135 Responses to “What If House Republicans Actually Held Firm on Defunding?”

  1. Nah, I wouldn’t hit my kid. I’d just throw the PSP out the window. And the book too. But I’d pull to the side and stop the car first.

    nk (875f57)

  2. They might win national elections again.

    Rodney King's Spirit (5afc40)

  3. Good game play, Rico. DeLay:

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/tom-delay-book-lecture-obamacare/2013/09/23/id/527114

    Now, for the stout of heart, a primer on QE, who it benefits and the trouble they will cause(wittingly or no) seeing it end.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-22/what-shadow-banking-can-tell-us-about-feds-exit-path-dead-end

    I know lots of us are fairly comfortable as the economy bounces along the bottom, shaking things up and enduring a shutdown will likely be painful, if mainly for MD, VA and DC.

    But just venture over to zerohedge and read about the start to Italian bail-in and Angela needing to form a new coalition now that her long-time partner is evicted, etc.

    Moving disaster forward a few weeks or months under our direction is likely preferable to sitting in a dark corner, curled up, whimpering and waiting.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  4. nk:

    If the PSP goes out the window, we win.

    Patterico (0466cb)

  5. at what point do americans just flat-out deserve to be obamacared six ways to sunday?

    I think we’re getting close. It was Boehner’s first inclination for sure…

    plus the last time they had a chance Team R nominated the unapologetic inventor of Obamacare to be their nominee for president.

    And their nominee before that?

    God bless America.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  6. In my house, the PSP would be taken away because Barry forgot his headphones. It would be Barry’s responsibility to make sure he had his headphones, not mine. How else do you teach personal responsibility? Yeah, I know, there is no such thing as personal responsibility anymore, just capitulation to keep the peace, but I’m still teaching it to my kid.

    We can only hope more Americans realize that Barry’s really the one at fault. But, like you, I can dream.

    PSUbrat (a08349)

  7. #5 Gets to the point that when you “make arguments” in the Center you can’t convince the Center which way to swing. And no doubt Ego First and Romney were selections of an “argument in the middle.”

    Rodney King's Spirit (5afc40)

  8. My proposal differs. I would let the Democrat Senators vote to restore funding, then go to conference. If the bill comes out of conference with the funding restored, the Republicans should just vote “present” and allow it to become law with all Democrat votes, as the first time.

    The point would be to make the law, once again, a 100% Democrat project. Obamacare will fail. The IT part of it is already in trouble.

    Mike K (dc6ffe)

  9. Just as the real Ted has said winning is a long-shot but we need to try because ObamaCare is so important, our fictional Ted is still accomplishing something even if he doesn’t get his way: He’s shown how devious Barry is and has a more serious goal.

    The real difference between your analogy and reality is that there are other children in the car –the media, the Democrats, and even some Republicans — who are all taking Barry’s side. Poor Ted has a very dysfunctional family.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  10. Patterico, I like the ideas behind what you are writing; that people would respect honesty and consistency. And people do, it’s true.

    But the problem is the way that the MSM has a stranglehold on the electorate; I really do believe that this is a central issue of a our times. It’s Teh Narrative™, over and over again. They lie and lie and lie and lie…because they like the ideas behind the lies. Our media is composed of a gazillion Duranty clones, all of whom want to advance a position, not report (read this book if what I write sounds unlikely: http://www.amazon.com/Stalins-Apologist-Walter-Duranty-Timess/dp/0195057007). Such “media” types have always existed—they reason from their hearts, not their heads. They argue for what they want to be true, instead of what is demonstrably true.

    Sort of like Nancy Pelosi, only with a functioning cerebral cortex (I was speechless by her recent comment that POTUS was essentially apolitical, certainly nonpartisan). But the lies get repeated and repeated and repeated. Soon, with apologies for quoting Goebbels and Hitler, the lies become a kind of truth.

    You have seen otherwise intelligent commentators state that Republicans stood in the way on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when it was actually the Democrats who stood in the way. I teach undergraduates. If I asked 100 of them, today, which political party objected to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, guess what they would say? It doesn’t matter what links or books or articles state. It’s what soaks into their brains, courtesy of the media.

    Why, my mother in law was quite rude to me over the summer about Romney and his “overseas accounts” and out of touch “the rich” are..while she is actually quite well to do, in fact. I brought up the number of very wealthy people in the current administration and she shrugged it off. It doesn’t fit Teh Narrative™ that NPR drills into her head each and every day, like a Two Minute Hate in “1984.”

    And Teh Narrative™ is already chipping at the objections to the ACA. You can see it when you look in major media outlets. It really is like “1984” and the Ministry of Truth. Jonah Goldberg was right.

    But what to do? I think standing up for what you believe is best—though I have always tried to find a middle ground because I didn’t want Democratic Presidents to appoint more extremist Supreme Court Justices, because that is MUCH harder to reverse than any legislation. But enough people sat out this last election to allow the President that opportunity. And my guess is that the schism you are discussing will happen again, and Hillary! will get two administrations to sew up the SCOTUS.

    Thus, it will most likely be an awful, painful mess that will slowly forge a new political system. That’s probably the best we can hope for.

    On the other hand, and this takes me back to your point, Patterico, look to history:

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/republican-party-founded

    It didn’t take that long to turn things around then. Look at the dates. I think we should all spend some time reading about this process, to see if and how something similar could happen today.

    Because, just as the Whigs were unable to deal with slavery issues, our current Republicans cannot deal with Statism. And that is the issue, I think: Statism versus Nonstatism.

    What we have to fight is the MSM and their MiniTru stranglehold. Jon Stewart is among the most trusted “news” sources to young folks today. Horrifying as that is to read.

    So while it is easiest to whine and complain (Lord knows I do), what we must do is work together, become involved at the grassroots, and support media outlets that aren’t part of the MiniTru.

    And there I go again with the speeches.

    Simon Jester (809716)

  11. The flaw in your scenario is that I wouldn’t have allowed any child of mine to play something noisy in the back seat of a car I was driving. He forgot his headphones? TOUGH.

    But, as a putative parent and driver, I have one heck of a lot more DIRECT power over what happens in my car than I do over what happens in Wonderland On The Potomac.

    C. S. P. Schofield (adb9dd)

  12. Good comment, Simon Jester.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  13. For some of us, it’s personal:

    Over the past few weeks my GP and a Dermatologist informed me they will no longer honor my health insurance, which has been welcome and unquestioned for the last 4 years. I expect to get the same rejections from 2 more specialists at my regular appointments next month.

    Additionally, although I’ve been offered the opportunity to keep my health insurance plan, the offer is in name only. It will cost much more (office visits at double last year’s price, meds up 34-50%), cover many fewer conditions, and be unwelcome nearly everywhere I’ve been regularly treated for the last 4 years. ObamaCare is reducing my access to health care in major ways and all across the board.

    And, I’m not alone, I’m just on the leading edge of a monster wave of angry adult voters who’ll be waking up to an extremely ugly and intimately personal medical care disaster as ObamaCare is revealed for the fraudulent bait-n-switch scam it is and always was.

    If Tex Cruz and the GOP pantywaists can hang together in opposition to funding ObamaCare for a few more weeks, growing revelations will make it impossible for the Democrats and their MSM allies to keep a happy face on what will build into a sea changing tsunami of public outrage. Democrats seeking reelection will have a choice, run for the high ground or drown like rats too stupid to abandon a sinking ship.

    ropelight (880b0e)

  14. if Republicans actually stood firm and made their case, it might start to sink in that the government shutdown might end if Obama just agreed to defund ObamaCare. Which people basically hate anyway.

    More than that. The last time they did something like this, they depended on the media to tell people what was happening. They probably anticipated spin, but not outright lies. This time they need to know that people will mistakenly think they have defunded the government, they have shut down the government, and even many of their own allies will unthinkingly repeat this lie.

    So they need to aggressively spread the truth in every way possible — ads, soundbites, talk shows, whatever — that they have funded the government, they’ve passed a continuing resolution (or appropriation bills) that fully fund the government’s necessary functions, as well as almost all of its unnecessary functions, and it is 0bama and the Senate that refuse to accept the money unless we also give them money for 0bamacare. That would be the pure and simple truth, but people won’t know it unless they’re told.

    It’s like a homeless person who demands that you give him food and booze, and when you offer food but not booze he refuses the food and then claims that you’re starving him!

    And Republican allies need to be very careful not to adopt the lying terminology of the other side; not to say or be seen to say “yeah, we defunded the government and we’re proud of it”. (Defunding the government might in principle be a good idea, but this is not the time for it, and more importantly there is no move in the GOP to do it, so why claim to have done it? Why take the blame for doing a proper but very unpopular thing without actually doing it?)

    Milhouse (0ea53d)

  15. What would happen if there was a government shutdown? Maybe the same thing that happened with the sequester? The MSM and the political class tried to paint it as an impending disaster. But then it happened and people found that it had no real impact on their lives.

    The first thing to realize about the so called government shutdown is that the government doesn’t really shutdown. The military keeps on doing its thing, Social Security checks keep on going out, Congress keeps on wrecking the country, the president still has time to keep on diddling Monica, etc.

    Once the shutdown occurs, it will not take that long for people to discover that their lives keep on going pretty much the same as before. This is the number 1 reason why the political class will do all they can to make sure it never happens.

    Anon Y. Mous (8ec442)

  16. The first thing to realize about the so called government shutdown is that the government doesn’t really shutdown. The military keeps on doing its thing, Social Security checks keep on going out, Congress keeps on wrecking the country, the president still has time to keep on diddling Monica, etc.

    How do they do those things, with no money appropriated?

    Milhouse (0ea53d)

  17. In the Barry and Ted analogy, I assume the parents are us the citizens of the USA? The problem with the story is that there is no press. Where in the car-trip is the narrator explaining in a James Earl Jones-style voice what is happening in the on-going drama with statements like:

    “The good son, Barry, is proudly standing his ground. Chin up and face stern, he reminds his parents that a promise is a promise and he refuses to negotiate with Barry.”

    Meanwhile the bad son, Ted, is intransigently standing athwart the tracks of destiny threatening to plunge the car off the highway entire and into a ravine where awaits only a fiery demise for all concerned.

    What will Barry and Ted’s parents decide? Will they do what is right, or will they cave in to the pressure of a whiney baby whose tears drip incessantly onto the pages of his insipid book?

    Because the press is able to shape the conflict with biased language and overtly partisan shading, all the parents can do is ignore Ted’s complaints and let Barry continue to play one annoying game after another.

    Jack (ff1ca8)

  18. Simon,

    Here’s my concern: It’s great to say let’s just all work together but the time for that was 2008 and 2012. Either it didn’t work or it wasn’t enough, depending on which polls you believe. Also, I’m not convinced there’s time to change the political process. The world moves much faster now than it did in the Whig era. It may not be appealing or have the best odds, but fights like this may still be our best hope.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  19. The House has actually done a lot of its work, passing several of the annual appropriations bills, but the Senate has not passed a single one.

    So, the government shuts down. No more EPA inspections? I can live with that. No more block grants to states? The states should be paying their own way. The Department of Commerce is shut down? What the heck do they do anyway?

    The Dana willing to bite the bullet (3e4784)

  20. 8. The problem with the ‘run away to fight another day’ scenario is it has lost its plausibility. We have already seen the ‘frog in the pot warmed gradually to a boil’ is bound for the table; his willingness to endure imperceptible change is guaranteed.

    As Ace opined the other day, this ain’t a silly football season, that 60 million, or whatever, have lost their insurance to give 30 million freeloaders insurance, when healthcare is the loser, is not a meaningless contest.

    Lots of peoples lives and livelihoods will be changed for the worse without drastic action.

    Do you really think that might mean the end of Obamanycare in 5-10-15?

    Why not now?

    We are at a point where everyone cries for some unity of purpose and there’s none to be found.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  21. It’s our best hope because it tries to go around the media and appeal directly to the people. The chance of success is low but hopefully people will remember who tried to stop ObamaCare and who didn’t.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  22. Ted Cruz is holding aces up and Obama’s on tilt. He’s just gone all-in with nothing more substantial than a busted flush and a desperate gamble. So if Cruz and company keeps a level head, holds-‘um, and won’t be bullied and bluffed into folding the nuts, the upstart Texan wins the biggest pot to hit the table in years.

    ropelight (880b0e)

  23. Excellent comment, Simon Jester (and several others, too.) We can’t win by playing their game with their rules in their stadium.

    htom (412a17)

  24. How do they do those things, with no money appropriated?

    Typical Washington bullshit:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_shutdown

    Anon Y. Mous (8ec442)

  25. Here is your cut and dried future, GOP.

    http://www.rightwingnews.com/education/common-core-causing-huge-rift-between-jeb-bush-and-conservatives/

    Stick with the banner ‘Party of Business’, i.e., the ‘big donors flagship’, you are dead.

    The big donors give the bulk of their disposable funds to whomever is in the driver’s seat going into an election.

    “The most important election of our lifetimes” is in the rearview mirror. That line will not play again.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  26. Good luck getting vermicelli to stand firm.

    Icy (ac1c68)

  27. Let’s remember that the Democrats also have their disagreements.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  28. 26. “God helps those who help themselves”.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  29. What I am having difficulty processing is the timing.

    Everyone with any brains (and that excludes Obama) knows that Obamacare is going to be a disaster. Democrats are trying to figure out how to make it the GOP’s fault that Obamacare blows up.

    I’m curious if this is the wrong month to be fighting to defund Obamacare. Perhaps it should be allowed to generate more unpopularity for a bit more before doing a big push to dump it rather than defund it.

    SPQR (768505)

  30. Ignorance, apathy, and a complicit media are tough hurdles for Cruz and Co. to overcome. But really, what is there to lose? Caving in, or making empty and idle threats only makes us look weaker. Going for broke may lose the battle in the end, but if it’s the way to earn respect, for godsake, it’s worth it.

    Dana (6178d5)

  31. Alternatively, it may make sense to make a good push to defund Obamacare but ultimately fail to do so – get the CR adopted just prior to an actual shutdown.

    And then campaign on the GOP’s attempt to save America from Democrats’ Obamacare during 2014 as it blows up big in Democrats’ faces.

    SPQR (768505)

  32. What will happen if (most) House Republicans hold firm on defunding, is that the Senate continuing resolution bill will be brought to the floor and will pass with almost all of the Democrats and 20% of the Republicans voting for it.

    Obama is not going to cave on this because he knows the Republicans will take the political heat.

    Sammy Finkelman (67f658)

  33. I think that’s the idea, SPQR #30.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  34. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 9/23/2013 @ 9:46 am

    And then campaign on the GOP’s attempt to save America from Democrats’ Obamacare during 2014 as it blows up big in Democrats’ faces.

    Remember, the slogan was “Repeal and replace.

    There is a mess even without Obamacare, and a half started Obamacare (no pre-existing conditions, limited variability in the cost of induarnce policies, no mandate for noe but maybe one later) is a bigger mess.

    Sammy Finkelman (67f658)

  35. 31. Not exactly my intention.

    30. Re: Timing

    The deadline of a CR is beginning of October, that of the Debt Ceiling the start of November.

    There should be no question of ‘Hard Default’, revenues are at least three times that of debt service requirements.

    But regulation should suffer greatly. EPA, tits up. And the panic of Progressives knowing that the skids of democracy are no longer greased should abound.

    Most, if not all, of those suffering weren’t in our corner anyway, so Dana at 19 should be vindicated. The squeester was nothing at all without WH sabotage, the shutdown will be a “pinprick”.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  36. In this scenario, it seems like either Barry or Ted is going to be unhappy. You can try to bargain with Barry, but telling him to stop is to favor Ted over Barry, and Barry was the one who promised before the ride he would be happy, not Ted, so Barry is the child who should be favored, not Ted.

    But, Ted is perhaps, making Barry unhappy, not to mention making it hard to drive the car and risking an accident.

    So Ted has to stop. But is it really be a good idea just to give in and make Ted happy and Barry unhappy, in spite of the promise? Now, if Ted has a real complaint, maybe the agreement should be revoked because maybe with that knowledge the promise never would have bene made.

    Maybe cancel or cut short the trip?

    Next time, act with more foresight.

    Of course that’s not the scenario.

    Sammy Finkelman (67f658)

  37. 31. Hey, you have to ask the bike owner for forgiveness, first!

    Sammy Finkelman (67f658)

  38. 30. Very possibly Boehner’s ‘plan’. Still, it plays fast and loose with GOP involvement it securing a waiver for DC and sticking Small Business with millions of bankruptcies, freeing Healthcare to competition eradicating mergers, hastening the exit of tens of thousands of providers and decimating the pipeline of new providers, etc.

    All for a possible gain of a few Senators of unknown provenance. The Republican House is effectively the default until the next Census.

    Small potatoes.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  39. 19. No more paychecks for military families, or for anyone. This, of course, can be tolerated for a limited period.

    But what you have here is the House trying to force the Senate to pass a bill. This is unreasonable.

    And remember, just defunding part of Obamacare, leaves a mess.

    Sammy Finkelman (67f658)

  40. There’s also the benefit of forcing incumbents to vote now and on the record on these issues. That will help in 2014 but it also helps now because people in the home districts are deciding whether to primary their incumbents.

    Conservatives need to know who we can count on and primary those we can’t, but the greater value could be in the dissension it will create among Democrats. I think the days of unwavering total support for Obama are over. Some will always be there for him but not all. If Democrats start primarying their red and purple state wafflers with more liberal candidates, that will help the Republicans in 2014.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  41. 10. Comment by Simon Jester (809716) — 9/23/2013 @ 8:34 am

    Because, just as the Whigs were unable to deal with slavery issues, our current Republicans cannot deal with Statism.

    No, what the Republicans cannot deal with is amnesty.

    And when it comes to Obamacare the point has to be made WHAT is wrong with it.

    I don’t even think the Republicans understand what is wrong with it, or what parts are really bad.

    Sammy Finkelman (67f658)

  42. ObamaCare. Which people basically hate anyway.

    They haven’t had a chance to really hate it.

    Sammy Finkelman (67f658)

  43. “But what you have here is the House trying to force the Senate to pass a bill. This is unreasonable.”

    Sammy, gee, it never happens that one house of congress has different policy preferences than another, does it?

    Sheesh.

    SPQR (768505)

  44. Hey, you have to ask the bike owner for forgiveness, first!

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (67f658) — 9/23/2013 @ 10:06 am

    I don’t think their forgiveness is required, Sammy. Only His. Even if it is, they sin if they don’t forgive, and I think they need to do it without even being asked. “… and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” What, did you think the first Christians switched plans without an upgrade?

    nk (875f57)

  45. Ok, and I helped kill my own analogy. If the public doesn’t like it, let’s do it anyway and they can lump it? Go Cruz!

    nk (875f57)

  46. DRJ #18: I do fear that a schism will result in many more people sitting out election (like the foolishness I heard in the last election that BHO would make all the same decisions as MR), and that will result in more uberstatist decisions. My concern last election was with the Supreme Court, and to at least slow this craziness with the deficit.

    “Let it burn” is what old people, or who live in underground shelters say.

    So I do think think studying the Death of the Whig Party is important. It might be that a new, non-statist party could happen. The trick is to NOT make it too narrow, so that enough people could amass to have influence. Splitting into several smaller parties would simply play into the hands of the Progressives. This is because of the cray-cray MSM and our good old Low Information Voter electorate.

    History can be instructive, and I doubt that many people study history anymore.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  47. Why should the Republicans go to the wall to save the public from their own bad choices?

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  48. If people were willing to make those concessions, they would have made them in 2012. But maybe they need to feel the impact of ObamaCare in real life and not just in theory.

    Does ObamaCare allow patients to pay doctors directly. I figure doctors can decide to go totally private pay or stay in the government network, but I wonder if it let’s doctors mix and match paint and ObamaCare patients.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  49. That should be paying patients, not paint patients. Tablets drive me crazy.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  50. History is important and instructive but it has its limits. People tend to base their important decisions based on life experience, not history. Do you invest your money based on historical investment strategies or what you see in the market?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  51. Kevin M,

    Because their bad choices are making it harder for the country to succeed. The longer it takes to change things, the harder it will be for the country and the GOP. It’s hard enough to fix a bad leak but the first thing you do is try to shut off the water so the leak doesn’t get bigger and the flooding can’t do even more damage.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  52. So I do think think studying the Death of the Whig Party is important. It might be that a new, non-statist party could happen. The trick is to NOT make it too narrow…

    And that is the real trick, especially when the people forming it are breaking off of an existing party because it isn’t small-government enough. The tendency in such a break-away is to be purer than the next guy and we don’t need two Libertarian parties.

    To get something different than the Republican Party it needs to be focused on small government and economics and avoid social issues at least to the point where government is involved in policing them.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  53. In fairness, Simon, a smart investor would let history help inform his real life decision. I agree history is important and we don’t understand it tye way we should.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  54. 46. Not that I haven’t earned pushback, but ‘Let it burn’ had a context, one that is with us regardless of what Congress does in the coming month.

    Virtually all of the positive Market movement that greeted QE infinity’s nascent joy has been retraced as the consequences of continued Dollar decline, oil price rise, and ‘Global Reserve Currency’ exit were adduced.

    Moreover, ‘Magical Thinking’ is in the mind of one who as a referent in view. Is it really sane and reasonable to suppose Wall&Broad will leave off their lust for free money, that the entitlement class will embrace education and entrepreneur industry, that pensioners will give up hope when the first checks accrue offering 20 cents on the dollar, that Congresscritters will be more moved by their Country’s plight than their bottom line, etc?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  55. DRJ,

    That was kinda rhetorical, echoing the Chief Justice’s logic. And kinda not.

    It has been my experience that people do not learn from their mistakes by me telling them it’s a mistake. They have to get hit upside the head by a 2×4 a few times first.

    And even then they still don’t like me telling them it was their mistake. They’d rather blame someone else.

    Obamacare cannot succeed. We know that. It will crash and burn by the middle of next year and take the Democrats with it. The ONLY thing that will save them is if they (and PRAVDA) can blame the Republicans for the failure.

    And we’re putting our fingerprints all over the murder weapon.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  56. DRJ wrote:

    “…People tend to base their important decisions based on life experience, not history…”

    I would argue that even that isn’t true for many people, these days. Like the 2012 election.

    Again, the power of the MSM.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  57. Isn’t the GOP already close to ignoring social issues? The social conservative candidates aren’t the nominees and there’s no convincing evidence social conservatives are the voters staying home. Sean Trende says it was poorer, rural Northern white voters who stayed home because the GOP doesn’t speak to their concerns. what Republicans failed at wasn’t being too socially conservative but being too fickly liberal.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  58. What is this crazy tablet thinking? That should be fiscally liberal, not fickly liberal.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  59. IMHO, a far better way to kill Obamacare is for the Congress to force the entire Democrat constituency into the system.

    1. All federal and state government employees must join their state (or federal) exchange, without special subsidy.

    2. All waivers are voided and the power of the executive branch to issue waivers of any kind is repealed.

    If you think they are screaming now, wait until you do that.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  60. In Jan. 2015 will you have the votes to override?

    Isn’t putting off a damaging contest now a pledge to put it off hoping for the best in 2016?

    You who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  61. Don’t you think people voted what they perceive is in their self-interest? In times of great uncertainty, they went with the leader they knew and the one who promised to protect them, as opposed to the one they didn’t know who didn’t seem to care about them.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  62. Isn’t the GOP already close to ignoring social issues?

    Perhaps in action, but not in rhetoric. Near as I can tell, the Conservative problem with Romney was not in what he said, but in their lack of trust in what he said.

    Oddly, though, the liberals and centrists believed him. Romney was the anti-Obama in that people saw their fears in him instead of their hopes.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  63. That would be great, Kevin M, but Obama made sure that won’t happen now and Congress will vote to keep it that way.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  64. Pat; I bet you’re the kind of guy who would believe the Cubs will win another Pennant.

    😛

    It’s like herding 200 some ego centric narcissistic self centered cats. You can’t even get them going in the same direction let alone the same place.

    And that’s not counting the prima donna’s in the Senate.

    Jcw46 (ca1d05)

  65. 19. …The Department of Commerce is shut down? What the heck do they do anyway?

    Comment by The Dana willing to bite the bullet (3e4784) — 9/23/2013 @ 9:10 am

    The same things the departments of education and energy do.

    Throw as many roadblocks in the way of whatever activity or commodity they’re putatively in charge of promoting.

    Steve57 (a256f0)

  66. We have to defund ObamaCare in order to find out how defunding works.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  67. Twead vwewwy softly,

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-23/fed-soaks-118-billion-liquidity-first-fixed-rate-reverse-repo-test

    China has been doing this to some positive effect to mop up foreign investment lucre.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  68. What could possibly go wrong.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/09/Fannie%20Freddie%201%20chart.jpg

    Mebee we should take a gander at Sallie Mae too?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  69. What happens if the govt shuts down? Nothing – the govt doesn’t shut down. It may reduce manning to snow-day levels and delay payment temporarily but nothing really happens.

    IF the Republicans hold together it will be interesting to see how long the Obamacrats can spread the pain of a govt slowdown around before the public sees nothing really happens.

    Better still, let the FED cash in some of those $3.4T worth of bonds/MBS’s it owns. That’s just about a year’s worth of federal spending, isn’t it?

    crazy (d60cb0)

  70. Kevin #59 – that is true for more than just Obamacare ! There has to be care taken that any such law or amendment isn’t written to target Democrats separately … it should, however, be enough to require that everyone be treated the same, no waivers for cronies … and it would be even better if our GOP Representatives and Senators could lead the movement towards all members of Congress being subject to Obamacare *without* any possibility of waiver …

    Oh – an I just learned today that our Pres-ent Obama is actually the Anchurian Candidate elected …

    “The term banana republic was coined by the American writer O. Henry (William Sydney Porter 1862–1910 ) to describe the fictional “Republic of Anchuria (h/t to Mark Steyn) …

    Alastor (e7cb73)

  71. I think once Oct. 1 rolls around and some of the horror stories about sticker shock and enrollment glitches on exchanges start circulating, that Republicans have the potential for some PR pick up on a defunding or delay strategy if they continue standing firm.

    If the Senate sends the bill back with the funding added back in by amendment, the House has to demagogue the hell out of it just like democrats. Say they are doing what the American public wants them to do, passing a bill to continue the funding and functioning of the government, just without the deeply unpopular Obamacare, which must be discussed separately. They have to pivot to the points they want to talk about rather than what any interviewer wants to talk about, the bill was sold based on lies, written behind closed closed doors, passed only with bribes by a single party, already exceeded its cost estimates, unpopular from the start and gotten increasingly unpopular. Why aren’t Democrats and the president listening to their constituents?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  72. Soon-to-be-candidate Obama, then an Illinois senator, was thinking about turning down an invitation to speak at a big health care conference sponsored by the progressive group Families USA [in January 2007], when two aides, Robert Gibbs and Jon Favreau, hit on an idea that would make him appear more prepared and committed than he actually was at the moment.

    Why not just announce his intention to pass universal health care by the end of his first term?…

    “We needed something to say,” recalled one of the advisers involved in the discussion. “I can’t tell you how little thought was given to that thought other than it sounded good. So they just kind of hatched it on their own. It just happened. It wasn’t like a deep strategic conversation.”…

    http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=3D54391A-A0FE-4626-85AD-9AB63471E8E2

    Obama had no clue about healthcare policy. None. He just made this crap up as a bumper sticker slogan. And Democrats thought that made him a freakin’ genius.

    Worst President in modern history.

    SPQR (1ec81f)

  73. Simon,

    I’ve thought about the important things you’ve said and it seems to me the goal is for people to take a more informed, longer-term view of what is best for them and the country. Isn’t that what understanding history gives us?

    That’s why schools and education are so important. Thus, while I agree the media is a big part of Democratic control, it’s the education system that has really let us down. Vouchers and home schooling help but they take time.

    That’s why it’s important for GOP leaders to conduct teachable moments aimed directly at the electorate, so we can explain why our way works better. Cruz is engaging in a teachable moment. Town halls are teachable moments and, in election years, very GOP debate is a teachable moment. I’d like to see the GOP be more aggressive about the general election debates so they provide more opportunities for teachable moments.

    And I’m sure there are other ways to get the message out online. But we need leaders who are willing and able to teach our message. I think Cruz can, and Paul, Lee, Jindal, Walker, and to a lesser extent Christie. That’s so many more than we had in the past 2 elections. Our job is to give them forums.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  74. I have this vision, dream if you will, as the Shutdown enters the last weeks of Jan., 2014, the WH family is breaking up furniture to toss on the hearth, huddled in Vera Wang comforters, with Mrs. Robinson ladling the leavings over Bo in the pot.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  75. Why does Politico feel it can publish this devastating story about Obama now? What’s happening in Washington that makes this possible?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  76. DRJ #61: you are wiser and surely better looking than I am. But I recommend you ask young people (or even not young people) what Obama policies made them want to re-elect him.

    Mind you, Obama policies. Make them be specific.

    I hate to disagree with you. But folks weren’t thinking at all. They were reacting. And mostly, in my opinion, about image and seeming cool.

    I know plenty of folks with PhDs who cannot answer my question.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  77. Oh, and I completely agree about #74, DRJ.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  78. DRJ, Obama is a lame duck. He lamed himself with the incompetent handling of Syria.

    Lame ducks get eaten up by the coyotes.

    SPQR (1ec81f)

  79. And so long as we are dreaming, I dream of a day where the only people who are permitted to vote actually know “School House Rocks” level information about government. Much less than we require of folks who would like to become citizens.

    Sort of like, how a bill becomes law. The name of their Senators and Representative. The Secretary of State. I hate to tell you how few smart and privileged young people I know cannot answer this question. But they sure did “Rock the Vote,” didn’t they? The Ministry of Truth!

    Sure, it gets me called “racist,” but that is only because the Democrats messed up this valuable idea during Jim Crow.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  80. Simon Jester, you mean when trolls like Tladoc don’t invent unconstitutional versions of the USPS and don’t pretend that different votes on different versions of legislative text are votes on the same bill?

    SPQR (1ec81f)

  81. Does ObamaCare allow patients to pay doctors directly.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 9/23/2013 @ 10:27 am

    One can, but one would still have to pay insurance: direct, through coverage, or through penalty for not having insurance. It is a double hit.

    Pons Asinorum (8ce71a)

  82. 66. Comment by Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 9/23/2013 @ 11:10 am

    We have to defund ObamaCare in order to find out how defunding works.

    So far, that’s the way it looks.

    Sammy Finkelman (70f9a1)

  83. Hey, you have to ask the bike owner for forgiveness, first!

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 9/23/2013 @ 10:18 am

    I don’t think their forgiveness is required, Sammy. Only His. Even if it is, they sin if they don’t forgive, 777]

    and I think they need to do it without even being asked. “… and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” What, did you think the first Christians switched plans without an upgrade?

    Sammy Finkelman (70f9a1)

  84. Pons,

    Thanks for responding but I wasn’t very clear. I was thinking more about doctors than patients. If doctors choose to accept private pay patients, does that prevent them from participating in all or some parts of ObamaCare?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  85. SPQR,

    But he’s been a lame duck for almost a year. Maybe the drumbeat of bad stories made it easier for the media to take its shots, but this is a big shot that undermines more than Obama’s leadership or Administration. It undermines Obama’s decision-making, and that’s sacrosanct with Drmocrats and the media.

    I could be wrong but I doubt Politico only learned about this story recently, but something made it run with it now. Was it Syria or the cumulative scandals that made things change? Or is it something happening now?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  86. I hit enter accidentally. Actually even Christians understand it is necessary to ask people they have wronged for forgiveness.

    It is included in the 12-step program.

    Sammy Finkelman (70f9a1)

  87. Simon,

    I agree with you about young people but I’ve long given up on them. They were never natural GOP voters and, with our education system, they won’t be for decades.

    Ironically, the horrible economy and unemployment rate could change some minds but I still don’t want young voters to be the focus of GOP ideology. We’ve always made our children’s futures a big issue but it doesn’t pay to make their desires an issue. Young people are simply too focused on instant gratification to ever see the value of GOP principles.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  88. But there are many other Democratic constituencies I think we can and should speak to.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  89. Lois Lerner has retired, probably with a nice exit package.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  90. The 12-step program is not Christianity. Maybe Billianity? And you are not right about that, either. It is not enough to ask for forgiveness, you have to make amends (unless the amends would do greater harm).

    And if you want to get to the nitty-gritty of forgiveness in Christianity, who forgave the Good Thief? Or any of the other sinners, living and dead, Christ redeemed.

    nk (875f57)

  91. Thanks for responding but I wasn’t very clear. I was thinking more about doctors than patients. If doctors choose to accept private pay patients, does that prevent them from participating in all or some parts of ObamaCare?

    @ 85 Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 9/23/2013 @ 11:58 am

    You were clear DRJ, I just did not know the answer to that part of the question — should have confessed my ignorance up front (heh). I am curious about that too.

    Pons Asinorum (8ce71a)

  92. DRJ, there is a possibility that some Democrats are starting to prep a retreat from Obamacare, burn Obama on the pyre and run.

    But I can’t really see it. Democrats are going to be standing on the last awash deck of the Obamacare Titanic screaming “Its Bush’s fault!” as it slips beneath the waves.

    SPQR (1ec81f)

  93. It’s time for them to decide whether they want to keep a seat that is becoming meaningless or risk losing a seat that matters.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  94. 13. …And, I’m not alone, I’m just on the leading edge of a monster wave of angry adult voters who’ll be waking up to an extremely ugly and intimately personal medical care disaster as ObamaCare is revealed for the fraudulent bait-n-switch scam it is and always was.

    Comment by ropelight (880b0e) — 9/23/2013 @ 8:54 am

    No, you’re not alone. All sorts of reporting in the MFM over the weekend and today points to a disaster in the making.

    There are six insurance companies in the California exchange (really only four as AARP offers rebranded Aetna insurance, one of the other five companies listed on the exchange, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield are both subsidiaries of Wellpoint).

    One of the five is Health Net, which undoubtedly the majority of individual buyers will prefer because it is $100 cheaper than it’s closest competitor among the other four companies.

    And it won’t be accepted by the majority of physicians and hospitals in Kali. One number that sticks in my head is that only 204 primary care physicians in San Diego are in Health Net’s network. The article didn’t say if that was for the city or the entire county. Either way, it’s a disaster. The figures cited for Los Angeles were equally bleak.

    Washington state was worse. According to the WaPo there is exactly one company in the state exchange. And it doesn’t offer coverage throughout the state, just in certain areas.

    There is only one company in New Hampshire’s exchange, and it excludes 10 of 26 hospitals in the state from its network.

    Essentially, this is the insurance industry’s way of coping with being forced to offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Yes, they have to accept you if you have a chronic condition. But they won’t offer the kind of care in your network that will treat it.

    Even Obamacare proponents believe the majority of people buying insurance on the exchanges will be lower to mid income individuals and families, and that price will be the driving factor behind their health insurance buying decisions. Essentially they’ll be paying for Medicaid. Which isn’t an exaggeration. The lower cost options promise to reimburse doctors at below the rate for Medicaid. As one health care professional observed in one of the articles, certainly below the cost of staying in business.

    Like you, ropelight, millions of Americans are days away from finding out that they’ll be paying lots of money for an essentially useless product. And they are going to be angry.

    Steve57 (a256f0)

  95. Heh!

    OT, but why would Egypt ban a moderate Islamic organization? James Clapper and Hillary Clinton, please answer your phones:

    Egypt has kicked out the Muslim Brotherhood. They’re banned from the country. Today, an Egyptian Court ruled that all activities of the Islamic radicals are now illegal, and ordered the government to seize all Muslim Brotherhood funds and assets.

    – See more at: http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/#sthash.RW3y8hYi.dpuf

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  96. Simon,

    I don’t want to sound too old. We should make an effort with every constituency. I haven’t given up on talking to young people and trying to reach them, only in counting on their votes in the short-term.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  97. The thing I keep coming back to is where did the doctors come from? The doctors for the 40 million uninsured Americans Obamacare was initially promised to cover.

    Where are these hundreds of thousands of doctors, nurses, care facilities, etc?

    No where.

    There’s a lot of money flowing around, but I don’t see any more actual product. Somebody’s making out nicely here.

    Dustin (303dca)

  98. DRJ, there are cracks among the young ones. I have seen two of them say to me that they don’t understand why it is okay to attack Syria and was bad to attack Iraq.

    There is one thing that young people utterly despise. It’s hypocrisy. And condescending to them, of course. It reminds them of “Daddy” and that is the important issue.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  99. SPQR,

    I agree. Even I can’t be so optimistic as to think many Democrats are preparing to cave and, even if some were, I’d guess Politico would be circling the wagons instead of writing stories like this.

    Maybe this one fell into Politico’s lap and the editors couldn’t resist, but this feels different to me. It feels like disillusionment.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  100. That’s encouraging, Simon.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  101. SPQR,

    This feels like David Brooks after seeing Obama in Mom jeans instead of creased pants.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  102. I should have been more clear about the insurers listed on the kali exchange. There are six listed:

    AARP
    Aetna
    Anthem Blue Cross
    Blue Shield of California
    Health Net
    Kaiser Permanente

    The AARP link sends you to the Aetna site, and the Blue Shield of California link sends you to the Anthem Blue Cross site. So you really only have four options.

    Whether that’s how it’s supposed to work or it’s just one of the multitudinous programming errors I don’t know. The AARP link makes sense, since it states AARP branded insurance policies are insured by Aetna. I don’t know how Blue Cross and Blue Shield are incorporated in kali. It seems as two separate companies, so perhaps those links should send you to separate sites. They’re really not two separate companies, but I had the confusing habit in my previous comment of treating as if they were sometimes, but not at other times.

    Steve57 (a256f0)

  103. Blue Cross/Blue Shield ditched non-profit status to become Anthem some time ago.

    SPQR (1ec81f)

  104. “Essentially, this is the insurance industry’s way of coping with being forced to offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.”

    Steve57 – IOW a rational response to an individual market in which they are forced to accept all comers, where their loss ratio is set at a minimum by regulators and any deviations on the low side must be refunded to customers. The liberal myth that insurers were dying to get this business somehow still exists. Sure, business love excessive regulation!

    The off-exchange group health insurance market, at least for larger companies who don’t self-insure, does attract competition, because insurers can underwrite the employee population.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  105. Speaking of Ted Cruz, and Teh Narrative™, I found this in a piece from Gentleman’s Quarterly attacking Cruz:

    “Little more than a month after Cruz was sworn in, Senator Barbara Boxer, a Democrat from California, likened him to Joe McCarthy for his conduct during Chuck Hagel’s confirmation for secretary of defense. Without presenting a shred of evidence, Cruz insinuated that Hagel, a fellow Republican, was on the take from America’s enemies. Because Hagel had declined to reveal the source of a $200,000 payment, Cruz suggested, how do we know it didn’t come from the North Korean government? Or Saudi Arabia’s? Even South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, also a Republican, called Cruz’s line of inquiry “out of bounds.” ”

    I’m all for civility, but not unless it applies to ALL sides. Becasue I seem to remember a certain Senate Majority Leader, during a Presidential election, accusing someone—groundlessly—of not paying taxes. Over and over again. And no one in the MSM cried “foul” on that. Nor has anyone hammered Reid to apologize for that level of character assassination. Nothing. Down the memory hole.

    This is what I mean. The MSM pushes their narrative, and holds people it doesn’t like to standards it does not apply to itself. Hammer, hammer, hammer. I recommend that folks do what I did, go the GQ article and flood the author with questions about this. You can find the author and the article here:

    http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201310/ted-cruz-republican-senator-october-2013?mbid=gqpr

    Right?

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  106. Steve (#103)

    This will be news to Aetna, which announced its exit from the California individual market a couple months ago. I think that takes AARP with them. So really you only have Kaiser, Blue Shield, Anthem Blue Cross (NOT the same as Blue Shield) and HealthNet. There will also be some new players entering the market: Goniff Health, LuthorCorp, etc.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  107. 98. The thing I keep coming back to is where did the doctors come from? The doctors for the 40 million uninsured Americans Obamacare was initially promised to cover.

    Where are these hundreds of thousands of doctors, nurses, care facilities, etc?

    No where.

    There’s a lot of money flowing around, but I don’t see any more actual product. Somebody’s making out nicely here.

    Comment by Dustin (303dca) — 9/23/2013 @ 12:35 pm

    When I moved to Dallas I discovered the frontage road system of entrances and exits to the freeways had to have been designed by a Chimpanzee.

    Whoever that Chimp was, that Chimp was a genius compared to the yayhoos designing this health insurance boondoggle.

    One state insurance department official in one of the articles I read expressed shock that patients might have less access to health care despite expanded health insurance coverage.

    Hello! They’ll have less access to health care precisely because of expanded insurance coverage. Nationwide there was already a doctor shortage before Obamacare. Cover additional millions of people and the shortage grows worse.

    But basic principles of supply and demand are beyond these Obamacare enthusiasts.

    In the LAT article about narrow networks in kali limiting patient access, a kali official who has something to do with the exchanges said they’ll be monitoring that issue. And if people who enroll in an insurers plan have trouble with access, they’ll prohibit the insurer from enrolling any more people.

    Genius! Sheer genius! If the insurers ration doctors and hospitals too greatly, the state of kali will start rationing insurance. It will bar people from purchasing the only type of insurance they can likely afford.

    So you’ve hit on the basic flaw in Obamacare, Dustin. It isn’t about providing health care. No thought was given to that. From Obama on down, the only thought was about making people pay one way or another for a service they can’t get.

    As Mark Steyn observed, government health care is about government. Not health care.

    Steve57 (a256f0)

  108. BlueCross-BlueShield is an umbrella trade organization oproviding some common services to any number of independent state BC/BS companies.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  109. When I moved to Dallas I discovered the frontage road system of entrances and exits to the freeways had to have been designed by a Chimpanzee.

    I found that, in Houston, one is not strictly constrained by the official entrances and exits.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  110. It will bar people from purchasing the only type of insurance they can likely afford.

    Or legally able to buy.

    Actually, since most of these companies also have employer-based plans and they won’t dare cut those networks back, I don’t see this as much of a real issue. The state will just require the networks be common to both types of plans.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  111. Steve57 – Frontage roads are named after a little recognized French Canadian explorer named Pierre Frontage. There are many streets named after him here in Illinois and the Midwest, but I had not realized his exploits took him as far south as Texas. He is a very underappreciated figure in this nation’s development or so I try to convince my younger scouts as we travel to various campsites in the region.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  112. Kevin, those companies have been cutting those networks back at the insistence of their corporate clients.

    Narrow Network HMOs: A Growing Way CFOs Can Cut Health Costs

    The offering of more-limited provider choices gains popularity as a corporate alternative to PPOs.

    – See more at: http://www.cfoworld.com/health-care/32579/narrow-network-hmos-growing-way-cfos-can-cut-health-costs#sthash.A1ErkFHv.dpuf

    As far as states requiring insurers to offer the same networks on the individual exchanges as they offer through employers, they would have done that already if there was any way to do that. But not even the federal government can force companies to operate at a loss (yet), let alone the states.

    There is no way those companies can do that without pricing those policies out of reach. If state regulators insist on holding premiums down, then these narrow networks are what you get. The states have been forced to suck it up and accept it. If the states try to monkey around with the networks they offer, then the other companies will simply do what Cigna and other insurers did in kali. They simply won’t play in the individual exchanges. They’ll only offer employer-based insurance.

    We’ll see, but I think this is going to be a bigger issue than you believe. Especially because not only will millions of people lose their insurance through their employers outright, of those who still have the chance to get insurance through their employer, many of those will not be offered insurance for their families. Just for the employee. So their families will be forced onto the individual exchanges.

    Steve57 (a256f0)

  113. DRJ, regarding young people…this is what we must battle.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwhPVeTjq1U

    Sorry, Dr. K., that these are USC students.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  114. I know, Simon. It’s even in Texas. But at least I can take some (sarcastic) comfort in knowing that Politico hasn’t entirely given up on Obama.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  115. I bet you’re a blast on camping trips, daley.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  116. 112. LOL. Your rubbing shoulders with the Jesuits is paying off.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  117. It’s my understanding that Aetna decided to no longer offer individual policies, but it will offer employer-based policies. As a result, members of big groups that offered individual Aetna policies will lose their coverage in the next 3-9 months.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  118. If the defunding bill gets through the Senate without being stripped, and Barry VETO’s it, they should pass another CR with the funding, but stripping out all of the exemptions and exclusions granted by HSS/OMB/EO, and dare Barry to “Veto This!”
    Let the American People have their OPEN Government, and their PPACA, Good & Hard.
    You union members can thank me later.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  119. No, what the House should do is not pass a continuing resolution.

    No more continuing resolutions.

    Pass a full budget and then recess.

    SPQR (768505)

  120. Plan-B!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  121. Dallas and Houston “Frontage” Roads…..
    For someone who grew up with the growth of freeways in SoCal, let me assure you that I found Houston absolutely incomprehensible sans Ms. Garmin.
    If Dallas has the same level of confusion, I can only say that at least the TX DoT is consistent.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  122. DRJ – You have to spin the yarns as far as you can.

    The man eating Lake Michigan sharks has gotten some of them frightened to go in the water.

    The are also encouraging me to work up the courage to talk about my multiple alien abductions because they believe it will help me to share the experiences.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  123. gg – Silent Jesuit retreat coming up next month.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  124. 122. …If Dallas has the same level of confusion, I can only say that at least the TX DoT is consistent.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 9/23/2013 @ 2:13 pm

    The fun never ends. What was a “go straight only” lane at the last light becomes a “left turn only” lane at the next light. If you want to keep going straight you have to get over to what was formerly the right turn lane. So drivers constantly have to change lanes on the frontage roads just to keep going in the same direction.

    And the combined entrances/exits from the frontage roads to the freeways only have a broken white line for something like 5 car lengths. Or room for one semi. I especially enjoy the fiasco that breaks every rush hour out northbound 75 central at the George Bush turnpike. If you want to get off 75 at 15th Street in Plano you have to compete with thousands of cars trying to get on 75 from the turnpike for that impossibly short bit of real estate.

    Even if you don’t want to get off 75 at that exit you will have to sit and watch as the two sides battle it out.

    Thanks to the accident-causing qualities of the frontage road system in Dallas my 27 mile commute can take up to 3 hours.

    Steve57 (a256f0)

  125. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention how the freeway exits dump out onto the left lane of the frontage road something like 10 car lengths from the light. And some cross streets have entrances to the frontage road on the right about the same distance from the light.

    So in addition to just having to change lanes just to keep going straight, you have to compete with all the cars getting off the freeway that have to cut across 4 or 5 lines in about 10 car lengths so they can turn right at the light, as well as all the cars from the cross street trying to cut across those same lanes so they can turn left.

    Good times.

    Steve57 (a256f0)

  126. 5- Well said, Mr. Feets.

    mg (31009b)

  127. Steve, that sounds exactly like what I found in Houston….
    completely incomprehensible how any competent traffic engineer could design such a mess unless the whole point was to discourage the use of motor vehicles, which is the policy of most Urban Planners these days who are members of the Smart Growth Community.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  128. 123–

    daleyrocks the practical joker, at least if someone finds your lifeless body at a remote camping site with a stake through your heart we will all know why.

    elissa (8fed7c)

  129. But what you have here is the House trying to force the Senate to pass a bill. This is unreasonable.

    What’s unreasonable about it. Here, we’ve passed a bill that funds the government. All of its essential functions, and almost all of its nonessential functions too. Everything but 0bamacare. Now it’s up to you; pass it or not, as you please, but if you don’t you’re shutting down the government. Ditto to the President: sign it or not, but if you don’t you’re shutting down the government. Eat your dinner or not, but this is all you’re getting, so if you don’t eat it you’ll go to bed hungry. Sounds like the height of reason to me.

    Milhouse (82b1e0)

  130. elissa @129 – That’s another whole set of stories.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  131. If the Senate sends the bill back with the funding added back in by amendment, the House has to demagogue the hell out of it just like democrats. Say they are doing what the American public wants them to do, passing a bill to continue the funding and functioning of the government, just without the deeply unpopular Obamacare, which must be discussed separately.

    Exactly.

    Milhouse (82b1e0)

  132. And so long as we are dreaming, I dream of a day where the only people who are permitted to vote actually know “School House Rocks” level information about government. Much less than we require of folks who would like to become citizens.

    Sort of like, how a bill becomes law. The name of their Senators and Representative. The Secretary of State.

    This. Or how about just having to name at least two candidates for any position on the ballot, and state one difference between them. Even if this is scored extremely liberally, it will still eliminate a significant number of morons who have no business voting.

    But I like Heinlein’s idea of having to solve a randomly generated quadratic equation before the voting machine will engage. Have free classes teaching people how to do it, in all languages; let people take the class as often as they like, but anyone incapable of learning how should not be allowed to vote.

    Milhouse (82b1e0)

  133. 10 – Good speech, Simon Jester.

    mg (31009b)


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