Patterico's Pontifications

2/6/2014

Another Way ObamaCare Will Cost Billions: The “Risk Corridor”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:39 am

Forbes has an article titled Obamacare ‘Bailout’ For One Insurer Will Cost Up To $450 Million In 2014:

There’s been a lot of discussion about whether the risk adjustment tools embedded in ObamaCare amount to a bailout for the insurance companies, or are a reasonable feature of the law. There’s been far less information about how much money the insurers stand to gain from these measures, to offset their expected losses.

Now we have some hard numbers. Humana announced that it expects to tap the three risk adjustment mechanisms in ObamaCare for between $250 and $450 million in 2014. This amounts to about 25 percent of the insurer’s expected exchange revenue. This money is needed to offset losses that the insurer will take as a result of slower enrollment in its ObamaCare plans, and a skewed risk pool that weighs more heavily toward older and less healthy members than it originally budgeted.

More than half of the money will come from the $25 billion reinsurance pool that ObamaCare provides (collected through a tax on employer-sponsored health plans). The other half will come mostly from the risk corridors. Humana is expected to book the money as revenue to offset shortfalls between what it collects in exchange premiums and pays out in medical claims.

That’s interesting, but what does it mean for the market as a whole? I asked the author of the article what Humana’s market share is, and got no response as of yet. When I try to research Humana’s share of the total market I get numbers ranging from 3.14% (.pdf) to 4.56%.

By my calculations, if the share is 4.56%, then the total market would be in for a bailout of just shy of $10 billion. If Humana’s share is 3.14%, the total market would be in for a bailout of, let’s see here, carry the one . . . about $14 billion. In 2014.

It’s not the biggest number ever in terms of the overall federal budget, but it’s just another way that we keep digging ourselves into a hole. If the number remains constant, that’s another $140 billion spent over 10 years. Add this problem to the problem of losing 2.5 million jobs over ten years, all the lost tax revenue that entails, and all the other budget problems that come with a gradual government takeover of health care, and you start to see the problem.

A colleague of mine wondered aloud recently: why would insurance companies have agreed to ObamaCare when there was a chance that not enough healthy people would sign up to make it worthwhile for them to insure people with pre-existing conditions? The answer, of course, is the risk corridors: essentially, if the scheme costs insurance companies money, the feds bail them out with our tax dollars. In this sense, it’s like the bank bailouts: heads they win, tails they win. They get a chance at selling more policies, but if the deal goes sour, they still break even. The only folks who don’t break even are the people filing the 1040s.

So if you thought that the era of bailouts was over, you thought wrong. Now we’re starting to get a small sense of just how bad it will be.

141 Responses to “Another Way ObamaCare Will Cost Billions: The “Risk Corridor””

  1. Our esteemed host asked:

    A colleague of mine wondered aloud recently: why would insurance companies have agreed to ObamaCare when there was a chance that not enough healthy people would sign up to make it worthwhile for them to insure people with pre-existing conditions?

    It’s simple: it was how they would stay in business!

    If the private insurance scheme doesn’t work, we’ll eventually wind up with single-payer, which means that the health insurance companies will have to contract to companies which offer only supplemental insurance.

    But the insurance companies saw a big windfall: millions of new customers, without any need to reduce prices to compete for them. They were taking a gamble that they’d do even better, before they knew what the regulations would be, but for Obaminablecare not to be a big win for them, they have to have absolutely crappy management.

    The Dana who does not play Flo in the Pregressive Insurance ads (3e4784)

  2. well, since nobody’s filing 1040′s anymore, given the booming economy, what’s the problem?

    8-)

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  3. In effect, the Democrats held a gun to their heads and said, “Play along with us, if you want to make money.” Make money, or a horse head on your bed; gee, that’s a real choice!

    Where the insurance companies did really well was to keep the “public option” out of the bill. That insured — pun intended — that all of the new customers would be their customers.

    The Democrats, ignorant as always about economics, thought that the insurance companies would have to compete for all of the new customers, but got it wrong. Competition in business involves potential customers who have the option not to buy at all, and Obumblecare removed that choice. With that, the insurance companies can all live with current market share, and still be guaranteed a rising number of customers, with no need to cut prices. That means more revenues, and, if they can work it right — which is where risk assessment enters — make more money.

    The well-insured Dana (3e4784)

  4. Stop voting these clowns in, please! DRJ and I, as well as all the other independants are waiting for what is left of the R party to clean its own house. I am not ready for a new party.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  5. Sorry, DRJ, i should not speak for you – apologies.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  6. Snicker. Insurance companies insure risks, the first one their own.

    I’ll grant you I did not see this particular revenue stream to the insurance industry, but I knew there were going to be many ways the insurance companies were going to go on making money.

    nk (dbc370)

  7. By my calculations, if the share is 4.56%, then the total market would be in for a bailout of just shy of $10 billion.

    That’s the market share of ALL health insurance, not the market share of Obamacare (healthcare.gov and the state and D.C. exchanges)

    I wouldn’t know if Medicaid and Medicare are incluided in the “market.” It is also not clear if Humana’s percentage of Obamacare is about the same as its percentage of all health insurance.

    If, let us say, Humana will get $400 million, and that’s 5%, we come up to somewhere like $20 billion and half of that is $10 billion.

    Forbes says $25 billion from the reinsurance pool will cover “more than half” of the loss, and the risk corridor will supply the rest. The rest, therefore, could be in the range of $15 to $20 billion. If $25 billion is two thirds, then the rest is about $12.5 billion. This is around 2% of the projected deficit.

    Sammy Finkelman (dfe091)

  8. 5. “Bring out yer dead! Bring out yer DEAD!!!”

    Sarcasm unnecessary and unintended.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  9. Comment by The well-insured Dana (3e4784) — 2/6/2014 @ 7:55 am

    Competition in business involves potential customers who have the option not to buy at all, and Obumblecare removed that choice.

    Well, actually it didn’t, and Chief Justice Roberts made that clear.

    That helped insure that Obamacare (all policies listed on healthcare.gov and the state and D.C. exchanges) would lose money.

    But Obamacare acted like a great advertising campaign, and people who got discounted prices did buy, although mainly people who had lost their old insurance.

    A lot of people were steered into Medicaid, which will create its own problems. Wait till they get a bill!! Coming in 2015.

    Sammy Finkelman (dfe091)

  10. 9. Healthcare comprises roughly 16% of 2013 GDP, now made more expensive even tho no goods or services increase.

    I’ll wait for participants to show their work, mmK?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  11. 8. The Freelancers Union also got an exemption from New York State to be allowed to sell policies at group rates to individuals.

    http://nypost.com/2013/10/24/freelancers-union-rejects-obamacare/

    Officials estimated a switch to ObamaCare would force it to raise premiums by $178 a month per member, or $1,936 a year.

    Earlier this year, the Freelancers persuaded the state Legislature and Gov. Cuomo to approve a law granting the group a waiver from enrolling in the new national health-insurance program.

    As a result, the union isn’t obligated to take anyone who applies for its insurance coverage and doesn’t have to pay a 3 percent tax on its plan.

    The law — which treats the organization as a self-insured small group in what was called a demonstration project — was sponsored by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan).

    Sammy Finkelman (dfe091)

  12. Here’s a comparison from a prior thread:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/02/Q1%202014%20govt%20outlays.jpg

    To be sure 404care is more efficient(sic) than the private sector because there is no verification, no fraud protections, all decisions are final and not subject to appeal, there is no re-insurance because you are on the hook for cost plus charges, and the overhead doesn’t include paying stockholders, but last and most important it only pays 60% of schedule.

    All that being the case, it only covered about 1/5 of the inmates, now somewhat fewer.

    Leaving out the 30 million, who were covered by tax dollars and paying customers, in ER rooms–the supposed target of 404care–that means the insurance industry covered roughly 200 Million plus.

    We leave the VA as a rounding error.

    I’ll bet the bill to pay for 10% of GDP leaves the Health Insurance market in 2013 north of $600 Billion without looking it up.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  13. “With that, the insurance companies can all live with current market share, and still be guaranteed a rising number of customers, with no need to cut prices. That means more revenues, and, if they can work it right — which is where risk assessment enters — make more money.”

    The well-insured Dana – The argument that insurers are guaranteed a larger number of customers and thus assured of making more money was exactly what progressives used to argue in favor of the public option. BONANZA!

    In effect Obamacare was asking insurers to insure a blind pool of risk, with no individual underwriting, no policy exclusions, and expanded terms of coverage. They were also threatening to veto any rate increases they viewed as excessive and insurers needed government approval for their policies to be offered on exchanges, so the ability to utilize traditional risk assessment tool went out the window.

    Plus the risk adjustment mechanisms described in Patterico’s post only compensate Humana for a portion of losses they expect to incur on exchange policies – It is not a dollar for dollar bailout. Which means they are expecting to lose more than 25 cents on each exchange policy written because they have to each a chunk of the losses themselves.

    Conversely, the insurer loses if it makes too much money, more than 3 cents per policy, because it has to pay the government the excess and will get hammered to reduce prices. BONANZA!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  14. Sooner or later these $14 billion dollar things start to add up to real money. :/

    Dustin (303dca)

  15. I get the feeling that, just as our”gvmnt” doesn’t care that the country is in the hole, the ins execs won’t care that the company will be in the hole. “Everyone” will still get all (and more) they ever wanted from the taxpayers. I guess what has happened is that The “Obama” agreement was to extend gov’s sense of stewardship to the ins cos.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  16. “Sooner or later these $14 billion dollar things start to add up to real money.” :/

    Dustin – Yes they do. More hidden taxes in the bill nobody read.

    Get rid of these mechanisms going forward and prices will increase higher and faster than they would otherwise would with them, potentially creating more of a voter backlash against Obamacare, which would be nice in advance of November elections.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  17. What happens when Obamacare is repealed? Then, instead of current stories of all these workers who have had their finances and healthcare badly mangled by the “affordable” care act, we will have a huge number of stories about poor people who have lost their “entitled” healthcare. Won’t be long before a few of them die of something. They will likely vote for their “right” to be restored.

    Will the GOP withstand the accusation it doesn’t care about these people, or will it reach some diluted compromise that turns into an endlessly worsening problem, kicked down the road somehow?

    I hope someone much, much smarter than me has a solution that is realistic, but I think most in the politics business are focused on their personal ambition and how the next election can help them. We have very few really big thinkers, perhaps because thinking about the overall trends of rather like thinking about a horrible trainwreck.

    Oh well. I hear drinking is a good hobby.

    Dustin (303dca)

  18. A billion here, a million there…pretty soon you’re talking real money.

    creeper (90f20c)

  19. All promises about Obamacare –> lies.
    All estimates of cost “savings” –> fraud

    Huge damage to the US economy.

    What does it take for the US electorate to realize that they gave power to bumbling imbeciles?

    SPQR (2939bb)

  20. “What happens when Obamacare is repealed?”

    Dustin – I keep getting told there are no alternatives so it will probably be ARMAGEDDON!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  21. If you want to know why the insurance companies went along with this, just remember how Sebelius threatened Humana for advising its Medicare Advantage customers to oppose Obama’s proposed changes to that program.

    Obama’s Ministry of Truth sprang into action. Which is how President “I’m the only thing between you and the pitchforks” Obama rolls. How dare Humana tell its subscribers that Obama’s changes to that program would mean lower quality care form them. The Ministry of Truth stamps out truth where ever it sees it, by threatening whoever speaks it.

    Recall the recent rule proposed (and possibly implemented by now) that “cooperation” with Obama’s illegal alterations to the law, such as allowing people to continue their pre-Obamacare non-compliant policies, would be a factor in deciding which insurance companies get to participate in the exchanges in 2015.

    Or, if you want a non-insurance industry example, look at the allegations the S&P CEO is making in court. That Geithner called and threatened unspecified retribution for its credit downgrade. And that this fraud case is that retribution.

    It wouldn’t be the first time for this administration.

    Not that I have much sympathy for the insurance companies. They’ve been cutting deals with the government in exchange for what amounts to a captive customer base since at least the 1930s. They were perfectly happy to be rent-seekers. But when you make a deal with the mafia, one day you’ll wake up to find the mafia has taken over your business and you’re getting shoved out.

    I have little sympathy for the Catholic Church for the same reason; they’ve been advocating redistributive social and economic justice as a substitute for charity for decades. Now they’re shocked to discover that they’re a target of the same compulsion they were happy to live with when it was directed at others.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  22. Dustin asked:

    What happens when Obamacare is repealed? Then, instead of current stories of all these workers who have had their finances and healthcare badly mangled by the “affordable” care act, we will have a huge number of stories about poor people who have lost their “entitled” healthcare. Won’t be long before a few of them die of something. They will likely vote for their “right” to be restored.

    Obaminablecare was never really meant to work, and a lot of the Democrats want it to fail. The idea is that once the principle that the federal government is ultimately responsible for seeing to it that the individual has health care coverage is established, if the PP&ACA fails, the left will say, “See, we tried it the ‘conservative’ way, using the private insurance system, and it didn’t work, so single-payer is the only thing left.” The option of returning to 2008, where health care is not guaranteed, will be off the table.

    The sadly realistic Dana (3e4784)

  23. “They’ve been cutting deals with the government in exchange for what amounts to a captive customer base since at least the 1930s.”

    Steve57 – What deals are you talking about?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  24. Comment by The sadly realistic Dana (3e4784) — 2/6/2014 @ 12:04 pm

    Obaminablecare was never really meant to work,

    It was meant to pass Congress, without, however getting any Republican votes.

    It was meant to be certified by the Congressional Budget Office as yielding a net reduction in the federal deficit, without, howeverm that having to be realistic.

    But, although at an earlier time, Barack Obama spoke of gradually getting to single payer, it wasn’tdesigned to fsail for that reason.

    The option of returning to 2008, where health care is not guaranteed, will be off the table.

    It is, but so is single payer, as any kind of a workable solution.

    Sammy Finkelman (dfe091)

  25. Dustin – I keep getting told there are no alternatives so it will probably be ARMAGEDDON!

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/6/2014 @ 11:48 am

    You and I both know that if the federal government just completely ignored healthcare we would be fine. We don’t really need these politicians bothering with this issue in the first place. In the information age I don’t even really need more than basic enforcement of contracts and safety (like practices for packaging medicine).

    Unfortunately this kind of sense is seen as the same as utter anarchy from the perspective of 99% of DC.

    Dustin (303dca)

  26. I agree the Dems wanted it to fail so they could implement their holy grail of single payer. I agree they wanted to make the corporations quit providing insurance to their employees as a step in that direction. That’s all really no secret. But I do not believe they had any idea it would be so badly bungled from the get go that from now on most sentient Americans will not want the government anywhere near their doctors and healthcare choices. I’m with Dustin in that I wonder what of the private market and individual choice can realistically be salvaged/re-established when O-Care is repealed as I think it will be.

    elissa (78414a)

  27. A colleague of mine wondered aloud recently: why would insurance companies have agreed to ObamaCare when there was a chance that not enough healthy people would sign up to make it worthwhile for them to insure people with pre-existing conditions?

    Forgive the cynicism, but they know that conservatives need them to stay in business and Democrats need their support, so they thought that they could get away with anything.

    bridget (a44b32)

  28. The option of returning to 2008, where health care is not guaranteed, will be off the table.

    Comment by The sadly realistic Dana (3e4784) — 2/6/2014 @ 12:04 pm

    I think you’re right. It’s not just this one thing, but a lot of these ridiculous situations, that make me wonder why this country can’t have a discussion of reorganizing into two countries. Socialism with the degree of informed opposition we have is never going to work. It won’t work even with totalitarianism, but it sure as hell won’t work in the USA either. And conservatism has no chance on a national scale right now either, with a Strategically Lesser of Two Evils GOP that is rather hostile to the concept at times.

    Social Security, single payer, quantitative easing, the NSA/IRS/EPA mission creep, and a really long list of other issues are simply not going to be solved to the satisfaction of either side. And I don’t mean we all have to suck it up and compromise. I mean no one is going to get anything approaching what they want.

    I think it would be better to have a limited government republic with literal federalism and a hyper populist democratic socialist thing in the more urbanized areas. My friends in those areas wouldn’t like it, but the problems we’re facing justify something more than just hoping the GOP does something every couple of years.

    Dustin (303dca)

  29. “You and I both know that if the federal government just completely ignored healthcare we would be fine.”

    Dustin – Since Obama professed to be concerned with the issue of the uninsured he could have dealt specifically with that instead of screwing up the system for everybody. Then he could have tackled the issue of health care costs.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  30. But I do not believe they had any idea it would be so badly bungled from the get go that from now on most sentient Americans will not want the government anywhere near their doctors and healthcare choices.

    Comment by elissa (78414a) — 2/6/2014 @ 12:25 pm

    You’re definitely right. The democrats believed in the ability of their brilliant public servants to mastermind something very complex. That’s always been the problem with the left. They never really grasp how the free market handles complicated matters in a way central planners can’t.

    Granted, it probably would have run a little better without the apparent graft with the website company, or if the democrats had taken the GOP’s gift of delaying a lot of this, but ultimately how could such a thing ever work? And we’ll see the same arrogance as they argue for central planning for single payer.

    Dustin (303dca)

  31. Dustin – Since Obama professed to be concerned with the issue of the uninsured he could have dealt specifically with that instead of screwing up the system for everybody.

    My proposal for that would simply be to cut corporate taxes enough that we got a lot more jobs. It’s not a perfect solution, but I bet it would do more real world good.

    Dustin (303dca)

  32. We should remember that the biggest and most basic problem is high health care costs, and they are caused by insurance or third-party payers.

    Sammy Finkelman (dfe091)

  33. “I’m with Dustin in that I wonder what of the private market and individual choice can realistically be salvaged/re-established when O-Care is repealed as I think it will be.”

    elissa – The health insurance industry employs a lot of people across the country and I’m pretty sure they would let their voices be heard should single payer become a serious option, let alone the health care providers opposed to that solution who are already opposed to Obamacare.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  34. “We should remember that the biggest and most basic problem is high health care costs, and they are caused by insurance or third-party payers.”

    Sammy – That’s a chicken or egg argument, but having different pricing for different consumers or payers has never made a lot of sense to me. In fact, in the insurance industry it is illegal to charge two customers a different price for the same policy. Why are regulated health care providers allowed to charge different customers different prices for the same product or service?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  35. I beg to differ, Sammy. A bigger problem are the restrictions and regulations that eliminate portability and interstate commerce.

    Colonel Haiku (ec21b2)

  36. 35. I desperately hope you are right about that, daleyrocks. But the insurance company layoffs being reported, the doctors retiring, rural clinics shutting down, and the companies large and small which have already made changes in their employee health plans and contributions make me concerned that putting some form of Humpty Dumpty back together again (even as imperfect as we know Humpty Dumpty was) may not be easy.

    elissa (78414a)

  37. In the long run, I fear we’ll end up with CubaCare, elissa.

    Colonel Haiku (ec21b2)

  38. Europe West with far higher crime rates and worse racial strife is a sad denouement for America, but alas leftism as policy is a terminal cancer not only upon the economy and national finances but upon society, too. Voting and not voting have severe consequences and politics shouldn’t be about sewing circles, single issues or coffee klatches.

    Lawrence Westlake (4fc30a)

  39. 25. …Steve57 – What deals are you talking about?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/6/2014 @ 12:13 pm

    Right now I can’t get more specific than cite an article from a 1993 issue of Business Economics written by ASU professor Terree P. Wasley:

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/Business-Economics/13834930.html

    Blue Cross and Commercial Insurance

    The institutionalization of Blue Cross/Blue Shield as the dominant provider of health care insurance was due in some part to interference in the market by the government on behalf of the Blues. The AMA and the American Hospital Association (AHA) lobbied for legislation to exempt Blue Cross plans from normal insurance regulations and receive federal tax exemption as nonprofit organizations. These benefits gave the Blues an enormous advantage over other insurers, and until the 1980s the Blues never held less than 40 percent of the entire health insurance market.(3)

    The AMA/AHA found it to their advantage to deal with the Blues as opposed to other commercial insurers. And since the Blues scratched their back, the AMA/AHA used their political clout to scratch theirs.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  40. This is what they are working toward…

    [Some years ago] Tucker outlined to Hillary the transformation of the entire American system into “a seamless web that extends from cradle to grave” and is the “same system for everyone,” coordinated by a “system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels” where curriculum and job matching will be handled by counselors “accessing the integrated computer-based program.” The mission of schools would change from “teaching children academic basics and knowledge to training them to serve the global economy in jobs selected by workforce boards” in an outcome-based system “guided by clear national standards of performance,” set to “international benchmarks” that “define the stages of the system for the people who progress through it.” In this “new system of linked standards, curriculum and pedagogy will abandon the American tracking system.” Best of all, college loans debt will be forgiven for “public service.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/02/03/Common-Core-101-What-Is-It-And-How-Does-It-Affect-Our-Children

    Colonel Haiku (ec21b2)

  41. Recall the era when the Blues were able to gain these competitive advantages from governments was the Great Depression. Doctors and hospitals were having a great deal of trouble getting paid. More from the linked article.

    By 1930, the United States had as many or more medical, nursing, and dental schools and hospital beds per unit of population as it has today. The Great Depression, however, slowed the expansion of health care facilities and personnel. Many Americans had trouble paying for the medical care they needed. Doctors tried to make allowances for patients in financial straits, but hospitals, with higher fixed costs, had much less flexibility. Between 1929 and 1930, average hospital receipts plummeted from more than $200 per patient to less than $60. Hospitals then began to turn to insurance plans as a way to guarantee a steady cash flow by spreading the financial risk.

    The first plan was introduced in 1929 at Baylor University Hospital in Dallas, Texas. By paying a monthly fee in advance, a group of 1,500 school-teachers contracted with the hospital to provide care should they need it. The fee was paid whether or not the individual teacher ever used the services.

    Soon, groups of nonprofit hospitals in several cities organized multiple hospital insurance plans. These plans gave subscribers a choice of medical care providers and therefore attracted more patients, strengthening the income to the participating hospitals. This multiple hospital plan served as a model for Blue Cross, established in 1932 in Sacramento, California. These hospital plans changed the concept of insurance and forever changed the American health care system. Unlike other forms of insurance, the primary purpose of these plans was not to protect consumers from large, unforeseen expenses, but rather to keep hospitals in business by guaranteeing them a regular income.

    Other commercial insurers were trying to keep costs down by scrutinizing individual claims. Not as good a deal for the providers.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  42. Col@42– Sounds like something Mao would have loved. What has happened to us?

    elissa (78414a)

  43. Europe West with far higher crime rates and worse racial strife is a sad denouement for America,

    I wonder if we in the US have finally come down with — at long last — a case of Eurosclerosis? A condition that afflicts a large percentage of societies beyond Europe alone but throughout the world, and best summed up by this observation from several generations ago.

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy–to be followed by a dictatorship.” ― Alexander Fraser Tytler

    ^ Some of the mindset described by Tytler can be gleamed from the mindset evident in fragments of the following:

    politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com, February 5, 2014: Although nearly two-thirds of Americans still give the nation’s economy a thumbs down, the percentage who rate the current economic conditions as good now stands at its highest level in six years, according to a new national poll.

    Thirty-six percent of those questioned rate the current economic conditions as good. That’s up four percentage points from December and it is the highest level since January 2008, a year before Obama entered the White House. Sixty-four percent continue to say the economy is in poor shape.

    “Economic confidence seems particularly high in the Midwest, which might give an early boost to the Democratic Party’s chances of holding on to two key Senate seats in Iowa and Michigan,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

    Five years into Obama’s presidency, only a third of the public believes that Obama and the Democrats are primarily responsible for the country’s current economic problems. More Americans continue to blame former President Bush and the Republicans. But the number who say the GOP is more responsible – now at 44% – has dipped below the 50% mark for the first time since Bush left the White House. Fourteen percent blame both parties equally.

    Bread and circuses, bread and circuses!

    Mark (f0ef14)

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  45. Voting and not voting have severe consequences and politics shouldn’t be about sewing circles, single issues or coffee klatches.

    How many times are you going to repeat this?

    JD (c7b1dc)

  46. The only folks who don’t break even are the people filing the 1040s.

    They should stop working too, get free medical care, and enjoy life.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  47. Taking care of my future health starts with a proper diet, hydration and exercise plan. I hope that gets me through until O-shamacare is redone.

    mg (31009b)

  48. Steve57 @41 – Thanks for the response. Interesting link.

    Based on link, creation of Blues was spurred by doctors and hospitals to create patient flow and by pledging to be insurer of last resort, Blues were able to negotiate favorable tax treatment from government.

    Good for them, but not sure it creates captive customers or is similar to Obamacare situation, but interesting history.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  49. I didn’t mean to imply that I thought the deals the Blues were able to cut back in the ’30s were similar to Obamacare. We arrived at Obamacare incrementally over 70 or so years. I’m sure no one back then knew where the path of seeking government intervention in the health insurance/health care market might lead.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  50. re: #44… continued vigilance and stopping what they do, disregarding the empty words they say is the prescription, elissa.

    Colonel Haiku (a0e979)

  51. here’s more of that Smart Diplomacy™…

    “State Dept Official Apologizes for ‘F–k the EU’ Statement…”

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/02/official-apologizes-for-f-k-eu-comment/

    Colonel Haiku (a0e979)

  52. “By my calculations, if the share is 4.56%, then the total market would be in for a bailout of just shy of $10 billion. If Humana’s share is 3.14%, the total market would be in for a bailout of, let’s see here, carry the one . . . about $14 billion. In 2014.”

    The risk corridors works by reallocating the risks in the total market. You can’t take one insurer’s use of the risk corridor and expand that to the whole market — the rest of the market will have a different risk pool. In fact some of hte rest of the market will be paying into the risk corridors, rather than drawing from it.

    As an illustration, rather than the total market costing 14 billion in risk corridors, CBO recently estimated that repealing the risk corridors would cost about 8 billion. That’s why the GOP dropped the idea to demand this as their debt limit ransom.

    d.wildst (ae20f1)

  53. 54. Uh, now ibn Dunham is considering a decree that he will permit the plebes to keep their plans for three years, or until he moves on to a real job.

    Never mind the plans no longer exist and are illegal in any case.

    The CBO regurgitates a back of the envelope calculation with whatever garbage is fed them.

    “You can’t” Oh, but we did. The CBO has changed their story a half dozen times beginning with noting the double counting of Medicare cuts.

    Save your scrivening for your proles.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  54. Paging Admiral Ackbar, you know the drill;

    narciso (3fec35)

  55. “You can’t take one insurer’s use of the risk corridor and expand that to the whole market — the rest of the market will have a different risk pool.”

    d.wildst – Not necessarily. If the insurer is large enough, its experience may very well be representative of the entire market.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  56. “That’s why the GOP dropped the idea to demand this as their debt limit ransom.”

    d.wildst – Do you have a citation for Boehner or McConnell pointing to that reason by any chance?

    kthx.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  57. The lefties are all saying this is not true. Soon, they will move on to another talking point and say they never said that.

    Mike K (cd7278)

  58. “here’s more of that Smart Diplomacy™…

    “State Dept Official Apologizes for ‘F–k the EU’ Statement…”

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/02/official-apologizes-for-f-k-eu-comment/

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (a0e979) — 2/”

    Actually, I liked it.

    Mike K (cd7278)

  59. it would be a gaffe, if that was what she actually believed, which I tend to doubt;

    narciso (3fec35)

  60. Agreed, narciso… just more of that toothless noise and empty posturing.

    Colonel Haiku (a0e979)

  61. “The CBO regurgitates a back of the envelope calculation with whatever garbage is fed them.”

    gary – If HHS keeps saying they do not have accurate information on the enrollees why the hell should we have any confidence that the CBO has any accurate information from which to estimate risk corridor payments.

    Rhetorical question

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  62. Everything is very open with a really clear clarification of the challenges.
    It was definitely informative. Your website is very helpful.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Patient (72db23)

  63. It occurs to me that one of the more obvious ways Obamacare will cost us billions has so far gone unmentioned.

    Obamacare punishes work beyond 400% of the federal poverty level. Or, another way of looking at it, is that should one apply for the subsidy, Obamacare punishes attempts to work past the point of being a ward of the state. If someone earns 401% of the federal subsidy, they take a nearly $8k hit in take home pay.

    So, since all these people are now free from “job lock,” who’s going to pay into social security and subsidize the boomers will be retiring en masse?

    At the point in history where the whole SS is in crisis, we get Obamacare which punishes people for earning more. Hence less in payroll taxes. Hence more crisis.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  64. I know!

    Let’s import millions of unskilled laborers to support the retirees!

    Then free them from the drudgery of work and subsidize their life of leisure.

    Yeah. That’s the ticket.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  65. The reason that it will only cost $15 billion this time is that Obamacare only affects a relatively few people right now. They are swooning over a few million signups in a country of 300 million people.

    Wait until the small businesses are all thrown on the pyre.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  66. R.I.P.- Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner.

    mg (31009b)

  67. Speaker cry baby Huey should be impeached. The house members should nut up and remove this thug of a speaker.

    mg (31009b)

  68. Guess which part of the country is among the first to sign up eligible inmates for ObamaCare, so taxpayers from all 50 states will pay for their care?

    San Francisco.

    PS to felipe — Don’t apologize. Your comment sounds good to me.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  69. Dustin wrote:

    The democrats believed in the ability of their brilliant public servants to mastermind something very complex. That’s always been the problem with the left. They never really grasp how the free market handles complicated matters in a way central planners can’t.

    Exactly right: the left are just so enamored, just so persuaded of their own brilliance, that they really do think that they can out-think anybody else.

    The problem is that they have to out-think everybody else, and that doesn’t work. The economy is run by hundreds of millions of people taking literally billions of economic decisions every day, and those decisions ate taken for millions of different reasons, by people with widely differing available choices and information. The left are really trying to out-think chaos.

    The Dana who is smart enough to understand that no one is smart enough to run the economy (3e4784)

  70. “d.wildst – Not necessarily. If the insurer is large enough, its experience may very well be representative of the entire market.”

    The entire idea of the risk corridor is to make sure that no one insurer ends up with too different of a pool from the rest.

    “d.wildst – Do you have a citation for Boehner or McConnell pointing to that reason by any chance?”

    I doubt you’ll find any such frankness from them. It could just be that they realized they don’t have votes no matter the ransom. But it doesn’t help that one of their ransoms turns out to actually increase the deficit.

    d.wildst (ae20f1)

  71. Victoria Nuland didn’t say anything a lot of people are not saying privately and publicly. The EU is a bumbling, corrupt mess. The real issue is that a telephone call between an Assistant Secretary of State and an ambassador was tapped. How? By whom? If it were the Russians, why on Earth would they show their hand, reveal their ability to do this, over such a piddly little thing? (Unless it’s all they can do, a one-time thing at our embassy at the Ukraine, and they want to spread paranoia over all our communications, especially after Snowden. Big maybe on that.) Is there internal backbiting inside our State Department? Did loyalist X, monitoring State Department phone calls (and I’d bet all communications are monitored for quality purposes), tape this snippet to hurt Nuland for the benefit of ambitious ladder-climber Y? Hillary holdovers opposed to Kerry? Or worst, a monkey-wrencher, with no particular loyalties, like Snowden? (And that is the elephant that nobody talks about too — that somebody like Snowden was allowed to do what he did. And that there may be others.)

    nk (dbc370)

  72. This might not be at all piddly. It is possible for Russia to lose influence or control over Ukraine, and Putin might be very worried about steps the U.S. and Europe might take, especially during the Olympics.

    It is apparently not yet official policy to disparage the EU, or at least its policy on the Ukraine, and to continue working with it, so perhaps it was somebody’s intention to get her in trouble (and, by removing her, weaken the U.s. position on Ukraine.)

    But somebody would have had to have very good sources, or very good information, about divisions within the U.S. State Department, to think this worth leaking.

    Sammy Finkelman (dfe091)

  73. I doubt you’ll find any such frankness from them

    So, you just made up something and attributed it to Boehner and McConnell. How honest of you.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  74. Why do you think they gave up on the ransom?

    d.wildst (ae20f1)

  75. Could you be more specific about the “ransom” you have mentioned here a couple of times, d.wilst? Is it a talking point you’ve picked up someplace? Or are you referring dramatically to the political calculations and negotiations that go on between the parties and within the parties all the time?

    elissa (99f483)

  76. Ellissa @ 78.

    I think he means no matter how low or minimal, or popular, the “ransom” for increasing the debt limit, there are not enough votes in the House to pass a debt ceiling limit bill with a rider attached, at least one gets a majority of Republican votes, as only a very limited number of Democrats, obeying party whips, will vote for something other than a “clean” debt ceiling bill, which Obama insists on.

    Now it may actually really be possible to add something small, especially with regard too the military.

    Sammy Finkelman (dfe091)

  77. Sammy–I would appreciate your letting d. wilst speak for him/herself rather than attempting to explain or guess what is in his mind or what his specific word choices mean. It is really not your job to let him off the hook.

    elissa (99f483)

  78. Why do you think they gave up on the ransom?

    I don’t claim to know what’s inside anyone’s thoughts. That would not be intellectually honest.

    You’re the one who pulled something out of his ass and attempted to pass it off as a motive for someone else. Now you’re trying to turn it into something virtuous.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  79. imdw is imdw.

    nk (dbc370)

  80. Oh, I know, nk. I’m used to his ass-pulls. He’s just never acknowledged them before, this is a rare treat. And it’s fun to watch him try to make it sound like he’s being honest.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  81. “Could you be more specific about the “ransom” you have mentioned here a couple of times, d.wilst?”

    They were planning on asking for repeal of the the risk corridors or keystone as ransom for the debt ceiling. Have you been following the debt ceiling issue this last week or so? It was kind of a problem for that strategy when it turned out that one of their favorites talking points — the “bailout” — turned out to not match reality.

    d.wildst (ae20f1)

  82. Yes indeed. I follow politics. Your flip and in my opinion wholly improper use of the word “ransom” (which you have still not justified in this context) is what I question. But as nk appropriately points out–why bother.

    elissa (99f483)

  83. Now it’s “ransom” for the executive branch to respect the Constitutional order. “If the Congress doesn’t do what I tell it to do, I won’t wait! I’ll act on my own,” says El Presidente Mas Grande de Republico de los Estados Unidos de Bananas!

    Usually it’s the hostage taker who threatens to shut down the government and hence the services to the hostages made dependent on government who’s considered to be demanding ransom. And the crowd who has to pay everything the hostage taker demands or else who’s paying ransom. With you, it’s the other way around.

    More lying by euphemism. What’s the euphemism du jour for doctors refusing to see patients who have those crappy Obamacare policies, d. wildst?

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-obamacare-patients-20140205,0,5417742.story#axzz2seh73TFP

    I know! You guys started unemployment “funemployment” (back in the day before it became policy to lie and claim that paying people not to work, gave them an incentive not to work). I remember how people like you would emphasize just how great it was to have a long, paid vacation. People could travel, crash at friends’ places, go surfing. Funemployment!

    So how about this, d. wildst? Funinsurance! It’s not uninsurance. People are just paying the big bucks to free themselves from the drudgery of waiting for hours to see doctors who won’t see them anyway.

    Patients are no longer “doctor locked.” Now they’re free to spend those hours doing something fun instead of long dreary hours reading fashion or celebrity rags from 2005 in a waiting room.

    And, when you think about it, doctors are no longer “patient locked.” Now instead of seeing patients they can

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  84. http://www.bizpacreview.com/2013/10/30/doctors-refuse-to-participate-in-obamacare-86181

    It’s not health insurance. It’s better than insurance. It’s funinsurance!

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  85. “If the Congress doesn’t do what I tell it to do, I won’t wait! I’ll act on my own”

    It was never going to be legislative branch demanding the ransom. Just the House. Even that they couldn’t agree on.

    d.wildst (ae20f1)

  86. *Now instead of seeing patients they can

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  87. The ransom was everything he wants. He won’t negotiate over the ransom. Screw the fact the Constitution gives Congress the power over spending.

    That’s the ransom. Obama wants control over the purse. Period.

    No fine print, like when he told the AMA that his health care promise to the American people was “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.”

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  88. When Obama refuses to negotiate with Congress, what he’s saying is that it’s illegitimate for anyone to represent the interests of the half of the people in this country who didn’t vote for him.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  89. logic held ransom
    Wildst my guitar gently weeps
    teh lame corksoaker

    Colonel Haiku (e630d3)

  90. “Screw the fact the Constitution gives Congress the power over spending.”

    Right. The legislative branch. The nutcases couldn’t get their ransom ideas past the legislative branch.

    d.wildst (ae20f1)

  91. 88. It was never going to be legislative branch demanding the ransom. Just the House. Even that they couldn’t agree on.

    Comment by d.wildst (ae20f1) — 2/7/2014 @ 8:50 am

    By “demanding the ransom” you mean “fulfilling its Constitutional responsibilities.” And if you read the Constitution, you’d know why it could only be the House.

    But, hey, when you’re pissing on something, why bother to read it? That’s your Messiah’s philosophy, too.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  92. “They were planning on asking for repeal of the the risk corridors or keystone as ransom for the debt ceiling.”

    d.wildst – Who is this “They” you are speaking of with respect to the risk corridors?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  93. “The nutcases couldn’t get their ransom ideas past the legislative branch.”

    d.wildst – Wait, last night you said they just dropped them because of a CBO report. You’re just making it up, right?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  94. d.wildst is no longer “fact locked.”

    Ain’t freedom grand?

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  95. Daley – remember when imdw could double the value if a car by increasing interest rates? Now not paying 14B costs 8B.

    #LeftistMathIsHard

    JD (c7b1dc)

  96. 70. Last time, Jan. 2013, they bailed because no one wanted to be Speaker. That is not an impediment, we didn’t have one during the Civil War and this is a reprise.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  97. It was never going to be legislative branch demanding the ransom.

    What you call “ransom” is actually negotiation. Congress will concede on some points if the Executive branch concedes on others.

    It’s intellectually dishonest of you to use loaded terms like “ransom”.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  98. 73. “The entire idea of the risk corridor is to make sure that no one insurer ends up with too different of a pool from the rest.”

    Which sort of militates against your proscription of Rico’s computation of market totals.

    We don’t care that you got your Cat in Introductory Logic at Vo-Tech college. You merely dragged down the curve.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  99. “d.wildst – Who is this “They” you are speaking of with respect to the risk corridors?”

    The GOP leaders. Robert Costa was reporting on this.

    “Which sort of militates against your proscription of Rico’s computation of market totals.”

    “Militate”? Anyway, the idea is to make up the differences in the risk pools between the insurance companies. Not to make the experience of one exactly the experience of others. It’s expected to actually net money, rather than being a “bailout.”

    d.wildst (ae20f1)

  100. 102. …It’s expected to actually net money, rather than being a “bailout.”

    Comment by d.wildst (ae20f1) — 2/7/2014 @ 10:13 am

    ROFLMAO!

    Like Obamacare was expected to generate jobs, and reduce the deficit. Do you do stand-up? Because that one there, that’s a real gut-buster.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  101. ObamaMan screws up the healthcare industry and buggers the America he supposedly works for and now wants to call the whole thing off for three years?

    You can’t even make this scat up.

    Colonel Haiku (e630d3)

  102. “Like Obamacare was expected to generate jobs, and reduce the deficit. Do you do stand-up? Because that one there, that’s a real gut-buster.”

    It’s only hte same CBO saying this nets 8 billion as the one the GOP is using to say that millions of jobs will be lost….

    “ObamaMan screws up the healthcare industry and buggers the America he supposedly works for and now wants to call the whole thing off for three years? ”

    Something similar to this was in Medicare part D. It’s not quite ‘calling it off….’

    d.wildst (ae20f1)

  103. “The GOP leaders. Robert Costa was reporting on this.”

    d.wildst – Well that certainly makes it official!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  104. 102. …It’s expected to actually net money, rather than being a “bailout.”

    d.wildst – Hey, if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, your visits to your doctor just won’t be covered by Obamacare. Winning!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  105. “d.wildst – Well that certainly makes it official!”

    I think you’re not understanding that they were determining what their official position would be….Now it looks like Congress will just get behind a clean debt ceiling increase.

    d.wildst (ae20f1)

  106. 105. “Like Obamacare was expected to generate jobs, and reduce the deficit. Do you do stand-up? Because that one there, that’s a real gut-buster.”

    It’s only hte same CBO saying this nets 8 billion as the one the GOP is using to say that millions of jobs will be lost….

    ‘Ceptin’ we don’t need the CBO to know millions of jobs will be lost, junior. Or rather, millions of hours won’t be worked. Because once you hit 4x the federal poverty level you hit the subsidy cliff. If you even make $1 more, you lose the subsidy. And depending on your age, family situation, and where you live that $1 more in earnings can cost you up to $20k in lost subsidies. You’d have to be a fool to earn that extra dollar. Conservatives have been pointing out for years. Our reaction to the fact that it was in a recent CBO projection is, “No s***, Sherlock.”

    And we think the CBO estimate is overly optimistic. Like their projection that the bailout of the insurance industry will actually net money.

    Just like the GM bailout, eh, funnyman?

    “ObamaMan screws up the healthcare industry and buggers the America he supposedly works for and now wants to call the whole thing off for three years? ”

    Something similar to this was in Medicare part D. It’s not quite ‘calling it off….’

    Comment by d.wildst (ae20f1) — 2/7/2014 @ 10:23 am

    Yeah, that’s exactly what it is. That’s what it was the last time, and this time it’s even more blatant. And blatantly illegal.

    …Indeed, far from mere “non-enforcement,” the fix imposes entirely novel requirements on insurers. Insurers have to make a variety of disclaimers and statements against interest to benefit from the non-enforcement. This is not a requirement found in the Affordable Care Act or its attendant regulations. The new requirements for insurers are highly detailed, showing this is thus not simply a delay, but substantive new regulation, adopted by dictate.

    The second constitutional infirmity relates not to Congress, but the states. Unlike prior exercises of presidential enforcement discretion, the fix depends on states violating federal law. That is because it does not change the law on the books. Rather, the feds are simply signaling that they will not enforce certain provisions for some time.

    But many parts of Obamacare do have to be applied by states, the traditional front lines of insurance regulation. States, however, lack “enforcement discretion” when it comes to ignoring federal law, even when the president thinks it would be a good idea…

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/11/the-obamacare-fix-is-illegal-100254.html#ixzz2sfB0Y5z9

    I see you’re taking my advice and sticking to comedy, d.wildst.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  107. 90. Comment by Steve57 (71fc09) — 2/7/2014 @ 8:52 am

    the Constitution gives Congress the power over spending.

    The debt limit reflects Congress’s control over borrowing, not spending.

    That’s the ransom. Obama wants control over the purse. Period.

    Obama has used this term “ransom” to describe adding anything to a debt ceiling bill.

    It is somewhat plausible, since in fact everyone agrees the law ought to be passed, and not passing it stops things that nobody intends to stop and creates difficulties nobody wants to see (although here Obama proceeds to make plans to make things worse or say that it will be worse than it has to be. He set the deadline too.)

    This is happening because of the division of power in Congress, and because Harry Reid basically prevents almost any bill from coming up for a vote.

    As for wanting control over spending, well, yes, because he thinks here the leverage is very great.

    Obama’s claim is that once spending has been authorized, Congress has got no business revisiting the issue, or legislating on other matters, but its duty is to authorize borrowing to cover it.

    It’s actually a principle he only discovered after he was elected president, because he had no trouble voting against a debt limit increase while he in the Senate – of course he was just posturing, though.

    I think Obama claimed in a press conference last year everybody was just posturing.

    Sammy Finkelman (dfe091)

  108. Forgot to add.

    Eugene Kontorovich is professor at Northwestern University School of Law, where he teaches constitutional law.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/11/the-obamacare-fix-is-illegal-100254.html#ixzz2sfBufsuC

    He’ll do the legal analysis, d.wildst. You do the jokes.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  109. His metal taps must be nearing end-of-life with all this dancing.

    Colonel Haiku (e630d3)

  110. “I think you’re not understanding that they were determining what their official position would be”

    d.wildst – I think I understand perfectly well that no official position had been determined so that no position could have been modified as a result of the release of a CBO report as you previously claimed. Thank you for playing.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  111. 112. His metal taps must be nearing end-of-life with all this dancing.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (e630d3) — 2/7/2014 @ 10:46 am

    He’s talented. I didn’t realized he danced; I just thought he did jokes.

    I’m glad somebody’s bringing vaudeville. Kudos, d.wildst!

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  112. 103. It’s just his expression of his understanding that is totally confused.

    His understanding is fine, trust him.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  113. d.wildst – How about them JOOOOOS in Israel layin’ the hurt on Senator Aristoslacker? Makes you angry to see them so uppity doesn’t it?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  114. “d.wildst – I think I understand perfectly well that no official position had been determined so that no position could have been modified as a result of the release of a CBO report as you previously claimed”

    Do you imagine that people don’t have ideas, thoughts, and plans, etc.. that they whip and that eventually turn into ‘official positions’? Or do you think it’s all just a blank slate?

    “d.wildst – How about them JOOOOOS in Israel layin’ the hurt on Senator Aristoslacker? Makes you angry to see them so uppity doesn’t it?”

    And the right wonders why they lose the Jewish vote…

    d.wildst (ae20f1)

  115. Because teh JOOOOZ are masochists and like to be abused by leftists?

    Oh, you’re good, d.wildst.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  116. http://www.smh.com.au/world/john-kerry-backing-antisemitic-efforts-says-israel-20140203-hvaxq.html

    John Kerry backing ‘anti-Semitic’ efforts, says Israel

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  117. http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0214/glick020514.php3#.UvUurLSmUpE

    Kerry is obsessed with Israel’s economic success. Last May he told us that we’re too rich to surrender our land.

    Now he’s saying we’ll be poor if we don’t do so.

    The anti-Semitic undertones of Kerry’s constant chatter about Jews having too much money are obvious. But beyond their inherent bigotry, Kerry’s statements serve to legitimize the radical Left’s economic war against the Jewish state. Administration supporters and fundraisers from Code Pink and other pressure groups, as well as the EU understand that if they escalate their economic and political persecution of the Jewish state, their actions will be met with quiet understanding, and even support from the Obama administration.

    This is so even if the State Department issues indignant press releases expressing fury that Israeli elected officials have the chutzpah to object to Kerry’s behavior.

    Israel has been subjected to plenty of abuse from American secretaries of state. But Kerry’s incessant talk of “illusory” Jewish money is unprecedented.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  118. “Do you imagine that people don’t have ideas, thoughts, and plans, etc.. that they whip and that eventually turn into ‘official positions’?”

    d.wildst – I imagine a lot of things, but not what you claimed here as fact.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  119. “Because teh JOOOOZ are masochists and like to be abused by leftists?”

    Where is the “Schumer Brownshirt” dude? Is he not commenting on this thread? I guess I’ll have to settle for the above.

    d.wildst (ae20f1)

  120. d.wildst – Do you imagine you need to bring talking points supported by actual substance to this blog in order to convince people you have a clue what you are talking about or are you just going to continue making crap up?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  121. How about that raging racist hatemonger Donna Edwards? What party does she belong to, anyway?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  122. Imdw is pathological.

    JD (c7b1dc)

  123. If he weren’t pathological he wouldn’t be funny at all.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  124. JD – Liberalism is a mental disease.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  125. 120. For some reason people in Israel are interpreting things Kerry says as threats, possibly because saying that threats are being made is the way they try to argue with each other to go along.

    I think they cannot understand why Kerry is pushing negotiations and a lasting settlement so much.

    It’s probably because the U.S. government is accepting lies told by Saudi Arabia and some other states – i.e. “We’d do everything you want, but there’s a problem – the Israeli Palestinian dispute.”

    So off goes Kerry on his errand.

    Since the communications between the Arab states and the Uniited States is being kept secret from Israel, they don’t know what is the world is going on with Kerry’s pursuit of a peace agreement, and you get these ideas he wants the Nobel Peace Prize or he’s messianic or something.

    Netanyahu probably plays along because he’s hoping for action on Iran.

    Sammy Finkelman (dfe091)

  126. No, Sammy, they understand perfectly what Kerry is saying.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  127. run wildstdebeast run
    in teh furry recesses
    of mind gone kaput

    Colonel Haiku (e630d3)

  128. I’ve been missing your famous haikus. You’re back!!!!

    elissa (99f483)

  129. “I think they cannot understand why Kerry is pushing negotiations and a lasting settlement so much.”

    Sammy – Is there a reason that your default position more often than not is that people do not understand things? Most people in the world as not as dumb as you seem to think.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  130. 128. As with Iran, Kerry is furiously pursuing anything that gets signatures.

    They will tell us what is in the text after its passed.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  131. you are way too kind, elissa. Thank you.

    Colonel Haiku (e630d3)

  132. What is a “bailout” anyway?

    I think of it as when a private company screws up and the government comes in with money to save them, as in the GM & Chrysler bailouts.

    “Risk corridors” aren’t bailouts. The insurance companies would not have participated in the exchanges with them because they foresaw exactly what is happening: not enough enrollees to form a sufficient risk pool, and a smaller pool skewed to the older and sicker buyers. It was a guaranteed loser.

    So these guarantees were built into the law. They do NOT reimburse all losses, they are triggered once losses reach a certain level. So the insurers will also lose money – which no insurer can do for long and stay in business.

    Suppose we make a contract and you entice me to sign with a guarantee if I lose money on the deal. So I sign, lose money, and then you want to renege on the guarantee.

    That’s not a bailout. It’s just theft.

    Estragon (ada867)

  133. 135. …That’s not a bailout. It’s just theft.

    Comment by Estragon (ada867) — 2/7/2014 @ 10:49 pm

    You say poe-tay-toe and I say poe-tah-toe.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  134. That’s not a bailout. It’s just theft.

    Comment by Estragon (ada867) — 2/7/2014

    I take your point that the government made a deal with the insurance companies. I observe that the government the insurance companies made this deal with was making a lot of promises, such as the ‘you can keep your plan and doctor’ promises, which were for the unsavvy and meant to assure reelections of liars.

    So on some level I’m not that sympathetic to the insurance companies, if they based any decisions on their faith in these promises.

    Anyhow, I am opposed to the federal government intervening in insurance or anything else they are not absolutely needed for. It always leads to vote buying and corruption.

    Dustin (b9d2e3)

  135. In the corporatist state, Mussolini’s as well as Obama’s, profit is private but risk is public.

    This is not a free market capitalist society.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  136. But in the corporatist state, profit is only allowed in the amount that the profiteer is worth to the state.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  137. I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money

    Barack Obama, Quincy IL, 28 April 2010.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  138. I’d bet that the point where I’ve made enough money as opposed to Obama’s cronies who bought ambassadorships by bundling for his election/reelection are two entirely different things.

    Raise your hand if you think I’m wrong.

    Steve57 (71fc09)


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