Patterico's Pontifications

11/12/2014

ObamaCare Architect Jonathan Gruber: Here’s Something Else the American Voter Is Too Stupid to Understand

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:34 am



Yes, this is a different video from the one revealed Monday. The video is here. And the Daily Caller sums it up:

Gruber was talking about the so-called “Cadillac tax” in Obamacare, which increased the tax on high-end insurance packages. The fact that Obamacare would raise taxes was seen as politically toxic. But then-Senator John Kerry came up with the idea of taxing the companies providing the Cadillac plans, rather than taxing Americans directly.

Gruber told him that it was the same thing, and he didn’t see why that’s matter. “You’ll see,” responded Kerry. Sure enough, the provision passed, in Gruber’s estimation because ”the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.”

The thing about this guy is that, because he’s not a politician, he’ll just come out and say what the rest of them are thinking.

UPDATE: Why does it matter that Democrats lied to the American public? Let John Sexton explain:

A list of administration lies might be a good topic for a book. But to just hit a few of the health care related highlights, we were told that the public option was not a Trojan horse, that it was about choice and competition. This was a bald faced lie. We were told we could keep our plans and doctors period, end of sentence. That was a lie. We were told Obamacare would reduce premiums by $2,500. That was a lie. That Obamacare was not a tax. Lie. That the VA was a model of socialized medicine. True, but not in the way they meant. All of these lies built upon one another, creating a vision of health reform that was all upside and no downside. And the Democrats barely, despite the obvious displeasure of citizens, forced it through, though only just barely.

What followed was several more years of various lies being told to adjust and protect the program. We were told, still incredible, that the White House had no idea what a disaster the launch of the federal exchange was going to be. We were told it was off to a great start, when in fact it only managed to enroll 6 people on the first day. We were told the problem with the site was too many excited customers when in fact the site crashed under just over a thousand users. We were told HHS had no enrollment targets when in fact there was an enrollment target memo. We were told the figures on enrollment were not available when in fact HHS was collecting data from insurers. We were told the rollout was just like the one in Massachusetts when in fact it was not. We were told the rollout was just like Medicare part D when in fact it was not at all. We were not told about a hidden Obamacare exemption that could have applied to almost anyone (it was finally added to the website after a WSJ report about it). On and on the administration and its allies in the media just lied about what was happening.

. . . .

It has taken a long time, but Gruber’s embarrassing admission may be the last one some people needed to see what has really been going on all along. What his statement shows is that if there’s any possible political advantage in doing so, this administration is going to lie to your face. And that applies not just to Obamacare but to everything.

Yup.

118 Responses to “ObamaCare Architect Jonathan Gruber: Here’s Something Else the American Voter Is Too Stupid to Understand”

  1. There is no confusion, the important goals are being achieved without significant failure.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-12/russia-have-swift-alternative-may

    Unintended consequences, there are a few.

    DNF (d34af1)

  2. Chimpy-ears ObamaoStompyfoot McHollywood.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. Maine Senator Angus King, speaking yesterday for almost everyone in the Senate, on Gruber and Obamacare: “This is one guy (Gruber). I don’t know who this guy was. All I know is that it’s important for people to have health insurance.”

    In a related article in Politico ““An army of one, Ted Cruz is leading the charge against Obamacare. But no one’s following.”

    Patterico, do you remain confident that the unanimous vote in the Senate against the ACA actually signifies what you think it does? I’m with seeRpea on this one.

    So how does one square the fact Republican candidates in the recent election ran more ads on the topic of Obamacare than any other topic, yet now that the election is over and the results are in, Ted Cruz is struggling to get fellow Republicans to follow him in his quest to repeal Ocare?

    From where I sit, it appears that the Democrats aren’t the only ones who appear to believe that voters are too stupid to understand what is going on.

    ThOR (130453)

  4. 3. Heh, indeed.

    DNF (d34af1)

  5. Ear Leader just seems to have a death grip on that ‘Losing Side of History’.

    DNF (d34af1)

  6. I would not rely on a Politico article to tell me anything about what Republicans really plan to do in the next congress. I would not rely on Politico to tell me who is or is not standing with Cruz. Cruz has said many times publicly that he wants to repeal Obamacare– and replace it with other healthcare reforms. That is essentially what R’s running for office across the country said in their midterm ads and debates. There are a couple months to work out details and cut deals.

    elissa (2cdac7)

  7. … but Gruber’s embarrassing admission may be the last one some people needed to see what has really been going on all along.

    Wishful thinking: we know there are none so blind as those who refuse to see. And Patterico’s recent experience with the adamant rejection of incontrovertible evidence by Lemieux and his band of troglodyte Kool-Aid drinkers indicates that hell freezes over before true believers put truth above ideology. Hell, true believers, especially those with collectivist inclinations submit to mass suicide (Jonestown, Heaven’s Gate) rather than face the reality they’ve dedicated their lives to the worship of false gods.

    So, is there much of a chance those who’ve voted for the Liar-in-Chief, his enablers in the Democrat Party, and his idiot nostrums will suddenly wake up and realize their god will see them dead before he admits to even the hint of failure? You’ll know the answer when there’s a run on cyanide at the nation’s drug stores. Barack Obama would rather do a nationwide Jim Jones than be exposed for the two-faced liar he so obviously is and always has been.

    ropelight (d94e51)

  8. well it is a party titularly led by McConnell and Boehner, however that is not the nature of the new faction,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  9. Part of the problem is generational. We’re just not who we used to be (As can be illustrated by comparing the biographies of George Bush the Elder to Obama). Part of the problem is the peculiarly corrupting affect the Clinton crew had on the institutional culture of the Washington Democratic Party (which in the era of Robert Strauss and Lane Kirkland, was not exactly pristine). However, the rot goes all the way down. I know regular Democratic voters who are not particularly invested in the Regime or this administration and who put no effort into defending it. I never encounter any who are shaking their heads at it all: the subordination of everything to public relations advantage, the stonewalling, the blatant lying, the lack of even the politician’s competence for crafting jerry-rigged deals. The leading candidate to succeed this vapid cretin is Hillary Clinton, a stupefyingly crass woman innocent of nothing except scruples.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  10. the adamant rejection of incontrovertible evidence by Lemieux and his band of troglodyte Kool-Aid drinkers

    I suspect what’s going on there is that with the exception of Harold Pollack and a few other wonks, the vociferous sort in the Democratic Party are actually not all that interested in public policy. The opposition is just The Enemy, and The Enemy is the embodiment of all that is awful, and to concede anything to The Enemy is to call your whole cause into question. Professors also tend to be too arrogant to admit error.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  11. ”the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.”

    Well, no Republican voted for it, so really what he is saying is that the Democrats are too stupid to know the difference.

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  12. elissa–

    My problem with Cruz is that he’s a bully on a mission, and he’s too strident to be effective.

    It might be best if he got his way entirely, but he won’t, so there will have to be deals cut and half loaves accepted. Cruz is not the kind of guy who makes that happen.

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  13. I love the current Democratic partisan theme related to the Halbig case.

    “Republicans are going to OWN decoverage.”

    Because some how, Democrats writing a law poorly is seen as the fault of the GOP and any opposition to Democrats is seen as purely political.

    Goes right in line with their belief that people are stupid, among Democratic voters, they’re largely correct too.

    Dejectedhead (393701)

  14. “the vociferous sort in the Democratic Party are actually not all that interested in public policy.”

    In my own experience, with two of my children, they are solely interested in social issues and don’t care about economics because both are lawyers doing well and the wife of my son is a professor of psychology who is very, very sure of anything she believes.

    Jay Cost wrote a good book about the Democratic Party and its multiple incompatible interest groups. Eventually, they may figure out that they are getting taken, like some blacks seem to be realizing, and rebel at the orthodoxy.

    Another daughter, a lefty who is starting to have second thoughts, was telling me how awful it was that some Texas school board had decided to teach evolution and creationism together in science. I asked her if she thought this was more important than teaching kids to read and do math. She agreed it isn’t. There is hope for her.

    My other two kids are conservative, including the youngest who just graduated from college last year.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  15. #14. Cruz has to advocate for his position stubbornly, if he compromises from where he stands now, the issues shift for him to compromise from that new position. Its a Trojan Horse that leads to nothing getting done, its no wonder that that is what most politicians do.

    Dejectedhead (393701)

  16. Thanks DNF. The Dan Spencer Red State post was right on the money.

    The 2013 shutdown worked in two very important ways. It gave the electorate the impression (a false impression, it should be noted) that the Republicans remain united against the ACA, which clearly helped in this election cycle. But also, it pulled the rug out from under the Republican leadership, which is always looking to go along to get along. Because of Cruz and the shutdown, Republican leadership efforts to go along to get along on Ocare will be viewed, everafter, as naked, unprincipled capitulation. It is just this sort of unprincipled behavior that is of a kind with Gruber’s approach to the ACA. The shutdown didn’t hurt the Republican Party; it hurt the Republican Party leadership and how they do business.

    Ted Cruz is the smartest Republican pol I have ever had the honor to support. He runs circles around those idiots – yes, “idiots.”

    ThOR (130453)

  17. Since the House went even further for the Repubs, I think it is up to them to educate their constituents more or less directly on the matters involved. They had enough credibility to get elected, they may have enough credibility to be heard.
    Plus, perhaps they can push the issue in a way the national leaders may not.

    That book of lies should include other things, starting day Zero of his presidency with the promise to list where the stimulus money was going.

    And a cross generational reference/link.
    There should be a series of Youtube videos,
    each one with a person showing a black and white glossy diagram of each lie, with arrows and circles, and a description on the back of where the info was collected.
    (Tried to fond an appropriate specific link, but couldn’t).

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  18. Best headline ever – from Daily Caller “Gruber now accusing GOP of trying to ‘confuse people’ about Obamacare”

    Georganne (e37667)

  19. 18. Articulate perspicuity, pass it on.

    DNF (d34af1)

  20. 19. “They had enough credibility to get elected, they may have enough credibility to be heard.”

    The Libertarians have a communicator in Dr. Paul, the TEAs in Sem. Cruz, where of where is a Republican?

    Let’s see what components might comprise connecting with an electorate?

    DNF (d34af1)

  21. ‘friends don’t let friend’ take the National Journal seriously,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  22. I sense a disconnect. Would someone please explain what the difference is that they are seeing in what Sen. Cruz has said, or is saying, or is proposing, with respect to Obamacare versus other Republicans (both the incumbents and the newly elected) who will make up the 114th congress? There may be a style difference, but where is the intractable policy difference and upcoming intraparty war several here seem to be forecasting with respect to Obamacare?

    elissa (2cdac7)

  23. elissa – The left is actively promoting an the meme of an internecine war on the right. Perhaps some are buying into it.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  24. Maybe I’ve been effected/affected/infected by the MSM, but I don’t trust Boehner and McConnell to be adequately pro-small government, cut the crap in DC, in their outlook.

    I don’t know if you’ve heard the clip of him talking about the “cadillac tax”, but when he says the public is too stupid to know any better the crowd laughs (I think Wash. U. in St. Louis).

    Put this together with the Gell-Mann amnesia theory, and you realize that you cannot trust any legislation the Dems propose.
    But some of us knew that already,
    and some will never admit it.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  25. Shorter Gruber, from Animal House (9 second Youtube clip)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOXtWxhlsUg

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  26. I think the GOP wants to avoid anything Cruz-related because it’s in charge of Congress now and it’s afraid of doing anything big. Little bitty baby steps is all we’ll see from Congress, and that’s not how Cruz or his constituents think.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  27. The Politico story is weird. Its headline indicates Cruz is on his own and it then proceeds to quote a bunch of Republicans saying they want to repeal Obamacare any way they can??

    But it does have a photo of Cruz walking up a staircase totally alone, so that was compelling….

    Georganne (e37667)

  28. no one edits, or else they would have a massive brain cramp,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  29. I meant no one edits Politico,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  30. In my own experience, with two of my children, they are solely interested in social issues and don’t care about economics because both are lawyers doing well and the wife of my son is a professor of psychology who is very, very sure of anything she believes.

    I’ve got two psychologists in my milieux. One of them’s a clinician who’s done some teaching. She’s an old hippy and not opinionated about public affairs, just very new age in her mundane life. The other one is a guy with a hammer in search of a nail, so he tells me that ‘conservatives’ are people who traffick in ‘fear’. The reduction of interests, ideology, and identity to emotional states is pretty chuckle-headed, as is mistaking the emotional states of the subject (who consist of people he does not know and people he never listens to), but it would not do much good to argue with him. One of his more proximate relations pointed out to him that he had not a single person in his circle of friends who was part of the 73% of the adult population without a baccalaureate degree and that he knew nothing of such people. That did not give him any pause.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  31. 24. Neglected caveat: FWIW.

    Links w/out comment shall be so understood.

    DNF (d34af1)

  32. 29. Run away! Run away!

    DNF (d34af1)

  33. was telling me how awful it was that some Texas school board had decided to teach evolution and creationism together in science

    I’ve been out of school for a while, but IIRC over a period of 13 years I spent about 1/6 of my time in science classes, of which perhaps a quarter were devoted to biology. “Evolution” was treated as a sort of architecture or filing system, and I think there are substitutes for the latter that are comparatively spare in their inductions. I’m sure reading an article by Michael Behe would have destroyed my tiny mind.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  34. I looked at the Gruber link and noticed that it was about an hour long. I know I would suffer from more than one brain cramp if I listened to this arrogant fool for more than two or three minutes, so I’m hopeful that one of our more courageous contributors has listened to this lecture and can steer me to an appropriate starting point.

    bobathome (5ccbd8)

  35. Maybe I’ve been effected/affected/infected by the MSM, but I don’t trust Boehner and McConnell to be adequately pro-small government, cut the crap in DC, in their outlook.

    If the filibuster and indefinite holds on nominees are not eliminated in the upcoming Senate rules package, we will know that providing a conduit for Capitol Hill gamesmanship (tarted up with a lot of blather about ‘world’s greatest deliberative body’, ‘what the Founders intended’, &c.) takes priority over public policy in McConnell’s mind.

    My layman’s guess about Boehner and McConnell is that their outlook is derived from their sense of what the committees will be tinkering with and what the committees tinker with is driven by members acting as tribunes for commercial and industrial interests in their district or seeking out opportunities for publicity or acting as tribunes for their donors. Their thinking is not detached or systematic enough to contemplate systematic reforms and blasting the barnacles off the ship. The default setting of a Cruz or a Paul might be to shut down the National Endowment for the Arts. The default for Boenher and McConnell would be to negotiate for a 20% reduction in its budget with reference to the current baseline.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  36. Those looking for inconvenient facts might take a look at this.

    My psychologist daughter-in-law has psychoanalyzed everybody in the family and made decisions about everybody.

    I got a good laugh when my son told me how she was looking something up about Craig Venter and found his autobiography on Amazon and then discovered that I had the number one review of it. I guess she thinks that an engineer and physician does not have the mental horsepower of a PhD in Psychology.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  37. BarryCare/Healthcare.gov…….
    Proving the point day after day that this is the “Lillian Hellman Presidency”:
    Every word out of its mouth is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’!

    askeptic (efcf22)

  38. “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

    – Hillary Clinton

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  39. “Due to the American voters’ legacy of stupidity, they’re about to be taught a lesson in the real use of power…you will be witnesses.”
    ―Jonathan “Hans” Gruber maintaining his façade of an honest broker douchebag

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  40. “What his statement shows is that if there’s any possible political advantage in doing so, this administration is going to lie to your face. And that applies not just to Obamacare but to everything.”

    I reject the qualifier. They lie reflexively and relentlessly and with relish, even when they’re about to get caught, even when it won’t serve their interests.

    It’s who they are and what they do.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  41. Clinton was a master at lying even when it wasn’t necessary. Good for practice. Most sociopaths are.

    Gazzer (cb9ee2)

  42. elissa–

    My problem with Cruz is that he’s a bully on a mission, and he’s too strident to be effective.

    It might be best if he got his way entirely, but he won’t, so there will have to be deals cut and half loaves accepted. Cruz is not the kind of guy who makes that happen.

    Kevin M (d91a9f) — 11/12/2014 @ 8:59 am

    I’ve read this before. Could you please give specific instances of Ted Cruz being a bully?

    Tanny O'Haley (9fdd45)

  43. DRJ, you are probably right, but there is a lot of room between little baby steps and revolution.

    Kevin M (56aae1)

  44. Re: #43

    The man is doing his best to live up to the stereotype.

    ThOR (cce05b)

  45. 27. The small business engine of growth is teats up, tagged and growing cold.

    Managing the decline will do absolutely nothing to bend a flat line.

    We received another report last week that tax receipts continue to break records but with forward guidance off >8% either this trend stops this quarter or one has post fact verification that once again the Feds are, again, lying to your face.

    DNF (d34af1)

  46. Have no money to wager but I expect a CR to keep government afloat in all its profligacy thru March and reconciliation to prepare a tough, austere budget gouging Obamanycare which gets vetoed instantly.

    Then the GOP passes what Obama wants with a few Dhimmi holdouts, complaining children will starve, but fuller Democrat support than Republican.

    Bronze plan premiums up 75%, 6 Million covered, medical device companies get the only respite.

    DNF (d34af1)

  47. Kevin M,

    I’m willing to re-evaluate my opinion of the GOP’s Congressional leaders if Mitch McConnell will follow through on his spokesman’s pre-election statement</a) that McConnell is willing to use reconciliation to pass legislation that repeals ObamaCare. I hope I'm wrong about him and the other leaders.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  48. January 2016, 1/3 of every Republican holding office throws in for a run at the Presidency.

    DNF (d34af1)

  49. I’m sorry. I forgot to close my link.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  50. 53. Make that Jan. 2015, donchaknow?

    DNF (d34af1)

  51. The best possible legacy for Barack Obama would be if it is his administration that forever put a stake in the heart of the idea that big decisions and complex programs are best left to the academic/media/bureaucratic elite, and the rest of his unwashed peons should sit back and accept whatever they deign to deliver unto us. A healthy suspicion of big government technocrats would serve us all well.

    JVW (60ca93)

  52. DRJ (a83b8b) — 11/12/2014 @ 3:34 pm

    DRJ, I agree with you. Knowing full well that Obama won’t sign a bill that dismantles his — ahem, ahem — signature achievement, it is still worthwhile for the GOP to remind everyone that the Supreme Court has ruled that ObamaCare is nothing but a tax, and therefore it can be gutted using the budgetary process that only requires 51 votes rather than separate legislation that is subject to a Democrat filibuster.

    JVW (60ca93)

  53. There is no filibuster, JVW. Don’t you remember? The democraps eliminated it with the “nuclear” option.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  54. DRJ,

    Do you think that simply repealing Obamacare will be a good thing for the GOP? What do you tell the people who were forced out of the old system, forced onto Obamacare and cannot get back to their old policies for one reason or another? Examples: They got sick and are now excluded; their company left the state or went out of business. The dislocations of attempting to go back to the old system could be worse than the dislocations of Obamacare. Do you think that will be a political victory?

    Not saying that Obamacare is anything but a turd, but the old system died the day Roberts had his epiphany and pretending you can just repeal and not devastate people, particularly older people, is a fantasy.

    Kevin M (56aae1)

  55. If Halbig succeeds, and the states don’t establish exchanges (good luck doing that quickly anyway), there are going to be a lot of pissed off people who have been jerked around pretty mercilessly.

    I know that a lot of folks who have insurance through their company or Medicare feel like it’s only some deadbeats who will suffer, but that’s not really the case. There are some 5 or 6 million families who were forced off their old private policies and onto Obamacare. They will not thank you for jerking them around again, especially if the round trip doesn’t solve any of the outstanding issues with health insurance (and unsolves the few things that Obamacare fixed at great cost).

    Kevin M (56aae1)

  56. There is no filibuster, JVW. Don’t you remember? The democraps eliminated it with the “nuclear” option.

    Only for judges and other executive branch nominations, Hoagie. It’s still in place for other bills, though the budget has never been subject to filibuster.

    JVW (60ca93)

  57. It’s still in place for other bills, though the budget has never been subject to filibuster.

    The filibuster will die in early January. Judge holds will probably survive, because it suits the GOP to block Obama’s judges easily.

    Kevin M (56aae1)

  58. 56. True, but not really capturing the magnitude of the FAIL, domestic and global.

    DNF (d34af1)

  59. From 2002 to 2008, I had health insurance. Since then, I have not had health insurance. In 2008, I lost my health insurance when I lost my job. For 3+ years, I was unemployed, but not counted as such since I didn’t qualify for unemployment compensation. In 2013, I returned to trucking, as an Independent Contractor. I lease my own truck under an LLC I already had, but wasn’t doing anything with. And my LLC does not pay for any health insurance for any of the one employees it has. And the one employee it has (me) does not buy his own health insurance.

    I know I’m not the only middle-class self-employed type (pseudo-self-employed, as I am contracted by a large company) to forego ObamaCare. There is no way under the sun I would ever pay for ObamaCare (and I can officially afford it since I have virtually no “home” expenses), and as the record (of lack of sign-ups) shows, I’m not the only 48 year old LLC owner who has declined to get ObamaCare.

    John Hitchcock (cbb474)

  60. Here’s why I’m not optimistic about the GOP leaders in Washington: Cruz campaigned in 2010 and 2011 on doing whatever it takes to repeal ObamaCare and he’s kept his promise since his election in 2012. Most Republicans campaigned against ObamaCare, but they haven’t been as consistent as Cruz. For instance, in the Politico article, McConnell can’t decide whether he supports a piecemeal approach to reforming ObamaCare or using reconciliation to repeal it. He promised to use reconciliation during the campaign and it probably helped him win re-election. Now, just 1 week later, he’s changing his tune and says he will consider whether Senators want a piecemeal approach to reforming ObamaCare. If the GOP leadership adopts the piecemeal approach, I trust Cruz will work to get as much done as possible. Unfortunately, it isn’t just Democratic liars he has to contend with.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  61. Clinton was a master at lying even when it wasn’t necessary.

    Perhaps. Gov. Kerrey thought so. Richard John Neuhaus disagreed: “an unusually good liar would not have the reputation for being an unusually good liar”. Before he retired from the FBI, Leon Podles said he had attended some small intramural session wherein a psychologist analyzed for those in attendance a videotape of some question and answer session Clinton had attended. Podles said the presenter pointed out Clinton’s eye movements signalled deception, and in a way that would generally be picked up by the man in the street.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  62. The absolutely best plan for the GOP is to replace Obamacare with a market-based plan that works, and which deals with the widely hated preexisting-condition exclusion, at least for people with prior insurance. It should also include tort reform and tax credits for the working poor. It might be a good idea to offer corporate tax relief to companies that have a minimum health plan for all employees.

    But they need to have a plan because if they eff this up the next Dem wave will bring us single payer.

    Kevin M (56aae1)

  63. Judge holds will probably survive, because it suits the GOP to block Obama’s judges easily.

    You do not need to extend to every member of the Senate a franchise to put an anonymous and indefinite hold on an appointee. Holds appeared ca. 1955 and in the original practice, they lasted only a few days and were meant simply to keep a Senator from having to be chained to the floor waiting for a nomination he was concerned with to appear on the schedule.

    Vote down the nominations or have the relevant committees bottle them up.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  64. I was unemployed, but not counted as such since I didn’t qualify for unemployment compensation.

    You’d be counted as unemployed. The majority of people enumerated as ‘unemployed’ do not qualify for unemployment compensation.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  65. Gruber misspoke again.

    In the other case he called the mandate a tax, when he seems to have meant that the penalty is a tax. Unless he meant the whole mandate, but who knows?

    Here he says ”the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.” when he really means to say is that b> ”the American people are too stupid to understand there is no difference.”

    And everybody follows his mistakes like the proverbial lemmings.

    Sammy Finkelman (652c5b)

  66. John, I hope you don’t get sick. IN 2014, my perfectly healthy wife was diagnosed with throat cancer. The doctors say her chances of a cure are about 90%, but the cost of that cure will probably go over $200K. With insurance, it is capped at $6250. Which is the whole point of insurance; the rest of this prepaid medical crap is just that. Get the cheapest bronze policy you can find, and hope you never use it. IF it makes you feel better you can get on off-exchange.

    Kevin M (56aae1)

  67. Still wishing for an edit function.

    Kevin M (56aae1)

  68. * when he really means to say is that ”the American people are too stupid to understand there is no difference

    Now, it is not the american people who are too stupid to understand that. It’s not even members of Congress. It’s the political consultants, who believe that when you do that way, it can’t be used in campaign commercials because the opponent could deny it is atax and it’s too complkicated to describe in seven words and won’t fit into acommercial.

    But you know what? In every place , in every artivle I read, it was described as a tax. In fact I didn’t know that technically it as atax on the insurance policies. All this subtrefuge gained them nothing.

    What Congress did to hide this from the American public was postpone the effective date – until, way way past the end Obama’s second term – to 2018. And I think they later made it 2019. the idea was the american people will only notice what actually happens, or will happen in the next year not what the law says will happen eventually.

    The unions, of course were not fooled.

    But there was time to deal with this.

    This was yet another thing they intended to deal with in a future Congress.

    Sammy Finkelman (652c5b)

  69. Kevin M:

    Do you think that simply repealing Obamacare will be a good thing for the GOP?

    I haven’t seen any Republican that is running on repeal alone. Ted Cruz announced his repeal and replace plan last year, and I think the notion of repeal alone is a non-issue that ObamaCare supporters and perhaps the piecemeal reform folks have created to discredit the repeal movement.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  70. We were told, still incredible, that the White House had no idea what a disaster the launch of the federal exchange was going to be.

    That was not a lie.

    That was the truth!!

    They really didn’t know. Maybe they heard there would be some kind of problem, but not what actually happened.

    You know, the thermocline of truth.

    Not all misstatements and false predictions are lies. There can incompetence, too.

    Sammy Finkelman (652c5b)

  71. 74. The only problem is, a simple repeal is the kind of bill that can most quickly make its way through the House of Representatives, and they’ve done it now, what, how many times?

    Sammy Finkelman (652c5b)

  72. I’m sorry, Kevin M. Hopefully the cancer and/or treatments won’t be too hard, but you and your wife may have some tough times ahead. She will need your strength and patience. There are times cancer patients can’t eat and times they can, so be ready to run out and get what she thinks she can eat at the strangest times — and accept that she might not be able to eat once you get it. Ice chips and popsicles can help keep her hydrated when nothing else works, and dry mouth may be an issue, so consider products like Biotene or whatever your oncologist suggests. May God bless you and I hope you find your cancer journey brings you even closer together, as it did for my family.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  73. ropelight (d94e51) — 11/12/2014 @ 8:39 am

    And Patterico’s recent experience with the adamant rejection of incontrovertible evidence by Lemieux and his band of troglodyte Kool-Aid drinkers indicates that hell freezes over before true believers put truth above ideology.

    Patterico is having so much trouble because what he says doesn’t make sense – that the drafters of the bill, really, truly, expected all states to establish exchanges.

    How could they have?

    What was going to force states to do that? There was nothing.

    And why did they say the Secretary of HHS could establish an exchange for a state that didn’t?

    Lemieux and company have a point.

    Now of course what they are claiming is also wrong. The language of the bill is clear.

    There is no provision for subsidies on the federal exchange.

    Actually, there’s no provision for a federal exchange at all – that was distortion of the bill’s language by the Obama administration.

    There’s only a provision for HHS to write the software for a state exchange in case they didn’t get cracking soon enough.

    The answer to the question why did they say the Secretary of HHS could establish an exchange and not say that tax credits would apply is because…

    1) It didn’t say that the secretary of HHS could operate an exchange.

    And more precisely:

    2) The bill was deliberately defectively written.

    And I hope nobody’s head will explode at this assertion.

    It was delieberately written defectively in order to game the CBO scoring, as part of effort to get the net cost of the bill under $1 trillion.

    That’s why they didn’t fix this in the second bill they passed in 2010 through reconciliation, which got rid of the Cornhusker kickback and some other things that were in the Senate bill passed by the House and signed by the president.

    Yes, it amount to a rounding error, but rounding errors counted. They budgeted $1 billion for Administrative costs over 10 years, definitely too low, especially if HHS was going to write software for exchanges.

    They told the CBO to assume all states established exchanges.

    They knew that all states mght not get cracking so they put this in – and that would carry things through certainly the middle of 2011 and mayeb through half of 2012.

    The one thing they didn’t count on, was losing control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 election.

    That meant a bill fixing this could not be brought to floor of the House of Representatives and it couldn’t quietly be inserted in a bigger bill. They ddin’t need 60 votes in the Senate to fix this language, but they did need majority control in the House of Representatives.

    As for Gruber, he’s just talking nonsense and/or lying.

    What he is concealing is the bill was deliberately written defectively to game the CBO scoring and they intended to fix that in a future budget year, and in the meantime were hoping that as many states as possible established exchanges so that the budget consequences to the federal government would be lower.

    Hell, true believers, especially those with collectivist inclinations submit to mass suicide (Jonestown, Heaven’s Gate) rather than face the reality they’ve dedicated their lives to the worship of false gods.

    So, is there much of a chance those who’ve voted for the Liar-in-Chief, his enablers in the Democrat Party, and his idiot nostrums will suddenly wake up and realize their god will see them dead before he admits to even the hint of failure? You’ll know the answer when there’s a run on cyanide at the nation’s drug stores. Barack Obama would rather do a nationwide Jim Jones than be exposed for the two-faced liar he so obviously is and always has been.

    Sammy Finkelman (652c5b)

  74. GOP leaders don’t like Cruz because he’s usually right and because he rocks their conservative boats before they’re ready to be rocked. It’s not just ObamaCare, it’s other topics, too, like net neutrality.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  75. I know I’m not the only middle-class self-employed type (pseudo-self-employed, as I am contracted by a large company) to forego ObamaCare. There is no way under the sun I would ever pay for ObamaCare (and I can officially afford it since I have virtually no “home” expenses), and as the record (of lack of sign-ups) shows, I’m not the only 48 year old LLC owner who has declined to get ObamaCare.

    John Hitchcock (cbb474) — 11/12/2014 @ 4:29 pm

    John,

    If you’re a Christian, there are 4 medical sharing plans that were grandfathered in Obamacare that are far less expensive and really just catastrophic insurance. We have friends that are using these policies and haven’t heard any complaints yet. My wife and I are thinking of transferring her over to one of the 4 plans because I make 76% of what I did in 2009 and her insurance with a huge deductible of over $800 a month. We have to think very hard about this because she has a few medical issues.

    Tanny O'Haley (958353)

  76. Kevin,

    I’d like to see a replacement plan that gets rid of the pre-existing clause for a couple of years, then returns insurance back to the way it was. I had a much better policy then, for less than I have now.

    Tanny O'Haley (958353)

  77. Sammy – I’m not sure I understand your theory. If I’m following you, it sounds like the CBO scored the bill as if everybody got subsidies. That raises the costs of the bill, not lowers it. What gaming was going on there?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  78. This California race in the 16th cd has not gotten nearly enough attention.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/392526/unlikeliest-winner-andrew-johnson

    elissa (a2c249)

  79. Meanwhile and off-topic, I’m still holding my breath for Martha McSally in AZ2, but the latest news makes me paranoid about the Dems’ and their proclivities toward electoral fraud.

    If she holds on, I will have scored 100% on my handful of strategic out-of-state political contributions this year. Plus I still want to see a Warthog driver named “Martha” in Congress.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  80. I am incredibly pessimistic about the prospects of either fixing Obamacare or reforming healthcare. The only true fix is to entirely disentangle government from the marketplace, such that healthcare insurance is no longer tax deductible and almost entirely unregulated at the federal level, with no more regulation at the state level than life insurance currently has. I’d allow for a taxpayer funded baseline — Medicaid completely reformed and de-federalized, as determined by each state legislature and funded entirely by them. But unless and until insurance is returned to its traditional underwriting role, a non-exclusive one in the healthcare marketplace, the market can’t perform its the price-control-through-competition function, and the system can never be fixed.

    Everything short of that is ignoring the real problem. The system was broken before, and more specifically, it was broken because of pervasive government interference for decades. Getting the governments’ pernicious effects out of the system would be painful, expensive, and quite frankly, politically impossible. Hence my pessimism.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  81. #84… damn good record, Beldar! Who do you like to win the Super Bowl?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  82. Colonel, it’s the best parlay I’ve ever managed. Martha would make me eight for eight.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  83. Now we gots two loquacious mobies trying to block entrance.

    That’s w/out net neutrality.

    DNF (d34af1)

  84. Sammy, if you’re going to respond to my comments, please make a better effort to distinguish your words from mine. At #78 you started out making the distinction clear, for which I’m grateful, but as your critique progressed the difference became less and less discernible. Thank you.

    ropelight (d94e51)

  85. The problem is “Obama lied, millions got healthcare” doesn’t rhyme.

    jbroulie (da8bcd)

  86. From the post:

    But then-Senator John Kerry came up with the idea of taxing the companies providing the Cadillac plans, rather than taxing Americans directly.

    Gruber told him that it was the same thing, and he didn’t see why that’s matter. “You’ll see,” responded Kerry. Sure enough, the provision passed, in Gruber’s estimation because ”the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.”

    It’s scary to think that Kerry is one of the brightest politicians in Congress. Was Kerry named Secretary of State because he’s politically savvy, or is it because he came up with a lie that made ObamaCare possible?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  87. #90, bjroulie: The lie is that “millions got healthcare”. Pre-ObolaCare, the media had 38 million uninsured … or maybe it was 40 million … who knows. Latest figures show maybe 9 million have mediocreCare and most had some sort of healthcare before. Ergo … we still have over 30 million without healthcare. So Obola has to lie about the coverage he has made available to those who most need it. Not mentioned, tens of millions (10**7) are now without coverage. What a piece of effluent.

    bobathome (5ccbd8)

  88. Bjroulie – Obama lied, millions lost their plans, millions were added to Medicaid, and some got the chance to pay loads more on broken exchanges that still don’t have the back end working yet. Yay team!

    JD (285732)

  89. #84, Beldar: I share your enthusiasm for McSally. The latest piece of garbage confirming the collapse of the rule of law is that the registrar in Pima County has let a large number of “provisional” ballots be counted despite the fact that they were not signed by a precinct officer. That signature is required to assure that the ballots aren’t photocopied, filled out, and then stuffed into the ballot boxes as they await processing. Prior to that decision McSally led by 500 votes, the margin is now 80, and we await the next outrage. We’ve seen this scenario played out in Washington State repeatedly over the past two decades, and all we have to show for it is Jim McDermott, and a state that is considered a solid blue. But in retrospect, if solid blue means corrupt and rotten, then I guess we’ve managed to earn that label. In the 1800’s Seattle had these kinds of problems and a vigilante committee took care of business. The last hoodlum captured by the committee pled for his life promising to leave and never return, but they already knew he was a liar, and preceeded to lynch him properly. The Pima County official would be wise to read a little history.

    Oh, and for those who worry about the economy, our Puget Sound longshoremen have been staging a work slow-down since April, and containers full of perishable food are rotting on the Tacoma and Seattle docks. Our principal exports are logs, potatoes, orchard produce, and wheat, and only the logs can cope with the treatment offerred by our current batch of rentiers.

    bobathome (5ccbd8)

  90. Still no rhhyme.

    jbroulie (da8bcd)

  91. I agree that government should not be involved at all. I cannot imagine though that any politician knows or even is interested in how the “divorce” between government and the free markets should commence, in health care or anything else.

    It can’t be all at once–too much pushback and dislocation. What’s left? An incremental approach of 40 years? I don’t think the GOP has the stomach for that.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  92. DRJ, Thank you for your comments. We’ve gotten an education and are just entering Phase II (radiation/chemo) at the best hospital in the area (UCLA Westwood) and top doctors. There is every reason to be optimistic.

    Yes. Biotene, fluoride trays, lots of fattening food (just this once). She is in good hands.

    No thanks to Obamacare. There were 6 companies that one could get insurance from this year, after her previous policy and wide network were cancelled. Only one company covered treatment at any of the 3 top hospitals/networks in L.A. I got her a Bronze/HSA plan with them and it is working out very well.

    It is interesting to note that doctors, hospitals and insurance companies are forming billing and insurance keiretsu to deal with the ACA cluster-thing.

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  93. Tanny, the problem with the preexisting clause is that people between 50 and medicare odften develop problems that will prevent them from changing insurance. Then their insurer leaves the state, or their COBRA runs out, etc. The existing solution (HIPAA) is very constrained, and miss one payment and that’s it.

    Plans for employees have no issue with preexisting conditions, even though people often take jobs to get the insurance for an illness. The problem is that the various insurance pools are balkanized (and more so under Obamacare) so private market are far more sensitive to freeloaders.

    The solution is to increase the size of the private pools so that marginal gaming doesn’t matter much. McCain, believe it or not, had a plan that solved everything OBamacare purports to fix, but did so with free market measures.

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  94. bobathome, Beldar:

    What I see is McSally up by 133 after the dubious provisionals were counted, 200 conditional ballots awaiting IDs uncounted, and now 200 more ballots have been “found” in Pima county.

    http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/politics/2014/11/12/barber-mcsally-race-200-ballots-found/18927081/

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  95. By the way, the GOP count (officially 244) is at least 246, since there are two 70% GOP districts in Louisiana awaiting runoffs. That, McSally and 2 CA seats still in the wind could bring us up to 249.

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  96. Kevin M,

    I think I know how you feel. We lost our insurance because of ObamaCare as I was finishing my second round of chemo. Our new policy costs much more, has significantly higher deductibles, and a smaller network of providers. It’s troublesome to have our health insurance policy change so dramatically, but it’s especially sobering if you have a disease like cancer where even the most basic treatments cost so much.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  97. 91. Uh, SAT 1190, reported IQ 123, perhaps above average in Congress, but bottom quartile around here.

    DNF (d34af1)

  98. Apparently to leftists, if it isn’t a pithy bumper sticker rhyme …

    JD (285732)

  99. I am incredibly pessimistic about the prospects of either fixing Obamacare or reforming healthcare. The only true fix is to entirely disentangle government from the marketplace, such that healthcare insurance is no longer tax deductible and almost entirely unregulated at the federal level, with no more regulation at the state level than life insurance currently has. I’d allow for a taxpayer funded baseline — Medicaid completely reformed and de-federalized, as determined by each state legislature and funded entirely by them. But unless and until insurance is returned to its traditional underwriting role, a non-exclusive one in the healthcare marketplace, the market can’t perform its the price-control-through-competition function, and the system can never be fixed.

    Everything short of that is ignoring the real problem. The system was broken before, and more specifically, it was broken because of pervasive government interference for decades. Getting the governments’ pernicious effects out of the system would be painful, expensive, and quite frankly, politically impossible. Hence my pessimism.

    Beldar, the free market wasn’t working! They had to do something!

    Yes, I am (bitterly) joking. Your comment is right on target — and what makes it worse is that the public doesn’t understand we didn’t have a free market to begin with. When you and I say we should let the market work, they reply that we already tried that — and they really believe it.

    It’s impossible to educate enough people about this to make a difference. Look at the all the screeching about “net neutrality.” It’s the same thing. Regulation screws up the system, people say: look how the market has screwed up the system! — and the government offers to fix it with, you guessed it, more regulation.

    And there is a one-way ratchet towards socialism that keeps turning more every year.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  100. Kevin M,

    Good luck to you and your wife.

    DRJ’s story about getting jerked around by ObamaCare never ceases to infuriate me.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  101. Apparently to leftists, if it isn’t a pithy bumper sticker rhyme …

    No kidding. How else can we explain the very existence of Jesse Jackson in the public eye?

    JVW (60ca93)

  102. Our new policy costs much more, has significantly higher deductibles, and a smaller network of providers.

    And yet there is no doubt that some Obama Administration stooge would look you in the eye and with a straight face tell you that you needed a new plan because your old one just wasn’t good enough. And that line will be repeated ad nauseum in leftwing media.

    God bless you, DRJ, I hope your treatments continue to go well.

    JVW (60ca93)

  103. Patterico, and anyone forced into Obamacare in the Los Angeles area:

    Open enrollemnt is coming up. The only Exchange company offering anything like a good network is Anthem Blue Cross. It covers ALL of he UCLA hospitals and providers, Cedars-Sinai and ALL of its network, as well as others. But those networks cover so many quality doctors, practices and hospitals that I was comfortable with the policy. Since I view health insurance as something to cover catastrophe, we have the Bronze/HSA plan. We paid the max OOP and all the premiums, but it did what it was supposed to do.

    None of the other Obamacare companies would have covered any of our doctors or hospitals.

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  104. you needed a new plan because your old one just wasn’t good enough

    Yes, my 60yo wife was thrilled to know she had full contraceptive coverage.

    This year they add full sex-change coverage in California, and they will likely cancel any grandfathered policy that failed to include that critical option.

    Kevin M (d91a9f)

  105. Still no rhhyme.

    jbroulie (da8bcd) — 11/12/2014 @ 7:22 pm

    Obama lied, people died.

    Tanny O'Haley (c674c7)

  106. Lost my insurance, found no assurance.

    Tanny O'Haley (c674c7)

  107. With Ibamacare in the red, waiting in line found dead!

    Yoda (d89de1)

  108. But obama is a good man just trying to do what he thinks is best for this country.

    Mr Pink (0c96df)

  109. I just read the whole thread…I’m thinking of you, DRJ and Kevin, and hoping for the best in your fights against cancer. I’m a long time survivor, so I hope you get there as well.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  110. 98. Kevin M (d91a9f) — 11/12/2014 @ 7:54 pm

    McCain, believe it or not, had a plan that solved everything OBamacare purports to fix, but did so with free market measures.

    But the problem is, he didn’t understand his “own” plan, and Obama bamboozled him about it in a debate.

    (he said the tax credit would amount to less than the cost of a plan – but a tax deduction now doesn’t cover 100%.)

    And it apparently didn’t fix everything.

    Sammy Finkelman (652c5b)

  111. 89. ropelight (d94e51) — 11/12/2014 @ 6:18 pm

    Sammy, if you’re going to respond to my comments, please make a better effort to distinguish your words from mine. At #78 you started out making the distinction clear, for which I’m grateful, but as your critique progressed the difference became less and less discernible. Thank you.

    I made a bunch of mistakes in editing last night and this morning.

    I was not just reponding to you but to others, but didn’t quote anybody else.

    Everything after the first paragraph, except for the last paragraph is mine.

    The first paragraph is taken from the first of your two paragraphs in #7, and set apart by being indented.

    The last paragraph, not indented, is your second paragraph, which I didn’t notice was copied and not edited out, and to which I didn’t write anything specific.

    Sammy Finkelman (652c5b)

  112. Obamacare needs to torn up and totally rewritten, using the McCain plan as a starting point, and I would severely modify it. (McCain’s plan too, but the idea of a refundable tax credit given to every American citizen is a very one, and eliminated all need for Medicaid means testing)

    I would also have the option of having some catastrophic expenses charged off against anticipated Social Security benefits, with a cap as how much could be “borrowed” from it, and after that it would just be paid for. I would abolish Medicaid and all direct means testing (not through the tax system) I would give everyone some money for basic medical expenses, some of which could be carried over into a second year, but would eventually expire unless converted into medical gift cards. I would HAVE A DOUGHNUT HOLE. I would try to make prices matter but not matter too much (e.g you can tap into your Social Security benefits)

    I would charge everyone the same price for the same coverage and differ from person to person only in the size of the deductible, standardizing policies offered that way, but allowing for different variations (just taht from person to person the only difference could be in the size of the deductible) and if the deductible was too high, just have it paid for by taxation.

    Some people might have a million dollar deductible. I would have some market mechanism to ensure it was not too high and not too low for any particular person, and it maybe would largely be keyed to a prior year’s medical expenses. No one would pay the million dollar deductible – that would be capped based on income tax history or some other very simple metric. The amount out of pocket might also be limited to an amount – say $30,000 a year for a maximum of three years. Out of pocket expenses could be paid for the way other expenses are paid for, a medical credit card, borrowing a small amount against anticipated income tax refunds, or borrowing against Social Security benefits and above the cap by taxation, which would also cover insolvent people, and other kinds of care provided. People without insurance – but everyone would have the $5,000 tax credit – but without a plan, would be charged nio more than 15th percentile of the watever insurance paid – they would not pay the highest price but near the lowest. Medical institutions and doctors might have some expeses covered directly.

    Obamacare is going to run into real trouble next year even without a Supreme Court decision upsetting the applecart, and Obama is going to be fairly amenable to signing anything just so long as you don’t say you are repealed the PPACA, but only amending it. Obama can’t be too stubborn because the situation is going to be so bad, Democrats will be edging toward voting to override a veto.

    Sammy Finkelman (652c5b)

  113. My point about the bill was that Patterico and Lemieux were running around in circles, and Patterico was not getrting anywhere with any of Lemieux’s band, because Patterico wasn’t really spot on.

    Every reason that everybody gave as to why the bill was written the way it was, was unsatisfactory.

    And now I am thinking that administrative costs for the exchanges must be well over $500 million over a 10-year period.

    Only if it goes into the billions does my theory make sense. (although maybe it makes sense if this change to state exchanges was made when they were just varely squeezing undr $1 trillion in the CBO score. But still, the savings from offloading the exchanges onto the states really would be that high.

    Sammy Finkelman (652c5b)


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