Obamacare War Is Over (If You Want It)

Republicans, you can end the Obamacare War if you want. You’ve already lost. It’s a free-market program, you know it is. You can get on board and implement it and let the free market do its thing, or you can continue to drag your feet and have whiny-baby fits, driving up costs with your inaction and obstruction. That’s not exactly how you tell us conservativism is supposed to work, but you know, the choice is yours. Be the principled free market conservatives you claim to be or continue to be this recalcitrant caricature of a political party. Your choice. If you choose the later your party will die, because reality is a potent neutralizer of fear.

Obamacare is working where it’s allowed to work.I give you this headline:


California Man Get Health Insurance For $1 A Month Through Obamacare

And here’s the story:

This is California, where the state didn’t attempt to sabotage the law. There weren’t efforts to obstruct, defund, misinform the public or prevent them from signing up. They didn’t dig their heels in and say, “fuckitall, we’ll just let the Feds set up our exchange, we don’t want to do it.” There wasn’t a rejection of Medicaid expansion, or this ridiculous notion that people could just go to emergency rooms and somehow the rest of the state wasn’t paying for it.

No, in California the state created its own website and was able to roll out its exchange, tailored to its specific needs. It worked on this for months and everything is going well. California is the nation’s largest market, and the rollout here, while not perfect, is also not plagued with the glitches seen elsewhere. It works here because people wanted it to work. Amazing what can happen if you have your want-to.

The war is over, Republicans. Do not be like the lone Japanese sniper living in a tree who still doesn’t know, decades later, that the Empire lost the war.

I find it really interesting that Republicans are working off a 50-year-old playbook when it comes to Obamacare. Today, Medicare is so widely popular, you even have Tea Partiers saying “Hand off my Medicare.”

Cognitive Dissonance Alert

Cognitive Dissonance Alert

Obamacare can work if you want it to. California proves it. If you’re unfortunate enough to live in a state governed by Republican’ts, whose guiding theology is government can’t work and government is the enemy, then it won’t. Simple.

[UPDATE]:

Oregon cuts number of uninsured in its state by 10% in less than two weeks. This thing nobody wanted .. people want! And Blue States are able to implement it nicely.

Imagine what we can do when we work together.

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40 Comments

Filed under California, health insurance, healthcare

40 responses to “Obamacare War Is Over (If You Want It)

  1. Jim in Memphis

    i wonder how much California or the Federal Government is paying to offer the “$1″ insurance plan? You can say that it is only costing $1 for this insurance but we all know that is not the case. Add it to the deficit, account for the interest expense, and I would guess this is going to be a very expensive insurance plan in the end. And why should Republicans take the blame for the Federal roll out of the exchanges not working? Were Republicans responsible for developing these exchanges? Not expanding Medicare and not setting up state level exchanges were all options in the law as written. As we know, you can’t change the law now that it is passed, you just have to implement it. So the question should be why can’t Obama’s regime implement his law? Why was Obama allowed to make so many changes to the law without approval of Congress?

    • And why should Republicans take the blame for the Federal roll out of the exchanges not working?

      SHORTER JIM: HEADS WE WIN TAILS YOU LOSE. It’s never Republicans’ fault. Conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed.

      Sure why is it their fault? Must have been that evil Obama who forced the Republicans to sabotage Obamacare at the state level. He’s the one who MADE Bill Haslam and the other Red State governors craft onerous and unnecessary regulations on the insurance navigators. It’s not Republican Governors’ fault that their state AG’s wasted time and money filing court challenge after court challenge! Or that state insurance commissioners refused to lift so much as a paperclip to help. Like this crap happening in Oklahoma isn’t happening all across Redneck America.

      C’mon Jim. You really don’t know how things work, do you?

      Look, I know not a lot air gets inside the Fox News bubble but here, I’ll make it simple for you: Obamacare is doing really well in Blue States. It’s not doing so well in Red States. I WONDER WHY THAT IS. Let’s think …

      You’re a fucking moron.

    • Glidwrith

      JIM: “Add it to the deficit, account for the interest expense, and I would guess this is going to be a very expensive insurance plan in the end.”

      Sorry, Jim. The ACA is paid for – every penny of it. The CBO has even projected that the program will reduce the deficit. If you look at the 10 year interest rates on Treasury bonds, they are actually negative after factoring in inflation.

      • He must have been thinking about Medicare Part D rather than Obamacare.

      • Jim in Memphis

        So the government is going to spend an estimated total of 1.3 trillion over the next ten years for the ACA according to the CBO but it will not be a net addition to the deficit? So the ACA has added revenues of 1.3 trillion dollars in new taxes over the next ten years? Raise your hand if you think

        And yes I agree that Medicare Part D is a huge waste of money as well. It was stupid of the Republicans to pass it.

      • @Jim in Memphis:

        Obamacare has added substantial new income in taxes. Just look around on the web and you can find details, because conservatives love to complain about all the new taxes it involves. But it isn’t all paid for by increased taxes; there’s also savings elsewhere in the budget, most notably a reduction in reimbursement rates under Medicare Advantage, which was paying private insurers substantially more than Medicare itself was paying for the same services. Right wing demagogues have lied and claimed this is a reduction in Medicare benefits.

        In any case, you don’t have to take my word for it; listen to the CBO. They came up with the $1.3 trillion over 10 year estimate that you’re citing, and they also agreed that the combination of revenues and reduced spending in Obamacare would make it revenue neutral over the same period.

  2. Jim in Memphis

    So the Democrats and Obama pass a law saying the Federal government will implement these exchanges but the Republicans are to blame when they can’t actually produce said exchanges? And why should states agree to the added expense of expanding Medicaid when most states are having trouble enough paying for the existing program? Sure the feds are paying the tab for the first two years, but what happens down the road when that money starts scaling back? As far as I know, the Republicans have followed the law in their objections to the ACA. Why you would expect any of them to join in this fiasco and support it is beyond me. Of course, your plan is to blame the Republicans when this program fails when they had nothing to do with creating it or running it.

    • So the Democrats and Obama pass a law saying the Federal government will implement these exchanges but the Republicans are to blame when they can’t actually produce said exchanges?

      That’s not how it works. But I forgot, you are from the worldview where the Federal Government just swoops in and does what it pleases with states, like a drunken Rhett Butler having his way with Scarlett O’Hara. You view the Feds as jackbooted thugs who can just run roughshod over things like state insurance commissioners and state health departments, can just tell a state AG and state supreme court to stop the litigating and let it come in and do what it wants.

      Tell me, does Obama get the credit for Obamacare’s big success in Blue States? Places like California and Oregon? Or does he just get the blame for its failure in recalcitrant Red States?

      You’re a fucking idiot, Jim. Every time you post a comment like that you just reaffirm to the thinking crowd how completely uneducated and out of touch you are.

      Go read a civics book and get back to me in about 10 years when you’ve grown up.

      Of course, your plan is to blame the Republicans when this program fails when they had nothing to do with creating it or running it.

      So you’re still in denial over Obamacare being the Republican healthcare plan, I see. Still denying that this is basically the Heritage Foundation’s 1989 healthcare plan?

      Sad. Very very very sad. Go to the link and weep, Jim. Page 8:

      2) Mandate all households to obtain adequate insurance.

      […]

      3) Provide help to those who cannot afford protection.

  3. It would be nice to get more background on this individual’s situation and the mechanics of the subsidy.

    • True. From the interview he said he got just a bare-bones, emergency style policy. In case something catastrophic happened.

    • I’ve checked on the California exchange website and played around to look at the size of subsidies. Somebody who’s just above the line for Medicare/MediCal will qualify for enough of a subsidy that they can get a plan for next to nothing. I think I was able to get it to estimate a plan that would be $1/month after the subsidy.

  4. Also … reason # 11,789 why this mess is Republicans’ fault: we never wanted the exchanges in the first place! We wanted the damn Public Option!! But noooo …. These healthcare exchanges were Olympia Snowe’s brilliant idea.

    This was the compromise we got stuck with because Republicans insisted.

    • Jim in Memphis

      Again, the law passed with only Democrats voting for it. They could have put whatever the hell they wanted into the bill. Blame your local Democrat if you are not happy with the bill they voted to pass.

      • Blame your local Democrat if you are not happy with the bill they voted to pass.

        I did here, here, here, and here, and probably a few other places too but I don’t have time to dig further back. Democrats compromised again and again and again, hoping to gain Republican support by adopting one Republican idea after another. Did it work? Well we got a law neither side is happy with. Bipartisanship!

        The final law may have passed with only Dem votes but the Republicans were very involved in the process from day one, and the bill received Republican votes all through the process, from when it was first created by the Heritage Foundation to the Senate Finance Committee meetings which laid the groundwork for the bill and included Republicans Mike Enzi, Chuck Grassley and Olympia Snowe. And yes, Snowe voted for a draft version of the bill.

        This bizarre fantasy you have that somehow Republicans had nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act is kinda bizarre. This law was a Republican idea. We liberals wanted single payer/Medicare For All. We COMPROMISED on this. We wanted the Public Option and COMPROMISED on the exchanges.

        I devoted tons of bandwidth to the debate and the negotiations on this blog. You may not remember what happened 4 years ago but I certainly do.

  5. deep

    Hey Beale, is there a website or blog out there that has checked on implementation in every state? In particular I’ve got a friend who claims that the self-insured in Colorado have to pay extra for insurance now due to the ACA and I was wondering if that was due to the fact that CO is obstructing the law or if my friend is misinformed.

    • Colorado is implementing the ACA and has been working on it for a couple of years, at least. You can google “Colorado and the Affordable Care Act” and get plenty of information.

      If your friend is “paying extra”, he needs to find out why. That’s what any smart consumer does when prices for things he wants/needs are increased for no apparent reason.

      • Yes just like clockwork here comes Jim to drop a turd in the punchbowl. Thanks for being so predictable. The super-wealthy denizens of luxury resort towns like Breckenridge are having a sad? Playing the world’s tiniest violin for them. Guess that’s another to deal with “geographical quirk” insurance companies have been using to fuck with people:

        Marguerite Salazar, Colorado’s insurance commissioner, said insurance companies are allowed to use geography as one of the pricing factors under the ACA.

        Historically, she said, health care has always been higher in the mountain towns. It’s just more transparent now.

        Thank you, Obamacare! Now when the insurance companies try to screw you, we can actually SEE what they’re doing!

        Right-wing talking point FAIL.

      • Jim in Memphis

        You do realize the people that were complaining where not the “super wealthy denizens” right? This was a Democratic congressman complaining for the lower income permanent residents of the area that cannot afford the new rates under CO’s marketplace. Now again, I will point out that if at least 80% of the new premiums are not spent on healthcare, then they will be reimbursed to the policy holders. How can this be an example of the health insurance companies screwing these people over if they are capped at what they can charge without paying refunds? Of course, the story must be wrong because all of the premiums were going to come down especially in these blue states that set up their own exchanges right?

  6. “So the government is going to spend an estimated total of 1.3 trillion over the next ten years for the ACA according to the CBO”

    Need a citation, chapter and verse, Jimbo.

    “but it will not be a net addition to the deficit?”

    Can’t tell without some fucking DATA, Jimbo.

    “So the ACA has added revenues of 1.3 trillion dollars in new taxes over the next ten years?”

    DATA, Jimbo, it really isn’t that difficult to find, if you’re actually interested in the truth. Oh, I forgot, you live in the Teabaggiebubble.

    “Raise your hand if you think”

    You can keep both of yours in your pocket–I know they won’t fit up around your ears when your head is as far up your ass as it is these days.

    • Jim in Memphis

      The 1.3 trillion dollars in expenses is estimated by the CBO. Estimates are all we have right now, but since Glidrwith cited the CBO, I went with their numbers: http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44176

      Quoted from that article “CBO and JCT’s current projection of the budgetary impact of the ACA’s coverage provisions is $1,363 billion over the 2014–2023 period.”

      As to the additional revenue to offset that expense I am assuming there are tax increases in the bill that cover it otherwise this would be adding to the deficit. I don’t know for sure, hence I asked the question of whether or not those revenues were in the ACA law. If so, isn’t this simply one huge tax increase on the people to pay for all of this free healthcare?

      • …isn’t this simply one huge tax increase on the people to pay for all of this free healthcare?

        No. Again you have waaaay oversimplified everything. I’m sorry the world is complicated, Jim. Try to wrap your head around it, though.

        Here’s an easy explanation:

        Granted, Obamacare will extend Medicaid to lower income families, and will subsidize health insurance for people who make up to 400% of the poverty line. On the other hand, it will also require people who can pay for health insurance do so, and will more aggressively prosecute Medicare fraud. More to the point, it will levy a 0.9% tax on households making more than $200,000 per year, and will increase taxes on medical machinery manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and insurers. Thus, it will, in all likelihood, actually reduce the burden on middle class families.

        Also, nobody’s getting free healthcare. Nothing is free for anyone, even if they have to resort to the Republican plan of going to the Emergency Room.

        Yes there are some taxes which pay for this bill — the tanning bed tax (poor John Boehner), the Platinum Plan tax, the medical device tax. None of these overly burden any one particular person or group.

        It is not “one huge tax increase” for “free healthcare.”

      • Jim in Memphis

        “and will increase taxes on medical machinery manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and insurers.” Who do you think will actually pay those taxes? There is only one place those industries get money to pay taxes and that is consumers. So one way or the other, we are paying all of these added taxes. I bet that if the ACA was presented as a $1.3 trillion every ten years (sure to increase over time) tax increase so that ~25 million uninsured people will get insurance while ~30 million people will remain uninsured (CBO estimates) then very few people would be in favor of it.

      • Oh good grief, yes the same tired old rebuttal we’ve heard from you a gazillion times before already. The fact is this fearmongering about taxes never plays out Jim. It has not, in fact, been a job killer. It has not, in fact, forced companies to close their doors. It has not, in fact, forced companies overseas. Jesus. EVERY fucking Western country in the world manages to do healthcare for their citizens except this one.

        Not all of the $1.3 trillion is raised from taxes. Get a fucking clue. We have the lowest taxes in the developed world. We are living with the result. Shit has to be paid for.

        The Teanuts want to privatize the gains, socialize the losses. People with a fucking brain do not. We have ridiculously costly healthcare because we’re ALL paying for that “free” healthcare in the ER and every other social cost of the broken system we live with. Sorry but that makes no sense to anyone outside your Fox News bubble.

        Jim you bring nothing to the conversation. Why the fuck are you here after how many years? All you do is show us how stupid and nonsensical your side is.

      • For the record, PolitiFact has the breakdown of the tax issue here.

        The health care-related tax increases are smaller than the tax increase signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 and a temporary tax signed into law in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. And they are significantly smaller than two tax increases passed during World War II and a tax increase passed in 1961.

        The tax increases in the health care legislation do reverse a trend of federal tax cuts and represent the first significant tax increases since 1993.

        But they are not the largest in the history of the United States.

  7. ” I don’t know for sure, hence I asked the question of whether or not those revenues were in the ACA law.”

    First rule of honest debate/argument is to do your fucking homework before making statements which turn out to be ignorant or deliberately untrue. Then again, Jimbo has demonstrated, with hundreds of comments over the last while, that ignorance and deliberate untruth are sacred teapublican virtues.

    • Jimbo has demonstrated that the Obamacare war will not, in fact, be over — at least, not with the crowd that represents a minority of the minority of the minority.

      Pro-tip: shouting louder still doesn’t make you right.

    • Jim in Memphis

      DC – I asked a question that I did not know the answer to. Is that not allowed? The CBO article did not really cover revenue generated to offset these new expenses so I was asking for clarification. Please feel free to not respond.

  8. “DC – I asked a question that I did not know the answer to. Is that not allowed? ”

    Every one of your comments on any subject that involves Obamacare or any other progressive (Okay, moderately conservative is the new “progressive”, it would seem) initiative is full of either canned misinformation or exhibits a total lack of being able to read for comprehension if the source is not teabaggist horseshit.

    Educate yourself, or learn to love being pwned every time you make an inane comment.

    • Step one in the “educate yourself” direction would be to stop listening to Newt fucking Gingrich, too.

      • Oh, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooes!

        I just had a thought. What if the ONLY people who aren’t happy with the ACA are the insurance company poobahs who are not making as much money as they want to? It’s not like they can just decide not to do bidneth in the USofA. Or, maybe they could and the sheeple would lose their shit and MAKE their congress critters take the next step and turn MurKKKa commonist with socialistical medicine!!

      • What if the ONLY people who aren’t happy with the ACA are the insurance company poobahs who are not making as much money as they want to? It’s not like they can just decide not to do bidneth in the USofA.

        Pfft. They’re raising their insurance rates like they always do every year except this time instead of telling people it’s because of “costs” they’re blaming ObamaCare, in the hopes that people will complain to their Congesscritter.

      • Jim in Memphis

        I thought insurance rates were going down? And are they not required to spend at least 80% of the premiums on healthcare such that administration and profits are limited to 20%? If rates go up doesn’t that imply that healthcare costs are going up since they are capped by the 80% rule and have been since last year? I can see why the insurance companies think this law is great. They get a built in 20% operating fund and guaranteed money from the government for providing insurance to the poor. Everyone else is also forced to buy their product as well. I don’t see how they could possibly lose money in the deal over the long haul.

      • I can see why the insurance companies think this law is great. They get a built in 20% operating fund and guaranteed money from the government for providing insurance to the poor

        And yet they’ve spent $100 million fighting it. I wonder why? Guess that means you’re wrong.

        See, two can play that game.

  9. “I can see why the insurance companies think this law is great. They get a built in 20% operating fund and guaranteed money from the government for providing insurance to the poor”

    You couldn’t see shit if you were wearing spectacles with fecal lenses, Jimbo.

    What I was saying in a snarky way:

    “What if the ONLY people who aren’t happy with the ACA are the insurance company poobahs who are not making as much money as they want to? It’s not like they can just decide not to do bidneth in the USofA. Or, maybe they could and the sheeple would lose their shit and MAKE their congress critters take the next step and turn MurKKKa commonist with socialistical medicine!!”

    is EXACTLY what the health insurance companies fear the most, a Single Payer, government option healthcare system. It scares the living shit out of them because it would make their businesses obsolete, at the stroke a pen–unless of course they turn to the free market solution of absolutely hosing those who want elective, non-approved procedures or treatments. Yeah, that’s gonna work.

    Face it, most people don’t like getting fucked by insurance companies or for profit hospital companies. That they do business with them is not indicative of their fondness for the Invisible Hand but the necessity of insuring some level of care beyond “Take two aspirins and call me in the morning–if you’re still alive.”.

    • Jim in Memphis

      Of course health insurance companies would be against a single payer system. I would imagine just about every private business would be against a government take-over of their industry.

      • But this isn’t a single payer system. What the fuck are you saying? Insurance companies spent millions of dollars fighting the compromise system that LET THEM LIVE. That was the fucking grand bargain, you idiot. We let them live, they get 40 million new customers AND a mandate forcing everyone to buy their shitty product, and they embrace the new system. Except they didn’t want any regulations because they’re big fat greedy bastards.

        I say kill ‘em off then. They don’t get to live. They die. They’re useless, evil motherfuckers. Singler payer now. Medicare for all. Every fucking health insurance company immediately goes on life support because all they can do is offer “Medicare plus” policies and people like WellPoint’s Angela Braly have to make do with a little less than $13 million a year.

        If I ruled the world I would TOTALLY do that.

      • Jim in Memphis

        I know this is not single payer, but DC is the one that brought it up so I responded to him. Ask him what he is saying.

        And yes, I can see where the insurance companies would have spent millions of dollars fighting a single payer system which is likely what their funding went towards.

      • And yes, I can see where the insurance companies would have spent millions of dollars fighting a single payer system which is likely what their funding went towards.

        Really? Then they’re the stupidest mo-fo’s ever, since single payer was never on the table and the only actual PLAN was the one created by Republican’ts. Their expenditures and every piece of propaganda coming out of that industry shows you are 100% wrong, Jim. They were fighting Obamacare, not single payer.

        Jim, I’m ending this thread, it’s a time waster and you’re a time vampire. All you have proven is that the Obamacare war will NEVER EVER NEVER EVER be over because people like you are too fucking stupid stupid to realize a lost cause when it’s staring you in the face. Hence the propensity of assholes on your side of the aisle to continue to wave the Confederate Flag 150+ years after losing a war.

        There is no rational discussion with you. Ever. You have nothing to say, nothing to contribute. You’re like a fucking zombie in a tricorner hat. I don’t have time for you anymore so you are now officially dead to me, forever. FUCK OFF.