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Friday, August 02, 2013

Congress exempt from Obamacare

Just in case it wasn't sufficiently clear that Obamacare is going to wreck American health care, the executive branch has given the congressional branch an exemption from the law:
The White House has approved a deal that will exempt members of Congress and their staff from some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, Politico reported late Thursday. Under the law, popularly referred to as Obamacare, lawmakers and their aides were required to source health insurance "created" by the law or offered through one of its exchanges, and without the subsidies they currently enjoy, the members of Congress would have faced thousands of dollars in additional premium payments each year, the report said. However, the Office of Personnel Management now plans to rule that the government can continue to make a contribution to the health-care premiums of the lawmakers and their staff, it said, citing unnamed congressional sources and a White House official.
Their shamelessness simply knows no bounds.  None.  Cicero was right; democracy does lead inevitably to aristocracy. The fact that we presently have an aristocracy of connections and influence rather than an aristocracy of blood only means that it will be another generation or three before the latter is made institutional.

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63 Comments:

Anonymous NSA SUSPECT August 02, 2013 1:02 PM  

not.enough.pressurecookers.

Blogger River Cocytus August 02, 2013 1:05 PM  

Odd.

In Greece the Aristocracy came before the Democracy. Does this mean we're regressing?

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben August 02, 2013 1:06 PM  

This is good news because it's just more proof that "we" are not the government.

The solution to this healthcare problem is to let in a few hundred million immigrants that will do the jobs Americans aren't willing to do.
The businesses they will create and the taxes they will pay will solve the budget issues once and for all. Oh wait . . . they are net receivers of taxpayer money? Racist!

Anonymous NateM August 02, 2013 1:07 PM  

2 more generations and aristocracy by blood is institutionalized, 1 to 2 after that and their heads winds up in baskets. Sounds OK to me.

Blogger Ashley August 02, 2013 1:13 PM  

What a coincidence! I've just decided to exempt myself from Obamacare! Perhaps I should run for office...

Anonymous allyn71 August 02, 2013 1:17 PM  

Love to hear the "Rah Rah USA, USA" team tell us how we are a bastion of freedom and democracy once again.

How is the executive branch of government unillaterally changing laws passed by the legislative branch without further legislative concurrence not dictitorial?

Amazing the rate of accelration towards overt dictatorship we are heading. It is almost as if the closer we get to that state, the less resistance there is to it. Apathy has led to dependence and from a state of dependence we are on the fast track for bondage.

Anonymous Stickwick August 02, 2013 1:19 PM  

OT, but speaking of shamelessness: Gay couple in UK to sue church over gay marriage opt-out:

[Wealthy gay dad, Barrie Drewitt-Barlow] told the Essex Chronicle that he will take legal action because “I am still not getting what I want”.

A Government Bill legalising gay marriage passed Parliament recently but it included measures to protect churches from being forced to perform same-sex weddings. ...

He added: “It upsets me because I want it so much – a big lavish ceremony, the whole works, I just don’t think it is going to happen straight away.


Me, me, me, me, me. If there's any group of people more self-focused and anti-principle than women, it's homosexuals.

To the Churchians who argued that gay "marriage" was about "fairness" and wouldn't affect Christian worship, the reality should be clear by now. Forcing churches to turn their backs on Christ and kneel at the altar of "equality" is what it was about all along.

Anonymous dh August 02, 2013 1:22 PM  

This is really stupid.

Regular citizen employees of government agencies (not Congress) or of private business, with an employer who offers insurance, will have nothing to do with the exchange.

Forcing Congress to use the exchange was punishment, designed by the GOP and accepted by Democrats. It would treat Congress as though they have an employer who doesn't offer insurance, or as if they were unemployed.

Anonymous Stilicho August 02, 2013 1:26 PM  

Meanwhile, the Guardian reports (via Drudge), that the NSA is apparently outsourcing jobs that it is illegal for Americans employed by the U.S. Government to do (electronic spying on other Americans) to the Brits who have no such restrictions. One can almost hear the Clintonesque legal rationalization: WE didn't violate the law, we simply paid foreigners to do so...Not our responsibility if they actually did what they were paid to do and shared the fruits of their activities with us.
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/01/nsa-paid-gchq-spying-edward-snowden

Anonymous Salt August 02, 2013 1:28 PM  

Congress may be exempt from Obamacare, but eventually, as is always the case, it shall find itself not exempt from the American people.

Anonymous dh August 02, 2013 1:29 PM  

How is the executive branch of government unillaterally changing laws passed by the legislative branch without further legislative concurrence not dictitorial?

They are not changing the law. Congress still has to use the Exchanges. Anything that says otherwise is just lying.

This means that the OPM - Office of Personell Management, an office of the Executive branch, which currently provides health insurance, can pay the insurance premium that they previously paid, to employees of Congress. There is no new appropriation of money, therefore it is not a budgetary issue. It does not change the ACA (Obamacare), therefore it is not an amendment to that law.

I suspect you have never read any laws that have made it through Congress. Almost all of them are structured so that the exact regulations in furtherance of the nebulous goals of the law are delegated to the Executive branch. It's a great scandal of our times, actually. The way it's done is typically that some Cabinet head must "certify" in writing that some condition has been met, and then some other provision of law comes into effect. It's basically like variable-law.

The ACA and most legislation passed in the last 25 years passes much rulemaking authority from Congress to the Executive. It's basically an abdication of rulemaking .

Anonymous allyn71 August 02, 2013 1:32 PM  

I agree dh that it was a poison pill placed to make the law unapealling. It was probalby placed to cause this very outcome in an attempt to embarass and undermine Obamacare. That all said, the executive changing the clear language of the law unilaterally without any legislative action is another quite large step down the road to tyranny.

When the President begins to only enofrce the laws it feels like and changes or ignores the ones it disagrees with, you no longer have the Constitutional Repbulic with seperate enumerated powers. You have a dictatorship.

Anonymous Porky August 02, 2013 1:32 PM  

Lol!

This country has been an aristocracy from it's very beginning.

What you are witnessing... is the return of feudalism.



Anonymous Jerome Horowitz August 02, 2013 1:32 PM  

Oh I think we are already there. Considering Bush, Clinton, Bush, Soreto, Clinton.

Anonymous Gen. Kong August 02, 2013 1:32 PM  

Banksta Banana Republick. How many here still believe there is a "rule of law" in the place once known as the USA? There's only the law of rule, which is the Goldman rule: he who has the gold makes the rules.

Stickwick:
OT, but speaking of shamelessness: Gay couple in UK to sue church over gay marriage opt-out

Predicted. Coming here too. Certain religions will be truly exempt, naturally (as always). The guiding principle still stands: some are more equal than others. Only a matter of time. Since the Boy Scouts assumed the position, I doubt any 501c (3) church will be standing against it in 5 years.

Anonymous Stilicho August 02, 2013 1:39 PM  

The ACA and most legislation passed in the last 25 years passes much rulemaking authority from Congress to the Executive. It's basically an abdication of rulemaking .

True. It is the Rise of the Bureaucrats. On steroids. Hence, the law of rule. This is not indicative of a transition to aristocracy, rather it is another step towards replacing democracy with dictatorship. It's just that this dictatorship is one of the bureaucrats, headed by the imperial presidency. Aristocrats, by contrast, have their own power separate from the crown that allows them to challenge the crown from time to time.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 August 02, 2013 1:45 PM  

Did anyone else catch that the CIA was looking to control the weather?

My point is that this isn't a rising aristocracy we are dealing with. These are people who seek godhood. Think of them as more like the members of NICE and less of them as 1800s British rulers. At least the latter had some semblance of faith in their lives.

Anonymous Porky August 02, 2013 1:46 PM  

Dh nailed it.

So many of these laws include phrases such as "As the Secretary shall determine..." or "as the committee shall deem appropriate..."

They literally make this shit up as they go along. Much more like a feudal custumal than democratic legislation.

Anonymous allyn71 August 02, 2013 1:49 PM  

In this case dh I believe you are somewhat mistaken as to the wiggle room the executive was granted in the original law regarding this issue.

The law clearly stated that congressional staff members had to utilize the exchanges and they were not to recieve the subsidies they traditionally recieved. It was a poison pill placed in the monstrosity and as Nancy P. pointed out for us "We have to pass the bill to see what is in it".

This issue was higlighted early on and has been causing much angst in D.C. Congress has been looking for any exemption for over a year hoping to find any loophole but the law was clear. There is no loophole they could exploit to get around the clear language of the law.

This has been widely reported with tons of stories explaining how devestating it was going to be for the poor staffers and the impact it was going to have on the efficiency of Congress, they were all gonna quit and be foreced to find new work. So now as time is running out, rather than take the risk of bringing Obamacare back to the legislature to reopen and fix this issue, the executive just ignores the clear law and issues a directive to counter the legislation.

This is many things, but constitutional it is not.

Anonymous allyn71 August 02, 2013 2:01 PM  

"The fact that we presently have an aristocracy of connections and influence rather than an aristocracy of blood only means that it will be another generation or three before the latter is made institutional." - posted by Vox @ 8/02/2013 01:00:00 PM


Do you think the institution of the aristocracy will be overt and openly declared or will be covert and hidden but understood?

I would say we are well on our way to the latter but wonder what your thoughts are on if they will keep the curtain up or find that it is to hard to maintain the illusion and just declare their true intent and be done with it?

Anonymous Thomas August 02, 2013 2:03 PM  

Amerika has become a sick joke.

Exempt yourself from it in a thousand little ways everyday.

Blogger Laramie Hirsch August 02, 2013 2:14 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Laramie Hirsch August 02, 2013 2:16 PM  

The Catholic Monarchy must be restored! Somewhere.

Myself, I'm a Habsburg fan.

Anonymous FP August 02, 2013 2:22 PM  

"He added: “It upsets me because I want it so much – a big lavish ceremony, the whole works, I just don’t think it is going to happen straight away."

I wish a super model would show up at my door with promises of a happy life, marriage, kids and she's filthy rich. But gosh darn it, I just don't think it is going to happen straight away. I deserve it! The constitution guarantees happiness!

Whenever I see statements like these I'm reminded of that rap song from the 90s "I wish". "I wish I was a little bit taller..".

Anonymous Noah B. August 02, 2013 2:24 PM  

"Certain religions will be truly exempt, naturally (as always)."

It's long past time for Westerners to understand why that is and learn something useful from it.

Anonymous Will Best August 02, 2013 2:28 PM  

I know their goal is to do away with the middle class, but I don't understand why. It dramatically lowers everybody's quality of life in the moderate to long term.

Anonymous Noah B. August 02, 2013 2:31 PM  

"I know their goal is to do away with the middle class, but I don't understand why."

The prog leadership sees the current levels of human population as a threat to the planet and want to manage the deaths of billions of people in such a manner that they, and they alone, come out on top.

Anonymous TED August 02, 2013 2:32 PM  

OT ... or is it?

Gay Couple to Sue Church of England to Force It to Perform Gay Weddings

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/08/01/gay-couple-to-sue-church-of-england-to-force-it-to-perform-gay-weddings/

Remember, all they really want is "freedom"....

Anonymous Daniel August 02, 2013 2:33 PM  

I know their goal is to do away with the middle class, but I don't understand why. It dramatically lowers everybody's quality of life in the moderate to long term.

a) long-term thinking rarely drives decision-making.
b) it really doesn't lower everybody's quality of life. My quality of life would improve tremendously and permanently with merely a modest 500-1000 slaves at my disposal. Now, multiply that by 100,000, and you'll have some idea of what and why it goes on like this.

The world of finance is a microcosm of this already: the vast majority are in debt, in trouble, or treading water. This only encourages the scamlords at the top.

Anonymous Stilicho August 02, 2013 2:37 PM  

I know their goal is to do away with the middle class, but I don't understand why. It dramatically lowers everybody's quality of life in the moderate to long term.

The eternal dichotomy:

A rich man drives by in a luxury car and is seen by a man of the right and a man of the left.

Right: Someday I'll have that.
Leftist: Someday I'll have him out of that.

Blogger Jack Black August 02, 2013 2:51 PM  

I wish it was the rule of aristocrats. Instead it's a unholy alliance between a know no bounds bureaucracy and a college and media priesthood. Bureaucratic theocracies really suck for the common man.

Blogger buzzardist August 02, 2013 3:06 PM  

I know their goal is to do away with the middle class, but I don't understand why. It dramatically lowers everybody's quality of life in the moderate to long term.

The entire notion of a "middle class" that encompasses most of society is a 20th-century political lie. A hundred or so years ago, "middle class" meant owning a fairly large home and keeping at least two servants. Anybody not earning at least six figures today (and thus making enough to own a decent-sized home and hire some part-time child care, lawn service, or cleaning service) does not remotely qualify under these old standards. What our politicians did was to change the measure of the middle class.

What we call "middle class" today is really just what has always been the working class. Granted, our working class is more comfortable than it ever has been before, but it's still a working class. Some of these people may think they own their own homes, but most of them live in homes owned by the bank, and the people are one pink slip from facing foreclosure on their mortgages. Many have bought into the rhetoric that they are middle class, but the reality is that the dual income of two parents working still doesn't add up to what one truly middle-class parent earns.

The middle class as historically always existed is not doing too badly right now. They do pay a lot in taxes, but most remain solidly middle class and have little chance of falling from this position. They are educated enough, politically and socially connected enough, and enough out of debt that they will remain safe. Far below the middle class, the poor class gets enough handouts that they can basically live a working-class existence, even without working. Above the middle class, the rich are always doing well. But these groups comprise only about 30-50 percent of society, with the vast majority of those being the poor.

The rest of us are working class. We are encouraged by our political elites to behave as if we were middle class, and the elites have ensured that we all have enough easy lines of credit that we do so. Middle class people, after all, make better consumers. But most Americans were only ever able to behave as middle class people because they had these lines of credit available to them. Take a measure of people's bottom lines, and very few had enough wealth to have truly risen above the working class.

So, no, the middle class is not being done away with, but the working class is paying for the sins of trying to live above their station for a couple generations. Debt eventually has to be repaid.

Anonymous TED August 02, 2013 3:07 PM  

The old aristocrats - the noble class of yore - won their power via the sword. Conquest. Battlefield prowess.

They had their power because they TOOK it. You submitted or it was your head on a pike.

Today's new Overclass took nothing. They got their power because we GAVE it to them. Handed it over. Because they guilted and shamed us into submission. "Sanction of the victim" as Ayn Rand calls it.

Pathetic.

Anonymous WaterBoy August 02, 2013 3:07 PM  

allyn71: "So now as time is running out, rather than take the risk of bringing Obamacare back to the legislature to reopen and fix this issue, the executive just ignores the clear law and issues a directive to counter the legislation.

This is many things, but constitutional it is not.
"



Problem is, who is going to qualify as having standing to take it to court? Surely not the general citizenry....

Anonymous buzzcut August 02, 2013 3:10 PM  

If a blood aristocracy is where we're headed, I hereby nominate the offspring of Jason Statham. I would love to see rulers kicking ass once again on the battlefield.

Blogger River Cocytus August 02, 2013 3:11 PM  

TED

And as such they are, of all sorts of 'aristocracies' (using the term here very loosely) least worthy to rule.

Anonymous bob k. mando August 02, 2013 3:20 PM  

River Cocytus August 02, 2013 1:05 PM
Does this mean we're regressing?



to ask the question rather than assert the statement indicates that you have already regressed past the 1970s.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRguZr0xCOc

fear not though, the rest of us will join you soon. De-evolution, it is science!

Anonymous Jill August 02, 2013 3:21 PM  

As if this is news. Fucking bastards.

Anonymous Jill August 02, 2013 3:32 PM  

And they are fucking bastards, except this article from the same site doesn't seem to think Congress is exempt: Congress didn't really get an exemption

Anonymous Jill August 02, 2013 3:41 PM  

But it still seems they will be breaking the law at some level, getting government contribution to their individual exchanges, which nobody else is allowed to get. This mess of laws confuses me.

Blogger James Dixon August 02, 2013 3:42 PM  

> Congress may be exempt from Obamacare, but eventually, as is always the case, it shall find itself not exempt from the American people.

They seem to have done a pretty good job of it so far, unfortunately.

Anonymous bob k. mando August 02, 2013 3:47 PM  

Jill August 02, 2013 3:41 PM
This mess of laws confuses me.



that's a feature not a bug. make everything ( at some level ) either a crime or a violation of ordinance and you render the entire population subject and every moment of their lives to arbitrary enforcement of fines and jail time.

and the only immunity from that? being or knowing one the aristocracy ...

Anonymous bob k. mando August 02, 2013 3:50 PM  

oh, and YES, Congress *is* getting an exemption.

who gives a fuck if the government 'requires' you to 'buy' new insurance ... and immediately hands you the money to pay for the new insurance.

you tell me how many normal citizens are going to get that deal.

Anonymous Daniel August 02, 2013 3:54 PM  

shamelessness knows no bounds.

Nor courage.

Sorry. OT.

Anonymous Nebo August 02, 2013 4:00 PM  

We should just let the insurance companies that lobbied them and bought their votes directly provide them with insurance and skip the middle man.

Nebo

Anonymous Quadko August 02, 2013 4:14 PM  

The basic rule of a free and equal people under the rule of law: An exemption for one is an exemption for all, a requirement for one is a requirement for all.

Anonymous dh August 02, 2013 4:42 PM  

The law clearly stated that congressional staff members had to utilize the exchanges and they were not to recieve the subsidies they traditionally recieved. It was a poison pill placed in the monstrosity and as Nancy P. pointed out for us "We have to pass the bill to see what is in it".

I have read the whole bill, it does not prohibit subsidies. Since no rule has actually been proposed (aka, it's all rumors), what is likely is that the OPM will just pay the same premium to the employee as non-taxable fringe benefits. The employee will use that to buy insurance from the exchange.

The amendment to the law did not specify anything.

The word subsidy is also unusual. Everyone who has employee sponsored insurance has a subsidy, in one of two ways. EIther one, the employer pays part of the premium, or, the employer sponsors the group, which is an indirect subsidy. Calling the regular contribution that the government gives an employee a subsidy is unusual.

What OPM has done (or likely will do) is to just allow that subsidy to be given direct to the customer.

Anonymous dh August 02, 2013 4:43 PM  

err, company.

Anonymous dh August 02, 2013 4:44 PM  

you tell me how many normal citizens are going to get that deal.

They are. Based on income. Exactly the same deal. Government is going to literally hand you the money to buy the insurance based on your income. Identical. Its the whole point of the law.

Have you read it?? Or you as ignorant as atheists commenting on the bible?

Anonymous a. dude August 02, 2013 4:50 PM  

"Government is going to literally hand you the money to buy the insurance based on your income."

Yay! Free shit! It's FREE FREE FREE. Like magic.

Anonymous dh August 02, 2013 4:50 PM  

Yay! Free shit! It's FREE FREE FREE. Like magic.


Till the music stops.

Anonymous bob k. mando August 02, 2013 5:01 PM  

dh August 02, 2013 4:44 PM
They are. Based on income.



i will fully admit that i have not read the bill in question.

i have, however, been paying close enough attention to be aware of the ( non )tax penalty that the IRS will be collecting if i DON'T purchase insurance.

you're asserting that the IRS is going to issue me a check at the beginning of the year ( based on my previous year tax filing? ) that i am to purchase insurance with?

Anonymous dh August 02, 2013 5:08 PM  

i will fully admit that i have not read the bill in question.

I would just like to point out then that you are in fact igonorant. And baring actual text, from, say, the OPM or another agency, we really are all just speculating on what has happened or may happen.

you're asserting that the IRS is going to issue me a check at the beginning of the year ( based on my previous year tax filing? ) that i am to purchase insurance with?

Yes. In ALL most all cases, it will actually appear as a credit on your exchange "account", and then be passed directly to an insurance company.

You can figure out what your sibsidy is. It stops right around 200% of Federal poverty level for most families. http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/

If you are independently employed, a contractor, etc, your subsidy will be paid to you directly in some cases (depends on state).

Anonymous bob k. mando August 02, 2013 5:37 PM  

dh August 02, 2013 5:08 PM
I would just like to point out then that you are in fact igonorant.



never said that i wasn't in this specific case, that's why i'm asking you for clarification.

otoh, i tend to be a lot better informed than the average American.


dh August 02, 2013 5:08 PM
And baring actual text, from, say, the OPM or another agency, we really are all just speculating on what has happened or may happen.



which explicates rather well the futility in wasting the time to read the bill.

ah, and i have to *apply* for the subsidy. very nice.




dh August 02, 2013 5:08 PM
You can figure out what your sibsidy is. It stops right around 200% of Federal poverty level for most families.




ah, yes, of course. Congress having their entire medical cost ( on, i'm sure, a Gold plan ) covered by the government is exactly like a citizen receiving a ( for example purposes i entered 20k, 1 person, non-smoker: by the by, according to the widget this is 174% of poverty so that's almost maxed out ) a $3300 subsidy on a $4400 premium for a Bronze plan.

that's not ANYTHING like what i asserted previously.

truly, some citizens are more equal than others.


i do so enjoy how ever more blatant it is that the government keeps bailing water back into the boat and that's how we're going to make the economy rise.

Anonymous bob k. mando August 02, 2013 5:45 PM  

dh August 02, 2013 5:08 PM
It stops right around 200% of Federal poverty level for most families.



not even close to true, unless the widget is broken.

i'm up to 348% / $40k of poverty and still showing a $558 credit.

399% / $45865 brings the subsidy down to $1.

at that last income level ( which still shows as 235% of poverty ), a 2 adult + 1 child household gets a $3,900 subsidy which is +1/2 the bill.

Anonymous dh August 02, 2013 6:09 PM  

bob--

The formula is not actually based on the poverty level, it's based on "affordability", which means to them, that health care cost in total is no more than 30% of your household income.

ah, and i have to *apply* for the subsidy. very nice.
No, actually not. If you buy through the exchange, your apply for the insurance, the subsidy happens on it's own. There is no separate application. This is assuming exchanges actually work, which is as you know, debatable.

Congress having their entire medical cost ( on, i'm sure, a Gold plan ) covered by the government is exactly like a citizen receiving a
What most Federal workers have would be above the Gold plan, it would be a luxury plan, which incurs an excess tax. It is typically very good insurance. On par with high-end corporate plans.

( for example purposes i entered 20k, 1 person, non-smoker: by the by, according to the widget this is 174% of poverty so that's almost maxed out ) a $3300 subsidy on a $4400 premium for a Bronze plan.

The difference is that, Congress, with more than 50 employees, would be required to provide affordable care, or else, pay a fine. The law that Congress passed said that employees of Congress MUST get their insurance through the exchange, which normally is only available to people who are (a) unemployed, (b) self-employed, (c) work for companies who are not required to provide insurance, or (d) work for employers who pay the fine. Everyone else in the country - i.e. the majority of workers who get insurance through their employers at a group rate - will never use the exchange as they are designed today.

that's not ANYTHING like what i asserted previously.

truly, some citizens are more equal than others.


In a way, Congress tried to disadvantage themselves because they wanted to punish members who voted for it. They said "you must buy insurance through the exchange", even though the exchange was never intended for people who can get insurance through work. In fact, if you have employer based coverage available you cannot get a subsidy at all unless the insurance is not affordable (i.e., more than 30% of your income).

It's just bad. It's bad because so far I have seen no evidene that anyone in Congress is actually having any actual ACA/Obamacare waivers. Probably because the waiver side is to allow the OPM to pay the premium they already paid to the exchanges directly or the employee.

bob, the whole thing didn't make sense. It was a political move that the GOP made, the DNC doubled down, and now no one wants to pass a law to fix because it will anger the base on each side. So it's cover up time.

Anonymous Godfrey August 02, 2013 7:10 PM  

@Will Best August 02, 2013 2:28 PM
"I know their goal is to do away with the middle class, but I don't understand why. It dramatically lowers everybody's quality of life in the moderate to long term."



The middle class is the result of capitalism. A capitalist economic system allows the intelligent and industrious among the lower classes the ability to accumulate capital and thus work their way up the socio-economic ladder. Capitalism is a dynamic unpredictable fluid economic system in which individuals can move between socio-economic classes. This is a threat to those on top.

Those that have wealth and power want to keep it. They are opposed to capitalism. They want a static system that protects their wealth and thus ensures their position on top.

Wealth is to be concentrated among a very small group of families and elites (usually tied to banking). The rest of humanity is to have their numbers reduced and to be poor, manipulated and managed like livestock.

Anonymous Dr. J August 02, 2013 8:45 PM  

dh

I really don't know what position you're trying to take here, but it's correct to say that the executive branch is selectively enforcing this law. To wit - the delay in the employer penalties which are codified in the bill.

Of course, these bumbling buffoons are only now beginning to understand how catastrophic and far reaching the effects of this bill will be. It's becoming clear that most will opt to pay penalties rather than face the dramatic increase in rates that are projected. Smaller businesses with low operating margins will simply go belly up. If purposeful, it's a masterful stroke of short-term enrichment of the largest health care organizations (HMOs, ACOs) while in the long term crashing the healthcare system completely. No doubt, when the extent and magnitude of the failure is fully realized, the final push to single payer will be made.

If accidental and unanticipated, the idiocy of our leaders is beyond staggering.

Anonymous liljoe August 02, 2013 9:13 PM  

This is the result of gerrymandered districts where incumbents win re-election at a nearly 90% rate...this is no democracy, much less a republic. You have a ruling elite and apathetic sheeple who feel "safer" when humiliated at airports and random check points by the Stasi errr TSA/VIPR molestation squads.

The truly unfortunate thing is that libertarians, civil rights advocates, small government Republicans etc are outnumbered by the TV hypnotized zombies, brainwashed youth, and pompous celebrity types and will suffer the consequences with them.

Anonymous Godfrey August 02, 2013 10:03 PM  

Each member of the House of Representatives "represents" approximately 750,000 people.

Who has more influence? You, one among 750,000, or GE or Monsanto?

We are not a Republic... We're are not even a democracy.

Anonymous Blume August 02, 2013 10:04 PM  

No, we have what we always had. The executive has always enforced the laws it wanted to, in ways it wanted too. That was kind of the point of seperation of powers

Anonymous dh August 03, 2013 10:20 AM  

I really don't know what position you're trying to take here, but it's correct to say that the executive branch is selectively enforcing this law. To wit - the delay in the employer penalties which are codified in the bill.

Well, I am taking the position that if the OPM allows employees to be paid the premiums they used to get as a benefit, or to direct that to their private-based insurance, it's not saying they are "exempt" from Obamacare or the exchanges. The law specifically targets Congress for inclusion in the exchanges. Unless they are able to not use the exchanges, then they aren't really exempt. For a "normal" person who works, they will never use the exchange. Exempting Congress from Obamacare would mean exempting them from exchanges, which as far as the rumors go, hasn't happened.

Of course, these bumbling buffoons are only now beginning to understand how catastrophic and far reaching the effects of this bill will be. It's becoming clear that most will opt to pay penalties rather than face the dramatic increase in rates that are projected.

I think you are being misled, probably by some right wing types. There is no generalized rise in rates. Many areas will be seeing far lower rates, and have already seen it. Some will be seeing higher rates. Many many people who think that their rates are going to go up will actually see a decrease, because of a government subsidy. (Which is good only until the music stops, so to speak).

Certainly, for the short term, some rates are going to rise. If you are old, or in other categories of rate payers, you are going to pay more. Some young people who pay very low rates for catastrophic insurance will pay more, because that type of coverage will now have to cover far more types of events, and preventive care.

Smaller businesses with low operating margins will simply go belly up.

I dont think you know what you are talking about. For businesses with less than 50 employees working more than 30 hours, they will have basically no changes. Except their employees can buy insurance on an exchange. After 50 employees, they have to provide insurance or pay a fine. Are you putting that size operation in the "smaller business" category? Since it is universal, it is more likely that low margin operations will raise prices to cover the cost. Devaluing the buying power of wages.

If purposeful, it's a masterful stroke of short-term enrichment of the largest health care organizations (HMOs, ACOs) while in the long term crashing the healthcare system completely. No doubt, when the extent and magnitude of the failure is fully realized, the final push to single payer will be made.

You may be surprised. This move will probably lengthen the time frame for the demise of insurance companies a few decades, not hasten. We were getting close to the end of insurers as a profitable business because of the adverse selection spiral and affordability. Injecting government money into the insusers directly will keep them alive for a long time.

It is also likely that new demand for doctors will induce changes in the AMA's stranglehold on the industry. Too much demand for them to hold back anymore.

Single payer is definitely coming, it will just be a while longer. The ACA is more likely to push it out a few decades than anything else proposed.

Anonymous Dr. J August 03, 2013 12:11 PM  

dh

My information does not come from right wing sources, but direct daily interaction at the heart of the system. And yes, I've read the monstrosity known as the ACA. It's primary purpose was to establish the HHS secretary as grand czar of medicine. The sweeping powers delegated to the secretary should give pause to any supporter of this bill.

To answer your question, yes - I am counting organizations with 50-100 employees as being smaller. My organization is in this range and the numbers are clear - paying the fine will be tremendously advantageous financially, but being in a small community, we've made the decision to continue to provide coverage. To be clear, we have no mechanism to pass our costs onto consumers. I'm not sure many companies are in a position to raise prices without affecting their volume.

Given that, the leftist mathematics you gave me leaves a bit to be desired. Can you account for the following:

Insurance companies will be covering more pre-existing conditions and dependents until 26 years old. Certain selected companies (at the discretion of the secretary) will be permitted to raise rates. Just because those rates are subsidized doesn't take away the fact that the rate went up.

Companies are already paring down coverage, stripping covered procedures to the bare minimum. They are becoming increasingly aggressive at refusing services and/or delaying services with little to no justification. Again, covered procedures are to be determined by the secretary.

The only thing that generates revenue in medicine is patient care. The regulations that accompany the ACA coupled with the ones we've been struggling with for the last decade will continue to drive up the cost of care. Implementation costs of electronic records are enormous (and run by government cronies - see EPIC). Maintenance costs are even higher because the products are junk. Compliance costs require huge departments filled with people who never see or help a patient. Our hospital has an entire department of people who read through patient charts to make sure the language fits with Medicare requirements. With forced implementation of ICD-10 and other ACA requirements, the supplemental staff needs will increase. Only the largest hospital systems will be able to absorb the cost, and small community practices will die. This is an easily predictable consequence of the bill.

I'd like to address your point about the AMA, but this has gotten pretty long and is getting off topic. Perhaps another time.

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