“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, April 04, 2013

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that between 5 million and 20 million Americans will lose their employer-provided coverage. Former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin puts this figure at a whopping 35 million. The Iraq War cost $1 trillion and produced a quagmire abroad. Obamacare will cost $1 trillion and will create a quagmire at home. Americans need an exit strategy.

How Obamacare Is Like the Iraq War
America needs an exit strategy from Obama's health care law.
Shikha Dalmia | April 2, 2013

Not even the most ardent defenders of Obamacare—aka the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—claim anymore that the law will lower health coverage costs for Americans. How, then, will it achieve universal coverage, its central goal?
The short answer is, it won't.
Last week, major insurers warned of double-digit premium hikes for small businesses and individuals when Obamacare goes into effect next year. Likewise, the nonpartisan Society of Actuaries this week estimated that costs to insurers that provide coverage to individuals will rise 32 percent on average within the first three years of the law, with premium increases sure to follow.
Similar analyses last year had already forced MIT's Jonathan Gruber to admit that his projections that the law would lower premiums for young and old alike were wrong — even though his projections were instrumental in securing Obamacare's passage. Gruber's revised estimates now show that even the least affected states, such as Colorado, will experience premium hikes of nearly 20 percent by 2016.
Clearly, the word "affordable" should be scratched from the law for the sake of truth in advertising. But what about the "protection" part—namely, universal coverage?
That too is a lie.
Before Obamacare, every percentage-point increase in premiums would price a few hundred thousand people out of the market. Obamacare's supporters, however, claim that the law's complicated scheme of mandates and subsidies will prevent this from happening. But that's unlikely, notes Greg Scandlen, founder of Consumers for Health Care Choices. For starters, the Supreme Court dealt a big blow to Obamacare's key mechanism for covering the uninsured by making its Medicaid expansion optional for states—and many states are opting out. An even bigger problem, Scandlen notes, is that Obamacare has created perverse incentives that will encourage employers to drop coverage in droves—and employees to forgo it in droves.
The law's play-or-pay mandate requires employers with more than 50 full-time employees to offer a lavish panoply of benefits or else pay a penalty. Many small businesses will simply choose to stay small to avoid the mandate, which means less hiring and more uninsured.
As for large companies, McKinsey & Company, a private consulting group, estimated that nearly 30 percent will pay rather than play—that is, pay modest fines instead of paying several times as much to give robust coverage to employees. The Congressional Budget Office estimates this might cause between 5 million and 20 million Americans to lose their employer-provided coverage. Former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin puts this figure at a whopping 35 million.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand their calculation here: The penalty will cost a company $2,000 per employee, while a family insurance plan costs $12,000 to $16,000. This means that the company can pay the penalty, give employees generous raises to buy their own coverage, and still come out ahead.
But will employees buy coverage or just pocket the extra wages?
Obamacare's supporters bet they will buy insurance because Obamacare will subsidize the purchase and because they will otherwise have to pay penalties under the law's individual mandate.
But Scandlen notes that the penalties are meaningless. Not only are they small, they are easily avoided. The only way Uncle Sam can extract them is by subtracting them from taxpayers' income tax refunds. Simply avoid excessive tax withholding and the feds have no way of collecting.
As for the subsidies, Scandlen maintains that their allure, too, is overrated. They will be relatively modest for middle-income families, and to qualify, purchasers will be required to obtain very expensive "Cadillac" coverage.
People will also have the option of waiting to buy insurance until they get sick. Thanks to Obamacare's "guaranteed issue" provision, insurance companies can't turn anyone away, even those calling from the intensive care unit. This will only deepen the problem of the "adverse selection death spiral" as healthy people stay out of the insurance market while sick people jump in. This, in turn, will trigger even more premium hikes.
The Iraq War cost $1 trillion and produced a quagmire abroad. Obamacare will cost $1 trillion and will create a quagmire at home. Americans need an exit strategy.


  1. Mordor on the Po needs to be deloused.

  2. I create a comment whenever I appreciate a post on a site or
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  3. Probably more like $1.5 Trillion. On the other side, 30,000,000 poor, and sick Americans will have health insurance.

    If, as a non-poor, non-sick American you don't want to pay for it - understandable. But, you will.

    Have a nice day.

  4. The Iraq war will be a miserable remnant of the past.
    ...for which the Vets will pay.
    We will pay much less.

    Obamacare will grow and grow, as has Medicare, escalating the costs of medical care beyond most individuals ability to pay.
    ...until it is repealed, or brings our economy to it's knees.

    Rufus never addresses the number of jobs that have been lost already as a result of this nightmare.

    Hundreds of thousands of small businesses have decided to stay under 50 employees, or whatever the cutoff is for Obamacare.

    Millions of employees have become part-time workers for the same reason.

    What drives Rufus's Delusion is beyond me.

    ...except his ability to regard future fiscal obligations as "optional."

    As though our offspring will have the same choices to delay the consequences that "we" (he) do/does, until later.

    As tho debts are abstract.

    ...or can be paid by The Berananke/Weimar Republic.

    Ad infinitum.

    1. Those Social Security debts are certainly "Optional", doug.

      SCOTUS so ruled, in 1960.

      Try to catch up.

    2. Means test Social Security and Medicare, then the Federals would not be providing boobie and his cohort of prosperous retirees $26,000, each, in direct aid and subsidies annually.

      Aid and subsidies that he and his peer group could well make do without.

      The Federals are not moving in that direction. There is no part of the Tea Party that promotes the idea of Federal benefit "Cuts" to the wealthy recipients. Not a single Democrat, either.

  5. For 'Rat

    South of our wonderful stay in Playa De Los Cocos.

  6. (the slideshow doesn't work, you have to click on each thumbnail.)

  7. Talk about Misogyny

    This woman was kept in a hole w/no food or water for five days when she was 18, most likely raped, then, at 25, while pregnant, at a bar with her husband, some asshole invites her to have a drink, she says she's not drinking, she's pregnant.

    He slugs her, sending her flying across the bar with the left side of her skull crumpled.

    Her head has multiple plates, her eye socket was blown out, she had brain damage/seizures, and is partially blind.

    ...and has raised, or is almost done raising 5 kids.

    Now she gets shit from people who have no idea what she's been through.

  8. ...she was in a coma for 30 days, on a breathing machine, and her daughter turned out healthy!

  9. The US will have to decide, fairly soon, whether the residents of the country or the military have the highest priority when it comes to government spending.

    The Federals will not be able to perpetually fund 12 carrier battle groups and 900 foreign military bases AND provide basic health care to US residents.

    They're gonna have to prioritize, eventually.

    1. In times of emergency, it used to be, "where are the carriers;"

      now, it's, "Missile Shields Up."

      The times are a'changin.

  10. Reading Q's comments, abut the medical service provider cutting thousands of patients from their roles...

    Well, seems the military is winning, for now.

  11. The Republicans had their chance to reform the health care funding system. They punted.

    The Republicans could have had input in the formulation of the ObamaCare legislation. They stalled and then, punted. Leaving no fingerprints or input on the legislation. Knowing, in their hearts that Judge Roberts and the SCOTUS would ride to their rescue. Fools, led by knaves.

    Now with the Republicans in charge of the House, holding the purse strings in their hands, the Federal's spending priorities are now outside of human control ... or so goes the claim.

    Paul Ryan and his colleagues in the House control Federal spending.
    Obama just spends what the GOP puts in the account.

  12. I thought it pretty clear, though I admit not to having read the legislation, that 'ObamaCare' primarily dealt with demand (increasing it through giving everyone access to health care) and did little to nothing to deal with the supply. While this is a step forward in good ole America the cost of health care does need be dealt with as well.

  13. .

    Once again the US leads the world, this time in exports of sperm.

    That’s because sperm has become a vigorous (ahem), multi-million dollar global industry. The sperm trade is growing ever larger and ever more international, with more and more kids being born via unknown fathers on distant continents. By some estimates, the United States is the world’s largest exporter of sperm, sending vials to dozens of countries every year...

    As I've said before, they are all dicks.


  14. States With Fewer Gun Laws Are the Most Violent, Study Finds

    U.S. states with the least restrictive gun laws are among those with the highest rates of firearm-related violence such as homicides, suicides and assaults, according to a study of national crime data.

    Eight of the 10 states with the fewest gun-control laws, including Louisiana, Arizona, Mississippi, Montana and Oklahoma, are among the 25 with the highest rates of violence, according to a study by the Center for American Progress, a Washington- based group that favors tougher weapons curbs. Those with the strictest, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, were among the least violent, according to a ranking based on 10 criteria.

    “While the strength of a state’s gun laws is just one factor in the prevalence of gun-related violence in the state and cannot alone account for gun violence, there is a clear link between weak gun laws and high levels of gun violence across the United States,” wrote Arkadi Gerney, Chelsea Parsons and Charles Posner, the authors of the study.


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