Thorner and Ingold: Democrats Run to the Barricades
November 23, 2013
By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold –
The concept of “grandfathered” insurance plans has always been a complete myth, touted for strictly political reasons. The plans to overturn the current insurance system and create a single-payer plan were formulated by HHS (and Sebelius) in 2010, within a month of the ACA (Affordable Care Act) passage.
In a stunning report by Andrew McCarthy on November 18th, he cites evidence that between 50% and 80% of Americans will lose their current health care plans in 2014, including employer provided benefits. This is based on the Administration’s own estimates, documented in a court brief filed by the DOJ in Federal court in opposition to a suit to preserve religious freedom of choice.
With such facts available to the public, how does President Obama have the audacity to continue to repeat that the current rash of insurance cancellations apply to only 5% of the population? In fact, nearly 8% of the population has individual insurance plans which are being systematically canceled (“trasitioned” in Obama-speak). The same standards, however, will apply immediately to small business and group plans and to major corporations by the end of 2014 after Obama arbitrarily changed the healthcare law to grant businesses a year’s extension.
In a spirit of generosity, might it be that Obama doesn’t want to know the details (or pretends he doesn’t know?), for reasons of “plausible deniability?” Even Obama’s mea culpa lasted no longer than a day or so until before he started to blame the start up problems on Republicans and their lack of cooperation.
The official line is that once the software is fixed all will be well. But the same talking points will continue to be used by Democrats, even though Republicans had nothing to do with the implementation of Healthcare.com nor any other facet of the policy or the website.
Republicans would rather not have the American people endure this dystopian program. As the past has taught us to expect from the Obama administration, it is the messenger, not the message, that is to blame.
Consistent with President Obama’s standards, he sets the general goals and rewards those who put out the most punitive regulations consistent with those goals. If anything hits the fan, Obama “heard about it in the news, just like everyone else.” If anyone brings forth bad news, or contradicts the official line in any way, that person is summarily fired or publicly disgraced, as was the insurance official for the District of Columbia just a day after he questioned a decision by President Obama to reverse a provision of the Affordable Care Act. This way of doing business permeates the Democrat’s establishment at all levels.
The insurance debacle is a prime example of the Obama business plan which President Obama was able to sell to many Americans because they were asleep at the switch with only one thought in mind, what’s in it for me. Destruction of 80% of existing insurance plans while doubling the cost is not exactly a ‘”glitch” in the startup!
So President Obama plan of operation took hold and evolved. Let us construct a timeline for the Obamacare debacle:
- Announce at every opportunity that “If you like your …, you can keep it. Period!’ Pass this script to every Democrat in public office, to be repeated without variation. By inference, the Republicans would deny this right.
- Behind the scenes, conspire with HHS to establish regulations that keep nearly all existing policies from being “grandfathered” as promised.
- Count on the web service to work on time, or reasonably close to schedule (More important to be on schedule than functional), without assuming constructive leadership, nor monitoring the actual progress.
- As a result of this policy, millions of policies are canceled, forcing their owners to the exchanges to purchase Cadillac insurance plans which meet the mandated standards.
- Postpone the same regulations by executive fiat as they apply to company benefit plans until after the 2014 elections. Then repeat the cancellation debacle twenty or thirty fold.
- When the web service fails, unilaterally announce that the rules are temporarily suspended, and old policies can be sold (Thank you, Valerie Jarrett, for this strategy.).
- Do so knowing that this is impossible without months of planning, but shifting blame to insurance companies rather than the Administration. If the state regulatory agencies don’t cooperate, they will share the blame. (In breaking news, the President invited state insurance regulators to the White House, and issued a thinly veiled threat that if they impede his latest fiat, they will be pushed aside in the national interest.)
- Continue to blame the web service rather than a defective policy, until it is no longer newsworthy to the main stream media, hence falls out of the public view. This is commonly known as “bunkering.”
- Refuse to allow Congress to codify the same actions (in case Obama changes his mind later).
Obamacare Exchange facts:
1. The mandated benefits under the Obamacare Exchange roughly double the cost of insurance, primarily through the high risk of covering pre-existing conditions and unlimited benefit ceilings. These same mandates are touted as the reason “the majority of people like” Obamacare.
2. Obamacare also provides substantial discounts for those with incomes up to $62M. To pay for those discounts, those making more than $62M are expected to pay three to four times as much for the same insurance. Those enrolled in Medicaid continue to pay nothing, while income limits for qualification were doubled in 2014 to roughly $32M. As a result, roughly half of the population will receive subsidies, ingratiating them to the party which delivers this largess.
3. Insurance companies are required to cancel non-conforming policies in order to participate in the exchanges. In return, Obamacare indemnifies insurance companies for risk losses for a two year transition period, if those losses exceed 3% of revenue. Losses over 8% are fully indemnified for that period. In return, insurance executives are warned to remain silent about any problems, nor to blame the policy or Administration for any SNAFUs.
The next shoe to drop will be backlash over another Obamacare broken promise, “You can keep your own doctor.” How will President Obama deal with this broken promise? In his usual and predictable way, he will blame the doctors for sabotaging Obamacare, and not on the over reaching and unaffordable healthcare act itself which will have a negative impact on every American.
Obamacare has always been about control and not about healthcare, in keeping with the progressive redistribution of wealth mantra.
It is a given that the longer Obama is allowed to skirt Congress to get polices he deems necessary without congressional approval, the easier it will be for him to claim executive privilege and get away with it. The constitutionality of these actions will never be successfully challenged as long as Democrats control the Senate. It will take citizen involvement all over this nation to let our elected officials know that we have had enough. The status quo is no longer acceptable, and that includes re-electing the same individuals who have participated in the screw up of this nation.
Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink