My Obamacare experience

First, apologies to my readers for the diversion from the usual fare, but I’ll point out that this entry is covered under the masthead in the category of “recent news” and there’s a relevant WUWT category.

Since like many of you, I’ve been forced to sign a document (at my radio station where I employed part-time) that confirms I’ve been given another document that advises me of my Obamacare rights, and of course being in tune to the news, I’ve been wondering if the claims about the Obamacare websites are as bad as claimed.

I read an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune “Sebelius visit fails to reassure as health care website glitches persist” that said:

Sebelius, who is making similar trips to cities across the country to spread the word about the website, told the audience of about 100 people that Healthcare.gov was “open for business.”

“Believe me, we had some early glitches,” said Sebelius, who was introduced by Rooney, a backer of the law. “But it’s getting better every day.”

So, I decided to find out myself. I went to http://healthcare.gov and chose my state, California. What follows is a record of what I actually got. I never made it past step 1:

Covered_CA_WEB_SSLFAIL

Try it yourself: https://coveredca.com/shopandcompare/

NOTE: To be accurate, the website security certificate will work if the “www” is used as prefix, but not the link above sans www. By following the link from the Tribune article, with no other changes on my part, I ended up with the sans “www” connection, which they didn’t get a proper security certificate for. One wonders how many other “glitches” exist in basic security on these websites.

Even when you go in with the “www” there are problems. In Firefox I get this:

covered_CA_starthere

UPDATE: Reader Ben points out that it gets a failing grade from an SSL grading service, SSL Labs:

Covered_CA_test

Source: https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=coveredca.com

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472 thoughts on “My Obamacare experience

  1. Well it has to be said that if they can’t make it through “Web Design for Morons” without a screw up, you probably shouldn’t let them manage your medical issues…..

  2. At least the websites only cost $500 million more than originally budgeted. You have to allow for some second rate parts to be used for such a bargain basement price!

  3. Wow. Yeah.. don’t think I want to enter my info in there… It might be worth to not have insurance and pay a penalty so you don’t have someone steal your personal information.

  4. This reflects my experience with Government run web sites in the UK. They usually don’t work as well as commercial ones although they catch up after a few years.
    One of the persistent themes in the UK is that very expensive government IT systems are proposed, their specifications are changeed, literally 100s of times, during construction, then they don’t work properly and are finally abandoned.

  5. When Obamacare was still a bill before Congress, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi famously said, “We’ll have to pass the bill in order to see what’s in it.” (My grandfather’s generation had a saying about this sort of situation, involving a pig and a cloth sack.) Now that it is law, our Dear Leader apparently is still reluctant to allow us to see “what’s in it.” Perhaps they’re afraid that, if we could see the contents, hospitalization rates would spike as millions of Americans clutch their chests (and their wallets) and collapse.

  6. “Believe me, we had some early glitches,” said Sebelius, who was introduced by Rooney, a backer of the law. “But it’s getting better every day.”

    But she has not been able to tell us how many people have successfully signed up. A reasonable person could guess that the answer is zero or near zero.

  7. [snip – policy violation multiple/fake identities “Fred” aka “justsomeguy31167″ aka “Brad Kurtz” – mod]

  8. [snip – policy violation multiple/fake identities “Fred” aka “justsomeguy31167″ aka “Brad Kurtz” – mod]

  9. A couple of points- First, I guess Ted Cruz’ stance was redundant since its impossible to implement the ACA by the end of March 2014 as required by law- There’s no way the government can enforce penalties on everyone who didn’t sign up within the required time frame.

    Second, calling it “Obamacare” gives too much “credit” to the president. He didn’t have any actual hand in the law other than encouraging the house and senate to pass some healthcare “reform ” legislation.. It should be the “Pelosi-Reid lat’s pass it to see what’s in it” measure.

  10. Alan D McIntire says:October 13, 2013 at 4:52 am
    I think we’ll have to wait on how they handle the lack of sign-ups, since they never own any problems, ie. it was probably techs left over from the Bush admin….
    Secondly, I thought ‘Obamacare’ was an oxymoron, he obviously does not.

  11. I think the true problem is a lack of computing capability. The US government should’ve borrowed the super computer NCAR uses to predict tomorrow’s weather 3,000 years into the future. Then these ObamaCare sites would’ve worked like a dream. It’s just a question of computing power and money. Lotsa and lotsa money. More money. Stupendous amounts of money.

  12. Looks like they fixed it. The telling thing is that their Entrust certificate’s start date was 10/1. So it took them a few days to figure out how to get it and install it. Or before some numbnut it management policy allowed them to install it.

  13. That is normal behaviour for browsers when visiting https sites that use third party SSL certification authorities.

  14. Anthony, I work in the NHS here in the UK. I gather Obamacare is similar. Believe me it does not work! The NHS has treatment free at the point of delivery, so we have citizens of the EU flocking here to use the service. The service is abused and has no value (people only value something if they have to pay for it directly in the first place) and is top heavy with overpaid managers, deputy managers etc, etc. Because it is run by the government it is highly inefficient, the government can no more run an efficient healthcare system than they can build cars, provide railways, telephone services or an airline like they tried to do in the 1960’s and 70’s
    Like Communism it is a good idea in theory, but terrible in practice!

  15. Alan D McIntire
    October 13, 2013 at 4:52 am
    says:
    ‘There’s no way the government can enforce penalties on everyone who didn’t sign up within the required time frame.’

    I hate to say this, but I wouldn’t bet on that. For instance, in Illinois law, a handicap parking placard is assigned to an individual, not a car, nor necessarily a licensed driver. But Chicago police will routinely issue parking tickets to automobiles parked in handicapped zones if the placard doesn’t match the car owner. That’s done without knowledge of whether the placard owner was in that car so the legal penalty is initiated without probable cause. I would say that’s clearly done by the city to cover its revenues. Chicago’s broke. Chicago’s current mayor, Rahm Emanuel, was Obama’s Chief of Staff. Oh, did I forget that Rahm’s brother, Ezekiel Emanuel, a controversial medical ethicist, was Obama’s medical policy advisor.

  16. Understand that the basis for all insurance, no matter what type, is to manage financial risk. It is always up to an individual to assess the risk and purchase the appropriate level of insurance to balance what risks are tolerable and which are not against the cost of that insurance. It is an individual decision and has always been a voluntary purchase. (Now here is where you get the vehicle insurance is mandatory argument but you are not required to drive a vehicle so you still retain the right to choose.) The tyranny of Obamacare is that it takes away your right to decide for yourself if you need to pay for health insurance. You will be required to purchase health insurance just because you are alive and that tyranny is enforced by the most abusive agency of our government, the IRS, the modern day Gestapo. By the way, the advertised first year tax/fine of only $95 for those who choose not to participate is another lie. It is $95 or 1% of your gross income, whichever is HIGHER and then it increases every year.

  17. I decided to give it a go at the CA site even though I am from AZ. I was able to get quotes without entering personal data. It is going to be extremely expensive. Hope AZ is not that expensive. I was hoping to retire, but I wanted to see how Obamacare panned out to see if i should just stay working or not. Looks like retirement wont come sooner but rather later. I hate Democrats.

  18. Unlike Anthony, I have employer paid health insurance through my husband’s job, but I still thought I would see how it worked out to try to get into the system to compare. Or just to try to get into the system. The fourth time I tried, I was able to set up an account. I never actually got a screen telling me I was in my state’s system (run by the feds); all I got after setting up an account was a screen telling to wait patiently again. How much personal information do they glean by knowing my oldest niece’s first name? All I can think is this is a scam from the start.

  19. The problems will be fixed. The issue isn’t the incapacity to function; even in England and Canada, the systems can be made to provide care to most. The real issue, and the reason it is so hotly defended by this administration, is that it removes to government the liberty of the individual of his own health care. If you have no right to select your own health are then what individual right do you have?

  20. “One of the persistent themes in the UK is that very expensive government IT systems are proposed, their specifications are changeed, literally 100s of times, during construction, then they don’t work properly and are finally abandoned.”

    A close member of my family was a chief software programmer for the company charged with creating the National Health Service computerised super-system under the Blair Govt.

    He told me around ten years ago that it was a disaster and would never function: Ministers were constantly moving the goalposts with conflicting and demands and further amendments, but would never allow a new start from scratch for financial reasons. The result was of course that malfunctions and instability were built into the system meaning it would never work properly. Nevertheless, money continued to be poured into the bottomless pit, and when they attempted to roll out the system it proved pretty well useless.

    The truth is that politicians do not have the skills to create such systems but being egoists who think they know it all, will not listen to those who do. And having more ego than brain power, they seem unable to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors

  21. It’s probably not even fixable. If they spent that much money already, it means there was never a design to begin with. But as long as they are spending their limitless money, they can claim they’re working on it. Software that has no specification has little chance of ever functioning properly.

  22. First, apologies to my readers for the diversion from the usual fare

    First and foremost, this is YOUR website and you can do with it anything you damn well please. This includes giving space to Willis for his most delightful and entertaining stories about the South Pacific, and posting pictures of your cat sitting in a bowl if you so choose.

    Second, as I understand it, Watts Up With That did not start life as exclusively a Climate Chage website, although that subject does take up the vast majority of bandwidth. I note that the mission statement on the masthead still says “(c)ommentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent news by Anthony Watts.” Please remain true to all of that mission statement!

    Cheers,

    John

  23. andrewmharding says:
    October 13, 2013 at 5:27 am
    Anthony, I work in the NHS here in the UK. I gather Obamacare is similar
    ===============================
    Obamacare is the NHS X 10

  24. Since all attention is on Mr. Obama’s amazing ability to at once hold the nation hostage and blame others for it, the media is not seriously reporting the debacle of Obamacare. No one in media, oddly is asking the How? How does an incredibly well funded effort by the Obama Administration to create a website over a three year period fail so badly by means of unprofessional coding, development and implementation?
    Something in the $100 million dollar range was spent on this embarrassingly badly written website.
    And it does not work.
    But when a citizen does get through, that person finds the next surprise:
    You cannot keep your insurance plan or, frequently, your doctor, and the price is insanely high.
    Imagine finding out that a guy who promised the seas would stop rising and the Earth would start cooling also misled people about health care.
    The only question left is why would someone be willing to shut down the rest of the government in favor of refusing to even delay this already failed, unworkable, deceptive Obamacare?

  25. ” andrewmharding says:
    October 13, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Anthony, I work in the NHS here in the UK. I gather Obamacare is similar. Believe me it does not work!”

    It works quite well, once you get past the right-wing press.
    Almost seamless. I go to the doctor. The doctor wanders onto the computer and looks at my med history, nips onto whichever hospital I had the treatment at and looks at the consultants notes, along with x-rays/MRI etc (all viewable on the IT system).
    “writes” a prescription, if needed prints it…although I can, now, get it sent direct to a pharmacy to be produced.
    I can log onto the local surgery at which I am registered and look at my notes….
    Dental care has not caught-up yet, that is all so 20th century still.
    Oh, and my local hospital now has several MRI suites…..much has happened in the NHS since it was updated. Shame the present lot are flogging it to overseas tax avoiders.

  26. “If you have no right to select your own health are then what individual right do you have?”

    Amazing statement.. as if someone with no means, or with pre existing conditions have any right to select.. Ha!! Go die!

    The USA spends twice what any other modern country does on healthcare per capita and gets lousy or no service for 1/3 its citizens.

    Its really all about keeping that 40% off the top for “insurance” companies to fly around in their corporate jets.

  27. If they had gone into any 8th grade class in America (even in Philsdelphia or Cleveland!) and asked the students to create their web site for free, it would have turned out better. I think the actual goal wasn’t signing up people for health insurance, it was getting info on them, which they have even without anyone actually signing up.

  28. Obviously, spending TRILLIONS on war is so much better than trying to provide a minimum of decent healthcare and education.

    I don’t like Obama, but neither do I like Bush or any of the other war mongers.
    Its a shame that like the climate change debate these things have to turn into a left wing – right wing argument.

    reds under the bed, Stalinist takeover of the government, whatever whatever

  29. Obamacare is a lousy compromise. Too bad for America.

    While I realize that people will argue with me, and anyone can find facts to back up their argument (CAGW is a great example), Canadian medicare is an excellent (but not perfect) system. Canadians overwhelmingly support their medicare system. No sane politicians (not even the old Reform Party) advocate against it. Brian Mulroney (the Canadian equivalent of Thatcher and Reagan) called it a sacred trust.

  30. My experience with the federal health insurance website for Florida was a similar amateur hour experience. I finally gave up after a few dozen attempts spread over a week, and found an HHS spreadsheet with approved plan rates for many of the states. I am self-employed and purchase insurance in the open market. The bronze plan for two adults with no kids is around $630/month. The plan is similar to what we have now, but we currently pay $190/month. This can’t be true, I thought to myself. The Dear Leader said that premiums would drop by $2500 per year, not increase by $5300 per year.

    I then went to my insurance carrier’s website, and in a few minutes, had a price quote for the *exact* same policy that I currently have. That is, “if you like your current insurance plan, then you can keep it”. The price estimate is $780/month…

    My health insurance plan’s premium is increasing by a factor of four. Forward, comrades!

    This reminds me of the manufacturer’s rebate programs that you sometimes see in retail stores. The analogy is that I go buy a gallon of milk. The price has increased, overnight, from $4.00 to $16.00, but if I fill out the paperwork and wait, a rebate check for $12.00 might show up in the mail. The final cost has not changed. However, the price of milk is now almost completely controlled by the entity that sends you the rebate check.

    I am now exploring the possibility of claiming self-insurance.
    Another option I am looking into is short-term insurance (less than 1 year) that is far less expensive. It is not Obamacare approved, so I would also have to pay the IRS penalty. Since this is currently the higher of 1% of gross income or $95, it is a far cheaper option than Obamacare.

    I have also heard that the IRS can only deduct the Obamacare fine from your tax refund. If you pay taxes such that you do not receive a refund, then the IRS has no method of imposing Obamacare’s punishment. Does anyone know if this is true?

    Finally, even if Obamacare is repealed, I am 95% confident that insurance premiums will not drop. There is a money diode in place at the insurance carriers. If you don’t like your new premiums, you get to keep them.

  31. I recall seeing interviews with a couple of private companies who provide health insurance “navigation” indicating that they were doing this (relatively) inexpensively and with easy navigation. I haven’t heard any follow-up with these folks. In 2010 when my youngest graduated from college and my insurance no longer covered her, it was easy to go to a search engine, get a list of insurance plans and links so that you could compare plans and companies. So, with all this out there, how could the government go over half-billion over budget and put out a lousy, nonworking product when all they had to do was buy what was already out there and do some minor mods? I believe it says something about the government’s ability to manage the whole health care thing. It also hides the higher costs. And the government shut down sure serves to distract from ACA problems.

    Disclaimer: My health insurance has been either TRICARE or Medicare/TRICARE for the past 6 years (retired Reservist). I’ve been satisfied with it, but haven’t used it for anything other than routine checkups, lab work and a few prescriptions. When my daughter graduated in 2010, the government wasn’t required to cover her until she was 26. Since she was an adult with college degrees, my parental advice was to stop playing rugby until she had insurance of her own. She found a good moderately high deductible policy with limited dental for a bit over $100/month. When TRICARE indicated they would cover her, the cost was more than twice her current policy and didn’t include any dental.

  32. There’s a point to be made that hasn’t been generally pointed out. In the election last Fall one of the things that doomed Romney was the complete failure of the Orca system. I don’t know the details but Orca was designed for last minute Get Out The Vote initiatives. It crashed. At the time some Obama supporters insinuated that if Romney had been the truly excellent businessman he was then he would’ve insured that it would’ve worked. You see, Obama’s GOTV computer software worked flawlessly. What’s interesting is how, when it had to work (for him), Obama presided over the development of competent software but, when it didn’t have to work – for him – since everything was now in place, well, it doesn’t.

  33. chris y: I think a lot of folks will do as you indicated, get a lower cost insurance and pay the fine, er tax, as long as that insurance exists.
    Your subsidy analogy is more like this. Subsidized milk goes from $4 to $16/gallon. Some people get $12 in subsidies, some get subsidies up to $12 and a lot get no subsidies. The price of milk goes to $16/gallon and a lot of your neighbors pay more than $4 and all the younger neighbors get to pay the $16/gallon and your $12/gallon, assuming they decide not to become lactose intolerant.
    You know the reason you pay $4/gallon is the milk subsidy currently in effect.

  34. Ed_B.

    You’re right about the cost and I genuinely believe that everyone has the right to medical treatment, but here in the UK we are inundated with health tourists / migrants from poorer EU states (and Ireland, where crossing the Irish Sea for an abortion is commonplace – a conservative estimate is 1000 plus per annum) or the system is abused by the indigenous low life and feckless who, because it is free, use it to the max.

    The system here is unsustainable and i’m sure it will prove to be so in the US.

  35. Whatever you do, don’t call it “health care reform” or Obamacare. The Obama administration was not the first to implement the tax that is at the heart of the scheme. Please call it by it’s real name – Romneycare.

    Thanks,
    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!
    Victim of Romneycare since 2007

  36. commieBob says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:16 am

    Obamacare is a lousy compromise. Too bad for America.

    While I realize that people will argue with me, and anyone can find facts to back up their argument (CAGW is a great example), Canadian medicare is an excellent (but not perfect) system. Canadians overwhelmingly support their medicare system. No sane politicians (not even the old Reform Party) advocate against it. Brian Mulroney (the Canadian equivalent of Thatcher and Reagan) called it a sacred trust.
    ________________________________________________________________________
    I heard lots of anecdotes about Canadians coming across the border to get treatment in the US they couldn’t get or were waiting for very long periods to get in Canada. What happens to the quality of the Canadian system when the US medical system becomes just like Canada’s?

  37. This thread has been about a glimpse through the fog of the tip of the iceberg, out of the corner of our eye.

  38. Big changes to society and government can only work when done with major bipartisan and popular support. ACA never had these. With the website failures, with heavy resistence from many doctors, with the string of broken promises (“if you like your health plan you can keep it”), and especially with the sticker-shock prices, ACA has about a year to either make the voters very happy, or else go down in flames and take a certain political faction down with it as voters finally get to voice their opinion on the matter in next year’s 2014 elections.

    No wonder Washington is locked up, the stakes for ACA are huge and the fear there must be genuine.

  39. Michael D Smith says- October 13, 2013 at 5:58 am

    “It’s probably not even fixable. If they spent that much money already, it means there was never a design to begin with. But as long as they are spending their limitless money, they can claim they’re working on it. Software that has no specification has little chance of ever functioning properly.”

    That sure sounds familiar. My brother manages a software group that does database development. I asked him this summer what was the most important step in any of the projects he has worked on. He said that if the specifications are not well defined by the customer, and then frozen in place prior to coding, then the project is doomed. Then he turned to me and with his best Bender (Futurama) impersonation, loudly said DOOOMMMED!!!!!

    He also said this was partly based on bitter past experience developing database software for… Alberta HealthCare!
    :-)

  40. commieBob says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:16 am
    Brian Mulroney (the Canadian equivalent of Thatcher and Reagan) called it a sacred trust.
    —————————————————————————————————————————

    Really??? You actually think Mulroney is on the same level as Reagan and Thatcher!? LOL BWHAHAHA. Mulroney is one of the original CINOs. Only slightly better that Clarke was. The only reason he won two majorities is because the Liberals were is such disarray. As far as the “excellent (but not perfect) system” goes well I just experienced 41 hours in emergency in that excellent system where I was left writhing in pain for 8 hours (4 in the public waiting room) before anyone seriously took a look at me. After a multitude of tests and 8 hours waiting for a bed that never materialized (at the end of the 41 hours) I was well enough to get up and leave. The only way I was going back was unconscious in an ambulance. Don’t even get me going on Nurse Ratchet at the front ER desk.

  41. andrewmharding says:
    October 13, 2013 at 5:27 am
    “…Like Communism it is a good idea in theory, but terrible in practice!”

    NO. Neither Communism nor Obamacare were EVER good ideas. The fruits of my labor do not belong to the “collective.” And I have no “right” to force another person to pay for something I want or need.

  42. i lived in the USA for 20 years…great country…my wife is american…but i never had insurance..luckily i never got sick…i exercise…anyway the great socialist Bismarck was the first to introduce national health insurance …starting with Truman…several presidents…tried to introduce something similar to the British or Canadian systems…which are very popular in those countries…always blocked by the medical lobby…these guys are making a killing…the No 1 cause of bankruptcy in the USA…is medical bills…the best part is that when you are completely broke and declare bankruptcy…you qualify for Medicaid…and get top class care…this is lunacy…the Obama gang were very sophisticated in using the internet to raise funds..why cant they get these computer programs right..?

  43. Bob Greene says: October 13, 2013 at 6:27 am

    I agree!
    I forgot to add your critical detail that the rebate is not the same for everyone.

  44. Ed_B says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:08 am

    “Amazing statement.. as if someone with no means, or with pre existing conditions have any right to select.. Ha!! Go die!”

    So if you have no means to buy a car or house, should the rest of us be required to subsidize you?

    Pre existing conditions usually have a waiting period. Insurance is pooled risk, in order to take from the pool you must first pay into it.

    Perhaps the biggest (and saddest) problem in the US today is the indoctrination of nearly 3 generations that an individual has no responsibility for their own outcome. Just rely on the government to take care of you at the expense of everyone else. Face it America, the socialists have won, they simply bought their way into control by giving away other people’s money to more than 51% of the population. And as the central government takes more and more control of your life and you have less and less choice about things, you will slowly die.. Welcome to the world of the Eloi and the Morlocks.

  45. chris y says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:17 am

    “Finally, even if Obamacare is repealed, I am 95% confident that insurance premiums will not drop. There is a money diode in place at the insurance carriers. If you don’t like your new premiums, you get to keep them.”

    Pay cash instead.
    The dirty secret is insurance payers (following the lead of CMS) have reimbursement rates set as percentages of the fee for a procedure. Very frequently, the percentage reimbursed has fallen below 50% to 30% or even 25% of the nominal fee. Providers are forced to raise rates to stay in business – or give up insurance patients. If insurance payers were required to publish reimbursement amounts and not percentages, the main justification for Obamacare would evaporate instantly.

    More healthcare providers are taking cash now. That’s the only way I’ll go. I won’t be signing up for anything according to ACA. I have no medical records, and the government won’t be getting any.

    Just say no.

  46. @Alan D McIntire There’s no way the government can enforce penalties on everyone who didn’t sign up within the required time frame.

    You give too much credit to the Gov’t. Remember, its the IRS in charge on enforcement: they will still levy the fine. They may have to pay it back if you argue, but I would be willing to bet the $95 first-year penalty that it would take quite a while for you to see any refund.

    Hmm- and thinking about it: remember the law says you have to be covered by a plan, not necessarily theirs. I can see them making the legal argument that, despite the site’s failures, you had the legal obligation to seek outside the site to obey the law. I don’t know if a judge would buy it, but I’d bet a lawyer would try that argument- right or wrong.

  47. @gopal panicker You are missing a very large fact in this entire debate. The insurance companies are behind Obamacare because they stand to make a killing, at least the largest ones. This is the worst example of corporate cronyism, in that they have made it a crime not to purchase a product as a term of citizenship, but the system does not insure any more people than were insured before. All it has effectively done is nationalize an insurance system that was based (somewhat) on open markets. The failures of the system were the government interventions. If they had simply submitted a bill that was two pages of reforms it would have freed up the market to accept people that did not have means to participate. The pre-existing condition issues could have been fixed with one line added to the existing HIPPA law.

    I would ask you not to copy and paste propaganda from left-wing websites and hide the code with “…” edits. Most of America is not happy with this government take over of our industry, and watching political cronies make billions direct from our paychecks in the process. We are a poorer nation for it.

  48. The Affordable Care Act was promoted and passed with the primary assertion that it was not a new tax on Americans. However, when it was challenged in the Supreme Court, the Court stated that it was only constitutional if it was a tax. Viola! Tax it is.

    We should be calling it the Affordable Care Tax Act or the Obamacare Tax.

    The “Pass It So We Can See What Is In It Tax” is just too wordy.

  49. andrewmharding says:
    October 13, 2013 at 5:27 am
    Believe me it does not work! The NHS has treatment free at the point of delivery, so we have citizens of the EU flocking here to use the service. The service is abused and has no value (people only value something if they have to pay for it directly in the first place) and is top heavy with overpaid managers, deputy managers etc, etc.

    How can you possibly say that “it does not work”, there are millions of people who are alive today or who have their lives improved who would disagree with you.
    Although I agree about Health Tourists and top heavy management, but that is a result of trying to apply Private Industry standards and profit making to a Public Service.

  50. Bob Greene-

    “I heard lots of anecdotes about Canadians coming across the border to get treatment in the US they couldn’t get or were waiting for very long periods to get in Canada.”

    I have an older family member the M.D. who lives in Canada. He has always said that the U.S. needs universal health insurance like Canada. During one visit I asked him how he was recovering from some serious health problems that he had. He said he was doing better, thanks to the fact that he got treated at a high quality facility with no wait time- at a Mayo clinic in the U.S.

  51. @Bob Greene Evidence disagrees with your statement. People are not getting lower insurance rates, they are higher with higher deductibles. Citizens have been posting their experiences on Healthcare.gov’s Facebook page with screen captures. Pre-existing conditions have been causing deductibles with 10’s of thousands of dollars in deductibles and many hundreds of dollars in monthly premiums. We have been seeing for months the way business has reacted due to the regulation (not law) that full-time work is now considered 30 hours a week. To cope with the added costs or regulation jobs and hours have been cut. This is the result when elected legislators openly mock citizens by telling them “We will have to pass the bill so we can see what is in it”.

  52. It seems to me all the people associated with the web site should be not working due to the glorious Shutdown. Perhaps all that is being done by gov’t contractors so their work isn’t creating an expectation of additional payments.

  53. Look, the ACA program has already been a failure several times, in multiple ways.

    First failure: it was presented as a plan that would save the average family $2400 per year by the end of 2012. It did not save at all, and typical costs went up 3k per year. Really, a double-failure.

    Second failure: If we have a health-care plan we like, we can keep that plan. Millions found out earlier this year before October 1 that that was not the case. Even where companies did not drop coverage for their employees, many did drop coverage for their families, and as long as the employer has a plan for the employee the subsidies will not apply in the exchange plans. Even those of us with employers that will still be providing family plans have found that many of the plans we were offered and using previously have been eliminated. Many insurers have pulled out of many states completely.

    Third Failure: The saving would be so great from the ACA, that we would be able to cover those without current (2008-2010) health insurance for free. Based upon the feedback from people trying to sign up, this isn’t the generally the case or even close to it. For some the insurance cost goes up only a little, and for others a lot, with reports of huge deductibles they’ll never be able to pay.

    Fourth failure: The actual signup was officially announced in June of this year to have been ready. Clearly it wasn’t. Not only was it not ready, but it apparently was known for at least a couple of months not to be ready. At least one state didn’t even pretend it will be ready any time soon. Even some states with already existing exchange programs weren’t able to use the system.

    At this point we’ve seen enough failure to easily justify shutting it down; the damage done already will cost a great deal to undo and will escalate from here.

    And we haven’t even gotten to the full bore part of the plan, for which internal audits are reported as projecting an average increase per family of $7400 per year in health-care costs.

    Further, these are introductory costs for 2014. 2015 costs are expected to be much higher. The tax for avoiding the plans are known to be much higher.

    All of the above is assuming a government which is at least trying to be equitable…but as we’ve seen in the IRS targeting against political opponents, and even more-so in the National Park Service targeting all of us, starting with closing unmanned memorials, hundreds of federally unmanned and unsupported campgrounds, hundreds of concessionaires, and innumerable walking paths; to keeping tourists, foreign and domestic, captive in a hotel under armed guard; and sending armed men to force people out of their owned homes – just to capriciously create pain to the populace for political advantage. A program like this creates even more potential for retribution against the unliked – even momentarily unliked.

  54. Look, the ACA program has already been a failure several times, in multiple ways.

    First failure: it was presented as a plan that would save the average family $2400 per year by the end of 2012. It did not save at all, and typical costs went up 3k per year. Really, a double-failure.

    Second failure: If we have a health-care plan we like, we can keep that plan. Millions found out earlier this year before October 1 that that was not the case. Even where companies did not drop coverage for their employees, many did drop coverage for their families, and as long as the employer has a plan for the employee the subsidies will not apply in the exchange plans. Even those of us with employers that will still be providing family plans have found that many of the plans we were offered and using previously have been eliminated. Many insurers have pulled out of many states completely.

    Third Failure: The saving would be so great from the ACA, that we would be able to cover those without current (2008-2010) health insurance for free. Based upon the feedback from people trying to sign up, this isn’t the generally the case or even close to it. For some the insurance cost goes up only a little, and for others a lot, with reports of huge deductibles they’ll never be able to pay.

    Fourth failure: The actual signup was officially announced in June of this year to have been ready. Clearly it wasn’t. Not only was it not ready, but it apparently was known for at least a couple of months not to be ready. At least one state didn’t even pretend it will be ready any time soon. Even some states with already existing exchange programs weren’t able to use the system.

    At this point we’ve seen enough failure to easily justify shutting it down; the damage done already will cost a great deal to undo and will escalate from here.

    And we haven’t even gotten to the full bore part of the plan, for which internal audits are reported as projecting an average increase per family of $7400 per year in health-care costs.

    Further, these are introductory costs for 2014. 2015 costs are expected to be much higher. The tax for avoiding the plans are known to be much higher.

    All of the above is assuming a government which is at least trying to be equitable…but as we’ve seen in the IRS targeting against political opponents, and even more-so in the National Park Service targeting all of us, starting with closing unmanned memorials, hundreds of federally unmanned and unsupported campgrounds, hundreds of concessionaires, and innumerable walking paths; to keeping tourists, foreign and domestic, captive in a hotel under armed guard; and sending armed men to force people out of their owned homes – just to capriciously create pain to the populace for political advantage. A program like this creates even more potential for retribution against the unliked – even momentarily unliked.

  55. JohnM says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:07 am
    [about the NHS:]
    “Dental care has not caught-up yet, that is all so 20th century still.”

    Sorry to burst your bubble, John, but your dental care is 19th century. I’m in Germany and had several British expats as colleagues who had British Teeth.

  56. John M you are full of it! the NHS does not work, unless you want people dead, it is dysfunctional and vastly overpriced, before I left the sinking ship 5 years back, I had to pay extra to make my NHS coverage worth while, this cost me over half the premium that would have bought me decent coverage in the USA where at the time the healthcare was way better. There was barely a hospital other than the many private ones that did not give out free MSRA or worse the flesh eating bug with every operation, my doctor was a friend and when I split my cartilage he would not send me to the local huge hospital, “you dont want Trelliske messing about in there” was his comment.Hi did give me exercises that did the trick in the end! In the UK the main difference I can see between the private and NHS hospitals is the union involvement.
    I dont see the software companies blaming politicians, they should get a contract and if the politicians want to move goalposts then say no! its called being professional !

  57. Ed_B says:

    October 13, 2013 at 6:08 am

    The USA spends twice what any other modern country does on healthcare per capita and gets lousy or no service for 1/3 its citizens.

    This is the most untrue statement in health care. The vast majority of monies spent for or on healthcare is done by private persons or companies. It is not an expense of the USA. And since a law exists that requires all persons that show up at an emergency room must be seen regardless or ability to pay, all citizens can get some care. The service is extended to non-citizens and that is part or the problem. People come here from all over the world including Canada to get fast available care.

  58. Hunter: “Something in the $100 million dollar range was spent on this embarrassingly badly written website.”

    The numbers being bandied about, are that $97 million was the original budgeted cost, but that $634 million is what was actually paid to the prime contractor.

  59. Thanks for bringing up certificate security, Anthony. In my work with the FBI, I’ve learned that exploits aimed at certificates are surging. This company has some good information on the threat and has numerous white papers available for download in case readers are interested: http://www.venafi.com/

  60. You are all assuming that they want it to work. I suspect they want it to fail so they have justification to move to a single payer system. Get ready for a national sales tax my American friends. In Ontario health, education and debt servicing takes up the vast majority of the budget. We pay a 13% sales tax sometimes applied to other taxes so we pay tax on tax with our after tax dollars.

  61. Bob Greene says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:31 am

    … I heard lots of anecdotes about Canadians coming across the border to get treatment in the US they couldn’t get or were waiting for very long periods to get in Canada. …

    What you say is absolutely true. The United States has the best medical care in the world … for those who can afford it. There are also medical tourists who go to India to get procedures, like face lifts, that aren’t covered and are much cheaper there.

    WTF says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:37 am

    commieBob says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:16 am
    Brian Mulroney (the Canadian equivalent of Thatcher and Reagan) called it a sacred trust.
    —————————————————————————————————————————

    Really??? You actually think Mulroney is on the same level as Reagan and Thatcher!? LOL BWHAHAHA. Mulroney is one of the original CINOs. Only slightly better that Clarke was. The only reason he won two majorities is because the Liberals were is such disarray. As far as the “excellent (but not perfect) system” goes well I just experienced 41 hours in emergency in that excellent system where I was left writhing in pain for 8 hours (4 in the public waiting room) before anyone seriously took a look at me. After a multitude of tests and 8 hours waiting for a bed that never materialized (at the end of the 41 hours) I was well enough to get up and leave. The only way I was going back was unconscious in an ambulance. Don’t even get me going on Nurse Ratchet at the front ER desk.

    Every Canadian knows someone that has happened to. The medical people refer to extreme writhing pain as ‘discomfort’. (expletive deleted) On the other hand, if they decide that your life is actually in danger, you can be in the operating room so fast your head spins.

    If the medical staff mess up, like when a guy died in the waiting room because they thought he was just “another drunken Indian”, the crap hits the fan and it becomes a federal issue.

    As for Mulroney … He was the best we could do at the time. ;-)

  62. Alvin says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:53 am

    @Alvin “You are missing a very large fact in this entire debate. The insurance companies are behind Obamacare because they stand to make a killing, at least the largest ones. ”

    That offer was how they got the insurance company buy-in…everyone would have to buy a plan. It wasn’t the insurance companies idea, but why would they say “no”?

  63. Anthony, here is my experience so far.

    Blue Cross/Blue Shield sent me a letter saying that my insurance was canceled as of 1January. I was invited to sign up early to get continuous coverage to a more expensive product.

    You see the reason my coverage was canceled was it did not meet the minimums according to the new law. So much for if you like your insurance you can keep it. Obama lied period.

  64. andrewmharding on October 13, 2013 at 5:27 am

    In Sweden it did actually work. Then some years ago, when the socialists still was in government, they turned over some of the control to local (hobby) politicians. Just the very same way they did with the national mandatory school system and now both systems are basically crap! Subsequently, commercial interests was allowed within schools, healthcare and social services, resulting in some senior citizens have been treated worse than what it’s allowed to treat animals … (Yes, this is Swedish neosocialistic politics …)

    I have asthma and I don’t dare to go to the local ICU, as it will take me minimum 3-4 hour before I get any treatment at all. If I ever get a acute heart condition …?

    When the healthcare system once worked in Sweden, we had a lot of foreign officials from around the world visiting us, just to observe how we got it to work (yes, even US and UK officials got inspired …).

    A nation with a good healthcare system usually have healthy people generating tax money. This way more money becomes available generating better public service (except when ignorant and/or corrupted politicians are involved …)

    No, I am not a socialist or any other form of leftist nutcase, just a realist …

  65. gopal panicker: “this is lunacy…the Obama gang were very sophisticated in using the internet to raise funds..why cant they get these computer programs right..?”
    That was still private enterprise. The campaign didn’t have to follow government procurement procedures, and pay off constituencies with who got the contract.

  66. JohnM.
    The NHS has a budget of £96billion that is £1600 per person. To that can be added the money people pay for eye tests, glasses, prescriptions, chiropodists and dental treatment which probably takes it to £100billion. It is grossly inefficient, look at Mid-Staffs and the previous Labour health secretary’s attempt at a cover up! We have had the botched IT which cost £2billion and is still sucking in money to pay for agreed contracts despite being cancelled. I prolapsed two lumbar discs three years ago, I paid a chiropractor privately so I could drive the 320 mile round trip to my god-daughters wedding, the NHS took five months to arrange an MRI scan, by the time I had the appointment the discs had almost gone back to normal.
    Your comment about NHS dentistry is interesting, because I am an NHS dentist. I computerised my practice in 1991, hospitals still rely on paper records over 20 years later.

    Eustace Cranch
    I totally agree with you, but there has to be some provision in society to protect those who cannot help themselves. This provision should not be extended though to those who WILL NOT help themselves. Communism has failed in every single country it has been tried in. In our country left of centre governments have without fail, reduced the country to poverty. I don’t think your Democrats are as far to the left as our Labour party, but Obama is certainly not doing you any favours!

  67. Afraid to correct basic errors in your post.

    Goodbye Anthony. I am the one who pushed you to science pages, you can thank me later.

    REPLY: What errors? the site doesn’t work as advertised, and what’s with the multiple personalities here? I count 4 now. – Anthony

  68. I just tried to sign up and took about 3 minutes. I think there may be an iq problem at play here.

    REPLY: You mean IT problem, as indicated by the certificate failures. Why not show us your proof of sign up? – Anthony

  69. SasjaL:

    Just as in the rest of Europe, Sweden has imported a vast burden into it’s country and social care provision.

    It worked while the majority contributed, but when so many who have never given and having no intention of EVER doing so are taking out of the pot, it will surely end in tears.

  70. P Sheraton: “Obviously, spending TRILLIONS on war is so much better than trying to provide a minimum of decent healthcare and education.”

    The cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars cost is estimated at a bit over one trillion dollars, which is a lot. The loss of the World Trade Centers and the people in it cost our economy just short of a Trillion dollars…and we were getting hit in a major way (albeit not that major) every year. You can still debate the true value or the rectitude, but at least get that part right.

    As for decent education, we spend plenty…we just spend it poorly.

  71. The Oregon site was working well weeks ago. i found many options cheaper than what I pay now, and for the first time, they won’t be excluding my pre-existing conditions.

    I used to have insurance though a Dutch company, which paid 100% of medical expenses out of your home country. Most people with long term illnesses will go home to be treated on their national healthcare program. i thought, fine, if I have a serious issue I’ll go to Holland, or Australia, or anywhere but here.

    the Dutch caught on and would not renew the policy for Americans.

  72. SasjaL
    I don’t think there is an easy answer to healthcare, the problem with health insurance is that for someone such as yourself with asthma, they would either exclude payment of any claim due to asthma or you would have to pay a sky high premium. The one good thing that paying for a healthcare system through taxes, is that doesn’t happen, but the efficiency of a privately run health service is not there either and neither is politicians using it as a political football. I am not going to pretend I know the answer, because I don’t.

  73. The US is populated with the genetic makeup of a self-reliant class of people who didn’t like being told what to do so they boarded a rickety ship and landed here. Then the next few generations didn’t like being told what to do except those that thought it was okay being told what to do. Those people left, leaving the independent minded revolutionaries to populate the country in independent style. Then every generation after that moved west because THEY did not like being told what to do by the previous generation who didn’t like being told what to do who came from a hardy stock of people who didn’t like being told what to do. Our Civil War was fought because BOTH sides didn’t like being told what to do by the other side (that slavery was wrong was a secondary issue and yes that boggles the mind yet hammers home my point).

    So now we have Obamacare. Doesn’t matter whether it works or not, or whether it is right or wrong. He is now King George and we don’t like being told what to do. If the country chooses to split over this, I will be standing on the side that doesn’t like being told what to do.

  74. Obamacare was designed to be a train wreck that will fail and destroy the private-sector health insurance industry, with the final agenda of implementing a single payer healthcare system.

    Prior to US Government’s involvement in healthcare in 1964 with Medicare/Medicaid, total healthcare costs were only about 5% of GDP. The year after government’s intrusion, healthcare costs increased rapidly, until now healthcare account for a whopping 17% of GDP.

    I’m sure that by the time Obamacare implodes, that number will be over 20%, with plummeting quality and quantity.

    I live in Japan that has a single-payer system. I pay $15,000/yr for my family of 3 and the care is abysmal, long waits, poor quality; beautiful hospitals though– at least you wait hours and hours and hours in style…

  75. My impression is that the people ObamaCare is intended to benefit have to enroll on-line, or by arranging a personal application, like everyone else.
    Are these not the same people who find it an unreasonable burden to obtain a voter ID?

  76. Gdn, did you take out of that amount the armed forced wages that have to be paid anyway? the munitions that have to be used because they are timed? (the USA made a lot of money selling the UK older munitions including cruise missiles that were getting near their decommission time!) really the best reply the the world trade atrocity would be to level Saudi and Iran , that treatment worked well on Lybia back when we had real leaders! The Obamacare trojan horse was never about healthcare any more than the AGW scam was about climate, the sad fact is half the people who do vote are stupid and fall for the unicorn tales, I fear we have to ride this train wreck in the western world in to disaster and make the best of it! Lets face it if the UK can spend 6 years fighting socialism and then vote in a socialist government and toss out Churchill who was much loved then anything is possible! Perhaps the only answer is to give homeowners who pay income tax and don’t work for any form of government an extra vote!

  77. The failure of the ACA website shows that the current government shutdown is a deliberate attempt by the Obama Administration and Senator Harry Reid to hurt Americans for political advantage. It’s clear that due to website failures and the resulting lack of sign ups that the individual mandate in ACA must be postponed, yet it is the refusal of the Administration and Senate to negotiate on that mandate that is the putative reason for the shutdown and the resulting lack of Federal services. The shutdown could end today if the Democrats acknowledged that the website isn’t working and that the individual mandate needed to be postponed for 6 months or a year. It was obvious months ago that the government wasn’t going to meet its own ACA deadlines, and yet the political games over the budget were played. I am disgusted with President Obama, because this shutdown was completely unnecessary and utterly his own doing. His failure to take responsibility in meeting his own deadlines and in continuing to push a plan that needs some obvious delays/fixes is reprehensible. It’s the same way with CO2-all about control and politics, and not really about the issues or facts.

  78. Seems to me the Affordable Care Act as enacted by Congress, signed by the President, and affirmed by Supreme Court differs in several respects from the “Affordable Care Act” implemented by the Obama administration. As implemented some groups are clearly more subject to Insurance purchase mandates than others and some must meet statutory deadlines while others do not. As the Constitution assigns legislative authority to the legislative branch of government, I was not aware that Presidents were legally entitled to rewrite statutes unilaterally.

  79. There is a 1978 poem, “Tom Smith an the Incredible Bread Machine”

    Here is a link to a long version of the poem: http://www.agem.com/tomsmith.htm

    Now, Smith, an inventor, had specialized
    In toys. So people were surprised
    When they found that he instead
    Of making toys, was baking bread!
    The news was flashed by CBS
    Of his incredible success.
    Then NBC jumped in in force,
    Followed by the Times, of course.
    The reason for their rapt attention,
    The nature of his new invention,
    The way to make bread he’d conceived
    Cost less than people could believe!
    And not just make it! This device
    Could in addition wrap and slice!
    The price per loaf, one loaf or many:
    The miniscule sum of under one penny!

    Government taxes and inflation eventually cause the price to rise a “full cent”. The public is outraged at the doubling of the cost of bread and turns to commissions to investigate.

    “The rule of law, in complex times,
    Has proved itself deficient.
    We much prefer the rule of men.
    It’s vastly more efficient. ”

  80. Pelosi must have been inspired by Bill Shorten (and who wouldn’t be?). “Can I just say that I haven’t seen what’s in the bill, but I support it.”

  81. The NHS, for all its manifest faults, is still very popular in the UK – and as it happens my family and I have benefited greatly from its ministrations in recent years, for expert care which would have been far beyond my personal means. It is good to know that some (at least) of my taxes are going to support mothers in childbirth or oldies with cancer, rather than waging war in Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever the fashionable troublespot is at the moment.

    To accept this, of course, I must accept that to some extent I am my brother’s keeper, and that a National Insurance Scheme (still an official name for the Health Service tax) will have winners and losers … and that it can too readily be the object of political posturing, poor IT and bloated managerialism. Until we get to abolish Original Sin, matters we arrange will always be imperfect. But hey! – in the UK democracy supports the NHS, with all its faults.

  82. Observations, opinions, and predictions.

    The website is the least of my worries when it comes to healthcare. They will fix it eventually. How does anyone feel about the IRS now controlling your medical information along with your financial? Toss in the NSA and your communication and buying habits are now centrally available also.

    Observations:
    – I have spoken to many folks over the last few weeks who have had to make choices on health care (it is that time of year for many folks), and not one of them had their rates go down. In fact the average uptick in cost was about a 250% increase in monthly costs. A relative with a single child and married saw a $320/ month increase in their healthcare costs from their large bank employer as a result of this tax/law. That is going to hurt them significantly from a financial standpoint. A $3,600+ increase per year!

    – I have discussed the new healthcare system with a number of MD’s also and every one of them is evaluating options outside of the new system. Even my personal doctor has notified his patient base that he is no longer going to provide services associated with government insurance. He is getting away from the train wreck he said. A similar message came from my eye doctor of all places. (BTW, next time you go for an eye exam, be prepared to answer many more invasive questions than you did last time and have your blood pressure documented).

    -Many more folks are being cut to part time, < 30hrs a week , due to the new healthcare law. Ironically, the BLS double counts those folk who actually go out and get another job to backfill their compensation losses. That is if they elect to work at all. An example from last month

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/09/just-how-distorted-is-us-unemployment.html

    I could go on, but I think the picture is clear.

    Opinion:
    -The painful precipitation of this new health care law is out of the gate. Over the next few months we will see an ever increasing visibility to the painful nature of this new and extensive TAX. Nearly 20% of our economy will be directly impacted by this law/Tax. Disposable income will plummet for those who are on the paying side of the house. Even the massive unions are feeling the pain and that does not bode well for next year’s elections for the Democrats.

    -The average American will finally understand what caused the government shut down. The CR that was originally submitted to the Senate, and denied by the president, included a 1 year delay in implementation of the healthcare law on the individual level (just like businesses and Obama supporters who garnered exemption from him got) and the removal of the exemption of congress and their staff from the same law they pushed down on everyone else. That was one of 17 changes in the law the president questionably placed. One should remember congress makes law not the president. Think about what he has been doing in that arena, let alone circumventing congress with the EPA to push up energy costs which hurt the poor the most. Eventually, even the most blind sheep see the wolf.

    Predictions:
    Nothing will sway the direction of this country until the 50% who pay no federal tax are faced with the same pain the average tax payer has to deal with. I am not sure that time will ever come now that we have increased the dependencies of so many capable Americans. When you can make the same amount of money through government entitlements that you would if you worked 40 hours a week, why would they work?

    Obama told the truth once when he said he is going to fundamentally change this country and redistribute the wealth. He has and will continue his assault on the moral and constitutional aspects of this once great country. This is exactly what you get from ideologically driven agenda’s.

    And you all thought “climate change” was a deceitful problem. Just wait until “coverage change” hits everyone!

    I will leave the other 43 predictions off the table, but I think everyone has their own take on things. Mine take has not changed since 2008 …_ _ _…

  83. I live in South Carolina, and I have no idea what my options are. I finally set up an account after about 50 attempts and got an email to click on to verify my email address. This I did, but when I tried to log in I got an “information invalid” message. I tried to log in for hours and got the same message, so I clicked on “forgot username”, even though I hadn’t – I’d put in the same username and password umpteen times before I could get past the security questions. In response to “forgot username” I was informed that an email had been sent to me, presumedly to rectify the situation, but it never came. Last night I tried to set up another account using a different username. I got another email requesting address verification and clicked on it within 3 minutes of receiving it. The response I got was “Oops, you didn’t respond to the email in time.”

    I’m thinking this is all intentional. The administration does not want people to know how bad Obamacare is going hit their wallets until they are sure it is fully funded by congress and the debt ceiling is raised. Be afraid! Be very afraid!. This is much scarier than climate change. Most voters
    are such morons.

  84. I’m sorry, but anyone talking about how great the Canadian system is, is just blowing smoke.

    There’s lots of room for improvement and dedicated status quo left wing people trying to stop improvements.

    Just talking about improving the health care system sets the left wingers off on rants.

    We get the bogeymen of “American style” health care or “two-tier” healthcare. Ignoring the obvious that Canada has multiple tiers of healthcare. We just don’t talk about them.

  85. I wonder, given all that we see on TV or read about computer breaches, whether hackers have already hacked the Obamacare web site and are stealing information ?? How safe is the people’s data that are signing up for Obamacare? There seem to be two types of hackers, the ones who do it for fun and announce it to the world, and those who go in to steal data in order to steal. The second type, if they have broken in, would not want to announce it, they would just be feeding at the trough. I have read that as a part of Obamacare web site the developers had to open up channels to other government web sites, that are supposed to be secure. Would hacking the Obamacare web site give them a back door into these other sites ? How would anyone know? Before I give my data to Obamacare, I am going to have to be a lot more convinced of the security of the site. The cheapest plan I have seen on the Obamacare web site is $250 per month (or $3,000 per year), with a $6,000 deductible and lots of co-pays. The penalty (Robert’s Tax) starts at $95 per year (if you make $100,000 per year it is 1% or $1,000). Why is it in my interest to sign up and risk identity theft?

  86. “Gdn, did you take out of that amount the armed forced wages that have to be paid anyway? the munitions that have to be used because they are timed? (the USA made a lot of money selling the UK older munitions including cruise missiles that were getting near their decommission time!) ”

    I doubt all of those things had been subtracted (beyond the cited wages for non-deployed troops) after including the costs of building/rebuilding the infrastructures in the two wars, but if overlooked they would only make the point stronger: The monetary “cost” of the war is often flippantly overstated, and the monetary “savings” is ignored. It is especially heinous when you consider that the tax cuts in 2003 brought in more extra revenue to the federal government than the cost of the war by 2008.

    Likewise, the ACA plan was sold on the premise that it would increase efficiency to the point where in addition to saving the average family $2400 a year, it would also allow for free health-care/insurance for those who didn’t have health insurance. That’s without even going to the silly claims by President Obama like that it would save businesses 3,000% of their health-care costs, and should get people pay raises with the savings.

  87. Let’s not forget about the over 1,000 exemptions King Obama has granted his political crony organizations.

    Another point about the tax/fine. 1% of gross annual income, PER PERSON. So if a married couple without children making $50,000 gross annual income, that is a $500 tax/fine each. $1,000 taken by the government at gunpoint. Nice!

    I am amazed that the Republicans do not see the out Justice Roberts gave them. By declaring the non participation fine a tax, and understanding that it is Congress alone that can change tax law, the House of Representatives should simply lower the tax/fine to $10 with no future increases. Everyone who does not want to participate can pay the $10 and the insurance companies will not be able to sustain themselves as they will only have the sick, old and dying as clients sucking out all the money in the system in a very short order. They will never let that happen. So if you get the insurance companies to fight the ACA it will no longer be politically viable for an elected official to continue to support it. Bye bye obamacare.

  88. “I’m thinking this is all intentional. The administration does not want people to know how bad Obamacare is going hit their wallets until they are sure it is fully funded by congress and the debt ceiling is raised.”

    Could well be. Most voters have no idea that unfunded mandates (such as purchase of medical insurance) are in-kind taxes. Many people will be buying (or paying much more) next year for something they CHOSE not to purchase this year (or paid much less for because their policies did not insure coverages they did not want or need such as annual physicals, pre-existing conditions, maternity care, children between the ages of 18 and 27, etc. )

  89. I guess people who are claiming how good the health care is in England do not read the Mail?It seems like every day I am reading horror stories about the NHS.Australia is nearly as bad,may have bowel cancer?Too bad,3 months wait for a colonoscopy here in Tasmania.
    Need a hip operation?Minimum 2 years wait no matter how much pain you are in,and that’s just a couple of examples,we haven’t had people dying like flies in one hospital as England has,but we will get there.Type in NHS neglect in a search engine.That will give the true picture.

  90. My wife just got a letter offering her a substantial reduction [about $300 a month] if she switched to Obamacare. [She has Kaiser insurance.] They made it sound very good, so clearly they want her to switch.

    But after reading the fine print, it turns out that the new deductibles more than offset the putative savings. Obamacare would cost substantially more than her current plan. The only savings would come if she did not visit the doctor; if she was in perfect health. But after five hip replacements, two total knee replacements, and various other procedures, she goes to the doctor all the time. Obamacare punishes people like that.

    What was interesting was Kaiser’s push to switch patients to Obamacare. They woudn’t do that for no reason. Obviously, it is in Kaiser’s best interest to switch people to Obamacare. But my wife read the fine print, too, and she is not convinced.

  91. “My Obamacare experience.”
    After listening to extensive coverage on Heathcare/Govt shutdown on WPR, I decided to stand with the Republicans.
    Healthcare in this country is over inflated, bloated. Much like other areas of the U.S. economy. No longer sustainable in its current form. The spill over of this over indulgence is being seen in the quality of this care. A ‘taken for granted,’ attitude of those whose jobs are within healthcare. Of, course not all have the attitude.
    From the first morning that the website was up and running, WPR was all ready reporting the problems, glitches and overloading.

    How to help pay for healthcare, legalize and tax marijuana. Not like the goofballs in Colorado, who are over taxing it to the benefit of maintaining the existing blackmarket. Which leads to and aids in international drug trafficking. Which brings me to another national security issue. Could someone please tell me how any middle eastern country that claims a pious, peaceful moslem population can advocate and maintain as a “major industry” for their country, the growth and cultivation of poppy to heroin? Is this the devil in the details that their general population is suppressed and dooped into believing and accepting? How many are on the TAKE, and ‘live well,’ outside of the region..??
    And the new Asian, China and such weapon is..bathsalts? wtf Heard on WPR fastest growing substance to abuse found readily now in N. WI.

    Back to space
    the space cadet

  92. ” Jim says:
    October 13, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I just tried to sign up and took about 3 minutes. I think there may be an iq problem at play here.”
    ———————————————————————————————-

    You should go to the media. The major networks and CNN have all been desperately looking for someone to interview who has signed up successfully. So if it took you only 3 minutes to sign up you should go to them and get interviewed.

  93. I look at ACA as a boon to medical construction in the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and other Caribbean nations. All those wealthy Canadians and Americans who can now go to an American hospital and pay cash to get their heart treatments, cancer treatments and orthopedic procedures within days of a diagnosis will need somewhere to go and if the more advanced of the islands in the Caribbean are smart, they’ll build the infrastructure now and prepare for the medical tourists and their dollars. Of course they would also have to import the doctors. I hope they get on this soon, as we will need somewhere to go when we are sick that will actually begin treatment rather than having the request for treatment run up the bureaucracy to be weighed against cost and if approved, scheduled for three days after you have died.

  94. Being self employed, our family insurance for 4 is going up $500 per month for less coverage. The Government would say more but because they force the addition of things that we are not interested in, like pregnancy coverage and mental health. So, take $6,000 out of the economy for us. I’d rather have Putin as president over Barrack Obama. my 2 cents

  95. For people who don’t like open road speed limits – and especially the mind dulling national speed limit that existed from 1973 to 1996 – some enterprising individuals developed radar detectors. Maybe now some enterprising individuals could develop some ObamaCare detectors. However those detectors won’t have to ferret out just microwave signals. They’ll have to have sniffers that can detect really rancid foul odors.

  96. SasjaL
    October 13, 2013 at 7:30:

    ‘In Sweden it did actually work.’

    Sweden, I believe is, or at least was, a fairly homogenous society of about eight million people. To get something that works in that society to work in a diverse immigrant society of over three hundred million is a rather tall order.

  97. I am very disappointed by this post and many of the comments. You can do what you like with your own website Anthony but I am afraid you have just confirmed what my warmist friends have been saying for some time – that this is just a site for right wing propaganda. This allows them to dismiss the papers on climate change as propaganda also. I have ignored the anti Obama rhetoric so far but this gratuitous irrelevant anti government propaganda I cannot ignore.

    I live in the UK and have family and friends in the US. There is no doubt in my mind that the UK NHS is superior to the US system for the majority of the population even though it costs half as much. At least no one is made bankrupt or left to die. In the past 10 years I have close family who have had treatment for cancer (2) hip replacement, knee replacement, triple bypass, specialised heart surgery, broken hip, broken shoulder. All received immediate treatment and are still healthy. I am sure there are UK hospitals where treatment is not perfect just as there are in the US but in my experience, that of all of my family and most of my friends bad treatment is rare. The NHS is a treasure and the US would do well to consider its virtues rather than listen to the propaganda.

    Unfortunately there is too much money in healthcare. The big healthcare companies are funding all the UK political parties and they will want to get their money back. UK politics is corrupt, like yours is, so I have no doubt that money will talk. There is too much money at stake. Commercial interests want a bigger slice of the UK market and they want us to pay more for our health just like you do. Successive governments have already made changes to bring in private providers. The administration costs have doubled,waiting times have increased and the standard of care has dropped. We are all paying more and getting less and it will only get worse as we burden ourselves with the ridiculous costs of things like insurance and litigation that detract from the money that can be spent on real care.

    I don’t know how you define socialism and communism in the US. For me the NHS is about Christian values like compassion. I had an older sibling who died before the NHS was created because my mother could not afford the doctor’s bill even though she nearly starved herself trying (my father was fighting a war at the time). Before she died my mother made me promise to fight for the NHS above all else. That is what I am doing here, in her name, and fighting for yours as well. Obamacare is not perfect but is certainly a step in the right direction.

    • @CAL pointing out my experience with failed security certificates is “right wing propaganda”? How so?

      I didn’t believe the claims that the website(s) were as bad as was being claimed until I actually tried it myself.

  98. CAL says:

    “…you have just confirmed what my warmist friends have been saying for some time – that this is just a site for right wing propaganda.”

    Then explain how your comment was approved.

    =======================================

    Obamacare is a disaster. Americans do not want it. Poll after poll has shown that.

    The current reaction is all about having this unpopular law shoved down our throats. We don’t want it! Do you understand that? You may want it, but most of us do not.

    There are plenty of countries that have the equivalent of Obamacare. They are all disasters, with people being designated to live or die, and to wait endlessly for care; and the cost is astronomical. If Obamacare is such a great plan, why not move to a country that already has it? Because we don’t want it!

  99. CAL says: “I am very disappointed by this post[…]”

    Are you of the impression that it is even debatable that the online sign-up is substantially working? Some states report NO known successful sign-ups from their state for the first week…and insurance companies are reporting that only around 1% of those have enough information relayed to them to actually enroll the person in the program.

  100. Little known fact:

    In Canada, National Health care was ushered in by Tommy Douglas, a proponent of EUGENICS, as a means for the government to influence who gets what health treatment.

    Tommy Douglas’ masters thesis was titled: The Problems of the Subnormal Family

    A news article from the National Post discusses this:

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/03/14/tommy-douglas/

    The theory that underlies Obamacare is that of government knows best.

    It doesn’t.

  101. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!
    October 13, 2013 at 6:30 am
    says:

    ‘Whatever you do, don’t call it … Obamacare. Please call it by it’s real name – Romneycare.’

    May I respectfully disagree. At the time Romneycare passed it had popular support of the people of Massachusetts, and passed both Houses with bipartisan support. It only affected one state.

    Obamacare had none of those features. It has never been shown to have popular support of the people. In fact the surprise election of the Republican, Scott Brown, from ‘blue’ Massachusetts, so as to take away the Democrats’ 60 vote filibuster-proof majority, was as strong a signal as the people could’ve sent – Stop this! That lack of support forced the Democrats to ram it through with every parliamentary trick in the book and on a strictly partisan vote. Not one single Republican voted for it. And Obamacare hits the whole country.

    I really don’t believe it’s quite the same.

  102. Tom in Florida says:
    October 13, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Let’s not forget about the over 1,000 exemptions King Obama has granted his political crony organizations.

    Another point about the tax/fine. 1% of gross annual income, PER PERSON. So if a married couple without children making $50,000 gross annual income, that is a $500 tax/fine each. $1,000 taken by the government at gunpoint. Nice!

    I am amazed that the Republicans do not see the out Justice Roberts gave them. By declaring the non participation fine a tax, and understanding that it is Congress alone that can change tax law, the House of Representatives should simply lower the tax/fine to $10 with no future increases. Everyone who does not want to participate can pay the $10 and the insurance companies will not be able to sustain themselves as they will only have the sick, old and dying as clients sucking out all the money in the system in a very short order. They will never let that happen. So if you get the insurance companies to fight the ACA it will no longer be politically viable for an elected official to continue to support it. Bye bye obamacare.
    _________________________________

    You are correct about the $10 fines dooming Obamacare, but for the wrong reason.You have the fine/insurance effect exactly backwards… If the fine were reduced to $10, no one would sign up with Obamacare and would remain with their insurance providers. Obamacare tax would then have few participants. As it is, many have/will choose to pay the $95 fine and stick with their own insurance. However, the small $95 fines only last 2 years, and then rise to punitive extremes in order to force everyone to abandon their insurance company in favor of Obamacare. That’s when the insurance companies fail and single- payer full socialist government- only system comes into effect, with no surviving insurance companies.

  103. CAL it seems to me that you are warning us of how bad it is STILL going to get versus telling us it is your Shangri la. So which is it? Do you think it is the best thing since sliced bread or is it a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

  104. Db Stealey said;

    ‘Obamacare is a disaster. Americans do not want it. Poll after poll has shown that.’

    Forgive me, but you collectively voted for a President that consistently endorsed it and it has democratically passed through the Houses and been validated by the Supreme court. We here in the UK-and no doubt around the world-are baffled that the Republicans appear to be holding the President to ransom over this issue by withholding the budget and delaying the Debt ceiling discussions.

    You surely need to do something about both subjects but using Obamacare as a reason to delay action on them seems very undemocratic. Sorry..

    tonyb

  105. Jim says:
    October 13, 2013 at 7:40 am

    “I just tried to sign up and took about 3 minutes. I think there may be an iq problem at play here.”
    ———————————————————————————————-
    As of Friday, October 11, only 52,000 people nationwide were able to sign up..
    Jim, your success puts you in a very thin slice of the population.
    What a genius.

  106. Sorry, Anthony, you must be mistaken.

    I was assured this morning by Paul Krugman (yes, another Nobel prize winner) that things regarding Obamacare website signups were going swimmingly!

    /sarc (JUST IN CASE)

    .

  107. climatereason says October 13, 2013 at 9:34 am

    We here in the UK-and no doubt around the world-are baffled that the Republicans appear to be holding the President to ransom over this issue by withholding the budget and delaying the Debt ceiling discussions.

    Watching the mainstream news outlets again are we? They’ll do that to you every time …

  108. I’d just like to say that the UK’s NHS works just fine
    I have high blood pressure (since Al Gore got his Nobel Peace Prize 10th Dec 2007)
    and in addition to my taxes it costs me £7.85 every 4 weeks to avoid the stroke and the increased heart attack risk I would otherwise face.
    No insurance company is taking a financial risk on me. No one is trying to make a quick buck.
    It is funded by “Federal Government” horror of horrors
    Surgery, Cancer Care, Accident and Emergency, Pre Natal, Child Birth, Post Natal Care. That time I had pneumonia. That time I had a severed tendon fixed in my little finger – have all been delivered free to me and my wider family
    What is there to complain about? Apart from UK Taxation, across the board, generally being outrageous.
    But that said

    Why is the desire to provide a health care system to all deemed an attack on your American Liberty?

    Surely as a Nation you have the need to take care of each other. You can’t sit idly by while a fellow Citizen dies, or suffers, due to lack of $$$’s for treatment. What kind of Nation would that be?

    What ever happened to Altruism?

    Your websites have a few SSL issues (there to protect your privacy) in the early days – no biggy. They will be sorted out over the coming weeks. if not already.

    Your President has only tried to make the best of what is a bad job over there, healthcare wise.
    To hear American’s complaining, as though he’d just murdered your Grandma, makes no sense across the pond.

    Note 1)
    The USA has the highest GDP of any Country. If you have financial difficulties as a Nation. You as a Nation are the very best equipped to get out of them
    Note 2)
    The Belgian’s didn’t have a Government for 541 days – nothing stopped running.

    http://www.noaa.gov and http://www.nasa.gov says everything to everyone about the USA today

    Dave

  109. The healthcare system in the USA is clearly broken. The US pays twice as much for its healthcare in comparison to most 1st world countries, all for an inferior outcome. This is because the free market doesn’t work in this situation – i.e. how much are you going to pay to save your life? It has “rip-off” written all over it. And the US medical profession is indeed ripping off its patients. The facts speak for themselves:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_compared#International_comparisons

    Its a market that needs regulating – hence socialism delivers a far better outcome in this situation.

  110. climatereason says:
    October 13, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Db Stealey said;

    ‘Obamacare is a disaster. Americans do not want it. Poll after poll has shown that.’

    Forgive me, but you collectively voted for a President that consistently endorsed it and it has democratically passed through the Houses and been validated by the Supreme court. We here in the UK-and no doubt around the world-are baffled that the Republicans appear to be holding the President to ransom over this issue by withholding the budget and delaying the Debt ceiling discussions.

    You surely need to do something about both subjects but using Obamacare as a reason to delay action on them seems very undemocratic. Sorry..

    tonyb
    ______________________________
    Tony, let us fill in some blanks for you, since there’s much you don’t understand. First, the Republicans have sent bill after bill to the president to keep everything working while they delay Obamacare, but the President remains intractible and refuses any compromise. Second, The Affordable Care Act was not so much passed as it was implemented by decree, with what others have called every parliamentary trick in the book to get it through the Senate.
    There are a number of salient points points made in this thread, which may help to bring you up to speed.

    If you had said that appeals to dependant, uninformed and abysmally stupid voters is now the foundation of political success (with a huge dollop of vote count corruption,) then you would have hit the nail on the head.

  111. CAL says October 13, 2013 at 9:12 am

    I live in the UK and have family and friends in the US. There is no doubt in my mind that the UK NHS is superior to the US system

    Is this the same UK where the lights (power) may not stay on this winter?

    BWAAHAHAHAHHAHHA!

    Sorry … it just strikes me as so d*mn funny and hypocritical that you can’t get the ‘basics’ like the electric power system right YET you are so proud of the NHS … as if the NHS is some sort of poor substitute for National Grid when the lights do go out … funny …

    .

  112. Dave A says October 13, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Your President has only tried to make the best of what is a bad job over there, healthcare wise.

    It is so sad to see illiteracy and ignorance on display on a national stage; oh, and good luck on keeping the lights on this winter … for what I don’t know. Can’t be for the purposes of reading or studying …

    .

  113. Anthony is correct about this problem. It means they have failed to perform the most rudimentary testing.

    I operate several web sites some of which need support for SSL. The first thing I do after installing a new security certificate is test https://www.mydomain.com/ and https://mydomain.com/.

    The operators of CACovered have convincingly demonstrated total incompetence.

  114. “Forgive me, but you collectively voted for a President that consistently endorsed it and it has democratically passed through the Houses and been validated by the Supreme court.”

    There are a lot of caveats to that talking point string.

    1) People voted for a President who endorsed what he said was an entirely different plan…one that would cost those with insurance much less than what they were then paying, with a side effect of free insurance for millions of others. Further, there has been a significant group of people that like him personally, but not what he does; the plan has never had majority support amongst the populace.

    2) When the plan was passed, it was pushed through after his Congress had been sufficiently defeated to result in a blocking of the plan, but it was rushed through before the new members could be seated. It was pushed through so fast after the election defeat that even the supporters of the plan did not know what was in it or what effects it would have even on them. Even the rather leftist state of Massachusetts voted in a member of the opposition to try to block the plan.

    3) After both parties suffering substantial defeats in the 2010 elections by many groups opposed to the ACA (albeit more aligned with Republicans, and voting with them in caucusing), the Obama Administration placed holds on them forming any more groups to legally work towards that opposition until after the 2012 election (some are still on hold)…thus tilting the election balance towards his party.

    4) The US Supreme Court ruled that the basis upon which a portion of the plan was passed did not in fact pass muster under the Commerce Clause of our Constitution, but in what was apparently a last-minute switch, a core portion was ruled a tax, and the government is allowed to impose taxes. Note that the Obama Administration vehemently opposed the classification of his plan as involving a tax, and demonized his opposition as extremists and liars on that point.

    4a) The Supreme Court has not actually stated that the tax is Constitutional, as that question cannot be challenged until after someone has paid it. Further, all Bills imposing taxes must originate in the House, which this one did only in the sense that the Senate took a completely unrelated bill, stripped it of its contents and inserted this act…this could also be ruled unconstitutional. I don’t hold out much hope for these, but the issue is in fact far more unsettled than implied.

    5) The opposition party was elected a majority in the House of Representatives again in 2012.

  115. 2 totally separate items
    The NHS is not being destroyed by an ideological dogma.
    The lights will go out due to the Climate Change Act 2008 and the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive.

    That a lack of electricity supply will halt the work done by the NHS is a far from funny outcome of this collective insanity

    Dave

  116. Cal…..Thanks for your excellent post. US healthcare is an expensive mess, and we should look to the experience of the UK and other countries for ways to improve it. Years of Republican control has brought little to end some of the insane features, such as health care by emergency room rather than publicly available preventative care. The affordable health care act is a first step in the right direction.

  117. I think people’s expectations are set way too high. They only spent 500 million dollars and only had, what, three years to make the site. Also, they didn’t get over the billion dollar budget mark for the site. Nobody in Washington DC takes you seriously if you don’t have a budget of at least a billion dollars. They probably couldn’t even get the supply room to give them pencils. Look, Google started out with less than 50 million in venture capital and all they could produce was a plain white page with a search box at the top. What do people expect for only 500 million dollars? The Obamacare site has LINKS on it. Those things cost money. Real money. Millions!

  118. Doug says:
    October 13, 2013 at 7:52 am

    The cheapest option for me in Oregon cost twice ($323) what was available before, with higher deductible. For this they raided Medicare, paid into by workers themselves since 1965, to the tune of $800 billion?

    The few problems that the best medical care system in the world has could have been easily fixed. Let states require drivers to have catastrophic care insurance if they want to, forcing more young people into the system without a national mandate, ie tax. Adopt the tort reforms that have worked so well in TX & other states. Runaway personal injury suits raise out medical care costs by 25%, due to overtesting & ordering unneeded procedures to guard against the legal jackals. Allow insurance to be bought across state lines. Encourage the churches & other private organizations which advocate open borders to set up free clinics for illegal immigrants, so that they don’t put more hospitals out of business.

    I’m sure that many here could add some suggestions. But the point is, Obama/Pelosi/Reidcare was never about improving our health care system. It was about increasing the power of government & further controlling the people, making ever more citizens into victim-subjects dependent upon the Democrat Party. OPRcare will make our health care worse at greater cost, while depriving the people of basic freedoms. Not to mention destroying jobs & trashing the economy. If you like the IRS, you’ll love OPRcare. Some care!

  119. Fuzzy headed supporters of Obamacare see it as a simple moral imperative. We must provide healthcare for everyone, therefore any means necessary to do so must be undertaken, end of discussion. Anyone who opposes it is therefore evil, because they do not support providing healthcare to everyone. But, supporting healthcare for everyone is not synonymous with supporting Obamacare.

    This is a bad law, and a bad approach, and it will end in disaster. We have a system which was already creaking under the strains of demand, and the solution Obamacare offers is… more demand. And, subsequent shrinkage of supply, due to current doctors and nurses who refuse to be enslaved retiring, going into other lines of work and, most portentously, future potential medical professionals choosing some other line of work.

    In other parts of the world where socialized medicine has been put into place, the solution to the latter has been to import massive contingents of medical professionals from the less-developed world, robbing those nations of their own homegrown talent. When US demand for this pool of doctors and nurses kicks in, this oursourcing system will be put under severe strain. The competition for talented professionals from less-developed countries, who are willing to train extensively and work for a pittance, will effectively kill that system.

    Supply and demand – it’s the Law. The equation is very simple. If you want to extend demand without exploding the costs, and diminishing the quality of the product, then you must increase the supply. This is the policy direction we should be taking. We should facilitate the training of new medical professionals, making it so that they do not have a mountain of debt to service when they graduate so that they can live on a reduced salary. We should invest in new medical plant and equipment. The Obamacare route of expanding coverage, and forcing new regulations and burdens on an already overburdened resource, can only lead to catastrophe.

  120. @CAL There is a great deal factually wrong with what you say but I make just two comments in response to your post.

    1. Some of the service in the NHS is absolutely excellent. The problem is that the system is organised to benefit the people who run it and not the patients and so people cannot choose to go to where the service is excellent but they have to put up with whatever service their local provider delivers.

    2. You say “At least no one is made bankrupt or left to die [in the NHS]”. If you truly believe that then cannot have listened to the news at all for at least a year. The managers at the Mid Staffs Trust were so concerned about getting Foundation status (which would have given them more freedom) that they cut just about every corner going to make the figures look better.

    The result of this was 400-1,200 excess deaths in one quite small hospital. Not people who were refused treatment but actually inside the hospital.

    The range is broad as this is a statistical estimate looking at the mortality (over four and a quarter years) and allowing for the mix of patients treated in that time.

    There are many rumours going around that Mid Staffs is just the tip of the iceberg and that many more similar cases will come to light.

    Jim

  121. “@CAL pointing out my experience with failed security certificates is “right wing propaganda”? How so?”

    I suppose because Obamacare isn’t really about health care. It is about politics. So any criticism of it is political. And since Obamacare is left wing politics, any criticism must be right wing politics. Obamacare isn’t about health care, it is about health insurance. It is to make sure that politically connected health insurance companies rake in bazillions of dollars in premiums without really providing much in the form of health care. For example, you can pay $500 a month for a policy that has over a $6,000 annual deductible and has few doctors/hospitals in the network. There might be only one in your whole town.

    But really, the people to whom Obamacare is a very political issue will likely experience any criticism of Obamacare as opposing political “propaganda” because their own view and opinions are left wing propaganda. They are just projecting you into their context on the issue. They don’t get that it’s just a crappy website for a crappy product that is extremely expensive for many people and doesn’t deliver near the quality of the product they used to have with their employer who can no longer afford to offer it because of this dumb law.

  122. Dave A says October 13, 2013 at 10:06 am

    2 totally separate items
    The NHS is not being destroyed by an ideological dogma.
    The lights will go out due to the Climate Change Act 2008 and the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive.

    What? You have two separate sets of legislators passing bills? Or the same set of legislators passing insane measures in both areas? Which is it? Do you think either or both acts are insane/sane or split?

    .

  123. Also, I wouldn’t put it past the government to be intentionally sabotaging the sites in order to throttle the number of people who become aware of exactly how expensive this really is while the current battle rages in DC. For example, California has taken down the page that shows which doctors and hospitals are affiliated with any particular network in the exchange. Many were complaining that many of these insurance options didn’t have very many doctors in them and none of them included their own doctor. But this was all explained to us a couple of years ago when Obama said “If you like your insurance, tough. If you like your doctor, tough.” Remember?

  124. In a free country, a private health insurance company should be able to write any policy they want. Instead of suing for this right, Insurers got together and made a deal with the devel in hopes of millions of new customers. I take no joy in watching the intentional disaster of the exchanges unfold. But, at least, when single payer puts Blue Cross and their fellow crony capitalists out of business, I can take heart in the fact that they got what was coming to them.

  125. CAL and Climatereason: since you are not Americans, your understanding of life and politics here is limited. Many Americans are individually oriented, believing in personal responsibility. Many Americans dislike intrusive government and high, unnecessary taxes. Many Americans do not believe that a 17 trillion dollar national debt is healthy for anyone, a debt likely to be increased by ACA. Many Americans do not believe forced taxation and penalties, plus a bloated government bureaucracy are necessary to deliver good affordable health care to Americans. As enacted, ACA lacks many obvious reforms to lower costs, from tort reform to competition across state lines. It is pretty common for proponents of ACA to paint opponents as uncaring people who want to deny health care to the less fortunate, a lie which many people will fall for. But anyone with a real understanding of the law and it’s implementation understands that it’s not about providing affordable health care to the uninsured; it’s all about centralizing control of the health care industry under the thumb of the government. And you’ll never convince many Americans that inserting government between them and their doctors is a path to efficiency.

  126. The lower cost for European health care systems exist partly because they’re indirectly subsidized by the US healthcare system. For instance, price controls are affixed to prescription drugs in Europe. However, most new drugs are developed in the US. Sales of these drugs in other markets do not cover development costs, shareholder dividends, or the profit margins that enable the former two. European sales probably only function as a cost center for operations and provide economies of scale to the industry. The US market is what provides the profits. When those profits go, and they will under ObamaCare, there will be no one to subsidize us. Since profits subsidize R & D, new drug development will cease.

    In England pulmanologists favor using theophylline to treat lung conditions such as mine. Since theophylline is a pill it is a systemic medication which carries side effects for the entire body. In the US most pulmanologists will prefer to use Advair which contains a bronchodilator medicine (as does theophylline) combined with a steroid. Since Advair is a dry powder inhaler it primarily only medicates the lungs with only limited systemic absorption. There is some anecdotal indication that it may extend life expectancy for COPD patients although most pulmonalogists contend that COPD is strictly irreversible. You’ve probably guessed by now that theophylline is a much less expensive and, in my opinion, primitive medication compared to Advair. I have little doubt that cost is the reason for the differing opinions, and thus usage between US and UK doctors.

    And as far as anybody who thinks that a national health plan will help anybody, anywhere, avoid bankruptcy due to the high cost of medicine, well, I would advise them to think again. I think we can all agree that Medicare is, indeed, a national health program. Now, I know of no employer sponsored group health policy that is so insufficient that it requires a supplemental to cover what it doesn’t. Well, Medicare does. It’s the dirty secret that’s screaming right in our ears. Now, if you’re on SS disability you will not qualify for a supplemental. As the Social Worker will explain to you, Medicaid can be your supplemental. But you can’t have more than $2,000 in cash assets of any kind: no 401K, no annuities, stocks, even cash in checking or savings accounts. Whoop dee do. If you have more you’ll have to use it to cover what Medicare doesn’t till you’ve spent down to that sum. Think about that: In Chicago an apartment will rent for $800-1,000/month and require 1-2 months security deposit. So, try living on a $2,000 safety valve. Bankruptcy, here i come. But cheer up, Medicaid will let you keep your house, your car, your furniture. Of course the state will take possession of those things when you die. You see, despite the fact that you and your employer (which means ‘your’ compensation) have paid into this system since the first job you got scooping ice cream or flapping burgers at the age of 16, you haven’t paid enough. Now, does anyone wonder why the President, Senate, and House are exempt from this pile of …? National Health: the low cost alternative!!! Bravo!!!

  127. Doug says October 13, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Years of Republican control has brought little to end some of the insane features,

    Speak for yourself or your own state; we capped lawsuit $$$ here in our (Red) state, a major cost for docs being malpractice ins.

    (Never mind that it is the dims -er- dems who want to give away everything and anything once owned by someone else and commandeered at the point of a g u n or threat of imprisonment. How Constitutional is that? Oh my, bad word: “Constitution” .. sorry)

  128. wow…lots of heat on this thread…like i said before i in the USA for 20 years…i came back home to Kerala state in india to retire…its beautiful here…very green…anyway i got dengue fever here…unheard of when i was a kid…migrant labour bringing these diseases here…i almost died…spent two days in the ICU…total hospital bill was $400…this is a poor state in a poor country..life expectancy about 80 years…about the same as the the very rich USA

  129. Doug says October 13, 2013 at 10:07 am

    The affordable health care act is a first step in the right direction.

    A quick question, did OFA or the DNC pay for that post?

    .

  130. andrewmharding says:
    October 13, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Fellow Limey here, confirming what Andrew wrote. The NHS is collapsing, largely because as it’s excellence as a health service has collapse in direct ratio to the number of managers it has employed.

    None of whom, when anything goes wrong, are ever responsible. And if they leave, they leave with huge pay-offs and step straight into another job, where they fuck up again. Google “CYNTHIA BOWERS” if you want to see how that works; a top executive at the Mid-Staffs Hospital, now known to have been responsible for the death of ~1200 patients in not a very long time, through appalling levels of care, walked straight into a top job at the laughably named “Care Quality Commission” – a quango set up to monitor hospitals. Which it was incapable of doing, as demonstrated by what happened above.

    Drinks all round. Taxpayer pays.

  131. ” Rob says:
    October 13, 2013 at 9:53 am

    The healthcare system in the USA is clearly broken. The US pays twice as much for its healthcare in comparison to most 1st world countries, all for an inferior outcome. This is because the free market doesn’t work in this situation – i.e. how much are you going to pay to save your life? It has “rip-off” written all over it. And the US medical profession is indeed ripping off its patients. The facts speak for themselves:”
    —————————————————————————————————————

    Rob. The free market has not been in unrestricted operation in the US healthcare market since the late 1950’s early 1960’s. The government has actually meddled in it since that time in an increasing spiral of increased costs for decreased benefits.

    So it is completely wrong to state it was a failure of the free market at work in the US medical costs. It is accurate to state the US healthcare systems failure are a failure of central government control. Which is why increased government control wasn’t the answer to it.

  132. “In a free country, a private health insurance company should be able to write any policy they want.”

    But elections have consequences and the people decided that they wanted a country where we are “micromanaged” by “progressives” for the “common good”. The problem with living in a free country is that one is responsible for their own life and are exposed to making errors in judgement that have a negative impact. They have nobody but themselves to blame when these errors occur. In a “progressive” utopia, one gets to foist that responsibility for decisions onto other people who can be blamed for things. So nothing bad is one’s own fault, you just blame “the system” when things go wrong. Many people find it much easier to sleep at night knowing that their situation in life is someone else’s fault and not their own and are completely willing to forego things such as “choices” in order to get to that situation.

    I suggest people read 1984 and Animal Farm again if it has been a long time since you last read them. The books take on new meaning in today’s political era.

  133. Bill Taylor says October 13, 2013 at 8:43 am

    WOW, what is the problem? they only spent almost 700 million and took 3 years to create that site……..you expect it to work properly??

    While not quite on the same par with what the FBI burned through a few years back in attempting to create “Virtual Case File” it is in the same league (100 MM and above).

    “Anatomy of an IT disaster: How the FBI blew it
    The Bureau’s foiled plan for a modern IT infrastructure is a tragic case of project mismanagement”

    http://www.infoworld.com/d/developer-world/anatomy-it-disaster-how-fbi-blew-it-243

    Wiki – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Case_File

    The Obamacare S/W cost is still dwarfed by the costs of the FAA’s “STARS” program of a few years back:

    http://www.informationweek.com/664/64iufaa.htm

    http://cagw.org/media/press-releases/faa-seeing-stars

    .

  134. 5th Rob says:
    October 13, 2013 at 9:53 am

    The healthcare system in the USA is clearly broken. The US pays twice as much for its healthcare in comparison to most 1st world countries, all for an inferior outcome. This is because the free market doesn’t work in this situation – i.e. how much are you going to pay to save your life? It has “rip-off” written all over it. And the US medical profession is indeed ripping off its patients. The facts speak for themselves:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_compared#International_comparisons

    Its a market that needs regulating – hence socialism delivers a far better outcome in this situation.
    ________________________________
    You do have a good point about costs, but you neglected to mention any main points concerning this issue in order to make your point. Still, I can’t help but notice that you managed to get in a plug for socialism…

    The medical establishment in the US comprises between 1/5 and 1/6 of the US economy and as you say, is clearly broken. (I’m not trying to start a fight, but wail away on any point you like.)

    1st: Doctors are typically upper class and exist within an elite clique of “little gods”, with the power of life and death in their hands. Much of the hierarchy of the medical profession is dedicated solely to maintaining their social eminence and as such, the number of physicians is strictly limited. Medical schools purposely graduate very few doctors. Medical schools select a student body comprised of candidates with the highest quotient of avarice and then claim that their choice is needed, as greed seems to be the dominant factor which determines successful completion of med school and residency… it all gets rather circular.
    That there are hundreds of thousands of deaths attributed to physician error, seems to indicate that the medical establishment has the wrong priorities.

    2nd: Somewhat in response to the level of care doled out by the medical community, an extraordinarily huge portion of costs is due to the tight grip which trial lawyers hold over our political process. In our litigious society, doctors pay exorbitant “malpractice” fees, often in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for insurance and the legal profession piles on costs throughout the industry.

    3rd, There are few controls on the types of costs with which the drug companies are allowed to exempt income from taxation. One can go into any multi- physician clinic in the US several times each week and there will be drug- vendor reps providing lunch for the clinic staff. Other advertising expenses are equally deductible and our airwaves are filled with ads for drugs. Advertising avg. 23% of drug costs.

    4th, Those caregivers closest to the patient are at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to compensation, so those who might be well- suited to be nurses or serve in other capacities will often look elsewhere for employment.

    Lastly, there is no end to the political greed which has only acted to support the excesses mentioned here. The realities of our politics has opened the door for the socialists who have their own agendas of power and control and greed… and here we are at Obamacare Tax.

  135. I completely forgot to add in points about personal insurance costs, which are at artificially high levels due to government interference, most often seen as restriction of competition between insurance companies both inter and intrastate.

  136. “One wonders how many other “glitches” exist in basic security on these websites.”

    Complaining about Security. Really? Come on Anthony!
    Haven’t you ever heard of “Trust us, we are from Government, and here to help”.

    It is not like N.S.A. has spied on Americans, or I.R.S. released confidential Tax Records, or E.P.A. has needless shutdown Coal plants, or N.A.S.A. misled us about CO2 & GW, or N.O.A.A. played fast and loose with Global temperature Records.

  137. TomJ: “The lower cost for European health care systems exist partly because they’re indirectly subsidized by the US healthcare system. For instance, price controls are affixed to prescription drugs in Europe. However, most new drugs are developed in the US.”

    That applies even more so to Canada. A US company researches and develops a medicine. Canada allows them to charge production cost plus a small percentage, with the alternative being that their patent be ignored in Canada. This essentially theft is a substantial savings in costs for Canadians. Canadian pharmaceutical companies have had fewer than 10 new drugs developed in the last 50 years.

    Also, costs for health-care are often apples and oranges. I haven’t dug into the Canadian budget since the 1990s, but at that time they excluded the cost of the hospitals themselves as well as major infrastructure like MRI machines from “health care”… As a result at that time NYC had multiples more MRI machines than were in all of Canada. When you included those things, Canadian health care was increasing in expense marginally higher than in the US.

  138. crosspatch says October 13, 2013 at 10:50 am

    But elections have consequences and the people decided that they wanted a country where we are “micromanaged” by “progressives” for the “common good”.

    Unfortunately, ‘truth in labeling’ laws do not apply to smarmy, slick, silver-tongued political campaigns or candidates nor is the ‘free press’ obliged to tell or print anything resembling truth …

    .

  139. Bill Taylor says October 13, 2013 at 8:43 am

    WOW, what is the problem? they only spent almost 700 million and took 3 years to create that site……..you expect it to work properly??

    While not quite on the same par with what the FBI burned through a few years back in attempting to create “Virtual Case File” it is in the same league (100 MM and above).

    Anatomy of an IT disaster: How the FBI blew it
    The Bureau’s foiled plan for a modern IT infrastructure is a tragic case of project mismanagement”

    http://www.infoworld.com/d/developer-world/anatomy-it-disaster-how-fbi-blew-it-243

    .

  140. CAL says: “… but I am afraid you have just confirmed what my warmist friends have been saying for some time – that this is just a site for right wing propaganda.”

    Naturally, your warmist friends GW websites are ALL – neutral, without bias, utterly science based, and have no left leaning talking points…

  141. 5th Rob says:
    October 13, 2013 at 9:53 am

    “The healthcare system in the USA is clearly broken. The US pays twice as much for its healthcare in comparison to most 1st world countries, all for an inferior outcome. ”

    Be careful about where you get the statistics from. Most countries measure these things in completely different ways, which end up not meaning what you think they mean. The UN then measures most things we hear about based upon how socialist it is.

    “Twice as much” mostly means that the US includes everything to support the building that provides the health-care, and the machines that carry it out into its calculations…all while having 1970s medicine, which is pretty cheap, essentially outlawed for day-to-day health-care. Some of the countries on the list don’t include patient meals and bedding changes on the list for costs…or make the families provide those, like in Cuba.

    The “inferior outcome” has many caveats as well, such as the UN’s measuring system including level of socialism as a dominant part of their measuring system, so in a US where people are capable of paying for their health-care themselves, they are ranked MUCH lower than if they pay a tax to pay for the health care, all else being equal. The US is also a highly diverse nation, with a very substantial immigrant population – legal and illegal – which strongly affects those numbers. Matching demographics, the US does quite well compared to the same peoples in other countries. Some countries don’t include babies that die at birth in their infant mortality figures.
    For Canada, 27% percent of the people who have surgery wait four months or more. In Britain,that portion rises to 38%. In the US, that number is only 5%.

  142. Rob says:
    The healthcare system in the USA is clearly BEING broken. (there fixed it for you Rob)
    The US pays twice as much for its healthcare in comparison to most 1st world countries, all for an inferior outcome (this is BS, but I can’t expect an Oblivion like yourself to understand that)

  143. CAL says: “… but I am afraid you have just confirmed what my warmist friends have been saying for some time – that this is just a site for right wing propaganda.”

    How is it “Right-wing” to oppose Obamacare, when 60% of those expressing an opinion object to the monstrosity crammed down our throats?

    http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2013/images/09/30/rel10a.pdf

    Only 40% of Americans consider themselves “conservative”, not 60%. Lots of moderates, independents & Democrats dislike all or parts of the Obamanation, including union members.

  144. crosspatch,

    While I generally agree with everything you write, we disagree here:

    …elections have consequences and the people decided that they wanted a country where we are “micromanaged” by “progressives” for the “common good”.

    That system works, but only if the candidate is not lying through his teeth. Obama made many, many promises and assurances, which the electorate took at face value. But as it turned out, he was lying.

    Another problem is voter fraud. The more my “Voter Fraud” folder gets filled with examples, the more convinced I am that cheating won Obama’s second election. Our military was effectively disenfranchised — millions of votes never counted, from every state. Many millions more votes were illegally cast by citizens of foreign countries. There are conservatively 32 – 36 million illegal aliens living here, and a large percentage of them voted in the 2012 election.

    It does not require across the board cheating [although there was plenty of that going on]. It really only requires a relatively few votes in only a few dozen precincts across the country. Win a critical precinct, and you win the county. Win a critical county, and you win the state, with all its electoral votes. In some precincts, Obama got 110% of the possible votes. More votes were cast and counted than there were registered voters. Meanwhile, Romney got ZERO votes. Hey, you can’t get 100% of Italians to agree the Pope is Catholic! Out of thousands of votes, not one went to Romney?? No way that can happen in the real world.

    This is not sour grapes, because we are past the point of no return. Half the country lives off the other half, and they vote. They are forced to vote, where before they were very apathetic. But in 2012, voting for Obama made you part of the “In” crowd.

    The only way our democratic system can be fixed is with a wholesale purging of the voter rolls. People were actually bragging about living in Michigan, and driving their RV’s down to Florida — with their absentee ballots cast in every state along the way.

    And it is no joke about the dead voting. Crews were paid to cross reference dead people with the voter rolls, and their votes were cast. This used to be a problem in only a few locations. But post 2008, that tactic is being used everywhere by Democrat Party operatives. They have learned to game the system [ie: to cheat], and with the nation’s top cop on Team Obama, who is there to stop them? Anyone?

    I firmly believe that if paper ballots were required, and if citizenship had to be verified, Obama would have lost the last election. But that is history. The people in charge cheated to get there, and they are not going to do any fixing. They like things just the way they are.

  145. One thing I forgot to mention with Obamacare is the nannying to follow. Courtesy of our NHS, we get campaigns like “Octsober” no booze for a month and “Stoptober” no cigarettes for a month. Isn’t October miserable enough anyway? Then we have guidelines on units of alcohol, a ban on smoking in public places, being told to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, to exercise, not to eat fatty food. Then there is the paranoia about health and safety, speed camera vans, high vis jackets, hard hats. Another industry has grown up that nannies us from cradle to grave so that we don’t become a burden on the NHS, either by having accidents or falling victim to lifestyle illnesses!
    With Obamacare you have it all to come!

  146. “Trust me to tax you and decide how to spend your taxes.”
    The Founders of the USA rejected that imposition by King George & Parliament by the Declaration of Independence
    By enabling acts for new States, ALL States have mutually required that their constitutions “not be repugnant to” . . .”the principles of the Declaration of Independence”.

    “Kings” Obama/Reid have already doubled the national debt.
    Now Obama/Reid are obdurantly refusing all negotiations, demanding that
    1) They continue spending 23% more than revenue, stealing from our children with unsustainable debt.
    2) Forcing us to act contrary to conscience by requiring we pay for abortions and abortifactants.

    Join in nullifying unjust orders and laws contrary to the Declaration of Independence and unalienable rights to life. E.g. see
    Veterans Remove Barricade Memorials and Bring Them to the White House

    Return to our foundational Principles of the Declaration of Independence.

    Some may wish to participate in Christian cost sharing programs like Medi-Share that are exempt from Obamacare.

  147. richardscourtney says:
    October 13, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Gdn:
    re your post at October 13, 2013 at 11:32 am.
    Please define “level of socialism”.

    Equality of distribution and state-run payment system. General high quality care with ‘unequal distribution’ is ranked below lower quality care with ‘equal distribution’.

    So by the way the WHO calculates health-care quality, if country x had a given level of health-care, and then they suddenly had big improvements in a few places and smaller increases in other places, the WHO would rank them lower after the change because of the inequality. Likewise a change from individuals being able to generally pay for their own healthcare privately, to the same individuals paying the same amount in taxes for a mythical state-run system would result in a higher rating.

  148. Come on now. This is petty.

    REPLY: No, its reality. I honestly thought the problems reported were just hype, until I tried it myself. Not having a security certificate that functions for the entire website is so basic that it deserves to be pointed out – Anthony

  149. Txomin says:
    October 13, 2013 at 12:07 pm
    Come on now. This is petty.
    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    No. What IS PETTY is spending more money to close down privately funded open air memorials, closing road shoulders so people can’t even look at Mt Rushmore, holding tourists hostage by armed guards, surrounding Old Faithful with government vehicles so tourist’s views are spoiled, exempting Democratic party supporters (both unions and corporations) from the ACA but not individuals, exempting members of Congress from the ACA…….shall I go on?

  150. Obamacare…

    My first impression when I listened to the Obamacare policy idea;
    A:) EPA
    B:) Social Security Administration
    C:) DOE (Department of Energy)
    D:) FDA (Food and Drug Administrations)
    E:) Katrina victims Federal Support
    F:) Katrina victims endless paperwork without getting Federal Support

    All of the agencies above are massive bureaucracies mired in archaic technologies/processes providing supreme oversight to individual decisions, actions and rights. The agencies grow ever larger, write more requirement and restriction burdens upon citizens. The good they do is not worth the cost nor damage they cause.

    Truly scary.

  151. “The USA spends twice what any other modern country does on healthcare per capita and gets lousy or no service for 1/3 its citizens.”

    What does the US do that other modern countries do not? The US develops most of the new pharmaceuticals, devices, and techniques. The US public pays for the R&D costs and provides profits to the drug companies until the patents expire and generics can be sold. We then give it away to other countries of the world, including the entire continent of Africa. In short, we are covering a large part of the healthcare costs of the entire world. So not only is the statement above myopic, but when Obamacare fully takes effect, you will likely see the healthcare of the entire world decline.

  152. Being a non USA citizen, I am always impressed with the contrasts that we can find in USA natives. Clearly it’s a 1st world country with lots of small 3rd world countries in it (and a lot in some peoples minds). And where we can listen enlighten ideas like this one, written above, as an example of prevailing XV century ideas:

    ” NO. Neither Communism nor Obamacare were EVER good ideas. The fruits of my labor do not belong to the “collective.” And I have no “right” to force another person to pay for something I want or need.”

    I’am not a communist and I’m not affected by the first part of this sentence, but think a little about the second. These are the kind of ideas that make us think about the world we are living in. So the “common good” it’s not applicable to Health but that’s fine if it is for Military or NSA activities just to name some. This selfish way of thinking it’s just unacceptable! Several millions of US citizens cannot simply have access to the most simple health care despite the fact that they also make part of the US citizenship. Although it’s fine, for the citizens that write things like the above ones, if they enlist in the army and go abroad fight wars and die for the “common good”. So the “common good” it’s only great if does not enter in my pocket! Come on!!!

    The fact is that USA has the most costly Health System of the world and ranks only 38Th for the WHO.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Health_Organization_ranking_of_health_systems

    So what you had before this Obamacare attempt was a 1st world system, by cost, but almost 3rd world Health System by WHO standards. This should worry you all US citizens. The so called Obamacare can have merits or can be void of merits but, for sure, it’s an attempt to shake things up, to broaden health care to US citizens that cannot afford the terrible lobby of insurance companies.
    Most 1st world countries look at the US health care as an example not to follow. It’s exclusive (for those that have money for it) not inclusive.
    Trying to pick on a system based on the functionality of a starting website, in a period where most government systems are down or partially working, it’s simply unfair.
    Today I went to NASA and USGS for instance. Judging by their websites, they are bad working organisations right? The sites are down and presenting a message about some sort of “lack of funding”. (sarc).

    Anthony, please write about climate and avoid mixing it with policy or any other marginal subject. That’s what’s making the strength of your outstanding site, bringing me here at least twice a day.

    I am a PhD geologist with an extensive work in climate science.

    Cheers

  153. Jtom says:
    October 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    “…when Obamacare fully takes effect, you will likely see the healthcare of the entire world decline.”
    _____________________________________
    Which is exactly what many have come to believe is just another part of the real agenda, the big plan… these are the same people who are pushing the AGW agenda and from whom a never ending litany of “population reduction” emanates.

  154. “Predictions:
    Nothing will sway the direction of this country until the 50% who pay no federal tax are faced with the same pain the average tax payer has to deal with. ”

    oh my, perhaps the commenter doesn’t realize that blaming others for one’s own dismal choices is his personal post normal evasion of responsibility..
    so, predictions: no change until taxpayers hurt enough to stop the self harming behavior.

  155. DABbio says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:23 am

    I had no trouble with the site, and your apology is accepted

    Well lucky you if your site experience was as you say , but who in hell owes you an apology if their Covered California site experience was less than favorable, shall we say, than yours?

  156. “It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”
    Thomas Sowell

  157. Gdn says:
    October 13, 2013 at 11:32 am

    “The “inferior outcome” has many caveats as well, such as the UN’s measuring system including level of socialism as a dominant part of their measuring system, so in a US where people are capable of paying for their health-care themselves, they are ranked MUCH lower than if they pay a tax to pay for the health care, all else being equal. ”

    For sure there will be many caveats, but the health care spend in the US, public + private, as measured by faction of GDP, is still twice as much as other countries. Do you get your monies worth?

  158. Dave A says (October 13, 2013 at 9:53 am): “What ever happened to Altruism?”

    It was made compulsory and therefore became slavery. Surely a slave is the most (involuntarily) “altruistic” of all humans.

    • Astounding !

      Helping your fellow man through voting for a Government and President who enact a law to assist those who cannot gain medical treatment in your Country get that medical treatment is…. Slavery.

      It’s so clear now. Why haven’t I seen it like that before?

      Just wow !!! and one more for effect !

  159. To andrewmharding and others here knocking the NHS I say, Get a fecking Grip, The NHS is a remarkable success in offering Good Healthcare to the people here in the UK, and the fact that a Few foreigners get treatment that they may not be entitled to, is hardly any reason to condemn the whole system.

    To those that may remark that ‘We get what we pay for’ I would suggest that we do pay for the National Health Service every day, its funded from general taxation, and is maybe why Petrol here is the equivalent of $7.50 or so for an Imperial gallon, along with all the other little taxes, the threat of which makes the Yanks irate to the point where they are blind to the Dogs Breakfast of a health system they seem to want to perpetuate.

  160. Fanakapan:

    Thankyou for your post at October 13, 2013 at 1:05 pm.

    The truth needed saying and you said it well.

    Richard

  161. Bob Greene says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:31 am

    I heard lots of anecdotes about Canadians coming across the border to get treatment in the US they couldn’t get or were waiting for very long periods to get in Canada.
    ———–
    I looked this up several times. There aren’t lots of Canadians crossing the border. If anything, the opposite is true. People in the US cross over to Canada because clinics will often treat them without asking for their medicare card. The Canadians in the US who get treated are people who were in the US already at the time. Also, we Canadians spend less than a penny on the dollar on bureaucracy. In the US, it is 30 to 66cents on the dollar. That means that only 34 to 70 cents on the dollar goes to actual healthcare. Healthcare in the US is so ridiculously expensive, I have no idea how you all accept it.

  162. Fanakapan says:

    “The NHS is a remarkable success in offering Good Healthcare to the people here in the UK”

    Compared with what? Your veterinarian?

    And:

    “…funded from general taxation, and is maybe why Petrol here is the equivalent of $7.50 or so for an Imperial gallon, along with all the other little taxes…”

    Which makes the UK system far more expensive that what Obamacare replaces — doubled and squared.

    As an American, I was very happy with my medical insurance. I got to pick my doctor, and if I wasn’t happy, I could choose another. There were never any waiting times for care. Without fail, whenever I called for an appointment I got one that day or the next. How does that sound to you UK folks? Wouldn’t you like that?

    You only like your current overly expensive system because you are given no alternatives. It is all you know, you don’t know any better. But Americans can now see both their present system, and the sorry fiasco that is being proposed to replace it. And we do not like the replacement one bit, which is much more expensive, and which will result in much longer wait times, and which will result in a triage system that will let Granny die — in order to save money for longer-lived, younger voters.

    Americans had the best health care system for Americans. But in Obama’s quest for a defining legacy of his failed Administration, he is sticking it to millions of satisfied customers. There is a reason that Americans overwhelmingly want Obamacare to be rejected: it will make us worse off! But Obama doesn’t care. When did Obama ever really care about anyone else?

  163. MrX says:
    October 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm
    Bob Greene says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:31 am

    If anything, the opposite is true. People in the US cross over to Canada because clinics will often treat them without asking for their medicare card.
    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    Where exactly are these mythical clinics that don’t ask for a health card. Certainly not in Ontario where you have to hand them your card and answer a series of skill testing questions before you can get past the front desk.

  164. ”Compared with what? Your veterinarian?”

    Comment from a bloke who no doubt is having his ‘Coverage’ provided by Faculty or Job perhaps ?

    The health services in Europe are every bit as good as those offered in the USA, they may indeed be better for the simple reason that Compassion is still counted into the mix.

  165. MrX says:

    “…we Canadians spend less than a penny on the dollar on bureaucracy. In the US, it is 30 to 66cents on the dollar.”

    I could probably accept your argument, if you did not throw in that highly questionable statistic. There is no way that Americans pay 30 – 66 times more for bureaucracy than Canadians. No way.

    …unless you were projecting our costs under Obamacare. Any Administration that spends a half billion dollars on constructing a website has zero cost constraints. Can you imagine what that mind-set will do to medical costs??

    You write: “People in the US cross over to Canada because clinics will often treat them without asking for their medicare card.”

    So? That only shows that straightforward medical costs are less in the U.S. People on Medicare must be over 65, so the fact that Canadians travel to the U.S. for their medical care says it all: Care in the U.S. has been cheaper and better.

    I have relatives in Ohio who tell me that they know of Canadians who drive there from Canada for their medical care. They wouldn’t make the hour-long drive if Canadian medical care was better and cheaper.

  166. The private health care practitioners in the US are also business people. Running a medical office is a business. My wife runs a dental practice as the administrator. This practice is owned by a single dentist. He has 2 assistants, 3 hygienists and 2 admin persons of which my wife is one. He must make payroll each week. He must pay rent for his office. He must pay for utilities. He must pay for malpractice insurance. He must pay for upkeep and maintenance to keep the office a clean and healthy place to practice. He must keep is equipment current. He must pay for continuing education for himself and his staff. He must pay taxes. He must make a living for his family. He has a lot of bare ass minimum expenses he must meet weekly and monthly. His only income is from payments his patients make. He must keep patients happy not only with his abilities but also with his prices or they will go somewhere else and he loses that income. If he does not meet expenses he goes out of business, 7 people lose their incomes and his patients must seek treatment somewhere else. He must be rewarded for his expertise. So the next time you have an emergency toothache that requires immediate care, be thankful that there are successful dentists out there that can take care of you. And they can only be successful and be there for you when you need them if they charge enough money to make their business work..

  167. Just a few points to counteract some of the emotional stuff here:
    1. California established their own exchanges and software. They specifically do not use the Federal system. Any problems are California’s problems.
    2. The federal system was developed by CGI Federal a private sector systems development corporation specialising in sucking at the government trough. They own the technical problems here.
    3. The PP&ACA does not create government provided or controlled healthcare.
    4. The one healthcare system the federal government does administer (with a lot of contract help) is Medicare – which actually works pretty well.

  168. All that I can say is that the medicare – single payer system – that is operative here in Canada works. There are of course some issues but by and large the system is completely effective. The kiss of death for any Canadian politician is to be accused of trying to bring the American system of medicine into Canada/

    i can recall the controversy when Canadian Medicare was introduced. IT is similar to what is happening now in the US. The premier of the province of Ontario called it a “Machiavellian scheme”. There was a doctors’ strike in the province of Saskatchewan. It was a Machiavellian scheme in the sense that once it was initiated, no Canadian politician of a conservative bent would ever dare to propose that it be repealed. It works. People see that it works and regard it as an essential service. it just works.

    Try as I might, i cannot understand the standard polemic that I hear now on American television that a universal health system reduces freedom. I live in a free country. i live in a country where people are free from the worry that a health condition will bankrupt them. i live in a country in which the health of a citizen is not apportioned according to his wealth

  169. Alan Robertson says:
    October 13, 2013 at 10:57 am

    You make your points 1 to 4 very well. I think of socialism in terms of market regulation. You need that in the healthcare sector to guarantee universal coverage and prevent excessive greed. For sure there are “socialists” with agendas that go beyond that.

  170. Fanakapan says:

    “Comment from a bloke who no doubt is having his ‘Coverage’ provided by Faculty or Job perhaps ?”

    Perhaps not, Fanakapan. I pay 100% of my medical insurance premiums. None of it is subsidized. Not one penny.

    Fanakapan never answered my question:

    “Without fail, whenever I called for an appointment I got one that day or the next. How does that sound to you UK folks? Wouldn’t you like that?”

    I wonder how long Fanakapan must wait for an appointment?

  171. gopal panicker says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:40 am

    i lived in the USA for 20 years…great country…my wife is american…but i never had insurance..luckily i never got sick…i exercise…anyway the great socialist Bismarck was the first to introduce national health insurance …starting with Truman…several presidents…tried to introduce something similar to the British or Canadian systems…which are very popular in those countries…always blocked by the medical lobby…these guys are making a killing…the No 1 cause of bankruptcy in the USA…is medical bills…the best part is that when you are completely broke and declare bankruptcy…you qualify for Medicaid…and get top class care…this is lunacy…the Obama gang were very sophisticated in using the internet to raise funds..why cant they get these computer programs right..?

    …You…don’t… …

    ….say…

  172. Jeff Alberts,

    I noticed that comment also. My first thought was, “How much does a house cost in India?”

    Medical costs are less. Fine. But so is everything else.

    America subsidizes the cost of drugs to the rest of the world. If that is “lunacy”, maybe we should charge the going rate. How does that sound to ‘gopal panicker’?

  173. Doug says:

    October 13, 2013 at 7:52 am

    The Oregon site was working well weeks ago. i found many options cheaper than what I pay now, and for the first time, they won’t be excluding my pre-existing conditions.
    ————-
    Well, Duh. The cost goes down for people with pre-existing conditions. They don’t have to pay their own freight any more. I just read where a San Francisco area Obamaphile retired school teacher had her individual coverage go up $2000 a year with increased deductibles (to pay for other’s pre-existing conditions) and another S. F. area man who had the cost of his family plan increased by $10,000 a year (again, to pay for someone’s pre-existing condition).

    I have a friend in Alabama who was just notified her family’s plan cost was increasing 40%, with vastly increased deductibles. And, that she was no longer going to be covered because she was fat.

  174. An Administration that feels comfortable with putting guns in the hands of park rangers and instructing them to train those guns on the public for the express purpose of driving them off of public land is capable of anything. (Wondered what the Admin was doing hoarding all that extra ammo at the beginning of the year…) Mind you: that is Public land not Obama’s private turf.

    Next time we get a Gov’t that wants to punish a segment of the population-can now withhold health care and medication. It can also use this as a weapon to punish it’s political enemies the exact same way it does now with the IRS.
    Will it withhold organ transplants for Tea Party members? As offensive as that may sound, knowing what we know now, would that really come as a surprise to anyone?

  175. dbstealey:

    In your post at October 13, 2013 at 1:39 pm you ask concerning the UK’s NHS (which is very different from the system proposed in the USA)

    “Without fail, whenever I called for an appointment I got one that day or the next. How does that sound to you UK folks? Wouldn’t you like that?”

    I wonder how long Fanakapan must wait for an appointment?

    I do not know what you mean by “an appointment”.

    A person subject to accident, heart attack, stroke or similar serious situation enters hospital immediately.

    A person in the UK is registered with a General Practitioner (GP). Obtaining an appointment with one’s GP is usually the following day. In the event of emergency (i.e. pain) it is normally the same day. People who fail to obtain a same-day appointment they think they need attend the A&E Dept. of their local hospital.

    The GP decides if the ailment is simple and – if so – prescribes treatment. Otherwise, the GP decides the appropriate Consultant (i.e. specialist) and arranges an appointment. The time to obtaining that appointment depends on the potential seriousness of the ailment as assessed by the GP.

    Someone close to me is now recovering from major cancer surgery. She applied for a GP appointment knowing she was unwell but not why. 10 days later she had the surgery at a hospital some distance from home because it was a ‘center of excellence’ for cancer treatments. During that 10 days she was seen by her GP, seen by three Consultants, and subjected to a battery of investigations including nMRI and CAT scanning.

    But that is the UK’s NHS. The proposed system in the US is very different (and grossly inferior) so I fail to understand why the NHS is being mentioned here.

    Richard

  176. Txomin
    October 13, 2013 at 12:07 pm
    ‘Come on now. This is petty.’

    I think fellow commenters may have it wrong concerning Txomin’s comment. I believe he was referring to the ‘Covered California’ website and he accidentally misspelled the word, ‘pretty.’ I think he meant to say: This is pretty – not petty. And, indeed it is: The beautiful, curving mountain road offering vistas of the majestic ocean to the left, and the majestic mountains to the right, and depicting a scenic journey to a destination just beyond the next hurdle…er, blind curve, er… mountain where the munificent gifts selflessly presented by our Dear Leader are waiting for us. And we know it’s all about our dear leader since the equally pretty, circular, three color, ‘Covered California’ logo shining to the left above the scenic vista bears more than a coincidental resemblance to the even prettier red and blue, circular campaign logo of the even prettierific one who made this all happen. Perhaps, not just similar logos everywhere can provide sufficient opportunities for the serfs to fawn, and coins may need to be minted with his handsome profile. Since the ACA, along with all the Leader’s other beneficent legislation may leave us all poorer (but oh, so pretty) those minted coins may have to be in rather valueless denominations but I’m certain his ego won’t mind.

    Yes, this is all so pretty.

  177. Alan D McIntire says:
    October 13, 2013 at 4:52 am

    “There’s no way the government can enforce penalties on everyone who didn’t sign up within the required time frame.”

    As I remember it the USEPA mandated a certain proportion of the alcohol added into petrol (gas) was to be “cellulosic” ethanol. They fined fuel companies that failed to achieve this proportion, even though the required “cellulosic” ethanol did not exist and is unlikely to ever exist.

    What makes you think that fines fro people that failed to sign up through a failed system should be exempt from the penalties.

    p.s. From Gall, John
    Complex systems built from scratch never work, complex systems derived from simple systems that do work, may or may not work.
    Systems do not do what they say they do (think about this carefully).

  178. “Next time we get a Gov’t that wants to punish a segment of the population-can now withhold health care and medication.”

    Bingo. The Glorious People’s National Health Service is continually whining about how they should be able to deny treatment to people who are fat, or smoke, or indulge in some other politically correct behaviour. If you put the government in charge of healthcare, they’ll use it as a stick to enforce their goals.

    Some years ago I watched a public information film from the 40s, promoting the glorious benefits the Glorious People’s NHS would bring. Apparently it was going to make people so fit that health care costs would fall dramatically after a few years.

    Didn’t quite work out that way. The NHS is now the fifth largest employer in the world.

  179. MarkG says; “Next time we get a Gov’t that wants to punish a segment of the population-can now withhold health care and medication.”

    Except that if such a scheme were in any way proposed, we can rest assured that the British Public would have the proposer swinging in short order. The NHS is probably the one thing that could provoke such a reaction.

    Your scenario seems to more resemble the situation with the Private Sector. Get a cough that wont go away, or maybe some bowel obstruction that’ll require lengthy involvement, and see how quick the ‘Market’ led health sector will sign you off onto the NHS :)

  180. First, I love the fact that installing my own certificate is exactly how I spent last night. If you’re using a Linux server and buy one of the lower end certs, it’s extremely difficult to figure it out with the 10 year old scrap of documentation they send you. For the amount of money they charge they should come to your house and cook you dinner while they install everything for you.

    However, for the amount of money going into these sites, I EXPECT they would have hired people who already have experience in these installations. Once I have a few installs under my belt that will be me. I see there is a need…

    Second, for those Americans that are not aware of this, the rest of the world thinks the US has primitive, horrible health care, where unless you have a few dozen million in your bank account you get left bleeding in the street. This is because over the last few decades the rare horror stories are the only ones the rest of the world hears.

    Third, national health care systems are HORRID. They perpetually suck money out of every other aspect of society. There is no limit to how much health care could cost. NO limit. Even military and civic infrastructure has limits.

    Eventually, everyone on the entire planet will just work in the health care industry. And guess what? Even that won’t make it work properly.

  181. boy oh boy, the parochial jingoists are out waving their banners and lying like politicians.
    perhaps some canadian would care to tell us where every single graduate of McMasters goes?
    (hint- they all leave canadastan for greener pastures)
    perhaps some canadian socialist would care to explain to the world why SARS found a happy home – where? oh, the usa? no? where? in china – and where else? mombasa? no? where?
    oh- the Nosocomial capital of the world – canada!
    perhaps some canadian apologist would care to explain to any reasonable person how in the world an ontario hospital can perform 150 prostate biopsies and never sterilise the canulum because the instructions were written in english and too complicated?
    oh- i’d also be interested in hearing how you can just hop down to the mall in any big canadian city and get yourself an MRI scan on a whim.

    http://www.bcliving.ca/health/mri-scans-waiting-for-public-health-care-vs-paying-for-a-private-mri-clinic

    “in the United States. Pittsburgh alone has more MRI machines than all of Canada.”
    and ladies – if you go to hospital in canada, you may wish to have your husband accompany you.
    those canadian doctors with dots on their foreheads hold no records for respecting females.

  182. thank you for this notice As for the time being I have private insurance until my wifes Company dumps us onto Obamacare On Oct 13, 2013 7:21 AM, “Watts Up With That?” wrote: > > Anthony Watts posted: “First, apologies to my readers for the diversion from the usual fare, but I’ll point out that this entry is covered under the masthead in the category of “current news” and there’s a relevant WUWT category. Since like many of you, I’ve been forced to s” >

  183. JohnM says: (re UK NHS)
    “… Oh, and my local hospital now has several MRI suites…..much has happened in the NHS since it was updated. Shame the present lot are flogging it to overseas tax avoiders.”

    He overlooks the massive cost we all pay for this low grade service. Just one hospital in the UK NHS has been outsourced to CIRCLE – Hinchingbrooke. This is the only hospital in the NHS which is now run by doctors and nurses who can get on with doing things properly without management stopping them. The results so far are excellent, and the hospital is running within budget (having previously gone bankrupt under normal NHS ‘management’ – true for most NHS hospitals by the way).
    Oh, and any sane person or company avoids tax (not evades please note) where possible.
    Taxation is not a moral issue. Governments are in effect taking money they have no moral right to by force if necessary (if you or I did it, it would be extortion). There is no equity in tax law – fact.

  184. “the No 1 cause of bankruptcy in the USA…is medical bills…”

    That quote is from a game-of-telephone-like distortion of a study which included loss of job from illness, gambling, addiction, and death of a relative (not medical bills from death) as part of “medical issues”, not “medical bills”. Yet another example of, it doesn’t mean what you think it means. It includes the results of inheritance taxes, death of a business partner, gambling away all your money, spending all your money on drugs, and getting fired for being doped up at work…and lots of other things not related to medical bills. Where it does include medical bills, it does not attempt to determine whether they were the primary cause, and includes medical bills of greater than a thousand dollars.

  185. I recently watched some episodes of “The Sopranos” in which Tony was shot in the belly by his uncle “Junior” and treated in an intensive care ward. Tony, the boss of a Mafia crime family, was very concerned about the cost. Luckily he was covered by the health plan of one of the corrupt unions that he ran. Surprisingly, given all of the comments here about government health insurance and freedom, he was visited by a a case worker from the insurance company. Her job was to get him out of the hospital as fast as possible to control the cost of his care. Given all the talk of freedom, it was also surprising that she had full access to the confidential medical records of this treatment so that she could get him out of the hospital as soon as possible. Tony, the boss of a Mafia crime family, didn’t like this treatment but then he was powerless in the face of the health insurance company so he just had to like it. She told Tony, the boss of a Mafia crime family, that he was healthy enough to leave the hospital and so out he went.

    The case worker told him that the paramedics performed a “wallet biopsy” so that they would be able to take him to a hospital that would treat him. His surgeon told him that he was lucky to be taken to a level 1 trauma since he would be dead otherwise. Other people had the freedom to die at less capable hospitals. True, ihis freedom comes from their lack of money but is i still freedom.

    How lucky people in the US must be to have the freedom to share their confidential medical records with insurance companies so that they will be able to maximize their profits. How lucky Americans must feel that they can give up their lives in order to fulfill the conditions of their health insurance and maintain quarterly profits so vital to to the bonuses of Wall Street bankers. Ah, the benefits of freedom.

    As Janice Joplin sang “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose”.

  186. LOL – I was thinking that too, Gdn… In fact, I was watching House last week and they got the MRI within a few minutes, whereas in Canada it’s usually months and months…

  187. For those outside the US: most of you are concentrating on the end result and are ingorant of the means being used to achieve it. Prior to Obamacare, 85% of us had insurance, and polls showed that we were overwhelmingly satisfied with the insurance we had. Under Obamacare, an estimated 5% will never have insurance. So Obamacare took control over the entire healthcare industry to insure another 10%. It would have cost less to simply GIVE insurance to that 10%, but what the government wanted was direct control of almost 20% of the economy.

    No one denies the worthiness of the desired outcome – healthcare for all – but they have done it in a way in which the end does not justify the means.

  188. commieBob says: “No sane politicians (not even the old Reform Party) advocate against it. Brian Mulroney (the Canadian equivalent of Thatcher and Reagan) called it a sacred trust.”

    Hostage to the sacred 47% who don’t have to pay for it.

  189. The problem is not the idea of having an NHS style health care system in the US. The NHS actually works pretty well, although of course you can always find instances where it goes horrendously wrong. But you could do the same within the private sector too.

    The problem is the way that the tax is being raised in order to fund it. In a nutshell it is being done in a way that feels very unfair to many people. It feels like a robbery. No matter which way you cut it, it is a redistribution of wealth, and not necessarily from rich to poor in every case either!

    Americans are in general uncomfortable with redistribution of wealth, because it smells like Socialism/Communism and in the opinion of many, mine included, that is the most evil, destructive, soul-destroying, anti-human political movement which ever existed on this planet.

    The other problem is, and really this is the bottom line, is that nobody really trusts Obama in general anymore. He has been such a let down in so many ways, which I will not enumerate here, that people simply don’t trust him. People are thanking God that there is a two-term limit. What wisdom the founders had!

    That is not a partisan issue though, I think that the entire political establishment has lost all credibility on both sides. As an example, the “shutdown” is completely bonkers fiasco the likes of which I never thought could happen (even though it has happened before but I had never heard of it).

    The real, fundamental, root of the issue is that Americans are generally an uneducated, ill informed and unaware population. No offence, but that is true of the “average” American whose intellectual diet consists mainly of daily doses of the TV show “Ellen”, the “poetry” of rapper Jay-Z and the cultural influence of Miley Cyrus. That is the way that the political classes like things to be, that is the way it is, and that is why America has become the way that it is today.

  190. Jtom says:
    October 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    For those outside the US: most of you are concentrating on the end result and are ingorant of the means being used to achieve it.
    ———–
    That’s not the problem. I think Obamacare is absolutely ridiculous and helps no one. However, bashing Canadian healthcare as an example of a failed system is just plain lying. Yes, there are always improvements that can be done. But these improvements are so minor and so far removed from where the US is right now that comparing the two is an exercise in propaganda.

  191. Being in New Zealand where people are 4.5m and sheep 45m we have an enviable semi-socialist situation. There are private insurers too and they may provide speedier treatment for elective surgery but not for the routine acute misadventures of life. The total medical and pharmacy costs for my family at home aged from 6- 74 are presently under $US800 a year. At 74 I make up the bulk of the costs.
    Pharmac, a government agency, bulk funds medications and we pay a token amount for prescriptions (included in the $800). Apart from extraordinary new experimental medicines almost everything is available. We are limited to the brands that Pharmac has contracted for but there is no evidence that we are any the less healthy because of Pharmac’s choice. The alternatives are available at your own expense.

    Hospital costs and ambulance costs are generally free to residents. Accident costs are met through compulsory payroll levies and motor vehicle registration charges. Even if you are injured playing sport or fall off a skate board you don’t have the worry about having to meet medical costs.

    I have found there is little point for us having private insurance because anything needing immediate attention will be dealt with free including at the local public hospital A & E. When I collapsed last year the ambulance paramedics put a line into my bone to stabilise me and showed skills and care way beyond my expectations. I was being attended to in person by a cardiac specialist team within the hour. Medical insurance would have given me no advantage: I would still have been taken to the public hospital for trauma care.

    We are fortunate because of the small size of our country. IT is well advanced and medical records, test results and scans are all on line throughout NZ. The systems being essentially public aim to provide efficient services within budget. There has to be in such a system priorities and I have no concern that despite my aging I will lack any appropriate care in the future. The system seems very tolerant in patching up those who have failed to adequately or even deliberately not cared for themselves.

    Despite all the benefits the taxes are not that high: we have an income tax of $US8cents to $US26.5c/$USD (NZD $0.105-$0.33) with a Goods and Services taxes (VAT) of 15% on consumer purchases including local authorities charges. However there is a generous negative tax for families and accommodation so less than 40% of the country effectively pay any net tax. I don’t think that such a system is dampening will to work but that we are constrained like most societies by lack of employment and deliberate outsourcing offshore.

    I cannot comment on the politics of ACA but I know well the problems of mass scale roll out of a new nationwide tax system having been responsible in the 70’s for implementing the (then Western) Samoa National Provident Fund where 10% of the countries salary and wages were to be directed into personal retirement savings accounts. We had a quarter of the country enrolled at the end of the first 3 years and accounting on that scale still remains difficult. IT does not provide solutions to conceptual problems: scope and concept are outside the field of view of most programmers.
    Kevin O’Brien

  192. “…which will result in a triage system that will let Granny die.”

    Obamacare – Another government shovel-ready program?

  193. Look, the web pages are something from California. Does anyone really think that ANYTHING from California’s Government works or at least works correctly?

  194. Bob Greene says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:31 am

    I heard lots of anecdotes about Canadians coming across the border to get treatment in the US they couldn’t get or were waiting for very long periods to get in Canada. What happens to the quality of the Canadian system when the US medical system becomes just like Canada’s?

    Every province in Canada runs their own health care system, different sign-up rules, the works. So you need to identify the province. Most of the stories about long waits are complete BS. But not in Ontario, though.

  195. Tom in Florida says:
    October 13, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Page 336 of the final certified text of the ACA on health.gov says specifically that if you don’t pay the penalty, nothing happens to you. This is remarkable language in a bill because it states that the Secretary of the Treasury cannot make any laws about it.

    ‘‘(g) ADMINISTRATION AND PROCEDURE.—
    4 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The penalty provided by this
    5 section shall be paid upon notice and demand by the
    6 Secretary, and except as provided in paragraph (2),
    7 shall be assessed and collected in the same manner as
    8 an assessable penalty under subchapter B of chapter
    9 68.
    10 ‘‘(2) SPECIAL RULES.—Notwithstanding any
    11 other provision of law—
    12 ‘‘(A) WAIVER OF CRIMINAL PENALTIES.—In
    13 the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely
    14 pay any penalty imposed by this section, such
    15 taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal
    16 prosecution or penalty with respect to such fail-
    17 ure
    .
    18 ‘‘(B) LIMITATIONS ON LIENS AND LEVIES.—
    19 The Secretary shall not
    20 ‘‘(i) file notice of lien with respect to
    21 any property of a taxpayer by reason of
    22 any failure to pay the penalty imposed by
    23 this section, or
    24 ‘‘(ii) levy on any such property with
    25 respect to such failure.’’.

  196. Alan Robertson says:
    October 13, 2013 at 9:31 am

    You are correct about the $10 fines dooming Obamacare, but for the wrong reason.You have the fine/insurance effect exactly backwards… If the fine were reduced to $10, no one would sign up with Obamacare and would remain with their insurance providers.

    If you have your own insurance provider now and want to stay with it, that’s fine. I don’t know where you got the idea that you have to sign up for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).

    The Act specifies that everyone should have insurance.

    Obamacare tax would then have few participants. As it is, many have/will choose to pay the $95 fine and stick with their own insurance.

    This is nonsense. From the ACA, page 333

    ‘‘(f) MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE.—For purposes
    4 of this section—
    5 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The term ‘minimum essen6
    tial coverage’ means any of the following:
    7 ‘‘(A) GOVERNMENT SPONSORED PRO8
    GRAMS.—Coverage under—
    9 ‘‘(i) the Medicare program under part
    10 A of title XVIII of the Social Security Act,
    11 ‘‘(ii) the Medicaid program under title
    12 XIX of the Social Security Act,
    13 ‘‘(iii) the CHIP program under title
    14 XXI of the Social Security Act,
    15 ‘‘(iv) the TRICARE for Life program,
    16 ‘‘(v) the veteran’s health care program
    17 under chapter 17 of title 38, United States
    18 Code, or
    19 ‘‘(vi) a health plan under section
    20 2504(e) of title 22, United States Code (re21
    lating to Peace Corps volunteers).
    22 ‘‘(B) EMPLOYER-SPONSORED PLAN.—Cov23
    erage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan.
    1 ‘‘(C) PLANS IN THE INDIVIDUAL MARKET.—
    2 Coverage under a health plan offered in the indi3
    vidual market within a State.
    4 ‘’(D) GRANDFATHERED HEALTH PLAN.
    5 Coverage under a grandfathered health plan.
    6 ‘‘(E) OTHER COVERAGE.—Such other health
    7 benefits coverage, such as a State health benefits
    8 risk pool, as the Secretary of Health and Human
    9 Services, in coordination with the Secretary, rec10
    ognizes for purposes of this subsection.
    11 ‘‘(2) ELIGIBLE EMPLOYER-SPONSORED PLAN.—
    12 The term ‘eligible employer-sponsored plan’ means,
    13 with respect to any employee, a group health plan or
    14 group health insurance coverage offered by an em-
    15 ployer to the employee which is
    16 ‘‘(A) a governmental plan (within the
    17 meaning of section 2791(d)(8) of the Public
    18 Health Service Act), or
    19 ‘‘(B) any other plan or coverage offered in
    20 the small or large group market within a State.
    21 Such term shall include a grandfathered health plan
    22 described in paragraph (1)(D) offered in a group
    23 market.

  197. My company insurance stayed the same with respect to benefits, and my contribution dropped by approximately 10%. I am still eligible to participate in the HSA ( before tax $5550 placed into an interest bearing account that is usable for medical care, and the balance carries over year to year).

    BTW, Blue Cross and Blue Shield premiums for my state are unchanged based on the BCBS quote website. I checked in Sept, and again a few days ago — price is exactly the same for family of 5 Total Blue — $506 a month.

  198. Obamacare boils down to certificates on a website? Please. It’s a petty complain… and more so considering there is plenty to complain about Obamacare.

  199. As far as using the state insurance exchanges — you may, but are not required to use them. I am free to remain on my company offered plan. Or, I could also purchase coverage from Blue Cross Blue Shield, or any other company that offers a plan that conforms to the required levels of coverage.

  200. In Canada, you pay your insurance premium to the government, unless you choose Blue Cross Blue Shield (or some other private company), which incidentally charges $99/month for the same top-of-the-line coverage that costs $1500/month here. You go to the doctor of your choice.

    Here you pay your insurance premium to a Wall Street insurance company, and the insurance company can dictate who you see and your coverage options, depending on the insurance vendor(s) working with the Exchanges in your area. [I’m not assuming employer insurance or Medicare here. Just individual insurance.]

    Guess why the insurance companies were curiously quiet during the Obamacare debate before it was signed. They were ecstatic. We frogs got lowered into the water before they turned the heat on October 1st. They privatized what could have been a government program no different than Medicare for everyone at a drastically lower price.

    We got suckered.

  201. The only reason why there is a tax associated with the ACA is because of the experience of setting up Social Security in the 30s. The Republicans were infuriated with it and vowed to challenge it in the Supreme Court.

    Here is Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins’ account revealing in a speech after she retired how they passed Social Security. It’s in the archives of the Social Security administration. This is why Chief Justice Roberts passed it in 2011, and because he saw the language that said no taxpayer is to be penalized. (Page 336)

    FRANCES PERKINS, SECRETARY OF LABOR ON HOW SHE GOT SOCIAL SECURITY PASSED.

    We continued to wrangle about it’ for days. But one day I went out to tea, although not because I wanted to. In Washington you don’t go to parties just because you want to go, you know; you go because you have to go. I had to call upon Mrs. Harlan F. Stone, the wife of the Supreme Court Justice. She was at home on Wednesday afternoons and so about 5:45, which is nearly the end of the day, I went to her house and presented myself. There were a lot of other people there. We went up to the dining room to get a cup of tea, and there I met Mr. Justice Stone who had just come home from the Court and was getting his cup of tea. We greeted each other and sat down and had a little chat.

    He said, “How are you getting on?” I said, “All right.” And then I said, “Well, you know, we are having big troubles, Mr. Justice, because we don’t know in this draft of the Economic Security Act, which we are working on–we are not quite sure, you know, what will be a wise method of establishing this law. It is a very difficult constitutional problem, you know. We are guided by this, that, and the other case.” He looked around to see if anyone was listening. Then he put his hand up like this, confidentially, and he said, “The taxing power, my dear, the taxing power. You can do anything under the taxing power.”

    I didn’t question him any further. I went back to my committee and I never told them how I got my great information. As far as they knew, I went out into the wilderness and had a vision.

    http://www.ssa.gov/history/perkins5.html

  202. Peggy Noonan, at WSJ:

    “Now Is the Time to Delay ObamaCare It’s not what Americans were promised—or even what Congress enacted”

    A quick summary of what didn’t work. Those who went on federal and state exchanges reported malfunctions during login, constant error messages, inability to create new accounts, frozen screens, confusing instructions, endless wait times, help lines that put people on hold and then cut them off, lost passwords and user names.

    After the administration floated the fiction that the problems were due to heavy usage, the Journal tracked down insurance and technology experts who said the real problems were inadequate coding and flaws in the architecture of the system.

    There were no enrollments in Delaware in three days. North Carolina got one enrollee. In Kansas ObamaCare was unable to report a single enrollment. A senior Louisiana state official told me zero people enrolled the first day, eight the second. The founder of McAfee slammed the system’s lack of security on Fox Business Network, calling it a hacker’s happiest nocturnal fantasy. He predicted millions of identity thefts. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius—grilled, surprisingly, on “The Daily Show”—sounded like a blithering idiot as she failed to justify why, in the middle of the chaos, individuals cannot be granted a one-year delay, just as businesses have been.

    More ominously, many of those who got into the system complained of sticker shock—high premiums, high deductibles.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304520704579127891764805638.html

  203. “The USA spends twice what any other modern country does on healthcare per capita and gets lousy or no service for 1/3 its citizens.”

    And now we’ll spend 4 times as much and have no service for 1/5 of our citizens.

  204. Der Fuehrer will fight to keep Fuehrercare to the bitter end, not matter how messed up it is. It’s part of his scheme to create the infrastructure for the one-party totalitarian state that he is seeking to establish. This should be evident from the fact that the IRS is the enforcement arm of the program and will be keeping close tabs on everyone who signs up – it was designed this way to extend the tentacles of the government as far as possible into people’s daily lives. Controlling healthcare is as instrumental to der Fuehrer’s plan as controlling carbon dioxide, and he isn’t going to back down on that either, no matter how cold it gets or how many more faux pas come out of the climatist community. The other leg of his system is, of course, the NSA.

    Over the last several days I have seen several comments on Yahoo News that when trying to sign up, the IRS is asking what your party affiliation is and what church you attend. Whether these are true may be open to question, but the idea is disturbing to say the least.

  205. 600 million for a website that doesn’t work is a bargain. Here in Ontario we have spent over a billion for a health records system that doesn’t work, 1.1 billion to NOT build two gas fired electricity plants, another untold millions for helicopters for our air ambulance service which have never flown, 7 billion to Samsung to erect windmills for power that we pay New York, Ohio and Michigan to take because we can’t use it……….

  206. Adam says:

    “The real, fundamental, root of the issue is that Americans are generally an uneducated, ill informed and unaware population. No offence, but that is true of the ‘average’ American whose intellectual diet consists mainly of daily doses of the TV show ‘Ellen’, the ‘poetry’ of rapper Jay-Z and the cultural influence of Miley Cyrus. That is the way that the political classes like things to be, that is the way it is, and that is why America has become the way that it is today.”

    And what makes it excruciatingly painful is that those of us who are well educated, and who do not watch Ellen or Miley Cyrus, are at the receiving end of the zero-information voters who do.

    Regarding the web page fiasco: I find it hard to believe that this is not deliberate. The more we talk about peripheral issues, the less time is spent discussing the central problem: Americans do not want Obamacare.

    In every way, Obamacare is far worse than what it replaces. Americans already have good health care! The horror stories are actually pretty sparse. That’s why they make the news when they occasionally happen.

    The health insurance system could have been improved greatly if they simply took down the interstate barriers. Someone living in Chicago cannot go to a competing provider in Michigan, which offers insurance for half of what Illinois insurance costs. But Obama and Pelosi wanted their legacy, and they could not care less what it costs or how much more difficult they have made it for the end user.

  207. I saw someone posting how wonderful their insurance is now. I doubt it. Mine increased in cost $70.00 a month in July when it reupped and the deductable [the part I pay before insurance starts helping] went from $250 to $800. This is in California.

  208. It could have been so easy to fix the problems with the current system: First, tort reform to put a stop to frivolous lawsuits and the requirement for so much defensive medicine, and restrict awards to actual damages. Second, simply require preexisting conditions to be insurable, perhaps with a SMALL adder to the premiums. Third, establish a fund (PRIVATELY, not government, managed) to which a small portion of every premium is credited to provide coverage for the uninsured for catastrophic illness or injury. This would still permit LOWER premiums and costs if steps one and two were accomplished. Finally, knock off all the stupid extra paperwork caregivers have to do that is so severely limiting the time they have to see and treat patients.

    The only problems with this approach is that it cuts into the trial lawyers’ gravy train and doesn’t let der Fuehrer butt into everybody’s daily life.

    And dbstealey, if we’re lucky Obama’s and Pelosi’s legacy will be time in the pen for foisting this unconscionable fraud on the American people

  209. Adam. The US founders were extremely wise. But, you can’t attribute the two term limit to them. That was in reaction to FDR becoming king and extending the great depression through his 3+ terms to help him achieve his ends.

  210. Just adds to the US being a laughing stock when it comes to your inability to implement a proper form of Universal Healthcare. Seriously, you guys have lagged behind most of the civilised world when it comes to providing proper proactive healthcare at the point of access for the vulnerable in your society and then when someone tries to implement something – the best you can come up with is a whinge about the website?
    From the above you can see how this Brit/Australian cannot understand why you don’t have a proper healthcare system that provides free healthcare to those who really need it. So rather than whingeing about the website, why don’t you post something that tells the rest of us why you don’t think this system will work?

  211. Colst4 says: October 13, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Indeed, clearly we have problems in taking care of those who are already in the country (thinking mainly of seniors) . When we fail to perform the basic routines of the community, what is the point of bringing in new people who need help? The leftists here in Sweden classify the way I express directly above not as realism, but as racism … This is interesting, as the Swedish Social Democrats have still not dealt with its dark past, including National Socialism …

    As you did mentioned, this is not unique to Sweden. One also becomes thoughtful when UN accuses EU of not taking responsibility for refugees, when a boat with refugees capsized recently outside Italy … It’s like the EU should take care of and be responsible for all refugees, so the UN doesn’t have to bother (the assets of UN must be sufficient to cover priority expenses such as wages, travel, food, accommodation, etc., etc. …) It’s like we don’t have enough with economical problems caused directly or indirectly by the political cesspools in Brussels and Strasbourg …

    Fractions of the funds “invested” in projects without any serious outcome, like anything related to AWG/cAWG, should quickly solve all the problems with refugees …

  212. Rob says: “The US pays twice as much for its healthcare in comparison to most 1st world countries, ”

    Cause we have the best Ambulance Chasers in the World and Obama chose to protect his buddies over enacting TORT reform as a part of his Obamacare. Lack of TORT reform, resulting in a net cost to Americans (those who do pay) of One Trillion dollars over next twenty years.

    Want another reason why Americans pay far more for our Healthcare than other 1st world countries? Cause we have Government Bureaucrats enforcing Red Tape regulations that no other 1st world countries health care industry have to deal with. Not much different than E.P.A.’s overreach into our lives over alarmist hyped Global Warming sham.

    Need more reasons? Americans won’t tolerate health care that is deemed acceptable in most 1st world countries. Americans demand “THE Best” care. Americans reject palliative care in favor of medical fixes. For example: Americans reject pain medicine and crutches for older person with bad hip or knees, insisting instead on expensive replacement surgeries followed by physical therapy. Americans also expect immediate Health Care and reject week to month long delays in seeing a doctor. Americans head to E.R. for colds, sprains, cuts, stomach pains instead of waiting to see their primary physician.

  213. Goldie: “Brit/Australian cannot understand why you don’t have a proper healthcare system that provides free healthcare to those who really need it.”

    Enlighten us as to how “Brit/Australian” determine who really needs “free healthcare” (emphasis on “free”).

    • Well of course nothing is for free – someone has to pay for it. However, should I be hit by a car or suffer any number of injury causing accidents, I have the comfort of knowing that I will be admitted through emergency and treated without someone needing to check my private health care scheme.
      As to why should I pay for those in need – because amongst other things those in need are commonly the most vulnerable to disease. Plainly you don’t get this, but, for example, one of the causes of the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria is because folks have to pay for antibiotics and because they can’t afford it they stop taking the course before the end, thereby allowing some more resistant bugs to survive.
      My struggle with the comments here is that this actually works reasonably well in many counties around the world and we are no less well off than you are nor do the Governments choose to “punish” various sectors of society.
      But as I said, my question was specifically – please can you let the rest of us know why you believe this won’t work?

  214. Barbee says:
    October 13, 2013 at 2:02 pm
    “Next time we get a Gov’t that wants to punish a segment of the population-can now withhold health care and medication. It can also use this as a weapon to punish it’s political enemies the exact same way it does now with the IRS.
    Will it withhold organ transplants for Tea Party members? As offensive as that may sound, knowing what we know now, would that really come as a surprise to anyone?”

    Most intelligent and INSIGHTFUL comment on the tread.

  215. andrewmharding says: October 13, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Well, when I got the asthma in 1982, the cost of the medicine was fully covered by the national healthcare insurance. This was later changed and one had to pay the full cost up to a given limit (high-cost protection, valid for one year effectively). This type of medicine is not cheap, just like many other types, especially not for someone who needs a high daily dosage …

  216. policycritic says:
    October 13, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    “Page 336 of the final certified text of the ACA on health.gov says specifically that if you don’t pay the penalty, nothing happens to you. This is remarkable language in a bill because it states that the Secretary of the Treasury cannot make any laws about it.”

    That is not true. No criminal charges but civil ones. If you have a tax refund coming, they confiscate it. By the way, the Sec of the Treasury can never make laws in any case or do you not understand the Constitution. You have been taken in by your belief that the government is looking out for our best interests.

  217. Goldie says:

    “…this Brit/Australian cannot understand why you don’t have a proper healthcare system that provides free healthcare to those who really need it. So rather than whingeing about the website, why don’t you post something that tells the rest of us why you don’t think this system will work?”

    The system is broken for one reason: the government. For the same reason, it will not be fixed. Tell us how to get the government out of healthcare and you will be providing a valuable contribution. Until then, it is you who are doing the ‘whingeing’.

    Also, why should we pay for those ‘in need’? Plenty of those ‘in neeed’ can afford to pay the premiums. Why should I pay someone else’s healthcare costs? It is their body; they should be willing to take care of it.

    Lastly, the website fiasco and half-billion dollars wasted is a clear indication of the problems. The same folks who arranged for the website are the ones who want to run healthcare. If that doesn’t worry you, I don’t know what would.

  218. Chad Wozniak says: “It could have been so easy to fix the problems with the current system: First, tort …”

    All good fixes. I would add allowing E.R.s to reject those who don’t really need Emergency services, and protecting E.R.s from frivolous lawsuits in those cases.

    But one must remember, Obamacare was never about fixing our Health Care system. Obamacare is Political. It was about Federal government gaining more power and control. Along with pushing socialism through redistribution of wealth. No different than UN-science and One World politics of Global Warming Sham.

  219. I would like to post some interesting statistics from the United Nations International Health Organization.

    Percentage of men and women who survived a cancer five years after diagnosis: U.S. 65% England 46% Canada 42%

    Percentage of patients diagnosed with diabetes who received treatment within six months: U.S. 93% England 15% Canada 43%

    Percentage of seniors needing hip replacement who received it within six months: U.S. 90% England 15% Canada 43%

    Percentage referred to a medical specialist who see one within one month: U.S. 77% England 40% Canada 43%

    Number of MRI scanners (a prime diagnostic tool) per million people: U.S. 71 England 14 Canada 18

    Percentage of seniors (65+), with low income, who say they are in “excellent health”: U.S. 12% England 2% Canada 6%.

    Now shall we compare which country is better? England and Canada focus on preventative healthcare procedures better than the US, but when it comes to diagnosis and treatment, the US excels.

  220. Tom J says: October 13, 2013 at 9:08 am

    If we are thinking about the same country, one big problem is that the upper economical and political class don’t like this kind of changes in the society and they try to rub this into others …

  221. dbstealey says: “Also, why shoulld we pay for those ‘in need’?

    On that topic, we were Lied too. There are not 43 to 46 million Americans who need Health Care coverage and can not afford to get Health Care coverage. The number is closer to 1/10th the claimed number.
    First off, the inflated (46 million) number counts approximately 13 Million Illegal Aliens as Americans. Secondly, the inflated number counts people who might need Health Care Insurance but have chosen not to because they are young, thus low risk of needing. Finally, the inflated number counts those who can afford Health Care Insurance, but have instead chosen to spend their money on partying, jewelery, designer clothes, luxury cars, latest electronic gadgets, etc.

  222. Goldie says:

    “Just adds to the US being a laughing stock when it comes to your inability to implement a proper form of Universal Healthcare.”

    Americans have the most powerful country in the world because they don’t adopt the idiotic programs that are sinking the once great European countries.

    “Seriously, you guys have lagged behind most of the civilised world when it comes to providing proper proactive healthcare at the point of access for the vulnerable in your society and then when someone tries to implement something – the best you can come up with is a whinge about the website?”

    Lets see Americans are required to sign up at the site, will get fined if they don’t but despite 700 million dollars the site doesn’t work. Nothing to complain about there.

    “From the above you can see how this Brit/Australian cannot understand why you don’t have a proper healthcare system that provides free healthcare to those who really need it. So rather than whingeing about the website, why don’t you post something that tells the rest of us why you don’t think this system will work?”

    This is obviously hard for you to understand but we live in a democracy based on liberty where governments function is to only provide for the people what they want. The governments job is not to provide a “proper healthcare system” or any other function that people don’t want. Obama promised one thing and then changed his promise. If you love your system than good for you.

    The system won’t work for the same reasons all socialist systems don’t work. First, they are inefficient, but because they have no competition they can continue to be inefficient and never innovate. But despite all the efforts the rest of the world is capitalist so better cheaper healthcare will simply migrate away, just like the Canadian doctors go to the U.S.

    Second, the system will cost more to those who can afford healthcare. You see you can’t provide healthcare to those who won’t pay without increasing the price to those who will pay. Which of course gives incentive to people to not pay since their healthcare will be provided. And since the government doesn’t require people to prove citizenship it means that those that are citizens will subsidize the healthcare of tens of millions who don’t have to pay because they’re not citizens.

    Believe it or not Americans are not envious of your healthcare system or your high energy prices, or your ability to chase businesses away, or your high VAT taxes (there is no federal sales tax in the U.S.), and many realize these systems have been an anchor to the Europes economy. What we can’t understand is why Europeans continue to trash what was once the most free, most powerful society the world has ever known. But we are now realizing why. Because in addition to a public that has no concept of how they became powerful and provided it’s citizens wealth to pay for thing like healthcare, we have a public that realized it can vote for someone else to pay their bills. And we have a party who is willing to sell that idea to get themselves elected. So don’t worry, we’re joining you and we can all laugh to the poorhouse at how we dismantled western civilization for the good of those that didn’t want to work for the things they wanted.

  223. “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

    Milton Friedman

  224. Benjamin Franklin on Welfare

    “…I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means.—I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. There is no country in the world [but England] where so many provisions are established for them; so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many alms-houses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor. Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful; and do they use their best endeavours to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burthen?—On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent. The day you passed that act, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependence on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness. In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase of poverty. Repeal that law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. St. Monday, and St. Tuesday, will cease to be holidays. SIX days shalt thou labour, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.”

    (Benjamin Franklin, “On the Price of Corn and the Management of the Poor” (1766), Writings (New York: Library of America, 1987), 587-88).

    • Oh come on DR, Ol’ Ben wouldn’t be a bit biased about the English, would he?
      Anyhoo, I do appreciate the comments, I think it helps me to understand your perspective on Obamacare and get an insight into the American psyche that I didn’t have before.

      Incidentally, whilst you are attacking me for being a Brit, you might also note that I am a naturalised Australian. Australia also has a Medicare system. And……go!

  225. ” Goldie says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Well of course nothing is for free – someone has to pay for it. However, should I be hit by a car or suffer any number of injury causing accidents, I have the comfort of knowing that I will be admitted through emergency and treated without someone needing to check my private health care scheme.”
    ———————————————————————————————–

    This shows an extreme lack of understanding about the US Healthcare system prior to Obamacare. By law right now if you are injured in an accident you must be treated by the nearest medical center. By law. They don’t have the right to check on your insurance status or anything else prior to treating you. This has been the law in the US for a long time.

    Basically you need insurance in the US for long term and continuing care. Mind you the bills will likely cause the uninsured to have problems paying after the fact but they will get emergency care.

  226. Goldie says:

    “…should I be hit by a car or suffer any number of injury causing accidents, I have the comfort of knowing that I will be admitted through emergency and treated without someone needing to check my private health care scheme.”

    Should you be hit by a car in the U.S. you would be taken care of by any hospital you went to. It is illegal to turn anyone away for inability to pay. Your health insurance scheme has nothing to do with it. Thus, your critique is nullified.

    Next, you write:

    “As to why should I pay for those in need – because amongst other things those in need are commonly the most vulnerable to disease. Plainly you don’t get this…”

    Wrong again. The biggest cohort by far that does not buy health insurance is young people. They have other things to spend their money on, and if they can now get everyone else to pay their insurance for them, why should they dig into their own wallets? You are acting on misinformation, therefore your conclusion is necessarily wrong.

    Finally, you ask:

    “…can you let the rest of us know why you believe this won’t work?”

    If you cannot see that government bureaucrats who have no skin in the game are not the ones who should be making these decisions, then I can’t help you. It is almost as if you did not read any of the examples in this thread. Govenrnment is the problem!! If you can’t see that, then you can’t see anything.

  227. Many don’t realize it, but already more American’s healthcare are subsidized or fully funded by the government than there are working in the private sector.

  228. ” is because folks have to pay for antibiotics and because they can’t afford it they stop taking the course before the end, thereby allowing some more resistant bugs to survive.”

    Typically they get the whole course of antibiotic treatment at the same time. Stopping taking the antibiotic is for other reasons…and is a more common behavior for those that don’t pay for it.

  229. Goldie: “one of the causes of the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria is because folks have to pay for antibiotics and because they can’t afford it they stop taking the course before the end,”

    Minor cause in U.S.
    Primary cause in U.S. is over-use and abuse of antibiotics. As in, Doctors placating patients who demand a quick fix for their sniffles.

  230. Well, it may have cost a lot, but gee, it sure is hard to use. Say it did work… would you like it?

    Just wait until they’re in charge of your medical records: “Your hysterectomy will begin in a moment, Mr. Jones, just as soon as we finish Mrs. Smith’s prostate cancer treatment”.

    Of course, if you voted Republican, your surgery will be postponed indefinitely, which may just save your life.

  231. Goldie. While y’all are fighting off the influx of boat people who are trying to get a toehold into the services your country so generally provides to its citizens (at the expense of their freedom and future prospects), quite successfully, so far, ponder what your system will look like when the eventual 30 million benefit seekers have made it past your defenses.

    • OK good comments:
      mike g – Australia only has about 25 million people in it. If we ended up with 30 million illegal migrants I think healthcare would be the least of our problems. But I do take the point about illegal migrants.

      I was interested in the comments about Emergency Rooms – so it is illegal to refuse treatment, but does that mean you end up with a bill if you are uninsured?

      In Australia there is Medicare, which acts as a safety net provider, provides community medical programs and pays for prescriptions. How much depends on wether you are a government healthcare card holder, so its not free for everybody. Does Obamacare have a means test component to it? How do you view this?

      Incidentally I have private medical on top of Medicare. I have this because I feel that the Medicare system does not provide the level of medical care that I would prefer for my family members. It doesn’t mean that Medicare is incapable of treating people, but sometimes it can be a while before things are treated.

      Do Americans not believe that its a good idea to provide a safety net?

  232. Goldie: “please can you let the rest of us know why you believe this won’t work?”

    Because eventually too many people quit paying and start getting free medical care. The socialists’ Universal Health Care system pseudo works in other countries where those getting free medical care don’t expect or demand “THE Best” medical care, as in they don’t expect to fly First Class when riding for free.

    As mentioned before, other countries don’t have near the litigious society America has. Which forces America’s Health Care system to provide near perfect medical services (read as costly medical services).

    Then there is the problem with the political Left abusing your Universal Health Care (aka our Obamacare) to garner future votes, by giving Illegal Aliens coverage. Covering 13 Million Illegal Aliens is incredibly costly, making Universal Health Care here unworkable.

  233. And, Goldie, as you distance yourselves from the unfairness of capitalism, ponder that the only reason your country can afford to pay the taxes that support your increasingly matrix-like existence is that you have resources to sell to the few places in the world which still embrace capitalism, Japan and China. As your population becomes more and more dependent on it’s supply of life essence from the collective, it won’t be pretty when those resources are no longer prized by those economies.

    • Rob, I just believe that a truly compassionate society has to provide a safety net for those who fall through the gaps and I find it hard to believe that the US has been unable or unwilling to enact something that provides this for that group of people.
      Australia does have a number of private funds that people can gain access to, but they are quite costly in spite of the advertising.
      As to taxes and big government – I hate these things with a passion. But I still don’t think its reasonable to leave people without some access to healthcare that does not lead them into debt. This might well be due to the culture that I have been raised in.
      mike g I make my money out of primary production in Australia so I hear what you are saying. The interesting thing is that those who do make their funds out of primary production have really benefited over the last few years, but there are many who have been left behind.

  234. Goldie,

    Glad you appreciate the comments. You are being a good sport.

    The fact is that Americans, by and large, are satisfied with their health care system, and we resent a parvenue like Obama, who shows up ready to change it all.

    Obama rejects any form of compromise. His attitude is: “I won,” as if his election is all that matters. Americans do not like that sort of high and mighty dictating, especially from a no-account who never did anything on his own; everything he has was given to him. Shoveled at him, really.

    There is no record of any Obama achievements; he never left any paper trail at Cornell or Harvard, no one can remember him there — either classmates or professors. No one remembers him! And it is not for lack of trying: the Wall Street Journal investigated, and they could find no evidence of Obama at either school. And he hides out whenever his birth country is questioned, and his *ahem* lovely wife received steady pay rises that closely matched her husband’s political climb. Excuse us, but that is not the kind of man we want unilaterally deciding issues that alter one-sixth of our economy in a major way.

    Health care can surely be improved. But when the president and his bureaucrats tell us it is “My way or the highway,” he should not complain when there is pushback.

    But of course, Obama is always a complainer when he does not get his way.

  235. Darren Potter: 13 million illegal aliens is the Obama number. Try 40 million for a more realistic estimate. Plus, the left in the US is doing its level best to turn the present influx of illegals into a tidal wave.

  236. DR says: “Many don’t realize it, but already more American’s healthcare are subsidized or fully funded by the government …”

    Those of us who pay Taxes sure as “blank” do.

  237. mike g is right. There are far more than the official numbers of illegal aliens residing here.

    These freeloaders are taking jobs, and benefits, and illegally voting. If it were up to me I would deport them all. But the Obamites have taken over, and there isn’t much hope that our laws will be obeyed.

  238. dbstealey: Best description of B.H. Obama I have ever read. I hope many on here steal it and post it and it goes viral.

  239. DR says: “Many don’t realize it, but already more American’s healthcare are subsidized or fully funded by the government …”

    Only is you count the money that workers have paid into their Medicare accounts as the government’s money. Military Tricare & other federal workers’ health insurance is part of their compensation package.

    The poor on Medicaid are subsidized by the taxpayers, I grant you, but even some of them are former net payers rather than consumers of taxes, who could have provided for their own old ages had the government not ripped them off all these years to make ever more perpetual victim wards of the state dependent on Democrat pols.

  240. climatereason [October 13, 2013 at 9:34 am] says:

    Forgive me, but you collectively voted for a President that consistently endorsed it and it has democratically passed through the Houses and been validated by the Supreme court. We here in the UK-and no doubt around the world-are baffled that the Republicans appear to be holding the President to ransom over this issue by withholding the budget and delaying the Debt ceiling discussions.

    You surely need to do something about both subjects but using Obamacare as a reason to delay action on them seems very undemocratic. Sorry..tonyb

    Sorry but that’s that’s utterly ridiculous Tony. This was the textbook definition of arm-twisting and dead-of-night shenanigans. This was the infamous bill that “needed to be passed to see what was in it”. It barely eeked its way through a liberal Congress which was then punished by being wiped out in the following election, indicating massive voter disapproval. Yes the 52+% elected President DingleBarry certainly signed it, that was a given considering his Communist roots, and yes the Supreme Court narrowly approved of parts of it. But this was a fiasco. If we used the identical process to pass strong border control rounding up illegal aliens, or quarantining people with infectious diseases, or to ban the United Nations, or to nuke Iran, would you still call it “democratically passed”.

    Slavery was more popular! And I mean real slavery, in 1860. There were more people in the South and North, especially once they got a taste of Civil War, who would have supported its continuance than today’s support of Socialist health care. This is a classic anti-popular law enacted in the narrowest and most cynical fashion. There is more true consensus for CAGW than for this ( but not 90% ) !

    Furthermore, at least the nanny-staters of a century ago were honest enough to realize they needed an Amendment to enact Prohibition and regulate alcohol since no such power to do so was granted to the Federal government by the States and the People in the Constitution. So I ask you, where is the Amendment empowering them to regulate health care and mete out punishment for those that refuse to play along? It does not exist, consequently this is extra-Constitutional regardless of what that idiot John Roberts decided. Sorry Tony, this thing is Anti-American to the core and is nothing more than Socialism. The end-result is inevitable – trickle-down misery.

  241. Another view from Australia.

    WUWT folks may recognize the fella…..

    Goldie – Irony is someone from a rationed health care system calling the US a “laughing stock” for its system.

    I’m fine with a primarily -public funded- system. But places like Canada need a lot more private delivery options where citizens have choices.

  242. Fanakapan [October 13, 2013 at 1:05 pm] says:

    To andrewmharding and others here knocking the NHS I say, Get a fecking Grip, The NHS is a remarkable success in offering Good Healthcare to the people here in the UK, and the fact that a Few foreigners get treatment that they may not be entitled to, is hardly any reason to condemn the whole system.

    To those that may remark that ‘We get what we pay for’ I would suggest that we do pay for the National Health Service every day, its funded from general taxation, and is maybe why Petrol here is the equivalent of $7.50 or so for an Imperial gallon, along with all the other little taxes, the threat of which makes the Yanks irate to the point where they are blind to the Dogs Breakfast of a health system they seem to want to perpetuate.

    You probably didn’t mean to, and you probably don’t realize it but you just described an NHS that actually is a failure not a success, if what you say is true about petrol taxes being rolled into it. You see, with all systems, like a coin toss there are two possibilities ( discounting the coin landing on its edge ) …

    (1) More NHS non-users than users. This “system” can theoretically support itself without petrol or any other taxes being rolled into it. This is the literal definition of insurance, the defining characteristic being that NOT everyone collects. More people pay in than people who cash out. As long as people die ahead of schedule, paying into NHS but never using it while LESS other people do the opposite, there should be no problem, well, unless those few that DO collect really run up high bills.

    (2) More NHS users than non-users. This “system” is a form of Ponzi scheme. The sum total of taxes drawn from the veins of the citizens will never cover expenses, hence the bleeding of other non-related systems, like petrol that you mention. Of course there is that other tried-and-true relief valve called “red ink”, running a deficit, pushing the bills forward to your children and much later descendants ( being a liberal means never having to take responsibility or be accountable for your spending ). However, take this red ink relief valve out of the picture ( like some of our Congress want to ) and the Ponzi scheme will collapse which is why our leftists are currently screaming bloody murder since all their redistribution schemes would collapse.

    Furthermore, NHS, like all Socialist “systems” ( e.g., our Social Security ) actually promote themselves to be a Magic Ponzi scheme, defying all logic, book-keeping and common sense by guaranteeing that EVERYONE can participate with no ramifications on the back-end. Free health-care for everyone! they actually say. They literally start from the premise that an insurance scheme can function fiscally even if every man, woman, and child uses it to the full extent possible. No worries mate! Wow, that’s magical indeed. Naturally something’s gotta give, and that is inevitably lines, rationing, denied treatment, early deaths, two sets of books, and many other little tweaks to maintain the illusion of sound finances. Or they merely go to red ink and kick the can down the road for someone else.

    So if I may Fanakapan, which is it ? Are you a “taker” or “giver” with respect to NHS? Are you using up more or less health care than the taxes you paid in? And, if you get an unfortunate catastrophic episode that requires much more than you put into the system, how many other people would it require to NOT use their share in order to cover yours? This is the moral aspect of Socialism in general, and health care in particular, which begs the question – why should someone else pay your bills ( i.e., when your health care costs exceed what you paid in taxes )?

    Fanakapan [October 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm] says:

    The health services in Europe are every bit as good as those offered in the USA, they may indeed be better for the simple reason that Compassion is still counted into the mix.

    Are waiting lists and rationing compassionate? There are way too many stories about this to even count. Are they all just blowing smoke? Nothing to see here, move along?

  243. “I was interested in the comments about Emergency Rooms – so it is illegal to refuse treatment, but does that mean you end up with a bill if you are uninsured?”

    Yes, you get a bill, but if you are indigent it is generally forgiven. Many who could technically afford it make use of it for minor things. We also have free clinics and charities. Sometimes a group of doctors will open up a low-cost consortium – where they cut costs by not accepting insurance and rely on donations to augment basic care – but in places like New York they face a constant attempt to shut them down by the bureaucrats.

  244. I’m going to really stir the pot–

    I don’t go to a doctor and I don’t use their counterproductive drugs. I was even a health insurance agent for several years but haven’t had an insurance policy for more than a dozen years. The money they want me to spend on drug and office visits I spend on health-promoting products instead.

    Doctors don’t make you healthy and their drugs only cover symptoms. And insurance is never a cost/benefit winner–why do you think there are a million insurance agents in the US and carriers are making exhorbitant profits?

    Your body heals itself, in spite of the procedures and drugs the doctors abuse it with.

    And now the government wants to horn in on this unholy alliance between the drug companies, doctors, and insurance companies.

    Americans spend more per capita on health care than any other nation, but only rank 17th in overall health.

    And somehow this will improve under the CAFA*? I seriously doubt it.

    *CACA = Catastrophic Affront to Care Act.

    PS> I’m far healthier than the majority of men my age and are often taken for someone 15-20 years younger. Having good health doesn’t require drugs, doctors, or dictatorial governments. I do frequent naturopaths on occasion, however.

  245. Goldie,
    In Australia there is Medicare, which acts as a safety net provider, provides community medical programs and pays for prescriptions. How much depends on wether you are a government healthcare card holder, so its not free for everybody.
    ====
    It’s not free for anybody. We either (i) check a box on our tax form to deduct a Medicare levy, or, (ii) we pay for private health insurance and don’t pay the Medicare levy.
    It’s a very simple system that gives us a choice: Public or Private.
    Most Australians choose to use the public system. People who like to be pampered in private hospital rooms choose to pay for private health insurance instead.
    And it’s really that simple. We have a choice.
    “Obamacare,” on the other hand, is exactly what policycritic described:
    “They privatized what could have been a government program no different than Medicare for everyone at a drastically lower price. We got suckered.”

    • @Khwarizmi
      Actually its probably worse than that – the Medicare levy is just the top up, a lot comes from consolidated revenue, which comes from general taxation.
      However, for those who are really at the bottom of the pile (ie don’t pay taxes) it is free.

  246. “Goldie says:
    October 13, 2013 at 8:18 pm
    Rob, I just believe that a truly compassionate society has to provide a safety net for those who fall through the gaps and I find it hard to believe that the US has been unable or unwilling to enact something that provides this for that group of people.”

    We have those things…they just don’t get counted if they aren’t done by the government. We have, for instance an entire network of religion-based not-for-profit hospitals which are in many cities and provide health-care for the poor through donations. There are fewer than there used to be for a variety of reasons, including increased legal demands and bureaucratic requirements.

    One of the recent fights regarding Obamacare was the attempt to force these charitable religion-based hospitals (which charge those who are deemed able to afford it) such as Roman Catholic hospitals to pay for abortion or birth-control coverage despite their religious opposition to those practices. Many of those hospitals self-insure for health-care.

  247. Gdn, this isn’t just about hospital treatment, its about community healthcare. How is that worked out in the US?

  248. Goldie, That sounds like you are using a different definition of “hospital” which I am unable to discern. Hospitals do community healthcare, as do clinics, and as do some stores in limited ways.

    • Yes, we have a program of General Practice here that is also funded by Medicare. These are in-the-community- small clinics which – provide community care (inoculations, post-natal follow up etc), treat common medical conditions (not requiring the attention of specialist), provide follow-up once a patient is discharged from hospital and act as a first point of referral to specialists (so they don’t get swamped with the frivolous. In addition it is normal for a community midwife to undertake post-natal visits in the home to make sure the mother is coping etc. Is this all done at hospitals in the US?

  249. Well it appears to have all gone quiet in the US – have a great sleep everyone.
    Just a conversation starter for the morning. Most people outside of the US get their impression of your country via movies – after all, you do have a world dominating industry there. Would it be right to say that movies tend to present a one-eyed perspective of things like health care?

  250. Goldie says:
    October 13, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Not only yes, but Hell. yes. A prime example is “As Good As It Gets”, in which the single mom’s son’s health care dilemma would not in fact exist.

  251. Goldie says:
    October 13, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Post-natal care is free for moms & kids on Medicaid, although they usually have to go into clinics. Private insurance co-paid by employers & employees covers care for those with higher incomes.

  252. Hello
    Leaving aside the question of whether obamacare is desirable for a public policy point of view, I think I can say the implementation was flawed from the beginning. Politicians with no large software project management said essentially “Let there be a functioning software program to implement obamacare in 3.5 years” without estimating the time it would take to develop such a program. They could not have estimated the time because the requirements of the software project had not been completed at the time the law was passed and one cannot not estimate the time it takes complete a project without knowing those details.

    I wrote a very short post laying out some of the software issues of obamacare at

    http://boards.fool.com/software-issues-with-obamacare-30813946.aspx

    Readers might want to read the two subsequent posts.

    klee12

  253. The US spends twice as much on health care per capita than all other western countries, yet has health outcomes more like impoverished Cuba than modern Australia. Plus, a sixth of Americans lack health insurance. Unfortunately, forcing people to deal with the private insurance companies who run the current overpriced, profit-motivated (ie. ruthless and unreliable) system will not work that well in all likelihood. Good luck, America !

  254. Mike H says:
    October 13, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Twelve million (at least) of the ~48 million uninsured people in the US are illegal immigrants. Most of the rest could afford insurance, but chose not to pay it, often because they’re young. No one in the country lacks access to medical care. There are indeed better ways to ensure access than having people go to ERs, but that is a problem that can be solved without the monstrosity of Obamacare.

  255. Those people who were unfortunate enough to actually get through the process and get signed up for obummercare got an additional bonus they probably weren’t counting on. Web security people say those unfortunates have just published openly for all the world, everything needed by identity thieves to clean out everything they have. The site has no more security than pinning the info on the outside of your front door.

  256. Anthony, my experience is with the Australian system :). It is not as bad as the system in the UK but it is very flawed. I could write more than one blog post about the many flaws wihin that system and why I hate it so much. However, there are lots of variations between the UK system and the Australian experience including the right to have our own doctor. The rub for me is the issue of bulk billing. If one requires a lot of medical attention then lack of bulk billing is expensive for someone on a low or negligible income. Also, unless one gets a Medicare Benefits Card, the cost of scripts can also be extremely high. Yes we do pay for THE PILL, so Sandra Fluke would not like our Australian system.

    There is good and bad about the Australian system, and I do see that a lot of people waste the time of ER people when they go for something that is nothing more than a cold and a few sniffles, leaving people who need real attention waiting longer than is necessary. We do not pay for A&E services. It is billed to the government. In some ways I see this as a flaw in the system.

    This whole thing is all about health insurance and I can see no reason for any government to be involved in health insurance.

  257. @andrewmharding:
    “Like Communism it is a good idea in theory, but terrible in practice!”

    Communism is the idea that everyone should be everyone’s slave forever. Even as a theoretical idea, it’s abject.

    @DR:
    “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

    M. Friedman stole it from George Courteline. And if you look at recent history: in Argentina (the foremost, well-known land of the Mighty Steak), the Kirschner put government in charge on the meat industry, as a result Argentina now imports meat ; in Venezuela (the fourth largest oil reserve country on the planet), Chavez put the fovernment in charge of the oil and gas industry, as a result Venezuela now imports gas ; in Thailand (the biggest exporter of rice in collective memory), the government was put in charge of rice trading, as a result, Thailand lost its place as the first exporter of rice and could very soon have to import rice.

    So, the track record confirms it. In a twisted sense, it’s a good thing the government is in charge of curbing down CO2 !

  258. The failures of government web sites to admit applicants is a symptom. The disease is the creeping conceit that government can (or should) subsume entire blocks of society under its purview. That they would choose to place the health care system, which consumes 18% of the U.S. GDP, under its authority, and so enthrall 50 million more citizens is more than disturbing.

    For those who freely forgo health care because they are young and healthy, are at little risk, or are simply undecided, the mandate that they must help subsidize others’ health needs, or else pay a fine to the government, is unconscionable.

    I can only see this unfairness growing more complicated, and more onerous for everyone who is coerced into “investing”. An editorial by Gordon Crovitz in today’s WSJ, spotlights the problem.

    … to check if a family is entitled to a subsidy, requir(es) data from dozens of federal and state agencies using databases built on different technology platforms.

    These include Medicaid to determine eligibility, the Internal Revenue Service to determine insurance-premium subsidies based on income, and Homeland Security to confirm citizenship. To make sure the family isn’t covered elsewhere, the sites have to retrieve data from the Veterans Health Administration, the Office of Personnel Management and state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs. Assuming a family is cleared and purchases a plan, the information has to be handed off cleanly to an insurance company.

    The Government Accountability Office last year calculated that for the IRS alone, implementing ObamaCare would be a “massive undertaking that involves 47 different statutory provisions and extensive coordination.” Among them: “disclosure of taxpayer information for determining subsidy eligibility,” “drug manufacturer tax” and “high-cost health plan tax.” Senate staffers created a mind-boggling graphic showing ObamaCare’s various agencies and regulators, which can be viewed at

    http://1.usa.gov/acamess.

    (See: Crovitz: “ObamaCare’s Serious Complications”)

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303382004579129381775545554.html?dsk=y

    Crovitz notes that Americans are partly to blame for allowing the spiraling costs of medicine. We did it to ourselves by insisting on more expensive procedures, paid for by our employers, without looking for alternatives, without even checking what the costs were. Since we never asked for competing bids for our medicines or our treatments, doctors pharmacists and insurance companies felt free to inflate their costs.

    Obama will not back off the implementation of the bill named after him, and it seems doubtful that even the shut-down will forestall its creeping assimilation over the next few years, but whatever system evolves, a top priority of genuine reformers should be the requirement of a single transparent pricing system. Institutions that post their prices at check-in desks will engender a smarter and more competent clientele of users. Americans who educate themselves on any matter of policy – and that includes their own health care – will demand the best bang for their buck. That should keep the provider institutions honest. In an open society, government will not, be one of those institutions.

  259. @Anthony

    You replied to Cal:

    @CAL pointing out my experience with failed security certificates is “right wing propaganda”? How so?

    I didn’t believe the claims that the website(s) were as bad as was being claimed until I actually tried it myself.

    Cal makes a good point I think you missed here. The post seems to imply that if the website is this poorly implemented then “obamacare” must therefore be rubbish. The post is titled “my obamacare experience” but I put it to you that that is disingenuous. Are you seriously suggesting that because a newly constructed website has some admittedly grievous glitches, then the healthcare delivered by the system is going to be poor or unworthwhile? That is certainly the impression I am left with, especially in the context of the debate over it that has been raging.

    I can only echo Cal’s comments. I owe my life to the Nhs. Twice. Is it inefficient? Yes, but no more so than any other large organisation – including big corporations. Is it value for money? Demonstrably so. Could it be improved? You bet. Would I swap it for the current madness you guys are putting up with in the states? Never in a million years. To be honest, everything I have heard, read or seen regarding the system in the US strikes me as madness. Nearly every other first world country has some form of universal healthcare, and by comparison the US is currently getting extremely bad value for money, as well as suffering a great deal of inequity.

    I realise that to a large extent it is a cultural block. There is a long and deep rooted mistrust of government, and a preference for the individual be in control of their own destiny. That’s admirable, but there are limits. Would you have the military outsourced? The police? Why should health care be different? It is subject to the same sort of inflexible demand. There are some things to which a government is best placed to organise and run. Sometimes they do it well and sometimes they do it badly, so vote for the guys who can get it into some sort of shape, but

  260. ….sorry cut off…..

    ….but some kind of universal healthcare in a first world nation ought to be a basic standard.

  261. Efficiency and government are not necessarily disjoint. It depends how you run your government. Similarly private ownership and efficiency don’t have to equate either – just look at what happened to the world financial markets in 2008. By drawing this equation you are oversimplifying the world. You are looking at a cartoon and not at reality. Don’t just throw up your hands at government inefficiency like it was some sort of inevitable law of nature. Demand that your government be run efficiently – that it doesn’t waste the money it extracts from you in taxes!

    Efficiency is just efficiency. Both private and public organisations can possess it. For example the last time I looked the military was all run by the government. And parts of the US military are actually quite efficient … suggest you ask bin Laden for a reference. Now in the military they don’t say “Hey we are run by the government so what do you expect. Lets just slack off”. No! They demand and expect very high standards. At least as far as the pointy end of the military is concerned they simply don’t put up with second rate. That sort of attitude can be present in ANY organisation, whether private or public.

    The important issue isn’t really whether health care is publicly or privately provided – paid by the taxpayer – paid by insurance – whatever. (shock! heresy!) The money ultimately comes from the public – whether gathered via private insurance or taxes or whatever – and is spent on the sick. The rest is just details of accounting – who holds and balances the books – and so on. What really matters is that the money ends up being well spent – that there is no waste – that there are incentives in the system to keep costs down and improve outcomes.

    Face it. Obamacare would never have gotten to first base if healthcare in the US was working well. By any objective measure the US has one of the most expensive inefficient inhumane and wasteful healthcare systems in the world. OK it was private but hey – it was broke. Now this bizarre obamacare compromise that congress whipped up may not fix it. But it is unlikely to make it any worse. And if obamacare doesn’t work, scrap it and try something else, and then something else again, until finally something you try does work.

    What I see are a bunch of people determined to put up with a broken system because their ideological blinkers are telling them that since it is private it ought to work brilliantly, so lets just all pretend that it does. Yessir. Ignore that dying man on the floor. We all have a wonderful health care system here in the good old US of A if only Obama would keep his mitts off. What I also see are republicans implacably determined, desperate even, not to give obamacare a chance, not because they don’t think it will work, but because deep down they greatly fear that it will.

  262. The USA spends far more than any other country per capita on healthcare. However out of a ranking of 48 developed countries, it comes in at 46th for efficiency of it’s healthcare. It’s fairly obvious that while the Conservative side do not like Obamacare for one reason or another, the US health system is seriously dysfunctional and highly wasteful. Reject Obamacare if you must, butt doing nothing is not an option, the US health system really does need root and branch restructuring if it is to serve the needs of citizens.. http://www.bloomberg.com/visual-data/best-and-worst/most-efficient-health-care-countries

  263. Dave A says (October 13, 2013 at 1:23 pm): “Astounding !

    Helping your fellow man through voting for a Government and President who enact a law to assist those who cannot gain medical treatment in your Country get that medical treatment is…. Slavery.”

    Exactly. Without choice there is no altruism. Do we admire the man who is driven into a fire at gunpoint to rescue survivors, or do we admire the man who goes willingly? Do we admire the man who drives his fellow man at gunpoint into the fire, instead of going himself? Is he truly being altruistic? Perhaps Dave A has forgotten that Congress EXEMPTED ITSELF from the law. Yeah. Wow!

    Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman once put it this way: “I believe there is an enormous difference between a situation in which 90 percent of the people are willing to tax themselves to help the bottom 10 percent and a situation in which the middle 80 percent of the people tax the top 10 percent ostensibly to help the bottom 10 percent but probably in fact to tax both ends of the scale to help themselves.”

    BTW, if Dave A thinks the folks who like Obamacare are all “altruists”, I have a bridge in San Francisco I’d like to sell him. :-)

  264. Here’s a few problems with costs and efficacy that haven’t been mentioned – big problems:

    = = = = = =
    “On the day Jim Lenox got his last injection, the frail 54-year-old cancer patient was waiting to be discharged from the Baltimore Washington Medical Center. He’d put on his black leather coat. Then a nurse said he needed another dose of anemia drugs.
    His wife, Sherry, thought that seemed odd, because his blood readings had been close to normal, but Lenox trusted the doctors. After the nurse pumped the drug into his left shoulder, the former repairman for Washington Gas said he felt good enough to play basketball.
    The shots, which his cancer clinic had been billing at $2,500 a pop, were expensive.
    Hours later, Lenox was dead.
    For years, a trio of anemia drugs known as Epogen, Procrit and Aranesp ranked among the best-selling prescription drugs in the United States, generating more than $8 billion a year for two companies, Amgen and Johnson & Johnson. Even compared with other pharmaceutical successes, they were superstars. For several years, Epogen ranked as the single costliest medicine under Medicare: U.S. taxpayers put up as much as $3 billion a year for the drugs.
    The trouble, as a growing body of research has shown, is that for about two decades, the benefits of the drug — including “life satisfaction and happiness” according to the FDA-approved label — were wildly overstated, and potentially lethal side effects, such as cancer and strokes, were overlooked.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/anemia-drug-made-billions-but-at-what-cost/2012/07/19/gJQAX5yqwW_story.html

    = = = = = =

    May 20, 1999 – “FDA approves Vioxx for the relief of osteoarthritis symptoms, management of acute pain and primary dysmenorrhea, or painful menstruation.”

    http://www.boyneclarke.com/resources/entry/chronology-of-the-key-events-in-the-development-of-vioxx-november-06

    A significant proportion of the scientific literature is now ghost written. A large number of clinical trials done are not reported if the results don’t suit the companies’ sponsoring study.
    -David Healy, Feb, 2001

    “You see here the face of one of the greatest serial killers ever. Perhaps the greatest serial killer of all time. This man was a doctor. His name, Harold Shipman. He worked close to where I live. Shipman’s case illustrates that situations where trust is important can provide the conditions for extraordinary abuses.”
    -David Healy, Feb, 2001

    http://www.pharmapolitics.com/feb2healy.html

    = = = = = =
    Chinese Melamine and American Vioxx: A Comparison
    By Ron Unz, 2012
    […]

    In September 2004, Merck, one of America’s largest pharmaceutical companies, suddenly announced that it was voluntarily recalling Vioxx […]Within weeks of the recall, journalists discovered that Merck had found strong evidence of the potentially fatal side-effects of this drug even before its initial 1999 introduction, but had ignored these worrisome indicators and avoided additional testing, while suppressing the concerns of its own scientists. Boosted by a television advertising budget averaging a hundred million dollars per year, Vioxx soon became one of Merck’s most lucrative products, generating over $2 billion in yearly revenue. Merck had also secretly ghostwritten dozens of the published research studies emphasizing the beneficial aspects of the drug and encouraging doctors to widely prescribe it, thus transforming science into marketing support. Twenty-five million Americans were eventually prescribed Vioxx as an aspirin-substitute thought to produce fewer complications.
    […]
    Perhaps 500,000 or more premature American deaths may have resulted from Vioxx

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/chinese-melamine-and-american-vioxx-a-comparison/

    = = = = = =

  265. cynical_scientist:

    Thankyou for your fine post at October 14, 2013 at 12:06 am.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/13/my-obamacare-experience/#comment-1447287

    Your post is outstandingly the best post in the thread so far. It points out that – as often happens in WUWT threads – opinions on both ‘sides’ of the issue have been completely distorted by the political beliefs of the commentators.

    In reality there are two basic forms of universal health care which have variants that are demonstrated to be successful in several countries. These two basic forms are the British NHS and the French universal insurance methods.

    But the US has retained what is basically a Third World option: i.e. those who can afford what they need get it, and those who can’t afford it don’t get it. This lack of a proper universal health provision is ‘patched up’ with modifications such as Medicare, and a law which says accident victims obtain emergency care but get the bill for it so medical bills are a major contribution to suicide rates in the US.

    So-called Obamacare is another ‘patch’ to the existing US system. Indeed, the main topic of this thread is a practical difficulty in becoming part of the additional modification to the existing system.

    What bemuses people from outside the US is why Americans want to keep trying to find ways to make their system work for all when there are two systems which are each demonstrated to work for all in several countries.
    If most Americans want universal health care then why not adopt one of the systems that work?
    And if most Americans don’t want universal health care then why keep making the modifications to what they have?

    Richard

  266. Antony, a really vibrant debate, with many very interesting comments.

    As a Englishman resident in England I fall under the auspices of the NHS, which after some decades of chronic underfunding now has a realistic income. Very necessary given the increasing advances of medical science with its growing ability to keep people going into their eight and ninth and even tenth decades, life that often needs continual access to expensive care and treatments. This tapestry of demand seems pretty well limitless, apart from the fact that the means to pay for it is far from infinite.

    Complicating the situation here in the UK are those who arrive from overseas with the express intention of getting free treatment, free to them that is, but not free in reality for us who provide the funds. While the impact of this health tourism is uncertain, it is a burden which exacts a price, part of an escalating demand driven still further by the growth of people amongst the general population who make little or no effort to look after themselves.

    Against this background you also have to bear in mind that historically the UK’s NHS also suffers from constantly shifting political aims, this has resulted in billions being wasted instigating changes that simply do not work. Regrettably it is impossible, or it seems that way, to get politicians and bureaucrats to recognise that if a person falls ill the best person to see is a doctor. An experienced general practitioner who can access whatever specialist help might be required. At no point in this scenario is there room of endless managerial oversight or political interference, never mind half baked theories about care being provided by half trained staff.

    In truth any state run system of health care is a difficult venture, especially one that attempts to provide consistently high standards for everyone within realistic financial boundaries. Comparing the British experience might help in some ways, for although the system here is far from perfect, standards after all range from indifferent to outstanding, most people with an urgent problem can find help without having to factor in costs that bankrupt. The awkward element here being that there is a lottery element to that treatment as some hospitals fall well short of providing good care. A particular nastiness coming from the eagerness of certain political and trade union leaders to defend those responsible when such cases are highlighted.

    From my perspective it does seem as if Mr Obama’s aims are honourable, a general system of health care available to everyone who needs it is a good thing, but the way it has been done in the US is simply ghastly. No massive change like this should be forced upon the taxpayer without the chance of having some solid input. Indeed nothing should be forced on the taxpayer by arrogant authority, alas Congress elected not to listen anymore than did the President. What you are left with is huge resentment amongst those who have to pay, understandable objections to a situation that seems to make most worse off, except those that care not who pays as long as it is not them.

  267. Alexander Feht:

    Thankyou for your post at October 14, 2013 at 3:41 am which says to me in total

    Mandatory compassion is fasc1sm.

    Not to mention that British and French health care systems, as we all know, don’t work.

    My post you are answering is immediately above yours at October 14, 2013 at 3:05 am and this link jumps to it

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/13/my-obamacare-experience/#comment-1447377

    My post made no mention of “compassion” be it “mandatory” or otherwise. I discussed universal provision of health care.

    My post said

    as often happens in WUWT threads – opinions on both ‘sides’ of the issue have been completely distorted by the political beliefs of the commentators.

    Your assertion of something I did not say, suggest or imply being “fasc1sm” is an additional and obvious example of such distortion.

    The health care systems in the UK and France work very well. This is demonstrated by the facts that several countries have adopted variants of each, and no French or British government would overtly attempt to remove the country’s health care system because that would be political suicide.

    The crux of my post was bolded and said

    What bemuses people from outside the US is why Americans want to keep trying to find ways to make their system work for all when there are two systems which are each demonstrated to work for all in several countries.
    If most Americans want universal health care then why not adopt one of the systems that work?
    And if most Americans don’t want universal health care then why keep making the modifications to what they have?

    It would be helpful if you were to address either or both of those questions.

    Richard

  268. _Jim says:
    October 13, 2013 at 11:15 am
    ============================

    Jim – the FBI’s IT disaster is a non-starter in the incompetence stakes. Somewhere around half a billion dollars? Pah!

    Cop this.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NHS_Connecting_for_Health

    While the Daily Mail announced on 22 September 2011 that “£12bn NHS computer system is scrapped…”,

    Since then, another £ 3 billions has been spent decommissioning the system. So this has cost the UK taxpayer some £15 billion, i.e. c$22.5 billion. Beyond incompetence into realms unknown. Indeed, successive UK governments have a cast iron record in large scale IT systems disasters.

    From the “All your money is ours” Department.

    You know what is the weird thing for a Limey looking in on the USA these days? You have the first European style Leftie running the show, and despite all the evidence from here that the Left destroy economies, society and the political process (viz. the EU) – you elected one such, and he’s doing the same.

  269. WTF says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:37 am
    commieBob says:
    October 13, 2013 at 6:16 am
    As far as the “excellent (but not perfect) system” goes well I just experienced 41 hours in emergency in that excellent system where I was left writhing in pain for 8 hours (4 in the public waiting room) before anyone seriously took a look at me. After a multitude of tests and 8 hours waiting for a bed that never materialized (at the end of the 41 hours) I was well enough to get up and leave. The only way I was going back was unconscious in an ambulance. Don’t even get me going on Nurse Ratchet at the front ER desk.

    That mirrors my own experience with British NHS A&E a couple of years ago. A few days before Christmas I had a fall in the street on ice on a Friday and broke an arm. I got home ( a short distance) my wife phoned for an ambulance to get me to hospital. Road conditions were not good so she was not happy to drive and anyway both cars were ice bound. An hour later no ambulance, called again “No chance of an ambulance for a least two hours! Sent a paramedic, which was fine. He tried to get an ambulance, same result. He drove me to hospital himself. I was left sitting in casualty department, beside a rubber door, with outside air temperature around -10ºC ( ~14ºF). Three hours later (i.e. 5 hours after breaking my arm) I was sent for X-rays and saw a Junior Doctor an hour later. He put a temporary splint on it and told me “Come back on Monday!”

  270. Insurance of all types is a fraud. In pure form it would cover any loss. The board rooms are driven by dividends and profit, thus real insurance does not exist. In your life time add up all the insurance paid out against your loss. Insurance preys on the fear of a loss and all the sheeple get in line to pay. Obamacare will go down the drain as a failure as very few will sign up.

    Similarly, look at all the citizens who never file with the IRS. Look at how badly the government maintains our public roads as an example of a dysfunctional government. Look at all the failed agencies that suck our economy dry with no real benefit. Federal insurance is not going to work, never has because there is no incentive to. Too much money being controlled by greed.

    The best cure to our failed politics is to replace them all and quit paying taxes. No pain, no gain. Recall that a hand full of patriots made this country.

  271. Just to echo Richardscourtnay’s endorsement of cynical scientist: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/13/my-obamacare-experience/#comment-1447287

    By far the best comment.

    Everyone has horror stories of poor health care, be it at the hands of the NHS or in the US. I have my own of the NHS, but I have to say, when push comes to shove they do look after you. It’s not to say it couldn’t be better but my god I would much rather this system than none at all. At least once I did get treatment, it was thorough and effective and on two occasions probably saved my life. I can think of numerous ways it could be improved and I know what the stumbling blocks are (having friends that work in the NHS). People who say that it does not work are simply and quite self-evidently wrong.

  272. “According to a new study just out from the prestigious Journal of Patient Safety, four times as many people die from preventable medical errors than we thought, as many as 440,000 a year.”
    -Forbes

    Amazing how trauma patients survive, yet in general the horror stories abound from hospital stays.

  273. @cynical_scientist:

    There can be microcosms of efficiency in government, but centrally planned economies have always failed. Why? It’s not because of operational efficiency, or lack thereof — it’s because of the inefficient allocation of resources. The Soviets were very good at making things they didn’t need, and they failed to make enough of what they did. It doesn’t matter that they made shoes efficiently when it was bread that people needed.

    In a free-market (note: I didn’t say “capitalist”) economy, those who make things adjust their output to match demand — if they don’t, then either competitors overtake them, or they go broke with a large stockpile of unwanted goods, which may or may not have been made with exceeding efficiency.

    Here’s a quick example: Doctors have a huge paperwork burden. In true American free-market style, there exist firms that will do much of the paperwork on behalf of doctors, and they do it very efficiently. So, very good — the paperwork burden produces employment! Yet, its not free. So the medical consumer ultimately pays for this paperwork burden, which is done very efficiently, but yields no net benefit to the consumer.

    So, let’s take the canonical example of the heroic single mother (leaving aside any discussion of how heroic it is to not have planned and provided for the well-being of your children before reproducing). She is paying a portion of every dollar she spends on medical care on behalf of her children for a bunch of paperwork processing, yet the net benefit of that to her is zero. How much happier would she be if her medical expenses were cut by that amount and she could spend that money on a tutor for Johnny, who has failing grades because his mother is forced to leave his education in the hands of one-size-fits-all state schools? Yet she can’t, because that cost is bundled into her doctor’s fees (or her insurance premiums, as the case may be). So a tutor, who could produce value for this mother remains without a client, whereas a bunch of clerks have jobs doing busy-work very efficiently.

  274. Point being that moving private health care to government ran is a disaster. As pointed out, the FDA is ran by big pharma and insurance. Now imagine them all in bed together with your money. Trust factor = zero

  275. richardscourtney says:

    October 14, 2013 at 3:05 am
    And if most Americans don’t want universal health care then why keep making the modifications to what they have?

    It is politicians of the left that keep trying to make modifications. Politicians meddle with private companies to require various coverage thus driving up price or passing laws that saying hospital are required to treat folks even if they cannot pay again driving up prices. It is politicians coupled with activist not the people making the modification.

  276. I guess the progressives were right. We do not need any death panels. Obamacare will kill all the uninsured before anyone gets to decide who lives and dies.

  277. Blade says yesterday at 8:06pm,
    “Sorry but that’s that’s utterly ridiculous Tony. This was the textbook definition of arm-twisting and dead-of-night shenanigans. This was the infamous bill that “needed to be passed to see what was in it”. It barely eeked its way through a liberal Congress which was then punished by being wiped out in the following election, indicating massive voter disapproval…”
    _________________________________________________________________________
    please do tell us why Romney didn’t get elected to repeal and replace it? Why are GOP poll numbers so bad now?
    Not that anybody is that likely to emerge from this crazed mess like a rose…

    http://www.gallup.com/tag/US+Government+Shutdown.aspx

    Republican Party Favorability Sinks to Record Low
    Falls 10 percentage points from September’s 38%
    October 9, 2013
    As the government shutdown continues, the GOP’s favorable rating is now 28%, the lowest Gallup has measured for either party in its trend since 1992. The Democratic Party’s favorability of 43% is down slightly from last month.

    http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/10/20903624-nbcwsj-poll-shutdown-debate-damages-gop

    Obama – with a 47 percent favorable, 41 percent unfavorable rating – also is the most popular political figure or institution in the poll, surpassing the Democratic Party (39 percent favorable/40 percent unfavorable); Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (14 percent favorable/28 percent unfavorable); Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (18 percent favorable/32 percent unfavorable); and House Speaker John Boehner (17 percent favorable/42 percent unfavorable).

    At the bottom of the list are the Tea Party (21 percent favorable/47 percent unfavorable) and the Republican Party (24 percent favorable/53 percent unfavorable) – their lowest favorable numbers in the history of the poll.

  278. mkelly:

    Sincere thanks for your answer to one of my questions which you provide in your post at October 14, 2013 at 5:50 am.

    For clarification, and I stress NOT to ‘put words in your mouth’, can I infer from your answer that there is a political battle between those who want universal health care in the US and those who don’t with approximately equal numbers of people supporting each position?

    If the bulk population wanted universal health care then adoption of a system which is known to work would seem sensible. Alternatively, if the bulk of the population don’t want it then there would seem to be little reason for politicians to advance it (assuming there is no corruption). But if the support for the political objectives – for and against – are about the same then the most that those who want it can obtain is progressive modifications to what exists?

    Have I understood you correctly or not?

    Again, thankyou for the thoughtful answer you have already given me.

    Richard

  279. Hi I can confirm exactly the same errors Anthony achieved even from the UK following his step by step by step guide

    Its REALLY incompetent to allow these sort of errors live.

    I look after a small external facing site and basic testing should stop this.

    the https symbol is important as it makes it impossible for hackers to spoof the website address.

    This should be no where near live.

  280. Did you know, Ed, that the poll you cite of Republican Party Favorability was based on 20% of the respondents being government workers?

    Why would anybody put poll numbers our like that unless they had a political agenda to foist on the rest of us?

    To those who support Obamacare, I say this: Do your thing: be captive to the system if you want. But it is a violation of my personal freedoms to force me to participate. I don’t need no stinkin’ doctors and their drugs.

    And yes, the Supreme Court maintained it was Constitutional–as a TAX! And the tax is what I will pay because I have no choice in the matter.

    But I REFUSE to buy a policy and participate in a “healthcare” system that puts the burden of payment on my kids and their kids.

    It’s just morally WRONG! And somehow a bunch of people here think it is!

    Amazing!

    (It will require 2.7 million “”Young Invincibles” (those aged 18 to 34) to sign up in Obamacare–each paying from $180 to $200 a month–to make this wealth-redistribution mess fly. Good luck with that. Of course, that’s the same age group that’s supposed to somehow retire $16.7 Trillion in debt their “wise” seniors have run up. I can’t begin to register my disgust.)

  281. The foreign computer hackers had best steer clear of this site for now, or their systems could be seriously compromised. At least it did not ask for fund transfers to Nigeria, yet.

  282. It was designed to fail. The law is already in place, in the form of the penalty for not signing up, to force everyone on to a single payer total government controlled system like the UK or Canada, which is what they wanted in the first place. Why do you think they put the IRS in charge?

  283. shenanigans24 says: October 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Americans have the most powerful country in the world because they don’t adopt the idiotic programs that are sinking the once great European countries.
    &
    What we can’t understand is why Europeans continue to trash what was once the most free, most powerful society the world has ever known.

    – Ever heard of lobby-ism? In Brussels, Belgium, where you’ll find the core of EU, there are aprox. 2500 lobby organizations. Some of these have their head offices in Washington, D.C.. Well known is that many lobby organizations are engaged in corruption and unfortunately common among the US based ones. The number of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. is larger then in Brussels. Huge economical interests are behind almost all of the lobby organizations. Exception: environmental organizations, even if they are rare nowadays. (Former/pseudo environmental organizations like Greenpeace and WWF are included among those with economical interests …) Figure it out …

    … we live in a democracy based on liberty where governments function is to only provide for the people what they want.
    – What world do you live in? In theory, yes. In practice, not any more … Lobby activities was once a beautiful idea, created to help politicians and bureaucrats in their work. Then economical interests found that it had huge potential and started to “invest” in their new playground. (and out with the bathwater went the siblings Liberty and Democracy …) Back in 1994, we had a referendum in Sweden regarding membership in EU. I voted yes, as the majority did. Today EU is something completely different and many people within EU don’t want it any more, including me, but the political and foremost the economical elite indeed do and they try to keep it at all costs …

    The system won’t work for the same reasons all socialist systems don’t work. First, they are inefficient, but because they have no competition they can continue to be inefficient and never innovate.
    – No, that’s a myth! It’s mainly due to increasing administration and is not unique for socialistic (leftist) systems. This symptom are even found in the US! Less people like to do productive work … Administration are usually efficient (necessary) to certain extent, beyond that it’s a pure burden (with parasitic effects).

    I know I make myself a target now, but a small fraction of the U.S. defense budget could fund a sensible health care system in the US, where everyone (legal citizens) are allowed to get cheap and efficient healthcare. This without any tax increases or any new one.

  284. SasjaL says:
    October 14, 2013 at 8:39 am

    The US already spends far more on health care than on defense. Costs for both could be cut while maintaining or improving national security & health, but how not to do so are sequestration & Obamacare. Proposing & adopting budgets making hard choices is the right way, along with a few health care reforms that weren’t even considered, because Obamacare isn’t about the people’s health but governmental control over them.

  285. This is only marginally thread- related, but is an example of gov’t dependency and computer error. The US just dodged a major bullet. The Food Stamp program shut down for around 24 hrs in 17 states due to a “glitch” while “testing” the system.

    Panic and empty grocer’s shelves in the affected states were the instant results.

  286. And yet, Calif’s Obamacare website gets touted in the mainstream/leftwing media as being exceptionally “well designed” and “efficient”.

    By nearly all accounts, the federally run website in c.35 other states is many, many times worse.

  287. Sebelius appeared on leftwing “comedian” (is there any other type?) Bill Maher’s TV show.

    I didn’t see it, but there was a segment where Maher pulled out notebook computers for both Sebelius & himself, and Maher challenged Sebelius (I paraphrase):
    “You try to enroll in Obamacare, while I download every video ever made, and let’s see who finishes first”.

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/08/jon-stewart-accuses-kathleen-sebelius-of-lying-to-him-about-obamacare

  288. milodonharlani says: October 14, 2013 at 8:48 am

    The US already spends far more on health care than on defense.
    – Agree on that, even if I didn’t claim otherwise! The defence budget for 2014 is 618 billion USD (according to US Economy). If the US defence (incl. CIA) cut their cost for activities outside US that are based on fictional reasons, billions of USD could be spent on far more valuable things within US … (Military issues are sometimes been used as an excuse to hide domestical problems for the public, practiced in several countries, even though I admit that it’s an efficient way to control unemployment …)

    … because Obamacare isn’t about the people’s health but governmental control over them.
    – It may be indirectly, yes, but in my comment I explained that politics have basically been hijacked by economical interests. Did you miss that?

  289. SasjaL says:
    October 14, 2013 at 9:27 am

    My point is that the US already spends more than it needs to on health care. We could have better care for 25% less just by enacting tort reform. So no need to transfer funds from the DoD to HHS.

    I didn’t miss your comment on “economical interests”. It’s simply wrong. The intended longer-term impact of Obamacare on private insurance companies will be to drive them out of business. Whatever short-term gain they may receive from the manner in which the scheme was crafted, in end, they’ll be forced out of the medical insurance game.

  290. Last week a reported 51,000 people successfully signed up. At that rate, it will take a mere 124 years to sign up 330 million Americans. No wonder they needed the additional 16,000 IRS people.

    ObamaCare is a lot like the Eagles’ Hotel California: We are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. Cheers -

  291. The real plan is chaos and in result, single payer one Government healthcare. Like I stated above, I’d just soon have Putin as President as the total fraud that we have now. At least I know what Putin is going to do, Obama is nothing but a total lying *&^%$&)^*&))&

  292. I saw an interesting survey….a majority was opposed to Obamacare, but approved of the Affordable Healthcare Act.

    And a doc I know said she had a patient who wanted to ‘keep the government out of my Medicare”

  293. Doug says:
    October 14, 2013 at 10:26 am

    It is the patient’s Medicare. The money came from him or her, paid into the system since 1965.

    All the “government’s” money comes from taxpayers, except for the quarter or more of federal spending that is fiat money made up out of thin air by the Fed, ie over a trillion of our four trillion dollar “budget”. This inflation of the money supply amounts to gigantic taxation without representation, & allows Obama to rule extra-Constitutionally, without the need to go to Congress & deprives the House, ie the people, of the power of the purse.

  294. A major distortion in our U.S. healthcare market is the problem of the pre-tax benefit when health ins is purchased through an employer. Many people have noted many inequities in the U.S., healthcare system, but this is far worse than any others.

    To encourange women to enter the workforce in WWII, a federal law was developed: if an employer wanted to offer health insurance as part of the compensation package, it could pay for the health insurance permium with pre-tax dollars.

    No one ever talks about this major inequity. It served its wartime purpose, but has greatly distorted the health insurance market ever since.

    Large employers have an unfair advantage. It is much easier for a large employer to host a human resources division, and thus be more strategic in hiring decisions – advertising for applicants, interviewing, checking references, and so on. So, overall in business, a large employer can attract a better quality of employee relative to a smaller employer.

    This has nothing to do with healthcare. Until you figure out that, along with the best employees, the large employer has the opportunity to hire those who might have the lowest healthcare burden. You can get a better health insurance deal if your workforce is relatively healthy.

    A larger employer can manage to carry on without any given employee. So, a larger employer can more easily get rid of an employee with high healthcare costs – before that person drives up the overall premium.

    Finally, the large employer is in a better position than a small employer to negotiate healthcare premiums. No health insurance provider wants to lose the business of a company with 10,000 employees. Ten employees? Who cares.

    This is the situation we are now in: small employers cannot compete well. This leaves many working people uninsured. Costly employees get fired.

    Now, when your healthcare choices are decided by your employer, your employee tendency will be to want more and more each year, but not want premiums to rise. This can be done by allowing premiums to rise modestly for all employees. You as employee ask for low copays or no copays, your employer negotiates with the health insurance provider, the health insurance provider negotiates with groups of providers, and the employee gets his or her low copay, etc.

    The employee has little incentive to limit health care consumption – the premium is modest, and is a sunk cost, while copays are low. Finally, the employee never sees any actual costs – so the amployee cannot see how he or she is dirving costs up with consumption.

    A professional completes professional education, then looks for a career. Start my own business? Start a small business? Or work for someone else. A single mom ponders: work for a small employer down the street so I can be close to my kids’ school, or go for the distant large employer?

    The good deal that a large employer has on health insurance shifts where people might otherwise work. This inhibits productivity. People get tied to jobs largely to sustain health insurance.

    There is a quick and easy fix to this imbalance: end the pre-tax-dollars-for-health-insurance law.

    Throw all of us into the market individually. Make the health insurance companies serve us as individuals.

    Give us individuals the tax break: all my premiums and all of my healthcare expenses, properly documented, should be entered in a couple lines on my tax return.

    Health insurance companies would have to attract each of us with rates, instead of ignoring the bothersome solo insurance shopper.

    Now, how do we get enouhg people paying in to health insurance to make it function as “insurance,” classically, ought to?

    There are many schemes. Obama nmay have a simple one that works: healthcare tax. Along with everything else our taxes cover, our taxes cover healthcare for those with no health insurance. This is the status quo: we all pay federal taxes, and that supports Medicare and Medicaid. County taxes support indigent care.

    For any of us with documented health care coverage, we get some kind of break on this redistribution-of-wealth-specifically-for-healthcare tax.

    I see such a tax as constitutionally OK: how can we provide for the common defense without a healthy populace? Isn’t a healthy populace a matter of domestic tranquility? Etc.

    When our rates go up and down in response to our level of health and our utilization, we each would be more sensitive to consumption of health care resources. As it is now, with employer-sponsored ins, there is no direct effect.

    The matter of over-priced medical care would be gone. If not, then price reporting/transparency efforts could fine-tune that problem.

    Fianlly, no idiot would any longer be asking health insurance to cover the cost of birth control. It costs $20 per month. If you have healthcare coverage for birth control, idito, you are not getting a good deal; your premium is $20/month higher than it would be, otherwise.

    If se xual activity is not worth $20/month out of pocket, you are doing it wrong.

    In other words, if healthcare insurance were done at the indiv level, we would get rid of expenses that simply do not fit the insurance paradigm of pooling risk for things that are rare-but-costly.

    Genuine healthcare reform would start by getting rid of the employer pre-tax dollar deal.

  295. Sasja L says:

    “I know I make myself a target now, but a small fraction of the U.S. defense budget could fund a sensible health care system in the US, where everyone (legal citizens) are allowed to get cheap and efficient healthcare. This without any tax increases or any new one.”

    You make yourself a target because you picked national defense. Why conflate defense with health care?

    Pick something instead that we don’t need, like the EPA, or the Labor Department, or the Department of Energy, or the Education Department, etc., etc… &etc.

  296. milodonharlani says: October 14, 2013 at 9:36 am

    It is far better to have health care everyone can afford. The entire nation benefits from that. Insurance companies have one goal and one goal only, to gain profit. (Oh, I get it, you’re one of the owners/employees and/or a shareholder and/or it’s part of your job benefits…) Who has to pay for it? Of course, the policyholders. If it’s part of your salary, you pay for it anyway …

    I didn’t miss your comment on “economical interests”. It’s simply wrong.
    – It seems to be one of many details that US media “choose” not to publish/broadcast, but are done in other countries, including those in Europe … On the other hand, information are censored here in Europe too …

  297. SasjaL says:
    October 14, 2013 at 11:02 am

    The nation does not benefit from a system that provides worse health care at greater cost, & wrecks the economy in the process. Obamacare is not “free”. It destroys the economy & kills jobs, without improving health care. Quite the opposite. Its goal is not better health care but more control of the hoi poloi.

    Making health care more affordable means first & foremost reining in personal injury lawyers. Our economy cannot afford Obamacare. Most Americans are already paying for our own health care, with employer contributions (everyone paying his or her own in full out of their earnings would be better, or with vouchers for those with lower incomes, preserving their freedom of choice). Retirees have paid for their Medicare. The poor get theirs for “free” (to them), courtesy of taxpayers. The only citizens without health care are those who have chosen to run the risk of doing without, ie the result of a conscious, rational (or not) decision. There are better ways of encouraging their participation than siccing the IRS on them.

    Right now everyone in America has access to health care, including illegal immigrants. ERs aren’t the best way to ration it, but that can be fixed without the monstrosity of Obamacare.

    It is a good thing for private insurance companies to make a profit. The market should dictate prices, which the public can then decide how to defray for those who can’t afford the going rate. This is far better than having the government run the whole show into the ground.

  298. dbstealey says: October 14, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Precisely the type of respond I expected. Many people around the world see the American patriotism as blindfolded. Your response some what verifies it.

    It’s not that difficult, read my respond to milodonharlani @ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/13/my-obamacare-experience/#comment-1447636 regarding spending money …

    EPA, the Labor Department and the Department of Energy you do need, but demand action against the corruption involved instead …

  299. Tim Ball says:
    October 14, 2013 at 8:07 am

    It was designed to fail. The law is already in place, in the form of the penalty for not signing up, to force everyone on to a single payer total government controlled system like the UK or Canada, which is what they wanted in the first place. Why do you think they put the IRS in charge?

    Apparently Tim is correct–Forbes is reporting the second-grade glitches Anthony has encountered were put there on purpose:

    “A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.

    “HHS didn’t want users to see Obamacare’s true costs

    http://patriot-8888.newsvine.com/_news/2013/10/14/20961796-obamacares-website-is-crashing-because-it-doesnt-want-you-to-know-how-costly-its-plans-are

    .
    In other words, the average healthy American would NEVER have supported Obamacare if he had known he’d be gouged. It simply proves Obama lied!

    Welcome to 1984, suckers!!

  300. milodonharlani says: October 14, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Obamacare is not “free”
    – Nothing is for free … Your country (re-) elected your own president, take the consequences. To reconnect to the old joke that has become more true then ever: “How do you know a politician is lying? – He/she starts talking …

    It is a good thing for private insurance companies to make a profit.
    – Ok, you are involved in the insurance business … Insurance companies have a tendency to include “fine print” helping them to pay as little as possible.

  301. SasjaL says:
    October 14, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I’m not in the insurance business. What a ludicrous suggestion.

    I’m in favor of freedom & private enterprise, which work. Insurance policies do have fine print, which it pays to read before buying them. For most of my life I’ve gone without health insurance, paying as I went, or bought only very high deductible catastrophic coverage, which is available for much less than under Obamamiscare.

    Obama’s putative reelection wasn’t a trial of public opinion on Obamacare. The GOP nominated the only candidate who could not campaign against Obamacare, having instituted practically the same thing in MA while governor, with predictably negative consequences.

    Congressional candidates who did run against Obamacare won a majority in the people’s House of Representatives. And in 2010, 63 of those who voted for the monstrosity were defeated, giving the GOP the control it maintains.

  302. SasjaL says:
    October 14, 2013 at 11:45 am

    milodonharlani says: October 14, 2013 at 11:15 am

    “Obamacare is not “free””
    – Nothing is for free … Your country (re-) elected your own president, take the consequences. To reconnect to the old joke that has become more true then ever:

    It is far more important to throw a lying bum out, even if he’s elected president, than to be accosted with the consequences of his lies.

    I’m saddend so many of my countrymen would disagree.

  303. Doug says:
    October 14, 2013 at 10:26 am

    The Affordable Care Act isn’t affordable (premiums cost more) & doesn’t provide care (nearly as well as private insurance), but it is an act.

  304. Sasja L says:

    “Precisely the type of respond I expected. Many people around the world see the American patriotism as blindfolded. Your response some what verifies it.”

    You are a fool, Sasja L. National defense is a Constitutional mandate. It is required, where the EPA and other departments are not.

    It is interesting that you confuse self defense with patriotism. Any country that stops funding its military will soon regret it.

    Maybe you should speak out about Sweden, eh? You folks spend far too much money on your military. Time to stop, and spend your defense money on welfare recipients instead.

    You really are foolish. It’s a good thing most folks don’t think like you do. And FYI, we really don’t much care what “people around the world” think. IMHO, America should stop funding the UN and every country in it. If you think giving the world’s hoi polloi NGO’s and QUANGOs free money, you can take over that job. Americans are sick and tired of the freeloaders, who take our money and publicly badmouth us at the same time.

  305. SasjaL says:
    October 14, 2013 at 11:45 am

    milodonharlani says: October 14, 2013 at 11:15 am

    “It is a good thing for private insurance companies to make a profit.”
    – Ok, you are involved in the insurance business … Insurance companies have a tendency to include “fine print” helping them to pay as little as possible.

    Guilty as charged, Sasjal–until 3 years ago I worked for 10 years as the IT guy for a health insurance agency with up to 500 agents and saw the way carriers and drug companies were ECSTATIC over expanded market potential as they became “major players” in this Obamacare boondoggle.

    And you’re right–ALL insurance companies want to pay as little as possible.

    But with governments, they want to TAX you as MUCH as possible and now with Obamacare, FORCE you to purchase a non-competitive policy they’ll be charging as MUCH as possible, too.

    And if you don’t, the IRS has 14,000 “enforcers” so you can expect an unwelcome “visit” if you don’t comply.

    Pick your poison.

  306. dbstealey says:
    October 13, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    MrX says:

    “…we Canadians spend less than a penny on the dollar on bureaucracy. In the US, it is 30 to 66cents on the dollar.”

    I could probably accept your argument, if you did not throw in that highly questionable statistic. There is no way that Americans pay 30 – 66 times more for bureaucracy than Canadians. No way.

    ——————– end quote
    It’s true. One third to two thirds go to insurance companies. It does not go to any medical services. This is why the lies from the US about the Canadian Healthcare system is so stupefying.

    ——————– begin quote
    You write: “People in the US cross over to Canada because clinics will often treat them without asking for their medicare card.”

    So? That only shows that straightforward medical costs are less in the U.S. People on Medicare must be over 65, so the fact that Canadians travel to the U.S. for their medical care says it all: Care in the U.S. has been cheaper and better.
    ——————— end quote
    Canadians don’t travel to the US. If you read what I said, I mentioned that it’s US citizens that cross over to Canada. So your statement makes no sense at all. And when I mentioned Medicare, I was talking about Canadian Medicare (everyone is on it). Care in the US is the most expensive in the world. To say it’s the cheapest is laughable.

  307. richardscourtney,

    “Universal provision of health care” is mandatory in the UK, as well as in France. Nobody can opt out, everybody must pay for it. Therefore, it is mandatory.

    Mandatory participation is justified as moral duty, whereas some people must pay for others just because others exist, no matter what they do, and how they live. Somebody tells you, what is the rught thing to do, and forces you to do it, pointing a gun at you.

    Thus, it is mandatory compassion = fascism. No further discussion is necessary.

  308. I’ve seen several commenters from countries other than the USA make comments along the lines of altruism and helping our fellow man. While I would agree with helping my fellow man or woman, and I do, I would disagree that having the government of any country take money from me and give it to someone else is altruism. Or charity. Or whatever descriptive term you like. There is a name for behavior like that…it’s called theft. If it is wrong for one person to take, it is also wrong for the mob to take, and it is wrong for the organized thieves who work for the alphabet soup of government to take. It doesn’t matter if it is the IRS, EPA, FDA or blah, blah, blah, blah. It is still theft.

    What was being done in our country for healthcare is indeed too expensive. We do not get what we pay for. All because every hospital that accepts federal money is required to provide healthcare to everyone who walks through the doors. Who has not had the experience of waiting in line behind the illegal immigrants who will not pay a dime for what they receive, only to pay double for what we do receive ourselves? But we can’t mention that the system has been broken by those who are licking up the cream and leaving the skim milk for the rest. (at $16 / Gallon of course).

    pbh

  309. milodonharlani says: October 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Well, as you defend insurance companies in a way that indicates that you actually are involved, so I find it difficult to interpret it any other way. Also, not everybody have the capabilities to read what’s included in the “fine print“, due to different reasons including long time ongoing deteriorations of the education system … Would you like to help all those people?

    I’m also for freedom and private enterprise, but within certain limits. There are numerous examples of legal abuse in branches where economical services exist, not forgetting the insurance industry. But, that’s not to how I think how private enterprises should work, but it’s the way it works in all too many cases. (One case is already too many …)

    It all begins with one of the mortal sins – Greed …

    • @SasjaL – just out of curiosity, how many people turn down raises? How many people shun any compensation for their work?

      Just curious how many are innocent of that mortal sin, greed.

  310. Alexander Feht:

    I admit to complete bemusement at your post addressed to me at October 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm.

    Your post seems to assert that universal health care in the UK and France is “compassion”. If so, then you are plain wrong.

    There may be some people in the UK who think the NHS is mandated “compassion” but if they exist then they are so few in number as to be cranks. The British population almost without exception – there are a few cranks who dissent – consider the NHS to be a necessary provision for a healthy and effective populace which is available as and when they individually need it. Some people also have private medicine usually by means of personal medical insurance. This enables them to seek treatment as and when they want instead of on the basis of overall needs, but if their treatment is long-term then their private medical provider off-loads them to the NHS. There would be public revolt at an overt attempt to dismantle the NHS.

    Your reference to fasc1sm in the context of the NHS is so mistaken as to be laughable.

    I appreciate it is not possible to fully understand a culture of others, and I am reading this thread in attempt to learn of US culture. Perhaps you could try to understand something of British culture because your equation of “compassion” with universal health provision demonstrates a total lack of understanding of British culture. And the idea that we embrace fasc1sm is completely mistaken: we are more left wing – NOT more right wing – than Americans.

    Richard

  311. SasjaL says:
    October 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Plainly you’re not in favor of political liberty & private enterprise. Political & economic freedom are flip sides of the same coin.

    I do not defend the insurance industry any more than I do any other private enterprise. Governments should not do what is better done by the people themselves, ie making their own medical & as many other important decisions as possible, voting their pocket books as well as their ballots.

    Under Obamacare, HHS bureaucrats & IRS goons will be deciding what the people & the doctors & other professionals with whom & businesses with which they contract should.

  312. “””””””…….Ed_B says:

    October 13, 2013 at 6:08 am

    “If you have no right to select your own health are then what individual right do you have?”

    Amazing statement.. as if someone with no means, or with pre existing conditions have any right to select.. Ha!! Go die!…….””””””

    Stop exaggerating. NOBODY needing medical attention can be turned away from a licensed health care facility (like the local hospital emergency room), in the USA. Millions of people in the USA (and from outside the USA), use the emergency room as their FREE walk in medical provider.

  313. MrX says:

    MrX says:

    “It’s true. One third to two thirds go to insurance companies. It does not go to any medical services.”

    Things are not “true” because you assert that they are true. I still question your assertion that American medical costs are ≈30X – ≈60X higher than in Canada.

    You also say that “…it’s US citizens that cross over to Canada.”

    That may be true, I don’t know. But I question it because as you say, all Canadians are covered by a national health plan. That would mean that everyone has a card of some sort, no? How would U.S. citizens get a Canadian medical card?

    I do know that Canadians cross the border to get American medical treatment, because I have relatives living in Ohio who tell me they have met such persons. Why would they cross over, if medical care is better in Canada?

  314. richardscourtney says:
    October 14, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Fascism, ie revolutionary national socialism, is more of a left-wing than right-wing doctrine. All totalitarian, eg communist, & statist, ie socialist, movements are left-wing. Mussolini started out as a socialist.

    Right-wing means conservative,which in Europe implies support for the established order, & in the US is more Whiggish than Tory, ie support for classical liberalism, but also in its social variant values traditional religion, with toleration rather than an established, state-supported church, over worship of the state.

    Even authoritarian fascism, as in Franco’s Spain & some Latin American countries, means more state control of people’s lives & the national economy than in free market societies. Those countries don’t fit neatly along the left-center-right spectrum because they were also conservative in according the Catholic Church power. Red China is now more of a fascist than communist state, but still authoritarian if no longer totalitarian.

    As you may know, the terms “left” & “right” originate in the French Revolution, early in which members of the National Assembly divided into supporters of the king to the president’s right & supporters of the revolution to his left. The European conception of conservative is why Hayek wrote that he was “not a conservative”, although of course by 20th century standards he was, as a proponent of personal liberty & responsibility against the growing oppressive power of the state in both putative democracies & dictatorships.

    I know you find comparisons of communism, fascism & socialism offensive, for which I apologize, but history & indeed human nature argue for the similarities.

  315. Here is a discussion of the likely disastrous results in Tea Party stupidity about finance and Obamacare bring about a US default. Do these people really think that international finance is the equivalent of household thrift, It is not and trying to equate teh two can bring about critical consequences.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/jeremy-warner/10378666/The-sun-is-setting-on-dollar-supremacy-and-with-it-American-power.html

    The sun is setting on dollar supremacy, and with it, American power
    ======================
    The consequent stronger euro and pound would have powerfully deflationary consequences for Europe. Internal demand in the US would also collapse as a result of the wrenching fiscal squeeze that would result from federal government attempts to match expenditures with tax revenues
    ======================

  316. milodonharlani:

    At October 14, 2013 at 2:21 pm you say to me

    I know you find comparisons of communism, fascism & socialism offensive, for which I apologize, but history & indeed human nature argue for the similarities.

    No, I do not “find them offensive”: they ARE offensive. Communism, fasc1sm and socialism are very different.

    I was objecting to the ludicrous assertion that the extreme right-wing political philosophy of fasc1sm is a description of the UK’s NHS. It is not.

    Indeed, such an assertion from an American is especially egregious because it required the UK to conduct a nice piece of espionage to ensure that Japan bombed Pearl Harbour instead of Hong Kong to force the US to join the UK in a war against fasc1sm.

    But this thread is supposed to be about the US healthcare system and especially problems with its implementation. It is not about the British NHS and insults of the British by Americans.

    Richard

  317. The province of Alberta where the population has just gone pass four million.

    http://globalnews.ca/news/865772/albertas-population-tops-four-million/

    …and where 45% of the budget is being spent on health care.

    $17.1 Billion or $47 million per day.

    http://www.health.alberta.ca/about/health-funding.html

    There might be specific scenarios where an American will come to Canada. Perhaps to the Cambie Clinic. http://www.csc-surgery.com/

    The overwhelming trend is for Canadians to go to the US. That includes politicians. Anyone who says otherwise is, less than informed on this topic.

    and from what I’m reading lately, Mexico is becoming popular, especially for dental work.

  318. Sasja L says:

    “Well, as you defend insurance companies in a way that indicates that you actually are involved…”

    You can’t win your argument with logic, so you hit below the belt. Typical leftist. milodonharlani wrote a few comments up-thread: “I’m not in the insurance business. What a ludicrous suggestion.” So now you are calling him a liar, just to try and win a debate point? Despicable.

    You write: “It all begins with one of the mortal sins – Greed”

    Speaking of sins, there is also the sin of Envy, which clearly afflicts you. You just cannot stand the thought that someone else is earning more than you. You’re jealous. It doesn’t matter if it is an insurance company or an oil company. You don’t want them to have what they earn. That comes across loud and clear. As milodonharlani points out: Plainly you’re not in favor of political liberty & private enterprise. Political & economic freedom are flip sides of the same coin.

    I’ve met a number of Scandanavian leftists over the years, and they all have the same problem: envy of someone else’s successful capitalism. They want the government to take that money away, and hand it out to more “deserving” recipients.

    The problem is that government bureaucrats are not nearly as smart as a good businessman. It is even worse when they are dealing with other folks’ money. So to show you how it feels, I propose that you give a thousand dollars a month to Anthony’s site. Just pretend that I am the bureaucrat, and that I think Anthony is more deserving of your money than you are.

    Really, what’s the difference between that, and what you are proposing? If you could, you would take away most of the profits of insurance companies. Wouldn’t you?

  319. My bad … above I wrote:
    “Sebelius appeared on leftwing “comedian” (is there any other type?) Bill Maher’s TV show.”

    But it was actually on the Jon Stewart show …. but who can tell the difference, anyway?
    Leftwing “comedians” are fungible, like dollar bills … they are pretty much interchangeable.

  320. “””””……climatereason says:

    October 13, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Db Stealey said;

    ‘Obamacare is a disaster. Americans do not want it. Poll after poll has shown that.’

    Forgive me, but you collectively voted for a President that consistently endorsed it and it has democratically passed through the Houses and been validated by the Supreme court. We here in the UK-and no doubt around the world-are baffled that the Republicans appear to be holding the President to ransom over this issue by withholding the budget and delaying the Debt ceiling discussions……..”””””

    Forgive ME climatereason, but you clearly have NO idea, how OUR system of government works.

    American citizens, by a very clear majority, following the passage of obummercare, and his subsequent re-election, freely voted a majority of Republican members to the House of Representatives, into office with the express charter to repeal that piece of crap, that the vast majority of US citizens are vehemently opposed to.

    As for the “Republicans” WITHHOLDING the budget; be advised that as we come to the close of Pres Obama’s sixth year in office, as President of the United States of America; he has for the sixth year in a row FAILED to submit ANY budget to the Congress for approval. How could the Republicans “withhold”, what has never been submitted to them for their perusal ?

    As for delaying debt ceiling discussions; that subject has not yet arisen for discussion. What IS being considered is approval of a revolving credit card to allow the President’s administration to continue spending money, without ever placing ANY budget before the Congress.

    There is plenty of money coming into the Federal treasury, to pay EVERY obligation of the Federal government, and the USA as it comes due for payment; That also includes “entitlements” like Social Security, and Medicare that people have already paid in for, and others are still paying into to provide those funds.

    Default on the debt, or redemption of bonds that come due, is simply impossible; funds for that are already available, and committed to those obligations. The problem is US media prima donnas, are brain dead, and simply can’t explain the simple truth to the people, including folks like YOU.

    And raising the debt ceiling, has nothing whatsoever to do with paying existing obligations; they are already provided for; the debt ceiling, raise is simply a brand new credit card for the Democratic administration to go on a future spending spree, like a drunken sailor; well with apologies to drunken sailors; they at least will eventually sober up. The current administration, and the Senate (both sides) never will sober up.

  321. richardscourtney says:
    October 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I didn’t compare the NHS with fascism, but it is an historical fact that fascism, communism & other forms of socialism all have the same roots. The British Fabian version is less revolutionary, but is for that reason more dangerous in the long run, as it has survived better than its more totalitarian sisters. The modern Labour Party has shed some of its Marxism since Blair, but as you would know better than I, often grudgingly. I will grant you that Soviet agent Wilson came to power only because Khrushchev bumped off the more moderate Gaitskell.

    The US was already in the war against fascism before Pearl Harbor. FDR just wasn’t able to declare it openly until after Pearl Harbor, for which attack his actions were more responsible than the British espionage which you cite. America had good reason to be isolationist until 1941, but Britain would have been starved into submission before our entry into the war without our food, fuel, materiel, Lend Lease ships, planes, vehicles & more covert assistance.

    If you want examples of aiding fascism before WWII, look no further than Britain’s acquiescence to Hitler in Czechoslovakia. That was perpetrated by a Tory PM, but the British Left were anti-war pacifists until Hitler attacked Stalin. Another Tory, Churchill, was one of the few major political figures calling for rearmament & resistance, & he was notably kept out of the government.

    US sailors, merchant mariners & volunteer fliers were already fighting & dying to save Britain in 1940. Our tanks & planes saved your bacon in North Africa. We were repairing your carriers & other capital ships in our yards, leaving non-LL aircraft on the Canadian border & doing all we could without the Democrats being voted out of office. Reinstating the draft in 1939 passed by a single vote, cast by a member of Congress who was retiring.

    So I wouldn’t go around castigating Americans for not immediately jumping into another European war, given this record on both sides of the Atlantic. Regret the digressions, too. Although started by others, we responded & kept them going. As you know, I greatly respect your long commitment & contributions to rescuing science & public policy from its corrupters.

  322. george e. smith:

    Thankyou for your post at October 14, 2013 at 3:14 pm.

    I write because I suspect I am not the only non-American reading this who appreciates some insight – as you have provided – of the existing US government ‘freeze’ which is puzzling to those of us outside the US.

    More of the same from you would be appreciated but, of course, so long as it does not stray to far from the subject of this thread. For example, you say the US President has repeatedly failed to present a budget: perhaps, this has similarities to the EU Commission repeatedly failing to present budgets? And how can ‘Obamacare’ be implemented unless it is included in a government budget?

    I appreciate that these questions may seem naive to you, but please understand that the US political system is strange to many – probably most – non-Americans.

    Richard

  323. George e smith at 3.14

    I am British and several days ago expressed a polite opinion related to the us debt ceiling which the president of the world bank has echoed in the last day. The situation is completely incomprehensible to many of us on this side of the pond.

    You have just made a very rude reply To me when a reasoned response outlining your position would have been much more useful in helping to explain the situation from your particular american perspective and perhaps shed some much needed light on the subject

    I am not ‘brain dead’ and I am sorry that your evident anger at obamacare has caused you to be so impolite and seemingly unable to conduct a proper rational discussion on matters that affect us all
    Tonyb

  324. Let’s go back to doctors making house calls. Anyone remember that? It was before government got involved in healthcare.

  325. “The USA spends twice what any other modern country does on healthcare per capita and gets lousy or no service for 1/3 its citizens.”

    I see the numbers are growing like Pinocchio’s nose. 1/3?

    The number being bandied about for the last couple of decades is that approximately 44 million non-elderly do not have employer provided health insurance at some point during a given year. Of those 44 million, are those who are self-employed and thus have no employer, those who are wealthy and self-insure, those who can afford it and don’t believe they need it (20+ million earning above median income in this category alone), those who are short-term employer uninsured between jobs, the Amish and Muslims who don’t participate in insurance for religious reasons, and those who buy insurance for themselves.

    After these groups are subtracted, there is a group of around 2-3% of the population who earn too much for free Medicaid, and not enough to be considered able to afford insurance but still want health insurance. A substantial portion of that 2-3% are people who are in fact actually eligible for Medicaid, but haven’t signed up.

    Now there IS a big issue for those in-betweeners who earn too much to be considered indigent (and thus get bill forgiveness): They have access to health-care, but because of the way the various government entities pay their bills, they – and some of the insured – can get caught up in the faux-pricing: The states pay only a portion of the billing rate, typically about 35-40%, with a low of 29% in New York…so to be paid fairly for both their services and the extra paperwork, practitioners which accept Medicare and Medicaid triple or quadruple their official rates. If one doesn’t use insurance and pays in cash, the rates are much, much lower.

  326. “The fact is that USA has the most costly Health System of the world and ranks only 38Th for the WHO.”

    Primarily because it is neither socialist enough, nor uniformly mediocre enough. Using their data without these criteria it moves into the top 10. Controlled for an excess of auto accidents it moves into #2. When also controlled for the particular demographics that make up the diverse population of the US, it moves to #1 by a significant margin.

    Cuba is often used as an example of comparison, and truthfully Cuba does get a lot of bang for its buck in medical spending…but many practices that keep costs down are practices that are functionally outlawed here in the US…not by greedy insurance companies, but by government decree and lawsuits. Former Presidential Candidate John Edwards chicanery in court has caused obstetricians to conduct around 20 million unnecessary C-sections to avoid lawsuits (that number is probably outdated).

    1980s medicine is perfectly fine for the vast majority of cases, and is cheap…but service that meager is not considered acceptable in the US even for the destitute.
    Just as simple examples of the differences in attitudes, in Cuba typically families are expected to bring the clean linens and meals for those staying in their (non-tourist) hospitals. I’m not aware of any US hospital that has done that in the last half century.

    Periodically we have coops of doctors, or “health clubs” that attempt to do away with dealing with Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance, accepting cash and donations to give basic healthcare and triage. The costs end up being almost trivial, but they generally end up being shut down by the government. My own practice that I receive service from has two doctors, a PA, a nurse, an assistant nurse who guides patients to an open room and collects height, weight, and blood pressure, and SIX people in the front office to do the paperwork.

  327. Goldie: “From the above you can see how this Brit/Australian cannot understand why you don’t have a proper healthcare system that provides free healthcare to those who really need it.”
    We do, as least as we define “need it”. The longstanding argument is about Health Insurance, and a deliberate attempt to conflate it with “Health Care” is made. It’s in part like claiming that no one without supplemental insurance in your system can see a doctor or get picked up by an ambulance. It’s a level of dis-ingenuousness that we’ve become so used to that we use the same language ourselves when we argue about it. We also have charity ingrained into our ‘system’…which the other side doesn’t count if government doesn’t provide it.

    “So rather than whingeing about the website, why don’t you post something that tells the rest of us why you don’t think this system will work?”
    In part, because it has already failed the standards it set multiple times…badly. See my post at October 13, 2013 at 7:17 am.

    My insurance payments didn’t go up much for next year, but the deductible went up by $2500, so I get much less for the already-inflated price which includes a great number of things I don’t want (if I go bald, I’d rather live with it, for example). But that lack of a rise in direct payment now hides that when the law was passed, my insurance went up by $500 a month, and about 10% each of the next two years.

    The promise when passed was that on average health insurance would instead have gone down by about $200 per month by the end of last year, plus have a side effect of allowing free health insurance for the uninsured without any tax increases or rate increases. Many of us recognized it as a ridiculous lie, but were demonized for not believing it. The website issues are simply the latest of a series of failures to meet the standards set by the advocates – even marginally. Particularly bad efforts tend to have 20% failure rates…and this one sits at greater than 99% for step one, and for those that make it through step one, at least 99% more for step two.

  328. “Yes we do pay for THE PILL, so Sandra Fluke would not like our Australian system.

    Her complaint wasn’t simply about the $300 annual cost for the pill, but for the apparent $700+ additional annual cost in condoms.

  329. milodonharlani says:
    October 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    richardscourtney says:
    October 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I might add that had the Western European powers stood up to fascism in the 1930s, there would have been no need for the US to yet again pull their chestnuts out of the fire. They could have kept Hitler out of the Rhineland with ease. The Czechs could have stopped Hitler with French & British backing. Instead, he used their captured tanks to augment his forces to invade Poland, France, Russia, et al.

    As noted, the leading pacifists between the wars were socialists, as in the notorious “King & Country” debate in the Oxford Union.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_King_and_Country_debate

    So while America was isolationist, Britain was pacifist, understandably so in both cases after the apparently pointless mass slaughter of the “War to End All Wars”.

    Under these circumstances, I find European attempts to fault America for not entering the war for two years to ring hollow, without even allowing for all the help we provided in 1939-41 to keep Britain fighting & from being starved into surrender by losing the Battle of the Atlantic.

    Again apologies for going off topic, but my kinsmen & parents’ friends died to liberate Europe, when it would never had been needed had the Western powers not been so weak & gun-shy.

  330. richardscourtney says:
    October 14, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    george e. smith:I write because I suspect I am not the only non-American reading this who appreciates some insight – as you have provided – of the existing US government ‘freeze’ which is puzzling to those of us outside the US.
    If I may: The “freeze” is for 20% of the government. The remainder of the government is still functioning. The President chose what part of the government to sit idle, and he chose parts that interface with the public and businesses. The House passed resolutions to continue the funding (CR – Continuing Resolutions) of the full budget, but with a retracting of the funding of parts of Obamacare.
    He also furloughed defense contractors and inspectors for military equipment (thus shutting down production lines), but as that was fully funded and explicitly so in a bill he signed a couple of months ago, he relented after the end of the first week.
    He had organizations like the National Park Service send armed agents to close down national/veterans memorials (Think open spaces like Trafalgar Square, patrolled intermittently by local police) and barricade the public from places like the WWII Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial, which are open-air and normally unmanned.
    Via the NPS the President also shut down hundreds of state-run and vendor-run campgrounds, taverns, Inns, and hotels, which normally have no federal manning or support but are on leased/permitted Federal land – having the NPS rangers blockading entrances and patrolling the perimeter where they tried to reopen. They sent armed NPS agents to force people whose owned homes were on federal lands from those homes. They sent patrols to block people from using or passing through several ocean and shoreline reserves; put barricades up at boat launches; rousted state employees running historical sites out of parks; closed sightseeing pulloffs along highways where Mt Rushmore could be seen from; and after barricading the whole museum, relented and only barricaded the jointly owned parking lot for a privately run museum (George Washington’s home). None of this was required, nor have anything but the memorial shutdowns been done by any previous President during the 17 other “shutdowns” (and the memorials only be shut down by Presidents Nixon and Clinton ).
    More of the same from you would be appreciated but, of course, so long as it does not stray to far from the subject of this thread. For example, you say the US President has repeatedly failed to present a budget: perhaps, this has similarities to the EU Commission repeatedly failing to present budgets? And how can ‘Obamacare’ be implemented unless it is included in a government budget?
    Obamacare was funded as part of the original passage of the bill in 2010 by a Congress after they’d been defeated in an election but before their replacements were seated. The President has not submitted further budget requests, and the Senate has not passed a budget since Bush was President. There are some specific supplemental funding bills that have been passed, but for the most part, the government has been operating on Continuing Resolutions to just repeat the previous years’ budget which grossly overspent income every year so no particular programs can be cut. The President with the Senate (controlled by his party) has declined to accept the funding for the rest of the government without the Obamacare funding.

    The Debt limit authorization is an authorization to borrow more money. The government does not need this to service existing debt – with an income of $225billion/month and a debt service amount of $18 billion – but the Secretary of the Treasury (an Obama appointee, who reports to the President) has coyly publicly stated that he “can’t guarantee” he would actually make the payments if the debt limit isn’t raised. If he doesn’t the nation would be in default, but he has the means and the authorizations to do so.

  331. Gdn says:
    October 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Also, if I may, although not addressed by Mr. R. Courtney:

    The US system differs from a parliamentary system without a written constitution, in which the legislature can do whatever it wants, lacking a separate executive branch & a supreme court (in Britain the House of Lords used to function as such, but since 1999, IIRC, no longer). Under the US Constitution, the President, Congress & the Court are co-equal branches of the federal government, whose powers were carefully balanced by its Framers, although the relationships have gotten out of whack over the past 224 years.

    The President is constitutionally obligated to send a budget to Congress (first to the House of Representatives, which has the power of the purse). Obama has not done this at all, thus shirking his duty, or has sent absurd budgets, simply continuing prior year spending, plus 8-10%. He doesn’t feel the need to make any choices, since he no longer needs congressional approval for spending. The Federal Reserve System just invents money for him & his Democrat allies in Congress, so that instead of having to make hard decisions, he just welcomes spending over four trillion dollars a year with less than three trillion in tax receipts. And wants more.

    All prior presidents ran up ten trillion dollars in debt from 1789 to 2009 (four trillion of which accrued under Bush the Younger’s eight years, thanks to fighting two wars & bailing out Too Big to Fail Banks, occasioned by Clinton & Rubin’s creation of the subprime slime in 1998, with congressional support from both parties). In five years (we’re working on Fiscal 2014), Obama & congressional Democrats have added another seven trillion, so that under Obama our debt will have more than doubled. Plus being in violation of the fundamental law of the land.

    Every year under Reagan, the then Democrat-controlled House declared his balanced budgets dead on arrival, so almost every year there were government shutdowns. But Reagan & Speaker O’Neil engaged in good faith negotiations, instead of refusing to do so. We ended up with unbalanced budgets, but Reagan achieved his other goal of ending the Cold War, which yielded a great peace dividend (which was squandered by his successors). In those days, no surprise, the media blamed the White House for the shutdowns, not the House of Representatives.

    When shutdowns happened under Clinton & Obama, however, naturally the blame shifted to the Republican controlled House. Hope this helps.

  332. Ed Mertin [October 14, 2013 at 7:16 am] says:

    please do tell us why Romney didn’t get elected to repeal and replace it? Why are GOP poll numbers so bad now?

    No problem Ed, but first I have to say that I’m positively amazed at this question. Is it possible that you only look at the (D) and (R) labels to size up the political landscape and evaluate elections? Anyway, first a recap of the dynamics at play …

    2006 … (D)ummycrats win Congress
    2008 … (D)ummycrats win Presidency, begin push for Socialist Health Care
    2010 … (R)epublicans win House ( massively )

    In January 2007 the (D) Congress was sworn in. Although they immediately set about ballooning spending ( Deficits vs. Congressional Control ), they did not attempt anything as audacious as Communist Health Care until two years later in 2009, immediately after DingleBarry was elected ( having an entire Congress as a rubber stamp for Socialism was not seen since LBJ and the disastrously expensive Great Society, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what would happen next ). Note that this move to Socialized Medicine in early 2009 was doubly crazy since only months earlier in the fall of 2008 saw the economic meltdown and despite all those trillions of stimulus they still felt inclined to blow up the system further.

    In December 2009 after a year of the most incredible shenanigans ( a bill that didn’t originate in the House as required ) and arm-twisting ( many (D) members were NOT inclined to support Socialized Medicine because of their constituents ) they got that ( Senate originating ) Bill passed by the House by a mere handful of votes, and finally signed by the idiot-in-chief. Then the wrath of the people began and 2010 saw immense TEA party growth and rallies and the (D)ummycrats in the House were wiped out in the 2010 mid-terms ( and are still out ).

    You ask why this didn’t translate in 2012? First of all that was two more years later and this is short attention-span theater. Secondly, as someone already mentioned, the (R)epublicrats nominated the ONLY person on Earth who could not run using this issue – Romney, the name-sake of a similar plan at the state-level. That was beyond dumb, it was suicide. Also, being a Mormon he had no chance, rightly or wrongly, because evangelicals despise them, and non-religious people aren’t attracted either. He had no real chance and never should have been nominated in the first place. Even a smoky backroom full of conspiring (D)ummycrats couldn’t select a better opponent to run against. That said, President DingleBarry still only eeked out 51% of the voters in 2012. That election showed many of us that the fix was in. The (R)epublicrats would rather have the “opposing party” in power than any normal, traditional, pro-American citizen from the peasantry. Though I personally didn’t, many people stayed home. Romney got like 47% of the vote anyway, a feat in itself really, which matches the current President’s approval rating.

    The point is this, the dynamics of the 2012 election was anything but a referendum on Socialized Medicine. How could it be? You had a choice of the only two people on Earth with actual Socialized Medicine plans on their résumés. The choice was a kick-in-the-teeh to the citizenry who had just made clear their anger over this un-Constitutional over-step, yet were completely ignored. Now everyone wonders why politicians are at their lowest approval? And it’s not just the GOP. The Communist-in-chief has almost never been at even 50% approval and spends most time around 47%. They don’t realize it yet in DC, but 2009 was the year that people found out that they are ruled, not served, by a one party bureaucracy. Like it or not, things will be drastically changing, it’s only a matter of time.

  333. Tonyb [October 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm] says:

    George e smith at 3.14

    I am British and several days ago expressed a polite opinion related to the us debt ceiling which the president of the world bank has echoed in the last day. The situation is completely incomprehensible to many of us on this side of the pond.

    You have just made a very rude reply To me when a reasoned response outlining your position would have been much more useful in helping to explain the situation from your particular american perspective and perhaps shed some much needed light on the subject

    I am not ‘brain dead’ and I am sorry that your evident anger at obamacare has caused you to be so impolite and seemingly unable to conduct a proper rational discussion on matters that affect us all. Tonyb

    NOTE: I’m not him but I need to comment about that World Bank and other stuff. And Tony, this is NOT aimed at you ( I know the great work you do in climate )! It is the generic “you” I am using here to address generic foreigners commenting on our internal politics. Clear?

    Do people on the other side of the pond really expect us to bend over because world bureaucrats say something? Then they definitely don’t understand us at all. The last thing you would ever want to do is accidentally unite us here against outsiders. If you cite the World Bank or the United Nations or EU or some stupid treaty gathering I guarantee we will rise to fight it just on principle. The World Bank and UN can crash and burn for all I care. We see it as yet another vehicle to pilfer the American taxpayer and somehow impose foreign will upon us.

    If Europeans actually believe there will be some blowback on them because of how we handle our internal budgeting then I suggest they start lobbying their governments to disentangle and disconnect themselves from us however it is they may have become “attached” to us in the first place ( I don’t really know how, nor do I care to read anything from the World Bank or other Internationalists ). If you’re worried about stocks crashing, sell them. That’s how you prepare. If you’re in some fund and expect some perfect security and no risk, well, you’ve been had. While you’re at it, take the damn United Nations over to London or Brussels or wherever your Kings and Princes reside.

    Now about this debt thing, let me get this straight … The outside world wants us to ENLARGE the current credit card that the government keeps in its wallet?!? It’s already racked up an ‘effin’ huge debt of $17.655 Trillion presently. And our foreign friends would like us to approve of it increasing some more? If so, just say that. Spell it out in plain english: “Please tell your Congress to authorize a higher debt limit on the Federal credit card, and don’t you dare restrain their spending”.

    Let’s say your wife or kid crashes their own credit card, multiple times, every damn year, and now the red ink is more than you make in a year or two or five ( which is our case ). And now, your next-door neighbor says please raise his credit card limit, again! Jeez Louise. These are our kids’ grandkids that are gonna pay for this disaster someday. This is like giving the car keys back to a drunk after their 20th DUI offense.

    Now let me get very specific here. To all our foreign friends demanding that we bend over, again … What is the limit you would put on the National Debt? Give me a number. … What is the highest tax rate we taxpayers should be willing to pay? Give me that number.

  334. Gdn says:
    October 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm [ … ]

    Agree completely, as I do with Blade, milodonharlani, georgesmith, richardscourtney, and others.

    They are expressing common sense, which is all too scarce in the current Obamacare debates.

  335. Good to read a robust defence of America and its role in bailing out Britain at the onset of WW2. Far too many Brits fail to realise the truth, without US help from the early days we would have lost, victory in the Battle of Britain, great though this was merely brought time, a delaying of the end that would have come by the U-Boat.

    Elsewhere there are informative comments about the government situation in the US and the role of President Obama. The adoration of European media for this man distort the realities of the circumstances over there, I appreciate all those who have contributed to this debate.

  336. Gdn and milodonharlani:

    Sincere thanks for your comments at October 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm and October 14, 2013 at 6:54 pm, respectively, which inform about the present US Government ‘freeze’.

    I have read your writings and learned. Thankyou. As feedback I make two observations.

    Firstly, the failure of your President to provide budgets despite his Constitutional Duty to do so suggests the written Constitution of your country is not as powerful as I – and probably most non-Americans – had thought.

    Secondly, I admit to some shock at the closure of War Memorials. Clearly, the cultural differences between Brits and Americans are greater than I thought.

    As follow-on from that latter feedback I make one response to the comments of milodonharlani (at October 14, 2013 at 5:43 pm) and Barry Sheridan (at October 15, 2013 at 12:58 am). I do not intend to side-track this thread onto irrelevancies about WW2, and I will not, but among several good points those comments contain some very distorted ideas. For example, the “support” of the UK when we stood alone against the Naz1s was great from some individual Americans (e.g. the Eagle Squadron in the RAF) but there was not then the magnanimous support from the US government which you seem to think: it is now less than a decade since the UK completed its payments to the US for ‘Lease Lend”. The UK ended that war bankrupted but the US grew richer during that war. And after that war US Marshall Aid was targeted at countries in mainland Europe, not the UK.

    Anyway, I am genuinely grateful for the information you have provided, and I feel sure that others learned from it, too.

    Richard

    • “The Constitution not as powerful as I has thought”.

      The Constitution is the law of the land. It’s funny how we are told “Too bad, there’s no stopping Obamacare: it’s the law of the land” by people who routinely approve of the failure of the President to adhere to the law of the land.

      Whether or not you agree with socialized medicine, you must admit that such brazen hypocrisy is not only offensive, but raises questions as to motives.

  337. “Secondly, I admit to some shock at the closure of War Memorials. Clearly, the cultural differences between Brits and Americans are greater than I thought.”

    I’m not sure as to how you intend that. It is a big thing here. Various charitable groups regularly fly small groups of WWII veterans to the war memorial, and they’ve arrived to barricades at an open-air memorial which is normally open 24*7*365, with no park service manning. After a couple days of people moving the barricades, and the NPS chasing them out every few hours and putting the barricades back, the NPS showed up with police dogs to deter entry. Members of both parties Congressmen and Senators began showing up to guide the veterans through, so the police dogs appear to have stopped after that. Since then there have been large daily protests including ones where people, including leg less veterans, carry the barricades to the White House and dump them there…and every night the NPS and/or Capitol Police take them back and set them up again.

  338. Gdn:

    I again owe you thanks this time for your post at October 15, 2013 at 5:52 am.

    This stood out for me. Concerning the closure of the War Memorials you wrote

    Members of both parties Congressmen and Senators began showing up to guide the veterans through,

    Whatever our differences, I hope we can agree that is as it should be.

    Richard

  339. There’s a slightly different error if you go to coveredca.com now:
    ————————————————————————————
    Secure Connection Failed

    An error occurred during a connection to coveredca.com. SSL received a record that exceeded the maximum permissible length. (Error code: ssl_error_rx_record_too_long)

    • Excellent testing, as may have been expected.

      We should all have great confidence that the medical records system will be equally well designed and implemented.

      “Good afternoon, Mr. Jones. Your hysterectomy will begin shortly”.

  340. @Dave A: “Helping your fellow man through voting for a Government and President who enact a law to assist those who cannot gain medical treatment in your Country get that medical treatment is…. Slavery. It’s so clear now. Why haven’t I seen it like that before?”

    Every US citizen can already get the medical treatment he/she can afford – how much that is however depends on how much the citizen earns, which in turn depends on his/her industriousness, intelligence and other factors that determine the quality and value of a human being. What Obama (and the Socialists) want us to believe is that those that are too lazy, too stupid or too plain dishonest to earn their own money should nevertheless be taken care for so that they live long, have families, consume goods etc. even though they are not willing or not able to do their share. I call that “breeding parasites” and it’s what has brought all the Socialist countries down, currently is bringing the EU down, and soon will bring the US down. The trouble is that even after the removal of the corrupt governments that caused this development, the hordes of lazy, stupid and greedy individuals remain, and they probably won’t change their ways unless physically forced to – which conveniently has been outlawed as well…

    If anything, receiving medical treatment, like receiving welfare payments and other subsidies should be made ever so much more difficult than it is today. Those who will suffer and eventually die will be those whose life was not worth living anyhow.

    Yes, I am proud to say I do NOT have medical or life insurance, have NOT received a penny in government subsidies in my life, and will NOT become a beggar when I’m no longer fit to earn my living, because I then will have lost my right to live. This insight is sadly lacking from today’s education. Nobody is ashamed any more to be poor “thanks” to centuries of brainwashing by Socialists and religiose [sic] organizations; the Great Unwashed are flooding the world and demand that their inferiority is ignored (they even got the UN to declare this back in 1949). The grotesque theory of “Inalienable Human Rights” is beginning to bog down humanity because of the ever-increasing number of dependent “humans” that have to be fed by less and less productive HUMANS.

  341. Guys, I’m sure this must be a fuss over nothing — our ABC prime time news in Australia tells us that the Republicans are making big deal over Obamacare, but that Americans in the street really don’t have strong feelings either way…

    Between the lines it’s clear it’s the Republicans fault and that this will not work out well for them.
    /sarc

    Yes, I was a bit surprised too.

  342. richardscourtney says:
    October 15, 2013 at 3:28 am

    You are right that having a written Constitution sometimes doesn’t stop a President from violating it. In the past they’ve ignored the Supreme Court & Congress. Obama has been ruling extra-constitutionally since 2009, in many ways besides not submitting a budget. But with control of either House of Congress, he can’t be impeached or convicted.

    Surely the issue with Lend Lease is not that it was paid off by 2006, but that when given it kept the UK from being defeated by Germany. Without not only the LL ships & the sacrifices of US merchant seamen & sailors, Britain would have been starved into surrender. The Royal Navy would have been out of combat without the US East Coast shipyards where its capital ships could safely be repaired from horrific battle damage. Also, it wasn’t just the hundreds of US aviators who helped win the Battle of Britain, but the high octane aviation fuel we supplied, which gave Spitfires an advantage over Me-109s. Ask any veteran of North Africa what difference the US tanks & planes made there. (The Warden of Rhodes House, aka Rodent of Ward’s House, when I was up at Oxford had been Monty’s staff intel officer, G-2 in US parlance.)

    IMO castigating America for not helping Britain more in 1939-41 is not only churlish but factually incorrect. Same goes for after the war. Your statement about the Marshal Plan is not only false, but wildly so. In fact, Britain received over a third more Marshal Plan funds than did Germany:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/modern/marshall_01.shtml

    The ingratitude & anti-American defamation of the British Left are ugly, made more so by the fact that socialists were the main pacifists & appeasers who let fascism flourish on the continent between the wars (as indicated by my “King & Country” debate reference), although obviously Tories of Baldwin & Chamberlain’s ilk also gun-shy & eager for “peace”. The fact remains that out-of-power Tories like Churchill were the group sounding the alarm against Hitler & Mussolini (although not against Franco). Had their warnings been heeded, Europe could have dealt with fascism without America once again coming to its aid with millions of men & billions in materiel.

    We also helped fight the Nazis before Dec 1941 by extending Lend Lease to the USSR after Hitler invaded his former ally in the war against Poland, Norway, Denmark, France, the Low Countries & Britain.

  343. milodonharlani says:
    October 15, 2013 at 11:28 am
    —-
    —-
    __________________________
    milodonharlani, your remarks are timely and correct. Some Brits think that they can openly castigate the US or its citizens. They’ve been called out about their disparaging remarks against us in these pages and we’ve then watched as they claim that their insult was misunderstood because it was out of context, or some such. I’m glad to see that you aren’t going to let them get by with it, either.

  344. In response to Richard Courtney @ October 15, 2013 at 3:28 am.

    Within the frame of a few words it is obviously impossible to satisfy every angle with regard to US support for Britain in 1939-40. However I do feel it is overly strong to suggest that these comments contained distortions.

    Let me expand this just a little, early supplies of US material to allow the war to be fought had to be paid for, the US demanded and received payment for what it supplied to aid Britain and its meagre forces when they faced Germany alone in 1940-41. However Britain soon exhausted its ability to pay and it was then the generosity of the US nation, initially via various mutually convenient deals that eventually gave way to the Lend Lease programme that supplied enough to sustain the nation until the US entered the war on Britain’s side. Prior to this formal declaration, by Germany on 11th December 1941, US forces had been giving increasing naval support to the convoys, allowing a hard pressed Royal Navy to struggle on.

    The primary instigator of these arrangements was Winston Churchill, His carefully crafted diplomacy being based on the recognition that from the very beginning Britain could not sustain itself without US support. It was fortunate that President Roosevelt was instinctively receptive to his overtures, his leadership was crucial during this perilous period in helping overcome considerable US misgivings.

    While Richard you are correct in stating that Britain has only recently discharged its obligation for certain parts of this help, the bulk of these payments were in response to large post-war loans made at very favourable rates, monies Britain desperately required at the time Much of the material supplied under the Lend Lease programme was returned under the terms of the agreement without heavy charges being levied on the exchequer.

  345. Alan Robertson says:
    October 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Barry Sheridan says:
    October 15, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    No further evidence is needed that the US saved Britain from defeat by Hitler before Dec 1941 than Churchill’s own words & deeds at the time. FDR ran for an unprecedented third term in 1940 by campaigning to keep the US out of the European war, then promptly reneged on those promises. He wanted to get involved from the start, & then even his communist advisers joined him after Hitler invaded his former ally the USSR in June 1941.

    So as soon as he was re-inaugurated in Jan ’41, he rammed LL through Congress (HR 1776), passed in March:

    http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=71

    “In July 1940, after Britain had sustained the loss of 11 destroyers to the German Navy over a 10-day period, newly elected British Prime Minister Winston Churchill requested help from President Roosevelt. Roosevelt responded by exchanging 50 destroyers for 99-year leases on British bases in the Caribbean and Newfoundland. As a result, a major foreign policy debate erupted over whether the United States should aid Great Britain or maintain strict neutrality.”

    FDR had to show something to the isolationist American people in exchange for siding with Britain & ending neutrality. He said any American would lend a neighbor a hose to fight a fire, but the problem was, a great many citizens of Irish, German & other non-British ancestries or of communist or fellow-traveler ideology (until June ’41) didn’t want us to support the British Empire or Commonwealth. The German grandfather of a classmate of mine had wept after Dunkirk.

    Again apologies for continuing a probably off-topic thread.

  346. milodonharlani says (October 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm): “No further evidence is needed that the US saved Britain from defeat by Hitler before Dec 1941 than Churchill’s own words & deeds at the time.”

    Just to add some perspective, from mid-1941 the UK’s biggest ally was probably the Soviet Union, not the US. The USSR tied down some 80% of the German army in 1941-42, and forced Hitler to reduce the production priority of U-boats in favor of land/air armaments.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Front_(World_War_II)#Forces

    Of course the Soviet Union was Hitler’s ally before it was Churchill’s ally, so it was partly responsible for Germany’s early successes and suffered most of the consequences.

  347. Gary Hladik says:
    October 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    After abandoning Operation Sea Lion, Germany’s army no longer immediately threatened Britain, so Hitler’s invasion of the USSR didn’t really help the UK in that way much. Changes in strategic priorities in industry may have helped Britain a little, as did sending much of the Luftwaffe east, but that was offset by US Lend Lease & aid from the UK itself being sent NE to Murmansk, much of which was lost en route.

    Arguably from Sept ’41, when US LL aid switched from concentrating on Britain to the helping USSR, the UK suffered a net loss of allied support. But IMO the key fact is that Britain would have lost the critical Battle of the Atlantic in 1940-41, after Hitler overran France, without US aid, & thereby lost the war.

  348. milodonharlani says (October 15, 2013 at 6:42 pm): “After abandoning Operation Sea Lion, Germany’s army no longer immediately threatened Britain…”

    Except in the Mediterranean, where the UK could have lost Malta, the Suez Canal, and possibly Gibraltar in 1941, had Hitler not invaded the Soviet Union. In fact the Middle East, with all its oil, could have fallen to Hitler. The Luftwaffe, of course, would have immediately threatened Britain.

    “Arguably from Sept ’41, when US LL aid switched from concentrating on Britain to the helping USSR, the UK suffered a net loss of allied support.”

    Which only emphasizes the importance of the USSR to the UK’s survival, right? Otherwise why waste blood and treasure on such a “minor” distraction of German forces when Britain itself is in danger?

    “But IMO the key fact is that Britain would have lost the critical Battle of the Atlantic in 1940-41, after Hitler overran France, without US aid, & thereby lost the war.”

    The UK may very well have been starved out in late 1940 without US aid. In 1941, when Hitler was preparing and then executing the invasion of the USSR, the UK may have been starved out without US aid and German diversion of resources to the East. Even with most of Germany’s war effort directed against the USSR, the war against the U-boats wasn’t won until early 1943.

    From mid-’41 on, the USSR alone absorbed 60-80% of the German war effort, so its value as a British ally from then to mid-’45 is obvious, yet often forgotten here in the West.

  349. Gary Hladik says:
    October 15, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    The UK may very well have been starved out in late 1940 without US aid. In 1941, when Hitler was preparing and then executing the invasion of the USSR, the UK may have been starved out without US aid and German diversion of resources to the East. Even with most of Germany’s war effort directed against the USSR, the war against the U-boats wasn’t won until early 1943.
    _____________________________
    My uncle served in the US Navy as a signalman aboard merchant ships throughout the war. His only assignments were aboard tankers and munitions carriers. He watched as the wolf packs tore through a generation. He and his fellow sailors were immersed in dread and fear for days at a time and grew old with the terror woven through their dreams.
    My uncle’s instructor at Signalman school was none other than the actor, Henry Fonda.

  350. Gary Hladik says:
    October 15, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    It works both ways. Without also having to fight the US & UK, Hitler would have defeated Stalin. Moscow would have fallen in 1941 had Stalin’s spy Sorge not told his master that Japan was going to attack the US rather than the USSR, allowing the Red Army to transfer Siberian divisions west to the defense of the capital. For starters. Then among other supports before D-Day, there was the invasion of Sicily, which forced Hitler to call off Citadel, the Kursk operation. D-Day itself made possible the great success of Soviet Operation Bagration, the Belarussian offensive.

    The Western Allied strategic bombing offensive kept the Luftwaffe over Germany instead of Russia, & 10,000 88mm anti-aircraft guns in the homeland, too, which could have instead been killing Soviet T-34 tanks. They had only that many left at the end of the war, & the usual exchange ratio was one gun for one tank. The 10,000 Shermans we sent them made the difference. They were more vulnerable than T-34s but mechanically reliable & had radios.

    US Lend Lease & other aid to the USSR also enabled the Red Army to advance from the Volga to the Elbe. Khrushchev rightly told Ike that without our trucks, they couldn’t have made it. Not to mention radios, radar, food, boots, steel, fuel, planes & tanks. We gave the USSR so much that shortages hampered our own advance from the Channel & Med to the Elbe.

  351. And right now…
    “We’re sorry for the inconvenience. We are performing a scheduled maintenance of the Covered California website from Tuesday night, October 15th, at 9:30 pm until Wednesday morning at 6:00 am.”

    Must be nice to have a 8-1/2 hour downtime window so soon after premiering.

  352. milodonharlani says:
    October 16, 2013 at 10:02 am

    We gave the USSR so much…

    Yes, and in addition to all that you’ve mentioned, there is very much more:
    Major Jordan’s Diaries

    Spoiler: Through Lend Lease, we gave the USSR not only our atomic secrets, but also treasury plates for U.S. currency.

    Read it, and weep.

    Beyond that, and without straying much further off topic, the standard retelling of WWII does not reflect what really happened. Can anyone truly believe that the organized, highly efficient Germans were planning war with the Soviet Union while possessing neither long range bombers, nor even winter coats?

    Back on topic:

    I wonder what roles greed, price gouging, and the growth of the medical bureaucracy have played in today’s nearly out-of-control medical costs, for even a short hospital stay?

  353. @Steve P says: October 16, 2013 at 11:19 am
    “roles greed, price gouging, and the growth of the medical bureaucracy ”

    Obviously considerable. The payer is not the consumer, and this causes dysfunctional market dynamics: The doctors charge lots of money (partly because their malpractice insurance premiums are so high, partly because they have to hire an army of clerks to process the paperwork from the government and the insurance companies, and partly because they feel they need to be highly rewarded for their work). The insurance companies pay it, because they can just endlessly increase premiums and profit margins. Nobody cares about keeping the cost down, except the consumer, who is powerless in this relationship because they are not organized in such a way as to be able to coordinate any effective action. It doesn’t take a very profound understanding of human nature to see that this is exactly how you would set it up if you wanted an upward-spiral in costs.

    On the other hand, look at medical services that are generally not covered by insurance. Laser eye surgery for correcting vision (e.g. Lasik) is an example. It’s gotten cheaper and better, because the supply side is fragemented enough to invite competition.

    O’BamaCide was exactly the wrong way to go because it inserts a rapacious bureaucracy into the equation. In general, government can never, ever provide innovation (including price decreases) in products or services simply because the competitive forces that drive suppliers to innovate are not present.

    When pointing to massive, government-driven projects such as atomic bombs or moon shots as examples of government “innovation”, it must be remembered that those projects were essentially funded with vast — arguably inexhaustible — resources, and in an era that was, surprisingly, much less materialistic and venal: People actually believed in doing things right without necessarily trying to engage in no-holds-barred rent-seeking. While there are still such people today, it’s the rent-seekers who have infested virtually every corner of the government, and so I argue that projects on the scale of atom bombs and moonshots would not be as achievable today as they were 40 or 50 years ago.

    Having a large, complex bureaucracy with a corrupt government at the helm is a recipe for a plundered treasury. Even the relatively tiny “green energy” program was virtually 100% corrupt. Already stories of huge frauds related to O’BamaCide are starting to get out, despite the best efforts of the mainstream media to suppress them.

    If you think greed, price gouging, and the growth of the medical bureaucracy were features of the “old” medical-care industry in the US, you ain’t seen NOTHIN’ yet!

  354. I’m VERY late to the party here.
    To the British and Canadians here suggesting that socialized medicine (Obamacare) is like suggesting to someone in the US that Social Security is bad. Both are defended, not because they are “good” but because that is what they are used to and they and their parents have paid into it for so long. They want the “security” they were promised and paid for.
    Bureaucracies administer such things.
    What part of national debts are for such social programs? What do such social programs lead people to depend on? God? Family? Themselves? Government?
    You can’t bite the hand that feeds you.
    Here in the US many of us just want to cut off the hand before we have to depend on it.
    Why else did the Dems loose so big in the last election?
    PS Tax and spend bills, including budgets, in the US Constitution can only originate in the House. Originally The House represented the individuals who actually would have to pay the bills. Too much has changed, been amended, since then.

  355. Steve P says:
    October 16, 2013 at 11:19 am

    FDR’s stooge Hopkins was a Soviet agent, long suspected & now found guilty.

    The lack of German preparations for the invasion of the USSR convinced Stalin that Hitler wasn’t planning on attacking, when in fact he was. Stalin of course was planning on attacking Hitler, but not until 1942. That’s why his forces were so badly deployed, far too close to the border. The only person Stalin trusted was Hitler, but the German dictator beat him to the draw.

    All the ills of our health care system will be made worse by Obamacare. You left personal injury lawyers off your list, unless they fall under “greed”.

  356. Sigh…Typo
    “To the British and Canadians here suggesting that socialized medicine (Obamacare) is like suggesting to someone in the US that Social Security is bad.”
    Should be:
    “To the British and Canadians here suggesting that socialized medicine (Obamacare) is bad is like suggesting to someone in the US that Social Security is bad.

  357. Gunga Din says:
    October 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Horrifically, the federal government no longer has to rely on ways & means approved by Congress. The Federal Reserve invents over a trillion dollars a year out of thin air in order to finance the annual deficit. The administration’s not having to rely on Congress for its funding is a recipe for tyranny.

  358. Gunga Din:

    Thankyou for your thoughts in your post at October 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm with addendum at October 16, 2013 at 1:11 pm.

    I stated the issue that puzzles those of us who are not Americans in my post at October 14, 2013 at 3:05 am. This link jumps to it.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/13/my-obamacare-experience/#comment-1447377

    The issue is summarised in the bolded section at the end of that post. Perhaps you would be willing to give your thoughts on the two questions in that section? So far in the thread only one American has been willing to provide thoughts in answer to one of the questions but together they formulate why non-Americans are puzzled by what is happening in your country.

    Richard

  359. milodonharlani says:

    Horrifically, the federal government no longer has to rely on ways & means approved by Congress. The Federal Reserve invents over a trillion dollars a year out of thin air in order to finance the annual deficit. The administration’s not having to rely on Congress for its funding is a recipe for tyranny.

    Exactly right. This Administration deliberately avoids having a budget, thus we are left with endless continuing resolutions.

    They want it that way, because they can demonize the Republicans [even though it is 100% Obama’s doing], while spending $Billions/$Trillions of non-appropriated money on whatever they want.

    Congress is being made irrelevant. This is one more step toward the inevitable dictatorship. I suspect there will be a ‘crisis’ [real or faked] that leads to the imposition of martial law. President Wilson was almost there — he had machinegunners arrayed next to the Capital, ready to fire upon American ex-soldiers who were peacefully protesting. Only Wilson’s minor stroke averted martial law that time. And Lincoln suspended habeus corpus, so there’s a precedent. Anyone who dares to speak out can be held indefinitely. It won’t take more than a few examples, until no one will dare to criticize the King.

    Never listen to Obama, he is a pathological liar. Instead, look at what he is doing; the actions he takes. He does not want a budget, and the Constitution is simply a hindrance to his plans.

    What to do about it? Hell if I know.

  360. richardscourtney says:
    October 14, 2013 at 3:05 am

    What bemuses people from outside the US is why Americans want to keep trying to find ways to make their system work for all when there are two systems which are each demonstrated to work for all in several countries.
    If most Americans want universal health care then why not adopt one of the systems that work?
    And if most Americans don’t want universal health care then why keep making the modifications to what they have?
    ————————————-

    Most Americans don’t want universal, government-run health care in general nor Obamacare in particular. The GOP gained control of the House in 2010 thanks to public outrage over Obamacare, tossing out an historic 63 Democrats who voted for it against the wishes of their constituents. It passed without a single GOP vote only via legislative shenanigans. Statists in the Democrat Party want Obamacare not to improve health care, because it won’t & they know it, but to increase control over the people.

    We have not kept making modifications since 1965, when Medicare & Medicaid were instituted as amendments to Social Security. Hillarycare was rejected in 1993. The last “patch” that passed was to allow Medicare (for people over 65) to include drug prescriptions.

    Most Americans were happy with their employer-co-paid insurance plans, to include union members, & with the Medicare into which they’ve paid since 1965. That’s why Obamacare is so unpopular, with 60% opposing it now & likely even more in future when people see how much it is going to cost for much worse “care”.

  361. dbstealey says:
    October 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    How about a one million pitchfork march? Symbol of peasant rabble rising up & of pitching out the irresponsible to repressive regime of professional pols now in power.

    Americans will either take back the Republic or follow the EU down the road to dusty death of liberty & prosperity. I live half the year in Chile, where I can enjoy more personal freedom, except for stricter gun control.

  362. milodonharlani:

    Thankyou for your post at October 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm.

    That is by far the clearest explanation in the thread so far. Thankyou.

    Richard

  363. richardscourtney says:
    October 16, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    You are most welcome. Americans like being able to chose their own insurance plans & doctors. The don’t want the government to interfere with that freedom.

    The majority of uninsured citizens could afford a high-deductible, low premium catastrophic care plan, but simply choose to do without. The “poor” have Medicaid, administered by the states. That leaves the at least 12 million illegal aliens, whose ER visits have bankrupted many hospitals, since the law requires treating anyone who shows up. Everyone in the country has access to “free” care, although hospital ERs aren’t the best way to provide that service.

    Minor fixes to what is the best health care system in the world are called for, like tort reform for instance, but its mutation into the monstrosity that is Obamacare is neither wanted nor needed.

  364. milodonharlani says:
    October 13, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Mike H says:
    October 13, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    PS: If you believe Cuban statistics, then you ought to go there for your medical needs.

  365. richardscourtney says:
    October 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm
    (This is the part in bolded)
    What bemuses people from outside the US is why Americans want to keep trying to find ways to make their system work for all when there are two systems which are each demonstrated to work for all in several countries.
    If most Americans want universal health care then why not adopt one of the systems that work?
    And if most Americans don’t want universal health care then why keep making the modifications to what they have?

    ====================================================================
    Of course I can’t speak for all Americans. I’m only one of them.
    “Follow the money.” Not all Americans are trying to find ways to make a “socialist” medical system.
    They want a medical system that is effective and affordable. “Government” doesn’t really need to be involved but some seeking power and money have promised that if “Government” is involved then expensive medical procedures will become virtually free.
    No service or product that someone provides is “free”. But “Government” is promising it will be…as long long you vote for me. “Security” from the womb to the tomb. Such “security” cost more than I’m willing to pay.

  366. Gunga Din:

    Thankyou for your further thoughts at October 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm.

    In my opinion this thread would have been of more benefit to both Americans and others if people had provided presentations of their views on the subject as you and milodonharlani have in recent posts. Sadly, when the tread started many found the thread to be an opportunity for promoting political views instead of discussing the subject of medical provision in the US.

    For clarity, and in response to your information, I provide feedback on your saying

    No service or product that someone provides is “free”. But “Government” is promising it will be…as long long you vote for me. “Security” from the womb to the tomb. Such “security” cost more than I’m willing to pay.

    Indeed so. People in countries which have a NHS are fully aware of that. They want health care to be FREE AT THE POINT OF USE and they fully understand who pays (they do) and how (through taxation).

    I am surprised that anyone in the US could be duped into thinking that government could create the monies for universal health care – or any other government services – from thin air. However, you say “But “Government” is promising it will be”. I accept your information although I am surprised that politicians would claim such a thing in a country with a democratic history because the claim must damage the politicians’ credibility with their electorate. Greece had no history of democracy and the electorate were duped by such obviously false promises for a variety of government services with the result that Greece became bankrupted.

    Again, thankyou for your thoughts.

    Richard

    • Also in reply to richardscourtney, please understand that Americans were not exactly given a choice on the passage of this terrible law. It was passed in a rush — a tremendous rush, during which the Speaker of the House famously said, “We will have to pass the law in order to see what’s in it” — so the implications were known only to those whose agenda was already in place. Make no mistake: This law was intended to create the statist control over a major portion of the lives of American citizens. Our Dear Leader promised us, just before he took office, that he would dramatically transform the condition of the American people. Well, he has at least kept that promise.

      The fact that Our Dear Leader was re-elected is only a sign that at least a minor majority — living or dead — have indeed been duped into believing that an expensive aspect of life can be made cheaper by being provided “free” by the government. A moment’s thought would disabuse anyone of that illusion, but that is democracy for you. At least, a representative republic with a plurality of lying evil bastards. (Excuse the language: In my household we don’t say the “D” word).

      It’s going to be a long, hard slog to repair the damage that Our Dear :Leader has created.

  367. richardscourtney says:
    October 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    The individual mandate requiring participation in the IRS-policed scheme or paying ever steeper fines is just one of the many onerous taxes & confiscations to fund Obamacare. There’s a tax on real estate transactions, for instance, & on medical devices. It steals $800 billion from Medicare, into which people have paid since 1965. All to make health care much worse.

    It exempts businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees, so naturally companies are firing workers & hiring part-timers. So it will bring the already sluggish economy to a screeching halt as well, in addition to the braking effect of higher taxes, more regulation & more government agents.

    What a deal!

  368. Here’s what I will take from this thread. A direct reflection of, and on, the great nation of America.

    Mandatory compassion is fascism.
    Equated to Slavery.
    If someone cannot afford to pay for their medical treatment they should not be allowed to breed and are deemed to be parasites.
    If a Government pays any of your taxes to support your fellow man this is akin to theft.

    This from the sane, thoughtful, still I believed thinking posters here at WUWT.
    I am deeply troubled and saddened by what I have seen here.
    A major hit to the credibility of WUWT.

    I wish you well but I thought this site was here to fight against the tyranny preventing Mankind reaching his and her full potential by demonising a trace gas responsible for all life on Earth through the wonder that is Photosynthesis, causing a domino effect of bad policy making, supported by propaganda, that leads to a reduction in our capability for progress…..and the lights going out and the consequences thereof.

    I only hope that I wasn’t wrong.

    Dave

    • David A – we know you are David Appell. And your feigned indignation over the tone of this article is merely words put into your mouth by OFA(l). So please spare us your lies and hurt feelings.

      Try writing an honest post for once in your life.

  369. Bryan Johnson says:
    October 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Then there was the Missouri Senator who, when 70% of the people of her state voted against participating in Obamacare, said, “Message received”, but then went on to add, “Trust me, you’ll like it”!

    We are ruled by idiotic tyrannts, but then they get reelected, thanks to the power of incumbents to collect campaign cash, vote fraud & lies.

  370. Dave A says:
    October 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    IMO, if the government must be involved, then the way to do it is with vouchers & tax-deductible private health plans from national, not state-bound choices. This would preserve the patient’s right to choose his or her own doctor, HMO, insurance carrier & plan. It would also maintain competition, producing better care at lower cost.

    But tort reform remains the single most important & best way to control costs. Naturally, it wasn’t included in Obamacare, thanks to the power of the ambulance-chasing lobby in the Democrat Party, second only to public employee unions in donations/bribes.

  371. Dave A:

    re your post at October 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm.

    Sadly, yes, all you cite has been stated in this thread. Unfortunately, the insane extremism you report takes any opportunity to proclaim its obscene views. But the WUWT ‘community’ is a ‘broad church’ that includes a wide range of political, social and religious views from around the world. Right-wing extremists used this thread as an opportunity to ‘sound off’, but that does NOT mean they and their views are mainstream of the tolerance and reason to be found in the WUWT ‘community’.

    The thread is now discussing the issues of universal health care provision. So, perhaps we can all learn from the observations you accurately report about this thread, avoid such things in future, and discuss the subject of the thread now.

    Richard

  372. Bryan Johnson:

    Thankyou for the information and thoughts you address to me at October 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm.

    That information – and the additional information from milodonharlani October 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm – goes to the heart of my questions which you and others are now kindly addressing.

    I am sure you will understand that the peculiarities of US government are not known or are inadequately understood by others, especially those of us with parliamentary systems of government. Clearly, the information you have each provided demonstrate the power of what we in the UK call ‘croney capitalism’. We are not immune from it, either, but its effects are constrained here by e.g. the laws which limit expenditures on elections.

    It seems to me that your comments enhance the view of milodonharlani that so-called ‘Obamacare’ is not really about health care but has other political purposes. The right to universal health care is so valued in, for example, the UK that it is hard to comprehend a culture which (a) does not want it, while (b) trying to obtain it. However, if (a) is true then it is perfectly reasonable that (b) is really about something else.

    Whatever the reality of that, all you, milodonharlani and Gunga Din have said emphasises that your country is adopting an expensive and inefficient system for universal health care.

    Thankyou for your time and effort in sharing your views. I hope this reply demonstrates my appreciation for of them by my having considered them.

    Richard

  373. milodonharlani says (October 16, 2013 at 10:02 am): “Without also having to fight the US & UK, Hitler would have defeated Stalin.”

    Quite probably. By absorbing less than half the overall German war effort among them, the Western Allies helped the USSR win, just as the USSR, by absorbing more than half the German war effort by itself, helped the Western Allies win–especially before the US could make a difference.

    “The Western Allied strategic bombing offensive kept the Luftwaffe over Germany instead of Russia…”

    Indeed, and keeping much of the Luftwaffe in the east helped ensure the eventual success of the strategic bombing campaign in 1944. Funny how “it works both ways” is characteristic of coalition warfare. :-)

    “US Lend Lease & other aid to the USSR also enabled the Red Army to advance from the Volga to the Elbe.”

    Yup. By the time victory was a foregone conclusion, US trucks & canned food helped hasten the end. Of course overall Lend-Lease aid to the USSR was a small fraction of its domestic war production, supplied zero soldiers, and had negligible effect until the Soviets had already stopped the German invasion in 1941 (IMHO the actual “turning point” of WW II).

    BTW, as I mentioned in my previous comment, the fact that Lend-Lease was even sent to the USSR, at great effort and expense, only emphasizes Stalin’s importance to the overall war effort.

    “We gave the USSR so much that shortages hampered our own advance from the Channel & Med to the Elbe.”

    Er, no. Patton’s tanks ran out of gas because the abundant fuel (and other supplies) hundreds of kilometers to the rear couldn’t be brought forward fast enough to keep up with his advance. That’s exactly the same problem that plagued both German and Soviet offensives on the Eastern Front. France had better roads than the USSR, and the Allies had more transport than the Germans or Soviets, but their supply requirements were also far more lavish. See B. H. Liddell Hart’s History of the Second World War, Chapter 31, “The Liberation of France”.

    • Best wishes you, Gary Hladik, sincerely, but I have to point out a couple of niggles to your argument:

      1) If Stalin hadn’t played footsie with the Nazis, Herr Hitler would not have had the gumption to attack east. Hitler was a coward, in many ways, and the fact that he had managed to fool both the Soviets and (ahem) certain other people to the west only gave him the courage to attack the USSR and declare war against the United States. The fact that the US was profoundly and vocally isolationist in the 1930s and early 1940s didn’t help, but neither did Franklin Roosevelt’s administration — the non-Communist portion of it — help, either.

      2) Implied, but not expressed, in your argument was the old saw that the Soviets took greater casualties than the Western powers. That would impress me more if J. Stalin hadn’t decapitated his general staff in the 1930s, refused to believe the intelligence from his spies and, upon the attack of the Germans, basically hid under his bed for the first two weeks of the war. It has been noted that the best Soviet general during the Second World War was Adolf Hitler — but the best German general in at least the beginning years of the war was Stalin.

      All of this is history but… V. Putin is very much a real threat to Europe. Again, the Russian bear looms to the east. If the worst happens again — and I sincerely hope it doesn’t — I believe that the U.S. will sit the next round out. Been there, done that. Twice. God forfend that it happens, but a Russian move to take a power position in the Middle East — if not the Balkans and Poland — is entirely possible.

      I’ll miss St. Paul’s Cathedral. And the British Museum.

    • @Gary Hladik & milodonharlani

      While not directly topical, I found both of your narratives to be highly informative and enjoyable. While I do not necessarily agree with all you have written, in both cases it has given me more to think about in regards to the politics behind the second world war.

      Thank you

  374. Dave A says (October 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm): “Here’s what I will take from this thread. A direct reflection of, and on, the great nation of America.

    Mandatory compassion is fascism.
    Equated to Slavery.”

    The difference between freedom and slavery is choice. “Obamacare” reduces choice, therefore it reduces freedom. It forces some people to serve other people. What do you call that? Certainly not “compassion”.

    Remember, if government enables you to force your “morality” on me, it also enables me to force my “morality” on you, whenever I’m in the majority, or even a plurality. The same government power that gives us Obamacare also gives us corporate welfare (e.g. Solyndra), “carbon” regulation/taxes, and “demonization” of a trace gas. When you get more government, you inevitably get more bad government along with (maybe) more “good” government.

    As an admirer of “altruism”, no doubt you, Dave A, contribute substantially to the less fortunate among us. But suppose for a moment that government is suddenly stripped of its power to compel “altruism” (toward our fellow men, toward the climate, toward corporations…). With you controlling more of your own money, isn’t your spending more in line with your own priorities and nobody else’s? Can’t you contribute more to the unfortunate and less to the Solyndras? Don’t you have more choice? More freedom? Aren’t both you and the needy better off?

    BTW, if there are so many “altruists” in favor of Obamacare, no doubt they could fund a private version of the program (or versions; government is a monopoly, but private organizations need not be). In fact a private “Davecare” could be much better, since the “altruists” in Washington wouldn’t be taking their slice of the pie. :-)

  375. Gary Hladik says:
    October 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    The US & UK started helping the USSR just as soon as Hitler invaded. The first LL supplies arrived in September, IIRC. As noted, Russia’s absorbing the Wehrmacht didn’t help Britain or the US much, since Germany couldn’t invade Britain anyway.

    Victory for the USSR was not a foregone conclusion before US aid. And even if the Red Army had been able to stop German advances into Russia in 1943 without it (which it couldn’t have), it still would not have been able to advance from the Volga to Germany without US aid, as Khrushchev admitted.

    You make my point for me by mentioning the lack of gas for our tanks in France. The reason fuel could not be brought up rapidly enough was due to a lack of trucks (the rail net having been damaged by the pre-D-Day transportation attack plan). We were short on trucks because we had sent so many to Russia, thereby enabling the Red Army to occupy Eastern Europe while slowing our own advance into Germany.

    Of course if Stalin had not been allied with Hitler in 1939-41, then Poland might have been able to slow the German blitzkrieg there long enough for France & Britain to come to its aid.

    • Gary H. states:

      “The difference between freedom and slavery is choice. “Obamacare” reduces choice, therefore it reduces freedom. It forces some people to serve other people. What do you call that? Certainly not “compassion”.”

      I agree entirely. In fact, one of my major stump speeches (the one that makes my wife roll her eyes when she sees me wound up on this subject) is that freedom is really the only zero-sum equation in human life. Wealth? If I earn more than you, it is not necessarily at your expense, particularly if I am creating wealth. Love? My wife’s (my mother’s, my son’s) love for me does not take away any of their love for anyone else. (It’s a different type of love, but for a given quality of love, they can all co-exist with equal strength.) Freedom, on the other hand, has an entirely different quality. If my government decides that I am simply incapable of making decisions about organizing my own health care, then my freedom is restricted. This is why the United States Constitution was, originally, a document that expressly defined the limits of government. “Congress shall not…” Of course, freedom to do also co-exists with the freedom to — and the consequences of — fail. The counterpoint (the crux of my “freedom is a zero-sum equation”) is that, ultimately the power of the state tends towards oppression of individual freedom. It seems to be an inevitable state, like the laws of thermodynamics.

      If you’ve never read his work, please do pick up a book by P.J. O’Rourke, one of America’s best political humorists. His “Parliament of Whores” is wonderful: He makes that case that, ultimately, the government — any government — uses the threat of imprisonment or even summary execution as the final argument.

      And I do apologize, Gary, for having put words into your mouth regarding the old “more Red Army troops died during the Great Patriotic War than Americans” argument. You didn’t use, or even try to imply, that old saw. But you are correct that the Second World War could have ended a year earlier if Gen. Patton had just had enough gas for his tanks. Ah, well, let’s leave that argument to authors like Harry Turtledove.

      • @Bryan Johnson – you just gave me a DOH moment. A truth so simple that many over look it. Freedom is the only zero sum game. I agree. And thank you for the enlightenment.

  376. milodonharlani says:
    October 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    But tort reform remains the single most important & best way to control costs. Naturally, it wasn’t included in Obamacare, thanks to the power of the ambulance-chasing lobby in the Democrat Party, second only to public employee unions in donations/bribes.

    ========================================================================
    My Dad was an MD. He started his private practice in 1950 and worked in it until his death in 2000. I remember him saying that there were a number of relatively simple test they could do right in the office cheaply and efficiently but they had to send the sample or an additional sample out to another lab for independent confirmation to meet the requirements of their malpractice insurance. That alone added to the cost of a doctor visit. Add to that the cost of the malpractice insurance itself…tort reform would go a long way toward reducing medical bills.
    (And we wouldn’t have so many commercials by law firms offering to sue somebody for you!)

  377. Bryan Johnson says (October 16, 2013 at 4:52 pm): “1) If Stalin hadn’t played footsie with the Nazis, Herr Hitler would not have had the gumption to attack east.”

    No argument. Perhaps Hitler wouldn’t have overrun Poland so quickly, or even attacked at all, if Stalin hadn’t joined in. Stalin gained a buffer zone, to be sure, but he didn’t fortify it effectively. More important, he subtracted the substantial Polish armed forces from the potential anti-Nazi coalition while giving Hitler half his potential buffer zone. Note that Chamberlain basically did the same thing at Munich with Czechoslovakia.

    After that, the USSR helped Hitler by selling him substantial amounts of oil and other resources. Suppose Hitler had kept the peace with the USSR and used its resources against the Brits through 1941 and 1942. Scary, huh?

    Nevertheless, the fact that the USSR started the war as a German ally (and ended it as an enemy of the Western Allies, including Germany) has nothing to do with my basic point that from about mid-1941 the USSR was a more useful (if involuntary) ally to the UK than the US was.

    “2) Implied, but not expressed, in your argument was the old saw that the Soviets took greater casualties than the Western powers.”

    It’s not expressed because it’s not part of my argument. I’m only pointing out that from mid-1941 Germany directed most of its war effort at the USSR. The cost to the USSR would be relevant only if great enough to end the USSR’s usefulness as a UK ally.

    Of course, another way to evaluate the USSR’s contribution to the war effort is German casualties on each front:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_casualties_in_World_War_II

  378. milodonharlani says (October 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm): “The US & UK started helping the USSR just as soon as Hitler invaded. The first LL supplies arrived in September, IIRC.”

    LL deliveries in 1941 were a small fraction of the wartime total, yet somehow the USSR inflicted the first major defeat of the war on the Germans. By the end of 1942, total LL was still a small fraction of the eventual total, yet the poor helpless Soviets somehow inflicted an even more decisive defeat on their opponents.

    “As noted, Russia’s absorbing the Wehrmacht didn’t help Britain or the US much, since Germany couldn’t invade Britain anyway.”

    I covered that (Mediterranean Theater, aircraft, naval emphasis, etc.) Every German killed by the Soviets in 1941-42 was a German the Brits didn’t face in 1944.

    “Victory for the USSR was not a foregone conclusion before US aid.”

    Yet it was substantially achieved before most of the LL arrived. Go figure.

    “And even if the Red Army had been able to stop German advances into Russia in 1943 without it (which it couldn’t have),”

    Which it uncontestably did in 1941 & 1942, so why not 1943 when the balance of power was even more in favor of the USSR?

    “… it still would not have been able to advance from the Volga to Germany without US aid, as Khrushchev admitted.”

    Correction: The USSR would not have advanced as fast.

    “You make my point for me by mentioning the lack of gas for our tanks in France. The reason fuel could not be brought up rapidly enough was due to a lack of trucks

    Actually, if your argument were correct it would make my point for me. Think about it: If Western leaders deliberately shortchange their own men at the front in favor of an ally, what does that say about the importance of the ally’s war effort? Hmm?

    In reality, of course, the situation was far more complicated. During the initial, near-static fighting in Normandy, it would have been folly to ship large numbers of trucks across the Channel instead of the food and ammo needed for the immediate fighting. As Liddell Hart points out in his book, the Allies were surprised and unprepared for the subsequent breakout and rapid advance; they had to improvise to keep up the pressure. They attempted to support a broad advance instead of a narrow thrust, and then Monty got supply priority even though Patton was 100 miles further east. There was a truck shortage: 1400 British lorries were found to be defective (Liddell Hart doesn’t say how many of these useless trucks were sent to the USSR). Air transport might have helped, but the planes were diverted to paradrops that never took place.

    “Of course if Stalin had not been allied with Hitler in 1939-41, then Poland might have been able to slow the German blitzkrieg there long enough for France & Britain to come to its aid.”

    And if Chamberlain hadn’t sold out the Czechs, or if he had sucked up more to the USSR, or if Britain & France had contested the remilitarization of the Rhineland or the anschluss with Austria, etc. etc. All irrelevant to the question of relative Allied contributions to the war effort post mid-1941.

  379. Oh, one last thing and then I’ll shut up about my opinions. If you have the chance, do go to the Spam Museum in Minnesota. Apparently — at least according to them — that “meat product” was one of the major reasons that the Allies won the Second World War. Not only did it feed the Red Army in all its millions, but Spam also kept the British from starvation during and after the War.

    Like that great speech made in the television adaptation of “Band of Brothers” showed, when the young soldier shouted at the surrendering Germans: “What were you *thinking*? We have Ford and GM! And you’re still using horses!” Is the American genius really that we can out-produce tinned meat? Well, it’s not a traditional view of American exceptionalism, but I’ll take any lead over the opposition.

  380. Bryan Johnson says (October 17, 2013 at 3:34 am): “He makes that case that, ultimately, the government — any government — uses the threat of imprisonment or even summary execution as the final argument.”

    True as far as it goes, but in a democracy/republic the ultimate responsibility lies with the voters who elected that government. To quote a good line from an otherwise silly movie:

    “Look, when you vote, you are exercising political authority. You’re using force, and force, my friends, is violence, the supreme authority from which all other authority is derived.”

    Rather than force people into Obamacare, why not make the program voluntary? If it’s as wonderful as all its advocates claim, people will be scrambling to sign up voluntarily, and “the supreme authority” won’t be required to get recruits (especially all the “altruists” among us). That it’s mandatory is proof positive that President Zero was lying (big surprise, eh?). :-)

  381. @philjourdan

    No David A in this thread
    I wasn’t David Appell when I got up this morning
    My President is not called Barack Obama
    My indignation (more properly described as dismay) is not feigned.

    My “broken” NHS ‘which we all know doesn’t work’ delivers a life expectancy greater than that of the USA

    Food for thought

    Dave

  382. Oct. 18, 2013, 1:08 a.m. EDT
    Obamacare woes widen as insurers get wrong data

    Insurers say the federal health-care marketplace is generating flawed data that is straining their ability to handle even the trickle of enrollees who have gotten through so far, in a sign that technological problems extend further than the website traffic and software issues already identified.

    Emerging errors include duplicate enrollments, spouses reported as children, missing data fields and suspect eligibility determinations, say executives at more than a dozen health plans. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Nebraska said it had to hire temporary workers to contact new customers directly to resolve inaccuracies in submissions. Medical Mutual of Ohio said one customer had successfully signed up for three of its plans.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/obamacare-woes-widen-as-insurers-get-wrong-data-2013-10-18

  383. Dave A wrote, “My “broken” NHS ‘which we all know doesn’t work’ delivers a life expectancy greater than that of the USA”

    Dave, your NHS achieves its claimed life expectancy numbers the same way that the climate movement achieves its 97% consensus: by fraud.

    The biggest deception used to hide the truth about socialized medicine is the way they treat newborns. The USA has a very poor infant mortality ranking, and liberals claim that infant mortality rates in the USA are higher than in Europe. But they’re wrong. The reason that infant mortality rates appear to be lower in Europe is that countries with socialized medical care don’t count some of their dead newborns.

    In the USA, any baby that draws a breath is given world-class medical care, and if he dies his death is counted as infant morality, no matter how tiny or premature he was. But in most countries with socialized medicine, if a baby is born sufficiently premature or handicapped, he is given no special care. He is counted as stillborn, and doesn’t count toward the infant mortality rate, even if he lives for hours.

    The European health care systems save a lot of money that way, but they also break a lot of parents’ hearts.

    Ironically, the fact that American at-risk babies get better, more aggressive care than do European at-risk babies, and have a better chance of survival, is the basis for the liberals’ dishonest claim that America has worse infant mortality rates.

    This statistical slight-of-hand also serves to artificially inflate European average lifespans (“life expectancy at birth”), making it appear as though Europeans live longer than Americans, which is also untrue. This false claim, in turn, is often cited by liberal supporters of government-controlled heath care as proof that European health care is better than American health care, when, actually, the opposite is true.

    The LA Times had a good article last year.

    ADI has an even better one.

  384. Dave A says:
    October 18, 2013 at 9:22 am

    As you may be aware, the difference in life expectancy between the US & UK owes to our almost four times higher traffic fatality rate. Americans drive more miles per capita than Britons, so die on our roads more, & it’s farther between trauma centers, as a result of 40 times more land area & lower population density. The rate is however declining.

  385. Life expectancy also largely violates the second criterion – a health care system has, at most, minimal impact on longevity. One way to see this is to reexamine the table constructed by the Center for Economic and Policy Research. The interpretation that the Center for Economic and Policy Research wants readers to derive from Table 1 is that the United States would be better off with a system of universal health care. However, a careful examination of that table yields a more accurate interpretation: There is no relationship between life expectancy and spending on health care. Greece, the country that spends the least per capita on health care, has higher life expectancy than seven other countries, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. Spain, which spends the second least per capita on health care, has higher life expectancy than ten other countries that spend more.

    http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA547ComparativeHealth.html

    Nothing like facts to spoil a good conversation.

  386. To make it easier for crooks, some of the state sites are .com or .org, instead of .gov . Colorado is even worse than California -it has a certificate that belongs to something called wpengine.com, and of course, gets an F.

  387. A connection between the off topic discussion here about US entry into WWII & Obamacare occurs to me. Before WWII, health insurance was promoted by doctors so that they could be sure of getting paid for their services in the Depression. The war changed this.

    The successful American private health insurance system which Obamacare is in the process of destroying began during WWII, when wage caps meant that businesses needing workers turned to offering day care & health insurance, among other benefits, in order to attract them.

    The most important of these programs was run by Kaiser shipyards, which built the Liberty ships which saved Britons from starving & freezing in the dark & enabled them to stay in the war against Germany & Italy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiser_Permanente#History

    Employer-provided insurance & direct care were supplemented in 1965 by Medicare for retirees & Medicaid for the poor without jobs, working part time or for companies without health plans. Of all the ways to encourage people without insurance who could afford to buy it, Obamacare is the worst.

    • Great example, milodonharlani! The Kaiser shipyards were exactly how private health care works, should work, *does* work. During the War, there was a decision made by the men who were subject to the draft unless they belonged to the “exempt” classification of employment. Shipbuilders were absolutely exempt, but so were many other classifications of manufacturing employment (aircraft, trucks/tanks, mining, explosives, and so on). Kaiser needed to attract as many employees as they could, so they offered one of the few things they could as an attraction — healthcare. They couldn’t do too much about pay (caps on income) or certainly about consumption (almost everything was subject to coupons). Just about the only way that Kaiser could attract workers was to offer very good healthcare options.

      Keep in mind that, while the U.S. was on what was called a “war-time” footing, it was not a complete nationalized economy. Individuals were able to change jobs without government permission — so, individual decisions often meant a movement towards the most economically (on an individual basis) advantageous position. So, a male worker (subject to the draft) who was an exempt worker in the Ford aircraft factories in Michigan could choose to move to Connecticut to work on building Liberty ships, if not for more pay, then at least better health care.

      Here we come to the crux of the underlying assumptions of Obamacare: That the young, healthy people will ignore their own personal self-interest and buy expensive health care insurance in order to subsidize old geezers who need a wheelchair. (Question: Did Lenin really believe in the New Soviet Man, or did Stalin really have it right, that the NSM had to be forced, not convinced?) We are, after all, talking about young people whose concerns are more tied towards the latest electronic toys and nightclubs rather than helping out Uncle Bob who belongs to the GOP?

      Cynical? Yes, much.

      My apologies for breaking my promise not to weigh in on my opinions.

  388. Wouldn’t the amount of health care insurance differ from State to State? You have different climate zones, i.e. California against the desert regions in Central USA, the Northern east coast and Alaska and Southern American States. Australian Medicare, one has the choice to go private for a charge, but all unemployed, pensioners etc., get cover for medications at a low cost price, hospital care at public hospitals all you need is a medicare card. The taxpayer pays 1% of his/her pay to help and this might be increased soon. All our illegal boat people get free medical care and some arrive in wheelchairs???? Depends where you live too, and we do have the Flying Doctor Service for outback Australia, and most regional hospital can cope but with the most serious injuries. But our Armidale hospital has a helicopter landing in the cricket oval across from the hospital to take babies or other patients the hospital hasn’t the medical facilities to cope with these medical emergencies. I always feel sad when I hear it droning overhead, especially seeing a new born baby in a humiecrib being wheeled out. But best of luck and hope it is settled soon.

  389. New Zealand does not cover Australians who reside there temporary unless its an emergency and they are treated free at a public hospital. But people are complaining illegal boat people get free dental and medical, and some come with TB. The Australian system is far better than UK as far as obtaining specialist consultations. Certainly medicare covers most of the consultation, but you have to fill in the rest. Unless like my surgeon replacing my hip, bulk bills for those over 65.
    But you have to wait maybe 12 months for the op.

  390. Bryan Johnson says:
    October 21, 2013 at 4:37 am

    Henry Kaiser had experience before the war with company-sponsored clinics for industrial accidents among workers at his major construction sites, like the Hoover, Bonneville & Grand Coulee Dams, which expanded to include the families of workers on long-term projects.

    Our Depression Era & WWII development of employer-supported, private insurance & clinics is one reason why Truman wasn’t able to sell a US version of the NHS, & why LBJ had to settle for Medicare & Medicaid instead of going the whole hog with a single (government) payer system. Even the industrial unions liked our system as it evolved. Today they are suffering buyer’s remorse for backing Obama, Pelosi & Reid’s half-baked scheme.

    • Well, okay, that’s correct: Kaiser did have private — private — health insurance for his companies before the War. That doesn’t take away from the model that such voluntary incentives are an attraction to bring in the best workers. Any employee just naturally gravitates towards the best deal he can get.

      Truman was reasonably sane (even if he was a Democrat), but Johnson was just a complete political prostitute. Sorry, but he was a cousin of mine, from the Texas branch of the family. Bastard. *My* family was from the Mississippi/Tennessee branch, so there.

  391. bushbunny says:
    October 20, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Our deserts are more in the West than centrally located. Deserts are generally considered to receive less than ten inches of precipitation per year, at least in the US. The short grass prairie of the western Great Plains near the center of the country average 12.6″, IIRC. The tall grass prairie to its east gets around 30 to 35″, with the mixed grass prairie in between.

    The insurance exchanges are by state, like Medicaid (for the “poor”). Some state Web sites are working less horribly than some of the others.

  392. In Armidale, NSW, when it was first settled, our hospital was funded by employers who covered the medical bills and paid an employee insurance, as labor was in demand then. But we had few doctors and they had to be paid for. (1839-1880) The same hospital has been extended of course ever since. But the cost comes from the State Government and with some Federal assistance. Medicare is federally funded. I just hope this is sorted out soon, as no one wants the USA to not pay their debts. It will be a terrible blow not only for Americans but the rest of the world.

  393. Bryan Johnson says:
    October 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I wouldn’t say that Kaiser really had insurance per se before the war, but he did definitely attract workers with a well-developed system by 1943 at the latest.

    My civil & mechanical engineer grandfather was a contemporary in infrastructure construction of Kaiser’s in the Pacific Northwest & California, but he retired when FDR was elected. And of Hoover, who was of course mostly overseas mine engineering, then a philanthropist after WWI before entering government.

    Sorry about the LBJ connection. A monstrous, mendacious, murderous, cowardly, raging a$$hole drunken bastard of the lowest order. But then Hillary couldn’t sell a universal, national system, either, & she’s only some of those things.

    • milodonharlani says:

      October 21, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      “Sorry about the LBJ connection…”

      My wife once asked me to say just once nice thing — just one — about L.B.J. “Just in the sense of Christian charity,” Phyllis said. I thought about it for a few minutes and then remembered what m Grandfather once said, “Well, he wouldn’t have stolen a *hot* stove.”

      As for Hillary Clinton, well considering that she’ll almost certainly be the next President, what can I say? I’m just glad that I live 47 degrees north where there are lots of deer and prime timer.

  394. bushbunny says:
    October 21, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    There’s no risk of the US not paying its debts. Even had the deadline passed, we could have paid out of tax receipts coming in.

    The problem though is that thanks to being the world’s reserve currency, we can pay our debts in debased tender. In the five Obama years, our national debt has grown from ten trillion to 17 trillion. And that doesn’t even take into account what’s coming down the pike, the gigantic & growing entitlement programs Social Security & Medicare. Our real looming national debt over the next 30-odd years is around 100 trillion. There’s not enough money in the world to pay for it, so one way or another we have to default, probably by further inflating the currency, paying off the debt at a dime to the dollar.

  395. Bryan Johnson says:
    October 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    That’s a better come back than I could have come up with. I’d have said that at least he never raped his daughters, like Joe Kennedy, although he might have stolen from his mistresses, nor bumped off any of his girlfriends, as his sons did. That we know of.

  396. I didn’t know Joe Kennedy raped his daughters? He was not popular in London before the out break of WWII. Seems he argued with Churchill about the likely hood of Britain losing any war, then beat it back to the US to hopefully challenge the presidential elections. But he was no match for Roosevelt and Churchill and quite honestly this is just the impression we Poms had of him, possibly wrong of course. But Obamacare why not tax employers and employees just a small part of their income to pay for it.

    • @bushbunny

      It’s not a small part of income, it’s substantial. Most people will have WORSE insurance than they had previously, but pay more for it. Doctors are exiting the system while supposedly more patients are being brought into it. The costs and future uncertainty in costs of employing people is causing small employers to not hire new employees, and many employers, large and small are scaling back their work forces in response. This is possibly a large effect in the worst recovery from a recession ever — it’s keeping unemployment high. Obamacide fixes nothing that was broken, and breaks many things that were working. And will put our children in debt — we were told it would cost $800bn over 10 years — that’s looking to be underestimated by a factor of 3 to 5.

      But apart from that, you’re right, why not?

  397. If we want to rope around the issues of climate change and statist control of health control, what better example than today’s ((Wednesday, October 22nd) official pronouncement that Our Dear Leader and his minions are now expressing: “All is well. Do not worry.”

    We have *always* been at war with Eastasia! So says Our Dear Leader, so is the truth!

    There are always the opportunities to subvert the official given truth. Just one little subversive little thing at a time. It’s not heroic (I learned that lesson a long, long time ago), but it can be effective. The “memory hole” cannot win, if you’re willing.

  398. bushbunny says:
    October 22, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    “I didn’t know Joe Kennedy raped his daughters?”

    The only one for sure was his mildly retarded youngest daughter. When she complained, he had her lobotomized & shunted off to an institution for the rest of her life.

    “He was not popular in London before the out break of WWII. Seems he argued with Churchill about the likely hood of Britain losing any war, then beat it back to the US to hopefully challenge the presidential elections. But he was no match for Roosevelt and Churchill and quite honestly this is just the impression we Poms had of him, possibly wrong of course.”

    He was not popular because he was pro-Nazi. He was essentially declared persona non grata by the UK & recalled by FDR. He couldn’t challenge FDR for president in 1940, as he was in the UK until late October. He knew he couldn’t get elected president after the US entered the war, so transferred his ambition to his eldest son, Joe, jr. Old Joe’s insistence on Young Joe & Jack being war heroes to further their future careers got the older boy killed & almost did in Jack.

    “But Obamacare why not tax employers and employees just a small part of their income to pay for it.”

    It would take a huge part of their income & bring the economy to an even more screeching halt. Why have the government involved at all? Our system of employers’ helping their workers pay for group insurance works well. Why mess up that part of it? The poor already get Medicaid out of tax receipts & the retired have Medicare from age 65, into which they & their employers have paid all their working lives. That leaves just those who don’t work for a company with an insurance or HMO plan & chose not to get their own private insurance. They’re mainly young, but most could afford high deductible, low premium catastrophic insurance.

    There are better ways to encourage “young invincibles” to buy cheap insurance than making it a federal offense not to have it. For instance, states could require licensed drivers to get it, as is now the case with auto insurance. It could also be made more affordable by allowing insurance to be bought across state lines & encourage group rates for the self-employed.

    But the single best reform would be in our tort law, which increases health care costs by about 25%, due not just to doctors’ malpractice insurance rates but even more so from unnecessary tests & procedures to guard against law suits from ambulance chasing PI lawyers.

    If the government must be more involved than it was before Obamacare, then a better approach would be insurance vouchers or individual health accounts, like tax-deferred IRAs & 401K savings plans.

  399. Thank you for that information I was thinking more along the lines of our Medicare, when all taxpayers provide 1% of their tax towards medicare. That is the federally funded NHS. But they can also take out private insurance too.

  400. bushbunny says:
    October 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    In the latest polls since Obamacare Websites tried to launch, Americans have turned even more against the crazy scheme. Majorities now favor repeal. It will only get worse when the delayed employer mandate kicks in.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/obama_and_democrats_health_care_plan-1130.html

    Your Medicare system may not be as bad, but Americans (including industrial union members) still prefer the primarily private system we have now to Obamacare. That is not to say that it can’t be improved, but the way to do that is not through a federal government take-over & state coercion of the young.

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