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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October 13, 2013 4:24 am

Obama couldn’t get any help from his buddies Sergey Brin or Larry Page? #DoNoEvil

Mike Ozanne
October 13, 2013 4:29 am

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…..

Kaboom
October 13, 2013 4:31 am

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!

October 13, 2013 4:32 am

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.

RC Saumarez
October 13, 2013 4:35 am

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.

Bryan Johnson
October 13, 2013 4:36 am

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.

Speed
October 13, 2013 4:39 am

“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.

Bruce Cobb
October 13, 2013 4:39 am

One might say that your Obamacare experience was Obamanable.

Fred
October 13, 2013 4:42 am

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

justsomeguy31167
October 13, 2013 4:44 am

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

Alan D McIntire
October 13, 2013 4:52 am

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.

Admin
October 13, 2013 5:01 am

Its a government website – be happy it didn’t hijack your browser and install bondage porn links on your computer.

Steve Keohane
October 13, 2013 5:07 am

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.

Tom J
October 13, 2013 5:13 am

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.

George
October 13, 2013 5:17 am

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.

SanityP
October 13, 2013 5:24 am

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

Editor
October 13, 2013 5:27 am

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!

October 13, 2013 5:27 am

I wonder how many HIPAA rules HHS is breaking with this lack of protection for PHI (protected health information)?

Tom J
October 13, 2013 5:28 am

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.

Tom in Florida
October 13, 2013 5:29 am

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.

October 13, 2013 5:41 am

I am less concerned with the crappy Obamacare websites than I am about the fact that Obamacare is the law of the land.

Go Home
October 13, 2013 5:42 am

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.

starzmom
October 13, 2013 5:46 am

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.

Brad Ervin
October 13, 2013 5:55 am

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?

Sam The First
October 13, 2013 5:56 am

“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

October 13, 2013 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.

John S.
October 13, 2013 6:01 am

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

October 13, 2013 6:05 am

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

hunter
October 13, 2013 6:06 am

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?

JohnM
October 13, 2013 6:07 am

” 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.

Ed_B
October 13, 2013 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!
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.

October 13, 2013 6:11 am

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.

P Sheraton
October 13, 2013 6:15 am

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

commieBob
October 13, 2013 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.

Jim Cripwell
October 13, 2013 6:17 am

Thank heaven I live in Canada, the home ofTommy Douglas.

chris y
October 13, 2013 6:17 am

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.

October 13, 2013 6:18 am

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.

DABbio
October 13, 2013 6:23 am

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

Tom J
October 13, 2013 6:24 am

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.

October 13, 2013 6:27 am

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.

Colst4
October 13, 2013 6:27 am

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.

Profit of Misfortune
October 13, 2013 6:28 am

[snip -rant – mod]

Jenn Oates
October 13, 2013 6:28 am

Doomed.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!
October 13, 2013 6:30 am

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

October 13, 2013 6:31 am

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?

October 13, 2013 6:33 am

And a bloody good one it was too!

Alan Robertson
October 13, 2013 6:33 am

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

October 13, 2013 6:34 am

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.

chris y
October 13, 2013 6:36 am

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!
🙂

looch
October 13, 2013 6:36 am

Odd that they didn’t ask Al for help. He did invent the Internet!

WTF
October 13, 2013 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.

Eustace Cranch
October 13, 2013 6:40 am

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.

gopal panicker
October 13, 2013 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..?

chris y
October 13, 2013 6:46 am

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.

Tom in Florida
October 13, 2013 6:46 am

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.

Hoser
October 13, 2013 6:48 am

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.

Sludgebuster
October 13, 2013 6:51 am

@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.

Alvin
October 13, 2013 6:53 am

@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.

October 13, 2013 6:53 am

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.

A C Osborn
October 13, 2013 6:54 am

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.

chris y
October 13, 2013 6:56 am

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.

Alvin
October 13, 2013 7:02 am

@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”.

Editor
October 13, 2013 7:08 am

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.

ta pah
October 13, 2013 7:14 am

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.

Gdn
October 13, 2013 7:17 am

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.

DirkH
October 13, 2013 7:18 am

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.

Chris Edwards
October 13, 2013 7:21 am

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 !

mkelly
October 13, 2013 7:23 am

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.

Gdn
October 13, 2013 7:23 am

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.

CRS, DrPH
October 13, 2013 7:24 am

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/

WTF
October 13, 2013 7:26 am

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.

commieBob
October 13, 2013 7:27 am

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. 😉

Gdn
October 13, 2013 7:28 am

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”?

mkelly
October 13, 2013 7:29 am

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.

SasjaL
October 13, 2013 7:30 am

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 …

Gdn
October 13, 2013 7:33 am

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.

Editor
October 13, 2013 7:33 am

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!

justsomeguy31167
October 13, 2013 7:38 am

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

Jim
October 13, 2013 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.
REPLY: You mean IT problem, as indicated by the certificate failures. Why not show us your proof of sign up? – Anthony

Colst4
October 13, 2013 7:47 am

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.

Gdn
October 13, 2013 7:50 am

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.

Doug
October 13, 2013 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.
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.

Editor
October 13, 2013 7:54 am

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.

Pamela Gray
October 13, 2013 7:55 am

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.

Mkelley
October 13, 2013 8:03 am

Here is a great article about Obamacare. It is a welfare system that is a much better deal for the poor than for the rest of us. Older people also get a much better deal than do the young. I hope all those youngsters that famously voted en masse for Obama are happy now:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/09/25/double-down-obamacare-will-increase-avg-individual-market-insurance-premiums-by-99-for-men-62-for-women/

SAMURAI
October 13, 2013 8:05 am

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…

SC-Slywolf
October 13, 2013 8:06 am

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?

Chris Edwards
October 13, 2013 8:06 am

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!

AnthonyH
October 13, 2013 8:06 am

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.

October 13, 2013 8:07 am

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.

October 13, 2013 8:12 am

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. ”

Andrew
October 13, 2013 8:17 am

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.”

Tony McGough
October 13, 2013 8:28 am

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.

OssQss
October 13, 2013 8:30 am

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 …_ _ _…

L Hampton
October 13, 2013 8:35 am

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.

Robert in Calgary
October 13, 2013 8:40 am

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.

boondoggle9945
October 13, 2013 8:42 am

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?

October 13, 2013 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??

Gdn
October 13, 2013 8:43 am

“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.

Tom in Florida
October 13, 2013 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.

October 13, 2013 8:48 am

“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. )

Noelene
October 13, 2013 8:51 am

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.

October 13, 2013 8:53 am

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.

Carla
October 13, 2013 8:58 am

“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

LamontT
October 13, 2013 9:00 am

” 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.

Owen in GA
October 13, 2013 9:00 am

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.

Steven Hill
October 13, 2013 9:00 am

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

Tom J
October 13, 2013 9:01 am

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.

Tom J
October 13, 2013 9:08 am

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.

CAL
October 13, 2013 9:12 am

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.

October 13, 2013 9:14 am

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!

chris y
October 13, 2013 9:23 am

OssQss- October 13, 2013 at 8:30 am
” …_ _ _…”
Excellent!
And great comments as well.

Gdn
October 13, 2013 9:25 am

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.

Paul Westhaver
October 13, 2013 9:28 am

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.

Tom J
October 13, 2013 9:30 am

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.

Alan Robertson
October 13, 2013 9:31 am

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.

Pamela Gray
October 13, 2013 9:32 am

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?

climatereason
Editor
October 13, 2013 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

Alan Robertson
October 13, 2013 9:39 am

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.

October 13, 2013 9:48 am

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)
.

October 13, 2013 9:52 am

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 …

October 13, 2013 9:53 am

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

Rob
October 13, 2013 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.

Alan Robertson
October 13, 2013 9:56 am

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.

October 13, 2013 9:58 am

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 …
.

October 13, 2013 10:03 am

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 …
.

Mike Smith
October 13, 2013 10:05 am

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.

Gdn
October 13, 2013 10:06 am

“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.

October 13, 2013 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.
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

Doug
October 13, 2013 10:07 am

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.

October 13, 2013 10:14 am

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!

milodonharlani
October 13, 2013 10:14 am

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!

October 13, 2013 10:14 am

@ _Jim
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/make+the+best+of+a+bad+job
Me illiterate – LOL (as in, Laugh Out Loud)

Bart
October 13, 2013 10:15 am

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.

October 13, 2013 10:18 am

@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

October 13, 2013 10:21 am

“@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.

October 13, 2013 10:22 am

re: Dave A says October 13, 2013 at 10:14 am
DaveA, the illiteracy and displayed ignorance you cannot see, even with the aid of an optical reflecting device (mirror). WE have a saying for that, come to think of it.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=stupid%20is%20as%20stupid%20does
.

October 13, 2013 10:26 am

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?
.

October 13, 2013 10:26 am

@ _Jim
Love you too Jim
Take care
Dave

October 13, 2013 10:27 am

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?

James Ard
October 13, 2013 10:28 am

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.

AnthonyH
October 13, 2013 10:32 am

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.

Tom J
October 13, 2013 10:34 am

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!!!

October 13, 2013 10:35 am

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)

gopal panicker
October 13, 2013 10:36 am

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

October 13, 2013 10:41 am

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?
.

October 13, 2013 10:49 am

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.

LamontT
October 13, 2013 10:50 am

” 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.

October 13, 2013 10:50 am

“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.

October 13, 2013 10:54 am

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
.

Alan Robertson
October 13, 2013 10:57 am

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.

Alan Robertson
October 13, 2013 11:01 am

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.

Darren Potter
October 13, 2013 11:02 am

“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.

Gdn
October 13, 2013 11:06 am

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.

October 13, 2013 11:13 am

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 …
.

October 13, 2013 11:15 am

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
.

Darren Potter
October 13, 2013 11:16 am

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…

Editor
October 13, 2013 11:27 am

Imagine a person going to those websites hoping for real answers.
Remarkable.

Gdn
October 13, 2013 11:32 am

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%.

October 13, 2013 11:41 am

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

Ray
October 13, 2013 11:42 am

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)

milodonharlani
October 13, 2013 11:44 am

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.

October 13, 2013 11:45 am

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.

Editor
October 13, 2013 11:51 am

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!

David L. Hagen
October 13, 2013 11:51 am

“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.

Gdn
October 13, 2013 11:56 am

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.

Txomin
October 13, 2013 12:07 pm

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

WTF
October 13, 2013 12:17 pm

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?

October 13, 2013 12:22 pm

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.

Jtom
October 13, 2013 12:24 pm

“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.

Ben
October 13, 2013 12:25 pm

Qualys SSL Labs has a nice site for grading SSL configuration. They give http://www.coveredca.com an F. https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=coveredca.com
Most of this stuff is not hard to fix, which is why it’s very unprofessional to leave it screwed up.

Spartacus
October 13, 2013 12:28 pm

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

Alan Robertson
October 13, 2013 12:38 pm

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.

F. Ross
October 13, 2013 12:51 pm

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?

gnomish
October 13, 2013 12:51 pm

“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.

Gunga Din
October 13, 2013 1:00 pm

“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

Rob
October 13, 2013 1:04 pm

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?

Gary Hladik
October 13, 2013 1:04 pm

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.

Reply to  Gary Hladik
October 13, 2013 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.
It’s so clear now. Why haven’t I seen it like that before?
Just wow !!! and one more for effect !

Fanakapan
October 13, 2013 1:05 pm

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.

October 13, 2013 1:14 pm

Fanakapan:
Thankyou for your post at October 13, 2013 at 1:05 pm.
The truth needed saying and you said it well.
Richard

MrX
October 13, 2013 1:18 pm

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.

October 13, 2013 1:18 pm

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?

CRS, DrPH
October 13, 2013 1:25 pm

…the Affordable Care Act is an excuse to institute carbon taxes. Watch for it.

WTF
October 13, 2013 1:26 pm

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.

Fanakapan
October 13, 2013 1:30 pm

”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.

October 13, 2013 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.
…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.

Tom in Florida
October 13, 2013 1:33 pm

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..

chris moffatt
October 13, 2013 1:34 pm

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.

Tom Gray
October 13, 2013 1:36 pm

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

October 13, 2013 1:37 pm

This sounds terrible
http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-facts.php
Like Slavery
The kind of horrible thing you would shut down your whole Government to prevent from coming to pass.
USA you have managed to turn yourselves into a laughing stock
Dave

Rob
October 13, 2013 1:37 pm

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.

October 13, 2013 1:39 pm

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?

Jeff Alberts
October 13, 2013 1:39 pm

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…

October 13, 2013 1:45 pm

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’?

mike g
October 13, 2013 1:51 pm

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.

Barbee
October 13, 2013 2:02 pm

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?

October 13, 2013 2:05 pm

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

Tom J
October 13, 2013 2:06 pm

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.

Richard of NZ
October 13, 2013 2:09 pm

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).

MarkG
October 13, 2013 2:28 pm

“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.

Fanakapan
October 13, 2013 2:40 pm

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 🙂

Gdn
October 13, 2013 2:42 pm

Rob: “Do you get your monies worth?”
Multiplying the cost is not a step in that direction.

Gerry
October 13, 2013 2:44 pm

Tribune link is malformed.

October 13, 2013 2:47 pm

richardscourtney,
Thank you for that explanation.

CodeTech
October 13, 2013 2:52 pm

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.

gnomish
October 13, 2013 3:01 pm

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.

October 13, 2013 3:04 pm

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” >

October 13, 2013 3:05 pm

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.

Gdn
October 13, 2013 3:07 pm

“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.

Tom Gray
October 13, 2013 3:11 pm

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”.

Gdn
October 13, 2013 3:19 pm

Tom, you used an episode of the Sapranos as your example? Really!? Wow.

CodeTech
October 13, 2013 3:24 pm

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…

Jtom
October 13, 2013 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. 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.

jorgekafkazar
October 13, 2013 3:45 pm

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.

Adam
October 13, 2013 3:48 pm

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.

MrX
October 13, 2013 3:49 pm

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.

October 13, 2013 3:49 pm

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

Tom in Texas
October 13, 2013 3:51 pm

“…which will result in a triage system that will let Granny die.”
Obamacare – Another government shovel-ready program?

Bob Diaz
October 13, 2013 4:08 pm

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

policycritic
October 13, 2013 4:09 pm

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.

policycritic
October 13, 2013 4:11 pm

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.’’.

policycritic
October 13, 2013 4:12 pm

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.

karl
October 13, 2013 4:13 pm

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.

Txomin
October 13, 2013 4:19 pm

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.

karl
October 13, 2013 4:20 pm

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.

policycritic
October 13, 2013 4:26 pm

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.

policycritic
October 13, 2013 4:33 pm

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

Bill Parsons
October 13, 2013 4:34 pm

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

kcrucible
October 13, 2013 4:36 pm

“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.

Chad Wozniak
October 13, 2013 4:51 pm

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.

Common Sense
October 13, 2013 4:51 pm

If you want a good picture of how bad it is, check out the complaints on their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/Healthcare.gov

WTF
October 13, 2013 5:02 pm

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……….

October 13, 2013 5:09 pm

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.

LamontT
October 13, 2013 5:18 pm

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.

Chad Wozniak
October 13, 2013 5:23 pm

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

mike g
October 13, 2013 5:39 pm

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.

Goldie
October 13, 2013 5:47 pm

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?

SasjaL
October 13, 2013 5:54 pm

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 …

Darren Potter
October 13, 2013 6:08 pm

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.

Darren Potter
October 13, 2013 6:12 pm

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”).

Goldie
Reply to  Darren Potter
October 13, 2013 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.
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?

ed mister jones
October 13, 2013 6:12 pm

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.

SasjaL
October 13, 2013 6:13 pm

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 …

Tom in Florida
October 13, 2013 6:16 pm

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.

October 13, 2013 6:19 pm

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.

Darren Potter
October 13, 2013 6:22 pm

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.

Jtom
October 13, 2013 6:25 pm

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.

SasjaL
October 13, 2013 6:25 pm

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 …

Darren Potter
October 13, 2013 6:31 pm

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.

October 13, 2013 6:39 pm

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.

DR
October 13, 2013 6:56 pm

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

DR
October 13, 2013 7:06 pm

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).

Goldie
Reply to  DR
October 13, 2013 7:25 pm

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!

LamontT
October 13, 2013 7:07 pm

” 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.

October 13, 2013 7:09 pm

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.

DR
October 13, 2013 7:10 pm

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.

DR
October 13, 2013 7:13 pm

Yeah, the NHS is doing great. Data such as the following is not difficult to find.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10246145/NHS-waiting-lists-are-longest-in-five-years.html

Gdn
October 13, 2013 7:13 pm

” 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.

mike g
October 13, 2013 7:18 pm

Goldie is from a nation of sheep.

Darren Potter
October 13, 2013 7:23 pm

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.

October 13, 2013 7:24 pm

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.

mike g
October 13, 2013 7:40 pm

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.

Goldie
Reply to  mike g
October 13, 2013 8:07 pm

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?

Darren Potter
October 13, 2013 7:47 pm

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.

mike g
October 13, 2013 7:49 pm

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.

Goldie
Reply to  mike g
October 13, 2013 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.
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.

October 13, 2013 7:49 pm

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.

mike g
October 13, 2013 7:53 pm

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.