Why Obamacare is a Mess

The N&O yesterday re-printed an article from the Chicago Tribunewhich nicely highlights several of the problems the Unaffordable Care Act is imposing on citizens.

If you’ve tried to sign up online for health coverage under the problem-plagued Obamacare exchange, our sympathies. Many people have tried to create accounts and shop for insurance under the new law. Few have succeeded. Those who have enrolled have found that the system is prone to mistakes. Some applications have been sent to the wrong insurance company.

Wait. It gets worse. Those who have managed to browse the marketplace have often been hit by sticker shock

….

The Department of Health and Human Services under chief Obamacare cheerleader Kathleen Sebelius has had three years to develop this system. It has busted deadline after deadline, all the while promising that the system would be ready on Oct. 1. It has overpromised and underdelivered. The excuse? Demand was unexpectedly high, crashing servers. Unexpected? Americans have been bombarded with marketing campaigns and news stories and outreach efforts on behalf of Obamacare. And now Sebelius and Co. are shocked that people are logging in to … buy insurance? Come on, Sebelius.

The article also spotlights stories and evidence from Illinois, issues that are common across the country.
Obamacare horror stories are in no short supply here in North Carolina. As a reminder, Civitas continues to receive and publish the stories from real people sharing how they have been affected by this train wreck.

Gov Perdue Decides on State-Federal Health Exchange

Governor Bev Perdue today said it was her intent to form a state-federal partnership to run a health exchange under Obamacare. It was one of three choices, the others being a state run exchange or letting the federal government run it. She told a press conference she couldn’t speak for Governor elect Pat McCrory but the incoming executive said he had been talking to Perdue about a decision. Perdue said her decision would give the state a say…

Update: Governor elect Pat McCrory released a statement on Perdue’s announcement.

“Governor Perdue’s decision leaves flexibility for North Carolina in the future when it comes to the delivery of health care. I will be discussing this with more governors today, and will continue those discussions in the coming weeks to ensure the best results for North Carolina.”

Update: Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) issued the following response Thursday to Gov. Beverly Perdue’s press conference declaring her intent to establish a state-federal partnership exchange.

“Let’s set the record straight – it is not necessary or appropriate for Gov. Perdue to prematurely declare her intent to establish a state-federal partnership exchange.  The initial deadline for the state to make this declaration is February 15, 2013 – three months from today.  The voters elected a new legislature and governor last week and policy decisions of this magnitude should be left to them.”

Berger said he thinks it was reasonable for Perdue’s administration to apply for federal grants to keep the state’s options open, as long as it does not frivolously spend the tax dollars until the new leaders determine the next steps.

State House Speaker Tom Thillis spokesman Jordan Shaw sent an email with the Speaker’s position on Perdue’s decision.

Speaker Tillis had a conversation with Gov. Perdue about this latest step in a long process.  He looks forward to working with Governor-elect McCrory, Sen. Berger and other officials over the months ahead to make the best decision for North Carolina taxpayers.

That leaves the door open for the new Governor and the legislature to make the final decision on the health exchange and the possible expansion of Medicaid. Legislative leaders said during the last session of the General Assembly they did not want to expand Medicaid. So those decisions will be important priorities when the new session begins in January.

McCrory had not released a statement at the time this was posted. When he does we will update this post.

CBO Report Shows ObamaCare Will Cause Massive Future Budget Deficit

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its new 10 year baseline, which shows “daunting economic and budgetary challenges” facing the United States.  Without change, the nation could potentially face a Greece-like economic crisis according to Heritage budget expert Brian Riedl.

One such policy driving the deficit is the “doc fix.” Ever year, doctors are scheduled to receive severe pay cuts under Medicare, which threaten seniors’ access to care. As a temporary fix, Congress continually passes a fix to delay the cuts. The CBO warns if the cuts are extended indefinitely, deficits from 2012 through 2021 would average about 6 percent of GDP.

Federal spending on health care is also a prime culprit in the future bankruptcy of our country. According to the CBO:

Spending on the government’s major mandatory health care programs—Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and health insurance subsidies to be provided through insurance exchanges—along with Social Security will increase from roughly 10 percent of GDP in 2011 to about 16 percent over the next 25 years. If revenues stay close to their average share of GDP for the past 40 years, that rise in spending will lead to rapidly growing budget deficits and surging federal debt.

As America continues to face economic instability, ObamaCare seeks to expand our deficit by billions each year.  A federal healthcare law devastating the US economy, further spiraling America into an uncontrollable debt, surely cannot lead to a path of prosperity and “quality” healthcare access for all.

Obama & Pelosi’s Gift to Health Insurance Industry

Sheldon Richman lays out why the health care “reform” package approved by the U.S. House Sunday night is a big gift-wrapped present to the health insurance industry:

Note that the attention of nearly all the “reformers” is on the insurance industry. What ostensibly started out as “health-care reform” quickly became health-insurance regulation. A common theme of all of the leading proposals is that insurance companies have too few restrictions on them. So under Obamacare, government will issue more commands: preexisting conditions must be covered; policy renewal must be guaranteed; premiums may not reflect the health status or sex of policyholders; the difference between premiums charged young and old must be within government specs; lifetime caps on benefits are prohibited, et cetera.

In return for these new federal rules, insurance companies are to have a guaranteed market through a mandate that will require every person to have insurance. So what looks like onerous new regulations on the insurance companies turns out to be a bargain they are happy to accept. Instead of having to innovatively and competitively attract young healthy people to buy their products, the companies will count on the government to compel them to do so. Playing the populist role, Obama & Co. bash the insurance companies, but in fact the “reform” compels everyone to do business with them.

What about this would the insurance companies dislike? Health insurance is not the most profitable business you can be in; the profit margin is 3-4 cents on the dollar. So a guaranteed clientele is an attractive prospect. The people who will be forced to buy policies are the healthy, who will pay premiums and make few claims. The only thing the companies don’t like is that that penalty for not complying with the mandate is too small. Many young people may choose to pay the penalty rather than buy the insurance because it will be cheaper. But that presents a problem: when the uninsured get sick and apply for coverage, they won’t be turned down because that would be against the law. So look for harsher penalties in the future to prevent this gaming of the system. The insurance companies win again.

Indeed, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has already proclaimed the House’s approval as a “positive step.” On Wall Street, health insurers and big pharma were big winners on Monday, the only industries to see gains that day. Big Pharma also voiced their approval for the House’s passage of the bill, after dropping millions in advertising in support for the bill.

Over the past year, “progressives” tried to convince the public that the people opposed to Obamacare were somehow in the pocket of health insurance or pharmaceutical companies. But the facts are in, and it is quite obvious that the progressives were flat-out lying.