Thursday, 31 October 2013


Ken Berwitz

We now have a new "explanation" (if you can even call it that) for the millions and millions of people whose insurance has been cancelled due to ObamaCare.

It isn't that President Obama and his people lied to our faces about people being able to keep their current insurance. 

No no no.  Not according Rep. Frank Pallone, the left wing hack from New Jersey.  It is not that people who took insurance they therefore wanted are being disallowed their choice, it is that the insurance policies they chose - all of them - are lousy, and the insurance companies are a bunch of rapscallions for offering them. 

Here, pulled from Jeff Poor's piece at, is the exchange between Fox News's Megyn Kelly and Pallone.  Read it and pity the people this genius represents:

PALLONE You can keep as long as the insurance company agrees to continue to sell it but the problem is a lot of insurance companies now have been caught because they are selling lousy plans at a high price that are skeletal and don't provide any benefits.  So they are now canceling those lousy plans, in which case many of them are just a scam and saying, 'Look, we are not going to sell this because nobody is going to buy it. And therefore, we'll give you a better plan that has better benefits at a more affordable price.' So the president has never said that he could stop the insurance companies from canceling plans. This is a private market. This is a competitive market.

Kelly disagreed, and argued that some cancellations were a result of Obamacare's strict regulations.

PALLONE: They tell them where to get insurance. Look the bottom line is, if you are selling a lousy policy at a price that's too high, nobody is going to buy it.
KELLY: That's not true.
PALLONE: And so they are canceling these policies because they know people won't buy them. It's a competitive marketplace. Thats the problem.
KELLY: But they were buying them.
PALLONE: But they won't buy them anymore when they have a better alternative.
KELLY: There were 15 million people who bought them and said "I like them."
PALLONE: They're not going to buy them anymore when they have a better alternative.
KELLY: Thanks to you.
PALLONE: Well, I can't go out as an insurance company and sell a lousy policy anymore at a high price.
KELLY: People like - why do you get to decide what's lousy? Why can't the American people say 'it's lousy for you. For me, I like it.'?
PALLONE: It's capitalism. You can go out and buy whatever you want, but the insurance company realizes they can't sell this lousy insurance policy anymore.
KELLY: They were selling it, sir. You are ignoring my point. They were selling it. Some 15 million Americans thought it was great. You didn't like it, but they liked it. And then you and the president =
PALLONE: Now there are better alternatives

There it is.  The Obama-lover's defense of lying to millions of people about being able to keep their insurance.  "Yeah, we said you could keep your policy.  And, yeah, it was cancelled.  But you had a lousy policy anyway.  We know what insurance you need and want, better than you do.  So we've done away with what you decided on.  Hey, that's capitalism for you.  And no need to thank us, just vote Democrat in November."

Could that possibly be more ridiculous?  Less honest?  If so, tell me how. 

Since ObamaCare launched, President Obama's approval numbers have gone straight down.  (The just released NBC/WSJ poll has them at the lowest level of his presidency).  Think there is a correlation?  Just possibly?

Evidently Frank Pallone doesn't.  In his insular world (he has a relatively safe Democrat district in Monmouth/Middlesex NJ), it can't be the lying and the incompetence and the ineptitude which have quickly become hallmarks of ObamaCare.  It must be everyone else. 

What a fool he made of himself last night.  

And maybe, just maybe, Rep. Pallone's constituents will take note of what passes for logic in his world, and will take this into account in next year's elections. 

Well, we can hope, can't we?


NOTE:  For some reason, the web site is acting up again (it happens every now and then), and two comments which were made about this blog are no longer available the usual way.  So I'm posting them here:

zeke:  .... .... ...... They relieve themselves on your leg, ....... then tell you it's raining . . . . . . . . Who are you going to believe --- these dimocrits, or your lying eyes. [h/t @ Groucho Marx] . . .. . ..

 B. Hamilton:  I saw the video of Pallone's explanation. I never heard ANY TRUTH come out of his mouth. I hope his constituents boot him out of office along with any other elected official who tries to sell this LIE. It's sickening to hear this rhetoric coming down from the white house to their puppets in the senate and house.

Zeke .... .... ...... They relieve themselves on your leg, ....... then tell you it's raining . . . . . . . . Who are you going to believe --- these dimocrits, or your lying eyes. [h/t @ Groucho Marx] . . .. . .. (10/31/13)

B Hamilton I saw the video of Pallone's explanation. I never heard ANY TRUTH come out of his mouth. I hope his constituents boot him out of office along with any other elected official who tries to sell this LIE. It's sickening to hear this rhetoric coming down from the white house to their puppets in the senate and house. (11/01/13)


Ken Berwitz

Yesterday, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that she takes full responsibility for the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare.

Except, she also said, these things happen all the time to everyone.  And it was contractor error.  And in any event she is not stepping down as HHS Secretary.

That, folks, is "full responsibility" in the Age Of Obama.

Oh, sorry:  did I mention that the contractors are blaming the government, citing last minute changes by the government and lack of sufficient time for testing the system?  And that, according to (usually Obama-friendly) CNN, Jule Bataille, head of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), appears to agree with them?

Over three years, hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars (actual estimates vary widely) for something private industry would have gotten done in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost....resulting in utter disaster, from day one and straight through to now...and no end to the disaster in sight.

With "full responsibility" taken from the person in charge - who then refuses to suffer any consequences for the "full responsibility" she claims to take.

But look at the bright side.  These are the same people who now will be in charge of your health care.  Whether you are sick or well.  Whether you live or die.

Sleep well tonight....


Ken Berwitz

I had a very interesting and very informative conversation today with "Marie" (not her real name), a Black woman who, with her husband and children, lives in an upper middle class Central New Jersey neighborhood.

I would like to tell you a little about what we discussed.

Marie is an educated woman who works as a health care professional and also as a real estate agent. While I did not ask about her husband's occupation or their financial circumstances, I believe she works at two jobs so that her children can go to private schools and have the greatest opportunity to "get ahead".

Marie is originally from the Carribean, and lived in Brooklyn before moving to New Jersey. Her family migrated to the United States because they felt there was more opportunity here than her native country.

Let me stop and point out that, if I were talking about a White family - say, with the female head of household born in Ireland - there would not be much of a story here. Get an education, work hard to give the children advantages the parents did not have, live in a nice suburban neighborhood etc. Standard-issue stuff.

But we are talking about a Black family. So there are major differences.

One of them is that Marie instructs her older son never to wear a hoodie when he goes to the mall.

Why?  Because, as a Black teenager, he is constantly looked at with concern, suspicion and even fear - not because of what he does, but purely on the basis of skin color. And a hoodie will cause him to be singled out that much more.

Further, Marie believes that, with or without a hoodie, he would probably be a prime suspect if there is a problem at that mall.

And while she feels he is somewhat less likely to be seen this way when with his White friends, the ingoing, negative racial assumptions always hang over him. Needless to say this causes her a great deal of stress and anxiety.

On the other end of the spectrum, she is also troubled by the fact that her sons' Black friends have sometimes accused them of acting "too White".

Interestingly, Marie feels that her children are not as aware of racial prejudice as she is - because they have grown up in a mixed-race environment, have always had White friends, and don't pick up on some of the race-involved subtleties she does.

She has no doubt they will have to deal with race issues soon enough, and has tried to warn them so they will not be shocked when it happens. But she is not sure the message is getting through. For example, she has noticed incidents where certain children in the neighborhood will say hello to friends who are with her children, but conspicuously avoid saying hello to them. It exasperates her that they don't seem to notice - probably because they have so many White friends it doesn't hit them the same way.

How ironic that it probably is due to Marie and her husband's success in shielding their children from this kind of prejudice, that causes them to be less comprehending of when it occurs.

For Marie herself, being Black in a primarily White upper middle class neighborhood has its own set of issues. One of the most frequent is how often she is mistaken for a domestic worker instead of a homeowner.

There have been instances - more than a few of them - when Marie is outside and someone, such as a worker or deliveryman, asks if she would get the woman of the house. Her way of dealing with it is to say "Hold on, I'll get her for you", walk into the house, close the door -- then open the door and say "Hello, I'm the woman of the house, what can I do for you"?

It is clever, diplomatic, dignified...and undoubtedly hurts every time it happens.

Just as it hurts when she acknowledges that, even after all the years there, some people clearly see her family as a blight on the neighborhood - not because of their qualities as human beings, but because they are Black.

I hope to have more conversations with Marie about being Black in a vastly White environment...and will tell you about them if/when they take place.

The more White people know about what it is like to be Black - even upper middle class Black - the more we can hope that understanding will eventually prevail over prejudice.

free` Ken, what an amazing post. I was just having almost the same conversation with my oldest sister last week. Although we are both white, because she had friends who were not only black but some that were homosexual, I learned at an early age that people are people no matter race or sexual orientation and should be defined by what they say and do as individuals [needless to say being in elementary & junior high with this attitude in the mid '70's early '80's made me no friends among my peers]. I know the future will be better because I see my nieces and the attitude their generation has towards people of color and gays is so much more tolerant than even the people of my generation, it gives me hope. (11/02/13)

Ken Berwitz free - Thank you for the kind words. I hope to be able to blog more about "Marie" in the future (11/04/13)


Ken Berwitz

Think insurance coverage is the only ObamaCare debacle?  Think again.

Excerpted from an article at US News & World Report:

The Obama Administration has been claiming that insurance companies will be competing for your dollars under the Affordable Care Act, but apparently they haven't surveyed the nation's top hospitals.

Americans who sign up for Obamacare will be getting a big surprise if they expect to access premium health care that may have been previously covered under their personal policies. Most of the top hospitals will accept insurance from just one or two companies operating under Obamacare.

"This doesn't surprise me," said Gail Wilensky, Medicare advisor for the second Bush Administration and senior fellow for Project HOPE. "There has been an incredible amount of focus on the premium cost and subsidy, and precious little focus on what you get for your money."

Regulations driven by the Obama White House have indeed made insurance more affordable - if, like Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, you're looking only at price. But responding to Obamacare caps on premiums, many insurers will, in turn, simply offer top-tier doctors and hospitals far less cash for services rendered.

This doesn't surprise Gail Wilensky?  Well, it doesn't surprise me either.  As it should not surprise anyone with a reasonable level of common sense.

You are not going to get top-flight care at bargain basement prices.  That is a pipe dream, concocted by Barack Obama and his band of academics, philosophers and navel-gazers, who are so full of theoretical fantasies, but so unequipped to deal in the real world.

The bottom line?  ObamaCare is an unworkable monstrosity.  We see it over and over again every day. 

Like the nursery rhyme said,  "All the king's horses and all the king's men.....".

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