Monday, 09 December 2013

OBAMACARE: THE REVISIONISM INITIATIVE

Ken Berwitz

As most of us know, President Obama lied to our faces for years when he told us that when ObamaCare kicked in, if we liked our insurance we could keep it, and if we liked our doctors we could keep them.

And as most of us know, Mr. Obama and his acolytes have spent the past several weeks desperately trying to revise that rich, fully documented pair of promises to make it sound like he didn't say it at all, we just misunderstood him. 

Think of it as a new version of "it depends on what is is".

To this end, we have seen Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel - Chicago Mayor Rahm's brother, who is often referred to as the architect of ObamaCare - on various cable shows attempting to convince the public it did not hear what most people know they heard, nor understand what most people understood perfectly.

Yesterday, Dr. Emanuel was on Fox Sunday Morning with Chris Wallace, and Wallace challenged him on the truthfulness of the "you can keep your doctor" claim.  Here is a transcript of their exchange:

WALLACE: President Obama famously promised, if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. Doesn't that turn out to be just as false, just as misleading, as his promise about if you like your plan, you can keep your plan? Isn't it a fact, sir, that a number, most, in fact, of the Obama care health plans that are being offered on the exchanges exclude a number of doctors and hospitals to lower costs?

EMANUEL: The president never said you were going to have unlimited choice of any doctor in the country you want to go to.

WALLACE: Wait, no. He asked a question. "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." Did he not say that, sir?

EMANUEL: He didn't say you could have unlimited choice.

WALLACE: It's a simple yes or no question. Didn't he say, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor"?

EMANUEL: Yes. If you want to pay more for an insurance company that covers your doctor, you can do that.  This is a matter of choice.  We know in all sorts of places, you pay more for certain -- for a wider range of choices or wider range of benefits.  The issue isn't the selective networks. People keep saying, oh, the problem is you're going to have a selective network.

WALLACE: Well, if you lose your doctor or lose your hospital.

EMANUEL: Let me just say something. People are going to have a choice as to whether they want to pay a certain amount for a selective network or pay more for a broader network.

WALLACE: Which means your premiums would probably go up.

EMANUEL: They get that choice. That's a choice --

WALLACE: Which means your premium may go up over what you were paying so that, in other words --

EMANUEL: No one guaranteed you that your premium wouldn't increase. Premiums have been going up.

WALLACE: The president guaranteed me I could keep my doctor.

EMANUEL: Under president -- and if you want to, you can pay for it.  Under President Bush, premiums went up 80 percent after inflation. [5] We have actually seen a leveling off of health care costs and premiums in the last few years because of changes that have been made. [4]

WALLACE: Finally --

EMANUEL: As a matter of fact, choice is something we all understand and we all understand that for more choice, more benefits, you have to pay more.

Translation:  Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is trying to convince us that when President Obama said "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor" he really said - and you should have understood that he said - "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, but if your doctor is not a part of ObamaCare the only way that will happen is if you pay full price for his/her services, over and above the ObamaCare premium". 

Is that your understanding of what President Obama meant when he said "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor"? 

See, the Obamas and the Emanuels of the world think we are either so low-information that this won't occur to us, or we are just outright idiots with not the slightest bit of intelligence or comprehension so it won't matter what they say.

But as the polls continue to show, most people are neither.  Most of us are not buying this load of bull droppings; not even if Barack Obama trots out 100 Ezekiel Emanuels to try to sell us on this unworkable monstrosity.

No wonder Democrats are running from it like Dracula from the cross. 

But they have nowhere to run - not when Democrats are solely responsible for creating this mess, and for voting it into law.  Democrats own ObamaCare.  100%.

And if they don't like how the public is reacting -especially how the public may react next November - they can keep it. 

free` Ken, You write as if the electorate 1. Knows who controls congress and 2. that they know who voted for it and who didn't. Have you forgotten all the videos of Obama voters after the election? Most didn't know anything at all about congress or the people running for election. They knew more of what Tina Fey had to say than VP candidate Palin actually did say. I will find the video if you don't remember it. (12/09/13)

Zeke ... . .. .. . .. . Ezekiel, or your or your own lying ears. . . . . . . .( h/t, Groucho Marx ) (12/09/13)


PEAR'S PRESSURE

Ken Berwitz

Robert Pear - writing in the New York Times, so help me - is fast becoming a one-man ObamaCare wrecking crew.

What, specifically, is Mr. Pear doing?  Is he attacking it with sarcasms?  Insults?  Is he seeking out especially vocal detractors, so he can publish their anti-ObamaCare jibes?

Nope.  Mr. Pear is doing nothing other than putting out facts about ObamaCare...and the facts are doing the work for him.

Here is his latest article, from today's Times.  Every word is worthwhile, believe me.  But in the meanwhile, let me show you just the first few paragraphs - paying special attention to the one I've put in bold print:

For months, the Obama administration has heralded the low premiums of medical insurance policies on sale in the insurance exchanges created by the new health law. But as consumers dig into the details, they are finding that the deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs are often much higher than what is typical in employer-sponsored health plans.

Until now, it was almost impossible for people using the federal health care website to see the deductible amounts, which consumers pay before coverage kicks in. But federal officials finally relented last week and added a "window shopping" feature that displays data on deductibles.

For policies offered in the federal exchange, as in many states, the annual deductible often tops $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a couple.

Insurers devised the new policies on the assumption that consumers would pick a plan based mainly on price, as reflected in the premium. But insurance plans with lower premiums generally have higher deductibles.

In other words, the only way Obama & Co. could sell this slop was to hide its consequences from the public for as long as possible.  Now that "federal officials finally relented last week" - i.e. two months after the ObamaCare rollout - they can find out what a big fat deductible pig in a poke they are buying.

I wonder how many who have already signed up are going to be appalled at this information?  How many will demand that they be given a lower deductible or they'll drop out? 

ObamaCare is an unworkable monstrosity.  Even the New York Times, a media venue as much in love with Barack Obama and Democrats as any you will find in this country, cannot pretend otherwise - as shown by Mr. Pear's articles.

May the people who forced this on us pay dearly next election day.

Zeke .... ..... .... As a taxpayer, I demand a my Gub'mint provide a Better Quality of Flim-Flam and Lying ! . . . . Also, a question for Mr. Obama : . . . . If I HATE my health plan, can I still keep it ? . . . . . What about if my plan and I are just having relationship issues ? . . . . . Oh, where is my $2,500 in annual savings ? . . . .. (12/09/13)


OBAMEDICARNAGE

Ken Berwitz

I was looking for a short way to say ObamaCare's Medicare Carnage, and the above title is what I came up with.

What is the problem with Medicare as it relates to ObamaCare?  Well, Michael D. Tanner of the Cato institute, writing in the New York Post, explains it better than I ever could, so please click here and read his analysis - maybe with a good, stiff drink nearby.

Here are a few excerpts:

The good news, if you want to call it that, is that roughly 1.6 million Americans have enrolled in ObamaCare so far.

The not-so-good news is that 1.46 million of them actually signed up for Medicaid. If that trend continues, it could bankrupt both federal and state governments

To be sure, the health-care law's designers saw the expansion of Medicaid as an important feature of their plan to expand coverage for the uninsured. Still, they expected most of those enrolling in ObamaCare to qualify for private (albeit subsidized) insurance.

It's beginning to look like that was just another miscalculation, one that could have very serious consequences for the program's costs.

Every bit as bad as the cost is the fact that for all this money, recipients are going to get pretty lousy health care.

Of course, one might say that even bad health care is better than no health care. But, unfortunately, for Medicaid, that's not true.

The Oregon Health Insurance Exchange study, the first randomized controlled study of Medicaid outcomes, recently concluded that, while Medicaid increased medical spending increased from $3,300 to $4,400 per person, "Medicaid coverage generated no significant improvements in measured physical-health outcomes."

Other studies show that, in some cases, Medicaid patients actually wait longer and receive worse care than the uninsured.

Because of the low reimbursement, and the red tape that accompanies any government program, many doctors limit the number of Medicaid patients they serve, or even refuse to take Medicaid patients at all.

Even when doctors do still treat Medicaid patients, they often have a harder time getting appointments and face longer wait times.

That's one reason why so many Medicaid patients show up at the emergency room for treatment. They can't find a doctor to treat them otherwise.

We don't know yet whether the rush to Medicaid will continue. It may be that the troubles with the ObamaCare website might have skewed the early signups. But if ObamaCare really does lead to a massive expansion of this costly and inefficient program, that's bad news for taxpayers, providers and patients.

Did you know that something like 90% of the ObamaCare signups are for Medicaid? 

It sounds like the kind of stuff  - maybe exaggerated stuff - you'd find at a media venue which has never liked Barack Obama, like the New York Post, doesn't it?

Well read last month's article in the Obama-supporting Washington Post, by the Obama-loving Sarah Kliff in the Obama-Supporting Washington Post, or Ricardo Alonzo-Zalvidar's article at the left wing, Obama-supporting Huffington Post, for the generally pro-Obama Associated Press, or Robert Pear's piece of a week ago in the Obama-loving New York Times. 

The bottom line, of course, is that Obamedicarnage is very real.  It is another element of the disaster, the unworkable monstrosity, that is ObamaCare. - one which is well on its way to showing taxpayers how much this ill-conceived, one-party nightmare will actually cost them, and how badly it will hurt at least some people who need health care.

May they all understand Obamedicarnage completely....before election day.

free' Didn't the ACA take funding out of Medicaid to help fund the ACA? (12/09/13)

Zeke ..... .... $712 BILLION (that's close to 3/4 of a TRILLION) was taken out of Medicare Advantage [over 10 yrs], an extremely popular program. . . . . . Rates have gone up 50%, higher deductibles, fewer doctors are the result. . . . . This is effective for all Medicare Advantage policies, starting Jan 1, 2014 . . . . . . . If you like your present policy - - - TOUGH -- maybe hum "Memories". . . . .. . (12/09/13)

Zeke ..... .... $712 BILLION (that's close to 3/4 of a TRILLION) was taken out of Medicare Advantage [over 10 yrs], an extremely popular program. . . . . . Rates have gone up 50%, higher deductibles, fewer doctors are the result. . . . . This is effective for all Medicare Advantage policies, starting Jan 1, 2014 . . . . . . . If you like your present policy - - - TOUGH -- maybe hum "Memories". . . . .. . (12/09/13)

Ken Berwitz free - yep (12/09/13)

Zeke ..... .... $712 BILLION (that's close to 3/4 of a TRILLION) was taken out of Medicare Advantage [over 10 yrs], an extremely popular program. . . . . . Rates have gone up 50%, higher deductibles, fewer doctors are the result. . . . . This is effective for all Medicare Advantage policies, starting Jan 1, 2014 . . . . . . . If you like your present policy - - - TOUGH -- maybe hum "Memories". . . . .. . (12/09/13)


THE QUOTE OF THE DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today's quote comes to us from that esteemed deepthinker Melissa Harris-Perry who, yesterday morning, opened her show on (where else") MSNBC with this:

"I want to talk today about a controversial word. It's a word that has been with us for years. And like it or not, it's indelibly printed in the pages of American history. A word that was originally intended as a derogatory term, meant to shame and divide and demean. The word was conceived of by a group of wealthy White men who needed a way to put themselves above and apart from a Black man, to render him inferior and unequal and diminish his accomplishments.

"President Obama has been labelled with this word by his opponents, and at first he rose above it, hoping that if he could just make a cause for what he'd achieved, his opponents would fail in making their label stick. But no matter how many successes that he had as President, he realized there were still many people for whom he'd never be anything more than that one disparaging word - a belief he knew was held not just by his political opponents, but also by a significant portion of the American electorate.

"And so he decided if you can't beat them, you've got to join them. So he embraced the word and made it his own, sending his opposition a message they weren't expecting: 'If that's what you want me to be, I'll be that.'

"Y'all know the word that I'm talking about. Obamacare! That's right! I said it and I'm not ashamed, and neither is President Obama!.  Because he knows that of all his victories over two terms of office, his legacy is ultimately going to be remembered over one single word"

Translation:  the term ObamaCare is racist, the people who started using it (as a matter of disclosure I am among the earliest) are racist, and President Obama, that amazing superman among men, has turned the tables and made it his own.  Whatta guy.

On the basis of sheer, head-scratching bizarreness - i.e. finding racism in a term which does nothing other than associate Barack Obama with what even Ms. Harris-Perry acknowledges is his most memorable "achievement" - I award her Quote Of The Day honors.

And if there were an award for "The Cable News Network Employing The Most Ridiculous Show Hosts", her quote would be one (by no means all) of the reasons I would emphatically cast my ballot for MSNBC.

Zeke ... .... .... The Wind Blew, and the Crap Flew and The Vision was Clouded for Days . . . . . . . . . . . The Blackboard Jungle, by Evan Hunter (12/09/13)


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