Chicago Tribune drops the hammer on Obamacare

posted at 10:11 pm on October 15, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

I’m sure none of us tire of reading all the news accounts and editorials that—tragically, for those affected— echo the exact concerns and criticisms we all had of Obamacare before it passed. But this one’s a particularly straightforward and thorough takedown of the administration’s amateur hour performance, in the president’s home state.

First, the technical problems:

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 that have enrolled have found that the system is prone to mistakes. Some applications have been sent to the wrong insurance company…

• Illinois officials boasted that insurance premiums here would be lower than expected. But the Tribune reported Sunday that 21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered for Cook County residents have whopping annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage. That’s much more than many families can afford to pay.

• The Obama administration delayed issuing major rules to set up the exchanges until after the 2012 presidential election and refused to push back the Oct. 1 launch date, lest Republicans take political advantage, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

• Sloppy design of the architecture of the computer system, not simply an overload of users, created the problems that are blocking people from applying online for coverage, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

“These are not glitches,” an insurance executive who has participated in many conference calls on the federal exchange told the Times. “The extent of the problems is pretty enormous. At the end of our calls, people say, ‘It’s awful, just awful.’ ”

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, Ms. Sebelius.

At this point, the Tribune‘s call last week for a delay in the individual mandate sounds as prescient as Republicans would have sounded if they’d spent the last two months focusing on the same:

As we write, we don’t know what Illinois residents may find when they surf to the new website, getcoveredillinois.gov or call the help desk at 866-311-1119. It’s open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Federal and state officials have scrambled for months, blowing deadline after deadline, to make the system ready. They’ve encountered bugs: A few days ago came reports that the software was miscalculating the federal subsidies available to low-income people who seek to buy coverage.

We all know the people who crouch in front of their computers, ready at the stroke of midnight to buy the latest iPhone or sign up for the Next Big Internet Thing. In this case, however, you may want to wait for a few days (weeks?) to let the feds work out the kinks.

What’s certain is that Obamacare health care changes will ripple through every American’s life. Doctors, hospitals and insurers have invested large sums to gear up for the law’s complex requirements. They’ll treat many new patients.

The Tribune also focuses on a personal story. This is just one of many people who have already been negatively affected by Obamacare, among those who were promised they could keep their doctor, keep their plan, and their prices would go down:

Those who have managed to browse the marketplace have often been hit by sticker shock. Take Adam Weldzius, a nurse practitioner and single father from Carpentersville. He sought the same level of coverage on the exchange as he and his 7-year-old daughter have now, with the same insurer and the same network of doctors and hospitals. At best, Weldzius found, his monthly premium of $233 would more than double. If he chose a plan priced at the same level, the annual deductible would be $12,700, more than three times his current $3,500 deductible.

“I believe everybody should be able to have health insurance, but at the same time, I’m being penalized. And for what?” Weldzius told the Tribune’s Peter Frost. “For someone who’s always had insurance, who’s always taken care of myself, now I have to change my plan?”

Weldzius echoes the concerns of even liberals in the Bay Area who have partially seen the light after sticker shock got delivered to their doorsteps:

“I was laughing at Boehner — until the mail came today,” Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare.

“I really don’t like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family’s pocket each year, that’s otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.”

Both Vinson and Waschura have adjusted gross incomes greater than four times the federal poverty level — the cutoff for a tax credit. And while both said they anticipated their rates would go up, they didn’t realize they would rise so much.

“Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”

And, then there are the broken promises, again via the Tribune:

There are more problems. People who have individual insurance coverage are finding that Obama’s oft-repeated promise — “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan” — is just not true. They are being told by insurers that their existing plans expire on Dec. 31 and they must choose new coverage. They’re learning that insurers managed to offer lower-cost plans by narrowing the networks of hospitals and doctors that are available or by upping the out-of-pocket expenses. Unless people are careful in selecting coverage, they may be surprised to find they have to pay much more for out-of-network care to go to their doctors or get treated at the best hospitals. Federal officials argue that they’ll work out the kinks in the system in plenty of time for people to sign up by Dec. 15 for coverage that begins Jan. 1. Yes, the techies might be able to work out the computer network problems by then. But that’s not a given.

This thing is a total disaster, and one that’s compounding its own problems daily. There needs to be a drop-dead date for shutting it down and not requiring families and individuals to submit themselves to this, as Allahpundit and Megan McArdle pointed out this morning. Ironically, if it fails badly enough— and it seems almost certain it will, because who really believes this thing is going to be operational by mid-November or early December?—Republicans may get at least a one-year delay of the individual mandate. And, they didn’t even have to shut down the government to get it.

Update: Some in comments raise a fair point about my last sentence. I put this in comments, but it’s worth posting here:

Yes, a totally fair point, and I should have written it differently because I don’t think it was conservatives who pushed us to government shutdown. As I’ve said on TV a ton of times, it’s not unprecedented to negotiate over funding of the gov’t or debt ceiling; it’s unprecedented to refuse to negotiate and then act like negotiation is unprecedented. I should have written “without the government shutting down.” I just meant we could have gotten a one-year individual mandate delay without any of the last two weeks or the brand damage sustained therein. That’s my take on what we should have done. Many disagree. Fine. I feel like we put ourselves in a position where *mitigation* of a p.r. calamity was the biggest win we could hope for. I think a material policy win on individual mandate delay and enforcing the income verification would have been preferable. On the ground, I think that would have meant a significant delay of most (if not all) of the law, a palatable message for most of the country’s voters, fewer people hooked on subsidies, and yes, more media focus on the disaster that is Obamacare.

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Mystery Food Truck Thread™?

Murphy9 on October 15, 2013 at 10:14 PM

And broadband wouldn’t have helped Error404Care…

Electrongod on October 15, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Then there’s the sweet sweet delicious tears over at the Daily Kos. Ace has some brutal analysis, with andy reminding us that the penalty, er, “tax” of not going on the exchanges goes to the government, NOT the insurance companies who are being devastated by only old sick people signing on.

John the Libertarian on October 15, 2013 at 10:18 PM

I don’t want a delay. Let it crash and burn. Why give the donks time to pretend it is fixable. It isn’t. And they own it…

Blake on October 15, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Chicago Tribune drops the hammer on Obamacare

…and….who cares?

KOOLAID2 on October 15, 2013 at 10:19 PM

“What difference, at this point, does it make?”

ElectricPhase on October 15, 2013 at 10:19 PM

But, but, but … all the invertebrate RINOs keep telling us that were it not for the evil Teabaggers shutting down the gubmint, the media would be all over the failure of the DeathCare website — just like they’re all over the failure of Benghazi, Fast & Furious, the Dog Eater’s numerous unconstitutional decrees, the IRS targeting Teabaggers, the NSA, the $222 trillion in national debt when unfunded liabilities are included, Pigford, the New Black Panther party, et. al. …

ShainS on October 15, 2013 at 10:24 PM

I’m being penalized. And for what?

You towed the line for the Democrat party, champ. Now you and millions like you have to take one for the team – for the rest of your life.

At least he can take comfort in knowing that he won’t live as long as he once expected.

VibrioCocci on October 15, 2013 at 10:24 PM

And yet we are supposed to believe that all is skittles and rainbows in Obamaland while all is death and gloom for the Repubs. Stupid RINOs will never learn to stop listening to the MSM aka the Democrat party. Let these fools get the Obamacareless they voted for. Take the red pill while waiting for a verdict from the death panels.

neyney on October 15, 2013 at 10:25 PM

they didn’t even have to shut down the government to get it.

I think the editorial writers are sadly mistaken if they believe that just because Joe Lunch Pail suddenly has his premiums double democrats are going to stand up and say “OK FINE. We’ll delay the mandate.”

This ain’t gonna happen. Every single day the ACA survives is another day that adds more people to a new entitlement, many of whom will get essentially $95 a year health insurance, with no pre-existing exclusion.

This is no longer health “insurance”. I don’t share the optimism of those who think that after this thing crashes it will just go away.

Tman on October 15, 2013 at 10:25 PM

My view is they never did intend to enforce the mandate tax, they just want people to believe the mandate to sign up is in force. They can’t waive the mandate because if they do only sick people will sign up. They will waive the tax, though.

jdp629 on October 15, 2013 at 10:26 PM

A massive redistribution of wealth.

John the Libertarian on October 15, 2013 at 10:27 PM

MKH: Republicans may get at least a one-year delay of the individual mandate. And, they didn’t even have to shut down the government to get it.

Republicans didn’t shut down the government. When are conservatives going to STOP accepting the premises of the left?

doorsxp on October 15, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Come on, Ms. Sebelius.

…does JugEars hire any body who is not a beyotch?

KOOLAID2 on October 15, 2013 at 10:29 PM

I don’t want a one year delay…I want Dear Leader to own this pig. He wants to get to single payer and the GOP will accomodate him.

d1carter on October 15, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Time to send old “Horse Face” to the glue factory?

bw222 on October 15, 2013 at 10:32 PM

And, they didn’t even have to shut down the government to get it.


Stockholm Syndrome

I’ve decided that is the RINO psychology. They have been held hostage by the Democrats for so long they resent anyone trying to free them.

Best of my recollection, until Cruz & Co MADE Obamacare an issue, the Kneepad Media was benevolently proclaiming it would be a success.

Best of my recollection, prior to the SpiteHouse meme, Obama’s BIG problem was riding out the Syrian screw-up.

To my CERTAIN knowledge, the “government shutdown” has demonstrated there is NO HARDSHIP associated with 10% of goverment workers being furloughed.

And the Hot Air editors will, none the less, go to their graves DAMNING the government shutdown BECAUSE the TEA Party members of Congress decided to MAKE Obamacare a BIG problem.

PolAgnostic on October 15, 2013 at 10:33 PM

I want my $2500 annual savings…now.

d1carter on October 15, 2013 at 10:33 PM

It’s unlikely that obama will shut it down, no matter how bad it is. He is selling dope and wants to hook as many people as possible, no matter what the cost. obama will blame the republicans for all problems, the msm will agree, and the republican “leadership” will then apologize.

GaltBlvnAtty on October 15, 2013 at 10:33 PM

The Democrats aren’t going to caught off guard by this.

This will be the fault of the greedy insurance companies run by rich fat cats and those cold-hearted Republicans who didn’t give the Democrats and The People the healthcare system/bill they deserve.

gwelf on October 15, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Give these damned people every bit of Obamacare they voted for. No delay.

matthew8787 on October 15, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Leftist-free thread, I’m thinking, though libfraud might show and declare this to the fault of 3 white guys who burned a black church in Mississippi back in 1842.

Bishop on October 15, 2013 at 10:35 PM

To: PolAgnostic on October 15, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Well said. Hot Air editors should take note of their error.

doorsxp on October 15, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Feel good story of the day:

Irony Alert: DailyKos Blogger’s Premiums Double Under Obamacare
http://weaselzippers.us/2013/10/15/irony-alert-dailykos-bloggers-premiums-double-under-obamacare/#disqus_thread
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA
————————————————————————————————–
Via DailyKos:
My wife and I just got our updates from Kaiser telling us what our 2014 rates will be. Her monthly has been $168 this year, mine $150. We have a high deductible. We are generally healthy people who don’t go to the doctor often. I barely ever go. The insurance is in case of a major catastrophe.

Well, now, because of Obamacare, my wife’s rate is gong to $302 per month and mine is jumping to $284.

I am canceling insurance for us and I am not paying any [expletive] penalty. What the hell kind of reform is this?

NMRN123 on October 15, 2013 at 10:37 PM

This Chicago Tribune article is from at least yesterday. I feel like this post should have been made last night, at least

bluegill on October 15, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Nevermind. My mistake. I thought this post was referring to an older article, but I see that it was not. Disregard my last comment.

bluegill on October 15, 2013 at 10:38 PM

But, but, but … all the invertebrate RINOs keep telling us that were it not for the evil Teabaggers shutting down the gubmint, the media would be all over the failure of the DeathCare website — just like they’re all over the failure of Benghazi, Fast & Furious, the Dog Eater’s numerous unconstitutional decrees, the IRS targeting Teabaggers, the NSA, the $222 trillion in national debt when unfunded liabilities are included, Pigford, the New Black Panther party, et. al. …

ShainS on October 15, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Yep, that’s the HA position. Painfully naive as usual.

slickwillie2001 on October 15, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Republicans didn’t shut down the government. When are conservatives going to STOP accepting the
premises of the left?
doorsxp on October 15, 2013 at 10:28 PM

When the leftists are shoving them into boxcars.

Murphy9 on October 15, 2013 at 10:39 PM

Too late.

22044 on October 15, 2013 at 10:40 PM

First, the technical problems:

You mean, like this?

Unable to find an internet connection. Please try again.

Linky no worky, as we used to say on LGF.

“I was laughing at Boehner — until the mail came today,” Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare.

“I really don’t like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family’s pocket each year, that’s otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.”

Both Vinson and Waschura have adjusted gross incomes greater than four times the federal poverty level — the cutoff for a tax credit. And while both said they anticipated their rates would go up, they didn’t realize they would rise so much.

“Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.

Of course not. The money was going to come out of that big room full of Free Money that the Evil Rethuglicans (TM) have the key to and won’t let anyone else play in.

I am long past being amazed at how incredibly f**king stupid our supposed “enlightened intellectual progressives” are. I am now more into “So what else is new?” mode where they’re concerned.

The thing is; they’ll keep voting for The One and his ilk, anyway. Because they are certain that if they can just get more power, they can Make Everything Perfect Forever.

I have this hideous feeling that a transorbital lobotomy would actually increase their effective intelligence.

clear ether

eon

eon on October 15, 2013 at 10:40 PM

The democrats solution to fix ObamaCare is a single payer system….

So in 80 years we can say, see we told you that single payer system would not work…….

redguy on October 15, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Has anyone told them yet that having Dec. 15 as when they have to have them going means having everyone signed up by Feb. 15? It takes 2 weeks to process and per the law, you have to have it for a month in order to claim it on your taxes (or whatever). So 300,000,000/60 days. Yeah, those servers will totally be ready by then.

UnderstandingisPower on October 15, 2013 at 10:41 PM

I’m being penalized. And for what?

Good question: WHY MUST THE GOVT PENALIZE PEOPLE AND THEN REWARD THEM WITH SUBSIDIES?! Why not stop at punish? For f8ck sake, everyone who was against Ocare said this, 5 YEARS AGO!

nobar on October 15, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Hey Bayam, if I can’t afford the deductible or the monthly payment, will I be refused healthcare if I need it and don’t have coverage?

Bishop on October 15, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Republicans didn’t shut down the government. When are conservatives going to STOP accepting the premises of the left?

doorsxp

And then they wonder why we can’t gain traction with the public.

xblade on October 15, 2013 at 10:47 PM

I wonder how Cruz did that?

pat on October 15, 2013 at 10:52 PM

And the Hot Air editors will, none the less, go to their graves DAMNING the government shutdown BECAUSE the TEA Party members of Congress decided to MAKE Obamacare a BIG problem.
PolAgnostic on October 15, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Absolutely.

I hate to say it, but sometimes I get the impression that some editors here resent and maybe despise their conservative readers.

I really started wondering about this when I saw some of them groaning about conservative opposition to illegal alien amnesty. This is supposed to be a conservative site, right? It seems like some of the editors here like to be able to tell their liberal media friends, “yes, I’m conservative, but I’m one of the reasonable ones, not a ‘crazy’ one.”

Anyway, yes, Ted Cruz made Obamacare a huge issue here and crystallized just who is forcing this on the country.

The HotAir RINO bloggers point to some polls supposedly showing Obamacare no more unpopular, as if to say “ah ha, see, there’s nothing we can do but wait and hope for the best,” but the truth is that this will be a gradual thing that nonetheless requires our fighting it every step of the way.

bluegill on October 15, 2013 at 10:52 PM

Republicans may get at least a one-year delay of the individual mandate. And, they didn’t even have to shut down the government to get it.

Who shut down the government?

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2013/10/04/who-shut-down-the-government-n1716292/page/full

lynncgb on October 15, 2013 at 10:57 PM

Those aren’t glitches: those are features.

Th long-term goal is to screw up the existing health care system so badly–all that will be blamed on eeeeeeevil insurance companies and Republicans, of course–that a complete government takeover of health care, i.e. single payer, can be sold as the only solution to the evils of capitalism.

MidniteRambler on October 15, 2013 at 10:57 PM

With all due respect, MK … the Chicago Tribune does not possess “a hammer”.

This is a clownish, discredited, sleazy tabloid-shell-of-their-former-newspaper, with one mainstream thinker on their entire staff — John Kass. It is in a liberal death spiral … bankrupt and laughed at by everyone in the Chicago metro area with functioning brains and views to the right of Bill Clinton. They give away the paper for free, just to show subscriptions to their dwindling advertisers.

They endorsed a left wing idiot with no executive experience, a fraudulent eductional background as his only asset, and an indifferent record as a non-voting State Senator … for President. We all see how that has worked out.

Jaibones on October 15, 2013 at 10:59 PM

PS The Idiot President’s home state is Hawaii, or Indonesia. It isn’t Illinois. He just came here to BS a bunch of ghetto retards and shortcut his political ambitions. Worked like magic.

Jaibones on October 15, 2013 at 11:01 PM

To: PolAgnostic on October 15, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Well said. Hot Air editors should take note of their error.

doorsxp on October 15, 2013 at 10:36 PM

^^^THIS.

MontanaMmmm on October 15, 2013 at 11:02 PM

So we delay the individual mandate for a year. This train is so far down the grade heading towards the hairpin curve that putting on the brakes will not save us.

If the individual mandate is delayed, it is virtually guaranteed that the only people who will sign up are those who “expect” high healthcare costs, or who can greatly benefit from the subsidies. In other words, those with serious preexisting conditions and those who can game the system. Reasonably healthy folks will gamble that they either won’t get sick, or will be able to defer expensive treatment until after the next open enrollment period.

But why worry about the individual mandate? With premium costs as high as they are, very few folks are going to have to pay the penalty/tax. That penalty is waived if your premium (after subsidies) is more than 8% of your income… do the math and you’ll see what I mean.

DaveK on October 15, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Secretary Syphilis is the prototype for “Mrs Management”

J_Crater on October 15, 2013 at 11:04 PM

“Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”

Curious who they thought would be paying for it.

lorien1973 on October 15, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Tribune reported Sunday that 21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered for Cook County residents have whopping annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage. That’s much more than many families can afford to pay.

Marxism perfected, everyone has ObamaCare we just can’t afford to use it!

But the federal government is living very well.

RJL on October 15, 2013 at 11:08 PM

Amazing how many taxpayers that voted for The One are finding out that his “fair share” means, if you work hard and make enough money to pay income tax, then you need to pay more. For the takers, their “fair share” means even greater takings.

“The ignorance of those who voted for The One is and will be expensive for all but the takers.”

WestTexasBirdDog on October 15, 2013 at 11:12 PM

Dear Chicago Tribune,

DUH!

WestTexasBirdDog on October 15, 2013 at 11:16 PM

Secretary Syphilis is the prototype for “Mrs Management”

J_Crater on October 15, 2013 at 11:04 PM

You missed the memo — if women were running everything, we would be riding unicorns in the park and fairies would feed us grapes. Apparently they meant Republican women, because OBonehead’s freakshow administration of butches sure isn’t cutting it.

Jaibones on October 15, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Stockholm Syndrome

PolAgnostic on October 15, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Bing.

Jaibones on October 15, 2013 at 11:19 PM

Headline: “Obama Fellators Have Upset Stomachs”.

Mason on October 15, 2013 at 11:19 PM

I want my $2500 annual savings…now.

d1carter on October 15, 2013 at 10:33 PM

I’m waiting to see that 3000% decrease

in insurance premiums that lil barry promised.

Solaratov on October 15, 2013 at 11:22 PM

You know who I blame for the problems with ObamaCare?

BOOOOOOSHHHHHH

BoxHead1 on October 15, 2013 at 11:24 PM

C’mon, it’s been said a thousand times on this site that O’care was designed to fail, wreck the health insurance industry, and then usher in single payer. Everything is going according to plan, except for those pesky tea party types who want to stop O’care before it can do real damage. Losers. /

HiJack on October 15, 2013 at 11:25 PM

With all due respect, MK … the Chicago Tribune does not possess “a hammer”.

This is a clownish, discredited, sleazy tabloid-shell-of-their-former-newspaper, with one mainstream thinker on their entire staff — John Kass. It is in a liberal death spiral … bankrupt and laughed at by everyone in the Chicago metro area with functioning brains and views to the right of Bill Clinton. They give away the paper for free, just to show subscriptions to their dwindling advertisers.

They endorsed a left wing idiot with no executive experience, a fraudulent eductional background as his only asset, and an indifferent record as a non-voting State Senator … for President. We all see how that has worked out.

Jaibones on October 15, 2013 at 10:59 PM

Well, and accurately, said.

Tribune reported Sunday that 21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered for Cook County residents have whopping annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage. That’s much more than many families can afford to pay.

Yeah, except this Cook County resident went from a 5k deductible to a 12k deductible.

To: PolAgnostic on October 15, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Well said. Hot Air editors should take note of their error.

doorsxp

Yes, yes, yes, please.

herm2416 on October 15, 2013 at 11:26 PM

You towed the line for the Democrat party, champ.

VibrioCocci on October 15, 2013 at 10:24 PM

“..toed the line..”

~Resident, on-duty Hot Air grammar Nazi.

The War Planner on October 15, 2013 at 11:28 PM

No one year delay! No fixes of any kind!

Instead, total and complete enforcement of all provisions. Against everyone. Make it burn, and hope in the process that the stupid fools (like that California idiot) start to fight back against the Democrats promising unicorn outcomes from socialism.

MTF on October 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM

And the Hot Air editors will, none the less, go to their graves DAMNING the government shutdown BECAUSE the TEA Party members of Congress decided to MAKE Obamacare a BIG problem.

PolAgnostic on October 15, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Ed and AP probably loathe Ted Cruz and Mike Lee as much as McCain and Graham do.

bw222 on October 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM

First of all, we’re dealing with Democrats here and there is no way they are going to take the blame for this, or allow it to fester until the election next year. If they believe it won’t be fixed, they’ll be scrambling to find a way out, but not a way out for Republicans to say, “I told you so.” I think we need to watch the negotiations on the budget, debt, and CR carefully because the Democrats are famous for sneaking things in and the Republicans are famous for allowing it.

Needless to say Pravda, Izvestia, with a touch of TASS, will be covering for them all the way, blaming Republicans if they can, and covering any other mistakes as much as possible. The Republicans are going to have to be much more coordinated than they have been to deal with this. Can they do it? I doubt it, way too many establishment types willing to help the Dems out as long as they can do it and discredit the tea party.

Remember, they all ran on getting rid of Obamacare, but only the tea party was willing to do it, the rest was all for show.

bflat879 on October 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM

The War Planner on October 15, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Unless your in a tow truck.

BoxHead1 on October 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM

Too bad there is not a “drop dead” date for all of those who supported and voted for this POS legislation.

GarandFan on October 15, 2013 at 11:30 PM

You missed the memo — if women were running everything, we would be riding unicorns in the park and fairies would feed us grapes. Apparently they meant Republican women, because OBonehead’s freakshow administration of butches sure isn’t cutting it.

Jaibones on October 15, 2013 at 11:17 PM

..a word to the occasional tourist: if one visits San Francisco, one can get into considerable trouble with fairies in the park.

The War Planner on October 15, 2013 at 11:31 PM

Unless your in a tow truck.

BoxHead1 on October 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM

..you’re..

~the Grammar Nazi strikes again!

The War Planner on October 15, 2013 at 11:32 PM

..you’re..

~the Grammar Nazi strikes again!

The War Planner on October 15, 2013 at 11:32 PM

D*MIT!!!!

BoxHead1 on October 15, 2013 at 11:33 PM

D*MIT!!!! d*mnit

BoxHead1 on October 15, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Unless your in a tow truck.

BoxHead1 on October 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM

Grammar Nazi: “you’re”

HiJack on October 15, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Grammar Nazi: “you’re”

HiJack on October 15, 2013 at 11:34 PM

You are a Late Nazi. WP already caught me.

BoxHead1 on October 15, 2013 at 11:37 PM

With the exception of the WWII years and prior to Barack Obama, the United States had never spent more than 23.5% of GDP. This is Obama’s spending record:

– 25.17% of GDP in 2009

– 23.84% of GDP in 2010

– 23.9% of GDP in 2011

– 23.09% of GDP in 2012

- 22.74% of GDP in 2013

According to his own budget, spending will never drop below 22.3% of GDP. Assuming that projection is correct, President Obama’s spending would average 23.6% of GDP, which would be higher than any single non-war year.

By comparison and before the screams begin:

– 17.98% of GDP in 2000

– 18.11% of GDP in 2001

– 18.9% of GDP in 2002

– 19.38% of GDP in 2003

– 19.34% of GDP in 2004

– 19.58% of GDP in 2005

– 19.85% of GDP in 2006

– 19.45% of GDP in 2007

– 20.87% of GDP in 2008

OMB: 4 Yrs of Spending 24%+ of GDP; WH: ‘Demonstrated Significant Fiscal Restraint’ lolz

Federal spending has soared:

FY2000: $3.4571 trillion

FY2001: $1.8629 trillion

FY2002: $2.0109 trillion

FY2003: $2.1599 trillion

FY2004: $2.2928 trillion

FY2005: $2.472 trillion

FY2006: $2.6551 trillion

FY2007: $2.7287 trillion

FY2008: $2.9825 trillion

FY2009: $3.5177 trillion

FY2010: $3.4571 trillion

FY2011: $3.6031 trillion

FY2012: $3.5371 trillion

FY2013: $3.685 trillion

Welfare/Healthcare has skyrocketed:

Anti-poverty programmes: 49% (after adjusting for inflation)

Food stamps: 300%

Healthcare (including Medicaid): 38%

Housing assistance: 48%

Chart of the Day: Welfare Statistics

Over the last two decades, federal outlays have grown 71% faster than inflation.

Resist We Much on October 15, 2013 at 11:45 PM

Oops, wrong page. Sorry.

Resist We Much on October 15, 2013 at 11:46 PM

“Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”

Can I say “You’re an F’ing D’bag” on Hot Air?

rickyricardo on October 15, 2013 at 11:57 PM

“I believe everybody should be able to have health insurance, but at the same time, I’m being penalized. And for what?” Weldzius told the Tribune’s Peter Frost.

What a moron. Who did he think was going to subsidize the low/no incom and pre-existing crowds?

VorDaj on October 16, 2013 at 12:04 AM

FY2009: $3.5177 trillion
FY2010: $3.4571 trillion
FY2011: $3.6031 trillion
FY2012: $3.5371 trillion
FY2013: $3.685 trillion

Sweet…an average of $600 billion a year more than Chimpy McBusHitler’s highest year in office.

Jaibones on October 16, 2013 at 12:07 AM

MKH: Republicans may get at least a one-year delay of the individual mandate. And, they didn’t even have to shut down the government to get it.

Republicans didn’t shut down the government. When are conservatives going to STOP accepting the premises of the left?
doorsxp on October 15, 2013 at 10:28 PM

I will say this:

This whole episode has shown who is on our side and who isn’t.

bluegill on October 16, 2013 at 12:25 AM

As a grammar teacher, I just want to thank the grammar nazis! Much appreciated to know I am not alone. I may join you in the future.

francesca on October 16, 2013 at 12:30 AM

“I believe everybody should be able to have health insurance, but at the same time, I’m being penalized. And for what?”

You voted for it. Screw you.

Ronnie on October 16, 2013 at 12:41 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BydGYKnG6M

williamg on October 16, 2013 at 12:57 AM

Republicans may get at least a one-year delay of the individual mandate. And, they didn’t even have to shut down the government to get it.

Who shut down the government?

Yes, a totally fair point, and I should have written it differently because I don’t think it was conservatives who pushed us to government shutdown. As I’ve said on TV a ton of times, it’s not unprecedented to negotiate over funding of the gov’t or debt ceiling; it’s unprecedented to refuse to negotiate and then act like negotiation is unprecedented. I should have written “without the government shutting down.” I just meant we could have gotten a one-year individual mandate delay without any of the last two weeks or the brand damage sustained during them. That’s my take on what we should have done. You all disagree. Fine. I feel like we put ourselves in a position where *mitigation* of a p.r. disaster was the biggest win we could hope for. I think a material policy win on individual mandate delay and enforcing the income verification. On the ground, I think that would have meant a significant delay of most(if not all) of the law, a palatable message for most of the country’s voters, fewer people hooked on subsidies, and yes, more focus on the disaster that is Obamacare.

Mary Katharine Ham on October 16, 2013 at 1:12 AM

Oh, and one more thing. Exactly which cocktail parties do you imagine I am going to to cash in all my RINO points? I have an 8-week-old, and I feed her, change her, do her laundry, and get spit up on. That’s my social life, and it requires no political litmus test, and it is awesome.

Mary Katharine Ham on October 16, 2013 at 1:15 AM

I am wondering why there has not yet been open revolt. We now know that the National Park Service will just follow orders, even if they are illogical and probably illegal. Why would we think the FBI, CIA, US Military, and other State and Federal agents would do differently?

It has become “Them against Us,” and it’s coming to a time when we either live as free men, or exist as slaves.

Wino on October 16, 2013 at 1:44 AM

Oh, and one more thing. Exactly which cocktail parties do you imagine I am going to to cash in all my RINO points? I have an 8-week-old, and I feed her, change her, do her laundry, and get spit up on. That’s my social life, and it requires no political litmus test, and it is awesome.

Mary Katharine Ham on October 16, 2013 at 1:15 AM

So are you — looks like you are up for the “2:00″ feeding!

AesopFan on October 16, 2013 at 1:54 AM

So far there seems to be two players in this that are getting a clean pass and should not. CGI, a Canadian company that got nearly $800 million in a no bit no fault contract for coming up with this trash and who will get another $800 million, no bid no fault contract for fixing it because they have experience. Then there is Serco a British company that got a $1.25 billion , no bid contract to over see the operation even though they are under investigation for fraud.

jpcpt03 on October 16, 2013 at 2:04 AM

Why do I have a mental image of MKH typing one handed on keyboard while holding her infant in her other arm, spit-up towel draped across her shoulder and blood-shot eyes? A 1:12AM post? I can almost smell the Desitin ointment.

Heh, heh….been 20 yrs, but the flashbacks of those days still haunt me

~Knave

Renee on October 16, 2013 at 2:08 AM

I am afraid here I would prefer the sh*t in one hand than the hOpe in the other.

This hopeychangy BarryKadie is a nasty dose.

Sherman1864 on October 16, 2013 at 2:14 AM

Time for Morticia Sibelius to retire from government.

She can get a job in a funeral parlor – they are hiring, but only part-time, for some reason.

virgo on October 16, 2013 at 2:51 AM

Oh, and one more thing. Exactly which cocktail parties do you imagine I am going to to cash in all my RINO points? I have an 8-week-old, and I feed her, change her, do her laundry, and get spit up on. That’s my social life, and it requires no political litmus test, and it is awesome.

Mary Katharine Ham on October 16, 2013 at 1:15 AM

This.

The 14 yo equivalent of getting spit up on is having your teenaged daughter sigh theatrically, roll her eyes, or get sassy. Bonus points if she says you don’t understand anything. Double bonus if later she tells you you’re the best mom in the whole world (this happens a lot. In the same day.)

Still better than politics, though. And still wouldn’t trade it for anything. Enjoy, MK.

Grace_is_sufficient on October 16, 2013 at 4:47 AM

Heh, heh….been 20 yrs, but the flashbacks of those days still haunt me

~Knave

Renee on October 16, 2013 at 2:08 AM

Sorry for your pain. It’s been 22 years for me, and flashbacks of those day still bless every day of my life.

Jaibones on October 16, 2013 at 6:31 AM

So far there seems to be two players in this that are getting a clean pass and should not. CGI, a Canadian company that got nearly $800 million in a no bit no fault contract for coming up with this trash and who will get another $800 million, no bid no fault contract for fixing it because they have experience. Then there is Serco a British company that got a $1.25 billion , no bid contract to over see the operation even though they are under investigation for fraud.

jpcpt03 on October 16, 2013 at 2:04 AM

The CGI bit I knew about… but SERCO is involved too?

We are so boned. Serco is the heart and brains of the military/industrial complex.

http://bit.ly/6NUe4F

Chaz706 on October 16, 2013 at 6:54 AM

The debt ceiling is settled law and must not be altered. It is a guaranteed balanced budget amendment.

No one knows the federal government is closed because nearly none of it is closed. Leave it closed.

Immigration is also settled law and must not be altered.

Sequestration is also settled law and must not be altered.

And don’t change obamacare. It will commit self-assisted suicide by Dec 1st.

crash72 on October 16, 2013 at 6:55 AM

So, what if we had this program that everyone contributed 1.45% as part of their federal tax burden on their paycheck (under the current tax code) to pay for health care to pay for their health care when they were older or became disabled?

Call it, oh, Medicare…

And then had a separate program for taking care of the indigent/poor and fund it at the state level, with perhaps a chunk from the federal.

Call that, um, Medicaid…

Obamacare doesn’t address health care. It only addresses insurance. Forced down your throat insurance that doesn’t meet your particular needs.

Glad that some Liberals are finally feeling the pain. Too bad they didn’t realize that they’d be paying for it too…

ProfShadow on October 16, 2013 at 7:20 AM

A massive redistribution of wealth.

John the Libertarian on October 15, 2013 at 10:27 PM

And complete control of every aspect of our existence.

Say, is everyone going to join the massive protests planned for D.C. and at the studios and homes of the propagandists?

Oh wait. There are no protests planned. Sorry, my mistake.

justltl on October 16, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Why delay? This is 1/6 of the economy. The government shouldn’t get a do-over. This isn’t ladies golf.

monalisa on October 16, 2013 at 7:34 AM

Looks like George Soros and Company are getting their desires fulfilled in getting America to implode (through the manipulation and destruction of the health care system).

Cherokee on October 16, 2013 at 7:34 AM

At this point, the Tribune‘s call last week for a delay in the individual mandate

For the millionth time – a delay of the individual mandate only helps Obama, Democrats and Obamacare. What possible rational reason is there fore Republicans or conservatives to support it?

Why support helping democrats avoid the consequences of their policies?

Why support helping Obama do the same?

Why support helping Obamacare cure its website exchange problems, thus allowing Obamacare to roll out to triumphant sign-up success (note, I’m not saying Obamacare itself will be successful, just that they will eventually fix the website problems allowing “signing up” to work)?

How does that help America? It doesn’t because it ensures democrats don’t suffer for Obamacare. It doesn’t because it ensures Obama doesn’t suffer for Obamacare. It doesn’t because it makes repeal of Obamacare LESS likely, not more likely.

so, it isn’t good for America and it isn’t good for republicans.

But, by all means, keep pushing this as the correct tactic for republicans to take. Sure, republicans you should be pushing for a delay of the individual mandate.

Or, put another way, “please don’t throw me in that brier patch”.

Why are all of the people who comment on politics such idiots? Is there anyone with any common sense at all involved in politics? Seriously?

Monkeytoe on October 16, 2013 at 7:51 AM

Monkeytoe on October 16, 2013 at 7:51 AM

I just meant we could have gotten a one-year individual mandate delay without any of the last two weeks or the brand damage sustained therein. That’s my take on what we should have done.

And, for the record, I’m not arguing over whether or not the shut down is good or bad. I’m arguing that your thinking that a one year delay is something republicans should agree to or want is idiotic. Please, for the sake of intellectual discourse, give us some reasoning as to why you think a one year delay of the individual mandate is a good idea for the country or for republicans.

I’ve seen many people push the idea of the one year delay as being a good idea, I have yet to see a reason why, other than that it’ll trick some of the base into believe the GOP “won” some kind of victory. But, last I checked, we conservatives are not in the business of joining forces with the GOP to trick the base into helping liberalism.

Monkeytoe on October 16, 2013 at 7:54 AM

Delay? Shut it down permanently. Who among us is so foolish as to believe that healthcare run by the “culture of death” state is going to be any more efficient in the hospitals of America after they get through programming the healthcare individuals to be good little government agents run by the IRS?

I would like Ed to do column on how those USCCB bishops, who interfered in our politics (Stupak)and helped to launch this travesty in the name of helping the poor, now remain so silent when, even without considering abortion and contraception, they must realize the debacle of their interference which only serves in destroying economically the very poor they claim to help. These are not the parasitical poor, but the responsible struggling poor that are feeling the brunt of this travesty against “social justice”.

I await a clear message from the USCCB on opposing this as a moral imperative…..waiting….

Don L on October 16, 2013 at 8:02 AM

The blather is useless people. As the WWII vets stormed the barrycades in DC and carried them to the WH, we must be focused as to see wherein lies the real problem responsible for getting this nation to the dangerous state of where it is. It is precisely the MSM with the so called “hammer” who enabled these Marxists s@bz to get this far in destroying our republic and the MSM continues to do so with impunity. This can no longer go on if we want to save this great nation. I need to say no more but it is time for people to act. The tyranny is evident and must be met forthwith.

wepeople on October 16, 2013 at 8:03 AM

More to come:
In states who did not go to state exchanges, the feds have contracted w/ a few insurance companies to roll this crap sandwich out to the public. These insurance companies are offering providers such poor reimbursement rates, at or below Medicare oftentimes, that providers are not getting on board. While a hospital may have a contract with the insurance company, most of the ancillary providers are refusing due to the low reimbursement rates. So, if you go to the hospital and none of the ancillary providers are in network………..even bigger out of pocket payments because the radiologists, pathologists and anesthesiologists are not in network. If the patient is in the HMO, providers are being told the claim will be rejected and they should pursue payment from the patient at full fee schedule rates. Think medical bankruptcies will be a thing of the past? I think not.

sheesh on October 16, 2013 at 8:13 AM

I await a clear message from the USCCB on opposing this as a moral imperative…..waiting….

Don L on October 16, 2013 at 8:02 AM

The US Catholics Bishops are liberals. Don’t hold your breath. they make good noise for abortion, but they never speak out about “Catholic” politicians like Kerry or Ted Kennedy who love some baby killin’.

I’m Catholic, but I have no use for the Church getting involved in politics and we should never consider the Bishops as friends or give their political opinions credibility by citing them when they appear to side with us on an issue. They will always stab conservatives in the back. Always. There may be one or two good bishops in there, but that’s it. And even they are too afraid to take too much of a stand against liberalism.

Monkeytoe on October 16, 2013 at 8:20 AM

You towed the line for the Democrat party, champ.

VibrioCocci on October 15, 2013 at 10:24 PM
“..toed the line..”

~Resident, on-duty Hot Air grammar Nazi.

The War Planner on October 15, 2013 at 11:28 PM

As much as I generally have little love for grammar Nazis, I think this is a good call. I am so sick of people misusing this expression. However, now to double back, I think the use of the word “towed” meaning to pull a load might be a Freudian slip. This person has probably been towing the obamacare line to all his/her friends for the last four years. I suspect he/she deserves what she/he received.

Old Country Boy on October 16, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Monkeytoe on October 16, 2013 at 8:20 AM

And, the same goes true for every Christian denomination. Let’s take a look, for instance, at Huckabee. He can’t distinguish between Christ’s imperative to us as individuals to help those less fortunate and the idea of using the gov’t to forcibly take from “X” to give to “y”. the same is true for most churches. They lack the intellectual capacity to see a difference between individual altruism and using the power of the state to coerce you into giving money for some stupid liberal policy that solves nothing and makes things worse.

Almost all Christian denominations will support liberal craziness, because liberalism offers lazy feel good “solutions” to problems and can allow people to say they “helped” those less fortunate by merely supporting using taxpayer money for whatever crazy liberal policy du jour is being pushed.

Which is also why most Christian denominations favor amnesty (well, that and the hope of expanding their flock).

Monkeytoe on October 16, 2013 at 8:26 AM

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