Quotes of the day

posted at 8:01 pm on January 1, 2014 by Allahpundit

Obamacare just got real.

Sure, there were some new rules and benefits over the last few years, but that was just a warmup. Starting today, all of the big pieces of the Affordable Care Act — the biggest domestic achievement of Barack Obama’s presidency and one of the most far-reaching changes in American social policy in decades — go into effect. And Americans will start to see, for better or worse, how the law really works…

The first specific hurdle the health care law has to clear, starting today, is the beginning of private health and Medicaid coverage for millions of Americans. It has to start smoothly, without a lot of horror stories of people showing up at doctors’ offices without coverage or being confused by what’s actually covered…

[Democrats are] hopeful that, between people’s ability to renew directly with their insurers, a better and faster federal website to enroll others, extensions of old health plans in some states through Obama’s administrative fix, and slimmer “catastrophic” health plans for people who can’t get those extensions, they’ve given people plenty of options to replace their coverage. But they’ll be watching closely, just in case.

***

More than 2 million people have signed up so far for health coverage under Obamacare, officials said Tuesday in trying to put the best face forward before the controversial health care reforms fully kick in with the start of 2014…

“Starting tomorrow, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition,” Sebelius said on a conference call with journalists…

Anticipating possible problems in the enrollment system, Sebelius also advised in her blog post that “if you thought you enrolled in health coverage but aren’t showing up in the system, call your insurance company directly.”

***

Obtaining that coverage was an aggravating process. Maxine, a part-time worker at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, first saw her existing insurance plan cancelled earlier this year because it didn’t comply with the Affordable Care Act. Then, when she turned to the government website to shop for an alternative, she faced technical glitches at every turn.

After nearly 80 hours online and more than a dozen hours on the phone, an enrollment application that never made it to the insurer, and a stinging case of premium sticker-shock, Baumgartner says the first payment to Anthem of Indiana is finally in the mail…

The Baumgartners are among the millions of Americans who are for the first time receiving government help to pay the bill. Their $699 monthly premium for a mid-tier “silver plan” was offset by a $595 a month tax subsidy, leaving a balance of just $104 out of pocket.

That amount is still about four times what they paid last year for coverage, Baumgartner said, but the new plan is loaded with added benefits.

***

HHS officials still won’t disclose how many of the 2.1 million they claim enrolled through the federal healthcare.gov website or one of the state-based exchanges actually paid for coverage

Later in the call, CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Bataille if she could at least say with confidence that a “very high percentage” of those 2.1 million had paid.

Instead of answering in the affirmative, Bataille said, “We are confident that those consumers have selected a plan and know what the next steps are for them in terms of securing coverage.”…

During the call, Bataille also declined to provide a demographic breakdown of those who have selected a plan so far or say how many of the 2.1 million signing up for insurance were previously uninsured.

***

In Washington and Nevada, only about 50 percent of enrollees have made their first premium payments. Those are the only states that provide the breakdown.

“The biggest risk now is people thinking that by picking a plan, that they’re insured, when in fact final step is paying the premium,” Larry Levitt, a senior vice president with the Kaiser Family Foundation, told The Hill. “I haven’t seen good numbers on how many people are paying premiums, so that to me is the uncertainty.”…

Joe Antos of the conservative American Enterprise Institute predicted the flood of applications would be too much for the administration and the insurers to handle before the newly covered head out to exercise their plans.

“There’s no way the insurance industry could hire enough people to process all that paperwork if the data was coming in correctly, and it’s not,” he said. “I think most people who think they have coverage will find some difficulty early in January.”

***

Beginning Wednesday, the Affordable Care Act imposes an annual fee on health insurers. The fee is projected to bring in $8 billion next year and roughly $100 billion over the next decade, making it one of the biggest under the law…

On Tuesday, America’s Health Insurance Plans President Karen Ignagni warned that the fee will end up hitting consumers in the form of higher premiums

An industry-commissioned study by consultant Oliver Wyman estimated that rates will rise in 2014 by up to 2.3 percent for that reason alone. By 2023, the study said, rates could be rising annually by up to 3.7 percent because of the tax.

***

Experts say the Obama administration faces a tall order in hitting the 7 million enrollees the Congressional Budget Office projected would sign up for ObamaCare in 2014.

The administration hasn’t released a breakdown of who is enrolling, but preliminary data coming out of the state-run exchanges indicates a large number of high-risk consumers.

“I don’t see how they could have the balanced risk pool that they need,” said Joe Antos of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “The younger people with lower incomes already have education loans, car loans, and such, and these are people who, even with a generous subsidy, it’s still going to cost them money out of their pockets.”

Antos and John Holahan, a fellow at the nonpartisan Urban Institute, both said the final enrollment number for 2014 is likely be closer to 4 million or 5 million.

***

The heart of the issue, many of these people say, is that Obama and his inner circle had scant executive experience prior to arriving in the West Wing, and dim appreciation of the myriad ways the federal bureaucracy can frustrate an ambitious president. And above all, they had little apparent interest in the kind of organizational and motivational concepts that typically are the preoccupation of the most celebrated modern managers…

“There’s enormous value placed, within the White House, upon winning and then getting legislation passed, and there’s less and less value placed upon executing the law itself,” said former presidential adviser David Gergen, now director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School. “This is not their asset. They are much, much better at campaigning and at the public microphones than they are in governing and in management.”…

To listen to Obama discuss the rollout through the fall, he was still figuring out some of the finer points, too. If he had known healthcare.gov wasn’t going to work by its launch date, he said in mid-November, “I wouldn’t be going out saying, boy, this is going to be great.”

“In management circles, that’s an indictment,” said the longtime consultant. “How could you not know? And if no one told you, you’re still culpable for that too.”

***

It may be that 2014 is an even rougher year for the ACA than 2013 was, and I think that will be the crucial reason Republicans regain control of the Senate in the midterm elections. Here’s why.

First, some of Obamacare’s least popular provisions go into effect in 2014. This includes a new $60 billion tax on health insurers, which will be levied relative to premiums collected and directly passed on to consumers. And, of course, Obamacare’s requirement that individuals secure health insurance coverage (or pay a tax penalty) kicks in during the coming year as well.

Second, millions of Americans who buy their coverage on the individual market or get it through small employers will be shocked by just how much their premiums go up in 2014. The young and healthy will be especially susceptible to this rate shock, and this in turn will further drive them away from purchasing coverage in future years. Given skyrocketing premiums, the economic incentives for many of these “young invincibles” are aligned against buying coverage in the coming years. But these are also the people that the ACA most needs to be enrolled through its health insurance exchanges to offset the comparatively higher risk and costs associated with insuring the sick and old. These dynamics may lead to even higher premiums in the coming years.

Third, not only will millions of Americans on the individual and small group markets who like their plans be unable to keep them in 2014, but many will experience what it’s like to be unable to continue seeing the doctors they know and trust. As health insurers face pressure to keep costs down while providing the richer package of benefits that Obamacare mandates, many are limiting their networks of doctors and other health-care providers. A cancer survivor’s opinion article in the Wall Street Journal illustrated the horrible situation that Obamacare will place some Americans in: Being forced to choose between doctors that have been critical to their care or, in some cases, not having access to any of their existing health-care providers.

***

Market orders are complex and organic; political orders are relatively crude and artificial. Obamacare, to take the year’s most dramatic example, is an attempt to impose a simpleton order on a much more sophisticated order, like trying to make microchips with cookie cutters. Such attempts generally end badly, succeeding only in bringing chaos out of order. Friedrich Hayek described the process in The Road to Serfdom: The plan never pans out the way it was expected to, and the planners are obliged by political necessity to take ever more arbitrary and authoritarian steps in order to give the appearance of success to an enterprise that cannot in fact achieve its goals. Even in a democratic society — perhaps especially in such a society — the effects are corrosive, undermining the rule of law, liberal institutions, and the mutual trust that enables meaningful social cooperation. Therefore the question of incompetence vs. malice is not entirely a question of A or B…

The Obama administration has achieved a special distinction here: Investors are faced with considerable uncertainty vis-à-vis how it might interpret rules as compared with the Bush or Clinton administrations — and also about how it might interpret rules as compared with the Obama administration the day before yesterday. Now you see a mandate, now you don’t…

Perhaps 2014 will be the year in which we learn the value of predictability. Who can say?

***


***

Via RCP.


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Proof that God exists.

cozmo on January 2, 2014 at 12:13 AM

;)

bazil9 on January 2, 2014 at 12:16 AM

Day went well.

I can go pass out now.

cozmo on January 2, 2014 at 12:16 AM

cozmo on January 2, 2014 at 12:16 AM

Whoa !
Quite the, um, enterprising adventure !
Good on ya !

pambi on January 2, 2014 at 12:21 AM

B9!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy New Year. I am so glad to see you. Thought maybe you had that flu going around (I was down and out for 1 1/2 weeks.)

CoffeeLover on January 2, 2014 at 12:23 AM

Get with the program meanie!*

*-half schnockered and cross eyed from putting on little decals…

cozmo on January 1, 2014 at 11:22 PM

…..yup – THAT’S Unions…….actually Union BOSSES – pretty much!

….Oh – Happy New Year, B9!……..even though you’re not talking to me…….

williamg on January 2, 2014 at 12:31 AM

CoffeeLover on January 2, 2014 at 12:23 AM

Woot! CL!!!! Good to see you!
Nope..just a lot personally going on.

….Oh – Happy New Year, B9!……..even though you’re not talking to me…….

williamg on January 2, 2014 at 12:31 AM

Whacha talkin about? Happy New Year Willg!!

bazil9 on January 2, 2014 at 12:53 AM

CL…sorry sweetie…my friend has the flu bad right now…
I am praying it passes me by.

bazil9 on January 2, 2014 at 12:54 AM

Whacha talkin about? Happy New Year Willg!!

bazil9 on January 2, 2014 at 12:53 AM

I’m yust Yolk-in’ Witcha, gurl!! Happy Sweetest!

williamg on January 2, 2014 at 1:24 AM

Here’s some “flu-passing by” prayers!…….

williamg on January 2, 2014 at 1:24 AM

Unless you’re STARVING-there’s no reason to hunt.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 1, 2014 at 8:50 PM

I had that same viewpoint when I was 8 or 9…
why is everyone in Michigan killing bambi? I asked..
then my friends grandfather taught me a lil about
wildlife management…went like this…
we have 3 to 5 million deer in the state of Michigan…
without hunting (management) we would have 15-20 million
in 4 or 5 breading cycles…
and then the deer would eat every tree and sshrub and corn stalk in the state..
and we would be overrun by deer…
you see lil g2m deer have no natural predators here..
so the population is managed…counted…controlled…
hunters provide habitat in the tune of millions of acres..
I hope you see better ms alt…is not all about wacking em and stackin em…
and no I have never shot a deer…but I understand why its done..

going2mars on January 2, 2014 at 1:37 AM

Must retreat back to the depths !
Blessings upon all who (dares to) enter QOTD !
:-)

pambi on January 2, 2014 at 1:37 AM

bazil9 on January 2, 2014 at 12:53 AM

I’m yust Yolk-in’ Witcha, gurl!! Happy Sweetest!

williamg on January 2, 2014 at 1:24 AM

Okay
:] :] ~~~

bazil9 on January 2, 2014 at 1:42 AM

hi CL. b9 was here. so glad she came by for some coffee. also pambi surfaced for a nice cup of java.

everything is going to be great in 2014.

SparkPlug on January 2, 2014 at 1:52 AM

[“Starting tomorrow, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition,” Sebelius said on a conference call with journalists…]

Ugh. That kind of sound bite nonsense just doesn’t play well anymore. Women are equal members of society, often attaining higher education levels, jobs, and pay then men in many of the same types of jobs.

They’ve earned it. They did it. They’ve achieved and earned their success.

This sound bite just talks down to women. Nauseating.

muckdog on January 2, 2014 at 2:26 AM

Dire Straits was here..:)

Dire Straits on January 2, 2014 at 2:35 AM

Dire Straits on January 2, 2014 at 2:35 AM

Good morning Dire. Unfortunately, I am up early to get some work done but I thought I’d drop in to see if anyone is still up.

gh on January 2, 2014 at 3:32 AM

Did anyone know that in Utah, where an Obama judge just threw out their state constitutional ban on gay marriage–

In Utah, a lawyer already filed a class action lawsuit against the LDS church for not marrying gays in their religious ceremonies. It’s not going well–said lawyer didn’t actually get permission from the named plaintiffs to sue, so this case is being thrown out–but still. Soon enough they will find a plaintiff who wants to sue.

I want to hear Jetboy and his ilk defend this one. And lib free and other leftists. Because they swore up and down that this would never happen, ever. That churches had absolutely nothing to fear from gays being married. The ink isn’t even dry on the ruling and the LDS church is being sued.

Vanceone on January 2, 2014 at 3:32 AM

Vanceone on January 2, 2014 at 3:32 AM

Jetboy seems to be on our side.

These are the same tactics that were used to engineer Roe vs Wade. I believe Mark Levin has documented how it worked. By the time Roe vs Wade reached a judge it was more or less fait-acomplis. The critical cases were the precedents.

gh on January 2, 2014 at 3:48 AM

Look-I don’t like hunting. It’s just my OPINION. My OPINION isn’t stopping anyone from hunting
‘k?

annoyinglittletwerp on January 1, 2014 at 9:08 PM

I don’t particularly like it, either. Not against it, but I just don’t get the allure. I think it has something to do with testosterone, beer and such…

—————–

The Baumgartners are among the millions of Americans who are for the first time receiving government help to pay the bill. Their $699 monthly premium for a mid-tier “silver plan” was offset by a $595 a month tax subsidy, leaving a balance of just $104 out of pocket.

That amount is still about four times what they paid last year for coverage, Baumgartner said, but the new plan is loaded with added benefits.

Four times? What, they paid around $25.00 a month before?

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 2, 2014 at 5:15 AM

how it might interpret rules as compared with the Bush or Clinton administrations — and also about how it might interpret rules as compared with the Obama administration the day before yesterday.

money line right there…

if a gop president tried to do this, the 24/7 outrage would be huge….
but with obama-meh

he’s awesome, did you see him make that golf shot in hawaii? ladies calling out, we love you….

unstinkingbelievable the kool aid drinking that has continued on the left….

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 5:29 AM

i thnk the lsm is going to try to avoid reporting any ‘glitches’ that will occur with this…squirrels will popping up left and right…

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 5:30 AM

Four times? What, they paid around $25.00 a month before?

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 2, 2014 at 5:15 AM

I had same initial reaction.

Most comparisons are made using the unsubsidized premium because the subsidies are so complicated that the subsidized premiums are meaningless. That makes more sense in this case.

What is missing from the story is the deductible. The numbers I have seen imply that the insurance would rarely kick in but I am in Canada and I don’t really understand how US “health insurance” really works.

gh on January 2, 2014 at 5:32 AM

income inequality….raise the minimum wage…
-the dem mantra for the foreseeable future…

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 5:40 AM

mika loving de blasio and his agenda for new york

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 6:13 AM

what a crock!
reid calls the house ‘the black hole’ because no senate bills get to the floor….this from the man who for 5 years has not brought many bills to the floor from the house….
—————-

gop are going to be in trouble if they don’t pass the unemployment benefits bill that the senate will be voting for tomorrow…there are no jobs out there for these people
-mj crew

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 6:22 AM

gop are going to be in trouble if they don’t pass the unemployment benefits bill that the senate will be voting for tomorrow…there are no jobs out there for these people
-mj crew

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 6:22 AM

The dems can hire them as Obamacare navigators.

kcewa on January 2, 2014 at 6:25 AM

The dems can hire them as Obamacare navigators.

kcewa on January 2, 2014 at 6:25 AM

there ya go :)

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 6:28 AM

Good Morning, Patriots! And, Trolls.

How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.

- Ronald Reagan

My take: The “Big Apple” is Now the “Red Apple”

kingsjester on January 2, 2014 at 6:45 AM

gop are going to be in trouble if they don’t pass the unemployment benefits bill that the senate will be voting for tomorrow…there are no jobs out there for these people
-mj crew

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 6:22 AM

You know what? Until these bastards fix it so that the military retirees aren’t screwed over for being military retirees then we can talk about a bunch of people sitting around complaining about the lack of a job for 99 weeks.

Happy Nomad on January 2, 2014 at 6:48 AM

My take: The “Big Apple” is Now the “Red Apple”

kingsjester on January 2, 2014 at 6:45 AM

I’m going with rotten apple.

Happy Nomad on January 2, 2014 at 6:49 AM

kingsjester on January 2, 2014 at 6:45 AM

‘plantation’???
wow….something you won’t hear from the lsm….

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 6:51 AM

Happy Nomad on January 2, 2014 at 6:48 AM

the new pivot…

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 6:53 AM

so a newly divorced joe scarborough suffering from loneliness, decides to get a cat.

Mika insists it be a rescue. Joe complies.

renalin on January 2, 2014 at 7:07 AM

herm2416 on January 1, 2014 at 11:09 PM

Giordano’s > than Sanny’s. Thin crust all the way.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 1, 2014 at 11:21 PM

Giordano’s north, yes, absolutely. When it was here…..blech! It didn’t last very long either. Neither did the other chain that went into Surma’s–whose name escapes me right now. I’ve never had Sanny’s thin…I like their pan. The Big Scot doesn’t, so when he is out with his buddies, it is my go-to treat.

Lots of snow right now! Supposed to snow all day!

WAHOOOOOOOO!

herm2416 on January 2, 2014 at 7:31 AM

KJ….very well written. De Blasio is a horrifying specimen. I would think that this is more than likely his only term; the moneyed class will realize just what they helped elect and will jump out of the state. That leaves the underclass left holding a very unaffordable bag.

herm2416 on January 2, 2014 at 7:37 AM

Renalin…. divorced again?

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 7:38 AM

Did anyone know that in Utah, where an Obama judge just threw out their state constitutional ban on gay marriage–

In Utah, a lawyer already filed a class action lawsuit against the LDS church for not marrying gays in their religious ceremonies. It’s not going well–said lawyer didn’t actually get permission from the named plaintiffs to sue, so this case is being thrown out–but still. Soon enough they will find a plaintiff who wants to sue.

I want to hear Jetboy and his ilk defend this one. And lib free and other leftists. Because they swore up and down that this would never happen, ever. That churches had absolutely nothing to fear from gays being married. The ink isn’t even dry on the ruling and the LDS church is being sued.

Vanceone on January 2, 2014 at 3:32 AM

This doesn’t surprise me…

workingclass artist on January 2, 2014 at 7:44 AM

My take: The “Big Apple” is Now the “Red Apple”

kingsjester on January 2, 2014 at 6:45 AM

…NYC is screwed!

KOOLAID2 on January 2, 2014 at 7:53 AM

cmsinaz

yep. back in october after nearly 12 years of marriage.

his second failed marriage.

renalin on January 2, 2014 at 7:54 AM

Thanks Renalin

cmsinaz on January 2, 2014 at 7:57 AM

Three degrees out on my porch with snow on the ground…
Morning all!

OmahaConservative on January 2, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Pouring snow! LOVE this! With 4-8” more on the way!

herm2416 on January 2, 2014 at 8:43 AM

I just wanted to repeat for emphasis:

I was enrolled in an ACA plan WITHOUT MY CONSENT.

Details contained in my earlier comment:
http://hotair.com/archives/2014/01/01/quotes-of-the-day-1601/comment-page-3/#comment-7606966

ITguy on January 2, 2014 at 9:07 AM

ITguy on January 2, 2014 at 9:07 AM

When BHO sees the Constitution as a document of negative liberties, what chance does the phrase “consent of the governed” have on affecting his thought process.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 2, 2014 at 9:30 AM

“Starting tomorrow, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition,” Sebelius said on a conference call with journalists…

Totally disingenuous. When it comes to buying LIFE insurance, being a man is a pre-existing condition, since women live about 8 years longer than men on average, so that men pay higher premiums than women at the same age.

If insurance companies, using actuarial statistics, believe that women live longer than men, why would they believe that women are sicker than men?

Steve Z on January 2, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4