Obama: Growing up means grossly overpaying for health insurance, or something

posted at 9:21 am on February 17, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Growing up can certainly be a tough proposition, even without the government forcing young adults to buy comprehensive health insurance that they’ll never use. Paying thousands in premiums while having deductibles that all but guarantee they won’t see any benefits at all from those plans is just part of the maturation process, Barack Obama explained to Charles Barkley in an interview for the cable channel TNT. After all, we older folk have lots of aches and pains — and you can’t expect us to cover the cost of our own risk, can you?

“Folks our age, I mean I wouldn’t call us old yet –” Obama started.

“We’re knocking on the door.”

“We are knocking on the door. So once you are 50, you wake up sometimes — does this happen to you, Chuck? — you wake up and something hurts and you don’t know exactly what happened. Right?”

“Everything hurts when I wake up,” said Barkley.

“When you were young, you know, you had to actually have an injury before something hurts. We’d like to encourage more young people to sign up, partly because since they’re healthier, their premiums are actually generally going to be fairly cheap. They can find good options for less than their cable bill, less than their cell phone bill. And it’s just part of growing up — is making sure you’re taking care of your body, your health. If you have a young family, you have to make sure that your family’s protected with health insurance, as well. This allows you to do it,” said Obama.

That sounds good in theory. In practice, young and healthy adults are now being forced to pay hundreds of dollars a month for plans with thousands of dollars in deductibles. Even if they get subsidies from the federal government on the premiums, they still have to spend thousands of dollars out of pocket before seeing the first dollar of benefits (and other taxpayers are making up the rest anyway).  The smarter option — and until ObamaCare, the available option — is to buy catastrophic insurance and put pre-tax earnings into HSAs to deal with routine care. Of course, that would mean that mandated coverage for all of those achy 50-year-olds — myself among them — would have premiums that reflected their actual risk to the pool, but that would make them angry and no longer Democratic voters.

Speaking of which, Democrats seem to have figured out that they can’t run away from ObamaCare in the midterms. Their new strategy is to run a scare campaign that says anything Republicans do will only make their own screw-up worse:

The battle plan, details of which were in a memo obtained by POLITICO, recognizes the unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act. But it also banks on voter fatigue with the GOP’s relentless demands for repeal and counts on poll-backed data that show many Americans would rather fix Obamacare’s problems than scrap it altogether.

Republicans scoff at the notion that voters will forgive Democrats for the health care law and its botched roll-out, arguing that the reality now is too clear for Democrats to muddy it with promises about the future.

But as conservative groups pump tens of millions of dollars into anti-Obamacare ads, Democrats are reacting in their own ads and on the stump with the same talking points: that the GOP has wasted too much time on repeal votes, that it’s time to move on to solving the law’s problems, and that Republicans want to return to the days where insurance companies took advantage of customers. Some Democrats also are resurrecting the claim that Republicans will gut Medicare.

“The best way to push back on the attacks we know Republicans will launch over health care is to be on offense about what your opponent would do to health care while highlighting your commitment to fixing and improving the law,” Jesse Ferguson, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s deputy executive director, wrote in the memo.

The five-page document, dated Jan. 30, was sent to House candidates and included 17 poll-tested lines of attack against Republicans who have voted to repeal the law, complete with research citations.

The biggest problem with this strategy is that Democrats — starting with Obama himself — keep making the situation worse by pretending it’s not as bad as it really is. ObamaCare has become so arbitrary that Moody’s is mulling another downgrade to the health sector over the last unilateral enforcement changes made by the White House. Good luck selling Democrats with the “we don’t stink as much as Republicans” after watching the sheer incompetence of HHS and the White House over these last several months of the rollout.


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In which Obama admits the goal of the average Baby Boomer (of which he is a perfect example) – to be known as the Last Great Generation.

Steve Eggleston on February 17, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Scam scam scam. We’re being scammed, folks. And it’s not just the Dems. Wake up, America.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Of course no one REALLY grows up ’til they turn 27 anyways.

Racistanyway on February 17, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Moody’s is mulling another downgrade to the health sector over the last unilateral enforcement changes made by the White House.

They are going to be mulling a swift kick to the groin from the Regime if they keep having impure thoughts.

forest on February 17, 2014 at 9:29 AM

They can find good options for less than their cable bill, less than their cell phone bill.

Well as a physician, I ask: shouldn’t we DO something about those cable and cell phone bills?
It’s funny, you can ask any doctor if they’ve ever received a check from Medicare for an office visit that is payable for “0.01 cents” or something ridiculous and they’d say “Of course”.

Marcus on February 17, 2014 at 9:30 AM

To Obama: Growing up ALSO means taking responsibility for your OWN mistakes and failures!

ConstantineXI on February 17, 2014 at 9:32 AM

“The best way to push back on the attacks we know Republicans will launch over health care is to be on offense about what your opponent would do to health care while highlighting your commitment to fixing and improving the law,” Jesse Ferguson, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s deputy executive director, wrote in the memo.

Swell, but what exactly is the Democrat plan for fixing Obamacare? It can’t be fixed. That’s the whole problem. The entire law is built on two premises. First, that young, healthy Americans subsize the older, sicker folks. And that in order to make this happen, the existing plans that those younger, healthier types enjoy have to be phased out of existence, thus forcing them into the crappier, more expensive ones. And obviously neither is a winning political proposition, hence Obama delaying the employer mandate every time it creeps up while trying to offer subsidies to as many people as possible to limit the rate shock.

Has any Democrat actually proposed a plan to fix Obamacare? All I’ve heard is that they want to allow people to keep their cancelled plans and delay the individual mandate. But all that does is put off the inevitable pain. It doesn’t fix anything.

Doughboy on February 17, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Preezy Community Organizer doesn’t know squat…about anything…

Sheesh!

workingclass artist on February 17, 2014 at 9:34 AM

They can find good options for less than their cable bill, less than their cell phone bill

If they can afford these, perhaps they shouldn’t qualify for subsidies

HughJass on February 17, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Feh … but then again, growing up also means some (Democrat) voters finally realize that all their “FREE WHATEVER, F*CK YEAH!” aint so free.

Jeddite on February 17, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Some Democrats also are resurrecting the claim that Republicans will gut Medicare.

You mean further than the Democrats gutted it to “pay for” Obamacare?

Occams Stubble on February 17, 2014 at 9:37 AM

They can find good options for less than their cable bill, less than their cell phone bill.

You want to talk value? Look at this little beauty right over here, a 1970 AMC Gremlin, I mean it’s got everything, whata ya think?

antipc on February 17, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Odd, I don’t remember this segment when they showed the interview before the All-Star Game.

They claimed it was the interview in its entirety. Yet, I knew that wasn’t true because they showed an excerpt the night before which wasn’t in the “full interview”.

Barkley the night before, said part of the interview was to “correct some distortions and misinformation” about 0Care, which peaked my interest. And then, it barely did.

Sooo…something happened. Which I find more interesting, because that means the group whose supposed to be the most receptive audience for Barry, isn’t that receptive anymore.

budfox on February 17, 2014 at 9:39 AM

You missed this little gem that IMHO shows that this man desperately needs psychiatric care on his Obamacare plan! Emphasis mine.

Barkely asked, “What do you think of the term Obamacare?”

“I like it. I don’t mind. And I tell you, five years from now, when everybody’s saying, ‘Man, I’m sure glad we got healthcare,’ there are going to be a whole bunch of people who don’t call it Obamacare anymore because they don’t want me to get the credit.

texgal on February 17, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Growing up means admitting to the fact your guy lied to push his law through and it’s been an abject disaster.

hawkdriver on February 17, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Fair play to the president who agreed to do an interview with a non-native English speaker (apparently).

jangle12 on February 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM

The lsm has the dems back…..and the gullible low information voter will accept it…..

cmsinaz on February 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Uh, growing up means not voting for commie jackasses. Just saying.

platypus on February 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Left-wingers talking about “growing up” is hilarious. One of the most attractive aspects of the Progressive ideology is a mind state of perpetual adolescence. That’s why so many young people fall for it..and then never really grow up.

tobes on February 17, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Even if the young can find a good option for about the same as a cell phone bill, assuming they are low enough wage to qualify for subsidies, they still have to pay enough to purchase a good used automobile before their Obamacare choice begins to pay anything. And then there are the copays. And then hope you do not develop a medical condition such as lupus or MS, which medications can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year, and which prescriptions are not covered.
Thanks Obama and Dems.
Liars!!!!

bobthm3 on February 17, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Younger people, on average, are poorer than older people. So once again the Fascist-Democrats are making the poor subsidize the wealthy. Coincidentally, this was how the feudal nobility operated with the peasant class.

rbj on February 17, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Eat your peas, low-wattage millenials.

Nobody wants to hear your whining.

CurtZHP on February 17, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Growing up also means ignoring federal law and doing as you wish without paying a penalty for it.

Too bad I didn’t know this when I was younger, I would have robbed a bank and financed the lifestyle I really wanted.

Bishop on February 17, 2014 at 9:50 AM

PS, growing up also means the Hawkdriver family (not our real names) is still shelling out more for the Hawkdaughters anti-rejection drugs that just until the turn of the year were cover comfortably by the plan she lost.

Change you can bereave in.

hawkdriver on February 17, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Both the young and old are in fact paying the premiums for the healthy young. The subsidy will be paid for by higher taxes, devaluation of the $USD becasuse of blrrowing, or inflation.

I know you guys understand this stuff, but I give up trying to explain simple economics to my Liberal cohorts.

Darn, I sound like a conservative sometimes.

I give up on explaining how terrible the ACA is and will be.

HonestLib on February 17, 2014 at 9:52 AM

It’s amazing how the left can maintain control over their realm of parasitic slugs by attempting to appeal to their perverted sense of fair play and sharing.

rplat on February 17, 2014 at 9:54 AM

When’s the last time Obama paid for health insurance and how much? He is clueless to how the average person lives.

Blake on February 17, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Growing up also means ignoring federal law and doing as you wish without paying a penalty for it.

Too bad I didn’t know this when I was younger, I would have robbed a bank and financed the lifestyle I really wanted.

Bishop on February 17, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Robbing a bank…against the law?

Naw, I call that cash accounting vs. accural accounting. A contigent liabiality or deferred revenue at worst.

HonestLib on February 17, 2014 at 9:56 AM

It’s amazing how the left can maintain control over their realm of parasitic slugs by attempting to appeal to their perverted sense of fair play and sharing.

rplat on February 17, 2014 at 9:54 AM

They control the media.

hawkdriver on February 17, 2014 at 9:57 AM

To put it in Barkley-ese: “This here Obamacare is turrible!“.

KS Rex on February 17, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Barack Obama explained to Charles Barkley in an interview

That’s a pretty well-matched interview, intellectually speaking. Barkley, of course, actually had talent in basketball (if nothing else) while Barky is a talentless, inept moron. But they are about equal in IQ, so it’s a nice match. And it really shows the awful truth of how far down into the abyss this society has sunk.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 17, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Robbing a bank…against the law?

Naw, I call that cash accounting vs. accural accounting. A contigent liabiality or deferred revenue at worst.

HonestLib on February 17, 2014 at 9:56 AM

You sound like Roster Cogburn explaining to Mattie about that high interest bank in New Mexico.

hawkdriver on February 17, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Darn, I sound like a conservative sometimes.

HonestLib on February 17, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Oh, it’s okay. We all have our little Secret Garden. No need to disclose what you grow there.

platypus on February 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Their new strategy is to run a scare campaign that says anything Republicans do will only make their own screw-up worse:

Not new. It was the plan all along. Make it so bad, the “only” choice is single payer.

tdarrington on February 17, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Some Democrats also are resurrecting the claim that Republicans will gut Medicare.

LOL. Right, like by cutting 3/4 of a trillion dollars in spending from Medicare to pay for all the Obamacare subsidies?

Oh wait, the Dims already did that. Although apparently, in the interests of obscuring that inconvenient fact, the Dims have been instructed to employ Orwellian doublespeak and call the massive Medicare cuts “cost savings,” in order to trick old people into believing that Obamacare is going to help them, instead of what is is really going to do, which is make seniors pay a lot more for their medical care.

But hey, somebody has to subsidize all those illegal aliens that Covered California is busy recruiting for Obamacare, and it might as well be you old folks, right?

AZCoyote on February 17, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Even if they get subsidies from the federal government on the premiums, they still have to spend thousands of dollars out of pocket before seeing the first dollar of benefits (and other taxpayers are making up the rest anyway).

No one is getting anything they don’t pay for, and they will pay, in more ways than one. I submit Obamacare will be a job killer, not because of cuts in hours, or other such manipulations to avoid its costs. It is simply too expensive not to diminish the profits of business, which means job losses.

rickv404 on February 17, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Funny how he expects the youngin’s to pay for the health care of others after after leading them to believe the government could provide for all of their needs.

antipc on February 17, 2014 at 10:06 AM

You want to talk value? Look at this little beauty right over here, a 1970 AMC Gremlin, I mean it’s got everything, whata ya think?

antipc on February 17, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Hey, I owned one of them.

307wolverine on February 17, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Under Obama, being an adult also now means living in your parents’ basement since you can’t get a job and have no prospects for gainful employment.

Boomslang Joe on February 17, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Darn, I sound like a conservative sometimes.

HonestLib on February 17, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Sounds like it’s time to tell about our secret handshake.

307wolverine on February 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Funny how he expects the youngin’s to pay for the health care of others after after leading them to believe the government could provide for all of their needs.

antipc on February 17, 2014 at 10:06 AM

The Leno and Stern guy on the street videos are more accurate than we ever imagined.

hawkdriver on February 17, 2014 at 10:20 AM

We’d like to encourage more young people to sign up, partly because since they’re healthier, their premiums are actually generally going to be fairly cheap. They can find good options for less than their cable bill, less than their cell phone bill.

What?!? What kind of cable and cell phone bills do these people have, that their health insurance premium is less than either? He’s really a proponent of repeating the same thing over and over makes it true, huh?

Besides that, get the hell off of my TV! Why must an interview with him coincide with every major sporting event?

changer1701 on February 17, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Grow up?

But … being liberal means never having to say, “I’m Responsible”

PackerBronco on February 17, 2014 at 10:24 AM

To Obama: Growing up ALSO means taking responsibility for your OWN mistakes and failures!

ConstantineXI on February 17, 2014 at 9:32 AM

The Village that raised him left that part out.

BigWyo on February 17, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Ogbamacare, by itself, is an unmitigated disaster–hastening the destruction of a country about to be buried by illegal aliens. But Obamacare, albeit calamitous, is only a means to an end–not an end in itself. It is better to think of Obamsacare as a government inflating machine–much as an air compressor inflates balloons, Obamacare inflates government size, power and employees. It also increases the greatly the power of the most dictatorial organization since the Soviet KGB-the Internal Revenue Service–who will act as Obamacare Policemen. But these goons are veritable “mr. nice guys” compared to the pasty-faced, tight-lipped ’1984-style’ “administrators” in the countless thousands who will rule your lives with an iron hand “for your own good” of course! Government intrusion of this size into our lives also necessitates the need for even more government workers.,viz: Contractors to build edifices housing giant computers and data banks. Employees to run and collate this data. Spies (NSA, CIA, DEA, FBI etc etc etc) to use this data for other means than the rather prosaic checking on dental fillings. Complete government control of the internet will spring directly from this increase in government power as the result of Obamacare.

MaiDee on February 17, 2014 at 10:42 AM

BarryLove means never having to say he’s sorry.

BigAlSouth on February 17, 2014 at 10:44 AM

The biggest problem with this strategy is that Democrats — starting with Obama himself — keep making the situation worse by pretending it’s not as bad as it really is. ObamaCare has become so arbitrary that Moody’s is mulling another downgrade to the health sector over the last unilateral enforcement changes made by the White House. Good luck selling Democrats with the “we don’t stink as much as Republicans” after watching the sheer incompetence of HHS and the White House over these last several months of the rollout.

How ironic, the Boehner / McConnell leadership cadre is running on the basis of ‘we don’t stink as much as the Democrats, even if we’re advocating Democrat-lite solutions’.

Not being as incompetent as the other guy is one hell of a leadership reaffirmation – which is why the GOP needs a completely new slate of Congressional leadership.

BTW, given the legal action the Holder DOJ is taking towards S&P in the wake of their downgrade of the US credit rating, while another one is well deserved (national as well as the health sector), I suspect that none of the major rating organizations are going to do so. Fear of the fascists is real.

Athos on February 17, 2014 at 10:51 AM

This is a complete 180 of the usual Democrat schtick. I wonder if the young people will like hearing his actual plans?

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2014 at 10:53 AM

HonestLib on February 17, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Welcome to the VRWC. We have cookies.

Jeff Weimer on February 17, 2014 at 10:57 AM

President Peter Pan, who made his living preying on parasites, now tells us that growing up means paying for parasites.

Why doesn’t he jump off the Washington Monument, and fly off to Never-Never Land?

Steve Z on February 17, 2014 at 10:59 AM

“The best way to push back on the attacks we know Republicans will launch over health care is to be on offense about what your opponent would do to health care while highlighting your commitment to fixing and improving the law,” Jesse Ferguson, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s deputy executive director, wrote in the memo.

Translation: Distort, twist, confuse, lie and manipulate by fear.

That about cover it?

lynncgb on February 17, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Long ago I had my first full time job even before I graduated from high school. The job allowed me the opportunity to buy into a health insurance plan. I declined and instead bought a car and paid to keep it on the road. Oh the days of individual liberty. Maybe some of you can share your stories about how you used your liberty when it still existed. I’d be interested in reading them. Thanks.

randy on February 17, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Speaking of which, Democrats seem to have figured out that they can’t run away from ObamaCare in the midterms. Their new strategy is to run a scare campaign that says anything Republicans do will only make their own screw-up worse:

They are forgetting who is in charge of the Grand Old Progressives in the House and Senate. Obamacare in its 39th version(the current version) is here to stay

Brock Robamney on February 17, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Good luck selling Democrats with the “we don’t stink as much as Republicans” after watching the sheer incompetence of HHS and the White House over these last several months of the rollout.

I agree Ed, but establishment Repubs really aren’t much better and America knows it. And worse they’ve used the same “don’t stink as bad as them strategy” aka Mitt, and that may be so. But that’s still no reason to stop holding our nose when voting.

If you can’t openly mock the left strategy: “Help! Help! Republicans want old people to die (meaning they will stop us from stealing everything-we haven’t already taken from you-when you die), and they’ll try to stop us from killing our babies!…uh I mean have our freedom of choice!”
Then there is something terribly wrong with you as a my rep and I suspect you are already in with the most sinister of senators.

onomo on February 17, 2014 at 11:45 AM

They can find good options for less than their cable bill, less than their cell phone bill.

With no mention of the outrageously high deductibles.

If an insurance company were to claim that “you’re covered” and that your payments are “less than their cable bill, less than their cell phone bill” the FTC would shut them down in a heartbeat. But this administration can go on making misleading statements like this, with absolutely nobody challenging them.

Hill60 on February 17, 2014 at 11:58 AM

My God! What a demented POS.

F_This on February 17, 2014 at 12:09 PM

HonestLib on February 17, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Welcome to the VRWC. We have cookies.

Jeff Weimer on February 17, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Yes we do. Converts are welcome.

(Nicely said, Jeff Weimer.)

Kevin K. on February 17, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Truly a godsend ‘edge issue’ for conservatives…

As the ‘baby boomers’ age, Gens x,y,z,and millennials will need to carry the costs (healthcare and social security) for us.

Perfect.

socalcon on February 17, 2014 at 12:22 PM

*edge s/b wedge- damn wireless keyboard

socalcon on February 17, 2014 at 12:23 PM

If only I had the sage advice of Obama when I was 21–I would have involuntarily redistributed tens of thousands of my scarce, had earned dollars for health insurance I did not want or need. My God, what have you people done.

dnonnema on February 17, 2014 at 12:41 PM

…criminal, Socialist @$$…

easyt65 on February 17, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Listening to Obama makes my brain hurt.

I better go in for an MRI.

GEAH on February 17, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Rush was yelling “bull***!” over these sound bytes.

Murphy9 on February 17, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Democratic 2014 campaign slogan :

Trust us to fix our screw-ups.

Solid.

MichaelGabriel on February 17, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Obama preaching taking responsibility is like Michael Vick preaching kindness to dogs.

VorDaj on February 17, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Democratic 2014 campaign slogan :

Trust us to fix our screw-ups.

Solid.

MichaelGabriel on February 17, 2014 at 4:50 PM

The Republicans can only see the tip of the iceberg of our screw-ups. That’s only about 10%. We can see that and the other 90%, so we are much better informed than them. When it comes to screw-ups, tThey know nothing in comparison to us.

VorDaj on February 17, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Should the black Charles Barkley be offended that the half-black Obama used a fake southern black accent during the interview?

Colony14 on February 17, 2014 at 7:35 PM

I wish I would’ve caught this thread sooner. By no means do I wish to hijack this thread or be off topic, but I couldn’t find another post where this would be more appropriate.
In this same interview C.B asks B.O. about a project called “My Brothers Keeper”. Leaving aside the racial aspects of said program, something that B.O. said caught my attention. He said the idea of the program would be to educate and train “young men of color” to be able to get “high paying skilled trade jobs paying $35 an hour, such as machinists.”
How out of touch is this man? I live in New Jersey, and the cost of living is outrageous. I am a blue collar tradesman that’s been plying my trade for over 20 years now. The last 15 with the same company. I have buddies that are machinists and not one of them is making $35 an hour, unless it’s on over time.
You can truly tell a man that’s never held a job in life… hey prezzy come to jersry and raise a family on the” average Joe’s” paycheck. Then come back and tell me all about the price of a gallon of gas, or milk, or how much a gallon of heating oil cost (or filling that tank! ) or about a $5.00 lb of bacon……, F U douche!

Paco on February 18, 2014 at 12:18 AM