Ezra Klein: Despite what the conservative media says, Obamacare is working great in the “real world”

posted at 4:01 pm on September 25, 2014 by Guy Benson

From the moment liberal blogger Ezra Klein launched Vox as an “explanatory journalism” project, it has exemplified the prevailing conceits of the modern American Left. Sometimes useful, frequently ideological, and more than occasionally embarrassing, the work of Vox’s self-stylized wonks is required reading among those news consumers whose unshakable faith in their own intellectual superiority is a boundless source of smug satisfaction.  Klein’s latest dispatch serves up a delicious premise to these eager members of the so-called “reality-based community:” President Obama’s health care law has been a big success in the real world (Vox has offered countless variations on this same argument), yet it remains unpopular in many quarters because too many Americans have been fed misinformation by unscrupulous conservative media sources.  These sources, it goes without saying, are run by vulgar partisans — Hot Air gets a shout-out in the piece — whose fealty to the facts is far less fervent than the selfless servants of truth who populate Vox’s editorial team.  Klein’s conclusion:

On the whole, though, costs are lower than expected, enrollment is higher than expected, the number of insurers participating in the exchanges is increasing, and more states are joining the Medicaid expansion. Millions of people have insurance who didn’t have it before. The law is working. But a lot of the people who are convinced Obamacare is a disaster will never know that, because the voices they trust will never tell them.

“The law is working,” and the American people might understand that better if they weren’t subjected to the right-wing media’s ruthless conspiracy to deny them the truth.  (Strangely, this powerful, narrative-dominating cabal was incapable of defeating a weak incumbent president two years ago).  As one of the alleged merchants of deceit, I’m more than willing to stipulate that (a) certain critics’ doomsday predictions haven’t panned out (see, for instance, Klein’s example of insurer participation in some exchanges), and (b) that the law has, in fact, helped some people.  A recent Kaiser Foundation poll found that 14 percent of Americans say the ‘Affordable’ Care Act has impacted their family for the better.  The trouble is that twice that number said they’ve been directly harmed by the law, which was marketed as a win-win for all consumers.  Numerous national surveys have consistently tracked the same two-to-one, hurt-to-helped ratio.  People’s actual experiences are not a product of propaganda-driven confusion.  Setting aside Klein’s faulty presupposition that the expansion of Medicaid is an unalloyed good, his first two points fail rudimentary scrutiny.  Beyond the cloistered world of the goalpost-shifting wonkosphere, costs are most assuredly not “lower than expected,” nor is enrollment “higher than expected.”  Allow me to try my hand at explanatory journalism:

(1) Democrats promised Americans that Obamacare would reduce “everybody’s” rates by $2,500 per family.  Instead, back in the real world, premiums have continued to climb ever higher.  Many consumers have experienced double-digit increases, with average 2015 individual market hikes projected in the high single digits — to say nothing of pared-back provider networks or heavy out-of-pocket costs.  Employers are also seeing a continued uptick in their healthcare tab, with those costs being passed down to employees in the form of higher contributions and scaled down coverage.  Healthcare industry expert Bob Laszewski notes that the full extent of Obamacare’s premium increases won’t be realized until 2017, when the law’s bailout-style, taxpayer-funded reimbursement provisions for insurers sunset.  At that point, insurers will have a much firmer grasp on the composition of their risk pools (which have thus far skewed older and sicker than anticipated); they will no longer be able to sustain losses to grab market share, then fall back on public dollars to make them whole.  As for the national spending “cost curve,” the president said his law would bend it down.  The latest CMS numbers project healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP will climb from 17.2 percent today to 19.3 percent by 2023.  It’s true that costs and spending have increased at a slower rate since Obamacare passed, but the government’s own bookkeepers have primarily attributed that phenomenon to the anemic economic ‘recovery,’ not the ACA.  Overall, assertions that premiums and costs are “lower than expected” will come as an insulting surprise to many average people — and not because they’ve been watching too much Fox News.

(2) Similarly, enrollment is not “higher than expected” by any reasonable benchmark.  The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that 12 million Americans would obtain health insurance through Obamacare in 2014, with the Obama administration boasting that between Medicaid expansion and the exchanges, they’ve hit the 14 million mark.  But two comprehensive federal surveys released in recent weeks have shown dramatically lower numbers, with the US Census Bureau indicating that the number of uninsured Americans has actually increased.  Data provided by the CDC, even after being augmented with generous assumptions, pegs the number of newly-insured Americans at less than six million — total.  Furthermore, HHS’ downward revision of its “eight million enrollments” football spike doesn’t account for the hundreds of thousands of consumers who are in the process of losing their coverage and/or premiums due to ineligibility, nor does it reflect the significant attrition of paying customers being reported by leading insurers.  The administration conjures its grand numbers via sleight of hand, “counting” new Medicaid enrollees whose sign-ups had nothing to do with Obamacare, as well as millions of people who have complied with the law’s individual mandate after being thrown off of their existing plans.  Various independent studies have concluded that a substantial majority of “new” exchange exchange enrollees were previously insured.  And as always, I’m amused by Obamacare supporters’ boisterous high-fiving over the fact that millions of people have engaged in behavior that is now legally mandated.

(3) We’re onto well-trod ground now, but no rebuttal to “the law is working” would be complete without mentioning that millions of people have been dislodged from their preferred health plans and caregiver arrangements as a direct result of Obamacare, with millions more to come.  This constitutes a gross violation of a pair of unequivocal vows repeated endlessly by the law’s boosters.  People cannot necessarily keep their plans and doctors — a reality that will again hit home for many consumers during the re-enrollment process (for reasons explained here), and when the president’s temporary, frantic, unilateral “fix” expires in those jurisdictions that went along with it in the first place.  The administration’s own internal estimates predicted that 93 million Americans would eventually lose their grandfathered coverage status under Obamacare, and one of the law’s primary architects is now boasting that he expects 80 percent of Americans who receive their insurance through work will lose that coverage within a decade.  Those people will be better off, Dr. Zeke Emanuel argues, and some conservatives might even agree in principle, to a certain extent.  But “most of you will lose your current coverage, and that’s a good thing,” wasn’t the sales pitch.  The sales pitch was, “If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”  Comprehensively, utterly false.

(4) As we approach the next open enrollment period — which was conveniently delayed until after the midterm elections — the so-called “back end” of Obamacare’s online portal is still incomplete.  This function is supposed to seamlessly merge the government’s records with private insurers’ data, in real time.  Without a functional back end, costly eligibility discrepancies will continue to arise, and the true, up-to-the-minute number of enrollees will remain shrouded in mystery. This system was supposed to be up and running in the fall of 2013.  The Obama administration is now suggesting that it won’t be ready until sometime in 2015. Due to this delay and a number of additional factors, Laszewski anticipates another chaotic enrollment period, full of unpleasant surprises even for those who may believe they’re squared away.  Meanwhile, several states have completely abandoned their Obamacare exchanges, flushing hundreds of millions of dollars down the toilet in the process.  Vermont’s website was recently yanked offline “for weeks, not days” for maintenance, while the Minnesota marketplace’s re-enrollment capacity is reportedly in very serious trouble.  Oh, and the government admitted that Healthcare.gov was maliciously hacked over the summer, as data security experts warn that real vulnerabilities remain.  A Government Accountability Office (GAO) probe revealed that 11 of its 12 non-existent consumers managed to obtain Obamacare coverage and subsidies online and over the phone.

(5) Sundry additional assurances have been unceremoniously jettisoned as well.  We were told that Obamacare would reduce healthcare-related deficits.  After various accounting gimmicks are cleared away, the opposite appears to be the case.  CBO, for its part, has given up trying to track the law’s long-term fiscal impact, citing the administration’s endless on-the-fly changes.  We were told that current seniors’ Medicare coverage would be unaffected by Obamacare, which would only serve to lengthen the former program’s solvency lifespan.  Verdicts: Not true on the first count, and highly implausible on the second.  And we were told that Republicans and pro-life Democrats were lying in 2010 when they warned that the new law would result in taxpayer-funded elected abortions.  A recently-released GAO investigation revealed who was telling the truth (spoiler: Obamacare is funding elective abortions).

Obamacare has shattered virtually every major promise its supporters advanced during the public debate of 2009 and 2010.  Premiums are still rising (sharply, in many cases), out-of-pocket costs are increasing, access to care is receding, millions have been unable to retain their preferred plans and physicians (with many more cancellation letters to come), the national health spending trajectory is still pointed upward, the enrollment process is still plagued by technical problems, major components of Obamacare’s less-than-secure website still aren’t built, nonpartisan experts agree that the law is harming the economy, a supermajority of Americans directly impacted by the law thus far say they’ve been hurt by it, and its overall approval rating has languished underwater by double digits for years on end.  “Working.” 

In Voxland, Obamacare is a success.  In the real world, it’s a mess.  But a lot of people who count themselves among the pro-empiricism, pro-science, “reality-based community” will never know that, because the voices they trust will never tell them.


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Comments

Ezra Klein: Despite what the conservative media says, Obamacare is working great in the “real world” liberal left la la land

bgibbs1000 on September 26, 2014 at 8:16 AM

bamacare is terrible but here to stay I’m afraid.
Only options now is to replace it with something better but getting rid of it is out of the question. Way too many people on the system now.
weedisgood on September 25, 2014 at 5:01 PM

I’m sorry, but please explain why it was perfectly feasible to force millions of people OUT of their individual policies by making them illegal, and subsequently INTO the exchanges because it was the only alternative?

Just make the crappy Obamacare policies Illegal and force people back INTO the marketplace, if they resist buying better insurance for less money like they wereable to purchase pre-HolocaustCare.

One law to force them to do one thing- another law to force them to do another. You don’t think most people actually like the type of health insurance they’ve been forced into, do you?

As for the Medicaid expansion- your health outlook is statistically better if you never see a Medicare doctor than if you receive typical Medicare-covered health care; chew on that one for a while.

Dolce Far Niente on September 26, 2014 at 8:25 AM

There are too many facts and too much reasoning in your post.

You hater.

BCrago66 on September 26, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Where is this ‘Real World’, and how can Americans get access to it?

Maybe Ezra is referring to an MTV reality show or something?

s1im on September 26, 2014 at 8:55 AM

bamacare is terrible but here to stay I’m afraid.
Only options now is to replace it with something better but getting rid of it is out of the question. Way too many people on the system now.
weedisgood on September 25, 2014 at 5:01 PM

That’s pure nonsense.

If Prohibition can be repealed, anything can.

Star Bird on September 26, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Anyone who believes anything Ezra says on any subject is just demonstrating their own partisanship.

I am assuming he has pictures of somebody that allows him his glorious life style in our nations capital spouting off as someone who is knowledgeable on anything.

Listen to him at your own risk – and especially on health care where he has been almost 100% incorrect on all of it.

Zomcon JEM on September 26, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Now isn’t that sweet! L’il Ezra’s got himself his own little real world!

damage done on September 26, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Numerous national surveys have consistently tracked the same two-to-one, hurt-to-helped ratio.

Well, here’s where we get into the “if it helps just one person…” justification.

Axeman on September 26, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Because a majority don’t listen to you.

What is the basis for this determination?

Note that you have convinced the significant minority that do listen to you that Obama is a Kenyan born Marxist and Muslim (which is a neat trick to be both) who hates america and is also the most librul president evah. Nothing in the previous sentence is objectively true. Actually everything in the previous sentence is objectively false. but those in the echo chamber will go on believing the lies no matter what.

I’m not sure if your well rehearsed rhetoric has any meaning here. What exactly is a significant minority? And do Birthers have any more to do with ObamaCare failures than 9/11 Truthers or Moon Landing hoaxers?

And then you go on to recount all the same discredited junk that got you here in the first place.

Such as?

bravo!

Golf clap?

In the real world,

Remember Tlaloc, you embrace an ideology that was imbibed through bong water back in the flatulent 1960s, so you’re not qualified to comment on the nature of the real world. Especially if you’re connected to academia in any way.

sign ups were very high despite the right doing everything they could to actively sabotage the ACA.

Can you give some exact figures here?

In the real world

Bong water, Tlaloc, bong water.

costs have been significantly lower than they would have been with the historic average of insurance increases year to year.

Are you sure that by lower, you don’t mean higher?

In the real world

Gurgle gurgle.

it looks very much like next year will be much better as well as the number of participating insurers has grown significantly.

Grown, or assimilated?

In the real world

Stop bogarting dude.

every single prediction by the right of problems, every one, has failed to materialize.

You do realize of course, that in the actual real world, the sober real world or mature adults, that the exact opposite is true, right? That ObamaCare has accomplised the exact opposite of all of President Obama’s campaign promises in regards to it, right?

Has it done as well as it could have?

It can’t do well. It was designed wholly by people who have no idea how to run anything, as the city of Detroit illustrates. That’s the fact of reality that drones from the Collective are incapable of processing. Utopia, does not, and cannot, exist.

Has the right dedicated itself to preventing the ACA from helping people?

Tlaloc on September 25, 2014 at 6:13 PM

The ACA does that all on its own.

Star Bird on September 26, 2014 at 10:05 AM

As an aside, I’m not sure why you would want to deny that President Obama might be the most “librul” President ever, since we do have images of an adolescent President Obama praying to the buttocks of Marxist Terrirost Professor Bill Ayers.

Star Bird on September 26, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Yeah and exactly how do the two plans compare? Are you remembering to subtract subsidies from the cost of the ACA plan? Those points kind of matter.

Tlaloc on September 25, 2014 at 6:19 PM

He might also be considering that at some point the subsidies will likely dry up, probably at a point when premiums have risen even higher.

Forethought is a conservative trait.

Star Bird on September 26, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Weren’t you guys predicting a massive popular uprising against the law?

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/obama_and_democrats_health_care_plan-1130.html

Looking over the history we see the best it polled at was -6. The worst -19. Right now it’s at… -10.

So why exactly is it now that plenty of people have had direct interactions with the law that the negatives seem to be trending down, not up?

Tlaloc on September 25, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Well, a lot of those predictions were predicated on the notion that the ObamaCare law would be instituted as passed.

I don’t think even the most cynical of conservatives ever suspected that the President would wave an imperial wand to push the more troubling aspects of the ObamaCare law until after elections.

The unpopularity will ensue. We just have to wait for the inevitable aspects of the law to take place rather than be pushed back to save Democratic derrières yet again.

Remember, all of the academic rhetoric, all of the academic studies, all of the academic polling, won’t amount to more than a hill of beans, when pitted against actual personal experience with the oppressive ObamaCare law.

Eventually, reality always trumps progressivity.

Star Bird on September 26, 2014 at 10:26 AM

C) their new plan is 1,000,000x better than the old one

and thus artificially inflate the supposed cost. It’s just gotten to be routine at this point to check these three things first…

Tlaloc on September 25, 2014 at 6:30 PM

What is the measure of the 1,000,000x better?

Is this another version of the discredited, “we had to cancel your plan because it was crappy” argument?

Star Bird on September 26, 2014 at 10:28 AM

What are you going to do, to the insane left, there isn’t any other kind, government is their idol. It’s despicable that they should be happy that millions of people are and will be losing their preferred coverage. Scratch a leftist, you get a power freak. of course the government has to do their coercive dirty work for them.

arand on September 26, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Has the right dedicated itself to preventing the ACA from helping people?

Tlaloc on September 25, 2014 at 6:13 PM

I have a friend who was forced off her old insurance and had to enroll through the state. Now she is ready to start a new job with benefits, but before she can do that, she has to provide a signed form stating that her immunizations were up to date. Well, her DTaP and a couple others need updating.

So here’s the thing: she has been calling all over town looking for doctors in her new provider network and can’t find anybody. The only way she can get the immunizations is to pay over $200 out of pocket, and without that form and with no doctor to sign it, she can’t even start her new job to get back on “real” insurance.

Obamacare: kicking you off your insurance, shrinking your provider network drastically, making you pay hundreds out of pocket for preventative measures, and blocking you from gainful employment. Keep preaching the good news, Tlaloc.

The Schaef on September 26, 2014 at 10:45 AM

But the website finally said that they take ABSOLUTELY NO Anthem “Exchange” plans.

HilliardPatriot on September 25, 2014 at 5:20 PM

That is a total bummer, dude. OhioHealth is one of the two biggest health networks in central Ohio, along with the Mt. Carmel network. Riverside, Grant, Grady, Doctors, Dublin Methodist, all OhioHealth hospitals.

… and thus artificially inflate the supposed cost.

Tlaloc on September 25, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Yes, I’m sure people deliberately pay thousands more than they need to just so they can win an Internet argument with you.

The Schaef on September 26, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Yes, I’m sure people deliberately pay thousands more than they need to just so they can win an Internet argument with you.

The Schaef on September 26, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Don’t you understand?

It’s all a vast right-wing capitalist conspiracy.

Just as any professor. Or Nazi. But I repeat myself.

Star Bird on September 26, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Yup. I’m paying more out of pocket, more than double the premiums, and with less coverage. If you’re a socialist I guess that’s success.

TerryW on September 26, 2014 at 11:25 AM

you guys are so sad.

even with all the republican states actively and intentionalky murdering their citizens by sabotaging their access to healthcare, still obamacare is helping millions more get coverage while slowing healthcare spending and healthcare related deficit growth at the same time.

and you babies still care more about never admitting you are wrong, like te spoiled brats you all are.

just a disgusting bunch, really.

everdiso on September 26, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Counting every single bit of coverage (website, Medicaid, and CHIP) the ACA covered 11 million of 41 million uninsured and eligible individuals.
 
What score is 11 out of 41 on a test?

rogerb on September 26, 2014 at 11:30 AM

even with all the republican states actively and intentionalky murdering their citizens by sabotaging their access to healthcare
 
everdiso on September 26, 2014 at 11:28 AM

 
Also known as “obeying the law written, passed, and signed only and entirely by (D)s”.

rogerb on September 26, 2014 at 11:34 AM

even with all the republican states actively and intentionalky murdering their citizens by sabotaging their access to healthcare,

Are you Debbie Wasserman-Schultz or Alan Grayson?

Perhaps some unholy offspring of the two?

Star Bird on September 26, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Counting every single bit of coverage (website, Medicaid, and CHIP) the ACA covered 11 million of 41 million uninsured and eligible individuals.

What score is 11 out of 41 on a test?

in only 6 months.

with republican states activeky preventing millions more from getting covered.

and that number is closer to 18m, anyways.

everdiso on September 26, 2014 at 11:54 AM

even with all the republican states actively and intentionalky murdering their citizens by sabotaging their access to healthcare

everdiso on September 26, 2014 at 11:28 AM

LOL – you’re always good for a troll-generated laugh or two everdiso.

The ‘republican states’ are saving their citizens from negligent homicide, by keeping them from getting government-controlled healthcare.

Lots of dead VA patient data testifies to how access to healthcare works when the government runs it.

We have good reason to not trust the army of crooked politicians and corrupt bureaucrats you want to run our lives for us.

s1im on September 26, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Now wait just a darn tootin’ minute here.

and that number is closer to 18m, anyways.

everdiso on September 26, 2014 at 11:54 AM

So let’s take your number, 18 million.

The population of the United States is around 319,000,000.

So ObamaCare has covered 5.6% of the American population thusfar. Is that your assertion here?

Star Bird on September 26, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Counting every single bit of coverage (website, Medicaid, and CHIP) the ACA covered 11 million of 41 million uninsured and eligible individuals.
 
What score is 11 out of 41 on a test?
 
rogerb on September 26, 2014 at 11:30 AM

 

in only 6 months.
 
with republican states activeky preventing millions more from getting covered.
 
and that number is closer to 18m, anyways.
 
everdiso on September 26, 2014 at 11:54 AM

 
You should try to read a teensy bit closer. I gave you a hint above. It will help you maintain your perfect record of never losing a debate here.
 
Care to try again?

rogerb on September 26, 2014 at 12:15 PM

What score is 11 out of 41 on a test?

 
Anyone?
 
Heck, for that matter, what score is 18 out of 41?

rogerb on September 26, 2014 at 12:16 PM

This twit is a typical, socialist, liberal. He hasn’t a clue and he will do anything and say anything to support his ideology.

ultracon on September 26, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Let’s review the real world facts:

1. $700 Billion stolen from Medicare – with the result that Medicare premiums skyrocketed. Non-Medicare insurance costs have also skyrocketed: no “$2500/year savings” anywhere in sight.

2. Cost for Part D (drug) coverage for Medicare has been cut due to Obamacare, so drug costs are up over 12.5% in a single year for those on Medicare Part D.

3. More people have LOST insurance coverage than have gained insurance coverage under Obamacare. (NOTE that Medicaid is NOT insurance: it is welfare)

4. 92 million Americans are unemployed: largely because of Obamacare’s harsh punishment of businesses who hire employees.

5. Ezra Klein still has his head wedged somewhere where the sun never shines, so he is clueless about what is going on in the real world.

landlines on September 26, 2014 at 12:21 PM

(NOTE that Medicaid is NOT insurance: it is welfare)
 

landlines on September 26, 2014 at 12:21 PM

 
Exactly like when the government pays for food and housing. It’s safe to say the same about the vast majority of ACA enrollments as well:
 

Through the end of February, 4.2 million people had applied for and selected a plan through the marketplaces. As expected, the vast majority of enrollees (83%) have qualified for premium subsidies
 
http://kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/how-much-financial-assistance-are-people-receiving-under-the-affordable-care-act/

rogerb on September 26, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Well, it IS working exactly as planned….

Tard on September 26, 2014 at 12:30 PM

So why exactly is it now that plenty of people have had direct interactions with the law that the negatives seem to be trending down, not up?

Tlaloc on September 25, 2014 at 6:27 PM

So proof that Obamacare is working (as planned?) is that it’s not working according to plan? That people like it because the most disastrous parts are being held back until after an election??

Stupidity is increasingly popular.

Axeman on September 26, 2014 at 12:38 PM

I consider myself pretty well hard-boiled and unshockable, but the endless delusional Dem lies about the ACA in their delusions of godhood are absolutely and utterly incredible to such a degree that the only possible sufficient explanation in view of its gigantic extent is that God is carrying out His old warning of His Romans 1 promise to hand over the fanatic depraved to their own Romans 1 lusts!
God save us,
Soli Deo gloria!

russedav on September 26, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Counting every single bit of coverage (website, Medicaid, and CHIP) the ACA covered 11 million of 41 million uninsured and eligible individuals.
 
What score is 11 out of 41 on a test?
 
rogerb on September 26, 2014 at 11:30 AM

 
and that number is closer to 18m, anyways.
 
everdiso on September 26, 2014 at 11:54 AM

 
You should try to read a teensy bit closer. I gave you a hint above. It will help you maintain your perfect record of never losing a debate here.
 
Care to try again?
 
rogerb on September 26, 2014 at 12:15 PM

 
everdiso, did you ever figure out what letter grade a sixth grader would get if studied as hard as he could and still only got 11 correct answers on a 41 question test?
 
http://www.cs.uni.edu/~mccormic/lettergrade.html
 
(Hint: Divide 11 by 41)

rogerb on September 26, 2014 at 2:15 PM

LOL – you’re always good for a troll-generated laugh or two everdiso.

The ‘republican states’ are saving their citizens from negligent homicide, by keeping them from getting government-controlled healthcare.

Lots of dead VA patient data testifies to how access to healthcare works when the government runs it.

We have good reason to not trust the army of crooked politicians and corrupt bureaucrats you want to run our lives for us.

s1im on September 26, 2014 at 12:04 PM

I can attest that everditzo & his childlike perspectives on reality always make me laugh. :)

Anti-ControI on September 26, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Noah’s loving his move to the forum of the lowest common denominator, looks like.
 
everdiso on June 13, 2014 at 2:04 PM

 

What does that mean for someone who can’t win debates here?
 
rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 2:25 PM

 

I’ve never lost a debate here.
 
everdiso on June 13, 2014 at 2:27 PM

rogerb on September 27, 2014 at 8:26 AM

In the “real” real world, Missouri’s largest healthcare provider — as well as one of the state’s largest employers — Barnes-Jewish, faces imminent bankruptcy. The management places the blame on Obamacare and new regulations O’care places on medical care providers. Seems more due to a bad law and less to Republican propaganda and a muted press.

OrgSports on September 27, 2014 at 4:53 PM

I still think he must have been talking about the MTV reality show.

A liberal-oriented network like MTV would undoubtedly make sure to provide a top-notch health insurance package for anyone participating in one of their programs.

s1im on September 27, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Obamacare has shattered virtually every major promise its supporters advanced during the public debate of 2009 and 2010. Premiums are still rising (sharply, in many cases), out-of-pocket costs are increasing, access to care is receding, millions have been unable to retain their preferred plans and physicians (with many more cancellation letters to come), the national health spending trajectory is still pointed upward, the enrollment process is still plagued by technical problems, major components of Obamacare’s less-than-secure website still aren’t built, nonpartisan experts agree that the law is harming the economy, a supermajority of Americans directly impacted by the law thus far say they’ve been hurt by it, and its overall approval rating has languished underwater by double digits for years on end. “Working.”

That last word needed a Dr. Evil meme. :)

TMOverbeck on September 28, 2014 at 6:56 AM

Manager at a small business in North Carolina here. We just got our insurance renewal and it was scary. Our plan was “grandfathered” so we have reasonable insurance for another year (“only” a 20% increase). The broker said “your level of coverage doesn’t exist anymore outside platinum plans.” To get even close to what we have now, we’d have to pay 90% more in premiums. The cheapest they could offer us for an ACA-compliant plan with much worse coverage was a 70% increase.

Thanks, Obama and Kay Hagan.

evergreen on September 28, 2014 at 3:36 PM

I actually agree with you right-wing knuckle-draggers on this one. Obamacare does needs to go – single-payer is the only fair and workable plan.

Unlike you hicks (who have spent your pathetic lives in Alabama or some other backwater state), I’ve spent over 20 years living in EU countries and have witnessed the true fruits of unrestrained progressivism.

Socialized medicine has a much, much lower cost for its citizens…in fact, it’s usually free. Admittedly, they do pay a very modest 60% of their income in federal tax, a miniscule 19% value-added tax on items they buy, and they pay a very reasonable $10 for a gallon for gas. But it’s an extremely small price to pay when you consider the cost of medical insurance.

Frank Lib on September 25, 2014 at 4:10 PM

I’ve lived in EU countries as well. In the richer ones, you only have long wait times for any kind of non-emergency surgery, less access to painkillers and palliative care, you share hospital rooms with other patients, and if you have an elective problem, you get the equivalent of “take two aspirin and don’t call me in the morning.” Example, I had a knee injury which ended up being a torn ACL. In my European state-funded insurance plan, I got an Ace bandage and a few visits with a physical therapist which consisted of doing exercises with bands and balls. Back home in the US, when I was still in terrible pain and unable to play sports, my doctor ordered an arthrogram (at the time MRIs were not common), did arthroscopic surgery, then I got therapy with ultrasound and electro-stimulation, and a custom fitted brace. Expensive, sure. But it actually helped my problem, versus putting a band-aid over it. Americans are not going to like the socialized way.

And this was in a rich country. In another country where I lived, also with socialized medicine, people used to say that the state health plan was “don’t get sick.” That will be the experience of many rural Americans under socialized medicine, assuming we don’t come to our senses.

evergreen on September 28, 2014 at 3:43 PM