In the News: Blog 11/17/2014
Obamacare: Dishonest from the start
It’s scandalous that economics professor Jonathan Gruber has been caught on video saying that Obamacare was pushed through Congress on the basis of a pack of lies because Gruber is rightly acknowledged as an “architect of Obamacare.” What is even more telling is how long we have known that deception was involved in the “Affordable” Care Act’s expansion of government power. The Wall Street Journal pointed out that there are now four videos on which Gruber tells insider audiences that Obamacare’s real costs were hidden from Americans who couldn’t be trusted with the truth. There’s the video where he says the “stupidity of the American voter” meant the costs had to be concealed to pass the bill. Then another emerged in which Gruber praised the way then-Sen. John Kerry figured out how to deceive voters about taxes on their insurance:
In the News: Blog 11/3/2014
Thanks to Obamacare, more employers shifting health care costs on to you
Small companies are increasingly dropping the idea of providing their employees with health insurance, the Wall Street Journal reports, and assuming that workers instead will be fine if they’re dumped onto Obamacare’s government-run “exchanges.” I told you long ago that this would happen: Employers will see the chance to save money and make their workers eligible for government subsidies. They will act accordingly. Insurers who sell coverage to small companies are now noticing the trend, the paper reports. They’re seeing faster declines in that line of business than they had expected. The Wall Street Journal explains employers’ thinking:
In the News: Blog 10/31/2014
Next year's premiums? Wisconsinites are suffering from Obamacare already
A new report finds sharp increases in the cost of health coverage under Obamacare. The Washington Times reported that the study found premiums could rise for some people “by as much as 78 percent.” I was asked about the story when I talked with J.D. Hayworth on Newsmax TV on Wednesday. The simple fact is that while people can predict, no one knows how much premiums are going to rise. Even those whose business it is to track rate increases, Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, say their figure should be used “with extreme caution,” a statewide average that “has little relationship to an increase in any consumer's actual premium rate.”
In the News: Blog 10/22/2014
Less affordable health care, thanks to the Affordable Care Act
People with costly chronic medical conditions are getting health coverage thanks to Obamacare, the New York Times reports – but they’re finding they can barely afford the high deductibles. “Patricia Wanderlich got insurance through the Affordable Care Act this year, and with good reason: She suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2011, spending weeks in a hospital intensive care unit, and has a second, smaller aneurysm that needs monitoring. “But her new plan has a $6,000 annual deductible, meaning that Ms. Wanderlich, who works part time at a landscaping company outside Chicago, has to pay for most of her medical services up to that amount. She is skipping this year’s brain scan and hoping for the best.
In the News: Blog 10/7/2014
How to destroy American innovation
When I describe Obamacare as the greatest assault on our freedom in my lifetime, I can cite many reasons, from the massive tax increases to the incredible pile of new regulations to the unprecedented federal mandate to buy something. It’s not appreciated enough just what we lose when freedom is crushed. One huge loss is the American innovation in medicine, from drugs to devices to surgical techniques. As Scott Atlas, a physician now at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, pointed out last week in the Wall Street Journal, that innovation mostly has happened in the United States, and the majority of it has been funded by private investment. But, Atlas points out, that investment in innovation has slowed dramatically, especially amid the miserably weak recovery of the past five years. He writes:
In the News: Blog 09/24/2014
Making health insurance as pleasant as filing taxes
The first word in the laughably misnamed “Affordable Care Act” refers to the way that Obamacare is supposed to lower the cost of health care. The president promised infamously that his plan would cut the cost of a typical family's premium by up to $2,500 a year. Instead, the average family premium was about $2,581 higher by last year than it was in 2010, the year Obamacare was enacted. Those premiums are going to go right on briskly rising, say experts. And if you don’t buy coverage on the government-run “exchanges” but still get it through your employer, you’re in for a shock in 2017 — assuming your employer can still afford to cover you, which is looking increasingly unlikely.
In the News: Blog 09/12/2014
The unaffordable economics of the 'Affordable Care Act'
The “Affordable” Care Act, President Obama’s perversely named disruption of health care, continues to be something America does not want, according to pollsters at the respected Kaiser Family Foundation. They revealed Tuesday that just under half of Americans disapprove of the law, while only 35% approve of it – numbers mostly unchanged over the past year, during which Obamacare’s benefits have been rolled out. The more Americans see of the law, the more they become confirmed in their dislike of it. No wonder. Last year’s rollout was botched, but recently the newly installed head of the federal “exchanges,” the artificial markets where customers must go to find government-mandated insurance plans, told a newspaper, “Part of me thinks that this year is going to make last year look like the good old days.”