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Bay State Cassandra

Back when ObamaCare was still being debated, a lot of critics pointed out ways it would fail and cause far more harm than any good it would achieve. At the time, I thought those critics were being insightful and thoughtful and exceptionally good analysts.

Well, it turns out they were cheating. They were just looking at how Massachusetts' universal health care insurance mandate was falling apart, and applying the same principles to a national level. And hoo boy, were they right.

Hmm... otherwise healthy people not bothering to buy insurance until they really needed it, balancing the premiums against the fines and using the "no prohibitions on pre-existing conditions" loophole for their own benefit? Yup. It turns out that the fines for not having insurance are less than the cheapest policies, so some folks are just paying the fines -- and then when they get sick, they sign up for coverage just long enough to cover their illness. Once they're fine, they drop their coverage and go back to paying the fines. It's a fine way to game the system.

Doctors and other medical professionals simply deciding they don't want to deal with having the government run their businesses, and cutting back, moving out, or retiring? You betcha.


Insurance companies being told how much they can charge, to the point where the state refuses them to make a profit? Even to the point where they are legally obligated to lose money? Check. Several years ago, when the Bay State decided to regulate auto insurance premiums to "protect" consumers, many insurance companies simply stopped doing business in Massachusetts and the state became known as the accident fraud capital of the nation. Only in the past few years, after deregulating auto insurance rates, have companies started returning to the Bay State and rates have actually dropped in the face of real competition.

Of course, that's hardly an option on a national level. Once ObamaCare kicks in, health insurance companies can expect to have their profits tightly regulated, minimized, or even eliminated "in the common good." But they can't simply pack up and move on, so they'll have to find other ways to make money or go out of the health insurance business entirely.

At which point, a "public option" will not only be necessary, but mandatory. After all, if there's any entity that can survive indefinitely without caring about making a profit, it's a federal government program.

One doesn't need a crystal ball to see this future. It's all being played out in small scale in Massachusetts, and even there many critics of that program predicted precisely what's happening now.

But obviously they're just big old meanies, hateful, spiteful bullies who don't understand that if something is being promoted as for the public good, it's just WRONG to apply logic and principle and reason to the situation. And probably racist, too.

"But this road is paved so nicely, and this is such a comfy little handbasket, so whey don't we just stroll along for a little while and see where it takes us?"


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Comments (18)

We can hardly expect Americ... (Below threshold)

We can hardly expect Americans to look at the woes which blue states bring upon themselves and take them for instruction. After all, we long ago stopped looking at Russia as a cautionary example of socialist government.

What you call problems I ca... (Below threshold)
Barack Obama:

What you call problems I call features. Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design. It was I who allowed the Alliance to elect Scott Brown.

The Imperial Senate is quite safe from your pitiful little band of TeaBaggers. An entire legion of my best SEIU troops awaits them.

Oh, I'm afraid Obamacare will be quite operational when your friends arrive in November.

Dang. I had "Barack Obama" ... (Below threshold)

Dang. I had "Barack Obama" cut down to two possible regular commenters, but when I checked the logs, it was neither of them.

Well played, "Mr. President." Very well played.

J.

Te major medical centers se... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Te major medical centers service Boston are seeing their operating incomes decline at close to $100,000,000 every year. That's $100M last year and another $100M this year.

How many years does anyone rationally expect that any hospital of any quality can remain open?

But then this is how Obama expects to reduce the cost of health care. He's not looking to actually make it cheaper. He just wants to stiff the providers. See if anyone is still around in ten years.

Worry not! If thereis a sel... (Below threshold)
914:

Worry not! If thereis a self created disaster to be bailed out, Barrakulus the magic marxist is up to the job.

"Your arrogance blinds you,... (Below threshold)
Barack Obama:

"Your arrogance blinds you, Master Tea. November you will experience the full power of the dark side."

It's obvious that the great... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

It's obvious that the great state of Taxachusetts needs to start throwing some people in prison for failure to comply and set an example. Make a great commercial for RomneyCare. Showing cops dragging a guy out of his house while his wife and kids are screaming and crying (for added effect, make it a 'person of color). Cut to neighbors whispering "He didn't purchase health care insurance."

ObamaCare will fail: it wil... (Below threshold)
kevino:

ObamaCare will fail: it will create higher costs for consumers, cause massive problems for healthcare providers, and will drive many health insurance companies out of business.

This catastrophe was planned from day one, because the solution to the problems created by ObamaCare will be the Holly Grail: government-run healthcare.

In fairness to Massachusett... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

In fairness to Massachusetts and RomneyCare, their plan doesn't tax medical device inventors and drug research, or cut deeply into Medicare benefits.

So it is not comparing apples to apples. ObamaCare is more like an apple which has been allowed to rot and is then eaten and regurgitated by vultures. It smells so bad you won't even want to be in the same waiting room.

This is why Democrats won't... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

This is why Democrats won't be campaigning on their healthcare reform "success". Instead, they plan on running against Bush again. I'm not kidding. The old "Hey! Look over there!" campaign strategy. While people are implying it'll be 1994 all over again, Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, says it won't: "Van Hollen argued that in 1994 -- unlike now -- the GOP presented itself as a viable alternative; Democrats were caught flat-footed; and President Bill Clinton's support was sagging."

So let's check those three points:
a) While the GOP may not be presenting themselves as a viable alternative there are true conservatives coming out of the woodwork who are indeed refreshing alternatives

b) Democrats ARE being caught flat-footed if they think running against Bush again is a good strategy and finally ...

c) Obama's support is indeed sagging. In fact, Clinton's approval rating in Oct '94 was higher than Obama's right now.

Great job, Van Hollen. You're 0 for 3!

I want to commend all of yo... (Below threshold)
jacksmith:

I want to commend all of you for working so hard and being so strong at helping the whitehouse and congress begin to address our U.S. and Global healthcare crisis. You have been AWESOME! my fellow Americans and peoples of the World. America and the World is better and safer for it. My greatest pride is the knowledge that I am one of you. And that you really get it. You really understand the importance of it all.

There are some potentially very good things in the healthcare legislation. Especially with the reconciliation fix's. The Democrats, Bernie Sanders and the Whitehouse did a GREAT! job of fighting to produce the best healthcare legislation that they could. They have earned all our strong support. And we should give it to them.

But it was your relentless pressure and hard work that made the difference. Whatever good comes from this healthcare legislation, America and the peoples of the World will have each of you to thank. You were smart, creative, courageous and relentless. You fought together for the best legislation possible. And when you had to, you fought alone. No matter who stumbled and fell you continued to push and forge ahead. Fighting for the lives and health of the American people and the World. YOU SHOULD BE PROUD OF YOUR-SELVES :-)

It may come to pass that future generations will look back on us and say that we were ALL Americas Greatest Generations. And that healthcare reform was our finest hour. You should be proud of our leaders President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and the many other Democratic and independent fighters for the people in congress. They proved them-self worthy of the leadership of a GREAT! PEOPLE.

But we are not done yet. This was just the beginning of healthcare reform, not the end. WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, ARE NOT! divided on healthcare legislation. The vast majority of you have been consistently crystal clear that this legislation does not go far enough. You want a strong Government-run Public Option CHOICE!! available to everyone on day one. And you want it NOW! YOU MUST NOT ALLOW AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE TO STAND WITHOUT A STRONG GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE.

WE THE PEOPLE have been crystal clear that we want an end to dependence on for-profit healthcare and the for-profit proxies called private for non-profit healthcare. The American people want the CHOICE! of a strong Government-run Public Option to replace their need or dependence on healthcare providers whose primary motivation is profit. Rather than providing the highest quality, easiest accessible and most affordable medically necessary healthcare possible. This is what the rest of the developed World has. And the American people want it too. They want healthcare ASSURANCE! Not, for-profit health insurance. And they want it NOW!

Now is the time to continue the push for a strong Government-run Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone that wants it on day one. Rationally it's clear what we have to do to get this done. SUPPORT THE DEMOCRATS that supported you with a Public Option, and REMOVE as many republicans as you can. Not one republican in congress was willing to step across the isle to support a strong Government-run Public Option CHOICE!! available to everyone on day one. NOT ONE! Let no candidate prevail this November that does not support a Strong Government-run Public Option.

47,000 AMERICANS die each year from lack of healthcare. 120,000 die from treatable illness that don't die in other developed countries. Hundreds of thousands of you are dieing from medical accidents in a rush to profit. And Millions are injured. Millions are driven into bankruptcy. All for the privilege of paying two to three times as much as any other people in the developed world for healthcare. HOGWASH!

Additionally, tens of thousands of you and your children were killed and millions sickened and injured from a terror attack with H1N1 (swine flu). Released on the American people and the World by the for-profit healthcare industry. All in an attempt to panic and frighten you into excepting the oxymoronic criminal enterprise of private for-profit healthcare (The most costly, deadly, dangerous, and disgraceful product sold in America). H1N1 is still sickening people and killing them. Especially children, the young and the middle aged. And there will be a third wave. These are the terrorist you need to worry about the most. Even the so-called international terrorist would not do something so INSANE! But greed driven medical profiteers would and did.

Apparently as far as republicans in GOVERNMENT are concerned, YOU! my fellow Americans - CAN JUST DROP DEAD! Including their own family members. Fools! Hundreds of thousands of you, and possibly millions of you will die from the long-term effects of your infection and poisoning with H1N1.

So my fellow Human Beings. Rest-up, Take good care of the basics (Balanced nutrition, hydration, exercise, rest and POSITIVE emotional supports). Then wade back into the FIGHT! for a strong Government-run Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one. Drug re-importation, Abolishment or strong restrictions on patents for biologic and prescription drugs. And government controlled and negotiated drug and medical cost, NOW! You must take back control of your healthcare system from the Medical Industrial Complex. This is a matter of National and Global security. There can be NO MORE EXCUSES.

God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings. I'm glad to know of you. And proud to be one of you.

See you on the battle field.

Sincerely

jacksmith - WorkingClass :-)

I had "Barack O... (Below threshold)
I had "Barack Obama" cut down to two possible regular commenters
I'm more evil than Obama, but I'd never speak openly of the power of the Dark Side.

Yet.

Clean up on aisle 11. Regu... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Clean up on aisle 11. Regurgitated talking points.

120,000 die from t... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:
120,000 die from treatable illness that don't die in other developed countries.

Reminds me of a Yogism:

"Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours."

Hey #11 is a really fun rea... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Hey #11 is a really fun read. It's like some conspiracy flick. Somewhere between mission impossible the andromeda strain and enemy of the state.

"47,000 AMERICANS die each year from lack of healthcare."
Hell, I'd say that you're calling it low. How many people don't make it to the hospital in time? I'd say they all die from lack of health care. If you're talking about lack of insurance I hate to burst your bubble but we actually have better survival stats for serious disease than any other nation in the world.
" 120,000 die from treatable illness that don't die in other developed countries."

Really? People don't die from treatable illnesses in other countries? Like the thousands who died a few years back in the heat wave in France. They died in hospitals that lacked air-conditioning. Or how about the guy in the UK last month who called the cops because they wouldn't give him water? He died two days later of dehydration. There is now a criminal investigation. That's an incredible BS statistic. If you bothered to think about it you would realize how full of crap you are for saying it.

"Hundreds of thousands of you are dieing from medical accidents in a rush to profit."

Bad news. Socialized medicine way outperforms us in accidents. How about the British veteran who was given a lung transplant, except the lung was from a heavy smoker and already had lung cancer. Because he had to take heavy immune suppressants to ensure the lungs weren't rejected the cancer ran rampant through his body and he was dead of lung cancer in 6 months.

Additionally, tens of thousands of you and your children were killed and millions sickened and injured from a terror attack with H1N1 (swine flu). Released on the American people and the World by the for-profit healthcare industry.

Whoa! Got a citation for that one? Why isn't this all over the news? Where are the tens of thousands who died? CDC doesn't report that many dead. Millions of Americans did not get swine flu. Period. The scare was way overblown and hardly anyone got sick at all. Deaths were rare exceptions.

As to your assertions that Americans want more, then I suggest you take that one up with every polling agency going. None of them reflect what you are saying. People want Obamacare to be repealed not expanded.

But hey, thanks for the laughs.

Remember that guy who fell ... (Below threshold)

Remember that guy who fell into a volcano and it took several days for help to arrive, and by the time they reached him he had died?

Lack of health care. If there'd been a fully staffed and stocked trauma center in that volcano he would have lived!

True story!!

If there'd been a ... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:
If there'd been a fully staffed and stocked trauma center in that volcano he would have lived!

Yes, but every person who dies in one of our volcanos does not die in a volcano of another developed country.

Our similarities are different.


JT - "But they can't si... (Below threshold)
Marc:

JT - "But they can't simply pack up and move on, so they'll have to find other ways to make money or go out of the health insurance business entirely."

(Pardon this interruption for this "commercial", we will return to your regular programing in a minute.)

"Hurry.... hurry, GREAT investment opportunity, available for a limited time only!"

"For one time only, and for a limited time, the "Off-Shore Health Insurance Co. LLC offers an alternative to ObummerCare (TM)."

"With ONE low down payment and low, low, low monthly payments you to can avail yourself of this prime opportunity to beat the system. (and make us bazillions!)"

"Off-Shore Health Insurance Co, where you to can participate in off-shoring, just like the TV, auto and lumber industries have for decades!"




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