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Tag Archives: Obamacare

Just Like We Thought: Next Step, Single Payer

More than half of the Democrats most likely to run for president in 2020 support fully socialized medicine, and I guarantee you, none of the others will make it through the primaries without backing single payer.

From the Washington Post:

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) became the fourth co-sponsor of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) “Medicare for all” health-care bill Monday. In doing so, he joined Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.).

What do those four senators have in common? Well, they just happen to constitute four of the eight most likely 2020 Democratic presidential nominees, according to the handy list I put out Friday. And another senator in my top 8, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), last month came out in favor of the idea of “Medicare for all” — though not this specific bill (yet).

This is about as far from a coincidence as you can get. And it suggests the dam is breaking when it comes to the Democratic Party embracing government-funded health care, also known as single-payer.

Now, here’s the punchline. When Obamacare happened, conservatives declared that it was little more than a prelude to single payer, which was coming next. Some even said that this was the Democrats’ plan all along, and were immediately called conspiracy theorists or paranoid.

Well, I’m certain at least some of the more savvy Democrats understood that once you get government’s foot in the door of any issue, you can never get it out. Obamacare is not working. People are now used to government subsidies. So why not end all this foreplay and get down to business, goes the thinking.

It’s a tested and perennially successful strategy. Get Americans used to free stuff, and soon they’ll be asking for more free stuff, or at least open to it. It’s human nature to gravitate toward what’s easier and more comfortable. And liberals can leave it to conservatives to complain about who will pay for it, what it does to the character of a country to be getting so much free stuff, and to ask whether hard working Americans are going to suffer and die because limited resources are distributed to all.

And never mind that people on Medicaid don’t seem to have much better outcomes than those without insurance, who often end up getting treated by beneficent doctors and hospitals who understand they will do some work and never get paid for it. We are a compassionate society. Soon we will simply be an even more regulated society, with much worse health care for all.

Aetna Withdraws From Obamacare Exchanges

Don’t worry, nothing to see here, move along now.

From the Washington Examiner:

Health insurer Aetna announced Thursday that it would completely withdraw from the Obamacare exchanges in 2018, after seeing its profits soar from reducing its participation this year.

The company said during an earnings call that it was withdrawing from the exchange in Nevada, the last state it had considered staying in. Aetna was leaving the possibility open because it was applying for a Medicaid managed care contract, and the state gives extra consideration to insurers that participate in both programs.

During its second-quarter earnings call on Thursday, however, Aetna said it was not moving forward with the recently awarded contract and would be leaving the exchange as well . . .

A disproportionate number of unhealthy customers have signed up for the exchanges, which provide tax subsidies to pay for insurance, causing unbalanced risk pools for many insurers.

John McCain is About John McCain

I honestly hate to write a negative piece about John McCain, because I can’t help but like him. I’ve known him a bit from my coverage of Capitol Hill, and he’s great to be around, he’s a gentleman, he’s honest, and of course, he’s a hero. And now, he’s dying.

He has always been a “maverick” and a “rebel.” I think it’s his personality. But ultimately, there is a self-indulgence to the man that puts himself before what’s right for the country.

I think some of it, maybe a lot of it, stems from his involvement in the Keating Five scandal back in the 1980s. He was cleared of charges, but something so precious to him, his honor, was tarnished. And so, I think, making sure people understand how honorable he is has become part of his life’s mission.

His vote against the Obamacare “repeal” bill last night, which sunk the measure, and his betrayal of the will of so many Republican voters, was not about the content of the bill. It was about process. The process wasn’t great, it’s true – Republicans were ramming repeal through just like the Democrats had rammed through passage – but most people not so rigid about their “honor” and so forth could just let it go and decide that Republicans have been promising to do this for seven years, it’s best for the country, and let’s move forward.

There are, indeed, times to stand on principle. This principle was not big enough for it given the enormity of the stakes.

But not John McCain. He had to show he adheres to higher standards than the rest of the Senate. And maybe there’s a bit of “screw you” to his GOP colleagues, latent liberal sentiments, a middle finger to Donald Trump – who said something about liking people who don’t get captured – and a desire for one last dramatic John McCain moment. “Wait for the show,” he told a reporter earlier in the day when asked how he’d vote.

But now I’m way over-psychoanalyzing.

But I know John McCain this morning feels good about himself. And the American people will suffer for it.

Huckabee Sanders Warns of National Health Care

The White House finally seems to be getting some good messaging going in support of Obamacare repeal. With Democrats scaring everybody that repealing the law is going to kill people, Republicans haven’t sufficiently scared people right back. Trump Monday declared, accurately, that “Obamacare is death.” As it degrades the health care system, people will die.… Continue Reading

Trump: Let Obamacare Fail of Its Own Accord

President Trump Tuesday morning tweeted that Republicans should just let Obamacare continue to fail, changing strategies after it became clear Monday night that the repeal and replace bill could not pass as two additional Republcians joined two others in opposition. As I have always said, let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a… Continue Reading

McConnell: From Rip Out O’Care “Roots and Branches” to Light Gardening

Well, the Washington Establishment is striking back. It truly would be one of the great examples of political fraud if Republicans got themselves elected to Congress on a vow to end Obamacare only to wuss out when the opportunity arose. Sen. Mitch McConnell, no doubt personally miffed that President Trump has interfered with his plans… Continue Reading

Video || Trump Meets With Cubs, Calls Schumer Unserious

President Trump Wednesday was asked about noises Senate Minority leadeer Chuck Schumer is making about negotiating on health care. Trump, a dealmaker who understands people, suggested Schumer had a long way to go to prove to him that he is serious. And Trump is right. Schumer is just worried about accusations he’s hearing that Democratic,… Continue Reading

Sanders: Obamacare has Problems; Single-Payer is the Way To Go

When Obamacare was being passed, some conservatives said darkly that it was just a stalking horse for the Democrats’ Holy Grail, a single-payer program, through which the government provides health care for all. These conservatives said Obamacare wasn’t workable, that Democrats knew it, and that once it failed, they would be calling for single-payer in… Continue Reading

Examiner: Aetna to Exit All Obamacare Exchanges

A bombshell from the Washington Examiner: Health Insurance giant Aetna said Wednesday that it will not be participating in any Obamacare exchanges in 2018. “Our individual Commercial products lost nearly $700 million between 2014 and 2016, and are projected to lose more than $200 million in 2017 despite a significant reduction in membership,” T.J. Crawford,… Continue Reading