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We should all probably calm down and wait

Monday, Sep 30, 2013 - Posted by Rich Miller

* You may have noticed that I’ve completely avoided the Illinois Obamacare implementation story. That’s by design. There’s been just way too much propaganda from both sides to easily sift through.

For instance, a few days ago Gov. Pat Quinn announced that health insurance exchange rates were lower than expected. That doesn’t really mean anything because we don’t know how much more the exchange health insurance policies will cost than what people already have, which doesn’t really mean much because the new insurance policies will cover more than many bare-bones policies currently do, which doesn’t mean much if you can’t afford the new rates, which doesn’t mean much if you qualify for subsidies, etc., etc., etc. Not to mention all the people who don’t have insurance now because they can’t afford it and may be able to with the new program.

* There’s no doubt that the rollout has been bungled. For instance

Only a fraction of the expected army of outreach workers will be certified and ready Tuesday to help Illinois residents sign up for insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care law, state officials told The Associated Press late Friday.

That will leave most people on their own to figure out the complicated enrollment process — at least during the first week of a six-month enrollment period.

Only around 100 workers will be certified by Saturday, said Kelly Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the new Illinois insurance marketplace where people will be able to comparison shop for health plans starting Tuesday. Sullivan said Illinois officials would work to certify “hundreds more” by Tuesday’s launch.

Officials have said 1,200 temporary outreach workers, hired with federal grant money, would ultimately be trained and certified. About 1.8 million Illinois residents are uninsured, about 15 percent of the population.

The outreach workers are important because the enrollment process is complicated and many consumers will need assistance. They will help walk people through the new health insurance options available to them through the online marketplace. Health care marketplaces, a key component of the Affordable Care Act, will operate in every state.

That’s just ridiculous.

* Then there was the goofy, focus-grouped logo the administration touted in a press release…

The orange color palette is decidedly optimistic, representing the colors of sunrise – tied to focus group feedback that October 1 felt like the “dawn” of a new day for those uninsured.


* But does any of this mean that the whole program is not worthwhile? The most informed take I’ve read so far is from the guy who implemented former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s health insurance program, on which Obamacare is closely based. Money quotes

“Up here in Massachusetts, the biggest opponent of the individual mandate was John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO. He said it was going to be the end of employer-based health-care here. Well, that certainly wasn’t the case.

“The analogy I like to use is a building that’s burning down. The number of people covered by employer-based health-care plans is dropping by a percentage point a year. The system is falling apart. So you put in a new safety net. That means a few more people are going to come in. If you’re not willing to risk making some things worse, you’re never going to make anything better.

“My estimate is that 80 percent of the people are not going to feel any change at all, and that 17 percent or so are going to find that things are better, and that about two or three percent will be worse off, and those are the people who benefit from the discriminatory nature of health-insurance at the present time.

“If health-insurance companies can’t discriminate any more, those people will have to pay a little more. When we decided that people couldn’t discriminate in what they paid black people or women any more, people had to pay more because employers couldn’t discriminate in what they paid black people and women. Was that a bad thing?”

* And since Obamacare has been tied in with the government shutdown/debt ceiling circus, I’ve been even more loathe to go there. As far as I can tell, this is the smartest take I’ve yet seen on what to expect with that mess

But while it’s certainly the case that Boehner thinks a shutdown would be terrible for the party, and that he’d prefer to avoid one, it’s not at all clear it’s in his interest to do so. Why? Because there are two things Boehner presumably cares about more than avoiding a shutdown: not being ousted as Speaker, and raising the debt ceiling by mid-to-late October so as to avoid a debt default. The latter would be far more damaging to the economy than a shutdown, and therefore more devastating to the Republican brand. Unfortunately for Boehner, the only plausible way to both keep his job and avoid a debt default is … to shut down the government when the fiscal year ends next week.

Here’s why: Tea Party conservatives in the House, following the lead the distinguished non-filibusterer from Texas, are all keyed up for a confrontation with Obama in which they refuse to fund the government unless they can simultaneously defund (or rather, “defund”) Obmacare. This is why Boehner and Cantor, after initially hoping to keep the two initiatives separate, reluctantly agreed to make defunding Obamacare a condition for funding the government in the bill they passed last Friday. The Democratic Senate and the president obviously aren’t going along with this. So the only way to avoid a shutdown is for Boehner to walk it back, which conservatives will regard as a humiliating retreat. […]

(O)ne of two things is probably going to happen if we avoid a shutdown: Either John Boehner is going to turn around and appease irate conservatives by insisting on delaying Obamacare in exchange for raising the debt limit, thereby sending the government into default (since Obama isn’t negotiating). Or he’s going to back down and allow the debt ceiling to be raised with a minority of House Republicans and a majority of House Democrats, thereby further infuriating conservatives and almost certainly costing himself his job. (Recall that conservatives got more than halfway to the number of defections they needed to oust Boehner back in January, after he’d merely allowed a vote on a small tax increase when a much bigger one was kicking in automatically.) That is, either Boehner gets it or the global economy gets it, both of which Boehner would like to avoid even more than he’d like to avoid a shutdown.

If Boehner resigns himself to a shutdown, on the other hand, suddenly the future looks manageable. After a few days of punishing political abuse, Boehner will be able to appear before his caucus, shrug his shoulders in his distinctive Boehnerian way, and bleat that he executed the strategy conservatives demanded, but that the country is overwhelmingly opposed to it, as are most Senate Republicans and almost every semi-legitimate right-wing pundit and media outlet. Most of these people have already said that shutting down the government would be a mistake; they would presumably only grow more vocal in as Republicans’ poll numbers collapsed and they hemorrhaged blood all over Washington. Boehner will be able to point to the party’s extreme political isolation as a reason for calling off this round of jihad, in the same way he did during the payroll tax cut debate in late 2011 and the fiscal cliff debate in late 2012. The demoralized conservatives will realize they’re out of moves—at least in this particular battle—allowing Boehner to raise the debt limit a few weeks later with little drama. There will be no debt default, and no conservative coup in the House.

Try very hard to avoid a national political throwdown in comments, please. Thanks.


  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 11:44 am:

    Congress today is the lowest form of Reality TV. It’s just free programming for the radio and cable yakkers.

  2. - Downstater - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 11:52 am:

    Republicans made a mistake. Obamacare would have fallen apart under its own botched rollout and young people would have been shocked at actually having buy insurance.
    The shutdown will be a big non event, since most basic services will continue. Th general public will yawn and shake their heads just like their reaction, after the over the top alarm over sequester.

  3. - 47th Ward - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 11:56 am:

    Meanwhile on Wall Street, real people are losing real money because of this ridiculous stand-off. Your retirement plan is taking a big unnecessary hit today and bracing for an even bigger hit if the unthinkable (default) happens.

    Washington is like the movie Groundhog Day, except without any of the humor.

  4. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 12:06 pm:

    ==Meanwhile on Wall Street, real people are losing real money because of this ridiculous stand-off.==
    Meh, S&P is down just 0.5% right now and is up +28% from one year ago.

  5. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 12:10 pm:

    I’ve had trouble finding fair articles on Obamacare since both sides’ “research” seems so biased.

    I think one fundamental part of it is that healthy younger folks with good incoems will ultimately pay a little more in health insurance, in order to help pay for folks with preexisting conditions(?)

    And relative to other mostly blue states, I believe Illinois was/is slow in implementing it.

  6. - RNUG - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 12:25 pm:


    A few years back, I had a very long and detailed discussion with a Canadian MD friend about their health system and the (at that time) proposed ACA and subsequent discussions after it passed. While the ACA has some good in it, we’ve pretty much gone about implementing it in the worst possible way. It’s going to cost more than a single payer system like Canada and Great Britian. It keeps the for profit insurance companies in the middle of it; as my friend said, follow the money. It does NOT supply universal coverage and it does not ensure everyone will buy health insurance. Most of the penalties for not purchasing health care are just a slap on the wrist; it’s cheaper to pay the fine. Given enough time, it will fall apart on it’s own.

    /off soapbox

    From a national perspective, a federal government shut down, at least short term, will be a yawn. Yes, individual federal employees and contractors will suffer but the critical stuff will continue to happen. And the shut down doesn’t have to happen; the US Senate could approve the “defunding” bill to keep everything else going if they wanted to .., and have the ACA fight later.

    For a state perspective, I think it’s more about the ACA rollout. We’re going to add people to Medicaid and while the Feds will pick up the newly covered for a few years, they won’t fully cover the cost for those already qualified but were not enrolled. That is a new unbudgeted expense for the state.

    And this is all happening at the worst possible time for state retirees. CMS is changing the state retiree insurance and doing it in a very confusing way. As of last Friday, CMS didn’t have anything in place even though the transition period is supposed to start October 1.

    If the rumors are accurate, every current State retiree on Medicare will have to switch to a new Medicare Advantage program. From the more elderly retirees I’ve talked to, a lot of them think this has to do with the ACA. They don’t understand what is going on.

  7. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 12:32 pm:

    The Associated Press recently had a decent report on the impact in Illinois. It notes that many of these plans, particularly the lower cost “bronze”-tier plans, likely reduce choice by limiting selection of doctors and treatment centers.

    So, it’s a trade-off in terms of price, like most things in life.

    “Some of the prices are lower than expected, but it’s still unclear whether that’s because there will be less choice among doctors and hospitals covered in the networks of some plans, or whether a few insurers are simply offering bargain prices hoping to gain customers who will stick with them for years to come…

    “People have sharpened their pencils more than probably anyone expected,” said David Axene of the Society of Actuaries. But it’s likely those low-cost plans won’t have broad networks of hospitals and doctors that consumers with good insurance have come to expect, Axene said.

    “Prices are lower for reasons,” said Axene, an independent actuary from California who reviewed the Illinois information at the request of The Associated Press. Axene, who has examined insurance prices in other states’ marketplaces, has seen insurance carriers in those states offering low prices because “instead of having all the hospitals in town they might only have three or four hospitals” in their networks.

    Illinois consumers should take care when considering a health plan that their favorite doctors and hospitals accept that coverage, Axene cautioned.

    Andrew Boron, the director of the Illinois Department of Insurance, confirmed that some insurers on the state marketplace are offering narrow networks to keep costs low. Details about the hospitals and doctors included in the insurance networks weren’t released Tuesday. That information will be available to consumers next week, when the health care exchanges open for business in Illinois and the other 49 states.

    It’s unclear how long this year’s low prices might last, as insurers may be charging low prices to attract customers who they hope to retain when they later raise rates, Axene said. He noted that Illinois released only the rates for the lowest-cost plans, not the full spread of prices from low to high.”

  8. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 12:49 pm:

    I would imagine Bustos, Schneider, and Enyart are all rooting hard for a shutdown/default as it would make them all but locks to retain their seats.

  9. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 12:50 pm:

    I believe that with healthcare we’re between a rock (millions uninsured, coverage denial due to pre-existing conditions, etc.) and a hard place (implementing the ACA, with its own shortcomings).

    I can’t, however, wrap my head around the irony that the creater of the Individual Mandate, the Heritage Foundation, is now campaigning to repeal the law.

    I also find it very annoying that the ACA repeal effort has made its way into the government funding and debt ceiling issues. This law was litigated in the 2012 presidential election, upheld by SCOTUS and failed over 40 Congressional repeal attempts. Isn’t that the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different result?

  10. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 12:51 pm:

    Having once tried to buy insurance on the open market and been denied for a bogus preexisting condition reason, I can’t vote for any Republican at the federal level unless or until their GOP hysteria over Obamacare as an “evil” law dies down.

    That said, I’ve also had experience with an employer jerk me around on hours/benefits and blame it on Obamacare and I think Dems are making a huge mistake just acting like this stuff isn’t happening that much as opposed to pointing out employers don’t actually have to be ruthless misers and its business judgments that are cutting hours/benefits for workers not the law itself. Of course Republicans are happy to perpetuate the myth that the law is dictating every bad economic condition or every healthcare premium rise even when other factors are in play and employers are happy to use Obamacare as a foil to direct their employees anger at Obama rather than their employer.

    I also thought it was interesting that in the House votes on Sat/Sun, Bustos, Enyart, Schneider and Duckworth all voted to repeal the medical device tax along with the GOP. Guess they’re afraid of pacemaker tax attacks for 2014.

  11. - Hank - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 1:12 pm:

    There’s been just way too much propaganda from both sides to easily sift through……
    Amen to that
    This is an issue that will affect most of us in the coming weeks. Let it play out.
    When we all begin to receive individual or family costs and benefit menus from existing or new plans that are no longer general estimate percentages, perhaps a rational discussion can begin.

  12. - Downstate Illinois - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 1:14 pm:

    RNUG, retirees, at least under IMRF, are being told that the change is due directly to ACA.

    As to the first person quoted saying that 80 percent of people won’t notice a difference I can only assume he’s in favor of legalizing marijuana. My first response was wondering what he was smokin’.

    When I got to the next paragraph I just wanted to smack him. Basically he’s saying opponents are racist if they don’t like Obama’s socialized medicine. Socialism is a failure anywhere it’s tried, regardless of the color of a politician’s skin. That’s why half the country opposes it.

    Insurance companies offer policy premiums based on what they think it will cost the certain percentage of the population that will use those policies for the period in question. The ACA takes away the right of those companies to offer consumers policies they want and it takes away the right of consumers to buy policies they want.

    Obamacare takes away everyone’s freedoms to offer a handout for a few, all the while increasing the power of politicians and bureaucrats in Washington.

    There are much better market-based ways to address the problem of the uninsured. That Obamacare will fail I have no doubt. What I fear if how much of the economy it will take out when it does.

  13. - RNUG - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 1:29 pm:

    Downstate Illinois:

    The timing is just lousy for CMS to be changing things. I understand it is tied to the coming Medicare open enrollment period but with the ACA exchanges hitting at the same time, it confuses things.

    I thought the State signed an agreement with the Feds a couple of years ago to maintain their current level of health insruance benefits / coverage through 2017 as part of a waiver to avoid payign fines for having a “cadillac” health insurance plan …

  14. - MrJM - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 1:30 pm:

    As a fan of Chicago’s independent music scene, I will be happy when there is an insurance option that those talented men and women can afford.

    – MrJM

  15. - MrJM - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 1:34 pm:

    “Obamacare takes away everyone’s freedoms to offer a handout for a few, all the while increasing the power of politicians and bureaucrats in Washington.”

    Will it be even worse than when they started flouridating the water supply?

    – MrJM

  16. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 1:37 pm:

    –I would imagine Bustos, Schneider, and Enyart are all rooting hard for a shutdown/default as it would make them all but locks to retain their seats.–

    Johnny Q. makes a very good point for Illinois.

    A shutdown means nothing to Dixie reps. in safe GOP districts. It protects their right flanks.

    But its a hard thing for northern GOP challengers to sell in competitive districts.

  17. - Sue - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 1:46 pm:

    Think the biggest surprise for people believing all the spin as to how great Obama Care is supposed to be is just how expensive it will be to access care once someone purchases insurance through the exchanges- forget about premiums being higher or lower then anyone expected and focus on the co-pays and deductibles- what is going to happen when people are expecting first dollar coverage for care for anything other then the wellness visits when they are hit with huge $$$$ out-of-pockets- The Docs and hospitals are in for what may be huge collection issues unless they insist on co-pays being paid in advance of providing services- on top of somewhat healthy premiums the co-pays can run up to $6250 per annum on individuals- the subsidies don’t cover the co-pays and deductibles only the premiums

  18. - shore - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 1:51 pm:

    As a Republican who did vote for Proft and who considered voting for Rick Perry just to see them take the party down in flames so conservatives could not whine anymore that they hadn’t had their shot, I’m actually rooting for an ugly government shutdown. Whatever my feelings for the moderate wing of the republican party, this is a conservative party and frankly I think it’s time to just give them what they want on this and let them take ownership of the ship. It’s really not serving the country or the party all that well to let them play this game everyday where they basically say things stink because we haven’t had our way. give them their way, let the government shutdown and let them pay the price or reap the spoils. But we can’t keep getting these situations.

    I continue to be impressed with the lack of accountability for the states dc delegation. There’s virtually no coverage of Kirk, Roskam or schakowskys positions/roles in these fights even though the 3 of them have positions/stakes of note in this.

  19. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 1:52 pm:

    ===Will it be even worse than when they started flouridating the water supply?===

    Good point. The national debate for decades has too often been whether the sky is truly falling.

    But at its heart, Obamacare is an impenetrable Rube Goldberg contraption. It’s now also a freaking mess with a horrifyingly inept implementation and rollout.

  20. - Demoralized - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 1:53 pm:


    First of all, I don’t know where you get that it’s a “handout,” because for the most part it’s not.

    Second, I would be all ears to your “market based” solution. It hasn’t presented itself yet but if you have the secret I’m all ears.

    Third, can we please, for just two seconds, knock off the Socialism nonsense. You obviously have no idea what Socialism is or you wouldn’t put that in your comment. I’m so sick and tired of people who disagree with things like this throwing out bombshells like Socialism, or Communism, or whatever other garbage they can think of.

    Finally, in case you missed it, there are millions of people that CANNOT AFFORD insurance. There rights are being taken away if they can’t buy insurance in the first place. For my part, I don’t think anything in the healthcare world should be for-profit. I think it’s disgusting that companies make a profit off of healthcare.

    And next time in your comment you might want to heed Rich’s admonition: “Try very hard to avoid a national political throwdown in comments, please. Thanks.” You failed to heed that advice.

  21. - Pacman - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 2:05 pm:

    A question I haven’t heard asked of the GOP is if not Obamacare, then what? Do we go back to the way insurance was provided pre-Obamacare? Do we fix the problems with Obamacare? What’s the GOP’s plan for healthcare? I for one vote to fix the problems and not scrap the entire law. Anyone else besides me tired of seeing news stories and ads for people having fundraisers to pay for medical expenses?

  22. - RNUG - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 2:22 pm:

    Pacman @ 2:05 pm:

    Can’t speak for the GOP, but if we are to go down the road of universal coverage, then we need to pursue a single payer system like Canada or Great Britian and get the insurance companies out of the middle of it. That’s just wasted money.

    As a, generally speaking, libertatian, I’m not real fond of that idea but I’ve come to the conclusion it is better than the ACA. There are flaws in a single payer system in terms of timely access and rationing of various care, but if we took the money being wasted on this mess and used it, some of that might be eliminated. Medicare may not be perfect, but it does get the job mostly done.

  23. - VanillaMan - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    The only thing worse than watching politicians argue and fingerpoint over today’s problems is watching them argue and fingerpoint over tomorrow’s problems.

    The folks who cannot govern today, cannot predict governing needs tomorrow.

  24. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 2:32 pm:

    =-Can’t speak for the GOP, but if we are to go down the road of universal coverage, then we need to pursue a single payer system like Canada or Great Britian and get the insurance companies out of the middle of it. That’s just wasted money.–

    Thirty percent, right off the top.

  25. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 2:35 pm:

    “Socialism is a failure anywhere it’s tried.”

    You mean like Denmark, Germany, the UK, Israel, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Japan and all the other rich countries? Most or all of these countries have compulsory or universal health insurance. All of the countries I listed pay less in healthcare costs than we do and in almost all cases have comparable if not better health than we do. Some of these countries have very high capitalism rankings. They’re great places for business, and they have decent healthcare. It’s called a mixed economy, not socialism. Please read what the definition of socialism is and stop regurgitating tired cliches. It is the nationalization of the economy, not a capitalist economy with a strong safety net system.

    This is what scares the crap out of the Koch brothers and all those who are financially backing the movement to end the ACA: that compulsory health insurance works. It might not be the ACA, but it’s a step in that direction, and there are plenty of people who want to continue down the path of universal healthcare.

  26. - Judgment Day (Road Trip) - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 2:38 pm:

    The Washington nonsense, who cares? Can’t do anything about that. One side or the other.

    But the technical implementation of this is going to be one wild ride. Having recently been involved in a rollout process where it didn’t go right, can tell you it turns into a total never ending nightmare.

    It literally kills the project/product. We’ve got examples all over the place - just look at Micro$oft - they have created masterpieces of failed rollouts. And think about what happened to the products.

    I’m just amazed that apparently nobody ever sat down at the start and said “Ok, how do we avoid being “Vista, Part 2″, or “Fiero, Part 2″, or etc., etc.

    The bottom line is they are trying to rollout (at 100%) a complete administrative system that is supposed to auto interface with up to 8(?) separate databases, several of which didn’t appear to even exist initially. Now, they have made cutbacks in the scope of project once they realized that they had some non-existent Db’s they were trying to tie to (definite “oops!” moment there). But it’s still a nightmarishly complex system.

    ACA has “Hubris wins out over Capability” written all over it.

    There’s two issues above all that just terrify me. First, this system is likely to be rife with data security issues. And finding those data security weaknesses is difficult enough in a stable/established system - try doing it in a situation where the system is live, and at the same time, the base code is constantly evolving. It’s unworkable - Been There Done That.

    Secondly, the opportunities for digital fraud are out of sight on this one. Think “Security protocols - What are Those?” The smart criminals are already gearing up for this one - There’s so much money to be be made (stolen). And the likelihood of successful prosecutions are going to be non-existent. Wait for it.

    I’m reminded of an old software development adage: “If builders built houses the way programmers write programs, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.”

    I just do not see this being a success.

  27. - Mokenavince - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 2:52 pm:

    The bleeping I heard reminds me of when Medicare was launched .The noise was worse than this. No matter what party we used to agree our health system was broken. Obama care is going to have some bumps that’s expected.
    We should be working on how to take the clinkers out of the act.
    Who doesn’t like the elimination of pre existing conditions? Now everyone should able be to get some form of insurance . Every industrial country in the world insures their people, this is not a new idea.
    Give Obama care some air, I feel this is what he Republicans are worried about. It might work, then they will look like a horse’s rear end.
    It’s ego now that’s all it is.

  28. - Just Me - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 2:57 pm:

    I don’t mind DC conservatives that complain that Obamacare is too much government intrusion. I do mind DC conservatives who complain that it doesn’t work because it hasn’t been fully implemented yet. And they conveniently say the parts that have been implemented should remain.

    However, the implementation here in Illinois is a joke. Another example of dysfunction here in Illinois.

  29. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 3:03 pm:

    –However, the implementation here in Illinois is a joke. Another example of dysfunction here in Illinois==

    I think it’s over the top to pile on the folks who are trying to implement something brand new that they had no hand in putting together.

    Ultimately, we’re going to join the rest of Planet Earth and just eliminate the middlemen of the Health Care Conglomerate who are screwing it all up anyway because they get more money for it.

  30. - Sue - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 3:27 pm:

    Hey Mokenavince- if only life was so simple that Obamacare was modeled after Medicare- ITS NOT- WE now have 50 varying health plans for the uninsured each with a complex set of variables based on incomes and the type of insurance(Gold, Silver, Bronze and maybe copper) people sign up for- the Legislation is beyond confusing and we are only now being advised as to the limitations with respect to participation by providers- I am all for solving the problems of the uninsured like why not simply have forced all providers to charge the uninsured what the insurers pay under reimbursement contracts instead of sending bills for multiples of what they really get paid- we could have subsidized folks who couldn’t afford to pay even the discounted amounts- Instead the Dems have upset the apple cart for virtually everyone who had insurance prior to the enactment of ACA- Obama Care will have huge implementation problems without the R’s throwing sand into the mix- As far as Medicare being so great- God forbid we end up with another entitlement program as poorly funded as Medicare is in terms of the next 25 years

  31. - Demoralized - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 3:32 pm:

    == we could have subsidized folks who couldn’t afford to pay even the discounted amounts==

    And you probably would have had the same people trying to defund the ACA now throwing a fit about that too. You are never going to please everybody and I’m convinced you aren’t ever going to please the people working the hardest at getting rid of the ACA. Something different HAD to be tried. If it doesn’t work, so be it. We’ll try something else.

  32. - zatoichi - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 4:00 pm:

    In all the talk I have heard on ACA, there has been almost no discussion of what it really covers. So the state exchange says a 25 year can buy coverage for $120 a month in Chicago. We just got BCBS renewals at work. PPOs came in at over $1,000 a month. That 25 year will have the same coverage at 1/8 my cost? Please. With deductibles in the $6,000+ range and extremely limited range of providers maybe that $120 package’ll work. Have one serious visit to the ER and that 25 year old will be popping out $500+$120 a month. But they do have coverage. Just does not pay the bill.

  33. - Lt. Guv - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 4:01 pm:

    BTW MrJM, it’s “fluoride.”

  34. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 4:01 pm:


    With all due respect,

    if you’re actually trying to communicate,

    and engage in a conversation,

    hit the return button once in a while and consult your Strunk and Wagnalls.

    Your posts are fevered, unpunctuated and unreadable.

    What are you, one of those crazy hepcats, smoking reefers, digging on that Jazz music?

  35. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 4:28 pm:

    === consult your Strunk and Wagnalls ===

    We should all consult our Funk and Wagnalls once in a while.

    Especially when critiquing others use of it, or lack thereof ;)

  36. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 4:33 pm:

    Strunk and White, actually, lol.

    Mea culpa. I’m so ashamed.

    But it’s okay, because Jesse, Skyler, Finn and Hollie are safe. I’m content to meet my maker.

    Marie, meh, whatever.

    Funk and Wagnalls, I think, was the encyclopedia set they used to give away to the losers on “The Price is Right.”

  37. - Judgment Day (Road Trip) - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 4:34 pm:

    “The bleeping I heard reminds me of when Medicare was launched .The noise was worse than this. No matter what party we used to agree our health system was broken. Obama care is going to have some bumps that’s expected. We should be working on how to take the clinkers out of the act.”

    Not even close. The complexity of ACA compared to initial Social Security is like comparing the construction of a destroyer to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier.

    When they built the first digital Social Security systems back in the late 60’s and 1970’s, it was a fantastic technical marvel for it’s time. But it was pretty much a standalone system (big and complex), but interaction with other systems and backend Db’s was pretty much non-existent. System Interaction for a long time was all ’sneakerwear’ based - pushing racks full of tapes between locations. Those Db hooks took years and years (and serious time and dollars to make happen).

    I knew some of the folks who had done some of the work back in the day (they were leaving the workforce as I was coming into the biz), and I heard many of the ‘war stories’.

    These aren’t ‘bumps’ we’re going to be facing with implementing ACA - some are going to be like facing uncharted mountain ranges.

    FWIW, the Democrats may have missed out on an opportunity here to take advantage of the Republicans - by ‘reluctantly’ accepting a delay of a year and as a result, but more time to fix stuff. The test beds for data validation are nowhere near comprehensive enough.

    IMO, this could easily turn into “death by 1,000 cuts”.

  38. - low level - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 5:11 pm:

    “They are who we thought they were”.
    Dennis Green

  39. - papa2008 - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 8:21 pm:

    We don’t have a health care crisis. We have an “I don’t want to pay for my healthcare” crisis.

  40. - fake county chairman - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 8:36 pm:


  41. - Jimbo - Tuesday, Oct 1, 13 @ 8:12 am:


    Good to know you’re for single payer. I agree we should just pass Medicare for all. If only us libs had thought of that lol. I’m amazed that right wingers are so opposed to this law (originally conceived by the right wing think tank Heritage Foundation) that you’re advocating truly socialized medicine.

    BTW, how about we compromise to get the gubmint running again? We’ll replace Obamacare, with Medicare for all (those under 67 will pay premiums), and providing subsidies to those who can’t afford it?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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