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Obamacare and Government Failure
Townhall.com ^ | December 3, 2013 | Mona Charen

Posted on 12/03/2013 4:35:19 AM PST by Kaslin

We conservatives are always on about the "unintended consequences" of government programs, but we didn't expect the Obama administration and congressional Democrats to provide such a vivid object lesson. If the tipsy, teetering debut of Obamacare invites a new skepticism about the capacity of government to run things, it will be the most welcome unintended consequence since Alexander Fleming left his staphylococci samples on a workbench over summer vacation.

Government programs, after all, fail frequently but are almost never held to account, far less held up to ridicule.

Consider education. In an era everyone keeps telling us is hi-tech-centered, only about 75 percent of American students graduate from high school. In major cities, the figure is closer to 50 percent. Detroit, Education Week reports, graduates only 46 percent of students; Denver, 50 percent; Los Angeles, 52 percent; and New York City, 54 percent. As for what those diplomas signify, it varies a lot. A 2009 survey by Common Core found that fewer than half of American high schoolers could place the Civil War in the correct half-century, 25 percent thought Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue after 1750 and 33 percent couldn't identify the Bill of Rights.

American students lag behind their peers from other developed nations in math, technology and literacy. You'd think that parents, especially those in poor neighborhoods, would be in the streets protesting. You'd think the failure of government to provide such a basic good to its citizens -- particularly after demanding and getting increasing subventions year after year -- would be met with at least consternation, if not outright rebellion. But no, these failing schools chug along, failing to educate and in some cases, failing even to provide for the physical safety of their students. It is reformers who are branded as dangerous rather than the government that permits this dereliction.

Is education too complicated and multifactorial? If you think so, have a glance at "No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning," by Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom. But meanwhile, let's look at Medicaid because Obamacare is expanding this failed program.

Deamonte Driver was a seventh-grader in Prince George's County, Md., who died because he couldn't get a dentist appointment. Avik Roy tells his story in "How Medicaid Fails the Poor." When Deamonte complained of a toothache in September 2006, his mother began calling around, seeking a dentist who would take a patient with Medicaid coverage. Several months and dozens of phone calls later, she finally found one who explained to her that Deamonte had six abscessed teeth and required the services of an oral surgeon, which once again, prompted another frustrating round of phone calls and several months of delay. A week before his surgery was finally scheduled, Deamonte complained of a severe headache. He was rushed to the hospital where doctors found his dental infection had spread to his brain. Brain surgery revived him for a while but after a few weeks, he died.

Long waits and poor care are not exceptions in the Medicaid program but regular features. A recent Pediatrics study found that Medicaid/State Children's Health Insurance Program patients were unable to get urgent dental appointments 64 percent of the time, compared with 5 percent for those with private insurance. It was similar for patients with severe asthma and juvenile diabetes. Roy highlights studies that show patients with Medicaid coverage not only have worse health outcomes than those with private health insurance, but also that they fare worse even than those with no health insurance at all.

Medicaid reimburses physicians at roughly half the rate of private insurance. Some liberals want for doctors to be coerced into providing care, which is the logical extension of the Obamacare cram-down model. In fact, the program will add about 17 million new enrollees to Medicaid. This will increase wait times even further and put more strain on an already-failing system. Medicaid patients clog emergency rooms because they cannot get primary care doctors to see them, Roy argues.

A system of catastrophic coverage combined with "concierge" service (paying physicians $80 per month to see each Medicaid patient) would cost $3,460 per person, or 42 percent less than what Obamacare proposes to spend.

"It's not wrong to spend a large sum of money on health care for the poor," writes Roy. "It is wrong to waste large sums of money on health care for the poor."

Or on anything else. It's even worse to waste large sums of money on programs that make everyone, on balance, worse off than competing arrangements would. Let's hope that the troubles of Obamacare open people's eyes to alternatives. We've tamely accepted government failure to our sorrow.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: 0bamacare; biggovernment; failure

1 posted on 12/03/2013 4:35:20 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

All of Obama’s policies, foreign and domestic, are about punishing Whitey - nothing more.


2 posted on 12/03/2013 4:44:30 AM PST by abclily
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To: Kaslin

We conservatives ...
+++++++++++
I read this far and just had to pause and post this comment:

Mona Charin. Conservative. Did I miss something? I remember a conservative Mona Charin. But that was long ago. If there really is a conservative named Mona Charin I would be shocked.

Now back to the article. Maybe I’ll change my mind.


3 posted on 12/03/2013 4:45:20 AM PST by InterceptPoint
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To: InterceptPoint

blah, blah, blah. She’s probably more conservative then you are


4 posted on 12/03/2013 4:49:29 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: abclily

Of course, but he really doesn’t do much for blacks, just look at their unemployment numbers. He’s really only for himself and no one else


5 posted on 12/03/2013 4:52:22 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin; All

Commie Obama Speaking Rules:

1.) Begin with a Lie
2.) Blame others
3.) Ridicule others
4.) Demonize others
5.) Swagger in an arrogant manner before, during and after each speech.


6 posted on 12/03/2013 4:54:42 AM PST by Graewoulf (Democrats' Obamacare Socialist Health Insur. Tax violates U.S. Constitution AND Anti-Trust Law.)
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To: Graewoulf

Exactly


7 posted on 12/03/2013 5:04:09 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: InterceptPoint

You don’t need to change your mind, but you could use a little lesson in perspective. Whatever you say about Mona, she’s very conservative compared to obama care and similarly minded programs, which is all that’s required for this article to make sense.

But out of curiosity, where has Mona gone off the rails IYO?


8 posted on 12/03/2013 5:12:09 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
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To: Kaslin
OBAMACARE . ZEROCARE.
9 posted on 12/03/2013 5:19:14 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (The monsters are due on Maple Street)
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To: C. Edmund Wright; Kaslin

OK. By CNN and NPR standards Mona Charen is a conservative. I won’t debate that.

In fact the young Mona Charen was very conservative. I was a fan. But somewhere along the CNN path she lost a lot of that energy. Too many times for me. And I’m talking mostly about her views as expressed on CNN. Very inconsistent in terms of strong support for conservative principles at least IMHO. Not zero. Just weak. Not the Mona Charen of old.

And you don’t see very many Mona Charen articles here on FR. Or maybe I just miss them or avoid them. Even this article, which could easily been a blistering attack on Obamacare, is really about the sad state of education in this country. That’s OK but, despite the headline, she has very little to say about Obamacare. I just don’t think she has carried the flag with the same enthusiasm as your typical Freeper.


10 posted on 12/03/2013 5:23:45 AM PST by InterceptPoint
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To: UCANSEE2

0b0z0care is scaring the heck out of the medical industry, employers and in general, the American people.

0b0z0SKare would be a fair label for it.


11 posted on 12/03/2013 5:29:14 AM PST by melancholy
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To: Kaslin
"It's not wrong to spend a large sum of money on health care for the poor," writes Roy.

urrrrgh!

These people need to have it shoved back in their faces:
When you "spend money on" anything, you have to first steal it from someone to do so.
At least acknowledge that you are spending OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY on YOUR programs in order for you to feel good about yourself for "doing good".

12 posted on 12/03/2013 5:32:50 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: InterceptPoint

10-4 - and I’ve never had strong opinions one way or the other on her. No doubt her CNN gig has softened her….

As an aside, she did write about something called “black street cred” in early 2008 referring to how Obama used Jeremiah Wright’s church. I expanded on that “black street cred” theory in an American Thinker article, and ironically Rush led off his show that day reading my article - and focused on black street cred - which with Rush’ huge footprint lead in some ways to Obama’s “under the bus” race speech four days later…..


13 posted on 12/03/2013 5:42:27 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
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To: Kaslin

One reason is because spelling the English language the way you want to is now accepted and those of us who try to correct others are referred to as “spelling Nazis.” It isn’t Nazism to expect people living here to use the English language properly. OK, so I’ll die being thought of as a spelling Nazi.


14 posted on 12/03/2013 6:29:05 AM PST by NRA1995 (I'd rather be a living "gun culture" member than a dead anti-gun candy-ass.)
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To: NRA1995

“Obamacare and Government Failure”...

Those two definitely go together...odumbocare = Failure
Gubmint= Failure


15 posted on 12/03/2013 6:48:22 AM PST by DaveA37
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To: NRA1995

A rejection of standards is a tenet of the left.


16 posted on 12/03/2013 6:49:04 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: C. Edmund Wright
As an aside, she did write about something called “black street cred” ...

I suspect in writing Mona is going to look a bit more conservative. That's a good thing. We can use all the help we can get. But in person it just doesn't come through for me.

YMMV of course.

17 posted on 12/03/2013 6:53:29 AM PST by InterceptPoint
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To: InterceptPoint

fo shizzle….


18 posted on 12/03/2013 7:21:40 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
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To: InterceptPoint
So what's wrong with Mona?

I rarely see an article by her I disagree with.

She's been steady over the years. And, despite, your criticism that this article is no good, she is pointing out how Gov't has failed the poor...an argument which needs to be made over and over again.

19 posted on 12/03/2013 2:55:29 PM PST by what's up
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