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No one likes Obamacare
The Indianapolis Business Journal ^ | January 2, 2014 | J.K. Wall

Posted on 01/02/2014 8:43:19 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

People are always interested to know, when I tell them I write about health care, what I think of Obamacare.

My answer usually is this: “The Affordable Care Act is so massive, it's just about impossible, if you know what’s in the law, to entirely love it or hate it."

I could just as easily say this: "No one is happy with this law."

We all know conservatives don’t like Obamacare. Republicans have been warning about Obamacare-induced death panels, death spirals and the death of America as we know it since before the law was passed. And after it was passed, the Republican-led House has staged 40-some votes to repeal all or part of Obamacare.

“Obamacare will destroy the private-insurance market, incentivize businesses to cancel current health coverage for their employees, create physician shortages, and force Americans and states into total dependency on the federal government,” wrote Jim DeMint and Mike Needham, both of the Heritage Foundation, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that encouraged shutting down the government to stop funding for the law.

Perhaps more surprising is that liberals don’t like Obamacare either. Many of them wanted Obama to push for a national, Medicare-for-all health insurance program. At the very least they wanted a public option insurance plan to give the health insurance industry some real competition. But that provision didn’t make it into the final version of Obamacare.

“Obamacare is awful,” wrote liberal filmmaker Michael Moore in a New Year’s Day op-ed in the New York Times. “The Affordable Care Act is a pro-insurance-industry plan implemented by a president who knew in his heart that a single-payer, Medicare-for-all model was the true way to go.”

Indeed, looking back nearly four years after Congressional debate over Obamacare, I see lots of ways in which critics of the law got a better deal than they thought (or said) they would, while many proponents of the law are now disappointed.

Consider that health insurers like Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., which in general worked against the law, now enjoy a government decree for nearly all Americans to buy their product. (I can tell you the newspaper industry would kill for a mandate for all Americans to buy its product. And I suspect every other industry would, too.). Obamacare gives its insurance mandate teeth by taxes on those who don’t buy insurance and by fairly sizable tax subsidies for many who do. Those subsidies are set to total $100 million a year by 2017, Moore noted.

Consider that hospitals, who thought they would see a flood of newly insured patients, are now trying to cut their expenses to deal with Obamacare’s slower-than-expected growth in reimbursements from the Medicare program. (Other factors hurting hospitals right now are federal sequestration, Indiana’s decision not to expand Medicaid eligibility, as called for by Obamacare, and a decline in patient visits, which appears to be induced by the nation’s long bout of joblessness and by the rise in high-deductible insurance plans.)

Consider that hospitals, doctors and even drug companies like Eli Lilly and Co.—all of which supported Obamacare because of its expansion of insurance coverage—are now seeing their services and products cut out of some insurance plans, as insurers switch to narrow networks and narrow formularies.

Consider that health savings accounts and high-deductible health plans—which were marked for extinction by the incoming Obama administration—are now, thanks to the bronze plans on the Obamacare exchanges and Obamacare’s Cadillac tax on employers, on their way to becoming the dominant type of health insurance plan across the country.

Consider that labor unions, some of Obama’s staunchest supporters, will likely not be able to keep their health plans going in the future. Some unions have even called for the outright repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Why does all this discontentment matter? Because it means that health reform is by no means done. If anything, the Jan. 1 implementation of the bulk of Obamacare is just the beginning of health reform.

I don’t ever expect a repeal of the Affordable Care Act—even if Republicans take control of the Senate and the White House by 2017. Instead, I expect liberals and conservatives to engage in a pitched battle to twist Obamacare’s basic architecture into something more to their liking.

Liberals will still find it hard to attack Obamacare outright. But they could certainly re-start their anti-insurance rhetoric, blasting health insurance companies for the real-world effects of their narrow networks, high deductibles and high premiums. That could give them traction on introducing a public option.

Conservatives will find it hard to stop predicting Obamacare’s impending doom. If they did, however, they would discover that the bill has given them a chunk of what they wanted—proliferation of health savings accounts, the extension of tax breaks to individuals (not just companies) for buying insurance. They could try to scale back the highly prescriptive nature of the regulations on the Obamacare exchanges and open those marketplaces across state lines—both in the name of expanding choice and competition. They could also take a shot at repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate tax.

I also expect conservatives to try to extend the logic of Obamacare—tax subsidies for private insurance—to Medicare (as Rep. Paul Ryan has already proposed). In response, I expect liberals to try to keep the program roughly as it is, while expanding Obamacare's modest provisions for reducing health care spending and, possibly, giving Medicare the power to negotiate prices with drug and device companies.

Obamacare, for all it changes, leaves a lot of things the same in American health care. Both liberals and conservatives can find things in the law they will fight to preserve, and other things they will fight to overturn.

So, now that Obamacare is here, let the real health reform debate begin.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: abortion; deathpanels; economy; indiana; insurance; obamacare; zerocare

1 posted on 01/02/2014 8:43:19 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Obamacare gives its insurance mandate teeth by taxes on those who don’t buy insurance and by fairly sizable tax subsidies for many who do. Those subsidies are set to total $100 million a year by 2017, Moore noted.

$100 million? That's about 30¢ for every person in the country. Maybe the author meant $100 billion.

2 posted on 01/02/2014 8:47:16 PM PST by KarlInOhio (Everyone get online for Obamacare on 10/1. Overload the system and crash it hard!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hey, there’s chunks of recycled corn in that.
Mmmmmm.


3 posted on 01/02/2014 8:49:02 PM PST by right way right (What's it gonna take? (guillotines?))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Traitor Roberts loves 0DontCare.


4 posted on 01/02/2014 8:49:05 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

We (Congress) had to pass it to find out if we (the People) would like it.


5 posted on 01/02/2014 8:49:39 PM PST by Antihero101607
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

We told you so!


6 posted on 01/02/2014 8:49:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Now it is obvious what Pelosi meant. "We have to pass it so we can before Americans find out what's in it.
7 posted on 01/02/2014 8:50:07 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This guy talks like he’s read the law. If so, how come he still likes it? Is he nuts?


8 posted on 01/02/2014 8:50:14 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is...sounding pretty good about now.)
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To: KarlInOhio
> $100 million? That's about 30¢ for every person in the country. Maybe the author meant $100 billion.

Gotta be, otherwise "fairly sizable" is an idiotic statement.

9 posted on 01/02/2014 8:51:44 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is...sounding pretty good about now.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Summery: Now we have to implement it, to see what’s in it.


10 posted on 01/02/2014 8:52:50 PM PST by right way right (What's it gonna take? (guillotines?))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“I don’t ever expect a repeal of the Affordable Care Act—even if Republicans take control of the Senate and the White House by 2017”

This is what worries me. The guy just might be right unless we can get more Tea Party types in there.


11 posted on 01/02/2014 8:57:14 PM PST by Parley Baer
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To: KarlInOhio

I believe you’re right. $100 million is pocket change in the Beltway.


12 posted on 01/02/2014 8:58:01 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (A courageous man finds a way, an ordinary man finds an excuse.)
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To: KarlInOhio

“$100 million? That’s about 30¢ for every person in the country. Maybe the author meant $100 billion.”

Hey, what’s the big deal about a few mis-statements and incorrectly cited facts among friends?


13 posted on 01/02/2014 9:01:10 PM PST by Attention Surplus Disorder (At no time was the Obama administration aware of what the Obama administration was doing)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Only an idiot would think that you could reduce the cost of something by giving it away for free to more people. And that’s why it’s called OBAMACARE.


14 posted on 01/02/2014 9:06:38 PM PST by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: bigbob

Bingo!


15 posted on 01/02/2014 9:32:55 PM PST by fortheDeclaration (Pr 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation:but sin is a reproach to any people)
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To: BenLurkin

“Now it is obvious what Pelosi meant. “We have to pass it so we can before Americans find out what’s in it.”

Sort of like a kidney stone.


16 posted on 01/02/2014 9:38:38 PM PST by Beowulf9
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It is alright, ObamaCare has shown us that the outright cure for the health care system is to cause millions of people to lose their existing insurance, and then present replacement plans that cost hundreds of dollars more, and then, to soften the blow, take even more from the ‘rich’ (IE: anyone not already sucking at the government teat) and give it to those who would normally outright refuse any government handouts.

Yep, yep, this is working out just fine. Our group plan at work was just cancelled, so add four more to the legions of people who no longer will have insurance. Oh, look, two million people signed up! Five million lost their insurance! Obvious answer in the government’s view: ObamaCare is working!


17 posted on 01/02/2014 9:39:51 PM PST by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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To: BenLurkin

We had to pay for this cr@p sandwich before we could know what our dear leaders put on this cr@p sandwich.


18 posted on 01/02/2014 9:51:59 PM PST by Jane Long (While Marxists continue the fundamental transformation of the USA, progressive RINOs assist!)
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To: KarlInOhio
$100 million? That's about 30¢ for every person in the country. Maybe the author meant $100 billion.

Hollywood Fats is not known for math skills.

19 posted on 01/02/2014 10:08:31 PM PST by cynwoody
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Mushy piece. Sounds to me like he’s trying to tell all those who are itching to get rid of this law to stop trying. Some like some things in it and don’t like others. There are some things to like and some not to like. Mush mush mush. An ooze waterfall directed at the ever-growing clarity of the tea party.


20 posted on 01/02/2014 10:20:34 PM PST by firebrand
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Obama”care” Dooms Seniors to Ravages of Aging-

“On Oct. 1, 2012 the Obama administration started awarding bonus points to hospitals that spend the least on elderly patients. It will result in fewer knee replacements, hip replacements, angioplasty, bypass surgery and cataract operations.”

Betsy McCaughey — January 2, 2014

http://www.aim.org/guest-column/obama-dooms-seniors-to-ravages-of-aging/

(Besty McCaughey has the reputation for being the ONLY human being that has actually READ the entire socialist health”care” bill.)


21 posted on 01/02/2014 10:57:43 PM PST by Mortrey (Impeach President Soros)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Another turd-polishing propagandist trying to convince us that the Obamacare nightmare is good for the country.


22 posted on 01/03/2014 3:51:46 AM PST by jespasinthru (Proud member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Obamacare is political gang rape.


23 posted on 01/03/2014 7:36:54 AM PST by VRW Conspirator ( 2+2 = V)
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To: dayglored
This guy talks like he’s read the law. If so, how come he still likes it? Is he nuts?

Given the size (20,000 pages?) and complexity of the law, I seriously doubt that anyone could both read AND understand the ObamaCare law.

Add in the verbal changes coming regularly from the White House, I think it's safe to say that no one person understands more than a fraction of ObamaCare.

However, EVERYONE can see the general concept, and no one likes it.

24 posted on 01/03/2014 8:14:44 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (Damn ObamaCare, full speed ahead!)
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