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Obama Apologizes to People Who Lost Lousy Insurance Because of ObamaCare

health-costs-money-stethoscope

President Obama has apologized for breaking his “If you like your plan, you can keep it” pledge. Does he have anything to be sorry about?

NBC (“Exclusive: Obama personally apologizes for Americans losing health coverage“):

President Obama said Thursday that he is “sorry” that some Americans are losing their current health insurance plans as a result of the Affordable Care Act, despite his promise that no one would have to give up a health plan they liked.

“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” he told NBC News in an exclusive interview at the White House.

“We’ve got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.”

Obama’s comments come 10 days after NBC News’ Lisa Myers reported that the administration has known since the summer of 2010 that millions of Americans could lose their insurance under the law.

Obama has made repeated assurances that “if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan” with Obamacare.

Consumers who buy insurance on their own — about  five percent of the population — are at risk of being forced off their current policies because their plans have changed and don’t meet the new standards of the Affordable Care Act.

Obama’s statement has been called into question as Americans have begun to receive cancellation notices, effectively forcing them to enroll in a new plan either with their current insurer or through the government exchanges, in many cases at a higher rate.

Guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services dating back to July 2010 estimated that “40 to 67 percent” of the 14 million consumers in that marketplace could lose their policies due to turnover in the individual insurance market, NBC News found.

That part of the law does not impact the 80 percent of Americans who receive their health insurance through employers or through Medicare or Medicaid.

“Obviously we didn’t do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law,” Obama said in the interview Thursday. “And, you know, that’s something I regret. That’s something we’re gonna do everything we can to get fixed … We’re looking at a range of options.”

But Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas argue that “Obama shouldn’t apologize for blowing up the terrible individual market.”

People aren’t finding themselves in this situation based on the president’s promises. They’re finding themselves in this situation based on his policy. And Obama isn’t apologizing for the policy.

“Before the law was passed, a lot of these plans, people thought they had insurance coverage,” he said. “And then they’d find out that they had huge out of pocket expenses. Or women were being charged more than men. If you had preexisting conditions, you just couldn’t get it at all.”

Obama was wrong to promise that everyone who liked their insurance could keep it. For a small minority of Americans, that flatly isn’t true. But the real sin would’ve been leaving the individual insurance market alone.

The individual market — which serves five percent of the population, and which is where the disruptions are happening — is a horror show. It’s a market where healthy people benefit from systematic discrimination against the sick, where young people benefit from systematic discrimination against the old, where men benefit from systematic discrimination against women, and where insurers benefit from systematic discrimination against the uninformed.

[...]

This is a market that desperately needs to be fixed. And Obamacare goes a way toward fixing it. It basically makes the individual market more like the group markets. That means that the sick don’t get charged more than the well, and the old aren’t charged more than three times as much as the young, and women aren’t charged more than men, and insurance plans that don’t actually cover you when you get sick no longer exist. But the transition disrupts today’s arrangements.

[...]

There’s been an outpouring of sympathy for the people in the individual market who will see their plans changed. As well there should be. Some of them will be better off, but some won’t be.

But, worryingly, the impassioned defense of the beneficiaries of the status quo isn’t leavened with sympathy for the people suffering now. The people who can’t buy health insurance for any price, or can’t get it at a price they can afford, or do get it only to find themselves bankrupted by medical expenses anyway have been left out of the sudden outpouring of concern.

If people have a better way to fix the individual market — one that has no losers — then it’s time for them to propose it. But it’s very strange to sympathize with the people who’ve benefited from the noxious practices of the individual market while dismissing the sick people who’ve been victimized by it.

Obama is rightly taking flack for making a promise he wasn’t going to keep, and he’s right to apologize for it. But he shouldn’t apologize for blowing up the individual market. It needed to be done.

While I agree that the existing market was awful, the problem is that we fixed parts of the problem while creating new ones.

Given that a single payer system—which both Klein and I would prefer—is not a politically viable option in the United States, people who are young, poor, and healthy face a quandary. They need to be covered in case they suffer a healthcare catastrophe but can’t afford a decent healthcare policy at today’s prices. ObamaCare creates a fix for some of them: If they’re under 26 and their parents have good coverage, they can get coverage that way. But if they’re, say, 27 or their parents don’t have decent coverage, they’re still left to their own devices. And that means the cheapest plan that provides catastrophic protection.

Klein and others rightly praise ObamaCare for eliminating plans that were essentially fraudulent. Those that preyed on the ignorant and desperate, seemingly promising coverage if they got really sick but in fact having so many loopholes that they weren’t covered at all, needed to go away.

But plans that were above board—not offering coverage for routine medical expenses like checkups or birth control but serving as a backstop in case of serious accident or major illness—went away, too. By mandating that every single insurance plan in America offer blanket coverage to everyone, regardless of health or age, ObamaCare ended these plans. That puts some people in a far worse position than they were in previously. And this was a known defect.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Tony W says:

    And we go from a legitimate “both sides do it” article, straight over to a story about the true party of personal responsibility.

    Can you imagine a Republican apologizing for anything? “My car hit your dog ma’am, I’m going to sue you for the dent”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 12

  2. James Joyner says:

    @Tony W: Responsibility without accountability is a big zero. Obama is apologizing for a much repeated catchphrase that was known to be untrue. But he’s not doing anything to make good on the promise.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 7

  3. C. Clavin says:

    But plans that were above board—not offering coverage for routine medical expenses like checkups or birth control but serving as a backstop in case of serious accident or major illness—went away, too.

    One…really…seriously…what kind of percentage of the whole did those add up to? And why didn’t you and other Republicans contribute this sort of idea during the legislative process…instead of just reflexively voting no and making up stories about Death Panels and Ramming The Bill Through In The Dark Of Night?
    Two…routine medical expenses like check-ups and preventative medicine are a whole lot cheaper than waiting for catastrophe to strike. I’m amazed frankly that you would endorse the later. That’s not very Conservative of you.
    Three…I must have missed the part of your post where you talked about the upsides to Obamacare…the successes. I’ll go back and look again.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 10

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    Yeah, I think he does have something to apologize for. Healthcare insurance is a different sort of good than, say, hot dogs or potato chips. You buy hot dogs to maximize upside gain. Buy one hot dog, you’re happy. Buy two dogs, you’re happier. Presuming you like hot dogs, of course.

    The purpose of insurance is to minimize downside loss and a good deal of that is psychological. If you were happy with your insurance, spending more for it doesn’t make you any happier. And it particularly doesn’t make you happier when the increased spending is a) mandatory and b) for something you can’t possibly use.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  5. Franklin says:

    I’ve been able to keep my plan. It just costs 75% more than it did three years ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  6. C. Clavin says:

    @Franklin:

    I’ve been able to keep my plan. It just costs 75% more than it did three years ago.

    And how much would it have increased absent Obamacare?
    The health care cost increases of the status quo were unsustainable. However that is what you and James are arguing for.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 9

  7. Todd says:

    Given that a single payer system—which both Klein and I would prefer—is not a politically viable option in the United States, people who are young, poor, and healthy face a quandary.

    Yet again, every time I hear people complain about anything having to do with ‘Obamacare’, and especially when they pretend that this is the Democrat’s “preferred plan” I would simply point out that allowing everyone the option to buy into Medicare would be so much simpler, and almost surely less expensive.

    I’m with you and Ezra, James.

    The problems we’re seeing now with the rollout of ‘Obamacare’ are not problems with “socialized medicine”. They’re problems caused by the irrational fear of socialized medicine.

    The fact is, the Federal government already subsidizes the health care costs of virtually every American (whether they realize it or not). I honestly don’t understand what value is added by the private insurance industry. Every dollar of profit for the insurance companies, is a dollar not being spent on healthcare. If they were adding value, then maybe it could be justified. But I don’t see how anyone could argue that these exchanges will ever work better than if people were simply able to just enter their information into one (Medicare) database.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 5

  8. Donald Sensing says:

    How, exactly, was that an apology? It was only the classic Washington non-apology apology. Obama never apologized for not telling the truth, never even admitted it. “I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me” is no different from what Otter told Flounder in Animal House: “Hey, you [screwed] up! You trusted us!”

    People just “found themselves” in that situation, you see. Obama has, once again, flipped off the American people. It’s our fault we believed what he said. Hopefully, we will never make that mistake again.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 16

  9. Rob in CT says:

    Apology is the correct thing. Sure, we can all point out that minimum standards for insurance make perfect sense, but then the promise shouldn’t have been made in such iron-clad terms. Papa Bush’s “read my lips” also comes to mind. He broke that promise, and I think he did the right thing in doing so. What it showed was that he shouldn’t have made the promise in the first place.

    And sure, yes, Medicare for all would be better. But far, far more disruptive. Yes, it’s “simpler” in terms of signup. But then you’re signing up everybody, not just ~15% of the population. You’re basically putting a powerful industry out of business (I would expect health insurers would continue to exist, but their product would be boutique coverage over medicare’s standard), and they’d have fought tooth and nail.

    I think that’s the best path, but let us not pretend it wouldn’t have been very disruptive.

    The Dems shot for “least disruptive meaningful improvement” and this is the result. “Best possible reform, full speed ahead and damn the torpedos” was never a realistic option. Perhaps someday it will be. I hope so. But there’s a lot of persuasion to be done. Lots of Americans still really believe that places like Canada, France, Germany, etc. have hellish healthcare systems. And, thus, we get Rube-Goldberg Healthcare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    “I’m sorry I ran over your dog, but he was old and sickly, so I did you a favor and saved you the vet’s bill in having him put to sleep. You’re welcome.”

    “Lousy” is in the eye of the beholder. If people were happy (or, at least, content) with their previous plan, tough crap. Yes, you’re paying more, but it’s so much BETTER! than your old one, filled with benefits that we decided you need!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 21

  11. Mikey says:

    @Todd:

    I honestly don’t understand what value is added by the private insurance industry.

    It’s still used in most countries, even those with universal coverage. Germany has about 1100 different Krankenkassen, both public and private. Most Germans are in the public system but many still buy Zusatzversicherung (“add-on insurance”) that covers things like co-pays and dental care.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  12. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Todd: I honestly don’t understand what value is added by the private insurance industry.

    Well, for one, the private insurance agencies aren’t partnered with the IRS, who are enforcing ObamaCare. That’s a hell of a value right there, especially in light of the revelations of the IRS acting as the Obama administration’s Brute Squad against their political enemies.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 34

  13. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    That’s a hell of a value right there, especially in light of the revelations of the IRS acting as the Obama administration’s Brute Squad against their political enemies.

    More of Jenos lying.
    Can you type a comment without lying? Seriously?
    path·o·log·i·cal adjective \ˌpa-thə-ˈlä-ji-kəl\
    : extreme in a way that is not normal or that shows an illness or mental problem

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 8

  14. john personna says:

    It all depends on how bad the “bad” plans were, which is something that isn’t super clear from reporting. James and other commentators acknowledge that some of the bad plans were “really bad,” and some were “not so bad.”

    lol, I guess based on that we can say that the “not so bad” plans should have been kept.

    Kind of a pig in a poke though.

    @Dave Schuler:

    Another way to put it is that at any given time most people are healthy. For the healthy, the insurance is a pure cost, without experienced benefit. They don’t really feel the risk protection … they go about their day doing the things healthy people do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  15. john personna says:

    BTW, I can tell you that my plan does not have free checkups. I have a co-pay. And my plan was continued, qualifies, under Obamacare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. george says:

    This is a market that desperately needs to be fixed. And Obamacare goes a way toward fixing it. It basically makes the individual market more like the group markets. That means that the sick don’t get charged more than the well, and the old aren’t charged more than three times as much as the young, and women aren’t charged more than men, and insurance plans that don’t actually cover you when you get sick no longer exist. But the transition disrupts today’s arrangements.

    The problem with Klein’s statement is that charging everyone the same is regressive in this case, since the young and healthy tend to be poorer (every wealth statistic I’ve seen bears this out) than the old and sickly – they could get around this by raising the medicaid cap significantly (ie subsidize up to say around $100,000 annual salary instead of around $40,000), but the decided against that.

    And its actually the norm in insurance for groups with different risks to pay differently – look at auto insurance. Young, healthy males pay more than anyone else, because they’re higher risk. If risk isn’t an issue with insurance, perhaps they should legislate that auto plans and the like should have a single fee as well.

    If it were done as an expansion of medicare the progressive tax system would take care of it. As it is, you’re basically taking from a poorer group to give to a wealthier group. Which is why having a public option (like Germany and France where both private and public exist) is much better than what’s been put forth.

    As for the apology, I think its a good call on Obama’s part. Even if the plan only negatively effects a few percent, that turns into many millions in a country of 300 million. Apologizing to them is the right thing to do (along with trying to modify the plan, perhaps by raising the subsidization limits). Good on him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  17. Crusty Dem says:

    The only person i know (personally) to have rate issues is the former CEO of Beth Israel in Boston. He was complaining about a 70% increase in his premium. Turns out he was hit because A) he’s rich B) his old policy was through his much younger wife (and his age wasn’t taken into acct on her policy) C) he had a high copay, no OOP max policy that would bankrupt any non-rich person if they got a severe illness.

    Even with all that he was able to find a slightly more expensive policy that met all ACA mandates through the exchange. Shocking!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  18. JKB says:

    Obama: I’m sorry you are discovering the fraud I perpetrated upon you. (At least, while I’m still in town)

    So, while it is the individual market where the fraud is being revealed now, their seems to be an attempt to continue the fraud upon those who have employer-based insurance. Or is it that employer-based insurance won’t be forced to offer the suite of buying club products Obamacare incorporated into medical care insurance by mandate? It seems employers are going to beforece to offer the buying club services, which will cause the rates to go up for their employees since employers are in court right now fighting the requirement they offer services that violate their religious beliefs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12

  19. bandit says:

    He didn’t apologize – he just lied some more

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 17

  20. JKB says:

    Fraud – 2. (Law) An intentional perversion of truth (the Obama lie) for the purpose
    of obtaining some valuable thing or promise from another (political support or at least non-opposition).
    [1913 Webster]

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 16

  21. Rob in CT says:

    offer services that violate their religious beliefs.

    To offer insurance that includes coverage for services that *their employees* may or may not use, of which the employer disapproves.

    I just love how that “violates their religious beliefs.” It really lays bare that when people say that, they tend to mean “doesn’t let me force my religious beliefs on others.”

    It strikes me as a quasi-feudal way of looking at the world. The Lord of the Manor (Job Creator) gets to control the peasants (employees, who should be grateful their Lord and Master gave them a job at all).

    Freedom!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

  22. anjin-san says:

    Obama administration’s Brute Squad

    Let’s not forget about Obama’s thugs, goons, and minions. Are you tracking them today? Please give us an update.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  23. Moosebreath says:

    @Rob in CT:

    “You’re basically putting a powerful industry out of business (I would expect health insurers would continue to exist, but their product would be boutique coverage over medicare’s standard), and they’d have fought tooth and nail.”

    Exactly. This is Obama learning from the failure of the Clinton plan. Had he tried to pass a Medicare for all plan, we would have seen the return of the Harry and Louise ads paid for by the insurance companies. By getting them to buy in at the beginning through the promise of more customers through the individual mandate, Obama was able to get something passed, even it is no one’s idea of the best result. Just the best which could get passed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

  24. Franklin says:

    @C. Clavin: Actually I wasn’t arguing anything, and James isn’t arguing for the status quo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  25. Franklin says:

    Although I might append that my insurance company *claimed* the rates were going up due to the healthcare law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  26. C. Clavin says:

    @Franklin:
    If you are bitching about Obamacare…you’re arguing for the status quo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  27. gVOR08 says:

    @Mikey:

    ” I honestly don’t understand what value is added by the private insurance industry.”
    It’s still used in most countries, even those with universal coverage.

    Which, as in the US, probably says more about their lobbying than their utility.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  28. Ben says:

    I want an apology from the insurance companies that intentionally made changes to plans so that they would have to cancel them and force people into more expensive plans. Why aren’t they getting more of the blame? Why do we as a country seem so intent on fellating big businesses at every turn, and redirecting the blame for every bad thing they do onto the government?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

  29. John425 says:

    Obamacare wasn’t “shovel-ready”. Just like his jobs plan. My son just lost his health insurance plan. He employs 13 people and premiums have gone up $440 and the deductible went from $3K to $5.6K. They can’t wait to vote in 2014.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

  30. gVOR08 says:

    This was a regrettable self inflicted injury. Obama knows the electorate are a box of rocks with about a three month memory. If Obamacare succeeds, no one will remember this. If it fails, this will be a minor footnote.

    These things don’t exist in a vacuum. As I’ve noted elsewhere, George Washington and Jesus didn’t run in ’12. How’s Obama doing compared to either John McCain or Mitt Romney and their, what shall we say, full spectrum policy positions? Once Willard got past “I’m Mitt Romney”, did he ever say anything that he himself hadn’t contradicted at some point?

    And of course there’s the famous ‘Saddam has WMDs and is working on nukes.’ under Dick and W.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  31. Mikey says:

    @gVOR08: Germany’s had universal coverage for 100 years and still has private insurance companies. They’re a good way to help provide care and share costs. This article from the NYT provides a good overview of experiences in several countries that have universal coverage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  32. stonetools says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    How, exactly, was that an apology? It was only the classic Washington non-apology apology. Obama never apologized for not telling the truth, never even admitted it

    I really wish he would be honest. I really wish he would say:

    “I’m really sorry that some people lost their insurance. But the fact is most of those policies were fraudulent, and the holders were paying money for no insurance at all. They were well rid of them, and now the government will help you get better policies. When you set standards, people lose options sometimes. You can’t buy patent medicines anymore or food with sawdust in it, or cars without seat-belts, although all those are cheaper options that some people liked. Society moves on, and people are better off for having lost those “options”. Unfortunately, a few good policies may have been caught up in the standard setting, and that’s wrong. The government will help you find better policies in the next few months, and help you pay for them if that’s needed.”
    “What I find truly rich is that the conservatives, who don’t give a damn about the plight of the uninsured poor and who have been trying will all their might to prevent the government from helping them , are now crying crocodile tears about some people losing substandard insurance. Maybe they should have helped by cooperating with us when we drafted the bill and implemented it, instead of going all out to abolish the ACA. Let’s be clear, their solution is to do nothing and let people continue with their fraudulent insurance. In short, they got nothing.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

  33. Woody says:

    Did President Obama make the claim? Yes. Are the detractors taking the claim out of context? No. Thus, it’s completely fair game for the anti-healthcare folks to lambaste the President here.

    This is where the Democrats’ perennial problem of messaging is so frustrating. The number of Americans who will benefit overwhelms the number of Americans who will suffer. Yet, the organized minority holds the stage whilst the disorganized majority fumbles about.

    Medicare for everyone is infinitely preferable (and bumper-sticker ready), but plenty of rich nations have a functioning public-private system. The Democrats were wrong-footed, but can still prevail, provided they get the system working in a timely fashion.

    (PS: prediction: even if the system works well, there will be no noticeable crossover from GOP to Dem – any more than a genuinely admirable Pope will inspire fervent evangelical Baptists to become Roman Catholic. Yeah, it’s a Faith thing)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  34. stonetools says:

    Now if the Republicans could just apologize for the 4000 American dead in the unnecessary, trillion dollar Iraq War…”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  35. C. Clavin says:

    @stonetools:
    Well put

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  36. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Lois Lerner, late of the IRS and soon to be the star of perjury hearings, passed on the confidential tax records of the National Organization for Marriage to the Federal Elections Commission, in direct violation of federal law. She also was deeply involved in the deliberate targeting of Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny, well above and beyond the norm and, possibly, legal limits. So 1) calling the IRS a “Brute Squad” is entirely justified, and 2) you’re talking out of your ass as usual.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 14

  37. Scott says:

    @Mikey: That’s right. There are valid health insurance models all over the world. Could we have created one from the best practices of all of them.? Absolutely. Did we do that? No. Why? Because we have the greatest healthcare system in the world!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  38. David M says:

    I think it was probably a necessary promise, given the nature of the Republican opposition to health care reform. And given that it’s mostly true, I’m still not sure how to better phrase it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  39. jukeboxgrad says:

    JKB:

    employers are in court right now fighting the requirement they offer services that violate their religious beliefs

    No one is forcing “religious” employers to violate their beliefs. No one is forcing you to hire a birth control user. If a religious employer thinks that it’s immoral to fund BC use, then it can and should refrain from hiring BC users. This is a simple solution to the problem they are whining about.

    These employers are perfectly content to hire BC users, even though they are then paying salaries which effectively fund BC use (and there is no moral distinction between funding BC use via salary as compared with via an employee benefit; they are both forms of compensation). They already have this moral problem, which they are making no effort to address. Here’s the most parsimonious explanation: they don’t care that much, and they are not as “religious” as they are pretending to be. Which means that no one else should take their complaint seriously.

    And yes, it is possible to implement such a policy (that is, to refrain from hiring BC users) without violating laws against discrimination. The law prohibits gender discrimination. If I require male employees to refrain from BC use, and if I am willing to hire women who refrain from BC use, then I am not practicing gender discrimination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  40. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “If people were happy (or, at least, content) with their previous plan, tough crap. Yes, you’re paying more, but it’s so much BETTER! than your old one, filled with benefits that we decided you need! ”

    “I was perfectly happy paying a hundred dollars a month for magic health beans. Now I can’t have my magic health beans because Obummer lied! And those magic health beans were perfect for me. What? No, I never had to use them, because I haven’t gotten seriously ill… but the nice man who sold me magic health beans promised they would cure any problem and now I can’t have them anymore.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @george:

    And its actually the norm in insurance for groups with different risks to pay differently – look at auto insurance.

    No, don’t look at auto insurance. Auto insurance is nothing like health insurance. Not everyone has an auto accident or has their vehicle stolen. But EVERYONE (the lucky ones anyway) grows old and sickens and dies. One of the biggest drivers of the health care cost explosion is “end of life care.” Health insurance is not for if you get ill, but for WHEN you get ill, because you will.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  42. Pinky says:

    @C. Clavin:

    If you are bitching about Obamacare…you’re arguing for the status quo.

    I just want everyone to reread that. Actually, everyone should reread that every time they’re about to post a comment online, and then they should ask themselves whether or not what they’re saying has any value at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  43. David M says:

    Is there an actual argument that most people in the individual insurance market aren’t better off than they were before the ACA reforms? Not just anecdotes, but evidence that the reforms to the individual health care market have left most people worse off.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @C. Clavin:

    If you are bitching about Obamacare…you’re arguing for the status quo.

    No he isn’t and not necessarily is any one else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  45. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    No douche-f*ck…it’s extremely well documented that IRS targeting was bi-partisan.
    You are a lying SOB.
    Everything you type…as far as I can see is based on lies.
    Goon squads…ooooooh…and black helicopters…oh my.
    Stupid f*ck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

  46. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    That’s probably overstating it…I’m just tired of the BS whining based over nothing.
    Anecdote after anecdote that when investigated add up to nothing.
    The roll out for Obamacare has been messed up. No question. It needs improvement. And it will be as time goes on…just like SS and Medicare…and especially Medicare Part D.
    But Republicans who are doing anything they can to undermine the program complaining about the program being undermined is just stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    No one is forcing “religious” employers to violate their beliefs. No one is forcing you to hire a birth control user. If a religious employer thinks that it’s immoral to fund BC use, then it can and should refrain from hiring BC users. This is a simple solution to the problem they are whining about.

    That is hardly a simple solution and I can see several ways they might run afoul of various laws, but there is a very simple solution for them. They can easily maintain their moral high ground by selling their business or just folding up shop. I have said it before, I will say it again, there is no right to own a business in the constitution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  48. C. Clavin says:

    employers are in court right now fighting the requirement they offer services that violate their religious beliefs

    No…no…no…be clear…they are in court arguing that they should be allowed to impose their religious beliefs on others.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

  49. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @C. Clavin:

    That’s probably overstating it…

    Just a weee bit? ;-) We all do it from time to time, especially when frustrated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  50. Rafer Janders says:

    But plans that were above board—not offering coverage for routine medical expenses like checkups or birth control but serving as a backstop in case of serious accident or major illness—went away, too.

    Um, you may be able to avoid a serious accident or major illness if you get routine checkups or birth control in the first place. A penny of prevention is worth a pound of care. The simple, fiscally responsible position is indeed to mandate that every have access to routine checkups and birth control.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  51. Todd says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Obama was able to get something passed, even it is no one’s idea of the best result. Just the best which could get passed

    .

    I absolutely agree. And I’m not saying that I think the Obama administration should have tried to push for single payer in 2009. PPACA was the best they were going to get.

    It’s just that it drives me nuts when Conservatives pretend like this whole exchange idea is anything close to what most people who advocated for healthcare reform thought would be “ideal”.

    It’s a compromise plan, that if someone like George H.W. Bush had proposed in say 1991, many Democrats most likely would have opposed (but probably not enough to keep it from passing).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  52. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Fraud – 2. (Law) An intentional perversion of truth (the Obama lie) for the purpose
    of obtaining some valuable thing or promise from another (political support or at least non-opposition).
    [1913 Webster]

    Yes, that does describe Darrell Issa’s ongoing “investigations” perfectly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  53. Monala says:

    @george: This isn’t entirely accurate. Yes, younger, healthier people will be subsidizing older, sicker people. However, under the ACA, while the rates on the health care exchanges aren’t allowed to vary based on pre-existing conditions, they are allowed to vary based on age. A 27-year-old paying for a plan on the exchanges will play less than a 40-year-old, and considerably less than a 50 or 60 year old for the same plan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  54. Bob@Youngstown says:

    I’m sure no HC insurance industry expert (don’t even play one on TV), but it’s not hard to explain why premiums are likely to increase for a significant portion of the population. And it doesn’t even rely on the “crappy policy” rationale (although I’m certain there are many of those as well). And it doesn’t even have anything to do with the “I’m 63, I don’t need maternity benefits” complaint

    Previously carriers would cherry pick the healthiest in a demographic group (age/gender/location/tobacco) and insure those folks.

    The ACA paradigm is everyone in an age/location/tobacco category is pooled. The pool is underwritten, not just a segment (the healthiest) of the pool.

    Those that complain seem to be saying that it’s just too bad that your kid has asthma or that your spouse had a stroke, not my problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  55. george says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    No, don’t look at auto insurance. Auto insurance is nothing like health insurance. Not everyone has an auto accident or has their vehicle stolen. But EVERYONE (the lucky ones anyway) grows old and sickens and dies. One of the biggest drivers of the health care cost explosion is “end of life care.” Health insurance is not for if you get ill, but for WHEN you get ill, because you will.

    I think you might want to look at your “the lucky ones anyway”, because that’s actually the correct assessment. There’s quite a range in end of life costs (everything from car accidents and sudden death to lingering diseases) – this is something which comes up constantly in health care discussions in Canada (and I’d argue that again single payer is the best system for dealing with this). Its a gamble whether a given person will need the average coverage or not (and its even a gamble that the individual is in a reasonable spot to make an educated guess, given family history, life style, driving habits etc).

    Which means its not the situation where everyone has the same expected payout at the end, so everyone should pay the same in. Hence adjustable rates in most insurance markets.

    Or simply take it out of tax dollars with a single payer (yes, I know you’re not arguing that option is bad, just unreachable), because its not seen as a bet on the future, but just an ongoing cost, like police, fire fighters and so forth, that is part of keeping society going.

    Ultimately, as implemented its a regressive tax on the young. The way to aleviate that would be to raise the subsidiy limit to a much higher number – as it is, the costs for young people are way too high. Much higher than what people pay in taxes for healthcare in other parts of the world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  56. Monala says:

    Here’s the most parsimonious explanation: they don’t care that much, and they are not as “religious” as they are pretending to be.

    True, especially since many of these companies now hollering about their religious rights being violated offered insurance that covered BC prior to the ACA.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  57. David M says:

    @george:

    The problem with Klein’s statement is that charging everyone the same is regressive in this case, since the young and healthy tend to be poorer (every wealth statistic I’ve seen bears this out) than the old and sickly…And its actually the norm in insurance for groups with different risks to pay differently – look at auto insurance. Young, healthy males pay more than anyone else, because they’re higher risk. If risk isn’t an issue with insurance, perhaps they should legislate that auto plans and the like should have a single fee as well.

    A better comparison would be to employer / group health insurance, where the young and healthier pay the exact same as the older and less healthy. The ACA actually allows more pricing for risk than exists in the group market.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  58. Monala says:

    @george: I reiterate: younger people pay less.

    I just visited my state’s exchange web site. I have insurance, but I put in my information, age, gender, annual income. I would pay $269-297 a month for a bronze plan.

    I did it again, with the exact same information except that I changed the date of birth to make me 27 years old (I’m in my 40’s). That drops the cost for the exact same bronze plans to $180-190 a month.

    Then I started lowering the salary, since as you note, younger people generally earn less. With each salary drop, not only did the monthly premium drop, but also the deductibles and copayments.

    So yes, a healthy younger person is subsidizing older, sicker people. But 40, 50 and 60-year-old healthy people are subsidizing them much more. And get this: those healthy middle-agers are also subsidizing younger people who get sick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  59. C. Clavin says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    Those that complain seem to be saying that it’s just too bad that your kid has asthma or that your spouse had a stroke, not my problem.

    And with maternity it is an effort to lower the premium costs for women…who have paid more than men forever. In this case anyone arguing against it is arguing that women should pay more for insurance…even if they are paying for your testicular cancer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @george:

    Or simply take it out of tax dollars with a single payer (yes, I know you’re not arguing that option is bad, just unreachable), because its not seen as a bet on the future, but just an ongoing cost, like police, fire fighters and so forth, that is part of keeping society going.

    Which it is. As to your other points, just want to point out that I have read in numerous places how the vast majority (?) of Medicaid costs are for older people who are no longer able to cover what Medicare does not and that a large percentage of that is for end of life care. There is no easy solution for that particular conundrum but to start paying earlier.

    And as @David M: pointed out, All those years when I was paying into Carpenters insurance and barely using it I was covering the short fall for the older guys. Years later, I was one of those older guys and the young bucks were covering my shortfalls.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  61. David M says:

    It’s interesting to note that a larger Medicaid expansion wouldn’t necessarily have made this any better. Medicaid is certainly better than no insurance, but it does have lower reimbursement rates for providers and is generally thought of as substandard when compared with regular health insurance (silver plan on the exchange?).

    And a larger Medicaid increase would have been an even harder sell to the GOP controlled states and could have resulted in more people without insurance. Currently the GOP is preventing 5 million people by rejecting the Medicaid expansion, and I have no doubts that a larger expansion would be met with more resistance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  62. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: Medicaid is certainly better than no insurance, but it does have lower reimbursement rates for providers and is generally thought of as substandard when compared with regular health insurance (silver plan on the exchange?).

    More and more doctors are simply refusing to take MedicAid, as it’s a money-losing proposition to them. But that’s OK, because there’s a Virginia Democrat who has a solution: make it illegal for doctors to refuse MedicAid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  63. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Doctors not wanting to take Medicaid is an easy problem to solve, just raise the reimbursement rates. Anyway, people with Medicaid are still better off than if they didn’t have insurance at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  64. anjin-san says:

    “Lousy” is in the eye of the beholder. If people were happy (or, at least, content) with their previous plan, tough crap.

    I know a guy who was happy with his insurance. He is financially independent due to an inheritance, so he has always carried an individual policy. One day he was diagnosed with cancer that was fairly advanced and had spread.

    He found out the hard way that “having insurance” was not enough to save his life. His uncovered costs were far, far more than the average American could have afforded. His inheritance saved him. He, like a lot of other people, had been happy living in a fools paradise. And he’s a bright guy, who thought we was adequately insured. How many Americans really have an in-depth understanding of the insurance they carry? I’m betting it’s a small percentage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  65. Gavrilo says:

    “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” was terrible messaging. What Obama should have been saying was, “Most of you rubes have been buying fraudulent insurance policies on the individual market, but you’re so monumentally stupid, you don’t even know it. These bloodsucking insurance companies have been stealing your money! They’ve just been waiting for you to get sick so they can drop you. Then, you’ll die a gutter. And, they’ll laugh. But, I’ve got a better plan. Soon, you’ll be able to go to a wonderful website where you’ll be able to shop for government approved insurance policies from the same companies that have been bending you over for years. Sure, you’re gonna pay more, but your policy will be great. Even though you’re probably gonna be covered by the same company that was happy to let you die under your old, fraudulent policy.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  66. anjin-san says:

    @ Gavrilo

    So you favor single payer? Good for you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  67. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Obviously your friend is an idiot who is not capable of being responsible for himself, so he needs the government to make his decisions for him.

    Isn’t that the point of your anecdote there? “Here’s this guy who has all this going for him, and he couldn’t take care of himself, so nobody should be allowed to make their own decisions on such important matters.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  68. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So what level of regulation is appropriate in the individual insurance market?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  69. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: You how I can tell when you’re lying?

    You’re typing.

    But you know you’re lying when you go all in on the profanities.

    Here’s an OTB thread for your education.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  70. Crusty Dem says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You how I tell you who you say are? Grammar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  71. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Isn’t that the point of your anecdote there? “Here’s this guy who has all this going for him, and he couldn’t take care of himself, so nobody should be allowed to make their own decisions on such important matters.”

    Would you please be so kind to explain, then how it is you ended up in an emergency room consuming tens of thousands of dollars of health care for which you had no ability to pay — or interest in paying? Should you be allowed to make your own decisions on matters of health insurance?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  72. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Crusty Dem: Sorry about that. When I smack around Cliffy, I’m usually doing two or three other things at the time, just to make it less like a massacre.

    Yeah, it should have been “Do you know how I can tell when you’re lying?” Thanks for the correction.

    (And I’m going over this one a couple of times to make certain there aren’t any errors in this one…)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  73. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Ponytail #13

    Obviously your friend is an idiot who is not capable of being responsible for himself,

    Actually, he is pretty bright. Do you claim that you fully understand every aspect of all the insurance policies you carry (this assumes that you have insurance) If your answer is yes, I am calling BS.

    Perhaps you missed my story the other day about when my father, an excellent attorney, was not able to make sense of some of the language in his life insurance policy. He consulted with a professor at one of the better law schools in the country who specialized in that type of contract. The professor could not make sense of it either. It had been written so that the insurance company could claim it meant more or less whatever they wanted it to mean.

    Corporations with vast resources often go to great lengths to rig the game in their favor, and create a climate where there customers do not/can not understand the topography of the environment they are in. How many times have you agreed to software T&C’s? Do you claim to know all their contents and understand them?

    You seem to have an unlimited ability to go deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of dumb.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  74. anjin-san says:

    When I smack around Cliffy in my dreams

    FTFY

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  75. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Ponytail #13

    so nobody should be allowed to make their own decisions on such important matters.”

    We live in a society. A lot of things are regulated. I can’t (legally) store toxic waste in my back yard. I can’t drive without insurance. I can’t walk up to people and punch them in the nose. I can’t shoot my neighbors dog because it barks at night. I can’t build a unsafe apartment that will collapse in an earthquake and rent it out. I can’t plan loud music outdoors at 3:00am when my neighbors are trying to sleep. I can’t open a restaurant with an unsanitary kitchen. I can’t hire people and tell them they have to work for 12 hours straight and not take a break. I can’t change my car’s oil and dump the old stuff in the storm drain that runs straight to the bay. I can’t ride a motorcycle with no helmet and pass the medical costs along to you when I crack my skull. I also can’t drive the motorcycle (or anything else) past a school at 100 MPH. I can’t drive a car that’s a smoker producing more pollution than 100 properly regulated cars.

    Are you saying that I should be allowed to do all these things in the name of “choice”?

    The list goes on for a long, long, time.

    Are you also saying that if an uninsured driver with no assets hits you and ruins your life, you will accept it without complaint because “people need to be allowed to make choices”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  76. wr says:

    @anjin-san: “Are you also saying that if an uninsured driver with no assets hits you and ruins your life, you will accept it without complaint because “people need to be allowed to make choices”? ”

    If Jenos won the lottery tomorrow and they came around to give him a check for ten million dollars, I strongly doubt he could accept that without complaint. Complaint’s pretty much all he’s got.

    That and unpaid medical bills.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  77. David M says:

    So as bad as Obamacare reportedly is, the GOP still still doesn’t have an alternative. That should be more embarrassing than all the “failures” of Obamacare to date.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  78. Raider says:

    Obamacare is an utter lie, deception, and failure, yet so many Obama lovers continue in deep denial all because their blinded by their deep love for Obama. What a shame.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  79. David M says:

    @Raider:

    And your alternative is?….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  80. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: Are you arguing that the old system was so bad, that anything would be better? ‘Cuz so far, the reality of ObamaCare has been worse for a lot of people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  81. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I’ll paraphrase my earlier question: just what areas are trivial enough that you will allow people to make their own choices?

    And my current favorite go-to example: why the hell isn’t tobacco outlawed? More specifically, since the arguments you’re putting forth about ObamaCare apply even more to tobacco use; why don’t you argue for the banning of tobacco products? There’s pretty much no “chance” that it won’t cause you massive medical expenses, it’s a given.

    You have an interesting sense of morality. “If something you do might, some day down the road, inconvenience me in the slightest, I have the right to control you to keep that from happening.”

    You should read the comic strip “Pearls Before Swine.” To you, Rat’s probably a hero.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  82. george says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @David M: Are you arguing that the old system was so bad, that anything would be better? ‘Cuz so far, the reality of ObamaCare has been worse for a lot of people.

    So far it seems the reality has been better for more people than the number its been worse for; the sad part is that it could have been done so it was either the same or better for just about everyone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  83. Franklin says:

    @C. Clavin:

    If you are bitching about Obamacare…you’re arguing for the status quo.

    Um, Obamacare is the status quo.

    It’s not entirely clear to me why you are losing your cool just because I said my insurance rates went up. That’s simply a fact. Nobody can say exactly how much they would have gone up without Obamacare, but the short-term answer would likely be ‘not that much’.

    So far in this thread I have yet to opine whether Obamacare is good or bad, but the line “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” has always been something less than the full story.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  84. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @george: Mencken’s Law: When A annoys or injures B on the pretense of saving or improving X, A is a scoundrel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  85. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Franklin: t’s not entirely clear to me why you are losing your cool just because I said my insurance rates went up.

    Because that’s how Cliffy rolls, Franklin. The less he knows, the wronger he is, the louder and more profane he gets.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  86. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    ‘Cuz so far, the reality of ObamaCare has been worse for a lot of people.

    Worse for a lot of people is meaningless. Is there an actual argument that most people in the individual insurance market aren’t better off than they were before the ACA reforms? Not just anecdotes, but evidence that the reforms to the individual health care market have left most people worse off.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  87. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Ponytail 13

    You have an interesting sense of morality. “If something you do might, some day down the road, inconvenience me in the slightest, I have the right to control you to keep that from happening.”

    Actually my position is “free riders are, right now, costing me and everyone else who pays for health care insurance about $1000 a year. This is unacceptable. I want people to practice personal responsibility for their health care.”

    So no Skippy, you don’t have the right to decide you don’t feel like paying for health insurance and then drop the bills in my mailbox when you inevitably need medical attention. You have to practice the rights vaunted personal responsibility. You can’t just chatter about it on a blog.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  88. David M says:

    @anjin-san:

    There’s a pretty good chance that “Obamacare bad. Freedom good.” is all our trolls are capable of.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  89. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Ponytail 13

    I’ll paraphrase my earlier question: just what areas are trivial enough that you will allow people to make their own choices?

    The sad thing is you probably do believe you are being clever when you dish up cheese like this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  90. anjin-san says:

    @ David M

    Support for the right of people to be free riders on the health care system interesting aspect of the right’s Obamacare talk track.

    Before Obamacare came on the scene, there were endless screeds from the right about the evils of free riders. “Keep you damn hands out of my pocket. I’m not responsible for your medical bills!”

    How times change. Blind hatred of Obama trumps everything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  91. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    You idiot…linking to an outdated piece on a right wing site like OTB to support your argument is just another form of lying.
    If you have to lie to make your black helicopter conspiracy theory arguments …them they are worthless arguments to begin with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  92. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @anjin-san: I’ll paraphrase my earlier question: just what areas are trivial enough that you will allow people to make their own choices?

    You choose your own health insurance…that must meet minimum standards.
    You choose your own car insurance… That must meet minimum standards.
    You choose your car… That must meet minimum safety standards.
    You choose your food…that must meet minimum requirements.
    Your choose your airline…that is also regulated.
    If you cannot understand how the world works you must be a terrible burden on your mommy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  93. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Oh, Cliffy… you must be feeling slightly more confident about your arguments. You’re using your almost civil tongue.

    “Outdated article…” From June of this year.

    “Right wing site…” namely, this one.

    And your defense of -“standards” is as shallow as all your other arguments. You’re defending the abstract, while I’m arguing the specific. Let’s just go after the food part. You seem to be arguing (it’s not as if you’re overly coherent) that any regulation of foods is legitimate. Which means that you’re defending such actions as:

    Banning transfats entirely.

    Outlawing the sale of raw milk.

    New York’s ban on sodas larger than 16 ounces.

    You see what I did there, Cliffy? I took your general and applied it to specific incidents of the last few years. I’m pointing out that your absolute rule has been applied in capricious and idiotic ways.

    That’s a very common — and very dishonest — tactic of yours: to take a challenge to a specific and treat it as if it was a challenge to the entire principle. Think government’s too big and too powerful? You must be a libertarian anarchist (that that’s an oxymoron is something that you can’t understand) and should move to Somalia. Don’t like Obama’s policies? Gotta be a racist. Don’t care for a Democratic initiative? Have to be a right-wing extremist and supported any and all GOP ideas ever.

    But, now to really hit you below the belt:

    “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan – period.” Obama lied, knew he was lying, and continues to lie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  94. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You seem to be arguing (it’s not as if you’re overly coherent) that any regulation of foods is legitimate. Which means that you’re defending such actions as:
    Banning transfats entirely.
    Outlawing the sale of raw milk.
    New York’s ban on sodas larger than 16 ounces.

    Putting words in my mouth is just another form of lying.
    If you can’t make an argument without lying then you have no argument.
    You’re just to stupid to realize how stupid you are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  95. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Aw, Cliffy is trotting out the bluster. You’re denouncing as dishonest your own tactics.

    If I thought for an instant that you were actually self-aware enough to realize what you were doing, I’d applaud your long-overdue honesty. Sadly, however, it’s just a symptom of your idiocy.

    But let’s not play your game of bouncing back and forth between the abstract and the concrete as it suits your purpose.

    Your own words:

    You choose your food…that must meet minimum requirements.

    The examples I cited were all implemented using that rationale. Banning of large sodas, the sale of raw milk, and the proposed ban of transfats are all being done by saying that they don’t meet requirements. So, do you support those implementations of the principle you declared?

    So far, you haven’t said either way. I oppose all three, and you keep arguing with me (well, “arguing” in the loosest sense of the word, as your favorite form of arguing is lame personal insults), so I’m forced to conclude that you disagree with me… and therefore support them. Feel free to give a definitive answer at any time.

    Come on, Cliffy… just this once, stay on topic. It doesn’t hurt.

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  96. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Hey, annie! Cliffy just insulted my mother. I anticipate your denunciation of such heinous conduct.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  97. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Oh, and Cliffy? If you can bring yourself to actually go on topic, I have a few questions about ObamaCare for you.

    1) Why did Obama postpone the employer mandate, and not the individual mandate?

    1A) Under what legal authority did Obama take that delaying action?

    2) Why are so many unions who fought so hard to help pass ObamaCare now trying to get an exception from it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  98. C. Clavin says:

    Jenos… You’re an idiot.
    Try googling the answers to those stupid questions on a site that deals in facts…and not Breitbart or the Daily Caller or wherever you get your conspiracy theories.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  99. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Cliffy, all you had to say was “I got nothing.”

    And the point of those questions was to see what you know about the topics at hand — which you confirmed as being a whole lot of nothing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  100. george says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @george: Mencken’s Law: When A annoys or injures B on the pretense of saving or improving X, A is a scoundrel.

    Society does that all the time. Is a police officer (person A) stopping (at a minimum that comes under annoying) a crook (person B) from robbing a bank (item X) a scoundrel? According to Mencken’s Law, yes. Which suggests that Mencken’s Law isn’t universally applicable (unlike say conservation of energy or momentum).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  101. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Right…what a maroon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  102. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @george: Come on, george. It should have been obvious from the context that Mencken was talking in a political sense.

    But how about this one from C. S. Lewis?

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

    That a bit more on the nose?

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  103. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Get back to me when you actually have something to say on topic.

    Which, I figure, will be about the 12th of Never.

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  104. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Lots of messages today. I guess you’re blasting through those boxes of Count Chocula you got last month.

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  105. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: You’re not worth the good stuff. I’m still hoarding five boxes of Fruit Brute.

    One more time: “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan — period.” A lie from day one, still being repeated today.

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  106. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Ponytail

    Hey, annie! Cliffy just insulted my mother. I anticipate your denunciation of such heinous conduct

    Actually, I did tell him that I did not think that was cool on a recent thread. He can choose to listen to me, or not. That’s actually kind of odd, because listening to you, one would think I had used my godlike powers to end the ability of all Americans to make any kind of choice.

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  107. anjin-san says:

    One more time: “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan — period.” A lie from day one, still being repeated today.

    Given the frequency of your own lies, I would think you would now see Obama a a kindred sprit and become his most ardent supporter.

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  108. anjin-san says:

    @anjin-san: I’ll paraphrase my earlier question: just what areas are trivial enough that you will allow people to make their own choices?

    Aww, you’ve discovered the “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” gambit. What a clever boy you are!

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  109. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Aww, you’ve discovered the “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” gambit. What a clever boy you are!

    You put out your own list of areas where you want to limit choices. I just asked you to name a few areas where people can make choices.

    And I don’t recall ever “lying” on the scale of Obama’s lie, of such consequence. I don’t recall ever saying anything that might have swung a national election — true, false, or in between.

    “If you like your plan, you can keep it — period.” How would you rank that against “I am not a crook” and “I did not have sexual relations with that woman?”

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  110. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Ponytail 13

    So you rationalize being a serial liar by saying you are not the President so it’s not important that you lie constantly. Seriously, are you 13? Maybe I was giving you too much credit by comparing you to a 15 year old a while back.

    You put out your own list of areas where you want to limit choices.

    You mean when I said I don’t want people above the poverty line to have the freedom to send me their medical bills? I see what you mean, obviously I love tyranny.

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  111. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I’m really wondering why I’m answering you, but I have a few minutes to kill.

    You mean when I said I don’t want people above the poverty line to have the freedom to send me their medical bills?

    Are you so willfully stupid to not recognize they still are? It’s just the bills are being laundered through the federal government. Which, of course, will not add to the cost.

    And you’ve already dodged this question several times, but let’s try it one more time: don’t the same rationales you’ve been mouthing for ObamaCare apply even more towards banning tobacco?

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  112. george says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @george: Come on, george. It should have been obvious from the context that Mencken was talking in a political sense.

    If anything it works even less in politics than in other fields. Just about every politician out there has at one time or another, and typically consistently, annoyed or injured someone on the pretense of saving or improving something. Given a population over the size of a small village, its impossible to do otherwise unless you do nothing at all, and even that will annoy some folk.

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

    That quote is better (possibly just because I like C.S.Lewis), but I don’t think it really differentiates between many people, simply because even those robber barons think that what they’re doing is for the better of humanity or God’s will or whatever other rationalization they can come up. Not too many people see themselves as playing the “bad guy” role in real life.

    There’s a reason that “it’s for their own good” and “you have to be cruel to be kind” are such popular cliches.

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