Obamacare Chaos

An excellent source of information on Obamacare is the Galen Institute, in Alexandria, VA, a non-profit, free-market-oriented research organization devoted to health policy.

Its President, Grace-Marie Turner, just published a column in Forbes on The Avalanche Of New Obamacare Rules Will Come In January, 2013. She notes that the federal government has already issued 13,000 pages of regulations (it takes 18 to define “full-time employee”), but that HHS is way behind on providing all the rules needed for implementing the 2,700-page law. The result is chaotic uncertainty for everyone involved in the system – health care providers, state governments, employers – and of course consumers.

But it gets worse, because even if Romney is elected, unwinding ObamaCare will be difficult.

Going beyond Turner’s article, the word in Washington is that it is improbable that the Republicans will have the filibuster-proof majority in the Senate necessary for outright repeal. It also seems improbable that 10 Democratic Senators will put country above partisanship and vote to remedy the error of passing the law in the first place by repealing it. That is not how they play the game in any case, and there will be serious political pressures on the Dems to hold firm, from both labor and business.

The unions and the Dems see organizing federalized health care as the road to future cornucopias of union dues, much of which will be recycled into campaign contributions. The health care industry is silent about repeal. Its members were bribed and bludgeoned into supporting OmamaCare, and will be reluctant to reverse course. They have already spent great sums preparing for implementation, which they would see as wasted if repeal happened, and they will be reluctant to give up the potential bonanzas that persuaded them to support the bill in the first place, such as subsidized insurance costs and other benefits. Besides, health care executives bet their careers on the law, and may see no good line of retreat.

So the prognosis is for continuing confusion.  Turner’s article points out that, if Romney wins, then “Congress will surely begin actively blocking any new rules that come out and working to unwind those already on the books.” On the other hand, if Obama wins, then “his Rube Goldberg health law may well implode from the nearly impossible task of re-engineering one-sixth of our economy to fit his centrally-controlled archetype.”

The lesson is that the election will not end this business, even if Romney wins. The Tea Party army better not disband, because preserving the U.S. health care system will require continuing political outrage, and pressure.

For a sensible discussion of health care policy, see After the ACA: Freeing the Market for Health Care (Oct. 18, 2012), by Prof. John Cochrane of the University of Chicago. Prof. Russ Roberts of George Mason University, at the free market site Cafe Hayek, calls it "The best essay on health care, ever . . . . wise, witty, and full of good economics." He adds: "It’s a defense of allowing health care to emerge from the bottom-up rather the top-down. Cochrane explains why the current legal and regulatory framework keep those bottom-up solutions from happening already."

Cochrane’s conclusion:

[D]oubling down regulations on an already highly regulated system, full of protected and politically connected incumbents and rent-seekers, has little chance of achieving [any of our] goals. Whether in the post-office model (government provision), or the 1950s-style regulated airline, utility or bank model (the ACA) this effort will just produce less efficiency, more costs, and another generation of bright ideas dashed.

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  • http://lenbilen.com/ Lennart Bilén

    The just released jobless rate: 7.9

    The jobs they created are part time: Not fine.

    The Obamacare mess

    Makes us work less and less

    Instead of insurance we’ll all pay the fine.

    • MaMcGriz

      Dear Lennart, you’ve nailed it again on the head

      We all know the jobless rate’s worse than they’ve said

      So we’ll pay their damn fines and extortion we’ll bear

      ‘Till we get euthanasia of obamacare.

      So let’s kill it like cancer before it can spread.

      It’s a snake red touch yellow. If it bites us we’re dead.

      It’s aggressive and lethal, biting any it dares

      So it’s a do or die mission. Kill obamacare.

      • Argus_C4P

        LOL< very well stated, Ma!

  • virginiagentleman1

    I never thought that I would say anything as CRAZY as this, but THANK GOD I had my heart attack Sept 15, 2012 instead of waiting until Obamacare went into full effect! Very astute of me don’t you agree?!!

    In September it was, VG, you get another chance at life so use it well!

    After Obamacare is in effect, it would be bye bye VG!

    Looking at the problem strictly from my own unique perspective, Obamacare KILLS people! Just sayin’!

    • AmazedOne1

      So far, I have found the new health care stuff so confusing that I haven’t figured out how it would affect real people yet. So, I’m intrigued to hear the nuts and bolts from an insider like you and your wife. 

      Why do you say that the health care situation would have killed you after Obamacare? Would the same treatments not be available? Would you not have the same freedom to seek them out? In what way would it have affected your treatment?

      • MaMcGriz

         Good questions.

        The answers are:

        1. Because he would have been denied full care based on his age and presumed productivity scores. These practices are already being put in place and tested and used in some regions of California, according to recent information from two qualified and unimpeachable sources.

        2. See answer 1.

        3. No

        4. See answer 1.

        • Argus_C4P

          MaMcGriz is absolutely correct. Just look at what the bean-counters already do In the UK and Canada. Canadians like to brag about their health care but it is broken and unrepairable in it’s present for. Socialism gone whacky.
          In the UK, there are many horror stories of elderly being allowed to starve to death or even worse, denied medical treatments that would prolong their lives. Same thing is happening in Canada but nobody wants to talk about it. Just watch what will happen under Obamacare if the annointed one is re-elected. I expect to see a mad exodus from the USA to any other jurisdiction that isn’t as forbidding in their health services. Although that won’t be the only reason people will be leaving, I’m sure.

        • virginiagentleman1

          Thanks Ma. I couldn’t have explained it any better then you have.  VG

      • virginiagentleman1

        A1, Ma has given you the same answers that I would have.
         My age, and the damage to my heart, working at 15% AFTER surgery vs the 50 to 60% that the average heart works at, spells my doom under Obamacare.

        • AmazedOne1

          That boggles my mind (and scares me greatly)!

          • virginiagentleman1

            As well it should dear one! 
            Obamacare MUST be repealed and Obama MUST be turned out of office, not just for folks like me A1 but for ALL of our fellow citizens!
            When government has the power to decide who lives and who dies, it is called marxism.
            I’m supposed to receive an implant sometime in the winter, either a defibulator or a pacemaker, to extend my life.  That implant surgery would be in jepordy if Obamacare were fully implimented my friend.
            I’ve had extensive conversations with my team of doctors and they are pretty much in agreement as to my chances of survival if I had had such a massive heart attack in 2014, my chances of being in the grave instead of alive, go up off the scale!  My family doctor is considering retiring because of the fiasco called Obamacare. 
            THAT scares me A1 because America already is short of doctors!   VG

  • Patriot41

    Looking back over the last four years, I know of no other law being passed, that has so adversely effected this country’s economic situation, then the Obamacare bill.  That one bill, brought business to it’s knees, by creating so many uncertainties of what regulations business owners would have to face in the future.  Not even the Fed Reserve could pump enough money into the economy, to force a recovery because of that one bill.  Instead, our economic recovery is a recession that no one in govt., is willing to acknowledge. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/JV-DeLong/100003838521300 JV DeLong

    Patriot41 – I agree, and if I could make one magical reform, it would be to separate health insurance from employment. The merger of the two, and the favored treatment given employer-based insurance, is at the root of a very large chunk of our dysfunction. But instead of moving in this direction, Obamacare increases the reliance on employers. 

    This is a twofer — the government destroys both the health care and the employment systems. Madness!

  • $8196935

    Thanks to ObamaCare

    Hospitals under penalties mandated by Obama’s Federal Health Care law
    are getting lower Medicare payments for having higher than expected readmission rates.

    A readmission occures when a patient is readmitted to a hospital less than 30 days after being sent home.

    The penalties under the Affordable Care Act of 2010 take effect this fall.

    Under the readmission reduction program, a hospital can lose a maximum of 1%, of its annual Medicare reimbursement if its readmission rate is judged too high. 

    That number will increase over the next two years causing local health care leaders to take notice instituting programs aimed at stoping patients from returning to the hospital for a medical condition after being sent home.

    Some Hospitals are losing 100s of thousands of dollars

    Sure there is a small per cent of people who return for perhaps a questionable reason, but many to most have no relationship with the ability  or fault of the Hospital but you may have unforseen complications or a new situation.

    Those who think ObamaCare is just swell, are clueless to this

  • Mr.L

    The federal government cannot even distribute disaster aid properly, who here expects them to be proper stewards of our health care system???  Frankly, if Obama care is allowed to stay in place, health care becomes like a trip to the DMV.

  • Christopher H Fromme

    Talked to a young doctor with a ‘repeal obamacare’ bumper sticker.  I commented that many older doctors would be leaving their practice, she said that some younger doctor would quit if we are stuck with Obamacare.  More rationing  

  • BrianusBerkleianus


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