A few recent articles about Democrats opposing or criticizing ObamaCare:
Are Democrats Starting to Regret Obamacare?: “Retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat and chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which did much of the heavy lifting on early drafts of Obamacare, now thinks that passing the law in its current form was a mistake.”
Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer: Democrats Made a Mistake Putting Health Care Reform Before the Economy
Barney Frank on the White House Rollout ofhttps://patientpowernow.wordpress.com/wp-admin/themes.php Obamacare: “They just lied to people.”
(I should add more if I see any.)
At Reason, Peter Suderman writes:
In the week since video surfaced of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber saying that “lack of transparency” and “the stupidity of the American voter” were critical to passing the health law, two more videos of Gruber making statements with similar themes or tones have received attention.
Both clips reveal a gleefully dismissive attitude toward public concerns about the law, and offer a telling reminder of the attitude that played a crucial role in shaping and selling the law to the public. …
This is the person whom the White House relied on to help craft the bill; he was paid handsomely to model its effects (a fact he did not disclose, even when asked), and he was in the room when important decisions were made about how it would work. He claims to have helped write specific portions of the law himself. Gruber was not the sole architect of the law, but he was one of its biggest single influences on both its design and on how the media, which quoted him repeatedly, reported and understood the law.
The White House and its allies are desperately trying to distance themselves from Gruber right now by downplaying his role in the law’s creation. But the record of his involvement is clear enough: At The Washington Post, Ezra Klein has variously described Gruber as “one of the key architects behind the structure of the Affordable Care Act” and “the most aggressive academic economist supporting the reform effort.” The New York Times in 2012 described his role as helping to design the overall structure as well as being “dispatched” by the White House to Congress to write the legislative text. Gruber’s work was cited repeatedly by the White House, Democratic leadership, and the media.
So when he describes the thinking about how the law was crafted and sold to the public, it’s worth taking note. This is the posture of one of the law’s authors and chief backers. It’s part of the spirit in which the law was created and passed. Gruber’s ideas were embedded in the law’s structure and language, and so was his attitude.
Read the whole article: Jonathan Gruber Embraced Misleading the Public About Obamacare Even While It Was Still Being Debated – Hit & Run : Reason.com.
From John R. Graham:
Thank providence for USA Today, which has given us yet another story describing how poor access to health care is under Obamacare.
People who fell for navigators’ sales pitches and signed up for Obamacare are discovering that it is junk insurance:
“The exchanges have become very much like Medicaid,” says Andrew Kleinman, a plastic surgeon and president of the Medical Society of the State of New York. “Physicians who are in solo practices have to be careful to not take too many patients reimbursed at lower rates or they’re not going to be in business very long.”
Kleinman says his members complain rates can be 50% lower than commercial plans.
“I definitely feel like a bad person who is leeching off the system when I call the doctors’ offices,” she says. Shawn Smith of Seymour, Ind., spent about five months trying to find a primary care doctor on the network who would take her with a new, subsidized silver-level ACA insurance plan.
Note: This person had a silver plan, not a bargain basement bronze plan.
More: Government Buries Evidence of Poor Access to Care under Obamacare | Health Policy Blog | NCPA.org.
As Devon M. Herrick concludes his policy brief :
On paper, Medicaid coverage appears far better than what most Americans enjoy — with lower cost-sharing and unlimited benefits. But by almost all measures, Medicaid enrollees fare worse than similar patients with private insurance and often experience worse health issues than patients with no insurance. Wisconsin made a wise choice when it decided to forgo a full Medicaid expansion in favor of a smaller program that would maximize the availability of private coverage for Wisconsin’s low-income residents
Read more: Medicaid Expansion: Wisconsin Got It Right | NCPA.
More on the Medicaid ghetto here and here.
In The Wall Street Journal, Mark Sklar writes about endlessly entering data or calling for permission to prescribe or trying to avoid Medicare penalties—when should I see patients? Sklar writes:
The patient should be the arbiter of the physician’s quality of care. Contrary to what our government may believe, the average American has the intellectual capacity to judge. To give people more control of their medical choices, we should move away from third-party payment. t may be more prudent to offer the public a high-deductible insurance plan with a tax-deductible medical savings account that people could use until the insurance deductible is reached. Members of the public thus would be spending their own health-care dollars and have an incentive to shop around for better value. This would encourage competition among providers and ultimately lower health-care costs.
Mark Sklar: Doctoring in the Age of ObamaCare – WSJ.
Michael Cannon at Cato:
This is part of a deliberate, consistent strategy by the Obama administration to throw money at individual voters and key health care industry groups—lawfully or not—to buy support for this consistently unpopular law.
More: ObamaCare Exchanges Recklessly, Often Unlawfully, Throwing Taxpayer Money At Health Insurance Companies | Cato @ Liberty.
Michael Ramlet writes:
We estimate that within 10 years, the number of uninsured Americans may increase by 10 percent. At the same time, premiums will rise faster than federal subsidies. The latter problem will be most severe when insurers release their 2017 rate increases in the summer and fall of 2016—perhaps the most awkward timing for the law’s supporters.
More: A 10-Year Prediction for the Affordable Care Act – NationalJournal.com.
See also Risky Business: Will Taxpayers Bail Out Health Insurers? by John R. Graham.