The Looming Obamacare Crisis and the Next President
While it is common knowledge that urgent crisis like ISIS and national security in general will be waiting on the newly elected president’s desk on Day1 in late January, there is also the not-so-small matter of Obamacare. The unravelling of the President’s cherished Affordable Care Act is already taking place, with major players (if not the largest insurance companies) saying that it is a money loosing scheme that is not working out the way it was planned.
Underneath the layers of bureaucratic complexity that make you zone out when healthcare experts argue over policy, is a simple fact: risk pooling. The divide between sick people who need healthcare now and healthy people who don't is the great divide in any healthcare public policy debate. That it divides consumers by income and by age, makes it a political time bomb as well. The underlying problem is this:
How do you get enough younger, healthy people to join the exchanges so their premiums can mostly go to paying for the healthcare that older, sicker patients consume? Because they sure haven't been signing up for Obamacare they way the experts predicted they would.
In a World Health Organization paper published back in 2010, Chris James and William Sadeoff run through a half-dozen theoretical models which try to predict how us humans will behave when given the choice to join a re-distributive scheme. Like Obamacare, for example. Here's what they found.
The different hypothesis they offer range from self-interested behavior in the present state (Am I sick? No? Forget about redistribution.) to social-learning educating barbaric and selfish people to embrace solidarity (I was evil. I am kind now. Here's my money). An interesting divide in the models exists between rational economic motivators, and social and psychological motivators.
The study was of mostly Third World countries with a few Eastern European countries as well. To the authors' annoyance, economic self-interest turned out to be the major motivating factor. On average, participants in places like Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan, and the Philippines said some support should go to those who are sick and unable to afford health insurance. But only a fraction of the cost should be covered. Less than a third of the amount would seem to be the mean value of the survey.
As well, if people concluded the institution charged with managing the re-distribution was corrupt, their support for re-distribution was likely lower. Shocking huh?
In other words, as much as Obama would like to hector people into joining his scheme, and as much as healthcare experts tweak and twiddle with the complex formulas, individuals acting in their perceived self-interest are voting no.
How will the next president solve the looming Obamacare crisis? By admitting that healthcare cannot be an unconditional right, but rather a vital service with a reasonable access. And with insurance packages that are attractive for younger, healthier workers. Like some form of catastrophic health insurance. Yes, that means they will pay more out of pocket. There's no way around that. Unless you make it single payer and universal. And that's a solution most in America would not accept. Just ask the health exchanges.
Posted by AllardK at August 11, 2016 8:02 PM
A friend emailed this to me today. It is a quote ascribed to Ben Stein.
“Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured…but not everyone must prove they are a citizen.
Now consider that many of those who refuse, or are unable to prove they are citizens, will receive free insurance paid for by those who are forced to buy insurance because they are citizens.”
Oh No! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
the verb to trump has been used extensively across Britain to refer to the breaking of wind. It is especially the case in the North, in Wales and certainly in Norfolk, when I was a child in the 1950s.
This use is confirmed by the OED. However though it is therein described as vulgar my own experience is that it was a term encouraged by parents as a means of avoiding the far less socially salubrious fart.
Trumpery has been used to cover a large part of that spectrum, starting with deceit in the 1400s when it was borrowed from the French tromperie. Trumpery, like the verb to trump, involved some sort of cheating, swindling, hornswoggling, or bamboozlement. Early examples from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) find the word in revealing pairs: “tromperyes and deceytes” and “trumperies and double dealings.” From the start, trumpery was not to be trusted.
By the 1500s, trumpery was being applied to a different sort of crap: trifling, insignificant objects…
Trump (= fart)
b. To give forth a trumpet-like sound; spec. to break wind audibly (slang or vulgar).
e. slang or vulgar. The act of breaking wind audibly.
From the Oxford English Dictionary:
Trump: vt. slang break wind audibly
From the Online Etymology Dictionary:
Trump (v.): “fabricate, devise,” 1690s, from trump “deceive, cheat” (1510s), from Middle English trumpen (late 14c.), from Old French tromper “to deceive,” of uncertain origin. Apparently from se tromper de “to mock,” from Old French tromper “to blow a trumpet.” Brachet explains this as “to play the horn, alluding to quacks and mountebanks, who attracted the public by blowing a horn, and then cheated them into buying ….” The Hindley Old French dictionary has baillier la trompe “blow the trumpet” as “act the fool,” and Donkin connects it rather to trombe “waterspout,” on the notion of turning (someone) around. … Trumped up “false, concocted” first recorded 1728.
The sky is falling again, is it?
If major health insurers believe Obamacare was in trouble, we would see evidence in a non-partisan source: the stock market.
Tell you what. Look up the 5 year performance and current stock prices for the major health insurers, such as AET and UNH. Then get back to me and explain why they are doing so well.
Obamacare is not even an issue this election. However, it is a good example of how conservatives went so wrong. The conservative GOP voted for over 50 repeals of Obamacare, yet to this day, they never passed an alternative plan. Conservatives and the Republican Party oppose everything, yet stand for nothing themselves. They spit hatred and bile, fueled by racial resentment, bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia.
Donald Trump is a feature, not a bug. He is the perfect candidate for modern conservatism and the GOP.
Trump just spent two days saying repeatedly that Obama and Hillary Clinton were founders of ISIS. Given repeated chances to back off by sympathetic interviewers like Hugh Hewitt, Trump refused. Various surrogates went on television trying to defend that crap. Today Trump said it was just “sarcasm” and he blamed the media for not getting it. Those poor surrogates were left hanging out to dry. I imagine there are a lot of very, very unhappy Trump surrogates out there right now. They made fools of themselves on nationwide television.
The polls, meanwhile, show a GOP disaster in the making. The latest from NBC/Maris shows VA +12, NC +9, CO +14, and FL +5.
I really don’t understand the idea behind attacking Obama, or Obamacare, or whatever. Obama has an approval rating of a little over 50% right now. Regardless of what the conservatives in the GOP may think of him, bringing up Obama’s name and running against his ‘a third term’ makes absolutely no sense. It guarantees a loss. The actual candidates hardly matter if that tack is taken.
But when a party has no ideas and only hatred, that happens.
phx writes; “If major health insurers believe Obamacare was in trouble,…” (they would be leaving the market which many have.
The stock market is confusing for some and phx8 attempts to exploit that with his pronouncements. He attempts to equate obamacare with overall stock performance of major health insurance carriers such as Aetna and United.
Be very careful anytime phx8 attempts to persuade you of something but offers no proof or links. He is not a truth-teller just as his heroine…Hillary…is not either. They both lie…and do it often.
Want the truth?
“Aetna (AET) said Tuesday it is canceling plans to expand into five more states next year and will reassess its involvement in the 15 states where it currently offers coverage on the individual exchanges. Aetna — which expects to lose $300 million (pre-tax) on its Obamacare business this year — must conclude its review by the end of September and notify states where it intends to withdraw.
“…in light of updated 2016 projections for our individual products and the significant structural challenges facing the public exchanges, we intend to withdraw all of our 2017 public exchange expansion plans, and are undertaking a complete evaluation of future participation in our current 15-state footprint,” said CEO Mark Bertolini in a second-quarter earnings statement.”
“The country’s largest healthcare company is getting out of the Obamacare business.
United Healthcare, which currently covers the most Americans in the US (pending the proposed Anthem-Cigna merger), said in its quarterly earnings release on Tuesday that it is removing its offerings from almost all Affordable Care Act exchanges by 2017.”
phx8 is wrong more than he is right. I don’t know why people listen to him. Perhaps they don’t. His posts are just taking up space.
phx8, your posts are more peronsally denigrating and inflammatory than any other current writer of any frequency on this blog. You spend most of your posts calling conservatives any one of a number of foul labels and then say conservatives offer nothing but hate.
Note the perfect definition of irony.
Obamacare is an economic disaster, 30% average premium increases are proof enough, but believe what you want to believe.
The stock market correlation/causation statements are priceless and only show that you don’t understand anything about the current stock market, which decoupled from traditional indicators with the explosive advent of QE over 8 years ago, and now trades on an algo-driven basis that floor traders themselves (I could literally cite a thousand articles given enough time spent googling things for you) cannot understand or explain.
Up it goes, with zero market fundamentals supporting it, only helicopter money.
BLS Q1 YoY real wage growth 4.2% (media cheered and stocks soared when reported) was revised down from 4.2% to -.4% and the media is silent while up, up and up she goes, always up. Biggest downward revision in labor reporting history. And yet…
Longest upward streak in history and zero market fundamentals supporting the rise. Literally NOTHING. Not one positive thing in the VIX, COMEX, you name it. Increases aren’t profit based, they aren’t based on economic indicators at all. Manufacturing, Productivity, Exports, Wage Growth, Real Unemployment, Cost of Goods, Inflation, it’s all saying the market should be tanking but rainbows fly out of the sky and the Algos soar. ANYONE involved in daily trading or real investments understands that NO ONE can actually explain the fundamentals supporting this market run.
I read an article recently that the current run extension is possibly fueled by this exact understanding (that no one understands) and so traders have simply given up trying and are just trying to make as much as they can, as quickly as they can before things implode. Thus the injections of liquidity, and the perpetuation of the rise.
It’s a GIANT house of cards.
Look up the decoupling and try to learn something about ACTUAL stock market fundamentals before you claim it as a source of reliable information, and don’t be so quick to say how much hate conservatives have, when no one around here spews hateful vitriol like you do.
I remember you because you thought putting money in gold was a good idea. Hey, how did that work out for you?
And when Sarah Palin drove around to campaign rallies in a bus with the Constitution painted on its side, you gave her money. She never ran for office. Did you get your money back?
It is 2016 and conservatives are still claiming Obamacare is a disaster. Health care costs have gone up 38% since health care reform was implemented. During the Bush administration, health care costs increased over 100%.
And by the way, the proposed mergers between some of the big health care insurers may or may not happen. It would reduce competition, so they may never be allowed to go through.
Why is the stock market going up? Why did all three major indexes just set all time highs this week?
Low interest rates.
No need to raise rates since there is no inflation- although the Fed would like to have some basis points in its pocket just to give it maneuvering room.
Steady economic growth. That means no boom and bust cycle- just a long, sustainable period of growth. This is one of the longest periods in American history without a recession.
International confidence in the US and the economy, with a relatively peaceful world and fewer conflicts adding to that confidence. The strong dollar and the US economy have been carrying the world now for years.
The steady increase in construction and home values have contributed a great deal, and there is a lot of room for continued growth in these sectors.
An all time record in non-farm payroll numbers for job growth in the private sector. The latest report was strong, with unemployment remaining low (4.9%), 255,000 jobs added, and 400,000 people entering the work force. We are at full employment, and that means wages will start rising consistently, just like they did in the last jobs report.
As for conservative hatred, would you like some quotes and statistics? How many Republicans believe Obama is a Muslim, not an American, and so on?
Almost forgot! Low energy prices!
NBC/WSJ/Marist polling released today:
Clinton Opens 23-Point Lead Among Women as Trump Struggles
Colorado (registered voters): Clinton 46, Trump 32
Compare to early July: Clinton 43, Trump 35
Florida (registered voters): Clinton 44, Trump 39 Compare to early July: Clinton 44, Trump 37
North Carolina (registered voters): Clinton 48, Trump 39 Compare to early July: Clinton 44, Trump 38
Virginia (registered voters): Clinton 46, Trump 33 Compare to early July: Clinton 44, Trump 35
Iowa (registered voters): Clinton 41, Trump 37 Compare to early July: Clinton 42, Trump 39
Ohio (registered voters): Clinton 43, Trump 38 Compare to early July: Clinton 39, Trump 39
Pennsylvania (registered voters): Clinton 48, Trump 37 Compare to early July: Clinton 45, Trump 36
Drumpf is doing his best for HRC45. He’s off to campaign in Connecticut, where he doesn’t even have a chance.
From the Salt Lake City Tribune:
Eight hundred and one words in the Deseret News, Utah’s Mormon-owned newspaper, show the difference between a competent, respectful campaign and whatever Donald Trump is running.
In an op-ed published Wednesday, Hillary Clinton extended a hand to one of the most Republican voting blocs in the country — members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her piece reflects a basic difference between her and her opponent. Clinton assumes everyone has interests and preferences that must be acknowledged and, hopefully, reconciled. Trump assumes everyone is shallow and manipulable
LOL…five of the polls ora gave show Hillnuts losing support.
Roughly half of Republican members of The POLITICO Caucus — activists, strategists and operatives in 11 swing states — believe that Trump’s path to 270 electoral votes is basically shut off after another week in which the GOP nominee appears to have ceded ground in national and most battleground state polls.
I’ve heard before that there is a ceiling in the percentages that Drumpf can get. That ceiling appears to be under 40%.
What are they hoping for? They are hoping for Assange to save him. The Ecuadorian embassy in London allowed Swedish officials to question him the other day. Maybe people overseas are fed up with him trying to help Drumpf.
Funny you should mention Gold. You keep your fiat currency backed by nothing but our current ponzi scheme, and I’ll keep stacking the shiny. We’ll see who wins in the long run. How bout a $1000 bet, in a legitamite vegas clearing house, even odds, that Gold and Silver are worth more than 200% at some point between now and 2020. Put up or shut up, and I’ll happily ante up first.
You think we’re at full employment? The only jobs being created are service sector jobs, entry level, and many only part time. If they calculated unemployment today the way the calculated it before Obama took office we’d be at almost 20% unemployment. Giving up because you cant find work isnt employment and any one who thinks it is, is mentally retarded.
Go to Seattle and see how the $15 minumum wage is working out. lol.
International Confidence in the US? Ha. Travel out of the country phx8, Obama is a laughing stock. WE are a laughing stock politically. There are photos of him with a clown nose in Cinque Terre, Italy and in June when my wife and I missed the Instanbul airport bombing by a mere week, there was Obama graffiti ALL OVER TURKEY. In Germany, they call him the Moosie, and that he will never stand up to Putin. Look up the meaning. You are drunk on his koolaid, I get it, but your statements indicate you haven’t spent any actual time anywhere but your house.
Home sales and construction values are a byproduct of ONE THING ONLY, easy money. Hence 2008. National Loan policies have been relaxed almost to the level that caused the housing bubble, we’re doing it again. I havent seen a NINJ loan yet, but there’s a similar program being offered through HARP. If you dont like to read, I recommend watching the big short, it will explain it to the layperson who doesnt understand mortgage backed securities. I repeat, we are doing it again. We’re also doing it with college loans, which may beat the housing market bubble 2.0 to pop first..
Low inflation is another lie, as a market force for good. Stop just blindly reading the cooked books and probama articles and go to your freaking grocery store, write down some numbers and do some research.
Energy isnt cheap for good reasons, its cheap because OPEC is trying to starve frackers out of existence with a glut of supply, that is causing massive defaults on producers, it’s actually terrible news for jobs and manufacturing nationwide, except for the temporary small reprieve on our family gasoline bills.
Regarding Sarah Palin, people in Alaska hate her, she rode into offfice pretending to clean up corruption and now she’s afraid to show her face around Wasilla because she gave away a half billion in oil money on a ponzi scheme with Trans Canada and hung Alaska out to dry, and then quit so she could run for Vice President. I think she’d have done better than Obama, but power should never go to people that want it, and she wanted power (and fame) waaay too much. I did say good things about her at the time and wanted her and McCain to beat Obama but our only choice lost badly. Obama’s political team used social media in a masterful way, truly. They now sell the software algorithms and list building / data mining code to US and State Democrats who have the big bucks. Mark Begich used it to win and enjoy a US Senate term before Alasans realized he was just another big city liberal pretending to be a frontier man.
Keep tooting Obama’s flute like a schill. You are wrong about the stock market, don’t understand market fundamentals (more obvious now that you have said more) and my offer stands on the bet.
If gold increases by 200% and it is @ $1300 today, that means it will go as high as $3900 by 2020, a little more than three years from now. That is a silly prediction.
You do not understand unemployment numbers.
You do not understand unemployment numbers. Anyone who discusses the subject without mentioning non-farm payroll numbers, the most important one of all, gives away their ignorance right then and there.
The minimum wage increase is working fine in Seattle. Before trying to discuss that, you should at least be made aware that it will not go to $15/hour until 2017, and then only for large businesses with 500 or more employees. It goes to $15/hour for everyone in 2021.
Do you even know why some Turks dislike Obama? Erdogan wants them to think he was behind the coup attempt. He is a corrupt, first class crook who has been using his rural support to push the country from secular to more religious government, and he is bad news for that country.
Wonder how Obama is viewed abroad?
Trump is a laughingstock. Not sure? Read the article. Among Europeans, 72% have confidence in Obama to do the right thing in world affairs. Hillary Clinton, 59%. Trump, 9%.
Home sales are the product of easy money? Uh huh. So you are in favor of high interest rates because… ? I’m sure you have a well developed economic theory to explain that one. Hopefully it is better than the one about inflation, which is simply dismissed as a “lie” or presumably some sort of conspiracy theory.
“Energy isnt cheap for good reasons, its cheap because OPEC is trying to starve frackers out of existence with a glut of supply, that is causing massive defaults on producers, it’s actually terrible news for jobs and manufacturing nationwide, except for the temporary small reprieve on our family gasoline bills.”
Partial credit. OPEC is flooding the markets, that is true, but fracking is not their target. Fracking is also a major contributor to lower prices. The Saudis want to take down alternative energies, electric cars, and oil fields with high break points for development, such as the Alberta Tar Sands.
“it’s actually terrible news for jobs and manufacturing nationwide, except for the temporary small reprieve on our family gasoline bills.”
No. Low oil prices are good news everywhere except the energy sector.
The reason your analysis keeps failing to match reality is that you confuse ‘the economy’ with inequalities generated by the system. The economy is fine by virtually any measure. Unfortunately, the wealth it creates is all going to a small segment of the population, while most people are left treading water. It is the proverbial Occupy Wall Street position, where 1% are doing really great, but everyone else, just ok.
We could wait for full employment to create competition for labor, which would drive up wages. Eventually that would work.
The more immediate and proactive solution is to use government to redistribute wealth more equitably. That can be accomplished through increases in the minimum wage and changes in tax rates, with more benefits going towards family leave, day care, college costs, and so on.
The entire right wing economic agenda has relied on racial resentment being harnessed to put a right wing agenda for the rich in place. The idea was that the middle and poor white Republicans should resent redistribution because it would just give undeserving minorities ‘free stuff.’ What happened with Trump is that the GOP base realized it did not care about the right wing economic agenda for the rich anymore because it obviously was not helping them. The base resorted to resentment in all its ugly forms. Yet the Trump economic agenda- whether he believes in it or not- still consists of tax cuts for the rich, repeal of the estate tax (which ONLY benefits the rich with estates of $5 million or more for singles, $10 million for couples), and items of that sort.
phx8 repeats his obfuscation (in Hillary-speak; lying) by writing; “The economy is fine by virtually any measure.”
Keep repeating the nonsense phx8 and I will continue to expose your foolish attempts to make a silk purse out of Obama’s sow’s ear.
“GDP Growth Rate in the United States averaged 3.22 percent from 1947 until 2016…”
The US economy advanced an annualized 1.2 percent on quarter in the three months to June of 2016, following a downwardly revised 0.8 percent growth in the first three months of the year and well below market expectations of a 2.6 percent expansion, the advance estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed. Consumer spending was the main driver of growth while investment slumped and inventories fell for the first time since 2011.”
How about our ranking in the world for the ratio of Government Debt to GDP? phx8 will love this.
Cape Verde 123.00
United States 104.17
Euro Area 90.70
United Kingdom 89.20
List of Countries by Corporate Tax Rate
United States 38.90
Euro area 24.60
United Kingdom 20.00
South Korea 24.20
When interest rates are low, should you borrow? Or should you wait until interest rates are high, and borrow then?
And if you should not borrow at all, how does that explain the success of mortgages?
Alexander Hamilton was arguably the most brilliant of the founding fathers, and he created the framework for making America an economic giant through the use of debt and his “Report on Public Credit.”
phx8 writes; “When interest rates are low, should you borrow? Or should you wait until interest rates are high, and borrow then?”
OH, MY…my Learned (laugh) Friend once again has embarrassed himself with his foolish questions designed as traps that never ever spring shut.
Using his implied logic one must assume that interest rates on money borrowed by government never change. He would like the gullible to believe that interest on the national debt is fixed…like a conventional fixed rate home mortgage.
Has it ever occurred to phx8 and my Liberal/Socialist Pals that having reached nearly $20 Trillion in debt with little to show for it perhaps we should stop digging the debt hole any deeper?
CBO estimates net interest payments on government debt, the government’s cost of financing the debt held by the public, will be $229 billion for FY 2015. CBO expects the government’s interest payments to rise sharply during the coming decade. Current interest rates are very low by historical standards. When interest rates return to more typical, higher levels, federal spending on interest payments will increase substantially. Net interest costs are projected to more than triple from $229 billion in 2015 to $808 billion in 2025.
By 2021, the government will be spending more on interest than on all national defense. according to White House forecasts. And one year later, interest costs will exceed nondefense discretionary spending–essentially every other domestic and international government program funded annually through congressional appropriations.
Perhaps you do not understand bonds. The interest rate on a Government T-Bill, Note, or Bond is fixed. If you purchase one today, it pays the same interest rate for the term of the instrument. It is possible to sell the bond prior to maturity. If the bond has a different interest rate than prevailing, it can be sold for a profit or a loss.
The government constantly holds auctions for Bills, Notes, and Bonds. Bids for Treasuries reflect the interest rates at the time. Because of the strength of the US economy and dollar, Treasuries are very popular investments.
There may not be the political will for it, but undoubtedly interest rates will eventually increase. Is it better to pay the current low interest rates for borrowing, or wait for higher rates?
“By 2021, the government will be spending more on interest than on all national defense…”
As a percentage of the federal budget, interest currently consumes 6%, while defense uses up 16%. The statement about where things will be in 2021 is outlandish.
phx8 still doesn’t get it, he writes; “There may not be the political will for it, but undoubtedly interest rates will eventually increase. Is it better to pay the current low interest rates for borrowing, or wait for higher rates?”
Once again phx8 springs the (loaded question) trap on his own fingers.
Knowing that Obama has added more Trillions to our national debt than all the presidents preceding him, Hillary must promise to do the same if she expects to be elected president.
The Left has huge numbers of voters who benefit from a public pig trough full of borrowed money. These voters care little about national debt or taxpayers. They will vote for the politician that promises the most free stuff.
Free stuff requires borrowing money to pay for it. Thus, phx8 and his Pals argue that we must borrow money now while interest rates are low.
The Left is greedy and wants free stuff today and don’t give a damn who has to eventually pay for their drunken spending spree.
Conservatives argue that owing nearly $20 Trillion is enough debt for future generations to attempt to pay off.
By the way, for corporate tax rates, 38% is the statutory rate. The effective rate shows US corporations pay slightly below average.