October 14, 2013

Obamacare: ‘There’s So Much Wrong, You Just Don’t Know What’s Broken’

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:34 pm

If these guys feel like they’re free to speak this freely, it must be unbelievably awful:

‘So much wrong’ with Obamacare sites: Aetna CEO

Aetna (AET)’s CEO gave a harshly critical review of the federal government’s Obamacare marketplace Tuesday, saying “there’s so much wrong, you just don’t know what’s broken until you get a lot more of it fixed.”

Asked on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” if he knew the roll-out of the federal Healthcare.gov website would be problematic, Aetna chief Mark Bertolini said his giant insurance company’s role as an alpha tester for the system gave it a sense of how many problems the health insurance marketplace was facing on the eve of launch.

“We were pretty nervous as we got further along,” Bertolini said. “As they started missing deadlines, we were pretty convinced it was going to be a difficult launch.”

Since then, Bertolini said his fears have been realized, and the technological debacle seen at Healthcare.gov is one similar to just the handful he’s witnessed in his career.

“It’s nothing you ever like to repeat,” he said. “Because it’s very difficult. I’ve been there. It’s career-ending in a lot of cases.”

‘On the fly’

“It’s all been on the fly,” Bertolini said of the construction of the marketplace, and the integration of insurers like Aetna whose plans are being offered for sale to up 40 million customers.

“We didn’t get code drops until the last month before the system went live,” he said.

They should pull the plug.

They won’t — unless someone pulls the plug on the money (hint, hint to GOP). They need to be saved from themselves.

At American Thinker: ‘Steve Lonegan Has a Real Chance to Win’

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:11 pm

Read it.

That’s an order.

Bottom Line:

He has narrowed (Cory) Booker’s lead so much that ACORN’s Project Vote has now entered the race, threatening to sue the state for not being activist enough in registering Democrat voters. When this kind of thing happens, you know they are scared.

The election is Wednesday.

SF Chronicle’s Obamacare Advice: ‘Working a Bit Less’ Can Get You a ‘Huge Health Care Subsidy’

Kathleen Pender at the San Francisco Chronicle (HT Zombie at PJ Media) had some Obamacare-related financial advice for her readers on Saturday: “Consider reducing your 2014 income by working just a bit less,” because doing so could get you a “huge health care subsidy.”

This is not news to anyone who has studied Obamacare in detail, and shouldn’t be a revelation to anyone in the business press, especially a financial advice columnist like Pender. Among several others, Robert Rector at the Heritage Foundation and yours truly sounded the alarm about Obamacare’s work-demotivating impact — as well as how it will encourage marital breakups and discourage couples from getting married — in early 2010. I also wrote related columns here and here in late September. Excerpts from Pender’s prose follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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USAT’s Davidson and Hansen Treat Growing Hospital Staff Cuts As ‘Surprising’

The healthcare sector, particular hospitals, is hitting a wall. In a Sunday morning writeup, USA Today reporters Paul Davidson and Barbara Hansen considered this news “surprising,” because Obamacare is supposedly going to bring hospitals so much new business.

Well, guys, that new business needs to be profitable. Odds are it won’t be. The staff cuts also appear to foreshadow the rationing so many people have predicted would result, and which has resulted under state-run healthcare in U.S. states like Massachusetts and other countries, if Obamacare passed. Of course, the USAT pair didn’t recognize that possibility. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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Cory Booker: Made-up Friend, Made-up Residence

I’m starting to see why Cory Booker didn’t run against Chris Christie.

Christie would have crucified Booker for his years of stories about “T-Bone,” his imaginary friend

The T-Bone tale never sat right with Rutgers University history professor Clement Price, a Booker supporter who tells National Review Online he found the mayor’s story offensive because it “pandered to a stereotype of inner-city black men.” T-Bone, Price says, “is a southern-inflected name. You would expect to run into something or somebody named T-Bone in Memphis, not Newark.”

Price considers himself a mentor and friend to Booker and says Booker conceded to him in 2008 that T-Bone was a “composite” of several people he’d met while living in Newark. The professor describes a “tough conversation” in which he told Booker “that I disapproved of his inventing such a person.” “If you’re going to create a composite of a man along High Street,” he says he asked Booker, “why don’t you make it W. E. B. DuBois?” From Booker, he says, “There was no pushback. He agreed that was a mistake.”

(Further:) “The Newark Star-Ledger confirmed Booker’s confession.”

(Beyond bizarre:) “[T}he Booker campaign is still insisting – even though Booker confessed – that T-Bone is real.

… and his imaginary residence (HT Daily Caller):

Most of the establishment press has completely ignored these fabrications, which would be self-evident dealbreakers with any voter who isn’t a blind partisan.

If these fabrications had received the visibility they deserved — say, the equivalent of Booker’s overhyped participation in the bogus “Food Stamp Challenge — he wouldn’t still be favored to win election to the U.S. Senate tomorrow.

But he is. An upset victory by Republican Steve Lonegan would send a badly needed message to a country desperately in need of a dose of electoral sanity.

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (101413)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: New film shows heroism, strength of English martyrs

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From London:

Oct 13, 2013 / 04:05 pm

The new film “Faith of Our Fathers” examines the Catholic martyrs of the English Reformation, whose fortitude is a reminder that persecution strengthens the Church, a presenter of the film has noted.

“I think perhaps the heroism and strength of Catholicism through that period, when we were given so many saints, martyrs and heroes, wouldn’t have happened without the persecution,” said Fr. Marcus Holden, a priest of the Archdiocese of Southwark who was involved in the making of the documentary.
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