December 22, 2013

The Obamacare Chaos Strategy’s Outlines Begin to Emerge

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:59 am

Single-payer, by any means necessary.

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This column went up at PJ Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Friday.

It went up before the Department of Health and Human Services announced a unilateral partial suspension of the individual mandate on Friday afternoon.

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On Christmas Eve, it will be three years and nine months since President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, into law.

Seven decades ago, it took less time — 3 years, 8 months and 26 days, from December 7, 1941 to September 2, 1945 — for the nation to endure the attack on Pearl Harbor, rebuild an undermanned and underequipped military, put the nation’s industrial might on a wartime footing, prosecute World War II, complete the Manhattan Project, and force the surrender of Nazi Germany and Japan.

Now we’re supposed to believe, even when given virtually unlimited resources, a 42-month head start, and another three months to make corrections, that the people in our government and the contractors who serve it are so breathtakingly stupid and incredibly incompetent that they can’t properly set up Obamacare’s bureaucracy, create functioning online and offline consumer interfaces, and build the systems required to communicate and interact with insurance companies participating in its federal exchanges.

I certainly don’t.

Evidence supporting what I have contended in my previous two columns — namely that those in charge of implementing Obamacare cannot possibly be as stupid or incompetent as they are allowing themselves to appear — continues to mount.

The most obvious indicators don’t relate to planning and development tasks performed poorly. They instead involve the ones which haven’t been performed at all.

Web site security issues have been ignored from the get-go, to the point where IT security experts insist that no one who cares about the privacy and safety of their personal information should even think about logging on to HealthCare.gov. The government’s response has been to give itself a security waiver and pretend that nothing’s amiss.

Then there’s the system for making subsidy payments to insurance companies for eligible enrollees. There isn’t one.

Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told a House committee in mid-November that “the payment systems, they still need be built.” The government’s response has been to let the insurance companies wing it and estimate the subsidies they’re owed — subject, of course, to “negotiations” on an obviously not level playing field. It’s a safe prediction that this situation will endure well into 2014. One begins to wonder if those systems will ever be built.

Chaos skeptics will have an especially difficult time explaining away the administration’s December 12 move.

That day, it announced that it would “ask” insurance companies to cover virtually any patient who requests medical care in early 2014, whether or not there is any tangible evidence that they have paid their monthly premiums, or have even enrolled. Note that the lack of said evidence is entirely due to the government’s billion-dollar failure to build reliable enrollment and payment systems.

It would appear that doctors, hospitals and other medical providers who have agreed to serve Obamacare patients will also have to see and treat any patient who claims to have enrolled, regardless of whether that provider is in the related insurance plan’s network.

Wall Street Journal editorial summarized the situation fairly well — “[T]he White House wants to transfer political accountability to the insurers.” But medical providers and all who work for and provide services to them will also be unwilling participants in this purely political accountability avoidance ploy. They and their insurers are being forced to take on completely unacceptable and potentially bankrupting financial risks in a $7 billion per day industry.

Kathleen Sebelius’s Department of Health and Human Services has ways to deal with any insurance company which might consider rebelling at the prospect of seeing their owners and shareholders lose everything because of government-orchestrated chaos: “The regulatory fine print reveals that HHS intends to kick insurers off the exchanges if they don’t obey.” Some “marketplace” this is.

Now we can begin to see, with the help of the Daily Caller’s Mickey Kaus, where this is all heading:

HHS has pretty clearly escaped the rule of law and entered a world of corporatist haggling, where political leaders and a few big industry types sit around the table and work everything out.

The health insurance industry blithely ignored the authoritarian and extra-legal warning signs which were clearly visible to all with open eyes as far back as Obama’s first presidential campaign in 2008 — his announced plan to use regulations to “bankrupt” anyone who dared to start up a new coal-based energy plant, the campaign’s deliberate lack of controls over online contributions, and the organized attempts to shout down opponents, to name just a few. Lured by the false promise of millions of new and theoretically profitable customers, it chose to live with state-run health care instead of fighting it tooth and nail, as it successfully did against HillaryCare two decades earlier.

The industry’s reward will be to spend countless hours haggling with their only real customer who is not their equal, but their master.

What will happen if their conduct doesn’t meet the administration’s arbitrary and ever-changing definition of acceptability? Ask Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Obama’s home state. They’ll exploit any resistance as an excuse to slowly but surely accomplish the left’s Holy Grail goal: “put the private insurance industry out of business” and impose a de facto single-payer, completely government-controlled regime on the entire nation. The insurance companies may continue to exist for a while for appearances’ sake, but they will be firmly under the government’s boot, perhaps in relatively short order.

Is it only a coincidence that this is exactly how budding tyrannies often work in their early stages? Is it really reasonable to believe that all of this “just happened”? I think not.

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1 Comment

  1. Death panel in action via bureaucratic fiat:

    CALIFORNIA HEALTHCARE CHANGES LEAVE WOMAN WITHOUT TREATMENT FOR TERMINAL DISEASE

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/12/21/Healthcare-Changes-Leave-CA-Woman-Without-Treatments-For-Dangerous-Disease

    This where the healthcare changes come into play for St. Cyr. According to the Paradise Post, “St. Cyr was previously covered under no-share cost MediCal” but on November 1st “was transferred to a managed healthcare plan” that does not cover treatments for her disease.

    Here is how Obama means to cull the population of the chronically ill, he starts first with the most vulnerable, those who have no finances suffering from some disease that can’t be treated with a pill. (Remember Obama’s comments about his grandmother) Just as there will be “best practices” (cookie cutter approach) to mandate how each disease is treated thus culling those whom the “best practice” won’t help, If a disease isn’t on their approved list, it doesn’t get treated and you are on your own via private pay.

    Then he whittles on the middle class’s chronically ill by bleeding them dry of finances via the high deductibles, high co-pays, and high out of pocket caps and not counting non approved treatments towards deductibles or out of pocket caps. Forcing a family to decide if they have to go bankrupt saving their family member via private pay or just let them die. This is the liberal’s idea of humane treatment.

    Democrats are such wonderful people, they love the poor, they love the sick, it just makes their day when they figure out just that perfect means to make them suffer all the more. It’s a certain quality of suffering they like, it’s like a drowning person seeing the life ring thrown to them just 12 inches from their grasp but can’t get to it because someone imposed a regulation on how long the throw line attached to the life ring can be. The liberal then says see we care, what great people we are, we provided the life ring, we made the taxpayers pay for it, we mandated the throw line to pull the person back to safety, and we even threw the life ring. Next…

    I am reminded of the passage near the end of George Orwell’s book, 1984, the one where he talks about the boot stamping on a human face, forever.

    A question:

    “How does one man assert power over another?”

    By making him suffer.

    Exactly. Obedience is not enough.

    Power is inflicting pain and humiliation. Otherwise, you cannot be sure.

    Power is tearing human minds apart…

    and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

    Power is not a means, it is an end.

    In our world, there will only be triumph and self-abasement.

    Everything else, we shall destroy.

    The past is forbidden. Why?

    Because when we can cut man from his own past…

    then we can cut him from his family, his children, other men.

    There is no loyalty, except loyalty to the Party.

    There is no love, except love of Big Brother.

    All competing pleasures, we will destroy.

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine…

    a boot stamping on a human face forever.

    The compassion of the liberal elite is a special kind of cruelty, a nuance all it’s own, a special flavor…the apathy of a bureaucrat leaving their victims hanging indefinitely as a trophy of their accomplishments.

    Or maybe a more appropriate passage for this time of year considering Obama’s pill comment toward his suffering grandmother who paid for his private education:

    “If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race,” returned the Ghost, “will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

    Scrooge hung his head to hear his wn words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.

    “Man,” said the Ghost, “if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!”

    It takes a certain kind of person to be a liberal elite, they are their own special club and Obama personifies this club with his ruthless apathy towards those whom he purports to champion all the while getting their votes with tantalizing bribes of half measures that perpetuate their poverty and victimhood.

    Comment by dscott — December 22, 2013 @ 11:38 am

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