Unexpectedly!

To borrow a phrase from Glenn Reynolds to explain the reactions among liberals, leftists, and the mainstream media to various reports showing that things are not as rosy as the public were meant to believe, I bring you today’s post: CNN asks if Americans were “misled” regarding the true price of ObamaCare.  (Hat tip.)

Let’s review.  The Congressional Budget Office is only allowed to score bills for the next ten years and they are required to use almost all of the assumptions of the bill’s authors.  Obama and Pelosi used this to manipulate the “budget-neutral” score with a few different mechanisms, none of which had anything to do with the long-term viability of the plan.  The most important one was to use ten years of revenue and six years of costs.  If you’re asking, “Wait, can they do that?” the answer is, “Yes, because they are the government.”  A private company that pulled that stunt would find the CEO, CFO, Board of Directors, and perhaps a few higher-ups in prison.  (The only time when you can do that is if there are only six years of expenditures, i.e. six years to pay off a capital loan but ten years of use from the equipment.)  Otherwise, it’s ridiculously unethical, and Year 11 onwards would show that the programme would haemorrhage money (for every $10 spent, $6 would come in).

We warned you. We said, “Six years of spending and ten years of revenue for a budget-neutral bill certainly means that costs will exceed revenue.”  We were called a bunch of ignorant rubes.

The ObamaCare crew also said that the plan would not create any moral hazards, i.e. companies and young, healthy people preferring to pay the penalty rather than get health care.  Nor did they assume that companies would throw their workers onto the exchanges.  Those who understand human nature and budgets knew this would happen; people said we were fear-mongering or that we wanted people to die in the streets.

One of the other big assumptions behind the ‘budget-neutral’ claim was that preventative medicine would reduce premiums.  As I keep pointing out, insurance companies are staffed with rapacious bastards who employ an entire army of actuaries and health experts, so if “free” birth control, “free” physician’s visits, or “free” preventative care actually saved money, the greediest insurance companies would have offered it long ago.  (Same premiums, i.e. revenue, less cost, and you trick the fools into thinking they’ve gotten a great deal!  Win-win-win!)  Other people remarked that you are merely building the costs of such “free” things into the premiums and then adding processing costs.  Either way, a government cannot mandate more services and expect premiums to decrease.

We told you so, and you didn’t listen.

So were the American people “misled”?  Let me ask you this: if you went out on a few dates with a guy, and your friends told you he was no good, your father wanted to use him as gator chum, and his boss just fired him, but he’s so hot and he takes you out to nice dinners, would you be “misled” if it turned out he was cheating on you?

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Filed under Economics, ObamaCare

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