Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Tax Song!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

ACA/Obamacare: More Fall Out From “If you like your plan keep your plan”

“While the federal government was trumpeting the benefits of Obamacare to boost enrollment earlier this year, about 1,800 families in New Jersey were receiving letters telling them their children would be losing their health coverage last week.

The Affordable Care Act — the federal law that mandates everyone have insurance — effectively killed FamilyCare Advantage, a low-cost option for kids in New Jersey created six years ago for parents who earned too much to qualify for Medicaid and other subsidized programs but too little to buy on a policy on their own. The state program was the first of its kind in the nation.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey was the only insurance carrier that agreed to offer the FamilyCare Advantage plan, which covered most medical, dental and vision needs for the relative bargain of $144 a month per child.

But it didn’t offer mental health treatment and several other services Obamacare requires, and that was the fatal flaw, said Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), who sponsored the law creating the program.

Vitale said he tried for several months to broker a deal between Horizon and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but neither side could agree on how to make it affordable and legal. The program ended last week.

People who tried to buy a plan on the health exchange would have been hit with sticker shock, Vitale said. FamilyCare Advantage had no deductible, compared with the less generous Horizon plan on the exchange that has a minimum deductible of $1,500. And most people would not have qualified for subsidies through the exchange because they earned too much money, he said.

“This is enormously disappointing. New Jersey was always ahead of the nation on health coverage for children and parents,” said Vitale. “It was $5 for doctor visits, $1 for pharmacy and no deductible or cost sharing.”

Vitale noted the irony that the program created to extend universal health care access to all New Jersey’s uninsured children was done in by federal health care reform.” - Obamacare eclipses low-cost NJ health plan for middle-class kids, nj.com, 04/06/2014

Link to the entire article appears below:

 

 
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/04/obamacare_eclipses_low-cost_nj_health_plan_for_middle-class_kids.html#comments
 


 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Obamacare/Medicaid Enrollment Numbers, the Price and “Backed by the Full Faith and Credit of the U.S. Government.”

Obamacare is based upon insuring an estimated thirty million uninsured through ACA Exchanges and Medicaid. The CBO now projects the price of Obamacare to reach in excess of two trillion dollars. (1) (2) (3)

One has to fully appreciate that the few have decided to introduce a new entitlement and expand an existing entitlement through an entity that is seventeen plus trillion dollars in debt. Stated alternatively, the political power purveyors of a de facto bankrupt entity have introduced a new entitlement and expanded an existing entitlement. Not to worry as the spendthrift, the spendthrift to the tune of seventeen trillion plus dollars in debt, can fund the new and expanded entitlement. How so? (4)

These entitlements, other entitlements and a myriad of other U.S. government programs are “backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.” Makes one feel warm and fuzzy, huh?

Then again, how valuable is such a promise? Maybe one should worry.

Yes, the government has the ability to tax or borrow to make good on its promises. Problem is: one would need to tax at near 100% to make good on all the debt and unfunded entitlements. One can not tax at 100% as private economic activity would end. A 100% tax on zero taxable revenue is zero. Borrowing? One has already borrowed the unfathomable sum of seventeen trillion dollars. (5) (6) (7)

What exactly does “backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government” mean when the phrase is constantly deployed to assure detractors that a proposition, a proposition brought into being by politicos through the mechanism of government, is solvent? One must appreciate that political power purveyors of a de facto bankrupt entity, that can not tax at a rate to make itself solvent, constantly rely on “the full faith and credit” each time one of their many, many, many existing propositions are questioned as to solvency.

When one aggregates all existing propositions and one considers the solvency of the aggregate, exactly how much meaning is conveyed when the supporter of any one of the propositions states: “backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government”?

 

Notes:
 

(1) Obamacare Now Estimated to Cost $2.6 Trillion in First Decade, The Weekly Standard, 07/11/2012

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obamacare-now-estimated-cost-26-trillion-first-decade_648413.html


(2) Estimated Cost of ‘Obamacare’ Is Now $2.6 Trillion — Nearly $1.7 Trillion More Than Obama Promised, Yahoo News, 07/11/2012

http://news.yahoo.com/estimated-cost-obamacare-now-2-6-trillion-nearly-042311293.html


(3) New CBO health law estimate shows much higher spending past first 10 years, Fox News, 03/14/2012

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/14/cbo-health-law-estimate-shows-much-higher-spending-beyond-first-10-years/


(4) US Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/


 
(5) Full faith and credit, investor words.com

http://www.investorwords.com/2109/full_faith_and_credit.html


(6) full faith and credit - Investment & Finance Definition, yourdictionary.com

http://www.yourdictionary.com/full-faith-and-credit


(7) The Laffer Curve: Past, Present, and Future, Art Laffer, 06/01/2004

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2004/06/the-laffer-curve-past-present-and-future


 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 








ACA/Obamacare: A Closer Inspection of the Much Anticipated RAND Study

“Last week, I wrote about an article in the Los Angeles Times, on a then-as-yet unpublished report from the RAND Corporation. The report indicated that only one-third of Obamacare’s purported 7.1 million exchange sign-ups were from the previously uninsured. But Noam Levey, the author of the Times article, didn’t disclose RAND’s actual findings as to the actual number of previously uninsured exchange enrollees. Well, now we know why. RAND published the full report yesterday; it indicates that Obamacare’s exchanges only enrolled 1.4 million previously uninsured individuals.

That 1.4 million is out of a total of 3.9 million exchange enrollees overall. That is to say, a little over a third of enrollees—36 percent—were previously uninsured. RAND’s figures don’t take into account the last few weeks of the Obamacare open enrollment period, and they contain a substantial margin of error, due to the study’s small sample size. (RAND surveyed 2,425 individuals aged 18 to 64; the 1.4 million figure has a margin of error of 700,000, meaning that there is a 95 percent probability that the actual number is between 700,000 and 2.1 million previously uninsured enrollees.)

If you assume that 80 percent of signer-uppers will eventually pay their premiums, the true number of previously uninsured exchange enrollees is likely closer to 2 million. That’s far from what the Congressional Budget Office has projected; the CBO estimated that 80 to 90 percent of the first-year enrollees would come from the previously uninsured population. Instead, it appears to be more like 24 to 36 percent.

Because the RAND survey is quite small—a comparable survey by the U.S. Census Bureau surveys around 250,000 individuals—its results aren’t as reliable. But the RAND authors, Katherine Grace Carman and Christine Eibner, perform a useful service, because they break out how people of varying insurance statuses in 2013 fared in 2014. For example, of the 40.7 million people they consider to have been uninsured in 2013, RAND can break out the fraction of those who gained insurance via the exchanges, via Medicaid, via employer-sponsored insurance, et al.

RAND finds that, overall, 9.3 million more U.S. residents have health insurance in 2014 relative to 2013. That figure has a margin of error of 3.5 million. But that’s not the interesting part. The interesting part is that 8.2 million of that comes from growth in employer-sponsored insurance. Labor force participation has been steadily declining, especially among younger individuals, which would seemingly make this result unlikely. Other surveys from ADP and Aon Hewitt have found that employer-sponsored coverage among the young has been flat to down.” - RAND Comes Clean: Obamacare's Exchanges Enrolled Only 1.4 Million Previously Uninsured Individuals, Forbes, 04/09/2014

 

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/04/09/rand-comes-clean-obamacares-exchanges-enrolled-only-1-4-million-previously-uninsured-individuals/?partner=yahootix


 


 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

ACA/Obamacare: Kathleen Sebelius Resigns.

“Kathleen Sebelius, who oversaw the bug-ridden rollout of a federal health insurance program that she herself called "miserably frustrating," is resigning as secretary of Health and Human Service, U.S. officials told NBC News on Thursday.

The officials said President Barack Obama on Friday will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, currently director of the White House Office and Management and Budget, to succeed Sebelius, 65, the former governor of Kansas, who was an original member of the Cabinet that Obama appointed when he took office in January 2009.” - Kathleen Sebelius Resigning as Health Secretary, NBC, 04/10/2014

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/kathleen-sebelius-resigning-health-secretary-n77341

Government Retirement Made Hard: 28,000 File Cabinets and 230 Feet Below the Earth's Surface. No Way! Way!

Hat Tip: Pretense of Knowledge