Monday, November 25, 2013

More emerging aspects of the great kaleiscope of the Obamacare debacle

1. Contrary to the silly claim made in the even sillier comparison between Obamacare and Katrina  that " at least Obamacare  did not kill anyone ", well it just might. See here. for economist John R Graham's discussion about ACA and the median voter. He references the WSJ article about Edie  Sunby whose medical insurance policy was cancelled after the insurer has paid out 1.2 million dollars for treatment of her rare cancer.Apparently her options to purchase insurance now does not include plans that provide care at the specialized institutions necessary for her treatment.Maybe that is not a matter or life and death but then again..

2. Reports suggest that the health care insurance policy cancellations seen so far are just the tip of a very large iceberg .Is the 100 million more cancellations  projection from AEI just predictable  anti-Obamacare spin and Casandra talk or are they on to something.Seth Chandler from the University of Houston, in his new blog, provides a detailed and nuanced analysis. His bottom line seems to be is maybe 15 million is a more realistic guesstimate.See here. Professor Chandler's legal analysis may well be correct in saying that many small employers will be impacted by the law and the fall out would be more policies cancelled. The big but here is that so far in regard to Obamacare the administration has seen fit to delay execution of various aspects of the law when that is the politically advantageous thing to do.There is an election in 2014 and one does not have to be excessively cynical to think that they will do everything they can to postpone what ever they can to try and salvage the 2014 election.


3. Has Obamacare violated the primary rule of redistributional politics? The rule is: diffuse the cost and focus the benefits of  any redistribution scheme. With ACA many folks are getting the bill and realizing who is paying for it.See here for comments regarding this rule violation from the blog Pileus who raises the question has the Obama administration's hubris been so great as to think they need not heed this fundamental law. Speaking of law violation it may be that the administration plan of "fixing" the clown car health care website by putting more programmers and very smart people on the project  violate Brooks's law that states:"adding manpower to a late software project makes it later".

4.This is not a new thought but it needs to be repeated. Obamacare is the biggest example of crony capitalism ever. Think about it. Everyone  (almost except ,for example, the Amish) is forced to buy the health care insurer's product,and if someone can't afford the government will provide a subsidy. And if that was not enough ACA provides various safeguards to the insurers that minimize any losses they may incur in the exchanges in the form of reinsurance and risk corridors. See here for details of that.What do you expect when a former VP from Wellpoint was hired by the Obama administration to help write and then to help implement the law. See here for details about Elizabeth Fowler and what executive position she now has in a health care related company.

5.I wonder if many members of the American College of Physicians have embraced the college's program for helping patients sign up for the exchanges.Maybe it is more successful than the government website.See here.

6.United Health cuts thousands of physicians from its roster , See here. This is mostly from their Medicare Advantage Programs which have already or will soon experience cuts from Medicare. You may remember that this funding mechanism for Obamacare was postponed until after the last national  election to avoid the wrath of medicare voters being manifest as votes for Republicans.

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