We Need To Celebrate This

Issues & Insights posted an article today about the change in the number of Americans dependent on Government since President Trump took office.

The article includes a chart showing the change:

Here are some of the highlights listed in the article:

Disability. The number of workers on Social Security’s Disability Insurance program has sharply declined as well. It went from 88 million in January 2017 to 84.9 million as of May. That’s the lowest it’s been since August 2011.

…Medicaid. Enrollment in Medicaid also has dropped sharply since Trump took office — despite the fact that Virginia decided to expand its program under Obamacare, which added some 300,000 to its Medicaid rolls over those years.

As of this March, the total number of people on Medicaid and CHIP — the health insurance program for children — was down by 2.5 million.

Obamacare. The number enrolled in Obamacare has declined every year since Trump took office as well, and is now 1 million below where it was at the end of 2016.

Welfare. The number of those collecting welfare — either on the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or what are called “separate state programs” — has dropped by more than 800,000 under Trump.

The article concludes:

In a less biased news media world, the decline in government dependency would be front-page news.

Instead, when they’re acknowledged at all, these enrollment drops are treated as bad news by the Left, which treats any declining benefit programs as a problem that needs to be fixed — usually by expanding these programs. Thus, you have every Democratic candidate for president talking about trillions upon trillions of new benefit programs, which are designed to ensnare as many as possible in the net of government dependency.

They have it exactly backward. The goal should be to have zero people collecting government benefits — because they are gainfully employed and don’t need them. Anything else should be treated as a failure.

One of the reasons that it is so difficult to shrink government programs is that in addition to the people they serve, they provide employment for government workers. These workers understand that if assistance programs shrink drastically, then there will be fewer staff members needed to oversee the programs. It is definitely a reverse incentive to cut dependence on the government.

We Need To Get Healthcare Right

Yesterday Issues and Insights posted an article about ObamaCare 10 years out.

The article reports:

Based on polling data, Obamacare has been a miserable failure, and Obama will be far from the last president to grapple with this issue.

The most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds that health care is at the top of the nation’s priority list, with 24 percent of respondents listing it as their top priority for the federal government. Next on the list is immigration, at 18 percent, and after that, economic growth at 14 percent. 

The poll also found that 42 percent list health care as either their first or second choice on the priority list.

Back in June 2008, when Obama was running for president, only 8 percent rated health care as a top priority, just 20 percent as their first or second priority. Of course, the economy was in a recession and the country at war with Iraq, both of which weighed heavily on the public’s mind at the time.

But even in earlier years when the economy was doing well, health care ranked far lower on the list of priorities than it does today. In June 2006, only 14 percent ranked it as No. 1 on their list. A year later, 15 percent said it was their top priority.

The public has not been impressed with ObamaCare:

An ongoing Gallup survey finds that the public was actually more satisfied with their own coverage and quality of health care in 2007 than they were in 2018. Other surveys find cost remains a major complaint.

The article lists a few problems with ObamaCare:

It has done nothing to slow, much less reverse, the rising cost of health care. In fact, Obamacare itself caused premiums in the individual market to more than double in its first four years.

…National health spending, which was 16.3 percent of GDP in 2008, is now 17.9 percent and is slated to hit 19.4 percent by 2027. Per-capita spending on healthcare jumped from $7,898 to $10,739 over those years.

Far from driving the deficit down, Obamacare is pushing federal red ink up. The Congressional Budget Office has calculated that repealing Obamacare would cut the deficit by some $473 billion in the first 10 years

Rather than admit failure, the Democrats simply want to throw more money at it.

The article concludes:

Naturally, because of these failures, the Democrats’ answer is to dump even more taxpayer money into government-run health care programs, with most now favoring a $32 trillion plan developed by socialist Bernie Sanders to have the government nationalize the entire health insurance industry.

Only in government, and only among fans of big government, are massive failures like Obamacare rewarded with still more government. 

Games The Media Is Playing

The media’s job is to report events, investigate questionable actions by those in power, and inform Americans about what their government is doing. It is not to follow Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals number 13. That rule states, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” That rule is currently controlling the American media, and their target is Donald Trump. If you want to know what is actually causing the division in this country, look no further than the media. They have the power to bring us together. They have chosen not to do that.

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article about how The Washington Post has put its finger on the scale in the way it fact checks the President.

The article names five ways The Washington Post skews the results of its fact checking:

1. Bias by target selection. Did the Post have a database of President Obama’s false or misleading claims? No. Would the Post have a database of President Hillary’s false or misleading claims if she had won? Don’t be ridiculous. These people parse every sentence in Trump speeches, interviews, and tweets. They’re not doing that for anyone else, especially the Democratic candidates now running for president.

2. Nitpicking. Are they checking facts, or spin? Kessler & Co. fuss that Trump can’t say they’re building a wall at the border. Trump tweeted a picture of a wall being built. It’s clearly a border wall under construction. But Kessler says the money (and the plans) came before Trump, so it’s not “his” wall.  Kessler also cried False when Trump said he had “nothing to hide” from the Russia probe “but refused to testify under oath.” Kessler is spinning, not fact-checking.

3. Bias by multiplying nitpicking times 100. Once the Post throws a Pinocchio rating like the border-wall squabble, every time Trump says “we’re building the wall,” it’s counted as a false statement (160 times). Kessler repeatedly threw the False flag when Trump said there was “no collusion” with Russia. Which side was False on that one?

4. Lack of transparency. The Posties have dramatically increased the rate of the “false claims” they are finding. In announcing their 10,000 number, they claimed the president “racked up 171 false or misleading claims in just three days,” April 25 to 27.  They admit that’s a bigger number than they used to find in a month.

They claimed it was literally a falsehood a minute. They counted 45 in a 45-minute Sean Hannity interview, 17 falsehoods in a 19-minute Mark Levin interview, and 61 false claims in the president’s Saturday night rally in Green Bay.  But they don’t list them individually, so you can check their work.

5. Pinocchio forgiveness. Kessler also has a weird habit of skipping Pinocchios for Democrats when they call him on the phone and admit they fudged it. They just found Kamala Harris wrongly stated in a CNN town hall that a majority of women earn the minimum wage. Kessler concluded “Regular readers know that we generally do not award Pinocchios when politicians admit error, and we certainly give an allowance for a slip of the tongue during a live event. We don’t play gotcha at The Fact Checker.”

Unless you’re Trump. Then you get 10,000 Gotchas.

Where were these people when President Obama told us that if we liked our doctor we could keep him and that the cost of health insurance would go down under ObamaCare?

Good News On Healthcare

The Daily Signal posted an article today about President Trump’s plan to reform healthcare (which obviously starts with the removal of ObamaCare).

The article reports:

A look at his fiscal year 2020 budget shows that the president has a plan to reduce costs and increase health care choices. His plan would achieve this by redirecting federal premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion money into grants to states. States would be required to use the money to establish consumer-centered programs that make health insurance affordable regardless of income or medical condition.

The president’s proposal is buttressed by a growing body of evidence that relaxing federal regulations and freeing the states to innovate makes health care more affordable for families and small businesses.

Ed Haislmaier and I last year published an analysis of waivers that have so far enabled seven states to significantly reduce individual health insurance premiums. These states fund “invisible high risk pools” and reinsurance arrangements largely by repurposing federal money that would otherwise have been spent on Obamacare premium subsidies, directing them instead to those in greatest medical need.

By financing care for those with the biggest medical bills, these states have substantially reduced premiums for individual policies. Before Maryland obtained its waiver, insurers in the state filed requests for 2019 premium hikes averaging 30 percent. After the federal government approved the waiver, final 2019 premiums averaged 13 percent lower than in 2018—a 43 percent swing.

The article explains that the President’s plan is similar to another proposed plan:

It closely parallels the Health Care Choices Proposal, the product of ongoing work by national and state think tanks, grassroots organizations, policy analysts, and others in the conservative community. A study by the Center for Health and the Economy, commissioned by The Heritage Foundation, found that the proposal would reduce premiums for individual health insurance by up to 32 percent and cover virtually the same number of people as under Obamacare.

It also would give consumers more freedom to choose the coverage they think best for themselves and their families. Unlike current law, states could include direct primary care; health-sharing ministries; short-term, limited-duration plans; and other arrangements among the options available through their programs.

Those expanded choices would extend to low-income people. The proposal would require states to let those receiving assistance through the block grants, Medicaid, and other public assistance programs apply the value of their subsidy to the plan of their choice, instead of being herded into government-contracted health maintenance organizations.

We can do better at healthcare. Either one of these proposals would be a great start.

Better Late Than Never

Yesterday The Hill reported that the Justice Department has announced that it has found the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.

The article reports:

The DOJ previously argued in court that the law’s pre-existing condition protections should be struck down. Now, the administration argues the entire law should be invalidated.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled in December that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of law is therefore invalid.

The DOJ said Monday that it agrees the decision should stand as the case works its way through the appeals process in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

“The Department of Justice has determined that the district court’s judgment should be affirmed,” the department said in a short letter to the appeals court.

The article concludes:

Many legal experts in both parties think the lawsuit, which was brought by 20 GOP-led states, will not ultimately succeed. The district judge who ruled against the law in December is known as a staunch conservative.

The case centers on the argument that since Congress repealed the tax penalty in the law’s mandate for everyone to have insurance in 2017, the mandate can no longer be ruled constitutional under Congress’s power to tax. The challengers then argue that all of ObamaCare should be invalidated because the mandate is unconstitutional.

Most legal experts say legal precedent shows that even if the mandate is ruled unconstitutional, the rest of ObamaCare should remain unharmed, as that is what Congress voted to do in the 2017 tax law that repealed the mandate’s penalty.

This is another example of the consequences of Congressional inaction. First of all, the government has no business in healthcare or health insurance. It the government wants to make a few minor rules to make sure people can obtain healthcare, that is fine, but other than that, we need to go back to free market healthcare. Our current policies have made insurance more expensive than it should be and care more expensive than it should be. We need to go back to the days of knowing how much things cost and being able to shop around for our care.

When Integrity Dies

I used to like Mitt Romney. He lost me when he penned his editorial about President Trump after President Trump had supported him in his run for Congress. That seemed a little ungrateful and a lot tacky. As of late, Mitt Romney has become a political opportunist seeking favor from the establishment Republicans who hate President Trump. At this point I would like to note that the establishment Republicans gave us ObamaCare, an over-regulated economy under President Obama, open borders, TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) which doubled the national debt, and Dodd Frank, which blamed all of the wrong people for the real estate bubble (see “Burning Down the House” video on YouTube). Well, Romney is still at it.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about the ongoing feud between Mitt Romney and President Trump.

The article reports:

Freshman Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) on Tuesday evening said he cannot understand why President Donald Trump would “disparage” the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), whom Romney described as “heroic,” “courageous,” “patriotic,” and “honorable.”

“I can’t understand why the President would, once again, disparage a man as exemplary as my friend John McCain: heroic, courageous, patriotic, honorable, self-effacing, self-sacrificing, empathetic, and driven by duty to family, country, and God,” Romney tweeted.

John McCain was a war hero. He chose to stay in Hanoi with other prisoners rather than return home. That is an act of heroism that can never be taken away from him. His actions after he returned home, however, do not live up to the character he displayed while in Hanoi.

I am not going to go through McCain’s biography. The man is dead, may he rest in peace. However, there are some things that he did in the later years of his life that were questionable at best. He was involved in the whole scam to bring down President Trump with the phony dossier. He also betrayed those who elected him when he refused to vote to repeal ObamaCare. McCain did not always uphold the exemplary values he exhibited while a Prisoner of War. As a Senator, he was vindictive and often petty. I am afraid Mitt Romney may be following his example.

The Real Numbers

On Friday The Daily Signal posted an article about the consequences of winding down ObamaCare. It seems that the press and the Congressional Budget Office lied to Americans about the consequences of repealing ObamaCare.

The article reports:

According to a report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office wildly overestimated the number of people who would lose their health insurance with the repeal of the individual mandate penalty.

Initial estimates from the Congressional Budget Office said 14 million would drop off their health insurance coverage due to the elimination of the individual mandate. Then, during the height of the 2017 debate over repeal, progressives touted a leaked number from the Congressional Budget Office claiming that 22 million people would “lose” their insurance if Congress repealed the law.

However, as health care analyst Avik Roy pointed out, what made this number so high was the inflated number of people expected to lose their insurance due to repeal of the mandate—about 73 percent to be exact. So, it wouldn’t be 22 million Americans losing their insurance. Most of those in the projection would simply be choosing to opt out of insurance.

And it turns out even that wasn’t true. A far smaller number of Americans appear to be opting out of insurance since the individual mandate’s repeal. Only 2.5 million more people are expected to go without insurance in 2019 due to its repeal, according to the latest report, and that number is expected to decline in the years ahead.

Putting the government in charge of healthcare is always a bad idea. Economist Milton Friedman once stated, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.” The government is not responsible for providing healthcare to anyone. Charitable hospitals and charitable organizations are welcome to take on that responsibility, but government healthcare is nowhere to be found in the U.S. Constitution.

The article further states:

Doug Badger, a visiting fellow in domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal that Congressional Budget Office analysis has been a chronic problem.

“When it comes to the individual mandate, CBO has never let the facts affect their wildly inaccurate estimates. CBO continued to forecast that millions of insured Americans would suddenly become uninsured if the mandate were repealed,” Badger wrote in an email to The Daily Signal. “CBO’s faulty estimates misled the public into believing that repealing Obamacare would lead to a vast increase in the number of uninsured. Bad estimates produced bad policy.”

Many conservatives are fed up with the deference shown to the agency, given it’s poor track record and track of transparency. Reps. Mark Walker, R-N.C., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, suggested in 2017 that it’s time to stop “blindly” following the agency’s predictions.

“The value of having outside experts review legislation cannot be understated,” they wrote for the Washington Examiner. “But continuing to hinge congressional actions on the projections of an agency that has proven to be so consistently wrong does a disservice to not only members trying to represent their constituents, it primarily does a disservice to the public.”

I wrote in 2017 that perhaps we should be more skeptical toward the findings of independent agencies like the Congressional Budget Office. It seems those doubts were valid.

People based their votes on the information they were given. It is a shame that a government agency provided inaccurate information.

Good News–Temporary Good News, But Good News

Breitbart is reporting today that a White House study released on Friday found that President Donald Trump’s Obamacare reforms will save Americans roughly $450 billion over the next ten years.

That is wonderful news, but it is only temporary wonderful news.

The article reports:

A White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) study released on Friday found that Americans will save $450 billion through Trump’s Obamacare reforms. The CEA suggested that Trump’s repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate and the expansion of short-term insurance plans and Association Health Plans (AHPs) will save Americans billions over the next ten years.

The White House also suggested that the benefits of Trump’s deregulatory actions saved Americans billions, increased access to more health insurance options, and did not amount to a “sabotage” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Unfortunately these savings are a result of Executive Orders, not legislative action. That means that the changes can theoretically be reversed by a future President. It would have been wonderful if Congress had stepped up to the plate and made the necessary changes.

The article concludes:

Many Americans have contended that because 80 percent of those who paid the Obamacare mandate made less than $50,000 a year, the individual mandate repeal serves as a significant middle-class tax break.

The CEA said about 87 percent of Obamacare exchange enrollees receive ACA subsidies and “only pay a fraction of their health insurance costs.”

Many Obamacare proponents suggested that the repeal of the individual mandate, as well as the expansion of short-term plans and AHPs, would lead to higher premiums on the Obamacare exchanges.

In contrast, the CEA contended that because more people will use AHPs and short-term plans and fewer people will use the ACA exchanges, the government will save $185 billion over the next ten years.

The CEA said that instead of sabotaging the ACA, the Trump administration offered millions of Americans more affordable health insurance options.

“The oft-expressed view that deregulation ‘sabotages the ACA’ by giving consumers more insurance-coverage options is misguided,” the CEA said.

The free market is always the best answer.

My, How Times Change

Remember when the Democrats told us that ObamaCare was not a step in the direction of government-controlled single-payer healthcare? Well, that statement is now inoperative.

The Washington Examiner reported the following yesterday:

House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., has asked the Congressional Budget Office to analyze the effects of shifting all healthcare costs onto the federal government, a first step toward the “Medicare for all” legislation sought by progressives.

…Yarmuth said in a statement that his request for the score is aimed to inform House hearings on “single payer,” proposals. Such hearings would be the first step in the process toward passing legislation enacting single payer systems, a top goal pursued by progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

The article concludes:

The study concluded that overall spending, not just government spending, would be $2 trillion less compared to where spending is projected under the current healthcare system, but that would come mostly through cutting payments that hospitals and other providers were getting from private insurance by about 40 percent. Higher taxes may be under consideration to have Medicare payments align more closely with those of private insurers.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., had asked CBO to score the Medicare for All Act introduced by Sanders. In taking up various requests, CBO analysts tend to focus on bills that are closer to passage.

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you have seen this quote before, but here it is again:

Milton Friedman, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

Britain has single-payer health care. In March 2017, The Daily Wire posted an article about the problems with the British health care system.

These are some of the highlights from the article:

“Pressure on all services is rising and care is increasingly being rationed. Waiting lists should not be rising, and yet they are,” said Mark Porter, council chair of the British Medical Association (BMA).

“Doctors always want to deliver the best possible care for our patients, but we can’t continuously plug gaps by penny pinching and poaching from elsewhere in an overstretched NHS.”

…A study conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine concluded that around 750 patients a month – one in 28 – pass away due to subpar quality of care, which includes “inattentive monitoring of the patient’s condition, doctors making the wrong diagnosis, or patients being prescribed the wrong medicine.” In other words, patients needlessly die as a result of the incompetence of the NHS.

For example, in January an elderly woman died from cardiac arrest after waiting 35 hours on a trolley because there was a shortage in hospital beds. A 73-year-old man also died from an aneurysm in the same hospital as he languished in the waiting room.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Note that single-payer health care is government-controlled. Do you really want the government controlling your health care?

Government Health Care Comes To New York City

The Daily Wire is reporting today that New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has announced that the city will begin a ‘universal’ health care program that will provide for health care for all uninsured New York City residents, “regardless of their ability to pay or their immigration status.”

The article reports:

ABC News reports that de Blasio’s new plan, NYC Care, isn’t exactly a “universal health care” plan, but rather a “guarantee” that the city will pay for preventative medical care for an estimated 600,000 who do not have insurance, but live within the boundaries of New York City.

Health care, De Blasio announced, is now a “right” for anyone who gets sick in NYC.

“We recognized that obviously health care is not just in theory a right,” de Blasio told media ahead of his announcement. “We have to make it in practice a right.”

“Health care is a human right. In this city we are going to make that a reality,” de Blasio repeated at a press conference on the expansion Tuesday morning.

The plan, which isn’t precisely a plan — details are scant on how the system will actually work — will cover everything from mental health services, to well visits, to maternity care for New Yorkers who choose to go without insurance, or who can’t afford even the basic, public insurance option that New York City already offers, and aren’t signed up for “Obamacare” options on the state exchange.

The article mentions Mayor De Blasio’s estimate of the cost:

As Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro pointed out on Twitter, de Blasio’s government estimates the plan will cost the city no more than $100 million per year — an amount that de Blasio says precludes having to raise taxes to cover the program. But the $100 million number assumes either that not all 600,000 uninsured individuals will need medical care, or that medical care will be provided at far below market value.

If anyone wants to start a pool on how long it is before New York City has to raise taxes to pay for this, I’m in. I wonder if this new service (and its cost) will speed up the exodus from New York.

Misplacing The Blame

For years the Republicans told us that if they controlled the House of Representatives and the Senate, they would repeal ObamaCare, defund Planned Parenthood, and build a border wall. We gave them the House and the Senate. Then they said they couldn’t do what they said because they didn’t have the Presidency. So we gave them the Presidency. We were so naive. When they knew their votes on these matters would not be vetoed, they broke the promises they made to the voters and voted against repealing, defunding, and building.

On Thursday Breitbart posted an article about some recent comments by Tucker Carlson.

The article reports:

Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in an interview Thursday that President Donald Trump has succeeded as a conversation starter but has failed to keep his most important campaign promises.

“His chief promises were that he would build the wall, de-fund Planned Parenthood, and repeal Obamacare, and he hasn’t done any of those things,” Carlson told Urs Gehriger of the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche.

“I’ve come to believe that Trump’s role is not as a conventional president who promises to get certain things achieved to the Congress and then does,” said Carlson, whose new book Ship of Fools is a New York Times bestseller.

I like Tucker Carlson. I enjoy his TV show, but I think he is totally wrong on this. Republicans in Congress also made these promises. They had the votes to keep all of these promises, pass the laws needed, and send the bills to President Trump for his signature. I don’t think the problem is President Trump. I think the problem is Republicans in Congress that have reneged on their promises because of the groups that are funding their campaigns. Opensecrets.org is the website that tracks campaign donations. If you want to know why we don’t have a border wall, look at the expenditures of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They are a group that likes the cheap labor of a porous border. The contribute heavily to Republican lawmakers. That is one reason there is no border wall. There won’t be as long as the Congressmen who receive money from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are in office. If you want to know why Planned Parenthood is still getting government money, look at the campaign donations they make. How much money is the healthcare lobby pouring into Congress? The problem is not President Trump.

Respecting The Wishes Of Pro-Life Americans

On Wednesday, Life News posted an article about some changes the Trump administration has made to ObamaCare health plans.

The article reports:

Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a new rule directing insurers selling Obamacare plans that cover elective abortion to collect a separate payment from enrollees for that coverage, as required by law. Under the Obama administration, insurers were allowed to collect these payments together in violation of clear statutory language.

In 2018, taxpayer-funded Obamacare insurance plans in 24 states and the District of Columbia are allowed to cover elective abortion with an embedded abortion surcharge. In 10 of those states more than 85 percent of Obamacare plans cover abortion on demand, including seven states where every single Obamacare plan for individuals and families covers elective abortion.

I don’t want to make abortion illegal–I want it available on the rare occasions it is medically necessary. However, I don’t want to be forced to pay for abortions that take place simply because a child is an inconvenience.

Because the Senate Republicans broke faith with the American people, we still have ObamaCare. Hopefully that will change in the near future.

The article concludes:

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias added, “We applaud President Trump and his administration for enforcing the law and seeking to uphold the principles of the Hyde Amendment to prevent the use of tax dollars to pay for abortion coverage.”

Another leading pro-life group praised the Trump administration for issuing the new rule.

“We thank President Trump and HHS Secretary Azar for enforcing the law and providing much-needed transparency about Obamacare’s abortion coverage,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, in remarks to LifeNews.

She added: “Obamacare was the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion on demand since Roe. Then, the Obama administration went even further by allowing insurers to ignore the plain language of the law that said an abortion surcharge had to be collected separately. Instead, the Obama administration allowed the “separate” abortion surcharge to be collected along with regular premiums, effectively defining ‘separate’ to mean ‘together.’ Thanks to this trickery, millions of Americans have unwittingly purchased plans without knowing about the hidden abortion surcharge. Consumers deserve to know how Obamacare pays for abortion so they can avoid having their hard-earned dollars used to fund the destruction of innocent lives. Congress must still act to eliminate abortion funding from Obamacare, but until then, the rule issued today is an important step in the right direction.”

The law preventing taxpayers from paying for abortion has been in place for years. Those in Washington need to follow that law.

A Few Observations From The Polls

I have visited my local voting place twice today. Don’t worry–I didn’t vote twice–my husband was handing out information, and I went to provide food and moral support. While I was there, I picked up some literature from the Democrats and investigated the talking points on their local website.

This is what I learned.

Their website states:

Democrats are standing up for the American Dream: an economy and government that works for everyone, not just the few.

Found on their Twitter page:

Hi kids, this is your Mom. Remember to vote on 11/6. If Trump cuts my Social Security and Medicare I’m moving in with you!

Both these statements are totally misleading.

The American Dream is more accessible to everyone under President Trump than it was under President Obama, a Democrat. According to a Western Journal article posted December 18, 2017:

The national unemployment rate for black Americans, ages 16 and over, is the lowest it has been in 17 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In November 2016, the unemployment rate for black people was at 8 percent, and in November 2017 that rate dropped to 7.3 percent — a percentage not seen since the months of September, October and November 2000.

As reported by CNS News, black unemployment rate during the Bush and Obama era’s fluctuated between 7 and 17 percent.

BLS data also shows that labor force participation among African-Americans rose from 61.9 percent in November 2016 to 62.2 percent in November 2017.

Unemployment rate for the Hispanic demographic fell from 5.7 percent to 4.7 percent — the lowest it’s been in 44 years, while the unemployment rate for whites and Asians hovered around 3 percent, roughly the same as one year prior.

About Social Security cuts–none of us can predict the future, but we can draw conclusions based on past behavior. This is the chart showing Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) to Social Security in recent years:

I know that it’s only a coincidence that one of the biggest increases in Social Security occurred in 2011, a year before the 2012 election.

As far as Medicare is concerned, the statements are also misleading. The Republicans are not the ones who have cut Medicare. Medicare funding was cut to fund ObamaCare. On August 13, 2012, Forbes Magazine reported:

You wouldn’t know it from listening to the Obama campaign, but there’s only one Presidential candidate in 2012 who has cut Medicare: Barack Obama, whose Affordable Care Act cuts Medicare by $716 billion from 2013-2022. Today, the Romney campaign reiterated its pledge to repeal Obamacare, and promised to “restore the funding to Medicare [and] ensure that no changes are made to the program for those 55 and older.”

If any of the above is news to you, you need to reconsider where you are getting your news. If you were already aware of the above information and voted Democrat, then it is obvious that facts will not get in the way of your opinion. Facts are such inconvenient things.

Misleading Voters In The Hope Of Winning Elections

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial on Friday about misleading claims about ObamaCare by Democrats running for office.

The editorial reports:

Democrats want health care to be a major deciding issue in the midterm elections and are spending a fortune running campaign ads. Too bad most of the ads make the false claim that Republicans would take away protections for pre-existing conditions.

From January to July, Democrats spent some $17 million for 56,000 health care ads on behalf of Senate candidates, according to USA Today.

The Wesleyan Media Project reported that 44% of all the ads for congressional Democrats focused on health care. In Senate races, half of the ads were on health care, and another 16% on prescription drug costs.

One of the claims in the ads is that Republicans want to deny insurance to those with pre-existing conditions. This is a scare tactic.

The editorial explains the Republican plan for dealing with those who have pre-existing conditions (The article notes that the individual market comprises just 7% of the total insurance market. And of those, only a much smaller fraction had ever been denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions before ObamaCare.):

One GOP idea was to create subsidized high-risk pools for those whose health needs would truly make them ineligible for coverage. Another was to provide protections for those who maintain continuous coverage. That would prevent people from gaming the system by waiting until they’re sick to buy insurance. (In contrast to ObamaCare, which encourages people to game the system.) Still another was to expand access to group coverage by removing needless government restrictions on “association health plans.”

Whatever anyone thinks of the Republican alternatives, it’s clear that ObamaCare’s approach is failing. Its rules and mandates led to double-digit price increases year after year, which have priced millions of families out of the insurance market altogether. (So much for guaranteed coverage.) Those who can afford ObamaCare coverage have no choice but to enroll in HMO-style plans with extremely high deductibles. (So much for making insurance “affordable.”)

The GOP proposals aren’t perfect, a point we made in this space many times. But ObamaCare as it exists today is a disaster. It promises affordable coverage, but makes it impossible for millions to get it. And it requires massive taxpayer subsidies to bring individual insurance within reach of anyone.

Unfortunately voters who are not well informed may believe the lies being told. Hopefully enough people have been negatively impacted by ObamaCare to see through this ploy.

Running Against Opponents Funded By Outside Sources

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, currently running for re-election.

The article reports:

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is one of three attorneys general in the country who knows his opponent this fall has the backing of California billionaire and political activist Tom Steyer, but told the Washington Free Beacon he believes his track record of focusing on local issues and the rule of law will be a better hand come November.

Steyer’s efforts on the national stage have been flashy. He has poured his resources into the “Need to Impeach” television campaign and pledged hundreds of millions to help Democrats retake the majority in the House of Representatives.

However, Steyer has not abandoned local politics, keeping an eye out for local races that interest him. In this instance, he is backing the Democratic nominee January Contreras, who has experience as a county and state prosecutor, but has never run for elected office until now.

“It’s been said that you can judge a person by their opponents, so I don’t know if I should take it as a badge of honor that a California billionaire with a radical-left agenda has decided to target me,” Brnovich told the Free Beacon in a recent one-on-one interview.

There are certain state offices that are vital to the Democrat’s agenda. For instance, a state Attorney General can decide not to report illegal aliens to immigration services. A state Attorney General can decide to look the other way regarding certain laws. A state Attorney General has the power to take the blindfold off of justice and corrupt the system of justice in a state. A Secretary of State is in charge of elections in most states. There is tremendous potential for mischief in that office.

Targeting certain state offices in not a new Democrat tactic. The video “Rocky Mountain Heist” (available at YouTube) explains how a group of wealthy men targeted certain key offices in Colorado and turned a red state blue.

I have embedded the video here because I am not sure how much longer it will be available at YouTube:

One example of how state politics can have a national impact. Ted Kennedy died in August 2009. His vote was needed to get ObamaCare past a Republican filibuster. During the time Mitt Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts legislature had passed a law saying that any Senate vacancy would be filled by a special election rather than by appointment of the Governor. Massachusetts law now requires a special election to be held on a Tuesday, no fewer than 145 days, nor more than 160 days from the date of office vacancy. When Ted Kennedy died, Governor Patrick (a Democrat) appointed the Executor of Ted Kennedy’s will to fill the vacancy temporarily. The special election was held in January–after the Senate had voted on ObamaCare. The reason that ObamaCare was passed through reconciliation rather than being voted on again in the Senate was that after Scott Brown won the election in Massachusetts, he would have been the vote that blocked ObamaCare. State politics make a difference nationally.

 

Those Nasty Unintended Consequences

On Monday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial detailing the impact of ObamaCare on doctors.

The editorial reports:

A year before ObamaCare became law, an IBD/TIPP Poll warned that it would lead to doctor shortages because many would quit or retire early. New evidence shows that our warnings were dead on.

A recent report from the Association of Medical Colleges projects doctor shortages of up to 121,300 within the next 12 years. That’s a 16% increase from their forecast just last year.

Not only are medical schools having trouble attracting doctors (New York University plans to offer free tuition to its med students), but current physicians are cutting back on patient visits, retiring early or switching careers.

An article in a recent issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings says that nearly one in five doctors plan to switch to part-time clinical hours, 27% plan to leave their current practice, and 9% plan to get an administrative job or switch careers entirely.

The editorial cites one possible reason for the declining number of doctors:

One of the big drivers of doctor exits, by the way, is the Obama administration’s “electronic health records” mandate, which was supposed to vastly improve the quality and efficiency of care.

It’s had the opposite effect. A Mayo Clinic survey found that the EHR mandate is reducing efficiency, increasing costs and paperwork hassles, and pushing more doctors to quit or retire early.

A Harris Poll found that 59% of doctors say the current EHR system foisted on them by the Obama administration needs “a complete overhaul,” and 40% say it imposes more challenges than benefits.

ObamaCare continued what had been a long and sorry trend in health care. Government-imposed rules designed to fix some problem in the system instead generated mountains of new administrative work.

The result has been that while the number of physicians in the country has climbed modestly over the past three decades, the number of health care administrators exploded.

This is an illustration of the consequences of government interference in the free market. The free market isn’t perfect, but it is the best way to keep prices down, innovation up, and industries (and professions) moving forward.

Good News For American Families

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about changes made to the current federal regulations regarding healthcare insurance.

The article reports:

Last Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced a finalized rule granting consumers greater access to affordable health insurance policies. Under the new rule, people will be allowed to purchase short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans for periods as long as 12 months. Currently, the maximum period allowed is only three months. Plans can be renewed after the 12-month period, but they cannot extend beyond 36 months.

Short-term health insurance plans are significantly cheaper than most Obamacare plans because they don’t include many of the costly essential health benefits mandated under federal law and because they are sold for a limited duration. These plans do not provide comprehensive coverage, but they are an excellent option for people who are relatively healthy but can’t afford to pay for an outrageously priced Obamacare plan.

This means that a family whose insured member is changing jobs or between jobs can get coverage at a reasonable price. The plans cannot extend for more than three years, but hopefully Congress will find its backbone and totally repeal ObamaCare by then.

The article further states that although premiums under ObamaCare have risen drastically, that is not the entire problem:

Premiums are not the most important cost to consider, however, because some people who purchase health plans through an Obamacare exchange receive large subsidies to help offset their plan’s high premiums. A much more important factor is the high cost of deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs. The average family enrolled in a Silver Plan will pay a maximum of $13,725 for out-of-pocket expenses, with Silver Plan deductibles increasing by 13 percent in just the past year alone.

Working families can’t afford to pay more than $13,000 to cover out-of-pocket expenses. In fact, health insurance this expensive is virtually useless.

The high costs associated with an Obamacare plan are a big reason why the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services predicts about 600,000 Americans will sign up for a new short-term health insurance plan next year. By 2022, CMS expects 1.6 million to be enrolled in a short-term plan.

The article concludes:

The healthcare system is failing, and has been for decades. Despite the promises made by former President Barack Obama and the congressional Democrats who passed Obamacare into law, the legislation has only made things worse. Congress needs to pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. But since that has yet to occur, the Trump administration is doing everything it can to help young people and working families gain affordable coverage. It’s great to finally have a presidential administration that’s truly committed to reducing health insurance costs rather than appeasing far-left activists in the Democratic Party.

True.

Not Really A Surprise

The American Spectator posted an article today that tells us everything we already knew about ObamaCare. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has just released a report about uninsured Americans.

The article reports:

Anyone with the intestinal fortitude to subject themselves to the legacy media will have seen countless “news” stories about the devastation wrought by President Trump’s “sabotage” of Obamacare. A typical headline appeared a couple of weeks ago in the Washington Post: “Americans are starting to suffer from Trump’s health-care sabotage.” This work of fiction claimed that the number of working-ageAmericans without health insurance had risen to 15.5 percent, a 3 point increase since 2016. But a report just released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), says the real number is 12.8 percent — exactly what it was in 2015.

…NBC recently reported that the total number of uninsured Americans rose by a preposterous 3.2 million in 2017. According to the CDC, however, “There was no significant change from the 2016 uninsured rate.” The percentage is, like the working age statistic, precisely what it was in 2015. NBC, parroting the Post, based its uninsured propaganda on an unreliable source.

There are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating ObamaCare. The first is that is was never about health insurance–it was about giving government control of a major sector of the American economy and a major sector of people’s lives. We have seeen how well socialized medicine works in Britain when a child isn’t even given a chance to leave the country to receive alternative medical care that could possibly save his life. ObamaCare was a planned failure that would lead to socialized medicine in America during the presidency of Hillary Clinton. We have dodged that bullet (at least temporarily).

The major change that occurred to ObamaCare this year was the end of government subsidies to insurance companies and changing rules for insurance pools to make it easier for people to get health insurance in various groups. The real answer to health insurance is the free market–let companies compete without being over-regulated and let people know how much they are actually paying for healthcare services. It would also help to end ObamaCare completely. In order to end ObamaCare completely, the Republicans would have to learn how to get their message out over the din of the mainstream media. They would also have to develop a spine.

The article concludes:

A multi-year study dubbed the “Oregon Health Experiment,” whose results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May of 2014, has demonstrated that health outcomes for Medicaid patients are no better than those enjoyed by the uninsured. Scott Gottlieb, the current Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, summarized various Medicaid studies in the Wall Street Journal and also concluded that being covered by Medicaid is demonstrably worse for your health than having no coverage at all.

The CDC report doesn’t weigh in on this issue, of course. It just attempts to show us where the uninsured rate was and where it is now. But that is damning enough. It not only shows that the projections originally touted for Obamacare were wildly off the mark — it was supposed to have brought the non-elderly uninsured rate down to 7.6 percent by 2016 — it demonstrates that the Democrats and their media co-conspirators have been lying about what the real uninsured numbers are as well as President Trump’s role in their mythical increase. Not that this is new. The Democrats and the media have been lying about Obamacare from day one.

As more Americans realize that the media has been lying to them from the beginning, we may have a chance to get rid of ObamaCare. Until then, we are stuck with it.

Democrats Really Don’t Want Diversity Of Opinion In Their Ranks

The Hill is reporting today that Representative Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) will be strongly challenged by Marie Newman, a candidate supported by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Representative Lipinski is pro-life, and the progressive Democrats want him removed from office.

The article reports:

But Lipinski, who has represented the Chicago-area district since 2005, has shored up support from both party leaders in Washington and the House Democrats’ campaign arm.

Lipinski, a co-chairman of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, is no stranger to primary challenges from the left. But now he faces his toughest reelection race to date, coming under fire for voting against marriage equality, ObamaCare and the DREAM Act in 2010.

Lipinski was also one of only six House Democrats who voted in 2013 for a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, a vote that’s inflamed pro-abortion rights activists who see Lipinski as out of step with his party on the issue.

Whoever earns the Democratic nomination on Tuesday will be all but certain to win the seat in November, since it’s a reliably blue district that Hillary Clinton carried by 15 points in 2016. And Republicans have disavowed their only candidate in the race: Arthur Jones, a white supremacist and Holocaust denier.

That has Democrats who support abortion rights wondering why the party needs to compromise by running an anti-abortion rights candidate, when any Democrat is practically guaranteed to carry the seat.

…Beyond Tuesday’s primary, progressives argue that other Democrats with voting records like Lipinski’s should expect major pushback at the ballot box.

There was a time when blue-dog Democrats were welcomed in the party. The recent special election in Pennsylvania showed that moderate Democrats can win elections. I wonder how successful radically-left candidates will be in the middle areas of the country.

Congress Needs A Babysitter

No wonder the federal deficit is out of control. Yesterday Judicial Watch sent out the following Press Release:

Obamacare Recruiters Get $1.2 Billion Under Proposed Law

A fraud-infested Obamacare “outreach” program will get an astounding $1.2 billion from American taxpayers if legislation introduced by a veteran congresswoman becomes law. The preposterous measure, introduced by California Democrat Maxine Waters a few week ago, aims to recruit customers for the health insurance exchanges set up under Obama’s disastrous healthcare overhaul. The 14-term congresswoman, investigated by the House Ethics Committee for steering federal funds to her husband’s failing Massachusetts bank, crafted the law because the Trump administration slashed Obamacare outreach funding by more than 90%.

“Our health care system is under attack by a president, administration, and Republican-controlled Congress that – after numerous failed attempts to repeal Obamacare – are sabotaging it for political gain,” Waters said in a statement. “My legislation seeks to reverse their vindictive efforts to undermine and de-stabilize our health care system by ensuring that all consumers are provided with the information they need to make timely and well-informed decisions when purchasing health coverage through the federal and state-run marketplaces.” The bill, Affordable Care Act (ACA) Outreach for the Uninsured, Transformative Recruitment, and Enrollment Action for Compassionate Healthcare (ACA OUTREACH) Act, is cosponsored by 36 other lawmakers. If it passes, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would dole out $300 million annually through 2021 for “navigator” grants. Minority and underserved communities would be especially targeted, according to language in the bill’s text.

The Obamacare navigator program was rife with fraud and corruption and Judicial Watch sued HHS back in 2014 to obtain records that the agency refused to provide under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In 2013, the Obama administration gave dozens of leftists organizations a whopping $67 million to help people “navigate” health insurance exchanges that weren’t even fully established. In a “culturally competent manner” the so-called navigators were tasked with helping people shop for and enroll in plans that would eventually be available on the federal government market places. The money was divided between 105 mostly leftist groups that assisted and recruited the uninsured to sign up for coverage and understand their options.

Here are a few examples of the community organizations that received navigator grants from the government; an Arizona nonprofit called “Campesinos Sin Fronteras” that provides services to farm workers and low-income Hispanics; a south Florida legal group that provided navigators in “racially, ethnically, linguistically, culturally and socioeconomically diverse” communities; three Planned Parenthood branches—in Iowa, Montana and New Hampshire—got a combined $655,000 to serve as navigators. Others include; the Arab Community Center in Michigan, which got nearly $300,000 to reach out to and engage uninsured community members through “multicultural” media. A Black Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina received north of $230,000 to “provide outreach around new coverage options” and a Hispanic aging group in Texas got over $646,000 help members that are “socially isolated due to cultural and linguistic differences.”

Some of the navigator money went to a labor front group called Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York headed by an illegal immigrant activist named Maria Marroquin. The group received navigator funds shortly after Marroquin, an illegal alien from Peru, had been arrested for participating in disruptive demonstrations protesting the deportation of fellow undocumented immigrants and demanding amnesty.

Besides the outrage of hiring an illegal immigrant to promote a U.S. government program, it’s equally disturbing to know that navigators have access to the sensitive personal information of healthcare enrollees. This includes Social Security numbers, which can be used for identity theft, a rampant crime among illegal alien populations seeking to establish residency and land jobs in the U.S.

Navigator funds also went to a nonprofit (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), with such a huge history of corruption that Congress issued a federal funding ban. As part of a broader investigation into ACORN Judicial Watch obtained records showing that HHS violated the congressional ACORN funding ban by awarding a Louisiana nonprofit called Southern United Neighborhoods (SUN) a $1.3 million Obamacare navigator grant to recruit customers. Headquartered in New Orleans, SUN is dedicated to combating poverty, discrimination and community deterioration that keep low-income people from taking advantage of their rights and opportunities, according to its website.

This is what Congress is doing with our money.

If It Walks Like A Duck And Quacks Like A Duck, It’s Probably A Duck

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today about the proposed plan to ‘stabilize’ the insurance market in ObamaCare. The Senate’s solution is to hand over a mere $14 billion to insurance companies.

The editorial reminds us:

The proposal, developed by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, would restore the roughly $7 billion in annual “cost sharing reduction” subsidies paid to insurance companies through 2019.

This money is meant to offset the cost of providing plans with reduced deductibles and co-payments to low-income families. Insurers say that without the subsidy payments, they’d have to hike insurance premiums on everyone in the ObamaCare exchanges even more.

ObamaCare required lawmakers to authorize the CSR payments each year, but they never did so. The Obama administration simply paid them out anyway. But last week, President Trump announced that he was cutting off these illegal subsidy payments. By doing so, he gave Republicans some leverage to force more changes to ObamaCare; they could offer to restore them, temporarily, if Democrats agreed to some significant changes to ObamaCare.

The “compromise” Senate plan worked up by Alexander and Murray squanders that leverage.

There are some things we need to keep in mind here. ObamaCare was never intended to be successful–it was supposed to fail after Hillary Clinton became President so that she could replace it with socialized medicine (single-payer healthcare). When Donald Trump got elected, that plan went out the window. So what are the alternative plans to reach the same result? The lunatic fringe on the left wants to impeach President Trump. Some of these delusional people think that would mean that Hillary Clinton would be President. The logic of that escapes me, but I can guarantee that there is a lunatic fringe that is thinking that way. Barring that, what else can the Democrats do to give us socialized medicine? They can refuse to end ObamaCare. They can keep pouring money into ObamaCare to keep it going until a Democrat can be elected President. They can resist any legislative move that actually improves it. It seems as if all three are being or have been attempted.

I for one am glad to know that we will not be pouring $14 billion into insurance companies. Get the government out of the insurance business, let the free market and the actuary tables take over, and forget the nightmare of ObamaCare.

This Is What Single-Payer Healthcare Looks Like In Real Life

The U.K. Telegraph posted an article today about plans for National Health Service policy in Britain.

The article reports:

The NHS (National Health Service) will ban patients from surgery indefinitely unless they lose weight or quit smoking, under controversial plans drawn up in Hertfordshire.

The restrictions – thought to be the most extreme yet to be introduced by health services – immediately came under attack from the Royal College of Surgeons.

Its vice president called for an “urgent rethink” of policies which he said were “discriminatory” and went against the fundamental principles of the NHS.

…In recent years, a number of areas have introduced delays for such patients – with some told operations will be put back for months, during which time they are expected to try to lose weight or stop smoking.

But the new rules, drawn up by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Hertfordshire, say that obese patients “will not get non-urgent surgery until they reduce their weight” at all, unless the circumstances are exceptional.

The criteria also mean smokers will only be referred for operations if they have stopped smoking for at least eight weeks, with such patients breathalysed before referral.

I realize that smoking and obesity are not good for your health, but should that disqualify you from needed healthcare? What about drinking soda, drinking alcohol, eating sweets? This is an example of rationed healthcare. It really doesn’t matter what the basis for the rationing is–it is still rationing. And if the concept of rationing is accepted, there is no reason why the basis can’t change on a whim. This is another reason why the free market rather than the government should be making healthcare decisions.

Dismantling ObamaCare One Rule At A Time

One of the mixed blessings about the way ObamaCare was passed was the fact that it was an unread law passed strictly along party lines (Democratic Party) and then filled in by Executive Order and orders from the Health and Human Services Department. Many of the mandates and other parts of ObamaCare were not written into the law, but came later. One of the advantages of that fact is that what was put in place by Executive Order can be taken away by Executive Order. Since the Republicans in Congress have broken their promise to the voters to repeal ObamaCare, President Trump is taking it apart piece by piece.

Today Red State posted an article showing the latest piece to go. The article included the following tweet by the President:

The article explains:

President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order later this week that would allow people to pool together and purchase group insurance plans, according to The New York Times.

Association health plans allow groups such as community organizations, churches or professional associations to purchase health plans together. Many insurance companies oppose this kind of pooled purchase, as they argue the plans take healthy patients out of the individual markets.

The executive order is the first step in President Trump’s plan to issue another directive that would allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, though it is still unclear if he has the authority to do so.

“I am considering an executive order on associations, and that will take care of a tremendous number of people with regard to health care,” President Trump said late September, according to The New York Times. “I’ll probably be signing a very major executive order where people can go out, cross state lines, do lots of things, and buy their own health care…It’s going to cover a lot of territory and a lot of people — millions of people.”

Letting the free market reign in health insurance is a giant step back to sanity. Health insurance companies are in business to make a profit, which they are entitled to, and they use actuary tables to calculate those projected profits. If you bring back competition, they will have to compete with each other in the area of pricing, and all Americans will benefit. This is a big step toward making health insurance affordable for everyone. The less the government is involved in health insurance and healthcare, the better it is for all of us.

Remember what Milton Friedman said:

If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.

Let’s get the government out of health insurance.

Cutting Federal Spending On ObamaCare

The rather feckless Republicans don’t seem to be able to get rid of ObamaCare, but President Trump is managing to clip its wings somewhat. Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial explaining one way President Trump is cutting ObamaCare spending.

The editorial reports:

In late August, the administration announced that it was sharply cutting the promotional budget for ObamaCare as well as money spent on “navigators” paid to help people enroll when open enrollment starts on November 1.

Both cuts were more than justified.

The Obama administration nearly doubled ObamaCare promotional spending in 2016 to more than $100 million, only to see overall enrollment decline by 400,000 and the number of new enrollees drop by 42%. This year, the Department of Health and Human Services is slashing the ad budget to $10 million.

The navigator program was an even bigger waste of money. HHS notes that the Obama administration dumped $62.5 million on navigators last year — who then managed to help fewer than 82,000 people enroll. That’s $762 per enrollee. One navigator got $200,000 and enrolled one person. HHS is cutting the navigator budget by almost 40%.

Not surprisingly, the cuts were treated by ObamaCare defenders as another effort by Trump to sabotage the law.

But then something interesting happened. The private sector mobilized to pick up the slack.

The Huffington Post reports that former Obama administration officials just launched a project — called Get America Covered — that has raised at least as much money from foundations and private groups as the feds were going spend. It’s also established “partnerships with businesses, state officials and local media that will help spread the word.”

When the government gets out of the way, good things happen.

The editorial concludes:

Why should taxpayers fork over hundreds of millions of dollars for dubious federal ad campaigns and to pay underworked navigators, when there are passionate people and plenty of money in the private sector to take on this job?

It’s a safe bet, too, that these privately run and privately funded groups are going to use their money more efficiently and effectively than the government ever could. Plus, they will be able to look with pride at their successes, rather than complain about how the government should do more.

Instead of attacking Trump, these groups should be thanking him for giving them the opportunity to take on this challenge.

As for the rest of us, this is a perfect example of how government programs can be cut without harming citizens. With any luck, there will be many more such examples in the years ahead.

Milton Friedman said it best–“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

Learning From The Mistakes Of Others

The debate on single-payer healthcare in America has been going on for a while. ObamaCare was designed to fail and be a step in the direction of single payer. So how well does single-payer healthcare work?

On September 8, 2016, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about nationalized healthcare in Britain. There were some serious warnings in the article about nationalized healthcare.

The article reported:

Before you embrace the idea (single-payer healthcare), you might want to look at what’s happening in Britain right now.

There, some hospitals are moving to ration care for those who are officially deemed obese — that is, anyone who has a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. Oh, and while they’re at it, they will also ration care for smokers, too.

Why? “To plug a funding black hole,” as the British Telegraph newspaper put it. Translation: Britain’s National Health Service faces such a serious financial crisis that it now has to deny care to some people, despite its claims of “universal care.” And who better to deny care for than two of the most despised groups in today’s modern society — those who are obese and smokers?

This new plan to bar overweight people and smokers from most surgery for up to a year is getting its first tryout in North Yorkshire. But, as Britain’s Royal College of Surgeons has warned, rationing will soon become the norm across Britain as the health care system deals with soaring costs and failing care delivery for its patients. And the impact will be broad: The Telegraph, working off population data, estimates more than half of Britain’s population will be considered obese in the coming decades.

The nightmare stories of bungled care and needlessly dying patients are already legion for the NHS, which is notorious for delivering substandard service to its patients.

The article explains the impact of ObamaCare on insurance companies:

The problem isn’t ObamaCare per se,” wrote Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor for the Clinton administration, in a blog post. “It lies in the structure of private markets for health insurance — which creates powerful incentives to avoid sick people and attract healthy ones. ObamaCare is just making this structural problem more obvious.”

This is a classic example of blaming the victim for your own crimes. Aetna takes a hit of nearly half a billion dollars from a system Reich’s leftist pals in the Democratic Party created, and then Reich blames insurers for greed.

The Democrats who wrote the ObamaCare law knew they would be destroying the private market for health care. But they don’t care. And they don’t care to learn from others, like Britain’s National Health Service, that have already gone down this dangerous path.

Americans would be very wise to heed Britain’s warning, and just say no to single-payer.

Good advice.