It’s the Economy, Stupid


The latest polls show that just under half of the public sees the economy as the number one issue in the country. Some leftwing pundits are trying to seize on that as proof that Obamacare will fade as an issue as the election draws near.

Sure. Obamacare has had no effect on anyone’s having hours cut back to less than 30 per week. It’s had no effect on any small business deciding not to hire a 50th employee. And no one has had to replace the healthcare they liked with something more expensive. Or drop coverage because it was no longer affordable. Yep. Those definitely aren’t economic issues.

Let it burn.

Obamacare Website Security NOT


Reuters is reporting that the government has failed to implement critical security fixes on the healthcare dot gov website.

David Kennedy, head of computer security consulting firm TrustedSec LLC, told Reuters that the government has yet to plug more than 20 vulnerabilities that he and other security experts reported to the government shortly after HealthCare.gov went live on October 1.

Hackers could steal personal information, modify data or attack the personal computers of the website’s users, he said. They could also damage the infrastructure of the site, according to Kennedy, who is scheduled to describe his security concerns in testimony on Thursday before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Read the whole thing, and let it burn.

Walmart or Obamacare?


The Washington Examiner has a post up comparing the heath plans offered by Walmart to its employees to what’s available under Obamacare. A Walmart employee gets a much better deal.

Both plans require high deductibles, but Walmart’s is less than half Obamacare’s, and the difference between premiums and services offered is staggering. Under the Walmart plan, a family of four pays $160 a month compared to around $1,000 for Obamacare. That cheaper premium buys access to hospitals like the Mayo Clinic or the Cleveland Clinic that don’t participate in Obamacare. It buys access to specialists who don’t participate in Obamacare. For example, in the Chicago there are 28 hospitals who will take Obamacare patients and 54 who accept the Walmart plan; there are just under 10,000 doctors available under Obamacare and over 24,000 who work with the Walmart plan.

Remember, the promise was better services at lower cost.

Let it burn.

Having a Baby on Obamacare


The pregnancy and delivery seem to be covered, but the new child isn’t. The insurance company is supposed to add the child to the policy, but …

Your family is now larger, so your premium goes up. But your subsidy might go up also. You’ll have to report the change to the government, but the system isn’t set up to process such changes.

Oh, if you move to another state or county, everything may change too. But the system isn’t set up to process changes.

Changing jobs? You’ll need to report that too, but the system isn’t set up to process changes.

Lost your job and now on unemployment? You’ll need to report that, but …

Let it burn.

Last Year’s Top Medical Stories


Here are the two top medical stories that Hogewash! talked about in 2013—

2. The Obamacare Website Will Be Managed by a Microsoft Executive What could go wrong? (20 December)

Your Healthcare Personal Assistant

Obamacare_Clippy.001Sigh.

1. Globalpharma Dot Biz Goes Dark The website on an overseas server that supported several websites associated with Brett Kimberlin and that offered commonly abused prescription drugs such as Ambien without a prescription closed down after a series of posts on Hogewash!. (18 October)

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

The Gentle Readers who have been following The Saga of The Dread Pirate Kimberlin lo these many months may remember posts about a website called globalpharma dot biz. This was a site for a company that appeared to have a physical presence in Arizona but whose website was hosted in Holland on the same server as the Kimberlin-related off-shore sites. It’s name server was unmaskedhosting dot com, a domain apparently owned or controlled by Brett Kimberlin. globalpharma dot biz offered to sell me Schedule IV prescription drugs for sale with no prescriptions required.

When I checked yesterday afternoon, the website was missing.globalpharma_miaA bit of digging turned up this interesting information about the domain’s name server history.

globalphama_ns

Change of ownership?

Hmmmmm.

UPDATE—Here’s a couple of interesting thoughts that popped up while reviewing The Dread Pirate Kimberlin’s RICO suit against me. Neither it nor the state lawsuit he has filed mention any of my writing about globalpharma dot biz.

Also, there’s an interesting coincidence in the timing of globalpharma dot biz going dark. It happened around the time the RICO suit was being drafted and filed. I wonder if a review of 18 USC 1961 had anything to do with the site going down?

As used in this chapter—

(1) “racketeering activity” means (A) any act or threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act), which is chargeable under State law and punishable by imprisonment for more than one year; … (D) any offense involving fraud connected with a case under title 11 (except a case under section 157 of this title), fraud in the sale of securities, or the felonious manufacture, importation, receiving, concealment, buying, selling, or otherwise dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act), punishable under any law of the United States …

HHS, Obamacare, and PR


James Taranto takes note of the Department of Health and Human Services discovering that it has a PR problem and that its internal staff can’t seem to keep the big bosses informed about what the public is saying about them.

So the agency that presumes to control your medical care isn’t even competent enough to read the newspapers and summarize their content–and they’re turning to the private sector for help. Oh well, it could be worse. With this crowd, it’s a wonder they’re not calling on Congress to enact “comprehensive media reform.”

Let it burn.

Schadenfreude


More rubes self-identify.

Money quote:

It is not lost on many of the professionals that they are exactly the sort of people — liberal, concerned with social justice — who supported the Obama health plan in the first place. Ms. Meinwald, the lawyer, said she was a lifelong Democrat who still supported better health care for all, but had she known what was in store for her, she would have voted for Mitt Romney.

Let it burn.

TANSTAASFL!


That’s the First Law of Thermodynamics—There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!

Of late, I’m seeing more references to the Obama Administration as “lawless,” and it certainly has a record of disobeying its own signature law as it tries to implement Obamacare. But no matter how hard they try to bend or break the fundamental Laws of Nature, there ain’t no such thing as free healthcare either.

Someone has to pay: hence, the various redistributive schemes to try to finance the program. Jonathan Cohn has a piece over at TNR titled Yes, Obamacare is Redistribution—But Republicans Are Wrong About Who Pays. He tries to show how the money to fund the scheme (more than $2 trillion over the next decade) will be raised. Most of the sources make little real-world economic sense. For example, Medicare providers will summarily be short-changed $415 billion on their compensation for the goods and service they provide. The logic behind this is that it gives providers with an incentive to become more efficient by being paid less rather than deciding to get a better paying job or start a more profitable business. Yeah, that’ll work.

The truly stupid ideas in the Obamacare financing scheme are the fees to be imposed on the healthcare industry such as the medical device tax. This adds a violation of Second Law of Thermodynamics which says that every system operates with some increase in entropy. The $165 billion dollars of increased cost to the system will never be recovered when the real world results of the program are viewed as a whole. Even an economy as large as ours won’t be able to hide the loss.

If your think healthcare is expensive now, just wait till it’s “free.”

Let it burn.

Potemkin Healthcare


Potemkin Websites All The Way Down is the headline on Ed Driscoll’s post at PJ Media about the Obamacare IT disaster.

I’m not sure that’s accurate. If enough layers are shoveled away, we may find something more like the Battleship Potemkin with a crew that refuses to eat the rotten meat.

Let it burn.

About That Deadline …


Healthcare_gov_MacOSXAs of 9 pm ET on 30 November, the day that the Obamacare website was supposed to be “fixed,” the healthcare dot gov site says that it does not support the current version of Mac OSX.

Of course, OS 10.9 has only been in public release for five weeks, but incremental developer releases have been available for testing since June.

It’s interesting that the site claims to support Windows XP which was withdrawn from sale in 2009 and for which Microsoft will end support early next year, but says nothing about support for iOS (iPhone/Pad) or Android systems. I wonder what percentage of users under 30 years old will try to access the site with a mobile device?

Let it burn.

Obamacare 0.997


The version of Obamacare that was rolled out on 1 October was clearly not ready for prime time. It wasn’t even ready for beta release. It was simply a failure.

Good engineers design for failure. That’s not to say that we (I’m an engineer) design products to fail, but we know that they will. That’s why the load panel in your house has circuit breakers. In the real world, failure is always an option, and it becomes exponentially more likely when a project is managed by someone who doesn’t understand the endeavor’s practical constraints. Clay Shirky offers an analysis of the probable managerially-driven problems with Obamacare here.

Recently, much has been made about the Administration’s ignoring the law when dealing with Obamacare and any possible workarounds for its present problems, and it’s true that those responsible for the current mess have acted lawlessly. However, the law that will do the project in was not passed by Congress. It stems from a higher authority. Those who ignore it are fools.

If anything can go wrong, it will.

—Murphy

Let it burn.

UPDATE—This insightful observation is also on point:

Everything the government touches turns to crap.

—Ringo Starr

Nothing to See Here, Move Along


I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

Many people who have healthcare through policies bought through an employer or a union have been granted waivers allowing them to keep those policies through 2014. After this year’s experience with enrollment in Obamacare, the signup period next year has been delayed. It will begin after election day.

Draft Speech?


This was supposedly found unshredded in a dumpster near the White House—

For use Nov 19 2013:

Two score and nine days ago your betters brought forth on this continent a new healthcare, conceived in secret, and dedicated to the proposition that all men should suffer equally.

Now were are engaged in a great civil discourse, testing whether that healthcare, or any healthcare so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that discourse. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for the plans of those who here gave up their plans that this healthcare might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not hallow those plans. The brave bureaucrats, federal and state, have done them in far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember the excuses offered here, but can never forget what they did here. It is for us the Progressives, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who pushed paper here have thus far so ineptly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these killed-off plans we take increased devotion to that cause for which we have such great desire—that we highly resolve that mere bureaucratic snafus shall not have been made in vain—that this nation shall have new birth of regulation—and that government of the people, by their betters, for their betters, shall not perish from the earth.