Trump Obeys Constitution—Democrats Hardest Hit

The Constitution specifically forbids the spending of any money from the Treasury of the United States unless the expenditure is authorized by a law passed by Congress. Congress has never authorized any Obamacare subsides, and a federal court has ruled them unconstitutional. President Trump has ordered that no further unconstitutional payments be made. The whining by the Democrats in Congress and with media bylines is interesting to watch.

The President sure is unpredictable. Why, the next thing you know, the President might do something like start acting as if treaties have to be ratified by the Senate.

Maryland’s Obamacare Co-op Exits the Exchange

The Washington Free Beacon reports that Evergreen Health Cooperative will exit the Maryland Obamacare Exchange. However, it isn’t going out of business.

While Evergreen Health will no longer offer plans on the Affordable Care Act exchange market, the company will continue to operate off the exchanges as it converts to a for-profit entity.

Twenty-three Obamacare co-ops were founded. Only five remain offering individual plans through the Obamacare exchanges, and at least three are losing money. Given that failure was a designed-in feature of the program, I wonder what the other two are doing wrong.

New! Improved! (Higher Prices!)

Investors Business Daily reports that enrollment in Obamacare health plans is shrinking as double-digit rate increases loom for 2016.

Obamacare is an example of politicians trying to repeal or amend laws over which they have no control, in this case, the Law of Supply and Demand and the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. Pi can’t be legislated to be 3 exactly, and there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Or free heath care.

Thermodynamics and Health Care

Megan McArdle has a post up on Sticker Shock for Some Obamacare Customers. Now that real world cost data is available, insurers are asking for rates that allow them to at least break even on Obamacare coverage. Maryland’s largest insurer is asking for a 30 percent increase.

It’s a basic principle of Thermodynamics that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. That applies to health care too.

That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

Running Out of Other Peoples’ Money

At the end of 2016, the unaffordable Affordable Care Act requires that the state-run Obamacare exchanges operate without any federals subsidy. The Hill reports that states are now trying to find ways to keep the schemes solvent.

A number of states are quietly considering merging their healthcare exchanges under ObamaCare amid big questions about their cost and viability.

Many of the 13 state-run ObamaCare exchanges are worried about how they’ll survive once federal dollars supporting them run dry next year.

Read the whole thing.

How the Government Saves Us Money

As a part of the $2,500 a year that Obamacare was supposedly going to save each family, the “Affordable Care Act” mandates that all Americans have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. In 2014, the penalties were 1% of your household income or $95 per person—whichever was greater. In 2015, those penalties ramp up significantly to 2% of total household income, or $325 per person.

If You Like Your Plan, We May Change It

It’s always interesting to see what documents get dumped on a Friday afternoon. Yesterday, the dump included 30,000 “found” Lois Lerner emails and 300 pages of proposed Obamacare regulations. One of the proposed changes would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to move you to the cheapest plan in your coverage tier if you didn’t specifically reenroll in your current plan during open enrollment.

Of course, you could wind up with a plan that doesn’t provide reasonable access to a key service you need or that excludes the team of doctors treating your current condition, but don’t worry. Our betters really know what’s good for us.

Organizational Incompetence

There’s a bit of a buzz about a significant portion of the crowd walking out on a speech by Barack Obama yesterday. While people walking out on the President of the United States is, and should be, news, it may not be the important part of the story.

The event where the President spoke was a campaign rally for Anthony Brown, the Democrats’ candidate for governor of Maryland. Last night, I happened to meet a young person who had been a volunteer campaign worker at the rally. The event had been disorganized, and the level of mismanagement soured that volunteer on politics. The volunteer bitterly expressed a desire not to get involved again.

Given that one of the main campaign issues that Brown faces is his mismanagement of Maryland’s disastrous rollout of its Obamacare website, a disorganized high-profile campaign event reinforces the impression that Brown is a lightweight bumbler.

In a couple of weeks, we will find out if that will be enough to overcome the Democrats’ registration advantage in Baltimore, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and their cemeteries.

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 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


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.


Change of ownership?


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 …

Pajama Boy

In a lame attempt to promote Obamacare, Organizing for Action gave us this wonderful bit of nonsense to satirize—pajamaboyIt didn’t take long for the revised versions to hit the Interwebz. Even I had one.pajamaboy_fail

In one sense, Pajama Boy is a natural extension of the story arc that the Obama Campaign/Administration has been trying to sell. He’s a male counterpart to Julia.

Look at the poor schlub. He’s in his 20s. He looks like a hipster wannabe who is stuck in perpetual adolescence. Julia needed help from the government to make through her life. Pajama Boy needs help buying health insurance. Neither is a symbol of adult self-reliance.

Someone fairly well up the food chain at Organizing for Action approved the Pajama Boy ads. What does that say about that person’s and/or that organization’s understanding of the challenges real world Americans face every day?

And, yes, I typed this blog post while wearing my pajamas.

UPDATE—Stacy McCain has a few choice comments.

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.