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Friday, February 14, 2014

Obamacare: Eugene Robinson ("The GOP’s Health Crisis") Vs. Kathleen Parker ("The Poetry of Bad News Around Obamacare")

Are you looking for an example of egregious liberal wishful thinking at The Washington Post? You need go no further than Eugene Washington's latest WaPo opinion piece entitled "The GOP’s health crisis" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-the-gops-health-crisis/2014/02/13/09c6a2c4-94f9-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html), where we are told that a WaPo news report entitled "Health insurance enrollment on target in January" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/health-insurance-enrollment-on-target-in-january/2014/02/12/8162eb3e-9400-11e3-b46a-5a3d0d2130da_story.html) by Amy Goldstein supports the premise:

"The Republican Party’s worst nightmare is coming true. Obamacare is working."

Hold your horses, Eugene! Did you actually take the time to read Ms. Goldstein's article, which informs us:

"In issuing the latest report, the government’s top health official and several aides said they did not yet have data to answer two critical questions: Of the people who have signed up, how many have paid their first premium so that they actually have coverage? And how many of them previously lacked insurance, as opposed to having simply switched insurance plans?

Nonetheless, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called the numbers 'very, very encouraging news,' and she said, 'We are seeing a healthy growth in enrollment.'

Sebelius and the report focused attention on a slight increase in the proportion of young adults signing up for coverage — a part of the population whose participation is widely considered essential to keeping the marketplaces working well, because they tend to be healthy and, thus, inexpensive to insure.

Of the people who selected a health plan last month, 27 percent were between the ages of 18 and 34 — the group considered young adults — compared with 24 percent for the previous three months combined. Both figures are substantially less than 40 percent, the level that research has suggested is desirable to help health plans sold through the exchanges keep their prices stable.

Although January was the first month that enrollment exceeded federal predictions, the number of people who signed up was lower than in December."

Goldstein's article is the basis for Robinson's cheer? Surely, he must have been thinking of some other article.

Meanwhile, Kathleen Parker is also weighing in on Obamacare this weekend. In a WaPo opinion piece entitled "The poetry of bad news around Obamacare" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kathleen-parker-the-poetry-of-bad-news-around-obamacare/2014/02/14/15aa9b3c-95c5-11e3-8461-8a24c7bf0653_story.html?hpid=z4), Parker cogently concludes:

"In the meantime, what the economy needs least is a federal program that prompts lower- and middle-class workers to drop out of the workforce. This is in addition to the many who are losing their jobs involuntarily or having their hours cut by their employers who want to avoid the mandate to buy insurance or the fine for failing to do so.

Again, this is a simple matter of incentives and survival, which President Obama seems to have recognized in postponing the mandate for midsize businesses until 2016. Or perhaps he is trying to head off another health-care controversy before the midterm elections? Shucks, do you suppose?

Add to the above the CBO’s report in May that 31 million people will not have health insurance in 2023.

Any one of these things would be bad news. Combined, they boggle the well-ordered mind. If I may invoke our Fairy Godmother again, Pelosi was the most honest of all when she warned us that 'We have to pass the bill [Obamacare] so that you can find out what is in it.'

Today, knowing what we know, we are left with what we used to call a million-dollar question, though it is much more expensive now: How does one defend spending $1.2  trillion for a health-care overhaul that disincentivizes people to work and that leaves us with 31 million uninsured?

One writes poetry."

So, do you believe Robinson or Parker? I know on whom I'm placing my bet.

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