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Friday, August 19, 2016

Paul Krugman, "Obamacare Hits a Bump": How About Falls Into a Sinkhole?

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Obamacare Hits a Bump," Paul Krugman begins:

"More than two and a half years have gone by since the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, went fully into effect. Most of the news about health reform since then has been good, defying the dire predictions of right-wing doomsayers. But this week has brought some genuine bad news: The giant insurer Aetna announced that it would be pulling out of many of the 'exchanges,' the special insurance markets the law established."

Whoa, Aetna is the only bad news? As reported by Javier E. David in an August 6, 2016 CNBC article entitled "Obamacare users in New York brace for double-digit 2017 premium hikes":

"Come 2017, thousands of New York's Obamacare users will wake up to double-digit premium hikes, the latest group of consumers affected by Affordable Care Act cost increases as insurers hemorrhage money from healthcare exchanges.

In a statement on Friday announcing 2017 premiums, NY's Department of Financial Services (DFS) said after weighing insurer requests, the state settled on an average hike of 16.6 percent for individual exchange users in the state, while small group users will see a lower average increase of over 8 percent."

This comes on the heels of a July 19, 2016 Los Angeles Times article entitled "California Obamacare rates to rise 13% in 2017, more than three times the increase of last two years" by Melody Petersen and Noam N. Levey.

Problems only in New York and California? I don't think so. As we are told by Sally C. Pipes and Thomas W. Smith in an August 17, 2016 CNBC piece entitled "Aetna's Obamacare pullout means the 'insurance death spiral' has arrived":

"Insurers that haven't pulled out of Obamacare are requesting premium hikes averaging 24 percent next year. And some states have it far worse. Many Georgians could see a hike of 65 percent. The 600,000 Texans enrolled in Blue Cross Blue Shield may face a 59 percent premium increase."

Krugman goes on to say in his opinion piece:

"This doesn’t mean that the reform is about to collapse. But some real problems are cropping up. They’re problems that would be relatively easy to fix in a normal political system, one in which parties can compromise to make government work. But they won’t get resolved if we elect a clueless president (although he’d turn to terrific people, the best people, for advice, believe me. Not.). And they’ll be difficult to resolve even with a knowledgeable, competent president if she faces scorched-earth opposition from a hostile Congress."

Ah yes, a "knowledgeable" and "competent" Hillary, who has suddenly decided that the Clinton Foundation will no longer accept foreign and corporate donations if she is elected president.

Got it: It was okay for the Clinton Foundation to receive foreign and corporate donations while she was secretary of state, and it is okay for the Clinton Foundation to receive donations while she is a candidate for president, but these donations will no longer be accepted after January 20, 2017.

Or stated otherwise, if foreign governments and corporations wish to influence the executive branch of America's government after Hillary's election, they had best make their donations NOW.



  1. In other obscene profit-seeking news:

    "...NBC News reported this week that the pharmaceutical company, Mylan has been accused of increasing EpiPen costs by more than 400 percent over the past eight years. EpiPens are portable devices in the shape of a pen that are used to inject epinephrine into the body of someone having an allergic reaction. In 2008, an EpiPen cost roughly $100, but the price has risen to $500 for an EpiPen today. And due to the fact that Mylan’s major competitor had a recall last year, Mylan has significant control over the market. ..."

    The real problem in American medical care is the dysfunctional way doctors are trained: mostly to write prescriptions, and learn tens of thousands of Federally dictated "diagnosis codes".

    When Krugman writes: "...problems that would be relatively easy to fix in a normal political system, one in which parties can compromise to make government work. ...", he misses the point that The GOP has too many doctors as Senators for the Democratic Party lawyers to cope with. Since 2007, when Dems got their short-lived majorities, every attempt by all those lawyers to legislate medical care has made it worse.

    No one seems to remember that the first failure of the ACA was in Long Term Care.
    “Healthcare Reform Revisited: HHS Pulls Plug on CLASS Act by Jim O'Connell Wed Oct 19, 2011 Even the most ardent supporters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), last year’s landmark healthcare reform law, acknowledge that it’s not perfect—indeed, that changes will be needed to correct defects that become apparent over time.A good example came last week, when Kathleen Sibelius, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, pulled the plug on the so-called CLASS Act, the section of PPACA that would have created a new federal government long-term care insurance program.
    The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act (CLASS) was added to the healthcare reform legislation as it made its way through Congress in 2009. Controversial from the start, the program envisioned a vast structure in which employers would voluntarily enroll employees in payroll deduction plans to pay premiums for future long term care coverage. Employees could opt-out within a certain period of time after enrollment. …”

    Immediately after then HHS Sec Sibelius cancelled that section, my LTC insurance (the ONLY portable benefit I ever had), premium jumped 60%. Guess I should be grateful because I am going to need it in the absence of access to medical care since 2013 due to malicious emed-file tampering by doctors. So many codes, why not lie and hope the pesky patient with a disintegrating cervical spine disappears.

    After four years of asking, one neck X-ray is all I got, only after losing an inch in height. The specialist saw my e-file (and me) in 2015, and refused to acknowledge the existence of the X-ray.

    Still in trauma from that doctor’s lies. My neck still disintegrating…but I do not need an EpiPen…

  2. and, in other news from Australia, where they still recognize what is news:

    12:00AM August 20, 2016

    "Russia is pressing Turkey for ­access to a key airbase used by the US as it tries to extend its ­influence in the Middle East.

    The American-built Incirlik base, about 100km from the ­Syrian border, is used by NATO and has about 50 US tactical ­nuclear warheads stored on site.

    A senior Russian politician said allowing Russian jets and bombers to use it would be a “logical continuation” of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s efforts to rebuild Turkey’s relations with the Kremlin.

    “It just remains to come to an agreement with Erdogan that we get the NATO base Incirlik as our primary airbase,” said Igor Morozov, a member of the Senate committee on international affairs.

    This would allow the Russian air force to subject Islamic State and other jihadist groups to “constant bombing” and bring the war to a quicker conclusion, he said.

    “You’ll see, the next base will be Incirlik,” he told Izvestia after the Kremlin revealed this week its bombers had started using a base in Iran to launch attacks in Syria. ..."

    Well then.
    Everyone have a relaxing weekend. Play some golf,
    find that reset button.


  3. Hillary also stated that she would resign from the board of the foundation,if elected.Does she see the populace as that stupid or naive,not to think that she would still be pulling the strings via her proxies and puppets?