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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

David Brooks, "The Incredible Shrinking Obamacare": Only Half the Story

Will Obamacare comprise a part of President Obama's legacy? No, unless that legacy is deemed to consist of impotence (Syria), appeasement (Iran), and half-baked notions of governance costing the US trillions of dollars (Obamacare). Now even David Brooks, in his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Incredible Shrinking Obamacare," is referring to a possible Obamacare "death spiral." Brooks writes:

"Only about 12 million people are in exchanges. More important, the exchanges are attracting sicker, poorer people, who drain money, and are not attracting the healthier people who pour money in.

Many insurers are suffering catastrophic losses and pulling out. As James Capretta of the American Enterprise Institute has noted, Aetna has lost $430 million since January 2014 on insurance plans sold through Obamacare and is withdrawing from 11 of its 15 states. United Healthcare has lost $1.3 billion on the exchanges and will cut its participation to three states from 34.

That means less coverage; 24 million Americans still lack health insurance. That means less competition. Before too long, a third of the exchanges will have just one insurer in them. That also means higher premiums. Blue Cross Blue Shield has requested a 62 percent increase for next year in Tennessee and an average 65 percent increase in Arizona. Some experts put the national requested increase at 23 percent.

. . . .

The next president will have to deal with all this, especially if the exchanges go into a death spiral, even though the subject has been basically ignored in the campaign."

And what happens if the exchanges go into a death spiral? Who steps in? At what cost? And what will this do to America's expanding budget deficit, which recently reached its highest level in two years? How much will this add to America's burgeoning national debt?

It's not just Obamacare that is facing a death spiral.

Is either Hillary or Donald equipped to pull the US economy out of its dive? Good luck with that.


  1. someday, someone besides Joel Kotkin (and me) will read the Party Platforms and discover the Democrats really do want to make climate change - no more hydrocarbons- have fewer children - redistribute the finite pie - an economic policy that will certainly mean the elderly must have assisted suicide benefits in Medicare for all.

    Contrast that dismal future with the GOP Party Platform in 2016.

    100 million workers no longer looking for work, 100 million registered voters who did not vote in 2012, good thing the teachers unions own the Democratic Party - no homework, no history, no civics, everyone become a lawyer to write ever more regulations. except you will not have learned how to sign anything since no one teaches cursive handwriting.

    Big Lies Matter.

  2. What Mr. Brooks can not publish in the NYT about 'Obamacare'
    Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion reduced employment in the many states that participated in it, according to a recent study by Georgetown University’s Tomas Wind, who found “a significant negative relationship between Medicaid expansion and labor force participation, in which expanding Medicaid is associated with 1.5 to 3 percentage point drop in labor force participation.” ...[more about the disincentives to income]

    [connect the dots between 'Obamacare' disincentives and the Democratic Party platform against hydrocarbons, especially from Federal lands] :

    "...Clinton is a huge fan of the Paris agreement and she sees it as a way drive a green energy economy forward. Lurching to the left, Clinton wants renewable energy to produce 33 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2027.

    Solar power shines brightly in her plan with a goal of installing a half-billion solar panels by 2020 which translates to solar power for at least 25 million homes.

    Essentially, Clinton is backing the Democrat all-out-war against fossil fuels with a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent from 2005 by 2050.

    Putting the U.S. on a huge carbon dioxide crash diet comes with a huge price tag costing up to $5.28 trillion over 30 years.

    In contrast, Donald Trump promises a pro-growth energy policy that makes use of the carbon-rich energy resources in the U.S. Trump plans to open up federal lands to natural resource development, reduce regulations on coal and fracking and “cancel” the Paris climate change agreement.

    Trump’s pro-growth energy plan will contribute to economic growth. According to a study by the Institute for Energy Research, allowing energy development on federal lands would result in a huge boost to the economy including increasing GDP $663 billion annually for the next 30 years and generating $3.9 trillion and $1.9 trillion in federal tax revenue and state and local tax revenue, respectively. ..."

    from May 26, 2016 Trump speech:

    Will the NYT ever have one moment of truthinessdotconnecting?