Friday, May 16

Update on how the Affordable Care Act has helped everyone--at least those who got billion-dollar contracts

Does anyone remember the main argument used by Obama and the Democrats to pass the laughably-named "Affordable Care Act"?

It was that "we" had to pass it in order to provide health insurance for the millions of poor folks who couldn't afford it.  The figure most often quoted for the size of this group was 30 million people.

The only way to make this happen, said the Dems, was to have the new law command insurance companies to cancel health policies that people were happy with, and make them buy far less expensive more expensive, higher-deductible policies.  The extra premiums paid on these policies would enable the government to offer subsidies or "free" insurance to the poor.

Super!  But how do you order companies to cancel good policies?  Easy!  They simply included a provision  saying that after January 1st it would be illegal to offer health-insurance policies unless they include pregnancy care for men and free birth control for 60-year-old women!

Since no sane customer would buy insurance with such provisions, that would automatically void virtually every health insurance policy in the country.  Bingo!  Problem solved.

Then lie about how many people have signed up.  "We don't have the figures," said Jay Carney.  Bullshit, and everyone knew it but no reporter pressed the point.

Fast-forward:  Team Obama now claims 8 million Americans have signed up.  (They won't say how many of these are illegal aliens, who were supposedly not to be covered but who have apparently been the focus of signup efforts in California.)  Of these millions, surveys show that roughly 6.5 million had health insurance before the act was passed.  That leaves about 1.5 million--maybe as many as 1.8 million--who now have insurance but didn't have it previously.

Now consider:  All this cost was $50 billion or so in federal spending in the first three years.  Also, a handful of state-run exchange websites—which cost nearly half a billion dollars to build—still don’t work nearly seven months after they first went live.

Largely inoperable state exchange websites in Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon and Nevada have racked up $474 million federal tax dollars so far, Politico first reported.  And their costs will continue to climb as states scramble to salvage their non-working websites or transition onto the federal exchange.

Maryland will spend an additional $40 million to save its website, which has already cost $90 million. Nevada has spent $50 million to date and will decide in the coming weeks how much more it will spend on repair efforts. Massachusetts will pour an additional $121 million into fixing its severely troubled state portal, while also using the federal portal as a back up plan.

But the prize for wasting money--at least at the state level--goes to Oregon:  that state’s website, which already cost $259 million, is so bad that the state has opted to junk it entirely and spend an extra $5 million to use Healthcare.gov instead.

But hey, if you look at the 1.8 million people who got "free" health insurance--got that?  FREE!--it was all worth it, eh?

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