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abnormal

wage zombie wrote:

It looks like rather than being a job killer, Obamacare is a job creator.  

Love to know how you come to that conclusion.  What exactly have you been smoking?

abnormal

wage zombie wrote:

DaveW wrote:

good point,

the naysayers here are like weak poker players, as they got nothing to play... except illusions of large Congressional majorities for their favoured systems

Yep, they trot out the stories about how terrible it is that small businesses will have to pay more for health care.

And then when those stories are debunked then all of a sudden it's a a terrible thing that small businesses will have to pay less.

Gee - the story you posted above sees the taxpayer paying for a businesses expansion and retooling?

Wonder what your response would be if Exxon decided to do this?

abnormal

And in the real world

Quote:
Forecasters say a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act pricing rule may increase premiums for 65 percent of the affected small groups.

The effects of the PPACA pricing rule on large-group plans will be negligible, the forecasters say.

.....
The CMS actuarial office prepared the PPACA impact report to comply with a provision in a 2011 appropriations act.

PPACA includes many provisions that could affect group health prices either directly or indirectly. In the new report, the CMS actuaries looked only at the effects of the PPACA Fair Health Insurance Premiums section. The fair premiums section requires insurers in the small-group market to offer coverage on a guaranteed-issue, guaranteed-renewable basis, with an adjusted community rating system.

The fair premiums section exempts large groups.

Because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 already required insurers to sell small-group coverage on a guaranteed-issue, guaranteed-renewable basis before PPACA came along, the community rating requirement is the only fair premiums provision likely to affect small-group rates, the CMS actuaries say.

The PPACA adjusted community rating rules let carriers charge up to three times more for coverage for the oldest insureds than they charge for the youngest, but insurers can no longer use gender, health status or claims as rating factors.

Independent experts told the CMS actuaries that they thought the community rating rules would increase rates for about 60 percent to 67 percent of the fully insured small groups subject to the new rules.

.....
In the real world, the effect will probably be much narrower this year, because so many small groups renewed coverage early and are not yet affected by the PPACA requirements that took effect Jan. 1, actuaries said.

[url=http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2014/02/24/small-groups-may-be-hit-by-ppaca...

But if you want the original report as produced by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services you can find it [url=http://media.benefitspro.com/benefitspro/article/2014/02/24/2-24-2014-cm...

 

 

 

 

ygtbk

See this:

http://cdn.ralstonreports.com/sites/default/files/ObamaCaretoAFL_FINAL.pdf

And then see my posts #62 and #130 in this thread. The Brookings numbers on p.9 are kind of optimistic compared with CBO.

abnormal

Quote:
A national union that represents 300,000 low-wage hospitality workers charges in a new report that Obamacare will slam wages, cut hours, limit access to health insurance and worsen the very “income equality” President Obama says he is campaigning to fix.

Unite Here warned that due to Obamacare's much higher costs for health insurance than what union workers currently pay, the result will be a pay cut of up to $5 an hour. "If employers follow the incentives in the law, they will push families onto the exchanges to buy coverage. This will force low-wage service industry employees to spend $2.00, $3.00 or even $5.00 an hour of their pay to buy similar coverage," said the union in a new report.

“Only in Washington could asking the bottom of the middle class to finance health care for the poorest families be seen as reducing inequality,” said the report from Unite Here. “Without smart fixes, the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage,” said the report, titled, “The Irony of Obamacare: Making Inequality Worse.”

Based on government and private reports, polling and statements from administration officials, the report, to be sent to pro-union members in Congress, charges that low-wage workers are taking the hit under Obamacare, while wealthy insurance companies fatten up on government subsidies.

[url=http://washingtonexaminer.com/big-labor-obamacare-death-spiral-to-worker...

 

 

 

abnormal

As for helping the uninsured Obamacare is a great example of [url=http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-03-07/how-not-to-help-the-uni... not to help the uninsured[/url].

 

 

josh

abnormal wrote:

Quote:
A national union that represents 300,000 low-wage hospitality workers charges in a new report that Obamacare will slam wages, cut hours, limit access to health insurance and worsen the very “income equality” President Obama says he is campaigning to fix.

Unite Here warned that due to Obamacare's much higher costs for health insurance than what union workers currently pay, the result will be a pay cut of up to $5 an hour. "If employers follow the incentives in the law, they will push families onto the exchanges to buy coverage. This will force low-wage service industry employees to spend $2.00, $3.00 or even $5.00 an hour of their pay to buy similar coverage," said the union in a new report.

“Only in Washington could asking the bottom of the middle class to finance health care for the poorest families be seen as reducing inequality,” said the report from Unite Here. “Without smart fixes, the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage,” said the report, titled, “The Irony of Obamacare: Making Inequality Worse.”

Based on government and private reports, polling and statements from administration officials, the report, to be sent to pro-union members in Congress, charges that low-wage workers are taking the hit under Obamacare, while wealthy insurance companies fatten up on government subsidies.

[url=http://washingtonexaminer.com/big-labor-obamacare-death-spiral-to-worker...

 

 

 

Unite is correct. But I get a kick when right-wing sites like the Washington Examiner cite unions, who they are out to destroy.

abnormal

josh wrote:

Unite is correct. But I get a kick when right-wing sites like the Washington Examiner cite unions, who they are out to destroy.

I just interpret this as saying "even people at the opposite end of the political spectrum from us agree that Obamacare is bad".

josh

abnormal wrote:

josh wrote:

Unite is correct. But I get a kick when right-wing sites like the Washington Examiner cite unions, who they are out to destroy.

I just interpret this as saying "even people at the opposite end of the political spectrum from us agree that Obamacare is bad".

 

For entirely different reasons.  Which makes all the difference.

Pogo Pogo's picture

From what I understand Obamacare is using the healthcare system more efficiently and thus less insurance money will be going to the system.  This results in lower premiums.  Companies are able to take the lower premiums and use the money to build their business.  Somehow this is a scam?

ygtbk

@Pogo: if you take a look at page 2 of the report that I linked in #154 you will see that that is unfortunately not how it works.

Quote:

Yes, the Affordable Care Act will help many more Americans gain some health insurance coverage, a significant step forward for equality. At the same time, without smart fixes, the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage. 

• Transferring A Trillion Dollars in Wealth: Most of the ACA’s $965 billion in subsidies will go directly to commercial insurance companies, one of the largest transfers of public wealth to private hands ever. Since the ACA passed, the average stock price of the big for-profit health insurers doubled, their top executives were paid more than a half billion dollars in cash and stock options, and in the past 2 years, the top 10 insurers have spent $25 billion on mergers and acquisitions. 

Now this is a little sketchy as a serious analysis, but it indicates that premiums are generally going up.

wage zombie

The ACA is projected to reduce the deficit, not increase it.  All this wailing about how the taxpayers are going to have to pay the insurance companies (like that wasn't happening before) is lying.  And that's been one of the fundamental flaws in the Republican argument against it-- the deficit hawks who suddenly became so concerned about debt once Obama took office don't actually care about it.

The USA pays more for health care than any other comparable nation.  THe ACA is unlikely to change that, but overall it will bring health care costs as well as the deficit down.

ygtbk

wage zombie wrote:

The ACA is projected to reduce the deficit, not increase it.  All this wailing about how the taxpayers are going to have to pay the insurance companies (like that wasn't happening before) is lying.  And that's been one of the fundamental flaws in the Republican argument against it-- the deficit hawks who suddenly became so concerned about debt once Obama took office don't actually care about it.

The USA pays more for health care than any other comparable nation.  THe ACA is unlikely to change that, but overall it will bring health care costs as well as the deficit down.

Look at the last page of the following. Net budgetary effect is estimated at approx. $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years. So if you are willing to assert that the CBO is lying, please feel free.

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44176

 

wage zombie

Maybe you should try reading the articles you post:

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44176

Quote:

The Estimated Budgetary Impact of the ACA’s Coverage Provisions Has Changed Little on a Year-by-Year Basis Since March 2010

When estimates are compared on a year-by-year basis, CBO and JCT’s estimate of the net budgetary impact of the ACA’s insurance coverage provisions has changed little since February 2013 and, indeed, has changed little since the legislation was being considered in March 2010. In March 2010, CBO and JCT projected that the provisions of the ACA related to health insurance coverage would cost the federal government $759 billion during fiscal years 2014 through 2019 (which was the last year in the 10-year budget window being used at that time). The newest projections indicate that those provisions will cost $710 billion over that same period. As shown in the figure below, the intervening projections of the cost of the ACA’s coverage provisions for those years have all been close to those figures on a year-by-year basis; of course, the 10-year totals have changed as the time frame for the estimates has shifted.

Those amounts do not reflect the total budgetary impact of the ACA. That legislation includes many other provisions that, on net, will reduce budget deficits. Taking the coverage provisions and other provisions together, CBO and JCT have estimated that the ACA will reduce deficits over the next 10 years and in the subsequent decade. (We have not updated our estimate of the total budgetary impact of the ACA since last summer; for that most recent estimate, seeLetter to the Honorable John Boehner providing an estimate for H.R. 6079, the Repeal of Obamacare Act.)

 

Taking the coverage provisions and other provisions together, CBO and JCT have estimated that the ACA will reduce deficits over the next 10 years and in the subsequent decade.

You're the one asserting that the CBO is lying.  Why am I not surprised?  You have been trotting out lies this whole thread.

ygtbk

wage zombie wrote:

Maybe you should try reading the articles you post:

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44176

Quote:

The Estimated Budgetary Impact of the ACA’s Coverage Provisions Has Changed Little on a Year-by-Year Basis Since March 2010

When estimates are compared on a year-by-year basis, CBO and JCT’s estimate of the net budgetary impact of the ACA’s insurance coverage provisions has changed little since February 2013 and, indeed, has changed little since the legislation was being considered in March 2010. In March 2010, CBO and JCT projected that the provisions of the ACA related to health insurance coverage would cost the federal government $759 billion during fiscal years 2014 through 2019 (which was the last year in the 10-year budget window being used at that time). The newest projections indicate that those provisions will cost $710 billion over that same period. As shown in the figure below, the intervening projections of the cost of the ACA’s coverage provisions for those years have all been close to those figures on a year-by-year basis; of course, the 10-year totals have changed as the time frame for the estimates has shifted.

Those amounts do not reflect the total budgetary impact of the ACA. That legislation includes many other provisions that, on net, will reduce budget deficits. Taking the coverage provisions and other provisions together, CBO and JCT have estimated that the ACA will reduce deficits over the next 10 years and in the subsequent decade. (We have not updated our estimate of the total budgetary impact of the ACA since last summer; for that most recent estimate, seeLetter to the Honorable John Boehner providing an estimate for H.R. 6079, the Repeal of Obamacare Act.)

 

Taking the coverage provisions and other provisions together, CBO and JCT have estimated that the ACA will reduce deficits over the next 10 years and in the subsequent decade.

You're the one asserting that the CBO is lying.  Why am I not surprised?  You have been trotting out lies this whole thread.

And you have been asserting that ACA will bring costs down, which is manifestly untrue, as you can see from the CBO document, since $1.3 trillion is greater than zero.

Please be serious. 

wage zombie

ygtbk wrote:

Look at the last page of the following. Net budgetary effect is estimated at approx. $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years. So if you are willing to assert that the CBO is lying, please feel free.

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44176

This is a total lie.  The CBO report does not say that the net budgetary effect is estimated at $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years.  It says that the total costs of the ACA over the next 10 years are estimated at $1.3 trillion.  When that is compared to the cost of NOT implementing the ACA (which is isn't listed), the net budgetary effect lowers the deficit, over the next ten years and into the next decade.

They are being very clear about this.  Either you have reading comprehension problems or you are being deliberately obtuse.

wage zombie

Quote:

And you have been asserting that ACA will bring costs down, which is manifestly untrue, as you can see from the CBO document, since $1.3 trillion is greater than zero.

Please be serious.

Zero isn't what the government is spending on health care now you moron.

From the link you posted:

Quote:

Taking the coverage provisions and other provisions together, CBO and JCT have estimated that the ACA will reduce deficits over the next 10 years and in the subsequent decade.

 

ygtbk

wage zombie wrote:

Zero isn't what the government is spending on health care now you moron.

From the link you posted:

Quote:

Taking the coverage provisions and other provisions together, CBO and JCT have estimated that the ACA will reduce deficits over the next 10 years and in the subsequent decade.

 

When people start insulting you, you know that they've run out of substantive arguments.

OK, since this apparently needs to be spelled out in some detail, here we go:

1) ACA increases spending. You can see, on the last page of the doc I posted, a gross increase of over $1.8 trillion and a net increase of over $1.3 trillion over the next decade.

2) ACA also raises a whole whack of taxes, so that it is consistent to say ACA reduces deficits - this is because of the increased taxes, not decreased spending - see point 1. It both taxes and spends.

So to say that ACA decreases health care costs is clearly not true. I did not say that the U.S. government pays zero for health care costs, I said that the increase would be approx. $1.3 trillion (yes that's with a t). And I say that because the CBO says that. And I said $1.3 trillion because I did not want to overstate the case. I could have said $1.8 trillion but that would open a trivial line of attack.

wage zombie

ygtbk wrote:

When people start insulting you, you know that they've run out of substantive arguments.

I have all the substantive arguments I need and I'm happy to let the reading babblers decide for themselves.

Quote:

OK, since this apparently needs to be spelled out in some detail, here we go:

1) ACA increases spending. You can see, on the last page of the doc I posted, a gross increase of over $1.8 trillion and a net increase of over $1.3 trillion over the next decade.

Please quote the data you're using for your argument.

Again, the relevant information from the article you quoted is this:

Taking the coverage provisions and other provisions together, CBO and JCT have estimated that the ACA will reduce deficits over the next 10 years and in the subsequent decade.

Quote:

2) ACA also raises a whole whack of taxes, so that it is consistent to say ACA reduces deficits - this is because of the increased taxes, not decreased spending - see point 1. It both taxes and spends.

A whole whack, eh?  Can you be more specific?  I thought you valued substantive arguments

Quote:

So to say that ACA decreases health care costs is clearly not true. I did not say that the U.S. government pays zero for health care costs, I said that the increase would be approx. $1.3 trillion (yes that's with a t).

You said that the costs of the ACA over the next 10 years would be $1.3 trillion, and you compared that to zero.  Why would you compare that to zero?

Quote:

And I say that because the CBO says that. And I said $1.3 trillion because I did not want to overstate the case. I could have said $1.8 trillion but that would open a trivial line of attack.

You are lying.

ygtbk

wage zombie wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

When people start insulting you, you know that they've run out of substantive arguments.

I have all the substantive arguments I need and I'm happy to let the reading babblers decide for themselves.

Quote:

OK, since this apparently needs to be spelled out in some detail, here we go:

1) ACA increases spending. You can see, on the last page of the doc I posted, a gross increase of over $1.8 trillion and a net increase of over $1.3 trillion over the next decade.

Please quote the data you're using for your argument.

Again, the relevant information from the article you quoted is this:

Taking the coverage provisions and other provisions together, CBO and JCT have estimated that the ACA will reduce deficits over the next 10 years and in the subsequent decade.

Quote:

2) ACA also raises a whole whack of taxes, so that it is consistent to say ACA reduces deficits - this is because of the increased taxes, not decreased spending - see point 1. It both taxes and spends.

A whole whack, eh?  Can you be more specific?  I thought you valued substantive arguments

Quote:

So to say that ACA decreases health care costs is clearly not true. I did not say that the U.S. government pays zero for health care costs, I said that the increase would be approx. $1.3 trillion (yes that's with a t).

You said that the costs of the ACA over the next 10 years would be $1.3 trillion, and you compared that to zero.  Why would you compare that to zero?

Quote:

And I say that because the CBO says that. And I said $1.3 trillion because I did not want to overstate the case. I could have said $1.8 trillion but that would open a trivial line of attack.

You are lying.

Flamewar!

Please look at the last page of the doc I posted. Look at the numbers 1,872 and 1,323. Please think about it. Look at the words "Gross Cost" and "Net Cost".

And I don't have enough time to list all the taxes that the ACA raised, but since you want detail, please either google ACA taxes or take a gander at:

• 2.3% Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers 2014

• 10% Tax on Indoor Tanning Services 2014

• Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike

• Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals which fail to comply with the requirements of ObamaCare

• Tax on Brand Name Drugs

• Tax on Health Insurers

• $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives

• Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D

 
• Employer Mandate on business with over 50 full-time equivalent employees to provide health insurance to full-time employees. $2000 per employee $3000 if employee uses tax credits to buy insurance on the exchange (marketplace). (pushed back to 2015)

• Medicare Tax on Investment Income 3.8% over $200k/$250k

• Medicare Part A Tax increase of .9% over $200k/$250k

• 40% Excise Tax "Cadillac" on high-end Premium Health Insurance Plans 2018

• An annual $63 fee levied by ObamaCare on all plans (decreased each year until 2017 when pre-existing conditions are eliminated) to help pay for insurance companies covering the costs of high-risk pools.

• Medicine Cabinet Tax

Over the counter medicines no longer qualified as medical expenses for flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), and Archer Medical Saving accounts (MSAs).
• Additional Tax on HSA/MSA Distributions

Health savings account or an Archer medical savings account, penalties for spending money on non-qualified medical expenses. 10% to 20% in the case of a HSA and from 15% to 20% in the case of a MSA.

• Flexible Spending Account Cap 2013

Contributions to FSAs are reduced to $2,500 from $5,000.

• Medical Deduction Threshold tax increase 2013

Threshold to deduct medical expenses as an itemized deduction increases to 10% from 7.5%.

BTW, the reason for comparing $1.3 trillion to zero is to see which one is greater.

wage zombie

Ok, great.  So we've now established something we agree on!

The ACA will NOT increase the federal deficit.  It will be a net reduction in the federal deficit.  So all those people who are so worried about debt should at least be in favour of that part of it.  Thanks for posting that CBO report which very explcitly states that the provisions of the ACA will have a net reduction on the federal deficit.

We already established several pages back that every time the Republicans trot out the story of poor so-and-so, whose health care premiums are going to jump through the roof thanks to that nasty Obamacare, the story is debunked within days, and it's demonstrated how that person is actually going to be in better shape because of the ACA.

We know that the ACA ensures that those with pre-existing conditions are able to get health insurance.

We know that the ACA allows young people to stay on their parents plan a few years longer.

We know that there are total caps on out-of-pocket expenses that people will have to pay.

We know that insurance companies will be forced to spend at least 80% of their revenues on medical costs delivered.

We know that anyone who would have to spend more than 9.5% of their income to buy a plan from those available in their state will be eligible for a subsidy.

We know that bringing healthy younger people into the system (via the mandate) will push average medical costs down.

We know that states that have jumped on board are meeting their enrollment targets.

We know that Vermont will implement their version of the ACA to provide single payer health care.

So what's not to like?  All that's left is the taxes.

Yes, even though taxes are at the lowest they've been in decades (and yes, I have substantive data to back that up, too), people like ygtbk are taxed enough already(!) even though he's not USian and won't even be subject to these tax atrocities.

ygtbk has already done us the service of listing all these nasty taxes, so I'll let reading babblers decide for themselves how horrific they are.

Quote:

And I don't have enough time to list all the taxes that the ACA raised, but since you want detail, please either google ACA taxes or take a gander at:

• 2.3% Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers 2014

• 10% Tax on Indoor Tanning Services 2014

• Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike

• Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals which fail to comply with the requirements of ObamaCare

• Tax on Brand Name Drugs

• Tax on Health Insurers

• $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives

• Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D

 
• Employer Mandate on business with over 50 full-time equivalent employees to provide health insurance to full-time employees. $2000 per employee $3000 if employee uses tax credits to buy insurance on the exchange (marketplace). (pushed back to 2015)

• Medicare Tax on Investment Income 3.8% over $200k/$250k

• Medicare Part A Tax increase of .9% over $200k/$250k

• 40% Excise Tax "Cadillac" on high-end Premium Health Insurance Plans 2018

• An annual $63 fee levied by ObamaCare on all plans (decreased each year until 2017 when pre-existing conditions are eliminated) to help pay for insurance companies covering the costs of high-risk pools.

• Medicine Cabinet Tax

Over the counter medicines no longer qualified as medical expenses for flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), and Archer Medical Saving accounts (MSAs).
• Additional Tax on HSA/MSA Distributions

Health savings account or an Archer medical savings account, penalties for spending money on non-qualified medical expenses. 10% to 20% in the case of a HSA and from 15% to 20% in the case of a MSA.

• Flexible Spending Account Cap 2013

Contributions to FSAs are reduced to $2,500 from $5,000.

• Medical Deduction Threshold tax increase 2013

Threshold to deduct medical expenses as an itemized deduction increases to 10% from 7.5%.

It looks then like all the disgreement over Obamacare comes down to...taxes.

Have a nice day. 

wage zombie

The US Govt spent $851 billion on health care in 2013 alone.  The ACA will being those costs down, which is why the CBO is very clearly and explicitly saying that the ACA will have a net reduction on deficits.  Please try to keep up.

ygtbk

@WZ:

I hope that you have a nice day too. I am glad that you now understand that the deficit depends on both taxes and spending.

abnormal

Quote:
The first problem is that Obamacare regulations are already pushing up the cost of multiemployer insurance plans. Moreover, many of the regulations don’t really fit the plans -- for example, many multiemployer plans do not distinguish between single and family policies, offering everyone the same insurance at the same cost.

The second problem is that the 40 percent excise tax on especially expensive plans -- the so-called Cadillac tax -- is going to hit union plans especially hard. Unlike most people negotiating compensation, union negotiators make an explicit trade-off between wages and other benefits, and the benefit that they seem most attached to is generous health plans. Union plans are made more expensive still because union membership is heavily skewed toward older workers. They are thus very likely to get hit by the Cadillac tax, which takes effect in 2018.

And the third problem is that Obamacare undercuts one of the key benefits of being in a union. Take a low-wage service worker who is currently insured through her union's multiemployer plan. If she went to work for a nonunion shop, she could get a substantial wage hike, use part of it to buy a heavily subsidized exchange policy, and still be better off. As I heard one expert say, Obamacare turns health insurance from an organizing tool to a disorganizing tool.

No wonder the unions are mad. What’s amazing is that they supported Obamacare with just vague assurances from the Barack Obama administration that it would fix everything later.

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-03-10/unions-suffer-for-obama...

 

 

josh

From the above column:

 

Clearly, the administration reckons it can weather public rebukes from the unions much better than it can endure the backlash they’d get for helping them. This is potentially an existential threat to the institutions that used to be the backbone of the Democratic Party. Now it's treating them more like the appendix. That tells you something significant about how Obamacare was passed. But it tells you something even more significant about the Democrats and the administration. They’re still willing to deliver symbolic victories such as appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, but as far as policy making goes, private-sector unions are increasingly less relevant. That has huge implications for the future of the Democratic Party, not to mention U.S. economic policy.

wage zombie

Astute comment, josh.

And thanks to abnormal for the link, and for your tireless advocacy on behalf on unions, which we know you love so much.

abnormal

ygtbk wrote:

wage zombie wrote:

The ACA is projected to reduce the deficit, not increase it.  All this wailing about how the taxpayers are going to have to pay the insurance companies (like that wasn't happening before) is lying.  And that's been one of the fundamental flaws in the Republican argument against it-- the deficit hawks who suddenly became so concerned about debt once Obama took office don't actually care about it.

The USA pays more for health care than any other comparable nation.  THe ACA is unlikely to change that, but overall it will bring health care costs as well as the deficit down.

Look at the last page of the following. Net budgetary effect is estimated at approx. $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years. So if you are willing to assert that the CBO is lying, please feel free.

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44176

Your faith in the CBO is completely misplaced.  All you have to do is look at the projections when Medicare was introduced. 

In 1966 Medicare cost $3 billion.  At the time the Ways and Means Committee estimated that it would cost $12 billion in 1990 - instead it cost $107 billion (a factor of 9).

Why do you believe that the CBO is any more accurate than the Ways and Means Committee was then?

 

 

 

abnormal

josh wrote:

abnormal wrote:

josh wrote:

Unite is correct. But I get a kick when right-wing sites like the Washington Examiner cite unions, who they are out to destroy.

I just interpret this as saying "even people at the opposite end of the political spectrum from us agree that Obamacare is bad".

For entirely different reasons.  Which makes all the difference.

When people from the opposite end of the spectrum agree that something is "bad" for completely different reasons it's pretty obvious that "it's bad

 

 

ygtbk

abnormal wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

wage zombie wrote:

The ACA is projected to reduce the deficit, not increase it.  All this wailing about how the taxpayers are going to have to pay the insurance companies (like that wasn't happening before) is lying.  And that's been one of the fundamental flaws in the Republican argument against it-- the deficit hawks who suddenly became so concerned about debt once Obama took office don't actually care about it.

The USA pays more for health care than any other comparable nation.  THe ACA is unlikely to change that, but overall it will bring health care costs as well as the deficit down.

Look at the last page of the following. Net budgetary effect is estimated at approx. $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years. So if you are willing to assert that the CBO is lying, please feel free.

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44176

Your faith in the CBO is completely misplaced.  All you have to do is look at the projections when Medicare was introduced. 

In 1966 Medicare cost $3 billion.  At the time the Ways and Means Committee estimated that it would cost $12 billion in 1990 - instead it cost $107 billion (a factor of 9).

Why do you believe that the CBO is any more accurate than the Ways and Means Committee was then?

You may well be correct. Although I don't think they're lying, they could well be mistaken, and your point is about the directionality of mistakes in cost estimation for government programs.

abnormal

ygtbk wrote:

You may well be correct. Although I don't think they're lying, they could well be mistaken, and your point is about the directionality of mistakes in cost estimation for government programs.

Absolutely - have to say that in the 35 years I've been in the biz I've seen exactly two cases where results have turned out better than expected.

 

ygtbk

This is significant:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101819065

abnormal

ygtbk wrote:

This is significant:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101819065

Definitely.

Quote:
Obama’s Law Professor: ‘I Wouldn’t Bet’ on Obamacare Surviving Next Legal Challenge

President Obama’s old Harvard Law professor, Laurence Tribe, said that he “wouldn’t bet the family farm” on Obamacare’s surviving the legal challenges to an IRS rule about who is eligible for subsidies that are currently working their way through the federal courts.

“I don’t have a crystal ball,” Tribe told the Fiscal Times. “But I wouldn’t bet the family farm on this coming out in a way that preserves Obamacare.”

etc ...

http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/10125254D91F8BAC85257...$file/14-5018-1503850.pdf

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What comes next? The Administration will have to decide whether to seek en banc review of this decision or file a petition for certiorari. If I had to guess, I would say the former is more likely. Supreme Court review will likely wait until there are more decisions on this question. A decision remains pending in King v. Sebelius before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and there are two pending cases in district courts.

If this decision is upheld, it will present some three-dozen states with a choice: Establish exchanges so as to authorize tax credits for state citizens while also triggering penalties on employers and individuals who do not wish to purchase qualifying health insurance. As my co-author Michael Cannon notes, the implications of this decision go beyond its effect on tax credits. How will states respond? Time will tell. As with the Medicaid expansion, it is not entirely clear how states will react now that so much of PPACA implementation is clearly in their hands.

 

 

 

 

ygtbk
abnormal

Of course, if the latest ruling stands does it follow that that any affected individuals will have to repay any subsidies they've received?

BTW, the Appeals Court ruling is clear so the "mixed opinions" comment doesn't carry much weight (unless Earnest thinks that the Supreme Court will overturn that ruling because the Justices want to see Obamacare succeed).

 

 

ygtbk

abnormal wrote:

Of course, if the latest ruling stands does it follow that that any affected individuals will have to repay any subsidies they've received?

BTW, the Appeals Court ruling is clear so the "mixed opinions" comment doesn't carry much weight (unless Earnest thinks that the Supreme Court will overturn that ruling because the Justices want to see Obamacare succeed).

I suspect that repayment of the subsidies will not happen - it would be very politically painful for the Administration.

Slightly off topic, does anyone besides me think that a spokesbot going by the the name "Josh Earnest" is pretty much like taping a "Kick me!" sign to your own back?

ygtbk
abnormal

This just in, the Fourth Circuit rules for the Administration on this very point.

http://jonathanturley.org/2014/07/22/fourth-circuit-rules-for-obama-admi...

So it's off to the Supremes.

 

 

abnormal

More on the Appeals Court decision:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/07/22/inter...

Quote:
It’s also worth quoting Judge Griffith’s conclusion:
Quote:
We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance. At least until states that wish to can set up Exchanges, our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for the millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal Exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly. But, high as those stakes are, the principle of legislative supremacy that guides us is higher still. Within constitutional limits, Congress is supreme in matters of policy, and the consequence of that supremacy is that our duty when interpreting a statute is to ascertain the meaning of the words of the statute duly enacted through the formal legislative process. This limited role serves democratic interests by ensuring that policy is made by elected, politically accountable representatives, not by appointed, life-tenured judges.

Thus, although our decision has major consequences, our role is quite limited: deciding whether the IRS Rule is a permissible reading of the ACA. Having concluded it is not, we reverse the district court and remand with instructions to grant summary judgment to appellants and vacate the IRS Rule.

Now off to the Supremes but given Obama's track record there ...

 

josh

Not a given it will go to the Supreme Court. The D.C. case could go
to the entire circuit (en banc) which is majority Democratic. If they come out the other way, there will be no conflict in the circuits and the Supreme Court would not have to take the cases.

abnormal

That's going to be tough.  One of the architects of the law has gone on record as saying the decision to withhold subsidies from people living in states that don't establish their own exchanges was intentional (basically the idea was to blackmail pressure states into forming their own exchanges).  In other words the wording isn't simply bad drafting - it's there on purpose and reflects the intent of the regulation so it's going to take some seriously convoluted logic to argue that the law should be interpretted in anyway other than it's written. 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/07/25/obamacare-architect...

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Reading the linked Forbes article shows that Jonathan Gruber, the slimeball who is being quoted, was doing a sales pitch for his consulting services at the time. He was apparently helping states set up these exchanges. When he was asked by an audience member whether they couldn't just let the feds do it for them, he gave the answer cited. This was clearly for purposes of inflating the necessity of paying him big bucks for advice on how to set up an exchange.

In the next article down, he is quoted as saying on television recently:

Jonathan Gruber wrote:

Chris [Matthews], it is unambiguous this is a typo. Literally every single person involved in the crafting of this law has said that it’s a typo, that they had no intention of excluding the federal states. And why would they? Look, the law says that people are only subject to the mandate if they can afford insurance, if it’s less than 8 percent of their income. If you get rid of these subsidies, 99 percent of the people who would get subsidies can no longer afford insurance, so you destroy the mandate. Why would Congress set up the mandate and go through all that political battle to allow it to be destroyed? It’s just simply a typo, and it’s really criminal that this has even made it as far as it has.

A truly disgusting example of the warped individuals who succeed brilliantly in the capitalist economy.

abnormal

Even if Gruber was shilling for business he made the statement at least twice (there are two videos on Youtube where he makes the same statement) so it's going to be tough to argue that he didn't mean it.  Besides, the language is unambiguous in its use of the word "state" (in fact that's part of the justification that was used to exempt the territories from the full provisions of Obamacare).

But I thought the CBO's letter on the topic was worth posting (their estmates are nonsense but that's a separate question)

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43752-letter...

 

 

 

abnormal

The ObamaCare/IRS Nexus: The supposedly independent agency harassed the administration’s political opponents and saved its health-care law.

One of the big questions out of the IRS targeting scandal is this: How can an agency that engaged in such political misconduct be trusted to implement ObamaCare? This week’s Halbig v. Burwell ruling reminded us of the answer. It can’t.

snip ...

The office of the IRS chief counsel—one of two positions appointed by the president—drafted a memo telling the group that it should read the text to mean that everyone, in every exchange, got subsidies. At some point between March 10 and March 15, 2011, the reference to “Exchanges established by the State” disappeared from the draft rule.

Emails viewed by congressional investigators nonetheless showed that Treasury and the IRS remained worried they were breaking the law. An email exchange between Treasury employees in the spring of 2011 expressed concern that they had no statutory authority to deem a federally run exchange the equivalent of a state-run exchange.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/kim-strassel-the-obamacare-irs-nexus-1406...

 

 

josh

More right-wing WSJ bullshit. What about the states who subverted the law by refusing to set-up exchanges? Or does that not matter in the right-wing fever swamp narrative of victimization.

abnormal

josh wrote:
More right-wing WSJ bullshit. What about the states who subverted the law by refusing to set-up exchanges? Or does that not matter in the right-wing fever swamp narrative of victimization.

How is that subverting the law?  The ACA did not mandate that states set up their own exchanges so it's up to the states to make that call.

 

 

 

 

 

josh

The law envisioned that all states would set up exchanges.  Constitutionally, it would have been difficult to require states to set up exchanges.  Many states sought to throw a monkeywrench into the law by not setting them up.  Hence the need for the federal government to step in.  Had the law's enactors realized how far Republicans would go to subvert and destroy the law, they would have explicitly stated what is implicit in the law.  Subsidies are permissible in exchanges set up by the federal government.  They did not intend to set up a law that would cover only half the country.

abnormal

So the states didn't set up exchanges - the law didn't require them to.  But the law was intentionally drafted with a reference to state exchanges in an attempt to blackmail encourage states to set up their own.  

Sorry but there is nothing implicit about the words state and federal when describing exchanges.  The language is clear and unambiguous.  It was contained in numerous drafts - it was definitely not a drafting error.

And let us not forget that in 2010, Nancy Pelosi famously claimed that Congress needed to pass Obamacare in order to find out what’s in it.  Well, a federal court just read Obamacare and found out what wasn’t in it: tax credit subsidies for federal exchange health plans.

josh

The law didn't require them to because the Supreme Court wouldn't have let them so require. And you didn't answer the question of whether congress intended to set up a law that would cover only half the country.

abnormal

josh wrote:
The law didn't require them to because the Supreme Court wouldn't have let them so require. And you didn't answer the question of whether congress intended to set up a law that would cover only half the country.

According to one of the architects of the law (previously quoted) the answer to that question is yes.  It was designed to blackmail the states into setting up their own exchanges.

But more to the point, it's not clear that intent even matters.  The wording of the law is clear.

Quote:
“There are specific rules about when and how the IRS can deviate from the plain language of a statute,” Cannon explained to National Review Online, arguing that the subsidies regulation fails to comply with those rules.

The IRS can deviate from “absurd” laws, in theory, but the subsidies language is not absurd. “It might be stupid, but that’s not the test for absurdity,” Cannon says. Similarly, the IRS can deviate in the case of scrivener’s errors — typos, basically — but this is not a typo, Cannon says, because the language was written into repeated drafts of the law.

“They not only keep that language in there, but they even inserted it, this same phrase again, right before passage while the bill was in [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid’s office,” Cannon says. “So, it’s not a scrivener’s error, either.”

Finally, the IRS could fill in ambiguous gaps in a law. The problem for the IRS, though, is that the subsidies language is not ambiguous. Even Tribe acknowledged that the language is clear, according to the Fiscal Times.

“Yet in drafting the law, Tribe said the administration ‘assumed that state exchanges would be the norm and federal exchanges would be a marginal, fallback position’ — though it didn’t work out that way for a plethora of legal, administrative and political reasons,” the Fiscal Times writes.

To repeat:

Quote:
“They not only keep that language in there, but they even inserted it, this same phrase again, right before passage while the bill was in [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid’s office,” Cannon says.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

josh

Legislative intent is one of the primary tools in interpreting a statute.
It matters a great deal. The lawmakers who passed the law intended it to be universal. Not to cover half the country. Thus interpreting the statute in the manner you suggest would violate that legislative intent . Form should not carry over substance, and a drafting error should not be allowed to trump clear legislative intent.

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