Posts Tagged ‘Obamacare’

Trump vs. the World

Monday, May 1st, 2017

During the presidential campaign, President Trump often came off as a bully. Now that he’s president, the bullying is coming from others.

The “resistance,” the media, academics, celebrities and others have not accepted him as their president. On any given day, you’re likely to read more favorable reporting about North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un than you are about President Trump.

Granted, his statements often accentuate the negative and eliminate the positive. His tweets, at least the ones that catch the attention of journalists, are sometimes crude or unpresidential and many of his braggadocious claims, at best, exaggerate the truth.

But with 100 days gone, is the widespread criticism warranted? How is he really doing as president? And how does his presidency compare with previous presidents?

Before considering his performance to date, keep in mind that judging a president based on such a short period is like judging a corporation based on its performance for a quarter. A presidential term is 1,461 days, so the first 100 days account for about 7% of the president’s term. (more…)

Obamacare Resuscitated

Monday, March 27th, 2017

“If you don’t buy this magazine, we’ll kill this dog.”

So said a cover of National Lampoon back in 1973. We’re reminded of the infamous cover when we reflect on the ignoble fate of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which was meant to replace the widely disliked Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare.National Lampoon

Republicans in Congress were faced with a similar choice last week. While the Republicans gained a majority based largely on the promise of overturning Obamacare, polls showed the AHCA was also unpopular. A Quinnipiac University poll found that only 17% of American voters approved of the AHCA, while 56% opposed it.

About one in a thousand voters knows what’s in the American Health Care Act, but given media propaganda about Americans being left to die without government-subsidized health insurance, it’s understandable why the act was unpopular.

It didn’t help that the Congressional Budget Office predicted that the proposed legislation would result in 24 million Americans lacking health insurance by 2026 (note: the CBO also predicted that, thanks to Obamacare, the individual market would enroll 26 million by this year. Instead, enrollment is just 10 million). (more…)

The White House as Animal House

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Why has the stock market been going bonkers, even as interest rates have begun to rise?

CNBC sums it up in two words: “animal spirits.” Wall Street types aren’t talking about the ghosts of dead puppies when they use the term “animal spirits.” It’s a reference to human exuberance based on expectations.

The term was a concoction of John Maynard Keynes, the guy who has been revered by liberals everywhere because of his notion that government spending is good for the economy. Of course it’s not — when government spends, we pay — but politicians, journalists, academics and even many economists who should know better like to be called neo-Keynesians, so they follow along.

Coming up with the term “animal spirits” to describe human behavior is perhaps Mr. Keynes’ second worst offense.

Any time an alleged expert makes a reference to “animal spirits,” he or she gets quoted, since it sounds like deep thinking to most journalists and at least it’s more colorful than saying “consumers are feeling more confident about the economy, because their employers are no longer being regulated into bankruptcy.” (more…)

Fear Politicians, Not Clowns

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Clowns have been on a rampage this year, with creepy clowns—sometimes armed—threatening victims not only throughout the U.S., but in other countries. According to a poll conducted by Chapman University, Americans are more afraid of clowns than they are of climate change.clown

Clowns? Don’t make me laugh. Even the “Killer Clowns from Outer Space” are sugar-and-spice-and-everything-nice compared with The Hillary and The Donald. This Halloween, trick-or-treaters have cast their votes in favor of both presidential candidates. They don’t need no stinkin’ clowns to scare people. They’re dressing as two of the scariest people in America.

What makes politicians so scary? Consider just a few examples:

Obamascare. Premiums are jumping an average of 25% for the benchmark plan on Healthcare.gov. But don’t worry about Americans losing their coverage. Most of the coverage is paid for by us taxpayers. Tell me again … why is it called the Affordable Care Act?hill-mask

Obamascare II. Hillary Clinton, if elected president, will seek to expand the Affordable Care Act. With also-very-scary U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren there to push things along, socialized medicine will likely be inevitable, just as retiring baby boomers are beginning to add to the strain on the system. Socialism, here we come! Americas will no longer have to cross into Cuba for real health care.

Donald Trump would like to repeal of the Affordable Care Act, although we’re not sure what he’d put in its place. Could it be any worse?

We’re all going to be poor. The federal debt doubled under President Obama. It’s approaching $20 trillion, but it’s projected to grow even more rapidly in the future.trump (more…)

Obamacare in Massachusetts: $1 Billion Cost, Fewer Insured

Monday, September 12th, 2016

The big news last week, if you believe it, is that the Affordable Care Act (aka, Obamacare) has reduced the number of Americans who do not have health insurance to only 8.6% of the population.

In other words, if you provide heavily subsidized insurance and tax those who fail to take it, you can reduce the number of uninsured Americans to 8.6%.  But, in spite of the penalties and giveaways, the number of uninsured is still high.  Even before Massachusetts initiated healthcare reform in 2006 under then-governor Mitt Romney, the uninsured rate in the state was only 7%.obamacare-2

Regardless, all but a small percentage of Americans are now insured, if you believe the estimates of a government agency–the Centers for Disease Control–talking about a government program–the Affordable Care Act (aka, Obamacare).  And it’s taken only five years!

As residents of Massachusetts, we can be proud that we’re number one. That is, we have the lowest percentage of uninsured residents in the country (although the stats we found put the number at anywhere from 2.5% to 3.5%).

Well, that’s great … but are Massachusetts rates low because of Obamacare or because of its predecessor, Romneycare?  And what has the cost of Obamacare compliance been for Massachusetts residents? (more…)

Obamacare’s Economic Impact

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

What would be a more effective way to increase employment and boost the economy – continue quantitative easing or repeal Obamacare?

The answer is obvious to anyone paying attention.  After more than five years of quantitative easing and nearly $4 trillion in bond buying, the unemployment rate is still 7.6%, which is well above the targeted rate of 6.5%.

But, as we’ve pointed out before, that U-3 unemployment rate is deceiving, as it doesn’t include people who have given up looking for work and it counts part-time employees as if they were fully employed.

As we reported in April, 90 million Americans had given up looking for work, which is why the unemployment rate dropped to 7.6%.

(more…)

Healthcare For All – Like it Or Not

Friday, June 29th, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Constitutionality of Obamacare by a 5-4 vote will mean different things to different people.

Even its impact on healthcare companies will vary.  Health insurers will face pricing pressure, although those that benefit from Medicaid spending stand to benefit from increased funding.  However, the ruling limited the law’s plans to expand Medicaid, determining that the federal government cannot without a state’s entire Medicaid allotment if it fails to participate in Obamacare.

Medical device companies, likewise could feel some strain, while manufacturers of diagnostic tests and hospitals could benefit.