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Bank Of America Asks "Do Obamacare Costs Exceed The Benefits?"

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Authored by Ethan Harris of Bank of America Merrill Lynch,

Healthcare and the economy

Few laws cause as much high blood pressure as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Supporters of the law consider it the signature legislation of the Obama administration. Yet, in 2011 the House of Representatives passed the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law,” one of more than 40 attempts to scuttle the legislation. Public opinion polls are ambiguous: most Americans are against the law as a whole and yet most support many of its provisions. Here we try to slice through the partisan debate and show what serious research says about how the ACA will impact the labor market.

Plugging holes

The US has a very expensive, incredibly complicated healthcare system. On a positive note, we have the most advanced technology and innovation in the world. If you have a complicated medical condition, there is no better place to be. On a negative note, the US is the only developed market economy that does not have universal healthcare. This is one reason the US ranks so poorly on health among industrialized countries for metrics such as life expectancy and infant mortality. If you can’t afford health insurance and are above the income threshold for Medicaid, emergency rooms are your primary caregiver.

ACA takes the existing system and tries to patch up a variety of holes, while avoiding a variety of perverse incentives. The end result is quite complicated.

Here are the key provisions:

Employer mandate: Companies with 50 or more full-time employees will have to offer affordable health insurance or face a penalty. This mandate has already been delayed twice. In the latest ruling, mid-sized businesses (50 to 99 full-time workers) will have until 2016 to offer insurance while larger businesses will have to phase in coverage in 2015.

 

Individual mandate: Workers meeting certain income thresholds will have to purchase insurance on exchanges or face a penalty. Insurers must cover workers regardless of pre-existing conditions and rates are set in a way that subsidizes older workers relative to younger workers.

 

More subsidies: Lower-income workers will get subsidies for insurance and Medicare is expanded to cover more workers.

Short-term impact

For the last couple of years, critics of the ACA have been arguing that it is already hurting the economy. In particular, they point to the high share of part-time workers in total employment as well as anecdotal evidence of companies converting employees to part-time. We think the law has had little impact so far.

Companies that switch workers to part-time now hurt themselves in competition with other employers; better to change employment status later when many other companies are doing the same. In a San Francisco Fed paper, Valletta and Bengali argue that the persistently high number of part-timers is what we would expect given a major recession and slow recovery. Chart 3 shows that the share of part-timers today is not very different than in the last major recession in 1982. (Note the data are adjusted for a change in survey methodology). Looking at the breakdown of part-time workers, in the past year voluntary part-time employment is up 3.3%, while involuntary part-time is down 9.1% — this also contradicts the idea that companies are already forcing workers to take part-time jobs.

A more credible argument is that uncertainty about the law is hurting business confidence. Even here we see a limited impact. 96% of companies have fewer than 50 workers and are therefore only impacted by the law if they plan to expand beyond 50 full-time workers. The law also has little impact on big companies that already offer health insurance. Finally, smaller companies that already offer insurance will now get a subsidy. The law is creating uncertainty, but we doubt the impacts are close to what we have seen with repeated budget battles in Washington.

CBO takes a mulligan

Over the longer term, however, the law is almost certain to have a negative impact on the supply of hours worked for low-income workers. Under the ACA some workers risk losing some or all of their government subsidy if they take a job or earn too much income. This has always been the case for Medicare, but the new law adds additional disincentives to work.

In our view, three studies offer a good estimate of the likely range of impact from the law. On the low end, a 2011 study from the Congressional Budget Office estimated just an 800,000 reduction in full-time equivalent jobs once the economy has fully adapted to the law. At the high end, Casey Mulligan argues for about a 5 million reduction in labor supply.2 Note that Professor Mulligan is a well-respected economist, but his research on the impact from taxes and subsidies is at the very high end of the literature. Finally, partly in response to Mulligan’s work, the CBO has developed a new estimate of full-time equivalent job loss: 2.0 million by 2017 and 2.5 million by 2024.3 The CBO paper cites a wide range of literature, and they strive to represent nonpartisan, mainstream economic thinking. We think these are the most realistic estimates to date.

The CBO does not break down the composition of the drop in hours, but we can take a rough guess. Suppose a quarter of the reduction in hours worked comes from people shifting to part-time work. After all, firms that employ low-wage workers will have a strong incentive to keep their full-time staff below 50. Thus by 2017 we would expect the labor supply to fall by 1.5 million and for about 1.5 million full-time workers to cut their hours by a third. This lowers the participation rate by 0.9% and increases the share of workers that are part-time by about 3%. It is important to look at these moves in the context of the broader economy. The labor force participation rate has already fallen about 3% from its 2007 peak. If there is a cyclical bounce back in participation in the next couple years, the -0.6% impact from the ACA may be hard to see in the data. It is also worth noting that law mainly impacts low-wage earners. Hence, according to the CBO, labor income falls by only one percent as a result of the drop in labor supply. Finally, these changes in work incentives impact the supply side of the labor market, not the demand side. From a social welfare point of view, there is a big difference between a person voluntarily reducing hours due to government incentives and someone involuntarily losing a job and seeking work.

No free lunch

Stepping back, the controversy over the new healthcare law is just the latest in a long simmering debate. Government subsidies and taxes change economic behavior. There is a trade-off between hurting economic incentives and growth on the one hand and providing a social safety net on the other hand.

At one extreme, we could go to a pure free-market system, eliminating Medicaid (and Medicare) and denying emergency room service to anyone without health insurance. This would have a dramatic impact on labor supply. It would eliminate the very high “tax” on people whose income is just above the threshold for Medicare eligibility. (Eliminating Medicare would have a similar impact on the incentive to retire at 65, raising the participation rate significantly among the elderly.) Second, it would eliminate the “free-rider” problem, where people don’t purchase health insurance because they know that emergency rooms cannot deny service. The pure free-market approach would likely cause a big increase in labor force participation rates among low-skill workers, stimulating economic growth. This stimulus would be offset by an increased incidence of serious health problems. Clearly, as a society, we have decided not to go down this route.

At the other extreme the US could go to a “single-payer” system where the government offers a minimum standard of healthcare to everyone regardless of income. Virtually every developed market economy in the world has adopted this approach. Shifting to a single-payer system would require a tax to fund the additional cost to the government. Judging from the experience in other countries, however, the increase in taxes would be moderate. For example, consider what it would cost for the US to adopt Canada’s healthcare system. According to the World Health Organization, in 2011 healthcare spending was 11.2% of Canadian GDP compared to 17.6% for the US. Indeed, Canada’s spending share is typical; the US is in a class of its own in healthcare spending. The US government already spends more than 10% of GDP on healthcare so, as a rough calculation, switching to a Canadian system would require increasing that funding by about one percent of GDP.

Of course, there are pros and cons in shifting to such a system: Canada has much better health outcomes according to many metrics such as life expectancy. On the other hand, there would presumably be less innovation, more rationing of expensive procedures and longer waiting times. Moreover, the government, rather than big insurance companies, would dictate what expenses are covered.

The CBO estimates that the ACA will cut in half the share of the nonelderly population without insurance. There are currently 55 million uninsured people, about 20% of the nonelderly population. By 2017 they expect the uninsured to drop to 30 million. If CBO estimates are correct, a 25 million increase in the number of insured workers is being purchased at the expense of a one-percent hit to national income.

Of course the reduction in hours worked is not the only side effect.

Among its other effects, the law tends to shift resources into the healthcare sector and out of the rest of the economy.

The law is supposed to be deficit neutral, but some of the funding assumptions are unrealistic and we expect the law to bump up the annual budget deficit by about 0.2% of GDP.  

It also involves a transfer of resources from the younger, healthier people to older, lesshealthy people.

It reduces the free-rider problem of people using emergency rooms even though they don’t have insurance. And it adds to paper work and government data collection.

Do the costs exceed the benefits? We will let the reader decide.

 

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Fri, 02/14/2014 - 20:50 | 4438264 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

Sure Sign that BAC has settled DOJ claims

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 20:51 | 4438271 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

Bank Of America Asks "Do Obamacare Costs Exceed The Benefits?"

If they have to ask, we can't afford it.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 21:18 | 4438371 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

That question.... reminds me of this:

"Does the pope help paedophiles get away with their crimes?"

"Is the pope catholic, and making the world safe for paedophiles?"

"Does a bear crap in the woods, and does the pope crap on the broken lives and dreams of two hundred deaf boys?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wch00EQjz_A

---

It costs us our jobs and our lives, and the insurance companies benefit from it.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 21:47 | 4438438 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Obamacare was never intended to "fix" healthcare.  It was passed almost purely for political reasons (get as many people on the dole as possible and, therefore, further dependency on government).  That it is a disaster should not be a surprise to anyone who was paying attention.  

 

 

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 00:44 | 4438826 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

It's a sad fact of life, anymore, but ANY article I read, I find myself asking "How accurate/reliable are these numbers" and "what is the agenda of the author" ?

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 02:07 | 4438920 Stackers
Stackers's picture

Much misinformation in this analysis.

1st one worth mentioning is the false assumption that the US does not rank as highly as other developed nations in life expectancy and mortality due to our lack of socialized universal health system

One: the US has much higher rates of immigration both legal and illegal and Two: European countries game their health stats the way everyone games unemployment. e.g. selective counting. The US is slightly more honest .... for now

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 04:20 | 4439012 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

No country has the sit on the gradchild baby-pavement whales, Wal-Mart scooter trailer trash, meth, heroin, pink slime gobbling beer drunks that we do.

Every savings of Obamacare will be less, zero or even a cost. Every cost will be greater, by multiples. As the law settles down, everyone, every business, every union, every politician will, 24/7 be trying to game everything they can out of the pig till money pile. We're a welfare trash hustlers now or you are a tax chump.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 09:56 | 4439040 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

 

Deficit neutral bitchez!

 

Takeoff and nuke Obamacare from space....it's the only way to be sure.

 

So far I've qualified for 5 different exemptions.....you guys?

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 18:57 | 4440536 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Funny when you are trade freedom (freedom to chose health insurance, buy or not buy) for security (every one is MUST have insurance, no one is sick!), you are end up with neither, and lose million of job for boot.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 12:32 | 4439449 lordylord
lordylord's picture

The question to ask is WHO BENEFITS.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 19:01 | 4440548 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

You are refer to World Health Organization or Rock Band ("Won't be fooled again!")...?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 20:49 | 4438270 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

"Over the longer term, however, the law is almost certain to have a negative impact on the supply of hours worked for low-income workers."

 

That is happening now, no?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 20:52 | 4438272 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Health care advice from a zombie.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 21:50 | 4438442 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

This ultimately benefits that zombie.  Obamacare increases dependency on government, government runs more deficits, the government becomes more dependent on the Fed to monetize.... and the fed feeds the banks, whom they work for.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 21:54 | 4438450 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

good point

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 20:52 | 4438276 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Hmnm, if he's not gonna put gas in my car, maybe he ain't gonna give me the breath of life?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 20:50 | 4438278 anefarious1
anefarious1's picture

Of course the costs outweigh the benefits. Just calculate them at:

http://obamacarefee.com

There you can compare the cost (your fine) and versus the benefit (death panels for useless eaters) oh wait.. maybe it isn't so bad.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 00:48 | 4438831 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

Given that "fact", I'm surprised all you "boomer blamers" aren't ALL FOR O'care !

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 20:51 | 4438281 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

I miss the days when banks only did banking

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 20:53 | 4438291 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Fuck you BAC.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 21:42 | 4438423 texas sandman
texas sandman's picture

Current leader for Captain Obvious dumbass rhetotrical question of the year.  What next...Does Rain Make Pavement Wet?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 20:56 | 4438293 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Long live Charles Darwin.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 20:58 | 4438312 ThroxxOfVron
ThroxxOfVron's picture

"The law is supposed to be deficit neutral, but some of the funding assumptions are unrealistic"

Translation:

We know how to cook the books and mark to fantasy better than almost anyone and this shit isn't even remotely viable under any of our 'models'.  Prepare to bite the BIG ONE.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 21:48 | 4438443 pods
pods's picture

I love those forecasts. They make weatherman look good.

Wasn't Medicare supposed to only cost us like $12 billion a year now, as forecast when enacted?

pods

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 00:11 | 4438769 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Its not even worth screwing with anymore pods.

Burn it to the ground with them in it, fuck em.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 09:02 | 4439120 Element
Element's picture

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water ...

 
9-11 discussion re-re-reply:

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2014-02-03/most-boring-superbowl-ev...

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 19:25 | 4440296 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Element, if you're going to troll my every comment, we can do it right here.

////////////////

I know you're fixated on ACARS Element...but I'm not.

Messages being sent from the ground (and not acknowleged by the crew) along a "projected flight path" mean nothing. The transponders operate in coordination with radar to help identify them. Then its a process of elimination of confirming them on radar, they were always seen, just not properly identified by ground control but I can damned well guarantee you that UAL175 was noticed when it passed within 200ft of Delta 2315 and Midwest Flight 7 over NYC!!!

Where did ACARS and 911 "pilots for truth" say UAL175 was at that point in time Element? In fucking Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky?

I forget.

Three of the planes transponders were switched off, the fourth, was changed, twice by the hijackers. Betty Ong (and others) told us what was going on in real time, its her voice. Its also Sweeney's, Fangman's and Hanson's voice. Pilot Dahl also let his presence be known, in his own way (he reconfigured the cockpit mic to broadcast to the ground instead of the passenger cabin) as or before, he was being stabbed.

But all this means squat to you.

Robert Balsamo, Dylan Avery, Jason Bermas, Webster Tarpley etal are certifiable moonbats, making money from books & DVD's off the dead, who change their theories (in part or in whole) over time, as facts already known, are presented again in rebuttal. They can't explain it, so they ignore it and move on to some other wild ass theory but other pilots & crew taking evasive action damned well knew exactly where UAL175 was.

And where AA11 was too, which was essentially entering the air exit ramp for inbound traffic, that is to say, controllers were telling other pilots to deviate from their planned courses because they could see AA11 ON THEIR RADAR was heading for them and a potential mid-air collision.

But again, none of this means anything to you because of what...ACARS?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 21:04 | 4438324 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Bank of America (and tbtf in general) costs definitely exceed the (nonexistent) benefits.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 03:26 | 4438978 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

There's only one thing history teaches about subsidies-they make things more expensive.  Thus, the very high rate of health care and education inflation compared to any other item (except taxes and fees by the government) in any other sector of the economy.  Just note the loss of purchasing power from the onset of the "great society" programs of the 1960s to date (or its correlary-the price of gold-on safest store of value for the last 2000 years).

Or, or paraphrase Reagan,  "the scariest words in the english language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help you"

Please, please, just leave us alone you statist control freaks!  Remember the Hippocritic oath, "at least do no harm"

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 21:12 | 4438341 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

A bargain at any price.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 21:15 | 4438357 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Classic spin and misdirection. There are no benefits unless you are an insurance company, The whole thing is an Unconstitutional criminal and fascist scheme.

 

"What's the deductible Kenneth?!"

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 08:44 | 4439099 new game
new game's picture

another minus sum game where someone is gamed by fear...

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 21:16 | 4438360 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

40 unsuccessful tries to stop Obamacare... it just shows how inept the Republican leadership is. It should have only taken one try, if it was done correctly. Instead they just want to say we voted against it 40 times -- instead of actually stopping it once. Now that the Republicans fold so easily in both Houses, all it does is encourage Obama to make and change laws at will because he knows Republican leaders will not challenge him.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 21:46 | 4438433 monad
monad's picture

Not inept, corrupt. Treacherous. Deceitful. Criminal.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 22:31 | 4438539 WonderDawg
WonderDawg's picture

And there you have it. While it is true they are inept, you couldn't fuck shit up this bad without trying to fuck it up. They are bought and paid for.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 00:50 | 4438845 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

They "came down to our level" with the "trust us, it's bad", and "death panels" plugs, instead of citing actual FACTS.......taxes, cancellations, job loss.....

 

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 23:54 | 4438740 acetinker
acetinker's picture

Complicit.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 03:33 | 4438979 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

However, only one party voted to implement it!  Just as only one party implemented Medicare and Medicaid.  And if you don't control the senate and the house, you can't do shit to repeal anything.   The voters ensured this in 2012 and they can now reap the "benefits".  I hope they rectify this in 2014.

The rest of us will just ignore this law, its uncollectable "fines", and seek conceirge (cash for services) care in the unlikely event we need it.  Insurance is for suckers.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 09:06 | 4439124 new game
new game's picture

i trust you are doing as i have been doing. plus at least 25,000 dollars over last 10 years.

self "insured"! nobody to suck off except myself...

insurance is a game of fear, played on weak minds...

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 21:14 | 4438361 holdbuysell
holdbuysell's picture

Rhetorical question.

Next question, please.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 21:18 | 4438363 Uncle Sugar
Uncle Sugar's picture

Must be one of their PhD's writing up their thesis.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 21:44 | 4438436 monad
monad's picture

The IRS is now the NKVD 2.0

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 22:22 | 4438514 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Leaving aside all of the anti-Obama "socialist" rhetoric (which i think seriously misses the true predator lurking here, although Obama and the Demoncrats certainly and willfully enabled this), it seems to me that the ACA is simply another manifestation of the regulatory capture of our government by not the bankers but yet another entrenched monopoly, the "Healthcare Industry," which, faced with the choice of reducing costs or going under, decided to simply require that another source of revenue be found - even better, a source of revenue as to which there would not be any significant "matching" costs incurred. Young, healthy people. I think the vampiric impulses of a certain Wall Street firm come to mind.

By the way, the "free riders in emergency rooms getting free care" is code for "minorities getting shit for free", which is supposed to get you all riled up enough to think the ACA will put an end to that sort of thing. Ha ha.

This is not socialism. This is government enabling vast monopolies to flourish. Gee, what is the name for this?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 22:20 | 4438520 billw
billw's picture

This is just a pirce of BS proaganda by BOA to continue in the good graces of the Obama regime. Obamacare was passed under the provision that it was going to cost less than $1 trillion, and already that figure has been revised to closer to $3 trillion. Also Obamacare was only supposed to cost 800,000 jobs, and now that has been revised to ~ 2.5 million lost jobs. These BOA clowns must really believe that we are all stupid out here.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 22:38 | 4438566 TeddyBear
TeddyBear's picture

 

 

 

If CBO estimates are correct, a 25 million increase in the number of insured

And how many new health workers will this take?

1 mil or more?

 

On the low end, a 2011 study from the Congressional Budget Office estimated just an 800,000 reduction in full-time equivalent jobs once the economy has fully adapted to the law.

 

Looks like a net gain in jobs and from low wage to healthcare,

WIN - WIN

Or did i get something wrong?

 

BOA LIES

My health, biotech, pharma ETFs are flying, Get U some!

 

I am getting RSI sells on some gold ETFs. Retest 1300. I may not sell, This could come overnight.

1285 for the uptrend to break.

 


Fri, 02/14/2014 - 22:38 | 4438568 LetsGetPhysical
LetsGetPhysical's picture

Why didn't you ask that question 4 years ago dipshits?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 22:44 | 4438574 Judge Crater
Judge Crater's picture

The following statement is not true: "On a positive note, we have the most advanced technology and innovation in the world." The American hospital system is run by the Chargemaster billing system, so one aspirin can cost a patient $4.  Lately, the price of generic prescription drugs has in some cases gone from pennies each to several dollars each.  Check out the price increases on digitoxin.   http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-12-12/generic-drug-prices-spik.... Recently, the FDA has warned of a nationwide shortage of saline solution IV bags.  Some advanced country we are, more like a third world country with drug shortages everywhere. 

All Obamacare had to do was lower the eligibility age for Medicare to 55.  CMS, which administers Medicare, hires outside contractors whos slash to ribbons excess hospital charges.  But if Obama had lowered the Medicare age to 55, those non-profit, price gouging hospitals would have stopped making big campaign contributions to politicians of both parties to preserve the crooked status quo. 

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 22:56 | 4438626 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

All Obama had to do was lower the eligibility age for Medicare to zero.

That is exactly what he wants to do, aka "single payer".

However, have you SEEN the quality of care you get as a Medicare patient?  Don't be so eager for it.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 22:51 | 4438613 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

and rates are set in a way that subsidizes older workers relative to younger workers

In spite of hearing the claim often, this is not visible in the rates.  Nobody's policy costs have gone down.  At least, it is no more true now that younger subscribers fund old ones, than it has been in any past period.  In fact I think it is less true now than five or ten years ago.  It especially will be true in big corporate policies, as I suspect (!?) that the individual pricing is now the law even within groups, if this is true it will mean a HUGE increase for those over age 50 who were previously getting huge breaks on a corporate policy.

But in his finite wisdom Obambus has delayed the details of this for another year or two, and apparently nobody in the entire universe seems capable of reading the law and telling us in advance wtf it really means.

 

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 23:26 | 4438695 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

But 3 million people in America are now insured. Of course 30 million (give or take tens of millions) were totally fucked out of a preexisting plan of their choice and affordability but what the hell........

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 00:21 | 4438786 bankonzhongguo
bankonzhongguo's picture

That is all very interesting.

Now let us stop pretending to give anything these banks do or say ANY legitimacy.

Nationalize the banks.

Expunge the debts.

Break up the remaining commercial and retail elements by states.

Make banks go back to the real task of supporting the real economy and stop all this fairy-dust POMO QE derivative bit-shlock wealth-effect Fed fantasy.

Turn the ship around before the coal fired engines turn into crematoriums.

And with respect to health-care, ...

Until drug prices reach a true market price - like 10 cents a dose a la India, and GE stops selling these ridiculous ATM MRIs and Ultrasounds to various practices, and people recognize that trying to fit a guaranteed insurance industry 20% profit into a deflationary household income, nothing will get better.

Where is the concept of Social Justice from within this Chicago-Mossad Democratic Party? Too busy grabbing guns, setting up real time surveillance and conducting pre-crime opposition research.

We are living science fiction.

Somehow, I think Jesus would topple the actuarial tables within the Temple of Amerikan Healthkare.

Sin.  Such as profiting from needless human suffering.

 

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 10:59 | 4439257 artless
artless's picture

"Now let us stop pretending to give anything these banks do or say ANY legitimacy.

Nationalize the banks.

Expunge the debts.

Break up the remaining commercial and retail elements by states..."

 

Yeah great fucking idea. More fascism to combat the fascist system.

Fucking moron.

How about perhaps just eliminating the cartels, enforcing the Sherman Act, and allowing the DEFLATIONARY BY DEFINITION forces of technological advance take hold?

Oh I'm sorry is liberty-especially ECONOMIC LIBERTY-juat a wee bit tooscary for ya? Oh no one might have to be responsible for their own shit decisions instead of relying on the criminal class to "take care of them".

I am so fucking sick and tired of listening to idiots bitch and moan about the state of things whether it be banking, govt, or nedicine and then suggest just a pile of MOAR of the same tyranical shit that got us to where we are. Look at any sector of the economy and where you find the least regulation and governmnet intervention you will find the most competition, the lowest prices, and the highest rate of technological advancement. Like that super computer you have in your pocket? Well imagine THAT market scenario applied to medicine?

The banks, the Big Pahrma et al can only accomplish their nefarious deeds through force of GOVERNMENT. Take away their enforcers and then...

Wake the fuck up. Gorvernment, nationalization, whatever IS NOT THE SOLUTION. We are not fucking Venezuela.

 

Yet.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 00:31 | 4438800 Lumberjack
Lumberjack's picture

The new flood insurance issue here in the N.E. (based on california/pacific ocean standards btw, like the AGW bullshit being espoused), are pure bullshit. They are fucking a shitload of people who DO NOT live anywhere a floodplain, but are to the benefit of the banksters and politico's who do have nice ocean views. 

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 00:51 | 4438839 Pickle Jar Bob
Pickle Jar Bob's picture

This reads like a high schoolers love letter to Obams

 

Its full of the low-rent pablum you find on DKos or reddit.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 01:51 | 4438909 Johnny Cocknballs
Johnny Cocknballs's picture

This article started off with such promise, but ultimately came in its pants.

All I know is we don't have enough doctors for all these new patients.

But we sure have enough malpractice lawyers.

 

Its also squeezing the middle class to pay, yet more, for an elderly population that takes out far more in benefits than it puts in even as ft worker/retiree ratios are worsening.

The freeloading problem is magnified as people paying the least will cost the system the most.  There's little about preventive care or nutrition, and health care rationing is absolutely part of the "fix" 

 

So a lot of people get a lot for a little on the back of workers while many good doctors exit the insurance paid quagmire entirely and cater to cash paying wealthy people and cadillac plan members.

 

Cute.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 01:57 | 4438914 Max Cynical
Max Cynical's picture

A more credible argument is that uncertainty about the law is hurting business confidence. Even here we see a limited impact. 96% of companies have fewer than 50 workers and are therefore only impacted by the law if they plan to expand beyond 50 full-time workers. The law also has little impact on big companies that already offer health insurance. Finally, smaller companies that already offer insurance will now get a subsidy. The law is creating uncertainty, but we doubt the impacts are close to what we have seen with repeated budget battles in Washington.

---

What a bullshit argument...which doesn't consider that 96% of companies with fewer than 50 employees are comprised of individuals that are seeing their premiums and deductables skyrocket.

Every single individual that pays for his/her own healthcare and companies of any size that pay for their employees coverage will see their healthcare costs skyrocket.

NOTHING is stoping the insurance companies from raising premiums and duductables...and this is just the first year.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 09:38 | 4439156 F em all but 6
F em all but 6's picture

"The US has a very expensive, incredibly complicated healthcare system."

 

Just like the tax code. No wonder justice Roberts said Obammy Care was a tax.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 11:12 | 4439265 MagicMoney
MagicMoney's picture

This article seems unsure of it's itself. Especially this tidbit.

"The pure free-market approach would likely cause a big increase in labor force participation rates among low-skill workers, stimulating economic growth. This stimulus would be offset by an increased incidence of serious health problems."

 

As if people are actually getting sicker than people 50 years ago relative to population growth.

 

Single payer is simply a system to access healthcare regardless of ability to pay. There is trade offs.

 

The reason why US health care is so expensive, and rapidly getting more expensive come from several things. Too much usage of insurance, yes this is why unions hate Obamacare they want their overly generous insurance plans they want their bosses to contribute than rather pay income taxes to the Federal Government. It's a tax loophole that gives incentive to use more healthcare with insurance. These type of plans allows these people go to the doctor for the tiniest sniffles, & headaches  What's wrong with using more healthcare with insurance? Problem with health insurance today in the US is the third party payer, the insurance company doesn't allocate funds efficiently at least not in the way true insurance suppose to work. Insurance is a hedge against a future event that is priced according to past prices, probability, again studied in the past, and risk. How big is that risk, and how probable it is, and how to best allocate funds for that risk. US health insurance isn't real insurance. It's a cost pooling mechanism, or pre-paid consumption. For example imagine there is food insurance, (which isn't really insurance as it will be explained), I make a payment to a company, so I can eat more food. It's basically pre-paid grocery shopping. The reason why this "food insurance" isn't insurance, is because it doesn't cover anything that is insurable. I am simply pre-paying for the ability to consume more food.

 

There is other things of course like regulations, watch the Dallas Buyer's Club for some insight on the FDA, and reckless use of insurance. There is other secondary causes, like expensive education which I believe contribute to the problem. Anyways, when democratic society concedes that free markets don't work, they concede that government is the best way. Hayek called it the fatal conciet. The solution to free market problems? State run communism bitchez!!!

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 11:21 | 4439299 Vin
Vin's picture

Benefits?  What benefits?  All it's done is destroy my insurance protection and costs me much more.  How is this for the general welfare?  It's not.  It simply is intended to destroy what we have so that we're 'on the same playing field' as his constituents.  It's socialism plain and simple.  Bring everyone down to the same level of misery.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 11:52 | 4439364 BouncingCat
BouncingCat's picture

The author makes a few mistakes

 

  1. Reliance on healtcare systems based on WHO statistics:
    1. Life expectancy in the US, when you eliminate deaths due to accidental or violent circumstances, moves to #1 in the world.
    2. Quality of care: should be measure from the point of intervention and here this moves the US to #1 in the world.
    3. Infant mortality: these are largely self-reported.  The inability of the WHO to independently verify, audit, and normalize the data creates a situation where countries with substandard systems have "unexpectedly" low infant mortality rates.
  2. Obamacare has consistently overpromised and under delivered.  This trend is likely to continue, showing this to be a HUGE money sync.
  3. You can't compare the amounts different countries spend on healthcare without adjusting for the legal and regulatory environments that impose significant costs as well as scarcity imposed by socialized system.
Sat, 02/15/2014 - 12:42 | 4439479 Deathstar
Deathstar's picture

Bottom line... the HNIC is a commie.

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 13:26 | 4439626 cramers_tears
cramers_tears's picture

Let's pass a law that whenever a banker, fedster or government lacky starts spouting any kind of statistics and trying to make any kind of point - that when they're done, they must take a bare-knuckle punch to the mouth.  Then the puncher gets a tax credit if the punch draws blood.

This is a CROCK-OF-SHIT!

 

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