Monthly Archives: April 2014

We Are Going to Find Out That Eight Million Is Worse Than Seven Million

President Obama, after reporting that eight million people have signed up for a Obamacare Exchange insurance policy before the end of the extended April 15, 2014 deadline, proudly stated he has won. What did he win? Americans are not taking to the streets to celebrate his victory. Most people don’t know what he is referring to. Apparently he considers getting people to sign up for a Obamacare Exchange insurance policy to be a game for which he creates and can, at his whim, change the rules. Almost everything President Obama has said about Obamacare for the last 5 years has been an outright lie or deliberately misleading. Now, because he set up a meaningless goal of signing up 7 million registrants before the deadline, which was apparently exceeded, he claims he won. Even if all of the 8 million people have validly registered on a Obamacare Exchange and paid their premium (which is doubtful), it is almost certainly a meaningless number.

Why should the fact that eight million people registering on an exchange be a meaningful number or be something to be proud of? After all, five million people had insurance policies cancelled because of Obamacare and over 40 million individuals had no coverage before Obamacare. The percentage reduction in the number of uninsured is not significant considering the extensive and costly effort made to get people to do so. Moreover, since Obamacare is a new welfare program that offers poor, low-income and people with pre-existing conditions healthcare for free or for a price of 20% or less than its true cost, you would expect more people to have taken advantage and signed up for it. However, the insurance policies being offered on the Obamacare exchanges are so confusing and limiting as to hospitals and doctors, that, even the folks being offered a bargain, are sceptical.

Obamacare is being paid for by higher insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays being charged to the healthy middle class and above who (i) do not qualify for a premium subsidy and (ii) who as taxpayers are going to be taxed to supplement the 18 Obamacare taxes (most of which are being paid by or will be passed on to them) adopted to pay for the US government Obamacare costs, including the subsidies, and the increased Medicaid coverage for the poor. The more sick and highly subsidized people who sign up for a Obamacare policy, the greater the costs that will have to be borne in large part by the middle class. As a result we are going to discover that the more people who sign up for Obamacare, the more disastrous it will be to the middle class. For that reason 8 million people signing up for Obamacare policies is worse than 7 million. The draftsmen of Obamacare knew how unfair it was to the middle class and that large numbers of people would opt out of coverage. They therefore included a penalty, that increases each year, to compel the purchases. The penalty, if collectible, is payable to the government (and not the insurance companies) and, therefore, will not limit premium increases.

President Obama doesn’t talk about Obamacare as a welfare program for low-income people because he is trying to induce the middle class into signing up for it to generate revenues for the insurance companies by collecting excessive premiums from low-cost customers and thereby limit future premium increases. However, the middle class, particularly those who are young and healthy and targeted by Obamacare mandates to pay the most excessive amounts for their coverage, are discovering sticker shock when they learn the cost of their premiums, deductibles and co-pays. We do not yet know for sure, because President Obama refuses to tell us, the important facts he must know about the registrants, including whether they are people who (i) are sick or had pre-existing medical conditions, (ii) were replacing their cancelled insurance, (iii) are paying little or nothing for their coverage because their premium payments are being highly subsidized by the US Government and the taxpayers or (iv) are healthy middle class people. We can expect to find out that a high percentage of the those who have registered for coverage are sick, poor or low-income folks taking advantage of the bargain. They are the only individuals who will be getting fair value for purchasing a Obamacare qualified insurance policy.

President Obama, with assistance from the liberal press, has also prevented the American people from finding out other important facts about Obamacare, including the enormous costs of (i) eliminating pre-existing conditions from consideration or (ii) providing the expanded mandated coverage of Obamacare qualified insurance policies. He stresses only the benefits, not the costs.

It should be obvious that President Obama doesn’t care what the cost of providing Obamacare is to the US Government or the taxpayers or about the excess amount being paid by healthy, middle class people. He lied about Obamacare to get reelected and is now lying to try to keep control of the Senate in the mid-term elections.
He has repeatedly tried to trick middle class, young people into signing up for Obamacare by making fraudulent statements about its cost, recently claiming it will cost no more than a monthly cell phone or cable bill. That statement is deliberately misleading because it only applies to low-income people entitled to a large premium subsidy. When the true cost of their premiums, deductible and co-pays becomes known to young people, many of them will elect to pay or risk paying the penalty and go without coverage, or will cancel or not renew their coverage and premiums are likely to skyrocket in future years.

The US is a wealthy country which can afford to give adequate healthcare to the poor and low-income people. We can set up clinics at or near hospitals to provide free or low-cost preventive care and certain types of emergency care. However, we cannot afford to give Rolls Royce or Cadillac plans to everyone, including people with pre-existing conditions whose coverage may cost hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars per year. President Obama proudly claims that as a result of Obamacare no-one will ever again lose their home because of illness. He doesn’t care whether they are rich and getting an unneeded benefit or their pre-existing condition was self-caused as a result of smoking, drug or alcohol abuse, or high carb diets causing obesity. He doesn’t tell middle class workers that as a result of Obamacare (i) they are required to pay for most of the healthcare costs of their low-income and sick neighbors, or (ii) they may never be able to buy a car, own a home, save for retirement or their children’s education or even pay off their college loans. Nor does he tell them that when the employer mandate kicks in, they may lose their full-time job or their employer paid coverage.

We must find a way to help people deal with the cost of pre-existing conditions and to help low-income people get acceptable healthcare without placing the burden on the backs of the middle class. President Obama will gladly have the government pay the subsidies to the insurance companies on behalf of low-income people to make it look like Obamacare is gaining popularity. President Obama doesn’t care about the people being harmed by Obamacare because (i) he wants the government’s providing of healthcare for the poor and low-income folks to be his legacy and (ii) because he is an entitlementist who wants to use Obamacare and government control of healthcare as a new welfare program to gain net votes for Democrats from low-income people and the poor. He is using his power as president to convert our economic system of dynamic capitalism that engenders exceptionalism into a socialist state, favoring mediocrity, that will inevitably be doomed to economic stagnation.

President Obama doesn’t care that most doctors dislike Obamacare. He thinks of them as highly paid and rich. He doesn’t care that they are facing greatly increased operating costs and reduced income as the insurance companies seek to limit their costs and future premium increases and the government reduces Medicare payments to providers. He is concealing from the American people that the quality and availability of healthcare is precipitously declining. Obamacare policy holders can expect to encounter long waits to be treated at a hospital or by a doctor not of their choosing. As in European countries, those people who can afford to pay for their own high quality and timely provided healthcare will pay extra for private doctors and hospitals operating outside of the exchanges.

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Annual US GDP Growth Of Ten Percent Should Be The Goal

Annual US GDP growth of ten percent should be the goal. Not the communist goal of eliminating income inequality that President Obama keeps talking about that has never succeeded.  Ironically, the failed socialistic economic policies of the Obama administration have created an immediate opportunity for much larger annual increases in the US GDP. Years of stagnant US economic growth, despite exceptional technology advances, have resulted in a highly under-utilized  and underpaid workforce. We should be seeking the preservation of American exceptionalism by encouraging competence and hard work, not laziness or poor conduct. We should be rewarding success, not encouraging failure. We can only imagine the growth that can be generated by bringing large numbers of people back into the workforce and converting part-time jobs to full-time jobs. Each time a job is lost due to improved technology or a job is lost because production moves offshore, we have an available worker for a new job which can accelerate our growth.

We have had five years of a tepid economic recovery during the period following the Great Recession, the most severe downturn since the end of World War II. President Obama has been very lucky. The recovery has taken place despite the failed fiscal stimulus programs adopted during his administration, his raising income taxes, cutting defense spending, adopting incompetently drafted banking and business regulations that are in large part counterproductive and excessively costly to comply with, and adopting Obamacare and its 18 new taxes and thousands of pages of regulations and then changing them at his whim for political purposes. The recovery has taken place because of developments that President Obama had little, if anything, to do with. TARP loans, which originated during the Bush administration, followed by the Fed’s monetary programs were instrumental in enabling the banking system and the auto and housing industries to avoid collapse, stabilize and return to profitability.

Spectacular developments have spurred the economic recovery, including: 

* Improved horizontal drilling and fracking techniques which, despite the unsubstantiated concerns of environmentalists and interference from the Obama administration, represent the single most important economic development of this century. They have (i) caused an explosion in US national gas and oil production, (ii) created an annual demand for tens of thousands of miles of stainless steel pipe for use in connection with the drilling and transportation of such oil and gas production, (iii) created a growing demand for rail transportation to move the pipe to states such as North Dakota and Texas and the oil and gas being produced to refiners and users across the nation, (iv) created  high-paying jobs leading to increased income tax revenues and a demand for cars and trucks for use by the oil and gas industry and its employees, (v) engendered the rapid growth of new communities to house and service the production employees, (vi) led to the return to the US of industries producing plastics and other natural gas by-products, and (vii) made the US energy independent and strengthened our position as the world leading military power; 

* Rapid expansion of our international businesses throughout the world and increased sales of our exports of products and services, including food, aircraft, machinery, equipment and raw materials to the BRIC and other developing countries;

* The spawning and rapid growth of sales of wireless communications devices, the Internet and social-networking businesses; 

* The wealth effect from rising stock market prices based on increased corporate profitability stimulated by the Fed’s bond purchases and promotion of low-interest rates that enabled corporations to reduce financing costs and inexpensively finance the purchase of cost saving technology. and 

*The exceptionally large sums (financed in large part by federal and state government funding and private insurance) spent for clean-up and rebuilding of roads, infrastructure, housing, and commercial real estate and vehicle replacement following  the many natural disasters that have occurred during the period. 

Even the modest recovery in the housing market (and the related housing improvement and rehabilitation market) caused in large part by investors buying up foreclosed properties for resale and rental and rising number of international millionaires seeking to own US-based assets, has contributed to the recovery. However, private home ownership that was the most important asset owned by the middle class for more than 50 years prior to the Great Recession, has been put on the back burner by the Obama administration which favors the poor at the expense of the middle class. Housing construction offers the potential to be a leading force if future US economic growth. 

President Obama claims credit for the recovery, but he had little to do with it. The manner in which he saved the auto industry was disgraceful. He favored his friends, the unions, over secured creditors. He hampered the oil and gas industry by impeding fracking, the leasing of federal lands and pipeline development. The Obama stimulus programs concentrated on increased welfare payments and ill-conceived, failed green energy programs that squandered large amounts that greatly expanded the National Debt, but generated almost no tax-paying jobs. The Fed has repeatedly stated that it has extended QE programs because of failed fiscal policies.

I will not in this writing discuss the harm to the US economy being caused by the adoption of Obamcare. I have and will continue to write about (i) the continuous stream of outrageous, lies and misinformation promoted almost daily by President Obama relating to Obamacare’s costs and benefits, (ii) President Obama’s failure to deal with Medicare spending problems,(iii) how Obamacare is gouging and damaging the lives of the middle class by requiring them to pay for free or highly subsidized healthcare for the sick and the poor and low-income folks and for a significant portion of the healthcare costs of the elderly and (iv) the inevitable economic disaster that awaits the middle class and the US economy when the employer mandate (that has been illegally delayed by President Obama for political purposes) is allowed to become effective. Suffice it to say that if and when the egregious provisions of Obamacare are repealed it will serve as an immediate stimulus to the US economy. 

Can we envision a time soon after President Obama is out of office (i)  when Congress regains control of spending and middle class income growth and not growth in welfare and ending income inequality is the goal, (ii) when Obamacare is no longer interfering with economic growth or destroying the healthcare industry, (iii) when our transportation infrastructure is being adequately repaired and improved, (iv) when employers are investing in expansion, offering raises to current employees and seeking employees for full-time, tax-paying jobs; (v) when young middle class families can pay off their college loans and buy and make improvements in homes which develop growing equity; (vi) when defense spending and homeland security spending is increased to levels needed to protect our country and our allies from aggression and terrorist acts (vii) when the National Debt is stable or declining, (viii) when Medicare costs and welfare abuses are brought under control;(ix) when the Fed permits interest rates to rise during a period with 2 to 3% inflation and (x) when savers can get a fair return on their capital? 

It can happen if we turn away from the path to socialism and focus on GDP growth and strengthening American capitalism.

 

However, the growth will not occur if Republican conservatives insist on policies of austerity or if a needed catalyst fails to occur to get the growth avalanche started. Our international corporations have more than 2 trillion dollars held overseas that can be repatriated if we change the tax laws. Previous changes led to repatriation of overseas funds, but did not result in significantly increased domestic investment. This writer published a book last year (that has not attracted attention) entitled “Perpetuating American Greatness After The Fiscal Cliff” which proposed changes in the US tax laws to finance transportation infrastructure construction projects through the sale of “Jump Start America Bonds”. The name of the bonds tells the story of their purpose. They would serve as the needed catalyst.

Ukraine’s Multi-Trillion Dollar Claim Against Russia

Ukraine should commence a multi-trillion dollar lawsuit against Russia in the World Court ¬†for the taking of Crimea without just compensation. Coupled with other sanctions, such a claim might, during its pendency, seriously impact Russia’s currency in the world markets. It might also discourage other nations from improperly seizing the property of a neighboring country.

OBAMACARE IS CONCEPTUALLY FLAWED AND CAN’T BE FIXED

President Obama recently took to the airwaves, smiling enthusiastically and jumping up and down like an immature teenage boy, claiming victory for Obamacare because more than 7 million people registered for coverage on the Obamacare website before the March 31, 2014 deadline. He was obviously trying to mislead the American people into thinking that the number of sign-ups was of great importance. It wasn’t. Just another of the president’s Obamacare lies. The 7 million number was initially set by HHS as a meaningless goal that it thought could be easily achieved and only appeared to be difficult to reach because of the failures of the website. After all, Obamacare previously required the cancellation of the coverage of more than 5 million people, a number that President Obama repeatedly told us was insignificant and only a small percentage of all Americans with healthcare coverage. He had for years promised that Obamacare would give coverage for the more than 30 million previously uninsured. He never tells us the number of people who have or will lose their healthcare coverage as a result of Obamacare.

President Obama and the HHS are deliberately withholding significant information from the American people relating to how many of the 7 million registrants (i) are merely replacing their coverage cancelled for failing to meet Obamacare mandates, (ii) are under the age of 26 and signing up for coverage, as permitted by Obamacare, under their parents’ plans, (iii) are elderly people who are likely to need more expensive care that will lead to further premium increases, (iv) have pre-existing conditions and are receiving insurance coverage, worth up to $2 million per individual and hundreds of billions of dollars in the aggregate, for a small fraction of its true cost that will be passed on by the insurers in the form of premium increases, (v) are young middle class people who do not qualify for subsidies and as a result are required to greatly overpay for their coverage (to enable insurers to limit premium increases for the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions) or (vi) are low-income people of all ages who are receiving a new welfare benefit from the US Government in the form of exceptionally high premium subsidies. They do not care if most of the registrants on the website are disproportionately highly subsidized low-income people. They do not care how much Obamacare is costing the US Government. On the contrary, they obviously want to maximize the government subsidy payments to the insurers to limit premium increases so that they can claim that Obamacare is working.

Obamacare mandates are changing virtually all aspects of the health insurance industry. They are highly complex and extremely difficult to understand. For example, elderly middle class individuals, who are under the age of 65, and not Medicare eligible, and not subject to pre-existing conditions, are being partially relieved (by a Obamacare mandated formula) of the premium cost increases even if they do not qualify for a Obamacare subsidy. However, they are still required to pay increased and excessive healthcare insurance costs to help pay for the higher premiums necessitated by the exclusion of pre-existing conditions from consideration and the enhanced policy benefits mandated by Obamacare, most of which they do not benefit from. Obamacare is basically a scheme proposed by President Obama and Democrat entitlementists to redistribute income from the middle class and high income people to the poor and low-income folks to create income equality and gain votes for liberal Democrats.

President Obama continues to fraudulently mislead young and elderly middle class individuals about their Obamacare policy costs. He has recently claimed that a Obamacare exchange policy premium costs no more than the monthly cost of a cable or cell phone bill. This is an outrageous lie with respect to the healthy young middle class individuals whose sign-ups are needed to prevent Obamacare premiums from skyrocketing. They are facing aggregate premiums, deductibles and co-pays that make their aggregate health insurance costs many times (i) the fair market rate or (ii) the amount of their cable or cell phone bill.

President Obama knows that his claims about cost are true only for the low-income taxpayers who are eligible for very large premium subsidies of 80% or more. He also knows that it will cost the US Government, the provider of the subsidies, hundreds of billions of dollars annually. As a result, to avoid federal deficits and further National Debt increases, middle class taxpayers, who pay a majority of all income taxes, will inevitably face the added Obamacare burden of paying tax increases to pay for a large portion of the Obamacare subsidies for low-income taxpayers (most of whom pay no federal income taxes). The result is that the middle class is being sucker punched twice. They are targeted to pay greatly excessive healthcare costs for their own coverage and will also pay for the inevitable income tax increases the government will need to pay for the hundreds of billions of dollars of subsidies to reimburse most of the premium costs of low-income folks and the added Medicaid costs for the poor.

President Obama and the Democrats are now acknowledging that Obamacare has flaws that need to be fixed. However, they are concealing the fact that Obamacare is conceptually flawed and can’t be fixed. Each of the 38 changes made by President Obama were designed to give relief from Obamacare to his political supporters or to prevent voters from finding out how destructive Obamacare is to businesses and the middle class.

 

President Obama and the HHS are continuing their attempts to mislead voters about Obamacare for political reasons. They have proudly and disingenuously stated (to make it look like the total number of people registering is of great importance) that Obamacare exchange registrations are accelerating. They are running ads using celebrities, who are probably clueless about and do not discuss the merits of Obamacare, to try to induce people to sign up for Obamacare.

To fool the voters for purposes of the mid-term Congressional elections, President Obama and the HHS have by fiat, and in violation of the Obamacare statute (under a highly questionable claim that they are authorized to do so), postponed the employer mandate. By doing so, President Obama is merely postponing the loss of full-time jobs and employer-provided healthcare coverage that will decimate the middle class. Zeke Emanuel (one of the draftsmen and now a spokesman for Obamacare) has confirmed that the employer mandate will likely cause (i) employers to stop offering healthcare coverage and (ii) many millions of employees to lose their employer paid healthcare coverage. President Obama also doesn’t care that the employer mandate will cause the conversion of millions of full-time, tax-paying jobs into part-time jobs. He ridiculously stated that many individuals will benefit from working fewer hours. Why work to earn one’s healthcare coverage if you can become eligible for Obamacare subsidies and other welfare benefits? President Obama and the HHS have also failed to disclose how many people have been illegally permitted to temporarily renew or extend an existing policy that does not meet the Obamacare mandates.

President Obamas actions make it clear that he doesn’t care that Obamacare is destructive to the middle class. He believes that he can continue to fool a large number of them (many of whom are uninformed liberals who trust the president and continue to be misled by his empty promises of hope and change) by disingenuously stating time-and-again that he cares about the middle class. He is an entitlementist who believes that he can gain net votes for Democrats from the poor and low-income voters by adding Obamacare subsidies to the long list of welfare benefits that have been greatly expanded during his presidency. Obamacare threatens to narrow the discretionary income spread between the middle class and low-income people and destroy the work ethic that has since our founding days made American capitalism the envy of individuals around the globe. </p

Despite the large premium subsidies, most low-income people will be harmed, not helped by Obamacare. President Obama can induce them to pay the highly subsidized premiums, but doesn’t tell them about the substantial deductibles and co-pays included under Obamacare plans. When they incur a sickness or injury and discover that the insurance coverage will not apply until they have paid the deductibles out of pocket, many of them will have committed for a treatment they cannot afford. Many of them will simply stop paying the Obamacare premiums. They will also suffer along with everyone else from the declining quality and availability of healthcare services. They are discovering that they may not be able to use their personal doctor or the hospital of their choice and may have long delays before getting treated. Healthcare availability is only going to get worse as fewer doctors participate in Obamacare insurance programs and people with Obamacare coverage take advantage of services that are provided without deductibles, such as preventive care. They may lose full-time jobs and face reduced working hours per week. They will also suffer from the negative affects Obamacare will have on the American economy.