Monday, November 25, 2013

ObamaCare, Fantasy versus Reality

"What we have in California, then, is a proof of concept. Yes, Obamacare is workable — in fact, done right, it works just fine." - Paul Krugman, New York Times, Nov. 25 2013
Krugman is of course wrong, but then again when has that ever stopped him from declaring something a success. It was recently reported that over 1 million California's received letters cancelling their health insurance. To call it a success, Mr. Krugman says that "...more than 10,000 applications are being completed per day." That's nice but those are applications, not enrollments and there is a huge difference. What matters is being enrolled. You don't get health insurance coverage just for applying!

In any case, even if we assume that everyone that had their health insurance cancelled in California was able to both apply and enroll at the rate provided by Mr. Krugman (very unlikely) it would take 100 days to replace the coverage lost because of Obamacare. Since enrollment started on October 1st and enrollment must be completed by December 23rd for January 1st coverage, that only leaves 84 days by my calculation. Some people are just going to be left without coverage. That's hardly successful in my book, but then again these are very optimistic progressive metrics, not real metrics.

Ironically, Mr. Krugman mentions among the successes in Obamacare the state of Massachusetts. I say ironically, because the official title of the legislation is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Yet health insurance is more expensive in Massachusetts than almost anywhere else in the country (except in some cases Alaska)! So much for affordable health insurance.

Tragically, the debacle that is Obamacare was predicted in excruciating detail by Professor Richard Allen Epstein in a debate with Dr. Judith M. Feder during the inaugural New York University Law Forum debate who's topic was "The Debate over Health Care Reform." As of the writing of this post there have been only 4,655 views of this debate via YouTube, which is equally tragic because Professor Epstein's detailed analysis of the Obamacare legislation is both impressive and amazingly prescience. Over the course of an hour, Professor Epstein utterly distroys almost every assumption and prediction of the Obamacare supporters with both reasoned logic and detailed critical analysis. The scary part of his analysis is not what he got right already, but the predictions about legislation that have yet to be implemented.

So, while Paul Krugman may call California a proof of concept. Proof of an unworkable concept is hardly conforting.

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