O’MALLEY, OBAMACARE & THE TECHNOCRACY MYTH

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss Martin O’Malley’s pose as a “technocrat” and the disaster he presided over when Maryland tried to launch its Obamacare exchange:

When Democrat Martin O’Malley announced his presidential bid, the media billed him as part of a new generation of talented technocrats. The former Maryland governor, as one outlet put it, “helped pioneer a data-driven approach that made government more efficient.” These people have evidently forgotten the spectacular failure of Maryland’s online Obamacare exchange, which crashed moments after launch because O’Malley and his administration studiously ignored ominous data provided by its technical experts.

In other words, O’Malley’s “data-driven approach” didn’t involve looking at actual data. It consisted of telling the media that Maryland’s exchange would be a “model for the nation.”

Meanwhile, the danger signs mounted. As the Washington Post reported at the time, “More than a year before Maryland launched its health insurance exchange, senior state officials failed to heed warnings that no one was ultimately accountable for the $170 million project and that the state lacked a plausible plan for how it would be ready.” And these concerns continued to be ignored right up to the go-live date.

The avoidable debacle culminated in a settlement requiring the IT firm Noridian Healthcare Solutions to refund $45 million of the $73 million it was paid to bungle the project. To read the rest, click here.

FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD BLACK LIVERS MATTER

In today’s American Spectator I discuss one of the most disturbing aspects of Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting operation—its deliberate targeting of African-American women:

If you have ever witnessed one of those “spontaneous” pro-abortion demonstrations held in Washington whenever Congress contemplates curtailing taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, you may have noticed that there was something missing:

African-American demonstrators.

This is odd, considering that black women are far more likely to have abortions than are their Caucasian counterparts. And, examined in light of the now infamous video of a white Planned Parenthood official discussing how to crush a baby without damaging marketable livers and other organs, it is particularly ominous. Why? Because the terminated baby will probably have been black, and that is no coincidence.

Am I suggesting that Planned Parenthood purposely mines a specific minority group for “products of conception”? Yep. To read the rest of the column, click here.

WHY KRUGMAN LIES ABOUT OBAMACARE

In today’s American Spectator I discuss Paul Krugman’s pathological need to paint a completely counterfactual picture of Obamacare’s performance:

We have all known someone who, having paid an exorbitant sum for a car that seems to spend a lot of time in the shop, insists it’s the best automobile he’s ever owned. That´s Paul Krugman where Obamacare is concerned. His psychological and professional investment in the perversely titled Affordable Care Act is such that he cannot bring himself to admit that he bought a lemon.

And like the guy with the pricey car that keeps breaking down, his claims about the dysfunctional law are becoming so preposterous that they are literally provoking laughter when he makes them in public.

This is what happened last week during a debate at Freedom Fest between Krugman and Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation … Krugman, desperate to convince the audience that the rattletrap was “working quite well,” claimed that it had lowered the cost of U.S. health care. PJ Media’s Liz Sheld reports, ‘The whole room laughed at that howler.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

MEDICARE’S VICTIMS

In today’s American Spectator I take a look at a new book by David Hogberg that disposes of the myth that Medicare is a spotless paragon of government-run health care.

Despite the Supreme Court’s repeated attempts to prop it up, Obamacare is collapsing. This is obvious not merely to the majority of Americans who have always disapproved of the law, but also to an increasing number of progressives. Consequently, we are once again hearing calls for single-payer health care. Most advocates of this system … favor Medicare-for-All. They want, in other words, to put all Americans on the government program that covers the elderly and disabled.

An excellent antidote for this simplistic solution is David Hogberg’s new book, Medicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Program Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians (National Center for Public Policy Research, 336 pages, $14.99 paper; $6.99 Kindle).

Hogberg, a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, explodes the myth that Medicare coverage is consonant with cost effectiveness, high quality care, and satisfied patients. He combines the stories of beneficiaries harmed by the program with an analysis of its perverse incentives and unsustainable costs. Hogberg also proposes reforms based on the principle that ‘beneficiaries should exercise ultimate control over how Medicare funds are spent.’

Anyone laboring under the delusion that Medicare is a panacea for the ills of U.S. health care should read this book, which is available at Amazon beginning today.

OBAMACARE IS HERE TO PREY

In today’s American Spectator I discuss the continuing depredations of the ironically titled “Affordable Care Act” as well as our President’s pathetic delusions about its permanence and efficacy:

Saturday morning, fresh from his latest victory over the rule of law, President Obama delivered his weekly address to the bored technicians and sycophantic aides who make up most of the audience for this anachronistic performance. His theme was as predictable as it was Orwellian: ‘The Affordable Care Act is working, and it is here to stay.’

The first claim fails to pass the laugh test. And, if you believe Supreme Court rulings are permanent, refer to another SCOTUS ruling much celebrated by Democrats—Plessy v. Ferguson. But Obamacare isn’t harmless:

That it is a failure by every standard set forth by its apologists is of no importance to the President or his fellow Democrats. They never cared what effect the law would have on the cost, quality, or availability of American medicine. It was never really about health care … What they wanted was power over our daily lives, and they knew that gaining control over our medical system was the fastest route to that destination.

It was easy to sell as a human right and offered a handy pretext for trampling genuine rights. And the President’s minions are making full use of that pretext. To read the rest of the column, click here.

VIDEO EXPLAINING KING V. BURWELL

For anyone interested in some actual facts about King v. Burwell (as opposed to the BS that you’ve been getting from the “news” media):

Via Cato

FAILURE IS WOVEN INTO THE FABRIC OF OBAMACARE

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the absurdity of the President’s claim that Obamacare is permanently woven into the nation’s social and medical fabric:

Obamacare’s apologists, tired of being laughed at for claiming “it’s working,” have adopted a new talking point that they hope will produce less mirth. They now claim the law is such an integral part of our health care system that it is no longer susceptible to repeal or even revision. As President Obama recently put it, “This is now part of the fabric of how we care for one another … This is health care in America.”

This is a perfectly absurd claim to make about a law that has been in effect for only a year and a half. The President’s assertion is particularly ridiculous considering that Obamacare isn’t yet fully in force.

Some of its major provisions, the employer mandate for instance, have only been partially implemented. Others, like the “Cadillac tax, won’t go into effect until the President is conveniently out of office. These facts have not, of course, prevented Obama’s media sycophants from parroting the party line. The New York Times chimes in thus: “The Affordable Care Act … is now fully woven into the nation’s social fabric.”

A medical metaphor involving “metastasis” would be more accurate. To read the rest of the column, click here.

CAN KING V. BURWELL REVIVE THE ECONOMY?

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss an under-reported potential benefit of a SCOTUS ruling against the Obama administration in King v. Burwell:

The Democrats and their media allies have predicted wrack and ruin if the Supreme Court rules against the government in King v. Burwell, a decision that would stop the IRS from issuing Obamacare subsidies through federal insurance exchanges in three-dozen states. They have wildly exaggerated the inconvenience that such a ruling would cause a tiny percentage of the population and ignored the benefits that it would provide tens of millions of Americans.

One of these benefits would be the removal of PPACA’s dead weight from an economy whose first quarter performance suggests that the anemic Obama recovery may be stalling.

During the first 3 months of 2015, Gross Domestic Product contracted at an annual rate of 0.7 percent. And, euphoric “news” stories about the government’s May jobs report notwithstanding, this year’s monthly job gains remain well below last year’s average … Even if “reform,” isn’t solely to blame, there can be little doubt that removing its mandates from the backs of employers and workers in three-quarters of the states would stimulate the national economy.

And a SCOTUS ruling against the Obama administration would eliminate those job-killing mandates. To read the rest of the column, click here.

OBAMACARE OVERHEAD STUDY A TROJAN HORSE

In today’s American Spectator, I point out that the much-publicized Obamacare overhead story was done by a couple of single-payer zealots famous for their phony studies:

During the past few days the legacy media and the internet have been flooded with news articles, editorials and blog posts with titles like “Overhead costs exploding under ObamaCare.” Sadly, when liberal and conservative publications are equally enthusiastic about breaking a story, it usually means the latter have been duped into promoting progressive propaganda. This case is no exception. The basis for these reports is a “study” produced by a couple of notorious lefty data diddlers.

The con artists in question are single-payer zealots David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler.

This pair co-founded Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), whose mission is to get the U.S. on a single-payer health care system, and their research is uniformly biased against the free market. The purpose of their Health Affairs post is to pitch a single-payer program based on the Medicare model as a replacement for Obamacare when it finally collapses. The overhead angle is just a Trojan horse used to sneak their statist infomercial into the editorial offices of conservative news outlets.

Beware of single-payer shills bearing gifts. To read the rest of the column, click here.

READY FOR ANOTHER OBAMACARE PRICE HIKE?

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss how the price of “free health care” is about to go up … again:

In July of 2009, as the Obamacare debate was heating up, Gallup published a survey indicating that 83% of Americans wanted health care reform to make their health insurance more affordable. Now, more than five years after the President’s “signature domestic achievement” was passed, health insurance premiums are higher than ever. And it’s obvious that Obamacare is a major driver of the increase. The Wall Street Journal reports that insurers are proposing rate increases ranging from 25 to 51 percent for 2016. Why? ‘All of them cite high medical costs incurred by people newly enrolled under the Affordable Care Act.’

Obamacare apologists suggest different causes, of course.

Jonathan Cohn writes, “One reason could be the normal and predictable competition among insurance plans jostling for market share.” Cohn’s grasp of economics is so tenuous that he doesn’t know insurers compete for market share by reducing premiums. He also connects the increases to anxiety about that bête noir of Obamacarians everywhere, King v. Burwell: “If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs … millions will drop their coverage because they will no longer be able to afford it.” Cohn evidently thinks insurers will respond by making insurance even less affordable.

The real reason for the proposed increases is that insurers now have real data on real Obamacare enrollees rather than implausible projections from the Obama administration.

To read the rest of the column, click here.