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The man who used to walk on water

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  • The man who used to walk on water

    The man who used to walk on water




    AN AMERICAN president’s most important power is not the veto pen or the ability to launch missiles. It is the bully pulpit. When a president speaks, the world listens. That is why Barack Obama’s credibility matters. If people do not believe what he says, his power to shape events withers. And recent events have seriously shaken people’s belief in Mr Obama. At home, the chaos of his health reform has made it harder for him to get anything else done. Abroad, he is seen as weak and disengaged, to the frustration of America’s allies.

    Not all the barbs aimed at Mr Obama are fair. Our special report this week on American foreign policy notes that he inherited two miserable wars. He began his first term during the worst recession in 80 years. And the Republicans who shut down parts of the federal government last month and flirted recklessly with default bear much of the blame for Washington’s disarray. But the excuse that it is all someone else’s fault is wearing thin. Under Mr Obama, America seems rudderless and its power is being squandered. A more engaged president would handle the Republicans—and the rest of the world—with more skill.

    An exchange you can believe in

    The debacle of Obamacare has gravely weakened the president (see article). In the days before October 1st, when the online health-insurance exchange opened, he seemed blithely unaware that anything was amiss. Using it would be “real simple”, he told voters in Maryland on September 26th; it would work the “same way you shop for a TV on Amazon”. Alas, it did not. Millions tried to log on; few succeeded. The website was never properly tested, it transpires. Although this was Mr Obama’s most important domestic reform, no one was really in charge. Crucial specifications were changed at the last moment. Contractors warned that the website was not ready, but the message never reached the Oval Office. Big government IT projects often go awry, but rarely as spectacularly as this.

    The Economist supported Obamacare when it passed Congress in 2010. We worried that the law was too complex (see article) and did too little to curb medical inflation, but it extended health insurance to the millions of Americans who lack it. The basic idea is sound: everyone must have insurance or pay a penalty. The cash-strapped receive big subsidies, and insurers are barred from charging more to those who are already sick. A more modest version of this reform works quite well in Massachusetts. A man with little interest in details and a disdain for business, Mr Obama tried to impose a gigantic change on the whole country all at once and far too casually.

    The longer it takes to fix the website, the greater the chance that Obamacare will fail. Insurers have set their premiums on the assumption that lots of young, healthy people would be compelled to buy their policies. But if it takes dozens of attempts to sign up, the people who do so will be disproportionately the sick and desperate. Insurers could be stuck with a far more expensive pool of customers than they were expecting, and could have no choice but to raise prices next year. That would make Obamacare even less attractive to the young “invincibles” it needs to stay afloat.

    To make matters worse, this sorry saga has caused American voters to doubt Mr Obama’s honesty. Time after time, when selling his reform, he told voters that if they liked their health insurance, they could “keep that insurance. Period. End of story.” Policy wonks knew this was untrue. Mr Obama’s number-crunchers quietly predicted that up to two-thirds of people with individual policies would be forced to change them, since the law would make many bare-bones plans illegal. But ordinary Americans took their president at his word; many were furious to learn last month that their old policies would be cancelled.
    "There are four lights!"

  • #2
    Contractors warned that the website was not ready, but the message never reached the Oval Office.
    Bullshit.

    http://news.msn.com/us/white-house-w...risks-in-march

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/inte...v-launch-date/
    "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

    -John Locke

    Comment


    • #3
      And to answer the question about why I think The Economist leans left?

      The Economist supported Obamacare when it passed Congress in 2010
      "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

      -John Locke

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by scott View Post
        And to answer the question about why I think The Economist leans left?
        *shrug*

        To some, everyone north of I-10 is a yankee.
        "There are four lights!"

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
          *shrug*

          To some, everyone north of I-10 is a yankee.
          It's so funny how you dismiss reasonable points. The ACA is probably THE line on the left-right spectrum for fiscal views is it not? I'd love to hear how you think anyone who does not lean left would support something like this. How is Obamacare fiscally conservative at all?
          "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

          -John Locke

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by scott View Post
            It's so funny how you dismiss reasonable points. The ACA is probably THE line on the left-right spectrum for fiscal views is it not? I'd love to hear how you think anyone who does not lean left would support something like this. How is Obamacare fiscally conservative at all?
            A serious discussion on whether or not privatized universal healthcare is left, right, or center or do you just mean the current gotcha litmus test of American political discourse?
            "There are four lights!"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
              A serious discussion on whether or not privatized universal healthcare is left, right, or center or do you just mean the current gotcha litmus test of American political discourse?
              A serious discussion on whether universal government control of our healthcare system is at all fiscally conservative. It certainly isn't privatized when it's a tax and redistribution scheme.
              "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

              -John Locke

              Comment


              • #8
                As usual, The Economist gets their analysis of our legislative process all wrong. One would think that by now, they would have learned that their attempts to analyze the US through their lens of wanting the US to be UK v2.1 just doesn't work. We're not the UK, and we don't want to be the UK. If the people here wanted to live in the UK, they would have just gone back there ages ago.

                That having been said, at least they're almost trying to peel the scales from their eyes and they almost realize what everyone else in the US and much of the rest of the world has long-since come to realize: Barack Obama is an utterly incompetent, feckless boob. Everyone else has already figured out that Obama got elected and was briefly beloved on the world on a wave of "it's time" and general feel-goodism They also almost realize that Obamacare cannot ever work, though I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them to ever actually admit that.
                Bask in the warmth of the Deep South
                No one will be denied:
                Big law suits and bathroom toots;
                We're all getting Dixie-fried.
                But somewhere Hank and Lefty
                Are rollin' in their graves
                While kudzu vines grow over signs that read "Jesus Saves."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by scott View Post
                  A serious discussion on whether universal government control of our healthcare system is at all fiscally conservative. It certainly isn't privatized when it's a tax and redistribution scheme.
                  My insurance premiums are paid to a private company who pays private doctors to treat me. If that isn't privatized, what is it? Socialized?

                  The only truly non-socialized system is one where emergency rooms let people die for lack of ability to pay. If they aren't prepared to say, "Sorry Mr. Bleeding Ulcer, our charity fund is tapped out right now. Try again next month." then the cost of treating the indigent will be spread to the patients who do pay. And that is socializing costs, even if it's a private hospital doing it.
                  Enjoy.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
                    My insurance premiums are paid to a private company who pays private doctors to treat me. If that isn't privatized, what is it? Socialized?
                    It's government mandated. The Supreme Court ruled that the fee for non-payment is a tax. A privatized system is one where you are free to purchase services or not, and you are able to choose

                    Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
                    The only truly non-socialized system is one where emergency rooms let people die for lack of ability to pay. If they aren't prepared to say, "Sorry Mr. Bleeding Ulcer, our charity fund is tapped out right now. Try again next month." then the cost of treating the indigent will be spread to the patients who do pay. And that is socializing costs, even if it's a private hospital doing it.
                    Ok.

                    But send the guy with sniffles home. Refine procedures to triage people quickly and if it's not an emergency tell them to seek care elsewhere, send them a bill and actually collect on it. Perhaps it's a good thing to socialize emergency costs. I don't think it's a good idea to socialize checkups.
                    "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

                    -John Locke

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by scott View Post
                      It's government mandated. The Supreme Court ruled that the fee for non-payment is a tax. A privatized system is one where you are free to purchase services or not, and you are able to choose.
                      When a private company opens a grade school and parents send their children there to be education, is that privatized education?
                      Enjoy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
                        When a private company opens a grade school and parents send their children there to be education, is that privatized education?
                        Yes because the parents choose to send their kids there they are not forced to send their kids there.
                        "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

                        -John Locke

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by scott View Post
                          Yes because the parents choose to send their kids there they are not forced to send their kids there.
                          The government does mandate education for children, though.
                          Enjoy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
                            The government does mandate education for children, though.
                            That may be a state mandate but I don't believe it is a federal mandate.

                            If I choose to home school, I can do that.
                            Does the ACA allow you to self insure without paying a penalty?
                            We are so fucked.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gary m View Post
                              That may be a state mandate but I don't believe it is a federal mandate.
                              Okay.
                              Originally posted by gary m View Post
                              If I choose to home school, I can do that.
                              Does the ACA allow you to self insure without paying a penalty?
                              Sure, as long as your self-insurance plan meets the requirements.

                              What does any of that have to do with the definition of "privatized"?
                              Last edited by Norm dePlume; Saturday, November 23, 2013, 4:51 PM.
                              Enjoy.

                              Comment

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