“Hope” is not a strategy

Three relatively big issues to talk about today, so instead of jamming everything into one post, it will be broken into three separate posts. Please take a look at all three (at your leisure).

***

As we were perusing the internets, we came across this item on the Douglas County Republican Party website:

Pro-Obamacare Legislation Pushed in Nebraska Legislature

As we reported back on January 6th…there are two Proposals going through the Legislature introduced by State Senators Jeremy Nordquist (LB835) and Rich Pahls (LB838), that would create a state-based Nebraska health benefit exchange in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare); despite the fact that Nebraska has joined a multi-state lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the law. Gov. Dave Heineman has said he would like to see the law repealed.

Warning from Americans for Prosperity:

Tell the Legislature to vote NO on Obama’s Health Care Exchanges.
Under the President’s law there really is no choice between state or federal control of the health care exchange. It is dishonest to argue that exchanges give more power to Nebraska; the truth is President Obama’s bill gives all the real power and decision making rights to federal bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.

Evil flourishes when good people do nothing. If you wish to save America from the fall similar to that of the European countries that adopted similar healthcare policies, get involved!

Now kiddos, we have news for you.
THEY ARE WRONG.

We do not know how or why the talking points from Americans for Prosperity were simply added to the local party website, but here are a few things to note:

First of all, AFP (or the DCRP here, take your pick) are burying their heads in the sand and hoping this will all go away magically. But guess what. This is THE LAW now.

Yes the Constitutionality of ObamaCare will go before the Supreme Court, and if it is found to be unconstitutional, it will go away.

But that will be the same if 25 mph speed limit in front of schools is found to be unconsitutional. In the mean time, that doesn’t mean you get to fly through the crosswalk going 90.

***

First of all, Republicans, note this:

Republican Douglas County Commisioner Mary Anne Borgeson, Republican Senator Rich Pahls, Republican Senator Mike Gloor, Republican Senator Kathy Campbell and Republican Senator Galen Hadley support a state based exchange.

Second, if the legislature does nothing, as AFP and the DCRP are proposing, then Nebraska defaults to the federal government to set up an exchange — which is THE ULTIMATE federal government takeover.

Third,(REPUBLICAN) Governor Heineman has said that will not happen in Nebraska. In his State of the State address he said, “Our state has been working hard for nearly two years to protect Nebraska’s interests, and I want to assure you and our citizens that Nebraska will not default to the federal government regarding a health insurance exchange.”

Fourth, there are 13 areas in exchange design that the State of Nebraska can control by keeping an exchange in Lincoln versus defaulting to Washington, D.C. Or Nebraska can keep it simple, and D.C. will add layers of bureaucracy to it.

It is a control issue. Defaulting means that one size fits all versus designing an exchange customized best to Nebraska consumers.

***

Look we hope that ObamaCare is declared unconstitutional. In the mean time, it is the law of the land, and if Nebraska does NOT set up an exchange, the Feds take over.

But the apparently AFP and the DCRP believe that the best plan is to hope that this all goes away.

Well, if President Barrack Obama and the Democrats have taught us anything, it is that “Hope” is not a strategy.

AFP’s quote up there is, “Evil flourishes when good people do nothing.

Well a Nebraska Health Exchange is the lesser of two evils.
And AFP and the DCRP’s plan is to do nothing.

56 comments

  1. Seriously? says:

    “Republican Douglas County Commisioner Mary Anne Borgeson, Republican Senator Rich Pahls, Republican Senator Mike Gloor, Republican Senator Kathy Campbell and Republican Senator Galen Hadley support a state based exchange.”

    Really, those are the “Republicans” you’re pointing to trying to make a partisan point? Hmm….I don’t buy it with that list!

  2. Brad Stevens says:

    Sorry, Street Sweeper, but you’re off on this one.

    1) HSS and Sec. Sebelius do not offer Nebraska a multi-million dollar grant to study implementing a state exchange because it is in the best interests of Nebraska. If the Administration cared about the bests interests of local control – or individual freedom – they would not have pushed for a government-run health care program.

    The truth is, as we’ve stated before, the Feds do not know how to implement the monstrosity of the 2,000+ page law and thus they hope the states will work out implementation for them.

    State exchanges are required within the framework of the Obama health care law because they want the states to do the heavy lifting, while all decision rights will be retained in D.C.

    This is not about local control or hoping nothing happens. It is about refusing to do the Obama Administration’s work for them at the state level.

  3. DEM DEMS says:

    Wouldn’t be the first time AFP or Leavenworth misrepresented something. Same goes for everyone. Obviously Nebraska setting up the exchange program is best.

    And by the way, this will result in a special session in May (prior to the June Supreme Court ruling on unconsitutionality).

  4. Brad Stevens says:

    And I forgot my #2

    2) I do not know how or why AFP was quoted on the DCRP website. But to the liberal conspiracy theorists out there, because someone at the DCRP knows how to cut and paste and put our stuff on their website means very little.

    Bold Nebraska has cut and paste our stuff and put it on their website as well. Usually the Boldies put it in the context of the Apocalypse and AFP being the second coming of the anti-christ, or something similar, but people take quotes and put it on their website, facebook, myspace all the time.

  5. Not Kathy Campbell says:

    With the departure of Brad Ashford from the NEGOP. Campbell now takes the mantle as the No. 1 RINO in the Nebraska Unicameral.

    And since when did Mary Anne Borgeson become spokeswoman for the NEGOP? It’s too bad she doesn’t support Governor Heineman’s inheritance tax repeal.

  6. Bryan Baumgart says:

    **EDITOR’S NOTE – This comment section automatically does not allow hyperlinks. However, since this commenter seems to have put in extra effort, we have gone about deleting the links, and leaving the rest of his comment. We won’t do this a second time. Thanks. -Ed.**

    First of all…nowhere does the DCRP say that the plan should be to do nothing. The statement is that beginning to implement part of obamacare “just in case” is NOT the answer. Other organizations such as Americans for Prosperity and The Platte Institute for Economic Research agree:(PlatteInstitute dot org)

    Heritage Foundation scholar Ed Haislmaier warns, “that states should refuse to create any type of ObamaCare-compliant Exchange and send back all federal ObamaCare grants.” (Cato-at-liberty dot org)

    There should be discussion on how best to go about preventing/limiting the effects of obamacare on Nebraska if the Supreme Court rules the wrong way. As far as we know, this discussion currently is NOT taking place and we simply would like to encourage it, as opposed to beginning implementation of obamacare before the Supreme Court has even ruled on the case.

    Nebraska is not the only state refusing to implement these health exchanges before the Supreme Court rules on the matter.

    Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed Executive Order 10-12 in August 2010 that prohibited all executive department and state agency participation in federal health reform unless required by law or directed by the governor’s office. Florida Governor Rick Scott decided to wait for a Supreme Court ruling before continuing with implementation. Alaska currently is planning not to comply with law after Florida court ruling that PPACA is unconstitutional.

    As Peter Suderman of the blog “reason dot com” points out, “States whose legislators oppose last year’s health care law have a number of reasons to refuse to participate in implementing its requirements, particularly when it comes to the exchanges. Refusing to play ball with the federal government ensures that the federal government will have to take responsibility for the complex details of the law’s implementation. Given that Missouri’s residents voted overwhelmingly last year to reject one of ObamaCare’s key features, the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, it’s clear enough where the state’s voters stand. Finally, there’s the constitutional question: Shouldn’t states currently challenging the law’s constitutionality—like Missouri—steer clear of implementing it?”

    So where should the discussion start on how to go about opposing the implementation of obamacare? Do we start with the example of Texas and affirm Nebraska’s Sovereignty Under 10th Amendment, designating that all compulsory federal legislation that requires states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties, or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding, be prohibited or repealed?

    We could join 16 other states that have considered measures to create an “Interstate Freedom Compact,” joining forces across state lines to coordinate or enforce opposition; four states now have enacted laws. (ncsl dot org)

    Several states considered bills that propose the power of “nullification,” seeking to label the federal law “null and void” within the state boundaries.

    According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “In response to the federal health reform law, now known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and separate state reform initiatives, some members of at least 45 state legislatures have proposed legislation to limit, alter or oppose selected state or federal actions. In general many of the opposing measures, in 2010 and 2011 focus on not permitting, implementing or enforcing mandates (federal or state) that would require purchase of insurance by individuals or by employers and impose fines or penalties for those who fail to do so. The seek to keep in-state health insurance optional, and instead allow people to purchase any type of health services or coverage they may choose. They also contradict or challenge specific policy provisions contained in the 2010 federal law.

    There are plenty of other options discussed here: (ncsl dot org)

    And that’s what this is all about…to get discussion rolling rather than throwing up the white flag!!! Let’s take the lead!!!

    Bryan Baumgart

  7. cheapskate says:

    Why would Nebraska spend money to create a program the feds say they are going to do if we don’t? What improvements or advantages would “local control” bring at what price tag? Why would we expand state government if we don’t need to?

  8. In the know says:

    The DCRP’s plan has been to do nothing all along. What happened to their office? Fundraising? Staff? They are a pathetic lot.

  9. RWP,
    They saw the word “Hope” in the headline, and they were confused.

    In any case, so far I see the opposition’s “plan” is to change the law. Or hope it is found unconstitutional.
    Great. Awesome. We are all for that.

    But if/when you DON’T change the law, and if/when the USSC does not find it unconstitutional, then you are stuck with a Federal system. That’s one hell of a gamble.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t defaulting to the federal government the ultimate surrender to the federal government ? Isn’t it more practical to have a shot at designing an exchange in Lincoln better than Washington DC? If we have to have an exchange – who would you rather have run it? Governor Dave or Barrack Hussein Obama? I agree with you Sweeper, doing nothing is a one hell of a gamble.

  11. Macdaddy says:

    Sweeper, the feds have to sign off on whatever Nebraska sets up, so what’s the point? If Nebraska’s exchange program doesn’t have something in there that gives Dr. Carhart plenty of money to skewer fetuses, and all services at Planned Parenthood paid for, Obama will just “fix” it. Obama needs to own this lock, stock, and barrel. This was his brilliant idea, and he should be held responsible for implementing it. I am quite confident that the implementation of the state exchanges by the feds will maintain the same high standards that are applied to every other federal function: Completely dependent on Obama’s whim and then carried out half-assed. Obamacare has launched America into the realm of a banana republic. We shouldn’t make it easier for the dictator.

  12. I would argue that the Feds would be less likely to screw with a state-approved plan.

    But what if they DO reject it and make it Federal? Are you suggesting he won’t “own it” then?

    And then if you do nothing and you’re stuck with a federal system, then what? Gonna pat yourself on the back for that moral victory of doing nothing? What exactly have you gained?

    I just don’t follow that logic.

  13. RWP says:

    As I see it, the main difference between a state-run exchange and a federal run exchange is with a state-run exchange, the local pols get a bigger chunk of health industry campaign contributions. I can see what’s in it for the local pols. Why I don’t see it’s what’s in it for me. Frankly, I don’t trust the local GOP with taxpayer dollars much more than the national parties. Kathy Campbell never heard a sob-story she didn’t want to throw millions of other peoples dollars at. I don’t care what party she nominally belongs to.

    Bryan Baumgart makes some very strong arguments for not cooperating with PPACA. And if we won’t wait until SCOTUS hands down a decision in June, we can at least wait until oral arguments are held on March 26. My guess is, at that stage we’ll know from the tenor of the questions which way SOCTUS is going to go.

    Early this morning, I breezed by another web forum I left some time ago. I was shocked by how many people are already sure they are going to sit out the November election. If softening the implementation of Democrat policies is the GOP’s campaign manifesto, they deserve to lose, and lose big.

    The point is that PPACA is unacceptable, period. I have no interest in discussing the most elegant way of putting lipstick on a pig.

  14. Bryan Baumgart says:

    On a personal note…I’d be interested to see just how the state’s plan (after federal approval) would differ from the federal plan? It seems to me that this administration knows it can’t effectively handle this implementation task so they throw money and threats at the states and hope to entice them to do their dirty work for them! If not overturned by the Supreme Court, this is likely to be one of the biggest failures in American history!!! Just look at the success the state of Hawaii had in implementing universal healthcare for children in 2007. It failed and was dropped in just seven months!!! Now imagine this catastrophe on a national level!!!

    Let’s think outside the box! How about an effort to help Atlas Shrug?! I’m talking an organized plan to flood clinics and hospitals with bogus appointments in an effort to bankrupt the program before it can even take off!!! There are options other than ignoring obamacare and hoping it goes away, or beginning to implement it just in case. I stated some options in my post above. Nebraska should take the lead on this rather than throwing up the white flag just in case!!!

    (Thank you for the courtesy of editing the hyperlinks and posting my response btw)

    Bryan Baumgart

  15. RWP (at 2:07),

    If the pig is going to run amok in my house, I’d rather be the one to decide if, when and how to lipstick it, as opposed to getting those directions from the Feds.

    If it is possible to wait until after the USSC decision, I would be for that as well. I think there is some question as to how much time you have in that case, if it is found constitutional.

    And btw, all the Dems who are getting excited about our position here, Do know this: ObamaCare still blows and it is and will be bad for America. This is simply an effort to dim down the blowiness where it is inevitable.

    SS

  16. RWP says:

    Sweeper:

    You’ve basically got 6 months after SCOTUS decides to write the law and regs., and then to have Sebelius check whether it will ensure a sufficient number of fetuses will be aborted. Remember, we can write all the rules we want; they still have to be approved by the HHS Secretary.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry guys the SC will decidet in favor of the president. If they don’t then next on the list is single payer. Medicare is deemed constitutional and it won’t be hard to make that law drop down from age 65 to day of birth. So like Clint says “go ahead make my day” get rid of the new health care law. Medicare for everyone has real nice ring to it. So don’t worry the right wing supreme court will make the new law legal .Got to make sure those huge health insurance corporations get their money. PS I see RWP is off and running with his canards on abortion again. Not funny any more watching him wallow in the slime of Rush Limbaugh.

  18. John W. Orr says:

    I think Bryan Baumgart is dead on with his comments. As Bryan pointed out, I don’t think this is a simple choice of doing nothing or capitulating to Obamacare. This abomination should be challenged at the state level and Nebraska should affirm its sovereignty under the 10th Amendment, as should every other state.

    Also, where in the Constitution does it allow some Federal bureaucrat to overrule a State law?
    What about all those Obamacare waivers? Feds have now waived the requirements for “No Child Left Behind” for 10 states. How is any of that fair or Constitutional?
    What are the feds going to do if they impose their exchange on Nebraska and we decide not to follow it?
    Don’t you think Obama will point out all the states that are implementing state exchanges as tacit approval of Obamacare, exploiting it as a campaign point? Just as liberal Hassebrook is campaigning that Obamacare is a great idea, it just needs to be tweaked a bit.

  19. RWP says:

    We only got PPACA because the Dems had 60 Senators and Ben Nelson made a horribly bad decision to sell his vote. You couldn’t have got those 60 Senate Dems to vote for single payer, and you’ll never have 60 Senate Dems again in the foreseeable future, so single-payer is out.

    And thank heavens. I get monthly horror stories from my sister in London about the NHS, and the London Times carries weekly stories about mildly retarded people given do-not-resuscitate orders in NHS hospitals because the staff decided illness was an opportunity to euthanize the unfit; people told to come in and empty their elderly relatives’ bedpans because the nurses can’t be bothered; and cancer patients denied state-of-the-art drugs because they just cost too darned much and the system’s broke. And this is the abhorrence anon. cow. at 2:51 wants to inflict on us all.

    I swear, Democrats go to horror movies to look for ideas to ‘improve’ society.

  20. Some Thoughts says:

    Sweeper, I think you have the right idea. Nebraska often seems to get the short end of these dealings with the federal govt., and I’m all for keeping whatever control we can manage to have at the state level. To me one of the core principles of conservatism is that local areas generally know best when deciding what is needed for their own area. So let’s think ahead and come up with the best plan we can, on the assumption that the law is not overturned.

    I’m wary of some of the activist “solutions” mentioned, because I’d bet they’re going to hurt individual Nebraskans long before they make much dent on Obamacare on the national level! For example, Baumgart says, “I’m talking an organized plan to flood clinics and hospitals with bogus appointments in an effort to bankrupt the program before it can even take off!!!” Brilliant strategy. Who’s that going to actually hurt? Normal people who actually need to go to said clinic or hospital, that’s who. Meanwhile, that would do exactly zero to stop a health care law.

  21. Polly Tics says:

    I suspect that if one looks at this pesky little law a little closer they would find that even if a state has an exchange, it ain’t really a state run entity. Obamacare is a thousand page law with thousand pages of regulations, some, I hear, aren’t even released yet. I would think, like most federal laws, that even if they give states the option to do things, they don’t really mean it. Heck, after all, is Nancy, Ben and Barry’s law isn’t it? I would think that they aren’t gonna give up that much control to the states.

  22. John W. Orr says:

    State control of Obamacare exchanges is only an illusion; whether the state implements it or the federal government does, they both must follow the EXACT same Federal guidelines. Obama’s intent is to accelerate the implementation of Obamacare in the states before it can be repealed or declared to be unconstitutional. That is his strategy.

    Implementing this now makes Obama’s strategy easier, give him campaign talking points and doesn’t help Nebraskans save money or streamline their exchange.

  23. TexasAnnie says:

    You’re wrong John W. Orr. States often have latitude in deciding how they shall implement federal law. Indeed, I believe it was Nebraska which first successfully obtained a “waiver” from the No Child Left Behind law that REPUBLICAN President Bush gave us. And while recent governors and HHS bureaucrats of Nebraska don’t like to apply for “waivers” of Medicaid laws (which they could do easily enough) in order to provide services to the developmentally disabled kept on waiting lists literally for decades, I have no doubt they will seek waivers tilted in favor of insurers, rather than patients, when designing Nebraska’s insurance exchange.

    Check out the 14th Amendment: therein lies your answer concerning state’s rights v. federalism.
    “…No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;…”

  24. TexasAnnie says:

    Hey RWP: I’m goin’ to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice. If I fall down and break my ankle, will I get free medical care?

  25. Anonymous says:

    What is new about John Orr being wrong? If you ever talked to him, you realize a box of rocks says smarter things. John has never read the constitution. I doubt if he has ever heard of the Civil War that said in so many words States rights is dead. He just listens to Glen Beck and try to grasp nonsense..

  26. Build it Cheaper says:

    This is a cost issue. If Nebraska defaults, the feds become responsible for making sure the exchange remains financially stable beyond 2015. They obviously can’t mandate new state taxes, but they can impose as many “user fees” they want on consumers and businesses to keep it running. No one knows exactly how much building an exchange will cost, but do we really think the feds will do all the work and then pick up the tab? If current federally-administered programs are any indication, a federal exchange will have all the bells and whistles and be incredibly expensive, leaving Nebraskans to pay the price. I’m all for sticking it to the Obama administration, but holding true to anti-Obamacare sentiment and refusing to build a less costly exchange will only screw us over in the end.

  27. John W. Orr says:

    TexasAnnie,
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but relying on the Obama administration to allow individual states to customize their own health exchanges that do not follow their strict guidelines is a plan for disappointment. Look how well it’s working out for the Catholic church right now.

    Anonymous,
    How brave of you to cast stones under the name “Anonymous”. Be a man or shut up.

  28. Bryan Baumgart says:

    Regarding comments by “Some Thoughts”

    You state you are wary of some solutions such as “an organized plan to flood clinics and hospitals with bogus appointments in an effort to bankrupt the program before it can even take off!!!” because you are worried that “normal people who need to go to the clinic or hospital will suffer” while “that would do exactly zero to stop a health care law.”

    Take a look at the reasons universal healthcare (just for children) failed in Hawaii within 7 months and tell me that it would do exactly zero to stop the health care law. As for “normal people” suffering, the clinics and hospitals would still be there during the short period it would take for us to bankrupt the program, and there is a little concept called “triage”. Furthermore, if you think those same “normal people” (along with the rest of us) wouldn’t suffer much more under obamacare if we begin implementing it rather than fighting it, I advise a trip to England or Canada. Victims of those programs will have much worse horror stories to tell than any American has yet endured.

    If you feel this isn’t a viable option to you, that is fine. I only ask that you think outside the box and start throwing out some solutions other than “giving in” or “ignoring”. I mentioned other options as well such as joining in the multi-state compact to oppose obamacare. There is no reason that we shouldn’t be able to get all 27 states currently suing to stop obamacare from joining in the compact. This administration didn’t even have the votes in a democrat controlled house and senate without threats and shady backroom deals, do you really think they are up to a war with over half of the states in the union? In addition, the polls have clearly showed all along, that the majority of Americans oppose obamacare as well. So I say, “Bring it on!”

    John W. Orr is correct! He sees past the sheep’s clothing!! It’s ridiculous that we have supposed “conservatives” on here that have been fooled by this administrations bribes and threats! How can you condemn Ben Nelson for caving to the admin’s bribes and threats when you do it yourselves? Bribes with federal $$$ (it’s coming out of your pockets anyway) or threats of “less control”! Either way you lose in this dirty little trick! The regime knows it can’t possibly implement this monstrosity on its own so it attempts to bully/trick the states into doing its dirty work for it, AND they realize if they can bully/trick the states into beginning implementation sooner then repeal will be futile. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid!

  29. AFP’s quote up there is, “Evil flourishes when good people do nothing.”

    *AHEM*, do the AFP folks realize that what they’re advocating amounts to “doing nothing”? Indeed, it would allow the grea

  30. AFP’s quote up there is, “Evil flourishes when good people do nothing.”

    *AHEM*, do the AFP folks realize that what they’re advocating amounts to “doing nothing”? Indeed, it would allow the greatest evil of all, the Federal Government, to flourish.

  31. RWP says:

    TA: no, you won’t.The UK will treat you on an emergency basis for free, but for anything more than that, they will send you a bill.

    It used to be free for everyone, then they noticed something nobody possibly could have anticipated; people with medical conditions coming from third world countries to get treated for free. So now they’ll just stabilize you and send you on your way.

  32. RWP says:

    “RWP, those stories about problems with the NHS are false. Paul Krugman said so.”

    Wow, thanks, Macdaddy. I’ll alert the British newspapers, and tell my sister her experiences with NHS doctors are hallucinations, probably caused by the stress of waiting for months for an appointment.

    Thanks heavens for Paul Krugman.

  33. BTW, I’m all for the repeal or the finding of unconstitutionality (mouthful) of ObamaCare…but let me ask a few of my conservative brethren here a question…

    Have any of you considered what might happen if it’s NOT struck down? Suppose Nebraska sits its hands and somehow this monstrosity is upheld…then what? I think we’ll quickly find that the hand-sitting left us with a thumb up the arse.

  34. RWP says:

    I would not attack anyone’s conservatism for favoring setting up an exchange. This is an issue about which reasonable people — that is, people who think ObamaCare is a crock — can differ. My own perspective is that the state health exchanges are still subject to the fiat of the HHS secretary, and Sebelius’s performance so far, whether in issuing waivers by the ton for unions and other politically connected groups, or forcing her agenda on religious groups, does not give one high hopes.

    On balance, I think it’s more advantageous to do nothing right now.

  35. Bryan Baumgart says:

    Grundle King…you miss the point! We aren’t suggesting to do nothing. We are suggeting not to fall for this administrations dirty trick and get us to implement obamacare early. This is their plan in order to make repeal attempts futile. So if you indeed wish to see obamacare repealed, then for the love of everything holy…DO NOT SUPPORT EARLY IMPLEMENTATION OF OBAMACARE!!!

    What SHOULD we do…see above posts for some options and I encourage you to engage in converstaion about other options as well! Let’s OPPOSE Obamacare, not support it through early implementation.

  36. I saw the suggestions Bryan, and as Sweeps pointed out, they don’t appear to accomplish much more than to tell Barry and Kate that we don’t like it.

    What Minnesota, Florida, and Alaska have done amounts to little more than, “We’re not going to enforce or abide until we have to!” Great…what happens when “we have to”? It has the feel of a lazy kid who’s been told to clean his room…he may not want to do it, but he may as well do it now. Waiting til later likely means that (A) he’ll get his ass whipped, and (B) he’ll still have to clean his room.

    By joining a multi-state consortium, it almost seems as though we’d be ceding local authority to some larger body…and though they may be a like-minded body, I still believe that Nebraska should control its own destiny.

    I realize this is probably an irreconcilable difference of opinion, but I don’t believe that taking steps to protect our interests equals supporting/endorsing Obamacare. And if Obamacare is struck down, then the state health exchange stuff could be dropped just as quickly.

    Think of it this way…we can pay our state legislators to do this, or pay them to come up with some other bat-shit crazy laws.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Substitute “Social Security” for “ObamaCare”, go back in time 80 years and you’d be throwing out the same, tired, paranoid arguments. Thank God for the Internet and blogs. Now I can see how crazy and fearful those on the far right are when it comes to change of ANY kind. Give it a chance. A super-majority voted it in, and if you factor out those who don’t like ObamaCare because it doesn’t go far enough, many more are for it than against. Frankly I hope the individual mandate is struck down as it’ll get us closer to the day insurance companies are removed from the health care arena.

  38. Bryan Baumgart says:

    Now fast forward 40 years and subsitute “Social Security” for…oh wait! What Social Security?! Yeah, that’s where I’d like to see healthcare go in our future! It’s been given a chance in other countries and even states (Hawaii) and failed miserably, just like any other socialist experiment. The key to fixing this broken healthcare system is removing what is causing the problem in the first place…GOVERNMENT!!!

  39. RWP says:

    Anonymous @ 11:27 is absolutely right. ObamaCare is very like Social Security. It’s inadequately financed, was sold to the people by deception, and will bankrupt the country.

    We should of course not look at the failures of other socialized medicine programs in other countries, because we can’t possibly learn from other people’s failures. Nope, we won’t know this is a failure until it fails, and if you predict its failure in advance, you’re paranoid.

  40. Anonymous says:

    My God RWP, you’re supposed to be a learned man. You have ZERO credibility if you throw out the discredited canard that SS will bankrupt the country. It’s completely solvent until 2037, then if NOTHING changes, benefits would have to be cut by 22%, but payments would still be made. This is all without additional government spending. Now if you were talking about Medicare you’d have a point, though it’s because of spiraling health care costs, not the Medicare structure itself.

  41. Bryan Baumgart says:

    You said it all when you said, “benefits would have to be cut by 22%”. Pretty much sums up universal healthcare in other counties. Starts off with grand promises and as it slowly goes bankrupt, benefits are cut and taxes raised, leaving the country with a worse state of healthcare than it started with. Despite the huge changes that need to be made to healthcare, polls show the majority of Americans are happy with their healthcare. Let’s not change the quality (which obamacare will do), but instead fix the real problem which is costs, by removing government.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Americans are happy with their healthcare.

    Yes, 6 in 10 are, but trends are not good. Somehow spiraling health care costs must be reigned in, or soon it will be affordable to nobody irrespective of whatever plan or system is in effect. ObamaCare is an attempt to hold down health care costs. You may disagree with the actual effects, but I don’t see any serious attempts from your side to fix this problem. (Tort reform?; maybe saves 1 – 2%.)

    And those who most like their health care? Folks on Medicare and Medicaid, those horrible government programs that have much lower administrative costs than insurance plans do.

    In any case, it’s impossible to have a reasoned discussion with most of you because you start with hardened, doctrinaire positions that are unchangeable even when they conflict with undisputed facts or history, and see everything as black or white (government bad, corporations good). Sorry, but reality and life are not like that, but it does (seem to) make things simpler.

  43. RWP says:

    My God, Anonymous @12:12, how naive are you? The ‘social security trust fund’ is a legal fiction. The US govt. collects that money and then spends it. The Old Age and Survivor’s Fund has nominally $2 tn in assets, but they’re nothing more than IOUs from one branch of the US Govt. to another. Our govt. owes a total of $16 tn, increasing at well over $1 tn a year. If the US govt. is insolvent, the fund is insolvent. When the govt. goes broke, the trust fund is empty, regardless of how much the OASF has on paper.

    In 2010, the fund took in $566.9 bn in payroll taxes and taxation of benefits, and spent $584.9 bn. It will take in far less in 2011, because of the payroll tax ‘holiday’ (kudos to Johanns for voting against that). To quote the SSI actuary in 2008 “the OASDI program is financed on essentially a current-cost or pay-as-you-go basis”. We aren’t fully financing it any more. The difference is coming from the general fund.

    Currently SS has $16.1 tn in unfunded obligations. $2 tn in assets, a negative cash flow, and you call it ‘completely solvent’. You didn’t by any chance work for Lehman Bros., did you?

  44. RWP says:

    ObamaCare is an attempt to hold down health care costs.

    There is almost nothing to contain health care costs in PPACA. In the Massachusetts program, on which ObamaCare is modeled, health care costs have grown far faster than the rest of the nation, at around 50% the rate of wage growth and almost 3 times the general rate of inflation.

  45. Anonymous says:

    RWP, you’re the naive one, or you’re purposely trying to confuse others to support your premise. The SS trust fund is composed of Treasury bonds, which hold a promise of payment by the government. Currently they pay a very low rate (1.99% for 10-year bonds), but have plenty of purchasers indicating that the world considers our debt very low risk. So how can bonds held by the SS fund be a fiction while the rest of the world considers the same bonds valuable? They can’t. If you studied history you’d know that during Reagan’s term SS started taking in more than they paid out to cover boomers’ retirement. We’re there and now we’re depleting the fund, even if the fund only contains “worthless” bonds. And you’re playing the old trick of just looking at future liabilities without the corresponding revenue and picking an infinite time horizon. Stick to what you know.

  46. RWP says:

    The SS trust fund is composed of Treasury bonds, which hold a promise of payment by the government.

    Ask a Greek what a promise from the government is worth.

    Currently they pay a very low rate (1.99% for 10-year bonds), but have plenty of purchasers indicating that the world considers our debt very low risk.

    No, they consider it a better risk than most of the alternatives. As Jim Cramer puts it, we’re the best looking horse in the glue factory. Germany has a lower 10 year bond yield, but then the German horse isn’t in the glue factory. Germany is Aaa, and likely to stay there. They don’t spend more than they collect.

    In Jan 2002, the US 10 year was paying 5%. The Greek 10 year was paying 5.2%. The world considered Greek debt very low risk back then, almost as low as ours. Guess they were wrong, huh?

    Greece then went on a spending binge, running huge government deficits year after year, financed by their bond sales. Sound familiar?

    The SS actuary did not ignore future revenue, though he did consider an infinite time horizon. The projections that say SS is solvent until 2037 are based on a slew of assumptions; that employment will stay up, bringing in FICA; that the economy will grow, raising wages; and most foolishly, that the US will not enter a debt spiral, which when your debt is over 100% of GDP, is mostly a bet there won’t be an international panic, as there has been in Europe. I wouldn’t bet on any of these. That 2 trillion dollar cushion SS is sitting on is an ever smaller part of a huge national debt burden that is starting to look unsustainable towards the second half of this decade.

    I’m 13 years away from collecting social security, and let’s just say that if I get it it will be nice, but I’m not counting on it. If it were a private annuity, I’d sell it tomorrow.

  47. Some Thoughts says:

    First, I think it’s unrealistic to try to “bankrupt” the state’s Obamacare program by making fake appointments at clinics and hospitals. Second, it’s often a nightmare right now to get appointments when you really need them, and doctors are already suffering from the problems caused by people who cancel at the last minute. If you want to exacerbate that problem, it will directly hurt health care providers and the people who need their services, period. “Triage” is your answer? These are reckless suggestions, being made without a careful deliberation of strategy, or the collateral damage you’re going to cause along the way.

    I have a crazy idea: how about conservative thinkers start coming up with ways they can translate the present health care system into a true free-market system. Auto insurers compete for my dollar in such a market, more or less. Health insurers don’t have to because they negotiate with employers, not individual employees, and they have such dominant shares of the market that even employers have little free choice of alternatives. Even worse, they make structural arrangements with all of the service providers, so that nobody can avoid going through the insurance company without paying a ridiculous premium for the privilege of avoiding doing business with them! In many years it would have been financially much more prudent for my family to have a limited catastrophic policy and then just pay cash for the rest, assuming I could have paid a real “free market” price to providers. With employer-provided plan options and approved provider networks, this becomes a non-option for the individual consumer, even with a cash discount. (By the way: ask your hospitals or providers for a cash discount. They are a significant savings!)

  48. 99%ers says:

    Free birth control
    Free abortion
    Women rock!
    Its time for men to do the dishes, we’re in charge!
    Planned Parenthood fight back
    Keep your religion off my body!

  49. Bryan Baumgart says:

    There we go “Some Thoughts”! That’s all I asked for. Let’s get the ball rolling! Rather than wasting our time arguing about the pros and cons of implementing obamacare early for the administration, let’s keep coming up with better alternatives than throwing up the white flag! A free market solution…I think we can ALL get behind that!

  50. Me says:

    Street Sweeper got caught sleeping. Scott Petersen didn’t write the “rebuttal” regarding copy-catting AFP on Nebraska Health Exchange. Petersen’s writing style is very crude. Take a look at the many other posts by Bryan Baumgart – I would guess he’s the author of the rebuttal.
    Street Sweeper sleeping? or just being polite?

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