The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Health Reform]
2015-02-24 08:32 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 305 references

OpEd's like this make my blood boil -- and almost make me want to have Obamacare continue.

On March 4 the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell, with a decision expected in late June. If the court strikes down the payment of government subsidies to those who bought health insurance on the federal exchange, Republicans will at last have a real opportunity to amend ObamaCare. Doing so, however, will be politically perilous.

Yeah, well, The Supremes already tortured the Constitution, never mind basic logic, to uphold Obamacare in the first place.  If you recall the congressional record was quite clear that Obamacare was imposed as a penalty, not a tax, because the drafters knew full well that it was impermissible as a tax since it was (1) a direct tax and (2) not apportioned.

In order for such a thing to be legal, therefore, it couldn't be a tax.  So says the Constitution, unless it is amended (as it was for Income Tax in the form of the 16th Amendment.)

However, what the Roberts Court did was effectively re-write the statute to be a tax, then intentionally ignored the fact that this made the act facially unconstitutional and thus voidsince it is (under that set of clothes) a direct tax!

This should have led to the immediate revocation of the Supremes by the people, as it was a rank and instantaneous re-write of the Constitution -- not an interpretation.  Citizens have no obligation to accede to such an act as it violates the premise upon which our government is based -- that the highest law of the land is in fact the Constitution as amended.  In point of fact what Roberts did was nothing less than a bloodless coup, in that he literally appointed himself and Obama dictator when it come to one dollar in five within our economy, and your economic life.

Now Phil Gramm, never one to actually bother with the law himself (Gramm-Rudman anyone?  Where was the enforcement?) when it suits those who wish to exploit America and Americans, spouts off with this:

The freedom option would fulfill the commitment the president made over and over again about ObamaCare: If you like your health insurance you can keep it. If Republicans crafted a simple bill that guarantees the right of individuals and businesses to opt out of ObamaCare, buy the health insurance they choose from any willing seller (with risk pools completely separate from ObamaCare), millions of Americans would rejoice and exercise this freedom. Such a proposal would be easy for Republicans to articulate and defend. And it would be very difficult for Democrats to attack.


The only solution to the health care mess is to enforce the damned law as regards monopolist and related practices that have the effect of restraining trade in health care goods and services.

If you do that then this sector of the economy collapses in cost by 80-90% -- in other words, back to ~3-4% of the economy from 20%.

The impact of such an act requires removal of special exemptions from the law along with enforcement of existing laws, specifically Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman (ensconced in 15 USC.)  All of these laws carry both civil and felony criminal penalties for violations, and enforcement of them in this sector of the economy would instantly collapse the cost of health care to the point that the average American could pay cash for necessary care in virtually every case.

For the remaining, catastrophic cases you could buy insurance (if you wished) for an utterly tiny amount of money, much as you buy term life insurance - - at a cost of literal pennies a day.

Nobody from either political party will promote and insist on this because one dollar in five in the economy is a hell of a lot of cash and everyone involved is getting rich bleeding you dry -- never mind rendering all sorts of terrible advice to you that has, over the last 30 or so years, literally shoved millions of Americans in the hole.

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As they say, elections have consequences, and so do the lies told by both the Democraps and Rethuglicans.

Janice Riddle got a nasty surprise when she filled out her tax return this year.

The Los Angeles resident had applied for Obamacare in late 2013, when she was unemployed. She qualified for a hefty subsidy of $470 a month, leaving her with a monthly premium of $1 for the cheapest plan available.

Riddle landed a job in early 2014 at a life insurance agency, but since her new employer didn't offer health benefits, she kept her Obamacare plan. However, she didn't update her income with the California exchange, which she acknowledges was her mistake.

Now, she has to pay back the entire subsidy, which is forcing her to dip into her savings.

Oh look, she thought -- free money!

Uh, nope.  There is no such thing.

Worse, it is her fault that she didn't go back online and update her income.  If she had the subsidy would have gone away and she would have been rammed for the nearly $6,000 a year right up front.

Now she gets to pay it all at once.

See, this was the entire point; make it feel free when it really isn't.

Heh, I'll play.  You can intentionally reduce your income so you actually get a "subsidy", but you had better keep your income reduced or..... well, you're gonna get a surprise!

As for those who are willing to lawfully make less?  I think it's great, and I have no problem at all with those who do so and then laugh at those of you who either supported this crap up front or who refuse to demand that the so-called "opposition" scrap not just Obamacare (which the Republicans can do any time they'd like by de-funding every agency that has to have funding in order to operate it) and take on the monopoly providers in the health space in the first place, which is why health care is so damned expensive.

But for those who drank the Kool-Aid and didn't pay attention to the fine print on the side of the package while mixing it up, I have no sympathy at all.

After all most of those folks were the ones cheering that they finally had health care.

They sure did -- and now they're broke too.

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