Thursday, July 18, 2013

Last Call For The Insurance Hack

And of course with the news that Obamacare is significantly dropping individual insurance rates in New York, one-man hack army Avik Roy takes to his usual perch at Forbes to make up more ridiculous statistical games to "prove" Obamacare is really a failure for America.

Yesterday, fans of Obamacare were cheering. A front-page story in the New York Times announced that individuals shopping for health insurance in New York would see their premiums halved, based on figures released by the Cuomo administration. It was an “extraordinary decline” that “demonstrates the profound promise” of Obamacare, said one supporter of the law. But the cheerleaders are wrong. New York’s premiums will remain among the costliest in the nation, after Obamacare becomes fully operational. And the unique history of how the Empire State destroyed its individual health-insurance market—using policies quite similar to Obamacare’s—will translate, at best, to only a handful of other states.

And Roy knows this how?  Through the power of lies, damn lies, and Avik Roy Obamacare statistics.

In the vast majority of states, Obamacare has the net effect of raising premiums by a lot, which has given rise to the term “rate shock.” In California, for example, a healthy 40-year-old today can pay $94 per month in the individual market; that rises to $234 a month under Obamacare: an increase of 149 percent.

Obamacare even drives up costs in heavily regulated states. In 1993, Washington instituted progressive reforms similar to those of New York, though Washington’s were somewhat less punitive. This led me to expect that Washington, along with New York and a handful of other states, could see individual-market rate decreases under Obamacare. Much to my surprise, it turns out that even in Washington state, Obamacare will drive premiums upward by 34 to 80 percent. The average of the five lowest premiums for a 40-year-old in Washington today is $162; Obamacare will drive that up to $243.

How many times do we have to go through this?  Roy is comparing cheap catastrophic coverage that has a super-high deductible and doesn't meet minimum coverage standards with Obamacare bronze plans, which are completely different in what they offer, AND on top of that there are subsidies for people in order to help them pay for it.   It's like comparing the car payment on a cardboard box with wheels to an actual car.   He admits he's doing it:

To conduct the above analysis, I and my Manhattan Institute colleagues, Yevgeniy Feyman and Paul Chung, compiled data from the five least-expensive plans on the traditional individual insurance market in the most populous ZIP code of each New York county, via, the federal government’s health insurance web site. By taking the average of those five plans, while adjusting for the impact of the individual-market component of the Healthy New York exchange, we established a “current rate” baseline for each New York county. We then compared those rates to the average rate of the five least-costly Bronze plans in each ACA rating region. No adjustment was needed for denials, surcharges, or age, because New York prohibits charging different rates based on health status, gender, and age.

Congrats Avik, you're comparing plastic apples to orchards laden with fruit and complaining that the apples aren't as cheap and as tasty as the plastic stuff.


Did Mitch The Turtle Sell Out His Crew?

We're all aware that Sen. Mitch McConnell is a jerk, but it turns out he's a coward and a wimp too as he desperately searches for someone to take the blame for Harry Reid getting the better of him yet again.  Now it looks like Mitch is trying to dump the increasingly unpopular deal on the backs of Republican moderates who somehow forced him to take such an awful deal...and he's claiming he knew nothing about it.  But here's the money quote:

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., got so frustrated with McConnell’s presentation of events, that he called “bullshit” loud enough for the room to hear, nearly a half-dozen sources said. The heated exchange underscored the “buyer’s remorse” among some Republicans, especially leaders, one senior Republican said on background.

Senate minority leader McConnell has no control over his own caucus?  Gosh,  there's a shocker.  And it seems like nobody's happy with it.

As CQ Roll Call reported Tuesday, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, for example, felt like his effort to reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were undercut by the deal forged by McCain and others. Portman and others had been holding up the nomination of Richard Cordray to head the CFPB in an attempt to get concessions from the Obama administration. When asked whether McCain or Corker were in the position to defend their deal in front of the rest of the caucus, Graham did not choose to characterize it quite that way.

“I don’t know that it was defending the deal. You know, they spoke up as to why we needed the deal. Quite frankly, I feel good about what happened. And senators are not bound by anything I did,” Graham said. “I think that for many of us, that was like — we probably went too far on Cordray. [And] you can’t just not have a National Labor Relations Board. But the president went too far and nominated somebody in December and then made a recess appointment and not allow the Senate to act.

“I really haven’t heard any concerns other than suggestions we could have done better,” Graham continued.

So let's take stock here.  Mitch has basically lost the respect of his team, the way Orange Julius long ago lost his.  They're openly angry at him, and they should be:  he's walking away from the deal he's responsible for agreeing to, after it became clear that the Tea Party wing considers this deal to be garbage. 

McConnell really wasn't facing a primary challenge before.  I'm betting that changes, and soon.

Here In My Car, I Feel Safest Of All

"If only," FOX News said to itself.  "If ONLY there were a way to make our viewers hate the American auto industry again so the Democrats would stop trumpeting its guys have any ideas?"

"What's that, you said?"

Fox News host Jenna Lee talks about terrorist hacking cars

"OK, let's run with that."

In a segment titled “Al Qaeda Behind the Wheel: How Terrorists Could Crash Your Car,” cyberterrorism analyst Morgan Wright said that it was a “fact” that “you can take control of a car” through systems like General Motor’s OnStar.

“My concern is when they not only just hack the car, they hack the systems that control these cars or have access to them,” Wright noted. “A lot of people say that’s far fetched, but one of my examples, you know, on Sept. 10th, 2001, we thought it was far fetched to fly four airplanes into a building, never thought it could happen. So, never say never.”

“So, what do we do has consumers?” Fox News host Jenna Lee wondered.

“Go back to the horse and buggy,” Wright laughed. “As these things come more connected, your car is loaded with maybe 70, 80 computers at a time, monitoring your emissions, your telemetry, your tire pressure, things like that. So again, maybe it’s a short-range thing, maybe it’s somebody controlling it from afar. But the point about it is the more connected we become as a society, the more vulnerabilities we have, because, guys, that’s just the Internet.”

Lee then wondered how concerned — on a scale of one to ten — should people be about terrorists hacking cars.

“Right now, I’d say on a scale of one to ten, it’s a one and a half,” Wright admitted. “There’s only one car out there right now, the Infinity Q50 that has a true steering-by-wire system that you could actually — if you could access to it — could actually control the vehicle.”

But boy you tech companies and you green energy companies and you automobile makers get together with your unholy trinity and TERR'ISTS GONNA TURN MAMMAW'S VAN INTO A DEATH CAR and you know what, FOX News is just effing stupid beyond belief.

So, FOX is advocating bikes and public transportation now?  Seems kinda weird for them.  I don't think they've thought this through...


Related Posts with Thumbnails