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Sunday, November 17, 2013

That's no way to treat an Obamacare pimp

While we are on the subject of schadenfreude nothing quite hits home like seeing Obamacare supporters caught up in their own hypocrisy. Did it not occur to the authors of the intolerable act, whomever they may be, that they may inadvertently snare a few members of the liberal media. To date I count 4; Dylan Ratigan, Kirsten Powers, David Frum, and Lori Gottlieb.
Ratigan is no longer a journalist. He left MSNBC to start a high tech hydroponic farming venture that would employ military veterans. He was far too smart for the MSNBC crowd. He got there by way of CNBC, the business channel, where he had both created and hosted shows. Prior to his stint a CNBC he was the Global Managing Editor for Corporate Finance at Bloomberg News Service. In other words he is more knowledgeable is business affairs than Jay Carney and Barack Obama combined and probably 40 smarter than anyone at HHS that determined his policy was substandard. He responded with a barrage of tweets and made a compelling argument as best one can on Twitter for high deductible insurance for someone in his situation.

Lori Gottlieb writes for the New York Times mostly about herself, her biological clock, her boyfriends who were never good enough, and her decision to pass on her self obsession through artificial insemination. What surprised Gottlieb was none of her friends were sympathetic to her plight. They thought she owed it to the government. Naturally none of them who thought she was being selfish had had their insurance cancelled. “The nation has been better off,” wrote one friend. “Over 33 million people who did not have insurance are now going to get it.”
She picked these friends; not you or I.
Kirsten Powers who writes for The Daily Beast and part times at Fox News was an ardent supporter of Obamacare up until her insurance was cancelled. Poor Kirsten is very upset. Yes, she believes in collective sacrifice for the greater good but it's as if someone deliberately sold her the wrong lottery ticket. It just wasn't supposed to work out like this. Newsbusters put together this video showing the before and after Ms Powers.

David Frum is a nominal Republican and a former Bush speech writer. Nevertheless he has been breathless in his awe of Obama and has written in support of Obamacare. In this clip-he appears toward the end-he hijacks Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room to spell in exact dollars the price he is commanded to pay to help the uninsured.

Schadenfreude gives me pleasant dreams. I'm not sure about Ratigan's support but the other three were down with the idea of "personal responsibility" meaning some would be visited with an unfair implicit tax. Unfortunately the above jackasses are not the typical victims of Obamacare. They can afford it; many cannot. Assuming that Powers, Frum, and Gottlieb are independent contractors they are treated quite differently than say, an editor at the NYT who makes the same money. With luck the salaried editor will not lose his health coverage. He will continue to get a tax free benefit. Depending on the cost of the insurance it will most probably be more than $10,000 per year. The independent contractor must purchase overpriced coverage with after-tax dollars.
Yes, as Senator Harkin pointed out, being forced to insure for maternity coverage after one has passed child bearing years is like paying property tax to support public education after one's children are grown. Correct, it is an implicit tax. It is visited on only a small segment of the population without regard of the individual's income or ability to pay. It is an economic atrocity. Don't worry about catastrophic illnesses driving people into bankruptcy the high deductibles are enough to drive many into short term financial ruin. Are these people better able to pay the exorbitant premiums and absorb high deductibles  than members of congress who demanded and got a $10,000 stipend supposedly to avoid a brain drain on Capitol Hill? What brains?
In the past most tax and regulatory policy has been too weak, too remote, or too diffuse to radically impact the lives of most everyday people. The modern welfare state attracted adherents who could endure all sort of suffering at the theoretical level. In the past few weeks Powers and friends have found that the beast bites. They will never feel quite the same about it again.

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