Obamacare Fail Reminder

Almost three years ago, I wrote over 5000 words on problems with Obamacare in three parts (part 1: information, part 2: incentives, part 3: rent-seeking.  Since then I have discussed how Obamacare is forcing the retail service sector into a part-time work model, how my policy was dropped, how the real price increases are coming next year, and how millions of dropped corporate policies will soon follow.

Not one single word was about the web site.

We haven't even gotten to the point where the real problems of Obamacare will manifest themselves.  While the backlash may be very real right now, we are still in the  pre-season.


  1. STW:

    I'm regularly updating my Senators on the status of Obamacare, reminding them that they voted for it, and telling them that my insurance is still cancelled. I'd hate for them to think that they were forgotten.

  2. mesaeconoguy:

    Correct, the real insidious part of Obamascare is the near total destruction of the private insurance market, and with it the quality and quantity of care available, on the way to single-payer.

    The rank incompetence of Oblunder here has led to something of a preview of what will happen once the thing goes fully “operational,” or in this case, implosional.

  3. skhpcola:

    What difference, at this point, does it make? Actually getting health care isn't neraly as important to demagogues and Marxists as is the illusion of "helping the working class" get subsidized insurance. Never mind that the insurance is still out of the price range of the vast majority of those working class people...it's the thought that counts.

  4. MingoV:

    My hope is that ObamaCare becomes a total disaster, and the people realize that the blame lies solely with the government. (The democrats will desperately try to blame insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, and drug companies.) If the public does blame the government, then Congress may repeal ObamaCare without trying to replace it.

  5. mesaeconoguy:

    +100 for the Hitlary reference.

    There are a fair number who are waking up to the deceit, but most of the sheeple are still oblivious to the carnage looming.

    This could, and probably will get really ugly. Then it gets violent.

  6. jhertzli:

    I'm reminded of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation in the Hitchhiker series "...their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws."

  7. slocum:

    I'm still waiting for this particular bit of expensive fail to emerge into public consciousness -- namely, early retirees with high wealth but low income qualifying for big subsidies (or even Medicaid). This thread is pretty interesting.


    My favorite bit was people trying to figure out how to *avoid* qualifying for Medicaid (because, even though it's free, the coverage sucks) and get a subsidized Obamacare exchange policy instead. One solution -- do enough Roth 401K conversions to push their income out of the Medicaid range (which is a good idea anyway, because they'll be in a low tax bracket for the conversions). There are a lot of boomers out there in their late 50s to early 60s who staying in the workforce mainly because they have employer-provided health coverage and private insurance, at their age, would be extremely expensive. But now? If they retire and start living off savings, they can get free or heavily subsidized coverage. Anyone want to guess what effect that will have on our anemic labor participation rates? And the really nutty thing is that these subsidies are most useful to wealthier early retirees who can afford to live off savings. Poorer people in the same age brackets, who have to keep working to buy the groceries and pay the mortgage, won't qualify for the big subsidies because their income remains higher.

    And it's not really just older folks who can benefit. Young early retiree 'Mr Money Moustache' thinks Obamacare could be just the ticket for families like his:

    "But now that I’ve got you braced for a costly-yet-manageable worst case scenario, I can reveal the good news: Most Mustachian-level early retirees will get virtually free health insurance under the new law...Whoa. So although I could pay a maximum of $5520 per year for this new and improved coverage, in reality I will only pay this much in years where my annual income is over $80,000. For incomes below that generous level, the federal subsidy kicks in and my net cost drops, until I get to the point offree health insurance somewhere around $26,000. With annual living expenses of about $25,000, we could in theory live this current lavish lifestyle and get fully subsidized health insurance simultaneously, if our ability to earn money somehow dried up someday."


  8. CapitalistRoader:

    I'm in this position. Currently paying $290/month for a $5,750 deductible, HSA-qualified plan. The Colorado exchange lists two HSA plans, a bronze and a silver. The bronze, which is fairly equivalent to the plan I have now, has a subsidized cost of $1.57/month. Not a typo: A dollar fifty seven. So I choose the silver plan for $40/month. A much better plan than my current plan, plus I get to keep contributing to my HSA.

    A caveat: I signed up for this plan; put it in the cart and checked out. The website says "you'll receive a notice from Kaiser Permanente with instructions to mail your first payment." That was two weeks ago and I have nothing from Kaiser yet. My concern is that the front end of the website worked but the back end, the part that communicates with the insurance companies, doesn't work. So I may well be uninsured come the first of January.

    If it does work then it's inevitable that some large percentage of 50-somethings with paid-off homes will be dropping out of the workforce.