Another Gleeful Autopsy on Obamacare

from Mark Steyn.

I’ve got a friend who works for Microsoft who was shaking his head the other day: “300 million dollars to make a website? Why didn’t they just hire Amazon?”

Obama doesn’t seem to be in touch with reality at all. Here is a chronicle of just how massively incompetent Obama has been with all this. It really is breathtaking how he seems to genuinely believe that the mere speaking of his divinely creative word is sufficient to cause Obamacare to be. It appears to be the very incarnation of what Francis means by “adolescent progressivism”.

Perhaps it is his believe in his own divinity that moves our Caesar to carefully excise You Know Who from his recitation of the Gettyburg Address yesterday.

  • MitchellJ

    Sorry to be a buzz kill but the Kens Burns documentary folks who are making a documentary about the Gettysburg Address and are also running this http://www.learntheaddress.org/ website where they have videos of various people reciting the Gettysburg Address. On there they say they asked Obama to read the original draft of the speech, which did not include the words under God. I’m no fan of Obama but the dudgeon over him not saying under God in the Address is manufactured outrage by some likely willfully ignorant conservative media outlets. All five versions of the speech are found here: http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/41

    • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

      Manufactured outrage? Surely you jest.

      Doesn’t stop Obama from being a moron for not just delivering the speech everybody in the universe knows exactly the way everybody in the universe knows it. I mean, it’s carved in stone in the Lincoln Memorial, for crying out loud.

      • 2muchcoffeeman

        Yes, the words are carved into the memorial, but they are not (assuming that Lincoln did not stray from the wording of his draft) a completely faithful transcription of the words the president spoke on Nov. 19, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa.

        I have many reasons to distrust our current president, but his reading of a specific version of the speech, provided by Ken Burns and scrolling by on the teleprompter, is not one of them.

        • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

          Ah. Okay. That makes Ken Burns the religiously deaf one, here. Swede.

        • foulweatherfan

          While we cannot know if the carved words exactly quote Lincoln’s spoken address, there is no doubt that Lincoln spoke the words “under God.” This is simply not disputed among historians. That said, I agree that Obama cannot be blamed for reading the text as supplied by Burns.

    • Dave G.

      I heard that explanation. Here’s the thing. He has professional advisors all around him. Certainly one of them could have said ‘Gee Mr. President, given the controversies of the past, wouldn’t it be better if we suggested you read the one that Lincoln actually delivered, rather than open up that can of worms?’ I mean, it’s not hard to see that folks would notice him doing this. Someone should have figured it out. Or perhaps, they did.

      • introvert_prof

        As the Gettysburg Center points out, the version you mean is not the version Lincoln delivered. He edited the speech for publication after the fact; common practice in those days. My guess is that none of the extant versions is the one Lincoln actually delivered, not precisely.

        • Dave G.

          I’m an old timer when it comes to history. The traditionally accepted narrative is accepted until actual proof is presented to suggest otherwise. We don’t know, but we do know the version I alluded to is the one traditionally accepted, the only one signed by Lincoln, and there’s no reason to suggest anything else. The modern approach, that suggests anything but the traditional narrative must be true, no matter how slim the evidence, is the stuff that Dan Browns are made on.

          But that’s not the point. The point is, Obama’s advisors should have advised him to choose the one everyone has read if they’ve visited Washington or opened a history book (at least until recently), that has traditionally and generally accepted as the most likely version Lincoln gave. That way you will avoid controversy at a time when you are tanking the polls. Why didn’t they? There are a few options. But clearly it was a matter of deliberate planning, or unbelievable incompetence.

          • foulweatherfan

            Yes, there is reason to believe that the carved version is not an exact quote of Lincoln’s spoken address. That said, all witnessed accounts include the words, “under God.”

          • 2muchcoffeeman

            Sorry, I’m not buying the “unbelievable incompetence” assertion. Ken Burns shows up, announces he’s recording many Americans reciting various versions of the G.A., and asks the president to read what is historically referred to as the first draft — a version written in preparation for the speech, not written afterward for distribution. The prez says okay, let’s do this. Teleprompter rolls. POTUS reads. Strike the set. That’s it.

            No one has criticized Abe for omitting God from his original draft. Maybe we should. Maybe we should burn the Nicolay and Hay copies because they fail to mention God. Yet now we’re jumping all over Obama because he played along with a really cool learn-the-address project by the country’s foremost documentary filmmaker, and accurately read the version of the speech that he was asked to read.

            That people are losing their minds over the president’s accurate recital of an actual historical document currently stored under glass at the Library of Congress for all the world to read says more about us than it says about the president.

  • Jmac

    The sad thing is, the Obama for America campaign DID hire Amazon (specifically AWS) to have one of the most tech-savvy campaigns in history. But due to the labyrinth nature of government IT regulations, that was a no-go in this case.

    And then there’s the story we’re all familiar with, where it was mismanaged and designs were changed up to a month before an arbitrary hard release date, which left no time for end-to-end testing and pretty much guaranteed a sloppy mess.

    One little nitpick though, the Affordable Care Act and the health care exchange website aren’t the same thing.

  • introvert_prof

    I want Obamacare to work, so I’m probably angrier than a lot of your other commentors. The sheer blind hubris it took to continue with this slapdash website project is breathtaking.

    But (as one might expect) Breitbart isn’t being fair about the Gettysburg Address recitation. Obama is probably more conventionally religious than Lincoln was, and I doubt he has objections to reading the conventional civic-religion phrase “under God.” Did you notice the bit about “all propriety” in the earlier part of the speech, that is absent from the more familiar version? My guess is that Nicolay transcribed the speech as delivered; Lincoln is known to have touched it up for publication, but Burns says that Obama delivered the “Nicolay version.”

    • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

      What this does make Obama is politically clueless and religiously deaf.

  • Tom

    I sometimes wonder why some Christians are so gleeful about the troubles with the Obamacare rollout. If we have the right to life, do we not have the right to the means to sustain that life?

    • Pappy

      No one is arguing that we don’t have a right to legitimate means to sustain life, but that in no way means that one has to support the ACA. Indeed, the more we are getting to know about how it will really work, those who oppose it have all the more evidence against it.

      • Tom

        Your alternative?

        • SatelOb

          Alternative: Keep healthcare privatized, but:

          - Get rid of this assumption that everyone has medical insurance. Change the paradigm so the assumption is most people pay out of pocket.

          - Bring down the cost of medical school.
          - Tort reform so doctors don’t need exorbitantly expensive malpractice insurance.
          - Clean up the corrupt FDA whose big-corporation favoritisms contribute to skyrocketing pharmaceutical prices.

          • Rosemarie

            +J.M.J+

            My husband and I met a man a few years ago who had some ideas. Like having a committee decide on the payout for malpractice cases, as happens with workers comp. I wish I remember the rest of his ideas but they sounded good. He said he once described them to one of our senators (a Dem), who said that they were good ideas but no one would ever propose them. I think this was before the ACA was passed, BTW.

          • Jenna

            What do you mean most people pay out of pocket? Are you referring to some kind of a catastrophic policy where routine services are paid out of pocket?

            How do you propose to bring down the cost of medical school? There are two components of medical education; the school and the residency. Most schools are state schools and most students are receiving federally subsidized loans. Residency is paid for by Medicare. To bring down the cost would require more government funding.

            Tort reform is a red herring. Many states have already enacted tort reform. There’s little evidence that it has a significant impact on healthcare costs.

            I won’t disagree about the issues with the FDA

        • Stu
    • ivan_the_mad

      We do, and that principle is enunciated in the social teaching: CotCC 2211: “The political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure especially: … in keeping with the country’s institutions, the right to medical care, assistance for the aged, and family benefits …”.

      Since the ACA is one of many possible attempts to realize this principle, i.e. a prudential judgement, one is therefore able to legitimately oppose it in good faith as a poor or indeed pernicious realization of said principle. I haven’t the temerity or right to speak for all Christians, but I imagine the satisfaction of some Christians at the inordinate trouble now suffered in the law’s implementation may be directly attributed to the HHS mandate, wherein Caesar deemed conscience, especially one formed in accord with a long-established body of moral teaching, a thing of little importance.

      • Tom

        But no one has offered even a shred of an alternative. Not one. the old way was not working. If you wish to argue for a simpler, single-payer system, I’m all for it. But to stand on the sidelines and cheer on the possible immolation of a legitimate attempt to ease an inarguable evil seems uncharitable and mean spirited.

        • KyPerson

          I think the old way worked quite well for a majority of people. It did need some reform, especially in allowing people with pre-existing medical conditions to get insurance, but Obamacare is a mess.

          • Jenna

            I think you can only believe the old system worked well if either you were never sick (or never knew anyone who was sick) or always had good group health insurance. And getting rid of pre-existing conditions is only feasible if everyone is forced to have insurance. Otherwise you end up with cherry picking.

            • Obpoet

              Completely false. At my hospital we take care of everyone regardless of their ability to pay. Now, can we pay for everything? Nose jobs for the masses? No. And the sooner we admit this, the sooner we can get on with the business of caring for the sick.

              • PeonyMoss

                The gazillions of dollars this thing cost could have been better spent on direct aid to the 30 million uninsured. Shore up Medicaid and maybe expand eligibility – perhaps with co-pays for those who can afford it- and stop micromanaging what policies can and cannot cover (seriously, was it really necessary to mandate all plans cover oral contraceptives with no copay?)

                • Jenna

                  As someone who deals daily with the consequences of really awful employer group health plans that exclude services that maintain life (or limit payment for said services to a usual and customary rate that requires us to balance bill patients tens of thousands of dollars for the treatment that is saving their lives), I think there was a need to establish a minimum set of covered services. I think it’s like the porn definition, you can’t really define what should be an “essential benefit” but you know it when you see it.

              • Jenna

                Huh? So because your hospital provided charity care to everyone you think the system worked?

                First, your hospital likely takes care of everyone (we’ll delve into what that means later) because there is a federal law called EMTALA that requires ERs to admit anyone with a life threatening condition and to stabilize the patient. Note only emergency conditions are covered under EMTALA and many ERs have recently begun making people with non-emergent conditions pay up front for treatment and turning them away if they will not pay up front. This is allowed under EMTALA.

                Second, your hospital is likely a not for profit entity that is obligated to provide a certain amount of charity care in order to maintain its tax exempt status. That’s basically a government subsidy of your business.

                Third, just because your hospital treats everyone, that does not mean that they are not aggressively pursuing payment for those services. Most people qualify for some kind of financial policy when they do not have insurance but for people with assets that does not mean a 100% write-off.

                What this means is that 1) many hospitals do not really treat everyone and 2) even if they do treat a patient, the patient could still end up in serious financial difficulty because of the bills.

                And BTW, “nose jobs for the masses?” Huh? The plans offered through the exchanges, just like plans offered by employers, have many exclusions. Nose jobs are not usually covered benefits unless there is a medical necessity.

        • S7

          “But no one has offered even a shred of an alternative. Not one.”

          Sorry, but that’s not true.

          Lots of alternative reforms and fixes have been offered on health care, both before Obamacare was adopted, and since. You may not *like* those alternatives; nothing is perfect, and some ideas are better than others. But it’s simply false to insist not one alternative has ever been offered.

          It’s true that many of them are not “comprehensive”; but then, who says the only acceptable proposals are those that solve *every* problem? Why don’t we insist that the only true solution to our health-care woes also have to cure Alzheimers and cancer, too? In other words, isn’t this notion of, “it’s not ‘comprehensive’ enough,” rather arbitrary? The true “comprehensive” solution is to bring on the Eschaton. Until then, we have to be satisfied with attempts to ameliorate.

          • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

            Of course lots of alternatives have been offered. No credible national Republican has backed one, since they know their constituents only agree on one thing: “Whatever it is, it’s not my problem.”

            • chezami

              Yep. The most common response from righties when you ask, “What does the GOP propose to do about our right to health care?” is “HEALTH CARE IS NOT A RIGHT!” The church begs to differ. But the cafeteria is wide open on the right.

              • BHG

                The Church does beg to differ, but the question is what that right subsumes. Abortions and not hearing aids? Sex-change operations but not knee replacements in a timely fashion? Scope is important and EVERY centralized health career system rations and usually, not rationally.

              • S7

                Well, I think you are relying here on the fact that “right” has multiple meanings. When Church teaching speaks of a right to health care, this isn’t necessarily the same sense of “right” as referred to in the Constitution. Not only because there is no mention of a “right to health care” in the constitution, but more broadly, because the way our constitution talks about rights is significantly different.

                So when many of us who are politically conservative push back against a “right” to health care, it’s in the context of what a right means under constitutional law–not against what the Church means.

                And I think you knew that.

          • sean o

            S7,
            Obamacare is a disaster for many reasons, but essentially because its primary goal wasn’t healthcare but to protect & insure the financial interests of the Insurance industry & Big Pharma. Horrible.

            That said though what briefly are the Republican alternatives being offered? R’s seem mostly satisfied with the current system & disinclined to worry about the under served, while D’s expressed lofty healthcare goals and produced a Rube Goldberg turkey. It’s an absolutely rotten situation.

            Still what credible healthcare plans have R’s offered up to those struggling inside & outside the current healthcare system? What was/is the general shape of their plans? I have heard nothing.

            • S7

              When you ask, what are the Republican alternatives, then I am reluctant to speak for Republicans. But it isn’t hard to go surfing online and find what is being offered by various critics of Obamacare, including Republicans, but also people who may not be party-spokesmen, but who are interested in small government, freer markets, etc.

              But here we go…

              1. End the preferential tax arrangement that encourages health insurance to be employer based. This has the effect of making health-insurance less portable, because it’s tied to your job. And it is a big reason why so much has been thrown into the health insurance policy that should be paid for out of pocket.

              2. Related to #1, stop confusing health insurance and health care. Do you have an auto insurance policy? If so, does it pay for new tires, batteries, for oil changes, etc.? Why not? Hint: because it’s a bad deal, in part because it makes it less likely you, as the consumer, will be policing costs. Instead of shopping around for the best price for a battery, you’ll see it just folded in.

              3. The combination of a truer health-insurance policy with a tax-free health savings account makes much more sense in terms of cost and choice. But this works when it happens over time. So imagine creating a HSA for your children, before they are even born, and adding to it as they grow up. Much better way to go.

              BTW, why can’t government subsidies go to provide the less-well-off with money in their own HSAs? Who says HSAs are only for the well off?

              4. Break down the barriers to selling insurance across state lines.

              5. Continue to have a health care “marketplace” (one of the better ideas in Obamacare), but why does it have to be a gargantuan federal thing?

              6. Continue to offer high-risk pools for the preexisting condition problem–which would also be addressed better, in the long term (not short term) if health insurance were totally portable.

              7. Reverse the movement of more people into Medicaid and Medicare, which do a poor job of controlling costs. They basically do it through rationing, which is inevitable when you have someone else paying for your care and services are “free.”

              8. Reverse the push toward more and more mandates about what has to be in an insurance policy. This is driving up costs.

              Now, in fairness, Obamacare has some of these ingredients, but not enough of them. And in many cases, Obamacare is going in the wrong direction. In other cases, it moved too little in the right direction.

              And someone will say, oh but these don’t fix ALL problems. True. But then, neither does Obamacare.

              Sometimes what you do is not “fix” but “improve.” After all, one of the reasons Obamacare is such a wreck is because, instead of passing different reform measures piecemeal–and see how they work–they were determined to do it all at once. Hubris.

        • ivan_the_mad

          “But no one has offered even a shred of an alternative.” You’ve looked under every rock and in every blog to verify this? Quod gratis asseritur gratis negatur.

          I should think that a legitimate attempt at progress would by its very nature preclude such objective wrongs as mandating violations of conscience. Exchanging evils simply guarantees the continuity of evil.

        • http://www.thefeverchart.com/ Mark Gordon

          Obamacare WAS the Republican alternative for almost two decades. It was hatched by the Heritage Foundation, then proposed by the House GOP in the 1990′s as an alternative to Hilary Clinton’s attempt at healthcare reform, then adopted by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. And Obama copied the Massachusetts model down to fine details.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Does the Massachusettes website fail to work too?

        • TheodoreSeeber

          Here’s an alternative to all the plans I’ve seen yet: Community sponsored healthcare with catastrophic high-deductible plans for specialist treatment only.

          The local clinic should be run out of property taxes, and have a local medical board made up of property owners.

          Hospitals should be for specialist referrals only, and should go on the high deductible insurance plans.

          Subsidiarity, and basic healthcare for all. Heroic measures for the wealthy, if they pay for them.

        • AquinasMan

          This is a false argument. There are no alternatives because the theory that we needed an alternative, in the first place, has not been proven. We need an alternative to this world — but God isn’t going to blow it up and start over just because “we could always do better.”… EDIT: At least not yet….

    • S7

      By the way, the reason I am gleeful about the collapse of all this mess–and I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it–is precisely because I care about our country and when something so colossally wasteful and destructive is publicly shown to be a horror and a disgrace, that is a good thing.

      Now, if you believe Obamacare is a good thing, and it really is going to work, and make things better–well, then, of course you won’t find any of this joyful. And if you operate from those premises, so be it; I won’t take the time now to talk you out of that.

      But, pray, friend, consider that others operate from other premises; and on the premise I already enunciated–namely, that Obamacare is intrinsically a bad thing–then its dramatic implosion is a good thing. I am convinced–even if you are not–that this thing would either fail fast or fail slowly. It’s not at all clear to me why failing slowly is better for anyone.

      When it briefly appeared Romney might win last fall, what really depressed me was the thought that he’d get in there, and manage to make this thing limp along. Not that he would ever make it really work–I don’t think he could–but he could make it *seem* to work, at least for awhile. And that would be far worse for everyone in the long run.

      So, while it may seem unseemly–and there is a lot of melodramatic bluster about how terrible, terrible, it is that anyone is happy to see the zeppelin Obamacare go up in flames–it is precisely *because* I care deeply about the need for good policy that I’m glad to see extravagantly bad policy exposed for what it is.

    • AquinasMan

      There’s nothing to celebrate about the state taking a flamethrower to the power of subsidiarity in your life and death decisions. Obamacare is not about access to care — it’s about mandating insurance coverage, or, you know, putting the final nails in the middle class.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      But that’s the whole problem with Obamacare- it specifically takes away the right to the means to sustain life, and replaces it with massive profits for insurance companies.

  • http://bloggoliard.wordpress.com/ Blog Goliard

    Steyn is also on fire in his latest back-page column for NR. I loved this bit:

    “Instead, we have government by people who read Thomas L. Friedman and use words like ‘interconnectedness’ and give commencement addresses where they rave about how our world is changing so fast — and assume that just being glibly au courant is a substitute for being able to do, make, build. There are lessons here beyond the abysmal failure of one misconceived government program, lessons about what our esteemed (if not terminally self-esteemed) elites value as ‘smart,’ and about the perils of rule by a poseur technocracy.”

    Obama may be the ne plus ultra of this trend…but Washington is full of these people, on both sides of the aisle.

  • Paxton Reis

    “Why didn’t they just hire Amazon?”

    Exactly.

    “Obama doesn’t seem to be in touch with reality at all”

    There is the dearth of executive experience in the man’s background. Unfortunately for us and him, it is playing out in such a public fashion.

    • jaybird1951

      There is a dearth of experience in his cabinet team as well, not to speak of the WH staff itself. The ones who know how to manage have left the administration. The sycophants remain.

  • http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester curtjester

    It is actually much worse than that. The original estimates for the ObamaCare site was $635 million, but “fixes” will put it over a 1billion.

    It was Oregon (my home state) that spent $300 million on their exchange site with so far zero sign up. Then they spent something like $60 million on advertising.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      And apparently nothing on debugging. I even got a triumphant e-mail from cover Oregon this week- claiming that their website WAS working, after all, you could download the 19 page PDF off of it to fill out and mail.

      If I claimed that was a working website I’d be fired.

  • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

    Why didn’t they just hire Amazon?

    What, so we could complain about him being in bed with that gigantic corporation? ;-)

  • Jenna

    Obamacare is not “imploding.” I work for a provider and we’re assisting our uninsured patients in enrolling in exchange plans right now. It’s been difficult with the issues with the website but we’re happy to see that many of our uninsured patients will actually be able to get coverage.

    • AquinasMan

      Many of your newly insured will be treated to personal insolvency just trying to pay for their insurance before anything catastrophic can wipe them out. Premiums are going to absolutely skyrocket (from here) once the demographic of who signs up shakes out. No one in their right mind who is moderately healthy will sign up for $500 a month/$6000 deductible and severely restricted access to quality facilities and medical staff.

      The pools are going to be populated primarily by high-risk or pre-existing conditions. It’s a bad product with a bad CEO. Obamacare is not “imploding”, it’s already “imploded”.

      • Jenna

        That’s why everyone has got to be in. That’s insurance 101.

        BTW, if I did not have insurance, I’d gladly sign up for a $500 a month/$6K deductible plan, even with a restricted network (and BTW, many of these networks are not that restricted) because it would protect me against the risk. I know the risk better than most given what I do for a living. I see people bankrupted by unexpected medical expenses. I’ve even see people die as a result of not having access to adequate healthcare because they did not have insurance. Every benchmark plan I reviewed (in multiple states since I work in multiple states) covers what any reasonable person would consider to be adequate healthcare so for just anything that could happen to my family I’ve got coverage.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      What state, and has anybody actually been able to enroll in a plan?

    • Dave G.

      The biggest implosion is that Obama said, a million times if he said it once, that nobody would be forced to lose their coverage. And yet millions will. That’s pretty big. Just the different ways that Obama’s supporters in the media have tried to downplay or spin this shows it’s important. Just last week, on CNN, the spin was that those who will lose their insurance are just a statistical distraction. Funny how millions become irrelevant all of a sudden. Of course this week CNN was onto other defenses. That alone says this is trouble for Obama.

  • Eve Fisher

    Mr. Shea, please stick with truth: Obama did not “carefully excise” any mention of God from the Gettysburg Address: he was asked to read the ORIGINAL ms, in which the words “under God” DID NOT appear. The Brietbart site is notorious for lying, shamelessly.

    Secondly, as Jenna says below, Obamacare is not “imploding”. People are signing up. They are doing well. And, I might add, the people who are screaming the most about the web problems are (1) Congresspeople who haven’t and don’t have to try to enroll because they have fully tax-payer funded insurance and (2) Congresspeople and newsmakers who have opposed the ACA root and branch from its inception and are dedicated to its destruction. (Why, I do not know, except that some people really do seem to be upset when the sick are healed, the lame walk, the blind see…)

    • wineinthewater

      Early draft does not mean original draft. Subsequent drafts as well as .. well, the speech actually given! .. all contain under God. So Obama’s excuse for excluding the words is that he preferred an unfinished draft to the speech that Lincoln actually gave? Is such an act of hubris really any better than bold-faced anti-religious editing of history?

      And you are right, Obamacare is not imploding. But the website has certainly imploded, even if they are now putting the pieces back together an making it work better. But “we didn’t spend $300M on a non-functioning website, just a barely functioning website” is also not a very reassuring argument.

    • Dave G.

      By any logical thinking, his advisors would have said, “Gee Mr. President, why don’t we have you read the one most commonly attributed to Lincoln’s actual address and avoid any controversy that might arise from reading a version that noticeably doesn’t include ‘under God’?” Quality advisors would have suggested that. Assuming that the quality advisors didn’t want the controversy.
      And yes it is imploding. I’m shocked at how, all of a sudden, millions of Americans hurt financially are suddenly not a big deal. I guess people matter when they help advance the cause. Of course the good news is it’s not Obama’s fault. It’s never his fault. Ever. That’s one thing we’ve all learned over the last five years.

      • Eve Fisher

        Well, of course it’s Obama’s fault. All those pesky health insurance companies who are cancelling their junk insurance premiums aren’t to blame. They’re just after higher profits, and see a chance to get rid of some low-life poor with health problems. And we all know that before Obama, it didn’t matter if health insurance companies offered junk insurance to the poor, or denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, or anything like that, because that was the American way.

        I’m sorry, but a lot of people are signing up. A lot of people are getting the information they need. A lot of people are going to be covered who could never be covered before. Sorry if I’m pleased about that.

        • AnsonEddy

          So prior to Obamacare state insurance regulators were allowing insurance companies to sell junk policies to consumers? Why? Didn’t they have any integrity as public servants?

          • Eve Fisher

            Since when are insurance companies public servants? And as to regulation – Congress has fought regulation of anything tooth and nail, root and branch, for years.

            • AnsonEddy

              Insurance companies aren’t public servants. Insurance regulators are. To sell an insurance policy within a state the state regulator (a state government official) must sign off that it meets certain standards. You are saying that these people have not been doing their jobs in protecting insurance consumers in their states. Why are you leveling such an accusation at them?

              • Eve Fisher

                Did I accuse anyone of not enforcing regulations? My point is that very often there AREN’T any regulations. Why? Because in 1945 Congress passed “The McCarran-Ferguson Act” which specifically made STATES over see insurance regulation, based on STATE law, and said “that no federal law should be construed to invalidate, impair or supersede any law enacted by any state government for the purpose of regulating the business of insurance, unless the federal law specifically relates to the business of insurance”. State laws can be very interesting, often non-existent. For example, here in South Dakota the laws against usury were abolished? Which is why almost every credit card company in the US is based in SD, and can charge as much as it likes? Voila! No regulation required. You might check into your state’s laws on insurance and insurance regulation. You might be surprised at how low the standards are…

                • AnsonEddy

                  No I wouldn’t be surprised. You are now arguing that any policy set below the federal level is less than sufficient to safe guard the citizenry. By implication the federal government is better at deciding the needs of its citizenry better than the lower level governments that are closer to them and more familiar with their needs.

                  • Eve Fisher

                    If you say so. So what do you think should happen when a state deliberately passes laws and regulations designed to take advantage of other people – usury, insurance, whatever? It’s their right. Or the various states who have decided that their poor don’t need federal aid – and who won’t/can’t give them any state aid? Or who plan to gut their state employees’ retirement fund because they can? Or who gut education funding and then spend the money to lure foreign investment? The local level is no purer than the federal level. Government requires checks and balances, all the way up and down the line, and regulation. We are sinful human beings, and we must often be protected from ourselves.

                    • AnsonEddy

                      What do *I* think should happen when a state or local government acts against the interests of its citizenry? I think the citizenry should vote to remove them from office. This is easier to do at a lower level of government where leaders are more accountable to less diverse interests. Do you have a problem with the Church teaching on subsidiarity?

                    • Eve Fisher

                      I don’t even know what the Church teaching on subsidiarity is. I also know that “voting them out of office” is far easier said than done. Actually, it’s often harder at the local level – especially in small towns – where leaders are often members of the ruling family/families, with economic power enough to pretty much quash any opposition in the early stages. Check out the wonderful record of the Longs in Louisiana.

                      Meanwhile, there is still the question of what the federal government should be able to do about a state that passes laws which are harmful to the country as a whole.

            • Nordog6561

              I suspect you’re not very bright.

              • Eve Fisher

                You’re probably right. Thank you for pointing that out to me.


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