Obamacare for everything

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Obamacare for everything

Postby D Comeaux » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:24 am

ObamaCare for Everything
First health, then finance and now higher ed gets a federal fix.
By
• DANIEL HENNINGER Wall Street Journal

Thousands of American higher-education administrators will spend part of Labor Day weekend trying to plumb the meaning of the ideas President Obama dropped on them last week to "reform" the American college and university system. Given the political genome of college administrators nowadays, they'll try to make the Obama plan work. But for the handful who want to preserve and protect their hallowed institutions, here's a recommendation: Drop by the nearest medical school for a chat with the doctors about how it's going with the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare.
Insofar as all these higher-ed reforms will be tied to federal rules for getting the money, it is beyond dispute that this will be ObamaCare for education, just as Dodd-Frank was ObamaCare for banking and finance.


Chad Crowe
A clue to where this is headed may be seen by clicking on the White House backgrounder's link to the "Financial Aid Shopping Sheet" jointly developed by the U.S. Department of Education and Dodd-Frank's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The sheet has a striking name atop it: "University of the United States (UUS)"—with a logo, no less.
The education proposal reflects the Obama modus operandi. First, identify an American industry that long ago made a Faustian bargain for federal support, such as hospitals and housing. Then describe the subsidy-dependent industry's inevitable bloat and inefficiency in images so stark no reasonable person could disagree. "Burdened with tens of thousands of dollars" in student debt, Mr. Obama said at Binghamton University in New York, "they have to put off buying a home, or starting a business, or starting a family." [Footnote: That was federal student debt.] Then after getting buy-in from the mortified industry, he imposes the solution—on his terms.
Those terms, as described by the White House, are that future financial aid will be tied to "college performance," based on a federal rating system of all colleges designed by the Department of Education with metrics defining affordability (average tuition, scholarships, loan debt), admission rates for disadvantaged students, remedial support for disadvantaged students, student outcomes (graduation and transfer rates, postgraduate earnings), and bonuses based on the number of Pell students graduated. And a lot more. The White House calls this a "datapalooza."
Terry Hartle of the American Council on Education commented on the proposals in the Chronicle of Higher Education, "If you want to condition the receipt of student aid on this information, you have an obligation to have perfect data." Wrong. Like ObamaCare, you'll make this work with far-from-perfect data.
One attribute that sets the U.S. higher education system apart from any in the world is the diversity of its 4,495 degree-granting institutions—big, small, private, public, religious. Under this plan, that historic diversity would melt beneath conformance. The Obama plan says it will increase the number of college graduates and contain tuition costs by "rewarding states that are willing to systematically change their higher education policies and practices."
Random thought: Will professors at participating ObamaEd universities become subject in time to the same cost-containment rules that, say, Medicare imposes on doctors? Think it can't happen? Better read the president's speeches last week.
To better comprehend the origins of all this, one need only visit the White House website and read the proposal's first sentence. Actually it's the first half of the first sentence, which makes it clear that something other than student debt loads and repayment schedules is in play here: "Earning a postsecondary degree or credential is no longer just a pathway to opportunity for a talented few." A talented few?
When, since the end of World War II, has U.S. higher education been for the "talented few"? Like everything else the past four years, the economics of higher education is about to be refracted through the same lens of social antagonism Mr. Obama uses to think about pretty much everything.
Here are two higher-ed reforms that weren't in the president's speeches last week, and likely never will be.
The first is reform of the U.S.'s No. 1 national disgrace: the failed inner-city public-school system. Their doors opened again this week, and in nine months they will sweep tens of thousands of uneducated "graduating" seniors out the doors, with no chance of qualifying for any college.
The Obama administration's contribution to the new school year? A lawsuit just filed by Eric Holder's Justice Department against Louisiana's school-voucher program, whose black participation rate is 90%. Why isn't Education Secretary Arne Duncan finally resigning in protest?
The second reform would be returning the U.S. to its historic 3.3% economic growth rate, rather than the below 2% rate of nearly the entire Obama presidency. In his speeches Mr. Obama said a college education ensures higher lifetime earnings. But not if you've graduated into four years of unemployment or underemployment.
Imposing ObamaCare on health, education, finance, energy and anything else in reach is the reason why 2% growth and 7.5% unemployment looks chronic. We may have the best higher-education system in the world, but we're underachieving. So is the president.
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Re: Obamacare for everything

Postby ScaupHunter » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:35 am

Just what we need, more government intervention in a functioning system. The government of course has repeatedly proven it can run something more efficiently and effectively than the private sector can. :fingerhead:
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Re: Obamacare for everything

Postby dudejcb » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:06 pm

So I guess what your selling is that the soaring cost of higher education is okay, and healthcare costs that have been escalating since the '70's is okay too...and we should do nothing, which is the right's response for most things except trying to limit the ability of the poor (or students living away from home) to vote.

Here's my contemporary experience with healthcare. The DoD contract my employer had (where I am a consultant to the DoD) was re-competed and awarded to a competitor in early August. I am transitioning back to my old employer (who was awarded the contract). As part of the job offer I was given two options: 1) become a regular full time employee with benefits but take a $15,000 pay cut, and still be required to purchase health care through their cafeteria of options, or; 2) get $2,000 more annually and have no benefits, no paid vacation. I chose option 2. I think for $17K I can buy some healthcare and term life with plenty to spare.

I'm ready for Obama care, just waiting till October to sign up.
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Re: Obamacare for everything

Postby High Sierras » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:53 pm

dudejcb wrote:So I guess what your selling is that the soaring cost of higher education is okay

The soaring cost of higher education is the increase in dues the teachers union sends to obama, and you're upset with it? :fingerpt: Can't have it both ways, brother!

dudejcb wrote:and healthcare costs that have been escalating since the '70's is okay too...and we should do nothing, which is the right's response for most things except trying to limit the ability of the poor (or students living away from home) to vote.

Funny how if we would just leave the free market alone how it self regulates. Too bad obama can't figure that one out...smartest man in the room and all.

dudejcb wrote:Here's my contemporary experience with healthcare. The DoD contract my employer had (where I am a consultant to the DoD) was re-competed and awarded to a competitor in early August. I am transitioning back to my old employer (who was awarded the contract). As part of the job offer I was given two options: 1) become a regular full time employee with benefits but take a $15,000 pay cut, and still be required to purchase health care through their cafeteria of options, or; 2) get $2,000 more annually and have no benefits, no paid vacation. I chose option 2. I think for $17K I can buy some healthcare and term life with plenty to spare.

I'm ready for Obama care, just waiting till October to sign up.

Won't happen. The only part of obamacare that obama will let go active is the taxation part... once the actual 'care' part kicks in the system will self implode, we can't have that in an election cycle now can we. :rolleyes:

You must have some serious seniority in your union if they're willing to keep you on full time, 7/8ths of all new jobs in this country in the last three years are 29 hours a week or less. I wonder why. :huh: Does that sound 'skeevy' to you???
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Re: Obamacare for everything

Postby dudejcb » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:34 pm

High Sierras wrote:You must have some serious seniority in your union if they're willing to keep you on full time
Union? I was, and remain, unaware of any labor unions for consultants. I have not belonged to a union since 1981 when I worked on electric line crews ... IBEW.

Sierra, you're trying too hard to appear ... smart or something I guess ... and it's not working.
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Re: Obamacare for everything

Postby clampdaddy » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:35 pm

dudejcb wrote:So I guess what your selling is that the soaring cost of higher education is okay, and healthcare costs that have been escalating since the '70's is okay too...and we should do nothing, which is the right's response for most things except trying to limit the ability of the poor (or students living away from home) to vote...... Can you think of the cost of any product that hasn't soared since the '70's? If said college students aren't smart enough to call home and see if their absentee ballot is there with the rest of their mail then they have far worse problems ahead of them


I'm ready for Obama care, just waiting till October to sign up. Might not be a bad idea to wait and see which doctors in your area will accept it.
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Re: Obamacare for everything

Postby dudejcb » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:27 am

Clamp, you are right of course; always wise to look (research) before you leap. I'm looking at health insurance through non-profits like Pacific Source and others. I appreciate the advice tho. If you have other advice or experience to share do so.

One of the things I've learned, though it may not always be obvious when I write some posts, is that you can never have too many friends in this world ... and burning bridges, no matter how ticked off you are, is always a bad idea.
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Re: Obamacare for everything

Postby SpinnerMan » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:34 am

dudejcb wrote:So I guess what your selling is that the soaring cost of higher education is okay, and healthcare costs that have been escalating since the '70's is okay too...
What happens when the consumer is not sensitive to the price they are paying?

Do they demand more than they otherwise would have or do they behave in a cost concious way to ensure that the value exceeds the total cost even if it is not coming out of their pocket?

When you pay for things through a third party, whether it is relatively routine medical expenses or higher education, there is a serious problem with adverse selection.

If you have a third party paying for dinner, how often would you select Ramen noodles and how many times would you select to eat your favorite food at the best restaurant? Even though the cost will eventually come back to you, since it is removed by the third party paying the bill and likely you never seeing it, but only seeing the tax bill (medicare) or some statement about what is included in your compensation package and the small fraction of which you pay in the form of a payroll deduction.

Every "solution" proposed by the left enhances the problem of adverse selection. It hides the information on cost from the consumer even though that consumer will have to pay the bill in some form at some point. The average American has to pay the average cost of all these things at some time in some form. It is mathematically impossible for anything else to happen. Sure some people can pay less forcing others to pay more, but on average it is a zero sum game with the adverse selection causing people to pay more and get less.

The other thing is that wealthy people value higher education and health care more than poor people. As incomes rise, what will people spend that extra money on, exactly the same proportionately as before? :no: They will proportionately spend more on superior goods and less on inferior goods. Expensive health care whether it is expensive tests, shorter waits, nicer waiting rooms, etc. is a superior good. Higher education at a superior university is a superior good.

It is basic economics as to why these superior goods paid in large part by a third party are rising rapidly in cost.

Obamacare greatly exacerbates the adverse selection problem. Guess what, that will lead to more adverse selections and less value at a higher cost. Cost is NOT just in money. In this case, it will also be in needless suffering and lives lost.
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Re: Obamacare for everything

Postby dudejcb » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:10 am

spinner, some of what you say is true. However, self-interest, greed, and fiduciary responsibility to shareholders and quarterly earnings are also large factors. By laying all blame at the feet of low income or lack of knowledge or values doesn't give a fair picture no matter how many words are in your posts.

As for the third party picking up the restaurant tab and ordering the most expensive thing on the menu, I think that has more to do with the individual's integrity, class, and maturity which are factors for all stripes and incomes.
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Re: Obamacare for everything

Postby SpinnerMan » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:57 am

dudejcb wrote:However, self-interest, greed, and fiduciary responsibility to shareholders and quarterly earnings are also large factors.
Yes, but they are unchangeable factors. They are the constraints that apply to any solution. They are a given. It's like an engineer trying to design something and wishing the laws of physics were different because he would have such an incredible systems. Just imagine how cheap we could build housing if gravity were reduced by 50%. Gravity is after all a very large factor in the cost of a house.

dudejcb wrote:By laying all blame at the feet of low income or lack of knowledge or values doesn't give a fair picture no matter how many words are in your posts.
I did not lay one ounce of blame at the feet of low income. They are NOT driving up the cost of health care or higher education. I laid the blame on human nature (or more accurately a system that did not account for human nature in it's design) and increased prosperity (Obama's working on this and that will hold down health care and higher education costs if he succeeds).

dudejcb wrote:As for the third party picking up the restaurant tab and ordering the most expensive thing on the menu, I think that has more to do with the individual's integrity, class, and maturity which are factors for all stripes and incomes.
So you are telling me that you go price shopping in order to save your health insurance company money? If not, you must have a lack of integrity. Again, this is just a simple fact of human nature.

BTW, I have numerous fatty tumors. They are hereditary. They are small and the largest are about the size of quarter. Some of them cause me some discomfort and are covered by my insurance. A few years ago I had 3 of them removed. 25 years ago when I had one removed to confirm that they were these harmless tumors, the doctor in her office literally took a pen, marked it, gave me a shot of local anesthesia, a quick cut with a scalpel and popped it out like zit. I assumed this was the procedure. :lol3: :fingerpt: The bill was over $5k. It was insane, probably driven by liabiilty. I've never had any more removed because this is ridiculous, but seriously, how many people will ever do that. Given that the out-of-pocket cost to me was $15. Granted, there has been a lot of inflation since then and would cost me $20 out of pocket. I have a couple more that bother me and I'd like to have them removed. It's worth a lot more than $20 to me, but no where close to the $5k that would be spent doing it.
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Re: Obamacare for everything

Postby pk38 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:40 pm

Obamacare is good intentions... with horrible logistics.... Aka the liberal agenda
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Re: Obamacare for everything

Postby clampdaddy » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:07 pm

dudejcb wrote:Clamp, you are right of course; always wise to look (research) before you leap. I'm looking at health insurance through non-profits like Pacific Source and others. I appreciate the advice tho. If you have other advice or experience to share do so....


I wish I had some advice or experience I could share with you. Our benefits coordinator came in to talk to us about it and she basically told us that she had no clue as to what was going to happen. Currently we have to get out health care through the company. We can't opt out. It's just part of the deal when we hire on. Our group plan is based solely on our group of employees, so to get the best rate we need as many participants as possible. In October employees will be able to opt out for the first time ever which could throw a huge monkey wrench in the works, especially if its the young guys that decide to bail.
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Re: Obamacare for everything

Postby dudejcb » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:19 pm

pk38 wrote:Obamacare is good intentions... with horrible logistics.... Aka the liberal agenda
Rush to judgement? As far as I'm aware nothing has actually happened with Obamacare as yet (supposed to launch Oct 1 depending on the intransigence of your governor/state), other than hysterical gnashing of teeth, false outrage, indignation, and quick reaction by some companies use it as an excuse to drop coverage or modify worker hours to limit number of covered employees.

Singlepayer?

Singlepayer?

Singlepayer?

Buehleeeer?
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Re: Obamacare for everything

Postby SpinnerMan » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:49 am

dudejcb wrote:
pk38 wrote:Obamacare is good intentions... with horrible logistics.... Aka the liberal agenda
Rush to judgement? As far as I'm aware nothing has actually happened with Obamacare as yet (supposed to launch Oct 1 depending on the intransigence of your governor/state), other than hysterical gnashing of teeth, false outrage, indignation, and quick reaction by some companies use it as an excuse to drop coverage or modify worker hours to limit number of covered employees.

Liberals whine and complain that companies do whatever is in their best interest like paying low skilled low motivation people low wages because that is in their self-interest. Then they liberals create incentives for them to do exactly the opposite of what the liberals want the greedy rotten no good bastard companies to do and then the liberals whine and complain when the companies do what the liberals have just created incentives for the companies to do :fingerhead: This is why liberal governments always degenerate. They reject reality as a constraint upon their solutions.
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Re: Obamacare for everything

Postby cartervj » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:18 am

Dude tell me what is NOT soaring in cost. Fuel is about the only thing I can come up with. By the way, it's not our wonderful government takeover of our every day life that is good, it's the reason for the declining VALUE of our dollar. :hammer:

I'm glad you fall in line so easily. I won't :welcome:
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