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Friday, September 27, 2013

The "Collapse" of Obamacare? Don't Bet On It

I was reading "Legal Insurrection" (best blog around) and saw this interesting piece which referenced an also interesting piece by Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal. The crux of Henninger's argument, similar to Senator McConnell's, is that regardless of whether Obamacare gets funded in the next few days, Obamacare is doomed to fall apart as the public abandons it. Interesting idea; I strongly recommend you to read Henninger's article.

Although Henninger cites other disastrous Federal programs that go and on, he sees Obamacare in another category: a program so grotesque and so inept that powerful interest groups which once supported it will run away from it, and bring it down,
The public's dislike of ObamaCare isn't growing with every new poll for reasons of philosophical attachment to notions of liberty and choice. Fear of ObamaCare is growing because a cascade of news suggests that ObamaCare is an impending catastrophe. 
Big labor unions and smaller franchise restaurant owners want out. UPS dropped coverage for employed spouses. Corporations such as Walgreens and IBM are transferring employees or retirees into private insurance exchanges. Because of ObamaCare, the Cleveland Clinic has announced early retirements for staff and possible layoffs. The federal government this week made public its estimate of premium costs for the federal health-care exchanges. It is a morass, revealing the law's underappreciated operational complexity. 
But ObamaCare's Achilles' heel is technology. The software glitches are going to drive people insane. <...> 
If Republicans feel they must "do something" now, they could get behind Sen. David Vitter's measure to force Congress to enter the burning ObamaCare castle along with the rest of the American people. Come 2017, they can repeal the ruins. 
Certainly all true. I find, however, the conclusion much too hopeful. I genuinely, really and truly, cross-my-heart hope I am wrong, but I don't think Obamacare will die unless it is quite deliberately killed and killed very soon, like now, in the crib, before it grows horns and hooves and stalks the land sowing despair and wreaking havoc everywhere it goes. Once this beast is allowed to grow, I see little chance of stopping it. I think--and, again, pray, I am wrong--that by 2017, it will be too late to get rid of this thing.

In a rational universe, what Henninger says would hold. No corporation, for example, would pursue a policy guaranteed to generate ever escalating costs, public resentment, and deteriorating quality. The problem, of course, is that Obamacare will not exist in a rational universe. It will exist in one in which the government deliberately has set out to destroy alternatives to Obamacare, i.e., drive private companies out of the medical insurance business (already happening), and in which the government, for all practical purposes, has an endless amount of money to keep pumping into Obamacare to keep it alive. That money, of course, will be wasted and come from hard-pressed taxpayers, but it will create new vested interest groups that live off that money with employees who will lobby and vote to keep it going. More and more such groups will emerge as the weeks turn into months, the months into years. Obamacare will become implanted and almost impossible to uproot. 

I hope to be horribly, foolishly wrong, but don't think so.

56 comments:

  1. People who think Obamacare is going to just die off, once it starts to fail, obviously doesn't know the federal goverment. Please see Social Security..... failing and still going.

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    1. ... and American Indian socialism, still going, and New York City rent control, still going, etc. ... and the Union of Committee Socialist Republics (Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик), which took 75 years to die even with global ambitions and costs.

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  2. I think you are quite right.

    Plus, the Dems are already gearing up to blame all of the failures of Obamacare on GOP sabotage and obstructionism, and, as usual, the GOP establishment will be caught in the headlights.

    And let's not forget that if Obamacare collapses, the Left will not suddenly embrace freedom and markets: they will call the failure of Obamacare a "market failure," and the only solution will be to nationalize the healthcare industry and introduce single-payer medicine. "See! Obamacare tried health insurance marketplaces/exchanges, and they were failures! That proves that healthcare can't be trusted to the free market! Single payer, now!! Si se puede!!!"

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. It will fail. but in doing so it will end the United States. What no one has considered is what will happen once this monstrosity starts denying people the medical care they used to get.

    The guns come out.

    The United States is not Europe, no matter how much the government class wants it to be. Someone's sick child our spouse is denied medical treatment they would have gotten before, that bureaucrat is going to find himself looking down the barrel of a gun.

    That isn't an option an Europe, which is why they were able to loot all the bank accounts of people in Malta.

    We are one incident away from an outright shooting civil war in this country. When it starts, (Not if, I think it's to late to stop it now), the cause will catch everyone by surprise.

    Historians a century later will look back and say "It's so obvious, how could they have missed it?"

    If we make it to the 2014 midterms, I think we will see a virtual bloodbath at the polls as many incumbents are removed from office.

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    1. I'm sorry Anon my friend, but I believe you have misjudged the American people. They have proven themselves to have the mindset of 'sheep' many times in the past. Obama was elected for a second term, with massive voter fraud that supported a failed economy, yet the most people did was complain.

      My predictions are that if Obama decides to run for a 3rd term of office, the most that people would do is hold candlelight vigils for the lost democracy America once had. ...and Obama would 'win' a 3rd term.

      BaaaAaaa....

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    2. "We are [*not*] one incident away from an outright shooting civil war in this country," but it does not follow that we are sheep. Surely there are many in-between possibilities.

      Americans are so law-abiding as to submit to this atrocity because it is the law. We are sufficiently confused to re-elect the legislators responsible. (Groseclose is likely right about the source of that confusion.)

      Alas, this is only to be expected of democracy without constitutional constraints, after enough time. There are plenty of constraints written into the constitution, but they were "interpreted" into oblivion no later than Wickard v. Filburn, 1941.

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    3. "We are [*not*] one incident away from an outright shooting civil war in this country," Agreed, but with the public disregard of the Constitution and Rule of Law by those in power now it becomes tempting to the opposition.

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  5. Nothing the federal government does ever "fails." If it isn't working quite "right" they just raise taxes (or borrow more money) to spend more money on it.

    If that doesn't work, then they start another "program" to address those shortcomings. If that program doesn live up to its promises then give it more money.

    That's the cycle of the federal bureaucracy.

    Why would Obamacare be any different?

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  6. You're right ... except for one word: "rational"
    "The problem, of course, is that Obamacare will not exist in a rational universe."

    No rational person would expect that Obamacare will "collapse of its own weight", or that it will cease to exist merely because it fails in its stated goals, or that it will stop just because it causes fiscal and physical harm to the constituents of every one of our elected government officials.

    No, Obamacare will continue to exist precisely because the universe is rational. It would be better to say that it should not, would not, and could not exist under a JUST government -- i.e., a government that is NOT peopled by a corrupt, soulless elite of men who each act purely and solely based on his own self-interest.

    Obamacare will continue on not because the world is irrational; but because "our" government is corrupt unto abject tyranny.

    Likewise, Obamacare's immortality is assured not because our "betters" in government are irrational; but because they are evil.

    The only irrationality is among the majority of the electorate.

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    1. Alas, the situation is even worse than that.

      The government is peopled by an idealistic, soulful elite which does *not* act purely and solely based on self-interest, but partly (say, 5%) based on altruistic motives that--because they do not share our tragic vision, but have the vision of of the anointed--drive the disastrous socialist ideas.

      Before it's a racket, or even a business, it's a cause--more's the pity.

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    2. "it's a cause-" the absolution of a criminal conscience.

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  7. The solution to too much government is always more government.

    Welcome to the singularity.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe this is the solution to the Fermi Paradox. Not long after technologically advanced civilization is developed ... it sufficiently enables government as to destroy itself.

      I doubt this thought is original.

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  8. True enough. Churchill's quote about the best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with an average voter holds quite true.

    The media are mendacious twats, spreading and sowing lies and distortions that rival anything Goebbels ever did.

    And too many people either buy it or are indifferent. I very much fear for the future my son will face. I, at least, do not plan to go quietly.

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    1. What do plan to do, Strangelove?

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    2. I will live my life the best way I can and make sure my son is educated about the realities of the society he will be joining.

      And I won't be quiet. Not to be too dramatic, but I'm continually told "oh, don't start an argument" or "don't be contentious." Why the hell not? The other side has no problem doing both (while lying into the bargain).

      Living in Virginia, we are facing the unpleasant possiblity that the carpet-bagging sleazebag Turdley McAuliffe could be our next governor. If people are dumb enough to vote for him in large numbers, it's going to tough not to just lose hope.

      He has already stated he wants to bring "Colorado style gun laws" to the State if he wins. He's not getting mine.

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  9. Maybe I am too much of an optimist but I do not see the Affordable Care Act being in effect more than a few years for two reasons.

    First, Ted Cruz has planted a flag into the issue of Health Insurance that separates it from Health Care. His 21 hours invited mockery from the pundit class which was brilliant move on his part. For those people who get their news and opinions from biased sources, his stand against ACA will be reinforced by every joke told by Colbert – once it hits home to the average person that costs will rise and service will fall while incompetence and corruption remain unabated. The average person may still laugh at the buffoonery and mugging by Stewart, but with each passing day they will feel the pain a little more till they remember what they were promised and what they were warned. And they will be angry.

    All those promises and punchlines will still be in YouTube and impossible to deny or spin.

    Second, all is not hopeless and abolition of ACA is still possible even after a few years. Government programs and bureaucracies can be curtailed and even ended if the conditions are right. There is one famous example – it was called Prohibition and it and ObamaCare have some eerie similarities.

    Both were pushed by progressive elements who wanted to change human nature by controlling, managing, or eliminating something used by the public. Excepting themselves, of course. The government took control of aspects of the economy. Many people lost their jobs when companies involved in the making and distribution of alcohol went out of business or had to drastically change their business plans. Human nature being what it is, people did not give up alcohol, they just adapted to the changed circumstances. The public began to buy alcohol from criminals. Some even felt justified in becoming criminals. An unforeseen consequence by the progressives.

    It took the resulting lawlessness for the public to begin to see that a mistake had been made with Prohibition. But bad press was not alone in causing the repeal of Prohibition. It took an economic calamity to force politicians to campaign in favor of repeal and campaign they did. More than anything else, it took mass unemployment and the promise of new jobs to end the progressives’ Utopian dream.

    Today, we are seeing a repeat of many of the same things that ended Prohibition. Economic calamity, lingering joblessness, people suffering, and empty promises from government officials who should know better.

    One day soon, the rising costs of ACA, the decline in treatments available, the overcrowding of treatment facilities, combined with people comparing and contrasting what they see and what they remember – these will give politicians the incentive to repeal ObamaCare the same way that Prohibitions was repealed.

    Whatever Harry Reid does will only save ACA for the short term. He may even believe that once it is up and running, it cannot be stopped or defunded. He is wrong. To borrow a line from Winston Churchill, “it is not the beginning of the end, but it may be the end of the beginning.”

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  10. ACA is permanent. I don't think anything short of a revolution will actually remove it. Only God can take entitlements away from people, because even if you manage to remove the physical manifestations of it, the mental/spiritual addiction of that entitlement is still there.
    To those who claim obamacare will fail and go away, is there any precedent?
    For those who claim that obamacare can be defeated through coordinated effort, is there any precedent there either?
    I don't think there's precedent for either. The only thing I can imagine is getting a more sane scotus ruling on it, but even then there will be riots in the street.
    I don't think any other countries have actually rolled back any 'free' programs they put out, have they? Without a revolution in the midst?

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    1. Aaaah, but there's the rub. Everyone keeps on with the thought (put forth by the progressives, of course), that it's "FREE" health care, "Free" this that and the other, but it's not. Everyone except the poorest will have to pay a premium and have a high deductible, and everyone will still have to compete for care by the same number of health care professionals. There won't be an "addiction" to this by very many people, as most people will have higher premiums, loss of their favorite practitioner, higher deductibles and co-pays. If there had been the reality of "free" anything, then I could see your point. I do harbor a deep fear that this is another "federal program" that will last until eternity, but there's really no benefit to the huge majority of the citizens.

      My husband just retired from the FAA and is going to be on about 40% of his previous pay. I went on the Obamacare calculator and we will have our premiums increase by about 80% and still have high copays. I'm not prone to "like" ANY government program, so perhaps I'm just prejudiced.

      LibertyGrace'sGrandma

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    2. Anything free is worth what you paid for it.

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  11. Just about the saddest thing about this whole fiasco is the completely mixed up intentions. So many lefties were convinced that Obamacare was the way to provide health care for the poor. But Obamacare wasn't about making health care cheaper or about making it available to the poor, because our social programs did pretty well for the people amongst us who are very poor.
    Obamacare is about making sure that those among us who want to work hard and provide for our families can't manage to obtain better health care than those who choose not to work, choose not to work hard, or simply can't work.
    "One critical illness away from bankruptcy" was the common refrain, to which I could only respond: "Is there anything more appropriate in contributing to a bankruptcy than a health crisis?"
    -reader #1482

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    1. I seem to remember the african king saying that this would make American industry "competitive", seems now that the unions are not interested in it (or being competitive).
      Like most things the african king says this was soon forgotten, or perhaps I am being foolish, anybody with half a brain knows the african king lies, the MSM slaves cover-up for their massa.
      Unfortunately we have seen this scenario before in the UK 1948, no matter how terrible the implementation the problems will be papered over by the african kings MSM slaves and more monopoly money will be thrown at the problem. The low information voters will love their free healthcare, along with obamaphones, free food, free housing, free transit, your future is that of a socialist african country, you serfs will just have to get used to paying for your own healthcare and somebody elses too.
      I speak from experience, its what we do in Canaduh.

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    2. Yes, it was about social justice.

      "Social" is leftie for "not".

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  12. Lately I've been reading about the ever-expanding dole and encroaching barbarians. Roman history? No, the newspaper.

    No earthly city is forever.

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    1. Augustine of Hippo strikes again! He's one of my favorite authors.

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  13. No earthly city is forever.... America has been a brilliant light of freedom and opportunity. When this country was founded the fastest mode of transportation was the running horse, followed by the horse drawn carriage. Just 225 years later super highways run everywhere, with Internet and video messaging available. Wealth and material corpulence that would make Croesus fingers tingle with greed. Like a shooting star across the black sky, this is America. It would seem that betwixt a society addicted to materialism and a foreign philosophy from the 7th century, our fate may be sealed.

    We talk of revolution and rebellion - and have talked for many years - while the 'laws' grow ever more aggressive and binding. Stop Obamacare, heh! What of the attacks upon our children, or the attacks on free speech? I expect censorship to start with 5 years or less. How are the fine citizens of America going to respond when the homeless and destitute are placed in government shelters that can house 5,000 at a time - and given petty jobs until they die? Most people will see this as a good thing...out of sight, out of mind.

    The shadow of tyranny is growing, while people watch 'Dancing With The Stars' and talk about their favorite football teams. WE are sheep...

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    1. Censorship has long since started. Not just for rodeo clowns and moviemakers-on-probation.

      The most common technique just now is making forbidden opinion not a crime, but a tort (and public-relations) liability of the opinion-holder's employer. Employers rationally avoid employees with "controversial" opinions, even if not tortious ones per se.

      After all, that's the major reason we--at least, I--post pseudonymously. (My real name is not a6z.)

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    2. Not your real name? Drat!! I thought I knew you!

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  14. I read the Henninger piece and the LI response yesterday and see merits in both. I'm not too sure about the character of the American people a few years from now any more than right now. As a stand alone event of bold faced government over reach since the days of LBJ, ACA will probably not die. A larger challenge will face us soon enough and that problem will be a currency crisis leading to economic chaos and pain. Enough people have to be hurt quickly, deeply and in sufficient numbers to bring about dramatic change. We need people in the wings ready who know the way through and out of that crisis. Traditional Democrats and Republicans will be ignored. Something like "America 3.0" is what I am talking about. This crisis should have been allowed to run its course in 2008, but Wall Street and it's lackey The Federal Reserve papered over the problem. We still have the problem only bigger.

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    1. whitewall,
      It didn't stop in 08 because there was too much money to steal. There still is a lot of money to be had by these "people". Therefore the powers to be will keep these policies until they are pried away from them. You have to put yourself in their shoes. Almost all of their policies (pensions, government salaries, welfare under different names) were failing, then George Bush unwittingly handed them the jackpot in bail out schemes. Theoretical unlimited money for political purposes with the with cover of helping America. But as Libs do instead of reforming and funding (so the programs could continue indefinitely) they spent all money right away in expansion, which needs more money. So why not use the same plan that's worked fairly well for 50 yrs. Wouldn't you, if you were them?

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    2. James, you are right. A hog at the slop never knows when he is full and only knows to eat. Bubble Ben will only print for so long because math and markets win in the end. At this point, I believe, ACA will be like many cardboard pillars of liberalism--they will fall for lack of funds because no one is paying much if any taxes and printing will be over. Until then we have the current situation described in "The Road to Serfdom"--"Everything which might cause doubt about the wisdom of the government or create discontent will be kept from the people. The basis of unfavorable comparisons with elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions–all will be suppressed. There is consequently no field where the systematic control of information will not be practiced and uniformity of views not enforced".

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    3. Sounds kinda like the second half of Ayn Rand's prophetic book "Atlas Shrugged".

      LibertyGrace'sGrandma

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    4. The progression goes something like this.. We want to help you, help us help you, we need your money to help you, where's your money, give us your money.
      Never forget these people's chosen path to power forces them to do these things. They will never see the "light" and change. To them there is no "light", but the retention of power.
      I'm sure Mr. Mad has experience talking to people where the idea of true rights is like reading Milton's "Paradise Lost" to a crocodile.

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    5. Then the only cure for power for the sake of power is for bodies to start dropping?

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    6. "Then the only cure for power for the sake of power is for bodies to start dropping?"
      Not necessarily. These guys with the Media have pulled off the trick of us feeling we are few and insignificant, when it's the opposite. Cruz has the right idea, stand up to them. Every time they've been stood up to they've backed up, but then they've not been pressed to complete or major defeat. The rulers of the old Soviet Union had gone much farther, control of the security forces, virtual lack of private weapons, everyone afraid of informers even in their own family, almost complete control of information, but when they fell it was boom shaka laka, almost overnight it was gone. I think you're old enough to remember.
      We think the left is engulfing us in power while they think they are barely hanging on in a losing battle. I think they maybe more correct than we are.

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    7. "Cruz has the right idea, stand up to them". I'm glad you mentioned Ted Cruz. A good piece was written on his effort by Michael Walsh called "The Turning Point" that was featured on Instapundit a few days ago. I found it very uplifting and well worth the read. He scares the estrogen right out of Democrats and the calcium out of a lot of Republicans. I love it. The hold via the step-n--fetch media that the Left has over us is indeed tenuous. The hyper hysterical reaction of the Dem/media cartel to the slightest display of resistance is telling also. Too many Repubs reflexively give in to it. We need more Cruz's, Mike Lees etc. America has 3 more years of this Hustler in Chief.

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    8. haha you guys have a bromance :)

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  15. I think you are right to worry.

    Last fall, 66 million people voted for Obama -- they rushed into the burning building which is the Obama economy, hoping to stay warm.

    And the Fed keeps printing money to burn.

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  16. Agree...Obamacare will not fail until the currency fails.

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  17. I just saw a story where the new Iranian figure head was pelted with tomatoes and eggs upon his return home. Maybe he said something bad about the ACA?

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  18. I disagree. The difference between Social Security, Medicare, and ObamaCare is that people pay for years for the first two before they benefit. ObamaCare, on the other hand, forces people to pay for one annual premium. There is no built up account. So, at any time ObamaCare can be ended and something new and different started on January 1.

    The real problem for ObamaCare is that it will be quite expensive. Families budgets will be devastated by the costs of these plans. It is only becoming obvious what they will cost, but my bet is that this year will be the best year in terms of cost. As these insurance companies get more experience, the costs will go up. Worse, way too many people think health insurance is equivalent to health care. They are likely to be disappointed.

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    1. Wait til young people see the deductibles they must meet for what is basically a junk insurance policy. In the life insurance world, it would be the equivalent of buying a small face value whole life insurance policy instead of basic term insurance. Rip off.

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    2. ....what no one is talking about is the IRS will deduct any monies directly from your account as they will have access. and if you have any leanings in a conservative bent then you will pay the full shot for your procedure if allowed said procedure.

      the ACA will destroy the USA without any of the other things going on in the clown capital.

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  19. "Obamacare is doomed to fall apart as the public abandons it."
    I don't see how the public will be able to "abandon" it. Unless you fall into a wavered subset, 16,000 shiny new IRS agents will come after you.

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  20. you called that one correctly. if it isn't killed it will grow forever. and the RINO's know and want it. it seems the RINO's want it more then most dems. go figure.

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    1. Oh, come on. Blaming ineffective people on your own side more than blaming the opponent is what led the Birch Society into thinking Eisenhower was a Communist.

      Incompetence is much more common than betrayal.

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    2. a6z...the RINO is not so much ineffective as he seems to be a frequent collaborator because it is easy. He has no core that tells him "this far and no more". If you want to anger a RINO, try to move him from his easy perch in the mushy middle. He will vent more spleen on you than he will ever vent trying to figure out what his core convictions are and then stand firm on them. I've had enough of them.

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  21. I, for one, have ordered a CRUZ-2016 bumper sticker...

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  22. Now that companies have booted employees/retirees off of their medical insurance, they will never take them back--not even if Obamacare is repealed. So what's going to happen to these people? I may be one of them soon.

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  23. The truth about the Institutional Republican stance is beginning to come out. They are not about the base, they are concerned only about the money men who back the party. The backers, of course, are large businesses who want out of the health care business that has cost them competitiveness with other global businesses who have successfully pushed healthcare costs onto the taxpayer. There may have been a better way to accomplish this, but they are now committed. It is very much as immigration is. Anonymous is correct, having rid themselves of the medical insurance business, they will never go agree to give it up. This amounts to a pay decrease for the majority of workers, even the lower levels of large corporations. The only bright light I see is that some innovation in the delivery of health care is bound to arise and be enthusiastically supported. What happens when all the "kids" on parents health insurance either age out or find that daddy has been kicked onto the exchanges?

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  24. UK life insurance data that are generated exclusively for you. Looking at it from a sales perspective, the efficacy of our data is as good as your marketing approach and most importantly, timing.

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  25. Government officials should compromise with regard to this Obamacare issue. It cause US government to shut down.

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