Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Line up, pay up, shut up

How ya liking your Hope and Change bushwa now, suckers?

Before the October 1 rollout of Healthcare.gov, a key concern was whether the Affordable Care Act system would create a “death spiral” for insurers. That crisis could be precipitated by an unenthusiastic response from younger, healthier Americans. These are the people whose high premiums and low demand for services are necessary for the risk pools to assume the costs of covering pre-existing conditions at community-pricing rates, as well as buffering the premiums of older and needier Americans.

Which was the plan all along, and means the system is working exactly as intended: private insurance goes bust, clamor arises for another Big Government Solution, and bingo bango bongo: single payer, by manufactured popular acclaim. That piece was via Ed Driscoll, who delves a little deeper into the real motivations elsewhere, quoting Francis Spufford thus:

For much of the 80 years during which the USSR was a unique experiment in running a non-market economy, the experiment was a stupid experiment, a brute-force experiment. But during the Soviet moment there was a serious attempt to apply the intellectual resources of the educated country the Bolsheviks had kicked and bludgeoned into being. All of the perversities in the Soviet economy. . . are the classic consequences of running a system without the flow of information provided by market exchange; and it was clear at the beginning of the 60s that for the system to move on up to the plenty promised so insanely for 1980, there would have to be informational fixes for each deficiency. Hence the emphasis on cybernetics, which had gone in a handful of years from being condemned as a “bourgeois pseudo-science” to being an official panacea.

The USSR’s pioneering computer scientists were heavily involved, and so was the authentic genius Leonid Kantorovich, nearest Soviet counterpart to John Von Neumann and later to be the only ever Soviet winner of the Nobel prize for economics. Their thinking drew on the uncorrupted traditions of Soviet mathematics. While parts of it merely smuggled elements of rational pricing into the Soviet context, other parts were truly directed at outdoing market processes. The effort failed, of course, for reasons which are an irony-laminated comedy in themselves. The sumps of the command economy were dark and deep and not accessible to academics; Stalinist industrialisation had welded a set of incentives into place which clever software could not touch; the system was administered by rent-seeking gangsters; the mathematicians were relying (at two removes) on conventional neoclassical economics to characterise the market processes they were trying to simulate, and the neoclassicists may just be wrong about how capitalism works.

Which doesn’t mean that our present-day socialist morons are any more capable of learning from the past failures of their precious command-control-manipulate ideology than they ever have been. Because, y’know, this time will be diff’runt. As Kev Williamson notes:

Today, Khrushchev’s “cybernetic” approach has passed into disrepute—to the dust-bin of history—but faith in “scientific” and “rational” management of incomprehensibly complex economic systems remains a fixed fact of political life.

And that is because at the very heart of Progressivism is an intractable arrogance, and the kind of hubristic pride that always goeth before a pratfall of the truly epic proportions we’ve just witnessed with the Ogabecare vaudeville act. But fret not; all we really have to do is just lower our expectations a bit–quite a damned bit, in truth–and everything will automagically work out fine.

Earlier this week, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski tried to call the Healthcare.gov helpline and got an operator. That’s right: an operator! The call went through! MSNBC, the unofficial AV department of the Democratic party, had a scoop. The network tweeted out the big news along with a link to the video: “Mika called the Obamacare hotline and got through with no problems — right on air. WATCH.”

It’s a sure sign that the bar has been lowered to curb height when spinners are touting the exciting news that phone calls actually go through. Someone picked up the phone! Quick, hang that “Mission Accomplished” banner. Never mind that you simply cannot buy insurance from the exchanges over the phone. But the fact you can get someone on the line to tell you that is, I suppose, progress of a kind.

Still, the barely holding conventional wisdom on the right and left is that the website will get fixed eventually, the glitches will be de-glitched, and one day we’ll all look back and laugh at the fuss. That’s possible. But with every passing day it’s less likely.

Actually, it isn’t even remotely likely. The impending disaster is baked into the ideology, right from jump, every single time. Socialism, “liberalism,” fascism, whatever you want to call it, carries within itself the seeds of its own undoing–always and forever. It has never worked, and it never will work. That is neither accident nor coincidence. What it is, is inevitable. Jonah gets more specific:

That’s because insurance companies cannot survive Obamacare without the individual mandate. Under the law, they must offer insurance to anyone who needs it — often at an artificially low price at that. The only way they can make a profit is if the government upholds its promise to get millions of young, healthy people to sign up for more expensive insurance than they need. Take away the mandate — i.e., the penalty — and you make that virtually impossible. If the government tells insurance companies they still have to provide insurance to bad risks, it will be like the government telling Apple it has to sell iPhones at a loss. The insurance companies will sue. And as Dan McLaughlin of The Federalist notes, their lawyers will invoke the Obama administration’s arguments before the Supreme Court that the mandate was inseparable from the “must-issue” requirements under the law.

But even if, somehow, the insurance companies can be compensated for their losses on that front, the fact remains that the only people willing to put up with the North Korean–level customer service are people understandably desperate for health insurance. Those people aren’t likely to be young and healthy.

Which means that all you college-kid neohippie supergeniuses who lined up to vote for Ogabe–twice–need to dig deep and pay up, y’hear? And don’t even think about complaining about the mess you made of things in your ignorance, arrogance, and, yes, hubris. Just sit back and suck on it; Grandpa needs a new liver, and that money’s gotta come from somewhere. Just because you assumed it was going to be from someone else doesn’t mean it’s gonna work out that way.

See? Obamacare really isn’t all that bad after all. For those of us inclined to sit back and laugh at the sheep who will soon line up for the shearing of their young lives, parts of it are downright delicious.

Terrorists, seditionists, and arsonists oh my update! Via Glenn, more Democrat Socialists jump on the delay-and-defer bandwagon: “10 Senate Democrats sign Shaheen letter pushing for open enrollment extension.” Don’t let ’em do it. They had to pass it to find out what was in it; now that they are, keep their feet directly to the fire they lit under the former Constitutional Republic. In sum: Let. It. Burn. There’s no repairing their crumbling socialist edifice, and no reason for better men and women to even try.

Sheepish update! Also via Glenn: what the hell is she thinking?

Obamacare Fiasco Isn’t a Single-Payer Conspiracy
There’s a pretty popular conspiracy theory running around to the effect that this was the Barack Obama administration’s intent all along: Design this big Rube Goldberg apparatus that couldn’t possibly work, and when it fails, sweep in and “fix” things by enacting the single-payer scheme you wanted all along.

Perhaps they did want single payer all along, in their secret heart of hearts, but it’s ludicrous to think that they were capable of designing and pulling off a conspiracy of that magnitude.

Umm, Megan dear, you know I love ya and all, but, well, uhhh

In just about seven weeks, people will be able to start buying Obamacare-approved insurance plans through the new health care exchanges. But already, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is predicting those plans, and the whole system of distributing them, will eventually be moot.

“What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” Reid said. When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”

Reid cited the post-WWII auto industry labor negotiations that made employer-backed health insurance the norm, remarking that “we’ve never been able to work our way out of that” before predicting that Congress would someday end the insurance-based health care system.

Reid is hardly the only one to have admitted this, of course. But in the exalted circles of “serious” journalism, it isn’t politic to call a socialist by his proper name, much less to acknowledge the conspiratorial bent inherent in their ideological position…even when it’s more than adequately confirmed by their own words and nefarious works. Although I have to admit she’s probably right about their competence in pulling it off in the long run. Tracinski elaborates:

As my friend Jack Wakeland put it to me: “Obamacare can’t be fixed because it was designed to break.”

“Obamacare was designed to fail; to fail slowly and incrementally; to fail in a way that would convince people that private, for-profit health insurance companies are the reason why America’s catastrophically overpriced and malfunctioning health care system hasn’t worked, doesn’t work, and will never work. The architects of the Affordable Care Act wanted to ‘prove’ that third-party private insurance should be scrapped entirely and replaced with a single-payer system: straight socialism.

“The ACA was supposed to fail slowly and painfully over the course of two or three or four presidential election cycles (which is why Obamacare’s namesake, Barack Obama, saw to it that it wouldn’t be implemented until the second half of his second term). When the backlash came, it was supposed to come on some other president’s—preferably a Republican president’s—watch.

“But instead of failing on schedule, four or eight or twelve years from now—it has failed instantly, upon contact with reality.”

Just like all other socialist machinations. Always have. Always will. Conservatives need to keep their mitts off of it, keep their distance, keep denouncing it for what it is, and let nature take its inevitable course.

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