Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Waive To The Cameras



Although Obamacare was pushed as a surefire way to "bend the healthcare cost curves down," it seems like more and more people are discovering that costs actually go up... and unpleasant things happen to them while they're "bent down."

Which perhaps explains why 20% of all Obamacare waivers nationwide last month went to businesses in Nancy Pelosi's district. Obviously the people in her district must know someone in Washington with the political clout to help them escape the business-busting edict. Like, oh, just taking a wild guess here... Nancy Pelosi.

Previous waivers have been handed out to restaurant franchises like McDonalds, who said they couldn't afford the increased healthcare costs for their low wage employees. But Pelosi's friends in the restaurant business aren't exactly the types who offer a "dollar menu," or who can't afford the deluxe employee health insurance which Madame Speaker assured us was a basic human right.

No, Boboquivari's Restaurant - which received a waiver - charges $59 for a porterhouse steak, with $8 each for sides including Swiss Chard or Cauliflower sauteed in "garlic & evoo." And martinis are practically a steal at just $12 each!

Then again, if you know the owners of Boboquivari's...and can do them political favors...you can probably drink for free. Which would certainly explain a lot.

But just why do so many business even want the waivers? Simple: because they can't afford the gilded health coverage package Obamacare demands, and continuing the employees' current
health coverage is being made illegal. Which means that the most cost-effective thing for businesses to do is drop health insurance for employees and pay a less expensive fine...thereby forcing more people into government-run health programs and accelerating the need for radical "redistribution of wealth" to pay for it all.

And while we're on the topic of waivers, let's not forget that Obamacare champion and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also got one recently... for his entire state. Nevada's Insurance Division wanted the waiver because Obamacare will make health coverage so unprofitable for insurance companies that they'll be closing their doors and moving out of the state. Which presumably will be true in 49 other states we can readily name. And when there are no more private insurance companies, there will only be...the government.

Here at Hope n' Change, we've given all of this a lot of thought. And our conclusion is that maybe a $12 martini isn't such a bad idea after all.
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30 comments:

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

I guess we could all move to one of those seven remaining states you didn't count, Stilton. Let's see, what are they...Pennsyltucky, Florissippi....Obaminois...help me out here.

Chuck said...

I'd like a waiver from the next 1 year, 247 days, 16 hours, 42 minutes ... and counting. And I'm counting them down in style! Thanks Stilton!

robert said...

As I mention in this forum at an earler date, my insurance company went out of business because of zero care. Now, for example, a script I used to get for $10.00 is now $44.00.
I guess thats what he meant by costs were going to go down, not up! I just don't see the fuzzy math I guess. Like most people I live pay check to pay check and I know, boo hoo poor me, at least you got a job. And I am grateful to be among the employed. But it's all relative, when all your money is spoken for how do you cover such an instantaneous increase! I can't run my life the way congress runs the country!
Anyway, just venting a little. I guess you can tell I'm still pissed my insurance co. went out of business.

Suzy said...

Robert, mine didn't even go out of business but one of the prescriptions my son takes went from $40 last year to $75 this year. :-S Per month. I'm thankful for the insurance though...while it lasts, I guess. They've never given us any trouble and they cover just about everything, for a copay.

Dave said...

Seems amazing that one of the strongest shovers of this massive POS legislation is also the one that has so many constituents that are getting waivers. I would hazard a guess that most of the recipients of these waivers in her district are also major contributors to her political campaign.

Maybe she should have found out what was in the 2500 pages of legislation BEFORE voting for it. But then again since the Messiah wanted it it was his disciples job to get it shoved down America's throat. Because apparently us gun clinging, bible thumping, violent, racist, right-wingers are not capable of making intelligent decisions of how best to spend our own money.

Dave said...

@Suzy thank god for insurance companies...one of my prescriptions costs $1500 a month. If not for insurance there would be absolutely no way I could afford it. Of course once Obamacare goes fully into effect and all the insurance companies close in this country and we have to rely on government appointed panels to decide on care I'll be able to see how long one can survive without my medications or treatments.

drozz said...

people actually work in pelosi's district?

Rick said...

My mother has to pay for Prescription Insurance as part of her Medicare. She pays $72.00 a month every month and for that Medicare covers $4.00 of her prescriptions the other $48.00 in pill she has to pay out of pocket because it isn't covered. So actually she is paying $120.00 a month for $52.00 in meds. Welcome to America!

John the Econ said...

Once again, I have to ask: What exactly is the value of a law, if politicians can arbitrarily grant "waivers" to be exempt from it? Is this not exactly the way that dictatorships and banana republics function?

To the party that argues ad-nauseum that everything is about "fairness", I suggest that a "waiver" be issued to each and every citizen & company in this country, so that we can be done with this industry and job-killing nightmare. It's the only "fair" thing to do.

Pete(Detroit) said...

@ Dave - "Because apparently us gun clinging, bible thumping, violent, racist, right-wingers are not capable of making intelligent decisions of how best to spend our own money. "

Yes, that is the thing I find MOST annoying about Libs - they are absolutely convinced they know better how to spend MY money than I do, and have NO compunctions about taking it away from me to prove it.
Never mind the stuff they pick to spend it on is garbage at best, and pure waste / fraud more commonly..
P*ss me OFF!

Bobo said...

What happened to all the promises of the last election to eradicate Obamacare as soon as the elected got into office? Seems they have already been corrupted by the political machination of Washington. I'm so pissed with the status quo I'm actually thinking about running for elected office to either change the system or; get my share of the bounty before all the "get'n is gone."

Jim Hlavac said...

So how do we get rid of her? The woman usually wins by like 60-40 in her elections. Someone ought to get a gay friendly Republican Tea Party person in SF to run against her. And make ads pointing out that she's been all lip service and no action for 1/3 (roughly) of her constituents, and even has said some rather negative things, and comported with some rather anti-gay people -and ObamaCare's death panels might well put HIV guys on the chopping block while Obama is "evolving" on DOMA and she's granting waivers to her pals - and pound that message to those guys out there. It might take a few cycles, but it's got to be done. It is strange bedfellow times. So let's not just bleat about the woman -- what's the practical way to get rid of her? Roughly 1/3 of the city is already Republican; 1/3 is die hard hetero socialists, and 1/3, um, could be made to waiver, and jump the Obama ship. There already is a "don't donate, don't vote" anti-Democratic gay movement growing from within that party itself. Build on it.

And you just have to remember what Barry Goldwater said -- "you don't have to like it, but gays deserve full constitutional rights." He said it in 1994 while Clinton was signing DOMA. Weird, eh? Tell that to the guys out there, and get rid of that woman.

robert said...

To Suzy et al, Sounds as though I don't have it as bad as some of you, again, it's all realtive. The med I mentioned was the worst of all the ones I take. There are many more. And I'm not trying to one up anybody here. I would not do that. But for some background I'm a diabetic with heart disease. In fact a week from Sat. is the 11th anniversary of my heart surgery. A triple bypass, at the ripe old age of 39 at the time. And I am extremely grateful for the insurance I had and have.
But I think there is one thing we can all agree on, if you think health care is expensive now, just wait till it's free.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Angry Hoosier Dad- I'd actually wanted to work in a joke about Obama's "57 states," but when I looked up the quote he said he'd visited 57 and still had one to go. And this is the guy who did the math for our healthcare "makeover?"

@Robert- As Nevada found out, we're going to be seeing more and more insurers drop out of the market. And while I have no love for insurance companies, I certainly prefer them to the tender mercies of a government panel which will decide my healthcare based on my worth to their political agenda. "Bad news about your ingrown toenail, Mr. Jarlsberg. You're going to die."

@Dave- Even if Nancy Pelosi didn't know every tittle and jot (sorry for the graphic language) in the Obamacare bill, I don't doubt she understood the "big picture" quite clearly: the end of private insurance, virtually unlimited wealth redistribution, and total government power over our lives. And free botox.

@Dave (Same Dave? Different Dave?)- It's great that your insurance helps with that $1500 prescription. But what insurance company could stay in business if people didn't start policies (and paying premiums) until they were told they needed such an expensive prescription? The system would, and will, break down.

@Rick- While on the surface that sounds like a bad deal for your Mom, the imbalance probably helps pay for others who have higher prescription bills...which is the way insurance is actually meant to work. Lots of people need to pay into the system without necessarily receiving dollar-for-dollar benefits back in order for there to be a financial "pool" available when you suddenly do get stuck with a $1500/month prescription.

@John the Econ- As usual, you bring a tight focus to the issue. Even Obama argued that his healthcare plan would only work financially if everybody is in it...after which he starts giving free passes to his political cronies. "Waivers" and "Fairness" are like matter and anti-matter... they can't co-exist.

@Pete(Detroit)- Obviously YOU don't know how to spend your own money, because you'd want to spend it on yourself, your family, your home, your church, your charities, or your business. If you were more selfless, you'd realize that your money can be better spent on abortions, cowboy poets, and building monuments to Ted Kennedy.

@Bobo- Our incoming Republicans and Tea Party types haven't necessarily been corrupted - there's simply very little they can do to flat out repeal Obamacare since they only control the House. But they're actually showing more cajones than I've seen in the past and, with their support of the Ryan plan, are taking a stand that will hopefully pay off by 2012. So don't give up hope on these folks yet.

As far as just giving up and trying to collect your share of the bounty before it's all gone, that's basic human nature... and is especially tempting for those of us who have actually paid in to the system for so long. (Freudian slip alert: when writing that last sentence, I originally wrote "pain" instead of "paid." The truth will out.)

JustaJeepGuy said...

All right, I need to know--is it "cAjones" or "cOjones"??? I've always thought it was the latter, but I could be wrong.

And I'm constantly praying that enough Americans will finally get tired of letting the Demo_rats have their way with so much of American life.

Doktor Paulie said...

Golly! Everybody seems to be so riled up about this.

Friends, please, everyone just calm down, step back, take a deep breath while I remind you all once again that even a little revolution is a very ugly thing. And it's just about time that we HAD one!!

Jim H, I suppose there's no way you can move to Pelosi's district and take her on? There's two or three people reading this blog who will contribute to your campaign.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Jim Hlavac- The only way for us to help get rid of Pelosi is pretty much what you're describing: get a Gay-friendly conservative candidate whom we could then donate money to. And in the interim, I wouldn't mind seeing a "glitter attack" on Pelosi of the type that Newt Gingrich just got, to raise awareness that Nancy isn't really serving that particular constituency.

@Robert- Wow, a triple bypass at 39? That does make your anniversary on Saturday worth celebrating! Of course, whenever I hear reference to a heart condition I think about Obama's assertion that we need to replace pacemakers with painkillers. Which makes great economic sense...unless you're the person who will die without a pacemaker.

@JustAJeepGuy- I doublechecked with Wikipedia, and they say that "cojones" is the correct spelling when you're referring to testicles, and "cajones" is a spelling error unless you mean "dresser drawers." Which is, obviously, what I meant. (D'oh!!)

Pete(Detroit) said...

Stit - also my health, my retirement, my guns and my ammo....

Emmentaler Limburger said...

Just a quick note: I haven't abandoned you, Cousin Stilton, what with the 2010 elections behind us. I just happen to be employed by the one of the big three that ain't owned by the big 0, and am too busy to form rational thoughts of late.

@robert: 0bama didn't say who the costs were going down for, did he?

My health care plan has gone Stalinist on us with the impending threat of 0bamacare. It's still good, mind you, better than most get, but if your BMI (a worthless metric, even if done nekkid, and my doc had me fully clothed, with two cell phones, 4 lb cowboy boots, all my pocket paraphernalia intact... I guess we're both morons.) is over 30, you get to join weight watchers free of charge, or have a tether attached to you to ensure you're getting 5000 steps a day; otherwise your rates and copays go through the roof (Yeah, BCBS - I'm talking about you!)

Now this is far better than having your coverage dropped, but I cannot help but chafe at the incursion against my privacy via threat of my financial wellbeing (Huh! Sounds like Washington, doesn't it?).

The disheartening thing to me are those floating to the surface in the nascent Republican race to the primary. I keep hearing rumors of 0bama's impending "easy win" in 2012. Well, it could be if the Republican party keeps sabotaging itself as they did in '08... Sigh.

OK. Have to go shake my pedometer now. There's more than one way to skin a Stalinist...

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Emmentaler- There's never a need to apologize for being employed, no matter how out-of-fashion "working" has become.

It's really interesting to hear about the requirement for the BMI measurement and the subsequent marching orders (literally!) to hit Weight Watchers and/or hit your pedometer quotient daily. It's very easy to see a day when we'll all be required to wear our pedometers and heartrate monitors and stick ourselves to do glucose readings throughout the day in order to keep our government-mandated healthcare.

Regarding the possibility of an "easy win" for Obama in 2012, I think it's way too early to panic. Of course, if he does win, it will be a perfect time to panic!

Suzy said...

Yeah guys my insurance actually approved an injection for one of my children that is $700 a month (we have to pay $100 of that) and its basically considered "experimental" because its not approved for his age or condition. His doctors worked hard to get it approved for him. I try not to worry what will happen once Obamacare gets going strong. Although I guess its not the children that have to worry as much as the older people....

Suzy said...

PS I am a firm believer that anyone on any sort of government medical assistance whatsoever should be paying copays. If we pay monthly AND have to pay copays, then the guys getting free care should have to pay copays too...

Dave said...

@Suzy -- I am on "Free Government Health Care" otherwise known as Medicare in addition to Medicare I carry two other policies that take care of the 80% that Medicare doesn't cover. And a third policy for prescriptions. So even free health care isn't free.....For most of us.

And I also worry about when the panels start deciding who should receive what treatments because I'm now 40 and am on dialysis. I'm not diabetic and am not over 65 therefore I do not fit into the "normal" for dialysis patients. Since I am not "normal" for this condition there is a probability that health care could be denied, or at least this is my understanding of these possible panels....to decide who should get what treatments based on an average system....Like Robert above a triple bypass at 39???? Oh, I'm sorry if you had this surgery you could live another 50 years but since the average age for a bypass is 55, I'm sorry but you can't have the surgery!

Obamacare needs to be repealed NOW!!! Anyone who voted for this totally undisguised government take over should be voted out. In one respect the UK has something right....the ability to call a vote of NO-CONFIDENCE to remove legislators from office when they are screwing up.

@Stilt--As far as I've seen I'm the only Dave that posted today

SC said...

@ Robert – You can run your life just like congress runs the country……just raise your debt ceiling.

I’m happy to be among the employed (my daughter just lost her job 2 wks ago) and I am so lucky to be employed where I am. Privately held co about 600 employees (non-union), our health insurance provider raised their cost to us this year by just over $600K. The company is NOT passing the increase onto employees (this year). So, I figure that was my raise. I not trying to rub it in, just want to remind you that there are some very generous CEO’s, not all of them are evil & greedy like the progressive/dems want you to believe. I’m not the only one that works for a decent non-union shop.

@ Dave…..Perfectly put

@ Suzi - Agree on the co-pay; hope your son is doing OK

The progressive dems plan all along …single payer & they will do whatever is necessary to get there, no matter how many companies they put of out business & no matter how many employees they put out of a job.

pryorguy said...

These posts by all you fine folks is truly telling today...talk about reality...it is already slapping all of you right in the face on a daily basis! The elitists we send to DC REALLY need to be aprised of all this (because if they know now, they, by and large, are not too excited about it).

But this is going to land hard on all of us eventually as the years continue to creep by, and I only pray that our Creator, on whose precepts this nation was founded, decides to intervene in some way, and I believe He will if we honor Him and pray for the hearts and souls of our leaders, whether we approve of them or not! And I will pray for you, too, OK?

Suzy said...

Dave, technically the Constitution does have a clause in it that says if the government takes upon itself too much power, the people have the right to redo it. I guess I wouldn't trust our nation to "redo" it though.... Its such a sad 50/50 "us against them" thing here. Almost seems like eventually the country will have to be split into two territories or something....

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Pryorguy- Divine intervention would certainly be welcome at this point.

@Suzy- It seems like we've been split into Red and Blue territories already. I have friends who are liberal, and it seems like we're standing on opposite sides of the Grand Canyon - unable to see any ground in the middle. And this is, of course, because the liberals are totally freaking wrong about everything. I have no desire to meet them in the middle, as the middle of the Grand Canyon is where you plunge screaming into an abyss.

JustaJeepGuy said...

I think it would be great to split the country into those who pay their own way and those who live off others' money. It wouldn't take long at all for the socialists' country to collapse from no-one paying their bills. Then we could allow states to re-enter our union the same way new states were added in the past--after forming a republican type of government. Only we can add another criterion: some kind of penalty clause for letting socialism creep in. The single biggest problem is, most of us don't want to live in certain parts of the country. For instance, there's no way I'd live in a place with hot, humid summers. That's why I don't live in Ohio any more! So for me, the USA would not include any place below 5,000 ft. in altitude.

Pete(Detroit) said...

JJGuy -I'm with ya on summer, tho having spent too many years too close to Houston, Detroit is rather pleasant...
Now if we could just get rid of the effing parasites...

Agreed, Stilt - it's tough to see a middle ground when one group is all about personal freedom / responsibility and the other is government dependance...

JustaJeepGuy said...

@Pete,
I think it's funny that the Russians used to call the rich the parasites. When the Bolsheviks took over they eliminated their parasites. Look how that turned out... Those who live off the labor of others are the true definition of "parasites".