No, the product is not “good,” as the president claimed. “ObamaCare does not merely expand on a type of price control that already existed in the individual market (though community rating did exist in a few states). It substitutes a government guarantee for a market guarantee that was already besting the government’s previous foray. It’s a radical departure from what previously existed in the individual market, and it will make that market more prone to adverse selection as healthy/sick consumers try to minimize/maximize community rating’s implicit taxes/subsidies. ObamaCare will also heighten the incentives that carriers face to provide lousy coverage to the sick.”
A good strategy would be to walk away from the table. Instead, President Obama is begging Congress to weaken sanctions. “Since 2009, when the second uranium enrichment facility was revealed in Qom, Iran has taken several steps to better conceal a weapons program, these people say. It has beefed up security of its cyber networks, for example, after the Stuxnet computer worm infected computers in Iran’s largest uranium enrichment site. Its Revolutionary Guard has also established a cyber warfare command. . . . The concern about hidden facilities is not hypothetical. Iran’s nuclear negotiators in the past have said there are plans to build new enrichment plants. In 2010 Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Akbar Salehi, said there were plans to build ten more such plants. Iranian officials in 2011 said those plans were delayed for two years.”
The administration doesn’t seem to have a good grasp on Syria policy, either. “The lawmakers who went out on a limb to support deeply unpopular strikes against Syria tore into President Obama’s envoy to the war-plagued country on Thursday. Both Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — the only panel to approve the use of force — deluged the administration with criticism during Ambassador Robert Ford’s first Capitol Hill appearance since Obama called off military strikes last month. They called the administration’s reluctance to fully back the rebels battling Bashar Assad an ’embarrassment’ and accused the White House of lacking a strategy to bring to an end the conflict that has been raging since March 2011.”
Good analogies. “Peter Hart, a Democratic pollster who conducted the survey with Republican Bill McInturff, called this a ‘Howard Beale moment,’ a reference to the famous rant from the 1976 movie ‘Network.’ ‘We’re mad as hell,’ Hart said, ‘and we’re not going to take it anymore.’ Privately, party strategists agree. On Obama, a Democratic operative who works with the White House e-mailed me to say: ‘It’s his Titanic moment. He’s hit the iceberg, but they keep acting like no water is coming into the ship.'”
Good to know. “The Obama Administration has been claiming that insurance companies will be competing for your dollars under the Affordable Care Act, but apparently they haven’t surveyed the nation’s top hospitals. Americans who sign up for Obamacare will be getting a big surprise if they expect to access premium health care that may have been previously covered under their personal policies. Most of the top hospitals will accept insurance from just one or two companies operating under Obamacare.”
Good grief. It’s almost like a test run for the presidency or something. “After all, he holds a 25.4-percentage-point lead over Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono in the latest RealClearPolitics polling average — a downright comfortable margin by any standard. On Wednesday, however, the New Jersey governor embarked on a seven-day, 90-stop bus tour that will take him to all 21 of the state’s counties by the time the polls close on Tuesday.”
Good excuses are hard to come by, but this one on the Obamacare Web site is especially lame. Jay Carney: “Well, the reliability issue has to do with the inputs coming from all different directions, including the — you know, the federal marketplaces but also states, also applications and enrollees — enrollments done by phone and by mail, as well as through in-person enrollment in these centers across the country. So, you know, I think if you look at the middle of November as the time when you would release information that couldn’t be finalized before the last day of October, based on the kind of data that’s released for similar kinds of programs, that’s pretty standard practice. So you take it all in, you collate it. If you’re asking me will enrollment be low, the answer is yes, because that was always going to be the case.” Thunk.