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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Blacks, poor thrown under the bus, says "progressive" study

This post is about a study commissioned by Families USA, who helped destroy single payer not once but twice; see this massive takedown from Hipparchia. So when Jeffrey Young (HuffPo) treats these jokers as credible, that shows he and HuffPo have a problem. So one assumes they're working an angle, though gawd knows what, but also that if they say something's wrong with ObamaCare, which they helped to pass, then matters are even worse than they say. On the question of who gets theirs this time:

Families USA, a liberal [BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!] health care reform advocacy organization, attempts to answer that vital question in a report released Thursday. In short, young people, working families and whites will get the bulk of the subsidies from [ObamaCare].

So, on the question of who gets thrown under the bus:

And while African-Americans and Hispanics are much more likely to be uninsured than Caucasians, whites will make up the majority of tax credit beneficiaries.

Because they have no place to go. And nobody could have predicted that the Republicans would opt out of expanding a Federal program:

Another important consideration is that the health care reform law intended to provide Medicaid coverage to anyone earning up to 133 percent of poverty, which is $15,282 for a single person this year. The Supreme Court threw that plan into disarray when it ruled last year that states may opt out of the Medicaid expansion. So far, Republican governors in 20 states won't broaden Medicaid, which will send some poor people into the exchanges and leave others uninsured.

Because poor people in Red States also have no place to go. (Recall also that ObamaCare will not even be marketed to the "vulnerable and the disengaged," who I would bet are primarily black and poor.)

At this point I should stop and caveat that yes, some people under ObamaCare will be able to purchase insurance they can afford, and of them, some percentage (not all) will end up getting health care, at a price they can afford. So, lambert, why can't you be more reasonable?* Well, for a few reasons. First, the smug claims that ObamaCare is "universal" really tick me off. Estimates of coverage vary, as how could they not, but it's looking like ObamaCare will insure about as many people as it leaves uninsured; 30 million vs. 26 million. Second, there's no claim in principle that health care is a human right; that people should be cared for simply because they are citizens, and that people should not suffer and die because they picked the wrong family to be born into, or they ended working at Walmart because their career in investment banking didn't pan out. Third, ObamaCare cements the health insurance industry firmly in place at the heart of the health care system ("joined at the hip" to the government, as Obama gracefully puts it). But the health insurance industry is in the business of maximizing rents extracted from policy holders, and for this purpose it introduces complexity into the health care system in at least two ways: Through eligibility requirements that enable cherrypicking, and by artfully worded policies that turn out not to offer expected services*, neither of which ObamaCare eliminates, as a single payer system would, but instead rationalizes, normalizes, and legitimates. Fourth, ObamaCare adds a whole layer of meta-rentiers to the health care system, people who are hired to build the systems that "help" citizens consumers make their way through the artificially introduced complexity. These are the consultants, and the web site builders, and the call center operators, and the body shops, and the public relations people, and the policy wonks, and the "navigators," all of whom could be using their undeniable "creative class" skills for productive purposes, instead of being sucked into ObamaCare's bottomless pit of rental extraction. Fifth and finally (as RainGirl points out) ObamaCare in practice is a gigantic medical experiment performed on the American people without their informed consent -- and that's about the most unethical action that a medical professional can do; see the Hippocratic Oath. It's an experiment for two reasons: First, it's proponents say it's an experiment. As RainGirl points out, "policy makers should develop strategies to further mitigate" reads exactly like a clinical trial because it is a clinical trial; just with dosages of money instead of drugs. Second, there are proven solutions that are already available, which Obama has chosen not to advocate for adopt. They have excellent results and save lives and money. So why don't we do what is known to work instead of experimenting?

In fact, I think we should surrender the idea that ObamaCare is about health care at all. Rather, we should look at ObamaCare and its achingly slow rollout as a way for the Democrats to consolidate their electoral position in the most minimalist way imaginable (in contrast to, say, LBJ's Medicare, which took one year to roll out for the entire population of over-65s, because with single payer universality is simplicity). In 2012, they picked two slivers of electoral support, both of whom were already integrated into the system: Young people who could go on their parents policies, and some people with pre-existing conditions.**

NOTE * After all, single payer would have passed if only lambert had been nicer to the career "progressives"!

NOTE ** More precisely, the "temporary high risk pool."

NOTE ** The sum of the outcomes of these tactics is called Actuarial Value. Heh.

The Lewin Group -- which is owned by the biggest U.S. insurer, UnitedHealth Group -- provided the data for the report.

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Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

This is a great post. One minor point.

The phrase "whites will make up the majority of tax credit beneficiaries." This type of statement has to be stopped in its tracks.

This phrase is incredibly misleading because there is a vast army of "whites" -- like myself and most people I know in their 40s, 50s and 60s who have "white collar" skills but no longer have full time jobs with benefits and are part of the massive army of "free lancers" (paying full freight on SSI, among other things) who will be completely shafted by the ACA.

Whatever narrow "buckets" of "white" people are going to get health care because they fit in some yet-to-be-discerened "covered category" (are there any left at this point?!) will, I'm quite sure, be dwarfed by those of us who will either be "eligible" for Loser Bronze (but will obviously opt out because it is a grand larceny with no upside) or will get shunted into Super-Loser "Medicaid" (the variety soon to be managed by *private insurance companies* (!) and de facto get crap or no care (I mean, Super-Loser might as well be called "pay in advance for your plot in the potter's field.)

Concluding -- I believe we must be extremely alert and leary about this type of phrase getting tossed around and gaining currency in the "liberal" critique of the ACA, because failing to do so will only give unwarranted cover to the current political class to "rejigger" ObamaCare with the same slice-dice "minimalism" that it used to target voters before Obama's re-election, and that appears to be an integral ideological component of the ACA itself (see, e.g., your posts about the "outreach" programs having been "engineered based on data" to reach only "select" groups.)

Of course, as you consistently state at the end of all your posts on the ObamaCare Clusterfuck, the only real solution is Medicare for All, and the death of "health care insurance" as a sector of the economy.