Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hsieh Forbes OpEd: "4 Questions To Ask During The Upcoming ObamaCare PR Blitz"

Forbes has just published my latest OpEd, "4 Questions To Ask During The Upcoming ObamaCare Public Relations Blitz".

Here is the opening:
The battle over ObamaCare will reignite soon, and the next front will be the war for public opinion. The American public remains deeply skeptical of the new law. Many Americans say they will not sign up for insurance in the new “exchanges” scheduled to open October 1, 2013. As a result, the Obama administration is preparing a high-profile public relations blitz to again sell the law to the public.

Here are 4 talking points ObamaCare advocates will attempt to promote — and 4 questions Americans should ask in response...
 I cover 4 topics, including:
1) "Free" benefits
2) "Coverage"
3) "Rights"
4) "Reform"
Plus there's a 5th bonus question at the end!

For more details, read the full text of "4 Questions To Ask During The Upcoming ObamaCare Public Relations Blitz".

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Coming Propaganda Campaign

David Catron discusses the "Get Covered America" campaign to get people to sign up for ObamaCare insurance.

One point he raises:
During the health reform debate, we were repeatedly told by the White House, congressional Democrats, and their media allies that there were teeming millions of uninsured Americans crying out for coverage. Why, then, are these hapless wretches not already lining up to sign up? If our uninsured problem were so desperate, why do we need Enroll America to round up and herd people through the exchanges? The answer to that question has long been obvious to those of us who bothered to do our homework — America’s uninsured problem was largely a work of fiction...
For more, read the full text of his piece, "Get Shafted America!"

On a related note, CNBC reports "Two-Thirds of Americans Don't Know If They Will Insure Under Obamacare".

Also, Secretary of Health Sebelius is trying to co-opt the NFL into becoming shills for ObamaCare.

This is just the beginning of the propaganda campaign to sell ObamaCare to a skeptical public.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

Mataconis on Organ Transplants

Doug Mataconis: "Organ Transplants, Medical Ethics, And Children".

Like Mataconis, I don't blame Sarah's parents for pursuing every legal option to save her life.  Their job is to be her advocate.  I hope Sarah does well with her new lungs.

However, I am concerned that the judge's ruling could unleash new waves of litigation for future organ transplant decisions, and/or lead to a process where organ transplant decisions are wrongly swayed based on the political optics.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Med Students in the New System

Washington Times: "Medical students' prognosis unclear with 'Obamacare'; many don't understand law".

Includes quotes from Dr. Beth Haynes of the Benjamin Rush Society and Docs4PatientCare:
“The interaction I have with students — they’re young and enthusiastic, and I don’t think they’ve had that much real-life experience understanding what lies ahead,” said Dr. Haynes, who also serves as senior policy analyst for Docs 4 Patient Care, which opposes the president’s health care law. “More physicians are going to become employees instead of small-business owners, and I have no problem with that decision, but then you’re getting to be more like civil servants.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but Dr. Haynes and other physicians worry that the nation’s straight-A students aren’t pulling all-nighters in order to work someday for the medical equivalent of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

“What kind of individual is going to want to enter the medical school under those circumstances?” said Dr. Haynes. “That’s the concern of where things could be headed.”

Here's a video of Dr. Haynes discussing this in more detail on CNBC.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Catron on Sebelius and Lobbying

I have a lot of stuff on my plate right now, so blogging might be light for a while.

In the meantime, you can read David Catron's latest: "Has Sebelius Violated the Anti-Lobbying Act?"

Friday, June 7, 2013

McArdle on Young Invincibles

Megan McArdle asks, "Are Young, Single Adults Expecting Obamacare to Cost So Much?"

One excerpt:
Most young childless adults in most states could purchase catastrophic insurance right now for about the cost of a cell phone data plan.  They have not done so.  Maybe this is because they don't realize how cheaply they can acquire bare-bones coverage.  Or maybe they have a hard time fitting even $100 a month into a tight budget. The monthly take-home for someone making $32,000 a year and living in a major city is probably something under $2,000.  As I well recall, carving an extra $100 out of that is not easy.

Leave aside the hardship we may be imposing on them by requiring them to purchase insurance (or pay a penalty that will eventually sum to hundreds of dollars).  What are they going to do when they find out that they have the option of paying a fairly large sum for very modest coverage, or a really difficult amount for the kind of insurance that they thought they were going to get for practically free?  Keep in mind that California's exchange has actually been more aggressive about trying to keep rates down than most states will be.
Will [Wilkinson] implies that they probably won't buy.  I am agnostic.  The individual mandate is now the law of the land, and Americans are pretty law abiding.  Also, people clearly like having health insurance; they opt for more generous coverage even when it's not cost effective, and unions will give up almost anything else to protect health benefits.  This may be enough to get the healthy youngsters joining the exchange.
But then again, it may not.  And if they don't, that's going to be a really big problem.  Without the subsidies from "young invincibles" paying $150 a month for almost nothing, the older, sicker part of the insurance pool will have to pay more.  The healthier ones may eventually decide that they simply can't afford it; better to pay the fine, tolerate the tiny risk of a huge ER bill, and count on the fact that you can always sign up for insurance if you get sick.  Rinse and repeat until the only people in the market are incredibly expensive to cover.  This is what has happened to the current individual market in the State of New York, where everyone is theoretically able to buy insurance in the individual market, except that no one could possibly afford it...

We'll find out soon enough.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Obama Administration PR Blitz Coming

NPR reports on the coming ObamaCare PR blitz, "Obama's Next Big Campaign: Selling Health Care To The Public".

A couple of interesting excerpts:
But with the sign-up date approaching fast, the administration's efforts have already stumbled. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has repeatedly asked Congress for money to implement Obamacare.

Republicans have repeatedly said no, while they vote to repeal the law.

Without the money she wanted from Congress, Sebelius tried to fundraise for an independent group called Enroll America that is focused on implementing Obamacare. When Republicans heard that she was asking insurance companies and health care providers to donate millions of dollars, they cried foul.
There's another key part of this campaign: Sicker and older people without insurance may be eager to sign up Oct. 1. But to make the system work financially, young and healthy people who don't need much medical care have to get into the pool, too.

So you can expect administration officials around the country to give lots more commencement speeches this season, telling captive audiences of 20-somethings: Congratulations on your diploma. Now make sure to sign up for health coverage in the fall.
As I noted in a recent PJ Media piece, ObamaCare depends on the willing participation of young people (and others) who will be harmed by the law.  Naturally, many are skeptical.