Monday, December 16, 2013

The Shocking Reason Democrats are Plotting Against Obamacare

By Bill Bonner

The US stock benchmarks were flat on Friday. Too many office parties. Too many distractions. Too many investors with no clue.

"Is the news good or bad?" they asked. "Is that good or bad for asset prices?"

Having no good answer, they let the week pass without showing much conviction one way or another.

So let's move on...

The problem with most people is that they aren't cynical enough. A little more distrust... or at least suspicion, combined with sneering contempt... would help them understand how things work.

A Bum Plan

We say that after reading the latest arguments about Obamacare...

"Errors Continue to Plague Government Health Site," was the top story in the Wall Street Journal on Friday. In the newspapers... and all across the World Wide Web... people are grousing and sniping at Obama's new healthcare program. They don't understand how it could be so mismanaged... so complicated... and so incoherent. 

But what did they expect? 

The Affordable Care Act is not designed to help anyone live longer or to lower the cost of healthcare. 

You may care about those things. But the people who run the government have their own motives and incentives. And they are not the same as yours. Instead, they aim to satisfy a more basic desire of government: to control people and transfer wealth. 

The failures of Obamacare may not make much sense to the earnest world-improver. 

But the cynic sees it more clearly. He knows the real aim of Obamacare is to take wealth and power from one group – the public – and give it to the lobbyists who wrote the legislation; the politicians and professionals who will manage it; and the crony capitalists who will benefit from it most. 

In other words, cynicism helps you connect the dots. 

Why would Congress exempt itself from the program? Because it knows it's a bum plan. 

Why would the law take more than 2,000 pages to explain? Because there are so many boondoggles and giveaways hidden in it. 

Why isn't there more resistance from insurance companies, drug manufacturers and the medical industry? Because they're all in on it. 

A Single-Payer System

And another pertinent question: Why is the implementation so sloppy and incompetent? 

Ah... glad you asked. 

Apparently, a website that was meant to service a sector that accounts for one-sixth of US economic output was set up without any significant testing. It was almost as if they didn't want it to work. 

And maybe they didn't... 


Maybe they are aiming for something more. The Daily Beast explains: 

Could anger at the Obamacare rollout make Americans more receptive to a kind of Medicare-for-all system? That's what activists are hoping – and they're plotting a state-by-state fight. As the rollout of Obamacare clunks forward, activists who opposed the law from the beginning say it is time to seize the moment, to tear down the current healthcare edifice and start anew, especially now as frustration with the law's implementation is reaching a peak.

On Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the American Health Security Act, which would require each state to set up a single-payer healthcare system and would undo the exchanges that have plagued Obamacare. Meanwhile, various state-led efforts are under way that advocates hope will sweep the country statehouse by statehouse, as soon as lawmakers see the advantage of a single-payer system.

Single-payer system? Who would be the single payer? 

The federales! 

Wouldn't that put them in direct control of 17% of US GDP? 

Yes, it would. 

Are they intentionally mucking up Obamacare so they will end up with more of what they want? 


Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.
The above article originally appeared at


  1. I'm cynical enough to believe that's exactly what they intended, I'm idealistic enough to believe it's going to backfire.

    In the past, the answer to government failure has always been even more government. Somehow, everybody bought that idea. The ACA failure has been so visible, so clear, with the 'most progressive president ever' so totally behind it, so happy to have his name put on it that I actually believe that people have come to distrust government's ability to manage complex events.

    And the longer Obama-care continues, the more people will come to that conclusion, and arguing that even more government is needed to save us from the government will fall flat.

    I know that sounds like wishful thinking. "This time it's different" is usually a mistake. Then again "nothing lasts forever" ends up always being true. Even if it takes a really long time.

    Add to that the fact that so many healthy people will will refuse to sign up, and it will be impossible to sustain a health insurance policy that's only for only sick people. Add to that the the IRS enforcement powers for the tax are so much weaker than for ordinary taxes. That many will refuse to pay it without consequence (NO GOVERNMENT WANTS A CITIZENRY THAT'S IN THE HABIT OF IGNORING ITS LAWS!!!)

    And add to that an army of very clever hospital social workers who will find every nook and cranny in the ACA and use it to game the system so that every uninsured patient will get insured after the fact....that's for those hospitals that will accept Obama care...

    And it all adds up to a system that will collapse under its own weight long before anyone can lobby for single payer.

    At least that's how a cynical idealist sees it.

    1. Obamacare was IMO designed to bring medical care completely under government control. Historically when government wants to gain control of a business sector it makes a deal with the private companies involved. They give up the ability to set services and prices and government gives them monopoly power and/or guaranteed "customers".

      This works great for the companies at the start. Services and prices are structured to make the companies a lot of money initially. However, over time, the politicians up the services and reduce (in constant terms) the prices. Eventually costs exceed revenues. The companies go bankrupt and the government takes over.

      Obamacare follows this basic model. Even if it worked flawlessly, the end game is a government take over. Just like the deals that killed the private transit companies.

      That's what I was predicting before this failure to launch. Someone must be impatient about getting control over americans' medical care.

  2. It has been my observation that very government failure results in two things:
    1) More power for government.
    2) More money for government, those running it, those employed by it, those close to it, and those who benefit from it.

    So of course they fail with the aim to better things for themselves.

  3. I don't see a single payer system as the end result. there isn't enough workers to do that and secondly Barrycare is designed to get the government out of direct responsibility for providing healthcare (while still of course telling people how high to jump)and allowing them to divert money into their crony's accounts.

  4. How will they accomplish the sale of this single payer system? Do they expect the 5 million or more people who had their insurance cancelled to forget that it was because of Obamacare that their policies were cancelled. They almost had themselves a full-blown revolt in 2010 when they introduced Obamacare, and they gave rise to the tea party. What do you think is going to happen if they now try to offer a single payer system after this abysmal failure. Plus the house and the senate are currently owned by different camps. I just don't see it.