August 5, 2013 |
The Wall Street Journal's editorial board opens its latest screed against the 2010 healthcare law Monday by paraphrasing H.L. Mencken as follows: "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the cynicism and self-dealing of the American political class. " I guess no one will go broke either underestimating the Journal opinionators' cynicism and misrepresentations in the face of a policy they oppose. The Journal's fusillade was prompted by the Obama administration's effort to keep congressional staff members from being hurt by a pernicious feature of the 2010 law. Added by Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa during the Senate Finance Committee's mark-up, the provision requires members of Congress and their staff to obtain health insurance through the new exchanges established by the law. To the Journal, this is the sort of eat-your-own-dog-food requirement that forces lawmakers to experience what they impose on their constituents.
October 27, 2013 |
One of these weeks, now that the Obama administration has recruited a SWAT team of computer whizzes, Healthcare.gov will recover from its shambolic debut and turn into, well, just another website. After all, it's only a website, and websites can be fixed. But that's when a far more interesting chapter in the life of Obamacare will begin. We're about to witness a massive experiment in federalism to see whether the Affordable Care Act can succeed in two very different kinds of states: those where governments are actively working to help the law succeed, and those where they're working to make it fail.
April 30, 2012 |
In my column on Sunday , I quoted Mitt Romney's warning last week that President Obama's health reform law could doom the free-enterprise system in the United States. “With Obamacare fully installed,” Romney said, “government will come to control half the economy, and we will have effectively ceased to be a free-enterprise society.” Could that be true? Would "Obamacare," which relies mostly on free-enterprise health insurance companies, really turn America into a socialist state?
October 31, 2010 |
Republican congressional candidates have declared war on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ? or Obamacare, as they call it. They have called for its repeal, and promised to work toward that end if elected. But the rhetoric is largely political theater. Even if Republicans were to gain control of both the House and Senate in the upcoming election, they would not have 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. And President Obama would surely wield his veto pen to prevent destruction of his signature legislative achievement.
April 23, 2014 |
Kathleen says the cost of her health insurance has soared. She wants to know why -- and who she can complain to. Kathleen isn't alone. A lot of people have seen their health-insurance premiums rise in recent months, and there's a reason for this. Obamacare. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions That's not to say all such rate hikes are unjustified. In most cases, the costs are rising because the quality of the coverage is improving. The Affordable Care Act requires that all health insurance meets certain standards, and some plans are going up in cost for the simple reason that they're complying with the law. For more, plus who's taking complaints about such things, check out today's Ask Laz video.
October 22, 2013 |
Tuesday's tepid brew of jobs data , delayed more than two weeks by the government shutdown, wasn't worth waiting for. It shows an increase in total nonfarm employment by 148,000 in September over August, which is consistent with economic growth crawling along in second gear. The report's most notable nugget is the change in part-time work. Over the last month the number of workers in part-time jobs for economic reasons--slack demand, cutbacks in hours--has remained stable. Over the last year, however, it has fallen by 681,000.
April 14, 2014 |
Polls have consistently shown that even though the public opposes Obamacare, people like some of its most significant provisions. That's particularly true of the requirement that insurers ignore preexisting conditions when signing up customers for coverage. Yet that one provision, also known as guaranteed issue, is responsible for trade-offs that people bitterly oppose. Here are two good illustrations of this dichotomy. In The Times on Monday, Soumya Karlamangla reported on the plight of some of those who aren't poor enough to qualify for Medi-Cal, the insurance program for Californians with incomes near the poverty line.
March 29, 2014
Re "Taming the boardwalk," March 26 Iread about some of the "artists, the homeless, Silicon Beach hipsters, surfers, inline skaters and tourists" all coming together on the "circus-like boardwalk" of Venice, and I thought, "Strange but nice. " Then I read about our conservative-controlled Supreme Court and arguments about Hobby Lobby not wanting to provide contraceptives to women - many of whom are probably already taking them - and the thought crossed my mind: Just who is strange?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 2013 |
Maybe too much sex has addled Suzanne Somers' brain. In a much-mocked essay published by the Wall Street Journal on Monday, the 67-year-old self-help author and star of the 1970s TV show “Three's Company” held forth on what she believes are the evils of Obamacare and the terrible effects it will have on retirees. She didn't really use facts, as such, or even logic, as such. Instead, using personal anecdotes about relatives and friends in Canada, a misremembered newsmagazine headline and apparently fabricated quotes by Stalin and Churchill, she maintained that Obamacare is a “socialist Ponzi scheme.” Here's a bit of what she wrote: “Affordable care will allow for preexisting conditions.
December 6, 2012 |
The same day that Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants Inc. said it will not bump down existing full-time workers to part-time status to skirt healthcare costs, a petition calling on the company's chief executive to clarify his position is gaining steam. Dan Haney, an unemployed pharmaceutical customer service representative from Philadelphia, started the SignOn.org petition urging Darden CEO Clarence Otis to be even more specific about how the company will react when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in 2014.