Sunday, November 18, 2012

ObamaCare and Armageddon: Asteroid Aimed Right at U.S. Economy

Remember the movie, Armageddon", where Brue Willis saves us from an asteroid on a direct path to destroy life on Earth?  Well, we are facing a real life asteroid aimed right at the U.S. ecomy, and there is no Bruce Willis there to save us.  Mitt Romney proved himself to be no Bruce Willis, much less Ronald Reagan.  (I know.  Even Clint Eastwood coud not save Romney, and has Bruce Willis ever really been there when we needed him?)

Ober the past week, you had all kinds of business "leaders" suddenly saying that they were looking at ObamaCarew, now that Obama has been re-elected, and that it will FORCE hiring freezes and layoffs.  That is on top of the fact that ObamaCare is yet another "entitlement"--really the biggest of them all--that is going to cause the deficit to explode.  Then there are employers like WalMart, whihc FAVORED ObamaCare becaues WalMart hopes to save money by having the Federal Government handle health care insurance for its employees--as WalMart pyas a llesser "fine" than its rising health insurance costs.  WalMatrt, by the way, announced that it was RAISING the EMPLOYEE cost for health insurance by 13% next year.  And ObamaCare has any number of provisons as to which no one even knows the conseqauence, because no one realy rEAD the 27000 page bill--much less understood it. 

Doubt me? Enter Sylvia, a "configuaroin analyst" for ADP (Automatic Data Processing), which provides payroll and benefit processing services for employers.  Sylvia is a female friend of mine, despite the belief of most women that I could not ppossibly have a female friend (especailly platanoic, which Sylvia is).  Anyway, Sylvia mentioned to me one of the annoying little problems beng raised by ObamaCare (which Sylvia strongly supports, as she basciallyi supports Obama).  Sylvia did not raise this probleem to criticize ObamaCare, but to describe one of the issues she is facing in here work (which she regularly discusses with me, just to have something to say during these 4-mile walks we sometimes take together).

It turns out that ObamaCare requires employers to provide a REASON why any employee REJECTS health insurance coverage.  Why?  Sylvia does nto exactly know, but obviusly it has something to do with the MANDATE that every individual have health insurance.  Sylvia also does not know--yet, anyway--whether there are "unacceptable" reasons for rejecting emp;lyer health insrance.  This is just a SMALL part of the BURDENS ObamaCare is gong to place on employers.  Why is it a problem ffor Sylvia?  ADOP sets up software for employers to process their empployoee benefits.  And the idea is to have employees simply CHECK BOXES on what kind of electins they want to make on employee benefits (not just health insurance, but disability, life insurance, etc.).  Look at the PROBLEM created by ObamaCare FORCING employees to give a REASON for rejecting health insurance.  Obvisly, it confiicts iwth the idea of ADP setting up a "self-exectuing' system/computer program for emplouyees to come lup with--say--1000 different reasons to "reject" emplyer health insurance.  If ObamaCare only ALLOWS certain reasons, that may actually make it a little easier, since you can simply lIST the ACCEPTABLE reasons in the "ooptions' available to the empployee in the computer program. . But does the emplyer have to CHECK whether the reasons are "honest"?  Just how easly is it to determine what "reasons" are acceptable, and to include only those reasons in a computer program to be "responded to" by the employee?   And this is just one of the SMALL nightmares that employers are going to fgace.  As stated:  an asteroid aimed right at the U.S. economy.

Note that this is all part of possibly the worst LIE ever told by an American Preisdent: Obama's LIE that "if  you like your present insurance coverage, yhou can keep it under ObamaCare" That was always  a LIE.  What if you "present" coverage does NOT haeve "ree contraception"?  No.  You cannot "keep" yhour present helalth insurance policy because that policy is nOT GONG TO EXIST.  Government regulations, such sa the ones on what kind of electin to REJECT health insurance can be made, are going to DEFNE what kind of health insurance policy you HAVE to have. Employers cannot keept their current policy, and the imposed csts of ObamaCare are going to CRIPPLE many emplooyers (especially smaller employrs and labor intensive ones). When they CAN, emloyers are gong to OPT OUT (deludng themselves that the FINE will stay low enough).  And the RATIONAL thing for INDIVIDUALS to do IS NO HEALTH INSURANCE.  Why?  Because of that requirment that health insurance NOT exclude "pre-existing conditions". It is unclear whether the government is really going to be able to ENFORCE this "fine" if you don't have health insurance.  But, right now, the "fine" (for indivials)--which the Supreme Curt as called a "tax"--will be LESS than the cost of health insurance.  Thus, individuals can WAIT to be sick, and rely on the emergency room (as so many do now).  Then, when individuals do get sick, they can GET OBAmACARE INSUARANCE.  Waht is the downsie?  Obviusly, you hve to take some risk of some really huge coss occurring before you can get the insurance.  However, that would usually be the kind of CATASTROPHIC kind of event that emergency rooms are REQUIRED to handle. 

The whole thing is a nightmare, as individuals and employers have to try to figure out how to hndle THOUSANDS of pages of NEW REGULATINOS.  And the whole idea is to have ObamaCare FAIL, so that we end up with a NATINAL HEALTH SERVICE (single-payer, government health care system) . Problem: it is not ony that we can't afford this, but this asteroid is going to DESTROY our ecomy before we even get to the pont of "fixing' ObamaCare.

What caN we do? That is the sad thing.  You and I my doubt that Rmney and the GOP were really going to repeal ObamaCare.  However, we KNOW that Obama is not going to let that happen.  If ObamaCare FAILS, as it will, can we even get back to a private health care system?  Again, not without pretty much destorying our economy.  The boat may have sailed.  In fact, it almost certaily has.  The asteroid striking is probably now INEVITABLE.  Obama will be President 4 more eyars.  ObamaCare will have been in full effect for at lest 3 years of those 4.  What could possibly stop it? Right:  CMPLETE DISASTER. The only thing that can stop ObamaCare now is disster so obiuvs that even Democrats agree to relpeal it and start over.  But a disster that bad--almost inconceivable, in terms of being enugh to have Democrats abandon ObamaCare wituhout replacing it with a totally government system--will mean that the ASTEROID HAS ALREADY HIT.  All that will be left will be to pick up the pieces.

"Skip, you pessimist.  ou are sahying that there is no hope."  That is exclty right.  ObamaCare is an asteorid aimed directly at our economy, and there is no stopping it now. Neither Clint Eastwood nor Bruce Willis caN stop it now Even Ronal Reagan could not do it . Once the Supreme Court failed to realy kill it, and once Romney lost, the asteroid ilmpact on our economy becaMe certain.  I don't see any way out at all.  Even a GOP ssweep in 2014 will be too little, too late. 

"Skip, you can't jsut give up.  Waht would 'Armageddon' have been like, as a movie, if Bruce Willis had just given up."  Unfortunately, life is not a movvie.  I have not "given up", n the sense of firmly intending to support any FIGHT againt ObamaCare that AnYONE is making.  I jsut don't see any possible way to stop the asteroid, at this poihnt.  There is a famous science fictin story called "The Cold Equations".  The pont of the story was that a girl had to be ejected into space becauwe the "cold equations" made that the only decision that cuold be made (the girl being a stowaway on a mission to save millioins of peole).  The sotry was a little "controversial" because of its pont that SOMETIMES (as with an asteorid on a conclusion course with Earth, and no means of stopping i) there is just NOTHING to be done except face the reality of what is happening.  If a gir stowaway has to face the deatlh penalty because that is what has to be done to save millins of peole, then that is what you have to ddo.  The problem is, of course, that "The Cold Equations" sometimes tell you NOTHING caN be done: no girl stowaway to be killed to sve us.  That would be true if an asteroid turly wre going to hit the Earth, and we had no means available to stop it (as we probably don't).  I am afriad that is where we are on ObamaCare:  "The cold equations" tell us that we have an asteroid aimeded at our economy, and there is now noting we caN do to stop it.  I will be glad if somoe more optimistic person out three can show me to be wrong.  I jsut can't make myself believe it.

You can see, of coures the problem with the plot of "The Cold Equations".  Would the extra mass of one girl ever be such a problem that thre would be NOTHING you could do?  Unlikely.  But that, obviusly, is not the point. Th epoint of the story was that the UNIVERSE DOES NOT CARE.  There are some realities you have to fce, no matter how unpleasant.  ObamaCare is a reality we apparently have to face, but that most likely means that the destructin of our economy is a reality we also have to face.  Are there any leaders out there even suggesting how we are going to face "the Cold Equations" of ObamaCare?  I am afraid not.  All of the facts are three.  What is missing is a way out, or even someone with a VISION of what to do when ObamaCare fails.  Do you see ANYONE in the GOP gong out there an really pushing the idea of just HOW BAD ObamaCare is going to be?  I know.  You don't win electins with pessimism. But neither do you win electins with FANTASY, especially when your oppoents are better at fantasy than your are (as with Obama and Romney).

P.S. No proofreading or spell checing (bad eyesight) . "Bu, Skip, yu can't possibly be as pessimistic as this article suggests We have to have HOPE."  Sorry.  I can give you none.  You should hear the conversaitns between myself and my CPA brother living in Nashville (executive in trucking company).  Our conversatins are mainly abut what FORM the collapse will take when it occurs: Hitler/Stalin?  Anarchy? Third world contry? Greece?  Spain?  Start over, getting rid of veven SS and Medicare?  Some sort of slow decline, like the Roman Empire before it finally fell to the barbarians for a THOSAND YERS?  That is, "civilizaiton" did not reach the same levvel in the west for at least a thousand years after the fall of the Romna Empire.  I think we are that bad off:  not jsut because of where we are but because of where we are gonig (with no Bruce Willis to stop the asteroid).  Can't happehn here, wth Bailout Ben Bernanke (lol), theFederal Reserve, our President and our Congress.?  Read that sentence and weep.  Of course it can happen here, and I go so far as to suggest it is now inevitable.  You might remember that the Roman REPUBLIC "fell" long before the Roman Empire:  to Julius Caesar.  Is that the most likley way to "save" America:  a new Julius Caesar?  Maybe so.  But it wont' be America anymore, will it?

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