Dan Liljenquist: Obamacare is more trick than treat


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  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2013 1:15 p.m.

    "If the ACA was to insure the uninsured, some 30 to 40 million, then why did the ACA have to affect everyone?" Because these 30 to 40 million have a lot of high cost people - people with preexisting chronic conditions - cancer, heart disease, diabetes etc. They are in essence uninsureable in the current private for profit system. The Republicans would have vetoed any government program just for them, for after all if they are poor and sick it is because they deserve to be, from the Tea party view. So the ACA was crafted to share risk broadly in an attempt to make extending care to the medically poor people acceptable to the GOP. What a vain effort!

    These problems can only be solved with a socialized medicine system like that of Sweden or Finland. In time this will come, but it is going to be a long and painful struggle in which many will die before their time - the Tea Party couldn't care less - if you're poor and sick you deserve to be.

  • Culbear Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 1, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    The ACA isn't the problem. The ideal and goal behind it are reasonable and straightforward. But there are numerous problems here.

    1) Effectiveness & Money- the actual healthcare plans that this makes available have extremely high deductibles, making it hard for those that needed the insurance the most to deal with the medical bills like before (albeit not as bad). But, while doing this it is also causing others to pay higher premiums for similar coverage (than they would've previously had).

    2) Timing & Money- There could not have been a worse time in history for Americans to have the ACA put in than now. Titanic debt, controversy and scandal in the billions of dollars are what Washington has been putting out as of late.

    3) Potential for Disaster- Passing any law in our current situation that deals with this much money only provides courage and desire to do it again under similar or worse circumstances s. Now I'm going to say this carefully but 30 million uninsured people is not as bad as the circumstance that this behavior lead us to.

    4) Questionable Motives, Loss of Freedoms, Current Scandals, Conspiracy are other talking points as well.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 1, 2013 11:09 a.m.

    The NEW Democrat party talking points....

    Listening to several democrat strategists and congressmen as well as Barack himself the new agreed upon talking points seem go like this....

    1. It is all the insurance companies fault. They sold junk policies (as defined by a small team of Barack's cabinet) and that is why they needed to be cancelled.
    2. People are just not smart enough to buy health insurance on their own and need the government to do it for them.
    3. Only the government understands the needs of people...people just aren't capable of making health care decisions on their own.
    4. There are lots of new policies to browse and find out there under Obamacare. Never mind their premium prices are 2-3 times what the folks were paying before and they contain mandatory maturity benefits for 60 year old men and other wonderful goodies.

    the analogy I like is someone tells you your $17K Ford Focus is junk and your new choices are a $50k Cadillac Escalade with Magellan navigation OR a $60k BMW. They tell you to just go shop and pick up one of these new models....what's the big deal??

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    Nov. 1, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    >>The ultimate question is this: Why do repubs believe uninsured Americans are a good thing?

    They don't. They just don't believe that ObamaCare is the right way to solve the problem (or even that ObamaCare *will* solve the problem). Just because someone doesn't agree with your proposed solution doesn't automatically mean they're denying that there's a problem; and massive government intrusion is rarely a good solution to any problem

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 8:40 p.m.

    Obamacare=higher healthcare cost and fewer people covered plus higher taxes! What a winner we all now have.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 6:18 p.m.


    The idea that republicans or conservatives wrote the ACA (ObamaCare) is complete and utter nonsense.

    The actual 2600 page bill was written by an extreme leftist organization funded by George Soros.

    Because similar ideas may nave been passed around years ago is irrelevant to created and wrote the ACA (obamacare).

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 4:06 p.m.

    Kim: So by your logic the "Bush tax cuts" that liberals have been whining about for the past 10 years are in actuality a "Democratic Party Plan" since JFK once said tax cuts were a good idea.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 3:52 p.m.

    Makes you wonder had these pack of Obama lies about Obamacare come out BEFORE the 2012 election....

  • Kim Cedar Park, Texas
    Oct. 31, 2013 3:46 p.m.


    Last time I heard, both Richard Nixon and Mitt Romney were conservative republicans. See article below:

    Tue October 25, 2011, Waltham, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Mitt Romney has pledged to repeal President Obama's universal health care law if he is elected president. Critics find his position rather strange, arguing that the plan he helped develop when he was governor of Massachusetts is quite similar in design to the Obama plan. Romney disputes his critics, saying there are important and fundamental differences between the plans. Who is correct?

    In actuality, both plans draw extensively from legislation offered by President Nixon in January 1974. In a book just published, "Power, Politics, and Universal Health Care," David Shactman and I explain how Romney and Obama used the same approach as Nixon to lower the number of uninsured.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 31, 2013 2:37 p.m.

    If the republicans hadn't opposed single payer and government insurance options, we would be in a much better place. They did and we aren't.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    If the ACA was to insure the uninsured, some 30 to 40 million, then why did the ACA have to affect everyone? That does not make sense, unless it was always intended, as Lifelong Republican alluded to. Also, a good portion of that uninsured group was people in a temporary state, like unemployment, who would be getting insurance in the future with a job. The permanent uninsured have been using the ER, which is overly expensive. What should have happened is the government set up some kind of clinic program to be used by uninsured instead of the ER which would have cost a lot less and not have affected everyone else in the country. Something other than what we were being told was being done here with the ACA. In 2003 Obama said in a speech he was for a government run single payer health program. And he also said that it would take time to put it all into place. This ACA was merely the first step.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    Blue: It's not me that isn't paying attention.

    I don't care if the Heritage Foundation once said something that might have something to do with Obamacare. I don't care if Mitt Romney once gave a political speech where he might have praised the Massachusettes system and indicated it might be good in some way at a national level.

    Until you can show me where there was broad support among conservatives for ANYTHING close to the ACA law that was ramroded through congress without a single GOP vote and subsequently changed many times after the fact by a president with NO legislative powers; then I refuse to place even a smidgen of trust in your claim that it is some kind of "GOP plan".

    This plan for socializing medicine and redistributing wealth and taking choices away from individual Americans is progressive liberalism through and through. Period. Conservatives want NO part of it. Period.

    When I said "whole mess", I meant far more than the website. Even if the website worked perfectly, Obamacare would still be a mess.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 1:02 p.m.

    Joe: "Just look at comments like those from "Blue" who now insist that this whole mess was originally a GOP idea."

    You're not paying attention. Deny it all you want, the core principles of the ACA originated with the Heritage Foundation and their positions re healthcare finance reform back in the 1990s. Mitt Romney himself declared "Romneycare" in Massachusetts to be a model on which a nationwide system of state-run insurance exchanges and individual mandates should be based. Those are facts.

    I am _not_ laying the problems with the ACA web site (which I think you have conflated into "a whole mess") with the GOP. The Dept of HHS bears the bulk of the responsibility for the website launch problems. But guess what? Problems during the startup phase of _any_ major new program are normal and to be expected. Republicans were urging patience and a positive attitude about the trouble-plagued website for rollout of Medicare Part B.

    To declare the ACA a failure because the ACA website hasn't worked well during its first couple of weeks is a stretch.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    MountainMan "Imaging the hyperventilation, the mocking and ridicule from the left if this Obamacare mess had been hatched by the GOP.:

    You don't have to imagine. Just look at comments like those from "Blue" who now insist that this whole mess was originally a GOP idea.

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 12:06 p.m.

    "Imaging the hyperventilation, the mocking and ridicule from the left if this Obamacare mess had been hatched by the GOP."

    That was good for a laugh, considering that many parts of the ACA are originally conservative Republican ideas, including the most hated part of the bill, the individual mandate.

    The problem is, Reagan already basically nationalized healthcare when he signed the law that allowed ANYONE to go to an emergency room and be treated whether they had insurance or not, could pay or not. He insured that the most expensive form of medical care was being used to care for what should have been taken care of by primary care doctors. The individual mandate was partly in reaction to that law, and partly in reaction to Clinton's healthcare plan which had a mandate of its own- require all employers to cover all employees.

    And let's not forget, it was Mitt Romney who implemented the mandate in Massachusetts.

    Republicans have a tendency to forget that they wanted something until somebody else wanted it. Then they are against it.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Oct. 31, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    Remember the cash -for-clunkers thing? It wound up costing about $40k for each vehicle removed (because of bureaucratic procedures/ overhead). And a lot of real clunkers did not "qualify".

    It would have been much cheaper to buy them at blue-book prices and then give a new vehicle to those people. They would have had a new clean car, and cash in their pockets for insurance/ gas/ whatever.

    I'm seeing the same scenario in this "affordable" health care thing. What would it have cost to keep it simple -- insure that 15% who cannot get/ do not have coverage?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 31, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    @ Irony Guy. The disaster on Wall Street was mostly caused by the government forcing low or no interest housing loans to non-qualified buyers which policy began during the Clinton era. Loans were given to buyers who had no ability or intention of servicing their loans. That caused a huge demand boom for housing and prices escalated accordingly. Few loans were ever serviced and banks were left with billions of toxic loans and as always, the boom burst and housing values plunged downward. There is some Halloween reality for you! And Obama has harmed this country beyond repair. One needs look no further that the middle class for proof.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    I can't tell you how bizarre it is to watch conservatives shout about how much they hate the ACA, completely ignore the fact that its core principles of state-run insurance exchanges and an individual mandate _began_ with the GOP and the Heritage Foundation, express outrage on behalf of their constituents that the online component of the rollout has had problems, while doing every thing in their power to keep their constituents from accessing affordable health insurance.

    It's the GOP's apparent inability to appreciate irony that I find most fascinating these days.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 31, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    Wouldn't it have been nice for the GOP to use a little Halloween imagery back in the Bush years to describe the Nightmare on Wall Street, the Attack on Iraq, the Bailout Boogie, and the other ghastly nightmares of the Bush Administration. At least Mr. Obama is trying to improve our lives rather than destroy them.

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    Oct. 31, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    @Ernest T. Bass:
    Actually those who that you say are being held back will still be held back with the same problems even though they will now have free health insurance given to them under the PPACA.
    With out of pocket expenses and deductibles of $6000+ per person people with $36,000 or less household income will still be unable to pay their medical bills.
    And we will spend around $90Bn to provide 30Mn or so with Insurance that doesn't solve the problem of their not being able to pay large medical bills.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 31, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    If Obamacare is such a wonderful thing, allow all who want to be in Obamacare, sign up and all who do not want to be in it opt out, like Obama's friends. What would not be fair about that? We all know the Obamacare dirty little secret don't we folks? If the middle class people are not forced to sign up and pay exorbitantly higher premiums, deductibles and copays then there won't be enough money to subsidize the other half. That is why Obama had to lie about it in the first place. He couldn't come right out and tell the middle class you are going to pay through the nose so those who voted for me can get free or subsidized healthcare now could he?

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    If this is going to be such a disaster then why haven't repubs embraced it, to make themselves look stronger?
    The ultimate question is this: Why do repubs believe uninsured Americans are a good thing? Do they have any idea how many people are being held back due to unreasonably large medical bills? They can't get loans for houses or cars due to the amount owed for medical bills.
    How on earth is that a good thing? I've yet to hear even one ACA detractor explain why uninsured people is somehow good.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 31, 2013 5:57 a.m.

    Imaging the hyperventilation, the mocking and ridicule from the left if this Obamacare mess had been hatched by the GOP.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 12:50 a.m.

    It looks like Dan has once again flip flopped and is back to his tea party (everything Obama does is bad) ways. He had a good week or two when he sounded moderate. Now, he's back to being right in step with Mike Lee and the gang.

    Dan sounds like he will do and say anything to be elected.

  • Lifelong Republican Orem, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:51 p.m.

    Obama's whole plan is to make this ACA a complete disaster from the get go so the American public will start clamoring for a single payer system which is what Obama wanted in the first place.

    His plan is going exactly as he planned.