Not The Onion, Part The Infinity

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Thighmaster General
Thighmaster General

Without a hint of satire, The Wall Street Journal decided to let Suzanne Somers write an article on the Affordable Care Act on their blog “The Experts.” Somers “expertise” comes from her celebrity access to doctors, scientists, and medical professionals in the “alternative and integrative” health-care world. Somers has been on Oprah pushing her concept of wellness which involves taking 60 pills a day and injecting hormones into her vagina.

The CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) health-care world is waging an all out attack against science-based medicine and health care. As Dr. Steven Novella puts it:

The later terms, “complementary” and “integrative,” are deceptions meant to distract from the fact the CAM (as much as general statements can be made about such a loose category) is anti-science, and therefore cannot be integrated into science.

Somers claims that affordable health care is socialized medicine. Princeton University economist Uwe E. Reinhardt notes: “Socialized medicine refers to systems that couple social health insurance with government-owned and operated health care facilities.” Reinhardt uses the Veterans Affairs health system as an example of socialized medicine. When health insurance is coupled with purely private health care delivery systems, it is understood as “social health insurance,” for example in Canada.

Somers provides anecdotal evidence of a long wait time to see a doctor for her sister-in-law. Somers does not mention the wait times for 48 million Americans who can’t go to a doctor at all because they don’t have insurance.

Somers talks about her Canadian cousins who, after becoming doctors, came the U.S. to “reap financial rewards.” Somers doesn’t mention that Canada spends 11.4% of it GDP on health expenditures while the U.S. spends 17.4%.

Somers notes that it’s good that affordable care will cover pre-existing conditions. Everybody loves the coverage of pre-existing conditions. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that the extra cost of that coverage isn’t going to be borne by the insurance companies.

Somers mentions that the news she listens to is all about the increases in insurance premiums. Had Somers examined the stories more closely, she would have found out that most just don’t hold water. Some people have such pitiful, and cheap, insurance policies that they don’t meet the ACA’s guidelines. Insurance companies have no incentive to get the customer the cheapest policy that meets those guidelines. It’s like a car salesman telling a customer their 2010 Toyota Camry needs to be replaced and sending them a bill for a 2013 Toyota Avalon when a 2013 Camry will meet their needs.

Somers is just another woo peddler whose celebrity has faded.

H/T: Daniel D’Addario, John Casey, Sarah Kliff, Steve M., Jerry Coyne.

106 thoughts on “Not The Onion, Part The Infinity”

  1. Larry:

    I posted links to the IRS document that explains people will NOT be grandfathered in and that up to 67% will lose their plans.

    From Larry’s IRS report:

    Using these turnover estimates, a reasonable range for the percentage of individual policies that would terminate, and therefore relinquish their grandfather status, is 40 percent to 67 percent.

    And this, also from Larry’s IRS report:

    The Departments estimate there are 16.7 million individuals under age 65 covered by individually purchased policies.

    67% of 16.7 million = 11.2 million. Pretty close to leejcaroll’s number.

  2. I’m telling all you conservatives, there’s going to be hell to pay when the regular posse returns. You’re in BIG trouble!!

  3. LeeJ,

    Popcorn Sutton was PO’d at the govt because he wanted the right to brew whiskey without govt involvement.

    He had a tombstone made & sat at his front porch I assume so when the govt agents pulled up they’d get the msg, it said to the govt, Phk you.

    Currently the govt has a near monopoly of force. If they get pissed at any one or go out on a whim as they often do they’ll send swat teams to shoot puppies, rape kids, beat wives, old people, murder husbands and walk away with no punishment for the govt’s crimes.

    It remains this way only because enough people in the past have had “Confidence” in the system.

    That public “Confidence” has nearly collapsed at this time & even those on the inside of govt are starting in mass to resist this tyranny of evil.

    In other words we are now at the beginning of the end.

    It’s a very dangerous time in history.


    1970-1973: “Sir, My Men Refuse To Fight!”

    Opposition to the war turns militant and the counter-culture rises to its peak:[16] 92,000 soldiers were declared deserters, with tens of thousand fleeing to Canada, France and Sweden;[17] thousands of soldiers organize and participate in Armed Forces Day demonstrations at 19 military bases on May 15, 1971;[18] drug use is rampant and underground radio networks flourish in Vietnam [19] as Black and white soldiers increasingly identify with the antiwar and Black liberation movements;[20] combat refusals and fragging of officers in Vietnam are epidemic.[21] Thousands are jailed for refusing to fight or simply defying military authority, and nearly every U.S. military prison in the world is hit by riots.[20] Jane Fonda’s antiwar review, The F.T.A. Show, tours military bases and is cheered by tens of thousands of soldiers;[22] the Pentagon concludes that over half the ground troops openly oppose the war and shifts its combat strategy from a ground war to an air war; the Navy and Air Force are both riddled with mutinies and acts of sabotage.[23] VVAW holds the Winter Soldier Investigation, exposing American war crimes through the testimony of veterans, and stages the most dramatic demonstration of the Vietnam era as hundreds of veterans hurl their medals onto the Capitol steps.[24]!_No_Sir!

  4. I posted links to the IRS document that explains people will NOT be grandfathered in and that up to 67% will lose their plans. It really makes you look foolish when you criticize my posts and defending Obama by saying “not THAT many will lose their plans…just LOW numbers” when Obama HIMSELF said that NO ONE will lose their plans. He said it would be 0%—so any number you post above 0% makes you look like a colossal f***tard.

    NBC a mouthpiece for the GOP???? LOL. They’re about as liberal as you can get!

    1. I did not say MSNBC, I wrote NBC which is different, if you took the time to read. You also ignored that I agreed with you, he was wrong in saying it. Your ‘I am right and you are so unmitigatedly wrong and I will curse you and call you names.’ is childish and makes you look silly. If you want to enter into a grown up debate please act like a grownup. I will not respond any further to you as long as you engage in the name calling.

  5. (Nal my plan is about 15 years old. I called Bc/BS to check and I can keep that plan, anecdotal – but I am sure I am not the only one, That being said as long as health care relies on the private marketplace they will always try to scalp us as much as possible

  6. Boy you are one nasty fellow. It is usually those who are wrong who think by casting aspersions on the other person it makes their points. correct.
    Youre wrong. period. you need numbers, anywhere from 6.3 million to 11.9 million people will need to make a change, because what they have now no longer qualifies as insurance. Yes, the ACA forces people to change from junk insurance to something that offers real security.

    Up to 75%!

    That’s huge!

    Until you put it in the context that we live in a country of 317 million people

    75% of 5% is is 3.75%

    3.75% of 317 million is about 11.9 million people.

    NBC which has become a GOP mouthpiece uses the same numbers. Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC News that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. Do the math.

  7. Nal, where did that quote come from? Out of your head? I posted a link to an IRS document that says otherwise, and it was even in the June 2010 Federal Register that most plans will be canceled, and the administration KNEW this THREE YEARS AGO. And Obama STILL went out and told people “if you like your plan, you can keep it.”

  8. Plans in existence before March 23, 2010, are grandfathered, which makes them exempt from most of the new requirements of Obamacare. However, if your insurance company switched you into a “better” plan after that date, it’s not grandfathered and can be canceled at any time.

    So what did the insurance companies do? They swapped their plans around so fast and so often that virtually no one today has a plan more than a couple of years old. Clever scamps!

  9. leecaroll——youre WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG about everything you just said. He was WRONG about even the AMOUNT that will lose their plans. 5%???? Really?? You believe that figure because HE said it was only 5%??? He lied about people NOT losing their plans–why would you believe anything else he said?

    The FACT is, up to 67% will lose their plans. An IRS document that came out in 2010 stated this: (you can find it here)

    “Using these turnover estimates, a reasonable range for the percentage of individual policies that would terminate, and therefore relinquish their grandfather status, is 40 percent to 67 percent. These estimates assume that the policies that terminate are replaced by new individual policies, and that these new policies are not, by definition, grandfathered. In addition, the coverage that some individuals maintain for long periods might lose its grandfather status because the cost-sharing parameters in policies change by more than the limits specified in these interim final regulations. The frequency of this outcome cannot be gauged due to lack of data, but as a result of it, the Departments estimate that the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 percent to 67 percent range that is estimated based on the fraction of individual policies that turn over from one year to the next.”

    It was even mentioned in the Federal Register in June of 2010. It said 93 million Americans will lose their health care plans.

    Here’s the story on that:

    5% is only about 15 million Americans. 93 million Americans is over 30%—-NOT 5%.

    Learn FACTS before you speak.

  10. He did say it, I never said he didn’t (and I won’t be nasty back). He is right. You will keep your plan He sould have added the fact that all plans will need to be in compliance and those with individual plans which is about 5% of the population the vast majority of whom will not lose their plans. (I am grandfathered because I paid for my plan before I was notified it was no longer offered (I have had this grandfathered plan for probably 15 years at this point) Those who did not have their premiums paid up before PlanH was no longer offered, by many, many companies, lost their plan and either went with another or lost their policy. It is the same now as it was then only now there is an across the board requirement which makes insurance coverage better for most people.

  11. Yeah, they ruled on the INDIVIDUAL MANDATE to PURCHASE Obamacare——-NOT on the law ITSELF. You said the ACA was constitutional because the SC ruled it was. You’re WRONG. They never ruled on the constitutionality of the law ITSELF. They ruled on PROVISIONS OF the law—–not the LAW ITSELF. What you just posted actually supports what I said—so thank you!

  12. leecaroll—–you posted that big post AFTER I posted mine above with the video attached to it?? Im guessing you completely IGNORED the video of Obama repeatedly saying to all insured Americans “if you like your plan, you can keep it?”

    He can’t use as a defense “well, they had shitty insurance” because 1. He said anyone who liked their plan can KEEP it and 2. It’s the Obamacare law ITSELF that is the reason insurers are dropping people—because their plans dont meet ACA guidelines! So it’s HIS law that forced insurers to cancel the policies!!!

    You DEFEND Obama for lying AND for his OWN LAW being the reason people are losing their health care plans???? Are you high??

  13. leecaroll said:

    “Oky, The right leaning SCOTUS has deemed the ACA constitutional so you can scream all you want that it is not but I think the SCOTUS have a better grasp of the law then do you. (And I am not a fan of most of the SCOTUS)”

    WRONG. The SC NEVER ruled on the constitutionality of the law ITSELF. They only ruled on the Constitutionality of the INDIVIDUAL MANDATE of purchasing Obamacare. They could ONLY do it by their taxing powers—which is very scary. Now they can regulate any behavior they want us to do. They want us to buy a certain car? They can make us and just fine us if we dont.

    I’m sick and tired of people thinking the SC ruled on the law itself. They ruled on the mandate to BUY Obamacare.

    1. In a 5-4 decision that was unusual because conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals and became the deciding vote, the justices ruled that the so-called individual mandate is a tax that Congress can impose on Americans. That undercut the challenge to that provision’s constitutionality for allegedly violating the Commerce Clause.

      From there, upholding the mandate meant that the rest of the act was judged constitutional as well.

      On the last day of the 2011-2012 Term, the United States Supreme Court issued its long-anticipated opinion about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In a case known as National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius,1 the Court agreed to consider the constitutionality of two major provisions of the ACA: the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion. A majority of the Court upheld the individual mandate. And, while the Court found the Medicaid expansion unconstitutionally coercive of states, because states did not have adequate notice to voluntarily consent and the Secretary could potentially withhold all of a state’s existing federal Medicaid funds for non-compliance, a majority of the Court found that this issue was appropriately remedied by circumscribing the Secretary’s enforcement authority, thus leaving the Medicaid expansion intact in the ACA. This policy brief describes the Court’s decision and looks ahead to the implementation of health reform now that the constitutionality of the ACA has been resolved.

  14. ” I closed page too fast so dont have the click, think washington post)
    Moreover, it’s certainly incorrect to claim, as some Republicans have, that people are losing insurance coverage. Instead, in virtually all cases, it’s being replaced with probably better (and possibly more expensive) insurance”

    The president said Wednesday that the notices sent to consumers suggest that they’re losing their coverage “somehow because of the Affordable Care Act.” He argued, however, that consumers only lost coverage if insurers altered those policies at all after the law took effect. In that case, Mr. Obama said, insurers had to “replace them with quality, comprehensive coverage.”

    “Today that promise means that every plan in the marketplace covers a core set of minimum requirements,” he said. Insurers “can’t use allergies or pregnancy… or the fact that you’re a woman to charge you more.”

    He advised the public, “If you’re getting one of these letters, just shop around in the new marketplace — that’s what it’s for.”

    Plans are changed all the time and you can lose them when they change unless you are able to stay on and be grandfathered (I am on such a plan and will be able to stay on it)

    (As for not having insurance and what happens if everyone gets sick all at the same time, the probablility of that is negligible unless it is say a terrorist attack with chemical weapons where it will ot matter if you have insurance or not.

    As for the gamble that insurance is, so too is it a gamble that you will not get an illness that will be exceedingly costly.
    I have trigeminal neuralgia. One second I was fine, all it took was a pain that lasted 20 seconds and I became disabled having ultimately 12 brain surgeries and tons of meds etc. (I always thank the healthy folk whose insurance premiums paid for my care. Now that I no longer get much treatment, primarily meds, my premiums are paid for the others who are sick and have BC/BS..
    Thank goodness for my insurance.
    David I sure hope you don’t get Tn, cancer, heart attack etc. If it is something that comes on quickly you will not be able to get insurance before you have to be in hospital etc. The good thing is under the ACA if you do develop say heart disease you cannot be denied because it is then a pre existing condition.

    1. leejcaroll wrote: “it’s certainly incorrect to claim, as some Republicans have, that people are losing insurance coverage. Instead, in virtually all cases, it’s being replaced with probably better (and possibly more expensive) insurance.”

      No, the Republicans are telling the truth and the Democrats are lying, with our President leading the way. They created a grandfather clause so they could provide the basis for their lie, that if you already have insurance that you like, you can keep it. The truth is that a change to the deductible, co-pay, or benefits would cause the grandfather clause to be nullified and the policy could no longer be purchased. Such changes to policies are done routinely because insurance companies rely upon statistics to stay operational. The result is that millions of people have their insurance policies cancelled. Now the President and Democrats provide spin to the situation by saying they are being transitioned to another insurance plan under the ACA requirements. Problem is that these millions of people who have been cancelled cannot sign up for new insurance because of computer glitches. They say you can call in by phone and sign up manually, but when people have tried to do that, they are told the computer system is down for maintenance and they will have to try again later.

      So when President Obama said people who liked their plans can keep them, that was a lie. He knew that policies would change in the same routine way that they always have, and so they would have to cancel these policies and create new ones that are in line with his vision of what health care should be. The truth is that only about 20% of people are projected to be able to keep their existing insurance plan.

  15. Larry,

    What was the name of that other Mass Murder that would tell the young gals just to relax and get in his van?

  16. “Some people have such pitiful, and cheap, insurance policies that they don’t meet the ACA’s guidelines.”

    Doesn’t matter Nal, Obama told everyone specifically and plainly that “if you like your plan, you will keep your plan.” Doesn’t matter how “bad” or “under-insured” they were. If they LIKED their plan, they were promised they could KEEP it.

    Here is Obama on many occasioions telling everyone, “If you like your plans and doctors, you can keep them”. He even said it AFTER the bill became law!


    “It’s like a car salesman telling a customer their 2010 Toyota Camry needs to be replaced and sending them a bill for a 2013 Toyota Avalon when a 2013 Camry will meet their needs.”

    WTF?? Obama NEVER told anyone before OR after the bill was passed that ANYONE needed to replace their plans. They were told they could KEEP it. So, your analogy is based on a lie from the get-go.

    Here’s a more accurate analogy of what ACTUALLY happened:

    “It’s like a car salesman telling everyone they could keep their cars if they liked them, also telling them that they would never take anything away from them. Then, contrary to what they said, they went to that person’s individual house and told them they HAD to buy this new car, regardless if they needed it, wanted it or could afford it—-and also telling them they would be fined if they didnt buy it”

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