A magnificent example of crony capitalism at work
October 23, 2013
Far too many Americans still believe the myth that the president of the United States is in charge of the government and knows when things go wrong. The myth was trounced this week after the Health and Human Services boss, Kathleen Sebelius, went before the camera with CNN’s Sanjay Gupta.
Gutpa asked Sebelius when Obama first learned of the massive problems with the so-called Affordable Care website. She said he knew about the problems “the first couple of days” after the site went live October 1.
“But not before that?” Gupta asked.
“No, sir,” Sebelius responded.
“We’re not at all satisfied with the workings of the website,” Sebelius said. “We want it to be smooth and easy and let consumers’ compare plans.”
Smooth and easy, however, are anathema when it comes to pretty much everything the government does short of blowing up small nations and killing school children with high-tech cruise missiles and drones.
In the real world where careless mistakes can sink a business, new websites are routinely beta tested. Websites are sent outside companies for real-world exposure and testing before they are presented to the public.
The government performed a beta test, of sorts, prior to rolling out the Obamacare website. Upon discovering that it was not ready for primetime – it broke after several hundred people attempted to use it simultaneously – they pushed the site live with disastrous result. HealthCare.gov – an oxymoron if ever there was one – froze up shortly after midnight on October 1 when 2,000 users tried to use it.
In the business world, an inept and clueless boss like Kathleen Sebelius would be told to clean out her desk in the wake of such an expensive disaster. But because she is a high level government bureaucrat and a dedicated Obama apparatchik, chances are remote that she will lose her job.
It is said Obamacare has all the charm and effectiveness of a Soviet bread market.
Obama’s “ACA will in fact create a ‘market.’ But the market will be a federally controlled and federally regulated oligopoly and will therefore resemble the Soviet Union bread market,” writes Bill Butler. “Government will determine who is an authorized provider and will therefore determine (and therefore limit) supply. Government will also determine who is an authorized payer (only authorized insurers and the government itself through Medicare and Medicaid) and therefore limit ‘demand.’”
Missed in all the criticism of Obamacare and the hardly surprising sinking of its flagship website is the fact that the whole thing is designed to fail. It is a magnificent example of crony capitalism at work. Ross Douthat cites Jonathan Cohn in, of all places, the New York Times:
The system’s sustainability depends on getting enough healthy people to sign up, he pointed out, and if they don’t then insurers “will have to raise everyone’s premiums,” which “could create what actuaries call a ‘death spiral’: Rising premiums prompt people to drop out, causing premiums to increase even more.”
Out of the fog surrounding the botching of HealthCare.gov appears the real reason for the crash and burn of the website in the microcosm and the ultimate failure of project Obamacare in the macrocosm: it will raise profits hand-over-fist for transnational insurance corporations. This is the reason Obamacare was created – not to take care of the health of the people, but to foist yet another fleecing upon them, one enforced at gunpoint by the IRS expropriation agency.
This is fascism at its most advanced stage. As Mussolini noted before the partisans strung him up, fascism is the merging of the state and corporations. Thus Obamacare is fascism writ large.