RUSH: Wall Street Journal: ‘Federal Agency Flexible on McDonald’s Plan — The Obama administration said Thursday that its top health official will ‘exercise her discretion’ in enforcing a new health-law requirement, a move that could help McDonald’s Corp. and other employers from disrupting their health-care policies for hourly workers.’ Now, doesn’t this kind of put the lie to all the denials issued yesterday by the White House and McDonald’s? McDonald’s even issued a statement calling media reports about it’s health care coverage speculative and misleading. And yet the regime said yesterday its top health official will exercise her discretion in enforcing a new health law requirement. Folks, this is the mini-med plan. To me this is an example of the health care bill unraveling, because apparently now what Kathleen Sebelius — and this is in the law, at the secretary’s discretion, I don’t know in the bill it’s in there ‘at the secretary’s discretion’ so she can choose to exempt some people from the law and hold others to it.
‘The announcement Thursday followed a report in The Wall Street Journal that McDonald’s warned federal regulators it could drop its health-insurance plan for nearly 30,000 restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the health overhaul. … On Thursday, administration officials indicated they are hopeful that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be able to allow certain waivers to the requirement, but that it was too early to confirm they will. She must wait for guidance from state insurance commissioners, and the administration doesn’t expect to release the agency’s final guidance until December.’ Now, this is funny. Ms. Sebelius has no problem issuing dictates about health insurance rates which are in fact approved by state insurance commissioners, but now when she needs somebody to hide behind, she conveniently remembers that they are the ones who actually call the shots. So everything yesterday was true. McDonald’s was gonna cancel, and they can’t afford it. They’re the first of many, by the way, who aren’t going to be able to afford it.
What is supposed to happen, the design here is down the road, not just McDonald’s, but a whole lot of companies are gonna end their health care plans because they can’t afford it. And down the road these 30,000 McDonald employees then go on the federal exchange, single payer, public option. This is the design. It’s just not supposed to be happening this fast. So the thing is unraveling here right before our very eyes. That’s what you have to know about this. This is the design, just not now. This is supposed to happen after Obama’s election in 2012. That’s when all of this is supposed to hit the fan, not now. So now they’re running for the tall grass, and Sebelius is gonna hide behind the state insurance experts, regulators, and let them make the decision here so it doesn’t fall on the regime. But, you know, Allah forbid, that any of this would have happened before Obamacare was rammed through Congress. Allah forbid that this happened before the 2012 election. But it’s happening: ‘Federal Agency Flexible on McDonald’s Plan.’ So the denial yesterday I guess doesn’t mean anything.
John Hood, a little post at The Corner on National Review Online: ‘Well, it’s official: President Obama has destroyed my health plan and those of two dozen of my employees. Several media outlets are reporting this morning that Principal Financial, which sells health plans to the John Locke Foundation and nearly a million Americans, will exit the health-insurance marketplace. The company is responding to the new costs and incentives created by Obamacare, which (of course) favor large firms over smaller competitors, as the New York Times explains: ‘At the Principal Financial Group, the company’s decision reflected its assessment of its ability to compete in the environment created by the new law. ‘Now scale really matters,’ said Daniel J. Houston, a senior executive at Principal, which is headquartered in Des Moines. ‘We don’t have a significant concentration in any one market.”’
Can I translate this for you? At Principal Financial, which has just canceled the health insurance for the John Locke Foundation employees, this decision reflected its own assessment of its ability to compete in the environment created by the new law. In other words, Principal Financial said, ‘Uh, we can’t afford to stay in business under Obamacare. So we’re canceling these little plans here because we can’t afford it.’ So the employees at the John Locke Foundation are without health insurance. Now, United Health Care is reportedly gonna offer health plans to these former subscribers, including John Hood, but Hood says, ‘We have no idea what those plans will look like. As competition shrinks, they’ll certainly be more expensive and less flexible. At JLF, we had carefully designed two consumer-driven options — one based around health savings accounts and the other around health reimbursement accounts — and experienced excellent results, including several years of nearly level premiums. Now, we’ll just have to see what administration ideologues and federal bureaucrats will permit us to purchase.’
So the McDonald’s story in the Wall Street Journal yesterday and today, now John Hood’s post at The Corner, it’s unraveling. I don’t mean that it’s going away. I mean that its promises, its promises of lower cost, you get to keep your insurance, you get to keep your doctor, lower premium, it’s all unraveling a lot of sooner than it was supposed to. See, this is all supposed to happen in 2012 and after that, actually 2014 was when the bulk of this was supposed to happen. But, you see, these idiots in the Democrat Party who write these pieces of legislation have no idea about the dynamic aspects of what they do. They think everything’s very static. Okay, so you pass a law that says in 2012 and 2014 X is going to happen. Well, companies say, ‘I’m not going to wait ’til 2012 or 2014,’ and the insurers are going to say, ‘I’m gonna lose money if I do it this way, if it’s all going to be canceled on me anyway.’ So they’re just getting a head start to avoid taking any losses. And now the Democrats are running around, ‘You can’t do that.’ Kathleen Sebelius is running around, ‘You can’t opt out of the program now, you’re not supposed to do that ’til 2012 or 2014.’ They’re not saying that, but that’s unwritten.
So once again, the whole premise is unraveling here. And this is going to happen to more and more people who are gonna end up losing their health insurance, and there isn’t a public option right now for them to go to, the federal exchanges have not been created. That’s supposed to happen down the line. You see, the original plan is when this kind of thing happens, then the Obama regime is going to have a representative, maybe the president himself, ‘This is so unfortunate, we feel so bad, these rotten companies, we knew, we knew and we told you that these private sector companies would not continue to provide you health care at an affordable price or insurance. We knew it, that’s why we did this. So now we are gonna gladly step in, and we, the federal government, will insure you.’ That was the plan, set themselves up as the knights on the white horse saving the day. The problem is it’s happening two to three years sooner than it was supposed to. So now you’re gonna have a lot of people lose their health insurance, don’t know where to go to get it because there is no wonderful public option yet. The federal exchanges aren’t up and running. The regime might have to ramp up the speed at which they do this.
But it’s just frustrating, because all of this was predictable. Those of us who understand economics, free market, understand liberals and socialism and how they screw up the free market, this was all predictable. And couple that with the fact that liberals lie. So Obama says, ‘Yeah, you’re gonna keep your doctor and your premiums are gonna go down and if you like your policy you get to keep it.’ Smart money says it’s all a lie. Why? Because a Democrat said it, B, the Democrat was Obama, and C, everything he said defies economic and market reality no matter how much you wish it could be true.
RUSH: Here’s Laura in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Open Line Friday. Great to have you with us.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks for all you do.
RUSH: Thank you very, very much. You bet.
CALLER: Well, especially with the last caller, I’m a retired veteran, and I would like to contribute $5 up front to her cause. I think a lot of your listeners might do that if you put her information —
RUSH: Well, we’ve got her phone number. We can’t do any of this stuff —
RUSH: We’re on it. We’re looking into this.
CALLER: I just wanted to call and give you an update on how that health care bill that nobody knows what’s in it, how it’s affecting people in our local area.
RUSH: Don’t tell me you’re about to be kicked out of your house.
CALLER: No. We’re very blessed.
CALLER: But Representative Kathy Dahlkemper is one of the 40 that signed this health care bill —
CALLER: — with Stupak and they were the ones who were supposed to get assurances from President Obama with the executive order he signed that none of this new funding would go toward abortion.
CALLER: Well, the provision that kids under 26 can get on their parents’ health care —
CALLER: — my husband works at a local school district so I’m covered under him and we can add our 25-year-old son for another year, and I called the Blue Cross policy, and they said, ‘Well, abortion is covered, too.’ So I said, ‘Well, if I had a daughter then she would be covered with abortion?’ And she said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Well, would she have to pay anything extra, you know, because you’re supposed to separate it out with a new provision,’ and she said no, that abortion is covered and —
RUSH: Wait a minute. They said abortion wasn’t covered.
CALLER: It’s covered under my husband’s, which we didn’t know —
CALLER: — health care.
RUSH: Okay I’ve got 15 seconds. So what is the point?
CALLER: The point is these girls are now going to have abortion coverage with this new mandate. And I’m upset because I didn’t know that abortion was even covered under our bill, so I’m having the local newspaper look into it because I think a lot of taxpayers —
RUSH: Who told you there was no abortion coverage, Democrats?
CALLER: Representative Kathy Dahlkemper —
CALLER: — went on local radio and said that.
RUSH: The Democrats, they lie. I mean everybody knew abortion was going to be covered. (sigh)