Andy Capp Nation: Incentivized to stay on the dole

It pays to work, but it just might pay more to go on the dole permanently, especially in Nevada.

Perhaps, that is one reason Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation.

Andy Capp on the dole and the pint.

The Cato Institute has compiled a 52-page report titled “The Work vs. Welfare Trade-Off: 2013.” It details state by state what one can be paid for working and from the panoply of welfare benefits, if one were take adavantage of everything from food stamps, to housing assistance to Medicaid to tax credits. Cato’s Michael Tanner and Charles Hughes calculate welfare currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states.

The incentive to choose the dole over work is even higher since the Obama administration told states they could waive work requirements contained in a 1996 law signed by Bill Clinton.

Cato’s analysis found that in Nevada — where the minimum wage of $8.25 an hour is a dollar higher than the federal minimum — a person on welfare could rake in the equivalent of $14.34 an hour, the 14th highest in the nation. A Nevadan drawing a full boat of welfare benefits could fetch 91.3 of the state’s median wage, not the minimum that a low skill person could expect, but the median of all those employed, the 15th highest in the nation.

The residents of eight states can get paid more than 100 percent of those states’ median income.

Nevada’s welfare benefits puts one at 160.8 percent of the poverty level. Only eight states have welfare benefits that leave someone at less than 100 percent of the poverty level.

Thanks to Cato’s Dan Mitchell for the heads up on the report.

What one could get paid per hour drawing all available welfare benefits.

What one could get paid per hour drawing all available welfare benefits.

Welfare as a percent of media income.

Welfare as a percent of media income.

156 comments on “Andy Capp Nation: Incentivized to stay on the dole

  1. nyp says:

    So that leads to the obvious question: in reality, how many people in Nevada actually qualify for the “full boat of welfare benefits.”

  2. Maybe we need to hire more “navigators.”


  3. nyp says:

    One would think that the question of whether anyone is actually receiving these hypothetical total benefits would be very relevant to the question of whether we are actually an “Andy Capp nation.”

    Of course, it could be that people on Medicaid are just a bunch of lazy scroungers as Mr. Mitchell seems to believe. I don’t see it like that.

  4. Milty says:

    This is proof that we need to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour as Seattle is considering doing. That way there will be an incentive for people to go to work instead of being a bunch of lazy scroungers on the dole.

    Right, Nyp?

  5. Milty says:

    On a related note, a column in “The American Prospect” says that food stamp fraud is no big deal, so quit complaining about it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I remember somebody saying a long time ago, “Show me a woman who actually gets all the benefits that are theoretically coming to you, and I’ll show you a woman who could run General Motors.”

  7. Steve says:

    Mama Might Be Better Off Dead: The Failure of Health Care in Urban America by Laurie Kaye Abraham.

    “This book reveals what health care policies crafted in Washington, D. C. or state capitals look like when they hit the street. It shows how Medicaid and Medicare work and don’t work, the Catch-22s of hospital financing in the inner city, the racial politics of organ transplants, the failure of childhood immunization programs, the vexed issues of individual responsibility and institutional paternalism. One observer puts it this way: “Show me the poor woman who finds a way to get everything she’s entitled to in the system, and I’ll show you a woman who could run General Motors.”

    Hmm,,, sounds like support for more government intervention? Maybe not. Don’t judge it by its title.

  8. Rincon says:

    The answers are fairly simple. Why our media and voters fail to demand them and why our politicians refuse to consider them is beyond me. If stupidity was gold, we would have no debt.

  9. Milty says:

    And what might these simple solutions be, Rincon?

  10. Steve says:

    You missed it Milty. Rincon said we should just turn stupidity into gold! :mrgreen:

  11. Milty says:

    If we turn stupidity into gold, then gold would be so plentiful that it would become worthless. It would give a totally different meaning to Ron Paul’s advocacy of a return to the gold standard.

  12. Steve says:

    Yeah, the Spanish actually tried it with silver.

  13. Rincon says:

    There goes my alchemy experiment. My dream of turning stupidity into gold is shattered!

    My simple solution: People deserve food, shelter, and reasonable medical care. These should be provided to those who cannot provide for themselves under the condition that they be made to work for it.

  14. Athos says:

    check out Dubai, Rinnie. The problem with your idea of what people “deserve” has to paid by someone. What you’re describing used to be called slavery.

  15. Rincon says:

    Re: Dubai – “The BBC has reported that “local newspapers often carry stories of construction workers allegedly not being paid for months on end. They are not allowed to move jobs and if they leave the country to go home they will almost certainly lose the money they say they are owed.”[9] Additionally, some of the workers have allegedly been forced to give up their passports upon entering Dubai, making it difficult to return home.”

    This sounds nothing like my proposal.

    The alternatives here in the U.S. are to continue paying them for doing nothing, paying them to work, or not paying anything and deny them food, shelter and medical care. Which one do you prefer, Athos?

  16. Milty says:

    Are you talking about “workfare,” Rincon?

  17. Athos says:

    False choices,Rinnie. No one is denying them anything. They have the same opportunity to food, shelter, and medical as you or me. Why is that so hard for liberals to understand?

  18. nyp says:

    The estimable Center on Budget & Policy Priorities looked into the report that Mr. Mitchell cites as support for his argument that welfare is more attractive than work, and it discovered something very interesting. The report assumes that all poor families in which the parents are not working are eligible for all possible benefits — prenatal nutritin, school lunches, SNAP, Medicaid, etc. It also assumes that if a parent in a poor family works, the family doe not receive any form of assistance other than tax credits Both assumptions are wrong. That is why the report is meaningless.

    For example, 86% of poor kids receiving Medicaid or CHIP coverage are in working families.

    In 2011, 86 percent of low-income children receiving health coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) were in working families. And for every 100 poor families, less than a third receive cash grants. And only 16% of families receiving cash grants also receive housing assistance.

    So the report is worthless, and Mr. Mitchell’s conclusions are wrong.

  19. nyp says:

    Hey Athos – that time when you went without health insurance and got very sick — how much were the medical bills that you defaulted on?

  20. The report clearly stated that was the max and not all get all benefits.

  21. Nyp says:

    In other words, we really don’t know if there are any Andy Capps at all.

    Much less “a nation.”

  22. There are more now than before.

    From R-J:

    The Douglas County lawmaker said that when he was running for election he spoke to a man who was looking for work. Settelmeyer mentioned to him that he had just talked to a pizza restaurant owner who was looking to hire someone at $9.75 an hour.

    “The guy said he needed at least $15 to $18 an hour to go to work,” Settelmeyer said. “He said he was making $10 an hour by sitting on his butt.”


  23. Milty says:

    The bad part is that the longer you’re unemployed, the more difficult it is to find a job.

    When a person turns down a job because he’s making $400/week on unemployment, he’s only looking at today, not the future when his benefits run out.

  24. Nyp says:

    Never let data spoil a.good anonymous anecdote.

  25. Milty says:

    So in other words, Nyp, you’re saying that if a person is making $400/week on unemployment, is offered a job that pays $9.75/hour, the reasonable thing for him to think is, “$400/week is the equivalent of $10/hour for a 40 hour week, and I’m getting paid this amount to do nothing, and now someone has offered a job that will pay me $390/week if I work a full 40 hours. Sounds like a great deal, I’m gonna take that offer!”

    Is that the thought process you believe these people are going thru when they’re on unemployment and receive a job offer?

  26. nyp says:

    Good point. Let’s eliminate unemployment insurance.

  27. Milty says:

    Another anecdote for you, Nyp: I occasionally interview someone for a job who comes in with the attitude, “I don’t want this job, but I have to show the state that I’m making an effort to find work or I’ll lose my unemployment benefits.” The person then proceeds to say things during the interview that he/she knows will cause me to not want to hire him/her.

    I’ve been tempted on a couple of occasions to offer one of these people a job to see what happens, but there’s too much risk involved.

  28. Nyp says:

    Heck of an anecdote.

  29. Milty says:

    Do you have a better one, Nyp?

  30. Milty says:

    Going back to Mr. Mitchell’s anecdote about the gentleman who wouldn’t take the pizza job because he’s making more on unemployment (the anecdote that Nyp doesn’t believe):

    The attached posting claims that the job growth we’ve seen over the past two years have been at the ends of the income spectrum, with lower job growth for jobs with salaries in the middle range.

    If this job polarization scenario is correct, the gentleman who turned down the pizza job is in a situation where pizza jobs are about all he’s going to be offered unless he figures out a way to qualify himself for jobs at the higher end of the income spectrum.

  31. Rincon says:

    Workfare is pretty close, Milty.

    Am I correct in assuming that your choice is to let ’em rot if they can’t get a job Athos?

  32. Milty says:

    Rincon: Regarding the example of the guy who turned down the pizza job, if his unemployment benefits were cut off so that he had to take the pizza job, how would that be different from workfare? Other than the government involvement?

  33. Steve says:

    I say make him take the pizza job at 390 a week and pay him the difference in unemployment money. If he refuses the pizza job the unemployment is cut off.

    It’s not far from current unemployment law. If fitting work is refused, benefits end. By covering the difference we accomplish both. Then the only real job requirement would be one that comes close the skills (if any) the unemployed person possesses.

    This is not far from Rincon’s preference. I simply add the “foot in ass” encouragement.

  34. Rincon says:

    I like the “foot in ass encouragement”. Can I borrow the term? Even if there’s no job available, he should put in his time. No watching TV and drinking beer while the rest of us are working.

  35. Steve says:

    In 5 months I will be able to be extremely detailed in a discussion such as this.

  36. Athos says:

    Rinny, that’s exactly what I’m saying. No work, no eat. Or better yet, “Fly little bird, it’s time to leave the nest”.

  37. Rincon says:

    My system also says no work, no eat. The difference is that I would be sure that everyone had an opportunity to work. You seem to be assuming that if motivated, 100% will find work, which is ludicrous…but I suppose you don’t make that assumption. If so, one must conclude that seeing children (and adults) dying from malnutrition wouldn’t bother you. Which is it?

  38. Athos says:

    Always with the false choices, petey. It’s a shame you liberals have such a problem with reality. and virtue. and God. and self reliance….

  39. Athos says:

    BTW, when are you moving to Africa, Mexico, India, etc. to help feed those starving people?

  40. Nyp says:

    Athos: aren’t you kind of the very last person to be preaching the value of “self-reliance”?

  41. Athos says:

    You should try it yourself, petey. If a delusional liberal ( you ) can start preaching self reliance, our country just might have a chance!

  42. nyp says:

    I am very much in favor of self-reliance. The individual responsibility requirement is at the heart of ObamaCare.

  43. Milty says:

    Is government mandated self-reliance similar to government mandated charity and government mandated volunteerism?

  44. Nyp says:

    I would say it is kind of like government-mandated auto insurance.

    But- maybe you have a point, the extent it is like the special tax break for expenditures on charitable causes.

  45. Milty says:

    Thanks for pointing out that “the special tax break for expenditures on charitable causes” qualifies as government mandated charity, Nyp. I had no idea the government was compelling me to make those charitable contributions.

  46. Rincon says:

    An anecdote: I have a soccer buddy who has a master’s degree in animal science and has been out of a job for two years. He used to work for a pharmaceutical company. When he found tough sledding looking for work, he attended and graduated a cooking school so that he could be a chef for awhile to make ends meet. He worked in a restaurant that eventually went out of business and hasn’t been able to get another job since. He’s been trying to network with the guys on the team, who have hired him for a few odd jobs. He appears to be hustling for work to no avail. Somehow, your adage of “Fly little bird, it’s time to leave the nest” sounds cynical when applied to this guy.

  47. Steve says:

    I wish it was like ” government-mandated auto insurance”! That is all under state control and the feds have nothing to do with it.

    ACA is nothing like ” government-mandated auto insurance”

  48. Nyp says:

    You obviously have not yet been to

    You should check it out!

  49. Athos says:

    So what’s your solution, Rinny? You want the Fed to print up more Monopoly money, and give it to your friend and just let our kids pay for it, later? Oh wait. That’s already been done, hasn’t it? In fact, the Fed hasn’t stopped printing funny money ( QE infinity)! Repeal ZeroCare, slash fed spending, in short, fire DC as God, and maybe them your buddy can get work.

  50. Rincon says:

    Step one is to claw the extra 15% of GNP that the rich have garnered in the last 30 years and get it back into the hands of the middle and lower classes. Having them pay their fair share of taxes would be a good start. Step two is to get off foreign oil and quit paying for trillion dollar wars of choice. Step three is to give this guy enough to eat, but nothing to the cheaters.

  51. nyp says:

    But Athos: what are you going to do the next time you or your kids get very sick and you don’t have health insurance?
    Go bankrupt again and stick others with the expense?

  52. “individual responsibility”? The heart of ObamaCare is that no one must be responsible for himself and plan and save and buy insurance before becoming ill, everyone one else must pay.

  53. Well said, Milty.

    “Is government mandated self-reliance similar to government mandated charity and government mandated volunteerism?”

  54. nyp says:

    Mr. Mitchell –
    1. what should we do with people like Athos who don’t purchase health insurance, then get terribly sick or get into terrible accidents? Should we let them bleed out on the steps outside the emergency room?
    2. The government gives a special tax break to anyone who decided to spend money helping out a recognized charity. Why is that different from ObamaCare, which gives a special tax break to anyone who participates in a recognized health insurance plan?

  55. nyp says:

    Mr. Mitchell – you must not have been following the healthcare reform debates over the past four years. The “heart of ObamaCare” is precisely that “one must be responsible for himself and plan and save and buy insurance before becoming ill.” If you don’t, you suffer a tax disadvantage. If you do, you get a tax break.

  56. Steve says:

    “You obviously have not yet been to”

    Yes I have. Checked out the calculator and the disclaimer its not accurate yet cause the whole thing is not ready cause the feds can’t get their crap in one bucket.

    Show me the ” government-mandated auto insurance.” exchange!

    ACA is nothing like ” government-mandated auto insurance.”

  57. nyp says:

    1. looks pretty helpful to me. If you don’t have insurance through your employer or through Medicare you should be able to use it to get quality policies for your family starting October 1. Make sure you sign up fo email notifications?

    2. There is no current “government madated auto insurance exchange” because existing government auto insurance mandates have worked so well that there is no current need for the government to run an online marketplace for auto insurance. But the government auto insurance mandate has been in place for many, many decades. Can you imagine if we didn’t require people to have auto insurance??
    Someday we will be just as incredulous about the idea of people like Athos not having health insurance.

  58. Steve says:

    ” government-mandated auto insurance.” is a state law.

    ACA is nothing like ” government-mandated auto insurance.”

  59. nyp says:

    So you would be fine if the ObamaCare individual responsiblity requirement was broken into 50 little pieces. I don’t think that would be a good idea, but at least we both agree that there is nothing wrong with requiring people to have health insurance coverage, so long as we make sure that everyone has the means to obtain it!

    In the meantime, if you are looking for healthcare coverage for your family, please keep an open mind and visit the when its marketplace opens on October 1.

  60. Steve says:

    You SAID auto insurance works well!

    “individual responsiblity requirement was broken into 50 little pieces”

    That is the literal definition of Auto Insurance!

  61. Athos says:

    petey and rinny, aren’t you fellas clever! So petey, you would be perfectly content to allow our national debt to run to $100 trillion, as long as everyone gets all the things they need and want?

    And you have no problem with having a faceless bureaucrat dictating what you are to do with your life, as long as your elected official appointed him? Is this because you are too stupid to take care of yourself, or does it only apply to “other people”?

  62. Athos says:

    You know what’s really funny, petey? My parents didn’t pay because they were under the assumption that the State would pay for my medical emergency. But I didn’t qualify for welfare because I collected too much unemployment pay, the month before!

    Oh, if only I had known the ins and outs of our benevolent welfare system, LBJ’s programs would have prevented my future bankruptcy. (but I’m sure your faceless bureaucrat, known as “the man behind the curtain” can fix all that, huh, petey?)

    Øcare has NOTHING to do with personal responsibility EXCEPT for the well connected friends of zerø to get personally RICH!

    Is that you, Rinny? or how about you, petey, you getting rich on zerocare??

  63. Nyp says:

    Athos – good thing that under ObamaCare people like you will have health insurance and will not lay your hospital bill on the shoulders of the the taxpayers.

  64. Athos says:

    Under ZeroCare, petey, the taxpayers pay for all. I thought you said you read the bill?

  65. Athos says:

    petey and rinny, do you agree with the Nevada AFL-CIO?? (they’re the group that got out the vote wholly supporting Zerø man and of course, Harry THE CROOK)

    They passed a resolution declaring that “the unintended consequences of the ACA will lead to the destruction of the 40-hour work week.” Tell me this petey: why would affordable health care reduce employment?? And what up with all those companies that get waivers from Øcare??

    And why does Ø keep postponing the date of implementation of his own bill? (can he really do that, constitutionally? or does the Constitution matter in this regime??)

    Here’s hoping a couple of smart liberals (like you two) could shed a little light on some rather obvious realities

  66. Nyp says:

    Just think -only 33 days until the ObamaCare-apalypse!!

  67. Rincon says:

    I’m not a Liberal. I’m definitely a Moderate. I am, however, far more liberal than you.

    Obamacare will be no worse in the medium term than the previous system, but politicians, Democrat or Republican, aren’t intewrested in creating a better system. They merely repay favors to those that fund them. That explains for example, why neither party has atempted to do what a large majority of the people support – removing employers from the health care morass.

  68. Winston Smith says:

    The only difference between the current president and many past ones is that Obama is more consistent in stomping the Constitution after paying lip service to it. At least before we knew that there was an outside chance the president might have some respect for the Law of the Land…not so with this one.

    War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength

  69. Athos says:

    Rinny, what in the world are you talking about?

  70. Milty says:

    “That explains for example, why neither party has atempted to do what a large majority of the people support – removing employers from the health care morass.”

    Not only did Obamacare not remove employers from the health care morass, it pulled them further into this moras by requiring them to provide insurance for their full time employees.

  71. Rincon says:

    The need for employers to be involved in health care disappeared 50 years ago, but neither party has shown any interest in correcting it. It distorts and weakens our economy, costs a great deal of money, and makes a lot of people miserable. The best explanation I can find is that there are lots of powerful people that make a lot of money just the way it is and don’t want it changed. These people donate to campaigns. It’s only an example. There are many others.

  72. Milty says:

    But do you remember why employers started giving their employees health benefits, Rincon? It was in response to another government program.

  73. You are so right, Rincon.

  74. nyp says:

    You are welcome to propose the removal of the tax-favored treatment of employer-sponsored health plans. But that is a far, far more radical step than anything set forth in ObamaCare, which basically preserves the current system, puts more people into the risk pool, and adds government support so more individuals can purchase decent insurance in the private market. But you need to figure out what what would replace employer-sponsored plans, and, in doing so, you need to explain how your proposal (a) would avoid adverse selection by insurers; (b) would provide insurance coverage for as many people as ObamCare provides; (c) would accomplish the cost savings that large group policies inherent have over individual policies;and (d) would be financed.

    Only one Republican tried to come up with an actual plan (as opposed to op-ed style blovations). That Republican was Bob Bennett of Utah, who collaborated with Ron Wyden on a plan to eliminate the employer tax exemption for healthcare.

    For his pains he was drummed out of office by the Tea Party.

  75. Steve says:

    And ACA amps it up. They’re turning the volume up to 11 and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
    The whole thing is a Health Insurance company support law.
    Nyp was wrong about investing in PROVIDER stock. Invest in INSURANCE Company stock.

  76. nyp says:

    1. I don’t think I ever said one should invest in “providers”. Hospitals and doctor groups may get squeezed — as well they should be. But I would definitely put money into health insurers, Pharma, and medical device manufacturers. They will do quite well.
    2. ObamaCare does support the concept of employer-sponsored coverage in the sense that it will eventually penalize larger employers that do not provide coverage for their employees. But it also weakens the employer-coverage model by penalizing wasteful “cadillac plans.”
    3. It is ironic that legislation that has been been described as a form of communism that will destroy the American capitalistic system is now attacked because it is too good for large free-market insurance companies.

  77. Steve says:

    Picking the “winners” is not capitalism.

  78. I think that is called fascism.

  79. nyp says:

    Actually, “picking the winners” is not fascism. That is crazy.

    And nothing in ObamaCare “picks winners”. But any important social policy helps some groups and may hurt others. President Bush’s extension of Medicare to cover prescription drugs was obviously good for the pharmaceutical industry. Was that “fascism”? President Clinton’s crime-control legislation created a boom for companies that supply law enforcement. Was that “fascism”? Free trade agreements such as NAFTA help some industries and hurt others? Is that fascism?

  80. Steve says:

    Certainly not capitalism.

  81. nyp says:

    Correct. It is government, not capitalism. One of the functions of government is to evaluate those situations in which unfettered free markets do not lead to the very best results for society. For example, unfettered health insurance does not work for old people because no insurance company would be crazy enough to issue a health insurance policy to a 70-eyar old. That’s why we have Medicare. One effect of Medicare is to provide more money to health care providers. I suppose that “isn’t capitalism.” But, who cares?

  82. Yes, von Mises would not agree with the wisdom of central planners.

  83. nyp says:

    You know who would agree, however? Hayek:
    ” To prohibit the use of certain poisonous substances or to require special precautions in their use, to limit working hours or to require certain sanitary arrangements, is fully compatible with the preservation of competition. The only question here is whether in the particular instance the advantages gained are greater than the social costs which they impose. Nor is the preservation of competition incompatible with an extensive system of social services.”

  84. nyp says:

    Oh, and here is Hayek’s paen to ObamCare:
    “There is no reason why, in a society which has reached the general level of wealth ours has, the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom; that is: some minimum of food, shelter and clothing, sufficient to preserve health. Nor is there any reason why the state should not help to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance in providing for those common hazards of life against which few can make adequate provision.”

    I don’t think much of Hayek’s discredited economic theories, but I’m pleased that he endorsed the need for a comprehensive system of social insurance.

  85. Winston Smith says:

    “Universal legal plunder” – Term from Frederic Bastiat describing government punishing one segment (special interest group) of society in order to reward another, over and over again, ad infinitum, until everything is even, which it never is.

    “Fascism (or Corporatism)” – Government controlling the economy through taxation, licensing and regulation, favoring one industry/corporation, and then another, ad infinitum, until everything is even, which it never is.

  86. Winston Smith says:

    Oh, I forgot…

    War is Peace (especially in Syria); Freedom is Slavery (especially in the U.S.A.); Ignorance is Strength (especially with the Left)

  87. nyp says:

    That is a bogus description of fascism.

  88. Milty says:

    “Actually, ‘picking the winners’ is not fascism.”

    Picking winners and losers falls under “industrial policy.” It’s a great system, look what it’s done for Japan’s economy.

    Nyp’s right, “This is crazy.”

  89. Winston Smith says:

    Which part is bogus, my summation or the link?

    From American Heritage Dictionary:

    fas·cism (f²sh“¹z”…m) n. 1. Often Fascism.a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism. b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government. 2. Oppressive, dictatorial control. [Italian fascismo, from fascio, group, from Late Latin fascium, neuter of Latin fascis, bundle.] –fas·cis“tic (f…-sh¹s“t¹k) adj.

  90. nyp says:

    There is almost no overlap between the first definition you offered and the second. But it makes sense that you believe the first definition, since you believe that America is already a fascist society and that the US government is so satanically evil that it staged the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

  91. I suspect he’d agree “the social costs which they impose” are too great.

  92. Winston Smith says:

    “almost no overlap”…

    In AHD’s definition, “stringent socioeconomic controls” is the end, the rest is just the means. And my definition is the methodology used to enact those controls.

    And yes, our nation has been traveling the fascism road for decades, at least since 1933. And if you want to get into 9/11 (again), I have only two words for you: WTC Seven.

  93. Steve says:

    If ACA is like government mandated auto liability insurance then why am I forced to use the Nevada Exchange? Why am I prohibited from using any exchange I want? I can buy auto insurance from any company I want why not health insurance?

  94. Athos says:

    Back to Zerøcare: Why have 1700 entities been granted a waiver (Treasury Department Union workers included!) from such a wonderful program, petey?

    And the argument against big government is the people chosen to make decisions for all. Who died and left them God??

  95. nyp says:

    Who is forcing you to use No one. If you don’t get insurance from your employer, you can get it from any Nevada insurer that you wish, whether or not it is on healthlink. The online marketplace simply makes it easier to comparison shop among plans. Kind of like buying flights and hotels on But you aren’t required to use it.

    If you want to see how it works in action, take a look that the version Mitt Romney set up:

  96. nyp says:

    Athos: no one has been granted a “waiver” from ObamaCare. You have been misinformed – from watching too much Fox news, no doubt.

  97. Steve says:

    Why am I forced to get health insurance only from a company in Nevada? I can buy auto insurance from any company I choose, why am I limited to companies in Nevada for health insurance?
    For instance according to the state of New York the premiums are going to be better then premiums in Nevada. I can get my auto insurance from a company in New York, why am I not allowed to shop for health insurance from companies in New York? I already looked at the Massachusetts health care site. I grew up in the largest town in the country and I still have family in the state. I am not allowed buy health insurance from any companies in Massachusetts, maybe I could get better premiums there, why am I not allowed to buy from companies in Massachusetts?

  98. Milty says:

    So McDonald’s never got a waiver?

  99. nyp says:

    Nope. No waivers.
    Those union goons at McDonalds Corp, together with other obvious long-time Obama supporters such as Burger King and UPS, were permitted to continue their use of “mini-med” health insurance plans for their low-paid workers through the end of 2013. That is because even though those plans are truely lousy health care plans, the Administration wanted to ensure that employees of those companies were not let without any insurance at all during the gap period between the enactment of ObamaCare in 2011 and the opening of the insurance marketplaces at the end of 2013. If that were to happen, workers and their families would have not health insurance, not even the crappy, inadequate minimed plans they currently have
    Oh – and the extensions were specifically authorized by the healthreform law

    To go from that short-term grace period on behalf of low-wage employee plans to a claim that “1700 entities have been granted a waiver” from ObamaCare is idiotic.
    Although not as idiotic as Winston Smith’s post.

  100. Milty says:

    Well, the HHS website used the word “waiver” six times in the news release cited below, so thank you, Nyp for pointing out the idiocy of our Department of HHS.

  101. Steve says:

    ACA is NOT “like government mandated auto insurance”

  102. nyp says:

    1. Yes, it is indeed like government-mandated auto insurance.
    2. You ask: “Why am I forced to get health insurance only from a company in Nevada? I can buy auto insurance from any company I choose, why am I limited to companies in Nevada for health insurance?” Your complaint is not with ObamaCare. Restrictions on purchases of unregulated out-of-state policies are part of the existing system. Blame federalism, not OblamaCare. If you want to be able to buy insurance from a company in American Samoa, ask your state legislators to pass a law permitting you to do so.
    3. In any event, the idea of permitting health insurance purchases across state lines under the existing system is a truely terrible idea. It would create a “race to the bottom” in which the state with the most lax consumer protections would end up controlling the entire health insurance market. And it would lead to an actuarial death spiral that would crash the entire health system. If young healthy males could buy super-cheap plans from an insurer in Guam that didn’t have to include coverage for pregnancy care or prostate cancer, then insurance plans in Nevada would find their costs going through the roof becase their population of insured would be skewed towards women of child-bearing years and old dudes with a history of cancer. That would cause them to jack up premiums, which would, in turn, cause more people to flee to the American Samoa insurer whose plan didn’t cover pregnancy or prostate cancer. And that, in turn, would kill the Nevada insurer.

    It is a terrible idea.

  103. That’s the reason for the Commerce Clause.

  104. nyp says:

    By the way — if you want to purchase auto insurance from an insurer in Massachusetts, the insurer must comply with Nevada state regulations intended to protects the citizens of Nevada.

    So your argument fails even on its own terms.

  105. nyp says:

    The commerce clause does not prohibit states from enacting regulations to protect their citizens.

  106. Steve says:

    You said ACA is like “government mandated auto insurance” your own statements above now show ACA is in no way like “government mandated auto insurance”

    Also I just got done saying I can (and do) obtain my auto insurance from out of state. I am not allowed to do so under ACA! Even as you just showed us we could get lower premiums if we could have real nationwide competition in the health insurance industry!

    Your gyroscope is wobbling. The spin is getting weak.

  107. Rincon says:

    Boy, you guys have been busy! I think nyp is still on track with his statement, albiet with some modification. The requirement to buy one’s own health isn’t much different from the requirement to buy auto insurance. The details differ, but the basic idea is the same.

    Allowing purchase of health insurance from out of state may be reasonable with a caveat: As nyp said, the insurance must fulfill the legal requirements in both states. A minimum federal requirement, as with building codes, isn’t a bad idea either.

  108. Nyp says:

    ObamaCare is like auto insurance.

  109. Steve says:

    Rincon gets it.

    Nyp remains blinded by his Ø-bot illness.

    Auto insurance is state mandated, in this respect it is similar only to Massachusetts health insurance mandate. If each state were to make their own laws in this regard I would have no issues.
    Additionally if we could actually buy health insurance as we currently do with auto insurance I would have no issues.

    Sadly ACA is EXACTLY opposite from Auto insurance. ACA is federally mandated Auto insurance is not. ACA is limited to state borders while auto insurance is not.

    ACA is not in any way shape or form like “government mandated auto insurance”.

  110. nyp says:

    Ah. So, unlike Thomas Mitchell and Athos and the conservative Id you have no real problem with the individual responsibility mandate, and do not believe that it is bolshevick plot to deprive us of our precious bodily fluids. You simply object to the fact that the requirement was enacted as an Act of Congress in Washington, rather than by the legislature in Carson City. You believe we should have fifty little state-wide mandates because, you know, that would be so much more efficient.
    Very well.

  111. Steve says:

    Just like (as you stated above) “government mandated automobile insurance” works so well.

    How about that, 50 little state programs in 50 different states and they work well. Not only that all of them are constitutional without twisting the whole document around and around until its found to be a tax the president said we would never have in the first place.

    Its also why I have no trouble with Massachusetts law. It is truly constitutional, no interpretation by SCOTUS required.

    IF ACA was like “government mandated automobile insurance” I would have supported it.
    Thing is one of the components of that is allowing people to buy health insurance across state lines. You make me think you have a vested interest in any number of heath insurers. Lets have some disclosure, who are you long on Nyp?

  112. nyp says:

    I don’t have stock in any health insurer, unfortunately.
    As for your idea the the health insurance problem would go away if states were stripped of their ability to regulate insurance being sold to their citizens, you have failed to refute, or even to grapple with the actuarial death spiral and regulatory capture problems described above.
    But perhaps I was not articulate enough. Quoting a CBO analysis, here is how the estimable Ezra Klein described your proposal:

    “The legislation “would reduce the price of individual health insurance coverage for people expected to have relatively low health care costs, while increasing the price of coverage for those expected to have relatively high health care costs,” CBO said. “Therefore, CBO expects that there would be an increase in the number of relatively healthy individuals, and a decrease in the number of individuals expected to have relatively high cost, who buy individual coverage.” That is to say, the legislation would not change the number of insured Americans or save much money, but it would make insurance more expensive for the sick and cheaper for the healthy, and lead to more healthy people with insurance and fewer sick people with insurance. It’s a great proposal if you don’t ever plan to be sick, and if you don’t mind finding out that your insurer doesn’t cover your illness. “

  113. Steve says:

    “As for your idea the the health insurance problem would go away if states were stripped of their ability to regulate insurance being sold to their citizens”

    I never said that. You and Ezra missed it. AGAIN.

    I repeat, IF ACA was like “government mandated auto insurance” I would have supported it. ACA is NOT. ACA is exactly opposite.

  114. Milty says:

    I wonder if Nyp and the estimable Ezra Klein are going to accuse Steve of seeming to be willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people to settle an old score.

  115. Rincon says:

    The Constitutionality is certainly debatable, but there are some situations where state mandates are impractical and this is one of them. I suspect any state that mandated compulsory insurance on its own would experience an exodus of low waged earners and then who would take care of the yard and day care duties? 🙂 I’m not saying we should scrap the Constitution, but as travel and communication have spanned greater and greater distances, some state powers become rather impractical. The failure to adopt sales tax on the Internet is another example that comes to mind.

  116. Milty says:

    Was there an exodus of low waged earners from Massachusetts after RomneyCare was enacted?

  117. Steve says:

    Milty beat me to it!

    I know from my own relatives the state of Massachusetts has not experienced a loss of low wage workers as a result of enacting the Constitutional and fully state mandated health insurance law.

    They did have some growing pains with premiums and the public began to make some real noise. the state got its act together and reigned in the insurers.
    A fast response like that will not be possible in a federal program.

    No, ACA was and is a nothing more than a health insurer support and subsidy program. ACA is nothing like a “government mandated automobile insurance” ACA is already showing its issues and its not even implemented yet.

    Senator Reid already admitted ACA is only a stepping stone. He thinks it will inevitable lead to the grail of single payer. I hope not, I hope the public learns from this nasty pile of planned obsolescence.

  118. Rincon says:

    Thank you for a needed correction. I had forgotten that the state, as with Obamacare, provides a subsidy for those below 150% of the poverty line.

    I note that despite having a health care program similar to Obamacare, Massachusetts didn’t self destruct. Are there differences with Obamacare that make a national apocalypse more likely? Obamacare does have some cost savings mechanisms that Massachusets didn’t have which, in theory at least, would make it more financially viable than Massachusetts. Nevertheless, the greatest deficiency in Obamacare is the failure to make cost savings a priority.

  119. Milty says:

    “Nevertheless, the greatest deficiency in Obamacare is the failure to make cost savings a priority.”

    In the book “Confidence Men,” the author describes the evolution of the health care plan. The initial concept was to control costs, so that once costs were brought under control health care would be more affordable for more people and universal coverage would eventually follow. Somehow that got twisted around so that universal coverage became the priority.

    Kind of like they had their own variation of the Abilene Paradox.

  120. nyp says:

    That is absurd. Universal healthcare coverage for all American families has been the most important part of the liberal agenda for decades.
    And if you think that ObamaCare isn’t filled with literally dozens of initiatives to bend the health inflation cost curve, then you obviously have not been paying attention to, among other things, the steep decline in the rate of health cost inflation since the program began to be put into effect.

    It is one of the key reasons why the federal deficit has been shrinking so rapidly.

  121. Milty says:

    Tell it to Peter Orszag, Nyp.

  122. nyp says:

    Huh? Orszag helped write ObamaCare.

  123. Milty says:

    According to a report from the Kaiser Foundation, “…about three-quarters (77%) of the recent decline in health spending growth can be explained by changes in the broader economy.”

    If the economy picks up steam, we’ll be able to see if this analysis is correct. Unfortunately, a significant economic upturn is unlikely while the present administration is in power.

  124. I don’t have to own a car.

  125. nyp says:

    For all practical purposes you do indeed have to own a car, Mr. Mitchell. Just about everyone outside of Manhattan Island has to.

  126. nyp says:

    The slowdown in healthcare spending is a topic of intense research and discussion right now. If it continues, many of our long-term fiscal problems become far more manageable. (There are, of course, no short-term federal fiscal problems.)

    The study Milty cited is one of several on the subject. Two more recent studies have concluded that the slowdown is structural, and will not go away as the economy continues to recover. The structural reasons include marketplace pressures that preceded ObamaCare and the ObamaCare itself, which contains penalties for hospitals with abnormal readmission rates and which encourages bundlee payment systems, Accountable Care Organizations, and dozens of other cost-savings ideas.

    Similarly, a study by PwC concludes: “he long-term trends suggest that as the economy improves, the cycle of runaway cost increases will be broken.”

    Regardless of how one feels about ObamaCare, everyone should hope that the “structuralists” are correct.

  127. Milty says:

    Ah yes, Nyp, back to “hope” again.

  128. nyp says:

    I do indeed believe in a place called Hope.

  129. Milty says:

    Well here’s my hope, Nyp. I hope President Obama’s not stupid enough to follow thru on his threat to bomb Syria.

  130. nyp says:

    Uh, that’s a tough one. I don’t know what to do about that.

  131. Winston Smith says:

    NYP, maybe if you and your knee-jerk supporters of “peace prize” O would realize that he’s just a tool of the FASCIST/GLOBALIST BANKSTERS, as were Clinton and the Bushes, and you’d also realize that he is a warmonger just like the rest of them, which explains all of their behavior in building the Orwellian warfare/welfare state. Wake up and smell the freedom of small government that doesn’t try to do everything to everybody, and just leaves people to govern themselves.

    But no, you won’t consider that possibility, because that would suggest a conspiracy, and there is no such thing in governments, by definition. Yep, we’ve sure learned that lesson from history.

    “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” – Barrack Obama, 2008

    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not traitor, he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their garments, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

    War is Peace (obviously!); Freedom is Slavery (no doubt!); Ignorance is Strength (Yousa!)

  132. Winston Smith says:

    “When you can put your finger on the men or groups that urge for America, the debt-supported state, the autarchial corporative state, the state bent on the socialization of investment and the bureaucratic govt of industry and society, the establishment of the institution of militarism as the great glamorous public-works project of the nation and the institution of imperialism under which it proposes to regulate and control the world, and along with all this, proposes to alter the forms of govt to approach as closely as possible the unrestrained, absolute government – then you will know you have located the authentic fascist.” -John T. Flynn (1882-1964)

  133. Winston Smith says:

    “The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.” – Theodore Roosevelt

  134. Winston Smith says:

    “Revolutions like this have happened in almost every country in Europe: similar examples are to be found in ancient Greece and ancient Rome: instances of the people losing their liberty by their own carelessness and the ambition of a few. We are cautioned…against faction and turbulence: I acknowledge that licentiousness is dangerous, and that it ought to be provided against: I acknowledge also the new form of Government may effectually prevent it: Yet, there is another thing it will as effectually do: it will oppress and ruin the people…I am not well versed in history, but I will submit to your recollection whether liberty has been destroyed most often by the licentiousness of the people or by the tyranny of rulers? I imagine, Sir, you will find the balance on the side of tyranny.” – Patrick Henry

  135. Winston Smith says:

    “In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.” – James Madison

  136. Winston Smith says:

    “I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.’ To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition.” – Thomas Jefferson

  137. Winston Smith says:

    “If [as the Federalists say] ‘the judiciary is the last resort in relation to the other departments of the government,’ … , then indeed is our Constitution a complete felo de so. … The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they may please. It should be remembered, as an axiom of eternal truth in politics, that whatever power in any government is independent, is absolute also; in theory only, at first, while the spirit of the people is up, but in practice, as fast as that relaxes. Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass. They are inherently independent of all but moral law” – Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Judge Spencer Roane, Nov. 1819

  138. Winston Smith says:

    ObamaCare is not Constitutional, and is therefore color of law, being null and void, no matter what contortions the fake conservative Roberts made to uphold it. And guess what, so are all of the mandatory auto insurance laws, since they force us to buy a service. Both are fascistic, dear NYP, whether you agree or not.

    Upton Sinclair axiom: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

  139. nyp says:

    Serves me right. Make a comment on this board and you find yourself in an argument with some guy who thinks that auto insurance requirements are “unconsitutional” and “fascist.”

  140. When is a tax not a tax? When it is a “shared responsibility payment.”

    Click to access 2013-21157_PI.pdf

    … as IRS says really 80 times, Justice Roberts.

  141. Winston Smith says:

    Yep, there I go, defending liberty and opposing oppressive government again. Dang me!

    Really, I hate to admit, but I secretly wish that government would force everyone who owned a computer to pay me once a month to come to their home and “make sure everything is OK” with it. Just for the collective good, of course.

  142. Winston Smith says:

    OK, I’ll admit it, our federal government doesn’t have the cool goose-step, doesn’t lock up Jews, Obama isn’t a dictator (though getting closer), and doesn’t employ “belligerent nationalism” (Ha!), so we must not be fascists. The fedbots just want to “make sure” that they have control over all aspects of our lives, from the light bulb we turn on to the toilet we flush, from the church we attend to the cars we drive, from the food we grow to the plants we ingest, from the local schools to the local police. And so on and so on and so on.

    What was I thinking?

    Perhaps, dear NYP, you can explain what your view of fascism is, or at least your view of what is unconstitutional, because no matter what many of us here present, you seem to never want to admit that the federal government has crossed the line. In your opinion, has it…ever?

  143. Athos says:

    petey, your new nick name shall now be “Humpty Dumpty” (with a nod to Lewis Carroll)

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.”

    Of course, this fits Ø and the Liberal/Progressive/Communist movement to a T. And since you’re just an acolyte of Ø, you’d have to rate a lower case humpty dumpty.

  144. Athos says:

    Or maybe just hump!

  145. Winston Smith says:

    Anybody up for some nice anti-war protesting? Oh wait, that’s always the Left’s job…

  146. Milty says:

    Actually, there were several people on the right who spoke out against the invasion of Iraq back in 2002-3. They were rewarded for their efforts by being denounced by National Review magazine.

    Irony of ironies, National Review founder William F. Buckley later said, “If I knew then what I know now about what kind of situation we would be in, I would have opposed the war.”

  147. Milty says:

    Rincon: Here’s a somewhat pessimistic article from The Atlantic regarding the McDonald’s strikes causes, effects, predicted outcomes. I thought you might want to read it since you’re interested in income inequality issues.

  148. Rincon says:

    Thanks Milty. The minimum wage issue is difficult for me. What I really want to see is high school graduates with some marketable skills instead of a liberal arts education.

  149. […] Cato Institute analysis found that in Nevada — where the minimum wage of $8.25 an hour is a dollar higher than the federal […]

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