Morning Report – Elizabeth Warren at the MBA conference 10/31/13

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US Dollar Index (DXY) 79.99 0.212 0.27%
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Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 106.2 -0.1  
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 105.5 0.2  
RPX Composite Real Estate Index 200.7 -0.2  
BankRate 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 4.13    

 

Markets are slightly weaker after yesterday’s insufficiently dovish FOMC statement. Initial Jobless Claims came in at 340k, more or less in line with expectations. Bonds and MBS are up. The Street was clearly leaning long going into the statement and it may have simply been a case of “sell the rumor, buy the fact.”
 
I just got back from the MBA conference in DC, and it was great to meet so many people in this business. Needless to say, conversations between different bankers centered around the new rules taking effect on Jan 1. 
 
Elizabeth Warren spoke at the conference and more or less gave the boilerplate liberal take on the crisis: “It was the bankers, affordable housing targets had nothing to do with it, etc…” However, she did address QM, and said that it needs to be strengthened, because the potential liability associated with writing non-QM loans is relatively small, and in good times, lenders can compensate for these possible losses with higher rates or fees.” Clearly she is trying to discourage non-QM loans.
 
Cue Richard Cordray, the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, who has been trying to disabuse the Street of the idea that non-QM loans are illegal. “Qualified mortgages cover the vast majority of loans made in today’s market, but they are by no means all of the mortgage market. This point is important and it should not be misunderstood. There are plenty of good loans made every years – for example loans made to a borrower with considerable other assets or whose individual circumstances are carefully assessed – that are non-QM because they do not meet the 43% debt-to-income ratio or are non eligible for purchase by the GSEs, but nontheless, are based on sound underwriting standards and routinely perform well over time.” 
 
So, contradictory guidance is coming out of the government. Maybe it is a good cop / bad cop sort of thing. But whatever it is, it is unhelpful. For the people in Washington scratching their collective heads wondering why credit is so tight? Well, there ya go…
 
Oh, and one other thing.. She is pushing for some sort of fair lending review as a condition to continued GNMA and FNMA MBS issuers. Something “clear and enforceable.” Which is really just wealth redistribution in drag. There is this fantasy among some people in Washington that there is this huge reservoir of great opportunities in CRA neighborhoods that are smart loans, but a bunch of stooges in the most competitive industry on the planet are studiously avoiding them because of some sort of latent racism. As if there is some big pile of money that people don’t want because it comes from the wrong zip code. Wall Street often gets it wrong, but it usually falls along the lines of seeing an opportunity where none really exists and not the other way around. Someone should tell these people that FICO and severities matter when pricing credit. 
 
The FOMC decided to keep interest rates unchanged and not to change the pace of asset purchases. After the government shutdown, virtually no one expected a taper at the October meeting. The market focused on the statement that the “Committee decided to await more evidence that progress will be sustained before adjusting the pace of its purchases.” In other words, QE4EVA is off the table. Bill Gross of PIMCO tweeted yesterday: “Think abt this Fed: Capitalism depends on carry. When carry (yld, risk spreads, etc) gets too low, capitalism stalls.”  Think someone is underweight duration right now?
 
Mortgage Servicing Rights (MSRs) are hot, hot hot. Agency REIT giant American Capital (AGNC) is buying Residential Credit Solutions, a mortgage servicer. By the way, AGNC’s third quarter earnings were pretty disappointing. They de-leveraged in a big way (ratio fell from 8.5x to 7.2x), and are now net short TBAs by 7.3 billion. 

83 Responses

  1. For the left it’s always 1955 and everyplace but midtown Manhatten, DC and LA is Mississippi. It’s part of their identity and it makes it easy to demonize their political opponents.

    Like

  2. Heh.

    @JayCostTWS: Obama lexicon: “substandard plan” — A health care plan you may like but your betters in D.C. have deemed insufficient for your needs.

    In all seriousness, doesn’t this paternalism offend you? If not, why not?

    Like

    • McWing:

      In all seriousness, doesn’t this paternalism offend you?

      Yes. But that the masses are generally incapable of making reasonable decisions for themselves is a fundamental premise of so much of the progressive project.

      Like

  3. The administration gets a perfect storm of the cancellation notices going out while the web site isn’t operable.

    If only the Republicans had waited a month to stage the shutdown/Obamacare fight.

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  4. From the PBS NewsHour last night:

    “The federal deficit ran $680 billion in the fiscal year that ended last month. It’s the first time the red ink has fallen below a trillion dollars in five years. Today’s report said revenues rose by 13 percent, while spending fell nearly 2.5 percent.”

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/july-dec13/newswrap_10-30.html

    Hmm. Assuming a 1:1 ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases, it looks like spending cuts are short by about 10.5 percent. Assuming 2.5 to 1 which Obama promised in 2012, means even more spending cuts are needed.

    The math probably comes out somewhat differently as spending exceeds revenues currently, but you get the point.

    Exact numbers:

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/us-budget-deficit-680b-lowest-years-20732055

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  5. Hmm. Assuming a 1:1 ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases, it looks like spending cuts are short by about 10.5 percent. Assuming 2.5 to 1 which Obama promised in 2012, means even more spending cuts are needed.

    Because you are looking at revenues and spending now. That is how the game is played. The spending cuts are back-end loaded. Always. The tax hikes are front-end loaded. Always. The spending cuts never materialize.

    I remember having a group lunch where Bob Corker was present, and he said that Democrats had rolled Republicans so many times over the years on this very issue that Republicans weren’t going to bite on it any more. And that is why you probably won’t get a “grand bargain” because the only way Republicans will go for it is if tax hikes and spending cuts happen contemporaneously, and Democrats will never go for that, unless the cuts are in defense or “corporate welfare.”

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  6. The piece on Obama’s 2.5 to 1 ratio promise also noted he was counting ongoing savings from not occupying Iraq. I.e. assuming an original baseline of a permanent level of occupation spending.

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  7. From a piece debunking a claim about losing insurance and/or being worse off under the exchanges:

    “She’s concerned that the new plans will offer smaller networks, which is probably true, though it’s not necessarily true that the new networks will exclude her favorite doctors, hospitals or prescription formularies.”

    http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-77990231/

    This is the next shoe to drop, probably in 2014. Look for a raft of stories about people losing access to their preferred doctors.

    Like

    • jnc:

      Look for a raft of stories about people losing access to their preferred doctors.

      And soon thereafter look for progressive demands that the government do something about those evil insurance companies that are preventing people from going to the doctor of their choice. Totally predictable.

      Like

  8. Thanks 52%. Wait till they start fucking with the employer provided insurance. To quote the dude from Jaws, “then you’ll wish your mother never met your father.”

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  9. or the evil doctors switching to a cash based concierge service.

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  10. Give the Republicans credit where it’s due: They have kept the issue alive until the actual provisions of the PPACA have started to be implemented so at least now there can be a real debate.

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  11. Wait till they start fucking with the employer provided insurance.

    I think this would be a good thing. Get employers out of the insurance business and get everybody onto individual plans.

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  12. I mean with the breathtakingly idiotic and immoral government requirements for what the insurance must contain.

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  13. The ensuing fucking will be epic. Coming near you next fall.

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  14. So, the Grand Canyon is pretty awesome.

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  15. I mean with the breathtakingly idiotic and immoral government requirements for what the insurance must contain.

    C’mere, McWing. I’ve got a fire extinguisher for your hair.

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    • C’mere, McWing. I’ve got a fire extinguisher for your hair.

      Yeah McWing, calm down. The experts know what is best for you and every other American, so don’t fret. Why think for yourself when you can just put your trust in the manifest competency and obviously correct judgment of Obama and his bureaucrats?

      Like

  16. the Grand Canyon is pretty awesome.

    One of my biggest mistakes: all of those years in Utah and I never went down to visit the Grand Canyon. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  17. As KS said yesterday, whatever.

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  18. Mel Watt fails to get 60 votes…. bye bye..

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  19. jnc said this over on PL:

    Now that the trade offs are known, there can be a real debate over it’s merits vs costs. How much are people who currently have insurance willing to sacrifice to cover the uninsured?

    That is the discussion that we should be having, rather this endless repetitions of “but he said people could keep their policies”! Yes, it was a stupid thing to say. Yes, it’s possible that it couldn’t have been sold without that sound bite (“You’ll be able to keep your policy unless it doesn’t meet the minimum requirements under the ACA; some of you may be surprised to find out that, while you think you’ve got a great insurance policy for $54/month, your insurance doesn’t cover diddly-squat. I’m sorry, but in order to have meaningful coverage you’re going to have to pay more. And you’re going to have to pay more since that way, when you go to an emergency room and aren’t actually covered for more than $50 worth of care, the hospital won’t have to eat the cost of your care and pass it on to other patients. Which is the situation we have now.” isn’t really a sound bite).

    The status quo ante sucks; the ACA isn’t perfect, but it’s an improvement for millions of Americans.

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    • mICH:

      The status quo ante sucks; the ACA isn’t perfect, but it’s an improvement for millions of Americans.

      And it is worse for millions of other Americans. There’s that irritating cost/benefit thing again.

      Like

  20. How can any rational citizen desire this paternalism? Serious question for supporters, why do you want a government telling you what you *must* do? How does this not offend you to your core?

    You can’t keep your insurance if you like it under Obamacare because you’re too ignorant to understand what’s good for you.

    http://thefederalist.com/2013/10/31/obamacares-ugly-authoritarian-problem/

    Why does this have to be a Federal issue?

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  21. If more suckers, er citizens lose coverage than gain coverage is The Abomination worth it?

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  22. BTW, who does not believe that The Abominations website will not result in massive identity theft?

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  23. And it is worse for millions of other Americans

    How?

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  24. They are forced to buy insurance that is either to expensive, covers things they do not need and or worse than what the already had.

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  25. My thinking on the ACA basically comes down to:

    Ray Patterson: Oh gosh. You know, I’m not much on speeches, but it’s so gratifying to… leave you wallowing in the mess you’ve made. You’re screwed, thank you, bye.

    Moe: He’s right. He ain’t much on speeches.

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  26. Fascinating.

    @NumbersMuncher: As NBC continues to spin their poll as horrible for the GOP, keep in mind GOP is only TWO points behind Oct 2010 when they won 63 seats.

    Like

    • More ways in which millions will be worse off under O-Care:

      Americans who sign up for Obamacare will be getting a big surprise if they expect to access premium health care that may have been previously covered under their personal policies. Most of the top hospitals will accept insurance from just one or two companies operating under Obamacare.

      I would like to think that Obama has done more to discredit the progressive project by foisting this fustercluck upon the nation than anything his political opposition could ever do. But I guess I am too cynical about the American electorate to really believe that. As jnc noted earlier, the American voters (or at least a majority of them) get the government they deserve.

      Like

  27. Good question.

    @allahpundit: So all the new plans are better than the old plans, but we have to force people to buy the former instead of the latter?

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  28. Nauseating.

    Gruber summarized his stats: ninety-seven per cent of Americans are either left alone or are clear winners, while three per cent are arguably losers. “We have to as a society be able to accept that,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, that’s a shame, but no law in the history of America makes everyone better off.”

    The implication is that the 3% are carrying the load for everybody else. Horseshit, higher taxes (and the resultant zero growth) are the price for this in a perfect world. In our world we get higher taxes, no growth and fewer covered.

    To these people there is no Knowledge Problem.

    http://m.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/10/obamacares-three-per-cent.html

    Like

    • Good observations from Kevin Williamson on other health care systems.

      Both Singapore and Switzerland have systems in which overall health-care spending is lower than it is in the United States but out-of-pocket health-care spending is higher. The shocking thing is this: So does practically every other country. A recent World Bank study finds that in the United States, only 20 percent of health-care spending comes in the form of out-of-pocket expenses paid by consumers. In Singapore, it is 88 percent and in Switzerland 72 percent. But even the single-payer systems of Canada and the United Kingdom feature more out-of-pocket spending by consumers, 49 percent and 53 percent respectively…

      What that means is that health care in Singapore and Switzerland is less expensive because it is more expensive.

      And the conclusion?

      Obamacare in effect outlaws traditional insurance and substitutes in its place a mandatory system of prepaid health care administered by the kind and gentle souls who run insurance companies, which is in fact in many ways similar to the mandatory health-savings accounts in Singapore — minus the property rights, wealth building, heritability, efficiency, and consumer choice. Likewise, Obamacare is in some ways similar to the Swiss system, but without the downward price pressure associated with high out-of-pocket expenses, and, as we have seen in recent weeks, also minus the competence and efficiency.

      Like

  29. I’m hearing that most of the enrollments are Medicaid anyway.

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  30. The experts know what is best for you and every other American, so don’t fret.

    So nice of you to put words in my mouth, Scott. However, they aren’t my words.

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  31. Re: The coming employer provided insurance fucking.

    “The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” wrote the administration on page 34552. All in all, more than half of employer-sponsored plans will lose their “grandfather status” and get canceled. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 156 million Americans—more than half the population—was covered by employer-sponsored insurance in 2013.

    If you like your insurance you can keep it. Period.

    Paging Mr. Dover! Paging Mr. Ben Dover!

    How many people are exposed to these problems? 60 percent of Americans have private-sector health insurance—precisely the number that Jay Carney dismissed. As to the number of people facing cancellations, 51 percent of the employer-based market plus 53.5 percent of the non-group market (the middle of the administration’s range) amounts to 93 million Americans.

    Ignore that smell of burning hair emanating from my noggin.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/31/obama-officials-in-2010-93-million-americans-will-be-unable-to-keep-their-health-plans-under-obamacare/

    Like

  32. They’ve been forced out of coverage that was best for them.

    Perhaps best for them, but not best for the rest of us when we have to pay for emergency room visits that their insurance doesn’t cover, or food stamps and welfare when they go bankrupt.

    Or not best for the rest of us because someone doesn’t want to bear part of the burden of being part of a larger society.

    Like

    • Mich:

      Perhaps best for them…

      That’s right. So if you acknowledge that ACA will have both winners and losers, then you should understand why it makes no sense to speak of ACA as simply helping people. The fact that it harms others must also be pointed out and weighed.

      …but not best for the rest of us…

      “Us”? The hubris of progressives in thinking that they can speak for what is best for everyone else never ceases to amaze me.

      Or not best for the rest of us because someone doesn’t want to bear part of the burden of being part of a larger society.

      Actually it sounds to me that you are the one who doesn’t want to bear the burden of being part of a larger society, specifically one that allows people the freedom to make their own insurance decisions. Because you object to that burden, want to make their insurance decisions legally subject to your (or your proxy’s) approval.

      Like

  33. “or food stamps and welfare when they go bankrupt.”

    there’s a much easier way to offload those costs.

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  34. Michi – told you so:

    “The more I read your posts, the more reactionary you appear. ”

    Now your journey to the dark side is complete.

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  35. Why can’t the hospitals bill the, you know, patient that incurred the cost?

    And why is having to file bankruptcy bad?

    Finally, we could let those without insurance die. It’s my favored solution to Medicare phaseout. Give recipients cash and let them do what they want. Convert old military bases to hospices loaded with narcotics.

    Finally and most importantly, WHY CAN’T RESIDENTS OF STATES DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES? WHY IS THIS A FEDERAL ISSUE? Some states will opt to do nothing and others will go full commie. Why is that bad?

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    • McWing:

      Finally and most importantly, WHY CAN’T RESIDENTS OF STATES DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES? WHY IS THIS A FEDERAL ISSUE?

      Yes. This is the first and foremost question. And the simple and honest answer is that the more people who are able to escape it, the swifter will be the failure of the progressive project.

      Like

  36. oh crap. there can only be 2 Sith lords at at time.

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  37. “Give recipients cash and let them do what they want.”

    I’d like a bottle of bourbon and put the rest on the pass line.

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  38. Now your journey to the dark side is complete.

    I just saw that myself and burst out laughing. i suppose it demonstrates how well I can articulate your arguments. . . see, I have learned something around here.

    Me, a reactionary conservative. Gentlemen, meet your newest fellow traveler. Where can I get a top hat?

    BWAhahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

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  39. there can only be 2 Sith lords at at time

    You may refer to me as a Sith Lady. Although, under Darth Krayt, the Rule of Two went away.

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  40. Next stop, Charlie Palmer’s for a lobbying dinner. Expensed of course. Make sure to oppress some workers along the way.

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  41. whoa. i got schooled on star wars.

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  42. Why can’t the hospitals bill the, you know, patient that incurred the cost?

    Well, they can bill me for a $500,000 heart transplant all they want, but I don’t have that kind of money. Even a broken leg is around $25,000. Sorry, but I wiped out my savings account this last year, so without insurance that covers something like that you’re going to end up footing part of the cost if I go without.

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  43. Stiff the valet, it feels great to see the butthurt on their face.

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  44. Why couldn’t you make payments?

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  45. Make sure to oppress some workers along the way.

    I shall treat them as less than dust beneath my feet. Perhaps step on their backs to climb into my stretch Hummer which will whisk me off to dinner.

    whoa

    Heh

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  46. And it’s cute you thinking there will be any transplants at all after a year or two of The Abomination. Or especially with Single Payer.

    Read Cancer Ward and pray the Liverpool Pathway rescues you.

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  47. McWing:

    Why do you want to continue to make it impossible for someone with a pre-existing condition to get insurance?

    Like

    • Mich:

      Why do you want to continue to make it impossible for someone with a pre-existing condition to get insurance?

      I can easily answer this: I don’t want to make it impossible, but insurance is not what they need. They need financial assistance/charity.

      Why do you continue to want insurance policies to do something other than provide insurance?

      Like

      • Ok Scott…. point me in the direction I need to go to find a “surgery” benefactor since I have no money, have no insurance and will never be able to meet payment demands for the surgery I need.

        I may be a liberal, but I would rather someone who could pay for my surgery with the chump change they would spend over a weekend, than to put it off on all my family, friends and the rest of the U.S. population… that’s why, whether the ACA is perfect or not, it does help push the cost of so many ER visits back where it belongs (based on historical use of insurance companies), to the patient and their insurance company.. which also provides a bit of self esteem since you are doing what you can to be responsible.

        And until you provide me some actual usable information on how to proceed to search and locate such a benefactor, I will rely upon the ACA, just as soon as I receive my disability approval, otherwise I could possibly just be dead this time next year as my congenital spinal stenosis continues to worsen.

        Like

  48. well, it’s too late now and has been for some time, but that individual does not need insurance in classic sense of the term.

    I’d be wiling to bet that this wouldn’t have been so bad if they had gone with “pay more, get more, and better for all of us.” argument. rather than trying to spin it as everyone wins, somebody else pays.

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  49. “Michigoose, on October 31, 2013 at 3:14 pm said:

    Make sure to oppress some workers along the way.

    I shall treat them as less than dust beneath my feet. Perhaps step on their backs to climb into my stretch Hummer which will whisk me off to dinner.”

    Or you could tip them well and they could be perfectly happy with the transaction (i.e. a free market win/win), but the cockles of your heart would be warmed by the thought that some Marxist somewhere was gnashing their teeth at the injustice of it all because it’s all zero sum.

    Like

  50. Red Alert NovA!

    “Key Senate, House Committee Chairmen Offer Plan To Fix Medicare Doctor Payments
    By Mary Agnes Carey

    KHN Staff Writer

    Oct 31, 2013

    The Democratic and Republican leaders of two key congressional committees have agreed on a framework to scrap the problematic Medicare payment formula for physicians and replace it with one that would link physician reimbursement to the quality of care provided, a step that could put an end to the annual “doc fix” debate.”

    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2013/October/31/Senate-and-House-committee-leaders-offer-fix-for-doctors-Medicare-pay.aspx

    Quick to the LobbyMobile!

    Like

  51. Why do you want to continue to make it impossible for someone with a pre-existing condition to get insurance?

    What are you talking about? Why must it be the Federal government? Why not let the citizens of each state decide what is best for themselves? Some states will opt for commiedom, others, virtual anarchy.

    Like

    • Heh:

      Most young, middle-class Americans I know are happy that millions of previously uninsured people will receive free or heavily subsidized insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

      We just didn’t realize that, unless we had health insurance at work, we’d be the ones paying for it.

      If one was to parody the liberal mindset in such a way, it would probably be considered too much of a caricature to be believable.

      Like

  52. “Quick to the LobbyMobile!”

    Uber’s on the way with a town car!

    like everything else, it is what will the pay for be. actually, as of a few weeks ago, i’m working this issue more so than in the past, so I really can’t comment on it anymore.

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  53. Or you could tip them well and they could be perfectly happy with the transaction (i.e. a free market win/win), but the cockles of your heart would be warmed by the thought that some Marxist somewhere was gnashing their teeth at the injustice of it all because it’s all zero sum.

    That would be me exerting WMP, wouldn’t it? Or, as you pointed out to Dezzie, WFP.

    Like

  54. of all the crocks of shit, and there are several, the privilege thing is the biggest. and the “denying it’s reality is a form a privilege, you know” is a pretty neat trick.

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  55. that individual does not need insurance in classic sense of the term.

    And

    They need financial assistance/charity.

    Gentlemen, this is not the Libertarian paradise that you desire.

    NoVA: perhaps not if it a condition someone is born with, and so it is known from the start. But what about an adult who becomes a Type 1 diabetic (one of my techs had this happen)? That was unforeseen and unplanned for–isn’t that what insurance is for? Or someone who is playing hockey, takes a bad fall with a blow to the head and now gets seizures occasionally. They now have pre-existing conditions. Should they be uninsurable?

    Scott, I think Geanie answered you far better than I can. You want your Libertarian paradise, feel free to move somewhere where you can find it, but it won’t ever happen in the US.

    Like

    • Yes, how about those like my son who was born with Type-1 diabetes but we didn’t know until he was 24 when his sugar level jumped to just under 800 and the fight was on to him from a diabetic coma. How about folks like that? At the age of 24 he did not have insurance… we ALL wish he had had health insurance. And since, he was never able to get any insurance. He made an average of 4 trips a year to the ER fighting a diabetic coma for years. Once he applied for disability, it took 5 years, and approved after they realized he had at least a dozen strokes, the last one just barely missing his basal ganglia And yea, that’s another reason I have no savings. Do you have any idea how expensive test strips are? … and needing on avg 6-7 a day.

      Absolutely young adults should have health insurance, not just for those like my son, but for the millions who suffer sports injuries, car accidents, etc. every year.

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    • Mich:

      Gentlemen this is not the Libertarian paradise that you desire.

      That is a complete non-sequitur. The issue is not what kind of political system we do or don’t live in, but is instead why insurance products exist, and the service they provide to customers. Saying that a person needs financial assistance, not insurance, is just a statement of fact, and makes no political judgement about where that financial assistance should or should not come from. Even if one prefers a completely anti-libertarian government in which all aspects of individual life are regulated and controlled by government, it remains true that a person with a pre-existing condition needs financial assistance, not insurance.

      As I have said repeatedly here, obviously to no effect, insurance is something one buys as protection against the risk of an unknown (and unknowable) future cost. Once the cost is no longer an uncertain risk, but rather a known certainty, then one doesn’t need insurance. One needs financial assistance. If you buy a house, what you need to get is fire insurance. If your uninsured house has already burned down, you don’t need protection against the risk that it might burn down. You need a knowable amount of money, now, to rebuild it.

      By requiring insurers to “insure” pre-existing conditions, all you are doing is turning insurers into something other than insurers, namely a rsdistributor of wealth, a financial aid office for people who need money now for health expenses. If the government wants to provide financial assistance to people who have pre-existing conditions but cannot afford their own treatment, then it should do so honestly and create a welfare program for such people. Then voters and taxpayers can decide with open eyes whether and how much they want to spend on this financial assistance. What it should not do is hide the welfare program and its cost behind the rhetoric of “insurance” by forcing the cost of this assistance onto purchasers of insurance rather than taxpayers and voters.

      …you want a libertarian paradise, feel free to move somewhere you can find it

      There was a time when the left would openly mock yahoos who invoked the “America, love it or leave it” attitude. Now it has become a standard line of theirs. One can only imagine your reaction if, pre-ACA, someone had argued against your position that if single payer is what you want, feel free to move somewhere you can find it. Again we discover that dissent is American only if it is of the progressive variety.

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  56. We just didn’t realize that, unless we had health insurance at work, we’d be the ones paying for it.

    That would be a low information individual. I realize that there are some liberals out there who think that it can all be free, but most of us were never under the impression that life is a fee lunch. So you can parody stupidity, but you aren’t parodying liberalism.

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    • Mich:

      That would be a low information individual.

      Yes, precisely the kind of individual targeted by Obama’s lies about O-care, and whose support was essential to the passage of O-care.

      Like

  57. Now it has become a standard line of theirs.

    I am merely quoting what you have said to me several times when I complained about different states and laws that they’ve enacted.

    If the government wants to provide financial assistance to people who have pre-existing conditions but cannot afford their own treatment, then it should do so honestly and create a welfare program for such people.

    I wish they would. Until such time as the government does create such a program, however, I’m willing to work with what they’re giving us and try to make it better. I’d far rather help pay for health insurance that will get individuals the treatment they need than not. And, no, I don’t have any heartache in having you participate, too. Until America ceases to be America, we’re all in this together.

    Like

    • Mich:

      I am merely quoting what you have said to me several times when I complained about different states and laws that they’ve enacted.

      No you aren’t. This is the only time I have ever said anything even remotely similar (and it isn’t all that similar), but note the context. It was said specifically in support of the notion of a proper federalism, i.e. if you don’t like what a conservative state legislature is doing, you have the option of moving to a different state that has more liberal policies, an option which I support. This is in direct contradiction to the liberal/progressive ideology which prefers to nationalize all issues and impose their policies on everyone in the country instead of leaving them free to run their communities as they wish. Which is precisely why your suggestion for me to “feel free” to move to a place more of my liking is a) manifestly insincere and 2) the equivalent of saying “America, love it or leave it.” You actively want to make it as difficult as possible for me to find a place more to my liking by insisting that your preferred policies be imposed nationally rather than more locally. You basically are telling me to leave the country if I don’t like having your preferences imposed on me.

      Which I find incredibly ironic. The person who complains that her opinions aren’t welcome here at ATiM feels perfectly justified in telling libertarians their views aren’t welcome in her country.

      I wish they would.

      The reason they don’t is because they know that the taxpayers wouldn’t go for it, at least not to the extent they want to impose. So they have to achieve their ends by deception.

      Until such time as the government does create such a program, however, I’m willing to work with what they’re giving us and try to make it better.

      What they’re “giving” us (a rather euphemistic way of characterizing the imposition of a law) can only…CAN ONLY… make things far worse. It is an absolute certainty. The math of this monstrosity just does not work. Believing that Obamacare could ever reduce costs and make health care more affordable is just like believing in the tooth fairy.

      And, no, I don’t have any heartache in having you participate, too.

      I know. Your willingness to impose your views on others by the force of government has long been manifest.

      Until America ceases to be America, we’re all in this together.

      This is not a meaningful statement. It is platitudinous treacle.

      Like

  58. telling libertarians their views aren’t welcome in her country.

    That isn’t actually what I said.

    It is platitudinous treacle.

    Perhaps I should have saved it for dessert, then.

    Like

  59. I’d far rather help pay for health insurance that will get individuals the treatment they need than not. And, no, I don’t have any heartache in having you participate, too. Until America ceases to be America, we’re all in this together.

    Help me understand why the Federal Government must do this.

    Like

    • McWing:

      Help me understand why the Federal Government must do this.

      I don’t know why Mich thinks the feds must do this, but I think there are two underlying factors that drive progressivism more generally to push their policy preferences to higher rather than lower levels of government. The first is a practical consideration and the other is more philosophical.

      First, because progressive policies generally involve forced wealth redistribution, policy success tends to be a function of the degree to which those from whom wealth is to be taken are free to escape the policy. If a policy is enacted at the state level, the barriers to removing oneself from the reach of the policy for those who are adversely effected by it are relatively low. We have freedom of movement between states. One doesn’t need a passport or to obtain special permission from any government body to move from California to Texas in order to escape a California policy of which one disapproves. Obviously the same is not true of a nationally imposed policy, which is much more difficult to escape.

      Second, despite its typical rhetoric about diversity and tolerance, the left is in reality quite opposed to diversity of political thought and intolerant of anyone who does not share its value system. Political leftists are extremely self-assured, to the point of arrogance, in their wide-ranging moral judgements, and because of that self-assuredness they have few qualms over using force to impose their value system on anyone who disagrees. In this they are actually similar to religious fanatics whose unquestioning confidence in the righteousness of their moral notions leads them to feel justified in imposing those beliefs on the widest demographic possible.

      Like

  60. Did you intend to trash your last comment, or was it trashed inadvertantly?

    I hope it was a recent comment and wasn’t me–I went through and deleted ~90 spam messages from comments yesterday. if it was me, I’m sorry!

    NoVA, just out of curiosity, was Marilyn Tavenner at CMS when you were there?

    Like

  61. Short piece. in The New Yorker that has a good summary (h/t to Wonkblog for the link):

    While President Obama was in Boston on Wednesday to deliver a speech at Faneuil Hall, he was also scheduled to attend a private meeting with friends and supporters. One of the well-wishers in attendance was Jonathan Gruber, an M.I.T. economist and an architect of both Mitt Romney’s health-care plan in Massachusetts and Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

    Gruber’s specific expertise is predicting the effects of changes to health-care policy. His models of the insurance market helped convince both Romney and Obama of the importance of including an individual mandate in their respective plans.

    [. . . ]

    Finally, Gruber was frank about the issue that has caused the President so much political pain this week: the oft-repeated promise that any American who liked his health-insurance plan could keep it. It turns out than many people—probably millions—will not be able to keep the exact plans they currently have.

    But the details and context are important.

    Gruber broke down the A.C.A. “winners” and “losers” for me. About eighty per cent of Americans are more or less left alone by the health-care act—largely people who have health insurance through their employers. About fourteen per cent of Americans are clear winners: they are currently uninsured and will have access to an affordable insurance policy under the A.C.A.

    But much of the current controversy involves the six per cent of Americans who buy their own health care on the individual market, which the A.C.A. has dramatically reformed. Gruber argued that half of these people (three per cent of all Americans) will have little change to their polices. “They have to buy new plans, but they will be pretty similar to what they had before,” he said. “It will essentially be relabeling.”

    The other half, however, also three per cent of the population, will have to buy a new product that complies with the A.C.A.’s more stringent requirements for individual plans. A significant portion of these roughly nine million Americans will be forced to buy a new insurance policy with higher premiums than they currently pay. The primary reason for the increased cost is that the A.C.A. bans any plan that would require a people who get sick to pay medical fees greater than six thousand dollars per year. In other words, this was a deliberate policy decision that the White House and Congress made to raise the quality—and thus the premiums—of insurance policies at the bottom end of the individual market.

    “We’ve decided as a society that we don’t want people to have insurance plans that expose them to more than six thousand dollars in out-of-pocket expenses,” Gruber said. Obama obviously should have known that his blanket statement about “keeping what you have” could not apply to this class of policyholders.

    Gruber summarized his stats: ninety-seven per cent of Americans are either left alone or are clear winners, while three per cent are arguably losers. “We have to as a society be able to accept that,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, that’s a shame, but no law in the history of America makes everyone better off.”

    Brent–you’re part of the 3%!


    Edit: Moved to the new Morning Report

    Like

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