Friday, December 27, 2013

Kathleen Sebelius-2013 Fousesquawk Jerk of the Year

Hat tip John Speedie for audio

Few government apparatchiks have done as much damage to so many Americans as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

As the prime implementer of Obamacare, she gave new meaning to the oft-heard complaint of "death panels" this year when she refused to use her authority to grant a transplant waiver for a dying 12-year-old girl. Only the intercession of a judge enabled the girl to get a life-saving transplant. Sebelius, in explaining her rationale, was quoted as saying, "Some people live and some people die."

But when the Obamacare roll out proved to be such a disaster, Sebelius took center stage across the nation. She looked for people to blame other than herself and the president. She blamed the Republicans. (Apologies to Tommy Lasorda and the late Al Campanis.)

At all costs, Sebelius protected President Obama. He, of course, was never told there were any problems with the roll out web site.

In addition, she misled Congress about the web site.

And she blamed the web site contractors.

Incredibly, this woman, in spite of her arrogance, incompetence and her lying, remains in office. I can only attribute that to the belief that she is protecting Obama and his own incompetence and dishonesty with the American people about this health care train wreck.

But the web site is the least of the problems. Already, over 5 million people have lost their insurance. The whole situation today is in chaos as Obama grants deadline delays and  waivers that are driving the insurance companies and state agencies involved in the sign ups nuts. In 2014, the effects of Obamacare will play themselves out with even more disastrous results for tens of millions of Americans. For 2013, Kathleen Sibelius richly deserves her Golden Penguin as the Fousesquawk Jerk of the Year.


Squid said...

uid"Kathleen Sibelius richly deserves her Golden Penguin as the Fousesquawk Jerk of the Year."

Bravo Gary, I cannot think of any other person of thing that deserves the 2013 Golen Penguin.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

You're losing your touch Gary. I think it would have been smarter politics to leave Sebelius as governor in Kansas, a state where she was doing well, and bring in a health care professional as Secretary of HHS. But your diatribe is hardly convincing.

I wrote at some length on this very site about the carefully overlooked fact that some adult died for lack of the lung transplant an activist judge ordered to be given to the little girl... an ADULT lung that is generally not given to children because it doesn't work well for them and works better in an adult. So, some did live, and some did die as a result. Until we can clone lungs to order, that's reality. The Sec can't change it by fiat.

But this is a great opportunity to answer your persistent question about how the Affordable Care Act is working for me. I'm in! The ACA works very well! The problem, as I've said all along, is the hubris of relying on computers to "do it all." The Obama administration deserves some criticism for letting young hot-shots with overmuch faith in technology run amok with the process.

But this morning, I called the 1-800 number, and found that there is a courteous, competent, knowledgeable staff working the phones, who are increasingly being given the authority to over-ride stupid garbled nonsense in the computer, do things over, and help people to the appropriate result.

So, I'm now signed up for the silver plan, I know what the range of options available are likely to cost me, and I know that if I underestimated my 2014 income, when I file my 2014 taxes, I'll pay a bit more to make up the difference, which is only right.

In the future, when the biography I'm researching become a million-copy best seller (and its a life I think Fousesquawk will give a rave review on when I'm done), then I will not only pay top dollar for my own insurance, I'll be helping keep it affordable for others, which is also only right. What goes around comes around -- which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what's making the rounds.

Miggie said...

Good choice, Gary.
Well put and amply documented.

The problems with Obamacare go much deeper than the website. Healthcare providers, from labs to hospitals to PCPs to specialists, to insurance companies, etc. all have to be wired into the same network where they can understand and agree with each other on terms and conditions.

People who signed up for a plan will find in many cases that the doctor knows nothing about that plan and the insurance company knows even less about his existence. Tens of millions of those who will lose the insurance formally provided by their employers (who can no longer afford to pay the premiums based on what the ACA insists you must cover) will be floundering around.

When the government gets involved, the prices go up... see university enrollment costs as just one example. Hacking and scams will be commonplace as fraud and other abuse will abound.(See Medicare)

It's just plain economics 101. Unfortunately, the left believes in utopia and constantly falls far short... to the detriment of everyone else in the country.

Gary Fouse said...


Have you paid your first premium yet? And how many other people in Wisconsin are IN? You might be one of 173, who knows?

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Gotta start somewhere Gary. I don't pay my first premium until I pick which of the many plans available to me will work best.

Gary Fouse said...

Until you pay your first premium, you don't know for sure you are really enrolled. In fact, you haven't even chosen your plan. Are you sure you know what the premium will be?

Squid said...


No money paid in, no health insurance on January 1st. It is December 28th and you have three days to pay the bill, that is if you can get on and if they do not put you on wait.

Happy New Year Siarlys


Siarlys Jenkins said...

I can enroll in January and be covered in February. I'm a healthy guy, not going to make extensive use of all kinds of health care. In fact, the insurance companies could get by on a much lower premium as far as my specific history is concerned. When did you all suddenly become so concerned with my welfare? What are you, a bunch of nanny state liberal socialist meddlers? I can take care of this -- just thought I'd give you an update because Gary is always dying to know the latest.

elwood p suggins said...

Back to the original post, I guess you can pay your money and take your choice on this one. A couple of thoughts on the subject.

Yes, we all live and we all die. This situation is at least somewhat, if not essentially absolutely, analagous to the decision that has to be made as to whether to save the mother or the baby in a difficult pregnancy.

Speaking hypothetically and in terms of available years of life, say that a 10-year old child does not get the transplant and dies, and further say that the adult who does get the transplant is 40 years of age and lives to the expected age of 80. In that event, a total of 90 years of life will have been lived between the two.

On another hand, say that the child gets the transplant and then lives to the age of 80, while the 40-year old adult dies. This changes the equation such that a total of 120 years (an increase of 33%) of life will have occurred.

And, of course, it is possible, but I believe perhaps not exceedingly probable, that whoever got the transplant, both the 10-year old and the 40-year old could die either from not getting the transplant or from complications thereof.

And who determines whether the younger or the older person must die?? In this particular instance, at least initially, the government.

The individual numbers would be different with all transplant and pregnancy cases, and while there are obviously no guarantees, there is clearly no question that in either instance , more total years of life would almost certainly result if the younger person was allowed to live.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

That's a lot of hot air amounting to very little elwood. For each individual, its 100 percent, so adding up how many years are saved is cold comfort. As long as there are more people in need of transplants than available organs, some are going to live and some are going to die. Generally, there are standing protocols that set priorities, so judges and department secretaries are not called upon to make individual calls.