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By Staff | Nov 22, 2013

President Obama appears to have given Iowans a break on Obamacare. And why not? It was Iowans who put him in the White House.

While those insured in other states complain about having health insurance policies, they thought were grandfathered-in, canceled, Wellmark, which insures 86 percent of Iowans who buy their own health insurance, is not canceling anybody’s policy – at least until Dec. 30, 2014.

I have one of the policies that were grandfathered-in, and I can actually keep it as the President promised. I can keep it for as long as I like as it meets the Obamacare minimum standards that triggered some of the cancellations.

About 6 percent of Americans who buy their own insurance will lose the policies that they had on Dec. 31 of this year because they didn’t meet those minimum standards. That doesn’t square with the President’s blanket promise that they could keep those policies. They have every right to be angry and disappointed.

The Obama administration had expected the states to set up their own exchanges and were surprised when so many governors refused, forcing the federal government to do it. The states that did set up their own exchanges are, by and larger, not having the problems the federal site is experiencing.

The buck for these bad choices ends up in the White House no matter who made them. The President wasn’t in control of what he promised they would deliver. That meant that it was foolish to have made such promises.

Congress delights in the failures of Obamacare, but it could easily fix this policy cancellation mess by requiring insurance companies to maintain current policies even if they don’t meet Obamacare standards as Wellmark is doing.

I believe the President would quickly sign it. It would half-way bail the President out, which is why I doubt Congress will comply. They would rather the President twist in the wind at the end of the rope that he braided. That puts politics before people, but they do that all the time.

For most farmers the Obamacare health insurance changes will be the least of what Obamacare costs them. The 3.8 percent Obamacare tax will add up to far, far more on investment income like farmland rent as well as trusts and estates.

Nobody hid this tax or said no one would pay it. This is a new tax and the IRS is, reportedly, uncertain how it will be applied, which is par for the course with Obamacare. I am sure that those who pay this tax will not save much on their health insurance to compensate.

The President also promised that Obamacare would not add to the federal deficit so the government will have to collect a lot of taxes from somewhere to keep that promise, too.

A lot of young people have to sign up to control the costs and they won’t waste much time on a dysfunctional website with far more than intended just paying the fine at least to start with.

The implementation of Obamacare should have been handled on a scale of something really important like the Manhattan project with the intensity of something that could not fail. If this were D-Day, the Germans just stopped the landings on the beaches cold and are threatening to turn back the invasion.

There was no Eisenhower in charge here. While there will be a footnote about Obama getting credit for Bin Laden in the history book, Obamacare will determine most of his legacy.

There has been a naive air about the way this administration handled this that filtered down from the White House.

The supply chain of government bureaucracy is so far failing to deliver, validating everything that its critics said about it and undermining the administrations credibility.

There should have been intensity about the rollout where they knew what was going to happen and that it would be a success because they were on top of everything and every detail so that the outcome was never in doubt that just wasn’t there.

It is an astounding happenstance. I believe the President is fully to blame. He must have thought that with all the “smart people” in the White House that it was just going to happen.

Instead they made a liar out of him enough to prompt an apology. And I thought only George W. could screw things up this bad.

I find that I and Warren Buffet think alike on health care reform. He didn’t support Obamacare either. It was essentially a liberal ideological approach to healthcare and ideological solutions are typically poor, from the left or right.

Warren noted, “We have a health system that, in terms of costs, is really out of control. And if you take this line and you project what has been happening into the future, we will get less and less competitive.

“So we need something else. Attack the costs first, and then worry about expanding coverage. I would much rather see another plan that really attacks costs. And I think that’s what the American public wants to see. I mean, the American public is not behind this bill.”

David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.

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