Why Obamacare failed, Heartland version.

We’re going to quote from an article that ran in The Hill, but first a few words about the author, Chris Talgo, he of the Heartland Institute:

The Heartland Institute is an American conservative and libertarian public policy think tank founded in 1984.

Just to give you a hint of what combining conservatism and libertarianism can do, here is the Heartland Institutes stated position on global warming:

  • Global warming is not a crisis. The threat was exaggerated.
  • There is no need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and no point in attempting to do so.
  • It’s time to repeal unnecessary and expensive policies.
  • Future policies should aim at fostering economic growth to adapt to natural climate change.
  • Radical environmental groups, greedy investor-owned utilities, and liberal billionaires are working together to shut down perfectly good coal-powered electricity generation across America.

Got It? Hey, burn baby burn.

In short, conservatism combined with libertarianism yields a huge serving of anarchy plus a plump dollop of anti-science and a heaping bowl of enriching-the-rich business leaders.

For Heartland, it seems that any government is too much government and any spending is “socialism.”

Utter nonsense.

Anyway, keeping the above mind-bending example in mind, we give you excerpts from the Heartland Institution’s beliefs about health care.

The Hill: ObamaCare: 10 years of distress and disappointment
By Chris Talgo, an editor at The Heartland Institute.— 03/05/20

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “premiums have doubled for individual health insurance plans since 2013, the year before many of Obamacare’s regulations and mandates took effect.”

Second, the number of those without health insurance has increased in recent years. And this number is expected to rise even more.

Why is this happening? According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “Simply put, there are too many people without subsidies who cannot afford coverage under Obamacare.”

Obamacare was a noble idea, but it was created under the false assumption that the U.S. federal government can’t afford to pay for America’s healthcare, while the American populace can.

Given that false assumption, we were given two false choices:

  1. Make the people pay, via tax increases, various penalties and deductibles, and high insurance premiums, or
  2. Cut benefits.

According to a report by The Heartland Foundation, “Obamacare has significantly disrupted the market for those who buy coverage on their own by imposing new coverage and benefit mandates, causing a reported 4.7 million health insurance cancelations of an existing policy in 32 states.”

 Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

Image result for bernanke and greenspan
It’s our little secret. Don’t tell the people we don’t use their tax dollars.

Alan Greenspan: “Central banks can issue currency, a non-interest-bearing claim on the government, effectively without limit. A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

St. Louis Federal Reserve: “As the sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e.,unable to pay its bills. In this sense, the government is not dependent on credit markets (borrowing) to remain operational.


Obamacare failed when it required private insurance to provide better benefits. Because private insurance is profit-motivated instead of health-motivated, premiums had to go up. It was inevitable.

Had the insurance been paid for by the Monetarily Sovereign federal government, premiums could have been eliminated and benefits increased — and no tax increases needed.

Free health care for everyone may sound too good to be true, but could be the real result of Monetary Sovereignty.

(Funny how we accept free military protection for the United States, but are unable to accept free health care protection for the United States.)

In other words, ObamaCare’s mandates and regulations have upended the health insurance market, causing millions to lose their pre-ObamaCare plans.

No, it was the Heartland Institution’s beloved private insurance profit motive that raised premiums.

President Obama repeatedly guaranteed voters, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.” As it turns out, this promise also fell by the wayside.

But that is exactly what Medicare offers. That is why a federally funded Medicare for All plan should have been instituted. Of course, Heartland et al might falsely have claimed, “This is socialism”

Point of information: Medicare for All is not socialism. It simply is normal federal spending in a democracy.

For a true example of socialism look to the Veteran’s Administration.

(Socialism is government ownership, not just government funding. The VA Hospitals are owned by the government and the doctors are employees of the government. Those screaming “socialism” don’t want you to understand that.)

According to MarketWatch, “Various sources note that a common (and popular) way to reduce premium costs has been to reduce the number of doctors in the insurer’s network, which leads to a much greater likelihood of people losing their doctors than without the ACA.”

Translation: In a profit-motivated healthcare system, the way to increase profits and/or reduce premiums is to cut benefits.

This would not be necessary in a federally funded health-motivated program.

The federal government has no need for profits. It is Monetarily Sovereign.

Even worse, “15% of plans offered on the exchanges exclude doctors from at least one kind of specialty” notes the National Institute of Health. Put another way, after ObamaCare took effect, millions of Americans lost access to their doctors.

Again, the above would not have been necessary in a federally funded, Medicare for All plan.

ObamaCare has failed miserably because it lacks free-market principles and is a one-size-fits all, centrally planned boondoggle.

In the next decade, and for decades to come, the American health care system would function much more optimally if patients, not bureaucrats, were allowed to take control of their health care decisions.

Obamacare failed because of organizations like Heartland, that insist on the private sector paying for unaffordable healthcare benefits.

“One-size-fits-all” describes the Heartland Institution’s, conservative/libertarian solution to all problems, i.e. eliminate government funding and force the private sector to pay for everything.

Following the Heartland “solution,” America would have no military, no national road system, no Medicare, no Social Security, no FBI, no CIA, no poverty aids, no Congress, no Supreme Court, no President, no Census Bureau, no elections, no federal laws, and no federal agencies. (You can see a complete list, here.)

Heartland is a tax-exempt charity. It enjoys the protections of America’s federal tax laws and the benefits of federal spending.

Heartland conceals the names of its donors while claiming to be “non-partisan” and libertarian. (Is that like being a non-partisan Republican?)

Most importantly, Heartland does not disclose the advantages of Monetary Sovereignty.

  1. The federal government cannot become insolvent. It can pay any creditor because it creates dollars, ad hoc, by paying bills.
  2. Federal spending is not socialism. Socialism is government control and ownership. Medicare is not socialism; the VA hospitals are socialism.
  3. The primary advantage of a Monetarily Sovereign government is its endless ability to fund programs that are not profitable.

Bottom line: Heartland professes to want small government, while it enjoys the free advantages of big government. They just don’t want you to enjoy those free advantages.

They want you to pay for them out of your own pockets.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell



The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.


3 thoughts on “Why Obamacare failed, Heartland version.

  1. Good post, Rodger. You do the best takedowns of these conservative/libertarian idiots. I especially like your continuing series on the “ticking time bomb”.

    Please take time to proofread the post again. You start out writing about the Heartland Institute, but then you mention the “Heritage Institute” off and on throughout the post, although that firm is the Heritage Foundation.

    Not that there’s any more than 2 cents worth of difference, there isn’t. However, it is a bit confusing.


      1. Ah, yes. The old IBM Selectric. I loved those machines. Never had a problem with them.

        Autocorrect, on the other hand, is a personal nemesis of mine. I usually turn it off.


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