I’ve Got Mine, the Hell With Everybody Else!

I’ve Got Mine, the Hell With Everybody Else!

© David Burton 2017


     Recently, I overheard someone telling someone else, “Obamacare must be a success, my family health care insurance premium went down by $15 a month.” He got his! Never mind the rest of this country. Never mind anyone else. He got his! This person’s attitude has become all too common in America. The depth of his knowledge of critical issues, particularly those pertaining to entitlements, social welfare and ecological issues, is also typical. It goes no further than a quick Google of an issue. In-depth analyses of those critical issues facing our nation are too time consuming and require thoughtful consideration – not worth the time and effort of so many Americans.

     Maybe, if our newly minted Obamacare advocate had bothered to dig a little deeper, he might have found out that Obamacare is a major part of the economic disaster facing his children and his grandchildren in the form of America’s national debt, which now tops $21.0 trillion “The U.S. has the largest debt in the world and one of the largest as a share of GDP.” (Ref. 1)

     A little digging on the part of our new Obamacare supporter would have uncovered the truths that, “Obamacare has limited choices for patients, driven up costs for consumers, and buried employers and health care providers under thousands of new regulations. It forced people into expensive plans they did not want . . .” (Ref. 2) In truth, Obamacare has resulted in “skyrocketing premium rates and decreased coverage choices as insurers fled the market.” (Ref. 2) For all too many Americans, Obamacare has proven to be a pack of expensive untruths and broken promises. But our Obamacare advocate doesn’t care about these other Americans. He has his $15 a month reduction in his health care insurance.” He got his! The hell with everybody else!

     While our new Obamacare fan was reveling in his $15 a month reduction in his health care insurance, “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that in the federally supervised health insurance exchanges (39 states), between 2013 and 2017, average monthly premiums increased from $232 to $476—a 105 percent increase. [Emphasis mine] CMS concluded that insurance plans’ high premiums and the lack of affordability in these markets {was} the main reason that individuals are cancelling or terminating their coverage. Between 2014 and 2017, about one million individuals per year dropped their coverage.
     “Soaring health insurance costs {hammered} customers in non-group coverage, leaving those customers to navigate the wreckage of severely damaged individual markets. Health plan withdrawals {were} contributing to rapidly declining market competition and thus restricting consumer choice. In 2018, according to a recent . . . report, about 45 percent of U.S. counties will have either one or no insurers offering coverage in the Obamacare exchanges. [Emphasis mine]
     “Meanwhile, customers {were} discovering that their coverage choices {were} increasingly limited to plans with high deductibles and narrow physician networks.
     “Obamacare’s excessive regulatory regime directly contributed to this state of affair. . .” (Ref. 3)

     A closer look at facts would have shown our newly minted Obamacare supporter that another destructive aspect of Obamacare was the increased cost of Medicaid. “Medicaid is {supposed to be} a means-tested health care and social services program for low-income children, pregnant women, and aged or disabled individuals. {But, under} Obamacare . . . Medicaid eligibility {was expanded} to include able-bodied adults without children. Indeed, the Medicaid expansion has accounted for over 80 percent of the net increase in total (both public and private) health insurance enrollment since Obamacare’s coverage provisions went into effect at the beginning of 2014.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 3) So what if health care costs have skyrocketed and those with questionable eligibility and need are receiving benefits at the public’s expense! Obamacare is a success! Our new Obamacare advocate got his! The hell with everybody else who has to foot the bill!

     As an example of reaching simple conclusions to complex problems without ever going beyond the headlines, the same individual who is now loudly exclaiming the virtues of the failed Obamacare program previously declared that the explosive recent success and growth of America’s oil and gas industry resulting from the commercialization of “fracking”, was solely the result of government investment in fracking technology. Yes, the government did provide some fracking funding, but, the funding was miniscule and fairly late in the game. Had our new Obamacare devotee bothered to look beyond the sensationalist headlines he might have discovered the following.

     “Ever since President Obama, in his 2012 State of the Union speech, gave the federal government credit for developing hydraulic fracturing, the idea that the feds underwrote fracking has taken on a life of its own. . .” (Ref. 4)

     There were two very big problems with president Obama’s pronouncements about oil and gas development with government funding. “First, it makes it sound as if the government invented the technology, commercialized it, and handed it over to private companies. Second, it assumes that if the government hadn’t invested in natural gas technologies, we wouldn’t be where we are today in terms of natural gas production. Both are far from the truth.
     “Well before the government invested in natural gas technologies, it was the private sector that established and developed hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”), [Emphasis mine] a process by which producers inject a fluid, composed of 99 percent water, and sand into wells to free oil and gas trapped in rock formations. Its roots go as far back as the 1860s, and in the 1940s, Stanolind Oil and Gas Corporation began studying and testing the method, with a patent issued in 1949 and a license granted to Halliburton to frack on two commercial wells. In an overview of the history of fracking, Carl T. Montgomery and Michael B. Smith of NSI Technologies write:
     “In the first year, 332 wells were treated, with an average production increase of 75%. Applications of the fracturing process grew rapidly and increased the supply of oil in the United States far beyond anything anticipated. Treatments reached more than 3,000 wells a month for stretches during the mid-1950s. The first one-half million-pound fracturing job in the free world was performed in October 1968, by Pan American Petroleum Corporation (later Amoco, now BP) in Stephens County, Oklahoma.
     “Government involvement came years later. [Emphasis mine] The Department of Energy partially funded data accumulation, microseismic mapping, the first horizontal well, and tax credits to extract unconventional gas. But in the driver’s seat was {a Houston oilman}, who invested millions of his own money in research and development for fracking and horizontal drilling. . . He spent between $7 million and $8 million of his own money trying to successfully extract shale gas and eventually made it economically viable. He is behind the shale gas revolution, not the government. [Emphasis mine]
     “Saying that without government spending we would not have the natural gas production we have today is like saying without the grocery store down the street from your house, you would starve. . .” (Ref. 5)

     “{Fracking did not come about as a result of government funding and research in the 21st century as President Obama’s State of the Union Speech would lead one to believe. In truth,} Fracking technology has existed for more than a century, and the first commercial fracking job was done in 1947. {The false claim that DOE (Department of Energy) started fracking} refers to the Eastern Gas Shales Project, a research effort in the Appalachia Basin from 1979 that proved shale rock was rich in natural gas. The DOE-supported project tested the use of nitrogen foam to fracture shale formations, and its analysis led to a deeper understanding of natural shale fractures.
     “{A company} studied those results while developing the Barnett Shale near Fort Worth, the first modern fracking play. The company relied on research from the Sandia National Laboratory to use micro-seismic technology to map the shale fractures in wells, and . . . also benefited from federal tax credits for unconventional drilling, which helped underwrite the cost of developing hydraulic fracturing.
     “{The Houston oilman who actually developed most of the fracking technology} was annoyed that Obama seemed to give the government most of the credit, without mentioning {the private company} that unleashed a new era of American energy and created the jobs Obama touted.
     “It's one thing to note that federal research programs helped unlock fracking technology. It's quite another to {claim} unqualified federal support for energy development programs. . . The government's role in fracking's development was important, but not so important that it eclipses the effort and investment of private industry. . . (Ref. 4)

     Yes, Uncle Sam put up a few dollars in support of developing the fracking technology, but private industry put up billions of dollars in investment, many decades of technological development and the actual sweat and brainpower that has now made America energy independent. President Obama should have been thanking the American oil and gas industry, not the federal government, for eliminating our energy dependence upon foreign and often unfriendly suppliers of oil and gas! Our know-it-all Obamacare advocate and an unabashed believer in big government didn’t bother to look beyond the quick sound bites and flash headlines. He was quick to applaud the government, which did little to make the fracking technology practical, while excoriating American industry for being despoilers of the environment and unfairly benefitting from the government’s (extremely meager) investment. According to him, all the financial rewards from fracking belong to the government. The truth is that the government did not, and could not, make fracking practical. Altogether too many Americans today fit into this same mold. Their know-nothing mantra, supported by an entitlement attitude that has been developed over the past few decades is: I don’t care about the underlying facts or ultimate consequences. I’ve got mine, the hell with everybody else!


  1. Remember the Deficit?, Fortune, Page 13, 1 November 2017.
  2. Analysis: Fight to save health care bill likely lost cause for GOP, Kimberly Atkins, Boston Herald, Page 10,
    15 March 2017.
  3. Better than the Status Quo, Senate Health Care Bill Still Misses Major Opportunities, Edmund Haislmaier,
    Robert Moffit, Robert Rector and Marie Fishpaw, The Heritage Foundation, 26 June 2017.
  4. How Much Did The Feds Really Help With Fracking?, Loren Steffy, Forbes, 31 October 2013.
  5. The Fracking Truth on Government’s Role in Natural Gas Production, Nicolas Loris, The Daily Signal,
    31 January 2012.

  23 November 2017 {Article 312; Suggestions?_07}    
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