Jun
19
2013

Counting down to the slow-motion crash of the Obamacare exchanges.

Do you know what a big problem is going to be in orbital construction, once we get serious about doing it in bulk?  Inertia, in free-fall situations.  You see, while an object’s effective weight in free-fall may become nil, its inertia remains unchanged.  This means that once an object starts moving, it keeps moving – and it can only be made to stop moving by the application of sufficient force; you can’t count on gravitational pull to help do the work for you.  The end result is that you can easily be in a situation where you’ve got something with ten tons’ worth of mass moving in one direction… and eventually impacting something that can’t shrug off an impact with ten tons’ worth of mass, and will thus crumple or shatter under the strain slowly, but inexorably.  Nothing you can’t work around, but it’s something that you have to plan for.

And why am I telling you this?

Oh, no reason:

New health insurance exchanges being set up by the federal government in more than 30 states under President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare overhaul could miss an October 1 deadline for open enrollment, a government report said on Wednesday.

The launch of the exchanges, which are expected to provide health coverage for 7 million people in 2014 and 22 million by 2016 as well as to some small businesses, could determine whether Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement succeeds.

The report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) said key parts of the framework of the exchanges, including those that addressed consumers’ eligibility for federal subsidies, management and monitoring of insurance plans and consumer assistance, had not been completed.

Via Hot Air.  The Obama administration’s basic problem here is that, in order for this stage of Obamacare’s roll-out to proceed successfully enough to not impact the 2014 elections… well.  A lot of quasi-independent bureaucratic groups in a multitude of states are going to have to coordinate perfectly on the first try in order to implement an untried and unproven theory while simultaneously avoiding any PR disasters.  Oh, and if any of those bureaucrats use their own initiative to make the program work and it doesn’t work out, then the administration will scapegoat them in a second to explain away Obamacare’s failure.

And note that I’m being charitable in assuming that the endeavor CAN work. If it can’t then the Obama administration’s hosed.

Moe Lane

PS: “No Republican voted for Obamacare.”  Somebody will be saying that, next year: the funny part is, I think that there are still Democrats trying to figure out why it won’t be them.

7 Comments

  • myoda176 says:

    So here’s a question I haven’t gotten a satisfactory answer for: What happens when it fails? What happens when it crashes? Does that automatically go to single payer as the law is still on the books and the mandate is still viable? I can’t conceive of any idea of what would happen that would be considered “good” especially as Obama wants single payer anyway. Would that be considered a “feature” rather than a “bug” that the exchanges fail? I’m just curious as to what comes next since there’s no way the monstrosity can succeed as is. But no one has addressed what happens next.

    • acat says:

      “It Depends” is about the best answer available.
      .
      We already have single-payer .. medicare and medicaid and the VA and BIA and a couple others.
      .
      One of the reasons Gingrich fought for HIPPA was the medical diagnosis and treatment coding would *simplify* (yes, it makes things harder for the doctors, but machine-processable, i.e. simpler for the *payer*) existing government single-payer operations.
      .
      So .. one “Depends” could be filled with creating another government-payer, or lumping the pooled into medicare.
      .
      That said, much depends on the 2014 elections, and whether – after 2014 – the conservatives and/or libertarians are in a better position to force changes to Obamacare.
      .
      A key “Depends” is whether we flip the Senate, and if so, whether it be with non-quislings like McCain and Rubio.
      .
      Another key “Depends” is the state of the Statehouses .. more States voting out Dem (or GOP-quislings) in the Statehouses means good things on this front.
      .
      The final “Depends” is .. what was the last time the healthcare and healthcare-payment system *worked*? (I’d argue pre-WWII ..) The group that gets the narrative right and into the light on this is most likely to win the PR battle.
      .
      So .. strap on your Depends, and hope for the best.
      .
      Mew

      • myoda176 says:

        So even if it fails, he’ll still have created a new government organization and massively added to the government roles, and there will be no way to really stop it now? Once the department is created, I don’t know of a single instance of a dept shutting down because the legislation behind it didn’t work. Also, us “citizens” will still be paying out the nose because we are being taxed for something that isn’t working? Isn’t this a win for him no matter what?
        I’m too young to need depends yet. Is he a shareholder in the maker of depends?

        • acat says:

          Go read it again.
          .
          It. Depends.
          .
          Everything could change after 2014… or it could not change.
          .
          Mew

    • jbird says:

      It’ll probably be like the Cellulosic Ethenol mandate. You will be required to use the Exchanges (nee Ethenol) even though they don’t exist in the real world and if you don’t, you will be fined, even though they don’t exist in the real world.

    • Skip says:

      FWIW we already have laws on the books mandating things that aren’t possible, and the courts haven’t seen any problems with it. The EPA requires fuel manufacturers to blend in cellulosic ethanol or pay millions of dollars in fines, and it doesn’t actually exist as a product to be used. This would only be different in that it would impact more people.

      • Herp McDerp says:

        Lawyers and bureaucrats making laws and regulations to benefit lawyers and bureaucrats. Who’d’ve thunk?! I’m shocked, I tell you …

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