…According to the Associated Press, at least 4.7 million Americans who shop for coverage on their own have had their plans canceled because they don’t conform to Obamacare’s regulations. So Obamacare has disrupted the coverage of millions of Americans, requiring many to purchase costlier policies with higher deductibles and narrower doctor networks, for a fairly modest expansion of coverage.
According to the administration, total sign-ups now exceed 4 million. But on a recent HHS conference call, Obamacare implementation point man Gary Cohen was asked the key question: how many of the people who have signed up for Obamacare were previously insured? His response: “That’s not a data point that we are really collecting in any sort of systematic way.” Continue reading On the not-currently-available-at-your-level-of-clearance #obamacare enrollment data.
I keep lowering my expectations about Obamacare, and the administration keeps not meeting them:
A supposedly temporary “fix” that President Obama announced in November to address the problem of the millions of Americans who lost coverage as a result of his health care law has now been extended through Oct. 1, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.
This is, of course, an attempt to minimize the damage done to Democrats over the next four years. Won’t work, though. You know why?
In an attempt to limit the disruption to the insurance industry that would be caused by the move, HHS also announced that the “risk corridor” program (which has been described as a “bailout” to insurers) would be further modified to funnel more money to insurers in states affected by the change.
Because it’s not just described as a bailout; it is a bailout, and that is a dirty word to precisely the people that I need to show up at the polls in 2014 and 2016.
— Brian Faughnan (@BrianFaughnan) March 5, 2014
This Kaiser Obamacare poll should be setting off alarm bells in the White House:
Uninsured Americans — the people that the Affordable Care Act was designed to most aid — are increasingly critical of the law as its key provisions kick in, a poll released Thursday finds.This month’s tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 47 percent of the uninsured said they hold unfavorable views of the law while 24 percent said they liked it. These negative views have increased since December, when 43 percent of the uninsured panned the law and 36 percent liked it.
…but whether it actually will or not remains to be seen. David Freddoso runs through the possible reasons why the uninsured are souring on the law (short version: they’re finally taking a look at it)… and the rest of this original post will probably become its own post, at some point. It went rather far afield.
Anyway, this is Ace of Spades HQ’s response to Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s recent bout of fearmongering. Basically, the insurance industry is anticipating a bailout if they lose too much money over Obamacare, which is what they are on track to do – and the insurers are even now suggesting that if there isn’t a bailout then single-payer is right around the corner.
They’re saying this to spook us so that we will agree to pay them off and make them whole over the corrupt, and now unprofitable, bargain they struck with Obama.
I say we roll the dice.
…that is going to be a very popular sentiment among Republican voters and pundits. Right now a de facto bailout is baked into the Obamacare cake – but it will not be popular when (not ‘if’) it gets invoked, and I for one didn’t sign off on the original shakedown agreement between the Democratic party and the insurance industry. Besides, the Democratic party will be no more competent at getting single-payer implemented than it has been at any other facet of the Obamacare debacle.
I certainly hope that the above attitude scares insurers and the Left. It is meant to. Those people need to start taking this situation seriously.
So, here’s Bob Laszewski’s description of the latest way that the Obama administration rewrote the law and tax code:
If you had a health insurance policy that was cancelled, you are now exempt from the individual mandate and its tax penalty should you not decide to buy a replacement policy. In addition, you can now sign up for the very high deductible Catastrophic Plan that was originally reserved only for those under the age of 30.
If you did not have a health insurance policy that was cancelled, you are still subject to the individual mandate and you are not entitled any special treatment toward signing up for the Catastrophic Plan. You must pay the full price for an exchange plan and accept whatever out-of-pocket costs and network limits it might have for the money.
Big of him. And the rest of the Democratic party. And by ‘big of him’ I mean… something unprintable.
The Obama administration will not require the millions of Americans who received health-insurance plan cancellation notices to purchase a new policy next year.
They’re granting those consumers an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, a Department of Heath and Human Services spokeswoman confirmed. The mandate requires everyone to have health insurance or face a tax penalty, the greater of $95 or 1 percent of income in 2014.
The administration will also allow those consumers to sign up for catastrophic coverage. Those bare-bones plans are available to people who are under 30 or qualify for a “hardship exemption.”
First, do no harm. It’s amazing how many bad policies could be averted if our politicians simply understood that statement, in their bones. Continue reading So. @barackobama took away your plan, but now won’t fine you for not having one.
Glenn Reynolds has a question about this:
The Obama administration on Thursday pushed back the deadline for consumers to make their first payment for coverage under the healthcare law.
Rather than a deadline of Dec. 23, insurers will be required to accept premium payments through Dec. 31 for people who are seeking coverage that starts on Jan. 1.
In addition to the one-week extension for premium payments, the administration on Thursday formalized its announcement that consumers have until Dec. 23, instead of Dec. 15, to sign-up for healthcare coverage that goes into affect Jan. 1.
Hey, did you sign up an account in the California Obamacare exchanges? If you did, guess what: Covered California gave out your personal information to brokers, the better for them to call you up out of the blue and try to sell you an insurance policy!
Isn’t that nice of Covered California?
Raising concerns about consumer privacy, California’s health exchange has given insurance agents the names and contact information for tens of thousands of people who went online to check out coverage but didn’t ask to be contacted.
Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, acknowledged that these consumers did not ask to be contacted by the state or its certified insurance agents. But he said the outreach program still complies with privacy laws and it was reviewed by the exchange’s legal counsel.
Yeah, tell that to both individual consumers AND the insurance industry. The former generally does not like the idea that a website, group, organization, or government entity might feel comfortable at having personal information being given out to private third parties without prior consent. And it doesn’t really matter whether somebody else might feel differently, or whether they might feel differently if they only had all the facts. Folks get twitchy automatically when it comes to privacy; a smart government entity takes that into account, and designs the system to be opt-in, rather than opt-out.
Continue reading Covered California’s war on privacy. #obamacare
This is… bad.
Background: Jay Carney, speaking as White House Press Secretary (notice how all of the administration’s official Obamacare cheerleaders are loyal partisans, instead of respected policy wonks?) tried to argue that Obama’s “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” lie would only turn around to bite people people in the individual insurance market. Not so fast, says Avik Roy:
Contrary to the reporting of NBC, the administration’s commentary in the Federal Register did not only refer to the individual market, but also the market for employer-sponsored health insurance.
“The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” wrote the administration on page 34552. All in all, more than half of employer-sponsored plans will lose their “grandfather status” and get canceled. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 156 million Americans—more than half the population—was covered by employer-sponsored insurance in 2013. Continue reading #Obamacare is holding a gun to the collective head of 93 million insurance policies.
Actually, before I get started on that… please watch this related ad on Terry McAuliffe, and his uncritical – not to say, slavish – devotion to one of the greatest American civic disasters since Prohibition. I refer, of course, to Obamacare:
Got that? Good. Go help Ken Cuccinelli.