“Obamacare finally clears the tower” cheers Politico.
The Obamacare rollout is changing in front of our eyes — turning from a running joke into one big shoulder shrug.
And that’s good news for the White House, because at this point, even basic competence is good news.
That’s the lesson of the new enrollment numbers the administration released Monday, which showed that more than 3 million people signed up for private health coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law by the end of January. It’s behind the original expectations, but way ahead of the disaster scenarios that had looked possible during the worst months of the troubled rollout last fall.
And you can keep your doctor and your plan. From the WSJ:
Liberals and their media allies are celebrating the fact that more than one million people signed up for the Affordable Care Act’s new insurance plans in January, bringing the total so far to 3.3 million. But the new customers aren’t young enough to make the economics of ObamaCare work, and of course signing up doesn’t mean that someone is a paying customer. Or as former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin puts it in a recent posting on Twitter: “Enrollment at 3.3 million. Those actually paying a premium probably closer to 3.3.” Writing in our pages today, Karl Rove argues that the President’s latest lawless rewrite of his signature legislation was intended to prevent the next wave of insurance policy cancellations before November’s elections.
The White House is bragging about the 3.3 million allegedly signed up but how many have paid? They can’t say:
The best guess is that maybe half have paid a premium.
82% of those who have signed up need subsidies- meaning someone else has to pay.
If you are younger you had a chance to win Obama in a raffle for signing up.
The administration is making an intense push to enroll women and younger Americans before a March 31 deadline. A chance to meet President Obama in Washington is a raffle prize offered this month through Organizing for Action, the pro-administration mobilization group that used to be his campaign machine. OFA is seeking volunteers to sign people up for insurance plans.
It turns out that Obamacare will reduce the incomes of most Americans
There’s no doubt the Affordable Care Act will redistribute wealth in America. People at the top of the income ladder will pay more; people at the bottom will benefit. But how, exactly, will that work?
A new study finds that Obamacare’s redistribution will be stunningly lopsided. Scholars at the liberal Brookings Institution have discovered that Obamacare will increase the income of Americans in the lowest 20 percent of the income scale, and especially in the lowest ten percent. But all other income groups — even people who make very modest incomes in the $25,000 to $30,000 range, as well as all income brackets above that — will experience a decline in income because of Obamacare.
In other words, Obamacare is going to cost some of the very people it was designed to help.
An “avalanche” of Obamacare regulations has yet to be set loose upon us.
The Obama administration has yet to finalize 28 additional regulations under Obamacare that could lead to an “avalanche” of regulatory burden on the economy, according to an analysis by the American Action Forum.
A report released Monday by Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at American Action Forum, details the billions in cost and millions in paperwork hours that will result from the pending regulations, including the individual mandate, which has yet to be finalized.
“In total, these 28 paperwork burdens total more than 45.7 million burden hours,” the report said. “For perspective, it would take more than 22,800 employees working full-time to complete the new paperwork (assuming 2,000 employee hours annually).”
“Using an average wage rate, these regulations will cost $1.4 billion annually,” it said.
Enrollees are finding out the hard way they don’t have the doctors they thought they did:
After overcoming website glitches and long waits to get Obamacare, some patients are now running into frustrating new roadblocks at the doctor’s office.
A month into the most sweeping changes to healthcare in half a century, people are having trouble finding doctors at all, getting faulty information on which ones are covered and receiving little help from insurers swamped by new business.
Experts have warned for months that the logjam was inevitable. But the extent of the problems is taking by surprise many patients — and even doctors — as frustrations mount.
Aliso Viejo resident Danielle Nelson said Anthem Blue Cross promised half a dozen times that her oncologists would be covered under her new policy. She was diagnosed last year with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and discovered a suspicious lump near her jaw in early January.
But when she went to her oncologist’s office, she promptly encountered a bright orange sign saying that Covered California plans are not accepted.
“I’m a complete fan of the Affordable Care Act, but now I can’t sleep at night,” Nelson said. “I can’t imagine this is how President Obama wanted it to happen.”
Obamacare enrollment is slowing.
On Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that enrollment in the Obamacare private exchanges increased by 1,146,071 in January. In December, HHS reported 1,788,000 enrollees in the month of December. That suggests a drop-off of approximately 500,000, or 29 percent.
Yet this underestimates the true extent of enrollment dropoffs. The HHS reporting period for December was four weeks, beginning on 12/1 and ending on 12/28. The reporting period for January was five weeks, beginning on 12/29 and ending on 2/1. This suggests that in December, enrollments averaged 447,000 per week, compared to 229,000 in January, or a 49 percent drop-off in new enrollees.
There is good news. democrats are running their own ads against Obamacare.
In Florida’s 26th district, Democrats are running away from the president completely, and Obamacare in part. Now, it is true that Garcia doesn’t call for repeal. Indeed, the ad boasts that the candidate is “working to fix” the law, and it praises him both for holding “insurance companies accountable” and for defending the provision that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. But it is fascinating to watch a Political Action Committee associated with Nancy “we’re going to run on Obamacare” Pelosi slamming the White House for “the disastrous healthcare website” and boasting — without any time qualification, it should be said — that its man “voted to let you keep your existing health plan.”
Obama has made two dozen changes to the ACA. All of them have been motivated by one thing- politics.
The president didn’t want another avalanche of cancellations before this fall’s midterm election. Yet one was coming because the law discourages small businesses from providing health-care coverage. Here’s how it works: Businesses can continue to pay a hefty share of their workers’ premiums or dump coverage and pay a $2,000 fine per employee. Companies would have to decide this summer or fall whether to continue providing coverage for 2015.
Roughly 42.1 million Americans worked in firms with 100 employees or fewer in 2008, the last year for which Census Bureau numbers are available. And if millions of them lose their insurance plans shortly before the election? The consequences would be disastrous for the president’s popularity, and that of the congressional Democrats who loyally voted for the Affordable Care Act, sight unseen and text unread.
The delays are crucial- crucial to the survival of democrats in Congress. Obama knows full well the economic and political damage that were his signature achievement enforced as written. And the latest delay is most likely illegal. Jonathan Adler:
Whatever the stated reason for the new delay, it is illegal. The text of the PPACA is quite clear. The text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides that the employer mandate provisions ‘shall apply’ after December 31, 2013. The Treasury Department claims that it has broad authority to offer ‘transition relief’ in implementing the law. That may often be true, but not here. The language of the statute is clear, and it is well established that when Congress enacts explicit deadlines into federal statutes, without also providing authority to waive or delay such deadlines, federal agencies are obligated to stay on schedule. So, for instance, federal courts routinely force the Environmental Protection Agency to act when it misses deadlines and environmentalist groups file suit.
There seems to be no appetite for impeachment, but this extra constitutional manipulation of laws cannot go on. What the House should do, if nothing else, is to pass a bill that demands Obama enforce the ACA law as written.
Then sit back and pass the popcorn.