The “GOP has lost O-Care fight” claims Juan Williams recently.
Republicans bet the house that ObamaCare would be a disaster. They lost.
After a four-year feast criticizing ObamaCare, Congressional Republicans are now left picking at the crumbs of minor complaints. Their longstanding predictions of failure have come up empty. The healthcare reform plan is successful.
Even if Republicans gain control of the Senate in the midterm elections, the best they can do is stage the first Senate vote to repeal ObamaCare. That will come after 50 or more similar votes by the GOP majority in the House.
President Obama will veto any repeal bill, so even holding a vote amounts to one last gesture of futility from the defeated army of right-wing opposition.
More sour grapes are on display in the House. Republicans once promised to pass a detailed House plan as an alternative to ObamaCare before the midterms. But with the president’s program successfully launched, the House leadership has decided not to commit to any Republican plan until after the election.
GOP leaders rightly fear any such announcement would lead to a backlash. Voters would likely see the possibility of conservative proposals bringing forth bigger disruptions in the insurance markets and less coverage for the uninsured.
This success is an illusion. It is smoke and mirrors. CMS cannot resolve the discrepancies of almost 3 million applications:
The federal Obamacare marketplace was unable to verify nearly 3 million irregularities in the applications for enrollment, according to a new audit by the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
The audit, released Tuesday, found that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) resolved less than one percent of so-called “inconsistencies” related to the citizenship and residency status of Obamacare sign ups.
“The Federal marketplace was not able to resolve inconsistencies related to: citizenship, status as a national, lawful presence, residency, family size, annual household income, and whether the applicant was eligible for minimum essential coverage through employer-sponsored insurance,” the audit said.
“According to CMS officials, as of Feb. 23, 2014, the Federal marketplace had resolved approximately 10,000 of the 2.9 million inconsistencies (less than 1 percent),” the audit said.
The big question- will Obama simply decree the inconsistencies irrelevant?
Anyone who’s been a reader here will know that we have repeatedly said that the only reason Obamacare appears to be a success is because most of it has not been implemented. Now democrats are picking up the pace on their retreat from Obamacare.
Back in April former Obama aide Robert Gibbs said that employer mandate would not survive:
“I don’t think the employer mandate will go into effect. It’s a small part of the law. I think it will be one of the first things to go,” he said to a notably surprised audience.
The employer mandate has been delayed twice, he noted. The vast majority of employers with 100 or more employees offer health insurance, and there aren’t many employers who fall into the mandate window, he said.
Killing the employer mandate would be one way to improve the law — and there are a handful of other “common sense” improvements needed as well, he said.
Others include better outreach ahead of next year’s enrollment — educating people about the law’s deadlines, penalties and subsidies; improved technology; and greater incentives, besides not having to pay a low penalty, to young people so they will enroll in health coverage.
And, most importantly, Gibbs said “health care has to add an additional layer of coverage cheaper than the plans already offered.”
Gibbs asserts that the employer mandate, already twice delayed, is a small part of the law. Small does not mean inexpensive:
This actually is one solution that some progressive commentators suggest when talking about ObamaCare fixes — and it makes at least some sense in terms of policy. The mandate will impose huge costs on employers, tying up their capital in regulatory costs rather than expansion and job creation. In fact, a new study shows that the costs for compliance will run between $4800-$5900 per employee for large employers, and that’s not including the rapidly-rising costs of premiums.
And there are major downsides to killing off the mandate:
On the other hand, canceling the employer mandate will provide even more incentive for those employers to dump their workers into the exchanges. That means tens of millions more Americans will have to deal with massive price hikes in premiums, and deductibles that all but assure them that they won’t see any benefit from those premiums. It’s a recipe for political disaster — especially if the White House dumps the employer mandate while enforcing the penalties for the individual mandate. Good luck explaining to consumers why Big Business got let off the hook while they get the gaff.
Robert Gibbs’ prediction that Obamacare’s employer mandate would — and perhaps should — be jettisoned shocked Democrats back in April.
By July, the former aide and longtime confidant of President Barack Obama had a lot more company. More and more liberal activists and policy experts who help shape Democratic thinking on health care have concluded that penalizing businesses if they don’t offer health insurance is an unnecessary element of the Affordable Care Act that may do more harm than good. Among them are experts at the Urban Institute and the Commonwealth Fund and prominent academics like legal scholar Tim Jost.
The employer mandate, Jost wrote in a Health Affairs post in June, “cries out for repair.” Repealing it “might not be such a bad idea,” if it’s replaced with something better for workers and businesses.
democrats are scared to death of this:
Leading Democrats in Congress aren’t bolting from the employer mandate, at least not before the November election. But the White House has delayed it twice in the past year, dubbed it “not critical” and said it will be phased in more slowly when its begins next year.
Obama has unilaterally delayed the ACA 24 times, both as a nod to big business and unions and to protect democrats from the fallout of Obamacare until after the 2014 election. Increasingly, unions want out of Obamacare.
Obamacare is such a bad thing, so poisonous that Obama has delayed the big business mandate until he is effectively out of office.
As is now customary, a democrat President is once again leaving a pile of dung to be cleaned up by his successor. I am putting that marker down right now. Remember I said it once democrats start whining that Obamacare fell apart on someone else’s watch.