Sweet new ObamaCare revision: Mandate, plus?

posted at 5:11 pm on January 14, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Last spring, the ObamaCare individual mandate survived the Supreme Court arguments as a constitutionally permissible tax, and it’s a tax that the health care law’s advocates defended as absolutely necessary in order to herd enough healthy people into the system to pay for everyone’s illnesses. Most unfortunately, the Obama administration is quickly discovering that they may-or-may-not have — er — miscalculated the amount they’re going to need to tax people to create the incentives that will keep the whole system viable, Politico reports. Whoever could have seen this coming?

Here’s the catch: The individual mandate penalties will be pretty weak as they are phased in over two years — only $95 when they start in 2014, much less than it costs to buy insurance. And yet, everyone with pre-existing conditions will have to be accepted for coverage right away.

That’s why insurance companies are telling the administration the mandate won’t be enough for the first two years. They want more incentives — such as a late enrollment fee — to get healthy people to sign up quickly. Without getting the healthy folks in, the fear is that everyone’s health insurance premiums could shoot through the roof when all those sick people get their coverage.

The idea is being called “mandate plus” — because some of the ideas were floated by health experts last year as replacements, in case the Supreme Court struck the mandate down. Now that the mandate is here to stay, insurance companies and some policy experts say the other ideas should go hand in hand with the coverage requirement to make the whole system work — and be affordable.

Insurers are pushing for the Department of Health and Human Services to provide them with more “sticks,” i.e., compelling (read: expensive) reasons for people to opt into the system early, in order to pay for this gigantic bureaucratic nightmare. It’s not a sure thing yet, but as Peter Suderman points out at Reason, it’s quite the little ploy they just managed to pull off:

The Obama administration isn’t saying that it plans to beef up the mandate, at least not yet, but according to Politico the Department of Health and Human Services requested suggestions for expanded mandate enforcement late last year. It’s a remarkable strategy, really: Fight tooth and nail to pass the mandate, knowing it won’t be effective, and then use worries about its ineffectiveness as an excuse to make it stronger.

Combined with all of the other “unforeseen” problems ObamaCare is encountering, like plenty of states declining to do the feds’ work for them on the promised health care exchanges and skyrocketing insurance rates for some groups, the many promises of ObamaCare seem to be imploding on themselves rather quickly, don’t they?


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I love how the bad news about ObamaCare is now coming almost hourly.

Chuck Schick on January 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

What do you call the stage beyond the raping?

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

By 2014, everyone will be sick of this crap

can_con on January 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

So, when are people going to say: I can’t afford this crap sandwich?

Blake on January 14, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Obamacare was declared valid by SCOTUS Traitor Roberts as a tax.

When the tax now starts being collected and someone objects to the Constitutional legality of such a tax, will it finally proceed to the Supreme Court for proper review -as should have been required in the first instance- for Roberts’ and the progressive justices who went along with his treasonous decision to be legally meaningful?

The it’s a tax ruling should have required the petitioners of the law to be sent back by the Court- and have it implemented and then protested -before any actual final SCOTUS ruling could have occurred.

Roberts apparently aborted that necessary legal process through his judicially incompetent acceptance of the tax argument and his fraudulent agreement with the liberal members of this corrupt court.

But why shouldn’t someone now sue in protest of this tax?

profitsbeard on January 14, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Most unfortunately, the Obama administration is quickly discovering that they may-or-may-not have — er — miscalculated the amount they’re going to need to tax people to create the incentives that will keep the whole system viable, Politico reports. Whoever could have seen this coming?

I’m shocked, I tell ya. Just shocked.
//

Bitter Clinger on January 14, 2013 at 5:19 PM

What do you call the stage beyond the raping?
Schadenfreude on January 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

I believe Hillary wrote the book: “It Takes a Pillage.”

Marcola on January 14, 2013 at 5:24 PM

What do you call the stage beyond the raping?

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

BOHICA

sharrukin on January 14, 2013 at 5:25 PM

My 95 year old Mother-in-law just got a notice from her Union retirement Health Care almost doubling her costs. Said circumstances in the “economy” warranted it. She loves obama and voted for him both times. When I said obamacare was to blame she said it’s okay because she got to use it at the good rate for so long. Can’t bring herself to blame this a..hole for anything…

sandee on January 14, 2013 at 5:25 PM

What will they do when they realize that permanent middle class tax rates won’t “be enough?”

docflash on January 14, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Are you trying to tell me that the Obamacare crap sandwich has far more crap than sandwich to it. The hell you say!

Weight of Glory on January 14, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I have complete faith that this train wreck will be more than Americans can bear, especially for those who will be losing group coverage, are on Medicare, or have pre-existing conditions. Couple the bureaucratic monstrosity with the inability to find a doctor or pay for insurance in general, and we have the perfect storm.

Eat it, Donks.

Philly on January 14, 2013 at 5:31 PM

sic semper tyrannis.

rayra on January 14, 2013 at 5:33 PM

The dolts got it wrong again. What a surprise.

pat on January 14, 2013 at 5:33 PM

“Now that the mandate is here to stay…”

Thank you Justice Roberts…

… Much appreciated!

Seven Percent Solution on January 14, 2013 at 5:33 PM

By 2014, everyone will be sick of this crap

can_con on January 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

And there won’t be a damn thing we can do about it. Too late. Freedom was a beautiful thing while it lasted.

Gregor on January 14, 2013 at 5:35 PM

What do you call the stage beyond the raping?

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Usually, homicide.

Steve Eggleston on January 14, 2013 at 5:38 PM

And there won’t be a damn thing we can do about it. Too late. Freedom was a beautiful thing while it lasted.

We still have guns. Just like the Founding Fathers had. That’s why they want them from us. At the point you describe, that path will be all there is.

Keep your nerve, boys — we can be free again.

Dirty Creature on January 14, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Just wait until all the medical records are uploaded into the database. I can’t wait for the first time something really personal and embarrassing to one of their political enemies gets put out onto the internet. You think Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin had it bad? You ain’t seen nothin yet.

Gregor on January 14, 2013 at 5:42 PM

After a couple of years since the passage of this insidious govt takeover, we might begin to think that maybe it won’t be so bad afterall. We have misunderestimated how bad Obamacare will be for our own medical care, for medical costs, for medical innovation, and for the federal budget. Derail Obamacare.

anotherJoe on January 14, 2013 at 5:42 PM

I love how the bad news about ObamaCare is now coming almost hourly.
Chuck Schick on January 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

And no one can do anything about it.
And it will get worse.

albill on January 14, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Just imagine if Pravda and Izvestia had bothered to read this bill and inform the public what was there!!!! John Roberts and the Democrats own this thing and, before too long, even the sycophant media won’t be able to protect them.

bflat879 on January 14, 2013 at 5:48 PM

We still have guns. Just like the Founding Fathers had. That’s why they want them from us. At the point you describe, that path will be all there is.

Keep your nerve, boys — we can be free again.

Dirty Creature on January 14, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Good luck with that. A lot of talk, but never much action. Didn’t work out too well in Louisiana, did it?

People love to rant about never giving up their guns, but when the Feds show up at your door wearing SWAT gear and ask for your guns, the worst you’re going to do is tell them you’re really angry about it.

I wish it wasn’t the case, but it’s just the reality of our side. Our side has come to believe that “going to war” means … writing a bunch of angry emails to Congress that will never be read.

And don’t expect the GOP to do anything to stop it. They haven’t stopped a damn thing in four years, have they?

Gregor on January 14, 2013 at 5:49 PM

When Obamacare is collapsing under its own weight you can be sure that the Main Stream Media will blame the GOP’s obstructionism because they voted against it unanimously. Orwellian isn’t it?

KW64 on January 14, 2013 at 5:50 PM

What do you call the stage beyond the raping?

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Say, that’s a tough one. Broke like the rest of what the government touches?

Bmore on January 14, 2013 at 5:50 PM

There’s a reason the symbol for the Democratic Party is an ass.

EdmundBurke247 on January 14, 2013 at 5:51 PM

yeah it’s imploding but it was never meant to work it just has to hang on long enough to put the insurance companies out of business then our lone option will be single payer.

bannor on January 14, 2013 at 5:52 PM

You have to pass it to find out what’s in it!

cane_loader on January 14, 2013 at 5:55 PM

They are just getting warmed up folks!!

dddave on January 14, 2013 at 5:56 PM

@ Gregor on January 14, 2013 at 5:49 PM

“Good luck with that. A lot of talk, but never much action.

Took 4 score and 7 for the slavery thing to boil over into a Civil War.

How many years since the progressives started hacking away at the constitution?

Partisan on January 14, 2013 at 5:59 PM

We still have guns. Just like the Founding Fathers had. That’s why they want them from us. At the point you describe, that path will be all there is.
Keep your nerve, boys — we can be free again.
Dirty Creature on January 14, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Good luck with that. A lot of talk, but never much action. Didn’t work out too well in Louisiana, did it?
People love to rant about never giving up their guns, but when the Feds show up at your door wearing SWAT gear and ask for your guns, the worst you’re going to do is tell them you’re really angry about it.
I wish it wasn’t the case, but it’s just the reality of our side. Our side has come to believe that “going to war” means … writing a bunch of angry emails to Congress that will never be read.
And don’t expect the GOP to do anything to stop it. They haven’t stopped a damn thing in four years, have they?
Gregor on January 14, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Exactly this! I wished it weren’t true as well. One needs to look no further than Obamacare to see this. When it was first passed I heard many say, “I’m not paying anything. They can lock me up.” All that’s heard now is how bad it is and “if they (Repubs) don’t repeal this, they’ll be out in their azzes next time around!” It’s really sad that there’s NEVER any retaliation over stuff like this. And there goes a little more liberty.

air_up_there on January 14, 2013 at 6:00 PM

@ Gregor on January 14, 2013 at 5:49 PM
“Good luck with that. A lot of talk, but never much action.
Took 4 score and 7 for the slavery thing to boil over into a Civil War.
How many years since the progressives started hacking away at the constitution?
Partisan on January 14, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Good point.

air_up_there on January 14, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Let the whole damned thing implode! ObamaCare was DESIGNED to fail, that way the Democrats could move right into a socialist single-payer system. They were at the height of their power, conservatism was dead. Well they passed an ill-conceived law that they never even read. Let it blow up in their faces!

GarandFan on January 14, 2013 at 6:12 PM

You have to pass it to find out what’s in it!

cane_loader on January 14, 2013 at 5:55 PM

It still amazes me that hag got away with this statement.

Every time I read or hear it – it takes my breath away.

tru2tx on January 14, 2013 at 6:14 PM

People love to rant about never giving up their guns, but when the Feds show up at your door wearing SWAT gear and ask for your guns, the worst you’re going to do is tell them you’re really angry about it.

Undoubtedly, many will. Until someone doesn’t. Then things will get loud, fast.

If there’s one thing I learned in battle on foreign soil, there are always those who lose their nerve. But there are those who don’t, and as soon as THEY stand up, enough of the others follow to get the job done.

Dirty Creature on January 14, 2013 at 6:15 PM

A couple months back we had a chance to rectify this situation. Unfortunately the electorate like whining about Obamacare more than it likes electing people who have sworn to repeal it.

dczombie on January 14, 2013 at 6:17 PM

A couple months back we had a chance to rectify this situation. Unfortunately the electorate like whining about Obamacare more than it likes electing people who have sworn to repeal it.

dczombie on January 14, 2013 at 6:17 PM

I’m not getting rid of all of healthcare reform.” – Mitt Romney

Romney on Obamacare: Repeal the Bad and Keep the Good

sharrukin on January 14, 2013 at 6:30 PM

It’s a remarkable strategy, really: Fight tooth and nail to pass the mandate, knowing it won’t be effective, and then use worries about its ineffectiveness as an excuse to make it stronger.

It’s a tried and true strategy of the left. Did they not tear down the family, God, responsibility, marriage, prudence, entertainment, media news, attack life itself, irresponsible mortgage pressure, divide the nation into factions, and those things that held the melting pot together and then demand more government, more power, more taxes, to fix the broken nation?

Don L on January 14, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Thanks GOP. Your assumed fetal position on all issues has been very helpful to enable the Marxists agenda lately. Yes, thank you very eff’ng much.

Mr. Arrogant on January 14, 2013 at 6:39 PM

What do you call the stage beyond the raping?

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

…doesn’t matter!…JugEars and the MSM will declare it foreplay!

KOOLAID2 on January 14, 2013 at 6:43 PM

sharrukin on January 14, 2013 at 6:30 PM

STILL lying I see — you & the other morons like you are why Obama got re-elected. The fact that you have the unmitigated GALL to pretend otherwise just proves that there are as many idiots on the right as there are on the left.

Let me repeat myself because I know you are slow — YOU ARE JUST AS RESPONSIBLE FOR OBAMA AS THE MSM & EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE LEFT SO STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT HIM.

You wanted Obama — you got him.

Dark Star on January 14, 2013 at 6:44 PM

FYI: The freeloaders in Massachusetts repeatedly game Romneycare by signing-up ONLY when they have a major medical need. Otherwise, they just pay the fine. The result is higher medical costs for everyone.

Another FYI: Medicare comes with a big penalty also – if you sign up AFTER the 6-month period before you turn 65, you will forever hence pay a HIGHER monthly fee.

Socialist healthcare is very, very expensive – as everyone will soon learn.

TeaPartyNation on January 14, 2013 at 6:46 PM

“I’m not getting rid of all of healthcare reform.” – Mitt Romney

Romney on Obamacare: “Repeal the Bad and Keep the Good“

sharrukin on January 14, 2013 at 6:30 PM

STILL lying I see —

Dark Star on January 14, 2013 at 6:44 PM

You mean Romney didn’t say those things? Or is Romney lying about what he was going to do?

sharrukin on January 14, 2013 at 6:48 PM

The Obama administration isn’t saying that it plans to beef up the mandate, at least not yet, but according to Politico the Department of Health and Human Services requested suggestions for expanded mandate enforcement late last year. It’s a remarkable strategy, really: Fight tooth and nail to pass the mandate, knowing it won’t be effective, and then use worries about its ineffectiveness as an excuse to make it stronger.

I hate to say it, but it’s not really new. When the government spends money on something that doesn’t work, that’s always a trigger to spend more money on it.

Which leads to a plaintive question: Has the federal government EVER stopped spending money on a program because it just doesn’t work?

Hint: HeadStart
Hint: Dept of Education

There Goes The Neighborhood on January 14, 2013 at 7:00 PM

sharrukin on January 14, 2013 at 6:30 PM

STILL lying I see — you & the other morons like you are why Obama got re-elected. The fact that you have the unmitigated GALL to pretend otherwise just proves that there are as many idiots on the right as there are on the left.

Let me repeat myself because I know you are slow — YOU ARE JUST AS RESPONSIBLE FOR OBAMA AS THE MSM & EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE LEFT SO STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT HIM.

You wanted Obama — you got him.

Dark Star on January 14, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Mitt Romney lost his election because he couldn’t give enough people a good reason to vote for him and get rid of Obama.

Therefore, the logical next move for the GOP is to figure out how to prevent nominating a similar loser next time.

Instead, the RINOs will be trying to figure out how to win the election without getting the base to vote for them, rather than how to convince the base to support them.

At this point, I’m not holding out much hope.

There Goes The Neighborhood on January 14, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Obamacare was declared valid by SCOTUS Traitor Roberts as a tax.

When the tax now starts being collected and someone objects to the Constitutional legality of such a tax, will it finally proceed to the Supreme Court for proper review -as should have been required in the first instance- for Roberts’ and the progressive justices who went along with his treasonous decision to be legally meaningful?

The it’s a tax ruling should have required the petitioners of the law to be sent back by the Court- and have it implemented and then protested -before any actual final SCOTUS ruling could have occurred.

Roberts apparently aborted that necessary legal process through his judicially incompetent acceptance of the tax argument and his fraudulent agreement with the liberal members of this corrupt court.

But why shouldn’t someone now sue in protest of this tax?

profitsbeard on January 14, 2013 at 5:18 PM

You answered your own question. Even if someone filed a lawsuit, the fix will be in from the get-go. They wouldn’t win.

Myron Falwell on January 14, 2013 at 7:11 PM

I hate to say it, but it’s not really new. When the government spends money on something that doesn’t work, that’s always a trigger to spend more money on it.

There Goes The Neighborhood on January 14, 2013 at 7:00 PM

That’s because the government answer is always to throw more money at it. Hey, it’s not like it’s their money. And few things are going to be as pricey as free healthcare.

ghostwalker1 on January 14, 2013 at 7:18 PM

@ Gregor on January 14, 2013 at 5:49 PM
“Good luck with that. A lot of talk, but never much action.

Took 4 score and 7 for the slavery thing to boil over into a Civil War.
How many years since the progressives started hacking away at the constitution?
Partisan on January 14, 2013 at 5:59 PM

There WILL be a civil war, no question. Only it won’t be the conservatives who start it. After all, there is a whole underclass of me-first, gimme-gimme-gimme plebeians who have slowly fallen into the trap laid by the Socialists and the Dems a century ago.

Just look at the anarchy caused when a natural disaster strikes… Katrina, anyone?

We may call them “low-information voters” or “stupid voters”, when they REALLY are tools by the Socialists to instigate anarchy and war. They believe anything that a Dem says; if someone like Obama or Cuomo tells them to organize and take out people who haven’t given up their guns yet because “those people want to take away your free birth control and free college tuition” they will comply in a Pavlovian state. Just like the middle-class Germans fell for a smooth talker and wound up aiding and abetting in the murder of six million people.

Make no mistake. This IS the fate of the US. It won’t be conquered by an outside source but shall disintegrate from within.

Myron Falwell on January 14, 2013 at 7:22 PM

The unanswered question here is, how exactly do they expect to raise the mandate? Do they really expect the opponents of Obamacare to be willing to raise costs on everybody to rescue a program they hate?

As much as people resent the Roberts decision to call it a tax, it does make it a lot more difficult for Obama to raise more money or stiffen penalties through an executive order.

There Goes The Neighborhood on January 14, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Obamacare was never designed “to work”.

It was designed (if you can call throwing excrement everywhere as design) as the first step toward single-payer nationalized healthcare. Obamacare will destroy the present system of insurance and replace it with chaos which will be resecued by the federal government taking over the entire healthcare system.

One reason that Obama lied repeatedly about what was in the legislation and what it would do, was that he doesn’t care if what was passed will “work”.

pilsener on January 14, 2013 at 7:43 PM

The unanswered question here is, how exactly do they expect to raise the mandate? Do they really expect the opponents of Obamacare to be willing to raise costs on everybody to rescue a program they hate?

As much as people resent the Roberts decision to call it a tax, it does make it a lot more difficult for Obama to raise more money or stiffen penalties through an executive order.

There Goes The Neighborhood on January 14, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Yes, they really expect any opponents to bend over and take it (for lack of a better term).

Do you and I REALLY think wimps like Speaker BOHICA will mount any credible protest after he got humiliated in the “fiscal cliff” kabuki theater? Nothing will prevent them from taxing us to death so that promiscuous women can get free birth control. Nothing.

Roberts simply sealed the deal. There ain’t no going back now, folks. Enjoy it now before America’s descent into oblivion is complete.

Myron Falwell on January 14, 2013 at 7:46 PM

The progressives are salivating because they’re empowered. They saw how easy it was to use voter scams that would never be questioned by the republicats to win elections. With amnesty, it’ll be a cake walk to win all elections.
So they wait until 2014, turn the House completely progressive, & pass whatever they want.
Wow, can you hardly wait?!?

Belle on January 14, 2013 at 7:51 PM

You mean Romney didn’t say those things? Or is Romney lying about what he was going to do?

sharrukin on January 14, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Mitt never really WANTED to be President – he just felt obligated to run. As a result, he never offered a consistent position on the issue. Surprise, surprise.

Mittbots regurgitating talking points or quotes or obscure Internet links (often here on HotGas) didn’t do anything to change that one bit..

Myron Falwell on January 14, 2013 at 7:58 PM

So they wait until 2014, turn the House completely progressive, & pass whatever they want.
Wow, can you hardly wait?!?

Belle on January 14, 2013 at 7:51 PM

As much as I look forward to seeing the country finally declare bankruptcy, and the low-information voters Stupid-Americans riot, rape, pillage and kill in protests egged on by the Democrats because they won’t have an Obamaphone any more.

Athens, Greece will look at the U.S. and shudder.

Myron Falwell on January 14, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Mitt never really WANTED to be President – he just felt obligated to run. As a result, he never offered a consistent position on the issue. Surprise, surprise.

I dismissed that when I first heard it, but maybe there is some truth to it. Romney certainly wanted to be the nominee, but he just coasted when it came to the general. McCain did the same thing.

Mittbots regurgitating talking points or quotes or obscure Internet links (often here on HotGas) didn’t do anything to change that one bit..

Myron Falwell on January 14, 2013 at 7:58 PM

I know. It’s bizarre to be called a liar when you are quoting Mitt Romney’s own words and nothing else. I guess they figured that if they shook the scary Obama doll at us enough that would get the job done?

sharrukin on January 14, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Michael Savage brought up this idea several times. Mitt Romney, just as John McCain, were set up to fail. His rationale, however, are questionable: 8 years Demothugs, 8 years republicrats, each with their hands in the treasury to drain it again, & again.
In truth, that’s what’s been happening, but why? Are politicians that evil? Looks like it is so.

Belle on January 14, 2013 at 8:58 PM

What will they do when they realize that permanent middle class tax rates won’t “be enough?”

docflash on January 14, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Rhetorical question, right?

Its a tax, so what do you think will happen?

riddick on January 14, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Belle on January 14, 2013 at 8:58 PM

I’d chalk it up to being more of a happy accident. Both Mitt and McCain won their nominations out of severe attrition. The candidate field in 2012 (outside of Mitt) was over-scrutinized and over-debated to death, while the candidate field in 2008 was simply awful beyond belief.

But we cannot underestimate the GOP elite and their brazenness in telling Sarah Palin over and over again (but not directly to her face) “You cannot run. You won’t win. You are unelectable.THAT is not an accident.

Myron Falwell on January 14, 2013 at 11:36 PM

What do you call the stage beyond the raping?
Schadenfreude on January 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

The late-arriving husband exacting vengeance…?

Akzed on January 15, 2013 at 9:08 AM