It’s showtime for Obamacare’s explainer-in-chief.
Armed with facts and figures, President Barack Obama will take the stage at Prince George’s (Md.) Community College on Thursday — five days before the uninsured can start signing up for benefits — and test his powers of persuasion.
The setup: Americans remain deeply ambivalent about the law, Republicans in Congress are still trying to rob it of legitimacy, and it could be a colossal failure if consumers don’t sign up.
Five days before enrollment is set to begin for millions of uninsured Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said employers with 50 or fewer workers will not be able to sign their staff up for private insurance in federally operated exchanges until a month later, November 1, because of technical problems.
The White House also said a Spanish-language service for Latinos, who make up about one-third of the 47 million uninsured in the country, will also not be available until “sometime in October.”…
“Obama was literally praising Obamacare when another delay was announced,” tweeted Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia.
Consumers may have to dig a little deeper into their wallets to pay for health care in the Obamacare insurance exchanges, according to a new analysis by Avalere Health.
The study of six states suggests that consumers could face steep cost-sharing requirements — like co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles — layered on top of their monthly premiums…
“Consumers will need to balance lower monthly premiums against the potential for unpredictable, expensive, out-of-pocket costs in plans with higher deductibles,” Caroline Pearson, vice president of Avalere Health, said in a statement. “Furthermore, there is a risk that patients could forgo needed care when faced with high upfront deductibles.”
This isn’t just partisan business. It’s personal. Our cancellation letter states that Anthem is “not going to be selling new individual PPO plans.” When we asked whether we could keep our children’s doctors, an agent for Anthem told my husband and me she didn’t know. The insurer has no details available yet on what exactly they’ll be offering. We either will be herded into the Obamacare federal health insurance exchange regime (launching October 1), a severely limited HMO plan, or presented with costlier alternatives from another insurer. If they even exist.
My family is not alone. Across the country, insurers are sending out Obamacare-induced health plan death notices to untold tens of thousands of other customers in the individual market. Twitter users are posting their Obamacare cancellation notices and accompanying rate increases:
Linda Deright posted her letter from Regency of Washington state: “63 percent jump, old policy of 15 yrs. cancelled.” Karen J. Dugan wrote: “Received same notice from Blue Shield CA for our small business. Driving into exchange and no info since online site is down.” Chris Birk wrote: “Got notice from BCBS that my current health plan is not ACA compliant. New plan 2x as costly for worse coverage.” Small-business owner Villi Wilson posted his letter from HMSA Blue Cross Blue Shield canceling his individual plan and added: “I thought Obama said if I like my health care plan I can keep my health care plan.”
If the ACA is, as conservatives believe, as unpleasant in potential effects as it is impossible to implement, conservatives should allow what Lincoln called “the silent artillery of time” to destroy it. Obama is one of those who mistake their good luck for genius. Having been wafted into high office by gusts of Republican failures, he became the first president to win a second term with reduced percentages of both the popular and electoral votes. Nevertheless, Obama remains mesmerized by himself. He has not noticed that many objects of his rhetorical support — the ACA, scores of Democratic candidates, his gun-control proposals, his plan to attack Syria — have not become popular.
The government should not be closed; the debt ceiling will be raised. Republicans should, however, take to heart the last words of H.L. Mencken’s summation of Theodore Roosevelt: “Well, one does what one can.” Republicans can give Democrats a ruinous opportunity to insist upon unpopular things. House Republicans can attach to the continuing resolution that funds the government, and then to the increase in the debt ceiling, two provisions: Preservation of the ACA requirement — lawlessly disregarded by the administration — that members of Congress and their staffs must experience the full enjoyment of the ACA without special, ameliorating subsidies. And a one-year delay of the ACA’s individual mandate.
By vetoing legislation because of these provisions, and by having his vetoes sustained by congressional Democrats, Obama will underscore Democrats’ devotion: Devotion to self-dealing by the political class, and to the principle that only powerful interests (businesses), not mere citizens, can delay the privilege of complying with the ACA.
As its Oct. 1 implementation date arrives, ObamaCare is the biggest bet that American liberalism has made in 80 years on its foundational beliefs. This thing called “ObamaCare” carries on its back all the justifications, hopes and dreams of the entitlement state. The chance is at hand to let its political underpinnings collapse, perhaps permanently.
If ObamaCare fails, or seriously falters, the entitlement state will suffer a historic loss of credibility with the American people. It will finally be vulnerable to challenge and fundamental change. But no mere congressional vote can achieve that. Only the American people can kill ObamaCare.
No matter what Sen. Ted Cruz and his allies do, ObamaCare won’t die. It would return another day in some other incarnation. The Democrats would argue, rightly, that the ideas inside ObamaCare weren’t defeated. What the Democrats would lose is a vote in Congress, nothing more…
The discrediting of the entitlement state begins next Tuesday. Let it happen.
2. Obamacare implodes
Scenario: Both because of the law’s complexity and administrative errors by the government, the rollout of Obamacare is the rockiest launch since Clint Eastwood’s 2012 GOP convention speech. With the president’s legacy in tatters, even Democrats start to wonder if the benefits of Obamacare were worth the political cost.
The Fine Print: Rather than prompting the Democrats to give up on health-care reform, the 2016 presidential contenders start talking about a single-payer plan like Medicare. And in political terms, it is hard to imagine the Republicans more enraged about Obamacare than they are already.
Our point is that when Washington legislates on a grand scale, it sets in motion a game whose long-run outcome nobody can predict.
ObamaCare, to be sure, was not reform—it was a piling on of subsidies that can only throw fuel on the fire of health-care inflation. Not even the usual mouthpieces pretend otherwise anymore…
It should be noted, finally, who is really rooting for the Affordable Care Act to be a train wreck: It’s people on the left, like L.A. Times columnist Michael Hiltzik, who anticipates that “glitches, loopholes and shortcomings” will lead to a single-payer system. It’s people like Sen. Harry Reid, whom Mr. Hiltzik quotes telling voters back in Nevada that ObamaCare is “far from having something that’s going to work forever.”
Our health-care wars still have a long way to run.
“Once it’s working really well, I guarantee you, they will not call it Obamacare,” Obama told a crowd in Largo, Md. Thursday. “Here is a prediction for you. A few years from now, when people are using this to get coverage, everybody is feeling good about the choices they’ve got, there are going to be a whole bunch of folks that will say, yeah, yeah, I always thought this provision was excellent. I voted for that thing. You watch. It will not be called Obamacare.”
Via the Daily Rushbo.