DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: We should be open to extending the enrollment period for ObamaCare; Update: Pelosi rejects

posted at 2:01 pm on October 23, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via Jim Geraghty, this makes at least three Democrats within the past 24 hours who are now talking openly about some form of delay. Erika covered Jeanne Shaheen’s call for delaying the deadline for enrollment last night. House Democrat Bill Pascrell said this after this morning’s ObamaCare briefing by the White House:

Debbie sounds fine with extending the enrollment period too, saying, “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.” There isn’t? Megan McArdle:

Extending the open enrollment period: This idea has a number of big problems. For starters, it’s probably not legal. Also, it’s useless without extending the individual mandate: Who wants to find out that they’re liable for both insurance premiums and the penalty for being uninsured? But it would also be very, very bad for the insurance market.

I pointed out a while back that one conservative talking point — that people can just wait until they get sick, and then buy insurance — is incorrect. It’s incorrect because we have an open enrollment period: If you get sick in April, you have to wait until next January to get insured again. Oh, you can game it a bit (if you move to a different state, for example, you become eligible to buy insurance outside the open enrollment period). Even so, this provides a pretty powerful incentive to get insured and stay insured: After all, how many people can easily switch states?

But if the open enrollment period is extended, then suddenly it makes total sense to wait, especially if the individual mandate also gets delayed. And who’s most likely to wait? Say it with me: young, healthy people who rarely go to the doctor — exactly the people we need to get into the system immediately to keep it financially stable.

Insurance industry death spiral. Which makes me wonder: Do the Democrats who’ve been championing this law actually know how it works? It’s one thing for someone like Rubio to push the idea of delaying the mandate knowing that his proposal will go nowhere; it’s a crafty way to put Dems on the defensive politically. But now Democrats themselves are murmuring about delaying enrollment, which risks the same too many sick/not enough healthy financial nightmare for insurance companies, as a viable solution. It’s not viable. It’s not even viable if you subscribe to the “liberals designed ObamaCare to fail” theory. Even if that’s true, they wouldn’t design it to fail so badly that it might shake the public’s faith in liberal technocracy; that makes the goal of eventually selling people on single-payer harder, not easier. And they wouldn’t design it to fail immediately, when the public’s still skeptical of ObamaCare. To build support for greater statist control of health care, they need to impress people by showing that their contraption can run smoothly for awhile. Then, years from now, when they have a majority in Congress again, they can start touting single-payer as the key to lowering health-care costs for everyone. A meltdown on the federal exchange right out of the gate followed by skyrocketing premiums nationwide as the industry copes with the death spiral is … not helpful to that project. Which brings me back to my question. What are Shaheen, Pascrell, and Wasserman-Schultz doing touting a partial solution that’s apt to lead to the worst-case scenario? If you can’t fix the website immediately, your only option is to delay the law in its entirety so that insurers aren’t stuck figuring out a way to pay for preexisting conditions next year with no new revenue.

Actually, says Conn Carroll, there may be a way involving the “risk corridor” provisions of ObamaCare to delay the mandate and avoid an industry death spiral. Hint: It involves your wallet.

[I]f the actual cost of providing health care for the people who sign up for Obamacare is more expensive than the insurance companies thought it would be, then HHS will pay insurers the difference. They can’t lose!

And where will HHS get this money?

Well, the CBO scored the risk corridor program as budget neutral when Obamacare passed, reasoning that while some insurers would underestimate cots, others would overestimate them, and the overestimaters would be forced to pay the difference to HHS. CBO just figured the overestimaters and the underestimaters would cancel each other out.

But if everyone underestimated the cost of insuring people through Obamacare, then the money to cover insurance company losses will come straight from taxpayers. It could be the biggest taxpayer bailout of the insurance industry ever.

If there’s a shortfall among insurers, the feds will simply borrow an extra few billion to make them whole. Or, if Democrats figure out a way to take back the House, maybe there’ll be a brand new tax next year to pay for the bailout. They could have built ObamaCare that way from the start, in fact, if they wanted to cover preexisting conditions for sick people. Tax everyone, and tax the free-riding uninsured who can afford insurance but choose not to buy it a little extra. But they don’t like being seen as the “tax party” so they stuck us with this Rube Goldberg machine instead that’ll likely end up effectively taxing everyone anyway. See? John Roberts was right after all.

Update: No dice on extending enrollment says Pelosi. Is that because, unlike many of her colleagues, she grasps the death-spiral consequences of doing so? Or is this simply her refusing to give an inch to Republicans on her biggest “achievement” as Speaker?

“I don’t support that,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday morning, just hours after Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire appeared to be the first Democrat in Congress to join a growing number of her Republican colleagues in suggesting the deadline be pushed back…

Pelosi, the former House Speaker, disagreed, adding that “I think we should fix what we have. Move forward with the deadline we have, respectful of what her (Shaheen’s) experience may be, of her suggestion, but not supportive of it.”


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Pelosi knows she can lie and lie and no one in the press will call her on it. So she’d much rather stay the course, even if it means more pain to the poor and middle class, than admit that the Republicans were right on even the smallest point.

LASue on October 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

No dice on extending enrollment says Pelosi. Is that because, unlike many of her colleagues, she grasps the death-spiral consequences of doing so? Or is this simply her refusing to give an inch to Republicans on her biggest “achievement” as Speaker?

Bingo!

See by pushing the government shut down over ObamaCare the GOP has forced certain Dems into defending this thing no matter what. To back down now, after all they have done to defend it, would be a defeat. It means the Dems fought for nothing during the shutdown and the GOP fought for something. A classic example of a tactical defeat being a strategic victory.

Pelosi, Reid and Obama will hold on as long as they can, I argue forever, because they can’t politically step down now that they have put all their chips to the middle of the table for this thing.

Also I see why old Debbie is worried. She is a politician from Florida and ObamaCare is creating chaos there. In a pure blue state Dems could survive that, but in a pure purple state, where Dems win by the slightest of margins, a million or so angry people flipping will be enough to change the dynamic in that state…

Debbie’s got bills to pay…she cannot afford losing her job.

William Eaton on October 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Yes, they can!!!

Schadenfreude on October 23, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Sorry, but you seem to have the mistaken impression that libtard voters think logically.
Stop and think – you’re talking about libtard voters here….

dentarthurdent on October 23, 2013 at 3:11 PM

LIV does not mean liberal. While the vast majority do vote that way, they are primarily defined by their low information status. ObamaCare makes being lowly informed on this issue impossible. And suicide fantasies don’t win elections. Things are going to burn, but no politician should be seen as cheering for that. Their best bet is for people to look back before this disaster unfolded and see they did everything they could to stop it before it happened.

NotCoach on October 23, 2013 at 3:16 PM

For starters, it’s probably not legal

I think that’s the crux of the problem for the Democrats right there. It’s not legal for Obama to simply sign an Executive Order delaying the individual mandate. While this issue of legislating from his desk, ignoring congress and the separation of powers mandated in the constitution, hasn’t been a problem for him thus far, having altered the ACA some 20 times granting waivers, extensions and exceptions to the ACA for his friends, political colleagues, and donors, delaying the individual mandate… the core of Obamacare…after already launching… would require Obama to ask congress to change the law and allow a delay… after just refusing a the same delay when the House asked for it… and showing that he was, in fact, willing to shut down the government rather than negotiate with the GOP.

Asking congress now for the delay he just refused and forced a shut down over… all the while vilifying the GOP… would require admitting that the shut down was his fault… and require him to eat an exceptionally large and bitter crow sandwich. The damage to the Democrat brand would be extensive and lingering.

thatsafactjack on October 23, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Asking congress now for the delay he just refused and forced a shut down over… all the while vilifying the GOP… would require admitting that the shut down was his fault… and require him to eat an exceptionally large and bitter crow sandwich. The damage to the Democrat brand would be extensive and lingering.

thatsafactjack on October 23, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Captain Red Line has really painted himself into a corner once again, hasn’t he? And we have Rubio trying to play Putin this time around, although delaying just the individual mandate accelerates the death spiral. The only viable option is to delay the entire law, but this petulant pr!ck has boxed himself in so badly he won’t ask for that until the whole thing implodes completely.

NotCoach on October 23, 2013 at 3:28 PM

ObamaCare: All the Fines, NONE of the coverage.

portlandon on October 23, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Also known as the John Roberts Tax.

freedomfirst on October 23, 2013 at 2:58 PM

…why is there silence about how that tax keeps changing?

KOOLAID2 on October 23, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Even if that’s true, they wouldn’t design it to fail so badly that it might shake the public’s faith in liberal technocracy; that makes the goal of eventually selling people on single-payer harder, not easier.

Quit it, quit it.

Stop thinking ‘the public’ will react the way *you* would react. ‘The public’ is a bunch of sheep who will – as already in evidence – readily continue to believe in liberal technocracy when they are told to; they will demand MORE of it, not less; and selling them on single-payer as the solution will *NOT* be harder.

If you doubt this, allow me to point you to the earlier thread about Juan Williams. Need more?

Midas on October 23, 2013 at 3:35 PM

It’s not legal for Obama to simply sign an Executive Order delaying the individual mandate.

thatsafactjack on October 23, 2013 at 3:21 PM

And that would stop him… how? Why?

Midas on October 23, 2013 at 3:36 PM

You can’t put the toothpaste back in this can of worms. The horse already left the barn to catch the ship that has already sailed.

SparkPlug on October 23, 2013 at 2:45 PM

You can lead a yak to water, but you can’t make a silk purse out of a pig in a poke.
–Opus

Solaratov on October 23, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Flawlessness.

Bmore on October 23, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Looks like Kenny Powers there.

JR on October 23, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Nancy Pelosi doesn’t care about the private insurance death spiral. To her, that’s a feature, not a glitch.

She also don’t care about the cost, as it’s not her money. It’s the government’s money – and there is plenty of that to seize from the taxpayer in the name of ‘greater good’.

The death spiral that she fears the most is the credibility death spiral that the progressive-fascists are on the cusp of because of the epic nature of the EpicClusterFarkNado that is the placement of 1/6th of the economy under the direct control of the federal government.

Athos on October 23, 2013 at 3:58 PM

A couple of observations …

– An adverse selection spiral is inevitable, and it has little to do with the poorly-designed ‘healthcare marketplace’ website.

– People will, by and large, act in their own best interests. When potential insurance buyers see their monthly premium and the huge deductible, many, if not most, will opt to pay the fine and not buy the coverage. The numbers just don’t make sense, asking for top dollar for plans that mandate thousands in out-of-pocket expenses before coverage kicks in. That’s a major loser and will drive many to self insure.

– Most people will not qualify for a subsidy. Those who do not qualify will see their premiums increase anywhere from 50% to more than 300%. Many family budgets will not accommodate such huge increases. An increase of, say 15% or 20%, could be absorbed, but many people simply will not be able to pay the high premiums.

– Even those who do qualify for a subsidy will still pay higher premiums, even after the subsidy (which is a tax credit, you STILL have to cough-up the FULL premium, then file your taxes to get the credit). The lower income folks who do qualify for a subsidy are generally living from paycheck to paycheck. These aren’t people with big 401Ks or investment accounts. Many will not be able to afford the premiums, with or without the tax credit.

Archer on October 23, 2013 at 3:59 PM

LIV does not mean liberal. While the vast majority do vote that way, they are primarily defined by their low information status. ObamaCare makes being lowly informed on this issue impossible. And suicide fantasies don’t win elections. Things are going to burn, but no politician should be seen as cheering for that. Their best bet is for people to look back before this disaster unfolded and see they did everything they could to stop it before it happened.

NotCoach on October 23, 2013 at 3:16 PM

I was just needling a bit about you anthropomorphizing libtards.
What you said was very logical – just possibly too logical for who you’re talking about.
But I really think the reason many low info voters are what they are, is they just aren’t terribly bright to begin with (i.e. libtards), or they don’t apply logic to their decisions – especially voting, or they just flat don’t care about anything.

dentarthurdent on October 23, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Asking congress now for the delay he just refused and forced a shut down over… all the while vilifying the GOP… would require admitting that the shut down was his fault… and require him to eat an exceptionally large and bitter crow sandwich. The damage to the Democrat brand would be extensive and lingering.

thatsafactjack on October 23, 2013 at 3:21 PM

This says it all.

Obama is a hardcore socialist of some form, communist, national socialist, etc….no matter, but he is a lazy socialist. How can he screw up his signature achievement so badly, the one named after him.

I can tell you if something is named after me I would be fretting each day like a drug addict in withdraw wanting a hit. It appears Obama is so “cool” that he does not even care about that.

It really is almost unbelievable…Stalin would gave been executing people now, not defending them and promoting them for making him look stupid.

William Eaton on October 23, 2013 at 4:09 PM

It really is almost unbelievable…Stalin would gave been executing people now, not defending them and promoting them for making him look stupid.

William Eaton on October 23, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Stalin would probably be executing anyone who signed up for ObamaCare as well. Get rid of the sick and indigent. They’re nothing but a drag on Utopia. And then the next year he’d kill all those who didn’t sign up. We don’t need no stinken’ agitators in Utopia.

NotCoach on October 23, 2013 at 4:14 PM

C’mon. A photo of Debby Whatzername-Schmutz leads into a thread, and no one says it?

You know you wanted to. You know you thought it. You know it’s unavoidable. The tension is almost unbearable…

Wait for it:

MAYONNAISE.

bofh on October 23, 2013 at 4:17 PM

EpicClusterFarkNado

Athos on October 23, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Pardon me Athos, but I’m just really liking that meme. Here, let me amplify it for you:

EpicClusterFarkNado! EpicClusterFarkNado! EpicClusterFarkNado! EpicClusterFarkNado! EpicClusterFarkNado! EpicClusterFarkNado! EpicClusterFarkNado! EpicClusterFarkNado! EpicClusterFarkNado! EpicClusterFarkNado! EpicClusterFarkNado! EpicClusterFarkNado! EpicClusterFarkNado! EpicClusterFarkNado! EpicClusterFarkNado! EpicClusterFarkNado!

EpicClusterFarkNado!

Long live EpicClusterFarkNado!
.
.
.
ahem.

Too bad it doesn’t have Obama’s name in it, but we already have “Obamacare” so that’s OK.

Have you registered the domain name yet?

EpicClusterFarkNado.com
EpicClusterFarkNado.gov
EpicClusterFarkNado.org
etc.

They can all just redirect to healthcare.gov

ZenDraken on October 23, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Asking congress now for the delay he just refused and forced a shut down over… all the while vilifying the GOP… would require admitting that the shut down was his fault… and require him to eat an exceptionally large and bitter crow crap sandwich.

Death Spiral, Death Spiral!

If there’s one thing I know about our President, it’s that he doubles down even on bad positions because he thinks that makes him look tough.

Thus, I predict that he will once more double down and not delay the individual mandate. Delay, and admit the shutdown was his fault. Don’t delay, and suffer the consequences of his own monstrous creation.

Herald of Woe on October 23, 2013 at 4:40 PM

I just know that I”m not buying a policy until I know that the benefits will exceed the premiums. Everyone should do that to sink Obama, the dirty Communist.

BillCarson on October 23, 2013 at 4:41 PM

@DanaBashCNN

new: senior dem source tells me to expect every sen dem running in 2014 to back @JeanneShaheen proposal to delay #ACA enrollment deadline

sentinelrules on October 23, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Also, I like the phrase “required to eat an exceptionally large and bitter crap sandwich.”

Herald of Woe on October 23, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Tax everyone, and tax the free-riding uninsured who can afford insurance but choose not to buy it a little extra. But they don’t like being seen as the “tax party” so they stuck us with this Rube Goldberg machine instead that’ll likely end up effectively taxing everyone anyway. See? John Roberts was right after all.

Grrrrrr.

I hope that man never enjoys a decent night’s sleep again.

*spit*

Kensington on October 23, 2013 at 4:56 PM

For Pelosi, you witch

Healthcare.gov Refers Users to Uncertified Navigators and Assisters…
Launch spawns over 700 cyber-squatters…
Feds invoke ‘privacy’ to shield public employees while snooping on rest…
CBSNEWS: Website Underestimates Cost of Insurance…
Millions of Americans Losing Health Plans…
Senate Dems Up For Re-Election To Back Mandate Delay…

REPORT: OBAMACARE MANDATE MAY BE DELAYED

– Drudge

Schadenfreude on October 23, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Send DWS back to Whoville… without insurance.

AltTuning on October 23, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Asking congress now for the delay he just refused and forced a shut down over… all the while vilifying the GOP… would require admitting that the shut down was his fault… and require him to eat an exceptionally large and bitter crow sandwich. The damage to the Democrat brand would be extensive and lingering.

thatsafactjack on October 23, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Absolutely correct.

If DWS is asking for a delay, they dems are in a serious panic over this.

dogsoldier on October 23, 2013 at 6:34 PM

How bad does it get before the demturds call to shut it down, out of embarrassment?

Except pelosi. She will be insanely pounding the keyboard until they carry her away in a white jacket.

dogsoldier on October 23, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Looking forward to the media stories about “Democrats in Disarray Over ObamaCare Problems”.

But I won’t hold my breath.

Socratease on October 23, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Is that the flying spaghetti monster?

Murphy9 on October 23, 2013 at 8:09 PM

When the lefties have lost DWS……..

lfwest on October 23, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Except pelosi. She will be insanely pounding the keyboard until they carry her away in a white jacket.

dogsoldier on October 23, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Pelosi be nuts.

smoothsailing on October 24, 2013 at 4:50 AM

If there are 700+ cyber-squatters sitting on sites designed to scam prospective Obamacare enrollees, what will be the ultimate bill for the massive identity theft which will result from these sites PLUS the even more massive identity theft via the real unsecure Obamacare site and the criminals hired as “Navigators”??

Identity theft due to Obamacare could easily dwarf the entire nation’s cost of health care!

landlines on October 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Here’s what your twin sister Botox Pelosi said: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoE1R-xH5To

tmgrant on October 25, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Rep. Wasserman (don’t let the rabbit die) Schultz is bucking for Rep. Pelosi’s job, so let’s stop her before she get’s there.

Also, Rep. Wasserman-Schultz for more frizz in the hair turn up the rheostat another 25Mhz.

MSGTAS on October 26, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Comment pages: 1 2