Quotes of the day

posted at 8:01 pm on December 15, 2013 by Allahpundit

Why do Republicans even bother trying to delay Obamacare? President Barack Obama’s doing it all by himself…

Sure, Obama’s not doing the things Republicans have suggested — push off centerpieces like the individual mandate, or even put the entire law on hold for a year. But piece by piece, the Obama administration keeps giving itself extensions on smaller parts of the law, because there’s always some piece that isn’t quite ready

There was also a tone to Thursday’s announcement that was close to pleading for help, as the administration urged insurers to cut the new customers a bit of slack — looking the other way if they sign up a few days late, and making their coverage retroactive if they pay a bit late…

“For all his attacks on our efforts, no one has done more to undermine the implementation of Obamacare than the president himself,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner.

***

The latest deadline delay for the Affordable Care Act could lead to even more enrollment problems and place a bigger burden on insurance companies, experts say.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday it would require insurance companies to accept premium payments for plans that start on Jan. 1 up until Dec. 31-eight days from the already once delayed date of Dec. 23.

“This will kill insurance companies,” says Devon Herrick, senior analyst at the National Center for Policy Analysis, of the latest deadline extension. “I don’t think insurance companies will be there on New Year’s Day figuring out what they owe, who they need to bill and who has legitimate coverage. You can see what a mess this is—I can’t imagine insurance companies can solve this in one day, especially when that day is a holiday.”…

“Is this possible? Yes. But is it practical? No. The challenge here is that the U.S. government is saying the transaction that happens to enroll someone is fundamentally easy, when it is fundamentally complicated.”

***

Enrollment records for close to 15,000 HealthCare.gov shoppers were not initially transmitted to the insurance plans they selected, according to a preliminary federal estimate released Saturday.

While these cases pose a challenge for the Obama administration, officials say they believe the situation is improving. Since early December, fewer than 1 percent of HealthCare.gov enrollments did not make their way to health insurance plans.

***

Insurers said that they had found many discrepancies and errors and that the government was overstating the improvements in HealthCare.gov.

In some instances, they said, the federal government reported that the home address for a new policyholder was outside an insurer’s service area. In other cases, a child was listed as the main subscriber — the person responsible for paying premiums — and parents were listed as dependents.

In some cases, children were enrolled in a policy by the federal government and parents were left off, or vice versa. In other cases, the government mixed up the members of a family: A child or spouse was listed two or three times in the same application in late November. Such errors can have financial implications, increasing the amount of premiums that a family is required to pay.

While some of the problems were discovered in the last few days, insurers said that they had previously reported many of the errors to the “help desk” at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and that the problems remained unresolved.

***

Some people who picked a health plan as far back as October through the Covered California exchange say insurers are telling them they still have no record of their enrollment. As a result, bills haven’t gone out and consumers can’t pay their initial premium to ensure coverage takes effect in less than three weeks.

Thomas Gallo of Glendora signed up his wife and son on the second day of enrollment in October. After hearing nothing for weeks, he said, he was told by the state in late November that his application and some others had been lost.

Gallo reapplied over the phone, but he said he still has no confirmation from Blue Shield of California about his family’s Silver plan. Gallo, a retired accountant, has Medicare for himself.

“The back end is so backed up, and no one can give me an answer,” said Gallo, a strong supporter of President Obama’s healthcare law. “What happens if we don’t get coverage by Jan. 1? There are real problems here.”

***

For the second week in a row, the Washington Healthplanfinder website is down, and it’s causing problems for people who are dealing with billing issues. Some of them say the website is mistakenly debiting their accounts

The Bruners enrolled for insurance on the Washington Healthplanfinder website, last October. They say they selected the bill pay date to be December 24th. Instead the Washington Healthplanfinder drafted the 835 dollar premium Monday…

One viewer emailed KING 5 saying, “They drafted my account this morning for a second time.”…

“We’ve got to figure out how to get money to pay the bills for the next week or two until we have another check come through,” said Josh Bruner. “It’s just crazy.”

***

“We’re encouraging [insurers] to offer retroactive coverage,” Michael Hash, director of HHS’s office of health reform, told reporters on a Thursday afternoon conference call. “For example, to allow someone who signs up and pays on January 5 to get coverage with a retroactive start date of January the first.”

“Many insurers do retroactive coverage in the current market,” HHS policy director Chiquita Brooks-Lasure said later on the same call. But health care industry consultant Bob Laszewski says that isn’t true.

“I don’t know what the hell they’re talking about,” Laszewski tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD. “I’ve been in the health insurance business for 40 years. You sign it prospectively, not retrospectively.”

Indeed, if people could buy insurance retroactively, why would they buy it when they’re healthy? If you could get your medical bills covered from a January 3 car accident by signing up on January 10, there would be no reason to pay a premium in December.

***

“What’s wrong with ‘urging’ insurers to offer free care?” you might ask. “That’s not the same as forcing them to offer free care.” Except that the government is using the full force of its regulatory powers, under Obamacare, to threaten insurers if they don’t comply. All you have to do is read the menacing language in the new regulations that HHS published this week, in which HHS says it may throw otherwise qualified health plans off of the exchanges next year if they don’t comply with the government’s “requests.”…

The administration could pay insurers to cover up for its mistakes. But that would lead to criticism—as it has in other instances—that the White House is lawlessly throwing taxpayer money at insurers to, well, cover up for its mistakes. So, instead, they’re asking insurers to pay for the mistakes

[I]t will be up to insurers to sue to protect their rights. Like battered wives, they are unlikely to do so. Companies like Aetna and Humana are so terrified that the administration will run them out of business that they are more likely to do what they’re told, and quietly pass the costs on to consumers. The chaos and recriminations have made insurers like UnitedHealth, who have largely stayed out of the exchanges, look smart.

***

This tells us a few things, I think. The first is that the administration is deeply worried about people who had insurance they liked who are now going into January with either no insurance or with insurance that doesn’t cover doctors and treatments they’re receiving. And because the administration has access to the enrollment data, this further suggests to me that the enrollment spike we saw at the very end of November and the beginning of December has not reached a pace at which they can reasonably expect that the 5 million people who had their plans canceled will have replaced their coverage by Jan. 1. There’s no way to know for sure, of course, but if enrollment was still rapidly accelerating, they wouldn’t need to basically beg insurers to help them eke out as many December enrollments as possible.

The second thing it tells you is that the administration has reached the limits of its November strategy of using last-minute rule-making to implement on-the-fly changes to the law. Most in the latest round aren’t even rules, or even changes to rules; they’re requests. The insurers may well go along — they, too, have a big stake in Obamacare’s success. But by making the request in public, the administration has given itself room to blame insurers when people lose access to doctors, drugs or insurance. Now they can say, “Well, we asked them not to do that.”

Day by day, the administration is putting more of the onus on insurers to make this market work — voluntarily, out of the goodness of their hearts or at least out of mutual self-interest. In some ways, that may be a good thing; insurers are pretty good at delivering insurance, so giving them a freer hand may make sense. But, of course, it hands an awful lot of power to insurers that just a few months ago the administration seemed committed to taking away. It probably wouldn’t be doing that if it weren’t worried about how things are going.

***

Via RCP.


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Billy’s CRACK!!…

williamg on December 16, 2013 at 2:25 AM

Where you a Billy Jack fan back in the day??..:)

Dire Straits on December 16, 2013 at 1:24 AM

…..he got, like – REEEEEEALY fat……like, Orson Welles Fat…….Sidney Greenstreet FAT…..

williamg on December 16, 2013 at 2:37 AM

Page 5 Bishop 1, 2, 3

williamg on December 16, 2013 at 2:38 AM

This deal is getting worse all the time….

wytshus on December 16, 2013 at 3:04 AM

Peter O’Toole

Audrey Totter

Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland… Known to the world as Joan Fontaine

Tom Laughlin

Rest In Peace.

thatsafactjack on December 16, 2013 at 4:25 AM

it just floors me that the lsm and the dems have NO problem with dear leader and this administration changing the law as they see fit….can you imagine if a gop president decided on mulitple delays or not enact certain parts of a law (also see immigration laws that obama deems not necessary to follow)

cripe the double standard is just infuriating…

cmsinaz on December 16, 2013 at 5:39 AM

blame it on the insurers, yeah that’s going to work…

cmsinaz on December 16, 2013 at 5:42 AM

cripe the double standard is just infuriating…

cmsinaz on December 16, 2013 at 5:39 AM

They are going to lie, misplace blame, & make excuses to the bitter end…expect the worst from them – that way, you’ll never be surprised or disappointed! :)

Anti-Control on December 16, 2013 at 6:00 AM

The Republican Answer to Obamacare

Price’s bill entails the full repeal of Obamacare, permission of insurance sales across state lines, medical malpractice reform, tax deductions for health care expenses and a host of other laudable reforms that will reduce costs, increase access to care and allow consumers to buy the plans that are best for them.
It’s important to move away from employer-based health care system, and Price’s bill achieves this goal by providing portability, allowing coverage to be tied to an individual, not an employer, so that if workers change or lose their job, they can keep their insurance.
The Price bill also establishes individual and small-employer associations, allowing individuals, families and small businesses to pool risk so that they can achieve the same economies of scale and negotiating leverage currently enjoyed only by large corporations and labor unions.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/12/republican-answer-obamacare-healthcare-101177.html#ixzz2ndQ360kZ

kcewa on December 16, 2013 at 6:05 AM

Anti-Control on December 16, 2013 at 6:00 AM

you’re right…i shouldn’t be surprised by now….5 years of this crapola…

cmsinaz on December 16, 2013 at 6:09 AM

kcewa on December 16, 2013 at 6:05 AM

and the lsm/dems continue with their ‘where’s the gop’s plan?’ meme ad nauseum…

cmsinaz on December 16, 2013 at 6:11 AM

kcewa on December 16, 2013 at 6:05 AM

I am unconvinced at this point that the status-quoist GOPe would go for it, because they’ll be too afraid of it ‘hurting’ their election chances!

Anti-Control on December 16, 2013 at 6:13 AM

there are so many people signing up for obamacare so there
-mika

what she doesn’t get is how many people have actually paid for it yet…

cmsinaz on December 16, 2013 at 6:18 AM

you’re right…i shouldn’t be surprised by now….5 years of this crapola…

cmsinaz on December 16, 2013 at 6:09 AM

Yep. It was like that under Clinton, too, although it didn’t seem quite as bad as it does now…

Anti-Control on December 16, 2013 at 6:24 AM

Anti-Control on December 16, 2013 at 6:24 AM

good point…

cmsinaz on December 16, 2013 at 6:25 AM

KJ has a great take this am…

cmsinaz on December 16, 2013 at 6:38 AM

cmsinaz on December 16, 2013 at 6:38 AM

Thank you, ma’am!

My take: Secretary of State John Kerry Visits Vietnam to Talk…About Climate Change. This is “Smart Power?”

kingsjester on December 16, 2013 at 6:45 AM

and the lsm/dems continue with their ‘where’s the gop’s plan?’ meme ad nauseum…

cmsinaz on December 16, 2013 at 6:11 AM

I am unconvinced at this point that the status-quoist GOPe would go for it, because they’ll be too afraid of it ‘hurting’ their election chances!

Anti-Control on December 16, 2013 at 6:13 AM

It’s frustrating.

kcewa on December 16, 2013 at 6:54 AM

My take: Secretary of State John Kerry Visits Vietnam to Talk…About Climate Change. This is “Smart Power?”

kingsjester on December 16, 2013 at 6:45 AM

Climate change is a global problem. This global problem requires a global solution. Which means we need a global government powerful enough to enforce that solution. A government led by the global elite like…well, like John Kerry.

See how this works?

kcewa on December 16, 2013 at 7:13 AM

kcewa on December 16, 2013 at 7:13 AM

As P.T. Barnum said,

“There’s a sucker born every minute.”

kingsjester on December 16, 2013 at 7:27 AM

Pelosi and Reid are nasty political partisans. The following piece shows how Machiavellian Reid is.
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/12/harry-reid-ralston-machiavelli-with-malaprops-101168.html

And he gets away with it.

onlineanalyst on December 16, 2013 at 7:34 AM

It’s frustrating.

kcewa on December 16, 2013 at 6:54 AM

Yes it is, but…as I reminded delusional internet screamer mnjg a few days back, GOPe slugs like Dick Lugar and Bob Bennett were ousted. Getting rid of submissive non-leaders like Boehner, McConnell, Cantor and Ryan should not be considered an impossible task by us imo.

Anti-Control on December 16, 2013 at 7:34 AM

And he gets away with it.

onlineanalyst on December 16, 2013 at 7:34 AM

he doesn’t JUST “get away” with it – he’s CELEBRATED and KISSED by The Media for it!

williamg on December 16, 2013 at 7:43 AM

williamg on December 16, 2013 at 7:43 AM

If you read the piece, written by a fellow who has followed Reid’s career for a long time, the point is made that Reid doesn’t care what the media have to say about him. Reid spouts the outrageous and then changes the subject. He must have plenty of folks quaking in their boots (particularly in Nevada but also in DC) because of the power of the political machine he has created.

Reid’s attacks on the Senate Conservatives Fund are clearer after you read the piece. Reid plants the seed and then allows the absolutely stupid GOP to take up the mantle of the talking points. Reid sets the corrosion from within. He is ruthless.

onlineanalyst on December 16, 2013 at 7:49 AM

My take: Secretary of State John Kerry Visits Vietnam to Talk…About Climate Change. This is “Smart Power?”

kingsjester on December 16, 2013 at 6:45 AM

…I think I’m going to scream!…everybody…cover your ears!

KOOLAID2 on December 16, 2013 at 8:11 AM

GOP Incumbents Lean on Donors to Beat Back Primary Foes

Mr. McConnell’s message, according to people who attended a Nov. 6 fundraiser with officials from BAE Systems Inc., was that if Republican lawmakers lose primary elections from challengers further to their right who have few qualms about trimming military budgets, the defense industry could expect dwindling support in Washington.

BAE, which has a large presence in Kentucky, declined to comment on the fundraiser or its discussions with Mr. McConnell.

The effort to beat back challenges from the right goes beyond the defense industry. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups have been stepping in to help business-friendly Republicans aligned with the GOP leadership, a reaction to the government shutdown in October, which the business groups opposed, and a sign of worries that tea party-aligned candidates might try to eliminate tax breaks and spending favored by businesses.

kcewa on December 16, 2013 at 8:14 AM

What economic recovery?
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/12/11/Dems-Slam-Valerie-Jarrett-Lacks-Any-Knowledge-About-Business

The Obysmal agenda, perpetrated by Jarrett and Emmanuel, took precedence…and continues to do so.

onlineanalyst on December 16, 2013 at 8:50 AM

I did TWO things this weekend that I recommend EVERYONE Do;

1. I donated to SarahPAC

2. I donated to The Senate Conservatives Fund

williamg on December 16, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm very interesting.

So it won’t let a sleeping dog lay eh?

Still going on and on?

Nice one pambi :)

Scrumpy on December 15, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Umm, did you not notice (or care?) that pambi addressed me first? I was making a point to someone else that didn’t concern her, yet she felt the need to give me advice, as if I might care…

What do you think would have happened if she didn’t decide to talk about/at me – that I would have bothered mentioning her at all? lol :)

Anti-Control on December 16, 2013 at 2:38 PM

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