Remember when Obamacare was a critical election issue? Ah… good times. But it’s still out there and another open enrollment period is just around the corner. Citizens will have the opportunity to line up at their laptops once again and enroll in the program which will provide them with some sort of health insurance (no matter how much it costs or if they can even afford it) and avoid having their government hit them with a cash penalty for not being able to afford insurance in the first place. But there will be some differences this time.
The first alleged change – and the one the Obama administration would like you to talk about – is that the healthcare.gov website is supposed to not only work this time, but will be more streamlined and efficient. Instead of the daunting 76 screens which users had to navigate last year, this time it’s cut down to 16.
But there’s another change. As the Daily Caller reports, last year you had six months to make your way through the process. This time you’ll get just three. Why? The answer might tie into the fact that you’ll probably want to know how much the policy will cost you before you sign on the virtual dotted line. And you won’t be learning that until after you vote in the midterms.
The Obama administration has already debuted its new, improved version of HealthCare.gov, but still won’t release premium rates on the website until after the Nov. 4 elections.
The open enrollment period begins Nov. 15, over a week after the Nov. 4 elections, and lasts just three months — half as long as the first open enrollment run. The GOP has urged the administration to release the rates as soon as they’re finalized so that customers have more time to budget (and presumably because hikes would be detrimental to Obamacare supporters come election time).
We are apparently to presume that the system administrators won’t know what the rates are going to be on November 1st? Or October 21st? Or… now? And yet somehow they will miraculously know what the rates are the week after the election. Man… that’s one seriously lucky coincidence of timing.
Keep in mind that the providers of this insurance are still in the private sector, even though customers are being routed through a government site and sometimes subsidized by the taxpayer. And through 2014 those premiums have continued to go up and are projected to keep rising. And it’s not just the base premiums which have consumers alarmed. In an effort to curb the bottom line on the bill, insurers have taken to jacking up deductibles wherever possible, cutting into the consumer’s pocketbook even further.
Is there some reason to think that the premiums and deductibles that consumers will find for their new Obamacare policies won’t be rising as well? (Keeping in mind that we were originally told they would be going down, not just rising less quickly.) But you wouldn’t want the hoi polloi finding out about this before they go to the polls, eh? It might cause some sort of unrest.