Via Greg Hengler, a perfect follow-up to Obama’s revisionism last night. Three points. One: What’s the word she utters at around 1:10? Is she … trying to say “misled”? I guess someone needs to tell the nominal head of one of America’s two major parties, who’s been a member of Congress for nearly 10 years, that “my-zeld” isn’t the correct pronunciation.
Two: She’s still pushing the idea that insurers are canceling plans en masse quasi-voluntarily rather than doing it because (a) the law now requires that every plan feature a menu of certain “essential benefits” and (b) HHS wrote the regulations on grandfathered plans exceptionally narrowly in order to maximize the number of plans that would be disqualified. And they did that, of course, because the more middle-class people there are who’ve been forced into more expensive plans, the more money insurers will have to subsidize coverage for the sick and poor. The goal was redistribution, as other Democrats are slowly beginning to acknowledge. Too bad Wasserman-Schultz can’t, preferring to pawn this all off instead on Obama’s pals/partners/scapegoats in the insurance industry.
Three: Contra Debbie, signing up via the ObamaCare website doesn’t “arguably” need to be easier. It needs to be easier. That’s why Obama called in outsiders for a “tech surge,” see? Imagine how zombified you’d need to be in your recitation of partisan spin to say that the Healthcare.gov Chernobyl “arguably” could stand some improvement. It’s like saying the Titanic arguably should have been more buoyant. In fact, thanks in part to the website catastrophe, we’re already getting closer to an iceberg we might not be able to avoid:
Insurers say the early buyers of health coverage on the nation’s troubled new websites are older than expected so far, raising early concerns about the economics of the insurance marketplaces.
If the trend continues, an older, more expensive set of customers could drive up prices for everyone, the insurers say, by forcing them to spread their costs around. “We need a broad range of people to make this work, and we’re not seeing that right now,” said Heather Thiltgen of Medical Mutual of Ohio, the state’s largest insurer by individual customers. “We’re seeing the population skewing older.”…
In states that are running their own marketplaces and have seen smoother rollouts, officials are now also reporting a similar phenomenon, suggesting the economics of the law play a role, too. In Connecticut and Kentucky, which have enrolled more than 4,000 people each in private health plans so far, the largest segments of enrollees in new commercial health-law plans are over age 55, much older than industry actuaries say they had anticipated…
The law includes provisions to ease the risks insurers face. For instance, federal funds will reimburse insurers for certain losses if they underestimate costs. But, actuaries say if the overall pool of customers is significantly older than expected, those provisions may not be enough to protect insurers against losses.
Is a bailout coming? Too early to know yet but the October enrollment numbers, presumably with lots of key demographic data, are set to be released by HHS next week. How many are old people, how many are Medicaid enrollees, and how many are actually the “young invincibles” on whom the fate of the law depends? Whatever the answer, rest assured: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz will be thrilled with the results.