Not sure yet which cable nets are carrying O’s speech, but since this is being billed as O-Care’s big comeback, MSNBC should have it. In case you missed it earlier in Headlines, now would be a fine time to remind yourself just how much damage Obama’s willing to do to his partners in this boondoggle in the name of covering his and his party’s asses:
In the last few weeks, the Obama administration has changed the rules to let people keep their existing health insurance longer, delayed the open enrollment period for 2015 by one month, and extended the 2013 deadline for when individuals would have to enroll in order have health insurance by Jan. 1, 2014…
Steve Zaharuk, senior vice president of the U.S. Insurance team for Moody’s, told ABC News that over the next year, the uncertainty posed by last minute changes from the Obama administration could expose insurance companies to higher administrative costs and uncertainty about the effects of the changes on the composition of healthy and sick people they insure…
Zaharuk also warned that two changes could be significant for insurance companies if the Obama administration decides to go forward with them, as some in Congress have advocated: delaying the individual mandate or extending the open enrollment period beyond March 31, 2014.
“At that point, insurance companies might want to reassess their position in the exchanges and possibly even lobby to have the premium rates changed,” Zaharuk said. “We’d consider those very significant rule changes.”
And so, barely two months into implementation, we’ve already got the inner circle of one of America’s credit agencies nudging insurers to abandon the exchanges if Democrats try to pull the rug out from under them any further. A fine backdrop to this afternoon’s O-Care pep rally. As for the inevitable “80 percent of the time, it works every time” cheerleading by O to come, here’s some helpful perspective:
Obama administration officials acknowledged today that some of the roughly 126,000 Americans who completed the torturous online enrollment process in October and November might not be officially signed up with their selected issuer, even if the website has told them they are…
For those who thought they enrolled in a plan through the federal exchange since October, the Obama administration now advises that individuals contact their insurance company to verify coverage and if none exists, to start all over again.
“Consumers should absolutely call their selected plan, confirm that they have paid their first month’s premium and that coverage would be available to them, beginning January 1st,” said Julie Bataille, communications director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS.
I thought it’d take a week for the White House to swallow its pride and start encouraging consumers to double-check that their enrollment went through by calling insurers directly. It took a day. They won’t disclose the 834 error rate (although, thanks to WaPo, we know it now anyway) but the fact that they’re publicly urging people to follow up gives you a clue about the magnitude of the problem.
While we wait, here’s “white hat” hacker David Kennedy in a segment recorded before Thanksgiving telling CNBC that Healthcare.gov is a smoking volcano of security problems. And now, after the “fix,” it’s allegedly even worse. Security is a strange X factor in the rollout: The warnings about it from tech experts like Kennedy are more dire than any of the rhetoric about the site’s many, many “glitches,” but the White House and Democrats seem relatively unperturbed about it. You hear lots and lots about extending deadlines for enrollment and solving the back-end problems, not so much about the fact that hundreds of thousands of people have exposed themselves to government-enabled identity theft or worse. No one knows when Vesuvius will finally blow. Good luck, champ.
Update: How desperate is Obama for some good publicity right now? This desperate.