Alternate headline: Hey, maybe those Republicans had a point in September, huh? Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) tells Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Union that Democrats and Republicans should come together to approve a one-year delay in any enforcement of the individual mandate in ObamaCare, considering the facts that (a) people can’t enroll through the government websites yet, and (b) the latest (illegal) change from the White House has more or less meant a de facto delay anyway. Why not make it official at this point, and see what happens?
“If it’s so much more expensive than what we anticipated and if the coverage is not as good as what we had, you’ve got a complete meltdown at that time,” the West Virginia Democrat said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “This transitional year gives you a chance to adjust the product for the market.”
Here’s the problem with that approach, and also with the latest change from HHS and the Obama administration. This year’s premium prices were predicated on forcing everyone to buy comprehensive policies, even those who don’t really need them. Not only did Thursday’s change remove the moral argument that non-comprehensive plans are inadequate under all circumstances, it also gave millions of Americans a free get-out-of-comprehensive-insurance-jail-free card. Delaying the mandate will mean that insurance companies will be forced to escalate premiums even more sharply in the fall of 2014 for the 2015 year, and the dynamic that Manchin describes will be even worse than it is now.
ObamaCare is already collapsing under the weight of its own mandates, as anyone who understands risk pools predicted when the bill was being debated. The web-portal issues are just the icing on the cake.
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