An Early Christmas Present We All Can Believe In
"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
Last comment by sebekm 10 months, 3 weeks ago.

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A great response to a previous blog about “early Christmas presents” came yesterday from President Obama’s hometown newspaper – The Chicago Tribune - in an editorial titled “Obamacare deadline looms in 3 weeks.” In essence, even the liberal Trib is saying “give us a break” and that it’s time for a time-out from ObamaCare. I was somewhat surprised by the tone and some of the “attacks” contained in the editorial, but it all adds up to even the Kool-Aid drinkers in northern Illinois are getting fed up with the program:

“Obamacare deadline looms in 3 weeks

December 3, 2013

Over the weekend, the Obama administration announced that it had met its self-imposed deadline to fix its balky health insurance exchange website for the "vast majority" of users. U.S. Health and Human Services officials issued a graphics-heavy, information-light report that claimed great leaps of progress from the earlier crash-prone website that frustrated most users for weeks.

The administration says, Mission (Largely) Accomplished. The feds set the bar low and now claim to have cleared it.

Federal officials crowed over the weekend that the website can handle 50,000 users at a time. But many more than that will likely flood in, particularly since they've had their individual policies canceled because of Obamacare mandates and they need coverage by Jan. 1. The deadline to sign up: Dec. 23. Three weeks.

Ominous sign that the system still isn't ready for a massive influx of customers: Federal officials are not launching a planned December health care marketing campaign, lest too many users pile into and ... bleep, blurp, bloop. We're sorry, the website is currently unavailable. Please try again later.

Illinois officials similarly have advised advocacy groups to delay attempts to enroll people through the website until later in December, the Tribune reported over the weekend.

The problem isn't just with the sluggish response times to load pages. It's in what happens in what insurers call "the back end" — after a customer chooses a plan and sends the application to the insurance company. Insurers need to verify the data, process the enrollment, send a premium bill.

How's that working? Clunkily. No surprise there: Last month, Henry Chao, the project manager, startled lawmakers and insurers when he estimated that 30 to 40 percent of the exchange marketplace was still under construction.

Result: Insurers say they have been flooded with phone calls from people who believe they have signed up for a health plan, only to find that the company has no record of enrollment, The New York Times reports. Some insurers say they've received inaccurate or incomplete information, leading them on a costly and time-consuming mission to track down more data. They say a key piece of information — the amount of a customer's premium subsidy — is often missing from the information supplied by the government.

On Monday, Bloomberg reported the latest underwhelming figures: About 100,000 people signed up via the website in November, still far short of the administration's projections. The administration expected 800,000 would sign up for Obamacare by the end of last month.

The next three weeks are crucial. There will be a mad scramble to keep fixing a massively complex computer system while processing millions of sensitive personal documents. That's not just about covering the uninsured. Millions of people who had individual coverage but lost it because of Obamacare need coverage starting Jan. 1. Many of them are still in limbo, their applications lost in the giant federal maze.

All the more reason for the administration to delay the mandate that Americans buy insurance or pay a penalty.

The White House already has granted businesses a pass on providing employees insurance or paying a fine.

Last month, administration officials told state regulators they could allow insurers to extend individual insurance policies into 2014. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois announced Monday that it will allow customers to do that.

Last week, the administration postponed for at least a year plans to allow small businesses in many states to use a website to choose health insurance plans for their employees.

How about an early Christmas present? Give everyone a pause on Obamacare.”


Yes - give everyone a pause, indeed. And God bless (and help) us, every one.

Latest Activity: Dec 04, 2013 at 4:22 PM

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sebekm commented on Wednesday, Dec 04, 2013 at 16:36 PM

This editorial reports real experiences suffered by real people who currently have unnecessary anxiety (and who will soon have a lot less money month-to-month as a result of increased insurance premiums) as a direct result of ObamaCare. One thing this program is doing is uniting the people in this country in a way that only adversity does. From ObamaCare, WE THE PEOPLE are learning the lesson that Ronald Reagan stressed not too long ago:

"Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them."

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 20:00 PM

"Oh me oh my oh, I'm a fool for you baby now" (circa 1964 Dusty Springfield)

It ain't over til the fat lady sings boys and girls and the River Cards are starting to fall in favor of ACA. Yall gather up some boxes of Kleenex for the big cry that is coming.

sebekm commented on Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 09:52 AM

"The more favorable projections are the direct result of the slowing trend in the growth of health care spending over the past five years leading to a slowdown in rising costs."

Any "slowing trend in growth of heath care" is no thanks to ObamaCare. And the people who have had their premiums raised, policies cancelled and choices of doctors/hospitals limited won't really care about "slowing trends of health care growth" when they are at the ballot box next November.

No - they will only be thinking about how much more they are now paying for how much less they are now getting, and how they never really wanted or understood what was coming.

But that's how it is with train wrecks.

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