Can it be revived?

Obama struggles to save his cherished health law.
Associated Press
Nov 16, 2013

President Barack Obama's health care law risks coming unglued because of his administration's bungles and his own inflated promises.

To avoid that fate, Obama needs breakthroughs on three fronts: the cancellations mess, technology troubles and a crisis in confidence among his own supporters.

Working in his favor are pent-up demands for the program's benefits and an unlikely collaborator in the insurance industry.

But even after Obama gets the enrollment website working, count on new controversies. On the horizon is the law's potential impact on job-based insurance. Its mandate that larger employers offer coverage will take effect in 2015.

For now, odds still favor the Affordable Care Act's survival. But after making it through the Supreme Court, a presidential election, numerous congressional repeal votes and a government shutdown, the law has yet to win broad acceptance.

"There's been nothing normal about this law from the start," said Larry Levitt, an insurance expert with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. "There's been no period of smooth sailing."

Other government mandates have taken root in American culture after initial resistance. It may be a simplistic comparison, but most people automatically fasten their seat belts nowadays when they get in the car. Few question government-required safety features such as air bags, even if those add to vehicle costs.

Levitt says the ACA may yet have that kind of influence on how health insurance is viewed. "An expectation that everybody should have health insurance is now a topic of conversation in families," he says.

That conversation was interrupted by news that the HealthCare.gov website didn't work and that people with coverage were getting cancellation notices despite Obama's promise that you can keep your insurance.

Obama maneuvered this past week to extricate Democrats from the cancellations fallout.

The president offered a one-year extension to more than 4.2 million people whose current individual policies are being canceled by insurers to make way for more comprehensive coverage under the law. This move by the White House was intended to smooth a disruption for which his administration completely failed to plan.

But it also invited unintended consequences, showing how easily the law's complicated framework can start to come loose.

State insurance commissioners warned that the president's solution would undermine a central goal of the law, the creation of one big insurance pool in each state for people who don't have access to coverage on their jobs. Fracturing that market could lead to higher future premiums for people buying coverage through the law's new insurance exchanges, which offer government-subsidized private insurance.

That Obama is willing to take such a gamble could make it harder for him to beat back demands for other changes down the line.

On the cancellations front, the president seems unlikely to break through. He may yet battle to a political draw.

Obama realizes it's on him to try to turn things around, and quickly. In the first couple of weeks after the website debacle, Obama played the sidelines role of "Reassurer-in-Chief." Now he's on the field, trying to redeem himself.

"I'm somebody who, if I fumbled the ball, I'm going to wait until I get the next play, and then I'm going to try to run as hard as I can and do right by the team," Obama said Thursday at a news conference.

Making sure the website is running a lot better by the end of the month may be his best chance for a game-changing play.

Although only 26,794 people signed up in health plans through the federal site the first month of open enrollment, 993,635 applied for coverage and were waiting to finalize decisions. For many it took hours of persistence, dealing with frozen screens and error messages. When states running their own sites are included, a total of 1.5 million individuals have applied.

The law's supporters believe that's evidence of pent-up demand, and so far the insurance industry agrees. Public criticism of the administration by industry leaders has been minimal, even though insurers also have been on the receiving end of the website problems. Compounding the lower-than-expected sign-ups, much of the customer data they got was incomplete, duplicative or garbled.

Insurers, eager for the new business expanded coverage would bring, are pressing the administration to clear a route for them to sign up customers directly. Such workarounds may put Obama back on track toward his goal of signing up 7 million people for 2014. Medicaid expansion, the other arm of the law's push to cover the uninsured, signed up 396,000 people last month, a promising start.

With the website troubles, a national effort to promote insurance enrollments has been dialed down. Groups ranging from liberal activists and civic clubs to health promoters were mobilized and waiting. But there was little they could do. Advertising campaigns have been postponed. As the year-end holidays approach, both volunteers and the people they would be trying to reach have other priorities.

Whether enthusiasm among the rank-and-file supporters of the law will come surging back is one of the big unknowns for a president who has acknowledged the need to restore his credibility on health care.

"I think people have lost confidence in the ability of this working," said Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger. "And we've still got the anti-Obamacare folks out there taking full advantage." Praeger is a Republican who believes her state should have helped implement the law.

Skittishness among supporters was evident in the 39 House Democrats who Friday bolted their party to vote for Republican legislation on cancellations, ignoring Obama's veto threat.

Politics is not the only consideration.

The people who are signing up now are likely to be those with unmet medical needs. Younger, healthier customers probably don't see much reason to spend their time tangling with the website. To hold down costs, the law aims for a mix that includes a hefty proportion of younger enrollees whose medical expenses are low.

"Everybody said the website would be up and running the first day," said Praeger. "The longer it takes, the more people are going to question whether this is going to work."

 

Comments

Darwin's choice

So, shizzle is a full of chit, douche-bag, oreo, pathetic weasel? Lol...I thought that chess-pigeon was good...!!!!
Typical team obama/fail member.

More for the team failure...

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront...

Contango

Pres. Obama:

"I’m also somebody who, if I fumbled the ball, you know, I’m going to wait until I get the next play,"

The coach oughta bench ya and try to trade you.

2cents
Dr. Information

Funny thing is I never hear any white person claiming they hate Obama because he is black. Now, Im not saying that it doesn't happen with some rare breeds of people out there, but the only reason racism is thriving is because of people like Obama, like Oprah, who constantly use it as a crutch and tell everyone "racism does exist because I said it does". When something goes south, they blame racism instead of the real issue, which is Obama has been a horrible president and the polls don't lie.

Contango

Re: "blame racism,"

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

- H.L. Mencken

Small minded thinkers tend to gravitate toward the easy-to-grasp simple answers that propagandists and demagogues readily supply.

Pterocarya frax...

Dr. Information: Is this racism?: "Here is a lesson to you young white girls. Stop mudsharking!!! Most of these black men have absolutely no control over their sex drive. Most of them haven't evolved past the ape species". That is a direct quote from one of our fellow posters (YAWWNN) just yesterday on another story. Just curious for your thoughts.

Contango

"Watch Nancy Pelosi Struggle To Defend Obama's Promise That People Could Keep Their Health Insurance":

http://www.businessinsider.com/n...

Ms. Pelosi is the face of the double talking, lying Progressives in the Democrat Party.

Pete

Her face is just as fake as Obie's promise.

The only thing that would be better than her plastic surgery suffering a catostrophic failure would be someone posting the video of it on YouTube.

The Big Dog's back

Many in the rich or wealthy class continue to complain about being overtaxed. They do so even as they receive preferential tax treatment. They do not pay social security tax (12.4%) on any of their income above $17,000.

The rich makes most of their income from capital gains. The working middle class make most of their income from wages. Capital gains are taxed at 20%. Wages are taxed at up to 39.6%. In other words the working man’s tax rates could be near 100% higher than the rich shareholder drinking tea at his/her pool. Worse, they do not pay any Social Security tax on the gains.

thinkagain

Sounds fair to me. (If you need a couple extra bucks, my pool could use a cleaning.)

Pete

Never happen. That would require he do something called "work". Parasites don't do that. They just feed off the host.

Edit: As usual with him, anything over one sentence is a Copy & Paste. No idea how to form his own ideas.

thinkagain

Oh that’s right, I forgot he’s a member of the TEAt party.

Pete

Exactly. Impossible to weane too. Not a thread of Personal Responsibility in their being.

BabyMomma

So he is a flea on a big dogs back. Now it makes sense. And this whole time I thought he was just a tard.

Pete

That he is. But while some parasites form a symbiotic relationship with their host, his type will continue to drain them until they're dead.

Contango

Re: "They do not pay social security tax (12.4%) on any of their income above $17,000."

Say wa?

"For 2013, the maximum amount of taxable earnings was $113,700."

http://www.ssa.gov/planners/maxt...

Yep! Rep. Pelosi is the 15th richest member of Congress, worth between $24M and $39M - soak her senile *ss!

http://media.cq.com/50richest/

The TOPIC is the FAILURE of the Incompetent-in-Chief's "signature program" you PDB.

The Big Dog's back

Capital gains maroon.

Contango

Re: "Capital gains maroon."

Short or long term you PDB?

https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoi...

Again: The TOPIC is the FAILURE of the Incompetent-in-Chief's "signature program" you PDB.

grumpy

Do you really expect piddle puppy to be able to wade through that fidelity report? Even though it has definitions for some of the terms in the report he is WAY beyond his depth to figure out anything it says about tax rates for various investments.and their gains.

grumpy

"Many in the rich or wealthy class continue to complain about being overtaxed."

Bull$hit, the rich don't bother to complain about taxes. They buy/hire folks to figure the best way to make more money and how it needs to be reported to the gov't so they keep the most they legally can. Do you habitually overpay your taxes and not expect a refund? Neither do they.

If you wish to limit what they can do reform the tax structure and tax laws of the country. Whining about the taxes and loopholes the congress and president has passed and signed into law does nothing. If you don't start with a clean sheet the tens of thousands of pages of tax laws hide lots of loopholes they won't find till some tax lawyer does and uses them. Start with a clean sheet and write short simple laws with no exemptions or loopholes, think something opposite the 2300+ pages Obamacare, that no one read.

The "Rich or Wealthy" you claim complain about taxes are those few who wish to be on TV, not 99.9% of the rich take what is in the laws and make the most of what they can. They read the rules and find legal ways to use them. Change the rules and they will change their way to get around the new laws, same as anyone would who has the ability to do so. Start with a clean sheet and make no loopholes. Want to bet this congress and this president won't insist on loopholes for their butt buddies?

How long is the federal tax code? 74000 pages more than 30 times longer than Obamacare. It is how congress and the president hide what is really there, who the h&ll would read it all?

http://money.cnn.com/quizzes/201...

Correct. The answer is: 73,954 pages
The code is now nearly 74,000 pages long. That's about 185 times longer than it was in 1913, when the code was 400 pages. Source: CCH

Darwin's choice

She is not alone in lying for the liar in charge.....here's a few more that need to be tried for treason....

SEN. HARRY REID (D-Nev.): “In fact, one of our core principles is that if you like the health care you have, you can keep it.” (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S.8642, 8/3/09)

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN: “We believe — and we stand by this — if you like your current health insurance plan, you will be able to keep it, plain and simple, straightforward.” (Sen. Durbin, Congressional Record, S.6401, 6/10/09)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “If you like your insurance, you keep it.” (U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, Bill Mark-Up, 9/29/09)

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-Wash.): “Again, if you like what you have, you will be able to keep it. Let me say this again: If you like what you have, when our legislation is passed and signed by the President, you will be able to keep it.” (Sen. Murray, Congressional Record, S.6400, 6/10/09)

SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-Mont.): “That is why one of the central promises of health care reform has been and is: If you like what you have, you can keep it. That is critically important. If a person has a plan, and he or she likes it, he or she can keep it.” (Sen. Baucus, Congressional Record, S.7676, 9/29/10)

SEN. TOM HARKIN (D-Iowa): “One of the things we put in the health care bill when we designed it was the protection for consumers to keep the plan they have if they like it; thus, the term ‘grandfathered plans.’ If you have a plan you like — existing policies — you can keep them. … we said, if you like a plan, you get to keep it, and you can grandfather it in.” (Sen. Harkin, Congressional Record, S.7675-6, 9/29/10)

THEN-REP. TAMMY BALDWIN (D-Wis.): “Under the bill, if you like the insurance you have now, you may keep it and it will improve.” (Rep. Baldwin, Press Release, 3/18/10)

SEN. MARK BEGICH (D-Alaska): “If you got a doctor now, you got a medical professional you want, you get to keep that. If you have an insurance program or a health care policy you want of ideas, make sure you keep it. That you can keep who you want.” (Sen. Begich, Townhall Event, 7/27/09)

SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-Colo.): “We should begin with a basic principle: if you have coverage and you like it, you can keep it. If you have your doctor, and you like him or her, you should be able to keep them as well. We will not take that choice away from you.” (Sen. Bennet, Press Release, 6/11/09)

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D-Calif.): “So we want people to be able to keep the health care they have. And the answer to that is choice of plans. And in the exchange, we're going to have lots of different plans, and people will be able to keep the health care coverage they need and they want.” (Sen. Boxer, Press Release, 2/8/11)

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-Ohio): “Our bill says if you have health insurance and you like it, you can keep it…”(Sen. Brown, Congressional Record, S.12612, 12/7/09)

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-Md.): “For the people of Maryland, this bill will provide a rational way in which they can maintain their existing coverage…” (Sen. Cardin, Congressional Record, S.13798, 12/23/09)

SEN. BOB CASEY (D-Pa.): “I also believe this legislation and the bill we are going to send to President Obama this fall will also have secure choices. If you like what you have, you like the plan you have, you can keep it. It is not going to change.” (Sen. Casey, Congressional Record, S.8070, 7/24/09)

SEN. KAY HAGAN (D-N.C.): ‘People who have insurance they're happy with can keep it’ “We need to support the private insurance industry so that people who have insurance they're happy with can keep it while also providing a backstop option for people without access to affordable coverage.” (“Republicans Vent As Other Compromise Plans Get Aired,” National Journal’s Congress Daily, 6/18/09)

SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D-La.): “If you like the insurance that you have, you'll be able to keep it.” (MSNBC’s Hardball, 12/16/09)

SEN. PAT LEAHY (D-Vt.): “[I]f you like the insurance you now have, keep the insurance you have.” (CNN’s “Newsroom,” 10/22/09)

SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D-N.J.): “If you like what you have, you get to keep it” “Menendez is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which is expected to release a bill later this week. He stressed that consumers who are satisfied with their plans won't have to change. ‘If you like what you have, you get to keep it,’ he said.” (“Health Care Plan Would Help N.J., Menendez Says,” The Record, 6/19/09)

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-Oreg.): “[E]nsuring that those who like their insurance get to keep it” “The HELP Committee bill sets forward a historic plan that will, for the first time in American history, give every American access to affordable health coverage, reduce costs, and increase choice, while ensuring that those who like their insurance get to keep it.” (Sen. Merkley, Press Release, 7/15/09)

SEN. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D-Md.): “It means that if you like the insurance you have now, you can keep it.” (Sen. Mikulski, Press Release, 12/24/09)

SEN. JAY ROCKEFELLER (D-W.Va.): “I want people to know, the President's promise that if you like the coverage you have today you can keep it is a pledge we intend to keep.” (U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, Hearing, 9/23/09)

SEN. JACK REED (D-R.I.): “If you like the insurance you have, you can choose to keep it.” (Sen. Reed, Town Hall Event, 6/25/09)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-Vt.): “‘If you have coverage you like, you can keep it,’ says Sen. Sanders.” (“Sick And Wrong,” Rolling Stone, 4/5/10)

SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-N.H.): ‘if you have health coverage that you like, you get to keep it’ “My understanding … is that … if you have health coverage that you like you can keep it. As I said, you may have missed my remarks at the beginning of the call, but one of the things I that I said as a requirement that I have for supporting a bill is that if you have health coverage that you like you should be able to keep that. …under every scenario that I’ve seen, if you have health coverage that you like, you get to keep it.” (Sen. Shaheen, “Health Care Questions From Across New Hampshire,” Accessed 11/13/13)

SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D-Mich.): “As someone who has a large number of large employers in my state, one of the things I appreciate about the chairman's mark is — is the grandfathering provisions, the fact that the people in my state, 60 percent of whom have insurance, are going to be able to keep it. And Mr. Chairman, I appreciate that. That's a strong commitment. It's clear in the bill … I appreciate the strong commitment on your part and the president to make sure that if you have your insurance you can keep it. That's the bottom line for me.” (U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, Bill Mark-Up, 9/24/09)

SEN. JON TESTER (D-Mont.): “‘If you like your coverage, you'll be able to keep it,’ Tester said, adding that if Medicare changes, it will only become stronger”. (“Tester In Baker To Discuss Health Care,” The Fallon County Times, 11/20/09)

SEN. TOM UDALL (D-N.Mex.): “Some worried reform would alter their current coverage. It won't. If you like your current plan, you can keep it.” (“What I Learned: About Health Care Reform This Summer, By Your Lawmakers In Congress,” Albuquerque Journal, 9/8/09)

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-R.I.): “…it honors President Obama’s programs and the promise of all of the Presidential candidates that if you like the plan you have, you get to keep it. You are not forced out of anything.”(Sen. Whitehouse, Congressional Record, S.8668, 8/3/09)

__________________

Contango

The double-talking, two faced Liar-in-Chief said that it ain't their fault, he misled them.

"I think it's very important for me to note that, you know, there are a whole bunch of folks up in Congress and others who made this statement, and they were entirely sincere about it.

And the fact that you've got this percentage of people who've had this, you know, impact -- I want them to know that, you know, their senator or congressman, they were making representations based on what I told them and what this White House and our administrative staff told them, and so it's not on them, it's on us."

- Pres. Obama, 11/14/13

http://www.washingtonpost.com/po...

Obviously according to the POTUS, those Dem members of Congress are like most Obamabots and are programmed without the ability to think independently.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Or actually read the laws they vote to pass.

Contango

Pres. Obama, 11/14/13:

"With respect to the pledge I made that if you like your plan you can keep it, I think -- you know, and I've said in interviews -- that there is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate.

It was not because of my intention not to deliver on that commitment and that promise. We put a grandfather clause into the law but it was insufficient."

"...my intention not to deliver on that commitment and that promise."?

How is that NOT confirmation that he knew that he was LYING?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/po...

Contango

One of my "favorite" parts of Pres. Obama's long-winded, rambling and incoherent press conference:

"And it's not a perfect analogy, but you know, we made a decision as a society that every car has to have a seat belt or air bags.

And so you pass a regulation. And there's some additional cost, particularly at the start, of increasing the safety and protections, but we make a decision as a society that the costs are outweighed by the benefits of all the lives that are saved.

So what we're saying now is if you're buying new -- a new car, you got to have a seat belt."

People don't repeatedly purchase their "seat belt" bi-weekly or monthly like health ins. do they?

This "analogy" isn't only imperfect - it's IDIOTIC.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/po...

Contango

"Obamacare – Just Brain-dead":

"Looking at the fine print, maternity insurance had to be provided for everyone.

The problem, it is not quite understood how a single man can get pregnant at least without directly engaging in intercourse with the government."

http://armstrongeconomics.com/20...

Remember: Insurers MUST use a community rating system and cannot discriminate based on sex.

Contango

"White House working with insurers to bypass HealthCare.gov: WSJ"

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101198671

This is what a major public sector bureaucratic cluster (bleep) looks like.

In the private sector, the co. stock woulda taken a dive, Pres. Obama woulda been fired and escorted off the premises.

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