Advocacy

The Obamacare Implosion Is Worse Than You Think

from WP – by Marc A. Thiessen –

Obamacare is imploding. But thanks to the government shutdown, everyone is talking about the implosion of the GOP instead.

The shutdown drama has distracted from the fact that Obamacare’s debut is worse than many realize — and it threatens the fundamental viability of the law itself. The administration claims the Obamacare online exchanges crashed because the Web site got more than 8 million hits in the first week. Please. You know how many people visit Amazon.com every week? More than 70 million. The difference is: 1.) Amazon seldom crashes, and 2.) on Amazon, people actually buy something.

It appears virtually no one is buying Obamacare. While administration officials brag about how many visitors the site is getting, they refuse to divulge how many people actually signed up. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was asked that directly by Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show.” “Fully enrolled?” Sebelius stuttered. “I can’t tell you. Because I don’t know.” That is a frightening admission of incompetence. If the Obama administration can’t even track how many people signed up, how on earth is it going to verify whether those people are eligible for subsidies? How will it protect against fraud?

The Post reported this past weekend that the failure of the Web site is worse than previously known: “Even when consumers have been able to sign up, insurers sometimes can’t tell who their new customers are because of a separate set of computer defects.” It turns out that in some 99 percent of applications, the Obamacare site did not provide insurers with enough verifiable information to enroll people in their plans.

Computer experts say the problems with the site are not because of heavy traffic but are the result of structural flaws in system architecture. It is going to take months to rebuild it. That raises a question: If the federal government can’t manage a simple Web site, how on earth is it going to manage the health care of millions of Americans?

It also means that President Obama may have no choice but to delay the individual mandate. As my American Enterprise Institute colleague, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, points out, how can Obama penalize people for not having health insurance if the government’s Web site to provide that insurance doesn’t work?

Without the individual mandate, Obamacare unravels. The only way the law works is if the government forces young, healthy people into it by threatening them with penalties for not carrying health insurance. But if there is no penalty for not signing up, then fewer Americans will sign up.

Even if the administration manages to fix the Web site and finally implement the individual mandate, people still may not join — because the plans being offered are so unattractive. To entice people to join the exchanges, the administration forced insurers to offer low monthly premiums and cover people with preexisting conditions. Insurers have responded by increasing deductibles — the out-of-pocket costs people must pay before insurance benefits kick in — to stratospheric levels.

According to an analysis this weekend by the president’s hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune, “21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered on the Illinois health insurance exchange for Cook County have annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage. . . . Plans with the least expensive monthly premiums — highlighted by state and federal officials as proof the new law will keep costs low for consumers — have deductibles as high as $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families.” Even with federal subsidies, few Americans will bother to buy insurance with a $4,000 to $12,700 deductible — and millions won’t even be eligible for the subsidies.

If enough Americans don’t join the exchanges, Obamacare collapses. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the administration needs at least 7 million people to join the exchanges for Obamacare to be financially viable. While the administration won’t reveal sign-up rates, London’s Daily Mail reported that total sign-ups in the first week were just 51,000 people. If accurate, that would mean they have just 6,949,000 more to go to break even.

Bottom line: It turns out Obamacare is blowing itself up just fine without Republican help. Far from a few “glitches,” the president’s signature program is in free fall after only a week. But instead of focusing on the Obamacare debacle, the news is filled with stories about . . . the government shutdown. The irony is, the shutdown was intended to stop Obamacare. Instead, it is rescuing Obama from his own incompetence.


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Janice Hardy
8 years ago

We received notices about a month ago that our healthcare $0.00 premium plan -Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NJ Medicare Blue Value with RX Standard- would no longer be available after Jan. 1, 2014. I asked them to send out information on the MAV plans that would be available, and they sent out just one plan with the very same name, but with some higher co-pays and deductables than in 2013. The cost is $153.70/ month for each of us. Along with $108 each that is taken out of our social security, the total for the year is over $6,250 for the year or over 25% of our income. This is the only medicare advantage plan that is offered to people who live in Atlantic County, NJ. I think this is disgusting for a couple who have worked all of their adult lives and paid into Medicare. OBAMA CARE OR ACA HAS MADE HEALTHCARE UNAFFORDABLE! I guess we will go on just regular Medicare and get an inexpensive prescription drug plan so that our NJ Senior Gold prescription plan will remain in effect and just hope for the best.

Bonnie
8 years ago

Anyone that is a veteran should check to see if they are eligible for care at the VA. My husband and I are both veterans, and prefer our care there rather than privately (and we carry private insurance). Veterans may have to pay a co-pay each year, but it is WAY less than Obamacare. And VA enrollment negates need for Obamacare. The only thing is, it doesn’t cover their family.

Robert Higginbotham
8 years ago

I could say that AARP provided us Obamacare. But I doubt many would understand that without their support it would have never passed into law.

Please ensure AARP feels your pain by not supporting them like they don’t support us.

Madman
8 years ago

What SHOULD have happened is a complete overhaul of the insurance industry! They seem to be the ones making out in all this mess. I know…private business being busted up by Govt – whaaa. Seemed to work back when Big Brother stuck it’s nose into Ma Bell some time ago. It’s well past time to shut down Insurance and it’s lobbyists. I, for one, will NOT be spending a dime on Obamacare! They can try to take it out of my taxes…or come and get it personally (I’m stocked on ammo!)

Patti
8 years ago

I’m a senior citizen on Social Security. In 2012 took out a prescription plan costing me $6.10 a month, now I get a letter from insurance company stating my monthly premium will cost me $48.10 because of the Obamacare. Obama certainly don’t care about us senior citizens.

John Higgins
8 years ago

It looks like even the “Friendly Con-artist in the White House ” can’t cover up the dismal failure of Obamacare. I think if more people referred to him that way, the voters would get the message.

Now if only the Democrats would stop putting us in Debt, we could do something about the financial cliff we are about to fall over.

Danny Adams
8 years ago

“It appears virtually no one is buying Obamacare.”

Not exactly sure why this is a bad thing. It wouldn’t necessarily jeopardize the law, and the government would be spending that much less money.

George
8 years ago
Reply to  Danny Adams

It is a bad thing because insurance companies will maintain these plans and make zero profit may be even lose more money on them. You need a large population with healthy people to make health insurance work.
The govt is not spending on health insurance it is only providing the marketplace for it. Did I have to really explain this?

David Groh
8 years ago

I struggle with why an organization that favors mature Americans is so interested in (and against) the ACA. Many mature Americans are on Medicare and are not eligible for insurance under rules of the ACA. It is mostly believed that the ACA will benefit older people in favor of younger people that are being asked to buy insurance weather they want it or not.

LaVerne Haslett
8 years ago
Reply to  David Groh

I am an “older” person. Our rates increase because of Obamacare. And our benefits will decrease. And our social security/medicare rate is higher which means less social security. Oh, and don’t forget the millions of “old” people that can’t afford medical now will be forced to carry supplemental insurance. And certainly, there will be problem when they don’t qualify for any care requiring cancer, hip replacements or any major incident. And certainly, even if care is available for routine things it’ll be more difficult because of dr. shortages, medical personnel, etc. Oh, yeh, Obamacare benefits old people…yeh, sure, helps them right into the grave…but oh, well, they’ve lived too long anyway…..and they may as well die, with the increases they won’t be able to afford food….or medicine anyway.

Flgeeman
8 years ago
Reply to  David Groh

You are absolutely right. The “mature americans” who are against it, seriously, just listen to the noise. Same as they approve of the ACA and are against Obamacare !!!!!

william adams
8 years ago

I agree it was designed to fail. I think obama cares less about health care,only that he has his way.I also think he is using this as a smoke screen to take the spot-lite off all the other things he is doing.

David Groh
8 years ago
Reply to  william adams

What things?

CC
8 years ago
Reply to  David Groh

David Groth, In reply to your question…..What things?…., there are MANY other things that are being ignored or ‘smoke screened’ due to the shutdown. Here are just a few…1…OBAMA SIGNS ANTI-FREE SPEECH BILL
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqYUdZfE5Ww
You may have to copy and paste that link.
2….you can do a search on…….he wants us to buy into the ACA but he and the congress Refuse to………Irony: Obama threatens to veto measure that would require him to enroll in Obamacare
3…….They want to pass it so that we all have to have a micro chip implanted…..here’s the link for that…….http://thelastgreatstand.com/lgs/2013/10/02/all-americans-will-receive-a-microchip-implant-in-2013-per-obamacare/
I do hope you take the time to look at these, whether you have to do a copy and paste or a google search.
Wake up David, there’s a whole hell of alot you aren’t hearing about, or listening to.

nancy snead
8 years ago

Hell u all r crazy nut missing all of your brain cells People r signing up by the millions u must b listening to those nuts on fox news or just another 1 of those wackos called the t thugs or the republithugs who want totake over our country take away every 1 of our God given rights they are all facist kkk hitlers they r all evil and GOD will destroy all of u haha

Thomas Kraft
8 years ago
Reply to  nancy snead

I assume this is sarcasm. Nobody can be this ignorant and be able to read this article.

Bob
8 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Kraft

if Nancy is a liberal then yes, someone can be that ignorant

Craig
8 years ago

If the Republicans had an ounce of competency at either strategy or communications, they could have easily seen this coming. Rather than engaging in this ridiculous kabuki theatre to defund Obamacare at the last minute, (perhaps sometime in the last 5 years was time for effective action?) they should have stood aside to let it crash from its’ own over-reaching bloated-ness. Instead, they have accomplished nothing, lowered the public opinion of the party, and provided a convenient shield for the Democrats on this and many other issues. Apparently, Republican and Leadership are words that will never be used together again in my lifetime.

David Groh
8 years ago
Reply to  Craig

If the republicans cared about the people of this country they would have joined in the effort to furnish quality health care for all citizens of the USA. Instead from the very beginning they said we should trash the ACA and start over. Their problem is they have no intension of starting over. Heck we have been starting over for 50 years but this is the first time we managed to get a law in place and now the republicans want to REPEAL IT.

DSR
8 years ago
Reply to  David Groh

In what make believe realm do you think the government is responsible to “provide” any of these things they have convinced people they can “give” them. #1 – not their proper role, #2 – they are too incompetent with all the hard-earned money they waste now!

LaVerne Haslett
8 years ago
Reply to  David Groh

Since when should the government “furnish” healthcare? The Constitution says PROMOTE the general welfare, not PROVIDE it. Until God fearing people begin to trust in the almighty God instead of the government we will continue on a downward spiral. Please, please, Christians…wake up and “Lift up your eyes to the hills from whence cometh your help. Your help cometh from the Lord.” Ps 121 Turn your hearts wholly to God and stop serving other gods. It didn’t work for Israel and it won’t work for America. God is a jealous God. He wants your whole heart!

Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  David Groh

@David Groh – “intension”? Are you referring to intensity? Or to being in tension rather than in compression? Or did you mean intention?

Marie Tsutsui
8 years ago
Reply to  Craig

Or, you could give them a hand up. Funny how easy it is to disparage from the sidelines. Our congressional representatives have a lot to do and to understand. The issues are complex and interrelated. Pitch in instead of at.

Joanne Piette
8 years ago

I heard yesterday that there is something in small print in ACA that states you are willing to have microchip implanted. I do not know if that is true. Does anyone? If so, sounds like the mark of the beast from Bible. It is in small print. Anyone know?

Gina Daly
8 years ago
Reply to  Joanne Piette

No. It was reportedly in the first go-round of the bill, but is not in the one that passed.

David Groh
8 years ago
Reply to  Joanne Piette

the bible says something about a microchip?

Bob
8 years ago
Reply to  Joanne Piette

I would be okay with a potato chip

Jimmy
8 years ago

Why would they put up a viable Web site to support a program that they purposely designed to fail?

Gina Daly
8 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy

Never thought of it that way….good question!

Suzanne
8 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy

It’s designed to get your IP address, your SS# and other info passed over to NSA and also identity thieves. John McAfee says it’ll cause identity theft to skyrocket across the country.

LaVerne Haslett
8 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy

They didn’t purposely design it to fail….it just is not blesed of God. But neither is anything else going on in America. Wake up Christians and turn wholly to God so His blessings will once again be on America.

Bob
8 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy

They hired the company from Canada that Canada fired because they botched their healthcare website. See….obama is creating jobs, for Canada.

Doug
8 years ago

Never having a job , he wouldn’t realize that to provide extras u charge more .

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