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The ObamaCare Health Care Insurance Exchanges: bad, getting worse, and was easily predictable

by | Oct 14, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

If you think the initial wave of angry and criticism over the roll-out of ObamaCare’s health insurance “exchanges” was intense, you haven’t heard anything yet.

Everybody and anybody who followed the ever-shifting Obama Administration line knew there was not a shred of truth in any of the counter-factual claims for the President’s “signature domestic accomplishment.” Over the last three or four days, the mainstream media (already on alert) is realllllly catching on: it’s all a shell game. Here are four points, although you or any of a hundred different NRL News Today readers could add many more.

#1. There was no more disingenuous canard (except for the patently false assertion that we could keep the insurance we already have) than the nonsense that the process would be transparent. EVERYTHING had to be hidden in euphemisms and mis-directions and “we’ll get to that later” to hide that many, many people will experience a tremendous increase in their health care costs.

As Avik Roy wrote on National Review Online today, the huge (nearly impenetrable) bottleneck is that “Obamacare requires that you create an account and enter a bunch of personal information before browsing the website’s plans and prices.” But that was no “random decision by the Obama administration,” Roy writes.

“The White House specifically chose to set up its website this way, so that it could make prices on the Obamacare exchange less transparent, by displaying prices that incorporate the subsidies you might be eligible for if your income is low enough. People might otherwise be scared off by the steep cost of Obamacare-based insurance.”

#2. The Chicago Tribune reported about Adam Weldzius, a nurse practitioner, who

“considers himself better informed than most when it comes to the inner workings of health insurance. But even he wasn’t prepared for the pocketbook hit he’ll face next year under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

“If the 33-year-old single father wants the same level of coverage next year as what he has now with the same insurer and the same network of doctors and hospitals, his monthly premium of $233 will more than double. If he wants to keep his monthly payments in check, the Carpentersville resident is looking at an annual deductible for himself and his 7-year-old daughter of $12,700, a more than threefold increase from $3,500 today.

“’I believe everybody should be able to have health insurance, but at the same time, I’m being penalized. And for what?’ said Weldzius, who is not offered insurance through his employer. ‘For someone who’s always had insurance, who’s always taken care of myself, now I have to change my plan?’

“That’s right — not only have premiums doubled in the individual markets, the coverage has gotten worse in a very concrete way.” (Emphasis added.) Which leads us to

#3. Something my sister, her husband, my wife and I were talking about yesterday. If you are going to snooker the public into not revolting en masse, you have to spread the subsidies as wide and as far as you can. (Forget that SOMEBODY has to make up for all the subsidies.) But even that won’t do the trick, so….counsel people to lower their income so they ARE eligible for a subsidy! Wesley Smith draws from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, written by Kathleen Pender, business section columnist for the Chronicle (“Lower Pay Can Earn Huge Tax Subsidy on Health Care”)”

“People whose 2014 income will be a little too high to get subsidized health insurance from Covered California next year should start thinking now about ways to lower it to increase their odds of getting the valuable tax subsidy. ‘If they can adjust (their income), they should,’ says Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow with the Kaiser Family Foundation. ‘It’s not cheating, it’s allowed.’”

#4. You simply cannot exaggerate how poorly designed and executed the system has been. Here are a few quotes, starting with former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, speaking this morning. (The following is taken from the Hotair.com site). Gibbs

“described the rollout of Obamacare as ‘excruciatingly embarrassing” for the Obama administration. ‘This was bungled badly​,’ he said.

“’I hope they’re working day and night to get this done and when they get it fixed, I hope they fire some people who were in charge of making sure this thing was supposed to work,’ Gibbs told MSNBC. ‘This is excruciatingly embarrassing for the White House​ and the Department of Health and Human Services.’

“Gibbs dismissed the administration’s claim that the an influx of traffic has caused the websites’ glitches, and called on the president to fire those responsible for sites’ design.​ ‘This is not a server problem, like too many people came to the website — this is a website architecture problem,’ he said.”

And then from the Miami Herald, under the headline, “Obamacare enrollees become urban legend”:

“Will the Floridians who have enrolled for Obamacare please stand up?

“Nearly two weeks after the federal government launched the online Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov, individuals who have successfully used the choked-up website to enroll for a subsidized health insurance plan have reached a status akin to urban legend: Everyone has heard of them, but very few people have actually met one.

“The Miami Herald searched high and low for individuals who completed enrollment for a subsidized health plan through the marketplace, also called an exchange, launched by the federal government on Oct. 1 in 36 states, including Florida.”

Even the New York Times was aghast. From “From the Start, Signs of Trouble at Health Portal”:

“For the past 12 days, a system costing more than $400 million and billed as a one-stop click-and-go hub for citizens seeking health insurance has thwarted the efforts of millions to simply log in. The growing national outcry has deeply embarrassed the White House, which has refused to say how many people have enrolled through the federal exchange.

“Even some supporters of the Affordable Care Act [ObamaCare] worry that the flaws in the system, if not quickly fixed, could threaten the fiscal health of the insurance initiative, which depends on throngs of customers to spread the risk and keep prices low.

“’These are not glitches,’ said an insurance executive who has participated in many conference calls on the federal exchange. Like many people interviewed for this article, the executive spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying he did not wish to alienate the federal officials with whom he works. ‘The extent of the problems is pretty enormous. At the end of our calls, people say, ‘It’s awful, just awful.’ ”

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Categories: ObamaCare