Delaware Has Enrolled Just Four People in Health Coverage Through Obamacare

House.govHouse.govIn congressional testimony yesterday, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that when the federal government releases its first set of enrollment totals for Obamacare’s insurance exchanges next week, the numbers will likely be “very low.” How low is very low?

An report on insurance enrollment in Delaware offers some idea. Delaware is one of the 36 states in which the exchanges are being administered by the federal government through the troubled online portal HealthCare.gov.

And according to the Associated Press, just four people have enrolled in private coverage in the state. Only 31 people in the state have submitted applications—and just 218 have created accounts in the system. That's...not a lot. 

Now, Delaware is a small state, with less than a million residents. But the single-digit enrollment total is still just a tiny fraction of the state’s uninsured, which, according to HHS, is about 71,000 people. For all practical purposes, Obamacare has resulted in no meaningful impact on the state’s enrollment totals so far. And that doesn’t even take into account the potential effects of insurance cancellations in the state (provided there were any). That’s a pretty miserable result given that the state got $4 million in federal funding to pay community organizations to assist with enrollment.

But, one might say, how much can Delaware really tell us? It’s only one state—and it’s part of the deeply troubled federal system.

Yes, but it’s not the only one struggling to enroll people. Even some states running their own exchanges are still having trouble as well. Hawaii, which is running its own exchange, has had serious trouble with its web system as well and does not appear to have enrolled anyone. Oregon, which delayed key functions of its state-run insurance exchange before the Oct. 1 national launch, still hasn’t managed to enroll a single person in private coverage either.

Meanwhile, one big insurer is cutting back expectations for enrollment all over. Humana, which is offering plans in 12 state exchanges, said yesterday that it was cutting its enrollment projections in half, from 500,000 people down to 250,000. Given that the law's supporters say the law will require both a certain amount of enrollment (about 7 million total) as well as a particular demographic mix (about 40 percent of enrollees need to be young, healthy adults) in order to function as intended, this isn't terribly promising news. 

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  • Paul.||

    One day we will all be enrolled in Obamacare.

  • GILMORE||

    Whoa. So, like, was that Sibelius throwing the Hammer of Health Reform @ the Evil Health Insurances? I was never big on teh metafors.

  • Paul.||

    Oh good lord no. That woman in the red shorts is some teabagger, trying to subver the good works that Sebelius has done. Did you see how organized all those people were? In cues, marching in single-file? That teafucker bitch screwed up everything else.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Or queues even.

  • Paul.||

    Don't get smart with me. Queue ominous music.

  • JW||

    I never noticed how bouncy-bouncy that commercial is.

  • Sevo||

    ..."How low is very low?"...

    If they signed up one more, they could get a T-time.

  • ||

    ...this isn't terribly promising news.

    Promising for what?

    I don't necessarily like watching train wrecks. But this is a train wreck the government and the population need to see, in as gory detail as possible.

  • albo||

    And it's unfolding in glorious slow-motion HD on a 80-inch screen.

  • ||

    Exactly. There's only one kind of train wreck I'd ever want to see besides Lindsay Lohan, and that's exactly what's happening now: a governmental fuckup of epic, incredibly embarrassing proportions. Bring it on.

  • Tman||

    And this train wreck is, shall we say- just leaving the station.

    Wait until the employer mandate kicks in and tens of millions more people get dumped from their current insurance.

    Oh, and then the insurance companies will opt in for their ACA mandated FEDERAL BAILOUT because the costs of insuring those elderly, sick and expensive who have signed up will have destroyed their actuary tables. There is a clause in the ACA that says the feds have to BAIL OUT the insurance companies if this happens.

    That should go over well.

  • Loki||

    There is a clause in the ACA that says the feds have to BAIL OUT the insurance companies if this happens.

    Fuck, I hadn't heard that one before. Wouldn't surprise me though. I've pretty much always assumed that once the death spiral kicks in the feds would bail out the insurance companies, clause or no clause.

  • Tman||

    As McIntyre describes in more detail, the “action” involves a 50 percent bailout for costs that exceed 103% of the insurers’ cost target, and an 80% bailout for costs that exceed 108% of target. If a plan undershoots its cost target, it has to pay HHS according to a similar formula for costs below 97 percent and 92 percent. Section 1342 of the ACA states that the “target” amount is the total of all premiums paid minus administrative costs — that is, it’s the break-even point for the plan.

    http://www.conservativeintel.c.....insurers/#

    Good times.

  • Bryan C||

    It's a good thing we have all this spare money sitting around.

    OTOH, it would be fun if the GOP refused to raise the debt limit at about the same time this comes up.

  • Michael Price||

    "It's a good thing we have all this spare money sitting around."
    Got that covered:

    http://chestofbooks.com/crafts.....RAVERS.png

  • John||

    James Tarranto makes a great and depressing point

    One immediate consequence of ObamaCare has been to multiply the ranks of the imminently uninsured. In addition to most of those who do not have insurance now, they include the millions of victims of the most massive consumer fraud in American history, Barack Obama's fraudulent promise that "if you like your health plan, you can keep it." For them, time is running out.

    In the likely event that Sebelius's Nov. 30 pledge turns out to be just another vaporware promise, the number of uninsured Americans will start rising on Jan. 1 as the fraud victims' policies begin to expire. Assessment of the mandate tax against those people--and against those who are currently uninsured and unable to comply with the mandate because of the administration's technical incompetence--would be difficult to justify either politically or legally.

    But we are fast approaching the point where the question of the mandate is a tangential one. Among those who are left without coverage by the ObamaCare fraud and debacle, some will become seriously ill or injured, and others will be unable to get care for pre-existing conditions. At that point ObamaCare will be not just a technical, political and economic disaster but a humanitarian one as well.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/art.....TopOpinion

  • Sevo||

    Amazing what you find in it IF YOU'RE STUPID ENOUGH TO PASS IT FIRST!
    I hate that hag.

  • John||

    Sadly the stupid party has no balls. But if they did, t hey would go out and find sick people who lost their insurance and can't buy it now thanks to Obama being a fuckup and put their stories into commercial after commercial next year.

    If they did that the Dem media operatives would have a stroke about the mean and nasty Republicans taking political advantage of tragedy. And that of course will keep the stupid party from doing it because the stupid party wants to be liked more than it wants to win.

  • Hyperion||

    If they did, they would do everything they could to prevent the Dems from delaying or changing any of this greatest law ever passed. Because we really do need to find out what is in it.

    Then when they have the Senate back in 14, they would make sure that Obama does not have one hair in his head that is not white before he finally is released from the torment of his 2nd term.

    If they did that, I would have a little more respect for them.

  • John Jay.||

    I hesitate to give them credit for what could very easily be dumb luck, but this might be exactly how they're playing it. Make as much noise as possibly about trying to repeal or delay, so that every voter knows exactly where they stand, but secretly hope those efforts are rebuffed, allowing the law to take effect and presumably generate more and more voter outrage over the next year.

    Because if that's not the plan, I have no idea what they would gain from actually delaying the law. Its supporters would remain convinced that it would work, if given a chance, and Democrats would be able to blame every problem on Republican obstructionism (which they'll do anyway, but in the case of a delay people might actually agree with them).

  • Carolynp||

    Additionally, they throw a bone to the evil tea party constituency while teaching them to shut up. Also, Dems can't go the Repubs now unless they go on bended knee. Pass the popcorn.

  • wareagle||

    and all the stupid party has to do is point to things like SS and Medicare, much smaller than O-care, but also headed toward disaster. We are to believe that the same mentality that is making clusters of the two big entitlements is the perfect place to manage something far larger.

  • Rasilio||

    The problem is most people think those programs are just fine so using them as ammo for how screwed up the system is doesn't work

  • GILMORE||

    "Dem media operatives would have a stroke about the mean and nasty Republicans taking political advantage of tragedy"

    By, 'tragedy', you mean the Democratic-Conceived, Written, and Passed legislation which everyone had 3 years to assess prior to implementation?

    This 'Tragedy' you speak of..... Euripides would like a word with you.

  • John||

    I suppose the "tragedy" is that a bunch of fanatical retards were able to get control of an otherwise great nation.

  • AlexInCT||

    Never go full retard...

  • Raven Nation||

    Like this one (which I assume most people have already read):

    http://online.wsj.com/news/art.....0423780446

  • Geoff Nathan||

    I was at a dinner party last night, and my prog friends were all convinced that cases like these were few and far between, and grossly exaggerated. I like my friends, so I don't want to hope that they'll be victims too although they probably will be, because the place where most of us work doesn't have retiree health benefits, and they're all near retirement.

    Of course, they think that the Stupid Party designed this thing and now doesn't like it because it's being run by Team Blue. After all, that's what they've been told.

  • Raven Nation||

    Of course, one example of suffering before ACA was enough to demand centralized health care. One case after is an anomaly.

  • Sevo||

    "Of course, they think that the Stupid Party designed this thing and now doesn't like it because it's being run by Team Blue"

    Yep, I remember it well. The GOP rammed it through without a single Dem vote! Remember Pelosi whining about how they needed time to find out what was in it before they passed it?

  • JW||

    At what point did you politely excuse yourself from the table and stab every one of them in the neck?

  • Carolynp||

    ROFL

  • John Thacker||

    They aren't doing that because of not having balls, but because they're being stupid.

    Shutting down the government took balls, but it was stupid compared to asking for delay and publicizing these people first.

  • John||

    Shutting down the government has turned out to be brilliant. And what is stupid about personalizing the harm done by this bill?

  • Carolynp||

    Probably cost them the governor of VA though. It kills me that people can't see that it was barely a blip. And what the hell is "unessential services"? Get rid of them.

  • Loki||

    If they did that the Dem media operatives would have a stroke about the mean and nasty Republicans taking political advantage of tragedy.

    NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN ADZ! NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN ADZ!!! *Stomping feat & jumping up & down like a spoiled petulent brat*

    NO FAAAAAIIIIIRRRRRRRR!!!!!1!!!!!!1!!!

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Meet Career Politician Brad Bartholomew. He voted four times to defund our public schools. He opposed paying retirement benefits to our long-service police and fire department vetrans. He routinely kicks orphans and small dogs just for his own perverted pleasure.

    Let's send a message to Brad that we don't need more Career Politicians in Washington DC. Vote for Bart Bradkoswki. His 20 years of service in Trenton have taught him how to stand up for working men and women - JUST LIKE YOU!

    paid for by friends of bart bradkowski bartbradkowski may cause anal bleeding see your doctor for more information about bart bradkowski.

  • Bryan C||

    If they did that the Dem media operatives would have a stroke about the mean and nasty Republicans taking political advantage of tragedy.

    Whew! We sure dodged that bullet.

  • Libertymike||

    John, it would have been nice if Taranto had elaborated upon what he believes will be the dimensions of the humanitarian disaster. Otherwise, I agree with your assessment.

  • John||

    I am not sure he knows. But it looks like there is going to be a lot of people who need medical care and could afford it before Obamacare and can't afford it afterwards.

  • Libertymike||

    It is already the case and will only get worse, right?

  • John||

    I think so.

  • Sevo||

    ..."one of hundreds of thousands of people nationwide"...
    Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/nati.....z2jz4H3mwV

    Pretty sure this is understating the issue; a report in the Chron (lefty) last week had some 800,000 cancellations in CA. Someone here reported similar numbers in NJ, so we're actually looking at millions, nation-wide.
    Now if those are cancelled and those folks can't get through O'care's train-wreck of a web site, come 1/1/14, those people will have no insurance.

  • AlexInCT||

    Collectivists can only asure that we all share in the misery. Looks like Obamacare is a "Great Success!" when you measure it in that regard.

    Wait until the employer mandate rolls out and most employers drop their coverage. This train wreck will go nuclear.

  • Brett L||

    My understanding is that it will be about 2.5M by 1/1/14 and something like 1/10th of Americans with insurance by 1/1/15. To fix a "problem" for 15M (tops) people.

  • R C Dean||

    The humanitarian cost will be imposed mostly through the narrow and/or exclusive networks. There are already stories circulating of people who have lost coverage for the oncologists and hospitals that are threating their cancer because there were no policies offered through OCare that included those providers.

    That is the part that is really going to piss people off, IMO.

  • ||

    There was an article in this morning's paper about those 100,000 people in the high risk insurance pools that were implemented as a stopgap until Obamacare kicks in. Those policies all expire, as does the provision in ACA they are insured under, at the end of the year.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Way to kill my schadenfreude, John.

  • John||

    A obama supporting friend of mine sent me a meme going around making fun of Obama about all of this thinking I would like it. I wrote back to her and said thanks but I personally know so many people getting fucked over by this, I can't really find this stuff funny even though I should. I was being a bit histrionic out of annoyance that she finally thinks it is okay to make fun of him after people like her let him do so much harm and it is too late to deny him reelection. But for the most part that is how I feel these days.

  • robc||

    I personally know so many people getting fucked over by this, I can't really find this stuff funny even though I should.

    This is why I supported the government shutdown as the right thing to do regardless of whether it was good tactics or good strategy. I wanted them to hold out until ACA was dead, one way or another.

    But I was criticized by certain people on here (not you in this case) for not properly considering political strategy.

    Fuck that, its about people, not politics.

  • Sevo||

    Not according to that lying piece of shit. It's a PR problem, that's all:
    "The president's team acknowledged struggling with how to present its message to the public,"
    http://reason.com/24-7/2013/11.....-worried-d

  • AlexInCT||

    Agreed.

  • Tman||

    What robc said.

    Cruz was right. This thing needed to be stopped because it has -and will continue to- cause real physical harm to people.

    What's hilarious is that one of the offers from the GOP before the shutdown was to delay the individual mandate, and the CR would go through.

    Now you have Dems wishing they could have that vote back.

  • John Thacker||

    Cruz was right. This thing needed to be stopped because it has -and will continue to- cause real physical harm to people.

    Absolutely. But bad strategy and bad tactics don't succeed in stopping it.

    What's hilarious is that one of the offers from the GOP before the shutdown was to delay the individual mandate, and the CR would go through.

    Indeed. And they should have made delay (of the whole bill) their entire, repeated offer, not repeal. They mixed their message.

    The Dems absolutely wish now that they had delayed, blamed it to their partisans on the GOP, and been better off.

    The GOPers right now absolutely wish that they had made delay their unified message.

    Most people don't follow every single offer and counter offer.

  • Tman||

    The GOP made several offers, one of which was a full CR minus the individual mandate.

    The Dems turned it down, several times. I'm not sure what else they were supposed to offer.

  • johnl||

    It was such a mistake by BHO, not to trade a delay for GOP concessions. The delay will happen anyway. But there will be no GOP concessions. And people will have learned that the GOP was right about the ACA all along.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Delaying the mandate is a trojan horse. Without the mandate you get the death spiral that New York state endured when they tried requiring Guaranteed Issue without forcing young healthy people to buy in.

    Now, I'm sure that many supporters of ACA don't realize this, including a few members of congress, but the caucus as a whole is not dumb enough to fall for this ploy.

  • R C Dean||

    The Dems are getting so screwed by all the "meaningless" Repub "posturing" on OCare. They are all on record now approving the rules that are terminating these policies and opposing any delay on OCare.

    A competent party would be harvesting those seats like winter wheat.

    I look forward to shaking my head in astonishment at the inability of Republicans to capitalize on this disaster, which the Dems own lock stock and barrel and have repeatedly voted to keep exactly as it is.

  • Geoff Nathan||

    The Dems will find a way to blame all the cancellations on teh evuhl insurance companies, and the press will generally buy it, leading to outright nationalization of medical insurance, or something similar.

  • johnl||

    Carl DeMaio is already hammering Scott Peters about this now with TV ads. He's smarter than your average GOPer, but there is going to be a lot of that for every D up for election in 2014.

  • John Thacker||

    It's about people, not politics. Which means that the strategy that works is what will help people, not the strategy that looks good but fails.

    Failure doesn't help people. Bad strategy isn't putting people first.

    Focusing on delay rather than repeal would have made more sense, and made for an easier told you so. Better tactics, of putting people worse off from this law front and center, would have made a difference.

    Bad tactics and bad strategy don't help people.

  • robc||

    They were neither bad tactics nor bad strategy.

    And they did exactly what you said, but when you start negotiations, you dont start at the acceptable compromise point, you start by asking for what you want.

  • robc||

    By definition, doing the right thing can never be a bad strategy.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Look, Delaware is a small state. One must expect suboptimal numbers.

  • Paul.||

    Everything about Obamacare lays expectations for all things suboptimal.

  • albo||

    And the further south you go, many of its residents are dumber than the pumpkins they chuck every fall.

  • Libertymike||

    IOW, if you are in Pennsville, do not cross the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Which direction? It is free if you want to go to New Jersey, but you have to pay if you want to leave.

  • Libertymike||

    Well, south as Pennsville is in NJ. Its the first exit off the bridge in NJ and it is just before the NJ turnpike.

    I have stayed at a Hampton Inn in Pennsville on several occasions.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    I lived on the Bristol PA side of the bridge for 20 years. As a pharma consultant, it was a perfect location, just hop on I-95 and you can be at the headquarters of virtually every major drug manufacturer in existence within 45 minutes.

  • Hyperion||

    All of the dumb from MD washes out to sea and they bathe in it.

  • JW||

    They should sell policies at the tollbooths on 95.

  • Hyperion||

    There are only 6 people in Delaware. Wow, that's like an almost 70% enrollment! All hail the ACA and comrade Sebelius!

  • John||

    Obama and his entire administration really are third world. And I say that not because he is black. It is because they like in a world where words and dictates matter and reality doesn't. That is how third world governments operate.

    In the third world the Generilisimo or whoever will decide that the new government building will be built here and be ten stories tall. And when they start building it and the ground there is too unstable to support a ten story building, it will get built there any way. Why? Because the Generalisimo decreed it. He said we would build one and if it is hard that just means we will put more resources to make it happen. Eventually the building gets built and of course sags and is unsafe but the Generalisimo got his decree. The reality of completing something doesn't matter. What matters is the words. And the Geralisimo said the magic words "build a building here" and "give them more resources to solve that" so the building should appear. This is why everything in third world countries is so incompetent and fucked up. The whole place is about words and appearances not the truth.

  • John||

    That is exactly what is happening here. They wrote a bill that had magic words like "exchanges" and "markets" and "websites" and "affordable" and thus they think that such things are going to appear and things will become more affordable. The bill says it will. So therefore it must. And when the website didn't work, Obama said some more magic words like "experts" and "resources" and "deadline" and no doubt expects the website to work.

    The reality that the whole bill is based on fantasy and will never work as intended in the real world doesn't matter. What matters is the words and the appearances. Obama came out of academia and the political activist community. And those two place are defined by this kind of thinking.

  • wareagle||

    believing your own bullshit; it's in the manual on hubris.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yes. Intentions and beliefs are what matters to them, not results. If this had been just the typical moderately fucked up government program, they would have decreed it a success and moved on to fucking up something else.

    And yes, they do demonstrate magical thinking on the power of laws.

  • John||

    And money. Look at education. If you just spend more the schools will do better. Everything they do involves magical thinking.

  • John Thacker||

    Yes. Intentions and beliefs are what matters to them, not results.

    Indeed. Though people praising bad and failed tactics in the name of trying to stop a very bad law are doing the same thing. Intentions and beliefs that the shutdown would convince the people and repeal PPACA are what matters to them, not results.

  • John||

    You are nuts John. Making the Dems own this thing and thus not be able to make it a "bipartisan" mess that just resulted from bad luck, is the only thing that will get it repealed.

  • ||

    Ah, but John, this is why it's so wonderful. In the past, politicians could order the building of a dam or the paving of roads, and it got done. It might have been wasteful, or cost too much, or badly done. But physical labor got it done; all they had to do was throw more bodies at it.

    The amazing thing here is that, as you described, they decreed that something had to be built. But it was a technological thing; it wasn't just concrete and sweat and rebar. It was something beyond the politicians' capability to comprehend. And so they went too far. It's incredible, but our very own politicians ordered that something be built that was even more impossible than, say, that huge empty hotel in Pyongyang. Politicians have long been able to order things to be built, and sheer money and labor could make it happen. But technology doesn't work that way, and Obama and crew were the first to truly commit to ordering a technology that was critical to their plans. And they fucked up royally.

    It's really quite beautiful, and couldn't have happened to a more appropriate bunch.

  • Bryan C||

    Well said. It's not just the technology that exceeds their understanding, it's every aspect of designing a complex system. Hell, even realizing that a such a system must exist.

    Draw boxes and letters on a screen and you've made an enrollment web site. Sketch out a nice flowchart and you've created a magic data hub. Write some regulations and people will get free medical care. Classic cargo-cult thinking.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    They wrote a bill

    That's a bit generous...

  • Libertymike||

    You forgot the part where the Generalisimo orders the midnight knock on the doors of the engineers who have complained that the ground is to unstable to support the ten story building.

  • Paul.||

    Ve vill keep exekyooting engineers until zey decalare ze ground shtable!

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Like phone tapping journalists who write negative stories? Or putting pressure on certain companies to not discuss negative aspects of certain laws? Or how about claiming that when any government official says something publicly about a government abuse, they are not covered by 1st Amendment or whistle-blower statutes because it was their job to tell the government their concerns? Or how about demanding that the law not be followed, while simultaneously refusing to modify the law to make refusal to follow it legal?

    Sorry, got off track. What were we talking about; an example/pretend third world "leader", right?

  • Hyperion||

    To see where we are headed, take a look at Venezuela.

    The only way to prevent Venezuela from happening here, is to get the progs out of power.

    Socialists never learn, they are incapable of learning, and you cannot negotiate with them. Negotiating with them means giving them a little bit more of what they want in return for a little bit more of what they want. The stupid party has been teaching us this for 100 years.

  • John||

    No you can't. And while they live in a complete idiotic unreality when it comes to anything else, the Progs understand politics in a way the Right doesn't. The Right has all of these ideals and views politics as a way to express their ideals and principles. The Progs view politics as a death sport to be judged by results and won by any means.

    The Progs are thus a thousand times more persistent and effect at politics. They have a built in disadvantage of being completely insane and incompetent and guaranteed to make everything worse whenever they get into power. But their proficiency at politics often overcomes that. The Right has got to get better and more ruthless at politics. You can't fight these people standing on your principles.

  • robc||

    The only way to win is to stand on your principles.

    "I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." -- Bernardo de la Paz, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

  • John Thacker||

    The only way to win is to have principles, and know what they are, and know when to fight. But it doesn't mean fighting every battle from bad terrain.

  • robc||

    There is no "terrain" in battles of ideas.

  • Rasilio||

    "You can't fight these people by just standing on your principles"

    ftfy

    Having and standing on principles is a necessary but not sufficient component of effectively fighting progressives because without the principles you become just like what you are fighting.

  • robc||

    I can agree with that fix.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    The other problem is is it's too tough, for various reasons, for most people to counter the "racist", "dead kids", "sick people dying in the streets" types of arguments that we hear in social situations, so we don't bother.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Just to add to this, I get soooooo tired sometimes of hearing the lib talking points that I just give up. The other night during a typial Obama love fest, I just muttered something about Bush fucking everything up and Obama's making the best of a bad situation and those fucking greedy insurance companies. It was like being in church with everyone basically saying Amen, I just kept drinking.

  • Bryan C||

    One thing about churches, there are almost always more hypocrites than true believers. Take comfort in that.

  • John||

    You counter it by using their language and tactics against them. This is what the Right doesn't get. Are leftist consciously racist? No. But they hold the right to the standard that if anything you do badly affects a minority, you are racist. Hold them to the same standard. Constantly call them out for the effects their policies have on minorities and the people they are supposed to help. Do it in a personal way. Leftists care more about teachers unions and money than they do about poor kids. Leftists care more about paying bureaucrats than they do about the average person paying taxes. Use their language against them. Take away their claims of moral superiority. Go after the language.

    It is funny how they project about nearly everything. A few years ago come lefty poly sci prof wrote a book about how the reason why everyone didn't go full left was because the Right owned the language. In fact the opposite is true. The left owns the language. And that ownership prevents the Right from making its points. The Right has to take it back.

  • GILMORE||

    "The whole place is about words and appearances not the truth."

    John manages to channel the core ideas of Gabriel García Márquez' Autumn of the Patriarch into a few sentences here.

    Your lit teacher gives you a B+ (you were far too brief and didn't quote enough bullshit secondary sources)

    by the way, if anyone wants to read a freaking awesome novel, please give it a go.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Does Obamacare cover Schadenfreude? Because reason is suffering from it.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Oh, I don't think anyone here is suffering from Shadenfreude. I'm fairly certain we're all enjoying it.

  • creech||

    No, sadly the meme among my Obamabot friends is that this proves ACA is just too complicated and the govt needs to go to single payer and use the Medicare enrollment process that already works. Somewhere some evil genius knew this would be the intended consequence of ACA.

  • John||

    That is what some of the hard core progs are going to tell themselves. But not every Obamabot is a hard core prog. A lot of them are low information because it feels good and looks good liberals. They thought this was going to work and feel shocked and betrayed that it is not.

  • ChrisO||

    McAuliffe nearly lost in Va. because of Obamacare, and there are many places next year where the Democrat won't have such favorable conditions.

    My gut tells me that the public is far angrier about this already than the media and the Democrats would have you believe. Sure, the Republicans will find a way to fuck it up somehow, but they've got the optimal conditions for a blow-out next year.

  • Hyperion||

    My gut tells me that the public is far angrier about this already than the media and the Democrats would have you believe.

    Of course, the media is in full damage control right now.

  • John||

    Here is the thing, the media always lies and always diminishes and shapes the truth in favor of the Democrats. So the fact that they are admitting this thing is bad at all tells you that it is epically bad.

  • Geoff Nathan||

    Some of them seem to believe that it actually is working, and the cases we've been talking about are just smoke and mirrors. I was at a dinner last night with some progs and that was my impression.

    Oh, and the website sucks, but it'll be fixed.

    REAL SOON NOW.

    [Me, channeling 90's geek speak]

  • Hyperion||

    single payer

    Who is the magical single payer, i.e, who pays for this? Let me guess, the magical health fairy!

  • Bardas Phocas||

    The Koch brothers of course.

  • NoVAHockey||

    what's hilarious about this was the day before the launch the woman in charge of the Delaware exchange was speaking at a conference I attended . she was very upbeat and said they were ready to go ... to the point in hindsight, i think she actually believed it.

  • John||

    See my post above about the third world mentality. She said the magic words. It was supposed to happen.

  • ||

    This may be all fun to watch, but none of this indicates that Obamacare is stillborn. It's simply premature, or so it will continue to be argued. The true believers will continue to harp the "give it time" and "it all worked out eventually for Romneycare" (only true insofar as the technical difficulties). Until we can point to tangible long term effects (continued uncontrolled costs, massive Government debt, dramatic increase in IRS intrusion, etc.), this is all just a sideshow to the real shitshow to come.

  • wareagle||

    the true believers will never stop with the rescucitation efforts and I doubt that even long-term effects will deter them. They still defend Medicare as the most efficient thing going, they ignore all evidence of SS's impending collapse, they insist the problem with public schools is not enough money, and they have a big megaphone.

  • Adam330||

    If the law collapses the individual insurance market, which appears fairly likely, the issue will be so immediate and apparent that all but the most stupid will see what happened.

  • The Other Kevin||

    I think it's telling that Obama is doing nothing to change Obamacare. Sure he is making speeches, but in the end it's just to placate people. He has no intention of stopping anyone from losing their insurance. The law will go on until fully implemented, and in his mind he just has to shut people up until they forget about it.

  • ||

    The law will go on until fully implemented, and in his mind he just has to shut people up until they forget about it

    All the True Believers have faith that the end game will be better than the starting point. That's why they keep harping on "you'll have better coverage" without talking about costs or transition pain.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    "He has no intention of stopping anyone from losing their insurance."

    Of course not. The whole purpose is to cause people in the individual insurance market to lose their policies, so that they are forced to buy on the exchange.

    This is why the lie is so mendacious. He didn't misspeak. He didn't exaggerate. He said one thing while HHS was writing regulations intended to produce the opposite result. He LIED, with malicious intent.

  • ChrisO||

    Good thing these geniuses are keeping a close watch on the private sector.

  • GILMORE||

    I am beginning to see a pattern.

    With income taxes, the Dems want to screw the "1%"

    With health policy, Dems are cool screwing "5%"

    (lets be honest and admit, as per HHS estimates, it's more like 20-30%+ of the current-insured public)

    With the rest of the constitution, hell, they just need to hamstring the ~40-odd percent that vote against them, and they'll be that much closer to utopia.

    They really do love their 'minorities', those TEAM BLUE types.

  • Hyperion||

    The progs have a particularly intense disdain for the individual.

    To them, you must be a member of some group. You are white, black, hispanic, female, male, gay, straight, a member of some group that they can favor or disfavor. The one thing that you are not to them, is an individual. Individuals are hard to control and divide. This is why progs only disklike conservatives, but hate libertarians.

  • trshmnstr||

    Individuals have flaws and motives. If they call somebody a racist or a bigot, they can't argue the motives of your actions better than you. It just comes off very smug and patronizing.

    However, with classes of people, you can emote and castigate and assign motive with impunity. Any individual of that class that objects is written off as an exception or "not actually a part of them."

    Identity politics is so brilliantly evil! You immediately get the "us v. them" mentality that shuts people's brains off. You have a bulletproof strawman of the opposition to kick around. You have a major anchor from which to hang your policies. Then, when somebody tries to attack your policies or ideology, your response is outrage, because those policies and ideology are attached to you as a class. Changing Social Security is an attack on grandma. Opposing the contraception mandate is the war on women. Food stamp cuts are an attack on the most vulnerable in society.

    Progs have this mastered, and have been refining their exercise of identity politics since day 1. 1st gen Progs said that drinking was an affront to God. 2nd gen Progs said that privatized schooling was a disservice for orphans. 3rd gen Progs said that opposing the New Deal was throwing your neighbors under the bus.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    you need to recognize that you are using identity politics in your indictment of identity politics. Progs are individuals too. Some are pie-eyed believers. Some are power-mad and use prog ideals as cover. Some are just rooting for a team. Don't become the enemy.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    I think he means progs as in "people with a certain belief system" - not progs as in "every person left of Limbaugh" - so in that, it might be an "identity", but identifying a group of people by their standard beliefs seems ok to me.

    Otherwise I guess not all KKK people are racist or whatever - because "identity politics"

    Of course he may have meant anyone who voted for Obama - in which case I'm wrong :)

  • R C Dean||

    lets be honest and admit, as per HHS estimates, it's more like 20-30%+ of the current-insured public

    I think those estimates are more like 30 - 60% of the currently insured public are going to be forced out of their plans.

    Eventually of course, every "old" plan will lose its grandfathered status, so the real number is a clean 100%.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    One an insurance plan cannot sign up new members, it is doomed. The existing members get sicker and older every year. No new healthy people can sign up, premiums can't change. It must be dropped.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Those four people must have had friends on the inside.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    How dare you hurl such accusations at Joe, Hunter, Joseph, and Naomi Biden!!?

  • Raston Bot||

    Can anyone sum up how the CBO showed this would not add to the deficit? Did Doug Henning's ghost run the CBO at the time?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Racist.

  • Adam330||

    If people can't sign up, it will be hard for them to claim their subsidies.

  • Raven Nation||

    CBO has to score according to the model/dynamic supplied by Congress or the executive branch, so that tweaks things. Second, the first ten years came out clean b/c all the taxes kick in for about 3-4 years before all the payments kick in so it comes out as saving money.

  • Rasilio||

    "Can anyone sum up how the CBO showed this would not add to the deficit? Did Doug Henning's ghost run the CBO at the time?"

    Easy, CBO estimates are time bound, in this case 10 years.

    The tax increases for Obamacare started on day 1 but the government benefit payouts didn't start until somewhere between years 4 and 6 (depending on which part of the law you're talking about)

    So 10 years of extra tax revenue vs 4 years of benefits payouts will make a law look a lot more revenue neutral

  • Raston Bot||

    Thanks to all responders.

    There's also this...

    http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/11/budget-gimmicks

  • Ken Shultz||

    Homophobe

  • Auric Demonocles||

    And according to the Associated Press, just four people have enrolled in private coverage in the state.

    ...

    That’s a pretty miserable result given that the state got $4 million in federal funding to pay community organizations to assist with enrollment.

    I dunno. I mean, how much can you really expect for just $1 million per person?

  • Tim||

    Imagine if the Manhattan Project was run like this. WWII wouldn't have ended until 1965.

  • Sevo||

    After we bombed NYC by mistake.

  • John||

    And would have produced a radioactive bomb casing with some wires sticking out of the side.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Not to mention putting people on the moon.

    Seems that when the government does something great, they write checks to let someone else do the work.

    I guess JPL works like that, too.

    And what they were doing wasn't that complicated. It's not like they were even calculating payments for millions of patients a day. It's a freaking website. Ebay and Amazon are probably more complicated.

    And what's worse? They have the benefit of all the websites that have come before them. They don't have to invent new technology. Perot systems had been processing eligibility claims for Medicare and Medicaid since the end of EDS in the 1980s--since back before Ross Perot ran for president!

    It's gross incompetence.

    There are software companies who do more complicated software than the exchanges--and have been doing it for Medicare, Medicaid, and every payer and state in this country--and have been doing it for decades. I used to be a quality control analyst for one of them.

    This is the train getting stuck in Ayn Rand's proverbial tunnel*.

    *No euphemism intended.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I wouldn't hire Kathleen Sebelius to organize a birthday party for children.

    Although I might hire her as a clown.

  • R C Dean||

    Why do you hate the children, Ken?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Eh, the parents need something to laugh at, too.

  • Rasilio||

    "And what they were doing wasn't that complicated. It's not like they were even calculating payments for millions of patients a day. It's a freaking website. Ebay and Amazon are probably more complicated."

    Here you are wrong.

    It is far more thatn "just a website", it is a data integration portal interfacing with dozens of disperate agencies both in and outside of government all using different technology stacks some of which are quite outdated.

    There are certainly far more complex websites in existence but the exchange sites are not some trivial task that a hotshot team of developers could crank out in 6 months.

    This by the way does not absolve the government in any way, shape, or form because any honest assessment of the work that needed to be done would have concluded that it is a 5 year project. However political considerations ruled and they tried to cram 5 years worth of work into a 2 year development cycle. This in and of itself is a bigger problem illustrating more managerial incompetence than the story that it is "just a web site" shows

  • Ken Shultz||

    All of which have been interfaced with correctly by hospitals and HMO's all over the country since the 1970s.

    You think hospitals systems don't know how to check your eligibility for Medicaid?

    "There are certainly far more complex websites in existence but the exchange sites are not some trivial task that a hotshot team of developers could crank out in 6 months."

    There's no need to develop that software from scratch--I worked for a software company that was selling the software so that hospitals could do this kind of thing--and they'd been in business for decades. In fact, it was about ten years ago that they added the functionality to process everything they did through a web browser.

    How can a website for the general public be more complicated than what hospitals have used to check eligibility--for decades--when the hospital software will process payments, too? Group 'em, the whole shebang!

    Ebay is more complicated--especially considering PayPal interfaces with banks and credit card companies in real time--and then you can track the progress of your package in real time, too?

    These exchanges aren't processing anything that hasn't been processed before. They may be adding a new Payer or Grouper--but that's adding some new parameters to something everybody's done since the '70s. Go to any major metropolitan hospital, and what they're doing is more complicated than just checking eligibility.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Maybe you're saying that insurers have never processed applications through a website before?

    Don't believe the hype!

  • John||

    All of which have been interfaced with correctly by hospitals and HMO's all over the country since the 1970s.

    They own all of the databases and are free to update and change them so that they interface better. IN this case the databases are owned by different agencies and the private sector. Thus the people writing it don't have the power to change the databases whenever it is necessary to get them to interface.

    And you can't change these databases because they have a lot of other functionality that has nothing to do with Obamacare. Those IRS databases are the product of years of work and are written to do some pretty amazing things when you think about it. You can't just go in and start changing the code on them so they can interface with the Obamacare website better. And you can't just change the Obamacare website because it has to deal with HHS and insurance company databases.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "They own all of the databases and are free to update and change them so that they interface better. IN this case the databases are owned by different agencies and the private sector. "

    There are numerous Medicare intermediaries. There are the people who update grouper rates quarterly. There's the CCI people! And we haven't even started talking about the private insurers. You want to interface with the UAW's pension? No problem--major hospitals have been doing it for years.

    Especially if you're just talking about eligibility and selling private policies--this is standard stuff. I don't see anything new here.

    Apparently, they decided to reinvent the wheel for some stupid reason.

    "Those IRS databases are the product of years of work and are written to do some pretty amazing things when you think about it."

    There are other government websites that interface with the IRS database just fine. There's the student loan, what's it called? FASFA website?

    Right up until a few years ago, when Obama took over student loans so they're all being administrated by the government now, private banks handled that--in conjunction with that FASFA website, and they worked just fine. FASFA coordinated with the IRS database, coordinated with the private lenders...

    No problems.

  • Ken Shultz||

    In fact, FASFA still interfaces with the IRS database to determine your eligibility.

    "Despite its name, the application is not for a single federal program, being rather the gateway of consideration for:

    1. the nine federal student-aid programs
    2. the 605 state aid programs
    3. most of the institutional aid available"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasfa

    Nothing new to see here.

  • Rasilio||

    You seem to be conflating 2 unrelated things.

    EBay's website from a coding perspective is very much simpler than Obamacare, what makes EBay complex is their infrastructure being able to server up millions of transactions a second accurately

    Obamacare does need that same kind of infrastructure complexity (and the fact that they have a single data hub indicates they do not) but before you can even get to that point you need to get all of your interfaces up and running and more importantly running in at least a minimmally secure manner. True none of this is inventing something never seen before but that does not stop it from being complex and hard to implement

  • Ken Shultz||

    "True none of this is inventing something never seen before but that does not stop it from being complex and hard to implement"

    I'm not saying that it wouldn't be hard to implement, but I am saying that people are already implementing what the exchange is supposed to do and more.

  • John||

    What Rasilio said. The problem wasn't incompetence. It was unreality. I am sure t he people who were in charge of building that website were competent IT people. The problem was they were being asked to build a website that was based on fantasy. They were being asked to do things that made no sense and couldn't be done the way their superiors thought they could.

    Saying this is incompetence is like saying that when the government project to build a national perpetual motion machine fails, it was because of incompetence. No. Calling it incompetence implies the task itself could be competently done as intended. And that is not the case here. It is deeper than just incompetence or a few crony web designers getting a project they were not up to completing.

  • Rasilio||

    "The problem wasn't incompetence'

    Well no, the problem was incompetence just not necessarily on the part of the technical staff. I don't know if it was corporate sales weasles selling government managers a lie to land a contract or the government managers insisting the impossible was possible but somewhere in the management of the project there was colossal levels of incompetence.

  • John||

    Yeah. The incompetence is in Congress and Obama. But that is water under the bridge. To call it "incompetence" now is to imply that the problem is just that they can't build a website.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Oh, there's lots of incompetent stuff to go around. We've got incompetent leadership making it almost certain that things like this will be done incompetently.

    Just because the exchange websites were done incompetently sure as hell doesn't mean the Obama Administration is completely incompetent. They are!

    ...and the ObamaCare exchanges were done incompetently.

  • Drake||

    If it saves just 4 lives...

  • robc||

    Need quotation I just found:

    "Free people can say 'no'. Free people can refuse demands for their money, time, and children. Slaves cannot. There is no freedom without the freedom to say 'no'. If someone demands that you do something and you can say 'no' and refuse to do it, then you are a free human being. If you can be forced to do something or surrender something that you do not wish to, then you are a slave. No other test need be applied" -- Michael Rivero

  • robc||

    s/Need/Neat/

  • prolefeed||

    Even some states running their own exchanges are still having trouble as well. Hawaii, which is running its own exchange, has had serious trouble with its web system as well and does not appear to have enrolled anyone.

    This should not surprise anyone who is familiar with Hawaii's incompetent, One Party Rule Since the 1950s, 24 D and 1 R in the State Senate, government.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I find it hard to believe.

    With all those career bureaucrats, political appointees, and unionized government workers, none of whose jobs have depended on doing anything right since forever?

    You'd think they'd have discovered cold fusion by now.

    Sorry, guess I just don't have the aloha spirit.

  • 0x90||

    "...and just 218 have created accounts in the system..."

    There are trolls who have more H&R accounts than that.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    I wonder how many accounts American has made here.

  • R C Dean||

    Well, yeah, but H & R is famous for its slick, elegant economy and flawless performance.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Yeah - if healthcare.gov were run by Reason server squirrels hamsters - it would likely look almost exactly the same as it does today :)

  • Joe Clave||

    I disagree, this IS terribly promising news!

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