Obama Admits That Obamacare is Unworkable

Whitehouse.govWhitehouse.govThis president’s announcement today that the White House will allow health insurance companies to continue selling plans that do not meet the Affordable Care Act’s minimum criteria—millions of which have already been subject to cancellation notices—is likely to be a pivotal moment in the political fight over the 2010 health law. It’s the moment in which President Obama, prodded by his own party, is making his first, tacit admission that Obamacare is unworkable.

It may not seem that way at first, because the most immediate impact of the move is to stave off political pressure. The announcement comes in response to growing urgings from congressional Democrats to take action in response to health plan cancellations that have occurred, and are expected to continue occurring, as a result of Obamacare. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and five other Senate Democrats said this week that they backed a bill that would require insurers to continue offering plans into 2014. A separate bill offered by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) would have simply allowed insurers to keep offering plans that do not meet Obamacare’s requirements.

Today’s announcements gives Democrats a response to complaints about plan cancellations. The White House has heard their complaints, they can say, and is doing something about it.

What the administration is really doing, though, is attempting to shift the blame. Insurers have spent months if not years preparing for the changes and requirements enacted under Obamacare. They will have a difficult time turning on a dime and extending cancelled policies. They may not be able to in some or many cases. And state insurance regulators will have to sign off on reinstatements, creating an additional layer of insulation between plan upsets and the administration. 

Now when asked about people losing their plans, the White House and its Democratic allies in Congress will be able to argue that this isn’t a result of their law. It’s the insurers fault. As one insurance industry source tells Buzzfeed, “This doesn’t change anything other than force insurers to be the political flack jackets for the administration. So now when we don’t offer these policies the White House can say it’s the insurers doing this and not being flexible.”

Yet this isn’t just a political fix. It’s also a major policy concession—and a potentially serious problem for the law’s operating scheme. Allowing healthy people to stay on their current low-cost health plans will mean that the pool of people who get insurance through Obamacare’s exchanges will be sicker and more expensive. This year’s premiums were set on the expectation that noncompliant plans would be cancelled, and that the cancellations, in combination with the mandate to purchase coverage, would create a market for plans sold in the exchanges.

So Obama is creating a long-term policy problem in order to solve a short-term political problem. Even if this temporarily reduces some of today’s political pressure, those long-term policy problems will rebound to create additional political problems as time goes by. Premiums will rise, and if consumer demand turns out to be lower than expected as a result, plans may withdraw from the market. At the same time, insurers, who have been targeted by the administration for blame and had their assurances about the state of the law (and thus their business plan) upended, will be less likely to cooperate with the administration. They are already frustrated with the administration, and this will hasten the break between them. The opposition of insurers will add a new layer of opposition that the administration must contend with in order to make the law—which is built around the goal of making insurance coverage accessible—work.

The White House is making this fix unilaterally, as an “administrative fix” without Congressional approval, and probably without clear legal authority. Even ignoring legal questions, it’s an admission that the health law cannot work as designed, especially in light of the now-lengthy history of administrative tweaks of dubious legality.

But more than that, the tweak highlights the fundamental tension between the law’s politics and its policies.

The law was sold on the repeated presidential assurance that anyone who wanted to keep his or her existing health plan could do so. That promise was made so often and so forcefully because it was necessary to build enough support to pass the law, and—as we’ve seen in this week’s Democratic defections—to maintain sufficient political support for the law after it passed. Administration political aides rejected more nuanced, accurate language because they believed it wouldn’t help sell the law.

But the result of keeping that promise is the destabilization of the law’s fundamental policy scheme, which requires healthy people on low-cost insurance to purchase more expansive, more expensive coverage in order to balance out the costs of sicker individuals.

In other words, the law can’t work if it does live up to its presidential promises. But it can’t maintain political support if it doesn’t. The two are incompatible. Obama’s announcement today is an implicit acknowledgment of that incompatibility—an admission not only that the law doesn’t work, but that it can’t and won’t.

This post has been updated for clarity. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Threadjack:

    The promise was: "If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it."

    NOT "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it for an extra year."

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Gee, I wonder what's so important about the arbitrary length of "a year?" What's coming up next November?

  • ||

    The party where we feast on the live flesh of OFA volunteers and joyously bathe in their blood?

  • Almanian!||

    I find your ideas intriguing and am interested in subscribing to your newsletter....

  • fish||

    Too hard to get OFA types clean enough to eat....and bathing in their blood....don't get me started!

  • Marshall Gill||

    Can I assume that will be served with a nice Chianti?

  • Faceless Commenter||

    The "You Can Keep A Plan That No Longer Exists" bill has been upstaged by the "Kick The Can Down The Road" adjustment.

  • Carolynp||

    Sooo...he'd be moving these cancellations off to just before the next election? Is he betting people will adore their new coverage options? Or you figure he's betting the insurance companies will stop this?

  • Loki||

    I can just see this becoming another annual "doc fix" like fiasco.

  • ||

    Indeed. Next year, rates are going to be even higher.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    If they keep delaying the enforced purchase of high-price plans, they ARE going to recreate the pre-ACA New York insurance market.

  • CE||

    Isn't the ACA settled law though? How can the Administration unilaterally decide what gets rolled out and what doesn't?

  • JWatts||

    Because the One has declared it so. And his wisdom transcends the Laws of Man. Duh.

  • rxc||

    It is called "rule by decree". It is the way things are done in totalitarian societies.

    Get used to it, because the fight over global warming is going that way, too. Obama will be able to use global warming to solve the health problem, though, because when you assume the right to control all sources of CO2, this means that you also assume the right to tell people to stop breathing. So, good synergy there.

  • Sevo||

    One of the interesting fall-outs (and there are others) will be watching the Stalinists turn around now and explain how Germany was the enemy the whole time!
    Oops, make that the "substandard policies" are now just fine!

  • Mike M.||

    The JournoList shitbags are still hard at work at this very moment trying to coordinate what their new message is going to be in the wake of the free-fall, using whatever forum has replaced Ezra Klein's old Google list. You can tell because they have barely shown up around here at all in the last 48 hours.

    I can't wait to see what those geniuses eventually manage to come up with.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The proper name is Son of Journ-O-List.

  • Restoras||

    Yeah, they are in a blind panic and probably is why Tony and Shriek have been conspiciously silent.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Ah, remember the day when the Supreme Court decision came down and Tony was here to gloat. Good times... good times.

  • GILMORE||

    The comments @ the NYT offer up a mixture of
    - Wailing Despair,
    - Utter Stupification
    - and Steadfast Support For This Action Which Will Ultimately Lead to Progressive Victory

    To wit =
    "Biased and uninformed voters will support politicians that rail against this law, and their anger might carry over into the 2014 and 2016 elections, handing the Senate and perhaps the White House into radical conservative hands, guaranteeing America's plunge into a new Dark Age. These same voters will gleefully shoot themselves in the foot, while ignoring the Republican obstructionism and seditious behavior that caused the government shutdown and wants to turn this country into a pure theocratic plutocracy.

    jv001
    NYT Pick
    I don't care what anybody says. We have a President who is firm when he needs to be, but one who is also reasonable and who listens when need be. Or, as one might say -- of the people, by the people, for the people. I, for one, approve.

    Tess Harding
    NYT Pick
    Why give the insurer the option to continue the plan. the option should be with the insured.

    The press has failed to inform that insurers dropping policies is nothing new, that the new policies provide better coverage, instead of carrying water for the obstructionists who only concern is party first, country last"

    I think Phase 3 of Operation Failed Health Plan is "blame capitalism"

  • wwhorton||

    And I thought the WaPo forums were bad...

  • ||

    The press has failed to inform that insurers dropping policies is nothing new

    ...which is why the grandfathering rule was doomed to failure in the first place, as Chuck Grassley pointed out at the time. UNFORSEEN CONSEQUENCES!!!!11!ONE!

    ,that the new policies provide better coverage,

    ...at a higher cost, but obviously you shit-smeared cretins are too stupid to figure out why you should pay more for top shelf stuff.

    instead of carrying water for the obstructionists who only concern is party first, country last"

    ...and have the temerity to care about their own families ahead of the good of random people they have never met who may or may not deserve it.

  • ||

    I love that they think republicans are going to usher in a New Dark Age. Like any candidate that espouses real fucking theocracy is going to get elected president, with some kind of super religious majority to boot.

  • Carolynp||

    Oh please, I read a guy who said that Republicans are still pushing for slavery. When I pointed out that was the Democratic party that was pro-slavery, no es bueno my friend. Wow did that guy go ape crazy.

  • CE||

    Tess Harding
    NYT Pick
    Why give the insurer the option to continue the plan. the option should be with the insured.

    I think someone doesn't understand what the "free" part in "free markets" is supposed to mean.

  • Mensan||

    They think it means they get stuff for free.

  • XM||

    The NYT comment section contain opinions from an alternate universe. The folks there still blame the insurance companies for cancelling their policies. Or they'll say they don't mind paying more to help the poor.

    One guy insisted that insurance companies picked and chose "winners and losers" in the market prior to the ACA. This is like one of the most popular defense of ACA, although it's pretty clear that it creates new losers to cater to losers from the status quo.

    The cancellations and glitchy website is just the tip of the iceberg. A lot of people are still completely unaffected or oblivious by the law. Wait until the brutal holiday retail season and the start of the employer mandate to see additional fireworks.

    I'm secretly hoping that the IRS is stupid enough to raid the shadow economy to enforce ACA. That'll be racist, you know. Come on, you know that Chinese takeout place near your house is paying their workers in cash or not paying for their healthcare.

  • blcartwright||

    6 weeks ago Obama and the Democrats let the government shut down to avoid the Republican proposal of delaying the individual mandate for a year. Now Obama does it unilaterally, with Congressional consent.

  • blcartwright||

    *without

  • fish||

    I anticipate a vast increase in the number of proglodyte whiplash cases due to the presidents "open field running"....a regular Barry Sanders is he!

  • rts||

    Even if this temporarily reduces some of today’s political pressure, those long-term policy problems will rebound to create additional political problems as time goes by.

    Kick-the-can is standard operating procedure.

  • CE||

    How's that bi-partisan agreement to resolve the debt ceiling issue by January coming along?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Does the president have the legal authority to do this?

  • rts||

    Ah, Pro Libertate, how quaint of you to worry about such trivialities.

  • Brett L||

    People who got cancellation notices should have standing to sue to prevent this, right?

  • Pro Libertate||

    No one ever has standing to stop the government, it seems.

  • flye||

    Are you serious? Are you serious?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Did Caesar have legal authority to cross the Rubicon?

  • Swiss Servator, Original Gnome||

    Those legions behind him say "ita vero".

  • Auric Demonocles||

    When the President does it, it's not illegal.

  • some guy||

    Two words: prosecutorial discretion.

    Seriously.

  • blcartwright||

    I know,

    They justified delaying the employer mandate by saying the mandate is still there, we're just going to use our discretion and not punish anyone for violating it.

  • blcartwright||

    but then the law said there were certain groups of people who were not eligible for green cards, but the Obama admin gave them anyway

  • playa manhattan||

  • CatoTheElder||

    Legal authority, you say?

    HRH Obama doesn't need no stinkin' legal authority.

    You don't like it? Well, expect a visit from the IRS.

  • R C Dean||

    Of course, this is illegal. There is legally promulgated rule out there today on grandfathering. In order to replace it (legally), there needs to APA-compliant notice-and-comment rulemaking by the agency, which naturally King Obama I can't be troubled with.

    And, it punts the issue of state approval of plans. The discontinued plans aren't, in some/many/most/all states, legal to sell any more because they have been withdrawn from the market and haven't been submitted for approval for 2014.

    Fun fact: to avoid a lapse in coverage on January 1, these plans will have to be approved, offered, and accepted by beneficiaries by the middle of December. Who thinks that's going to happen? Who thinks that, even if it is done, its not going to lead to massive confusion and fuckups?

  • Sevo||

    "Fun fact: to avoid a lapse in coverage on January 1, these plans will have to be approved, offered, and accepted by beneficiaries by the middle of December. Who thinks that's going to happen? Who thinks that, even if it is done, its not going to lead to massive confusion and fuckups?"

    One more bitch-slap courtesy of reality.

  • Drake||

    In many cases, that is simply impossible for the insurance companies - in terms of systems, compliance with the states, underwriting, pricing, billing, and general administration.

    The analogy yesterday was ordering a factory demolished - then auto production resumed.

    This will only make a bigger mess - which is okay with me.

  • Bobarian||

    The end result will be BO pointing at the state commissioners and insurance companies and saying "It's their fault, they did it!"

  • Drake||

    I don't think even the mainstream media will buy it this time around.

  • GroundTruth||

    Wanna make a bet?

  • GILMORE||

    "
    Drake|11.14.13 @ 1:13PM|#

    I don't think even the mainstream media will buy it this time around.""

    GroundTruth|11.14.13 @ 1:17PM|#

    Wanna make a bet?""

    I suspect Drake may be right.

    Even the media is getting the drift that this shit is simply too stinky to keep calling fudge sundae. They DO have "sources" who explain shit to them, and sooner or later they are going to learn "why can't they just go back to old policies, again?" and have to pass that information on to readers.

    I really do think that the Admin to some degree has been guilty of Drinking Their Own Kool Aid, and so smug in their ability to simply 'rewrite reality' that they really believe that massive fuckups like this can be papered over, and that a new "message" will get everyone back on board with the Big Theme, which is = "We Are Helping and the GOP are Not"

    You can't paper over millions of people getting fucked over royally, then given a belated 'whoops'. Too many of those people are going to continue to complain.

  • Sevo||

    "I don't think even the mainstream media will buy it this time around."

    You are more confident than am I. They've made a career of covering this guy's ass for the last five years.
    The Chron today lead with a story about how the CA exchange 'enrolled' more than the US exchange, as if that were something to crow about,
    Slid in under that story was the one about that hag Pelosi running in circles to keep the Ds from jumping ship.

  • XM||

    All those middle class Americans (some supporters of ACA and BHO) sobbing over cancelled policies make for some compelling human stories.

    The media's liberal bias won't quite stop them from chasing a story. There's nothing else that has the nation's attention at the moment. No one here seems especially concerned about the Philippines, even though that place is going through some hell at the moment.

    Sandy Hook, Naval Yard shooting, the Colorado flood, Boston bombing, The Zimmerman case, the government shutdown - these are all distant memory now. The ACA is a long term deal.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Sort of the reverse of when he tried to take credit for the oil and gas fracking boom that happened on state and private lands despite his administration's attempts to prevent it on federal land.

  • Swiss Servator, Original Gnome||

    Are you trying to summon shreik?

  • playa manhattan||

    He's in a meeting right now.

  • CatoTheElder||

    And despite his environmentalist allies struggling to prevent fracking at every turn.

  • Logical 1||

    Drake's analogy about the demolished factory makes me think of Mark Levin's rant during the debates before the law was passed about Obama destroying the whole health care system in order to put a government single payer system in place (like extending medicare to all). At the time I thought it was crazy, right-wing paranoia but may he was onto something . . .

  • Rasilio||

    The problem with that view is that it grants WAY too much intelligence to Obama.

    A close unbiased watch of Obama would show that something like Obamacare is actually what he believes in, Collectivist, Technocratic, and firmly based on Cronyism

  • blcartwright||

    I do believe the intent of the ACA always was to destroy the insurance industry, and then be there as saviors of the uninsured. I think they didn't realize how bad the shitstorm would be.

  • OneOut||

    Or that they will be unable to fix the hole in the boat that they clearly kicked in.

    This isn't going to be good for the Democrats. They are likely to lose a large portion of the wavering vote. That leaves them with having to run a protected class candidate. No blacks on the horizon so it must be Hillary (women) or maybe they can come up with a black midget illegal alien homosexual who loves puppies.

  • ||

    Even so, Obama can blame the insurers now, and he's created enough wiggle room that of course his retarded sheep supporters will buy it, and a lot of other people will too. Legality and workability aside, this takes the political heat off of them, which sucks, because they had put themselves in a terrible hole.

  • Almanian!||

    ^^ this is exaclty it. The sheep are too fucking stupid to understand that it is now *impossible* for many (if not all) companies to do a 180.

    "But the President SAID you have to let me keep my plan!"

    The Kochtopus strikes again! MWUUUUAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • Drake||

    What about the backlash from people who obeyed the law and already signed up for the new, really expensive, approved plans?

    Are they just shit out of luck?

  • Restoras||

    Drake, given the pathetic number of sign-ups, they aren't even a speed bump or a pothole. Why would anyone in power give a crap about an interrest group with no power or money, and who have already swallowed your load?

  • Killazontherun||

    If the sheep buy it, may they all be raped by a hoard of Warty clones.

  • Swiss Servator, Original Gnome||

    a horde of Warty clones...

    *shudders*

    Thanks, I may never sleep....again.

  • Restoras||

    Stockpile more ammo?

  • Lord Humungus||

    guns? against Warty?

  • Restoras||

    What then? Katana's? Kryptonite? Krispy Kreme's? I'm just trying to help...

  • Lord Humungus||

    only SugarFree knows the answer to that question.

  • Marshall Gill||

    I hardly think "try and think of something else while it is happening" counts as fending off.

  • Lord Humungus||

    The Victorian defense?

  • ||

    No he can't. People aren't going to forget that none of this would have happened if he hadn't let the website go live and had been willing to delay it a year.

  • ||

    You are way, way too optimistic. The only reason this actually got blamed on the administration is because...there was no one else to blame. TEAM BLUE has struggled mightily the last few weeks desperately searching for a scapegoat. We watched them try multiple tacks, and none worked. But this gives them a scapegoat. Even if it's not true, even if it's still the administration's fault, it gives at least TEAM BLUE a working scapegoat that they can convince themselves is the real reason.

    The beauty of this fuckup was that not only did it affect a ton of people, it was forcing even TEAM BLUE Kool-Ade drinkers to finally, for once, face some reality. It was having a real effect. This change now gives the Kool-Ade drinkers an out, and believe me, they will fucking take it and run. Which ruins the best aspect of the rollout.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Too little too late and too few people will take this out. The website is still fucked and might be forever. The preniums on the exchanges are going to rocket up. To the average person this might just look like more flailing and panick.

  • Killazontherun||

    The states that took it on themselves to do the enrollment plans are still going to be flooded with Medicaid signups. 87 percent in one state versus private insurance enrollments. That problem is going to be a permanent burden. I would hate to be a property owner in Maryland. I know who is going to pick up that tab.

  • Brett L||

    I imagine the governor of Kentucky is feeling a little exposed this afternoon.

  • Killazontherun||

    What I love about Kentucky, you can't just bribe them on the cheap. You have to really up the ante if you expect them to go along with your progressive welfare state plans.

  • OneOut||

    I like this.

    I have for years tried to explain to many friends that Mexico is much more Democratic than the US. They of course get in a huff and want to argue. My response is that, say you have a problem with a typo on a document in Mexico. You slip a government worker a couple of bucks and it gets fixed. In the US you have much trouble and a lot of documents to be notarized and presented. In Mexico even poor people can bribe the government. In the US of A only the rich can bribe government.

  • Ted S.||

    The law is settled!

  • Killazontherun||

    What is all the seditious nonsense about changing it?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    The Supreme Court upheld it!

  • CatoTheElder||

    I seem to remember the Anointed One saying precisely that. Just a few weeks ago during the debt ceiling squabble, He said that ObamaCare was passed by Congress and signed by HRH, and could not be stopped a faction of the party that controls just one house of government.

    Obama is, in fact, a tyrant. He may be a benign tyrant, or a mild tyrant, but his behavior is that of a tyrant.

  • GILMORE||

    "
    Just a few weeks ago during the debt ceiling squabble, He said that ObamaCare was passed by Congress and signed by HRH, and could not be stopped a faction of the party that controls just one house of government."

    Fool. He meant "that" house of government.

    His speech on the eve of govt shutdown =

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBq8VyGu9Jk

    @4:47
    "So let me be clear about this = An important part of the Affordable Care Act takes effect tomorrow, no matter what congress decides to do today. The ACA is moving forward; that funding is already in place. YOU CANT SHUT IT DOWN. This is a law that passed both houses of congress, has my signature, a law the supreme court upheld as constitutional, a law that voters chose NOT to repeal last November, a law that is already providing benefits to millions of Americans....

    (blah blah blah)

    Those things are already happening. And starting tomorrow, tens of millions of Americans will be able to log on to Healthcare.gov to shop for Affordable Healthcare Coverage.

    Whoops.

    It gets better @ 6:28 when he suggests that postponing Obamacare for a year, as Republicans demand, could probably result in people like, dying and shit and still achieve nothing because, "So what, we'll still be fighting over it next year!" So postponing a year is stupid because the ACA is good.

    So, he allowed the shutdown because he didn't want to postpone Obamacare. Only now, we need to postpone Obamacare. Fixed.

  • Loki||

    There you go, bringing up reality. The Lightbringer decrees it to be so, therefore it must/ will be so.

  • TMLutas||

    I just got off the phone with my state's Department of Insurance. They are all in a meeting. Color me unsurprised.

  • Rasilio||

    'The White House is making this fix unilaterally, as an “administrative fix” without Congressional approval, and probably without clear legal authority. Even ignoring legal questions",/i

    Wait, given the frequency with which the Obama Administration has ignored the legal questions around Obamacare isn't it time we STOP ignoring them?

    I mean this may be the right thing to do in the short term but that doesn't make it legal and if someone doesn't start challenging them on their supralegal "administrative fixes" it will eventually become impossible to do so.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    IT'S THE LAW OF THE LAND, YOU STUPID TEABAGGING RETHUGLICANS! YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THE LAW EXACTLY AS IT WAS WRITTEN!!

    (What's that? Obama said what? Oh...)

    Ahem. So, as I was saying, Obamacare is a flexible law, subject to necessary administrative tweaks and refinements. Rigid adherence to the law would be a huge mistake...

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Obamacare is a flexible law, subject to necessary administrative tweaks and refinements.

    I swear. THIS is the part of the ACA that is most dangerous. It effectively hands over emergency powers to the bureaucracy so that it may "tweak" the law to make it somehow work. But the law can't work, so we are effectively handing over a sizable chunk of the economy to a newly created central planning committee.

  • Almanian!||

    TOP. Men.

  • Brett L||

    effectively hands over emergency powers to the bureaucracy so that it may "tweak" the law to make it somehow work.

    Well, so the Executive Branch claims.

  • Seamus||

    You know, it would really enhance the efficiency of our government if we simply gave the president the power to rule by decree. I hear that President Maduro in Venezuela is asking for this, and it seems like it would be a good idea here too. (If you don't like the idea of a permanent grant of legislative authority, then we can just do what the Reichstag did in 1933 and make it a limited grant. The Reichstag limited it to four years, but I think that until noon on January 20, 2017, would be just about right.)

  • Homple||

    Ermächtigungsgesetz, bitchez.

  • Homple||

    Wait for the national emergency during the disputed outcome of the 2016 elections.

    Vorübergehender Ermächtigungsgesetz, bitchez.

  • Libertarius||

    Obummerkare Macht Frei

  • blcartwright||

    so in the future there is precedent to "tweak" this or any other law to meet the desires of the admin in power, regardless of what congress or the people intended. Getting farther and farther from "consent of the governed"

  • wwhorton||

    The ACA isn't a suicide pact, you know.

  • JWatts||

    Fatty Bolger - Ahem. So, as I was saying, Obamacare is a flexible law, subject to necessary administrative tweaks and refinements. Rigid adherence to the law would be a huge mistake...

    I think the NYT poster above phrased it better:

    jv001
    NYT Pick
    I don't care what anybody says. We have a President who is firm when he needs to be, but one who is also reasonable and who listens when need be. Or, as one might say -- of the people, by the people, for the people. I, for one, approve.

  • Sevo||

    And how about this:
    One of the reasons O'care is a piece of shit is predictable in the extreme; Obo and crew ran smack into the knowledge problem and events are easily outrunning the apparatchiks. The web site is a disaster in part since no price signals meant anyone's opinion of what to require was as good as anyone else's.
    So now we have a major change; those requirements are no longer requirements. What does he do, call in the IT pros who made his wonderful web site and tell them to just make a couple of changes? Oops! One more blind-side by reality!

  • Restoras||

    There's too many notes. Get rid of some.

  • WTF||

    +1 Salieri

  • ||

    As one insurance industry source tells Buzzfeed, “This doesn’t change anything other than force insurers to be the political flack jackets for the administration. So now when we don’t offer these policies the White House can say it’s the insurers doing this and not being flexible.”

    Now, since I'm pretty sure insurers were mostly on board with Obamacare since it massively forcefully increased their customer base...BOO HOO. You lie down with dogs, you get fleas. If you couldn't see that they'd use you for cover the instant they needed to, you deserve what you get. The only thing that bothers me is that the politicians will be able to use the insurers for cover (their retarded base will eat it up, too), when they should still be being pilloried.

  • R C Dean||

    So now when we don’t offer these policies the White House can say it’s the insurers doing this and not being flexible.”

    "We would like to offer your old plan to you again. However, it is illegal under State law to do so until the Commissioner of Insurance has given us approval to offer this plan. Pending that approval, we can't do it. Sorry."

  • Swiss Servator, Original Gnome||

    ^^^^ THIS ^^^^

    And the extra fun starts when the CoIs start pointing out the law has not changed, and they cannot approve such, Lightworker's extra-legal attempts to jury-rig something aside.

  • some guy||

    What they are proposing amounts to prosecutorial discretion. What company in their right minds would offer an illegal product depending on prosecutorial discretion to keep them safe for legal harm?

  • ||

    Do you really think many people, most especially the low foreheads who "believe" in Obamacare, won't blame the insurers and will blame Obama now that they've made this fix?

    It's irrelevant whether they can't turn on a dime. Obama has now said they can offer the old plans again, and they're not. So...it's the insurers' fault!

    I mean, come on, dude, do you really think this won't happen?

  • John||

    You are right. Claiming some convoluted reason people lost their insurance is not going to work with the low information public. They are not going to see beyond the simple fact that before Obamacare they had good health insurance and now after Obmacare they don't.

    Blaming insurance companies to them will just be Obama admitting he can't fix his own program.

  • ||

    You know, this was going to be the jolt of Schadenfreude I needed to make it through the rest of the week, but of course you had to be here to remind us all that retardation has no cure and we're all fucking doomed. So thanks.

  • Brett L||

    Hi Nikki, welcome back.

  • ||

    Thanks Brett!

  • ||

    Look, dude, I would love to be wrong. I want to be wrong. But the Obamacare supporters are cultists, and this will probably give them just enough space to get back into their delusional bubble, which they had previously been ejected from because of how terrible the rollout has been.

    Hopefully, I'm wrong. If I am I will celebrate right along with you.

  • ||

    Well it may be worth separating the Obamacare cultists from normals in this case, then, because I think John may be right about the normals just staying pissed at Obama/Dems because clearly they fucking started it. It will be a question of whether the actual ACA supporters can convince them of the evils of capitalists. Which they were sort of--just sort of--able to do well enough the first time around to pass the ACA at all, but I don't know, they may have a much more uphill battle on their hands this time around.

  • ||

    This may be another fuckup by the administration. I hope to hell it is. But I know that the administration and all their sycophants in the media and on blogs and in TEAM BLUE will be spinning this as hard as they possibly can to shift the blame off the administration. They're going to be going FULL RETARD 24/7 to do this. Will it work? It has in the past. We'll see.

    The one thing that gives me some optimism is how catastrophically they fucked up to cause this. It's entirely possible that they're so far in the hole that every attempt to alleviate the damage ends up making it worse. Now that would be fantastic.

  • ||

    The one thing that gives me some optimism is how catastrophically they fucked up to cause this.

    Yes, the disaster that has been the rollout has been so, so delicious. I even saw Wolf Blitzer yesterday talking about how if young, healthy people don't enroll, there will be a death spiral, etc.--journalists have actually decided to learn how this shit works, and they are going after these bitches! Nancy Pelosi was right all along, we did have to pass it to find out what was in it, and it may have taken a few extra years, but oh is it juicy.

  • ||

    It's been wonderful, but what I fear is that the best part of this--the utter psychic pain it has caused to his cult and all the rabid partisans--will be ruined by them being able to blame the insurers. They need to turn on him, or at least become massively disillusioned. That was happening. I worry that today's announcement will alleviate their pain and allow them to believe again, and all that we have gained will be lost.

  • #||

    Epi, We'll know in the next 24 hours or so when Shriek and Tony show up with their talking points.

  • R C Dean||

    Well it may be worth separating the Obamacare cultists from normals in this case

    The cultists are a lost cause, and the normals have turned on OCare. That means that at least some of them aren't going to swallow the new party line any more - trust is gone.

    Sure, some will, but the more he tightens his fist, the more systems slip through his fingers.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Hell, the Republicans offered the Team Obama a free pass just weeks ago, but the jackasses were too stupid and too clueless about the status of progress on ObamaCare to take them up on it.

  • Faceless Commenter||

    CULTISTS VS MUTANTS

    Epi my friend, there is a huge difference. If you've lurked at Daily Kos and then watched some of these man-in-the-street victims of Obamacare, surely you've seen it.

    The cultists are news junkies who feast endlessly on the party line and chew over every jot and tittle, every precious word that drops from the Dear Leader's holy lips.

    But, and I'm sorry to talk this way about my fellow Americans, have you WATCHED these troglodytes on t.v. who voted for Obama and got their plans canceled? They're blind autistic epileptic retarded deer caught in the headlights. ALL they know is what's happening within a 6-inch radius of the snot dangling from their nostril. MONEY GOOD. PRESIDENT BAD. COCA-COLA SWEET. Even that guy (I think he was a lawyer of all things) whose personal info got posted to some other guy's account sounded like his mouth was full of foam when Greta van Susteren interviewed him. "Gnnnf. Wsfff. Rrrr."

    These are the Independents, the Undecideds, the LIVs, the silent majority who make decisions for the rest of us. These are the ones we have to keep happy. It's them, not just the usual suspects of minorities, women, gays and other grievance groups, who respond to promises of Free Stuph.

  • blcartwright||

    You only need to peel away ten Dem senators to pass something new, then challenge O to veto it.

  • John||

    Let me give you one ray of hope. Bet on stupid and low information. What is the typical stupid low information voter more likely to think about this, that the insurance companies have somehow decided not to offer the plans they used to offer because they are the RACIST or something or that Obama promised and now can't deliver or even fix his own plan?

    The latter is the simpler thing and requires the least effort to believe.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Episiarch,

    But the Obamacare supporters are cultists, and this will probably give them just enough space to get back into their delusional bubble


    I don't think there's evidence to support that notion. Sure, people gave president Obama the benefit of the doubt when it came to his signature legislation but only a minority of those people are dyed-in-the-wool Obama worshippers. If you look at the recent polls, people who felt confident about the president's assurances now feel betrayed, even if they haven't lost their insurance. "When your neighbor's house is on fire, carry water to your own."

  • GILMORE||

    "
    Episiarch|11.14.13 @ 1:18PM|#

    Hopefully, I'm wrong

    HAHAHAHAHAAAHAHAHAHA AHAHA

    NYT

    "
    RealityMan
    San Francisco

    Good grief, what a bunch of whiney self - serving interests surround this health care business. About the website: web sites are never perfect on day one, so get over it. Pick up the phone or get out your pen and stamps if you can't enroll online. On the Democrats calling for changes: "hang together or hang seperately" is still good advice. On Boehner: How dare you question the president's honesty when you sputter half - truths and misinformation every time you step up to a microphone? Tea Party: so disgusted by your thinly veiled racism directed towards the president, and your blatent contempt for the poor and downtrodden. For insurance companies cancelling junk policies: conniving maneuvers to confuse and mislead the public to squeeze out that one..last..dime. On the media skepticism: shame on you for stirring the pot. "OMG all this enrollment has to happen by Jan. 1st!!! How can it possibly work?" The same way Christmas will "work" a week earlier!

  • blcartwright||

    I didn't see one original thought there, that he didn't get from a talking point

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Nikki! Where you been?

  • ||

    Hey! You know, truckin'. And not at all holed up in Warty's basement or anything.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Sounds like Stockholm Syndrome.

  • Lord Humungus||

    "all holed up"

    pretty much what happens in Warty's basement.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No. The tar baby is too sticky (no racist).

  • John||

    You are wrong Epi. I misread you. The majority of them won't blame the insurers. The will blame Obama. Which is simpler to believe that the insurers are evil and out to get me or that Obama can't fix his own program?

    They will believe the latter. Obama promised I could keep my health insurance. And I can't do it. That is all people are going to care about.

    Yes people are dumb. But that just means they believe the simplest story not necessarily the Dem one.

  • ||

    There are two factions here, though, John. I agree with you that the normals will probably keep blaming Obama. But what you're missing is that this gives his Kool-Ade drinkers a lifeline. The true beauty of this clusterfuck was that it was crushing the Kool-Ade drinkers. It was forcing them to see reality.

    That was an amazing thing. We wouldn't be in the shitstorm we are today without the Kool-Ade drinking partisan sheep. Destroying their delusional bubble was far more valuable than having a lot of normals pissed at Obama. And now he's given them a way back into the bubble.

  • John||

    I think the kool aid drinkers will get fewer and fewer. If the Dems get killed over this thing next year, that is going to take a lot of the charm out of being a koolaide drinker. No one likes a loser. And that is what Obama and Obamacare will be.

    So cheer up, you want some people to stay in the cult. That will make the resulting civil war between the Obamatrons and the rest of the Democratic Party that much more entertaining.

  • ||

    Destroying their delusional bubble was far more valuable than having a lot of normals pissed at Obama.

    See, it's just that your requirements for Schadenfreude are too high. There was only ever a limited amount of time they could live outside the delusional bubble before they rebuilt it anyway out of fishing line and duct tape.

  • ||

    Well of course my Schadenfreude requirements are too high. Like cocaine, if I'm going to do it, I want to really do it, no half-assed gummies. This shit has been delicious! I don't want it to stop!

  • ||

    I get it. And that's why I will never be happy on this earth.

    I mean, sober at least.

  • ||

    Ate you kidcing me Epi, letting the Kool-aid drinkers back into the bubble is the BEST THING THAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN.

    Why? Because letting them back into the bubble allows them to keep running around with their cocks hanging out acting like everything is normal. The more delusional and foaming at the mouth these people get the more they discredit themselves. They will cling to their talking points like the hem of Obama's robe. And they will make themselves the bigger fools for doing so.

    And on the day they get slaughtered in the midterms they will have no idea that it was coming.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    Chocolate Jesus doesn't need the masses to believe forever, just past the Tuesday following the first Monday in November, 2014.

  • Loki||

    Do you really think many people, most especially the low foreheads who "believe" in Obamacare, won't blame the insurers and will blame Obama now that they've made this fix?

    The low foreheads will definitely blame the insurers, but anyone else with a pulse and a functioning brain will hopefully not fall for this bullshit. The problem is, there's a lot of low foreheads out there, and many of them are Obama fluffers with primetime news shows on MSNBC who a lot of otherwise reasonably intelligent people, for some reason, listen to.

  • Spartacus||

    PS--You wanted regulation, you got it.

  • ||

    Rush Limbaugh is suspicious of the sudden change of subject to Iran during the press conference. There's a potential Wag the Dog there.

  • ||

    (Limbaugh isn't necessarily suspicious for the same reasons I am, but it's still noteworthy.)

  • R C Dean||

    This, really, has to be a one year delay of the individual mandate. Otherwise, anybody who reinstates their old plan doesn't have coverage that meets the minimum requirements and is exposed to the penaltax.

    Hey, Peter:

    What are they saying about the penaltax and people who keep their old, non-complinat plans? Have they specifically addressed this yet?

  • NoVAHockey||

    We're in the fling-shit-to-the-wall phase.
    there's no policy thought here at all.

  • Sevo||

    You're presuming this was thought out and handled in a competent manner.
    I refer you to that oh, so amazing web site as evidence that this is a panic reaction to events.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I guess that means the delay in the penaltax is a done deal in Obama's mind.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "It may not seem [like a concession that ObamaCare is unworkable] at first, because the most immediate impact of the move is to stave off political pressure."

    And it isn't going to get any easier to kick people off of their extended insurance in the future.

    If people liked the insurance they had in the past because it was cheaper, there isn't anything about ObamaCare that makes me think insurance is threatening to become less expensive in the future.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    the political pressure will be intense in campaign season. I can see repeal from here.

  • Adam330||

    He knows perfectly well that the insurance companies can't extend the plans as a practical matter, so he doesn't need to worry about people getting thrown off next year. This just provides a line for the talking heads.

  • Ken Shultz||

    We have a tendency to look for the most reasonable motive and assume that's why he's doing it, but that isn't necessarily so.

  • Ken Shultz||

    And a lot of people were happy with their insurance. Sure, there were a lot of people who felt sorry for those with preexisting conditions and the working poor, but that doesn't mean they were willing to give up their own insurance.

    Everybody likes a free lunch in theory. But there are a lot of people who don't realize that there ain't no such thing...

    Selling fantasies is so much easier than explaining the realities. I guess that's why they call economics "the dismal science".

  • wareagle||

    so is this the day the US became a monarchy? Because I can't find the executive power that lets POTUS change laws on a whim.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Hell, the limeys maintain a tighter leash on their monarchy than we do ours.

  • Restoras||

    Well the French have had some interesting history with regards to monarchy.

  • Spartacus||

    Look under Article FYTW.

  • Restoras||

    Is that before or after Commerce Clauzz, Bitchez?

  • Steve G||

    Well, his name is in the title of the law...

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Something tells me that just proclaiming it so and making it so aren't going to be the same thing in this case.

    As I expectantly await my insurance application which has been languishing in underwriting for the last couple of weeks. Another twist to the whole debacle will certainly speed it up now. Just fucking great.

  • playa manhattan||

    This. It was just another campaign speech.

  • Almanian!||

    Again, this is allllllll SO delicious! I'm enjoying every horrifying, dangerous moment!

    Fuck all the motherfuckers that backed this bullshit and voted this shitstain into office. I hope your health ins. policy was cancelled and you decide to forego coverage, pay the penaltax, and die from a disease you didn't know you had.

    Fuckers.

  • RG||

    Even better, more attention is being paid to the plans being sold on the exchanges.

    IIRC, NakedCapitalism is mostly a lefty site, and they destroy the plans and ACA in this post.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com.....idUqM1D.99

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    my girlfriend was telling me about her "substandard" plan that she says is shitty but hasn't been cancelled (should have been a clue) and was going up $100. I explained to her it had better coverage than an Obamacare silver plan.

  • ||

    It will be interesting to see what happens next year.

    "But we CAN'T extend your policies another year! We NEED you to pay more money in order to bring rates down on the exchanges!"

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Seems to me that the current exchange rates assume a bunch of healthy people paying more for their insurance than they were before. So when those people renew their old plans, doesn't that screw up the cost estimates for the new ones? If the insurance companies can't reprice those now, they are screwed. Given that, there may not be enough incentive for them to offer the old plans again.

  • playa manhattan||

    There's zero incentive, other than preventing the administration from fucking with them.

    They're going to get back all of their healthy customers at much higher rates. It would be stupid to re-extend the low cost policies to their cancelled customers.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I guess I was wrong about the subsidies. This is, however, just another clusterfuck. Even if they try to deflect the blame on the insurers, it didn't work last time, so why should it now? ?

  • wadair||

    Exactly. This is the point where the president begins to regret having his name affixed to this thing.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You know, if progressives weren't so ignorant about basic economics--progressives are more ignorant about this than your average bible-thumping redneck, really--it wouldn't be necessary to explain to them about how, in the real world, there are very real consequences to government interference.

    Is Barack Obama hearing about this Econ 101 stuff for the first time? Every time I hear him talk about how the economy works, it's like listening to a creationist talk about how life on this earth wouldn't exist unless Jesus had built the polar bears.

    It's total derp.

    The other thing people should be aware of is that he's completely incompetent from a management standpoint. Is Kathleen Sebelius unemployed yet? Why not? Obama said he was taking responsibility for the problems, but he hasn't held anybody responsible for what happened.

    I'd understand if he were doing that from a campaign strategy standpoint. If you fire somebody, it's like you admit you made a mistake. But he's already admitted to making the mistake! Once you've admitted to making the mistake, why not fire the person whose responsibility it was!

    Millions of Americans lost their insurance over this! If you're not gonna fire the people responsible, for goodness' sake, don't put the same people in charge of fixing these problems. Sebelius says this time she promises to get it right; meanwhile, the American people are supposed to say, "Thank you, sir, may I please have another?"

  • sarcasmic||

    'The beatings will continue until morale improves.'

  • playa manhattan||

    Obama only hires members of his cult, qualifications be damned. If he fires Sebelius, he will have a hard time finding a new cult member to take her place.

  • LynchPin1477||

    This is actually the justification that has bee floated by the pundits. Not the cult part, of course, but that Obama would never be able to get a new HHS secretary through Congress. It's another way of blaming it on Republicans.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Obama said he was taking responsibility for the problems, but he hasn't held anybody responsible for what happened.

    Well, he did accept the resignation of the HHS CIO ... but probably because he refused to sign off on the website's October 1 start-up because flaws in its security posed "limitless" risks.

  • Len Bias||

    "Is Kathleen Sebelius unemployed yet?"

    Personally, I would love to see her thrown under the bus.

    Politically, no, that would be letting the entire Obama Administration off way too easily if she were fired. Obama and anyone involved with the drafting of the bill and its implementation is to blame.

  • John||

    I suspect she knows where the bodies are buried on the IRS scandal and a few other things and thus can't be fired.

  • Len Bias||

    Hahaha, true. God, these people suck.

  • blcartwright||

    I love this song...seems to apropos to politics
    http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/red/deathofme.html

    "Death of Me" by Red
    How can you end my affliction
    If you’re the sickness and I’m the cure?
    Too long I’ve faked this addiction
    Another sacrifice to make us pure

    You tear me down
    And then you pick me up
    You take it all
    And still it’s not enough
    You try to tell me
    You can heal me
    But I’m still bleeding
    And you’ll be the death of me

  • John||

    Reason is right that this is an attempt to stick the insurance companies with the blame. The problem is that the insurance companies will now come back and explain how they would love to go back to the old system but can't because all of the mandates.

    What this does is make it even more clear to the middle class "Obamacare is about you paying more so people Obama likes can have coverage he thinks they should have". I am not sure it is going to help.

    It will give the various sock puppets and journolist trash like Klein and company talking points. But it is not going to get people's insurance back. And to the extent that they are able to pin this on the insurance companies, it comes right back at them in the form of people blaming the mandates.

    The reason why the Upton bill requires insurance companies to give people their old plans back is because Obamacare makes it so none of them will without being forced by law to. So this gesture is just that.

    Never underestimate their ability to lie or people's ability to believe stupid things. But I am not sure how they get around the simple fact that millions of people had insurance they liked and now don't. Sure you can try to blame it on the insurance companies. But even the lowest information voter is bound to think "but the insurance company offered my plan before Obamacare".

  • RG||

    I'm getting closer to conceding on our previous debate.

    If this idiotic Hail Mary doesn't work, the admin and Dems up for re election are really going to go into a full on panic.

  • Restoras||

    There's no way this will work. It might buy some time but it won't work. You can't just say "Make it so!" or "Failure is not an option!" and poof, everyone gets to keep their old plans.

    I think the panic will be temporarily alleviated but will set in again this spring.

  • RG||

    No, the law won't work. I was more referring to the attempt to blame the insurers for not being able to re enroll people in canceled plans.

  • Restoras||

    That might work temporarily. But, I expect the insurance companies to punch back twice as hard now that they've been thrown under the bus. They've got a shit-ton of cash and influnce on Capital Hill.

  • Faceless Commenter||

    That next wave of letters might have subtle shift in tone.

  • Ted S.||

    It might buy some time but it won't work.

    As long as it buys time until November 2014.

  • John||

    Time will tell. But I think for once people's short attention spans will work against them. The simple story usually wins. And most of the time, since liberals tell fairy tails and reality is messy, liberals have the simple story.

    This time for once they don't. The simple story is "you had health insurance you liked, Obama told you you could keep it, and now you don't." They are going to have to tell a pretty convoluted story to counter that. And that usually doesn't work.

  • blcartwright||

    The RNC (or anybody) should have ads on everyone's Facebook page

    "Do you want your Senator choosing your Health Insurance for you?" with a picture of Grandma and Grandpa, or a single 20's guy (customized to the owner of the Facebook page) saying "I liked my old insurance but I can't afford it now that I'm required to buy pregnancy coverage"

  • Cytotoxic||

    Epi up above is wrong. Yeah, dumb normal people will normally eat BS up but only if they are comfortable! Obama and his admin have 'broken the Rubicon'. They've done something that is really hard to reverse. This bandaid isn't going to do much except for people who'd support him anyway.

  • Brett L||

    Were I United Health Care or Aetna, I'd run ads on California TV: "Let me be clear, we have no way of legally providing you the plans we cancelled. Thanks to the regulatory environment you fucktards have created, we couldn't get through all the hoops in six weeks if we employed every lawyer in California. We hope your new insurer meets your needs."

  • R C Dean||

    we couldn't get through all the hoops in six weeks if we employed every lawyer in California.

    More like four, although who knows in California. Could be eight, or there could be some kind of retarded retroactive application thing the insurers have to offer.

  • creech||

    The insurance industry needs to put full page ads in every newspaper in the country explaining why it will be extremely difficult, costly, and virtually impossible to now rebuild what Obama has destroyed. This week -not next week. Control the narrative or be destroyed.

  • R C Dean||

    impossible to now rebuild what Obama has destroyed.

    Excellent summation of the situation.

  • Faceless Commenter||

    Or to say so in another wave of letters explaining why they're not offering the unicorn ride.

  • Sevo||

    creech|11.14.13 @ 1:17PM|#
    "The insurance industry needs to put full page ads"...

    Uh, these were the folks who, under pressure from the royal court, would not mention that the old policies were going in the tank. You think they grew a pair in the last week?
    'Nice little insurance company you got there; can I see your license?'

  • Adam330||

    To me, this is a declaration of war on the insurers by trying to pin the blame for any canceled and non-extended policies on them. But the insurers are key to any work-around for the exchanges. If I were an insurance exec, I'd be seriously thinking of just pulling my plans off the exchanges or at least refusing to participate in this direct sign-up work-around. The president just threw me overboard, so he can't expect my help in bailing out the lifeboat.

  • JWatts||

    I probably should be buying stock in the major insurance companies who avoided the Exchanges.

  • BigT||

    I'm sorry the link from healthcare.gov just doesn't seem to work. We haven't heard anything officially.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The White House is making this fix unilaterally, as an “administrative fix” without Congressional approval, and probably without clear legal authority."

    What do you mean "probably"?

    They definitley have no legal authority to do it.

    That is standard operation procedure for this administration.

  • Lord Humungus||

    and this "waiver" only lasts a year, right? That's not going to sell well.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Only a few hours ago, Claire Macaskill was on Morning Joke puking up that old out of date line about how those weren't REAL insurance policies. I guess her minions neglected to download the updated talking points for her.

    Mika Fluffzinski WANTZ TO BELEEEEEEEEEEF!

  • Adam330||

    Obama wants people to have fake insurance!

  • John||

    She is not up for re-election next year. Go find me a Dem running for office in anything but a 100% safe district who is trotting out that line.

    If that is the best they can do, they are doomed.

  • NoVAHockey||

    even Jim Moran (D-VA alexandria) is criticizing it.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "What the administration is really doing, though, is attempting to shift the blame."

    That and continue to defer (as much as they can) the negative effects of Obamacare out past the mid term elections - just as they did with the (illegal) delay of the employer mandate.

  • ||

    Laws? Where we're heading, we don't need laws.

  • Paul.||

    The White House is making this fix unilaterally, as an “administrative fix” without Congressional approval, and probably without clear legal authority.

    How in... has anyone provided even window dressing to this?

  • Paul.||

    Show of hands, will this be Obama's "read my lips" moment?

  • John||

    He already had that when he claimed people could keep their plans.

    What this is going to be is Obama showing the country how incompetent he is and how he can't even fix his own plan.

    Think about it. What happens when the insurance companies don't offer the old plans? What does Obama say? "Those evil insurance companies won't give you your plan back"?

    Okay, then isn't the answer to sign the Fred Upton bill and require them by law to do so? How does Obama get around that?

    And if people don't get their plans back, isn't this just another example of his incompetence? The guy can't fix his own program right?

  • Paul.||

    He already had that when he claimed people could keep their plans.

    That's what I mean. George H Bush made the statement, but it didn't come back to bite him until much later. Is this the 'later' for Obama?

    Unfortunately, Obama is on his last term, so Hillary can completely sidestep this and win in '16, because her hands are relatively clean on OCare aside from a verbal defense of it.

  • John||

    so Hillary can completely sidestep this and win in '16,

    No she won't. She is going to have to come up with some kind of proposed fix to this. She will have Warren or O'Malley or someone running to her left demanding single payer. So she might be forced to do the same. If she doesn't do that, she either defends Obamacare, something no one will be doing or she goes for outright repeal and probably loses the nomination.

    This is a huge problem for Hillary. Doubtful anyone can win a national election advocating for single payer. But it may be impossible to win the nomination without advocating for just that.

  • R C Dean||

    The stink from OCare is on every Dem. Even St. Hillary.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    When do people put together that ObamaCare in its original form is different from this steaming pile of dogshit and what we are stuck with is, essentially, HillaryCare?

  • Paul.||

    What does Obama say? "Those evil insurance companies won't give you your plan back"?

    Yes, and there's an Occupy Wall Street Movement that will run interference for him on that.

  • John||

    And when he does that, how does he then not sign the Upton bill forcing them to do so? He can't sign the Upton bill because it will effectively kill Obamacare.

  • R C Dean||

    Sorry, we learned last time that Occupados and cold weather don't mix. Bad timing for that tactic.

  • Killazontherun||

    He's just restating his original promise of 'you can keep your plan', it's up to you and your neighbors, and everyone else whether you buy it or not.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    how could anyone offer an out of compliance policy based on this man's words? if it ever went to court he'd just fuck you over and explain it was his nature and that you knew that.

  • Swiss Servator, Original Gnome||

    THIS^ I can almost hear the ulcers forming in compliance departments at every insurer...

    Now, if my Swiss masters can figure a way to use this to our advantage... muhuhuwhaha!

  • Dave Krueger||

    There is no such word as "unworkable" in Washington.

    Obamacare is not going to go away. Congress and the White House will continue to add bandaid after bandaid to remedy problems. As with all government programs, the bandaids will cause more problems requiring still more bandaids. The costs will keep climbing as the government has to keep placating insurers and eventually health providers. All the while, health care costs will continue to skyrocket as services decline.

    Luckily, after it's all over, it won't be anyone's fault and no one will be fired. The failure will be talked about as if it just happened and no one could have seen it coming. Greed will be blamed. Greed. The one factor that always seems to stymie the efforts of well meaning politicians...

  • sarcasmic||

    Market failure.

  • gimmeasammich||

    Sadly this will be it. I keep hearing about how we should love this because "it's the free market at work," but nobody seems to realize that this is no-fucking-where near a "free market."

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Does the president have the legal authority to do this?

    How too, too utterly racist of you to even ask such a question. He's a Scholar; of the Constitution.

    It plainly says Congress shall make no law impinging upon the exercise of Presidential Fiat.

  • ||

    I think we might be surprised that many of these plans actually will be reinstated.

    The GOP might do well to take the Dems bait and REQUIRE insurance companies to keep offering them.

  • John||

    That is a good point. God knows how hard he is going to lean on the insurance industry to offer the old plans for a year until t he heat is off.

    If the companies don't, doesn't that just force Obama to sign the Upton bill? If the evil insurance companies won't give us our policies back, just make them. How does Obama get around that argument?

  • Libertymike||

    The mendacious mulato will find a way.

  • John||

    I don't think so. He is really fucked on this deal.

  • Brett L||

    How? How do you make Aetna stay in California, where they didn't bother to get recertified? The states will lose their shit if the feds take regular insurance regulation away.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I think it's possible, mainly because the exchanges have been such a failure. If they don't think the exchanges will be fixed, then they could probably reinstate the old policies without being screwed over by new ones (because there are so few of them). Still, it's going to be really sick people with pre-existing conditions who are motivated enough to get those plans however they can, so it may not take many to break the bank.

    And as John says, they are going to lean hard on the industry to do this, no doubt with promises of later remuneration made behind closed doors.

  • ||

    So then they sue the government next year. The lawsuits that will come out of this, both from the consumers and from the insurance industry will be spectacular to behold.

  • ||

    It doesn't work that way. Obama's magical wand cannot compelled 50 state insurance regulatory agency to retroactively re-certify old policy. As someone above stated, how do you compelled Aetna to stay in California? They're gone.

  • WhatAboutBob||

    There's already 4 or 5 lawsuits making their way towards the Supreme Court over Obamacare. I bet we'll see more and more as Obama keeps changing the rules on the fly. There's no way this mess will be cleaned up before the 2016 elections, much less next year's midterm elections.

  • R C Dean||

    Yeah, the big one that can really hole OCare below the waterline is still out there. Might hit SCOTUS next term (in time for the mid-terms), but I suspect it will be slow-played to avoid that.

  • John||

    Roberts has proven he rules by putting his finger to the wind. If this thing continues to unfold as a massive political crisis, I would not be surprised at all if Justice Penaltax stepped in to save the day and declare the whole thing unconstitutional.

  • Brett L||

    "It could have been constitutional but not with this arbitrary enforcement. We have no choice but to strike the whole thing under the Equal Protection clause."

  • Swiss Servator, Original Gnome||

    Oooh, I like that - have you been scarfing down melange and having visions of the future?

  • NoVAHockey||

    If they keep extending it a year, the "exchange fix" becomes the new "doc fix."

  • RickCaird||

    Does this mean the bad apples are suddenly good apples? Have we managed to turn pickles back into cucumbers?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Whores back into virgins?

  • Faceless Commenter||

    Fried eggs into raw eggs?

  • Restoras||

    Nazis into middle-class Germans?

  • Enough About Palin||

  • The Late P Brooks||

    We're in the fling-shit-to-the-wall phase.
    there's no policy thought here at all.

    Business as usual, then.

  • Cytotoxic||

    To apply this bandaid of limited effectivity, O just had to make enemies of the entire US health insurance industry. Brillian tactical move there Obama.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    This seems appropriate here.

    "It is legal because I wish it."
    - Louis XIV Barack Obama

  • OldMexican||

    What the administration is really doing, though, is attempting to shift the blame[...] [T]he White House and its Democratic allies in Congress will be able to argue that this isn't a result of their law. It's the insurers fault.


    And this blame-shifting is understandable. The question becomes if people are going to buy the Administration's excuse.

    This "blame the insurers" mantra has been peddled since the first letters of cancellation were being issued and the reports about them coming in from everywhere. And I do believe that a few ignoramuses and Obama worshippers will eat this lock, stock and barrel, but the approval numbers do not show that this focus-shifting tactic is working. People feel betrayed by this president; are they going to trust him now when he starts pointing fingers at others?

  • John||

    Like I said above, the blame the insurer line would work except that those same insurers were offering these plans not 30 days ago. Hard to see why they would now magically decide not to.

    It seems more likely people will look at Obama and ask "you broke this, why can't you fix it and make these people give me my insurance back?"

    This thing is so delicious. All of the qualities about voters, the mindlessly looking to government, the low information, the inability to understand anything but a simple explanation, that allow the Democrats to be so successful are not going to bite them in the ass as voters refuse to take the bullshit excuses and ask the simple question "why can't you fix this?"

  • ||

    Exactly. The TEAM BLUE people who have employer coverage might buy the bullshit, but the people who had their plans canceled aren't going to hear any of it. They had a plan, now they don't None of this would be happening if it wasn't for the ACA.

  • John||

    But most of the employer coverages are getting canceled too. HHS eviscerated the grandfather rule declaring anytime your plan changes it is effectively a "new plan". The numbers I have seen say something like 96 million people are seeing their existing plans canceled and replaced with the new more expensive Obamaplan.

  • Brett L||

    The employer mandate already got pushed. That's 1/1/2015 numbers.

  • John||

    Different mandate. The mandate to provide insurance got pushed back. But the mandate that every plan include all of the bullshit is alive and well.

  • Brett L||

    Its mandates all the way down!

  • LynchPin1477||

    But does the "fix" that was just announced also apply to employer provided plans?

  • Faceless Commenter||

    I was wondering that myself.

  • ||

    Anyone else feeling like at this point we can just sit back and take in the colossal awesomeness of this cluster fuck?

    I feel like cracking a bottle of brandy and smoking a cigar. Possibly on a lawnchair overlooking the battle.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: HazelMead,

    Anyone else feeling like at this point we can just sit back and take in the colossal awesomeness of this cluster fuck?


    I'm popping some popcorn and putting on my favorite slippers.

  • ||

    And it's only beginning!

    It's going to be one cascading catatrophe after another for the next several years.

  • ||

    I'll be reading Arrabal.

  • R C Dean||

    Indeed, we haven't even gotten to the real big blowups:

    (1) When people finally look at their "compliant" plans and realize the networks and benefits are shit. I don't this has really sunk in yet.

    (2) When the tsunami of fail hits the employer plans. This extension doesn't affect the rescheduled arrival of the mandates on employers for the 2015 plan year.

  • CatoTheElder||

    ^^^^^ THIS !!!

  • Faceless Commenter||

    "This extension doesn't affect the rescheduled arrival of the mandates on employers for the 2015 plan year."
    --------------------
    whoa whoa whoa, there's the answer to my question. Really? I wasn't listening closely -- my ears do something funny when Obama speaks. Did he state that at the conference? If so, this is even better than I thought.

    Two shoes will drop at once.

  • R C Dean||

    Did he state that at the conference?

    Nah. They postponed the employer-side mandates earlier this year.

    Different clusterfuck. I know, they all tend to run together.

  • Restoras||

    I agree with you RC. The full impact has not sunk in yet. And when the employer madate kicks in...holy moly.

  • ||

    Yes, limited networks + no out of network coverage = waiting lists.

    Subsidized ObamaCare plans are for the peasants. You have to keep the riff-raff out of the better doctors offices.

  • John||

    I am. I feel bad for what is happening. But I can't fix it. So I might as well enjoy watching these people finally get theirs. They so grossly deserve this.

  • Restoras||

    Why on Earth would you feel bad? These motherfuckers constantly usurp our soveriegnty and grab more power at every turn, steal our money and waste it, borrow money they have no intention of repaying and saddle future generations with the payback?

    Fuck all of them. I am going to love watching them twist in the wind, and love watching the ratings for the TV fellators fall even further.

  • John||

    I feel bad for the people who didn't vote for Obama and did nothing to create this and are now getting screwed.

  • R C Dean||

    Yeah, the fatal flaw of democracy:

    We get the government other people deserve.

  • Swiss Servator, Original Gnome||

    What John said. I feel bad for the "collateral damage" this is causing a lot of people living on the edge/margin.

  • Drake||

    I almost feel bad for the insurance companies now looking up at the undercarriage of the Obama bus.

  • Restoras||

    It will be weeks and months of entertainment, right up to the colossal ass kicking in 12 months time.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I feel sorry for the people who are losing their insurance and the people who are being forced to pay more. Some of those people who are losing their insurance aren't going to get it back, and then they're gonna have a medical emergency.

    But I'll celebrate the scales falling from peoples' eyes on ObamaCare. I hope some of them learn something so we don't have to wait for the consequences, next time, before people wisen up.

  • ||

    That's true, and I'm pissed off for them. But I suspect most plans actually will get reinstated. It's going to be blood in the water next year though when it's cancellation time again.

  • ||

    Surely you're joking? Low informed voter by their very nature are low informed. Getting a 20% hair cut on their income won't cured them of that inclination.

  • OldMexican||

    Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and five other Senate Democrats said this week that they backed a bill that would require insurers to continue offering plans into 2014.


    So much for "they were crappy plans to begin with!" excuse...

  • ||

    Soon to be replaced with the "they're still crappy plans, but because of greed/market failure we had to let the crappy plans exist for another year" excuse.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    There is no sugarcoating it:

    "You know, I'm accused of a lot of things, but I don't think I'm stupid enough to go around saying, 'This is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity,' a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn't going to work," he said. "So, clearly, we and I did not have enough awareness about the problems in the website."
  • John||

    "You know, I'm accused of a lot of things, but I don't think I'm stupid enough to go around saying, 'This is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity,' a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn't going to work,"

    Okay. So you are admitting you were stupid.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Well, he's not stupid enough to say it if he knew it wouldn't work. But he is stupid enough to say it without finding out if it was true.

  • Sevo||

    Dunno, John. The claim is ignorance can be fixed; stupid is forever. The second clause may not be true in this case.

  • Sevo||

    Correction:
    The *first* clause may not be true in this case.

  • CatoTheElder||

    So, who is Obama going to fire?

    Obviously his subordinates had to have an omerta conspiracy of silence to keep a giant fuck-up of this scale on his life's major accomplishment if the Anointed One really didn't know about.

    Or, did he think that he could wave his hands, pronounce "failure is not an option", and his will be done?

  • ||

    They already fired the guy whose memo that the head cheese of Obamacare website didn't read. The one that warned limitless security risk of the current infrastructure.

  • Cytotoxic||

    How are progs at HP or elsewhere taking this?

  • ||

    They are mad that these people are going to be allowed to keep their "junk" policies.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Sadbeard brings clarity to the situation: Sure Obama broke his word, but he was right to break it.

    Insurance cancellation sob stories have been full of picayune details about new coverage mandates for services the policyholder doesn’t want: gender reassignment surgery, for example, or maternity care for women in their 50s. But no insurer worries about being forced to offer you services that you won’t want to use. New regulations will only lead to policy cancellation if they make the policy unprofitable to offer. And in the majority of cases, that’ll mean the policy is being canceled because it never made financial sense for the insurer to actually pay up in the case of major illness.

    Clearing the landscape of this kind of mirage insurance and making sure that everyone has proper coverage—which, yes, may be more expensive—is a feature of the Affordable Care Act, not a bug. The White House has every reason to hold its head in shame over the shambolic state of healthcare.gov, but the wave of cancellation letters is part of Obamacare doing what it was supposed to do. There’s little to regret about these plans vanishing from the earth.
  • Cytotoxic||

    And in the majority of cases, that’ll mean the policy is being canceled because it never made financial sense for the insurer to actually pay up in the case of major illness.

    No they're cancelling because the government forced them to you fuck.

    There’s little to regret about these plans vanishing from the earth.

    Wow this...this is actually what progtards are going with.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Cytotoxic,

    Wow this...this is actually what progtards are going with.


    Yesterday evening, on The Kelly Files (Fox News), Ezekiel Emanuel justified the wave of cancellations by stating that insurance companies cancel plans every year as a matter of routine.

    It is true that insurance companies change plants or change the menu from time to time but not en masse, and customers know this. Maybe a few of the clueless will accept this canard but it is clear that most don't.

  • John||

    There’s little to regret about these plans vanishing from the earth.

    Except for the people who had them. Sad Beard is not right. I wouldn't want to walk a mile in his velco tied shoes. I can't imagine the kind of bullying and torture someone of his limited social and interpersonal skills suffered growing up.

    But whatever his problems, he is a seriously nasty little creature. He is totally not bothered by the misery this bill is causing. It is all just broken eggs in the omelet to him.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    New regulations will only lead to policy cancellation if they make the policy unprofitable to offer.

    Or if the policy didn't have something that now needs to be covered... That's the entire point of the regulation in the first place.

  • Knarf Yenrab (prev. An0nB0t)||

    And in the majority of cases, that’ll mean the policy is being canceled because it never made financial sense for the insurer to actually pay up in the case of major illness.

    It never made sense for insurance companies to offer low-premium, high-deductible health insurance? I was unaware of SB's decades in the insurance industry, because I never knew insurers weren't turning a profit by selling cheap policies to healthy people (and then, you know, paying when contractually required).

    The hubris required to be a party-line talking head and overcome any cognitive dissonance that might occasionally leak into your dreams is an awesome thing to behold. The Flat-Earth Society yearns for this kind of certainty.

  • Sevo||

    ..."making sure that everyone has proper coverage"....

    Can we make sure he has a "proper automobile"? I have a friend who sells Benz' and I'm sure this asshole needs a brand new V12, since anything less isn't "proper".

  • gimmeasammich||

    The reality being that they get charged for a Benz, but end up with a Yugo.

  • CatoTheElder||

    "the wave of cancellation letters is part of Obamacare doing what it was supposed to do"

    Sadbeard is right about that.

    Apparently there are some limits to FYTW powers.

  • Faceless Commenter||

    That was November 12. This is November 14. We will bring you the new truth as soon as we make the necessary adjustments.

  • ||

    There’s little to regret about these plans vanishing from the earth.

    False consciousness, it never gets old.

  • ||

    I hope he chokes on his own vomit in his sleep, his face is eaten by his cat, and they don't find the body for three weeks.

  • #||

    Do we know how this is going to work exactly? Does this mean one can just reissue their existing plan? Or does this mean companies get to continue to sell new plans under the old rules for another year?

    Because if it's the latter, your old plan may not exist anymore as many companies dicontinued various markets in anticipation of the new law/ rules.

  • Sevo||

    #|11.14.13 @ 1:43PM|#
    "Do we know how this is going to work exactly?"

    Pretty sure this is panic-mode Obo at work; he doesn't know or care. He'll call in the IT guys to just add it to the web site.

  • 0x90||

    Note to self: get a picture of the oval office and photoshop an "HTML For Dummies" book sitting on the desk.

  • Sevo||

    Someone had a link to Sebelius being handed a Websites for Dummies. She didn't look pleased, but that woman always looks like she's sucking lemons.

  • some guy||

    Do we know how this is going to work exactly? Does this mean one can just reissue their existing plan? Or does this mean companies get to continue to sell new plans under the old rules for another year?

    Basically, the Feds are going to let state regulators permit any insurance plan they want and the Federal authorities will promise (pinkie swear) not to prosecute anyone under the PPACA provisions. Basically, the Feds are admitting that these plans are still illegal but promising not to punish anyone so long as their state says its okay.

  • Loki||

    the White House will allow health insurance companies to continue selling plans that do not meet the Affordable Care Act’s minimum criteri

    Two questions:
    1) Are they actually allowing them to continue selling new plans are they just allowing them to grandfather existing plans?

    2) If someone buys one these plans or continues an existing one, are they still subject to the penaltax? IIRC the penaltax applies not just to those with no coverage, but to anyone whos plan doesn't meet the minimum mandated coverage. Seems like a lot of people may continue with their existing plan thinking they're safe from the penaltax only to discover next year that they still have to pay it.

  • 0x90||

    "Seems like a lot of people may continue with their existing plan thinking they're safe from the penaltax only to discover next year that they still have to pay it."

    Well, yeah. And just because you want to send your precious little flower to a private school, doesn't mean you're off the hook paying your fair share for the public one, either. These are choices you're making voluntarily!

  • R C Dean||

    If someone buys one these plans or continues an existing one, are they still subject to the penaltax?

    You are right; under the "Settled Law" they are on the hook for the penaltax. The big question is whether and how the penaltax itself (meaning: the individual mandate) gets postponed for another year.

    If they try to do it only for reinstated plans, they are going to have a hell of a compliance/enforcement problem, and will piss off everybody who doesn't have a reinstated plan: Why does my neighbor get a pass, and I don't?

  • John||

    I think they would have a hell of an equal protection problem too. How does that distinction pass even the rational basis test? I don't see how.

  • Loki||

    I suspect the most likely course will be for Obama to issue another decree from the throne and waive the penaltax for a year. Which will mean that in the end, the Repubs will get their one year delay without Obama actually having to admit to "caving in" to those EVUL RACIST TEATHUGLIKKKANZ!!!11!!!!!!!

  • Brett L||

    Except that nobody has insurance. This is going to be a fucking disaster. Nobody will know if they have insurance, nobody will trust the insurers to pay. Clusterfuck.

  • Nixonfan||

    At rh first opportunity, insurers will start dropping out of the exchange market.

  • Faceless Commenter||

    How often do they get to do that? They can't drop out any time they want.

  • CatoTheElder||

    I am reminded by Drudge of an astute observation of Bill Clinton, a guy I normally disagree with, back in 2008:

    "Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I have ever seen."

  • ChrisO||

    This is a bit like watching an animal thrash around in quicksand. It's not doing any good, but that doesn't mean the animal will stop.

  • John||

    Here is one thing to think about when considering the ability of media enabled mendacity to get the Dems through this. A month ago they were calling anyone who wanted to even change the law a terrorist. Now, Big Daddy himself is changing the law. He isn't doing that because he wants to. And isn't doing it because the lies they told when this thing first started to happen (that no one was actually losing their insurance, that sure they were but they were not insurance plans, that even if they were insurance plans, they were bad plans) worked.

    My point is that if the media and Obama have the ability to lie their way out of this by telling people black is white, their initial lies would have worked. Yet even though the media and all of the top men informed the nation their old insurance plans were really bad, the nation still believed its lying eyes. And now black Jesus is going back to the well hoping there will be water and doing something he swore he would never do.

    I don't think lying is going to work.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Yeah. We could argue about the tactic and strategy behind the shutdown*, but as far a motivations, the Republicans always had the right idea. Now, a month later, the reality vindicating their actions.

    *I guess, once the Supreme Court abdicates it's moral authority to strike down this heinous law, you kinda force the opposition to take desperate measures.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    "its"

    dammit

  • Cytotoxic||

    Shutdown: tactically messy, strategically a clutch moment. Totally worth it.

  • John||

    It is amazing how the major media narrative is nearly always the exact opposite of the truth. The narrative was that it was the Republicans who were cynical and putting their political fights over the good of the country.

    In reality, the Republicans were earnest to a fault. They honestly and rightly believed that this thing was going to be a disaster and did everything they could to stop it. Had they been cynical they would have done nothing and happily let this disaster unfold. Instead they tried to stop it and gave Obama a way out of his own mess.

  • Brett L||

    Like I said to a friend, "tell me again how that racist teabagger Ted Cruz hates America for being willing to shut down 10% of the government over this shitshow."

  • wadair||

    This president is painting himself increasingly into a corner where none but his true believers will still support him. He's arrogantly refused to negotiate with the minority party, he's caused members of his own party to lose their seats in the 2010 election, he's caused millions of voters to lose their healthcare insurance, which is frightening current members of his party, and now he throws the insurance industry under the bus. I look forward to the day when "ObamaCare" becomes a pejorative that means something akin to FUBAR.

  • Enough About Palin||

    " I look forward to the day when "ObamaCare" becomes a pejorative that means something akin to FUBAR."

    Where from which point on, "care" replaces "gate".

  • GILMORE||

    "the White House will allow health insurance companies to continue selling plans that do not meet the Affordable Care Act’s minimum criteria"

    Uh. The "white house" will "Allow"?

    Isn't that just saying, The White House unilaterally REPEALS a law? How the fuck does that work? The US Government fought tooth and nail over this thing for 3 fucking years, and suddenly we are learning that these petty little things called "laws" are just so much window-dressing on the Awesome Power of the Executive, who can just wave things into or out of being at a moment's whim? Why do we even bother with this whole Legislative process anyway, if making ad-hoc revisions is just a matter of allowance?

    2 months ago it was, "This is the Law of The Land, and It Can't Be Stopped": now, not so much?

  • John||

    The White House operates under the assumption that the law is whatever they decide to enforce. So they have decided not to enforce the law. As RC points out above, it is totally illegal and contrary to federal administrative law.

  • Tonio||

    Welcome back, Nicole!

  • Lord Humungus||

    bootlicker! ;)

  • Tonio||

    Yeah, this is going to end up in the courts, I would imagine. The insurers would be fools to ignore the law; as noted the executive cannot make laws go away with a wave of his hand.

  • Sevo||

    And how's it supposed to work anyhow?
    Do I just call my old insurance co. and say, 'gee, Obo said I could keep my old policy', and they just say 'sure' and send it out?
    Does this guy knw certain things are written down so people can read and agree to them?

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I notice that Radley Balko will be a guest a tomorrow night's Real Time with Bill Maher. I don't have HBO, but if I were to try to find the episode online, I guess I might have to deal with some smug Bill Maher joke about the Obamacare fixes.

    Typical Bill Maher Obama humor goes something like this: "President Obama is super smart." + "President Obama is super cool and black." = "Americans are so dumb and un-European to understand how cool and smart Obama's policies are for Americans."

  • Len Bias||

    "Americans are so dumb and un-European to understand how cool and smart Obama's policies are for Americans."

    Haha. I would love it if Bill Maher was plucked from his current lavish lifestyle into a lower-middle class European lifestyle. He would never stop whining about it.

  • G3||

    Mr. Obama just made the political equivalent of paying his Amex bill with his Visa card.

  • Brian||

    In other news, stocks are hitting high notes.

    I'm so glad the democrats are here to make sure the little guys are taken care of, instead of the rich just getting richer.

  • GILMORE||

    ""You know, I'm accused of a lot of things, but I don't think I'm stupid enough to go around saying, 'This is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity,' a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn't going to work," he said.

    "So, clearly, we and I did not have enough awareness about the problems in the website."

    Lets get this straight = you would have been STUPID if you knew of the problems, but then bullshitted around them? I would have called that "calculated deception". i.e. calling a shit sandwich an ice-cream-sundae, etc. Once people buy it = too fucking bad!

    But the fact that you DIDN'T KNOW how bad something was, and just Made Uninformed Promises...? OH, that's just fucking *brilliant* "I was selling shit sandwiches... no one told me!"

    What, is this like a kid who fails a test and then complains, "yes, but these were not questions *I studied for*. I studied other things, so clearly can not be held accountable for not knowing THESE things??:"

  • G3||

    I'd have thought that at SOME point in the last three years he might turn to Sebelius and say "Hey, Katie, how's that whole Obamacare thingie going?"

    Guess he's too smart to care.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    The Anointed One cannot be bothered with such trivialities as these. Didn't you hear, he's so uber smart that he gets bored by the little details. He speaks and it's up to all of us to make his great wisdom a reality.

    (Yes, I threw up a little while typing that)

  • Michael From NC||

    Obama just reinforces my commitment to being a Libertarian.
    Statists such as he, as well as the rest of "government", just make me insane.

  • ReasonableS||

    I don't think he is admitting it is unworkable. I think he is trying to buy the ACA more time to prove it works. His Administration will probably pressure insurance companies to come up with cheaper ACA-compliant plans and pressure people who say they like their plans even thought they are more expensive and cover less to adopt the new plans. The biggest problem with that strategy is what if that doesn't happen? Will he extend the amnesty another year?

  • Sevo||

    ReasonableS|11.14.13 @ 3:03PM|#
    "I don't think he is admitting it is unworkable."

    Yeah, well, you've proven yourself to be a Obo-apologist and not real bright, so your opinion isn't worth squat.

  • ReasonableS||

    I disagree. I think my opinions are quite valuable to people who like thoughtful analysis. I don't use disrespectful language like "Obo" or use poison flag posts like the ones claiming to know what "progs" will be saying. I think that matters to reasonable people. I do try to see both the good and the bad. I try to be objective as best I can while sticking to my core values. I want there to be a lot of individual freedom, but I also recognize the need to ensure the basic needs of all citizens which I guess makes me a libertarian leaning liberal.

    So many of you come off as ideologues who demonize people who don't agree with you instead of mining what they have to say for insights you might not think of yourself due to your ideology. It is even more disappointing that some of your critics who post here use the same tactics. I really wanted this place to be a place of reason, but more and more the comments seem like Fox Nation and Huffington Post where so many posters react with unreasonable ideology instead of thoughtful analysis.

  • GILMORE||

    The new thread I'm seeing in the progressive rage-machine commentary is, (paraphrased) =

    "Well then YOU FUCKERS ALL DESERVE SHITTY HEALTHCARE anyway!! YEAH, GO BACK TO YOUR SUBSTANDARD CRAP! I HOPE YOU GET CANCER OR HIT BY A BUS!! WE OFFERED A SOLUTION BUT YOU HAD TO FUCK IT ALL UP!"

    Not Kidding. Seen like a half dozen already.

    It sort of reminds me of how Immigration Reform totally failed because the Right had so riled up the base on how awful teh illegals!! and anker babeez and how theys were takin all teh jobses yadda yadda... that by the time actual legislation was to be crafted (McCain had a bill if I recall), anything short of a Giant Illegal Immigrant Cannon which shot people back over the New Lazer Border(tm) (with sharks) to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy was perceived as AMNESTY!@

    As with now... Anything not "golden road to single payer" is "selling out to the insurance cabal"... Regardless what happens = The CAPITALISMS DESTROYED THE GOOD THINGS.

  • Loki||

    "Well then YOU FUCKERS ALL DESERVE SHITTY HEALTHCARE anyway!! YEAH, GO BACK TO YOUR SUBSTANDARD CRAP! I HOPE YOU GET CANCER OR HIT BY A BUS!! WE OFFERED A SOLUTION BUT YOU HAD TO FUCK IT ALL UP!"

    That's awesome, one of the more pleasing aspects of this shitshow has been seeing the last vestiges of the proggie mask slip and reveal themselves as everything we've been saying they are: smug, elitist pricks who really do think that everyone else is too stupid to make their own choices and manage their own lives and that they, and only they, know best how to organize society.

    It really is delicious. I don't see how I can take even one more bite of their painful humiliation. I find I'm a little stuffed.

  • GILMORE||

    "been seeing the last vestiges of the proggie mask slip and reveal themselves as everything we've been saying they are: smug, elitist pricks "

    wELL, WHY DONT YOU JUST MOVE TO SOMALIA THEN?

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    My appetite for schadenfreude brought on by self-induced misery is limitless. I really really can't wait until this thing becomes so shambolic that not even the hardcore supporters can deny it is doomed.

    There will be much rejoicing that day.

  • Restoras||

    I am going to gorge myself until I puke, and then repeat. It's beef tenderloin and lobster tails, with creme brulee and german chocolate cake for desert, and washing it all down with Petrus and 50 year old Macallan.

  • R C Dean||

    a Giant Illegal Immigrant Cannon which shot people back over the New Lazer Border(tm) (with sharks) to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy

    I am interested in your ideas, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Swiss Servator, Original Gnome||

    Dude, you have been bringing it lately. Pray, continue my good man!

  • WhatAboutBob||

    I read that some insurance companies have started cancelling some Medicare Advantage plans because of Obamacare. How will they be affected? Since Obamacare takes money away from Medicare Advantage plans it has the potential of pissing off seniors too who otherwise wouldn't be affected, and they love to vote.

  • Sevo||

    WhatAboutBob|11.14.13 @ 3:12PM|#
    "I read that some insurance companies have started cancelling some Medicare Advantage plans because of Obamacare. How will they be affected?"

    I'm guessing that neither Obo nor any of his courtiers knows. Obo just waved his hands and things were supposed to get better.

  • Sevo||

    So is any GOPer raising the issue of the executive re-writing law? Is he even re-writing it? Is his holy word (tm) to be sufficient?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If they keep extending it a year, the "exchange fix" becomes the new "doc fix."

    EEEEEEK!

  • Rohdewarrior||

    Wasn't this a law passed by Congress? Doesn't Congress have to vote to change it...
    Oh sorry, I forgot we're dealing with the Obama administration.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Congress voting to change it is treason. The executive changing it is practicality and compassion.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Oh it's not that bad

  • Sevo||

    It's a disaster, Alice.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    did you wake up in a new pond this morning after your birth yesterday before falling off the turnip truck?

  • Swiss Servator, Original Gnome||

    +1 hayseed

  • ||

    "The Democratic Party has split into two opposing factions. One group is determined to fulfill President Obama’s solemn promise, even at the cost of undercutting his signature achievement. The second group wants to protect the president’s signature achievement, even though that means disregarding his solemn promise. Aligning himself with the “signature achievement” faction, President Obama publicly apologized to anyone who believed he’d actually intended to uphold his solemn promise. When this produced a negative response, the president placated critics by pretending to issue orders upholding his solemn promise. In the meantime, President Obama has solemnly promised that the technical problems plaguing his signature achievement will be resolved by the end of the month."

    Stanley Kurtz, National Review

  • Sevo||

    ..."In the meantime, President Obama has solemnly promised"...
    You can take that to the bank!

  • Enough About Palin||

    Franklin Lakes, New Jersey (My9NJ) -
    The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare seems to be in the headlines every day because of all of the problems surrounding the launch. And while most realize the law is funded in part by the individual mandate and penalty tax, it is also being funded in ways that are not discussed as much in the media.

    Luxury real estate broker Ron Aioso says there is a tax that is rarely discussed that also helps fund Obamacare. It is a tax on high-income taxpayers when they sell their homes.

    Franklin Lakes, N.J. was listed on Forbes.com in 2010 as one of "America's Most Expensive ZIP Codes", with a median home price of $1.3M.

    Aioso says homeowners in a neighborhood like this could really be impacted by the Obamacare tax.

    “Where we are today in a luxury area, you look and you see this home behind me, somebody like this is really affected,” he said.

    If you are single with an adjusted gross income of $200,000 or file jointly with an income of $250,000 or more, you may be impacted. Once you sell your home, any profits over the first $500,000 are already subject to a capital gains tax. And now those profits will have an additional 3.8% tax to fund Obamacare.

    http://www.my9nj.com/story/239.....-obamacare

  • Enough About Palin||

    It just gets better and better and better...

  • Alice Bowie||

    Actually, it looks like the additional 3.8% is on profits OVER $500K.

    So, in the video, the guy claimed it was 3.8% of $500k or $18k...but it is not. The 3.8% doesn't retro into the $500k, it is on the profits over $500k.

    To pay $18k in Obamacare Tax, one would have to have a $1mm profit.

  • Sevo||

    Is that supposed to be good?

  • Alice Bowie||

    It's better than what it sounds like.

    Look Sevo, I've already said it:

    ACA Sucks the Dick ====

  • Real Talk||

    Punks like you are probably sucking your own dick, that's if you have one. The only reason people like you are against the Affordable Care Act is because a Black man implemented it. Punks like you just can't live with the fact that it's a Black man living in the White House.

  • Sevo||

    Real Talk|11.14.13 @ 10:31PM|#
    "Punks like you are probably sucking your own dick, that's if you have one. The only reason people like you are against the Affordable Care Act is because a Black man implemented it. Punks like you just can't live with the fact that it's a Black man living in the White House."

    Assholes like you are not the only reason people despise that lying piece of shit in the white house.
    You're just one more reason to despise lying lefties.
    Fuck off, asshole.

  • blcartwright||

    that's what Enough About said

    btw, 3.8% of 500k is 16k, 3.8% of 1m is 38k

  • johnl||

  • ||

    The reference to Gloria Allred as a "noted civil rights attorney" was neat, too ...

  • Homple||

    This just in from Washington State:

    November 14, 2013 at 12:34 PM
    State insurance commissioner rejects Obama’s proposal to extend canceled policies

    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/.....-policies/

  • Warty||

    This gets better and better. I feel as happy as this squirrel.

  • Pinky||

    The up side is that every editorial page in the country will be running a Humpty Dumpty cartoon this Sunday.

  • JCStephens||

    This should be a lesson for anyone 'cooperating' with the government in the hopes of picking up a few bucks: Ask not over whom the bus bumps, it bumps over thee.

  • Sevo||

    "Ask not over whom the bus bumps, it bumps over thee."
    I'm stealing that.

  • Harvard||

    Jaysus Tony! I had to plow through 280 posts before I got where you came in here and set their asses straight!

    Tony?

    Tony??

    crickets

  • blcartwright||

    My "Freedom of Choice in Health Insurance" bill

    1. people may purchase any policy that they determine best suits their needs. (govt may not mandate unnecessary coverages)

    2. people buying individual account have same tax status for premiums as employer provided plans. (govt will be neutral tax wise on where person buys insurance)

    3. If person decides to drop employer provided for individual policy, employer must raise their salary by the amount of the previous subsidy (employer doesn't profit, employees doesn't suffer loss of compensation by deciding to buy individually)

  • concerned cynic||

    The result of what you propose will be the end of employer health insurance, throwing everybody into the individual market. Because of adverse selection, the individual market will not work well. Medicaid will expand drastically, and there will be constant pleas for subsidies.

  • Sevo||

    concerned cynic|11.14.13 @ 9:10PM|#
    "The result of what you propose will be the end of employer health insurance, throwing everybody into the individual market. Because of adverse selection, the individual market will not work well."

    So only medical insurance provided by employers works?
    Strange that other insurance doesn't suffer from the same 'failure'; why do you think that might be?

  • blcartwright||

    I want to put employer provided and individually purchased insurance on an equal playing field, so that the employee may choose what he wishes - one's tax status or employer subsidy should not be dependent on where one purchases their insurance.

    The biggest problem I see with employer provided insurance is a lack of choice - take or leave the policy the employer has provided, but if you leave it your taxes will go up and your salary will go down. People who don't like their choices are only left with complaining to their congressman, who then pass mandates.

  • concerned cynic||

    The Democrats will heatedly deny Sunderman's interpretation - that this Presidential action is tantamount to an admission that ObamaCare is unworkable - until some time after Obama retires. That is, unless Obama unaccountably makes an unprecedented statesman-like gesture and admits Sunderman's points.

    Obama did this to prevent blue collar and centrist Democrats who fear defeat a year from now, from deserting him. And because he is feeling heat from the Clintons.

    I rather doubt that Obama, who is a constitutional lawyer by trade, and not an insurance executive or an economist, did this because he is silently conceding that the ACA is unworkable. The problem with the ACA is what insurance actuaries call "adverse selection": when enrolment is optional in health insurance that charges the same premium to all who are in the same age band, the sicker opt in and the healthier opt out. Which means that the insured are sicker than the population average, and premiums must rise. But a rise in premiums causes more to drop out and another round of premium rises. This vicious spiral does not stop until the insurer exits the industry. Adverse selection is why voluntary policies cannot cover pre-existing conditions, and why so much of USA health care coverage is tied to employment.

  • Sevo||

    Yes, all this is true, but it begs the question of why Obo pushed this POS through to begin with.

  • Real Talk||

    It took every ounce of my self control to not throw my TV threw the window while listening to the President answer questions today (November 14, 2013), in regards to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It makes my blood boil when reporters ask the President, does he feels he owes an apology to those who were kicked off their Health Plan they liked.

    Nearly every reporter in that room today was around when George Bush lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in Iraq. Not one of these cowards have the guts to ask George Bush, does he feels he owe the families of military men and women who were killed in Iraq an apology for lying about WMD. These cowards didn’t have the guts then, and they don’t have the guts today; even with knowledge of all the facts.

    Let me be clear, I honestly believe the majority of Americans see the double standard. My question is this, does the majority of Americans have the courage to speak-out and stand-up to the double standard?

  • Sevo||

    "Nearly every reporter in that room today was around when George Bush lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in Iraq. Not one of these cowards have the guts to ask George Bush, does he feels he owe the families of military men and women who were killed in Iraq an apology for lying about WMD. These cowards didn’t have the guts then, and they don’t have the guts today; even with knowledge of all the facts."

    You seem to be a bit confused about the issue at hand, you sleazy piece of shit.

  • Real Talk||

    If I’m confused about the issues at hand today, then that makes your trailer trash ass confused about when your indentured servant fore-fathers arrived here to discover the Indians. Your bitch ass has been illegal way before any Mexican; your punk ass was a slave centuries before any Black man arrived in North America. Its ok, you just happen to be another ignorant hillbilly.

  • Sevo||

    Real Talk|11.15.13 @ 1:25AM|#
    "If I’m confused about the issues at hand today, then that makes your trailer trash ass confused about when your indentured servant fore-fathers arrived here to discover the Indians."
    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!
    Got it, imbecile.

  • ReasonableS||

    Obama made a politically expedient promise and needs to be held accountable. What Bush may or may not have done and whether the press held him accountable is a separate matter. Don't let your sense of fairness in the past blind you to the a possible injustice in the present.

  • BigT||

    The corner has been turned: Jon Stewart made fun of Obama tonight without adding a shot at the Republicans. It's his Cronkite moment.

  • uhclem||

    If the executive can just change laws, I think we can all assume the Constitution has been voided, in which case the federal government is illegal and all of it's offices, including but not limited to the IRS, are illegal and need not be recognized by the People or the several states.

  • OneOut||

    Hey Tony. Tony we know you're out there lurking but afraid to come in. Listen to this Tony. The CnC admits that government is too big and cumbersome. To bureaucratic and unable to act efficiently. Yet he is the biggest proponent of more of the same failure.

    What gives Tony ? Come from beneath the shadows and explain.

    "What is true is that, as I said before, our IT systems, how we purchase technology in the federal government is cumbersome, complicated and outdated. And so this isn't a situation where -- on my campaign, I could simply say, who are the best folks out there, let's get them around a table, let's figure out what we're doing and we're just going to continue to improve it and refine it and work on our goals.
    If you're doing it at the federal government level, you know, you're going through, you know, 40 pages of specs and this and that and the other and there's all kinds of law involved. And it makes it more difficult -- it's part of the reason why chronically federal IT programs are overbudget, behind schedule."

    So his fix is to double down ?

    What say you Tony ?

  • Andy Chen||

  • Russ Davis||

    The 0bamanation's "fixes" aren't of "dubious legality" but are yet another of endless chapters in the 0bamanation's lawless fascist delusions of Godhood that would have resulted in imprisonment in a civilized country. No danger of that here.

  • capitalstars||

    I really appreciate from it.
    This Post is to Good.
    I impressed from these article.
    Generally , we Provide Commodity Market News.
    For More Visit on Commodity Tips

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement