Confusion Continues for Obamacare Health Exchange Rollout

Whitehouse.govWhitehouse.govOriginally, Obamacare’s deadline to sign up for health coverage that takes effect in January was December 15. That date was pushed to December 23. Last week, the administration also announced that insurers selling policies through the law’s exchanges would have to accept payment as late as December 31 for coverage that begins on New Year’s Day.

These delays were generally supposed to ease the transition into the new insurance regime following the multiple technical and administrative troubles that have afflicted the rollout of the exchanges.

But as USA Today reports, there’s still a fair amount of confusion about who is signed up and who has paid for coverage through the federal exchanges:

Some frustrated consumers are sending premium payments to insurers who have never heard of them. Others say they will pass up federal subsidies and pay full price through insurers, while still others have given up altogether on the promise of health insurance by Jan. 1.

Consternation and confusion over applications sent through the federal HealthCare.gov website continue into the last seven days before the Dec. 23 enrollment deadline. Consumers with health issues are particularly nervous about the prospect of not having insurance at the start of the new year. Federal assurances last week about a "special enrollment period" for people whose applications have been hung up on the site are little comfort as neither insurers nor consumers have any idea how this will work and who will qualify.

Meanwhile, we continue to see problems in the state-run exchanges. Earlier this month, the head of Maryland’s health insurance exchange stepped down following a problem-plagued rollout in the state. The move followed the resignation of the top exchange official in Hawaii, another state which has had trouble getting its exchange up and running. Yesterday, the head of Minnesota’s state-run exchange also resigned, reports MPR News:

The head of Minnesota's health insurance marketplace resigned Tuesday after facing criticism over the troubled rollout and a questionably timed vacation in Costa Rica.

April Todd-Malmlov submitted her resignation during an emergency closed session of the government board of MNsure, Minnesota's version of the insurance exchange that's tied to the federal health care overhaul. She had been under increasing pressure over insurance sign-up problems and failed to get a vote of confidence from Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton last week.

No federal officials have yet been fired over the botched rollout of the federal exchange, which performed even worse than the vast majority of the states.

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  • John||

    This is such a fat target even the stupid party can't miss

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....-john-fund

  • tarran||

    "If you like your Senator, you can keep her!" - LOL!

  • Spoonman.||

    That is an excellent line.

  • Drake||

    Wow. This will be a bloodbath in purple states like NH.

  • PapayaSF||

    One hopes. And it will mean even Blue state Dems will have a harder time, meaning they won't necessarily coast to reelection. They'll also have less money to donate to other races.

    I think it's also going to be tough on politicians with "safe" Blue seats. I have a very gay, very Democrat colleague who is extremely upset that his plan got canceled and the new one is much more expensive. He's still in the "But this must be a mistake! Stalin must be informed of this!" stage, but he's writing to Pelosi & company. I had to resist saying "Told you so!"

  • ||

    That ad didn't even touch the best part of the NH situation. Once it was down to one insurer, Anthem, Anthem said FUCK YOU, NO LONGER IN NETWORK to a fair number of hospitals statewide. Leaving some in rural areas with Jack and Shit for nearby options.

    I used to have private insurance in NH. It was a great, cheap, high deductible policy. Now, I'm insured through my spouse, whose school district pays TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS per year for a policy, and we only have one kid and there is no chance (medically prevented) that we will have more.

    Before ACA, health care in this country was fucked. Now it is uber-fucked. Wheeeeee!!!!!!!

  • John||

    Before the ACA about 80% of the country was perfectly happy with what they had. The ACA completely screws over nearly all of that 80% for the benefit of maybe 2% of the population.

  • ||

    Before the ACA about 80% of the country was perfectly happy with what they had

    Yeah, but that's only because they were (and still are), shielded from costs. I only know how much my family share is because I take the time to read the full teacher labor employment contract.

    Anyhow...that's an entirely different line of debate. I'm going to continue to watch and enjoy this ACA clusterfuck.

  • John||

    People are not as dumb as you think. They know how much their insurance costs them. They just are so risk adverse they don't care.

    Think of it this way, if insurance was really costing employers more money than most people were willing to give up in salary, providing medical insurance would have over the years become a rare benefit as most employees opted for the extra salary and employers reacted to this preference by offering extra salary instead of benefits. Instead, hardly anyone till voluntarily take a job that doesn't have insurance.

    Sure, the tax break makes that easier. But a large number of people don't pay any federal income taxes anyway and thus have no incentive to take their pay in nontaxable insurance rather than taxable wages.

  • ||

    People are not as dumb as you think. They know how much their insurance costs them.

    I don't think they are dumb for not knowing. AFAIK, they are simply not told. Employers shield them from the cost. I'm not sure I can say why. But anecdotally, it's quite uncommon that anyone knows the full cost of what their employer is spending on their behalf. They know what their contribution is, but not what the whole is.

  • John||

    In the micro sure. But in the macro level, that should work itself out. It doesn't take everyone to immediately figure out they are better off getting a salary and going without or buying their own insurance. It just takes enough to get the others to notice how much better off they are. We have had this system for decades and that never happened. That tells me that people on the whole value insurance over income. And that makes sense. People are usually more risk adverse than the numbers say they should be.

  • ||

    It doesn't take everyone to immediately figure out they are better off getting a salary and going without or buying their own insurance.

    ??? I guess we just have different anecdotes. I've never heard a story where someone was offered their full health care contribution in lieu of not participating. Or even close to that. At my firm, I get $1000 for not participating. Yippee. I'm under no misconception that that's all the firm was paying either.

    Contractors certainly factor in their health care costs to their billing rate. But they factor in a lot more than that. So it's very difficult to do a salary vs. contract analysis just on health care.

  • John||

    You have never head of that MP because no employer thinks doing so is the way to attract the best employees.

    Doesn't that tell you something about t he revealed preferences of employees?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    No employer does that because federal tax law prevented them from doing so.

    And the tax subsidy is substantial because you need to add in both side of the payroll taxes. So the average person that gets employer provided health insurance would be looking at a 40% tax rate on the marginal difference.

  • John||

    So the average person that gets employer provided health insurance would be looking at a 40% tax rate on the marginal difference.

    48% of Americans have enough deductions to have no taxable income. So even if the extra salary put them in taxable range, it would be in the lowest bracket.

    No employer does that because federal tax law prevented them from doing so.

    Obamacare aside, there is no tax law that prevents an employer from not offering insurance to its employees and instead offering a higher salary. They don't because employees' reveal preference is for insurance not extra salary.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Suderman, can you please stop giving Almanian a boner with those photos of Kathleen Sebelius? Post images of that douchy hipster in the ironic pajamas instead. They still give Almanian a boner, but it's a much more confusing one.

  • SugarFree||

    They still give Almanian a boner, but it's a much more confusing one of the sideways variety.

  • Lord Humungus||

  • wareagle||

    there is no amount of polish that can be put on this.

  • ||

    Wasn't Maryland's head also on an unreported vacation to Central America?

  • John||

    I think that was Minnesota.

  • 108 Red Stitches||

    It was both states.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "There’s still a fair amount of confusion about who is signed up and who has paid for coverage through the federal exchanges"

    Why don't they just give free healthcare to everybody and just soak the rich?

    Is it because Obama is black?

  • Sevo||

    "No federal officials have yet been fired over the botched rollout of the federal exchange, which performed even worse than the vast majority of the states."

    Look for a firing the afternoon of 12/24.

  • John||

    No one will be fired. The afternoon of the 24th is reserved for releasing the enrollment numbers.

  • Ken Shultz||

    In the government, you don't fire people for being incompetent and screwing up.

    You give them a promotion.

  • ||

    Fuck up, move up.

  • PapayaSF||

    Next, they'll bring in Jamie Gorelick. Then we'll know that the Apocalypse is just around the corner.

  • John||

    Remember folks, Obamacare is only failing because evil Republican governors refuse to help out by setting up state exchanges.

    The pace of enrollments is still far too low. If the exchange is able to replicate its best weekday and weekend performance during every one of the 104 days between now and the end of the open enrollment period on March 31, Maryland will still only achieve about three-quarters of its goal of signing up 150,000 people with private coverage. The site may be better, but better isn't good enough.

    Under those circumstances, the question raised by Rep. John Delaney, a Montgomery County Democrat, about whether it would be better for Maryland to scrap its effort to build its own exchange and instead join the federal one has merit. Indeed, Gov. Martin O'Malley acknowledged on Monday that the option — and all others — remain on the table.

    That's a hard possibility for Governor O'Malley to acknowledge. Under his leadership, Maryland was one of the most aggressive states in the effort to build out its own exchange — a strategic decision that appears in retrospect to have involved no small amount of hubris and political ambition. Walking away now from all that effort and tens of millions in expenditures would be particularly embarrassing.

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/ne.....5719.story

  • SugarFree||

    Under those circumstances, the question raised by Rep. John Delaney, a Montgomery County Democrat, about whether it would be better for Maryland to scrap its effort to build its own exchange and instead join the federal one has merit.

    Isn't that illegal under the ACA?

  • John||

    Illegal is such an ugly patriarchal term.

  • SugarFree||

  • John||

    Reps. Dan Nordberg of Colorado Springs and Jared Wright of Grand Junction announced that they will introduce a bill to give a tax credit to anyone who gets fined for not buying health insurance — at an amount equal to the federal penalty under the Affordable Care Act for not purchasing insurance.

    The pair of conservatives are calling it the "Healthcare Liberty Act."

    "Many Colorado families are relying on us as their elected representatives to try to mitigate the adverse effects of Obamacare," Wright said. "Our bill is an appropriate response to the tax penalty and will help people in Colorado who simply cannot afford this expensive new government health insurance mandate."

    http://www.bizjournals.com/den.....l?page=all

    Those racists just want Obama to fail.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I knew they wanted it to fail because Obama is black!

  • ||

    Well then the universe must be racist because it seems to want Obama to fail too.

  • ||

    I thought the Universe was Black?

  • ||

    I think dark matter is more central Asian, but you'd have to check with a race-baiter to be sure.

  • PapayaSF||

    I think there may well be an uproar when the penaltax happens, because lots of people don't pay attention to politics. They'll just see chunk taken out of their refund and freak out. So Obama may well end up delaying that, as well.

  • Spoonman.||

    At least the state heads are resigning. Nothing like that from Sebelius.

  • John||

    You would think she would resign. What a horrible job. I don't know what her husband does. But surely there is a better way for her to make a living than this How craven or desperate would you have to be to stay in that job?

  • SugarFree||

    They won't starve. They could live at least year on the extra skin of her neck alone.

  • tarran||

    These guys really remind me of Soviet or German Generals in the Great Patriotic War who had to keep moving forward and fighting no matter how hopeless the odds, because to resign or admit defeat meant the executioner's bullet.

  • John||

    A lot of people claim Obama won't let anyone near him he doesn't have dirt on. You see things like this and it makes you wonder if that is not true. What other than threat of prosecution or abject public humiliation could keep Sebilius on the job?

  • sarcasmic||

    Power.

  • John||

    She doesn't have any power. And trust me no one understands that more than her.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    "Please don't make me do this"

  • sarcasmic||

  • Ken Shultz||

    It would be like if they let Janet Reno resign after Waco.

    They can't let it seem like they made a mistake.

    You never admit to making a mistake.

  • sarcasmic||

    You never admit to making a mistake.

    First rule of authority.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Government authority, anyway.

    I wouldn't last a week working for the government.

  • ||

    Resign? In our moment of triumph?

  • PapayaSF||

    Indeed. I just saw an article on Mother Jones about someone who got cheaper insurance thanks to Obamacare. So it's all been worth it!

  • Dave Krueger||

    No federal officials have yet been fired over the botched rollout of the federal exchange, which performed even worse than the vast majority of the states.

    Federal means never having to say you're sorry.

  • Drake||

    That's why I buy Federal ammo.

  • Brian||

    Some frustrated consumers are sending premium payments to insurers who have never heard of them. Others say they will pass up federal subsidies and pay full price through insurers, while still others have given up altogether on the promise of health insurance by Jan. 1.

    I never thought about it before today, but what's the point of the fucking government run exchanges, anyway?

    You don't need a government exchange to force insurers to ignore preexisting conditions and mandate certain types of coverage. You just need a way to punish insurers for noncompliance.

    I buy lots of regulated products. I don't have to wait for some stupid government exchange to be incompetently set up, just so I can start shopping. I don't need a government exchange to buy a car that passes federal safety guidelines.

    There are lots of tax subsidies I can apply for. I don't have to do it through some ass-backwards government exchange.

    What was the whole fucking point? I must be missing something, because I don't get it.

    It's like watching someone slip, fall, and bust their ass while trying to reach around their ass to get to their elbow.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    The point was to make the government the clearinghouse for all insurance policies. Obey us or you won't get listed.

  • ||

    No, that could be mandated by law as well.

    The point is that such private clearinghouses will be a profit center and make it look like Obamacare is putting an even larger fraction of health spending toward things that aren't actual health care.

    Far better to spend an order of magnitude more money setting up public clearinghouses with inadequate incentives and no competitive constraints. At least, that's how the government's fonts of hubris think.

  • ||

    The point is centralized control. The point is always centralized control. Luckily, centralized control never works, and man are they learning that the hard way. And it's beautiful.

  • PapayaSF||

    Michelle Obama's college buddy wouldn't have gotten a juicy contract without a Federal exchange.

  • Sevo||

    I think it was also the mechanism to prove coverage.
    Which, by now, is quite amusing.

  • Brian||

    Sevo:

    I think it was also the mechanism to prove coverage.
    Which, by now, is quite amusing.

    Yeah, but lots of tax subsidies require documentation of some sort. I don't get how that requires a government website.

  • Sevo||

    "Yeah, but lots of tax subsidies require documentation of some sort. I don't get how that requires a government website."

    I don't think it required the site; I seem to recall it was part of the 'one-stop-shopping' lies.

  • Paul.||

    Brian, it's this simple: Control a nation's healthcare, control a nation's people.

  • Brian||

    Brian, it's this simple: Control a nation's healthcare, control a nation's people.

    They're not doing a great job of selling that with this healthcare exchange.

  • wareagle||

    the sales job was in passage of the law as a means of helping the dozens frozen out of the market. It was emotion based appeal. Anyone who questioned the logistics or true intent was obviously racist, hates the poor, and wants children to die.

  • Sevo||

    wareagle|12.18.13 @ 1:13PM|#
    "the sales job was in passage of the law as a means of helping the dozens frozen out of the market."

    And it might have helped three or four of them while costing several millions *their* coverage, thereby "correcting market failures".
    Success!

  • Paul.||

    They don't have to sell it. They just do it. And who cares if people actually get healthcare or not.

  • Spoonman.||

    The whole point was that it would have access to all the government's information about you like income and dependents that insurance companies would mostly have to trust you on.

    Of course, that link was one of the first things removed when they realized what they wanted to do was impossible, so after that, there's no defensible purpose.

  • Brian||

    The whole point was that it would have access to all the government's information about you like income and dependents that insurance companies would mostly have to trust you on.

    Of course, that link was one of the first things removed when they realized what they wanted to do was impossible, so after that, there's no defensible purpose.

    I could buy health insurance before the exchange, right? This implies that health insurers had an adequate way of estimating income and dependents to satisfy them.

    I could see how that would go into estimating a subsidy, but people fill out taxes and apply for subsidies all the time without government exchanges.

    I still don't get it. It all just seems like a pointless exercise, even if it worked.

    To me, it just looks like the governments attempt to try to be just as cool as Amazon and Kayak, and then demonstrating in the execution how utterly incompetent they are by comparison.

  • ||

    Everything the government does is a pointless exercise. The more a project is tied in with a politician's ego, the more true this becomes. You're on to something with the "cool as Amazon and Kayak". I guarantee you Obama and his cronies had little dreams of being remembered for an exchange portal as slick and cool as Amazon or Hipmunk. OOPS. Delusion can be extremely painful.

  • wareagle||

    someone else pointed this out, but the reason is control. Control someone's health care and that's a big deal.

  • Spoonman.||

    Of course it's stupid and pointless, but that's, as best as I can figure it out, the state goal.

  • Rebekah||

    Do you want cronies to starve? What kind of animal are you?

  • ||

    The point is to apply the subsidies before people pay the premiums so they don't see the true cost of what they are buying.

    If you had to apply for a giant tax credit at the end of the year, you'd still have to pay thousands extra in premiums to make it there.

  • Brian||

    The point is to apply the subsidies before people pay the premiums so they don't see the true cost of what they are buying.

    Ignorance: that's worth hundreds of millions right there.

    If you had to apply for a giant tax credit at the end of the year, you'd still have to pay thousands extra in premiums to make it there.

    Ah, so it's imposed by the ridiculousness of our taxes. What a shock.

  • Adam330||

    Isn't there already a program to pay EITC in advance during the year in people's paychecks? I think there is. I think they could have given out the subsidies in advance by working with the insurance companies without an exchange.

  • #||

    They wanted to be able to confimr your current coverage status and determine your subsidy level in real time. Now that all of that has blown up, there really isnt a point to the exchange. They could just do it the old fashion was by mailing in forms.

  • Adam330||

    I think the thought was: "we need to make it easy so the young and healthy will sign up, and what do young people like more than websites?"

  • VG Zaytsev||

    What was the whole fucking point?

    To ease the government's collection of data on you.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    That 19% is being extremely vocal and butthurt. As other proggie friends are turning on O-Care and bitching about cancelled policies and higher premiums, the diehards are shouting louder and longer about it. It's delicious.

    Some of my favorite screeches I've seen/heard.

    "the law would have worked fine if they hadn't given in to all the republican's demands to change the law"

    Uhhh, yeah. you mean that law that no republicans voted for? Either you're lying about the demands, or democrats are so retarded that they would change their law for someone who doesn't support it anyway.

    "nothing in the law says the insurance companies have to cancel those plans, they're just greedy"

    This would only be worthy of a facepalm if there weren't people who actually believe it. I suffered through an article that stated that if the insurance companies weren't a bunch of greedy bastards, they would have started including the new required services for FREE long before they were required.

  • ||

    Being retarded, economically illiterate, and a denier of reality does not a happy Obamacare supporter make. Enjoy their tears. They're of a special vintage and flavor that does not come around very often; they are the tears of morons who have fucked themselves. They're the best kind of tears, so yummy and sweet.

  • #||

    Except those morons vote and have an impact on all of us.

  • John||

    I have said before the Progs are going to divide into three groups

    1. The group that realize this is a disaster and wants the old system back

    2. The group that realizes this is a disaster and sees it as a reason for single payer

    3. The group that can never admit anything Obama has done is a failure and continues to claim this is great.

    All three groups will see the others as traitors to the cause. They are going to rip one another's throats out.

  • ||

    I think that's a valid assessment, John, though what I'm curious about will be the breakdown of how many fall into each camp. Will a majority fall into camp 3? I seriously doubt many will fall into camp 1. And I think a lot will end up in camp 2 eventually.

  • John||

    I think rank and file middle class and upper middle class Dems will mostly be in the first group. They are really going to be hurt by this and are not going to give a fuck about the cause or Obama's legacy or much of anything else once they realize they are the ones paying for it.

    The media will make up the largest portion of the third group. They are all in on Obama. He is one of them. They love him more than they love themselves and they will never and can never admit he is a failure.

    The second group will be mostly hardcore prog political activist and academic types. It will be the smallest group but will gradually grow as the deadenders from the third group slowly give up and admit failure.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    All three groups will see the others as traitors to the cause. They are going to rip one another's throats out.

    I'm already seeing it happen. Soon, the sweetness of their tears will be mixed with savoriness of their blood and the feast will be amazing.

    I actually haven't seen anyone in the second group, personally. I don't doubt they're out there, but none seem to be in my group of friends.

  • Paul.||

    1. The group that realize this is a disaster and wants the old system back

    This will be the smallest of the progressive groups. They'll either demand single payer (as we've already seen) or demand more, harder Obamacare reforms.

    I don't see them as tearing each other apart. The third group will smile and nod at the second group and continue to say the same bullshit often said around here, "Don't let the perfect derail the good". Because unfortunately, the third group believes in the same thing as the first group, but are more pragmatic and know it has to be done incrementally, and Obama is like the third of about 12 steps.

  • John||

    This will be the smallest of the progressive groups.

    No. It will be the largest. Everyone loves to be progressive as long as they are not paying for it. Most of the people who call themselves "progressives" are going to get real selfish real quick when they actually start suffering.

    As far as the second and third groups, those will be made up of a few truly stupid people who convince themselves that losing their healthcare is okay for the cause, but mostly academics and media hacks who either are not losing out or have so much of their personal identity invested in Obama they have no choice to but to support him.

    And they will be at each other's throats once this disaster translates into lost elections. You have to remember Progs fight so hard and dirty in politics because they view politics as how they eat. It is a life and death matter to them. If the Dems take it on the chin in the midterms, there are going to be a lot of recriminations.

  • Paul.||

    Can you find a single self-styled progressives that's demanding a repeal of Obamacare?

  • John||

    I know tons of them. They are just not media members so you don't hear them.

    And if you don't believe this to be true, watch how Democratic Senators act over the next few months. And go find me any Democratic Senator, even the ones from the dark Blue states who is doing anything but running from this.

    As I said, the rank and file middle class Democrats are not going to willingly pay for this disaster.

  • Paul.||

    Consider yourself lucky. Almost all the progressives I know are complaining about Bush or the Republicans.

  • wareagle||

    there have already been multiple stories of how supporters of O-care found their premiums going up or their policies cancelled. There have been the "I thought it was a great idea but didn't think I would have to pay for it" stories as well.

    If this group goes backward, it may largely be to regroup and come back at the apple, perhaps this time with some Repubs who can be swayed.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Among my friends, I've already seen it happen. One proggie I know said something to the effect of "They were right, Obamacare is causing my insurance to cancel me and all the plans that are available are worse coverage for more money"

    Other proggies started screaming "blasphemy" at her and ridiculing her selling out and accusing her of being stupid, ill-informed, and willfully ignorant. They didn't care at all that she personally was negatively affected by the law, all they cared about was the narrative that O-care was there to help all the people.

  • Paul.||

    So in your anecdote, the go-back-to-the-old-way is the smallest group, and immediately ostracized by the other, larger committed groups.

  • John||

    Except that as time goes on there will be too many of the woman in this example for the remaining committed progs to bully into staying in the group.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    So in your anecdote, the go-back-to-the-old-way is the smallest group, and immediately ostracized by the other, larger committed groups.

    Not exactly. It's just that the 3rd group is by far the most noisy. Of the proggie friends that I've had private conversations with, most of them are in the first group. They feel betrayed, lied to, and cheated. Not many of them have publicly recanted, due to the backlash they get if they do.

    The people in the 3rd category have become more vocal and noisy. One proggie friend has been non-stop posting articles about how the evil "for profit" insurers are behind every single obamacare woe. The cognitive dissonance is becoming so loud that they have to shout even louder to drown it out.

  • PapayaSF||

    They feel betrayed, lied to, and cheated. Not many of them have publicly recanted, due to the backlash they get if they do.

    But I suspect many will not be rushing to donate money to Dems in 2014. Nor will they be quite so eager to vote D, and in fact may vote "the wrong way" in the privacy of the booth.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Even if they can't muster the intestinal fortitude to vote R, or *gasp* L, I'd be more than happy if they just stay home. Disillusioned by their betrayal.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Other proggies started screaming "blasphemy" at her and ridiculing her selling out and accusing her of being stupid, ill-informed, and willfully ignorant. They didn't care at all that she personally was negatively affected by the law,

    I can't think of a better way for the progs to thin their own ranks than by ridiculing people for being hurt by their policies.

    IN the 70s the said a conservative was a liberal that had been mugged. Soon the modern verions will be that a libertarian is a prog that got fucked by Obamacare.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Soon the modern verions will be that a libertarian is a prog that got fucked by Obamacare.

    I'm ok with this for the most part. I see the seeds of libertarianism taking root in a few of my proggie friends. This massive screw up is making them start to question their love of big daddy government and distrust decisions made on their behalf. It's not many, and it's still early, but it's a start.

  • PapayaSF||

    I would be happy if progs simply understood the value of decentralization and experimentation. You want single payer? Fine, get it implemented in a state and see how it works. But they think everything has to be run from DC, if not from the UN.

  • Sevo||

    ..."I suffered through an article that stated that if the insurance companies weren't a bunch of greedy bastards, they would have started including the new required services for FREE long before they were required."

    You have to wonder how much belief there is in a comment like that and how much desperation.
    I mean, why not ask why MDs and hospitals didn't offer this stuff 'for free'?

  • John||

    It is mostly desperation.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    It's a lot of desperations and grasping at straws, but there is certainly a large degree of belief. I got into it with one of my friends about it and he honestly believed that insurance companies make so much money that they could afford to pay for these extra services without any additional income.

    He also believes that adding millions of sick people to the pool wouldn't increase costs. He said, at worst, it would be a wash because they're paying for themselves... I just, I can't, WHERE DO THESE PEOPLE GET THIS CRAP?

  • Spoonman.||

    IF THEY COULD PAY FOR THEMSELVES IT WOULDN'T BE A PROBLEM DIPSHIT

  • Spoonman.||

    To your friend.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Oh, I know. It really is economic ignorance at its worst. He also couldn't comprehend that the subsidies are not "free money", it's money taken from other people.

    He kept reiterating that it was great how so many people are getting cheaper insurance through subsidies. When I pointed out that the subsidies were simply shifting the cost to other people, effectively raising their healthcare costs even further, he said that it's "government's money" that doesn't come out of your pocket.

    GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  • SusanM||

    It's frustrating not only because so many of these people want to be obedient subjects to a paternalistic regime but also because they can't fathom that someone wouldn't want it.

  • Paul.||

    Meanwhile, we continue to see problems in the state-run exchanges. Earlier this month, the head of Maryland’s health insurance exchange stepped down following a problem-plagued rollout in the state. The move followed the resignation of the top exchange official in Hawaii, another state which has had trouble getting its exchange up and running. Yesterday, the head of Minnesota’s state-run exchange also resigned, reports MPR News:

    Kick them until their bowels fail. Then invite another one to take his or her place.

  • ||

    "We thought that he was going to be - I shouldn't say this at Christmastime, but - the next messiah."

    Totally not a cult of personality around a slick con-artist. Not even a little bit.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/n.....xt-messiah

  • John||

    It's very difficult when the expectations for you are very high. You're almost better off when they are low and then they rise and rise. His were very high and they’ve dropped. But you know, he still has several years to go. What does he have, three years, Piers? And, you know, there will be a lot of changes, one thinks in that time.

    It is not that he is an ignorant, hateful fuck up and a disaster of a President. It is just that we expected too much of him.

    There you go with the soft bigotry of low expectations Barbara.

  • Sevo||

    That was over in 24/7 and what's truly amazing is that she made the comment in public! I guess she's beyond the ability for shame.
    Oh, and I'll presume the "we" has to do with the turd in her pocket.

  • ||

    It's always nice to see something we knew was going on confirmed by a member of the cult. Yeah, we knew it, but man is it nice to get solid confirmation other than Chris Matthews' tingly leg.

  • Paul.||

    Notice, she still loves him, and holds out for even more hope and change in the next few years of the Obama administration!

    Biden 2016!

  • Ken Shultz||

    American culture is still very religious--just like it's always been. It's just that a lot of people on the left are substituting politics for organized religion.

    Politics, for some people, shows them their place in the struggle between good and evil, and it gives their life meaning.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Bonus Question:

    What's dumber, believing in a God you can't see or believing that any politician you can see loves you and is powerful enough to solve all of our problems?

    Personally, I think it's easier to believe in a perfect God I've never seen than it is to believe that a politician, as imperfect as Barack Obama, is someone I should believe in.

  • Paul.||

    Barack Obama is a river to his people!

  • PapayaSF||

    +1

  • GILMORE||

    + a desert full of Auda ibu Tayi's rifles

  • ||

    Prediction: And the media is going to ignore this until Jan 1, and then everyone's going to act all surprised and shocked when a bunch of people who thought they had health insurance get turned away by providers.

    Right not, progressives are in the denial stage of greif. They just won't acknowledge that bad shit is happening until it hits them in the face. They've got their narrative that the website is fixed, so everything's going to work from now on, and they are going to hang onto it for dear life.

  • Paul.||

    They've got their narrative that the website is fixed,

    Well, it's more like the economy. It's recovering, there are green shoots, but the future is bright!

  • Ken Shultz||

    ObamaCare should really hurt the progressives in the upcoming midterms.

    Even voters on the right are split to some extent on certain issues, like gun rights, spending, the drug war, etc., and when candidates take really strong positions on any of those issues, it can hurt them in swing districts.

    But I don't think ObamaCare is like that. I don't think there are very many right leaning, pro-ObamaCare voters out there anywhere. It should be a really easy issue to unify voters.

    Hopefully, the Republicans don't fuck it up.

  • Paul.||

    Hopefully, the Republicans don't fuck it up.

    When has that ever not happened?

  • John||

    1994, 2010.

  • Paul.||

    I'll give you 1994.

  • Ken Shultz||

    As bad as it's been under Obama with John Boehner as Speaker, how much worse would it have been with Nancy Pelosi in the Speaker's chair and the progressives in control of the House, the Senate, and the White House, too?

  • Paul.||

    Maybe marginally worse? But-for arguments are difficult to stand on.

  • Ken Shultz||

    What opposition there has been within the government to whatever Obama wants to do has come from the Tea Party.

    Like I suggested down yonder--we had a sequester! There wouldn't have been one without the Tea Party.

    If Nancy Pelosi were Speaker, there would be no opposition whatsoever to whatever Obama wanted to do.

    And compared to what Obama was doing before the 2010 midterms, he took a sharp turn toward the middle after 2010.

  • Sudden||

    I, too, am angry at the GOP for winning in 2010 and denying us the most colossal fuck up of a government man has ever seen outside the Korean peninsula.

  • Paul.||

    Too bad they couldn't carry that winning streak into 2012.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The Tea Party is still a minority within the House GOP.

    The establishment GOP controls the House, which consists of exactly one half of one third of the federal government.

    If the Tea Party ever wrests control of the House away from the establishment GOP--and manages to keep Republican control of the House, watch out!

    But right now, blaming the Tea Party for not holding the rest of the government to account is blaming them for not doing something they didn't really have the power to do. They're almost damned if they do and damned if they don't.

    When they shut down the government, everybody blames the whole GOP as if they were all Tea Party, and when the establishment compromises, people call the Tea Party out as unprincipled.

  • Paul.||

    But right now, blaming the Tea Party for not holding the rest of the government to account is blaming them for not doing something they didn't really have the power to do.

    Wait a second, I'm not blaming the tea party for failing. If I'm blaming anyone, I blame majority, mainstream republicans for selling this country down the big government toilet and actively working against the small number of small-government voices within it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That was in response to Sudden's comment, and I think I misread that comment, too.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There was the Tea Party midterm in 2010, and there was the Contract with America midterm in 1994.

    Neither of which had much to do with social conservatism. If they can manage to stay away from wedge issues, they should be okay.

    Just keep talking about ObamaCare. I still think the worst failures are yet to come.

  • Paul.||

    1994 was major, for several reasons which I won't go into hear because if you're old enough to remember it, you know what they were.

    The 2010 middterm problematic because while 1994 was sweeping and had Republicans largely on the same page, the 2010 midterms caused some shakeup, but had the Republican establishment actively battling those tea party candidates. I'm not convinced the tea party won, considering the bikers-with-mohawk-sequester-canceling vote recently.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Without the Tea Party, would there have been a sequester?

  • Paul.||

    Possibly not. And we don't have one any more. The government is more in debt now than ever before, spending has done nothing but gone up.

    I guess if we consider a brief intermission where we made a nod to think about controlling the profligacy of government a major victory, we truly are starving.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Possibly not. And we don't have one any more.

    I think they're playing for the midterm election right now. They're not going to let themselves be savaged as economy destroyers in an election year.

    I don't expect them to be principled in an election year--they are politicians!

    But this will be an excellent opportunity for people like Cruz and Rand to separate themselves from the compromising herd.

  • Paul.||

    Sorry, I'm in the narrow band of H&R commenters that doesn't find Cruz to be the libertarian light in the darkness of overstuffed government.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Have we switched topics, here?

    We were talking about the Republicans sticking it to the progressives.

    I'm all for it.

    I'm so sick of getting reamed by progressives, that I'm willing to root for a Cruz if I have to.

    Democrats and Republicans are equally bad in their own ways, but progressives are worse than either one of them. I see progressives like Obama sitting in the opposite corner from us libertarians in the ol' Nolan chart.

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

    God help us if a progressive like Obama ever wins the White House again.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Libertarianism, to me, is the idea that individuals should be free to make choices for themselves.

    Progressivism, to me, is the idea that the government should force individuals to make sacrifices for the common good.

    God save us all from progressives. They're enough to make me want to vote for Republicans.

  • Sudden||

    Others say they will pass up federal subsidies and pay full price through insurers, while still others have given up altogether on the promise of health insurance by Jan. 1.

    Behold Obama's God-like powers! Only He (PBUH) is so wise and noble that He is able to violate the Iron Law. "You get more of what you subsidize and less of what you punish." He subsidized health insurance and still managed to decrease the number of insured. Behold your God-King, peasants!

  • John||

    He is like some kind of God of incompetence. He managed to pass a law designed to help the uninsured but in reality punishes the uninsured. They should have just convinced him the goal of healthcare policy is to deny everyone healthcare. Had that been his goal, we would all be getting free, quality medical care because of this.

  • Paul.||

    Well, not to put too find a point on it, but the goal of all government healthcare is in fact the ability to deny anyone healthcare. That's a powerful tool in maintaining control and harnessing votes.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    and a questionably timed vacation in Costa Rica.

    Well, when you need reasonably-priced heart surgery, you don't have much choice about the timing.

  • PapayaSF||

    Clearly, we are still a long ways from Peak Schadenfreude.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Two conversations I've had in the past few days with Obama lovers:

    1) co worker who likes Obamacare, but I discovered she knows nothing about it - not even the penaltax. She said she gets insurance through work so she hasn't read up on all of the details, but Obamacare is a good thing because it helps the poor get free healthcare

    2) friend who is out of work has no idea that he will pay a fine if he doesn't get insurance. When I explained it to him he said fuck it, he'll pay the fine.

  • Robert W||

    Someone has got to be fired for this colossal failure--at least initially--of the ACA website.

    I just wonder whether the scapegoat will be Sebelius or a subordinate?

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