The Obamacare Glitches Continue

In the real world, the health law is still struggling.



Obamacare, you may have heard, is working just fine. "It turns out it's working pretty well in the real world," President Barack Obama said of the health law in a speech at a fundraiser last week.

If so, the public hasn't caught on yet. A new poll from the Associated Press finds that just 31 percent of the public approve of the way the president is handling health care.

Obama's fellow Democrats aren't exactly enthusiastic either. Just 36 percent of Democrats campaigning for Congress this year have explicitly supported the health care law, according to research by a pair of scholars at the Brookings Institution. This is the party that passed the law and is home to virtually all its political support—and yet a majority won't fully stand by the law in public.

Why not? Perhaps because the evidence for its success is so underwhelming. It's true that the worst-case scenarios that seemed plausible last year, when the exchange system crashed, failed to occur, and also the law has posted some successes in recent weeks: low premium growth, 7.3 million paid enrollments, an increase in insurer participation in the exchanges.

But the law has also continued to generate a steady stream of bad news—more glitches, more failures, more misfires, more unhappy providers and customers, with more challenges on the way as the second open enrollment period begins. And even the success stories are not quite as positive as the headlines make them out to be.

Startup costs associated with the law are higher than expected or previously reported, according to a Bloomberg Government report out last month. Including the price tag for an associated electronic health records program, getting up and running has cost some $73 billion so far, the study estimated.

Cancellations of individual insurance under the law, which affected millions last year despite Obama's repeated promises to the contrary, will continue. Hundreds of thousands of cancellations, some of which are held over from last year, are expected before the beginning of 2015.

And while last year's catastrophic health exchange failure isn't likely to be repeated, the system remains dysfunctional. Critical back-end payment systems that were supposed to be completed last year won't be finished until at least 2015. Many state exchanges remain troubled. Minnesota, one of the states that struggled with the task of running its own system, just lost the biggest insurance carrier on its exchange. Even Connecticut, which ran its exchange technology well enough that it is now exporting versions to other states, has had to deal with unexpected technological flaws that must be fixed before the system can be implemented elsewhere.

Glitches minor and major continue across the health system, affecting both individuals and providers.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), for example, interpreted the employer coverage requirements in a way that could make it difficult for more than 1.9 million Americans to afford coverage, according to an estimate by the American Action Forum, a conservative policy group.

Medicaid enrollment is responsible for much of the law's coverage expansion—in New York alone, it's up 11 percent—and yet the program's longstanding problems with doctor access persist. In a September report, the Health and Human Services Inspector General reported that, as The New York Times put it, "the Obama administration and state officials have done little to ensure that new beneficiaries have access to doctors after they get their Medicaid cards."

Access issues are not limited to Medicaid, though. In California, which has more Obamacare enrollees than any other state, the "state's largest health insurers are sticking with their often-criticized narrow networks of doctors, and in some cases they are cutting the number of physicians even more," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Some top health care providers are having trouble making the law work too.

One of the law's most anticipated delivery system reforms, the creation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), continues to struggle. The health law spurred the creation of a Pioneer ACO program, a shared savings scheme between hospital systems and Medicare intended to encourage cheaper, more effective care through a more holistic payment system. The Pioneer providers were intended to showcase the program's effectiveness; instead, they have show how hard it is to make the program work. None of the nation's most celebrated ACOs joined to begin with, and of the 32 systems that did sign up, 13 have now dropped out. The most recent system to quit described the program as "financially detrimental."

Recent independent federal assessments of the law have not been kind. In particular, the Government Accountability Office (GAO)—a federal watchdog organization—has delivered a series of sharply critical reports about the law over the last few months. After conducting a sting operation, the GAO reported in July that nearly all of its attempts to fraudulently access subsidies through the law were successful, despite the administration's promise that a functional verification system was in place.

Last month, the office also found that, despite years of warnings from members of Congress, the federal health exchange system created under the law still contained major security flaws. "Significant weaknesses remain that put these systems and the sensitive, personal information they contain at risk of compromise," a GAO official told Congress.

Another September GAO report found deficient financial reporting for costs incurred related to the law. Information regarding expenditures on advertising, public relations, polling, focus groups, and other categories of spending was either not provided or could not be verified, and the processes used to track and report this information were "inconsistent with certain federal accounting and internal control standards."

This is not a record of success. It's a record of troubled program design and administrative failure. There's a lot that's not working in Obamacare—from the financial management to the technical operations to the organizational innovations that were supposed to help overhaul the system.

It's not just that so many problems persist. It's that even the stories supporters tout as successes are precarious at best.

Yes, average premium growth on benchmark plans is quite low; but many of the most popular and least expensive plans from last year are seeing large hikes, with average increases of 8.4 percent and many raises beyond 10 percent.

Yes, insurer participation in the exchanges will rise by 25 percent next year; but the administration hasn't said whether those insurers will serve urban areas that already have high competition or fill out underserved rural markets. Those insurers are likely attracted by the law's generous cushioning for insurer losses—but according to yet another September report from the GAO, as well as the Congressional Research Service, the administration does not have the authority to backstop insurers next year without additional congressional approval.

And yes, the administration counts 7.3 million paid enrollees; but that was on a single day in August, before hundreds of thousands were set to lose coverage or subsidies as a result of failing to file additional paperwork verifying citizenship or income.

Expanding sign-ups in year two, with a shorter time-frame and the most obvious candidates already signed up, will only be more difficult. Indeed, the administration is unsure about whether it can meet next year's enrollment target. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said last month that federal officials are reassessing next year's goals.

Perhaps the administration should reassess the law's overall performance as well. Despite Obama's confident assertions to the contrary, in the real world, Obamacare is still struggling.

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  1. OT: http://www.reuters.com/article…..2320141006

    A nurse in Madrid caught ebola while treating that Spanish priest.

    …And I call that it’s officially time to panic.

    They had ONE patient. They could perfectly isolate him and use all the astronaut equipment they wanted. And this nurse still got sick.

    That is bad. Very, very bad.

    1. I am not sure it matters since it is doubtful our government and medical people are any more competent, but does that result say Ebola is really contagious or that the people treating this guy were morons?

      1. Not enough information to tell.

      2. I don’t think it matters.

        Our technological advantage is dependent on personnel trusting the technology.

        We may hope that nurses and doctors will remain at their posts when they see their colleagues get sick. But I just don’t think that will be the case.

        “I can’t be sure that this space suit will keep me from getting sick” = Tumbleweed hospital surrounded by dying people in the parking lot and on the lawn.

        1. No. It won’t be the case. In a real pandemic most doctors and nurses will stay home.

          That said, there isn’t a hell of a lot they can do for you anyway beyond give you an IV and hope your immune system fights it off. And frankly in an advanced country where people have good health and fully functioning immune systems and access to clean water and such, a lot of them will. A lot more than in a place like west Africa.

          1. John, I suspect that if you live long enough in West Africa to catch Ebola, your immune system is just fine. Probably, in fact, better than the relatively sheltered immune system of most Americans.

            Regardless, knocking down the mortality rate by half would still leave around 40% or more infected Americans dying. Compare that with the Spanish Flu epidemic’s mortality rate of 2.5%.

            I’m not saying we should panic. I’m saying we should act like this is a very serious potential problem. Which doesn’t seem to be happening in Washington, at least.

            1. That is not true. Most people in West Africa have pretty compromised immune systems. And as a result they die a lot and at much younger ages than we do.

              And yes, a pandemic of any kind is very bad. 40% mortality rate would be horrible. That said, however bad it is here, it won’t be nearly as bad here as it is in Africa.

              1. I think they die as much as everyone else since on a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

            2. Being sick and malnourished doesn’t make you stronger. It just makes you weaker the next time you get sick.

              1. Sick and malnourished, sure. But those aren’t the same as a compromised immune system.

                I think we’re in agreement that African mortality will be higher to much higher than it is here.

        2. Sounds like a good use case for robotic surrogates.

    2. I’ll rent a cabin in the woods where hunting is legal, and bring my guns. I’ll come back into society when they have the cure.

      1. Those were my exact words on the day Obama got re-elected.

  2. Glitches, smitches. All is going as planned. Costs up – check. Less choice – check. Longer waits – check.

    And we haven’t even got to the good stuff yet. Next up, even higher costs, even longer waits, rationing, yeah! I guess granny will have to just shut up and take that pill, then we get to control population and lower our carbon footprints! WIN/WIN!

    And last but not least, don’t forget about that goldmine of cronyism and microcosmic control mechanisms hidden in the bill! It’s exciting times!

    1. Those are all market failures.

      1. Corrections to market failures! We’re right on track and heading for that golden age of progressivism! Free healthcare and ponies for everyone!

        1. I have made this point a hundred times but I will make it again. Yes, all of that was planned to occur. But the result of that was all of us being forced on the beloved public option which would transition us into the promised land of single payer. Without the public option, it is no longer a feature, it is a fucking disaster. We are not going to single payer. You can tell that because if you notice the Dems are not demanding single payer to fix this mess. They are not doing that because they know they totally fucked up their one chance the public was going to give them. Now they are just hoping the Jedi mind trick of “what healthcare reform” works and the public somehow forgets about it.

          1. Well, we aren’t going to single payer in the near future. Because the dumbocrats are going to lose the Senate. At least I hope so.

            I’m stocked up on popcorn and beer, because while I have no faith in the stupid party to improve much of anything, I still look forward to them making Odumbo’s life a living hell.

            1. We are never going to get single payer because too many Democrats lost their jobs over this. Sadly, we are just going to get a long drawn out disaster as Republicans refuse to really try to fix it and thus lose the issue and Democrats refuse to admit that their once in a life time achievement is a disaster.

              1. Some other countries need to be spending a lot of time focusing on medical tourism from Americans who have no hope left at home.

              2. This will give them the pefect out, John. ‘It was going great until the evul Rethuglicans stole the Senate!’

              3. ” Sadly, we are just going to get a long drawn out disaster as Republicans refuse to really try to fix it”

                President Obama has a pen and a Veto. Republican’s aren’t passing anything that could be perceived as negatively impacting Obama’s Legacy.

                1. Republican’s aren’t passing anything that could be perceived as negatively impacting Obama’s Legacy.

                  You are correct…..and there is really no need to “pass anything that negatively impacts Obama legacy”….he’s got that covered nicely all by himself.

    2. you must be a big fan of singlepayer
      that would replace obamacare

      1. Democrats did try,
        But their results were in vain,
        No Public Option.

      2. joshrendell|10.6.14 @ 3:42PM|#
        “you must be a big fan of singlepayer”

        You must not be real bright.

      3. joshrendell:

        you must be a big fan of singlepayer
        that would replace obamacare

        Mongo only pawn in game of life.


    3. You missed one:

      Higher insurance company revenues – check.

  3. Continuously pointing out to the continuous glitches of Obamacare is racist!

    1. If it were called Booshcare, everyone here would love it.


      1. I’ll never forget Bush! I get to blame him for losing my car keys, a sprained ankle, and my hangover!


    2. Nonsense; Obama isn’t Black. None of the Blacks I know are even CLOSE to that smarmy, incompetent, arrogant, and surly.

      He’s whiny white liberal would-be aristocrat in an African-American costume.

      May he rot.

  4. “It turns out it’s working pretty well in the real world,” President Obama said”

    I’ll say! Why I had 4 kids last year and didn’t have to pay more than the (nearly doubled) premiums. Not bad for a guy near 70, right?
    They didn’t want to sell me maternity care before Obo came along and saved my bacon!

  5. the law has posted some successes in recent weeks: low premium growth,

    Do we know this yet? When are 2015 premiums due to be submitted and approved by the states? What have the premiums done for 2015, anyway? The one study I saw was cherry-picked as looking at one of the silver plans per state, so I disregarded it.

    7.3 million paid enrollments,

    Is this a hard number now? I seem to recall early reports were, umm, creative in counting enrollments that weren’t out of the grace period(s) as being paid.

    an increase in insurer participation in the exchanges.

    This one, at least, seems broadly true from what I gather.

    1. And how many of those people only enrolled because they lost their existing insurance? That number doesn’t in any way mean that many people who didn’t before have insurance do now. And of course “having insurance” is hardly an unqualified good in every circumstance.

      1. their ins was simply replaced
        with another policy, your stupid fox news
        scare tactics are a joke

        1. As in a good policy replaced with a shite one – but we get to count it as “an insured”!


        2. joshrendell|10.6.14 @ 3:44PM|#
          “their ins was simply replaced
          with another policy, your stupid fox news”

          Their insurance was replace with a higher cost version for stuff they don’t need, you stupid lefty twit.

    2. Here’s a “7.3mm paid” story:


      Note the gaps:

      The administration admits their data is shit:

      Tavenner refused to break down the figures and other CMS officials said they couldn’t do so, either.

      The industry won’t confirm:

      The insurance industry had estimated that roughly 15 percent ? estimates ranged from 10 percent to 20 percent ? of the enrollees wouldn’t pay up. The main industry lobby had no comment on Tavenner’s announcement.

      Yeah. Not taking this press release at face value.

    3. Low premium growth? I thought it was going to lower my costs by 300%?

  6. http://www.timesofisrael.com/m…..-facility/

    Massive blast reported at Iranian Nuke facility. Said to have broken windows 9 miles away. Wow.

    1. Attack, sabotage or accident?

      1. Any or all of the above. If it is true, and who knows if it is, it takes a hell of a blast to break windows at nine miles.

        1. Two people killed in a blast that broke windows that far away?
          Sniff…Does not pass.

          1. That is the reported number. It is not like anyone is there counting but the Iranian government. They certainly wouldn’t admit if more were killed.

      2. Accidental sabotage attack?

      3. I would make a wager that the US was involved in one way or other.

        1. And if some type of radiation leak kills a few thousand innocent people, heh, ooops, collateral damage.

    2. “Who run Bartertown?”

  7. “If we tweak the deck chairs just right we’ll avoid the iceberg”

    Capt. Barry Smith

    1. Just imagine if there were a Titanic today and the government was in charge of the ship:

      “The ships sinking, ready the life boats!, women and children first…

      No wait, ummm, minorities and children fir….

      No wait, umm, transexuals, gays, minorities, and then chil…

      No wait, umm, we apologize. Illegal immigrants, transexuals, gays, minorities, children, and then women!

      What, everyone drowned while we were wringing our hands and apologizing? Umm, call the press in here for a briefing!

      1. either case would be better than
        “republicans first”

        1. Wow, that was a super witty reply. How’d you come up with that?

          1. One of those word-magnet things where you pick the words at random.
            Josh sets records for ‘tard, right Josh?

          2. Give him a break. I’m sure he worked long and hard on it.

  8. This video explains what “subpar” means better than anything I’ve seen:


    1. What a total clusterfuck.

    2. I hope that’s the stupidest thing in the ACA. Because if there’s anything dumber than that, holy fucking fuckbats.

      Whoever wrote that part of the bill needs, no shit, to be shot.

  9. And so it begins:


    Republicans like their odds on taking control of the Senate in this mid-term elections. “The tea leaves are clear: It is going to be a very good Republican cycle,” declares GOP pollster Bill McInturff, who helps conduct the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

    The Senate is the big prize in this fall’s voting, of course, and losing the chamber to Republicans, giving them full control of Congress, would represent a terrible outcome for the Democratic Party.

    Oddly, though, it might not be such a bad outcome for one particular Democrat: President Barack Obama.

    1. We shall see. But the losing side always says that. Losing the Congress in 06 was supposed to not be so bad for Bush, at least according to a few Republican media flacks. How did that work out?

      Losing a house of Congress is very bad for any party because it means a bunch of political hacks and idiot sons lose their jobs on capitol hill. This is bad for Republicans but downright catastrophic for Democrats who have no contingency or really any connection to anything out side of government.

      Beyond that, Obama will, after an orgy of nuclear options during the lame duck session, have zero chance of appointing anymore judges to the bench. It also means they won’t be able to cream down a real loon to replace Ginsburg like they wanted to. Last and most importantly, it will mean Harry Reid will no longer be able to keep popular bills that damage Obama from getting to a vote. This will force Dem Senators to cast unpopular votes or make opposition to Obama bi-partisan. And of course now both houses will be investigating the scandals.

      Obama has told his friends losing the Senate will make his last two years in office unbearable. I see no reason not to take him at his word.

      1. if republicans control the senate
        as usual, nothing will get done
        just the way republicans like it

        1. nothing will get done

          You say that like it’s a bad thing.

      2. Losing a house of Congress is very bad for any party because it means a bunch of political hacks and idiot sons lose their jobs on capitol hill. This is bad for Republicans but downright catastrophic for Democrats who have no contingency or really any connection to anything out side of government.

        It won’t be catastrophic? they’ll have time off to lobby on behalf of their favorite issue or attend protests.

        Where do you think all the people from the anti-war protests went?

    2. I don’t think so, They will torment the fuck out of him, good.

      Rand Paul should take Reid’s place.

  10. Obama has told his friends losing the Senate will make his last two years in office unbearable.

    No matter how much he suffers, it won’t be enough.

    1. No it won’t. But knowing that it will make him suffer makes it worth while to hope the Republicans do take the senate. He wont’ get what he deserves but hopefully he will get some real misery.

    2. Nope, never enough. But I really do hope the GOP torments the living shit out of him for 2 years.

      He’ll sulk, whine, and blame his way through it. Then he’ll leave and begin his campaign for a role at the U.N.

      1. I’m hoping that about 15 months into it Barry blows a blood vessel from the stress.

        1. President Biden? Oh please, no, we’ve suffered enough….

          1. At least Biden is good for some laughs. Obama is just annoying.

          2. OK, make that 23 months, then. A month of Biden should be survivable, right?

            OK, maybe 23 months and 29 days, then…

          3. Wouldn’t it be great to watch President Biden stand in front of the microphones on CSPAN and offer his advice to the Kurdish defending themselves from ISIS. “Buy a shotgun.”

  11. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetw…..n-nebraska

    I know I’m not supposed to panic, but with the states bordering mine importing Ebola patients, it’s kind of hard not to.

    1. It’s times like these I’m glad I live in middle-of-nowhere northern Ontario. All we have to worry about is weird brain parasites that cause moose to go crazy.

      1. My sister once got bitten by a moose.

        1. Has she been checked for brain parasites?

        2. Mynd you, moose bites Kan be pretti nasti…

        3. That’s where weremoose come from, you know.

      2. Is Crazymoose the Canuckistani counterpart to Crazyhorse?

  12. But the law has also continued to generate a steady stream of bad news?more glitches, more failures, more misfires, more unhappy providers and customers, with more challenges on the way as the second open enrollment period begins.

    They meant well, and that’s all that really matters.

    Jeepers, you guys are a bunch of Negative Nancy Naysayers!

  13. “Perhaps the administration should reassess the law’s overall performance as well. Despite Obama’s confident assertions to the contrary, in the real world, Obamacare is still struggling.”

    This comment of course suggests that Obama was actually interested in this thing working properly and not just getting a structure in place for an ever growing State.

    1. The straw-dog for anyone who opposes this program is even entertaining the concept that there are operational metrics (enrollment, costs, coverage, etc.) which are meaningful.

      This isn’t about “working” healthcare, it is about absoulute control. If the government can mandate that individuals buy “X” (particularly when “X” is not event defined) and designate henchmen (i.e. IRS) to enforce, they literally control your money and your life. Ditto government-mandated insurance of all types, the ability to increase property taxes, other fees, etc.

      1. you must be one of those fox news
        conspiracy channel viewers

        1. You are a boring troll. I mean, like the worst. You better go practice over at Politico or something and come back.

        2. So Koch Brothers lost the coin flip on this reply, eh?

          1. The 8-ball told Josh to try again.

  14. A thought occurred to me … Up til now, government programs tha affect the general public have all been simple enough, like welfare, social security, occupational licensing, etc. The complicated ones have affected only isolated groups. Obamacare is the first generalpurpose complex government program.

    I wonder if this could be a major marker in how peopel think of government. Everyone jokes about the DMV and post office, but puts up with them because alternatives are not exactly obvious and the problems are relatively straighforward.

    But now a lot of people are affected, and it’s so complex that its effects are not easy to deal with. There is also private competition (of a sort), and comparisons unavoidable.

    IOW, people can’t help but notice how fucked up government is. Government has no excuses this time around.

    I don’t expect any sea change in attitudes, no libertarian moment. But I wonder if it might be the end of the beginning, and if future government expansion might be a tougher row to hoe.

    1. This is the perfect time for a carefully written, moderate libertarian replacement to Obamacare. By “moderate” I mean it shouldn’t just be “deregulate all the industries involved and end all subsidies,” because that won’t fly. I mean a set of free-market reforms that could be sold to the public as practical and non-scary. Make it limited and incremental but move things in the right direction.

      Too bad the GOP can’t get its act together. If Reason devoted half the energy to it that they do to chronicling every puppycide, they could do it.

      1. Take a page from the Progs and encourage LOCAL healthcare, catastrophic insurance ONLY (not mandated), and TANSTAAFL.

        1. Catastrophic only is a big part of it, yes. Getting doctors and hospitals to post prices is another. And I’d love to see the states try 50 different approaches.

            1. I would settle for 5 approaches at this point…something, somewhere.

            2. Even if you kept the mandate, but defined it at a truly catastrophic level. Somewhere north of $10K per person per year, before it kicked in, you could probably have a workable program. Design a program that was roughly $100 per month for a 20 year old and you might have a decent compromise position.

              It’s not a Libertarian position and it’s certainly not a Liberal position, but it might win as a pragmatic position. Something that everyone could except.

              1. Though I appreciate the spirit of compromise your suggestions implies, I am tired of being at least 50% wrong in govt. policy. It’s like being 50% poisoned, or 50% run over… what’s the point long term?

                1. We did not get into the semi-socialist mess we’re in because the Socialist Party won elections. We got here because socialist ideas were pushed slowly and incrementally by the Democratic Party. Fabian socialism triumphed, not revolutionary socialism. That’s the best bet for libertarianism, I believe: incrementally push things in the right direction.

          1. But! I’d also insist on insurance companies being allowed to operate across state lines.

            1. That, too.

        2. no mandate, no ins and that leaves
          the govt to supply healthcare
          you people are dumber than dirt

          1. joshrendell|10.6.14 @ 3:55PM|#
            “no mandate, no ins and that leaves
            the govt to supply healthcare
            you people are dumber than dirt”

            You wrote THAT and you’re claiming someone else is dumb?!

    2. your thought was a malfunction
      SS, medicare and even medicare part D
      had problems, learn something before

      1. You post is actually 2 words.

        Boring troll.

        Bad speller.

        That’s 2 strikes, one more and you are soooo out of here.

        1. Also, apparently he feels compelled to post in…what is that? Haiku?

        2. He probably thinks that 3 lines makes it a Haiku. He might not understand the concept of syllables for that matter.

      2. Is this some kind of deranged haiku-bot? It’s like RACTER had a baby with Nancy Pelosi.

      3. Well, you’re an idiot, but I’m bored right now, so I’ll bite.

        Was the word “complex” too complicated for you?

        None of those programs had anywhere near the complexity of Obamacare.

  15. Reading about the ACA in Reason gave birth to the thought that no piece of legislation has exhibited the complete lack of reason or reasoning quite like the ACA. And how difficult it will be for its authors to suddenly acquire reasoning skills.

    1. well, republicans helped write it
      so there’s that

      1. Look, are you only going to use ‘replublicans’ and ‘fox news’?


        Let me help you out, weed hopper.

        Here are some keywords you can use:

        Koch brothers


        Sarah Palin

        Tea baggers

        Big oil

        Climate change deniers

        That’s just a start. Please try to learn on your own and don’t keep depending on me to help you out all the time.

      2. Congrats, idiot, welcome to the Libertarian movement.

        1. “Republicans did it (first|too) …” might be a slow clap generating response (never mind the mind-numbing hypocrisy) in the banal echo chambers you normally inhabit, but this time you decided to post it on a site that is not Pro-Republican.

      3. republicans helped write it

        You fool, Republicans wrote not one word of the ACA.

        1. BUT BUT HERITAGE FOUNDATION!!1!!!one!

    2. Apparently, they were really serious about not reading the bill before they passed it. I mean, did anyone even proof read it?

  16. There STILL are glitches in this large, transformational health care initiative, Peter? Who woulda thunk it.

    Listen, every dire prediction you made in the past about the efficacy of this law has proven wrong. Every one. So you’re hardly the expert at predicting how it will fare in the future.

    I’ll point out one thing that of course you ignore. That law was intended to reduce the number of uninsured we have in this country, and as you admit (but failed to predict months ago), that number has come down. And in another new development that should make you concerned, having a large number of uninsured is a threat to this country. You probably don’t buy it, because you once had an article here that downplayed the value of health insurance in the first place. But I’ll let Foreign Policy magazine bring the threads together for you:

    “America’s special vulnerability to Ebola is its limitations on access to health care. In times of contagion, societal risk rises with every uninsured or underinsured individual who struggles to work or go to school with a fever, and avoids bankrupting visits to health providers. One doesn’t need to have a political position up or down on “Obamacare” to recognize and solve this.”


    1. LOL

      You’re right about the predictions not coming true–the results have been even worse.

      Obozokarez is an absolute joke, a pathetic monument to the mindless arrogance of leftoids who think the government can become an earthly god and bestow free shit upon the leftoidtariat with a wave of its legislative hand.

      The best part? All the statists on tv constantly tell you leftoids how smart you are–but you are actually too gullible and stupid to see that they are blowing smoke up your ass in order to get what they want.

    2. *You can keep your doctor.
      *Obamacare will save every family $2,500 per year on average.
      *Every uninsured American will have healthcare.

      Get back to me, when Obamacare can meet it’s basic premise.

      1. Get back to ME when you get it repealed…another one of Peter’s dreams.

        1. So, that’s your response. The architects lied, got it passed, and tough shit to anyone that objects to the lies told?

          I guess that’s a fairly typical Leftwing response, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

          1. JWatts|10.6.14 @ 5:17PM|#
            “So, that’s your response.”

            Yep, it’s a complete fuck up, but it’s Jack’s fuckup, so tough.
            See, asshole lefties are really interested in, well, making things worse and keeping them that way.

          2. My response indeed. Object all you want…keep at it…Peter does it ad nauseum. Keep yer whining about it…that’s all it will amount to…whining.

            1. Fuck you.

              Want to know why…?

            2. Jackand Ace|10.6.14 @ 5:39PM|#
              “My response indeed.”

              So you admit it’s a complete fuckup but it’s YOUR fuckup and you have the guns, right, you slimy piece of shit?

        2. It doesn’t need to be repealed. The name may stay around, but the substance will be completely gutted.

    3. “That law was intended to reduce the number of uninsured we have in this country” Which it accomplished by making it illegal to not buy insurance…..and then when people didnt want to even stay legal (in America, you actually got normally law-and-order worshiping Americans to knowingly do illegal things), the mandate deadline was pushed back.

      Why its almost like a Cinderella story!

      1. Also, I forgot to add the part wherein many lost their old insurance plans and had to get the new ones (because, again, illegal not to) And where the fedgov started illegally paying out subsidies for healthplans purchased through the federal exchange in direct violation of the ACA.

        ACA- it has accomplished so much in so little time!!!111!!!eleventy!

    4. Our special vulnerability to Ebola comes from our president sending troops to Liberia exposing them to the infected.

      No conservative critique of the ACA ever suggested that more people wouldn’t ‘be covered due to the ACA, given that you are offering coverage subsidized or free thanks to tax payers. The only reason it came up is due to the Administration’s terrible incompetence on display during last fall’s roll out and the exposure of his lie of being able to keep your current plan.

      There’s ample evidence that the underlying cost of health insurance has become much more expensive or lacks adequate choice due to the ACA, you can read my comments below for more on that. That 8 out if. 10 enrollees are receiving taxpayer subsidies to be able to afford coverage in the exchange and the law still is polling worse than at the beginning of October last year should cause pause on just how many “winners” versus losers there are.

  17. Shouldn’t this piece be titled “Peter Suderman has written this column ten times before and will write it twenty times again”? Peter, isn’t it time you went out and got yourself, you know, a real job?

    1. I guessed you missed the first sentence of the article:

      “Obamacare, you may have heard, is working just fine. “It turns out it’s working pretty well in the real world,” President Barack Obama said of the health law in a speech at a fundraiser last week.

      So, maybe you should be directing your comments towards the Commander in Chief. Because, most of America would disagree with his statement about Obamacare working pretty well in the real world.

    2. Alan Vanneman|10.6.14 @ 4:05PM|#
      “Shouldn’t this piece be titled “Peter Suderman has written this column ten times before and will write it twenty times again”? Peter, isn’t it time you went out and got yourself, you know, a real job?”

      Gee, Alan, why don’t you try to find something to post that isn’t so boring?

    3. Alan Vanneman is Anal Vainman in the Derprider Rides Again

      1. Apologies to DerpRider who I just realized is an actual poster here and not to be confused with Anal Vanneman

  18. “…7.3 million paid enrollments….”

    Why are we using this number? The number needs to be broken down into replacement coverages and new insurance policyholders.

    obama does not get credit for forcing people off original policies and requiring them to enroll through his system. You don’t get economic credit for purposefully breaking a working window and then installing a new window, especially when you consider the incremental cost added to the system to deliver the new window.

    My envelope calculations came up with less than 10% of the administration’s numbers were new policyholders – that is the high number that articles should quote (and medicaid sign-ups should be excluded as people could have already done that without this Act). And, if the government has a problem with that result, they can release, or let the insurance companies release, the raw data.


  19. And yet my dyed-in-the-wool progressive friends still think it’s just the greatest thing in the world and can not understand why everyone is not jumping for joy that we have now claimed this wonderful boon for ourselves.

  20. A little clarification on benchmark premium growth is needed. As you say, it’s fairly low, even declining in several markets, while the more popular plans from last year are seeing large jumps in premium costs. This is because the benchmark plan this year is almost always a different insurer or plan from last year, perhaps an insurer who waited on the sidelines last year and is now offering low rates to gain market share. So, more affordable choices means success right?

    Well not exactly. For one as Avik Roy pointed out last fall using a similar method of comparing pre ACA plans to what were the new bronze, premiums jumped on average 41 percent in 49 states. So a “modest” growth on top of a huge jump still averages a big price increase, which probably explains why over 80 percent of enrollees were collecting subsidies, because very few others can afford it.

    This also suggests that maybe last years enrollees were not as healthy as some insurers were looking for.
    Cont. next comment

  21. Moreover, many insurers are experimenting with low rates since the 3Rs reinsurance and risk corridors offset their losses anyway. We won’t know how well this is effecting the market until 2017. And as Bob Laszewski pointed out , since subsidies are tied to the benchmark rates, those who stick with last years plans could see much higher out if pocket costs than the numbers in this article suggest. Once again you may not keep your plan if you like it, and therefore might lose your doctor again as well.

    Read more at:

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