October 20, 2013

"If [HealthCare.gov] doesn’t work soon, even liberals concede that the mandate would have to be delayed..."

"... because you can’t very well fine people for failing to buy a product they can’t access," writes Ross Douthat in the NYT.
And that combination — a hard-to-navigate online portal and no penalty for staying uninsured — could effectively discourage all but the most desperate customers from shopping, which in turn would create an unsustainably expensive insurance pool, driving prices up and driving people away, and potentially wrecking the entire individual insurance market in short order.
It's as if that was the plan. They must be kicking themselves about not being able to declare victory if that happens. They'll have to act all meek and apologetic as they roll in the alternative — single-payer health care (or something close to that).

If you're wondering what conservatives ought to do, Douthat says that "the conservative policy thinkers I know" are hoping the healthcare exchanges will work.

96 comments:

Michael said...

Conservatives should insist that there be no delays and that there be no exemptions from the law, no special treatment for congress or other govt. employees. Conservatives should require the people to abide by the law because.....because it is the law of the land. The Dems own this lock stock and barrel.

bandmeeting said...

you can’t very well fine people for failing to buy a product they can’t access

That involves common sense, something that doesn't make much of an appearance in the, heh, Affordable Healthcare Act.

n.n said...

If Obamacare could succeed in Detroit, then their claims would be considered credible. As it is, their plan is to delay accountability through overwhelming corruption, from Obamacare to single -payer. There is a significant difference between national, state, and local productivity, which they willfully ignore in order to exploit democratic leverage.

Gabriel Hanna said...

you can’t very well fine people for failing to buy a product they can’t access

They can and do, Commerce Clause.

chuck said...

wrecking the entire individual insurance market in short order.

It's a start. The rest of the economy to follow.

Aaron said...

Teachable moment. We will see if the pupil has the brains to learn, though.

chrisnavin.com said...

I still can't quite believe this is happening from time to time.

I've rarely seen such an obvious shit sandwich being prepared, served, and now just sitting there on the table.

"Eat it"

traditionalguy said...

Why Obama's destructive path has been one long "unexpected consequence".

After all Obama loves us and wants the best for us....he said so.

It must be Bush and Cheney.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Snail mail and phone calls until the glitches are solved. How did people apply for social Security and Medicare and Medicare Part D before online applications?

Premature schadenfreude.

Michael K said...

"Blogger Inga said...

Snail mail and phone calls until the glitches are solved. How did people apply for social Security and Medicare and Medicare Part D before online applications?

Premature schadenfreude."

Slightly premature, Inga. Slightly premature.

The IRS can collect any "fine" or "tax" they choose to.

Read Three Felonies a Day

Michael K said...

By the way, that's nine felonies a day for doctors.

John said...

I am a liberal (or libertarian/classical liberal/minarchist if you prefer) and I think that this disaster, coupled with all the other shit sandwiches Obie has handed us in the past 5 years is just fine.

I don't know whether Obie is doing all this by design or incompetence but he has done more to get us back to our constitutional and liberal roots than any 10 Ron Paul's could have ever done.

Lenin said 100 years ago "Worse is better". He had other goals in mind, of course, but the idea was the same. The worse things get, the more likely it is that the people will rise up and throw the bastards out of DC.

We are seeing that with the Tea Party, the Pauls, Cruz, Lee, Gomert and others.

Would we have a tea party movement under a McCain or Romney? Would it have been any better under either of them or would we simply have been driven over the cliff more slowly, perhaps in more comfortable cattle cars.

Nope. We need Obama to get us back on track. He is not the one who will do it, of course, but he is motivating the rest of us.

I think we are safe now from single payer insurance. After this fiasco, will there be anyone who believes that govt could manage to pull that off?

After shutting the scenic overlooks and public lawns, is there anyone who would trust govt with our healthcare?

I think Obie's generation of mistrust of the federal govt is a good thing. Now we can cut it back to the things that it might be able to do well.

John Henry

Michael said...

Inga. You should know that the young who are vital to the success of this law do not use snail mail. They do not use email. They do not talk on the telephone. They text. They shop for things on the internet and pay with paypal or a competitor. They do not suffer "glitches" They do not wait in lines. These "glitches" are a non starter for the necessary buyer.

PS: once again you adopt the language you are told to adopt. Only idiots and people completely unfamiliar with retail transactions on the internet view the problems with healthcare.gov as "glitches."

Michael said...

Inga. You should know that the young who are vital to the success of this law do not use snail mail. They do not use email. They do not talk on the telephone. They text. They shop for things on the internet and pay with paypal or a competitor. They do not suffer "glitches" They do not wait in lines. These "glitches" are a non starter for the necessary buyer.

PS: once again you adopt the language you are told to adopt. Only idiots and people completely unfamiliar with retail transactions on the internet view the problems with healthcare.gov as "glitches."

John said...

I also like what Obie has done to health care in the US. I have been saying for more than 30 years to anyone who would listen that we need to separate healthcare from work.

Obiecare seems to go a long way to doing that.

Finally we will be responsible for our own healthcare just as we are for our cars and houses.

I also like the idea that many people are now finding out how expensive healthcare is.

For too long it has been "Free" to too many people.

Maybe now that people can see the costs, they will start asking why?

BTW: All these folks complaining because they are paying $4, 5, or 600/month should realize how good they have it.

Most employer paid insurance plans cost them $10-12,000 per year per employee. ($800-1000 per month)

John Henry

Paul said...

"onservatives should insist that there be no delays and that there be no exemptions from the law, no special treatment for congress or other govt. employees. Conservatives should require the people to abide by the law because.....because it is the law of the land. The Dems own this lock stock and barrel. "

100 percent agree. Rub their noses in it till they scream.

Inga said...

Michael,

You're being silly. If they need to, they can and will, but they won't need to. Again, hold on to your schadenfreude.

John said...

Obie has also done a terrific job of sticking it to the unions.

One of the useful things that some unions do is provide their members with health benefits. These may be paid by employers or by individuals or both but they tend to be pretty good plans.

"Gold plated" in Obie's words.

Especially for one who moves around a lot such as musicians, construction workers and the like, having the plan through the union rather than through an employer offers guaranteed continuity.

Well, Obie has, more or less, said that under Obiecare, these health plans will no longer qualify.

There goes an important reason for many people to belong to a union.

Full disclosure: We get our healthcare through the state branch of the National Education Association. My wife is a teacher. Govt pays some, we pay some but the union administers it.

It is the ONLY reason my wife is a member.

The day we don't need them for healthcare, she quits.

Yeah, Obie is a true friend of labor.

John Henry

Inga said...

And Michael, there are universities still require paper applications. I'm sure that young people still know how to put pen to paper when they need to. And I just bet they can be trusted to pick up a phone and speak into it, no matter how antiquated it may be.

Inga said...

OR, we could go to a Medicare For All, the system is already in place, no roll out difficulties!

Inga said...

Hey John Henry,
Who is Obie? Do you mean Opie the little cute red headed kid from Mayberry? :)

alan markus said...

@ Inga Medicare Part D before online applications?

Obama care site was set up to accommodate 50,000 to 60,000 visitors a day. Bush administration had set up the Medicare D site to handle twice that number. Of course the Medicare D system was serving mostly elderly people who did not have computers like today. I remember one of the local senior complexes seeking computer literate volunteers to help their residents enroll.

alan markus said...

Big problem with paper applications/phone calls is that rates assume something like 40% voluntary participation by young people aren't motivated to buy the insurance in the first place. Young people aren't going to bother. Right now only the "motivated" (i.e, potentially unhealthy people)are applying.

Michael said...

Inga. Name a university that requires a paper application. As far as I know, and I have a child looking at universities now, applications are online.

MayBee said...

The plan might be to ruin the private insurance market, but they should have a plan for what do do after that happens. I don't think they do.

Mark Nielsen said...

I can't say for sure that Inga (or Oop, or whatever she goes by now) is wrong, but if there really *is* a university that requires a paper application, their enrollment manager should be fired. I work closely with my school's enrollment team, and their strategy is to make it as easy to apply as possible -- emailed applications that pre-populate as much of the data as possible.

John said...

Inga,

You seriously can't figure it out?

It wasn't Andy Griffith's TV son (named Opie, not Obie, BTW)who gave us this heathcare fiasco.

I believe in giving both the man and the office all the respect they deserve.

I would have said "President shithead" (Who I adore and support in his incompetence) but our hostess would probably, and correctly, object.

John Henry

Saint Croix said...

They'll have to act all meek and apologetic as they roll in the alternative — single-payer health care (or something close to that).

Yeah I'm sure Congress will get right on that.

Inga said...

My kids have all graduated, their college applications were on paper. I'm aware that most applications are done online now, but that doesn't mean that a young person can no longer use alternative forms of communication, when they need to. And I am confident that the glitches will soon be resolved and then what will you folks moan about? how dissapointing it will be when people are actully are signed up and like it. What then, some other manufactured crisis or scandal?

Rusty said...

Inga said...
And Michael, there are universities still require paper applications. I'm sure that young people still know how to put pen to paper when they need to. And I just bet they can be trusted to pick up a phone and speak into it, no matter how antiquated it may be.

Do yourself a favor quit doubling down on failure. It's lame and you know its lame. If this was a private company it would have been out of business already.
Just leave it alone until, if ever, it's a success. then do your pathetic victory dance.

rehajm said...

Snail mail and phone calls until the glitches are solved. How did people apply for social Security and Medicare and Medicare Part D before online applications?

That means the insurance companies need to track down and verify the accuracy of the information of everyone who signs up, all at the insurance company's expense. One big problem with this- they are bound by the '80/20 rule' so no more than 20% of their revenue can be allocated to administration. Not a problem when there's only a trickle of new applicants, but anything remotely resembling Sebelius' numbers will likely mean noncompliance.

Inga said...

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Roughly half a million Americans have applied for health insurance through new federal- and state-run exchanges under President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, an administration official said on Saturday.

Problems with the federal marketplace's entry portal serving 36 states, the website Healthcare.gov, have put a brake on the ability of consumers to shop for federally subsidized health coverage and drawn derision from Republicans, who oppose the law, popularly known as Obamacare.

"The website is unacceptable, and we are improving it, but the product is good and across the country people are getting access to affordable care starting January 1," an administration official said.

"We are going to work intensely for the next six months to make sure we meet the demand.""

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Danno said...

Inga, I hardly think this is only conservative schadenfreude when even Ezra Klein, a liberal wonkblog guy and the founder of the Journolist group a couple of years ago is saying that the startup has been a disaster. Who are we to believe, you or Ezra?

The link is to an NRO video (of Ezra) that was from Morning Joe.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/361132/ezra-klein-thus-far-obamacare-big-failure-andrew-johnson

Inga said...

Half a million. Despite the glitches.

cf said...

Whatever you say, Inga, I am sure you are absolutely correct.

You have the Police State behind you, so who would I be to question it?

I often complained in 2009 that this PelosiCare was like a rotary-dial phone, and America deserved an iPhone, a portable, flexible, empowering system. Sure enough, Inga coaches us (in an online community) that we simply return to paper applications! Haha.

Paper applications? Report all our info to the Dropbox and await the verdict of how much we will be taxed to pay for those wretched ones and those many connected ones that can keep their cadillac plans at our expense.

Yes, Inga, we will all line up, hat in hand, and you and your Gestapo instruct us on the correct way to get dialed in..

Inga said...

cf,

No, I'm telling you that if you think for one minute that because Healthcare.gov is having rollout issues that the ACA will fail, think again. There ARE reasons it could fail, but computer glitches that will be solved aren't one of them. I most certainly am not saying we SHOULD return to a paper system. You take much liberties with what I actually did say.

And cf, you sound a bit irrational with that Police State schtick.

mrs whatsit said...

Inga, read. Half a million people have begun the application process, which by their definition means they clicked the "apply now" button on the home page. Half a dozen of those people are me, dropping by every now and then to rubberneck and see how far I can get without an error message. (answer, so far, one or two clicks.) there is no info on how many people have actually opened accounts, let alone bought insurance.

As for comparing the ACA to applying to college, get real. When a college application requires synchronization with private insurers plus the IRS, HHS, SSA, and many more government agencies before you can even find out what the tuition is going to be, THEN you can explain how it can all be done on paper.

SteveR said...

The implementation/failure leading to single payer scenario envisioned by the unseen writers of ACA in the unseen process of getting the bill passed, probably was hoped to be a 5 year or slightly more time frame. There may be too much hesitation in the euphoria of an amnesty bill passage leading to the glorious return of Speaker Pelosi to try to ram that through until after the 2014 elections. All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Mrs Whatsit, far more than a half million people clicked that "Apply Now" button. I believe that half million number are people who have COMPLETED applications.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

How the heck do people apply for Social Security and Medicare?! It's sooooo difficult, we should just throw our hands in the air and give up, hmmmm?

The excuses and whining is getting ridiculous already.

pm317 said...

How nice for Obama if he can make others think that all his incompetence is somehow by design. Watch Drudge's page now.. Headlines are screaming SoS. Worst is yet to come.

Michael said...

Inga: The young and healthy who do not need or want insurance have to be (have to be) signed up or the system as designed will fail. The young and healthy who do not need or want insurance are not going to fill out forms calling for their personal information and mail them in to the government so they can then find out how much their policy might cost. As far as I know the healthcare.gov site is the only retail outlet that requires you to qualify to buy something before they will show you the price of what you are trying to buy or even what it is you are required to buy.

Defend this if you like but as you do it reveals a very profound glitch in your thinking.

John said...

Inga asks:

"How the heck do people apply for Social Security and Medicare?! It's sooooo difficult, we should just throw our hands in the air and give up, hmmmm?"

Don't ask me. I passed 65 a bit ago and I have no intention of applying for either.

I reserve the right to change my mind if it becomes a matter of life and death but I have made it this far without taking welfare and I hope to make it the rest of the way.

I don't intend to apply for or accept Obiecare either. My strategy is to never get ill except for a quick and final illness in 20-30 years.

FTG.

Inga said...

John, good luck with that. Even Ayn Rand got Medicare.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

And Michael, there are universities still require paper applications. I'm sure that young people still know how to put pen to paper when they need to. And I just bet they can be trusted to pick up a phone and speak into it, no matter how antiquated it may be.

I am not at all sure about that second sentence. There are now very few occasions on which many students past, say, 5th grade ever need to "put pen to paper," apart from filling in bubbles on multiple-choice tests. They type and text everything.

Michael said...

Social Security and Medicare are applied for online.

Inga said...

Yeah Michael....so? It seems to be pretty darn easy from what I hear.

Inga said...

And so will Healthcare.gov eventually.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Inga, are you measuring "eventually" in weeks? Months? Years?

Inga said...

Weeks.

Michael said...

Inga: Eventually I am sure it will be an absolutely fabulous web experience. Because it just will.

But before then you might browse around the world wide web and read what actual IT people have to say about it.

Don't know about your 500K number since the Government is not giving out information on the number of successful purchasers (operative word) of insurance plans.

Michael said...

But at least if you like your insurance you can keep it, right Inga? And your doctor.

Two other glitches, eh?

Inga said...

Michael, I was put in the position of having to find a new clinic and new doctor way back in 1991, when my clinic no longer accepted my health insurance carrier. Oh well, I survived.

Michael said...

The Hill reports:"According to the White House, there have been more than 19 million unique visits to the website since its launch this month. And an administration official said Saturday that nearly a half million Americans have begun shopping for insurance on the site, although the White House did not announce how many of this individuals had successfully purchased coverage."

Note the qualification in the last sentence. So half a million people are "shopping." Well 7 million need to sign up in the next 75 days if this is going to work.

bandmeeting said...

Michael, I was put in the position of having to find a new clinic and new doctor way back in 1991, when my clinic no longer accepted my health insurance carrier. Oh well, I survived

BFD, Inga, just a big BFD. Which candidate for president PROMISED, repeatedly promised you that you would not have to do that?

cubanbob said...

What the proponents of single care haven't thought through is for that to work the payees would all have to agree. That just isn't going to happen and if anyone paid close attention to the Supreme Court's ruling in Sebellius it ruled that there is an outer limit to Congress's authority under commerce clause and forcing state licensed doctors to only accept the federal government as the sole payer and price/revenue setter just isn't going to happen.

The glitches in time will be fixed but that isn't going to save ObamaCare since the underlying economic assumptions are to put charitable completely nonsensical. Inga crows about the number of clicks but even if we assume for the sake of discussion that all of those people completed the applications what isn't disclosed is how many of the applications are the result of adverse selection-those who really need it and those who qualify for Medicaid versus those who are the target demographic the government need to make this thing viable for a few years.

Another thing the proponents of this thing fail to remember is the the court also ruled the states can't be coerced in to the exchanges or the expanded Medicaid so the Feds can't club the states in to this or keep them in after the subsidies to the states dry out. The logic of this ruling would appear to lead to the conclusion that if a state were for budgetary or other reasons decide to drop Medicaid the Feds can't threaten to withhold the to that state the Medicaid payroll taxes collected in that state so in that situation the Feds will be forced to run Medicaid in that state or rebate those taxes back to the individual taxpayers.

Finally what nobody seems to be discussing is ObamaCare as a tax and the tax consequences for millions of people. CJ Johnny Roberts and the Supremes ruled the ACA to be a tax but the court never ruled on as a tax since at that time no one had paid it and therefore no one had standing to sue.

Wait until some healthy, single with no dependents 28 is required to buy a $6,000 insurance premium/income tax policy on a $40,000 a year income. Even before FICA and state income taxes that person is looking to be taxed at an effective rate of 33.3% for Federal Income taxes, comparable to the top rate under Bush. Worse still is the marginal rate he/she is paying on the $6,000. Even worse if he or she is self employed and has to pay the self-employed FICA rate/taxes. Then to top it off add the state income tax. After that poor bastard gets slaughtered they run a turbo tax calculation of what their effective tax payment would be if the same $6,000 premium/tax were paid by an employer and is stunned at how much higher in dollars and as a percentage they are comparatively disadvantaged. And when the employer mandate kicks in and millions more find that their employer ran the numbers and decided that it's cheaper to pay the penalty than offer a qualified plan then the proverbial shit-storm will occur. The court may very well revisit the ACA can over turn it on tax grounds if it hasn't been repealed by then.

Gahrie said...

It's as if that was the plan.

Of course its the plan. Everyone knew that back in 2008 when the Democrats first started talking about it, and the Republicans have been warning us about it ever since.

Inga said...

No actually it wasn't a BFD. It was a glitch.

SteveR said...

Inga, do you need it now? Have you signed up? How was your experience? How does the price and coverage compare. The reality is perhaps different than what you read.

Inga said...

Nope, I was able to keep my insurance that I already have.

Sal said...

The GOP: We hate that registering is so hard for the thing we tried to make it impossible to sign up for.

Michael said...

SAL: You miss the point. The GOP has opposed this law because they believe it unlikely the government can manage so vast a piece of the economic landscape. The "roll out" of this site is indicative that the GOP was on to something. The economic premise of the healthcare law is wrong and its implementation is proving, at the outset, to involve more than moral preening.

khesanh0802 said...

The real killer is going to be when people receive their premium notices for renewal in 2014. My wife received hers last week and the premium increase is 39% because of the "cost-sharing" nature of the "insurance under Obamacare.

The question I keep asking is what is going to happen to the economy when these large increases in premium hit? That's an awful lot of consumption that won't happen because the money has been transferred to nsurance company coffers. The insurance companies can't do anything meaningful with it because of the 80% expenditure requirement.

SteveR said...

So Inga, you have no actual first hand experience with the system and I suppose the uncredited 496,000 is actual people signed up, not the number of people who got to some point in the process and were considered "enrolled". Big difference, and if you had been through it like I have (because I need it), you would find the possibility of that number actually having an insurance plan in place for Jan 1 highly unlikely.

Michael K said...

"Blogger Inga said...

And Michael, there are universities still require paper applications. I'm sure that young people still know how to put pen to paper when they need to. And I just bet they can be trusted to pick up a phone and speak into it, no matter how antiquated it may be."

Inga, how did you get to your advanced age without learning anything ? I actually spend time at other bogs and have been a programmer, an engineer and a medical student/ surgeon. I still teach medical students and enjoy talking to recruits to the military.

I don't mind that you live in a bubble. It's kind of fun to see what you think. I also read lefty blogs although they don't allow me to post comments, unlike righty blogs.

I'm 75 but younger in mind than you are.

Inga said...

Michael K, that's nice to know.

El Pollo Raylan said...

The question I keep asking is what is going to happen to the economy when these large increases in premium hit? That's an awful lot of consumption that won't happen because the money has been transferred to nsurance company coffers. The insurance companies can't do anything meaningful with it because of the 80% expenditure requirement.

Probably a good argument for moving to single payer ASAP. That way the heightened premiums can be transferred to more responsible, non-profit hands concerned only with people welfare.

Inga said...

Ah, I knew Chickie would see the light ;).

El Pollo Raylan said...

@khesanh0802: I seriously doubt that a nationalized healthcare system would be constrained by silly 80% rules. Rest assured that 150% or more of the premiums would leveraged out to fund something new and progressive.

Unknown said...

Lots of catchup to avoid catastrophic failure...

Outreach to sign up Alaska’s nearly 140,000 uninsured has been extensive, including efforts by trained healthcare navigators.

Despite those efforts, by Thursday, outreach officials could only confirm seven Alaskans had signed up for coverage.

http://www.ktva.com/home/top-stories/Few-Alaskans-signing-up-through-online-health-marketplaces-228338221.html

Bob Ellison said...

The single-payer ploy seems unlikely. Health-care politics is a complex game, and lefties aren't usually that clever.

But I think that's the play, whether carefully thought out or not. Obama and Sebelius keep talking of glitches and problems. Obamacare's implementation isn't a software bug; it's a disaster. They can't fix it. They must replace it. They never wanted it to work. They didn't care. They wanted single-payer anyway; Obamacare was a feint.

Michael K said...

"Probably a good argument for moving to single payer ASAP. That way the heightened premiums can be transferred to more responsible, non-profit hands concerned only with people welfare. "

Here I thought that premiums would be equal for equal benefits. Do you really think that the rich who have the ears of politicians, w2ill actually pay more ?

I have a few things to sell. Interested ?

Unknown said...

Wooo hoooo --- Seventy Nebraskans have used the site!!!

Few Nebraskans penetrate federal Obamacare website


The federal website Nebraskans must use to apply for tax subsidies and insurance under the Affordable Care Act is still obscenely slow and fraught with technical problems.

Since the site opened Oct. 1, it appears fewer than 100 Nebraskans have been able to finish the online application process and purchase health insurance plans.

“Nebraskans see the frustration building,” said Roger Furrer, of Community Action of Nebraska Inc., whose navigators are trained to help consumers with the website and new federal insurance program.

“This is extremely frustrating for everyone involved.”

Community Action has yet to work with anyone who actually has been able to purchase insurance, he said.

About 50 Nebraskans have purchased Blue Cross policies through the federal marketplace website.

More than 10 Nebraskans have purchased coverage through the marketplace from CoOpportunity, a new company created for the Obamacare program.

http://journalstar.com/news/local/few-nebraskans-penetrate-federal-obamacare-website/article_44aa0093-469a-5e39-b2dc-9ba80c0d5077.html

Unknown said...

50 in Wisconsin!!!!!1! Well on our way to 20 million!!!!!

--

Less than 50 Wisconsinites have signed up for insurance through the federal health-care exchange, according to the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI).

OCI called all 13 Wisconsin insurers that are offering individual plans on the exchange to determine how many people had signed up for health insurance. Dan Schwartzer, the deputy commissioner at OCI, said the number is “really a guess” because the federal government has not released enrollment figures yet.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/361176/wisconsin-estimates-fewer-50-have-signed-insurance-federal-obamacare-exchange-sterling

Larry Nelson said...

Inga said:
How the heck do people apply for Social Security and Medicare?! It's sooooo difficult, we should just throw our hands in the air and give up, hmmmm?

The excuses and whining is getting ridiculous already.

So Inga, as easy as getting an ID card to vote?

jeff said...

"Half a million"

Of that 1/2 million, how many just signed up for medicade, not insurance?
Of that number, how many are paying all or most of their own premiums and how many of them are being paid by the government. Of that number, how many people will still be paying in a year, vs dropping it and only signing up if they need medical care? Maybe when this craters completely the government will then take care of medical care with the same efficiency it admins the VA. After all in Inga-world, its the thought that counts.

mrs whatsit said...

Nope, I was able to keep my insurance that I already have.

10/20/13, 7:42 PM
Ahh. No wonder you're so smug. You don't have to deal with the ACA and, as you've made clear, you don't give a crap about those who do.

The Godfather said...

I don't know whether this is what Ted Cruz had in mind or not. I hear he went to Harvard, so maybe he's smart enough to have figured this out:

The Republican/Tea Party effort to defund/delay Obamacare caused Obama to reject any possibilty of delaying the individual mandate. He's now locked into that position. If the "rollout" problems continue, the smart thing for Obama and the Obamacarians to do would be to delay the individual mandate, as they've delayed the employer mandate -- BUT THEY CAN'T! They've declared that option intolerable. They either have to fix the sign-up system, really fix it, or run the risk that the whole thing will collapse.

Michael K said...

"Ahh. No wonder you're so smug. You don't have to deal with the ACA and, as you've made clear, you don't give a crap about those who do."

I keep hoping my kids don't lose their insurance. One is a gov't employee (and Obama voter of course} but I am concerned about the others. Well, if they don't talk to me, I am not responsible for their insurance. It's kind of interesting how angry they are.

jr565 said...

Even if they want single payer, they still have to get it through the republicans, who will have a long story to tell how Obama and the dems wrecked private insurance. So why should govt be trusted with single payer?

Its a nice theory, only to get there requires dems looking like the most incompetent bunch imaginable. Why would people reelect them after their insurance imploded?

Donal said...

If you believe that you can fill out paper applications for the Obamacare exchanges I'd like to point out an issue. If you filled one out today you would have four months to get it completed that would include filling out the application, getting a response on plans and the subsidy you'd get, and then getting confirmation from the insurer. Or you get hit with a fine.

That's assuming that wherever you send that application isn't using the same system that you use at home and I think its unlikely they have two systems.

Bruce Hayden said...

Of that 1/2 million, how many just signed up for medicade, not insurance?

That is the thing - when the stats are parsed out, almost all of the new enrollees are for Medicaid, and not for the exchanges. Which means that they will be mostly, if not completely, subsidized by everyone else. No wonder though - they are willing to wade through the lengthy, time consuming, and error riddled exercise, just to get something for free.

How about non-Medicaid enrollees through the exchanges? Here you get into extreme adverse selection. Most of the few who got through are likely uninsured now because they have pre-existing conditions that prevent them from getting insurance elsewhere, and do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. But, that means that if this doesn't improve very, very quickly, all of that adverse selection is going to cause the prices for those in the exchanges to skyrocket. Not in 2014, but likely 2015, with the claims experience for 2014 driving the increases.

We shall see.

gk1 said...

Oh I doubt the premise that liberals are capable of feeling shame or conceding obamacare is a bust. Like their naïve belief in communism "it just hasn't been done properly" will be their take away when obamacare implodes. That and those republican meanies have opposed Obama's genius plans from day 1.

Harold said...

So, Inga wants a few million people (Remember- the plan is to cover the 30 million uninsured) to fill out currently non-existent paper applications. Now, where are you going to find the few hundred thousand literate and competent employess to transcribe all that information accurately - ON TO A COMPUTER SYSTEM THAT DOESN'T WORK?

Great idea. Worth of Sibelius and Obama.

jaed said...

Not four months. Less than two.

The exchange is open [if you consider its present state "open"] through the end of next March, but you need to have insurance by the beginning of January to avoid the penalty or tax or whatever we're supposed to be calling it. Which means they need it set up by mid-December at the latest, to give time for a billing cycle.

Also, millions of people are right now losing their existing insurance because of Obamacare restrictions, and want to obtain continuous coverage; since their current insurance will be cut off at the end of the year, they need coverage by January 1 as well.

Bruce Hayden said...

The new web site was far from being ready for prime time, and the problem wasn't the hardware, but rather, the software. It apparently operates like it was designed, or implemented, by high school students, or, in this case, by government contractors hired primarily, it appears, because of their DC contacts, to code to specifications by government functionaries to meet policies and guidelines that were intentionally delayed until after the 2012 elections, instead of when the legislation was enacted three years earlier.

Some of the known problems, so far have been:
- one part of the system freezing when uploading cookies that another part left in a browser because there are too many of them (more thank 4k - the Apache standard limit).
- leaving all sorts of debris around in various systems from previous attempts to open accounts, which prevents people from using the user account names that they have partially set up.
- account name requirements that are so obtuse that writing down the name that finally works is the only way to remember them.
- telling users that their account name is incorrect, or that it is already in use when applying. This makes it easier to determine whether the problem is the account name is incorrect, or if the wrong password was used.
- security questions that can be answered using Google
- taking days to send out confirmation emails that must be responded to within a short period of time - or that account name is permanently locked up.
- sending confirmation codes by email (which can be intercepted).
- sending what are essentially debugging messages to users - the types of messages that software developers embed to debug web applications.

These are just the things that one person found wrong technically with the web site. These aren't even the sorts of problems that you would see with beta releases, rather, more the type that would keep such a site from going beta. Yet, this isn't beta - this is live, with a 12/15/13 or so deadline for people to get signed up before 2014, and if they don't get signed up by then, they will be paying a penalty (sorry, according to CJ Roberts, a "tax")

Donal said...

The deadline to have coverage is officially March 31st but since you need to already have coverage by March the actual date is mid February. According to a Boston Globe story

Mark said...

As a software/project management guy, I'd bet good money that the federal system won't be functional by the beginning of the 2014, let alone this November. Too many domains are being crossed. (A domain is roughly equivalent to a business/bureaucracy.) Each has its own software/hardware infrastructure, each expects data to conform to specific formats, and each domain is justifiably defensive of its internal systems integrity.

IRS. HHS. State bureaucracies. Most importantly, private insurers' and providers' reporting and remuneration systems. These have to be integrated by law.

Most big insurers took a pass on participation. Besides the almost-certain initial negative return on investment, they would be the ones sued in edge cases. (They already are of course, but they deal with that by making money on the non-edge cases.) And the difficulty of actually getting ACA coverage means that desperate (i.e. edge case) consumers are going to be massively over-represented, at least in the first few years. Bad business.

And of course, Obamacare specs weren't published to the participating domains until after the 2012 elections for purely political reasons. The application site was the easy part of the project. We really have no way of knowing right now how much of a mess the hard parts of the project are in.

Inga, to put it in perspective, a college application goes into one (1) domain. Applying for private insurance? One domain. Medicaid? One domain, as I understand.

The domains that can cut costs by dumping covered individuals out of their books will do so. Those individuals will be left trying to get insurance from a system that doesn't work, and if they can't get the coverage the IRS is going to hit them with a penalty (or tax, according to Chief Justice Roberts.)

ACA is going to do wonders for the Tea Party. That's one reason why so many in Government domains hate the Tea Party with a passion.

gregq said...

Conservatives will point out that the group insurance market hasn't created, only the one under control of ObamaCare, and then continue to push for the repeal of ObamaCare.

The Nov 2014 elections could be quite fun, with the Democrats all nailed to the mast of the Titanic, I mean ObamaCare.

Rusty said...

Uh. Those "half a million" aren't even insured yet. That is the number of people on record as having successfully applied.

What was it that henry ford said?

"If you want to know how efficient the United States government is at helping people just look at the American Indian."


Why fully one half of this county's population aspires to mediocrity is beyond me.

Robert Cook said...

"What was it that henry ford said?

"'If you want to know how efficient the United States government is at helping people just look at the American Indian.'"


Given that our goal was to exterminate the American Indian or place any survivors in concentration camps, by that metric, the U.S. Government proved itself pretty damned effective and efficient.

Our goal was never to "help" them. Rusty, please.

Rusty said...

Wrong again Bob.

cubanbob said...

As noted above Cruz really beat the Democrats like a drum. Come next spring when the CR biz starts again he should push to have ZeroCare cover anyone drawing a pay check from any level of government be it federal, state or local with no waivers and exemptions. And no delays on either of the mandates. Bring this thing to a head so it implodes immediately.