Daily Archives: July 6, 2013

Obamacare Exchange Readiness: ‘I wish we had one more year’

‘I wish we had one more year:’ States are struggling to launch Obamacare on time.

From dream….

“In 2011, there was this ‘we’re going to save the world’ mentality,” said Rebecca Pearce, executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. “In 2013, it focuses more on how do we deliver on the requirements of the law.”

To hard cold reality…

Facing tight deadlines and daunting workloads, states across the country are scaling back ambitions for implementing the Affordable Care Act.

At a monthly board meeting of Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, members of the standing-room-only crowd got a reminder that they, too, were behind schedule. The insurance marketplace they were working on nights and weekends won’t be completely ready on time.

“It is highly complex, it’s unprecedented and it’s not going to be smooth,” Kevin Counihan, chief executive of the state’s exchange, Access Health CT, told the group.

That’s why Connecticut — like other states across the country — has lowered the bar, doing what it can in the time it has left before the health-care law’s major programs are launched Oct. 1. (emphasis added – Ed)

Although the states are promising to provide new marketplaces for individuals to compare and buy health insurance plans, the Web portals will be a bare-bones version of what was initially envisioned.

Have none of these poeple ever worked in the real world with deadlines before? Don’t answer that.


Obama Gets Last Laugh on Health Law

Obama Gets Last Laugh on Health Law | Fox News.

The law, called “the most complex piece of legislation ever passed by the United States Congress” and “beyond comprehension” by one of its principle architects in the Senate, will lead employers facing penalties to lots of different conclusions about what to do under the new regulations and taxes imposed.

For some, it will be cheaper to pay fines and dump workers onto the government program. For others, it will make more sense to offer compliant plans.

But Obama’s move to delay those penalties certainly provides considerable incentive for some companies to get out of the insurance racket altogether, and do it in a hurry. One can expect plenty of workers to hear unhappy news this fall as human resources departments make announcements that rather than the usual “open enrollment,” there will be a workshop for how to sign up for the Obamacare “insurance exchange.”

Seems like there are a lot of both corporate and government resources that could be put to more productive uses. The uncertainty can’t be good for the economy.


Full comparisons of Colorado exchange health insurance rates, courtesy of consumer analysts

Full comparisons of Colorado exchange health insurance rates, courtesy of consumer analysts.

Remember, as we said in a blog Wednesday and in the paper Thursday, that these rates do not account for the subsidies people might get when they actually apply to the exchange at the opening on Oct. 1. These are what you would call the retail rates, but few people will pay full retail. These prices can be adjusted somewhat, either direction, depending on the applicant’s location, age and smoking status; they cannot, however, be adjusted higher for a previous illness, a key feature of “Obamacare.” The prices will also be lowered when people find out if they qualify for a federal tax subsidy; the subsidies are generous, applying even to families of four with income up to $94,000 a year.

I will post the Silver plan spreadsheet analysis that CCHI has created under the Obamacare resources tab.

My quick analysis comes down to this: Unless you qualify for a substantial subsidy, you will find these plans expensive. When it comes down to subsidy qualification, beware the family glitch.


Obamacare called ‘The fiasco for the ages’ – Washington Times

WELSEY PRUDEN: Obamacare called ‘The fiasco for the ages’ – Washington Times.

Pundits and professors are rifling through the thesaurus, looking for the right word to describe what the Wall Street Journal calls “a fiasco for the ages.” The Journal editorialists reminded everyone that they “fought the Affordable Care Act from start to passage, and we’d like to apologize to our readers. It turns out we weren’t nearly critical enough.”

The editors of The New York Times, Mr. Obama’s most reliable sycophants, are deep in mourning, but working furiously to apply more rouge to the corpse before it turns the parlor too fragrant for a wake. It’s summer, and they’re running out of ice.

Is there a way out of this mess?

Obamacare probably can’t be fixed short of dumping it and starting over, but this would require an admission by the president and his men (and women) that they’re as incompetent and maladroit as events reveal them to be. The president’s acolytes in the media hail the delay as a genius stroke of politics, something to get the Democrats past the 2014 congressional elections before “the fiasco for the ages” is displayed in full.

The president knows better. If this is a genius stroke of politics, he would have called the correspondents into the Rose Garden and, flanked by Cabinet ministers, announced the delay to cheers and applause.

As they say, read the whole thing.