Obama’s ObamaCare Problems Don’t Stop Even After His “Fix”

- November 15, 2013

NBC's Chuck Todd: "White House Aides Acknowledge The President Doesn't Have The Power To Mandate The Fix." PRESIDENT OBAMA: "The bottom line is insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be cancelled into 2014 and Americans whose plans have been cancelled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan." TODD: "But what the President didn't emphasize is insurance companies don't have to renew these policies. The President is simply asking them to extend this courtesy to upset policy holders. White House aides acknowledge the President doesn't have the power to mandate the fix." (NBC's "Nightly News," 11/14/13)

USA Today Editorial: "The President's Plan Is Less A Solution Than It Is A Punt." "But political necessity doesn't guarantee good policy, and the president's plan is less a solution than it is a punt. Obama announced that the administration would allow canceled plans to be renewed for at least a year, which will probably ease the complaints of more than 4 million people in the individual market who've received cancellation notices since the Obamacare online marketplaces opened on Oct. 1. But there will be a dangerous rebound effect." (Editorial, "Obama Prescribes Ugly Fix For Obamacare," USA Today , 11/15/13)

  • USA Today Editorial: "The Other Big Problem With Obama's Plan Is That A Lot Of People Still Might Not Be Able To Keep Policies They Like. Insurers Don't Have To Renew The Expiring Policies, And State Insurance Commissions Don't Have To Approve Them." (Editorial, "Obama Prescribes Ugly Fix For Obamacare," USA Today , 11/15/13)

Less Than One Day After Obama Tried To Fix The Problem He Created, More States Announced Cancelled Health Plans

More Than 23,000 Hawaiians Could Lose Their Health Coverage Due To ObamaCare. "Thousands of Hawaii residents are being threatened with the cancellation of their individual health insurance policies because they don't meet requirements under the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's signature legislation. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii says about 5 percent of its members could be impacted, or roughly 11,000 residents. 'As required by law, we informed these members that their non-compliant plans will be withdrawn, but that we are ready to continue their coverage in new, ACA-compliant products in 2014,' read a statement from the insurance carrier. As many as 12,400 individual policy holders covered by the Hawaii Medical Service Association, or HMSA, are also threatened with cancellations." ("More Than 23,000 In Hawaii Could Lose Health Insurance Policies," KITV , 11/15/13)

"Tens Of Thousands Of Other Mainers Will See Their Coverage Changed Or Cancelled" Because Of ObamaCare. "Tens of thousands of other Mainers will see their coverage changed or cancelled. Anthem, the largest insurer in Maine's individual market, has notified about 8,500 Maine policyholders that their plan will be canceled and replaced with the most comparable ACA-compliant plan, according to the state insurance bureau. The new plans would take effect Jan. 1, 2014, unless the policyholder chooses different coverage. Pultz didn't receive one of those letters, but said she expects it to be among a subsequent batch of notifications based on her communications with Anthem. Mega Life and Health, the other major player in Maine's individual market, at the end of October sent early renewal notices to its nongrandfathered policyholders, affecting about 6,200 individuals. Customers were told their plans would be renewed on Dec. 31, and those who wanted to keep their coverage could hang onto it through the end of next year, with some minimal changes required under the Affordable Care Act, according to the bureau." ("Maine Health Plans Canceled As Obama Unveils Fix," Bangor Daily News , 11/15/13)

Higher Premiums And Deductibles Could Plague ObamaCare After Enrollment Data Shows Signups Skewed Toward The Sick And Old

States Are Reporting That "Older People With Medical Problems" Are Signing Up For In The ObamaCare Exchange. "Along with the paltry enrollment numbers released this week, officials in a handful of states said those who had managed to sign up were generally older people with medical problems." (Michael R. Blood, "Lack Of Younger Enrollees Threatens Exchanges," The Associated Press, 11/15/13)

  • Most Of California's Enrollees "Were Older People With Health Problems." "In California, the state with the largest uninsured population, most of those who applied were older people with health problems, according to a state health care official." (Michael R. Blood, "Lack Of Younger Enrollees Threatens Exchanges," The Associated Press, 11/15/13)
  • "In Kentucky, Nearly 3 Of 4 Enrollees Were Over 35." (Michael R. Blood, "Lack Of Younger Enrollees Threatens Exchanges," The Associated Press, 11/15/13)
  • Groups In Ohio Are Reporting That Many Of The ObamaCare Enrollees Are Older Residnets. "In Ohio, groups helping with enrollment described many of those coming to them as older residents who lost their jobs and health coverage during the recession." (Michael R. Blood, "Lack Of Younger Enrollees Threatens Exchanges," The Associated Press, 11/15/13)

Insurance Premiums And Deductibles Could "Rise Sharply" If The Young And Healthy Don't Purchase Health Care On The ObamaCare Exchange. "Among the concerns surrounding the rollout of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul was that too few young, healthy people would sign up - a problem that could undermine the financial viability of the federal law. The insurance industry has increasing cause for concern as early enrollment reports suggest a trend that could cause insurance premiums and deductibles to rise sharply." (Michael R. Blood, "Lack Of Younger Enrollees Threatens Exchanges," The Associated Press, 11/15/13)

  • The Young Are Needed To "Offset The Cost Of Carrying Older And Sicker Customers" That Cost More To Insure. "Insurers have warned that they need a wide range of people signing up for coverage because premiums paid by adults in the younger and healthier group, between 18 and 35, are needed to offset the cost of carrying older and sicker customers who typically generate far more in medical bills than they contribute in premiums." (Michael R. Blood, "Lack Of Younger Enrollees Threatens Exchanges," The Associated Press, 11/15/13)

If The Trend Continues, "Insurance Is Going To Cost More" According To The Vice President Of The California Medical Association. "If those signing up trend to the elderly and sickly 'your insurance is going to cost more and that will discourage those younger people from coming in,' warned Lisa Folberg, a vice president with the California Medical Association. Faced with steep prices, younger people could opt to pay a government fine rather than purchase coverage." (Michael R. Blood, "Lack Of Younger Enrollees Threatens Exchanges," The Associated Press, 11/15/13)

Low ObamaCare Enrollments Continue To Pose A Problem For Obama

"In Political Terms … The Numbers Are Yet Another Problem For The White House. "In political terms, though, the numbers are yet another problem for the White House, which is one reason Ms. Sebelius - and not the president - was to announce them on Wednesday." (Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Susanne Craig, "Health Law Enrollment Figures Far Lower Than Initial Estimates," The New York Times , 11/13/13)

National Journal Headline: "It's Official: ObamaCare Enrollment Is Super Low" (Sam Baker, "It's Official: ObamaCare Enrollment Is Super Low," National Journal, 11/13/13)

  • As Of November 2, Only 106,000 People Signed Up For Health Care Through The ObamaCare Exchange. "Only 106,000 people signed up for coverage in the new Obamacare exchanges as of Nov. 2, administration officials announced in the first official update of enrollment since the law's troubled Oct. 1 launch." (Kyle Cheney and Jason Millman, "October ObamaCare Enrollment Low," Politico, 11/13/13)
  • Only "26,794 People Bought Health Insurance On The Federal Website." "The federal government has been playing down expectations for how many people will have signed up so far, but the numbers released on Wednesday. The long-awaited figures show that 26,794 people bought health insurance on the federal website, covering 36 states." (Maggie Fox, "26,000 Signed Up Through Federal ObamaCare Website In First Month, Administration Says," NBC News, 11/13/13)

The Numbers "Fall Well Short Of The Administration's Early Goals." "The figures, which fall well short of the administration's early goals, include people who have selected a health plan, whether or not they have actually paid for it. The White House has been tamping down expectations for weeks, warning that they have always expected the first month of enrollment to be low, even before the problems with the website became clear." (Kyle Cheney and Jason Millman, "October ObamaCare Enrollment Low," Politico, 11/13/13)

Obama Should Scrap ObamaCare And Just Start Over

Chicago Tribune Editorial Headline: "Stop Digging. Start Over." (Editorial, "Stop Digging. Start Over.," Chicago Tribune, 11/15/13)

  • Chicago Tribune : "What Obama Presented Thursday As A Favor Looks Like One More Mess For State Governments, Insurers And ... American Citizens." "So, what Obama presented Thursday as a favor looks like one more mess for state governments, insurers and ... American citizens. Under the policy Obama articulated, the states and insurers aren't required to do anything. The American citizens? Under Obamacare,they're still required to have health insurance. Or pay a government fine." (Editorial, "Stop Digging. Start Over.," Chicago Tribune, 11/15/13)

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