Skip to comments.What’s The Worst Case Scenario For Obamacare?
Posted on 10/16/2013 1:16:16 PM PDT by 11th_VA
Consider for a moment what will come next for Obamacare, in the context of Ezra Kleins five thoughts on the disastrous launch of the program a bellwether of sorts for obamacare-logo_fullhow the administration failed to live up to the expectations it sold to the laws supporters and opinion leaders.
There are a few different directions it can go from here, but the worst case scenario hasnt really entered peoples consciences yet, in part because the insurers are staying quiet at the moment. The reality now is that the system is at least a month from actually working, and likelier two or (gasp) three, given the enormous range of problems. And that could make for a real disaster.
As it stands today, at most nine of the state exchanges are working but while some systems are being announced as fixed on the state level, fixed in this case means the ability to look at plans, not to actually enroll. And the fundamental breakdown for the federal exchange hangs on a decision designed to insulate people from the true cost of plans an approach which is now backfiring given the load it places on the website. The whole storyline is marked by a disturbing failure of basic technocracy: according to the New York Times, as late as the last week of September, HHS officials were still debating aspects of the site, including that requirement making customers register before shopping for insurance.
Democrats are scrambling for excuses: there wasnt enough money or time. The decision to delay controversial regulations til after the 2012 election slowed the process. The Republican governors ruined efforts by opting not to implement exchanges. The suggestion that cronyism played a role in the contractor process is already being advanced. But cronyism or no, the decision of those at CMS/HHS to take the lead in organizing the program despite an enormous absence of institutional experience may be the real source of the problem. Megan McArdle outlines the reality:
"Im a longtime critic of federal contracting rules, which prevent some corruption at ruinous expense in money, quality and speed. But federal contracting rules are not what made the administration delay writing the rules and specifications necessary to build the system until 2013. Nor to delay the deadline for states to declare whether theyd be building an exchange, in the desperate hope that a few more governors might decide in February 2013! to build a state system after all. Any state that decided to start such a project at that late date would have had little hope of building anything that worked, but presumably angry voters would be calling the governor instead of HHS. Federal contracting codes, so far as I am aware, do not emit intoxicating gases that might have caused senior HHS officials to decide that it was a good idea to take on the role of lead contractor a decision equivalent to someone who has never even hung a picture deciding that they should become their own general contractor and build a house. Nor can those rules explain their lunatic response when they were told that the system was not working failure was not an option.
But whether these excuses work with the public or not, the worst case scenario for Obamacare is now entering the realm of possibility: what if it just doesnt work, and continues not to work, a month from now? The deadlines for achieving coverage are approaching fast. The political reality is that its impossible to legally require people to sign up for something when the system just wont let them. If a month from now we are still seeing a fail rate of significance within these systems, where people trying to enroll are turned away as often (or more often!) than they get through, the pressure from non-partisan actors is going to explode for a delay of major aspects of the law. It will be a murmur at first, but if it continues to grow, there will have to be a Congressional response.
One factor to consider here is that the consultants involved for the federal and state exchanges have a good deal of overlap. It would be one thing if it were just a few states having issues they could prioritize the major states over the minor ones but the fact that the problems are worst for the federal exchange means none of the states are going to get significant attention until thats taken care of. This could mean smaller states get attention last, leaving their citizens incapable of purchasing the coverage theyre legally required to get. The potential for legal challenges coming out of this is massive if the mandate/penalty is not delayed. But to solve the practical problem requires steps beyond just the individual mandate delay or extending open enrollment for the entire year were talking about actually taking the exchanges offline (insurers would presumably honor the handful of plans already sold through them) in order to fix them. That process could take months of work and millions more in taxpayer dollars and set us up to do this whole thing again in October of 2014.
So whats the worst case scenario? Honestly, its this: if this is as big of a failure as it looks like at the moment, and the problems are not fixed within the next two months, the Obamacare project could end up backfiring in a way that could have dramatic effects on politics and policy going forward. It will contribute to distrust in governments basic capability. It will fail to live up to its promise, and wreck the insurance markets for no good purpose. It will represent the administration betraying its strongest supporters. And it may ultimately leave President Obama wishing John Roberts had ruled the other way turning him into a martyr for the cause as opposed to putting the burden of proof on actually implementing his signature policy.
I’m no computer expert, but there’s not enough bandwidth to handle anything close to routine traffic.
The worst case scenario of O-Care is exactly what Obama would like to see happening.
Mission accomplished — another nail in the US coffin.
You gotta be an industrial strength optimist-—March 31 is half a year away!!. If it lasts anywhere near that long I’ll bring a bottle over and we’ll share it while it eats itself the rest of the way. I don’t see needing more than one bottle when this hermaphrodite starts eating its own skin-—it just won’t take long.
One party rule is here.
Did you accidentally comment on the wrong thread? No indication that insufficient bandwidth has anything to do with the website failures. However, they'd love for that to be the case since it would be so easy to fix.
Why should he ask? He didn’t ask for the employer mandate delay. His Imperial Majesty King Stompyfoot the Bamster will simply issue a decree.
Other than your death?
Boycott the lamestream media. Cancel your Comcast/NBC cable subscription. And avoid businesses that employ ‘ill eagles’.
Even if the web site gets fixed, enrollment will be dismal especially among the younger generation. Given low enrollment due to the high cost and questionable access to the promised subsidies coupled with the likely repeal of some of the new taxes funding Obamacare, the system will go broke in a year and even more people will be without health insurance. The Democrats fix will be to pass a single payer socialized medicine plan of course exempting Congress and government officials who will enjoy a Cadillac plan unavailable to the peons.
Simple question. No one signs up.
“Make no mistake, the congressional fix will be single payer.
This was all planned”.
Yup! Here are some excerpts from the blueprint they are working from:
“In the USSR a developed socialist society has been built. At this stage, when socialism is developing on its own foundations, the creative forces of the new system and the advantages of the socialist way of life are becoming increasingly evident, and the working people are more and more widely enjoying the fruits of their great revolutionary gains”.
“Developed socialist society is a natural, logical stage on the road to communism”. -1977 Soviet Constitution
That train has left the station. No one is gonna want the Gov't to run healthcare again ...
You mean the fathers will be soaked because they have to provide the medical for the youngsters. Mama can get by with an individual policy.
Let’s not forget about this:
FRANKS: Repealing Obamacare by defending the Constitution
Obamacares Unconstitutional Origins - A. McCarthy
Obamacare Catch 22?
Look like the Dutch system. Four players that cornered around 80% of the market. Stifled competition and prices are around the same regardless of the company.
You forgot the most loyal democrats - inner city blacks who can barely read - they'll blame whites in general and President Bush in particular... and the MSM will quote them ... endlessly.
The boys at the New York Times would believe sh*t was lumps of gold if it fell from the mouth of an elite democrat. Obama's incompetents are in luck - they don't have to work too hard to find excuses. Even now average dems are blaming President Bush for ObamaCare's problems..
The last paragraph is exactly what they wanted. Single payer is coming.
And one more thing. Failure of obamacare will not hurt the democrat party. Their voters are in the bag. They’ll never vote for anyone else no matter what happens. Because whatever happens in never the democrats’ fault. I’ve seen liberal voters make excuses for obama and the democrats when you show them a fact. Of course, these same people claim to be moderate. In fact, they think obama is a moderate. They told me so.
Obamacare is a profit machine for the insurance companies. They’ll be collecting government force premiums but not have to pay out anything because of the high deductibles.