Skip to comments.Trainwreck: White House Issues More Frantic Obamacare Deadline Extensions
Posted on 12/13/2013 8:20:30 AM PST by Kaslin
We'll get to the latest on-the-fly changes in a bit, but what better way to mark Friday the 13th than to check in on the status of the website for America's least popular law? For that, we turn the floor over to Bob Laszewski -- a health insurance expert whose predictions about, and criticisms of, Obamacare have been remarkably accurate. Might this assessment be part of the reason why anxious Democrats are experiencing a relapse of the "fix" itch (emphasis mine)?
- As of this week, the 834 transaction error rates (enrollments sent from the government to the health plans) are better than they were in October and early November but are still running in the 5% to 10% rangea place they have been for a number of weeks now.
- The Obama administration has still not built the reconciliation computer system needed to clean up the remaining enrollment data issues between HealthCare.gov and the health plans. The health plans have been told to expect an electronic file in the next few days, containing what the feds think are the health plan's enrollments through November. The plans will then have to figure out how to reconcile the two lists and then fix the problems. Many plans will have thousands of enrollments to reconcile. There will be another such file coming in January for the December enrollments with likely tens of thousands of more names to reconcile. That means that any December errors will have to be fixed before people can be covered, thereby creating additional customer service issues until the files can be cleaned up.
- The feds can't pay the insurers their premium subsidy payments because a payment system has not yet been built. The government is asking the health plans to prepare their own bill and send it to the government for a preliminary payment until this is resolved.
Laszewski also points out the dual Medicaid snafus that continue to vex Obamacare officials. Click through for his synopsis of how unimpressive federal and state enrollment numbers have been so far. He also touches on a key point we've covered twice now -- namely, that only a small fraction of "enrollees" are actually covered because so few people have paid their first month's premiums (a requirement for coverage kicking in on January 1). In the surest sign yet that the White House is panicking over low enrollment figures and unsustainable risk pools, the administration is issuing a series of last-second extensions and "fixes," and "encouraging" insurance companies to pick up the pieces. Extension number one, aimed at horrific, deeply embarrassing cases like the family Dan highlighted yesterday:
The Obama administration moved Thursday to protect some of the sickest patients in the country from the possibility that they would lose health insurance on New Years Day. Medically needy patients enrolled in temporary high-risk pools now have an extra month to sign up for new coverage because of early enrollment struggles in Obamacare nationwide, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced. The extension seems to be the Obama administrations first tacit acknowledgement that it cant guarantee that everybody who wants to obtain coverage starting Jan. 1 will be able to do so.
The acknowledgement isn't "tacit." It's pretty explicit. Here's another SOS:
BREAKING: HHS requiring insurers to take payments through Dec 31 for Jan 1 coverage; HHS says consumers must pick plan by 12/23 at midnight CNBC (@CNBC) December 12, 2013
This move is being coupled by many insurers granting "grace periods" in which people can send in their first payments without their enrollment being voided on New Year's Day -- which, again, is required within Obamacare's regulations. Beyond all that, Philip Klein surveys the brand new raft of -- ahem -- suggestions HHS is tossing at insurance companies, and he sees a program on the brink of collapse:
On a conference call, an HHS spokeswoman emphasized: We are just proposing it as an option and were encouraging issuers. There is no requirement. Translation: HHS has a huge mess on its hands and it hopes that by getting ahead of this news, it can foist the blame for the problems on insurers. Of course, for insurers who have spent years designing plans to comply with the law, this would present huge and unreasonable logistical hurdles. HHS also announced there would be a "special enrollment period" for people who tried to purchase insurance by Dec. 23 but couldn't because of a "system error."
Among these non-requirements, HHS urges insurers to count out-of-network doctors and hospitals as in-network, for the purposes of billing and deductibles. This is totally unworkable. The whole point of the pared-down Obamacare networks is to hold down premium costs as much as possible. If insurers are nudged toward opening up the floodgates, expect costs to respond accordingly. And that's on top of existing sticker shock. When deductible and doc shock start hitting in 2014, the White House will try to pawn these problems off on insurers. Phil is right about that. It won't work, but blamestorming is what they do. Bottom line: The Obama administration is terrified that too few people are signing up for Obamacare, that too many of those who have enrolled are older and sicker, and that millions of Americans will transition from being insured to uninsured in January directly because of the president's law. An absolute mess.
Time for more repeal bills to be sent to the Senate.
Can you imagine if this went on under Bush? RIght now we would be going through impeachment proceedings. But alas Barry the Hussein can do no wrong.
And the insurers are playing along. Need any more proof that they are unindicted co-conspirators in this thing?
At what point does everyone drop the facade and acknowledge that this bill is not only undemocratic but illegal as hell?
Why did Barry not meet regularly with Sebelius over Obamacare? Answer: PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY!!! Where was Barry during Benghazi? Answer: PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY!!! Barry didn't know about the IRS scandal or NSA overreaches! PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY!!
The GOP campaign ads for 2014 just write themselves: a list in chronological order of the failures of Obamacare and the waivers Obama illegally granted supportive groups, followed by, “The GOP tried to stop it,” with clips from the passage of the defunding-measure, “The GOP tried to give them an extra year to get it right,” with clips frm passing the budget that had a year delay in the individual mandate, “But the Democrats in the Senate shut the government down so America would have to live with [reiterate the highlights or lowlights from the list of failures] and the usurpation of Congress’s authority to change laws by the President. This November, vote Republican.”
Run it in every state with a ‘Rat Senator up for reelection, no matter how “deep blue” it is.
The long term trend for the USA is not good. The govt will take over healthcare quicker than I thought and the Pubs have made it clear they won't stop it, because they think it's a means to win the Senate and Presidency. If they do win control It will be 3 yrs from now and I don't see how you undo the damage at that point.
I think you've got it. The more chaos the better. The more people in desperate circumstances, the better. The more insurance companies, hospitals, doctors adversely impacted, the better. The solution - mandatory government care and all facilities and doctors required to take government patients as a condition of being open for business.
Their greed is biting them. They actually believed the low claim people woyld actually sign up.
Great post... He’s the king of plausible deniability, and his sycophants use it to defend him?
To end PPACA enforce PPACA. Obama’s “decrees” are not law, but are exhortations to criminality. PPACA deadlines have not been modified, government agencies and businesses are violating the law at Obama’s urging.
The Executive has no power to make or amend law. Why is the Legislature allowing this usurpation of their power to make law?
It’s plain to see that is the plan... But at that point will this monstrosity finally be declared unconstitutional?
No Christmas vacation days for health insurance company employees.
All of this Obama drama currently unfolding is merely a means to an end. I fully expect an Obama Executive Edict to go to Full Single Payer as a crisis stopgap when the smoke clears- probably just before the mid terms next year.
Iirc the budget deal funds obamacare.
Anybody have an idea how it could still be stopped?
That was the plan all along. Make no doubts about it, Obamacare was designed to fail so that the next logical step would be single-payer.
However, that presumed the system grinding a bit more slowly to a halt, with rate increases - a completely predictable consequence of putting uninsurable people in the general risk pools - being blamed on the evil, greedy insurance companies. Instead, the whole thing has imploded before it even got off the ground, and it's going to be a very hard sell to let the government manage even more of the health care system given how badly they've messed things up so much and so recently.
That MIGHT have been the original plan, but as FReeper HiTechRedneck put it so well, they wanted "a soft fail, not a spectacular fall off the edge of the aircraft carrier fail." At this point the country wants the feds OUT of health care, not MORE involved. The ineptitude is just too overwhelming for them to walk it back now.
Obama has 10 more months to incrementalize Single Payer into reality. The “crisis” EO will merely seal the deal.
"The Healthcare Unification Plan," to be implemented in 2014 via executive order.
I’m wondering why boner hasn’t gone to court yet to force theOne to “faithfully execute” the law of the land.
I heard this AM that the total paid up enrollees to date is a wopping 40,000 ... So how long will it take to get to 7,000,000?
How many of those will die before they are treated, thus reducing the number of paid enrolled below the minimum 7M?
In case anyone hasn’t figured it out yet.
Obama and his minions are on the Health Care Train heading at full speed for the cliff.
Their plan is to have plenty of track on board, and begin furiously laying it in the air in front of the train as it hurtles off the cliff.
There are only two choices, both of which are horrendous, and both of which scare the hell out of me:
Choice 1: They believe it is going to work.
Choice 2: They don’t really care if it works, and it is all for show.
Probably sometime before the 100,000,000 Americans get their cancellation notices from their insurers in 2015.
The Capital Steps nailed him in this parody....”don’t know nothing about nothing at all”....
TOTALITARIANCARE will roll out WHATEVER, WHENEVER. 535 elite enablers backed by USSC are doing everything to assist it. Faux-opposition jockeying for mass-media facetime so they can argue along the margins, are for propaganda purposes only.
Choice 3: They intend it to fail and take down as much of the economy as possible to cause massive privation and dependency on Glorious Leader’s kind offerings to keep the serfs from starving.
No matter how bad it gets the Rats answer is more govt, not less. The Rats know they will take a big hit in the next election, but they will not stop govt control of our healthcare. They will argue that the problem is the private insurers and hospitals. They will claim Medicare is a huge success and all we should do is expand it. The media will back them and the people who think they can get something for nothing will support them.
If the Pubs actually fought to end obamacare, rather than hold symbolic votes they know are going nowhere, I would be optimistic things can be turned around. However, look at the next thing the Pubs are going to do, immigration reform! Now, that's really going to get the conservatives to come out and vote for them. (/sarc.)
They don't care what the voters think.
They know even if they lose the Senate and the Pubs keep the House that obama will not repeal obamacare. The country will get used to lower quality healthcare and the media will ignore how bad things are until the Rats are back in control and can expand govt to "fix the problem".
If we had a Pub party that would fight we might have a chance, but only the Tea Party is willing to fight.
“Probably sometime before the 100,000,000 Americans get their cancellation notices from their insurers in 2015.”
2014-15 is when there is a mass revolt against those that are bringing such ‘wonder-filled’ benefits. The Sibelius inspired ‘thrill’ will be gone.