If I was a smart Republican running for office, I'd scour that website every day, compiling info, reaching out to those that have posted, and finding out how many voted for Obama/Obamacare, and getting them in front of a camera to ask if this is what they thought they were voting for.
But no one in the administration has been willing to tell us how many policies have been purchased, and this may be the reason: CBS News has learned enrollments got off to an incredibly slow start.
Early enrollment figures are contained in notes from twice-a-day "war room" meetings convened within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services after the website failed on Oct. 1. They were turned over in response to a document request from the House Oversight Committee.
The website launched on a Tuesday. Publicly, the government said there were 4.7 million unique visits in the first 24 hours. But at a meeting Wednesday morning, the war room notes say "six enrollments have occurred so far."
They were with BlueCross BlueShield North Carolina and Kansas City, CareSource and Healthcare Service Corporation.
By Wednesday afternoon, enrollments were up to "approximately 100." By the end of Wednesday, the notes reflect "248 enrollments" nationwide.
The health care exchanges need to average 39,000 enrollees a day to meet the goal of seven million by March 1.
Maybe hiring a guy that had no history or running anything other than political campaigns for the most powerful job in the World wasn't such a good idea after all.
The cancellations come as a result of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which says that health insurance policies that fail to offer added benefits, such as prescription drug coverage and free preventive care, can’t be sold after this year even if they’re cheaper. With the online site expected to face difficulties through November, Americans may have only weeks to find replacement coverage, and many may end up paying higher premiums.
Something else that is getting lost in this initial shuffle is the employer-paid health plans. The Administration is trying to downplay the effect of Obamacare cancellation notices, by reminding us that around 80% of people are covered by employer plans, or Government programs, and thus not affected by the mandate. What they neglect to mention (and what I think will be the true tsunami of Obamacare) is when smaller to medium sized companies realize that it is cheaper to give their employees a stipend (like a car allowance, or cell phone allowance) to be used toward the employee buying their own coverage on the exchanges, than it is to pay for employer provided coverage.
If that happens before Obamacare gets a large pool of young, healthy kids to join up, then the death spiral is accelerated even more. If you think folks are pissed now, just wait.
The proposal to extend the open enrollment period, which has been endorsed by 10 Democratic senators, is a reaction to the well-documented problems with HealthCare.gov in its opening month. With many people having trouble applying for insurance through the website, and the administration setting a Nov. 30 deadline for the site to be fully functional, the senators say people need more time to sign up for coverage. The enrollment period is scheduled to end March 31. The senators haven't asked for a specific new end date yet.
But expect to start hearing a significant amount of pushback from the industry, with a message focused on the fact that insurance premiums could skyrocket in 2015 if the enrollment period is extended.
"We are focused on educating lawmakers and the broader policy community about why the individual mandate and defined open enrollment periods are essential to achieving broad participation in the marketplaces," Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans, a major industry lobbying group, told TPM. "Without these enrollment incentives, many young, healthy people may wait to purchase coverage until they need it, driving up premiums for everyone else."
The problem, according to the industry, is that an extended enrollment period could skew their calculations for 2015 premiums. Here's why.
Right now, insurers need to submit 2015 rates to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services between April 1 and April 30, 2014. If the enrollment period ends in March, as currently scheduled, insurers will know exactly what their customer base looks like as they make projections about their 2015 rates.
But if people can still sign up after March 31, either while or after insurers are making those calculations, it creates a few problems. Here's the big one: Most experts assume that young and healthy people -- who are crucial to making the law's finances work by offsetting the costs of sicker and older enrollees -- are more likely to wait till the last possible moment or until they get sick to sign up for insurance.
If that's true and they can't be accounted for when insurers are projecting their 2015 rates because of extended enrollment, that could lead to an older and sicker pool when those calculations for 2015 are being made. That would likely increase rates. And generally, the uncertainty about the pools could cause insurers to err on the side of caution.
"We think it's important for everyone to understand that the individual mandate is critical to making the insurance reforms work and to ensuring affordable coverage for consumers," the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association said in a statement to TPM ."Unless everyone is covered, the reforms included in this law fundamentally do not work. An extension of the open enrollment season is effectively a delay of the individual mandate, with the same serious consequences for consumers."
The Insurance Companies are following the rules (as written by Democrats). While the President has been happy to change/break the rules on a whim (exemptions, etc.), if it is done this time around, it will have devastating results.
Way to go, Democrats! Way to go by ram this piece of shit through the system using parliamentary tricks, way to go by not reading what was in it, and way to go by doing it with zero Republican support.
If the GOP finds a way to somehow screw up the golden ticket for the 2014 elections (full repeal, reminding people who is responsible for their loss in coverage, premium increases, etc.), then God help this Country.
Sure was a good thing that the MSM focused on Mitt Romney cutting another kid's hair in high school, how his dog once rode on top of a car, and that he had binders full of women during the last election cycle, wasn't it?
The witness who coughed up the intriguing tidbit about Obamacare’s exemption from privacy protections was one Cheryl Campbell of something called CGI. This rang a vague bell with me. CGI is not a creative free spirit from Jersey City with an impressive mastery of Twitter, but a Canadian corporate behemoth. Indeed, CGI is so Canadian their name is French: Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique. Their most famous government project was for the Canadian Firearms Registry. The registry was estimated to cost in total $119 million, which would be offset by $117 million in fees. That’s a net cost of $2 million. Instead, by 2004 the CBC (Canada’s PBS) was reporting costs of some $2 billion — or a thousand times more expensive.
Yeah, yeah, I know, we’ve all had bathroom remodelers like that. But in this case the database had to register some 7 million long guns belonging to some two-and-a-half to three million Canadians. That works out to almost $300 per gun — or somewhat higher than the original estimate for processing a firearm registration of $4.60. Of those $300 gun registrations, Canada’s auditor general reported to parliament that much of the information was either duplicated or wrong in respect to basic information such as names and addresses.
Also, there was a 1-800 number, but it wasn’t any use.
So it was decided that the sclerotic database needed to be improved.
About President Obama’s remarks on Monday in the Rose Garden on the matter of the problems plaguing the Affordable Care Act and, specifically, healthcare.gov, it seemed to me that they served a valuable purpose, at least to this extent: They distilled the Obama presidency to some of its core qualities: (a) detachment from reality; (b) misleading in its claims; (c) deeply polarizing and partisan; and (d) filled with lame excuses.
But there was another noteworthy element to what the president said. I have in mind the pitiable quality of his remarks. Speaking about the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Obama kept insisting–over and over and over again–how good the product is, how really and exceptionally good it is, how popular it is, and how things really and truly will work out.
Methinks he doth trieth too hard. The president spoke about ObamaCare as if it were a work of art, one or two brushstrokes away from being a masterpiece. Which created the impression that the president is living in a make believe world.
Mr. Obama, who at this point in his presidency has developed certain stale and unhealthy rhetorical habits, mocked Republicans and said it’s time for them to “stop rooting for [ObamaCare’s] failures.” But the problem the president faces isn’t Republicans rooting for its failures; it’s that the program is collapsing on its own. The GOP had nothing to do with its development. The president desperately wishes he could share the blame for what has gone wrong. Except that every Republican in Congress opposed the Affordable Care Act. This is Barack Obama’s signature achievement; he and his party are joined at the hip to it. They are as inseparable as salt and water in the ocean.
The Affordable Care Act or close approximations of it is something liberals have worked toward for generations. It has been, for the left, a kind of talisman; to have had it codified in law ranks as one of the great liberal achievements in American history. Or so the left thought. They probably should have been more careful in what they asked for. As Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker put it, “The ACA is the most important liberal project in decades. If it fails, it is a complete disaster for liberalism.”
Correct. And if you go to the scorecard, you’ll see that the ACA is failing. That the great and mighty Obama seems powerless to stop it. And that ObamaCare may become an ever more complete disaster for liberalism than it is now. Which is saying something.
In the months before the launch almost every senior member of the Obama administration had a little calendar board tacked up in a prominent spot in their office. "75 days until Obamacare" it would say. The next morning they would tear off the page. "74 days until Obamacare" it would say. The message -- to them and to their visitors -- was clear: This was the White House's top priority.
We're now negative 14 days until the Affordable Care Act and most people still can't purchase insurance. The magnitude of this failure is stunning. Yes, the federal health-care law is a complicated project, government IT rules are a mess, and the scrutiny has been overwhelming. But the Obama administration knew all that going in. They should've been able to build an online portal that works.
Early on, President Obama like to compare the launch of the Affordable Care Act to Apple launching a new product. Can you imagine how many people Steve Jobs would've fired by now if he'd launched a new product like this?
So is anybody going to be held accountable? Is anybody going to be fired? Will anyone new be brought in to run the cleanup effort? Does the Obama administration know what went wrong, and are therr real plans to find out?
What's abundantly clear to anyone who reported on the run-up to the federal health-care law's launch is that the White House had no idea how badly the Web site would perform. They expected problems. But the full extent of the disaster was either obscured or ignored. Heads should roll for that. Changes should be made because of that.
Of course, no heads have rolled, and likely none will. How many people lost their jobs over the Benghazi mistakes? IRS scandal? Fast and Furious?
One federal employee leased a $53,000 take-home car with taxpayer money in apparent defiance of federal regulations and regularly billed the government for service at shops such as BMW of Fairfax.
Others charged the government monthly for family members’ cell phones and high-end TV packages and Internet at home — and even at second homes.
Managers freely made out checks to employees without requiring documentation of how it would be spent, giving $1,316 directly to one who said she was reimbursing herself for furniture she bought for a “home office” and using convenience checks to give workers bonuses.
Government employees used federal purchase cards to order items such as a $560 Bose stereo and $1,490 for two high-definition televisions that could not be located.
All of these examples happened at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, an obscure runaway government agency where the median annual salary is $120,000.
That amount far exceeds the national median household income but it wasn't enough for many FMCS employees, many of whom routinely charged nearly every conceivable expense to government credit cards known as “purchase cards,” according to bank records reviewed by the Washington Examiner.
Even the bank didn’t know where much of the money went, because it was paid using checks with an “illegible payee.”
Disgusting waste of taxpayer money, and this is just one agency. What is the true cost throughout the entire Government?
You remember what Nancy Pelosi said a few weeks ago, right?