Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Morning Washington Post Obamacare Schadenfreude

A selection of stories from this morning's Washington Post, illustrated with some random cartoons...

It turns out the governments goal was that 80% of people would be able to enroll in Obamacare.  Wow, a built in 20% error rate.  And they missed by a mile. goal is for 80% of users to be able to enroll for insurance
The Obama administration will consider the new federal insurance marketplace a success if 80 percent of users can buy health-care plans online, according to government and industry officials familiar with the project.

The goal for how many people should be able to make it through the insurance exchange is an internal target that administration officials have not made public. It acknowledges that as many as one in five Americans who try to use the Web site to buy insurance will be unable to do so.
The internal 80 percent target is the basis of a promise that has become an administration mantra in recent weeks: will “work smoothly for the vast majority of users” by the end of November.
We may not have his college records, but a minimum B seems to be a good guess.

Democrats are starting to run from Obamacare like gazelles fleeing a pride of lions:

Health-care law has changed game for Democrats looking to 2014 election
Among the 39 Democrats who defected on Friday and voted with the GOP to delay a key health-care provision was Rep. Bruce Braley (Iowa), a reliably liberal vote for much of Obama’s agenda in his first term. Braley is the consensus Democratic nominee for the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) — a seat that Democrats have held for 33 of the past 39 years. Braley represents a district that the president won by 14 percentage points in 2012 and he wants to represent a state Obama won twice but, as evidenced by his vote Friday, Braley has begun to put some political distance between himself and the president.
Remember, the lions get the slow starters, and the slow a weak ones.

Nothing like a little heresy accusation to get the juices flowing in DC:

D.C. insurance commissioner fired a day after questioning Obamacare fix
A day after he questioned President Obama’s decision to unwind a major tenet of the health-care law and said the nation’s capital might not go along, D.C. insurance commissioner William P. White was fired.

White was called into a meeting Friday afternoon with one of Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s (D) top deputies and told that the mayor “wants to go in a different direction,” White told The Washington Post on Saturday.

White said the mayoral deputy never said that he was being asked to leave because of his Thursday statement on health care. But he said the timing was hard to ignore. Roughly 24 hours later, White said, he was “basically being told, ‘Thanks, but no thanks.’ ”

White was one of the first insurance commissioners in the nation last week to push back against Obama’s attempt to smooth over part of the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act: millions of unexpected cancellations of insurance plans.
“The action today undercuts the purpose of the exchanges, including the District’s DC Health Link, by creating exceptions that make it more difficult for them to operate,” the statement said.

He also pointed to a statement issued by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that said the Obama order “threatens to undermine the new market, and may lead to higher premiums and market disruptions in 2014 and beyond.”

“We concur with that assessment,” White said Thursday.

My dad used to tell a story about how one of the old Cuban dictators once ordered a crew of four to move a grand piano upstairs into a small room.  The men said it was impossible, so he shot one of them on the spot.  The remaining three carried the piano up the stairs.

Who had the worst week in Washington? President Obama.
Here’s what the new health-care law isn’t: iTunes . Or Amazon . Or Travelocity . Or a seat-belt-less car . Here’s what it is: a massive political problem for President Obama and Democrats running for re election in 2014.

That reality became clear this past week as Obama tried unsuccessfully to analogize and apologize himself out of a corner.
And then there was this gem, on his disproven pledge that if you like your insurance, you can keep it: “The way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate.”
When you've sorta lost Kathleen Parker...

The sinking ship of Obamacare
Let’s recap: If you like your insurance policy, you can keep it. No, wait. If you liked your policy, it was probably worthless anyway. Scratch that. If your junk policy was canceled and you still want it, you can keep it. Er, get it back.


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