Sunday, December 1, 2013

Obamacare Schadenfreude Catch Up

I've been mostly out of touch since Thanksgiving Day, so I haven't kept up with the trials and tribulations of the implementation of Obamacare, so here we go.

By moving the goal posts out to the 20 yard line, the Obama Administration claims to have met it's goal of having the website fixed by today:
Government and outside technical employees worked through the night on the latest upgrade, intended to increase the Web site’s capacity for consumers seeking to go through the early stages of registering for an account and then logging in. The upgrade was successfully completed about 4 a.m. Saturday, according to a government official familiar with the project, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe details that the administration was not publicly disclosing.

But it was not immediately apparent, the official said, whether the improvement meant that the site can now meet one of the Obama administration’s internal goals — for 80,000 people per hour to be able to register and 320,000 per hour to be able to log in — and added that the overnight tinkering was, at least for now, causing a slight increase in error messages on the site.

An official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency overseeing the federal health insurance exchange, said the site’s true capacity is somewhat murky because workers need to see how it performs under “weekday traffic volumes” when demand is at its peak.

 Administration officials have said for several weeks they define success as having “the vast majority of users” be able to navigate the site and sign up for insurance. While they initially did not define what that meant, White House press secretary Jay Carney said earlier this month that the administration’s aim was to have 80 percent of users enroll through the site. Those working on the project have set speed and error rates as a way of measuring that goal.
 However, at this point, the whole section of the website for actually paying for and obtaining the coverage is not yet working, and the website continues to send erroneous information to insurance companies, which will affect the policies obtained down the road:
But technical problems still affect's ability to verify users' identities and transmit accurate enrollment data to insurers, officials say. The data center that supports the site faces continuing challenges, and tools for processing payments to insurers haven't been built.
The plan is working so well, that unions demanded and were granted an exemption from one of the more onerous parts of the law, the "reinsurance fee,"  a tax on health insurance plans funded by multiple employers and bundled.
Indeed, the AFL-CIO has fought against what is known as the "reinsurance fee" in the Affordable Care Act. The temporary fee would kick in next year and is meant to raise $25 billion over three years, to help pay for the cost of people with pre-existing conditions signing up for coverage through the ObamaCare exchanges.

The proposal filed Monday would exempt certain self-insured plans -- those that do not use a third-party administrator for core functions -- for 2015 and 2016.
The fee would start at $63 per person next year, but then drop to a bit more than $40 per person in 2015. It would drop again the following year.
Since the  union plans are being exempted, the other "reinsurance" plans are being asked to pick up the difference.  It's good to have the president's ear.
Asked for clarification on how the change would affect other plans' rates and fees for 2015 and 2016, the HHS official said "it is true that the fee will be higher for plans that do have to pay the fee in 2015 because some plans are exempt."
In fact, the whole program is running so swell that another major mandate had to be delayed for another year:
Wednesday, the administration will reportedly announce a one-year delay in the Obamacare mandate that would have allowed small businesses to go online and get insurance for their employees through the website of the federal marketplace. The administration previously delayed online enrollment for small businesses, scheduled to start on Oct. 1, until the end of this month.
Clearly, the plan for implementing this law taking over one sixth of the nation's economy was well thought out by the interns and staff members charged with assembling the pieces of the law handed to them by the true believers in the left wing world.

Meanwhile, the administration continues to use the "carrot and stick" approach to dealing with the public perception problem of the program, buying favorable media outlets off with access, and using it's attack dog arm of the IRS to punish vulnerable citizens who dare to come forward with unfavorable stories:

UNBELIEVABLE: Cancer Patient Who Said He Lost Insurance Because Of Obamacare Now Being Audited By The IRS
Remember Bill Elliot who told Megyn Kelly that his insurance was canceled because of Obamacare and he couldn’t afford the new insurance, so he was just going to let nature take its course? Well since that interview he’s gotten his insurance back, thanks to C. Steven Tucker, and thus he’s found out his cancer is in remission. That’s great news!

But in an interview with Sara Marie Brenner this week, Bill Elliot revealed that he is now being audited by the IRS for the tax year of 2009:
and don't think you can get away with give aid and comforting Obama's enemies without risk:
Steven Tucker, an insurance broker who contacted Elliott after his Fox News appearance, said that after he helped assist Elliott with his coverage, the IRS “are now coming after ME all the way back to 2003.”
I'm totally sure that these audits are totally coincidental, and that no IRS official decided it might be good for his career arc to be seen attacking the enemies of Obamacare.

'Will no one rid me of this turbulent small business owner?'

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