Not much going on here. The weather is still cool, 45 F, but with the promise of a warm up later today, under partly cloudy skies. No wind to speak of, but the direction is switching around wildly suggesting changes to come. Obamacare Schadenfreude, well it's kind of drags on too. I'm thinking of stopping this series due to the paucity of new material.
Obama spikes the football on ObamaCare
There are still key details that the White House hasn’t included in past enrollment announcements, and it didn’t this time either. The numbers still don’t say how many of the 8 million people have paid their premiums, because they’re not officially enrolled until they’ve paid. The best estimates from the insurance industry have suggested that anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent haven’t paid yet, though at least some of those have been trying and some will likely settle their bills.George Condon: The debate over ObamaCare is hardly “over”
And the numbers still don’t tell us how many of the new customers were uninsured before, and how many were just swapping out one health insurance plan for another.
In fact, the Obama administration didn’t release a full enrollment report on Thursday, as was widely expected. Instead, it just circulated the topline figures in the White House fact sheet, which gave health care experts — and the critics — less information to go on.
President Obama opened his press conference Thursday with a bold proclamation that "the repeal debate is and should be over." But his declaration of victory in the long-running war over his health care overhaul did not last long. Only five questions later, he was forced to offer a softer, almost wistful acknowledgement of the reality that there are many more battles to wage and the debate could go on for years.Midterms may hinge on whether Obamacare losers outvote the winners
It was one of the fastest backtracks at any presidential press conference. From optimist to realist in less than 45 minutes. Obama the Optimist cited the sign-up numbers for the Affordable Care Act, the revised numbers for premium costs, and the good news on the expected life of the Medicare trust fund. Almost in awe, he declared, "This thing is working." But Obama the Realist admitted the Republican opposition has been unchanged by every statistic he cited. The GOP, he suggested, is going through the stages of grief. "Anger and denial ... we're not at acceptance yet," he said, though he added hopefully that his critics may get there "at some point."
So who has, in fact, been harmed by Obamacare? The first question, of course, is what "harmed" means. But let's define it as anyone who faces higher premiums, or higher deductibles — adding up to a total higher cost — and/or a narrower choice of hospitals, doctors and prescription drugs than they had before. For them, health care is a more expensive and troublesome proposition than it was before Obamacare.This democrat thinks he knows: U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch on Obamacare's election toll: It'll bury Dems
Everything we know about the system suggests there are millions of Americans in that position, but how many? "There is no hard number," says health care analyst Bob Laszewski. The reasons are as complicated as Obamacare itself.
"When carriers converted their old policies to Obamacare-compliant, it was typical for the insurance company to increase costs about 35 percent to comply," Laszewski says. "That increase could come in the form of higher premiums, more co-pays and deductibles, and narrower networks. A carrier might have only increased rates 15 percent but then created a narrow network worth another 25 percent, for example. Even when they did the above, some individuals might have seen a 15 percent decrease and others a 50 percent increase -- many demographic issues skewed the rate result. So, getting any simple 'it went up 34.7 percent' just isn't possible."
The bottom line, according to Laszewski: "We have literally millions of people each impacted a bit differently." That's hard to quantify and turn into a neat political argument.
We can hope.
Just in at Drudge: Obamacare Website susceptible to Heartbleed Bug
People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the confounding Heartbleed Internet security flaw.Ok then, now that we can be virtually certain that people who signed up through it won't be back for another year (unless they still need to pay).
Senior administration officials said there is no indication that the HealthCare.gov site has been compromised and the action is being taken out of an abundance of caution.
The government's Heartbleed review is ongoing, the officials said, and users of other websites may also be told to change their passwords in the coming days, including those with accounts on the popular WhiteHouse.gov petitions page.
The Heartbleed programming flaw has caused major security concerns across the Internet and affected a widely used encryption technology that was designed to protect online accounts. Major Internet services have been working to insulate themselves against the problem and are also recommending that users change their website passwords.