Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Soft Serve Obamacare Schadenfreude

Smooth, sweet and creamie:

Obamacare Courts Death Yet Again
Just as those of us who covered the Affordable Care Act were investigating new topics to cover, the Supreme Court yanks us back in. Today they agreed to hear a set of cases involving the availability of insurance subsidies on federally operated insurance exchanges. (I will henceforth refer to this collective body as the Halbig case for ease of reading.)

Sounds kind of boring, right? Actually, this could severely damage, even potentially kill, Obama’s signature program. I won’t recap all the issues that an adverse ruling would create for our health-care overlords, but if you are interested in the details, read my write-up from this summer. For the rest of you, suffice to say that this case could ultimately determine whether the program survives, and if so, in what form. . .
Six potential effects of a Supreme Court ruling against HHS on Obamacare
1. Uncertainty keeps repeal flame alive
2. Americans lose subsidies
3. The employer mandate won’t apply in 36 states
4. The individual mandate would apply to fewer people
5. Life gets harder for Republican governors
6. Obamacare gets re-opened by Congress
Washington Fact Checker gives 3 Pinocchios to Obama’s claim that Obamacare has reduced health-care inflation ‘every single year’ since it was passed

Three out of four, with three signifying:
Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.
When re-calibrated for Glenn Kessler's and the Washington Post's liberal bias, this translates roughly as "Pants on Fire!"

Speaking of re-calibration, HHS used the fuss over the election to hide the news that they have halved the projection for Obamacare signups in 2015.
Federal health officials are projecting that ObamaCare enrollment will include at least 3.1 million fewer people next year than congressional budget analysts thought.

HHS, which previously declined to project 2015 sign-ups, said that between 9 million and 9.9 million people are expected to participate in the exchanges in 2015.

The figure was less than the CBO’s projection of 13 million for 2015 enrollment, raising questions about the exchanges' performance, compared with expectations.
And Obamacare enrollment for 2014 has been quietly revised downward from 8 million to 7 million people.
In the first enrollment, which lasted from Oct. 1, 2013, through April of this year, the administration initially appeared poised to fall well short of the CBO’s 7 million customer estimate. But after several deadline delays and feverish work to fix botched federal and state websites, the government said it enrolled 8 million and, of those, 7.1 million have paid their premiums and retained coverage.
HHS projects 5.9 million, or 83 percent, of initial customers will re-enroll.
But it's working!

Dr. Jonathon Gruber, one of the primary architects of Obamacare brags about pulling one over on the American public:
This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass. It’s a second-best argument. Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.
Is there a more naked statement of "the end justifies the means" than that?

Wombat-socho chose to hold Rule Five Sunday on Monday this week.

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