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Obama Administration Announces Yet Another Obamacare Delay

congress-healthcare

In the three and a half years since the Affordable Care Act became law, the Obama Administration has announced numerous delays and exemptions to the requirements under the law. These have ranged from exemptions for specific big ticket health care plans, such as those run as “self-insurance” plans such as those maintained by large corporations and labor unions to delays in the requirements for employers to comply with the employer mandate. More recently, in the face of criticism regarding President Obama’s promise that ‘if you like your plan, you can keep your plan’ during the time he was trying to rally support for the law as well as when he was running for reelection, the Administration granted an extension that permitted Americans to hold onto insurance plans that don’t necessarily comply with the PPACA’s requirements. Yesterday, we saw the newest delay in an announcement by the Administration late yesterday that the requirement for small business employers to either provide health insurance to employees or pay a fine would be delayed until 2016:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration announced on Monday that it would postpone enforcement of a federal requirement for medium-size employers to provide health insurance to employees and allow larger employers more flexibility in how they provide coverage.

The delay is the latest in a series of policy changes, extensions and clarifications by the administration, and it drew a new round of criticism from congressional Republicans, whose scorching attacks on the law have become a central theme in many of this year’s midterm election campaigns.

The “employer mandate,” which was originally supposed to take effect last month, had already been delayed to Jan. 1, 2015, and now the administration says that employers with 50 to 99 employees will not have to comply until 2016 — allowing Democrats to placate business concerns and pushing the issue well beyond this year’s midterm elections.

The most acute shortage is that of basic IV fluids, a drug expert whose data was used in a watchdog agency’s analysis said.Drug Shortages Continue to Vex DoctorsFEB. 10, 2014

In addition, the administration said the requirement would be put into effect gradually for employers with 100 or more employees. Employers in this category will need to offer coverage to 70 percent of full-time employees in 2015 and 95 percent in 2016 and later years, or they will be subject to tax penalties.

oday’s final regulations phase in the standards to ensure that larger employers either offer quality affordable coverage or make an employer responsibility payment starting in 2015,” said Mark J. Mazur, the assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy. The purpose of the penalty, he said, is to help offset the cost to taxpayers of providing coverage or subsidies to people who cannot get affordable health insurance at work.

Under the law, employers with fewer than 50 full-time employees are generally exempt from the requirement to offer coverage.

The administration described the new policy as a form of “transition relief” to help employers adjust to requirements of the 2010 health care law.

But congressional Republicans jumped on the delay as only the latest maneuver by the Obama administration to sidestep the health care law’s legal requirements for political gain. Republicans denounced the unilateral move as a violation of the law and called on the White House to throw out all of the Affordable Care Act’s coverage mandates.

“The White House seems to have a new exemption from its failed law for a different group each month,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, who is in a competitive race himself. “It’s time to extend that exemption to families and individuals — not just businesses.”

But the House Democratic leader, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, praised the White House, saying the final rules showed “the administration’s commitment to smoothly implement the Affordable re Act.”

Not surprisingly, the reaction from the right is all about the President’s supposed “lawless” expansion of his authority. Douglas Holtz-Eaken, the former head of the Congressional Budget Office, put it this way:

[B]eyond the specifics of the new rule or the policy impact of these latest deferrals, it is yet another example of the administration losing credibility with the public, the insurance industry, and the business community over the implementation of the ACA.

Small-business owners have been trying to understand and plan for the impact the ACA will ultimately have on their bottom line and benefit packages since the law passed in March of 2010, and it hasn’t been easy. With the administrative agencies putting out rules on delayed timelines only to reverse them, releasing new guidelines every year, making important policy changes via obscure FAQ documents, and blatantly ignoring the legislative text when making these decisions, what is left of the law is highly confusing and disruptive to companies trying to plan for the future.

This law has never been popular, making concessions here and there for certain vocal stakeholders may buoy support or limit economic disruption in the short term, but it is unlikely to fix or create long-term support for this damaging health-care overhaul.

The Wall Street Journal, for example, put it this way:

By now ObamaCare’s proliferating delays, exemptions and administrative retrofits are too numerous to count, most of them of dubious legality. The text of the Affordable Care Act specifically says when the mandate must take effect—”after December 31, 2013″—and does not give the White House the authority to change the terms.

Changing an unambiguous statutory mandate requires the approval of Congress, but then this President has often decided the law is whatever he says it is. His Administration’s cavalier notions about law enforcement are especially notable here for their bias for corporations over people. The White House has refused to suspend the individual insurance mandate, despite the harm caused to millions who are losing their previous coverage.

Liberals say the law isn’t harming jobs or economic growth, but everything this White House does screams the opposite.

Since I have not read the entirety of the PPACA or done significant research on the issue, I am not going to speak directly to the issue of whether or not all these delays and extensions that the Administration has implemented are permissible under the law. However, if the PPACA is similar to any other piece of major legislation that Congress has passed over the years, then I suspect that they probably are. As I noted last week, to a large extent the expansion of Executive Branch authority that conservatives are now complaining about, mostly just because the President is a Democrat, happened because Congress has given the Executive Branch broad discretion when it comes to implementation of the laws it passes and, most importantly, in the area of making the rules contained within the Federal Register designed to implement the law.  For example, the much debated contraceptive coverage mandate is rooted in a regulation implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services under the authority granted to it under the PPACA to craft the specifics of what exactly must be contained in the coverage provided by employers under a PPACA-approved plan. If Congress objected to what the HHS mandated, they could easily change it by passing a law. As far as I can tell, not even the Republican-controlled House has attempted to pass such a bill. Legally then, I doubt that there’s any serious objection that can be made to what the Obama Administration has done here or in any of the other cases where it has granted an exemption or delay.

Leaving the law aside, though, one does have to wonder about the political implications of actions like this. It’s already exceedingly clear that the Republican Party believes that it has a golden issue to run on in this year’s midterm elections. The  roll out of the PPACA started the process went horribly, and things have only gotten worse with things such as the stories of people who have lost their individual policies because of the law, employers who have either dropped coverage or scaled back hiring because of the law, and numerous reports of people who have gone onto the Federal or State marketplaces only to find that the only policies available are ones with higher premiums or, even worse, much higher deductibles than they have been used to in the past. All of this is potentially ammunition that Republican candidates can use against their opponents in the General Election, especially in the crucial red state Senate elections where control of the Senate is likely to be decided. Add into all of this the fact that the Administration keeps delaying aspects of the law that it knows are going to cause chaos in certain segments of the economy, and the arguments that will unfold in the political world are blindingly obvious. After all, the PPACA were such a great law then why the need to delay implementation of any single part of the law?

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. mantis says:

    he roll out of the PPACA started the process went horribly, and things have only gotten worse

    Bullshit.

    After all, the PPACA were such a great law then why the need to delay implementation of any single part of the law?

    It’s apparently too complicated for your tiny brain to comprehend. Or you’re just playing stupid. Implementation of SS and Medicare was messy too. Big programs always are. Stop pretending not to understand that.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 25 Thumb down 11

  2. michael reynolds says:

    Bay Area enrollment is at 130% of what had been expected. Places where Republicans were not able to erect roadblocks of non-compliance or outright obstruction seem to be doing quite well with the law. Insurance companies by and large like it.

    People who’d had phony policies now have real ones, working poor people now have coverage, adult children now have coverage.

    So, as Mantis so eloquently put it: bullshit.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 7

  3. David M says:

    Health care reform was always going to be complicated, even if one of the two major parties wasn’t doing everything they could to disrupt it. The GOP are continuing to intentionally cause as many problems as possible, while claiming that the problems they are causing are a reason to repeal the law. Not all problems were caused by the GOP, but they are also using problems they refuse to fix as a reason to repeal the entire law.

    It certainly would be better if Congress was able to resolve some of these minor issues legislatively, but the GOP is still unwilling to improve Obamacare, so we are where we are.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6

  4. C. Clavin says:

    Dude..you are a pathetic hack. I’m sorry. There is just no other way to put it.
    Where’s the post on southern states having to bail out hospitals to the tune of millions of $$$ because they decided not to accept Medicaid expansion and the hospitals are losing money hand-over-fist on free-riders?
    Where’s the post about Wellpoint changing thier tune and jumping on the Obamacare bandwagon?
    Where’s the post on

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 6

  5. anjin-san says:

    The roll out of the PPACA started the process went horribly, and things have only gotten worse

    Bullshit.

    Amen to that. Utter crap.

    People who don’t live in good neighborhoods getting health insurance. Republicans and Libertarians very unhappy. Film at 11.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

  6. pylon says:

    The roll out of the PPACA started the process went horribly, and things have only gotten worse with things such as the stories of people who have lost their individual policies because of the law, employers who have either dropped coverage or scaled back hiring because of the law, and numerous reports of people who have gone onto the Federal or State marketplaces only to find that the only policies available are ones with higher premiums or, even worse, much higher deductibles than they have been used to in the past.

    The roll-out went no worse than Wal-Mart’s website on Black Friday, which was touted as a success because so many people wanted on that it crashed. Seriously – I have never understood how software malfunctions which may or may not have been predictable means that a law is bad. Did the law prescribe the software?

    The rest of the problems cited are either non-existent, the result of cherry-picking propogandists, or context free. Or a combination thereof.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

  7. pylon says:

    http://thegrio.com/2014/01/28/obamacare-success-overlooked-after-failures-over-covered/

    And yet, take a look at the successes: Obamacare has hit 3 million enrollments, a sign the administration has turned the corner on the healthcare reform law. And the White House has a fighting chance of meeting its initial goal of 7 million enrolled by the end of March.

    Further, with the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, more than 6.3 million Americans are now eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. As many as 4 million new people signed up for Medicaid since October 1. With millions of people who did not have access to healthcare or who could not otherwise afford it now having it, now that is what you call progress.

    Meanwhile, with 60 days left for open enrollment in Obamacare, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds more people are becoming comfortable with the health care law. Negative perceptions of the rollout have decreased from 76 percent in December to 66 percent today. And while 71 percent of people encountered problems on the health care website, those experiencing successes soared from 24 percent in December to 40 percent today.

    According to a poll from the National Association for Business Economics, the vast majority of businesses—75 percent— said that the Affordable Care Act will have no impact on their business conditions, while 85 percent said it would not change their hiring plans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  8. JKB says:

    Obama care – Unsettled Law

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

  9. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    Obama care – Unsettled Law

    Why don’t you write your congressman and ask for a vote to repeal. That should do the trick :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  10. mantis says:

    @JKB:

    Derp.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  11. JKB says:

    The beauty of this is the push into the next Presidential election. Congress, assuming it isn’t lamep-duck in 2016 due to Dem “retirements” is unlikely to take actions that year. Nor will the Dems want these bombs going off while they are trying to sell their snake oil for Hillary or whomever.

    So the next President, Dem or Rep, will want to avoid getting tangled up in Obama’s failed legacy. One of their first acts is to ask the new Congress in 2017 to codify the changes or not. That opens the whole law up for, um, adjustments. After the victims have had 2 years of Obamacare experience and are likely to give the 2016 candidates an earful.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

  12. anjin-san says:

    Obama’s failed legacy

    If only we could….. go back. Back before Obama.

    War in Iraq. Bin Laden Alive. Trillions in wealth vanishing. Hundreds of thousands loosing their homes. More that that losing their jobs. On the verge of an honest-to-goodness depression.

    If only…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

  13. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    Do you own real estate? Have a stock portfolio?

    Are you doing better today, or were you doing better the day before Obama took office?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  14. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    Run awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  15. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:
    Seriously….a delay at the request of businesses is a failed legacy.
    You overly dramatic little boy, you…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  16. rudderpedals says:

    YHBT

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: I seem to remember the Supreme Court making a judgment or two on the Constitutionality of the law?

    So you don’t believe in stare decisis, either.

    Not that that surprises me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  18. Tyrell says:

    @michael reynolds: I have a good health plan and do not need the government plan, but my plan does not have dental coverage (except treatment needed because of injuries) and not much vision coverage. Is the government offering a separate dental or vision plan? I have heard that there are some plans but I can’t find them. I called my agent and he is still looking into this. If anyone knows please let me know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. rudderpedals says:

    @Tyrell: Is useful dental insurance available to individual adults anywhere in the US? I don’t think there’s anything decent out there anywhere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. michael reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:

    I don’t know a lot about the specifics, but out of nowhere we suddenly acquired dental plans. Really. We have a Blue Shield of CA plan and suddenly up pop dental plan cards. Don’t know why, don’t know how, but we’re not going to ask too many questions. Some weird tooth fairy thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  21. al-Ameda says:

    In a related matter:
    Do you know what I believe would be a truly positive development? If Republican governors and their Republican state legislatures would get around to building their health insurance exchanges and acting in good faith to implement ACA in their states. You know, acting in the best interests of their citizens, that good government stuff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  22. rudderpedals says:

    @michael reynolds: Lucky! Certain unnamed afflicted regions of the country such as Fla do not offer policies with adult dental coverage through the exchange.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Rafer Janders says:

    The roll out of the PPACA started the process went horribly,

    True as far as it goes.

    and things have only gotten worse

    Lie.

    with things such as the stories of people who have lost their individual policies because of the law

    No one has “lost” an individual policy — rather, they’ve had to replace a substandard policy that didn’t really provide good coverage with one that did.

    employers who have either dropped coverage or scaled back hiring because of the law,

    Many employers have lied about this, it’s true, and blamed Obamacare for things it didn’t actually cause. But liars will be liars.

    and numerous reports of people who have gone onto the Federal or State marketplaces only to find that the only policies available are ones with higher premiums or, even worse, much higher deductibles than they have been used to in the past.

    Again, the only reason they had low premiums and/or deductibles in the past was because those policies didn’t actually provide adequate coverage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  24. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: get around to building their health insurance exchanges

    Here, let Governor Scott Walker explain

    Short answer though is the state exchanges aren’t under the control of the state, Obama, et al, make all the big decisions. Why would a governor spend the money to build something he doesn’t control just so the federal government can obfuscate accountability?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  25. Hans B. says:

    Law professors say the Administration’s action was of dubious legality, so it’s hilarious that the commenters above think that Doug Mataconis is being too hard on the Administration, when he gave the Administration a pass on that issue.

    If you go the Washington Post, you find Ivy League-trained law professors saying the Administration’s action was illegal:

    “Another day, another illegal Obamacare delay”

    “The Administration lacks legal authority to delay the employer mandate. This is another instance of rewriting the law while implementing it.
    By Jonathan H. Adler | Administrative Law | 6 hours ago”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/02/11/another-day-another-illegal-obamacare-delay/

    “Now Obama really is bypassing Congress”

    “President Obama’s new broad suspension of ObamaCare’s burdens represents a constitutionally dubious exercise in executive legislation, much worse than the minor initiatives to “bypass Congress” that he trumpeted in the State of the Union.
    By Eugene Kontorovich | Constitutional and Political Theory | 9 hours ago”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/02/11/now-obama-really-is-bypassing-congress/

    But, I’m sure the commenters above would just use the word “bullshit” to describe such legal analysis, since Outside the Beltway commenters can prove any proposition, no matter how dubious or contrary to the facts, just by screaming “bullshit” at the top of their lungs.

    The top two comments above scream “bullshit,” and the others eat it up. All too many Outside the Beltway commenters like the taste of B.S., especially when it is self-serving left-wing B.S.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 12

  26. David M says:

    @JKB:

    Short answer though is the state exchanges aren’t under the control of the state, Obama, et al, make all the big decisions.

    In other words, the Democrats passed health care reform and the GOP is still butthurt over it.

    Why would a governor spend the money to build something he doesn’t control just so the federal government can obfuscate accountability?

    Why wouldn’t a GOP governor want to better serve his constituents and help them get health insurance coverage?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  27. David M says:

    @Hans B.:

    Adler? LOL. He’s probably the least credible right-wing loon out there. People would be better off getting legal analysis from a magic 8 ball. Adler has zero integrity on any issue with political implications.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  28. C. Clavin says:

    @Hans B.:
    Administrations have always been given wide latitude in implementing laws so as to make the process as smooth as possible.
    Just because you don’t like the law doesn’t mean you can ignore precedent.
    The emancipation proclamation was an executive order.
    Give this nonsense a rest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  29. bill says:

    if it’s so successful then why are dems up for reelection keeping obama as far away as possible?
    the fuzzy math doesn’t help either, i won’t even go back to the dreaded “if you like your plan…..” bs- well kinda just did.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  30. JKB says:

    Here is a very telling chart. Seems there is a correlation between the passage of Obamacare and the decline in hours for low-wage (<$14.50/hr) workers.

    This delay of the mandate is unlikely to alter this trajectory since it doesn't get rid of the mandate or the look-back period. Plus, having made the accommodation, business are unlikely to restore the hours. To much volatility in what the law means, i.e, the law is unsettled. The Obamacrats with their profound lack of business experience probably can't comprehend forward planning businesses do to respond to government impositions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

  31. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:
    Yeah, yeah…Obamacare is the end of the world.
    You said that already.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  32. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:
    You douchebag…even the source of the chart admits it’s impossible to connect it to Obamacare.
    If you have to make shit up to support your argument… Then it ain’t much of an argument.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  33. jukeboxgrad says:

    JKB:

    Seems there is a correlation between the passage of Obamacare and the decline in hours for low-wage (<$14.50/hr) workers

    Seems you are full of sh!t:

    In CBO’s judgment, there is no compelling evidence that part-time employment has increased as a result of the ACA.

    Link (“The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024″). Download the PDF, and scroll to page 131 in your PDF reader. This is the new CBO report that everyone’s been talking about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  34. David M says:

    I’d like to point out that Hans [Bader] is still claiming that Obamacare increases the deficit. In 2014 no less, when the CBO reports have consistently said otherwise over the last four years. He also pushes the same kind of “job killing” garbage as JKB.

    I understand why anonymous trolls like JKB push this kind of nonsens, but why don’t people like Adler and Bader have any self respect? Don’t they care what this does to their professional reputation? Lying about anything and everything for the GOP may pay the bills, but it can’t be worth it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  35. jukeboxgrad says:

    Lying about anything and everything for the GOP may pay the bills, but it can’t be worth it.

    You know the old saying, everyone has to make a living.

    People familiar with Bader’s track record understand that it’s a mistake to take him seriously. Link, link.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  36. TarianinMO says:

    But wait…I thought those were only for the rich. Have a job? Have health insurance? Not anymore. The fundamental transformation of America is almost complete.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  37. TarianinMO says:

    A substandard policy as determined by the ever-changing law of the land. I’m sure these people should be grateful for the opportunity to have additional services they’ll never use and pay more for the privilege of having it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  38. TarianinMO says:

    Really, and the newest “tweak” has companies signing an affidavit that their change in hiring had nothing to do with Obamacare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  39. TarianinMO says:

    Yes, the website was part of Obamacare since it was touted as the best way to enroll. At best, the site could handle 50,000 at a time, maximum whereas on black Friday, Walmart’s site managed to have millions online at one time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  40. TarianinMO says:

    The enrollment numbers have been bleak at best. Besides backtracking on the 7 million enrollment number which the administration now claims was never the goal, they are finding that the majority of the signups have been people who lost their insurance because of their ‘substandard’ policies or enrollments in Medicaid. Estimates have shown that up to 20% of enrollees have not paid their premiums, the number of the ‘young invincibles’ is not enough to sustain the program. What about the promises of the program in the first place – keeping your doctor, keeping your plan, premiums decreasing? None of that matters, apparently, because the Supreme Court says it’s constitutional.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  41. TarianinMO says:

    The GOP are continuing to intentionally cause as many problems as possible, while claiming that the problems they are causing are a reason to repeal the law? Please provide examples of what the GOP is intentionally doing to cause problems.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  42. TarianinMO says:

    Administrations have always been given wide latitude in implementing laws so as to make the process as smooth as possible. Provide examples comparable to what Obama has done with the 12+ changes to the law since passage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  43. C. Clavin says:

    @TarianinMO:
    Of course your question is complete and utter bullshit because he has not “changed the law”. He has simply delayed implementation of certain aspects. The mandate will still go into effect. Just at a later point in order to make the transition easier on businesses. Why do you hate businesses?
    At any rate…I’ll play your silly little game.
    The emancipation proclamation, an Executive Order signed by Lincoln, freed between 3 and 4 million slaves in 10 states.
    Have a fine day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  44. C. Clavin says:

    @TarianinMO:
    Republicans fought Medicaid expansion and SCOTUS ruled in their favor.
    Take Georgia and Alabama…where those states refused to implement Obamacare or Medicaid expansion. They are now having to bail-out hospitals, to the tune of millions of dollars, becuase they are losing money hand over fist on free-riders…one of the health care problems that Obamacare is specifically designed to address. So a purely political decision has led to tax-payers paying more. Typical Republican hypocrisy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  45. JKB says:

    @JKB:Obama care – Unsettled Law

    Now with the new edict to businesses, that thou shalt not use Obamacare as a reason for making decisions about Obamacare under penalty of perjury.

    First rule of Obamacare: Don’t talk about Obamacare

    Obamacare is not just unsettled law, it is unsettling

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  46. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:
    More emotional hoo-haw with no basis in fact.
    Just a precocious little boy….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. stonetools says:

    Conservatives attack the ACA employer mandate because it burdens businesses.
    Businesses lobby the Administration asking for a delay in the employer mandate.
    The Administration responds by granting businesses that delay.
    Conservatives respond by attacking the Administration for granting the delay.
    Incoherent much?
    Doug’s response is particularly incoherent because he is quite happy when the Administration excercises its administrative discretion by not eforcing the federal marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington. Talk about pretzel logic.
    Now Doug might defend his inconsistencies by claiming “I’m not a conservative; I’m a libertarian.And libertarians are against both marijuana laws and universal health insurance, because government overeach blah blah blah.” Oh really? Well, if Doug is a libertarian, he should be familiar with Friedrich Hayek, one of the founding fathers of libertarianism. Here is Hayek on Universal health insurance:

    There is no reason why, in a society which has reached the general level of wealth ours has, the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom; that is: some minimum of food, shelter and clothing, sufficient to preserve health. Nor is there any reason why the state should not help to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance in providing for those common hazards of life against which few can make adequate provision.

    So Doug, you can stop your crusade against the ACA. You can be a libertarian and support universal health insurance. Let me point out once again that Ayn Rand, Ms. Libertarianism herself, ended her life accepting SS and Medicare benefits.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  48. David M says:

    @TarianinMO:

    Please provide examples of what the GOP is intentionally doing to cause problems.

    Refusing to build state exchanges, refusing to expand Medicaid, hindering navigators and program outreach, clinging to repeal, lax oversight by state insurance commissioners, baseless fearmongering.

    Also, your complaints about the number and mix of people signing up make it clear you don’t understand how Obamacare actually works, as there are 50 small insurance pools, not one large one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  49. stonetools says:

    And the new Obamacare numbers are out.

    Obamacare beats a January enrollment projection

    The Obama administration has beaten a monthly health insurance enrollment target for the first time, according to data released Wednesday showing that more than 1.14 million people signed up for health plans in January in the new insurance marketplace.

    The latest enrollment data from the Obama administration show that 3.3 million people have signed up for private health insurance through federal and state insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act. This figure represents all enrollment from Oct. 1 through Feb. 1. It includes both people who have and have not paid their first month’s premium. Of those people, 1,146,100 selected their health insurance plans in January, meaning there was a 53 percent increase enrollment last month alone.

    Yup, that Obamacare is in total collapse ;-).
    And those figures don’t include the six million signed up for extended Medicaid.

    Also too:

    Gallup’s newest poll shows another decline in the uninsured rate, in a survey taken in late January and early February. It found that 16 percent of American adults reported lacking insurance coverage, the lowest number Gallup has recorded since 2009

    It’s not 100 per cent clear as yet that’s due to Obamacare , but as the column makes clear, that’s the way to bet-and we will know for sure in a few months.
    What’s that again about things getting worse and worse?
    I’m betting that before election date Obamacre will be a plus for Democrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  50. anjin-san says:

    Walmart’s site managed to have millions online at one time.

    And Target lost sensitive data belonging to millions of their customers. Does that mean that capitalism is a failure and America’s corporations should pack it in?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  51. anjin-san says:

    Please provide examples of what the GOP is intentionally doing to cause problems.

    GOP members of congress refusing to provide constituent services related to Obmacare – basically saying FU to people in their districts who want Obamacare.

    Republican lawmakers say they anticipate a flood of questions in the coming months from constituents on the implementation of ObamaCare, which will pose a dilemma for the GOP.

    People regularly call their representatives for help with Medicare, Social Security and other government programs. Yet, Republicans believe healthcare reform spells doom for the federal budget, private businesses and the U.S. healthcare system. They’re also enormously frustrated that the law has persevered through two elections and a Supreme Court challenge and believe a botched implementation could help build momentum for the repeal movement.
    Some Republicans indicated to The Hill they will not assist constituents in navigating the law and obtaining benefits. Others said they would tell people to call the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    “Given that we come from Kansas, it’s much easier to say, ‘Call your former governor,’” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R), referring to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

    “You say, ‘She’s the one. She’s responsible. She was your governor, elected twice, and now you reelected the president, but he picked her.’” Huelskamp said.

    “We know how to forward a phone call,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/305777-gop-to-constituents-questions-on-obamacare-call-obama

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  52. bill says:
  53. C. Clavin says:

    @bill:
    Ron Fournier is a loon…but not a left-wing loon.
    If you have to make shit up to support your argument…it ain’t much of an argument.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  54. rudderpedals says:

    @bill: I don’t normally shoot the messenger to the messenger but this is an exception. Ron Fournier. You’re citing to Fournier??? FFS why would you do such a thing?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  55. Tyrell says:

    “Another day, another delay”: and there has to be another way. There are still reports of glitches, freezes, faults, gremlins, and other assorted technical problems. People spend hours registering and the next day there is no record of it, their personal data gone to who knows where. Also the security issue keeps coming up. Maybe they should upgrade from Windows 98 and ditch the Commodore 64′s. And there is some good antivirus and spyware protection available for free. They need to invite some middle school gamers in and they will have it fixed up in half a day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  56. bill says:

    @rudderpedals: well, it’s not like he’s glenn beck or something.

    remember who said this, while we’re at it?

    “You know I taught constitutional law for 10 years, I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that we’re facing right now had to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all, and that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States of America.”

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