• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Poll: Obamacare Woes Lead To Doubts About Obama’s Leadership

Obama Sad Presser

The six weeks or so since the website rollout for the Affordable Care Act have not gone very smoothly for President Obama. From a website that can’t seem to function effectively, to people getting notices of canceled insurance despite his promise that ‘If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” to reports that people who have been able to get the point where they’re able to shop for plans are finding increased premiums and higher deductibles, the signature legislative package of the President’s first term has not fared well at all. Not surprisingly, this has had quite an impact on the Presidents poll numbers, most significantly his job approval numbers which have started to drift into George W. Bush territory in some cases. Perhaps most importantly, though, we’re now finding that the public seems to have serious doubts about the Presidents leadership abilities:

Washington (CNN) - Only four out of 10 Americans believe President Barack Obama can manage the federal government effectively, according to a new national poll.

And a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning also indicates that 53% of Americans now believe that Obama is not honest and trustworthy, the first time that a clear majority in CNN polling has felt that way.

According to the survey, conducted last Monday through Wednesday, 40% say the President can manage the government effectively. That 40% figure is down 12 percentage points from June and is the worst score Obama received among the nine personal characteristics tested in the new poll.

“A lot of attention has focused on the President’s numbers on honesty in new polling the past three weeks, but it looks like the recent controversy over Obamacare has had a bigger impact on his status as an effective manager of the government, and that may be what is really driving the drop in Obama’s approval rating this fall,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

Does being an effective manager count more than honesty?

“Just ask Bill Clinton, whose overall approval ratings remained high during and after the Monica Lewinsky scandal because three-quarters of all Americans thought he could get things done, even though only about one in five said he was honest,” Holland added.

Obama’s woes are not limited to honesty and his managerial skills. Fifty-six percent say he is not a person they admire, and an equal number say he does not agree with them on important issues. Fifty-six percent also say he does not inspire confidence, and 53% don’t view him as a strong and decisive leader. All of those figures are all-time records for Obama in CNN polling.

As is always the case, of course, it’s important to note that this poll, like all others is merely a snapshot in time and that we could find in a month or two that things have turned around significantly not only because the Obamacare roll out has worked itself out but also because of the deal with Iran, which quite clearly has not been poll tested. Or, we could end up with a situation where the PPACA roll out continues to move along clumsily and the tales of people getting their insurance canceled and being unable to replace it because the Federal Exchange isn’t working properly will continue to mount. Or, we could find that there are a whole new set of problems associated with the law as we pass the January 1st deadline when the new policies will start to go into effect. For example, there remain significant questions about how these various new policies are going to treat individual providers, and it may turn out that people will end up having purchased policies that place the family doctor they have developed a relationship with outside their provider network, meaning that they are going to have to pay more out of pocket if they want to continue going to the same doctor.

What is potentially troublesome for the President, though, is the fact that he’s not just looking at what could be a temporary dip in his job approval numbers. Instead, he’s looking at what could turn into permanent doubts on the part of the public about his ability to properly manage the Federal Government and, perhaps most importantly, his trustworthiness. As noted above, Bill Clinton was able to survive the Lewinsky scandal in no small part because, despite the scandal, he remained likable and trustworthy throughout the entire ordeal, something that House Republicans at the time never seemed to understand. If the public’s perception of the President’s competence and trustworthiness don’t recover from their current woes, then it’s going to make it more difficult for him not only to pursue the remainder of his agenda in 2014 and his approaching “lame duck” period but also to politically survive any future problems that his Administration may face in the final three years of his term.

Related to Obama’s declining poll numbers and the Obamacare woes, is today’s report in Politico that Democrats who will be running next year are becoming concerned that their party’s leadership is failing to see the potential trouble the party may be in:

Democratic leaders claim the bungled launch of Obamacare is just the latest news sensation — a media-stirred tempest that looks in the heat of the moment like it could upend the midterm election, but ends up fizzling well before voters head to the polls.

Some party strategists say they’re in denial.

And that perceived gap between party spin and facts on the ground is fueling worries that the White House and Democratic higher-ups aren’t taking the possible electoral blowback seriously enough or doing enough to shield their candidates. Democratic contenders in the toughest races are distinctly less convinced that Obamacare will fade as an election-year issue — and they can’t afford to just cross their fingers that things get ironed out or that Republicans revert to political hara-kiri.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a forum hosted by BuzzFeed recently that the rollout won’t “hurt us in 2014,” adding that “we’re proud” of the law. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in a recent appearance on CNN, went so far as to assert that Obamacare would be “an advantage” for Democratic candidates next year.

“Democrats will run on the Affordable Care Act and win,” she has also told reporters.

The White House, meanwhile, has come across as equally dismissive of Obamacare’s consequences for 2014.

“The fact is that [the president] is focused on delivering the access to quality and affordable health insurance to the American people that the Affordable Care Act promises. He’s not concerned about the politics of that,” White House press secretary Jay Carney recently said.

Polls, however, suggest Democrats should be worried. A CBS News poll released Wednesday showed Obama with a 37 percent approval rating, his lowest figure ever in that survey. Another all-time low in the poll: approval of Obamacare, which stood at 31 percent.

Republicans are placing their chips on Obamacare as their defining 2014 issue and putting their money where their mouths are. The Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity has launched a $4 million TV ad offensive targeting House and Senate Democrats on the health care law. As much as they might be tempted, those on the receiving end can’t easily flee from the law because many or most of them voted for it.

“We’re trying to deny what everyone knows is happening,” said one Democratic pollster who is a veteran of competitive congressional races. “Anybody who is halfway intelligent knows this is a big … problem for us. It’s impossible not to see. We can try to hide our heads in the sand and pretend it’s not a problem, but it is.”

(…)

while Pelosi and Wasserman Schultz insist they aren’t worried about Obamacare’s impact on 2014, the candidates facing tough races are acting worried. This month, 39 Democrats — the vast majority of them from swing districts — broke with the White House to support a Republican bill that would allow insurance companies to continue selling plans that don’t comply with Obamacare requirements through next year.

And some of them are taking a step further and taking shots at the White House. In an interview with CBS News, West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall — one of the 39 party-bucking Democrats — said he wasn’t sure Obama had the “legal underpinning” for his fix that would allow people to retain health care plans that don’t comply with the ACA’s benefit standards for another year.

“There’s a rash of polls out this week showing Obama’s approval going down and the generic ballot closing. That explains why people are doing what they’re doing,” Frederick said.

Some people, Frederick said, “are seeing this as a disaster and they’re trying to run away from it.”

If the poll numbers continue moving in the same direction that they have been, then you’re likely to start seeing Democrats at both the House and Senate level doing the best that they can to distance themselves from both the PPACA and the President while the GOP does its best to tie them closely to it. In either case, such a scenario could mean that you’ll be unlikely to see President Obama doing much campaign in strongly red states like Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia, Arkansas, or Louisiana, all of which have Senate seats that the GOP would very much like to win in 2014. The last time that happened was in 2006 when a lot of Republicans sought to distance themselves from a Bush Administration that was becoming increasingly unpopular, and we know how that election turned out for the GOP

Related Posts:

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. Ron Beasley says:

    I’m left of center and voted for him twice but I always questioned his leadership abilities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  2. C. Clavin says:

    You mean the incessant harping about the mistakes, while completely ignoring successes, is having an effect?
    Shocking.

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

  3. Jr says:

    @Ron Beasley: I don’t see why, Obama has been the most effective president since Johnson in terms of getting stuff done.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 9

  4. C. Clavin says:

    @Ron Beasley:
    Interesting comment.
    The list of accomplishments at just 6 years in is pretty f’ing amazing.
    Especially considering the reflexively obstructionist opposition party.
    Is that possible without strong leadership? Or is it possible it’s just another kind of leadership than expected?
    I’m not taking a position…just wondering out loud….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

  5. James says:

    He’s engineering a socialist takeover of America, covered up Benghazi, Solyndra, Fast Furious, et al and he’s also incompetent boob who can’t get anything done? Which is it?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  6. C. Clavin says:

    From the LATimes:

    Few industry leaders want to go back to a system that most had concluded was failing, as costs skyrocketed and the ranks of the uninsured swelled.
    Nor do they see much that is promising from the law’s Republican critics. The GOP has focused on repealing Obamacare, but has devoted less energy to developing a replacement.
    Healthcare industry officials generally view several GOP proposals, such as limiting coverage for the poor and scuttling new insurance marketplaces created by the law, as more damaging than helpful to the nation’s healthcare system.
    “The principle of providing the opportunity for everyone to get health coverage and of joining everybody together in shared responsibility is the right one,” said James Roosevelt Jr., president of Tufts Health Plan, one of Massachusetts’ largest insurers. “No one has presented a credible alternative.”

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-healthcare-industry-20131122,0,6474417,full.story#axzz2lOFR5hzM

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  7. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    I don’t know that anyone can effectively manage the federal government anymore. If too big to fail is to big to exist for banks (a position I sympathize with) what do you do about the biggest organization of them all?

    I am still surprised (assuming it’s true, and who knows) that he was unaware his signature achievement was in so much trouble, but the government as a whole? No one can manage it. And no, I have no idea how to fix that problem, though allowing the President (of either party) to get his appointees in place is certainly a step in the right direction since he has no choice but to delegate 99.9% of what goes on while we hope the .1% he can deal with directly is the most important stuff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  8. Todd says:

    Somewhere between 30-40% of respondents were going to have “doubts” about President Obama’s leadership no matter what was happening. All polls like this really tell us is how effective the “marketing” effort by Republicans, and Republican leaning news organizations has been in affecting the conventional wisdom … which is what the people who don’t really pay attention are expressing in these polls.

    As soon as ‘Obamacare’ gets working good enough that Jay Leno isn’t making jokes about it anymore, the President’s numbers will improve.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

  9. Todd says:

    The last time that happened was in 2006 when a lot of Republicans sought to distance themselves from a Bush Administration that was becoming increasingly unpopular, and we know how that election turned out for the GOP

    I’d be interested to see the political science on how often candidates who seek to distance themselves from their own party end up losing anyway … and whether the resulting depressed base turnout might have made a difference.

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand that elected officials have to represent their constituents, so it makes perfect sense that Mark Pryor is going vote differently than Bernie Sanders. But ultimately Red State Democrats (or Blue State Republicans) have no chance at all if they don’t at least get maximum turnout from their own base … and trying to appease parts of the electorate that are NEVER going to vote for them anyway just seems counterproductive to getting that turnout.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  10. JohnMcC says:

    According to the Original Post the current ‘approval/disapproval’ breakdown for the President is in a similar range to that of President GWBush. For proof, we are linked to a RCP poll average of 40.8% approve, 55% disapprove. In fact, according to the Gallup polls, Mr Bush dropped below 40% approval in mid 2006 and never saw another approval rating greater than the high 20%–mid 30% range.

    Actually, sir, there is a difference between those numbers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  11. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @James:

    He’s engineering a socialist takeover of America, covered up Benghazi, Solyndra, Fast Furious, et al and he’s also incompetent boob who can’t get anything done? Which is it?

    Not to mention:

    * – He’s a silver-tongued shyster who can’t put a sentence together without a teleprompter.

    AND

    * – He’s an effete, Ivy-educated snob who gets down and dirty with cutthroat Chicago-style politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  12. JKB says:

    Obamacare is the gift that keeps on giving, like Herpes.

    Even if they get the website working, they don’t have the back end working so how long do the insurance companies extend coverage awaiting the government’s subsidy payment?

    Then there is the reality of the “coverage”. Higher deductibles, that takes a long time to burn down. Oh, and higher co-pays. All for higher premiums.

    And going to your out of network doctor? That in the Obamacare plans is most often a 100% co-pay.

    And then they think they’ve pushed reality back till after the election with the rollout delayed for Nov 15 next year. But all that has to happen is an ad program “Do you know how much your health insurance is increasing for 2015?” Sure they don’t know, but they do have fears.

    Best of all, no matter how low Obama sinks, he’s a narcissist, he won’t stay in the background. 2014, 2016, he’s going to be out there “making news”. Democrats are going to have a real problem. I doubt Obama will be an asset even if his numbers rise. No one is going to run as a continuation of the Obama plan.

    The fact is, Obama is, from this point forward, a drag on the Dems. And wait until the Iranians test their bomb. Wham bam, thank you, ma’am.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 16

  13. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:
    Of course everything you ever type is wrong… So why should we expect this comment to be different? A lot of fact-free emotional swamp fever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  14. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Then there is the reality of the “coverage”. Higher deductibles, that takes a long time to burn down. Oh, and higher co-pays. All for higher premiums.

    I hate to tell you but that’s the way many employers have been, or are, moving now.

    Three years ago, following receipt of a notice from our health insurance providers that our premium rates were going to be increased by over 15% (for the 3rd consecutive year) we (in finance management) at my company directed our insurance brokerage to obtain price quotes for age-banded coverage, and including HSA-based plans with much higher deductibles. We realized significant cost savings, and we utilized about 60% of the savings to make contributions to our employee’s HSA accounts (which assisted them with their annual deductible payments).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  15. An Interested Party says:

    Obamacare is the gift that keeps on giving, like Herpes.

    There would be some merit to that if the president’s opposition wasn’t like AIDS, without the antiviral drugs being available at all…as someone pointed out above, even the health insurance companies are wary of the Republicans as the latter have no plan at all to address the health care problem in this country…

    And wait until the Iranians test their bomb. Wham bam, thank you, ma’am.

    Yes, I’m sure that will be followed by a live worldwide broadcast of Khamenei making all kinds of demands while stroking a white cat that is wearing a diamond collar…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  16. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda:

    That’s wonderful, but it isn’t what Obamacare was sold as.

    Also, HSAs are outlawed and the age banding seriously compressed in Obamacare.

    So what’s your point?

    Plus, those company plans are going up again as they are forced to add the unwanted Obamacare “features”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 11

  17. David M says:

    @JKB:

    HSAs are outlawed

    Not true. You’d think the least someone could do would learn the basic facts about Obamacare.

    the age banding seriously compressed in Obamacare.

    Are you completely unfamiliar with how employer based health insurance works? This talking point makes no sense as a criticism of Obamacare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  18. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:

    HSA’s are illegal? Funny…my insurance has an HSA component.
    You must be wrong. Or lying. Either is consistent for you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  19. C. Clavin says:

    @David M:
    People like JKB and Jenos aren’t into the whole learning thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  20. JKB says:

    I stand corrected. HSA are not eliminated but are limited. No more usage for OTC drugs. And higher penalties if you use the money for a denied purchase (non-medical).

    Age banding has been compressed from 5:1 to 3:1, you don’t consider that severe?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  21. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:
    You mean I can’t buy floss with my HSA? Holy limitations, Batman. No wonder you hate Obamacare so much. It’s clearly oppressing you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  22. David M says:

    @JKB:

    What is the age banding for Medicare and employer provided insurance?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. wr says:

    @JKB: Astonishing that there are four people here so sociopathic they upvote your for braying with glee over the idea of their fellow Americans suffering because a health insurance system might not be working appropriately.

    To all five of you: What does it feel like to hate your fellow human beings so completely? And do you think this makes you a good person?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  24. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @JKB:

    And higher penalties if you use the money for a denied purchase (non-medical).

    you were expecting tax deferment for non-medical??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  25. wr says:

    @David M: “You’d think the least someone could do would learn the basic facts about Obamacare.”

    Someone who cared, sure. A sociopath like JKB? Not sp much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  26. David M says:

    Question: why do the trolls keep making the stupidest possible complaints about Obamacare? There are legitimate criticisms, so why don’t they ever make them. Why are we stuck with this nonsense about HSA accounts and age banding?

    I support the ACA and I could do better job pointing out its flaws.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  27. edmondo says:

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a forum hosted by BuzzFeed recently that the rollout won’t “hurt us in 2014,” adding that “we’re proud” of the law.

    And now it becomes very apparent why she’s the Minority Leader

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

  28. David M says:

    @edmondo:

    Have you thought of an alternative to the ACA yet?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  29. C. Clavin says:

    @David M:
    If they had something intelligent to offer…well…never mind…don’t know what I was thinking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  30. JKB says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown:

    The tax penalty goes from 10% to 20%. Or for the math impaired doubles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  31. JKB says:

    @C. Clavin: You mean I can’t buy floss with my HSA?

    I mean you can’t by your over the counter antacid, allergy pills, wound treatment supplies, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  32. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:
    So?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  33. C. Clavin says:

    What Republicans are scared to death of…

    http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-78330065/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  34. JKB says:

    It hardly matters. Dems are set to hold hearings and introduce legislation to separate themselves from the Obama disaster come December.

    [One House Democrat from a traditionally safe seat based in a major city] predicted oversight hearings are “going to be ugly” come next month. “The more we find out about this implementation of the ACA, the worse it looks. The Congress did our job. We passed the ACA. It’s up to the administration to implement the law.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  35. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:
    Just curious…why exactly is it that you want to prevent others from having access to health care?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  36. gVOR08 says:

    With respect to GOP criticism of Obamacare as the federal website improves, as state websites work, as John Boehner fails in his attempt to fail at signing up; I think we’re once again at the, “Proceed, Governor.” moment. I’d think this was a cleverly laid trap, except the GOPs seem determined to walk into it with little effort from Obama. This sort of thing happens if you have your head stuck up your CEC bubble.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  37. bill says:

    @James: it’s like when Bush was in office- he was always the inept speaker who could somehow bring down the twin towers so he could start wars to finish off hussein and bring wealth to his oil buddies.

    but seriously, i had doubts about his leadership before he won his first term.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  38. C. Clavin says:

    @bill:
    Bush only won his second term.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  39. JKB says:

    @C. Clavin: Just curious…why exactly is it that you want to prevent others from having access to health care?

    I’m afraid you’ve got me confused with Obama. I didn’t impost “Exclusive Provider Organizations” that will in one county limit the 150,000 children to just 5 local pediatricians. Or imposing pricing structures that force insurers to severely limit the number of doctors in a plan. That won’t pay any portion of non-emergency care outside the home network. That does not include the best hospitals or doctors in their provider networks.

    So really the question is, why do you want to prevent others from having access to health care they have now and give them access to a much more limited network at a higher price?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  40. David M says:

    @JKB:

    First, you seem to be confused about the free market and competition. Second, given your constant confusion about Obamacare, you’ll need credible links for these to be taken more seriously than your claim that HSAs were outlawed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  41. JKB says:

    @David M:

    Oh, you don’t have to believe me. You wouldn’t anyway. These things will become painfully true over the coming year. Perhaps starting in December with Democrats running from Obamacare like rats on a sinking ship. The media is also starting to take note. There are some Pulizers out there in the stories they’ve left out for the last few years. And come January to June we’ll see a string of Obamacare reality stories.

    Now’s the time to just sit back and watch the fire spread. Well, for me, I’m sure you’ll be alarmed that where there is smoke, there is fire.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  42. David M says:

    @JKB:

    You post stuff al the time that isn’t true. Why would this be any different?

    Are there limited networks in Obamacare? Yes, but any discussion of those networks needs to include the people before with no network. And one plan with a limited network isn’t really news unless there aren’t any other plans available. I’m quite confident this is another GOP nothing-burger. One of many in their quest to make sure people can’t get health care.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  43. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    Even if they get the website working, they don’t have the back end working

    A data driven website has a front end, and a back end. The back end is part of the website. Part of what the back does is fire off user data to the insurers system(s).

    You should probably refrain from talking about things you don’t understand. Which will cut down on your comments quite a bit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  44. James Pearce says:

    @JKB:

    That’s wonderful, but it isn’t what Obamacare was sold as.

    Depending on who you listened to, it was “sold as” a lot of things. Death panels, a government takeover of the healthcare system, and, yes, I do think there was a guy selling it as an improvement on the status quo.

    For what it’s worth, I do think it’s funny that while the media and pollsters are fixated on healthcare, other more “federal governmental” things have been happening, like diplomatic negotiations with Iran.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  45. David M says:

    @JKB:

    I thought I’d spend some more time on this, as it’s almost an attempt at a reasonable criticism, albeit from the point of Obamacare should do more. As you’re in the “Obamacare. Bad. Freedom. Good.” group, it’s only useful if people don’t know anything about the individual health care market prior to Obamacare.

    “Exclusive Provider Organizations”

    They have been around for a decade and are a good choice for some but not all customers. Not all plans on the exchanges are EPO plans, so this is literally complaining that people have too many choices now. If it’s an attempt to criticize the simple fact that these plans are on the exchange at all, they existed before Obamacare and are the result of market forces.

    that will in one county limit the 150,000 children to just 5 local pediatricians

    A single plan with a small network is not a useful piece of information about Obamacare. It’s not relevant and no one should care about a meaningless anecdote.

    Or imposing pricing structures that force insurers to severely limit the number of doctors in a plan.

    Again, some plans will offer people the choice of smaller networks and lower premium costs. Given the high cost of healthcare, these have proven to be popular before Obamacare as well. I fail to see how this is a problem.

    That won’t pay any portion of non-emergency care outside the home network.

    So the government should have stricter network requirements on health insurance policies?

    That does not include the best hospitals or doctors in their provider networks.

    That may not include the most expensive hospitals or doctors. Fixed it for you.

    Maybe you’re saying the government should offer an affordable health care plan on the exchanges, to fix some of these problems you’ve identified. Something so the public has another option. You may be on to something with this public option plan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  46. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:
    Just another fact-free emotional rant generated by your ODS.
    Just be honest… Why do you want to deny those with pre- existing conditions access to Health Care? It’s a simple question.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  47. Cosmic says:

    Congressional hearings last week with the principals of the company building Healthcare.gov admitted that only 30% of the site was built. The front end. The other two major components are billing/actuarial, and the verification/integration with other government agencies (including Social Security, the IRS, and the Medicaid systems of the 50 states). The unbuilt portion of the ACA system is much more difficult to build, according to the testimony, and unlikely to be completed before the middle of 2014 in a best-possible scenario. That will wreak havoc with the insurance companies partnership. Just some facts and congressional testimony to mull.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  48. C. Clavin says:

    @Cosmic:

    Just some facts and congressional testimony to mull.

    Facts and Congressional Testimony are oxymorons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  49. Just Me says:

    Obama is a pretty bad leader-he apparently either doesn’t or didn’t care how the roll out was going or he did care but then lies about being unaware of problems.

    Obama seems to be unaware of much of what is happening under his watch-that or he is aware but hands us the “I didn’t know” excuse as if that makes his leadership look better.

    Obama and Sebelius had 3 years to make this work and failed.

    I do think Obama could save some face if he started firing people.

    As for Obama and Clinton liar comparisons-it helps that Clinton lied about a blow job and personal matters. Right now Obama is lying about government matters. Blow jobs in the Oval Office don’t affect my daily life but Obamacare and other government actions do.

    Also, it helped Clinton that he was very personable and charming. Obama isn’t personable although charming at times.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  50. David M says:

    @Just Me:

    Obama and Sebelius had 3 years to make this work and failed.

    I’m not sure what you’re referring to here.

    Obama is a pretty bad leader-he apparently either doesn’t or didn’t care how the roll out was going or he did care but then lies about being unaware of problems.

    Alternatively, an IT project had some problems so it wasn’t completely functional and was a little late. Not really a big deal, or a problem with Obamacare, especially given the way the federal government does procurement for projects like this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  51. grumpy realist says:

    @Just Me: Please provide us evidence of a large IT project that was implemented without a) problems b) cost-overruns.

    The SNAFU that resulted in this case does seem to be more haphazard than usually occurs, but it is well known in the industry that a hell of a lot of IT projects get done and then get thrown out because they’re such a mess. The only reason you hear about the government IT eff-ups and not about the company ones is because the latter shove everything under the rug and don’t admit their failures.

    (I’ve got my own saga to tell….basically a very large IT project that went off the rails because one of the middle managers pissed off the contractor who was handling the project, who stormed out with his stable of code writers. None of the half-written code was documented at that point due to time constraints imposed by the manager. Instant karma.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  52. JohnMcC says:

    I have put a few miles on health insurance over the years and have lately made a pretty close acquaintance with healthcare-dot-gov.

    My present (fairly expensive) employer-based plan pays SQUAT if I go out of network. It does not cover the level 1 trauma center nearest my home which is the tertiary center for really really sick people. Fortunately we haven’t had to go there. The little commuity hospital nearby has handled my wife’s breast cancer and my knee arthroscopy for almost nothing once we met our annual deductables. We do not have co-pays for in-network MDs including stuff like my wife’s echocardiograms or my MRI. So even though we have to be careful about the network, it’s all good.

    The insurers love to make choices for us and reward us for being good patients/customers. Nothing is new about this; they can cut deals and save themselves loads of money that way. And to tell the truth, it’s not a bad thing as long as the network includes competent practitioners.

    But — to take up Mr/Ms JKB’s complaint — if I did have a problem with the fact of being in the network, here’s what I could do about it: Quit my job.

    When I go on the exchange (because I’m 68 yrs old and have been working these past 3 yr because my wife has breast cancer and there is frigging NOBODY who will insure her if I retire, I go on the exchange) there are over 50 policies for me to chose from. And every one of them will give my wife health insurance.

    Mr/Ms JKB — think about that for just a damn minute.

    Some of the plans don’t cover our oncologist. Most do. We’ll have to pay somewhat more for health insurance once I retire. The costs run $450 to $650 for ‘GOLD’ level insurance. She’ll have some co-pays we don’t now. With the costs of my Medicare and AARP Supplemental, our expenses will be a pretty good chunk.

    But under the situation that you apparently think was better, I would have had to work full-time until she qualified for Medicare. That would put me at 73yrs old. With a prosthetic hip and a cardiac stent.

    So until you, my friend, can come up with a better plan than ObamaCare — just get lost.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  53. C. Clavin says:

    @JohnMcC:
    Bravo…well put.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  54. JohnMcC says:

    And just to finish up…. The exchange didn’t work the first time I went there. But there were two work-arounds that even an old gaffer who doesn’t even know how to operate a cell phone could figure out.

    It was possible to find the companies offering insurance and to learn the names-n-nomclature of the offered policies. So I did that.

    Then it was possible to make a toll-free call and the ObamaCare people would send us final sign-up forms and let us apply for the policies by mail. So I did that. I’m still waiting for the final paper work so they’re moving pretty slow but the insurers are filling our mailbox.

    Then last week I went to healthcare-dot-gov again and proceeded right through to the point of actually buying a policy. We are still making sure that the network includes our MDs and local hospital and such, so I can’t verify that the ‘back-end’ (the “834″ that moves us from the exchange to the insurer) is working. But I could have signed up in 11 different languages — which might explain why a government websight has some hurdles that EBay doesn’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  55. JKB says:

    @JohnMcC:

    So you are one of the older, wealthier people who benefit from the takings from the younger, healthier citizens. I see a lot of concern for you and yours, which is natural, but none for the children whose parents will be absent as they work longer hours to earn the money to pay the higher premiums. Or the babies not born to the struggling couple. Or the cramp apartments they’ll live in since they can’t make the mortgage payments after they pay for the Obamacare.

    You relate one perspective and see yourself as a winner in the Obamacare sweepstakes but you ignore the costs to others that your winning has imposed. You had your chance when you were young. You could get actuarially valid health insurance coverage and spend your excess on yourself and your wife. Perhaps have a family, take vacations, enjoy the benefits of technological advancement. But now, to ease your aging, you are okay with denying that to the young of today?

    Congratulations on being a winner, but try not to forget those who are losing. Do it for the children.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  56. David M says:

    @JKB:

    Care to add some numbers to your winners/losers examples? Without that, it’s pretty meaningless.

    And you seem awfully worked up about the losers, but I don’t think you can correctly identify who is in each group.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  57. David M says:

    To make things clearer, JKB appears to be only concerned that people who could previously buy health insurance are still able to buy health care policies with incomplete coverage. Why is that even worth worrying about? That’s literally the problem we were solving with Obamacare.

    That was always going to end.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  58. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:
    Just more fact-free emotional rants.
    Please…just tell us why you want to deny people with pre-existing conditions access to Health Care?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  59. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    So you are one of the older, wealthier people who benefit from the takings from the younger, healthier citizens. I see a lot of concern for you and yours, which is natural, but none for the children whose parents will be absent as they work longer hours to earn the money to pay the higher premiums.

    So you are one of those people who do not know how insurance pooling works?

    Younger healthier people have always ‘subsidized’ older less healthier people. Young healthy people pay for premiums and usually utilize doctors and clinic care less than older less healthy people. You have been unaware of this? It’s a been going on for years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  60. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:
    Did you just figure out how insurance works?
    After months and months of whining about Obamacare…it turns out you didn’t even really know how anything about it?
    Incredible. Simply incredible.
    But seriously…why all the anger if you didn’t even know what you were talking about?
    And why do you want to deny access to Health Care for other people?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  61. David M says:

    @C. Clavin:

    JKB doesn’t object to providing access to health care, he just doesn’t understand the talking points he’s repeating. He actually supports most if not all of Obamacare, but the Democrats did it instead of the GOP, so he’s been informed it’s the end of freedom, America and all that is good.

    There’s a reason the GOP is using anecdotes and very incomplete examples to argue against Obamacare, evaluating the entire law wouldn’t support their efforts to repeal it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  62. Mr. Replica says:

    There’s a reason the GOP is using anecdotes and very incomplete examples to argue against Obamacare, evaluating the entire law wouldn’t support their efforts to repeal it.

    But, it will make it easier for them to sell it and support it at a later date.

    Those socialist/Marxist/communist/Kenyan bastards!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  63. JohnMcC says:

    @JKB: A short lesson about the process of insurance: 1. Virtually no one can afford a horrible illness like cancer. 2. Only a few people get horribly sick or injured at a time. 3. A large number of people can together pay for the horrible illness or injury that will happen to the few with that misfortune.

    I paid insurance premiums (and Social Security and Medicare and so on) for 50+ years. Other people got ill or injured and the pool of funds that was created with my premiums paid for their care.

    Now I’m old and amazingly can’t even jog anymore. And my Mrs is also old (don’t tell her I said so!) and has cancer. The funds to care for us is still there because healthy people (and yes, younger people overall) pay their premiums.

    Your remark has meaning if you believe that you will never grow old, never have a heart attack, never have osteo-artheritis that destroys your hip, never get cancer, etc. You also sound very certain that every driver passing by as you walk down the street is sober enough to see and avoid running over you.

    As an ICU nurse for 33 yrs, I can assure you that if you believe any of those things you are a very foolish young person. It is my sincere wish that you live a long and wonderful life and so have a chance to learn humility and your connection to the whole human community.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  64. angelfoot says:

    @JKB: And all of your points differ from the staus quo ante, how, exactly? And what do you propose we do absent Obamacare?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  65. Brian says:

    @Ron Beasley: @Ron Beasley: You are a moron! One can only hope that you loose your health insurance too!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0