Senator Joe Manchin Working On Bill To Delay Obamacare Mandate Due To Website Woes

The bad roll out of the Affordable Care Act is starting to lead to calls for delays in enforcement of the law.

congress-healthcare

The Obama Administration has been pretty much the entire week dealing with questions surrounding what increasingly looks like a disastrous roll out for the Federal Health Care Exchange Website thanks largely to what are increasingly looking like non-trivial technical problems with the design of the website itself. Not surprisingly, Republicans have jumped all over the news and many have used the news to renew calls for delays in the law, especially in the individual mandate and its associated tax penalties. Essentially the argument has come down to the seemingly straight forward argument that people shouldn’t be penalized for not signing up for insurance if they’re basically unable to do so because the website is almost entirely nonfunctional for most people. It’s also become an almost daily question at the White House Press Briefing to the point where there are now suggestions that the Administration is looking to implement a short, six week, delay to allow people to get signed up given the technical failures at the website. One Democratic Senator, though, thinks  the delay should be much longer:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is working on legislation to effectively delay Obamacare’s individual mandate for one year, his office told TPM on Wednesday.

His spokesman, Jonathan Kott, said Manchin opposes a bill proposed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to delay the mandate for a more indefinite period of time while problems with the insurance exchanges persist.

“He doesn’t support the Rubio bill and is working on bill to delay the penalty for a year,” Kott said.

Other Democratic members of Congress have also been quietly hinting in recent days that they could also support a delay in the implementation or enforcement of the individual mandate given the problems with the website. Given the problems that the site has had, and what appear to be paltry enrollment numbers in many states around the country, this would seem to be an option that ought to be on the table.  This would seem to be even more true given that even some of the most conservative estimates are saying that fixing what’s wrong with the website could take weeks to fix, if not longer.  Other estimates are saying that the problems with the website, not only on its front end but also in the apparently faulty manner in which it is transmitting data to insurance providers, are so serious that it could take months to get everything working properly. If that last estimate is true, then it seems blindingly obvious that a lot of people are going to be unable to even do the basic research necessary to shop for insurance on the exchange before they decide which of the options offered to them they might be interested in. Fining them for failure to obtain insurance under those circumstances would seem to be a classic Catch-22.

The story of what exactly is going wrong with the PPACA marketplace roll out likely has many technology related aspects to it, but at its core it appears to be yet another example of government contracting gone wrong. By all accounts, real work on the site didn’t start until sometime early this year even though its been known for three years that the October 1, 2013 deadline was approaching. Additionally, there have been some serious questions raised about the main contractor for the project, a Canadian firm that had recently lost a contract with the Canadian government due to project problems before being signed on for this project. Finally, there were reports today that the project was further complicated less than six weeks before its debut date when the White House and HHS demanded changes to the project that would require users to create accounts on the site before being allowed to do any price shopping, something that goes against the design of pretty much every other e-commerce site on the Internet. Whatever the story, though, its pretty clear that there was some serious mismanagement here, if not downright incompetence. Indeed, given how badly this week has gone for the Obama White House, one wonders how the month of October would have gone if the GOP hadn’t let the story stay hidden with its insane shutdown strategy.

FILED UNDER: Bureaucracy, Health Care, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. David M says:

    Seems premature to talk about delaying the mandate yet, especially in states where the exchanges are working properly. If February 15th rolls around and people still can’t sign up, then a small delay may be appropriate.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    Well, IMO a one year delay is an obvious political non-starter. It’s pretty hard to castigate opponents for saying “delay” and then decide that delay isn’t such a bad thing after all. This is one of those times when a gentleman’s agreement not to enforce the mandate until the next open enrollment period is probably the best solution although I doubt there’s enough collegiality left for that.

  3. Dave D says:

    The problem with such a delay would be the implications of the 2014 elections. If the Republicans take the senate then we will be getting repeal Obamacare bills blocking traffic out of both Houses and even less will get done if that is at all possible.

  4. David M says:

    I forgot to mention it’s certainly not to early for the GOP to feign outrage that the program they want to end doesn’t work perfectly, and for the Democrats to feign outrage over a minor and inconsequential (so far) delay on the federal exchange.

  5. Jc says:

    I am sure the last thing insurance companies want is a delay in the mandate. I think something will come up if people still cannot register by say Nov 30th.

  6. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    As I’ve understood it, individuals who are subject to the mandate are required to obtain insurance for 2014 by March 15, after which they would be subject to a 95 dollar per annum tax penalty for every month after March 15.

    Assuming the above to be correct, if an individual waits until May 15 to obtain insurance, they may be subject to a 16 dollar penalty. While that may seem a paltry sum, if the reason the person doesn’t get insurance is through no fault of their own, then it would seem appropriate to waive that penalty.

    This of course sets up the question: Is there any other way for this person to comply with the law? Is a badly functioning website the only avenue to obtain the required insurance?

    While the administration may not want to discuss it at this point, I would not be shocked to find that the 95 dollar penalty ends up being waived when it actually comes to tax time 2015.

  7. rudderpedals says:

    Nervous nellies arrrgh The Senators’ proposals are counterproductive and premature. Increased dosages of patience or chemical equivalents thereof, please.

  8. C. Clavin says:

    Hmmm…Insurance Companies are pitching in to help.
    Those would be private sector companies…players in the free market.
    So much for Socialism, eh?

  9. David M says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown:

    I believe you can buy insurance directly from the insurance companies and avoid the penalty. People on Medicaid, Medicare, employer insurance, etc already meet the requirements and don’t have to do anything. The downside to purchasing directly from the insurer, is that you can’t get the subsidies up front.

    If you do buy an eligible policy, but off the exchange, can you get the subsidies refunded to you when you file your 2014 taxes?

  10. David M says:

    And the administration has fixed the problem where the penalty period for the mandate and the open enrollment didn’t exactly line up. The penalty was essentially Feb 15th, but open enrollment went through March 31. They will now be the same if you buy insurance on the exchange, so the new date is March 31.

  11. PD Shaw says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown: Imminently reasonable observations, but its a tax, and not a penalty. Penalties can be waived by the executive because penalties can in certain cases be disproportionate to the conduct being punished. This is a tax and everybody must pay it.

  12. bill says:

    well this POS sure went south fast, i guess it’s officially bad when jon stewart says it is?!
    aside from the ineptness at all levels of this wondrous plan my company just got the bad news- we had to dump our entry level plan that even our lowest paid workers could afford…..nice. it was actually a really good plan, most companies don’t offer anything nearly as good for twice the price. now we all got to pay more, guess we were all had? shoulda took that gift that the t-party tossed you a few weeks back, coulda blamed them.

    @C. Clavin: they smell blood in the water, they’re always going to make money- maybe even more now!

  13. stonetools says:

    By all accounts, real work on the site didn’t start until sometime early this year even though its been known for three years that the October 1, 2013 deadline was approaching

    A lot of that had to do with many Republican-governed states just happening to decide at the last moment that they didn’t want to set up their exchanges, because they were “opposed to Obamacare.” The result was that the federal exchange had to be much bigger than originally envisaged. Score one for the saboteurs.
    I wish that we had gone with the original House bill. It would have created a national exchange from the get go, and planning for such an exchange would have started three years ago. Instead the Senate bill passed, and it enabled the Republican-governed states to drag their feet, drop out at the last moment, and generally screw things up. Now we have sort of backed into half of a national exchange, cobbled together at the last moment because lots of Republican governors didn’t want to help their poor and uninsured constituents by doing their jobs. Lost in all this as well is that the Republican governors, by refusing to accept Medicaid extension, have done far more to screw over their poor constituents than any website malfunction.

  14. superdestroyer says:

    @Dave D:

    The Republicans are not going to retake the Senate nor have in ability in the future to do away with the new mandate. People need to remember that ACA is designed by Democrats and the Obama Administration to fail. If the Democrats put ACA off a year that gives them a good chance to take control of the House and take the opportunity to move from mandates to single payer.

    People need to remember that the end goal of the Democrats is single payer health care. Putting the ACA off for a year due to problems with mandates and insurance companies strengthens the case for single payer.

  15. Mike S says:

    Finally, there were reports today that the project was further complicated less than six weeks before its debut date when the White House and HHS demanded changes to the project that would require users to create accounts on the site before being allowed to do any price shopping, something that goes against the design of pretty much every other e-commerce site on the Internet

    I believe it’s called “sticker shock”. Basically, wouldn’t want people (especially younger, healthier and less motivated ones) checking out the prices before they actually signed up and before their subsidies (if any) were calculated. Politics comes before ensuring that the website actually “works” apparently. And that of course was done to avoid the so-called “death spiral”. It just keeps getting better and better…

    But commentators here repeatedly assured me that the website isn’t really that important to the law, so we’re good. Close call there…

    Worth reading btw, Assessing the Exchanges

    More good news: Thousands Of Consumers Get Insurance Cancellation Notices Due To Health Law Changes

    Good thing we were told that :”If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” Dodged another bullet there…

    Say, how about a redo of that government shutdown. This time, the Dems can let the GOP “win” and then blame them for blocking “healthcare for all” because racists, bigots, morons, radicals, stupid, extremists, etc…

  16. An Interested Party says:

    This time, the Dems can let the GOP “win” and then blame them for blocking “healthcare for all” because racists, bigots, morons, radicals, stupid, extremists, etc…

    Well, there are definitely people who do not want universal health care…mmmmmm…who could those people possibly be…

  17. bill says:

    @stonetools: funny, sebelius said they needed 6 years to get this up and running and knew it wouldn’t work. but somehow a few republican govs are to blame for this ineptness? nice try, it ain’t working though- and neither is the aca website. and (drum roll) it’s all the admins fault- yes!

  18. stonetools says:

    In 2012, Apple rolled out Apple Maps, which it touted as being of course “magical and revolutionary” . In fact, it was anything but and the Apple CEO had to issue a public apology after lots of people ended up being directed into cornfields and empty lots (Apple Maps is still problematical, as I can personally attest). Bottom line is that big software rollouts can be a mess, even if done by the best of private companies.
    Despite that the rollout of ios6 did happen and was largely a success. The accompanying release-iPhone 5- was another smash hit. Coders and engineers, believe it or not, can fix things. Nobody I know doubts that these website problems can be fixed, given enough time and coders. Even if it takes several weeks, it will be done.
    If it gets done by the end of November, there will be no need to move any deadlines. My guess is that this is precisely what will happen, and that by January 1 all of this Sturm und Drang will be forgotten. Remember the Deepwater mining disaster and how it was supposed to be the end of the Obama Presidency? Me neither.
    People have also forgotten that the Medicare D roll-out was similarly rocky.

    LINK.
    Who even cares about that now?

  19. Not Likely says:

    @Mike S:

    I believe it’s called “sticker shock”. Basically, wouldn’t want people (especially younger, healthier and less motivated ones) checking out the prices before they actually signed up and before their subsidies (if any) were calculated.

    The nonsense embodied in this little theory is perfectly laid out by today’s developments. Now that you can view plans without registering, all the pre-written articles about how those prices are wrong have hit the blog circuit. Maybe the requirement to register was so that accurate quotes could be surfaced?

    Naw, couldn’t be…

  20. JKB says:

    Fining them for failure to obtain insurance under those circumstances would seem to be a classic Catch-22.

    They do this to business all the time. Fining industry for not reaching pie-in-the-sky mandates that the technology doesn’t exist to achieve. Of course, if they start doing it to individuals, that might leave the bad taste of big uncaring government in voters.

  21. JKB says:

    $95 or 2.5% of income, which ever is more. That’s the penalty or is it a tax, I forget which Roberts decided it had to be for his judicial judo. And you either get insurance during the enrollment period or you pay the penalty and go without till the next enrollment period opens. Oh, and those without still either have to pay their own medical expenses, get charity or go bankrupt.

    @Dave Schuler: This is one of those times when a gentleman’s agreement not to enforce the mandate

    So leave everyone in legal jeopardy by simply refusing to faithfully enforce the law? A law it was just argued is “settled law”?

    And what about all the Administration’s argument that the IRS has a bunch of rogue employees doing whatever they please? How will they ensure that the IRS employees don’t grab the Obamacare non-insurance tax regardless of what the “gentlemen agree upon”?

  22. john personna says:

    @bill:

    well this POS sure went south fast

    I’m not going to defend a bad website, but it is just a bad website. The website is not the insurance, it is not obamacare, it does not gate your admission to a hospital.

    It was added atop a system of private insurance, to make universal coverage easier to find.

    It really is too bad that the “marketplace” websites are having problems, but in the end obamacare is about broad coverage by private insurance (for-profit and non).

    I have not heard a good argument why private insurers will now fail, and that’s what it would take for obamacare, romneycare, the Republican market alternative, to fail.

  23. bill says:

    @john personna: it was knowingly an unworkable site, we can’t see what’s in it as the website is a disaster. and our lowest wage earners are going to be FORCED to pay more or try to buy in to this mess-if/when they can get online to do so. so far it’s all bad.
    but really, the admin will buy them all off in the end, just keep the voters in their pens- it’s what it was all about anyway.
    so no, you can’t keep your current plan and you can’t keep your current doctor- it was all a huge lie after all.

  24. JKB says:

    @john personna: I have not heard a good argument why private insurers will now fail, and that’s what it would take for obamacare, romneycare, the Republican market alternative, to fail.

    Not in the first year. But if the young and healthy, aka, suckers, don’t sign up to pay the freight this year, then next October the renewal rates are going through the roof to cover the sick and old who will sign up.

  25. michael reynolds says:

    @Mike S:

    Obamacare will save me at minimum $400 a month, and more if I configure it a different way. Plus I get no ceiling. Plus I don’t have to sweat pre-existing. Plus they can’t just randomly drop me because I get sick.

    Minimum five grand a year.

  26. anjin-san says:

    the young and healthy, aka, suckers

    Ah, you mean the young, who are often reckless, and end up needing medical attention because of it. I ended up in the ER more than once when I was young and in perfect health. I was damn lucky to have insurance, or I would have gone into adulthood up to my neck in medical bills.

  27. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    Can you repeat that please? Run if through the babble to English translator first though.

  28. David M says:

    @JKB:

    Not in the first year. But if the young and healthy, aka, suckers, don’t sign up to pay the freight this year, then next October the renewal rates are going through the roof to cover the sick and old who will sign up.

    Given that you understand why the mandate was included, but don’t approve of it, what is your preferred alternate solution for providing health care coverage?

  29. Dave D says:

    see what’s in it as the website is a disaster. and our lowest wage earners are going to be FORCED to pay more or try to buy in to this mess-if/when they can get online to do so. so far it’s all bad.
    but really, the admin will buy them all off in the end, just keep the voters in their pens- it’s what it was all about anyway.

    Holy Hell the disconnect here. Not only is this the first thing you’ve said expressing concern for the less well off. But, it seems amazing that you now care about the less fortunate instead of 47%ing them and blaming them for sucking this country dry. But then you go on to say this problem will be bought off by these “admins” to “keep the voters in their pen.” So I guess it doesn’t matter we continue to pay more in taxes pre-ACA specifically to cover other peoples’ health care than any other industrialized nation with single payer health care yet receive no health care in return. So I am dying to know how will you alleviate the suffering of the poor just crushed by this awful system? What is the alternative?

  30. Stonetools says:

    I must say that I am touched by the sudden concern right wingers have that the poor and uninsured have ready access to health insurance. Prior to October 1 no right winger gave a damn about this. I wonder what the reason is for the turnaround.
    I’m betting that such concern will vanish about ten minutes after the website is finally working smoothly , and the right wingers will return to BENGHAZI ! And other assorted fake scandals.

  31. James Pearce says:

    Indeed, given how badly this week has gone for the Obama White House, one wonders how the month of October would have gone if the GOP hadn’t let the story stay hidden with its insane shutdown strategy.

    Well, it’s a good thing the website sucks….

    Otherwise we’d be hearing about death panels, socialism, and every other specious argument. Our friend bill unintentionally gives away the game when he says “it’s all the admins fault.”

    Of course it is! What makes this critique so useless, though, is that it’s solely concerned with apportioning blame. Once it’s established that yes, the Obama administration screwed up….then what? Any suggestions? Any helpful hints? Anything constructive to add?

    Didn’t think so….

  32. Tyrell says:

    The biggest issue is affordability.A lot of people are shocked at the high rates. Even with some subsidy, a person can wind up paying over $300 monthly for the “bronze” plan which is 60/40 coverage with a huge deductible. These are people who are cannot get private coverage or it is too expensive.
    With rates and plans like that, a lot of people are still going to find this unaffordable and are left out in the cold. There will not be the huge numbers needed enrolling. They need to raise the subsidies.
    (Numbers using the Kaiser health care calculator). I would like to hear from others on what they came up with.

  33. Tyrell says:

    The biggest issue is affordability.A lot of people are shocked at the high rates. Even with some subsidy, a person can wind up paying over $300 monthly for the “bronze” plan which is 60/40 coverage with a huge deductible. These are people who are cannot get private coverage or it is too expensive.
    With rates and plans like that, a lot of people are still going to find this unaffordable and are left out in the cold. There will not be the huge numbers needed enrolling. They need to raise the subsidies.
    (Numbers using the Kaiser health care calculator). I would like to hear from others on what they came up with.

  34. Tyrell says:

    The biggest issue is affordability.A lot of people are shocked at the high rates. Even with some subsidy, a person can wind up paying over $300 monthly for the “bronze” plan which is 60/40 coverage with a huge deductible. These are people who are cannot get private coverage or it is too expensive.
    With rates and plans like that, a lot of people are still going to find this unaffordable and are left out in the cold. There will not be the huge numbers needed enrolling. They need to raise the subsidies.
    (Numbers using the Kaiser health care calculator). I would like to hear from others on what they came up with.

  35. Tyrell says:

    The biggest issue is affordability.A lot of people are shocked at the high rates. Even with some subsidy, a person can wind up paying over $300 monthly for the “bronze” plan which is 60/40 coverage with a huge deductible. These are people who are cannot get private coverage or it is too expensive.
    With rates and plans like that, a lot of people are still going to find this unaffordable and are left out in the cold. There will not be the huge numbers needed enrolling. They need to raise the subsidies.
    (Numbers using the Kaiser health care calculator). I would like to hear from others on what they came up with.

  36. Tyrell says:

    The biggest issue is affordability.A lot of people are shocked at the high rates. Even with some subsidy, a person can wind up paying over $300 monthly for the “bronze” plan which is 60/40 coverage with a huge deductible. These are people who are cannot get private coverage or it is too expensive.
    With rates and plans like that, a lot of people are still going to find this unaffordable and are left out in the cold. There will not be the huge numbers needed enrolling. They need to raise the subsidies.
    (Numbers using the Kaiser health care calculator). I would like to hear from others on what they came up with.

  37. Tyrell says:

    Apologies to all about the multiple entries. This tablet has some quirks. It was not showing this as being posted.
    Very sorry. Tyrell

  38. bill says:

    @anjin-san: facts suck when they go against the grain.

    @James Pearce: it’s not about damage control, it’s about damage- period. good intentions are one thing, not knowing how to implement them are another- we aren’t some third world country, we should be able to put a website together and if we can’t by a certain time…….maybe postpone it’s launch?!

  39. Tony W says:

    @Tyrell: Ha ha, mine has been stuck in moderation for 12 hours or so – something is wrong with the site.

  40. C. Clavin says:

    bill…

    “…so no, you can’t keep your current plan and you can’t keep your current doctor- it was all a huge lie after all…”

    I’m keeping my insurance…and my doctor.
    You are simply full of shit. A big steamy pile of dung.
    There is no other way to put it.
    Sorry.

  41. C. Clavin says:

    “…Even with some subsidy, a person can wind up paying over $300 monthly for the “bronze” plan which is 60/40 coverage with a huge deductible…”

    This is meaningless conjecture.
    For instance…what is that same person paying now? And for what coverage?
    These cry-baby claims of the coming apocalypse are annoying in their total worthlessness.

  42. C. Clavin says:

    @ bill…

    “…facts suck when they go against the grain…”

    You wouldn’t know a fact it it bit you in your lying ass.

  43. C. Clavin says:

    I think there is a line to be drawn between healthy, constructive, criticism which may or may not be against your interest…which Democrats from Obama on down have rightfully been doing…and freaking out…which Manchin et al are starting to do.
    A useful litmus test is that if JKB, bill, and Jenos agree with you then it’s probably a really f’ing stupid idea.
    It’s almost impossible to mention that if this was a Republican President instituting this Republican Program…all you would be hearing is that everything is fine, nothing to see here, keep moving. Remember…it took Bush 7 years to admit Iraq was a f’ing quagmire and maybe we need some more boots on the ground. To this day the faithful think Iraq was a good idea. That explains everything. And the obvious difference is that 4000 troops haven’t died for Obamacare.
    The law is working. A whole lot of people with pre-existing conditions are getting desperately needed care that Republicans simply don’t want them to have. Lifetime caps have been removed. Kids are staying on their parents plans.
    The website is apparently f’ed…although in just a couple weeks half a million people have somehow managed to make it work.
    Contrary to many of the whiny-assed-titty-baby comments above…the world ain’t ending.
    Hey, my CAD program crashed this morning…maybe I should go home and hide in bed and prepare for Michelle Bachmann’s beloved endtimes.

  44. C. Clavin says:

    “…@Tyrell: Ha ha, mine has been stuck in moderation for 12 hours or so – something is wrong with the site…”

    Really…better delay OTB for a year or so…get it right.

  45. JKB says:

    @David M:

    Oh, I understand why the mandate was included. Absent the threat of government violence, people are unlikely to voluntarily pay more for less to so that others can pay less for more. Assuming there is no relationship between the individuals other than “community”. Historically, people have been quick to give to charity for such aide though.

    As for my plan, your question is premised upon the assumption that it is the responsibility of others to pay for healthcare for others. Given that actual emergent healthcare is available now but paying providers is the problem, I do support a mandate that everyone carry catastrophic illness/injury insurance. That would be real insurance to cover unlikely personal budget busting illnesses and injuries, Singapore style. Routine and discretionary medical expenses would be the responsibility of the individual, i.e., you pay for your own cuts and bruises, birth control, routine maternity, colds and flu, viagra etc. As much as I loath yet another government program, we could set up a insurer of last resort program that takes over medical costs in any one year in excess of a significant portion of income, say 40 or 50% out of pocket (needs refinement). That would take care of the super catastrophic medical event insurance.

  46. James Pearce says:

    @bill:

    we aren’t some third world country, we should be able to put a website together

    No we aren’t, and all this means is that the HHS will not be getting the JD Power award for Excellent Customer Service this year. Again.

    They extended the deadline until the middle of March, giving everyone five months to get signed up. That’s plenty of time to get everyone squared away. Even if they do it by mail.

  47. john personna says:

    @Tyrell:

    Even with some subsidy, a person can wind up paying over $300 monthly for the “bronze” plan which is 60/40 coverage with a huge deductible. [kaiser]

    I just used the Kaiser online calculator, picking a 30 yo in southern California. Prices per month range from $106 to $388 per month for various plans. But definitely the $106 one was the one with the huge deductible.

    When we get older we face higher charges, of course.

  48. rudderpedals says:

    $320/mo here (Fla), $500 dedbl, the first drug plan I ever had. This replaces a $600 (+25/mo to the HSA) for a pre-existing-condition laden HSA that covered nothing that could be linked with raised cholesterol or acne with a ~$3K deductible.

    My uninsurable wife got on the gov site over the weekend and signed up in 20 minutes. The problems are by no means universal.

  49. john personna says:

    BTW, one of the truly sad side-bars in the Obamacare discussion:

    House Republicans Wanted John McAfee’s Advice on Obamacare

    WTF, right?

    I guess the thinking was that since he was right ideologically he must be right technologically.

  50. anjin-san says:

    @ rudderpedals

    My uninsurable wife got on the gov site over the weekend and signed up

    That is great news.

  51. C. Clavin says:

    Remember the Challenger…that was launched when it shouldn’t have been.
    This ain’t the first time…isn’t the most damaging.
    Won’t be the last time…won’t be the most damaging.

  52. anjin-san says:

    @ Tyrell

    In CA, my wife and I can get a “gold” plan for almost exactly what we pay now, with no subsidy.

    We have no reason to switch, but it’s nice to know it is there.

  53. C. Clavin says:

    Now they are saying it was Pete Sessions who allegedly said to Obama…

    “I can’t stand to look at you”.

    It’ll be interesting to see if that little weaselly liar mans up.

  54. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    I do support a mandate that everyone carry catastrophic illness/injury insurance.

    In other words, you don’t actually have a problem with “the threat of government violence” – you just disagree about the scope of insurance that should be mandated.

  55. rudderpedals says:

    @anjin-san: We agree! My wife is a paralegal/social worker type, not computer type, and she was really surprised after all the bad press that she was in and out without a problem.

    Thanks to the douche canoes she’s not had coverage in the last year (PCIP enrollment was frozen) but that ends come January.

  56. C. Clavin says:

    As for my plan, your question is premised upon the assumption that it is the responsibility of others to pay for healthcare for others. Given that actual emergent healthcare is available now but paying providers is the problem, I do support a mandate that everyone carry catastrophic illness/injury insurance.

    Look numbskull…I’m already paying for the healthcare of others…because they show up at the emrgency room and then don’t pay. That adds $1000 to everyone’s insurance bill every year. You Republicans don’t seem to want to acknowledge that. Waiting to deal with catastrophic illness is expensive. Much more expensive than if things are treated properly when they should be. If you can mandate catastrophic why can’t you mandate sensible? I mean…that’s the conservative approach after all.
    Jesus-god you Republicans are so f’ing ridiculous. I mean…really what you want is for hospitals to not be required to treat everyone…and for the poor and the sick and the elderly to be on their own. So why the f’ don’t you put on your man-pants and just f’ing admit it?

  57. anjin-san says:

    C. Clavin

    they show up at the emrgency room and then don’t pay. That adds $1000 to everyone’s insurance bill every year. You Republicans don’t seem to want to acknowledge that

    Well, once upon a time, before Obama, they screamed about it to the high heavens. Nowdays, not a peep about free riders. Because hating on Obama trumps everything.

  58. C. Clavin says:

    There is a report out that says Ted Cruz get’s a $20,000/yr insurance plan through his wife’s employer…Goldman Sachs.
    So…waddya think the Government subsidy is on that?
    Any guesses?
    I don’t know what the formula is for the employers tax deduction. Maybe someone else does?
    I know for sure it ain’t nothing…which is what Cruz wants the sick and the poor and elderly to get.

  59. David M says:

    @JKB:

    So you have no specific objections to the policies behind Obamacare, you just wish the plans had more variety.

  60. C. Clavin says:

    @ Clavin…

    “…I know for sure it ain’t nothing…which is what Cruz wants Republicans want the sick and the poor and elderly to get….”

    There…FTFY

  61. john personna says:

    @this:

    Dear uninformed downvoter:

    The anti-virus software genius is on the lam in Belize, where a drug addiction may have driven him insane

    The Republicans have to be in a pretty big bubble not to know this stuff. An insane drug-addict is your go-to guy?

    Was he really a “computer expert” on Fox today?

  62. bill says:

    @C. Clavin: typical liberal, can’t deal with reality when it doesn’t go your way. i could call you some choice names but why lower myself to that level? and if you live in a cave you may not realize that the “keep your doctor/keep your plan” promise was a complete lie- it’s happening all over, including at my company – which had a way better plan for the entry level staff…….but they get hosed now due to this steaming pile of gubmint bs.

  63. David M says:

    @bill:

    Your company may be changing coverage, but it’s probably not because of Obamacare. They are allowed to carry existing plans forward if they want. Your insurance company may be changing which providers it allows, but that’s not because of Obamacare either.

    You’ll need to post a lot of specifics for those claims to be credible.

  64. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @JKB:

    $95 or 2.5% of income, which ever is more

    Wrong again JKB !

    Correct answer is: In 2014, the fine to remain uninsured is $95 per person.
    The fine for an entire family remaining uninsured is maxed at $295 or 1% of total family income, whichever is greater.

    The 2.5% is in 2016 and applicable to the entire family choosing to remain uninsured.

  65. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    Watching the House hearing ( the Dog & Pony ‘speechifying’ show) today I heard one of the Republican reps say:

    ‘In the weeks just before the web launch, the republicans were desperately working to prevent a government shutdown.’

    I laughed out loud!

  66. al-Ameda says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown:

    ‘In the weeks just before the web launch, the republicans were desperately working to prevent a government shutdown.’

    We have a winner!

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