BREAKING: Obama to permit 1 year delay in health insurance cancellations

President Obama is about to announce that he will administratively permit health insurance companies to delay their cancellation of substandard health care plans by one year.

As you may know, a number of plans on the individual market have been canceled because they don’t meet the standards set out by the Affordable Care Act.

Interestingly, if the company is renewing a substandard plan, they would have to notify the customer of other options, and they’ve had to tell the customer what benefits they’d be losing (in other words, what new Obamacare benefits are not covered by their current substandard plan).

These plans would, however, remain closed to anyone who didn’t already have them.

President Obama announces and administration move to permit insurance companies to continue previously-cancelled health care plans for an additional year.

President Obama announces an administration move to permit insurance companies to continue previously-cancelled health care plans for an additional year.

This strikes me as a smart move by the President.  Too many Democrats have been making noise about making a move on their own to delay, or stop entirely, the expiration of these plans.  If that happens, we risk the ACA exchange market becoming far more expensive.

What’s also smart is that the President is giving the insurance companies THE CHOICE to continue offering the plans for a year, so now if they don’t, it’s their fault.

By moving first, the President gives Democrats cover, gives them some other (better) alternative to embrace, and effectively pulls the carpet out from under Republicans and other trying to use the federal exchange Web site glitches to undercut Obamacare generally.

Shorter Obama: If you like your Democratic member of Congress, you can now keep your Democratic member of Congress.

(I’m told that in order to actually see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me – so say the experts.)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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195 Responses to “BREAKING: Obama to permit 1 year delay in health insurance cancellations”

  1. Mark Cohen says:

    According to the the KY ACA exchange website, your plan satisfies all ACA requirements, so yeah, it isn’t substandard.

  2. Moderator3 says:

    So far you have used three usernames today. You have also used The Truth and Leftie Cowards. You have changed your username and your email, but you failed to change your IP address. You called us cowards?

  3. Naja pallida says:

    Why not just go look at the actual source material for answers to your own questions, instead of posting a link to a right-wing, blatantly partisan site trying to make use of a mainstream news site for some shred of credibility? A mainstream news site which then mentions the original source. So, you’re sharing third-hand information. Can’t possibly be any vital data lost there, could there? The CMS also mentioned that many of those people who will lose their health coverage will be able to turn to Medicaid, and even more people will be able to go to the federal exchanges, or state exchanges that are available in those states that don’t want their population to die. Once the small business exchange is operational, there will most likely be even more options for those people. Their end estimation is about a million people, once you factor in gains and losses, who would lose their coverage and be unable to find a suitable alternative. But they also explicitly state that this kind of thing is highly variable, and going to be largely dependent on employer behavior. That the scope and magnitude of the changes make any kind of prediction a random guess, at best. It will be years before we actually have the raw data, beyond random people saying “They canceled my health care and I didn’t bother to try and help myself!” If you watched the video to the end, the woman complaining about having to cancel her employees health insurance is still a supporter of the law, and intends to continue to find a way to make use of it to her advantage.

    Of course, this doesn’t excuse the administration from not being up front about these things all along, but the loons setting their hair on fire every time they turn around, and looking for every single thing to use as an example of why it isn’t working, aren’t helping anyone or anything. I’m not a fan of the law either, likely not for the same reasons – judging from where you choose to get your information, and my premiums are going up this year, but until someone offers a viable alternative plan, which the Republicans most certainly do not have, this is all we’re going to get. So we had best figure out a way to make the best of it. Two major things that could be done to help that aren’t is for all states to accept the Medicare expansion, and for all states to set up their own state-run exchanges.

  4. GregoryC says:

    My high risk pool plan was not “sub-standard” although it did not cover mental health; that would have required an additional rider and monthly cost added to the base premium.

  5. perljammer says:

    Sorry; I know this is very tardy, but I thought you might like the information. If you follow the link from to and then to the original article in Information Week, you will find this interesting quote: ‘Eisenbarth [research manager at DDoS defense firm Arbor Networks] said this DDoS tool most likely can’t deliver what it
    promises. “The request rate, the non-distributed attack architecture and
    many other limitations make this tool unlikely to succeed in affecting
    the availability of the site,” he said. Furthermore, he
    noted that to date, Arbor has seen no “active use of this software.”‘

    Malicious intent? Probably. Able to materially affect the performance of Not a chance.

  6. Denver Catboy says:

    So much trolling…

  7. Drew2u says:

    What’s the deciding factor of price of apparently the exact same plan being significantly different in price in different geographic locations?

    http:// affordable-care-plans.findthebest .com/l/64117/Medica-Applause-Silver-H-S-A-St-Croix-County-Wisconsin

    vs $292

    http://www.healthpocket .com/individual-health-insurance/plan/2014-medica-applause-silver-h-s-a-8d0b9

    vs $242.77 ?

    http://affordable-care-plans.findthebest .com/l/7411/Medica-Applause-Silver-H-S-A-Burleigh-County-North-Dakota

  8. SuperShrug says:

    That’s the problem. The goalpost shifts and the people think it’s still perfectly natural to devote the same amount of labor for less purchasing power. The mantra is that you’re just not “earning your keep,” it could never be anything inherent to capitalism or the greed of employers, oh no perish the thought! And even if it was the greed of employers, it’s a-okay because this isn’t a zero sum game, you just need to work harder! spare me.

  9. Milo_Bloom says:

    LOL, and were they in black helicopters?

  10. Milo_Bloom says:

    You communist! ;-)

    Seriously though, what you call “survival of the fittest” the rest of us think of the perfectly natural concept of earning our own keep.

  11. Ford Prefect says:

    One mistake Single Payer advocates made in 2009 was framing the issue in terms of “what will pass through congress.” That year, the Dems had Majority in both houses. Indeed, PPACA passed without a single Republican vote, so the GOP Bogeyman was simply not a factor in PPACA passing and it wouldn’t have been a factor in it failing either. The Dems own this en toto.

    The Dems lied when they spoke of the Public Option. As was made clear after 10 December 2008, when Obama dealt it away to Big Pharma in exchange for some money, it was never anything but a Bait & Switch, to get people away from Single Payer. Of course, it’s easy to say now, in hindsight. But that doesn’t mean it has to happen again. Live and learn.

    As for the website, if the problem was only on the front end, the DDoS attacks would be noticeably irritating, but solvable. I’m willing to accept at face value, with the slightest evidence, attacks are occurring. But that doesn’t account for the larger, more onerous, backend issues, which Lambert Strether wrote about five months ago:

    Can a huge systems integration project with 55 vendors and 50 million potential users move from pre-alpha to release status in four months? Na ga happen. I doubt very much they’ll slip the October 1 deadline, because that would be a public relations disaster, so I would bet they’ll try to triage functionality, the way the CO exchange did. Then again, the logic of the eligibility engine — the key functionality — could be such a hairball that they can’t triage anything. Pass the popcorn.

    He has been proven largely prescient. The simplest solution also happens to be the best one and yet the Dems rejected it out of hand:

    The ObamaCare clusterfuck is not, in the end, a technical story; it’s a story about bad policy choices demanding a system architecture that can’t be delivered on time with the resources available; but eligibility determination wouldn’t even be an issue if Obama and the Democrats had not made the policy choice to preserve the private health insurance industry at all costs.

    And just think: All of this could have been avoided with a simple change in statutory language: Reducing the age of Medicare eligibility to zero. And if that’s too extreme, reduce it every year by five years until everyone’s covered, like Kennedy wanted.

  12. SuperShrug says:

    America is going down.
    We’re busy building up a “survival of the fittest” mentality measured in capital. It is poison.
    But, you can’t discuss that with Americans because any criticism of Capitalism means you’re a Communist.

  13. devlzadvocate says:

    Correct. Everything has to start somewhere. I am not a conspiracy theorist by any stretch. In fact, I shudder at the thought. However, this entire effort seems peculiar. In reviewing our exchange of posts yesterday, I agree with much of your writings. A little history – I had posted here in 2009 that I never thought a single payer system would make it through Congress, but I was shocked to see the system that was born. Having my own significant experience in the health insurance field (don’t kill the messenger), I had my own ideas about what would address the immediate problem and could serve as a spring board to a full-blown single-payer system when the public/Congress was prepared for that move. I met with my Congressman and some others, but I am only one person.

  14. Ford Prefect says:

    Ask and ye shall receive! So that is a thing, apparently. Perhaps that explains some of the problems with the front end of the system. Good find.

    What DDOS doesn’t explain is why the databases are messed up and corrupting files on the back end, which is a far larger problem. Right?

    So, will DHS treat these Righties with the same aggression as say, Anonymous? I don’t see any names or even intent of law enforcement to do anything about this. It’s a start though.

  15. Whitewitch says:

    ohhh more complaints then eh? well we are all doomed I guess and should just give up and go to bed.

  16. Milo_Bloom says:

    Ok, do now what, we do “the wave?”

  17. CazzT says:

    Using Liberal Logic, sure.

    First, you try to discredit milo by bringing up food stamps, which had absolutely zero to do with Mighty advocating harm to those who disagree with his political views.

    Next, you try to discredit me by bringing up Republicans trying to work with the flawed system that Democrats created. Small kudos for not arguing with the fact that it was Democrats that push for govt dependence from the population. Still…

    And finally, you try to equate slavery and the KKK to Obamacare, or to imply that’s what I was doing.

    You are a liberal, through and through. You can’t accept responsibility for your own actions, nor can you accept what your party has done. You have your head buried in the sand. You evade, point fingers and defend someone that advocates hurting others over difference of opinion.

    I don’t expect you to understand this any more than you understood my purpose of pointing out slavery and the KKK in relation to Democrats. I’ve tried many times to reason with people like you. You’re incapable of reason.

  18. devlzadvocate says:

    Slavery + KKK = Obamacare? I’m outta here.

  19. Roman Berry says:

    What’s also smart is that the President is giving the insurance
    companies THE CHOICE to continue offering the plans for a year, so now
    if they don’t, it’s their fault.

    That’s all total crap, John. Insurance doesn’t work that way. Plans have to be submitted and approved at the state level. Plans that have been cancelled and withdrawn are no longer approved. You can’t just tell the various state insurance commissions “Well…never mind.” And you can’t just tell a company “Hey, all those folks you cancelled? Let ’em back in, Same rate. No changes…even if you no longer offer the policy.”

    Is there nothing you will not do to take up for your favorite corporatist Demopublican (who is generally OK on most social issues) president?

  20. CazzT says:

    Ooooh. So you’re trying to claim that one thing is enough? Tell me, how’s that slavery, KKK and Obamacare working for the Democrat party’s image in the history books? Or are you going to try to blame the Republicans for all that, too? Or perhaps you’re one of those that buys into the delusion that Democrats used to be the conservative party?

    Oh but wait, that has nothing to do with this, does it? I mean, after good ol’ Mighty up there started off advocating harm to those that disagree with his political views. And then other people, yourself included, tried to lay the blame at Repubs feet even though it was Democrats.

    So yea, how’s that awesome image of the Democrat party working for ya? I hear the media, even the liberal sheep media, is feeling little unhappy about the Democrats right now. But I’m sure that’s just the Republican’s fault, too, huh?

  21. neroden says:

    The schedule wasn’t unrealistically short… except that apparently nobody even got started working on it for three years or so. The exchanges should have been basically up and running years ago.

  22. neroden says:

    Ouch. That’s actually brutally damning. The internet portals listing available health care plans were supposed to be set up “not later than July 1, 2010” according to the law.

    THEY STILL DON’T EXIST due to the inability to browse. Sebelius failed by four years on that project.

  23. neroden says:

    Actually, it amounts to not enforcing an insurance regulation for a year. I believe everyone who buys one of the plans where the regulation isn’t enforced has standing to sue. The “disclosure that the plan is junk” form might make it harder for them to sue.

    I think, due to adverse selection effects, the other *insurance companies* might have standing to sue, too, though.

  24. Ford Prefect says:

    I have no idea about “pure.” Just is easier in the sense I tend to draw a line around “good enough.” As it is now, I don’t think Medicare is “good enough,” although it would be vastly better if everyone was in it and insurance… well, I doubt the US is capable of doing insurance the way the Swiss or Germans do. So it almost certainly can’t be good enough, much less desirable.

    Healthcare is just if everyone has equal access to it. No segregation, no discrimination, no healthcare “ghettos.” France has the best system in the world and it costs half (per capita) what ours does. So obviously we could be doing vastly better, if not for certain ideological obsessions. We are ruled by an ideology that kills without compunction and our system shows it every day.

  25. neroden says:

    Guaranteed issue isn’t in effect yet — not until January 1…

  26. neroden says:

    People only get the subsidies if they buy the plan through the exchange. The insurers would looooove to sell direct, but most people can’t afford the unsubsidized prices. If the insurer sells through the exchange, the insurer gets big wads of federal cash to make up the difference for the people who can’t afford to pay the inflated prices which the insurer charges.

    The “system” will end up being a fat corporate subsidy for insurance companies; they have little incentive to ever lower premiums.

  27. neroden says:

    Worth noting: when the digital conversion happened, I decided to stop watching TV.

    Not parallel.

  28. neroden says:

    Makes a lot more sense to move to Mexico or Canada, given the complete nightmare of signing up.

  29. neroden says:

    This is because the entire Obamacare fiasco was set up by complete, unmitigated idiots. There should ALWAYS be a paper method of doing ANYTHING.

  30. neroden says:

    The Republicans are correct that Obama does not have the legal authority to do this and that it should be passed by Congress.

    But he doesn’t have the legal authority to spy on all Americans, or to spy on the UN Secretary General (that one is specifically prohibited by the US’s ratification of the UN Charter), or to murder civilians with drones. He’s doing all of that too.

    Obama doesn’t give a flying fuck about legal authority. He’s effectively acting as a lawless dictator — but my god what a dumb bunch of things to use dictatorial powers for. If I had dictatorial powers, I’d do something *useful* with them.

    As for January 15th and February 7th, I think the Dems are going to be unified… except for Obama. I think the Congressional Dems are going to be completely ticked off with Obama. As they should be.

  31. neroden says:

    The state of Vermont is calling for single-payer. So there’s that. Congress prohibited it until 2017, and Vermont needs an HHS waiver to start it even *in* 2017.

  32. neroden says:

    Jay: the text of the law wasn’t half bad, compared to other laws. (Ever read the Internal Revenue Code or the Clean Water Act?)

    The trouble is that the law is actually badly written — I’ve found multiple loopholes which the insurance companies are busily driving trucks through.

  33. devlzadvocate says:

    Medicare Part D came from where again? Hardly an invention of the liberal left. And paid for with borrowed money. So many history revisionists.

  34. devlzadvocate says:

    I get it. I get what you are saying. I don’t know how “pure”, how “just” any insurance program can become (Medicare IS insurance with actuaries and all the bells and whistles of a private insurance program – it is administered by private insurers across the nation). In any program of shared risk, there will be some amount of unfairness due to the simple fact that some people will use the sytem and some will not. The strange thing is that those who do NOT use health insurance feel they are getting short changed by NOT BEING SICK. Really? They would rather have cancer and use some chemo? Bet not once they get there. In the end, they would rather have paid and NOT been sick. There is no “getting your money’s worth” out of health insurance”.

  35. Milo_Bloom says:

    Hoover had policies all over the map, considering the time frame in which he served.
    Frankly, if you are looking for a hero, I suggest looking outside the political arena. Too crooked.

  36. Milo_Bloom says:

    First of all, the word is “government.” Check your spelling. Clearly indicative of a government education. ;-)
    Food stamps do make people dependent. There are literally generations of people who no longer can picture eating without them, by design.
    I have no patience with any government redistribution of wealth. That includes subsidies. Or our system of taxation that rewards sloth and punishes success. Or food stamps. Etc, etc.
    As for Walmart, if you don’t like it, don’t shop there. If enough people agreed with you, they’d be out of business. Yet there they are. Funny that.

  37. CazzT says:

    It’s amusing how the Liberal Left is constantly trying to blame Republicans of creating poverty and keeping people in poverty. All you have to do is pick up a history book or use google to see that lie for what it is.

    The way food stamps work encourages people to be dependent on the govt instead of trying to improve themselves and their lives. After all, why put in effort to improve yourself when you can get food and housing for free? But then you complain and whine and throw tantrums when people point that out. Or you try to blame it on Republicans.

    Poverty doesn’t make people dependent on the govt. The govt giving people in poverty free crap does. Instead of providing schools for tradeskills or bettering yourself, the govt hands out foodstamps and welfare, which in turn creates a dependance on the govt.

    It always amazes me that someone tries to blame Republicans for dependance on the govt when it’s been the Democrats that have fought tooth and nail to increase that dependance. Obamacare is just one more black mark against the Liberals. They know it, they hate it. So they do the only thing they’ve ever been good at: Blame someone else.

  38. Ford Prefect says:

    Fair enough. I understand what you’re saying. The problem is the way it’s presented to people who are already looking for problems. For Medicare, everyone pays taxes into a system that subsidizes pretty much everyone in one sense or another. All those taxes go into one big pile from which services are provided. It matters not who is paying for what because everyone is paying into the same system. Parts B, D and whatever confuse me and should probably be eliminated and rolled into a big, comprehensive system, like they have in Yurp, for example. Let’s just take care of people’s needs and be done with all the institutional shenanigans, which is mostly what those various Parts are about.

    Commercial health insurance is a different animal. We’re told to be “consumers,” even though that’s nonsense. We’re citizens with a right to healthcare. In any case, if we’re “consumers” buying “insurance” the same way we buy TVs, then we’re not going to significantly more when that’s justified by things we can’t possibly “consume.” If I want a Prius, don’t tell me I MUST buy a Hummer because it’s my duty to prop up oil industry profits as a part of the deal.

    No one trusts insurance companies, for good reason. No one likes needless complexity, especially when it suits certain interested parties whose motivations are driven by profits. Also, no one who isn’t a PhD in healthcare policy can really decipher much of what they’re “shopping,” since that also means being able to anticipate unannounced changes to their policies just because Profits. So people are expected to act like rational “consumers” when information is totally asymmetrical. What I’m saying is, forget the whole consumer thing and treat people like human beings with a right to healthcare.

    Making them “consumers” means making them cynical about their own health. It also puts them at an informational disadvantage. It also segregates their access to care on the basis of geography, socio-economic status and so forth. These are all barriers to their right to healthcare. Donut holes and such also serve the same purpose. No one wants barriers to healthcare, as it is a universal concern.

    If I’m just a consumer, I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for things I can’t possibly use, because it looks like a ripoff. If, OTOH, my tax dollars pay for my healthcare and that of others, who am I to complain? It would also be much cheaper than private insurance, which would further diminish an issue with subsidizing others. If I’m subsidized, then it’s fine others are too.

    Instead we have a system that preys on a struggling middle-class to subsidize others, while letting the rich and corporations off the hook. It’s bad economics. It’s bad politics, because it feeds the politics of resentment–which I greatly oppose. I’m confident that’s a feature, not a bug, because if there’s one thing Neo-Liberals like, it’s to see the lower orders at each others throats, while they’re busy ripping us off.

    So any system that feeds resentment among people should be viewed as toxic, IMO. Yet, that is one aspect of PPACA I find revolting. A healthcare system that is unjust will never be very popular.

  39. slappymagoo says:

    “The problem as I see it is that while the Rs are doing everything in
    their power (which isn’t much, by the way*) to kill this thing, the Ds
    are blaming their problems on the Rs instead of fixing things.”

    And I disagree. First of all, unless some of our Dem Congresspeople are code monkeys, there’s not much they can do to make the site work better. Obama’s pitch today to allow people to keep their insurance for a year, even if it isn’t up to ACA-code is comparable to the bill Landrieu is pitching, which is much of what they can do on the legislative side. What’s making Republicans sweat with rage is he apparently is doing it without going through legislative motions, but considering how many people were saying this is what they want, it is a little disingenuous to say “you’re giving us what we demanded the wrong way! Go back and do it right!” Which he’ll probably do, or it will be done via Landrieu’s bill (and then let’s see who votes for it and who tries to shutter it or filibuster it). But mostly, what’s needed is the website to work and to wait for people to sign up.

    Meanwhile, the Republicans can continue to gum up the works the way they have been – governors refusing to set up state exchanges (which would alleviate a lot of pressure on to succeed) and refusing to expand the Medicaid rolls, all while insisting Obamacare can’t work so it should be scrapped, and that joining up will result in scary badness so it’s best not to sign up at all. That has an effect, and they know it, otherwise they wouldn’t do it.

  40. Indigo says:

    I don’t think he’ll resign because of flub-a-dubs. Unless he’s got a Nixon-event we don’t know about yet. Then, the public can force him out just the way we did Nixon. That was fun, actually. But, really, Barry’s just another pretty face in front of the camera. He’s the talent; he’s not really responsible for any of all this. I’ve said it before, so why not say it again, I blame society maven White House Advisor Valerie Jerrett.

  41. Ford Prefect says:

    Food stamps don’t make people “dependent on gubbamint.” Poverty does that. Perhaps if Righties (in both parties, by the way) weren’t so keen on creating so much poverty, fewer people would need food stamps, eh?

    And besides, rich, white Republicans and Democrats are the most dependent of all humanoids. They love those ag subsidies and subsidized corporate jets. But allowing the people we’ve deliberately sent into poverty to eat? Ack! The horror!

    Don’t you know that food stamps are really subsidizing corporate profits by artificially putting downward pressure on wages? If Wal-Mart isn’t entitled to such profits, how can you call yourself an American?

  42. devlzadvocate says:

    As opposed to Hoover’s policies which were a boon to everyman. And we will see history be rewritten in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 . . .

  43. devlzadvocate says:

    Looking at your messages back to me in total, I’m confused regarding your point and postion. I have Medicare. I pay for Part B and in addition, through my working life, I have paid via wage deductions for Part A. In all Medicare Part A and Part B materials I have checked, I have been paying for and have available to me maternity and pre-natal. Some people question why Medicare would pay for maternity and pre-natal care and why they should pay for it in there taxes and monthly premium. In addtion, Medicare covers mammograms and various other test only for females, yet I am a male. Yet Medicare is not private insurance. Now I’m confused.

  44. Milo_Bloom says:

    Oh, and for the record, yes, I’d argue that FDR’s New Deal was far more than a footnote: it laid the groundwork of dependency that has made almost every form of US government oppression possible for the last 75 or so years.

  45. Milo_Bloom says:

    Actually I was describing Mr. Obama.

    Thought that was pretty obvious.

  46. Milo_Bloom says:

    Interesting. You think that it is more benevolent to make people dependent upon government then let the government puppet master them for it’s own gain then to encourage people to be productive and independent?

    For the record, yes, I’d rather see people achieve than to be enslaved by their government. But if you aren’t willing to provide for yourself, I can see where the whole “food stamp” thing would be a remarkable tool.

  47. Milo_Bloom says:

    Ask Mighty; he’s the one representing those on the left who wish to hurt people. I’m simply an innocent bystander.

  48. Ford Prefect says:

    No probs. I didn’t take it personally and wasn’t offended. I just can’t help but think a lot of those people being lambasted by certain elitists are probably more anxious about all this than anything else and in finding out “you can keep your plan if you want to” was a bit of a fib might set some people off.

    I wish pols would realize playing smartass games with people’s lives isn’t such a good idea. So in any case,I was really reacting to that, not you.

    When Democrats start waving off millions of people by saying, “well, it’s only five percent…” it just makes my skin crawl.

  49. karmanot says:

    Sorry Ford….you are most certainly not a moron.

  50. karmanot says:

    In spite of the eloquent speechifying Obozo has neither the capacity for greatness nor competence for that matter.

  51. perljammer says:

    Oh, I see the problem now. Sorry about not being clear. I’m not wringing my hands at all.

    As I see it, the problem is not that the Ds are trying to fix things while the Rs are trying to derail the fixes. The problem as I see it is that while the Rs are doing everything in their power (which isn’t much, by the way*) to kill this thing, the Ds are blaming their problems on the Rs instead of fixing things.

    The problem with your analogy is that in the case of the ACA, there is no jack for the Rs to steal. The law has already been passed, signed, and judged constitutional. It’s what the Ds collectively wanted — it was passed without a single R vote. There is nothing the Rs can do, for example, to keep the website from being fixed. There is nothing the Rs can do to keep the President from “adminstratively” fixing the cancellation problem. Getting back to your analogy, I would say that the mechanic’s biggest problem is that he keeps giving the jack to the a-hole for safekeeping.

    *They’ve tried over 40 times to repeal ACA, and failed. They tried to defund it during the shutdown, and failed. They can’t do anything to overturn this thing without the complicity of the Democrats.

  52. FLL says:

    “To hurt people”? I don’t think that phrase applies to Republican congressman taking bribe money from lobbyists. I’m sure those Republican congressmen won’t be too “hurt”; at least their bank accounts won’t be hurt.

  53. FLL says:

    The Paul Ryan budget seeks to end FDR’s New Deal programs (e.g., Social Security and Unemployment Insurance). Was FDR’s New Deal “a footnote in a sad time in American history,” or are you describing yourself?

  54. Ford Prefect says:

    I was simply giving an example of what “substandard” means in some instances. But if you want to go there, fine. The optics of charging people for things they can’t possibly use is ridiculous on its face–from the standpoint of the person paying, not the actuarial who puts these “plans” together. You can justify it from the perspective of an insurance executive, but it has nothing to do with healthcare.

    My point isn’t about the services themselves. It’s about packaging that looks off to the person looking at a major rate rise with such things given as reasons for the rate rise. They want us to be “consumers” and “shop” things the same way we would buy a TV. That invites people to look very critically at things they are required to pay for, especially when it’s absurdly expensive. Optics are a problem in these instances, regardless of the insurance company “logic.”

    Health insurance isn’t a “marketplace,” since information is all too often opaque, too difficult to understand or altogether missing. There is no competition to speak of. There are very limited choices and the insurance industry has permission to collude against “consumers” in any case. PPACA even gives them the right to change coverage without any consent from the policy holder, which looks even more suspicious.

    If you want people to make distinctions, then you’d (not YOU, the insurance industry) best not act like you’re jerking them around. It looks suspicious, even if it makes actuarial sense to some bean counter upstairs. And of course, none of this is really necessary anyway, since healthcare is a right and a profit motive that erects barriers between people and their healthcare is NOT a right.

    You can try to frame paying for things you can’t possibly use as “savings,” but good luck getting people to buy that. It doesn’t make sense to those paying through the nose for such “savings” and who will probably have real problems getting care they actually do need if and when it becomes unprofitable. If you want deaf ears, try the people who’ve been getting ripped off for decades and are sick of it.

  55. slappymagoo says:

    Lazlo Toth lives, apparently.

  56. Ford Prefect says:

    That would make more sense if the industry hadn’t written the bill themselves. This wasn’t imposed on them. They wrote it, lobbied for it and gave away a lot of money to get it passed. Bad Max’s committee hearings on it only included industry types testifying. Obama made deals with the industry before he was even sworn in.

    If someone can provide evidence of sabotage, I’d love to see it. That said, since I don’t have evidence refuting the claim, then I can’t claim to be necessarily “right” either. If they had opposed it prior to passage, the sabotage claim would be more plausible. But when vested interests get to write their own bills, for their own benefit (public be damned), it’s hard to claim they’re somehow against it.

    Mostly I see incompetence, mismanagement and a hyper-politicized implementation. But they created problems PR can’t fix and here we are, three years later.

  57. devlzadvocate says:

    Said the guy on the side that cut food stamps.

  58. devlzadvocate says:

    That entire argument falls on deaf ears with me. All polices cover procedures given to both genders. It would be, in fact, impossible to create health insurance policies that are tailored to exclude all male procedures for women and all female procedures for men. There are thousands of those medical procedures that take place and to add them in when a female member is added or take them out when she no longer needs them or is taken off a contract would actually exceed the amount of savings of the medical procedures themselves.

  59. slappymagoo says:

    “Blaming the Republicans, or the insurance companies, or the states may
    score political points, but it doesn’t provide a dime’s worth of
    insurance for anyone.”

    I’m not saying it does. I’m saying you have half of one party (at best) trying to make this work, and you have 98% of another party actively rooting it for failure, getting in the way of progress, and all at the same time, demanding answers as to why it’s failing. And then you have well-meaning folks like you pointing out that the problem’s not getting solved and pointing fingers doesn’t solve problems. But maybe what it COULD do, is extend some patience until the problems CAN get solved.

    I’m not a big fan of car analogies (or home finance analogies) when it comes to government, but I know some people can’t get enough of ’em, so imagine you have a flat and you’re incapacitated so you can’t help fix it. The guy that CAN fix it is dealing with an a-hole outside who doesn’t want you to get to your destination, so he keeps stealing the jack and then he mocks the mechanic for not fixing the tire faster and demanding to see his credentials to even be trusted with your tire. The mechanic is saying “well if you give me the jack, if you stop getting in my way, if you help me, I’ll get this done sooner, but clearly you don’t want me to fix this damn tire.” And instead of you saying “hey, he’s right, you are getting in the way AND you’re rooting for him to fail WHILE mocking him for his failure,” you’re saying “gentlemen, we’ll never get done this way.” And you’re right, you’ll never get done this way, but it’s the only way one side will let things be, if you’re going to get things done, it will be IN SPITE of them, not with their help. So stop with the hand-wringing and continue to shine a light on those who are gumming up the works, because only in the glaring lights will maybe, MAYBE they’ll be shamed enough to slink back in the shadows where they can do less harm.

  60. Ford Prefect says:

    Indeed, a childless, post-menopausal woman in her 50’s has a “sub-standard” plan if it doesn’t include maternity and pediatric coverage. Sometimes that term means what one would think it to mean. Other times it doesn’t.

  61. devlzadvocate says:

    I still disagree. Insurance companies resist ACA because they all end up selling the same product with the only distinction being a company logo. If you have been in the Marketplace, the diffs in plans are dedcutbiles, copays, a some other minor diffs.

  62. Milo_Bloom says:

    I don’t think you are alone. It’s become a staple of the left to want to hurt people.

  63. Ford Prefect says:

    We can’t know until the demand is made. Had the Dems ever even attempted to make that demand, we would know a lot more about “what’s possible.” But they studiously avoided that. Fact is, roughly 80% of Americans support Medicare, which is Single Payer. So if the case were made, especially in terms of choice and huge economic benefits, I seriously doubt Americans would reject it. It’s already a known item, but only for retirees. And who cares about protecting insurance companies? No one?

    Let the TP reject Medicare and see what happens to them. They’re the ones who held up signs saying, “Hands off my Medicare,” after all. Medicare is very popular, even amongst TPers.

    That said, I don’t see it happening soon either. Obamacare has to fail first and it will, but that may take time. Still, getting people ahead of the 8-ball for once wouldn’t be a bad idea. Progs are always playing defense, which is why we lose all the time. The one thing I never want to hear is, “What choice do we have?” We can always choose a better path, even if it takes ten years to get there.

  64. Mighty says:

    My problem is I keep wanting Obama to find a way to hurt Republicans for being such a holes. I am so sick to death of them.

  65. devlzadvocate says:

    I’m not sure “whodunit” matters, but when we know who resisted from the beginning with the most muscle and dollars, we probably already know who resisted most in the middle and end.

  66. devlzadvocate says:

    “Let’s junk this think and push for Single Payer . . .” I’m not sure how that is going to occur with a GOP controlled House, a TP crazed Southern population and this bad experience. I’ll help push, but I don’t see it on the horizon.

  67. Milo_Bloom says:

    “All that rhetoric and not a lick of sense. What a waste!”

    A very good synopsis of Mr. Obama’s last few speeches.

  68. nicho says:

    All that rhetoric and not a lick of sense. What a waste!

  69. devlzadvocate says:

    Many of the plans cancelled were not sub-standard contary to what you may be hearing. They were simply plans that could not be changed via the current mechanisms (eg. rider amendments approved by insurance bureaus) in each state to meet new national standards. The remaining ways were to replace either with existing plans that already met standards or filing and fast-tracking approval of new plans.

  70. Milo_Bloom says:

    Mr. Obama is acting more and more like a drowning man, thrashing about wildly in the hopes of postponing the inevitable.

    You’ve lied to the American people Mr. Obama, and you’ve exploited them to increase your power and the power of your government. Now, as people are starting to realize the perilous position you’ve placed them in, your chickens are coming home to roost, so to speak. Thrash about, lie s’more, and keep trying to stay afloat. It only further damages your credibility, and further energizes your opponents. With a little luck, it may not be too late to turn things around and make you simply a footnote in a sad time in American history.

  71. perljammer says:

    Oh, I dunno. I agree she should resign, but I’m willing to let her continue being a nincompoop.

  72. perljammer says:

    As has been widely reported, there is no “old school paper method” for enrolling. You can call in and give your information by telephone, but the only way for that information to get into the system is for the phone support person to use the website. The phone support people have no magic back door to bypass the website’s problems.

  73. Ford Prefect says:

    Well, my insurance supposedly wasn’t “sub-standard” but it was cancelled anyway. And since I’m over 50, Obamacare is offering up something fairly similar, but 40% more expensive. I wasn’t happy with my insurance before and I didn’t care about keeping it. But now I’m looking at a much bigger bill for another plan which certainly isn’t 40% more happiness inducing. Note also, I’m not a moron.

    For me, the cancellation isn’t a big issue. But trying to navigate a system that is lowering my standard of living isn’t all that pleasant either. It makes it much harder to see any perceived benefits of the New Order. It’s not clear at all that I’ll be better off than before and since I wasn’t happy then either, then how am I supposed to be pleased with any of this? My rates are still going up, out-of-pocket is still way too high and my deductible is about the same ($6,000).

    So what is there to get excited about? I’d be much happier if the New Order was any better than the old one. But I’m not seeing that as yet. A 40% rate rise is hardly an inducement to praise, especially when my wages have been falling, but not falling enough to get subsidies. Of course, once I’m finally in the poor house, maybe then I can praise it!

  74. perljammer says:

    Time and time again I have heard, “Obamacare was passed by Congress, signed by the President, and judged Constitutional by the Supreme Court. It’s the law of the land — deal with it.”

    Well, here we are, trying to deal with it, and it appears that a lot of people are finding it to be a genuine struggle. Blaming the Republicans, or the insurance companies, or the states may score political points, but it doesn’t provide a dime’s worth of insurance for anyone.

  75. karmanot says:

    True, if brebth has a sub-standard policy and gets in a car accident, chances are 99% they will not cover his accident anyway.

  76. Ford Prefect says:

    As for Single Payer, Medicare is Single Payer and 8 out of 10 Americans support it, for obvious reasons. So yes, Single Payer would gain broad support.

    ACA will likely fail of its own accord. Repealing is just a silly way to score partisan points that do nothing but froth up the media. It’s also deeply unpopular with the public, not because they like PPACA so much, but because the GOP offers no solutions beyond “more pain for you.” Oddly enough, people have had enough of that kind of talk, no matter which party is spewing it.

    Both legacy parties are locked into a race to the bottom of public approval. The Dems have all but lost their generic ballot advantage they were crowing about right after the Shutdown fiasco. Note also the GOP has not picked up any of the approval the Dems have lost.

    Healthcare is a right. Assert that and you’ll find broad agreement from anyone who isn’t a corporate shill or a nut.

  77. karmanot says:

    More power to the morons who can keep their sub-standard insurance that cover nothing

  78. Drew2u says:

    No problem! Anytime!
    (I was going to edit the above post to mention that doesn’t even touch upon apathy at the State’s level.

  79. Whitewitch says:

    Oh I see, perhaps that is what got you banned eh? It is okay for him to believe in the President you know…

  80. Whitewitch says:

    Well see we do agree – single payor is the way to go. Interestingly, often the world has changed without the approval of the majority, for example the vote for women was totally not supported by the majority of men in control of the country at that time and, although I believe you are wrong that the majority would not support such a plan, sometimes things have to change for people to realize the benefit.

    You see that is WHAT the people we elect to office are supposed to do…help make the world a bit better for the people that elected them by passing laws, and running the government. Including, but not limited to, voting, up or down, on the Presidents nominees, voting, up or down, on the budget and, finally voting, up or down, on the debt ceiling….

    It would seem that no one is interested in doing their job in DC…unlike at my job – where I am required to do my work and for far less than any one in Congress….just saying…the boys (and girls) have to learn to play together better.

  81. JayRandal says:

    I have to go Drew but appreciate your comments back to me.

    I will respond later to comments to me.

  82. bhull says:

    “Knee bound” – means…

  83. Drew2u says:

    This is not a snark-question, but do you have the surveys for the “majority of” claim?

  84. bhull says:

    “Kenne bound” – mean among other things that John Aravosis is a tool that kneels before the administration to pleasure them 24/7 and to say whatever ever they want with a “yes master” and then some after each administration commandment.

  85. Drew2u says:

    And I agree with you! With Fox being it’s self, CNN being Fox-Lite, and CBS being incompetent, any national exposure is pretty much null-and-void.

  86. Jefferson_Was_Right says:

    What I want is to either fish or cut bait. You want to talk about single payer? Fine. Let’s talk about single payer. I do not think anything close to a majority of American will agree with the idea, but I am all for honest discussions about policy.

    That is in comparison to the ACA, which is nothing more than an attempt to win political points for democrats while giving a massive handout out to the insurance carriers. The left doesn’t want to talk about repealing the ACA. you all need to understand something — this law is going to fail. Reality is asserting itself. The longer people try to prop the ACA up, the more long term damage you do to a fairly just cause of trying to get a basic level of healthcare to all americans.

  87. JayRandal says:

    Indigo: Economy was in much better shape under Pres. Clinton. He did listen to outsider advice. I sent him numerous faxes when he was in office. He accepted some of my ideas. Pres. Obama is close-minded and refuses to accept advice
    from anybody outside his administration. I call for him to resign because 3 more years of his incompetency would be horrible. Time to give VP Biden a chance to do decent things if possible.

    I have to go for now but will respond later to comments.

  88. Whitewitch says:

    Hmm I don’t really know what “knee bound” …..

  89. Indigo says:

    It does seem that way. This is what I call the Reagan model of the presidency, to do nothing more than recite the lines written by sponsors and to be always camera ready. It’s in that sense that Ronald Reagan has had a deeper impact on the Obama presidency than Clinton and all the other greats as well. (Disclaimer: I understand that not everyone holds Clinton to have been great but I prospered nicely during his administration and that’s worth quite a bit to me.)

  90. Whitewitch says:

    Sorry – no heads will roll. You see – you are confused – you think anyone who is in political office cares about you, your situation or the ultimate outcome of your life. Republicans would prefer if you would just die if you get sick (or go to the emergency room for care and then die) and Democrats only care about appeasing the corporate insurance industry and try to make it look like they care about you.

    All that said….I believe that you are mistaken. I believe that EVERYONE can get insurance on the Exchange once it became operative (which is now – sort of). So get a small policy to cover your lapse and then sign up as soon as you can on the exchange.

  91. JayRandal says:

    As for Sebelius she should tender her resignation as a nincompoop ASAP.

  92. JayRandal says:

    BHO as I refer to him at times never seems to take real responsibility for any screw-ups. At same time he refuses to fire anybody else for screwing up. I believe he is actually not in charge of his administration. Just a front-man for corporatists and Wall Street firms. He should resign.

  93. Jefferson_Was_Right says:

    So you’re all for Harry Reid resigning too, right? Since not bringing bills passed by the other legislative body to the floor is cause for that action, and all.

  94. slappymagoo says:

    No one’s saying “they’re worse.” We’re saying “they’re nothing. They are offering no solutions, only trying to tear down the solutions trying to be created and implemented.” If the Republicans spent a tenth of the time working to make the ACA work that they spend simultaneously trying to destroy it AND complaining that it isn’t working right, it’d be that much closer to working right. That’s not a distraction, not at all.

  95. bhull says:

    I am both. John and all his knee bound insecurity and inability to hear opposing views resulted in a ban from this site. now I come here at my leisure and the method i use to bypass john’s IT monkees requires me to enter a name each time and I often use a different one. Btw, hello John this is tbhull how do you enjoy my posts now, boy?

  96. bhull says:

    One can only get insurance on the exchange of they have a pre-existing condition and their policy has been cancelled. The only option for many whose policies have been cancelled is those offered on the exchange. Daily attempts since mid-october on the exchange web-site and numerous calls and nada. Currently this is an absolute fiasco and failure and if folks whose coverage lapsed and that cannot get coverage suffer an uncovered loss it will get infinitely worse muy pronto. Heads will roll.

  97. Indigo says:

    Oh, good grief! Will Bary ever stop improvising and enforce the law? Yes, the site is complicated by links to other sites and yes, the concept is itself complex, but so is Medicare and that site works fine and so is Social Security and that site works fine and so is Wikileaks and that site works fine and so is the National Security Agency’s (deeply interesting) site so what the frack is wrong with Katherine Sebelius’ little project? She claims she accepts full responsibility but that’s just empty words until she’s gone. If she won’t go gracefully then fire her! Maybe she didn’t “do it” but that’s irrelevant. Heads must roll and since we’re so squeamish we don’t actually chop heads off anymore, let her resign from office and go spend more time with her family or whatever. And while I’m on my soap box let me add that I suspect the highly incompetent hand of White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett in all this.

  98. Jefferson_Was_Right says:

    Since you’re apparently omniscient, why don’t you go and save the world instead of run a 3rd rate blog? Oh, wait, that’s right — you’re not. Again. You have no argument. You instead resort to attacking me (ironically, for something I’m not — you have NO IDEA what I watch or don’t watch, or even what I believe or think.)

    In answer to your question, the law says /nothing/ about the president’s flexibility to give insurance companies leeway. Hence me (correct) assertion that he is ignoring federal statute for political reasons, in violation of his oath of office and the constitution.

    Ultimately, this should be decided by impeachment proceedings, if we’re being strictly constitutional, but there’s no point to those any longer. The Hill has become so politicized that a sitting president could eat a human baby on live TV whilst proclaiming he is the minion of Gozer the Destroyer come to reap all the humans of Earth and he wouldn’t be convicted by a 2/3’s vote in the Senate.

  99. Ford Prefect says:

    We gotta start somewhere. You have a voice. Use it. The more people can be persuaded to think beyond the current Neo-Liberal fever swamp, the more interest it will generate.

  100. JayRandal says:

    Drew I want you to know my fight for “single-payer” healthcare system to enable ALL Americans to have fair across the board medical care. I want you, your family, and everybody else to have it.

  101. JayRandal says:

    You are correct Drew that media/press refuse to report on Americans wanting “single-payer” like in Canada. Corporate press in bed with insurance groups.

  102. JayRandal says:

    Majority of Americans desire “single-payer” healthcare system like in Canada.
    Progressive Caucus and Black Caucus wanted it but Obama in bed with big insurance corporations desired mandated “for-profit” insurance coverage.

  103. Drew2u says:

    I’m not disagreeing with you, but who’s calling for Medicare-for-all besides the hard left? Not even the media is covering it on an economical level.

  104. JayRandal says:

    Drew: Precisely ObamaCare is RomneyCare on steroids. Medicare-for-ALL would get Americans medical care needs. Insurance limits care and rations it too.

  105. MichaelS says:

    My real complaint with all of this isn’t the ACA… It’s that this President, who came into office with such confidence, and faith in his intellect, is rapidly proving himself even less competent than the last administration. At least W had Cheney (and his team) running the shop. Biden is good, but not a sharp enough and take-no-prisoners administrator. And **clearly** the President’s team is full of incompetents as well.

    Don’t just look at ACA… (The real crime here isn’t just the web site, it’s Obama’s staff who told him to go out on the trail and make that un-keepable promise about keeping your health plan.) Consider the IRS scandal — Obama immediately condemned the IRS for “targeting” Tea Party groups. And when the dust finally settled, the truth was that the IRS actually targeted no one, it scrutinized BOTH left and right groups, and in fact it was the LEFTIE groups that were denied 501-c-4 status, not the righties. Still, he threw the IRS and the lefties under the bus for that one, for no reason.

    And the one, quick, immediate action the President could have taken (and could still take) is to direct the IRS to FOLLOW THE LAW as written and deny all 501-c-4 status to any group that is not exclusively non-political. This is one of those few things he doesn’t need Congress to do! But he won’t — for all his high talk, he has no vision and he has no courage. (And this is coming from a supporter and a volunteer who worked to help get him elected.)

  106. JayRandal says:

    Additionally If I was a Congressional Democrat who voted for Act: I would feel betrayed now. Republicans definitely could have sabotaged exchange website along with Act itself. Democrats trusting to enact something from Heritage Foundation ideas was dumb with loopholes strewn in it so other poison too.

  107. Drew2u says:

    It’s a republican idea so that should/needs to be pushed more. As it is, it’s the best we have currently and I’ll raise holy hell if talks turn serious about repealing it because it’s the best chance I have at affordable care – I looked at the numbers – same with my other family members I checked on.

  108. JayRandal says:

    Those bozos you refer to should resign too. Affordable Care Act is a fiasco for Democrats because they should have enacted “single-payer” Medicare-for-ALL.
    GOPers in Congress desire for commoner Americans to drop dead of illnesses.

  109. Drew2u says:

    I think the trolls have latched onto this post ;)

  110. Drew2u says:

    And who are you saying should resign for the government shutting down? Ted Cruz? Rand Paul? John Boehner since he purposefully did not (and continues to not) bring bills up for a vote: aka do his job?

  111. Drew2u says:

    I had a great experience with my phone navigator. He couldn’t finish answering my questions, but that’s because I was to finish mine through the state; and since my governor declined to make an exchange or accept Medicaid, I’m having to wait for a bit

  112. Whitewitch says:

    Get insurance to cover the lapse. This is not a perfect world and nothing works perfectly….so instead of some crazy hypothetical projection…just find coverage and when the exchange is working – sign up. Peace.

  113. JayRandal says:

    For myself in reading parts of Affordable Care Act I got worst headache of my entire life. Legalese jargon up the yazoo in it gave me a migraine illness. Whomever compiled Act did NOT want it to be readable by citizenry. I doubt President Obama has fully read all of it. Probably just summary of it.

    If anybody really cross checked all of it, without becoming ill in doing it, then probably might throw-up afterwards. Looking over Act it was compiled/written by lobbyist lawyers of insurance corporations. Bits and pieces of it interjections by politicians to add revisions and some restrictions to it. Some restrictions negated by legalese in other parts of it. It is a Corporatism Act written for predominate benefits of insurance groups.

    President Obama is trying to farm off responsibility for rotten reform of healthcare system for US. Insurance companies are still allowed to cancel policies at their whims. Obama referring to healthcare insurance like automobile insurance a really putrid comparison. Obama should consider resigning.

  114. Whitewitch says:

    Okay then – we agree….I think – is the website going crazy…are you bhull or brenth?

  115. Whitewitch says:

    Ohhh how that one tickles me…no rules, no laws…just some advice to move and cut back on fats and the RWNJ explode, calling her horrible names…gosh – I feel for the First Lady so often…it must be very hard.

  116. Whitewitch says:

    Oh snap and a half…..

    “Contrary to …the Executive Branch has power [even] when Republicans aren’t president.

    emphasis added….

  117. Whitewitch says:

    So Jefferson…do you want it fixed or do you want to just complain about how bad it is that people are getting cancelled. Seems you want it to be status quo – so you and all the Republicans have something to whine about…ohhh it is not working…ohhh it is not fair….OH WAIT – he can’t fix it that way.

  118. Whitewitch says:

    You call an insurance company and get insurance to cover you during the lapse. Ta DAH!!!!

  119. bhull says:

    You are correct I support single payer. We have it for those over 65 or s. Singe payer is what Obama should start pushing right now.

  120. bhull says:

    ok change the dates to 12/31/2013, 1/1/2014 and 1/2/2014 as it was a hypothetical except for 11/30/13. Have an answer other than just have faith that the government will have the federal exchange up and working by 12/31/13? i did not think so.

  121. Whitewitch says:

    No soo true Bhull…this is after the Republican plan in the first place, so yes the President did sell out to them..however…I must say the Heritage Foundation thought it would work…didn’t they.

  122. bhull says:

    tried and could not.

  123. Whitewitch says:

    No worries Mod…it was just me poking the bear – probably better not to do that. Have a good day.

  124. Whitewitch says:

    oh shoot…now I am conflicted….do I like you cause you think we should have Single Payor…or do I not like you cause you are parroting RW propaganda?

  125. Whitewitch says:

    Oh you are a happy one eh? Welcome…

    Have you actually tried to get insurance or are you just repeating what you have heard on say errrr Drudge or Rush or perhaps BretBarf.

  126. fletcher says:

    Yes, Whitewitch, there is a god… or at least a Moderator.

  127. Moderator3 says:

    Post it anyway. I removed it, because it was just a personal attack.

  128. Whitewitch says:

    Sorry Chris didn’t see your post…well said – much better than I.

  129. Whitewitch says:

    Darn it the moderator took away the bad post from the mean person and I didn’t get to post my reply….I hate when that happens.

  130. Ford Prefect says:

    Solidarity in the name of…an inherently unjust corporate profit scam in the name of “reform”?

    The Dem politicos are freaking out because they thought their scheme would work out to their benefit. Turns out they were wrong about that, as people now their their judgment as deeply suspect. But at least they get to keep all the cash and prizes they’ve won, so there’s that wee consolation prize.

    If Party leadership stood for anything good and decent, solidarity wouldn’t be a problem, in my estimation. Democrats had a lock on congress for decades because of the New Deal. They earned six decades of loyalty by making good policy. Now all that’s out the window and they are sinking. It’s not hard to see why: you lower the standard of living and people will give up on you.

    PPACA isn’t a PR or “selling” issue. They treat healthcare as if we’re shopping for TV sets. They also sold us a bill of goods and there’s no taking that back. People won’t rally around that kind of craven behavior.

  131. Whitewitch says:

    This whole story is BS, because you can’t get ACA coverage until January 1 anyway…be mad at your Insurance Company…not the President or the Democrats that are trying to help you.

  132. Whitewitch says:

    I hope he does that…we should email him…or have John tell him….

  133. Whitewitch says:

    Fun times indeed MichaelS – sadly I fear you have it right…although I think he did the right thing and I support him in this move…I feel so sad for him. And I hope the Republicans so shoot themselves in the foot…

  134. Whitewitch says:

    Wow – an actual positive step – preemptive almost! Well done Sir! Stand Tall Mr. President – you did good!

  135. Ford Prefect says:

    Selling out to right-wing bullshit about the evils of “socialized medicine” is what Obama did and now he’s reaping what he sowed.

    Which is my entire point, by the way. Additionally, most of us are also reaping what they’ve sown, which is much more of a concern to me. I see nothing wrong in saying we all deserve better.

  136. MyrddinWilt says:

    Well you can go to court but you can’t win a case without standing.

    Bush caused the death of half a million people in Iraq, set up a network of gulags to hold prisoners without trial and authorized the use of torture. None of those actions could be challenged in court because the courts decided that nobody had standing to bring a case.

    What the President plan amounts to is not enforcing a tax penalty for a year. Who has standing to sue? Certainly not the Republicans and certainly not anyone who claims the tax break. The Republicans would look pretty silly trying to sue to force the President to enforce a tax penalty on some people that they are attempting to abolish completely.

    What remedy could the courts impose?

    A court might make an order that would prevent a repeat in 2015 but they are not going to order a retroactive tax rise and even if they did the President would simply ask Congress to void it.

  137. Ford Prefect says:

    If the problem of PPACA were simply about the 1.5 million who’ve already had their policies cancelled, that would be one thing. But the problems are manifold and in the end, most people cannot possibly be happy with it.

    Realistically, we’re going to play “wait and see” for years, as they play Whack-A-Mole with one issue after another. But in the end, it’s still a polished turd.

    The longer we wait to demand Medicare For All, the longer it takes to build that constituency. Demanding it now doesn’t mean it will happen now, but it does mean at least someone is playing offense in support of the public interest. As it is now, blame-shifting is supposed to solve all these various problems. As if that means anything to people left hanging out to dry.

    Today, the issue is the fact people now understand Obama lied about people’s existing insurance. Next week, it will be something else. After three years of this crap with more years to follow, what is the trendline on PPACA’s political viability going forward? Add in all the various austerity measures that will reduce funding, Medicaid and subsidies going forward and where does all this lead? People are already expecting the shaft.</b?

    We need Single Payer. Healthcare is a Right. We can either defend the indefensible or move on to greener pastures. That's about all there is with this issue. They gambled with our well being and scored lots of illicit cash while throwing us under the bus.

    Time to move on and demand better, before it's too late.

  138. Monoceros Forth says:

    You do have a point there. Selling out to right-wing bullshit about the evils of “socialized medicine” is what Obama did and now he’s reaping what he sowed.

  139. bhull says:

    The phone line is more hopeless than the website. Navigators, many of which are slop felons, are not worthy of trust and require a drive of over 150 miles.

  140. MichaelS says:

    Oh, the battle is just now getting underway:

    1. The Repugs are already claiming he doesn’t have the legal authority to do… what they are demanding he do — and the only way to fix it is to repeal the law.

    2. The Dems are complaining that because they’re so wounded politically, they need to do this through legislation, so they can VOTE and put their name on the fix.

    3. January 15. The next deadline for a government shutdown. The Repugs are already planning their take-it-or-leave-it ransom against the ACA. But this time, the Dems won’t be united and it will really be chaos. Watch the President capitulate.

    4. And if that doesn’t work, there’s always the Feb. 7 debt ceiling loaded gun. If the Repugs smell blood in the water — if there are even a few Dems looking to bolt from ACA — watch out everybody. And here comes SEQUESTER II — The Sequel.

    Fun times…

  141. ezpz says:

    Democrats are weak….

    No, they’re corrupt. No less corrupt than those on the flip side of the one party coin.
    They can be quite strong when they want something, e.g., passing this pos law, by hook or crook. Literally.

  142. bhull says:

    Swallow this cold hard fact son, this particular problem was created solely by the administration without any repub help. Obama is all alone on failure island here.

  143. Savage8862 says:

    Get off your butt and call the number rather than sitting impatiently in front of your computer to see if the website is up and running. There are more than one way in which to get insurance. Instead of whining about what is wrong, take matters into your own hands and find a way.

  144. MyrddinWilt says:

    I don’t think this is the time to demand ‘Medicare for all’.

    What we should do now is to demand that people who had their policies cancelled be allowed to opt in to Medicare for a year (with an appropriate means tested fee).

    And we should make clear that this is only an extraordinary measure intended for a year.

    If by some miracle we managed to get it we should do like the Republicans do with every corporate tax break and insist that the option be made permanent.

  145. Savage8862 says:

    Democrats are weak. They allowed the insurance companies to write the ACA – thanks to Max Baccus. Then they tried to appease the Republicans and allowed them to overburden the ACA with unnecessary amendments which none of the GOP voted to accept. Then, Democrats never knew how to sell the ACA to the American People and allowed the Tea Party to set the agenda during that disastrous summer of town hall meetings. And now, the Democrats are running like scared little children because the website doesn’t work and that some voters in the individual marketplace got cancellation notices. I am sometimes embarrassed to say I am a Democrat because we can never maintain the very first sign that Republicans may get mad, we bolt for the nearest door. President Obama by announcing his so-called “fix” today has undermined the very program he considered his signature piece. It is disgraceful.

  146. Ford Prefect says:

    The problem with that analogy is it’s about consumer electronics, which while a nice thing to have, isn’t necessary for one to continue breathing, so one can continue to support one’s children (for example). Healthcare is a Right, not something you shop for entertainment.

    They’ve had three years to implement this and it doesn’t work. They arrogantly assumed people wouldn’t mind being messed with in this, a most personal way. It took LBJ one year to implement Medicare and it’s worked all along. Instead of doing the obvious, most efficient and efficacious thing, they decided to reinvent the wheel. And as it turns out, the wheel has a bad hub and doesn’t work.

  147. Monoceros Forth says:

    You know, pointing at the other guy and saying, “He’s worse!” really doesn’t solve any problems.

    You’re quite right. But, considering that right-wing governance is more concerned with creating problems, I have to say that not solving problems is almost preferable these days.

  148. MyrddinWilt says:

    I would not worry too much about the details of the fix, there is almost zero likelihood that the GOP will allow any change to go through Congress without a poison pill designed to kill Obamacare completely.

    The move is smart politically but there is no way to help the people being caught because the Republicans are determined to create pain and suffering in the hope that they can benefit from it politically. They made no effort to pass universal health care when in office, they fought tooth and nail against every proposal, even one based on their own crazy ideology. They just tried to threaten to destroy the economy in an attempt to force repeal.

    The original bill was written with the expectation that there would be course corrections after it passed. The GOP refused to allow any change that might make it work better. They insisted that Republican held states do everything they can to sabotage the roll out, including refusing to manage their own exchanges.

    I suggest that you try again now the federal exchange is supposed to be working better than before. But what I find rather mystifying is that the private insurers are sitting back and doing nothing. The only mandate is to buy a plan that meets the criteria. Why do they have to go through the exchanges at all? I would be looking to sell direct if I was an insurer. Though of course what a lot of insurers are doing is likely using this as an opportunity to price gouge. Its the same stupidity that the company that used to put the phones on planes suffered from. There was plenty of demand but not at $4 per minute ($6 for international). So nobody used the phones and the company went bankrupt despite the fact that there was more than enough demand for their service at a price that would pay for the infrastructure required.

  149. cole3244 says:

    obama screwed up on implementing the aca and now he is caving to the dems that are caving to the gop on the aca because they are afraid of losing their seat.

    no one is prepared to do the right thing and stand and fight and obama is just making his last term as uncomplicated as possible, jan 2017 (actually nov 2016) and he will care less about the 99% they have served their purpose and got him elected twice and they will be on their own which they are now to some extent.

  150. chris10858 says:

    Way to go Obama… smart move. Now, he just needs to follow that up in January with pushing the message that those folks with crappy plans can check out ObamaCare and see if they can get a better plan for the same or cheaper price.

  151. perljammer says:

    Nice. You know, pointing at the other guy and saying, “He’s worse!” really doesn’t solve any problems. Nice distraction, though.

  152. Ford Prefect says:

    Wow, indeed:

    “Obama equated the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to the rules that every car had to have a seatbelt. It cost money, but lives were saved. One difference was that, in that scenario, the Obamacare rollout required everyone to have a new car, rather than just wait until they needed or wanted one. That was one of the fumbles, he said.”

    Shorter Obama: “We figured you wouldn’t mind having your life disrupted by forcing you to be a guinea pig in our corporate experiment. Woopsie.”

    If only we were talking about a seatbelt that in 1965 costed all of $30 and demonstrably saved lives. If only we were talking about a simple choice that everyone can understand and support for obvious reasons. His choice of metaphors is almost insulting our intelligence. PPACA may very well save some lives. But it will also cost other people theirs. It’s a good thing seatbelts don’t work that way.

  153. maria says:

    A better example would be the switch from analog to digital TV broadcasting. People were allowing to keep their old TV sets but only had to get a set-top box to translate digital signals for the old technology. And the February 2009 date was postponed to give people more time to convert. And to facilitate the conversion citizens could get a refund of $40 for the conversion box. Also a parallel to the ACA, the Republicans worked hard to slow and even kill the conversion, so much so that if the conversion period had begun when originally planned we would have been first in the world in 2003 and not a tardy behind Japan and many European nations.

  154. chris10858 says:

    By the way, you just made an excellent point as to why young people with no health issues should be sure to enroll in ObamaCare. Who know when even a 22yo athlete could get into a car wreck or suffer a sports injury on the field.

  155. Monoceros Forth says:

    They have no idea how to make things better.


  156. chris10858 says:

    Well, first of all, the exchange doesn’t start until January 1st. So, if you get in a car accident in December, it’s not going to be in effect yet.

    But let’s say you were to get in a car wreck after January 1st and a psychic friend tells you today to signup for Obamacare by the December 15th deadline (in order to have it go into effect by Jan 1). Well, in addition to the website, you can call and signup for it over the phone. There are also local social service organizations throughout the country that have been designated as Navigators, which are usually non-profit groups that can help explain everything to you and get you signed up by the old-school paper method… you know, the way people used to enroll for health insurance before the advent of computers.

  157. brenth says:

    It does not matter what state commissioners do if the health insurance carriers say they are not going to re-offer the cancelled policies and there is not a GD thing Obama, state commissioners or anyone in government can do about this. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of Americans that had health insurance for decades will now be without of health insurance coverage thanks to the ACA. Irony?

  158. Ford Prefect says:

    Begrudgingly, I have to give some credit to the Dem apparat for being able to almost completely keep legitimate dissent off the radar, so to speak. But in the end, peoples’ experience will do the job Flowers and Zeese are trying to do. That’s a great piece, BTW.

    Obamacare was never going to work (or be as popular) as stated. They figured they could just force people into accepting that which is still too expensive and still mostly crap. But PR only goes so far. The elites are hitting the wall on this precisely because healthcare is a universal concern, while corporate profits are not.

    And yet, who is being served here?

  159. brenth says:

    Or if not a car wreck, I get a substantial prolonged illness on 12/2/2013 that requires extended hospitilzation. F’in disaster and it is all on this administration. Jut bring on single payer now.

  160. brebth says:

    Ok I had insurance. My carrier cancelled it because of the ACA effective 11/30/2013. I cannot get insurance on the site. Obama says he will make my cancelled good for another year, but my carrier still says no the policy is not being offered and I have no coverage after 11/30/2013 unless I get it on the exchanges but I cannot because the site does not work. Next step, this persists such that I do not have coverage as of 12/1/2013 and there is nothing I can do. On 12/2/2013 I get into a car wreck through no fault of my own and am in the hospital for months. What is Obama’s answer? This is a f’in disaster.

  161. Naja pallida says:

    If you want to see some petty tyrants, there’s a whole crowd of them in the Senate, who seem to think their personal whims are more important than appointing judges, filling cabinet posts, operating agencies, hell, a functioning government in general.

  162. perljammer says:

    IsAs far as I can tell, the law doesn’t say anything at all about the President’s flexibility to do or to not do anything. What the law does is impose requirements on the Secretary of HHS. And the part that applies to the subject at hand appears to be Sec. 1301 through Sec. 1304. But then, I’m not a lawyer.

  163. ezpz says:

    You’ve probably seen this, but worthy of a repost for those who have not and who want actual sourced, documented facts, not just team blue’s talking points…

    Margaret Flowers and Keven Zeese:

    Obamacare: The Biggest Insurance Scam in History

    This is not coming from Fox or any other R wing site. These are among the single payer advocates whom Max Baucus had arrested simply because they wanted a seat at the table.

  164. Ford Prefect says:

    Sure. But I don’t really care about that. And it’s not just him, either. It’s the entirety of Democratic leadership that got on board the USS Boondoggle by handing over the keys to the store to their corporate paymasters. They figured they could pull this off and they were wrong. Whocouldanode such rank corruption would produce bad results?

    Judging by his PR efforts of late, his only real concern is trying to assuage GOP talking points, rather than addressing the very real problems–he is solely concerned with minute-to-minute PR to keep the blame off him. MSNBC is almost entirely devoted to that as well and they’re the official propaganda organ for the Party, not just the WH. What’s ironic in all this is when Bob Dole submitted the Heritage Foundation plan, Democrats laughed it right into the circular file. Over the last 20 years, it went nowhere because most people understood it to be shitty policy. Now the Democrats (and indirectly the GOP, since it was their baby all these years) are facing a torrent of disapproval. Go figure.

    Personally, this is the time for liberals and progressives to go on offense, instead of trying to defend the indefensible. Demand Medicare For All and get past the partisan bullshit.

  165. brenth says:

    Obama is in a real pinch here. Today’s made it even worse. he looks like an oily sleazy insurance salesman that over promised and now cannot deliver.

  166. Ford Prefect says:

    He should probably avoid that line of rhetoric. For while it’s true, it also underlines the problem with PPACA, in that it preserves the “screwing” rather than eliminating it. He’s in a bit of a pickle with that one.

  167. Ford Prefect says:

    So POTUS is devolving responsibility for a federal fuck-up to the states now? Nice dodge, that is. So while he’s cowering behind “it’s not my job,” millions of people in every state now have yet another trigger for their anxiety problems. How long will it take the states to figure out what they’re doing and why? Dig the hole deeper!

    If healthcare is solely a state matter, then why pass PPACA in the first place? BO knows he has a big problem and he’s simply shifting off to the states so they can take the heat. Too clever by half. This will only prolong the problems and questions in peoples’ minds, yes?

    The WH is freaking out. They have no idea how to make things better.

  168. brenth says:

    Please, that slop everyone already knows, but it is not an answer to the questions posed. It is nothing more than typical babble from a knee bound administration sycophant. So let me try again and see if you can improve. I have my insurance cancelled. I cannot get insurance before a lapse occurs because the site does not work. So Obama say he has the solution. Well one problem, what if my carrier, greedy as it may be, does not revive the policy of mine it cancelled earlier even if the government says it can? It does not what do I do?

  169. perljammer says:

    Which of course brings us back around to the position of many folks, who feel that the ACA, for all of its merits, is a sop to insurance companies. If the insurance companies are screwing their customers, it’s only because the law allows them to, or because laws that would keep them from doing so are being selectively enforced.

  170. Monoceros Forth says:

    Isn’t that the truth. I’m not sure what’s with this bizarre right-wing notion that Pres. Obama is some sort of baleful tyrant. But then we’re talking about people who think that informal advice on diet from the First Lady is one of the most vile acts of murderous tyranny in the world.

  171. Ford Prefect says:

    So CGI sabotaged their own work, after collecting $400 Million because they’re opposed to what they profit from? Wouldn’t CGI be worried about massive clawbacks and lawsuits big enough to void their profits (not to mention their corporate image)?

    This is why the conspiracy theory makes no sense. Corporations like profits more than anything. Sabotaging that is corporate suicide.

  172. Ford Prefect says:

    The only real sabotage was self-sabotage. A 2,000 page POC law intending on reinventing a wheel everyone understands never worked in the first place, is a huge clue. This is what happens when you let corporations write laws for their own benefit, with no concern for the public interest.

    We don’t have a Healthcare System in this country. Preserving corporate rule over the current arrangement means making all these various bureaucracies’ databases communicate with each other in a way to doesn’t corrupt data and screw people over. And that’s just the beginning of the IT disaster. At best it’s a Rube Goldberg device.

    And yes, mismanagement is far more likely than a paranoid conspiracy theory. CGI wasn’t allowed access to the logs by HHS in order to debug the system prior to launch, so it’s not surprising there are massive bugs. HHS was warned before hand there could be massive problems, but they pushed the deadline anyway, for purely political reasons, it seems.

    We already have Medicare. It works and most people are happy with it. How many pages would a “Medicare For All” bill run? 20? But we’re not doing that because 1) corruption, and 2), what amounts to a dystopian ideology.

    I’m wavering between feeling a little empathy for the Democratic elites currently freaking out and schadenfreude. But in the end, they created this disaster by taking this POS from the GOP and making it their own. So they deserve to steep in the natural results of their piss-poor, greed-driven politics. What’s really sad is people are being made to suffer so these greedy fools can rake in the Big Bucks.

    Let’s just junk this thing and push for Single Payer, instead of bailing the Titanic with paper cups.

  173. Really, and what exactly does the law say with regards to the President’s flexibility to give insurance companies one year to implement the change over to plans that comply with Obamacare?

    Oh, and you absolutely do watch Fox and worship Beck. Sadly, you guys have your own vocabulary and syntax that eeks through. In your case, it was the “extra-legal dictator” line that clinched it.

  174. He’s going to say the truth, that the insurance companies screwed you like they’ve been doing since their inception.

  175. Monoceros Forth says:

    But I suppose I should expect little more than weak, obvious ad hominem attacks from someone so far gone that they don’t care about the rule of law any longer.

    Now hold on there, sport. We’re not talking about the Republican leadership here. Stay on target.

  176. perljammer says:

    CNN is live-streaming coverage of the President’s remarks. Here’s the latest:

    Obama acknowledges that state insurance commissioners will have a say on whether these would-be cancelled insurance plans can go forward. “What we’re saying is the Affordable Care Act is not going to be the … factor in what happens with folks in the individual market,” Obama says.
    This meshes with what I’ve read previously. Whether or not the President’s plan is workable is going to vary from state to state. So it appears that although the President is able to exercise some, ah, flexibility in executing the law, state Governors and Insurance Commissioners might not be able to do the same. That opens the door for some blame-shifting.

  177. Nylund says:

    So would such sabotage be the result of someone who does not want health care reform at all, or someone who believed that single-payer would be better and wanted to show that the conservative market-based approach to universal coverage via private insurers was a bad way to provide universal coverage?

  178. Nylund says:

    There are many laws. The resources (time, personnel, money, etc.) to enforce them are limited. Given that, the president, as head of the executive branch, gets some leeway on how strongly he wishes to enforce any particular law. Certain laws (or aspects of laws) can be declared “low enforcement priorities.” Basically, they don’t go after anyone who breaks those laws. There are thousands of unenforced laws on the books at every level of government.

    For example, in Texas, if you sell more than 3 items over a 12 month period (eg. old books on Craigslist), technically, the state may consider you a retailer, require you to get a sales tax permit, and start collecting sales taxes on the items you sell. In many cases, that’s obviously silly, so they don’t bother to enforce it.

    If someone is harmed as a result of unenforcement of a law, they can sue, provided they have standing (“an injury to redress.”). If the courts side with them, the courts can require the executive to start enforcing that rule.

    This sort of thing happens all the time. There are many environmental laws that presidents often tell the EPA to not enforce (G.W.Bush let many EPA regulations go unenforced in Texas, for example.) There are all sorts of environmental groups who sue the government to get them enforced.

  179. brenth says:

    A kept man sweeping the floor for the dems.

  180. perljammer says:

    Well, let’s see. Huge, extremely complicated piece of legislation. Millions of words of regulations on top of the law. Unrealistically short schedule. Incompetent oversight. Terrible communication along the chain of command.

    You really think you need sabotage to explain the problems resulting from this?

  181. brenth says:

    So what does Obama say when the insurance companies that cancelled the millions of policies say they are not going to revive these policies?

  182. devlzadvocate says:

    Agreed and behind that is my point. An IT crew, in reality, drives the project. Knowing that, the crew can choose and plan the tasks, dates and deliver them as the would like based on costs, available talent, other projects – and any other factor they would like to consider. They are aware that most other people don’t understand their work. They hold the power – we are witnessing the result.

  183. Jefferson_Was_Right says:

    The president and executive have the power under the law to make priority decisions on enforcement based on the concept and reality of limited resources. The president, however, does not have the authority to simply ignore laws that he finds politically inconvenient. In fact, the president swears an oath upon taking office that he will do no such thing.
    The law was very specific with regards to the insurance requirements. There was no clause in there providing any level of deviation from the written statute by the HHS secretary. You are sitting there, asserting that because a politically motivated lawyer employed by the president says it is so, it is so.
    By that very same rationale, Reagan was perfectly in the right during Iran-Contra. Bush was totally justified in kidnapping people around the world and throwing them into a hole in the ground in Cuba. somehow, I suspect you’d disagree with both of THOSE assertions.

  184. The neat thing about America is that we have lawyers who look at this things and then decide. And if you don’t like it you go to court. But contrary to what Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck tell you, the executive branch actually has power when Republicans aren’t president. Congress writes the laws, then the executive branch writes the administrative rules that execute the laws. The laws per se give the executive branch lots of wiggle room in a larger number of areas covered by the specific law. If the lawyers go through the legislation and find that the president has the authority to permit a one year grace period, then he does unless you take him to court and prove otherwise.

    And by the way, I don’t see anyone on your side suing and winning on ANY of these extra-constitutional allegations. NONE. So, I’m sorry if no one believes your conspiracy theories. And trust me when I say that we wish Obama was half the dictator you think he is.

  185. William Collar says:

    I have to admit the same thing crossed my mind. I’m old enough to remember Watergate too. I’m also cynical enough to believe that people would do that. On the other hand, ” Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence.” Most software projects (private business and governmental) wind up incomplete, late and over budget.

  186. Jefferson_Was_Right says:

    What authority does Obama have to not follow the law as written? Is he a president, or an extra-legal dictator?

  187. Houndentenor says:

    He could do this or spend a year fighting over this. Fix the website and move on to other issues. If a delay is necessary, then so be it.

  188. devlzadvocate says:

    It is difficult for me to believe a mess this big occurred by accident or some occaisional project mismanagment. I’m wondering how much sabotage took place in coding, bad communications, inexperienced hires, deliberate bad deliverable dates, etc. by the orgs contracted to do the work who never wanted the ACA to come into being (or were persuaded to prevent it from letting it come into being). I’ve been told my thoughts are far-fetched, but I’m old enough to remember Watergate and the first thoughts that it could never have happened either.

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