If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan

I’ve been thinking about this post for a few days now, with all the revelations coming out in the press. It seems that every day, some press outlet has uncovered another gotcha that’s contained either in the ACA bill itself or written into the regulations that HHS has been writing for three years.

None of what anyone is saying is good news for the administration. Even the media outlets that in my opinion did so much over the past few years to gloss over some of the embarrassing stories that have emerged over the Presidents tenure can’t really do that now because this affects every American.
This story has morphed from way beyond the problems with the rollout of the exchange. It’s not just a story anymore about those people with individual policies that are being cancelled by the hundreds of thousands, eventually millions. Now we’re finding out that those people that thought they’d be safe, covered by group policies from their employers, might have a rude awakening as well when the Employer Mandate kicks in next year – just before the midterm elections.
Here’s just one article from Forbes. Note that this story has been picked up by every major news outlet. No longer can anyone claim that there’s a right wing smear occurring as to the ACA. When ABC, CBS, NBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc. start carrying the story (and these have been traditionally favorable to the President) you can believe there’s trouble ahead.
When Democrats from the Hill that passed this monstrosity over three years ago are interviewed on television, they’re seen as just babbling. Pointing fingers at the insurance companies. Pointing fingers at Republicans – you remember them, right? Not one vote in either house came from that party. Blame them? It’s actually really funny to watch some of them defending the indefensible.
I will say though that I have always been a bit dubious of this effort. It actually goes back to then-Speaker Pelosi’s remark in 2010 that Congress needed “to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it”. I can’t believe I’m the only person that was taken aback by that statement. People I knew who were for this effort at the time suddenly became a little wary of what this bill might mean for them.
Now, slowly, we’re starting to discover. Is it too late to “fix” it? I honestly don’t know but let’s just look at some numbers here for a moment. Since the rollout began, over 39,000 people per day, every day, would need to enroll in order to meet the 7 million figure that would be required by the end of March next year.
To date we have no actual numbers from HHS, but I doubt seriously that with the problems occurring online that in a month they’ve had 39,000 enroll. That means that even if the online enrollment is available by the end of this month, there would have to be a huge push to get that 7 million number in the last 4 months.
Will younger, healthier people enroll in enough numbers to offset the costs that will be associated with the older, sicker, and even those younger with pre-existing conditions? Too early to tell right now but based on anecdotes from some online articles and blogs I’ve read, there are those in the former category that are saying they’d rather pay the “tax”.
What is the administration doing in the meantime? Of course the President is out there, as he was in Boston recently, touting his signature legislation, but to what effect? The bad news was already out there and every day it just seems to become worse. No one will answer any pointed questions from the press. It’s either dissembling or obfuscation that the public hears.
They’re in a panic it seems to me and no one has a clue as to how to address any of the problems other than to hide from them and maybe they’ll just go away. Or maybe if they blow enough sunshine they’ll get the people back on their side. In this though, there are no “sides”.

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