Morning Action: Obamacare Means Frustration and Uncertainty for Millions of Americans
BUSINESS OWNERS. Business owners are concerned about what Obamacare is doing to them:
John Overton owns and operates Turnkey Solutions, a Baton Rouge business that offers health care technology and small business solutions. Turnkey employs 12 people.
Overton said 15 percent of his staff are on a high deductible plan that offers $3,000 annual deductibles for individuals and $6,000 annual deductibles for families.
He said his insurer, United Healthcare, still is crunching the numbers, but individuals likely will have $5,000 annual deductibles under the Affordable Care Act. Families’ deductibles could increase to $10,000 a year.
He said the big, unanswered question is what will happen to the company’s other plans and what kind of coverage will they now offer.
DEFENSIVE. President Obama is still defending his disastrous health care law, and he is trying to convince Americans to maintain their confidence in Democrat lawmakers who still support the law:
President Obama strongly defended his signature health care law on Wednesday in the largest state that has refused to participate, as rattled Senate Democrats called for changing or delaying key parts of the new health coverage.
The president made his remarks as leaders of both parties carefully examined the results of Tuesday’s elections, searching for indications of what went wrong and how they could perform better next year.
In trying to rebuild confidence in the new health care law, Mr. Obama must also appeal to Democratic officials worried about the poor rollout one year before members of Congress must face voters.
LOW ENROLLMENT. A mere four people have enrolled for coverage under Obamacare in Delaware:
More than a month after the launch of Delaware’s health insurance exchange, officials report only four Delawareans enrolled for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
As of Wednesday, Delaware’s marketplace guide organizations reported four enrollments, 31 enrollment applications completed and 218 accounts created for possible enrollment.
Four community organizations were hired to provide marketplace guides, using a $4 million federal grant.
REMOVING BLAME. The White House is attempting to blame insurance companies for individuals losing insurance thanks to Obamacare regulations:
In defending President Obama’s now-discredited pledge that “if you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep it,” the White House has repeatedly tried to blame insurance companies.
Blaming the insurance companies can only go so far. First of all, the administration wrote the rules that set the conditions under which plans lose their grandfather status. But more important, the law has an effective date so far in the past that it virtually guaranteed that the vast majority of people currently in the individual market would end up with a notice saying they needed to buy insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.
The administration’s effort to pin the blame on insurance companies is a classic case of misdirection. Between 75 and 95 percent of the problem stems from the effective date, but the White House chooses to keep the focus elsewhere.
Similarly, Charles Krauthammer noted:
Those letters are irrefutable evidence that President Obama’s repeated you-keep-your-coverage claim was false. Why were they sent out? Because Obamacare renders illegal (with exceedingly narrow “grandfathered” exceptions) the continuation of any insurance plan deemed by Washington regulators not to meet their arbitrary standards for adequacy. Example: No maternity care? You are terminated.