Obamacare’s very bad month

If you’re going to overhaul the whole healthcare system, then it’s probably a good idea not to continually make stupid, sloppy mistakes, and maybe even lie to the public, and in the process give a Republican controlled Congress all that much more justification to dismantle the program. (To make a weak comparison, it’s kind of like Sen. Anna Fairclough sending out a gasline “secrecy memo” on the eve of a takeover of a new administration that’s already skeptical of the project.). Here’s Sarah Kliff from Vox on Obamacare’s “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month:”

(W)hat should have been a great month for Obamacare has become a disaster — and all of it due to unforced errors on the part of the Obama administration and its allies.

A quick recap of Obamacare’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Month:

  • On November 7, the Supreme Court announced it would hear arguments in King v. Burwell, a lawsuit that could effectively dismantle the Affordable Care Act in 36 states.
  • Three days later videos surfaced of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber crediting the “stupidity of American voters ” with helping pass Obamacare (this was arguably GruberGate 2, separate and distinct from another Gruber controversy back in April).
  • Another week passes. Another controversy surfaces: it turns out the Obama administration wrongly included dental plans in sign-up figures, inflating sign-up numbers by about 400,000.

Kliff argues that the most generous interpretation of events is that the Obama administration and his allies are simply incompetent, which gives little conform to those of us millions who have signed up under the plan, and now risk having it all undone.


4 thoughts on “Obamacare’s very bad month

  1. joe blow

    All those wonderful benefits you cite are costing someone else a lot of money. The only way ACA would ever work is if everybody signed up – remember the Young Invincibles? – and they are not. The 6.5 million number is inflated by all manner of methods. Folks who had to sign up when their old plans were cancelled, signups through Medicaid expansion, kids going back on parents’ plans. Fewer than 3 million previously uninsured signed up and the program needed close to 8 million this year to balance, 12 millin next year. If it doesn’t balance – and it won’t – the only answer is ever increasing premiums.

  2. Brendan Babb

    To quote the great Taylor Swift “Haters gonna hate..” I am very we glad we have the Affordable Healthcare Act. Huge benefits of the plan have been; recent college grads, saddled with student loan debt, have been able to stay on their parents insurance until they are 26, people not having to worry about lifetime limits for major medical needs, and not being denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions.

    The headline seems a bit hyperbolic. Instead of 7 million people signing up for healthcare we had 6.5 million people sign up. Yes, it is wrong to inflate numbers. But I am excited that the website is working and people are interested in signing up. We have some cognitive dissonance where people don’t like Obamacare but sign up for it. I feel there is an Onion headline in there somewhere “Local Area Man hates Obamacare preventive care that saved his life.”

    And finally we forget insurance premiums were going up double digit percentages and medical costs were climbing steadily. We still have increases but it looks like the rate is slowing.

  3. sandra

    I, for one, am glad we have the Affordable Care Act which was heavily amended by Congress, something they do not like to admit. People waited for years for someone to do something. The Republicans did nothing. Now we have a starting point with the ACA so let’s make it better.

  4. joe blow

    Obamacare was the classic Long Con. Get people so heavily invested that when the awful truth becomes known, the con men are long gone and those conned – including Amanda – are screwed.

    Obama and his supporters lied to us from Day One and it didn’t take Gruber to admit this. The math never worked. It was always designed for young healthy insured to voluntarily sign up and pay more for insurance than they should to cover the old and the sick and the pre-existers.

    The fatal flaw? Young folks go without insurance for a variety of reasons, most of them financial. The only thing that scared them into getting insured before was the ‘What-If?’ factor. ‘What if I have an accident? What if I develop breast cancer? I’m getting kicked off my dad’s plan, now what?’ The umbrella of Obamacare took those sticks away so the young kept the carrot, kept their money in their pocket.

    I talked to my accountant the other day and there are lots of dominos out there that are left to fall. Lots of folks are going to get hit with penalties on plans they’ve had, lots Americans are suddenly going to be faced with tax bills they were not expecting.

    The Democrats had better hope that SCOTUS puts a bullet into ACA because if they don’t, the whole thing comes crashing down anyway. Bette Davis: “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

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