American Elephants

Here He Goes Again — Delaying 2015 Enrollment Till After the Election. by The Elephant's Child

With all the revelations about ObamaCare, the terrifying escalation of costs for an individual health care policy and the accompanying drastically larger deductibles, Democrats are plainly worried about the 2014 midterms. So the Obama administration is back to its old tried and true tricks.

Health and Human Services plans to delay the start of the second year of Obamacare enrollment by one month to allow insurers more time to set rates after assessing their plan experiences during 2014, a department official said Thursday night.

The decision means that sign-ups for the 2015 plan year would begin on Nov. 15, 2014 and end on Jan. 15, 2015 instead of the Oct. 15-Dec. 7 window previously announced. The date change, first reported by Bloomberg, also lengthens the enrollment period by a week. Doing so would give companies more opportunity to account for individuals, particularly young adults, who come in late during the plan’s first year, which has gotten off to a rocky start. The goal is premiums that more accurately reflect costs for those insured.

The new calendar would move the start of the 2015 open enrollment season to shortly after the November midterm elections.

This is nonsense. Insurers calculate the changes from the previous year every year in setting new rates. They haven’t forgotten how to do it just because of Kathleen Sebelius. So far the federal government has been unable to convince healthy young consumers to buy comprehensive health insurance they don’t need, to pay for everyone else. This will force premium increases on everyone else to pay for the lack of the young.  Letting people know how much the ObamaCare policies they are being forced to buy are going to cost them just before an election is, um, unfortunate timing. Which of the Chicago bunch was it who said “elections are too important to be left to chance?”

Employer-provided group health insurance  is where costs will either skyrocket, or consumers will be kicked out of their group coverage altogether. There’s going to be a lot of outrage when it hits home for company employees.

I used to consider government departments as often inept as all bureaucracies are, but not as agencies involved in attempting to change election outcomes by manipulating data and calendars and changing regulations. Americans traditionally and rightly don’t place a lot of trust in their government. They really do work for us — and you have to keep an eye on your employees.

This president, however, has gone to extraordinary lengths to politicize government departments to achieve his political aims. What the long-term damage to the country will be, we will learn in coming years. That there will be long-term damage is assured.


5 Comments so far
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That’s been my question to my liberal friends who still support Obama and Obamacare… Why, if this law is such a net positive for the country (and the political fortunes of the Democrat Party), does Obama keep arbitrarily delaying the implementation? And why does he keep doing in the extra-legal fashion he does?

I heard a political commentator the other day say that Democrats in DC were not really running away from Obamacare… well, if they aren’t running yet, they are at the very least edging toward the door. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana has dropped 10 points in the polls in the last month. I predict she’s going to be the first Senate Democrat to call for an outright repeal of Obamacare.


Comment by Lon Mead

It is possible that this “delay” could work to the advantage of Republicans. Anyone who has ever been to a horror movie can tell you that the monster that is never seen is always more frightening than the one that’s visible. The human imagination always tops Hollywood make-up artists when it comes to terrifying the individual. Republicans can “paint a picture” with words, describing the horrors to come, without need of charts, graphs or tabulations of numbers that will far surpass whatever the reality might be in terms of the economic tornado that Obamacare will unleash on the nation.

Of course this assumes that Republicans actually get decent PR and advertising firms to craft the message, and do not allow idiots like Karl Rove anywhere near the messaging.


Comment by Jim Yardley

Republicans will, of course, grasp what is going on, for they think in terms of the free market and individual liberty, but Democrats think in terms of evil Republicans trying to attack the first black president. Until it hits them in the pocketbook, until their own insurance gets cancelled, until they see how much a policy with all sorts of junk in it that they don’t want to pay for. Late night comedians are far more ready to make jokes about ObamaCare. Some journalists are realizing that they gave the president a complete pass. I cannot grasp why this administration would even consider a “deal” with Iran, but a big part of the country doesn’t much like terrorism, doesn’t much like Iran, and doesn’t thing any “deal” is worth the paper they sign. Obama will put the full force of the federal government behind his effort to win in 2014. Pure Chicago style.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are panicking. They are hearing from all the constituents who got cancelled and whose ObamaCare policies cost them twice and three times as much. Liberals will continue to support the first black president until reality hits them in the pocketbook. Obama will use the full weight of the federal government to keep his base unaware of what ObamaCare will cost them, to squelch scandals, to demonize Republicans. They are trying valiantly to find a way to blame the failures of ObamaCare on Republican lack of cooperation. Obama badly wants a “deal” with Iran, but if so he misreads public opinion. He badly wants immigration reform, and Republicans may mistakenly want to give him that.

I’m all for reforming immigration — well after employment goes up and the immigration laws on the books are enforced. And when assimilation is given much more attention. Immigration based on merit. Obama wants more poor Mexicans who will become dependent on government and vote Democrat. I’m pessimistic.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

“They are trying valiantly to find a way to blame the failures of ObamaCare on Republican lack of cooperation.”

And my favorite response to that argument – and in any discussion of the subject, SOMEONE will try to make it – is to respond I don’t believe that the Democrats really think the Republicans have anything meaningful or positive to add on the subject. Isn’t that what we keep being told, that the Republicans have no “alternatives”? Isn’t that the reason why Republicans in Congress were excluded from the process of developing the law in the first place? And NOW the Dems say the Republicans have a RESPONSIBILITY to help make this law work? And (this is the question that really makes a lot of my liberal friends want to suddenly start talking about football scores) isn’t that an admission by the Democrats who put this law in place, including the President who signed it, that it doesn’t work, they didn’t understand what they were doing in the first place, and that the law is politically damaging to the people who supported it? (“Hey, so, ya’ think Tennessee is going to squeak into a bowl game this year?”)

As far as immigration “reform”, I am not even slightly interested in them passing new laws on the subject until I see them making even a token effort to enforce the ones we already have.


Comment by Lon Mead

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