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The fix on Obamacare

Posted: November 24, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 24, 2013 2:00 a.m.

The initial failure of the Affordable Care Act’s enrollment website has let the genie of Obamacare out of the bottle.

Ideological disagreements are no longer theoretical as they begin to touch real people in growing numbers.

America has awakened to a bill that no one read when it was passed. The ACA is arguably the most significant piece of social legislation in our time, affecting almost all citizens not working in government and taking control of one-sixth of the economy.

People who desperately need insurance are finding other ways to sign up, although many are signing up for existing Medicaid programs. The younger, healthier Americans that the administration absolutely needs to sign up to balance the insured pool and keep the premiums lower have avoided it.

The president’s emphatic and well-chronicled promise to the American people that they could keep their current insurance plans turned out not to be true and actually never was true.

Democrats in Congress are getting an earful from their constituents about this revelation. The mainstream media has begun a more comprehensive scrutiny of the act’s real provisions and impacts and — worst of all — polling shows that Americans’ distrust of this president is at an all-time high.

The president chose to take to the airwaves and offer an administrative fix to the single policy cancellation uproar because the last thing he wants is for Congress to start changing the act legislatively.

He has chosen to enforce some aspects of the law but not others — depending on their political impact.

The fix that the president put forth will, of course, not work, primarily because it would absolutely disrupt the economics of Obamacare — which is why the policies were canceled in the first place.

Additionally, the insurance companies are understandably reluctant to go back and reissue these non-compliant individual policies.

The next shoe to drop will be cancellation of group policies, including the employer-provided policies that well over 100 million Americans currently have.

In a written brief filed last month in federal court by the Department of Justice in the case of Priests for Life vs. Health and Human Services, the DOJ states: “Even under the grandfathering provisions, it is projected that more group plans will transition to the requirements under the regulations as time goes on. Defendants have estimated that a majority of group health plans will have lost their grandfather status by the end of 2013.”

Many blue chip companies have begun to drop health care plans for retirees already.

The administration has been saying only 5 percent of Americans are affected by the cancellations. Yet when this is all said and done, the number of canceled or “transitioned” policies could be as high as 75 percent.

The group plan deception will be an even harder fix.

Ironically, the thing that opened the genie’s bottle to begin with, the website problems, should be the easiest to fix — and will be at some level after the first of the year.

Some critics — after hearing congressional testimony that 30 percent to 40 percent of the website isn’t even built yet — contend that the immensity of the Affordable Care Act is too great for government and the processes of government to pull off.

The overall fix to provide health care or health care insurance opportunities to all Americans will also be realized in time, albeit not in the present form of the ACA.

Democrats will join Republicans in Congress and create new legislation, and the administration will be forced to negotiate new terms and parameters. Hopefully, the new legislation will be broken up into manageable pieces.

Fixing the loss of trust in this once-charismatic president will not come so easy or so soon.

This is not the same as distrust about something that happened in a foreign land like weapons of mass destruction or distrust about lying about some inappropriate sexual activity with an intern in the White House.

This deception will touch every one of our readers or someone they know.

Don’t be an observer or be lulled into complacency because you are “safely” in a group plan with a reputable employer. Be a participant. You are next.



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