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Obamacare Roundup: Third Delay's the Charm


The Obama administration delayed yet another part of the health care law Tuesday, informing insurers that it won’t sign off on new health care plans until two weeks later than planned. Two weeks may not seem like a long time, but the new deadline in mid-September is running pretty hard up against the October 1st exchange launch. Reuters:

The October 1 deadline has already begun to falter at the state level, with Oregon announcing plans to scale back the launch of its own marketplace and California saying it would consider a similar move.

Tuesday’s notification by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the HHS agency spearheading marketplace development, affects insurance plans that would be sold in federal exchanges that the administration is setting up in 34 of the 50 U.S. states. The remaining 16 states, including Oregon and California, are setting up their own marketplaces.

“It makes me wonder if open enrollment can start on October 1,” said a former administration official who worked to implement Obama’s healthcare reform.

As the article points out (and as Wonkblog argues here), January 1st, when the individual mandate goes into effect and the coverage starts, is probably a more important deadline than October 1st. But a delay in October could presage further problems down the road.

In more bad news for the ACA, a new Kaiser Family Foundation finds that all the money the Obama administration is pouring in ACA awareness campaigns hasn’t made a dent in the public’s opposition to the law, or even increased general knowledge about the law.  The WSJ reports 51 percent of Americans say they still don’t understand what the ACA means for them or their family, and 62 percent of the uninsured report not knowing enough about the how the law will work.

But there is a news item that should cheer up Obamacare supporters a little. Market research firm Deft Research finds that young people are more likely than the elderly to sign up for the insurance under the ACA exchanges. Having more young people get coverage is crucial for the financial success of Obamacare, so if accurate this is good news for the law. It would be premature to conclude victory from a single study, especially given other analyses pointing in the opposite direction. When it comes to Obamacare news, though, beggars can’t be choosers.

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  • bpuharic

    The GOP is about to destroy the county’s financial standing and we’re talking about Obamacare? Let’s talk about the right wing zombies and their lack of knowledge about economics….or decency

    • Loader2000

      What are you referring to? Are you talking about the last time the GOP balked at raising the debt ceiling which was partly to blame for a downgrade in our credit rating. When that happened, ironically, US treasury interest rates went down, which is a pretty good indication that the world public still thought that putting their money in US bonds was still their best bet, in spite of the downgrade, or, to put it another way, nobody seemed to care about the downgrade in terms of its actual effect on our financial standing.

      • bpuharic

        I agree the whole ratings game is best served by putting a red light on the door of the ratings agencies but that’s a separate issue from the right wing refusing to raise the debt ceiling every time Obama wants to buy toilet paper for the White House.

        • BrianFrankie

          Let’s see. The current limit on debt issued by the Treasury is $16.7 TRILLION dollars. Pardon me for sounding skeptical of the example you use, but it does not seem unreasonable that the budget for toilet paper should be able to fit within normal government revenues (~$3 trillion/yr) plus $16.7 trillion dollars. Exactly how much rear-end wiping does the White House require?

          • bpuharic

            I don’t know. The right wing seems to want to shut down the govt at every opportunity. The fact this will wreck our financial market, to them, is less important than protecting tax cuts for the rich

          • cubanbob

            As a net taxpayer if the government shuts down I wouldn’t notice it. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts if the ‘shut down’ occurs no agency or department that collects taxes and fees will be shutdown.

          • bpuharic

            Fly on a plane? Buy meat at a grocery store?

            Go ahead. Get on an uninspected plane. I urge all conservatives to let their kids fly on planes that aren’t inspected

            Perhaps we’ll call the result ‘class action Darwin award”

          • Loader2000

            I don’t think you really mean what you say cubanbob (at least I hope not) and unfortunately, this kind of language is what adds fuel to the flame of the belief of certain commentors that all conservatives are anarcho-capitalists. Not everybody can tell the difference between extreme hyperbole in order to make a point, and actual firmly held belief.

          • bpuharic

            Oh, I think he DOES mean what he says. As you imply , alot of right wingers DO. It’s a textbook case of Poe’s law.

            The problem is with the far right that’s driving the GOP right now. They are, as you say, anarcho-capitalists who live in a delusional world where they wrote the laws that let the rich and powerful, as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Bill Moyer pointed out, buy elections, THEN tell us to step out of the way of these same powerful rich foks as they seek to run the country.

            Basically the right believes that if the rich own the country, they should run it.

    • Loader2000

      Your comment also begs the question, “You don’t think the success or failure of Obamacare will have any effect on our financial standing?” You often make pretty inflammatory statements without a lot of details or specifics. In contrast, WRM’s posts are a lot less emotional and full of information. Consequently, his points are a lot more convincing then the ones you seem to be making. Are you trying to convince conservatives that they are wrong, or are you just venting? If you are trying to be convincing, in this particular post, you would have to argue that the success of Obamacare will not effect the US financial standing and point to very specific other sorts of reforms that will. You would need to prove both these points, not just one or the other.

      • bpuharic

        No one can convince conservatives they are wrong since their arguments are based on fundamentalist views of religion and economics which are not amenable to logic.

        ANd I’m shocked…SHOCKED to find you defending a conservative against a moderate.TRULY!

        I know WRM is in favor of universal healthcare because he’s said he is. What I HAVEN’T seen from him is how he would have approached the problem given the extremist right wing now running the GOP. It’s measurably and provably the most extreme right wing congress in a century and yet somehow you guys think that, if he sits down and has a beer with fanatics who don’t even admit he’s an AMERICAN, that all problems will be solved.

        • cubanbob

          You must be a very heavy drinker to believe all of that nonsence.

  • Boritz

    New drinking game:
    Down a shot of your favorite liquor each time a delay or missed deadline for Obamacare is announced.

    • bpuharic

      Of course we could do one where we take a shot each time lack of access to universal healthcare in the US kills someone…

      26,000/360 is 72 drinks a day. Sounds good to me!

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