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Kossack Turns on Obamacare


On Monday Ezra Klein called the magnitude of the ACA’s rollout failure “stunning”; now Daily Kos contributor Tirge Caps is piling on. He’s furious that his insurance prices will increase under the ACA:

My wife and I just got our updates from Kaiser telling us what our 2014 rates will be. Her monthly has been $168 this year, mine $150. We have a high deductible. We are generally healthy people who don’t go to the doctor often. I barely ever go. The insurance is in case of a major catastrophe.

Well, now, because of Obamacare, my wife’s rate is gong to $302 per month and mine is jumping to $284.

The single payer pivot is the obvious sequel to this kind of dissatisfaction, because it allows progressive health care wonks to argue that the only reason the ACA didn’t work is because it didn’t go far enough. But coming after the way nearly every prominent supporter of the ACA has been disillusioned by the rollout, posts like this suggest a tipping point is near in the public discourse: the implementation was a disaster, and more and more people are deciding that the product is a disappointment. The ranks of liberals willing to stand up and defend the most significant piece of liberal social legislation since the Lyndon Johnson administration are rapidly depleting.

The Kos piece is especially illustrative because it gets at what will be the main issue when the administration gets around to fixing the rollout glitches: cost. For now, Klein and other progressive elites are mainly concerned about the botched rollout: they still think the fundamentals of the law are sound. But once you get outside the wonk class, ordinary Obama supporters aren’t so sure. On the grassroots level, the conversation is increasingly dominated by worries even dedicated liberals have about the extra costs the law imposes on several key demographics.

In fact, the administration’s awareness that people are jittery about prices might be what caused a big part of the rollout glitches in the first place. The big problem with the website appears to be connected to the need to set up an account before pricing, and there may have been fears that unless people were already invested, had set up accounts, and had seen possible subsidies, they would be spooked by the sticker price and abandon the process altogether.

Visits to the site have already dropped 88 percent since October 1, and less than half of one percent of those early visitors managed to enroll. This is no longer a question about slight hiccups on the way to viability; the sustainability of the system as a whole is being called into question.

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  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    I think a large percentage of people are not going to sign up or pay. I wonder what these Obamacare refusenicks are going to be called? I want to think up a cool name for them, as I might be one. LOL
    “Scabs” is kind of gross but thematic, unfortunately it is already taken by the Labor Gangs. Cashcarebears alliterates kind of nice. Oh well, you get the idea, I’m going to sleep on it.

    • John Stephens

      “Wreckers” is the term the Soviets used last time.

      • Will Freismuth

        Or kulaks. Enemies of the
        people either way

  • Nick Bidler

    1. most lasting consequence of the ACA will be to drive a wedge between the dem wonks, the moderate dems, and the single-payer-supporters.

    2. republican racist-sexist-homophobics did it, always and forever

  • rheddles

    I suspect the most lasting consequence will be renewed interest in the writings of F. A. Hayek. And the end of this elite’s reign.

  • Pete

    I love listening to these lefties squeal like stuck pigs when one of their schemes actually bites them instead of just everyone else.

    Another example is affirmative action. Liberals get off on an imagined moral high in promoting racial quotas but they never want it to affect them or their children — just everyone else.

  • Boritz

    All the same liberal people who are complaining about the increased cost to them of ACA never met a tax increase they didn’t like even if it affected them. Why is this different? Are they just confused by the accounting? You can take more of my money just not from this bucket only that bucket over there? Confusing mentality.

  • crabtown

    OPM – who did they think was going to pay for this, or how?
    So let’s go to single payor where we can feel good about ourselves and hide the true costs? The other advanced nations who’ve been at this for decades are also broke, can’t we learn from them?

    We can do this, single payor is not the way.

  • Matt B

    I’m hearing about the same sticker shock from people I know. It doesn’t matter that this story isn’t getting any coverage, people are experiencing it firsthand.

    This will provide conservative leaders with their chance to propose a solution to health care coverage and escalating costs that is not Obamacare and is not single-payer. If they have one.

  • AnnSaltzafrazz

    So, the argument is: the government has proven its incompetence–quick! we need more government!

  • DougPage171

    The Dismal Science strikes yet again!

  • bff426

    I would discount the idea that the ACA technical glitches are the result of people having to create accounts before observing plan choices and pricing. All that did was bring forward the technical glitches that were going to happen regardless. It’s a Rube Goldberg IT contraption – a kludge. It was never going to work out of the box, it may never work correctly. They tried to design a system that was outward facing, taking information consumers input. The actual website was apparently constructed well, built by a small company in DC. But the communications and hub function is a nightmare, according to IT people who have been able to peek under the mostly closed hood. The hub takes the consumer information, and checks it against information in 7 different government agencies. Quite a task in and of itself. Then, since there are 36 states involved, and multiple insurance companies in every state, interfaces with the states and the individual insurance companies need to be constructed. Remember, they didn’t want to have nationwide insurance pricing, but state-by-state. And within each state, there are different pricing schedules by County. Depending on the state, and the number of carriers, you could have 50 or more different prices. And that’s just for people of one age. Prices differ by age. All of these different computer systems, federal, state and private, all talking to each other seamlessly, trading information back and forth, serving millions of people, with a newly built, barely tested, tight deadline contract? By a lead contractor who had been fired by the Province of Ontario for not being able to get a much smaller system right in 3 years? The best thing they had going for them for the last 17 days was Ted Cruz. He gave them cover. Now, the bright lights have shifted, and will be shining on Obama care. And think about this, as sloppy as the been with everything else, how good do you think the security of these systems is? A hacker’s paradise. As soon as the hackers can create an account, that is.

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