President’s Obamacare “fix” might make it worse

The President spoke Thursday and stated that he would take “administrative steps” to try and restore the 5+ million health insurance plans that have been canceled at the direction of the Affordable Care Act. However, some analysts are warning that the “fix” might actually cause still more upheaval in an already spiraling industry.

Report from McClatchyDC:

Facing growing outrage from Americans, President Barack Obama reversed course Thursday and offered to let insurance companies sell existing plans even if they don’t meet the minimum standards set by his new problem-fraught health care law.

But Obama’s much-delayed attempt to make good on his promise that Americans could keep their insurance plans if they liked them faces strong opposition from insurance companies, which warn that rates might spike, and it risks undermining the basic premise of his law, which requires quality, affordable insurance.

“We fumbled the rollout on this health care law,” a contrite Obama said in an hourlong news conference Thursday at the White House. “We should have done a better job getting that right on day one – not on day 28 or on day 40.”

The president flatly took responsibility for the slew of problems that have bedeviled his signature domestic achievement, including an error-filled website, and said he’d restore Americans’ confidence in him by fixing HealthCare.gov this month and making good on his promise to allow Americans to keep their plans. “We’re just gonna keep on chipping away at this,” he said.

The debacle threatens to swamp Obama’s entire second-term agenda, raising questions about his competency and credibility. Polls released this week show the president’s job-approval rating at a historic low and a majority of voters saying, for the first time, that he isn’t trustworthy.

The opposition isn’t just from insurance companies, who now face more unclear regulations about the products they can sell, but also bipartisan concern from state insurance commissioners:

Washington state’s insurance commissioner, Mike Kreidler, announced Thursday he won’t allow insurers to extend their policies, saying Washington’s state-based exchange was “up and running and successfully enrolling thousands of consumers.”

“We are staying the course,” said Kreidler, a Democrat who’s one of the longest-serving state insurance commissioners in the country.

The Oregon state insurance commissioner echoed the same sentiment saying his state would not abide by this administrative fix either.

The most unmentioned aspect of this has been the President’s knowledge, at least since 2010, that millions of Americans would be kicked off their existing plans. This isn’t anything new or unexpected, as witnessed in this YouTube clip from February 25, 2010, in which the President acknowledges millions will lose their plan but, as he contends, be able to find a better option in the Obamacare exchanges.

Ultimately, the success of Obamacare depends on cancelling existing plans and replacing them with plans that collect higher premiums from generally healthy people to offset costs such as covering pre-existing conditions and lowering premium payments for the sick and elderly. If that can no longer be accomplished by rolling customers into new plans, the mathematical fate of the law hangs in the balance.

In short, Obamacare is one big equation where “x”, at the end of the day, has to equal “y”. Delaying the cancellations means the math no longer adds up for the new benefits under the law. Just another day in Washington, DC.

  • http://gravatar.com/billymalone billymalone

    doesn’t any government “fix” always make it worse?

    • obvious

      billymalone,

      yes; most telling is obama admitting he’s not the smartest person on the planet; in order to salvage democrats chances in 2014.

      what a bitter pill to swallow for this megalomaniac.

    • Josh

      Billy – i would say it depends on the mechanisms by which the fix is implemented. breaking up a monopoly for example is a good fix. But, yeah, the successes to so few and far between that one wonders what we have a government for beyond protecting our borders and locking up criminals.

      this quote from Common Sense says it all:

      “security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows, that whatever FORM thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others. ”

      It is amazing to me how much the founders of this nation were accurate in their assessments. It even more amazes me at the people who say those ideas are ‘old’ and ‘outdated’ – but those who say such things don’t realize that their ‘modern’ answers to ‘modern’ problems are nothing more than recycled answers from monarchies and dictatorships of the past. Self government is truly the newer idea.

  • Goethe Behr

    This is dumb in many ways. First, I think all the hullabaloo would have blown over, and this just keeps it going, making people think they should wait until the final change is made.

    More importantly, the main criticism of Obama is that he doesn’t stand his ground. We have had presidents who stood their ground when they were dead wrong. This guy gives in when he thinks he’s right.

    Of course, the original design should have been that NEW customers would join the Obamacare system, and those who were already insured would keep their current policies, phased out over several years. Then, the only gripe would have been from the formerly uninsured. And the bugs would have worked themselves out over a long period.

    On the other hand, I still think this could blow over. In today’s news environment, if he stops making changes, it will become old news, and the next crisis will take over. After all, look at the govt shutdown, which seemed to be a major crisis, and is now nearly completely forgotten–a month later.

    • http://www.uspresidentialelectionnews.com Nate

      But he can’t stand his ground. He said about 30 times, and I quote, “If you like your plan, you can keep it. Period.”

      Obviously many people who did indeed like their plans have lost them by the millions and a good number aren’t finding the replacement to be either affordable or offer better coverage as promised.

      How do you define standing his ground at this point? I’m just curious.

      • Goethe Behr

        Obama is in a hard place. What he would like to say is, “who cancelled your policy? I didn’t cancel your policy.” But he can’t, because he needs the insurance companies to make this work. The insurance companies are cancelling, and I still believe they should have found a way to keep the policy in place for their current customers. I don’t think they wanted to.

        It would be interesting to find if there was any “cherry-picking” involved, or if EVERY single policy that could be cancelled was, in fact, cancelled.

        I think Obama has done harm to his administration and legacy by giving in on many disagreements with Congress. The entire Obamacare program, which began as “health-care reform,” devolved into simply, “insurance reform,” based on the Heritage plan, and the whole program will be run by the insurance companies.

        Obviously, what he’s trying to do right now is take the blame for any and all complaints, trying to keep the heat off those who face elections in 2014.

        By “standing his ground,” I mean not jumping when anybody complains about anything he’s done. I’m not arguing for the program–but the guy responsible SHOULD be.

        • http://www.uspresidentialelectionnews.com Nate

          “The insurance companies are cancelling, and I still believe they should have found a way to keep the policy in place for their current customers. I don’t think they wanted to.”

          You’re exactly correct. Again, back to the math, they cannot let people continue in their policies. Hence in 2010, the President admitted that yes, millions will be cancelled as required by the law to meet the new coverage requirements. It isn’t that insurance companies don’t want people, it’s that the old plans don’t provide them enough extra premium amounts to cover the new Obamacare plans as I explained above. You can’t pay for pre-existing conditions and lowering premiums for elderly/sick people without getting the money from healthy people. That is the crux of the law.

          The insurance companies were doing what was spelled out in the law to make their books continue to balance by taking on the new insurance requirements of Obamacare. Insurance companies don’t make money by dumping paying customers unless they need to re-enroll them in a more costly plan to pay for new requirements.

          It’s just one big math problem and letting people keep grandfathered plans breaks the equation set forth by the law.

          • obvious

            nate,
            true; the math will eventually kill obamacare.

            but by then a lot of people will suffer much more than before this ‘law’.
            obama’s troubles are just beginning, and unlike ‘goethe’ thinking it will soon be forgotten like the shutdown, each week will get worse for obama and the democrats as more stupidity and lies surface;
            no wonder the smarter demos are distancing themselves from obama.

  • obvious

    obama’s lies are finally catching up with him publicly;
    the media has been able to cover up most them since day one till yesterday, but the ugly obamacare, and his lies about it, are now in the open.

    obama is digging an even deeper hole for himself, by promising a theoretical ‘fix’ which is not feasible in practice.

    this will compound on his original lie (‘none will lose their existing insurance plans’) and make him even less trustworthy to the people when his ‘fix’ fails, marking him a liar again.

    right now only the tip of the iceberg is seen by the public;
    with each further day more and more problems will surface, and obama will sink further and further as time goes by;

    bad news for the nation getting screwed by obamacare, only uptake is obama dragging down the democrats along with him.

  • samreusser

    Goethe – you totally amaze me!! your two comments are what i would expect from a far lefty not how you have been previously commenting. And understand this (ACA) was his flip of the U.S. to a beginning huge government socialistic state controlling 1/6 of the economy and greater control of the GDP.

    directly to ACA – Nate’s comments is an excellent summary of the Ins. Co.’s position. And this is only the beginning, Next summer when large employer’s Ins start cancelling plans, state Medicaid’s .start going broke, and our Medicare monthlies (instead of $104 => $220) start increasing and Plan D’s must have deeper co-pays – then the real poop hits the fan.

    Isn’t it strange though, that SSA (that we paid into for more than 50 yrs) is going broke but not so Government Entitlements that all taxpayers paid into and the takers just take out of??? .

    • Goethe Behr

      Sam: I was just stating the complaint that both friend and foe have leveled against Obama–that he is too willing to give in.

      Reminds me of the old quote–I think it was from Everett Dirksen: “It’s impossible to argue with a liberal, because you can’t get him to see his point.”

  • Josh

    The real problem with the health care law is that it broke the mutually beneficial relationship between buyer and seller. Now government has stepped in to define what a buyer should buy and a seller should sell, at the same time making the promise that this stepping in would not touch anyone who was currently happy with their plan or their doctor.

    Was it a perfect relationship? No. Buyers were trying to get all they can out of insurance companies, and insurance companies were trying to get all they can out of buyers. But neither could completely disregard the benefit of the other…even though both attempt to do so.

    The real problem for Obama and the democrats is that America doesn’t want the government mandating their business relationships. America believed the president when he promised that people happy with their plans and doctors would see zero effect from the law.

    Now America not only sees that the president lied to them. They also see what this law really is.

    If republicans are smart they will start campaigning on repeal now. All republicans have to do is point to the votes on Obamacare, and start drafting repeal legislation now.

    • obvious

      josh,
      obamacare will be eventually dismantled, not because of politicians, but the outcry of the people forcing the politicians to end it.
      the sad part is it will take a few years, and cause much hardship; a lotta wasted money already, like 600 million bucks just to launch the website, that the people will cheer when it is shut down; and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of economic waste.

      obama’s legacy will be one of a failed socialist attempt that plunged the nation in economic and constitutional turmoil;
      like the story of ‘the boy who played with fire’, only this time he burned a whole nation.

      history will not remember obama kindly, but then again he wasn’t kind to us.

      • samreusser

        obvious – if obamacare lasts past the 2016 election – it here to stay. Recall his earlier writings and feelings – he feels the U.S. believes in colonialism, needs to make us a 2nd rate nation, make us not a superior military nation, socialize us. He has succeeded in bringing about that CHANGE!!!! so, to him he is a success.

        • obvious

          sam,
          obama has shot his wad;
          from now on it’s downhill for him; too many lies and too often getting caught will be his demise as a political somebody.

          his previous statements that the 2014 elections will be about electing democrats on his gun ban proposals (that he’s never wavered from, and most americans reject) will cause further losses after the democrats are held responsible for obamamiscare.

          the media may be able to prop him up for a time, but not for long;
          the majority of people that are working 2 jobs, and so are too busy to make ends meet to have time to pay attention to obama’s skulduggery, are finally going to get knocked on the head with an insurance bill they could never afford!

          that will be america’s wake up call — and the beginning of obama’s end; he won’t be able to ask squat to pass in this aftermath of outrage.

      • Goethe Behr

        Obvious: yer dreaming. Obamacare is not “health reform,” it’s just “insurance reform,” and the reform is to make sure insurance companies profit by maxing demand.

        Insurance companies are crying crokodile tears now, but if there were any viable threat to ACA,you’d see them pouring millions into ads to support it.

        The idea that the insurance companies would let this cash cow get away is absurd.

        • obvious

          goethe,
          one time you post an excellent post, then you post a ridiculous one.
          are you bipolar?

          where have i stated that obamacare is a ‘health reform’ for you to assign this to me: “Obvious: yer dreaming. Obamacare is not “health reform…”?

          perhaps you should count to ten before posting, or take your meds in advance.

          • Goethe Behr

            Oblivious: I know you have trouble understanding nuance. Ah, hell, you have trouble understanding anything. Let me see if I can break it down for you.

            You’re posting fantasy that Obamacare could be overturned. I thought Sam made it clear enough for even you to understand: if the GOP won EVERY open seat next year, Obama would still veto it, so the earliest it could’ve repealed is 2017. In political terms, that might as well be a century.

            Now then, for your feeble understanding, nobody said you called Obamacare “healthcare,” so your overly legalistic argument is moot.

            The reason I pointed out that the ACA is really insurance reform was to give you another reason it will survive. It is gravy for the insurance industry, and the Congress of the United States is no match against it.

            • Josh

              Goethe – it remains to be seen if this will indeed be gravy for the insurance industry. With many individuals and companies who previously had insurance, or provided it for others, seeing their costs go up, many are choosing not to have coverage and pay the fine.

              If these companies understood even the most basic of economic principals, they will know they are setting themselves up for long term failure. Obamacare broke the mutually beneficial principal the market followed before. Now, both buyer and seller buy and sell according to what the government says…regardless of personal benefit.

              These ideas long term fail. Failing doesn’t necessarily mean the system will fall apart. Failing will ultimately mean that there will be an industry in the united states where people no longer have hope that with the entrepreneurial spirit, they can improve things.

              Now the standards are set by the government by what they say will benefit the buyer and the seller.

              Long term, this is a bad thing for health care in the united states.

  • Bob

    I question where Goethe sees President Obama giving in to easily. He had the opportunity to make a deal with the republicans and delay the start of Obamacare back in September if he knew it was having problems. No he decided to go ahead with it. In fact back in 2010 he knew the Democrats running for re-election would take a big hit at the polls yet he pushed for it to go through. He will have the same attitude in 2014.Barack Obama is only concerned with Barack Obama not the party. There is the difference between President Clinton and President Obama.

    • Goethe Behr

      Bob: who does not agree that there’s a big difference between Obama and the one calle the “first Black president”?

      But you’ll have to do a whole lot better finding a place where Obama has stood firm.

      During the 2008 election, public support for healthcare reform was running about 70%. Even McCain was offering a plan. If Mr. O had known what he wanted, he could have sent it to the Hill in February, 2009. He had both houses, so he could have instituted a British system, and people would have–at least initially–loved that he delivered “change,” even if they hated it later. Instead, he let it dawdle for two full years, so that it became simply the “insurance reform” that Heritage had proposed two decades earlier.

      And if you want to fault how it was passed, it wasn’t any mighty Obama power. It was the dem controlled lame duck house stickin’ it to you on the way out the door,

      And back to Clinton, you got that backwards, too. Mr. Bill became very popular, but it wasn’t by supporting dem legislators–it was by throwing them under the bus. Bill’s Excellent Adventure in his drubbing of Dole had no coattails. And the complaint was that he was only in it for himself.

      • Bob

        Goethe; I don’t know exactly where you were in 2009 but President Obama didn’t dawdle. He spent most of his political capital after his election on getting his stimulus bill through Congress. If he did attempt to pass his healthcare bill afterwards he wouldn’t have had any more bipartisan support than he received in 2010. Republicans just weren’t behind it and public support wasn’t 70%. It was more in the 50’s.Yes he could have pushed it through in the short time he had a window of control in both houses but does “delivering change” really mean that much if as you say it will be hated later in this “we’ll know what’s in it once we pass it ” Pelosi logic? So instead he pushed it through being hated in 2010.

        Gosh for someone who doesn’t have much “coat tails’ president Clinton not only had the Senates support to squash his impeachment but has enough political capital to sway and control the Democratic party even 13+ years after leaving office. YOU DON’T GET THAT BY “THROWING PEOPLE UNDER THE BUS”.

        • Goethe Behr

          Bob: I didn’t mean to suggest that Obama was doing nothing in the early days. The stock market value had been cut in half, and it looked as if we were headed for a Depression worse than last time, because the bankers have us all in the same boat now.

          And that’s the problem with most criticisms of any presidency. People focus on one issue and act as if that’s all the guy has to deal with. However, as I said, people were overwhelmingly in favor of reform in 2008. So specialists should have been working on what “change” meant. Instead, Obama was like Robert Redford in “The Candidate,” who wins and then says, “now what?” (Camera pulls back, making him look very small and alone.)

          And I don’t know where YOU were in 2009, but all Obama was doing was budging. The only thing he tried to stand for was “the public option,” and eventually just said, I don’t care WHAT it is, just pass SOMETHING!

          • Bob

            You are right the President did stand there like a deer in the headlights but that is the way he runs his presidency as I pointed out in my 18th November @12:09AM post. He also has a habit of when one of his issues get bogged down he switches off on to a completely new topic he says must be passed immediately.

            We were discussing Obamacare so that is probably why we were focusing on it. I knew where you were coming from.

            It’s getting late here on the east coast (almost 2 AM) so I’m going to have to leave. Take care

            • Goethe Behr

              Bob: I’m in the Great State of Michigan, so I’m on Eastern time, too. But the power is off from the storm, so I’m enjoying the candle light–and needling you, chum. Don’t let the bed bugs bite, or at least bite ‘em back…

  • Bob

    Let me get this straight?

    The president told the insurance companies to disregard the Obamacare law so that people can keep their insurance. HOWEVER when the House passes legislation to enable you to keep your healthcare plan and ignore the law THE PRESIDENT THREATENS TO VETO IT?

    • Goethe Behr

      Bob, don’t be so simplistic. The main difference is that Obama wants to stop insurance companies from dumping people. After all, the ACA was intended to increase those covered.

      Meanwhile, the Upton bill, among other things, says that insurance companies can offer NEW customers pretty much any damned thing they want.

      THAT is what the O-man said he’d veto.

      • Bob

        Goethe: Don’t be naive. What you are describing is commonly called in crisis politics as “stopping the hemorrhaging and his intent is purely self serving. The problem is the President can’t pass legislation from the press conference room of the White House especially if it’s through simply a wink and a nod. As he has proven in his feeble attempt to pass gun control legislation he hasn’t a clue on how to work a bill through Congress.

        O-man ? A BIG ZERO how appropriate !

        • Goethe Behr

          So…what’s it gonna be Bobbo??

          You were trying to paint Obama as some kind of Superman, who rolled over the competition “more powerful than a locomotive,” and now yer painting him as Millard Milquetoast.

          Most posters don’t flip-flop in back-to-back posts.

          • Bob

            Goethe; I simply said he didn’t roll over as you inferred in your 15th November @ 9:27 PM. Many times during the health care bill discussions he didn’t budge on aspects of it. He has also shown this on budget negotiations.

            Well actually he does roll over but that is strictly for his foreign policy affairs. Domestically he knows he can roll the republican establishment and play them against the right.

            • Goethe Behr

              Bob: Nonsense. Obama threw healthcare reform in the laps of Congress, just hoping they would come up with something, and eventually agreed to just use the two-decade old Heritage plan.

              The only time he has stood firm was over the budget, which had already been debated and agreed to by both sides. Then Cruz decided to get some “face time,” seeing that Rand Paul had gotten good press for his earlier filibuster. Except that Paul had a plan, a goal, and a hope of success. Cruz had no plan, no goal, no end game. It wasn’t even a real filibuster, since it had a scheduled end time. Pure self-serving, inconsequential theatrics.

    • samreusser

      Gentlemen – specifically Goethe and Bob – earlier in the thread i commented some on King Obama’s unlawful declaration, but you really have to go back to pre-2009. Our Socialist president said he was going to bring about “change”. It has always been his goal to Euro-socialize us and further. And screwing the insurance companies as well as We The People.

      His goal was to make ACA stick, turn all med insurance into a “single payer”, ie, Medicaid, Medicare and add 1/6 of the U.S. economy to his already huge government control, with the IRS the overseer and the DHS the enforcer.

      We are so close to his success and Dem’s have no clue. right now they are getting communications from their constituents so those up for re-election are backpedaling and the MSM is trying to get better rating. But none of them realize the precipice we are nearing.

      • Bob

        Sam:
        I’m afraid Democrats do know how close to the precipice they are. They however are looking at it through the lens of getting re-elected and /or staying in leadership roles in Congress not from the hardship suffered by the American publics view.

        As we have seen in the past it matters little to the President who he uses as a scapegoat when he is attempting his takeover…. or when it hits the fan. He knew Democrats would lose seats in Congress in 2010 if they helped him push health care through and he didn’t care. He knew people would lose their coverage in 2010 and he didn’t care. As long as it gets accomplished.

        • Goethe Behr

          Bob: I disagree.

          The reason it took two full years to get Obamacare through is that he did NOT push it.

          It really was NOT a matter of him pushing Obamacare to the detriment of Congress. It was always a sideshow, and he dumped in their laps.

          The 2010 election was not about Obamacare. It was about spending and debt. It was about the tea party, which is a focus on spending and debt. It was about the bailouts. It was about subsidies. Obamacare was never more than a footnote in 2010–partly because it looked like they were never going to stop talking about it. If the GOP didn’t take the house in 2010, they would still be debating how to put it together.

          Having the GOP take the house forced Dems to (as my dad used to say) get off the pot.

          • Bob

            Goethe;
            Then I suppose we agree that we disagree because Obamacare was EXACTLY WHY THE republicans WON IN 2010. I attended the Tea Party rally on Capital Hill on 20th of March 2010 days before the bill was passed and the purpose of the rally was to stop Obamacare. Eight months later was the election where Democrat candidates suffered for their loyalty.

            Granted the Tea Party was formed in the late stages of President Bush’s second term because of his spending and bailouts. It carried over into President Obama’s term and was at a full head of steam when Obamacare came through Congress. His defining piece of legislation in his administration CAN HARDLY BE TERMED “A SIDESHOW”. The President pleaded, begged and made deals with Democrat members of Congress to get Obamacare passed. Please lets not re-write history here.

  • Bob

    Goethe: For the record you can say things like “stickin’ it to you on the way out the door’ but it has no meaning to me because I don’t consider myself republican but Conservative. Thus I write republican in small “r” for a small party.

    • Goethe Behr

      Bob: it has nothing to do with your politics. I was just pointing to the fact that Dems couldn’t get their crap together, so they lost the house, and yet, still passed the ramshackle bill in lame duck session.

      In today’s world we don’t need to wait more than two months to swear in the next Congress. The election should be the END of that term. OR–lame duck bills should have to be confirmed by the incoming Congress.

      • Bob

        Goethe;
        I’ll give an amen to that idea!

        Talk more tomorrow!

  • obvious

    Obama works in mysterious ways….

    heard that one from a friend and cracked me up!

  • Goethe Behr

    Someone just sent me this:

    George W. Bush called President Obama today to say,

    (Wait for it…wait for it…)

    “YOU’RE DOIN’ A HECKUVA JOB, BROWNIE !!”

    • samreusser

      Bush was just on Jay Leno and refused to comment on two different softballs that Leno threw at him about Obama and Obomacare.