Again, the fact that he voted against the abomination lends credibility to his prediction. H/T Gateway Pundit
U.S. Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA) told the Boston Herald there are parts of Obamacare that were delayed because they were unpalatable.
“It’s going to hit the fan… Many will have to pay a 40% tax… It’s the first time in this country’s history that we are going to tax health care.”
Ah, Obamacare deals out yet another blow to the American public. Apparently Obamacare enrollee’s better make sure they want to tie the knot – or better yet if they can afford it, before signing up.
As we all know, the Affordable Care Act, isn’t as affordable as the president would like to have us think. That being said, couples living together, could potentially save $10,000 over the couple who are doing the same thing, but possess the legal document.
That’s right, Obamacare is punishing you for being married.
The way this loophole works is based on income levels. You see, when you are single, it appears that you only make so much, and having less than a married couple, you can afford less. But when you live with someone, and aren’t married you incur half the cost of living expenses. Obamacare does not factor this in.
This in turn makes it look like you are making less than the married folk, but in all reality, the income may be exactly the same between competing couples.
In a mathematical demonstration, Britbart explains:
“In order to receive a government subside, a married couple must earn less than $62,040. Therefore, a married couple with each spouse making $35,000 annually for a combined income of $70,000 dollars would not qualify for a healthcare subside. In contrast, an unmarried couple with each partner making $40,000 for a combined income of $80,000 could qualify for thousands of dollars in subsides.”
The fair thing to do here is to base the insurance on household incomes, but that may just be the point.
Robert Rector, a senior research fellow with Heritage Foundation, speculates that the “law was formulated on ideological grounds,” because, “unmarried couples often vote Democrat and married couples lean Republican.”
What do you think – just unfair, or liberal ploy?
Georgia insurers received more than 220,000 applications for health coverage in the Affordable Care Act’s exchange as of the official federal deadline of March 31, state officials said Wednesday.
Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, though, said premiums have been received for only 107,581 of those policies, which cover 149,465 people.
“Many Georgians completed the application process by the deadline, but have yet to pay for the coverage,” Hudgens said in a statement Wednesday.
Half? Half? Sure, the nonpayment rates will be a lot lower in other places. But this indicates how much skepticism is warranted for the administration’s much-touted enrollment figures.
When Progressives insist that we’re wrong and Obamacare is more popular than it seems, they’ll point to the enrollment numbers. They dismiss the national surveys, but there’s some indication that Obamacare’s meager support in the polls is actually worse than we think, because it’s being artificially boosted by respondents that are eager to declare the whole thing a success, no matter how their state exchange is actually performing.
A couple of lessons from this bit of polling research by Jonathan Easley at the Morning Consult: Healthcare.gov is uniquely and perhaps disproportionately disliked by survey respondents, and some people just tell pollsters what they want to be true, not what is actually true:
In a testament to how political affiliation potentially colors an individual’s view of the law, Morning Consult polling from November through April found that people reported more positive experiences in states with largely broken exchanges versus people who used the federal exchanges. And that includes states where the exchanges never were fully operational…
We separated states into three different groups to do this analysis. The “broken” state exchange group included Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon and Vermont. (While it is an inexact measurement, we put states where healthcare officials struggled throughout the enrollment period to fully launch their exchanges into the “broken” category.) The second group of states – those with relatively well running exchanges – included Washington, Rhode Island, New York, Kentucky, Colorado, Connecticut, California and the District of Columbia. All other states where included in our third group, as they used the federal exchange website to enroll customers.
Among these groups, you might expect the states with barely (or not-at-all) functioning exchanges to rank last when it comes to users’ experiences. But the federal exchanges took that spot in almost every measure. The poll has a margin of error of two percentage points, and approximately 2,000 interviews were conducted in each poll from November through April.
The analysis notes, “In the 2012 election, President Obama won all of our “broken” exchange states. That perhaps explains the rosier view voters in those states have of the law, even though the exchanges in many cases barely worked.” In other words, there’s a strong possibility some Obama voters declared their state health insurance exchanges to be success even when they personally experienced its failure.
In a bombshell article, the New York Times reported earlier today that the U.S. Census Bureau planned to radically alter its method of calculating the number of people without health insurance in the U.S. The result? The changes will be so radical that “it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said.”
From the NYT:
The Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data for more than three decades, is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said.
The changes are intended to improve the accuracy of the survey, being conducted this month in interviews with tens of thousands of households around the country. But the new questions are so different that the findings will not be comparable, the officials said.
An internal Census Bureau document said that the new questionnaire included a “total revision to health insurance questions” and, in a test last year, produced lower estimates of the uninsured. Thus, officials said, it will be difficult to say how much of any change is attributable to the Affordable Care Act and how much to the use of a new survey instrument.
You know what else is due this fall? A big election in which the effects of Obamacare are sure to weigh on voters’ minds.
Don’t worry, though. Census officials said the timing of the change was “coincidental” and “unfortunate.” The latter is most certainly the case, but unfortunate for whom? Certainly not the White House, which mere days ago was bragging, Mission Accomplished-style, about how amazing the Obama implementation was going. Does anyone actually believe this White House would want to change and obscure favorable numbers in the weeks and months ahead of an election?
It turns out the suspiciously timed changes aren’t the only remarkable aspect of that NYT story. Apparently the government’s statisticians knew for some time that the old method of collecting data on the uninsured significantly overstated their numbers:
Census officials and researchers have long expressed concerns about the old version of insurance questions in the Current Population Survey.
The questionnaire traditionally used by the Census Bureau provides an “inflated estimate of the uninsured” and is prone to “measurement errors,” said a working paper by statisticians and demographers at the agency.
So not only will the new numbers be close to useless when it comes to using them to figure out if Obamacare has had its intended effect, it turns out the old numbers – which the White House used to cram the law down America’s throat – were bogus as well. Heads they win, tails you lose. But remember: all of this is totally coincidental and really unfortunate.
Unrelated: remember that time the Obama administration tried to force the head of the Census Bureau to report directly to the White House, rather than to the Secretary of Commerce, as required by law?
President Obama has decided to have the director of the U.S. Census Bureau work directly with the White House, the administration said today, a move that comes as the Census Bureau prepares to conduct the 2010 census that will determine redistricting of congressional seats.
We’re sure that was just a coincidence, too.
Remember all those promises that were made to sell Obamacare? Like lowering premiums for a family of 4 by $2,500 a year, allowing people to keep their plans and their doctors, not adding a dime to the deficit, and all of that?
Well, let’s just see how much of a striking success “Obamacare” is based on the numbers so far. The Heritage Foundation created these charts based on the HHS’ own numbers, the CBO’s, and the Kaiser Family Foundation’s.
If you’re a young person, you’re pretty much screwed. Not only will you be paying higher premiums to subsidize your elders, you will be paying more taxes over your lifetime to pay back the loans we’re accruing just to pay for this boondoggle. You’re welcome, right?
So… Mr. Smooth was going to save a family of four $2,500 a year in premiums, as promised so many times it’s laughable. About that… a family of four is likely to get an increase in premiums, and in addition, basically anyone who wants to work and live the American Dream will be penalized with higher taxes.
Speaking of taxes, check out these bad boys. Not just one, but 18 new taxes lumped into one giant bill that should be called “Obamatax.” Hey, it’s not a tax! Oh yeah, well, now it is.
You would think from all the hysteria nowadays about Medicaid expansion to the states that this was the main purpose of Obamacare – to spread a huge soviet-style welfare program to as many homes as possible (and let those who are on it tell ya about the amazin’ service while they’re at it!) Anyway, let’s frame some of that left-wing hypocrisy by pointing out Obamacare’s massive cuts to another government program – Medicare.
Now, show him the deductibles, Bob! Average deductibles on the “Catastrophic,” “Bronze,” and “Silver” plans are going through the roof. (No worries if you live in Colorado or Washington, just light up a joint and forget you read this.)
Now here comes the biggie – cost. If you were one of the supporters of this law who thought it wouldn’t “add a dime” to the deficit, I want you to turn to your (theoretical) children and grandchildren and apologize. We’ll wait.
No, tell them the part how you’ll be sticking your kids with your generation’s bills, and how debt is the unpaid portion of the federal budget that gets passed on to someone else.
Still don’t feel guilty? How about realizing that all those taxes coming out of the private sector to pay for this disaster will limit your children’s future, as being evidenced in part by the half of college graduates who can’t find jobs in their fields? Oh, now you feel guilty.
And lo and behold, this healthcare “reform” boondoggle passed through procedural gimmickry with no bipartisan support whatsoever loaded with nonsense and unread in full by most of the nation’s “representation” in Washington still has very little support – beyond those Democrats who would support anything the party told them to.
There are many ironies in ObamaCare . There is the fact that a bill that supposedly was passed to help every American get coverage only allows you to buy it part of the year. Then there is the fact that ObamaCare took millions of policies, policies that people liked away. Then there was that website disaster, and the numerous delays, and waivers. The most ironic thing about the president’s “signature” legislation, however, might be the first word in the actual title, Affordable
On top of rising premiums, Obamacare taxes are adding hundreds of dollars per year onto customers’ costs, according to new study from the American Action Forum.
Those who braved the health-care law’s exchanges will have to pay an extra $354 on average in 2014, reportsthe free-market D.C.-based think tank, just due to seven taxes included in Obamacare.
The vast majority of the country covered by employer-sponsored health insurance will be forced to pay a somewhat lower tab of $196 to cover the taxes. Those with self-funded employer-sponsored insurance are exempt from several of the largest culprits and will have the lowest added cost at $94 in 2014, which will drop to $59 by 2016.
One is aimed at the insurance companies, forcing them to pay the federal government for the privilege of selling health insurance — an ironic touch for a law meant to make health coverage cheaper. AAF estimates that this tax alone, which will be passed onto consumers, will cost an extra $101 in 2014; in 2015 and 2016, it’ll be increased to $143 on average as the federal government ups their funding requests every year.
In 2014, the total tax will amount to $8 billion; in 2015 and 2016, it’ll be $11.3 billion, and the current plan comes it at $14.3 billion in 2018.
A similar tax targets pharmaceutical companies, upping the cost of paying for medicine. That one piles on just $16 to existing premiums per year. This one will account for $3 billion for each of the next three years, also divided amongst pharmaceutical companies by their market share. The controversial medical device tax add $13 in 2014, $14 in 2015, and $15 in 2016.
The reinsurance fee — commonly known as bailout funding, a pool of money for insurance companies to draw from if their pool of customers on the exchanges cost more than expected to insure – raising premium prices as well. The fee gradually decreases over the next three years as the reinsurance program is scheduled to end in 2016. This year, it will cost customers an extra $63 to raise $12 billion total; in 2016 it’ll add another $26 during the tax’s final year to collect $5 billion.
There are several other costs as well. The risk adjustment fee, which will transfer funding from places with healthier customers to those paying for sicker individuals, will add $1 a year to premiums. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute fee, a tax collected per insured person, per month meant to fund medical research, will cost just $2 annually.
So, basically, ObamaCare, a bill the American people have NEVER supported, a bill we had to pass first THEN see what was in it does several things. It takes away millions of people’s health care, and that number will likely grow next year. It increases costs, it takes away doctors, it forces you to buy coverage for things you might not even need, it eliminates catastrophic coverage, and, it tells you when you CANNOT buy coverage! And, in the end, we are likely to see as many uninsured as we saw before, with reduced quality of care, and the elimination of personal choice in coverage, doctors, and hospitals. Ain’t Marxism great!
A Fitting End to a Disastrous Reign -
Today outside the White House Kathleen Sebelius bid farewell to the president, officials and guests after resigning as head of Health and Human Services. And, as she bid farewell, she looked down at her notes and told the audience,
“Unfortunately, a page is missing.”
And with that she departed the Rose Garden for the last time.
Farewell, Kathleen Sebelius. Better luck in your next endeavor.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has announced her resignation.
Sebelius was appointed by President Obama to manage the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, and her tenure has been marred with problems and frustration.
The President is set to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, as her replacement.
UPDATE: RNC Chairman Reince Preibus released the following statement:
Secretary Sebelius oversaw a disastrous rollout of ObamaCare, but anyone can see that there are more problems on the way. The next HHS Secretary will inherit a mess—Americans facing rising costs, families losing their doctors, and an economy weighed down by intrusive regulations. No matter who is in charge of HHS, ObamaCare will continue to be a disaster and will continue to hurt hardworking Americans. It’s time for President Obama to admit that Democrats’ signature law is a failure and heed Republican calls for patient-centered healthcare reform.”
Four men paralyzed after bad spinal cord injuries can all move their legs again, thanks to an electrical stimulator.
Astonished researchers say they’d hoped for some result, but nothing like what they got. They think the stimulator is retraining the mens’ nerves to work with the brain again, despite the terrible damage.
“This is wonderful news. Spinal cord injury need no longer be a lifelong sentence of paralysis,” said Dr. Roderic Pettigrew, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, one of the National Institutes of Health. “It is just downright marvelous.”
Rob Summers, now 28, was the first patient implanted and his case made international headlines in 2011 when he was first able to stand using the stimulator. Summers now exercises for three hours a day and says his life has been transformed.
“It has changed my life on a day-to-day basis,” said Summers, who was paralyzed from the chest down after a hit-and-run driver plowed into him as he stood in his own driveway. “It’s given me the ability to travel alone and come and go as I please.”
Summers says he does an hour of abdominal exercises daily, reversing the gradual wasting of muscles that normally comes with paralysis.
“I can now feel soft touch, hard touch. I can feel pinpricks,” Summers, who lives in Portland, Ore., told NBC News. “I can feel the wind on my legs.”
None of the four men can walk again, but researchers believe the stimulator is retraining the damaged nerves in their spinal columns to communicate once again with the brain. They’re not sure why – it may be some connection remained after their injuries or it is slightly possible the nerves are re-growing.
“We have uncovered a fundamentally new intervention strategy that can dramatically affect recovery of voluntary movement in individuals with complete paralysis even years after injury,” the researchers, led by Dr. Susan Harkema of the Frazier Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Louisville, write in their report, published in the journal Brain on Tuesday.
Because all four men tested have regained movement, including two who were completely paralyzed, it’s likely that many people who believed they were permanently paralyzed may be able to move again, says Reggie Edgerton, distinguished professor of integrative biology and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, who developed the approach.
“It tells us that the information from the brain is getting to the right place in the spinal cord, so that the person can control, with fairly impressive accuracy, the nature of the movement,” said Edgerton. “We don’t have to necessarily rely on regrowth of nerves in order to regain function. The fact that we’ve observed this in all four patients suggests that this is actually a common phenomenon in those with complete paralysis.”
The stimulator was originally developed by Medtronic to treat chronic pain. It’s a pacemaker-sized device implanted under the skin of the abdomen, connecting to electrodes placed near the spinal cord. When turned on, it delivers a low pulse of electricity.
For patients with chronic pain, the electricity interrupts the pain signal before it can reach the brain. The researchers adapted it to try on patients with paralysis.
“The next generation will be more precisely controlled and noninvasive,” says NIBIB’s Pettigrew, whose institute helped pay for the research, along with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
Pettigrew says the results are no flash breakthough. They are based on decades of work. He says researchers are already working with a fresh batch of volunteers and will report new findings soon.
“It is why we come to work every day,” Pettigrew said.
The next step is to try and make the approach work without having to implant electrodes, Pettigrew said. The hope would be for an external device, with electrodes simply stuck onto the skin to stimulate the nerves.
“The implications of this study for the entire field are quite profound and we can now envision a day where epidural stimulation might be part of a cocktail of therapies used to treat paralysis,” said Susan Howley, executive vice president for research at the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
The accident cost Summers a promising possible career in baseball. He’d been a top pitcher for Oregon State University and he was struck a month after his team won the college world series.
But he’s happy now that going out to dinner is no longer an ordeal that required hours of preparation. He’s strong enough now to hop into his wheelchair and just go.
“Not only has this benefited me with the confidence to go out and do what I want to do… I can continue to live my life as I choose and not be restricted or limited,” Summers said. His doctors say he has regained continence, sexual function and even the lost ability to sweat.
“I truly believe this is the greatest thing out there,” Summers said.
Summers says he can feel the device working. “The best way to describe it is like a strong tingling sensation,” he says, almost like a limb feels after it’s “fallen asleep.” “It almost feels like pins and needles.”
The three other men whose cases are described in the report are all in their 20s and 30s now and, like Summers, had been paralyzed for years before trying the device.
Kent Stephenson of Mount Pleasant, Texas, was 21 when he was paralyzed in a motocross accident in 2009. He cannot move his leg without the stimulator, but with it on can pull his leg up to his chest, straighten it, and slowly lower it again.
Andrew Meas of Louisville was injured when his motorcycle and a car collided in 2007, while Dustin Shillcox of Green River, Wyo. was 26 when a company van he was driving blew out a tire and wrecked. Stephenson and Meas both have resumed outdoor activities such as snow machining and fishing.
Each has a little different level of function with the device. “I have mentored all the other guys using it,” Summers says. “We have been like a brotherhood bonding on this.”
Ah, Democrats. They always mistake good intentions for success. Take Mark Pryor for instance. Sure, millions of Americans lost their coverage BECAUSE of ObamaCare, sure premiums and costs spiked. But darn it Pryor would STILL vote for this monstrosity because darn it, he meant well!
Of course we still cannot forget that the majority of Americans have NEVER supported this bill, but Pryor and others like him will say that does not matter, even though it violates the basic founding principles of this nation. They will say it is all good, because they care, and they know best.
In the closing days of the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) , the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was mailing out letters notifying certain Americans that they had already started a healthcare coverage application on their behalf.
The HHS letter stated that the information they used to begin the application for individual Healthcare was obtain by the state agency in charge of implementing Obamacare.
The next step for the individual would be visit Healthcare.gov and complete the already started application to see if they qualify for “Marketplace coverage.”
News of the HHS letter was first mentioned by a listener of the popular “Daybreak with Drew Steele” Show on Fox 92.5, which is out of Fort Myers, Florida.
After his radio show concluded, another listener emailed Steele telling him about receiving the same letter. The listener asked for their identity to masked because they worked for the state of Florida.
— Forwarded message —
Date: Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 8:26 PM
Subject: letter from HHS
I am not looking to have this read on air or my name used. I am merely wanting to have confirmation about another caller because I believe this is a pretty big story the STATE government is not talking about.
I listen every morning, but do not call in or contact you due to having a government position and I fear losing my job.
However, on Saturday of this past week I received a letter very similar to the letter I believe his name was Doug ( Doug called Wednesday A.M.) received from HHS.
It is a letter stating one of my dependents, I only have one, no longer qualifies for my insurance. I do not have said dependent on my insurance due to cost ($1000 a month).
This dependent is on Staywell Healthy Kids which is part of KidCare Florida (Staywell nor Kidcare has contacted me in regard to this matter). I do not receive subsidy due to my income but rather pay full premium for the coverage. The letter continued on to say that the State of Florida has forwarded my dependents information to them and they have set up an account for me. All I have to do is call to finish the process.
This scares me, badly. I will not finish the process as I have found coverage elsewhere, but it is a little freaky that this has happened.
All the best,
A little freaky is right. The state of Florida is now passing personal information onto HHS, where they take the liberty of filling out an Obamacare health insurance application for you.
Is this how the Obama administration is inflating the enrollment numbers, by making it easier for people to finish the application?
Drew Steele posed this question:
“Is HHS telling the state to give them info on families with dependants NOT on family policies so they could inflate the numbers? How many other states are doing it as well?”- Drew Steele
Here is how the letter reads.
You submitted an application for healthcare coverage, or made a change to your eligibility information. Your state sent your information in a secure transaction to the Health Insurance Marketplace, because you or someone on your application does not qualify for Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). You or someone on your application will likely be able to get coverage through the Marketplace, and get help paying for health coverage… We used the information from the state agency to start an application for you on Healthcare.gov. You’ll need to complete and submit this application to see if you qualify for Marketplace coverage.
To do this, you can log into your Healthcare.gov account, or if you don’t already have an account, you can create one on Healthcare.gov.
HHS urged enrollees to “confirm” information and “choose a plan before the deadline.”
For more information about how to complete the application we started for you http://www.healthcare.gov/help/statetranser
When visiting this web address, you will find the exact same text that is used in the letter, except for the asking the individual to “complete the application we started for you” part.
How many more healthcare coverage applications of unsuspecting Americans has HHS already “started” for them?
Here is the letter HHS sent this particular Floridian to notify them of their pending Obamacare application:
About 73,000 Marylanders will lose their health coverage on or after Jan. 1 due to regulations mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act.
The Maryland Insurance Administration was notified by nine insurance carriers that they will discontinue some of their health plans starting in the new year, said Joseph A. Sviatko, a spokesman for the agency.
The ACA, passed in 2010, does not require people with health plans purchased before March 23, 2010, to buy new coverage, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Those plans are grandfathered into the new law.
But plans that were changed after March 2010 – including changes to deductibles, co-pay or benefits – must meet new federal requirements.
The ACA mandates all health insurance premiums must cover 10 essential health benefits, including hospitalization, prescription drugs, maternity and newborn care.
Approximately 73,000 nongrandfathered plans in Maryland will be discontinued, Sviatko said.
“Those plans are being replaced with stronger coverage that provides more consumer protection, such as guaranteed coverage, mental health parity, and prescription drug coverage,” Sviatko said in an email.
Health care plans that have remained unchanged since March 23, 2010, can be renewed, he said.
CareFirst BlueCross Blue-Shield, which handles about 70 percent of Maryland’s individual insurance market, said close to 76,000 of its customers could lose their current health plans in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., by January.
A CareFirst spokesman said about 60,000 of those cancellations would take place in Maryland.
CareFirst has close to 120,000 individual members in the state.
Sviatko did not know how many health care plans would be discontinued in Anne Arundel County. Most people should receive 90 days notice before their health coverage is discontinued, he said.
A triumphant President Barack Obama declared Tuesday his signature medical insurance overhaul a success, saying it has made America’s health care system ‘a lot better’ in a Rose Garden press conference.
But buried in the 7.1 million enrollments he announced in a heavily staged appearance is a more unsettling reality.
Numbers from a RAND Corporation study that has been kept under wraps suggest that barely 858,000 previously uninsured Americans – nowhere near 7.1 million – have paid for new policies and joined the ranks of the insured by Monday night.
Others were already insured, including millions who lost coverage when their existing policies were suddenly cancelled because they didn’t meet Obamacare’s strict minimum requirements.
Still, he claimed that ‘millions of people who have health insurance would not have it’ without his insurance law.’
‘The goal we’ve set for ourselves – that no American should go without the health care they need… is achievable,’ Obama declared.
The president took no questions from reporters, but celebrated the end of a rocky six-month open-enrollment period by taking pot shots at Republicans who have opposed the law from the beginning as a government-run seizure of one-seventh of the U.S. economy.
‘The debate over repealing this law is over,’ he insisted. ‘The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.’
The president also chided conservatives ‘who have based their entire political agenda on repealing it,’ and praised congressional Democrats for their partisan passage of the law without a single GOP vote.
‘We could not have done it without them, and they should be proud of what they’ve done,’ Obama boasted, in a clear nod to November’s contentious elections in which Republicans are expected to make large gains on an anti-Obamacare platform because of the law’s general lack of popularity.
‘In the end,’ he warned the GOP, ‘history is not kind to those who would deny Americans their basic economic security… That’s what the Affordable Care Act represents.’
‘“The bottom line is this,’ said Obama: ‘The share of Americans with insurance is up, and the growth in the cost of insurance is down. There’s no good reason to go back.’
Republicans will differ with that assessment as Election Day nears. They need to gain a net total of six Senate seats in order to reclaim the majority and control both houses of Congress, a goal that appears reachable since two-thirds of the seats being contested are held by Democratic incumbents.
No national political analyst has predicted a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives.
White House press secretary Jay Carney stopped short of saying ‘I told you so,’ but chided a sparse press corps in the briefing room at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for ever doubting that the Obamacare system would enroll more than 7 million Americans.
‘At midnight last night we surpassed everyone’s expectations,’ he boasted, ‘at least everyone in this room.’
While he took great pains to emphasize that the total would grow – saying ‘we’re still waiting on data from state exchanges’ – he dodged tough questions about other statistics that reporters thought he should have had at the ready.
Those numbers included how many Americans have paid for their insurance policies, and are actually insured. Also, he had no answer to the thorny question of how few signups represented people who had no insurance before the Affordable Care Act took effect.
Aside from the issue of the numbers’ likely decrease when non-paying enrollments are taken into account, administration officials have been coy about the RAND Corporation study, which suggests that relatively few Obamacare enrollees were previously uninsured.
In addition to his claim of 7.1 million enrollments, Obama also announced that ‘three million young people’ under age 26 have gained coverage as add-ons to their parents’ policies. and ‘millions more… gained access through Medicaid expansion,’ he said.
Those totals – young adults attached to their parents’ insurance and new taxpayer-funded Medicaid subscribers – far exceed the 7.1 million number the White House trumpeted on Tuesday.
The Affordable Care Act carried with it the promise of covering ‘every American,’ and it appears to have fallen tremendously short.
The unpublished RAND study – only the Los Angeles Times has seen it – found that just 23 per cent of new enrollees had no insurance before signing up.
And of those newly insured Americans, just 53 per cent have paid their first month’s premiums.
If those numbers hold, the actual net gain of paid policies among Americans who lacked medical insurance in the pre-Obamacare days would be just 858,298.
Obama’s Rose Garden speech included an acknowledgement that the Affordable Care Act ‘has had its share of problems,’ and has at times been ‘contentious and confusing… That’s part of what change looks like in a Democracy.’
But ‘there are still no death panels,’ he joked amid laughter. ‘Armageddon has not arrived.’
A standing ovation greeted him after his speech. A White House aide said the crowd consisted of ‘”organizations and stakeholder groups who helped lead the enrollment and outreach efforts, as well as Hill lawmakers and staff from HHS, CMS and other agencies involved in implementing the ACA.’
Not among them: Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathlen Sebelius, the administration official most responsible for the Obamacare program’s implementation. She also did not appear in the White House press briefing room earlier in the afternoon.
But Carney and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough distributed donuts to reporters in the press center on Tuesday morning – presumably without checking with the first lady – and eagerly pitched talking points to journalists writing about the milestone day.
Questions remain about the effectiveness and affordability of Obama’s plan, which he sold to congressional Democrats and the American people as a scheme to cover the uninsured, and about how the law is contributing to the spiraling cost of medical care.
As information about the chasm between Obamacare’s promises and its reality have reached the public, the program has become more and more unpopular – a fact that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met with awkward silence during a Monday television interview in Oklahoma.
‘At last check, 64 percent of Oklahomans aren’t buying into the healthcare plan; they don’t like Obamacare, and they’ve been pretty vocal about it,’ a KWTV-9 reporter told her.
‘Now that’s going to be – still continue to be a tough sell, but we’ll see how that plays out over the coming months.’
Sebelius, a deer trapped in TV’s headlights, offered only a blank stare. Asked if she had lost the audio feed, the icy secretary responded, ‘I can hear you. But I – thanks for having me.’
Hours earlier, she tooted Obama’s horn during a fawning Huffington Post interview, claiming that healthcare.gov saw a surge in traffic when the president appeared on the gonzo show ‘Between Two Ferns’ on the Funny or Die website.
Obamacare ‘definitely saw the Galifianakis bump,’ she said, referring to the show’s host Zach Galifianakis.
‘As a mother of two 30-something sons, I know they’re more likely to get their information on “Funny or Die” than they are on network TV,’ she added.
Americans who missed the online broadcast still knew enough to queue up Monday for panic-induced sign-ups. Crushed with traffic, healthcare.gov crashed twice.
On its way to 7 million, the Obama administration has never answered some key questions about the open enrollment period.
The White House has instead kept to its talking points.
‘What I can tell you is that we expect there to be a good mix of people who were previously uninsured who now have insurance,’ Carney said Monday.
‘Certainly, there’s a significant number who now have qualified for Medicaid in those states that expanded Medicaid who will have insurance who didn’t have it before.’
The midnight deadline for enrollment has become a temporary formality, as the Obama administration has offered extensions to anyone willing to claim they tried in earnest to sign up in time.
Sebelius promised Congress weeks ago that there would be no extension.
The White House has compared it to voters who are permitted to cast ballots if they are in line when the polls close. But conservative opponents note that ballot officials won’t accept voters’ claims the day after an election.
California has also extended its deadline through April 15.
Before getting to the speech itself, it’s worth noting a few things.
When the Democrats passed and Barack Obama signed Obamacare, the majority opposed it. About 56%, in fact. A majority have consistently opposed that law ever since.
The Obama administration touted 7 million sign-ups by March 31 as “success.” When that goal appeared to be unreachable, the administration suggested that maybe 5 or 6 million would be enough. Now, as if by magic, they have their number. Somehow.
All along, the administration has touted false numbers of enrollees. All along, the administration has neglected to admit that Obamacare is causing millions of Americans to lose their insurance, as they were forced to admit that they knew it would.
A simple bit of math shows that even if there are 7 million legitimate sign-ups, there are between 5 and 6 million who lost their healthcare because of Obamacare. What’s the net number? How many of these have even paid their premiums? And how many of them are now facing steeper deductibles?
Premiums are not going down. Access has not been expanded. Provider networks are shrinking, reducing choice. These are all consequences of Obamacare. The president mentioned none of it.
The Obama administration is also neglecting to admit that their law is killing jobs. It is strangling hiring. It is killing the work ethic that built this country. The CBO estimates that we will lose the equivalent of more than 2 million jobs’ worth of work hours. Small businesses say that Obamacare is keeping them from expanding their businesses, and keeping them from hiring and growing their workforces. They also say that Obamacare is forcing them to cut hours, which translates into lost wages, for millions of workers. Obama mentioned none of that.
But most importantly, the Obama administration is not admitting that it used naked, brute force to coerce Americans into signing up for Obamacare. Failing to sign up can get the IRS, with its auditors and armed agents, unleashed on you. When faced with that prospect, sure, it’s not all that hard to persuade people to do what you want. It’s a lesson that feudal chiefs, tyrants, pirates and bandits learned a long time ago.
The 7 million that President Obama touted today is a false number, he knows that it is a false number, and he knows that it is based on the threat of force. In fact, his administration couldn’t even give a solid number until today. How convenient.
So today, the day after the same administration that has cooked the books on deportations, and cooked the books on unemployment, the same administration that lied about Fast and Furious, lied about Benghazi, lied about “green jobs,” lied about last week’s meeting with the Pope, and whose IRS abused the president’s critics – the leader of that administration touted “7.1 million sign-ups” for Obamacare. Even going by the administration’s official numbers, the president’s claim is inflated. The administration only claims 7,041,000 – far from 7.1 million.
The president criticized Americans who donated their own money to run ads opposing Obamacare. But Barack Obama used government force to take Americans’ money and use that money to promote his law – whether we backed his law or not. Which is worse?
Obama said that now that his law is the law of the land, it cannot be repealed. Also false. It’s unpopular even before the employer mandate kicks in, which is destined to cost tens of millions of Americans the healthcare that they now have. We have a system by which laws and even amendments to the Constitution can be repealed.
But the most ghastly aspect of the president’s speech was its celebratory tone. This president stood in the Rose Garden in the lawn of the people’s house. He used force to coerce Americans into doing what he wants for the sake of politics and power. An American president should never celebrate taking freedoms away from Americans. This president has, and he is pleased with himself for doing it. He basks in the applause of those who celebrate with him, as if it’s an achievement to use the full force of government to impose yourself on others.
Outside the gates of his little ceremony, Democrats remain on the run because Obamacare is wreaking havoc on people’s lives. This president’s “mission accomplished” moment has come. The Democrats will still lose the Senate this year, in part because Barack Obama remains so out of touch, aloof, and dishonest.
Mark Levin opened his show tonight livid over Obama’s Castro-like campaign rally on Obamacare today, where he spewed lie after lie to his clapping seal sycophants. And the media just echoes what he says like it’s the truth.
Listen below to his first segment:
On Tuesday, President Obama triumphantly announced that, with the power of the mainstream media, Hollywood, and the threat of the IRS, the mission had been accomplished: 7.1 million Americans had selected an Obamacare plan.
Obama’s tone was nothing short of exuberant: “7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through these market places. 7.1! Yep!” He then went on to criticize those who had expressed objections to Obamacare for its deprivations of plans, doctors, drugs, and liberty: “Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance?”
Now, it was always foolhardy for Republicans and conservatives to stake their objections to Obamacare on the number of sign-ups; Social Security is going bankrupt despite 100% enrollment. The reality is that Obama was always destined to hit his required numbers because, after all, he has the power of government to compel action. The real problem with Obamacare has little to do with the number of people signing up, and a lot to do with the restrictions on insurance companies and reimbursement rates to doctors.
Nonetheless, the 7.1 million statistic is a meaningless one. It’s meaningless for a variety of reasons:
It Doesn’t Measure How Many People Have Actually Paid. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted yesterday that of the 6 million people who had signed up for Obamacare at the time, “What we know from insurance companies… tell us that, for their initial customers, it’s somewhere between 80, 85, some say as high as 90 percent, have paid so far.” In other words, about five million people were signed up. As Aaron Blake of the Washington Post points out, “If between 80 and 90 percent of the six million have paid premiums, the number who are fully enrolled would be closer to five million than to six million.” With the increased number of sign-ups in the last days, that percentage number has likely dropped. This is not an unimportant distinction; insurance will not cover those who don’t pay.
7.1 Million Enrollees in the Private Exchanges Doesn’t Mean 7.1 Million Who Were Previously Uninsured. Some five million Americans saw their policies cancelled thanks to Obamacare. Those Americans were forced into the Obamacare exchanges by the government. According to a RAND Corporation study, only 858,000 previously uninsured Americans had actually joined Obamacare. That’s a far cry from 7.1 million.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated in March 2010 that 37.3% of all uninsured Americans would gain insurance thanks to Obamacare in 2014. That estimate rose to 38.9% in March 2011. In February 2014, the CBO suggested that in 2014, 22.8% would gain insurance through Obamacare. The actual statistic: 12.5%. In other words, the original estimates were off by approximately 66%.
The Chief Beneficiaries of Obamacare Have Been Medicaid Recipients and 26-Year-Old Basement Dwellers. There are approximately 6.1 million people who have gained coverage through Obamacare’s non-private exchange program. 4.5 million were beneficiaries of Medicaid expansion, and another 1.6 million 26-year-old “children” were forced onto their parents’ policies. That far outweighs any supposed gains in the private insurance market. As Chris Conover of Forbes writes, “At the end of the day, we appear to have covered 1 in 8 uninsured, but to get to this point, we have disrupted coverage for millions, increased premiums for tens of millions more and amplified the pain even further with a blizzard of new taxes and fees that will end up cost even the lowest income families nearly $7,000 over a decade.”
The Huge Majority of Those Signing Up Are Getting Subsidies – and Even Those Who Are Subsidized Aren’t Signing Up. In order for Obamacare’s cost structure to work, millions of Americans must sign up to pay inflated prices; that would help pay for the subsidies to cover insurance company costs on those with pre-existing conditions. In March, the Obama administration reported that 83% of those who had signed up were eligible for subsidies. As Robert Laszewski estimates, in the end, just 27% of those who are eligible for Obamacare subsidies nationwide have signed up.
How Much Will The Numbers Drop? These are all preliminary statistics. We now know that somewhere between 2% and 5% of people who paid their insurance bills in January did not do so in February, to go along with the high percentage of people who signed up and never paid at all (that number in Obamacare success story Washington state, for example, was 39% as of early February).
The 7.1 million statistic is not all that important, in the end. Obama will hit his numbers, by hook or by crook. Likely by crook. But conservative opposition to Obamacare should not be predicated on its ineffectiveness in forcing sign-ups. Instead, it should be based on deprivation of liberty and destruction of medical care.
Welcome to your feel-bad story of the month. Remember Julie Boonstra? She’s the single mother fighting leukemia who appeared in an anti-Obamacare television ad running in Michigan:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid assailed Ms. Boonstra, and others like her, in a breathtakingly mean-pirited floor speech – going so far as to say that “all” of their negative experiences were “untrue” and “lies.” Reid now claims he doesn’t remember saying any such thing, but there’s video tape:
In his effort to discredit Boonstra, Reid relied on a Washington Post “fact check,” which effectively ruled her story half true. In fact, every claim Boonstra made in the ad has been confirmed, as explained by the Detroit News’ Dan Calabrese:
Boonstra is on five different medications to help deal with her leukemia. The Blue Cross PR spokesman claimed that they are all covered. But when Boonstra went to fill her prescription for Loratadine – a prescription-level equivalent of Claritin that she uses to control congestion brought on by chemotherapy – she was told that Loratadine is not covered. She has not yet attempted to restock any of her other meds but she is already having to come with strategies to deal with that problem. The $5,100 cap on Boonstra’s out-of-pocket spending is for in-network care only. If she has to go out of network, she could spend an additional $10,200…When Boonstra was first diagnosed, she had to go through a painstaking process to get approval for her chemotherapy drugs to be covered. When she finally found insurance she liked, she had no problem with the chemo drugs. She now says that process is starting all over again. Boonstra has already had to cut back on her bone marrow biopsies, which she was having on a regular schedule she had worked out with her doctor, because she doesn’t have clarification on whether these will be covered. I could go on, but the bottom line is this: Julie Boonstra told the truth, and arrogant media “fact checkers” had a lot of nerve claiming she hadn’t when they never even talked to her.
Nevertheless, Reid’s inaccurate nasty gram touched off a torrent of bile from Obamacare supporters, including this delightful care package Boonstra received in the mail:
Die, because your experience is inconvenient to my “pissed off” ideology. Incidentally, Ms. Boonstra isn’t the only Obamacare victim who received a cancellation notice, and whose subsequent plan presents out-of-pocket hardships:
Breast cancer survivor Ginny Mason was thrilled to get health coverage under the Affordable Care Act despite her pre-existing condition. But when she realized her arthritis medication fell under a particularly costly tier of her plan, she was forced to switch to another brand. Under the plan, her Celebrex would have cost $648 a month until she met her $1,500 prescription deductible, followed by an $85 monthly co-pay. Mason is one of the many Americans with serious illnesses – including cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis – who are indeed finding relatively low monthly premiums under President Barack Obama’s law. But some have been shocked at how much their prescriptions are costing as insurers are sorting drug prices into a complex tier system and in some cases charging co-insurance rates as high as 50 percent. That can leave patients on the hook for thousands.
Another example from North Carolina:
Amy Newbold, a 57-year-old saleswoman from Randolph County, N.C., lost her employer insurance last year. Through HealthCare.gov, she found a mid-tier “silver” plan with premiums that at first blush are $75 a month lower than her previous policy. But there are no savings, she said, since her old premiums were paid with pretax dollars and Obamacare premiums are paid with aftertax dollars. Newbold said she faces substantially higher drug costs for arthritis and psoriasis and worries that an out-of-pocket maximum of $5,000 could put needed medicines out of reach. “I feel left out in the cold, and I don’t know why it has to be that way,” she said.
Maybe Reid can make these “liars” famous, too. Indeed, unleashing left-wing wrath on ordinary people for the sin of speaking out must be a pretty effective method of stifling dissent – which is precisely what Reid wants.
The sky-high costs of Obamacare have forced a Kansas hospital to lay off more than a dozen employees.
Newman Regional Health hospital in Emporia, KS, a limited in-patient and outpatient services facility, has laid off fifteen employees- ten full time workers and five part time workers.
In a statement issued by Newman Regional, the hospital blames the lay offs on the “negative financial impacts of the Affordable Care Act.”
The staff cut is expected to save the hospital $1 million every year.
Bob Wright, CEO of Newman Regional told KTKA-KS, “It’s looking into the future, knowing that we need to make a profit, having the advantage of critical access, getting us most of the way there, but having really to do our part as good stewards of our resources to make sure that we’re profitable.”
When Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., pointed out that the majority of cancer centers in the country aren’t covered under Obamacare while arguing that the law’s problems go beyond early website issues, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., dismissed the critique as too “in the weeds.”
Coburn, a medical doctor battling cancer, panned the coverage offered to cancer patients.
“Nineteen of the cancer centers in this country, only five are covered under Obamacare,” he told the Washington Examiner Tuesday, a data point he attributed to the low payments the Affordable Care Act provides for those treatments.
“You know, it’s a market, and what they’ve done is they’ve priced it where these cancer centers, a lot of them, aren’t going to participate because they don’t get paid to cover the costs,” he said. Coburn, who is retiring at the end of this year, said his cancer center initially refused to accept the government health insurance, but has since reversed that policy.
Reid suggested that Coburn was taking too narrow a view of the law. “Dr. Coburn is very good at getting into the weeds and trying to find something that he thinks makes sense, but I think we need to look at the overall context of this bill,” he replied when asked about Coburn’s comments during a Senate press briefing. “It really brings a lot of people in from the cold so that they have the ability to get health insurance, which they’ve never had the opportunity [to do] before.”
Reid hailed the White House’s announcement that seven million people had enrolled in insurance through Obamacare, but Coburn said the statistic is a “numbers game.”
“You had six million who lost their insurance, how many net new people got covered? How many who lost their insurance don’t have insurance today?” Coburn asked. “And is it affordable? …The ones that lost their insurance now have [Obamacare], and we don’t know what that number is. I guarantee you three-quarters of them are paying a significantly higher cost, have a higher co-pay and a higher deductible.”
……….the reality of just how devastating this bill has been, for so many, is still bloody obvious. As The Other McCain might phrase it; ObamaCare Job Killer!
File this under “Not Exactly News.” Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of basic economics understood that the complex and burdensome system of mandates in ObamaCare would impede job creation. But nothing is true until the “experts” say so, I guess:
The Republicans just got a big gift from the Congressional Budget Office: It’s going to be a lot easier for them to call Obamacare a “job killer.”
That’s because the budget office’s new economic report, released Tuesday, says the health care law will cause Americans to work fewer hours — enough to be the equivalent of 2 million fewer jobs in 2017.
The latest number is nearly three times as high as the budget office’s previous prediction, and it’s supposed to rise in later years to the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs in 2024. . . .
The projection will put the White House, and especially red-state Democrats, in an even more awkward position heading into November. Until now, they’ve mostly had to worry about stories of canceled health plans and, of course, the botched website rollout. Now they’ll need to figure out how to counter, or at least explain, the new CBO job figures.
There are two Americas. In one America, people understand economics. In the other America, people vote for Democrats.
The ultimate folly of Liberalism is that it is based on feelings and idealism, and feelings and idealism, no matter how dearly held, no matter how well intended will always yield to reality. And nothing can illustrate this better than ObamaCare.
Of course it is more, far more than just unintended consequences that are behind ObamaCare. The goals of ObamaCare are three fold. First, it is a massive redistribution of wealth that will lead to most Americans being dependent on government. Second, it is in place to destroy the private health insurance and finally it is designed to bring us to a universal, one-size-fits-all, top down health care system. Anyone who does not see these basic truths is willingly blind. In short ObamaCare is meant to be the final nail in America’s coffin. Since the very beginning of this nation, there has been a war between Collectivism and Individualism. A war between small government, with specific, constitutionally outlined duties, and a government that will grow, and grow until it ultimately becomes our master.
There have been many battles, and many key points where the Left has gained gigantic victories moving them closer to their goal. The War Between the States crushed State sovereignty under the guise of “freeing the slaves”. President’s Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt moved us farther Leftwards with their “Progressivism”. FDR burdened us with Social, Security. LBJ further burdened us with his “Great Society” and Medicare, and now President Obama and the Democrats have forced ObamaCare on us. Each of these steps has weakened our Constitution, and further served to entangle us with red tape, taxes, regulation, and legislation so vast we cannot even begin to fathom how to get out of their tentacles. Our education system has become an indoctrination system, dumbing us down year by year. Rather than learning what America IS, generations of Americans learn what the Left wants America to be.
We are largely a nation that votes based on what politicians promise to give us rather than voting for men and women of honor. We are no longer a nation with statesmen who wish to serve their constituents and states. We are now a nation dictated to by career politicians who either hold the Constitution in utter contempt, or, at best think it an outdated Constitution. We are now a nation with few leaders with any wisdom like our Founders possessed. God help us, we have become a nation where many of us would reject James Madison, James Monroe, Ben Franklin, George Mason, Patrick Henry, George Washington, Samuel Adams as Right-Wing Radicals and extremists
We are a nation where the press has given up its constitutional rights. A nation where owning guns is demonized, where self-reliance is mocked, and where our freedoms of religion, speech, and association are under constant attack. And a nation where government at all levels is becoming increasingly belligerent towards our liberties. This, my friends, is not America as our Founders created it. These next two elections, will, I think, either save, or damn our nation. We must turn out of office those that seek power over us, and replace them with those who wish to serve, and who wish to obey and defend the Constitution. It might be our last, best hope.
Obamacare, the plan purportedly created to provide health coverage for the uninsured, has enrolled just 1.7% of America’s 48.6 million uninsured.
News of the disastrous numbers comes as nervous Democrats and President Barack Obama, ahead of the November midterm elections, did their best on Monday’s enrollment deadline to put a positive spin on the deeply unpopular Obamacare program. The latest Associated Press poll finds that Obamacare has now hit an all-time low approval rating of just 26 percent.
The White House now claims an Obamacare enrollment figure of six million people. However, according to The New York Times, at least 20% of those never paid their premiums to activate coverage, leaving them uninsured. That drops the number down to 4.8 million.
Next, as Washington Post columnist Ed Rogers notes, “the official HHS numbers still include duplicate enrollments.” No one knows how many duplicate enrollments are in the stack; the White House refuses to say. However, given the disastrous Obamacare website failures, it is reasonable to imagine that the pile is riddled with numerous “false start” applications.
That leaves the most important question: How many people are gaining insurance who were previously uninsured? After all, that was the stated reason for Obamacare in the first place. McKinsey & Co. says that only 27% of those who have picked a plan through Obamacare were previously uninsured.
Moreover, McKinsey says these individuals have an unusually high rate of failing to pay their first month’s premium. “Only 53 percent of them had paid their first premium, compared with 86 percent of the previously insured,” reports CNBC.
Even conceding the White House its alleged six million enrollment figure (which, again, includes duplicates and incomplete applications), that would mean that just 810,000 of paying Obamacare customers were previously uninsured, a figure that represents 1.7% of America’s 48.6 million uninsured people.
Indeed, most of those the White House counts as Obamacare enrollees are among the five million who had their health insurance plans canceled due to Obamacare.
Obamacare has taken a severe toll on President Obama’s approval rating. The latest Associated Press poll reveals that his disapproval rating has now hit an all-time high of 59%. As one Democratic member of Congress told The New York Times, Obama is “poisonous” to Democrats running in the November 4th midterm elections.
Americans head to the polls in 218 days.
Just rewriting laws as we go along, nothing to see here.
Oregon had all the right ingredients for a sparkling Obamacare success story: a Democratic doctor as governor, an eager Legislature and a history of health care innovation.
It ended up with Obamacare’s biggest technological disaster.
CoverOregon.com, the state’s equivalent of HealthCare.gov, is the only insurance exchange in the country on which people still cannot buy coverage entirely online. The flaws are so deep that Gov. John Kitzhaber concedes the state may give up on its own exchange and move to the federal HealthCare.gov next year. The challenges were so persistent that the state received federal permission to add a full month to its open enrollment season. The deadline for most of the country to become covered is 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Monday; here, enrollment will run through April.
HealthCare.gov is in the midst of another tech meltdown on the day Obamacare enrollment is scheduled to end.
The entire site was offline for hours early Monday morning due to a software bug discovered just before the deadline. HealthCare.gov was shut down from 3:20 a.m. until around 7:45 a.m. to repair the problem. The Wall Street Journal reported that the problem was related to how the website processes enrollment dates.
Once the site was functioning again, another glitch emerged around noon, preventing users from creating new accounts on the health care site. The newest glitch originates in the part of the system that processes peoples’ identities, a person close to the matter told the WSJ.
But the Data Services Hub, the federal computer system that connects several federal agencies with all state exchanges to verify identities, personal information and eligibility, remains operational, according to a spokesman from Obamacare administrator the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
“The tech team monitoring HealthCare.gov in real time has identified an issue with users creating new accounts. The application and enrollment tools are unavailable to new users at the moment,” said CMS spokesman Aaron Albright. “The tech team is working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. The Data Services Hub is still fully operational.”
In the meantime, users who attempt to log into the site will be put in the queue system developed after HealthCare.gov’s initial breakdown in October and November. Potential enrollees will be sent to a screen saying “HealthCare.gov has a lot of visitors right now” and will have to wait to be able to access the site.
Experts have long expected HealthCare.gov to experience its largest rush of consumers on the final day for open enrollment. The website was nevertheless apparently unprepared for the rush, despite the warning of the website’s failures last fall.
The site was struggling to handle over 100,000 simultaneous users at one point Monday. Sunday saw the health care website’s largest daily traffic, with 160,000 enrollments processed.
While Monday is technically the final day of the open enrollment period, the Obama administration will allow anyone who checks a box claiming technological problems while signing up to enroll until an unspecified date in mid-April.