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Delaying Obamacare for a year would be disastrous

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THIS seems not to have occurred to the Republican geniuses in Congress:

[D]elaying Obamacare’s individual mandate — a central tenet of the health law that requires everyone to purchase insurance — would have catastrophic effects. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects it would end up forcing Americans to pay higher premiums for their health coverage. Healthier people would be discouraged from buying insurance, resulting in an older and sicker pool of people in the individual market and encouraging insurers to submit higher rates. The delay would ultimately hike premiums by an estimated 15 to 20 percent.

And according to the CBO, a one-year delay would leave about 11 million Americans uninsured, ultimately reducing the expected coverage gains under the health reform law by nearly 85 percent. As those uninsured Americans end up seeking care in hospitals, the cost of providing that uncompensated care will offset any costs that are achieved by delaying Obamacare’s coverage expansion. Ultimately, delaying the mandate doesn’t actually save the government any money.

As Wonkblog reports, delaying the individual mandate would have a “ripple effect” throughout the health insurance industry. That sector has been preparing for impending changes under Obamacare, and a last-minute decision to delay the law would be a huge drain on the companies that have already spent millions of dollars on advertising and outreach campaigns. “It’s just too late,” Joe Antos, a health policy researcher at the American Enterprise Institute, told Wonkblog. “Everybody who is involved, insurance companies and hospitals and any other big entity, they’re ready to go. They really can’t make any changes.”

When the Affordable Care Act was winding its way through the court system last summer, a conservative federal judge made the point that suddenly striking down health reform would create “economic chaos.” And at this point, as many of Obamacare’s consumer protections have already taken effect, the individual mandate is inextricably linked to making the health reform law work in practice. A new paper from the Urban Institute notes that delaying the individual mandate would “seriously disrupt overall implementation” of health reform.

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7 Comments

  1. thehereandnow1

    Here’s a pretty simple example. Say you’re going out to buy a car. You go to the dealership and the sales person shows you different models. He hands you an information sheet on them, where each vehicle is written up in stunning detail, heck, it reads as if they are the greatest things to ever come about. But then you look at the different models in person. None of them are done, some don’t have any doors on them, others don’t have any tires. If you’re lucky, you find a model that indicates that you’ll be paying less per month than you’d expect. But, when you really try hard and read the fine print you see that with the money you have to pay for gas and general up-keep of the car you’re paying 3 to 4 times more than what you’d be paying for the car you already have. You ask the salesman valid questions from the list you’ve compiled, yet he can’t give a clear answer for any of them. However, that doesn’t deter him, he keeps insisting that you need that car. There are videos playing in the dealership about how great these cars are. Katy Perry’s singing a song about how great they are. Heck the CEO of the car company even steps in and tells you how much better your life would be getting one of his cars. So finally you relent. But oops, the system used to register your sale is in the fritz, full of bugs. Finally, after way much longer than it should take, you have your new car. You shut the door (or would if it had them), and proceed to drive…where your car konks out 300 yards after leaving the dealership. You call the assistance number you were given, but find out that for your particular car towing is not covered, so it’ll cost you $10,000. A couple months down the road you then find out from the IRS that all the tax breaks the dealership told you you would get by buying one of their cars, well, turns out you really didn’t qualify for them, and now you have to pay the IRS back that money.

    This thing is not going to go good. Even insurance people who are worth a darn are saying that this thing is not going to be good. You may qualify for a subsidy, yet it could also be a case of the IRS coming to you and telling you that all those months where you were getting it, well turns out you don’t qualify and now have to pay that back. Many of the lesser-enlightened people think that Savior Obama’s gonna give them free health care. You’d think that for someone who’s signature piece of legislation, the one thing he’s going to be remembered for, would want to make sure everything was running smoothly on it before it is released. But not our Barry. He’s gonna shove this down America’s collective throat, and then when it’s failing miserably, he’ll blame Republicans (like he always does). And sadder still, liberal puppets (of which our beloved Pat is one, though maybe not a full on puppet), will still be on his side.

  2. Ah! Our resident evolution denier and global-warming denier has treated us to a pile of gibberish in which he tellingly refers to the president as “Barry” (all the wingnuts do that) and characteristically employs such grammatical errors as “This thing is not going to go good.”

    But perhaps the commenter previously known here at Possum Jenkins is right about one thing: He represents strong evidence against the theory of evolution.

    Poor bigot boy!

  3. thehereandnow1

    Before I begin my reply, Pat, I have never said anything that would qualify me as an “evolution denier”, I am just smart enough to know that there could very well be more to how man got on this rock than a straight evolutionary approach. And also, global-warming denier is a tad harsh. I think the more correct term is one who isn’t suckered in by the environmental snake-oil salesmen.

    Now, why may I ask, instead of providing (your version) of facts and figures to refute my comment do you need to resort to inaccurate characterizations, the fact that I used good instead of well, and petty name calling? In my comment I have pointed out that this disaster of a law is packed with problems. Pieces of it have been delayed, groups that were so gung-ho for its passing (AFL-CIO) are now lamenting it. The congressional body which passed it has made itself as well as their families and the interns it employs exempt from it. The congressional body which claims to act in the best interest of the citizens it represents passes a law that they feel they are too good for. More and more stories are coming up that while some plans may in fact result in a person paying a lower premium than they currently do, their out of pocket expense will sky-rocket, their choice of doctors could greatly diminish, and in the end the Obamacare plan, all things factored in, would be more than what they are currently spending. People whose spouses and children were covered under their employer sponsored plan are finding that they are no longer covered (any parent who gives the slightest rip about their kids will tell you they’d give up coverage for themselves instead of their child). The software to be used for this is full of bugs and nowhere near ready to go. Officials have gone on record saying that not enough people will be ready to provide assistance come October 1. For those who think they would qualify for a subsidy to help with the cost there’s a chance that some months down the road the IRS will come to them and say that in fact they did not qualify, and that the subsidy money that had been getting they now had to pay back.

    Why the rush to get this out? A woman would not want to get married if the dress she cherished so much was not ready. An actor/actress would not want to step on the stage if they did not have their lines down. A mother would ideally not want to give birth if the delivery room was not ready. Why then, if this law is supposed to be the greatest thing to happen to man-kind in its history are people so gung-ho to put it out when it is nowhere near being ready?

    So I ask you Pat, instead of the name calling and grammatical nit-picking, can you explain why this law is the best thing to ever happen? Why everyone MUST start to experience its greatness starting tomorrow? And while we’re at it, since apparently you are so enamored with it, will you, Pat Cunningham, be stopping your current insurance (if employer sponsored) and joining Obamacare?

  4. Ya puppet pat what is with the name calling? All this name calling would upset our savior barry. Alright I have to run. This snake oil isn’t going to sell itself.

  5. thehereandnow1

    So tell me Joe, does your snake oil employer provide insurance for you and your family (if you have one)? If so, will it still be available under Obamacare?

    And I can’t understand why you think using the name ‘Barry’ is name calling. Didn’t Mr. Obama go by the first name of Barry while living with his mother and step-father?

    But more importantly, why is it that the you and Pat cannot seem to be able to refute my comments, instead resorting ONLY to name calling?

  6. thehereandnow1 – Your last post has many problems. Here is the corrections.

    1. Evolution is the best and most scientific explanation to how man got on this rock. To not believe in evolution is to not believe in MATH.

    2. A global-warming denier is perfectly accurate. At least 95% of all mainstream scientists, including every single reputable scientific community out there, all believes in man-made global warming. The debate is over except for people who believe science is a liberal conspiracy.

    3. Barack Obama no longer wants to be called “Barry.” It’s been that way for over 20 years. Referring to anyone by a name that they no longer wish to be called is insulting, can’t believe you’re too dumb to realize this.

    Now, onto the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    1. Yes, there have been delays. I’m not sure all the reasons why. Here are some things being delayed:
    – Requirement that some employer health-insurance plans cap employees’ out-of-pocket costs (This sounds like a good idea to me, but will likely cause companies a lot more money, but at the same to will force employers to more aggressively negotiate costs)
    – small businesses offer either a single plan or allow employees to choose among different plans (This was a dumb idea to begin with, small companies shouldn’t be burdened with offering multiple health insurance plans)
    – mandate that larger employers offer health insurance (Another dumb idea. Just let people use the exchanges)

    2. Unions don’t like it because it rightfully taxes their Cadillac insurance plans. The plans force higher prices on consumers and drives up government spending. ObamaCare taxing these plans is the right thing to do.

    3. Congress is NOT exempt. This has been thoroughly debunked multiple times.

    4. True, some premiums are more expensive, and that sucks. The rates for the exchanges are becoming available, and some plans are very cheap, while others are more expensive. But as more companies and plans are available through the exchanges, prices will become more competitive. People can leave the employer plans to jump on the exchanges, which is a good thing.

    5. Choice of doctor’s becoming diminished – I’m not sure if this is really true or not. There is no question that as everyone becomes insured, wait times will probably go up for non-essential services, which sucks. Wish there was a way to encourage more bright young people to become doctors instead of lawyers.

    6. Software being full of bugs? That’s ridiculous. There are thousands of different systems that operate independently and some together. Perhaps a certain program offered in a certain states isn’t ready, but that vast majority of it IS ready.

    7. The big thing that is happening tomorrow is the opening of the insurances exchanges. There are many others parts that won’t kick in until Jan 1st of next year. You’re acting like everything takes affect tomorrow which is not true.

    8. I’m a Republican, but our strategy of trying to repeal or defund has been a stupid idea. Once we lost the White House and Senate in 2012 it was settled. Trying to repeal or defund has been a colossal failure. 1/2 of the Legislative branch can not force the issue of what to and what not to fund. It sets a terrible precedent. Republicans should have been working on making the existing law better, and there was ample opportunity to do that. There are several parts of PPACA that could have repealed with bipartisan support. Repealing it parts would have made the law better, but also probably helped the staggering low Republican approval rates. Republicans really screwed this whole thing up.

    Yes, there are a couple of really dumb parts of ObamaCare. But most of it is good. Contrary to what Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio believe, it’s not socialized medicine, and Thank God (or the Senate) for that.

  7. hereandnow (AKA Possum Jenkins): Your denial of your evolution denialism is pure baloney.

    The other day, you said this: “The Theory of Evolution is as flawed (and some may say moreso) that your belief that creationism is flawed. Going by Darwin’s theories man should have been extinct a long time ago. Man was hardly the fittest when they first started coming about.”

    That is evolution denialism, plain and simple.

    What’s more, your reference to “the fittest” shows that you have no understanding of the term “survival of the fittest” as it applies to evolutionary theory. In an evolutionary context, “survival of the fittest” is another term for “natural selection.” It is not a metaphor for physical strength or fitness. Rather, it refers to adaptability to environment. Species that can adapt to their environment tend to survive and endure. Species that can’t adapt to their environment tend to go extinct.

    Your grasp of evolutionary science is inferior to that of many an eighth grader.

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