Patterico's Pontifications

3/31/2014

Obamacare Deadline: A Few Highlights

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:38 pm

[Guest post by Dana]

Today was the deadline for Americans to sign up for health care coverage and avoid facing a tax penalty. Not surprisingly, Healthcare.gov, the federal website for consumers, stalled due to heavy volume and a software bug. (Last week HHS offered an extension to consumers prevented from finishing their transaction due to exceptional circumstances, such as natural disasters, website technical issues, or other administrative problems).

Also, Big Journalism challenged the incredible enrollment data claimed by the Los Angeles Times,

The Los Angeles Times greeted the Obamacare enrollment data on Monday with a striking headline, claiming that “at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage,” which is 3 million people more than the Obama administration itself claimed last week (a number that was itself highly questionable, since it did not exclude those who had not paid for their new insurance). The Times’ analysis, however, is laughable.

The New York Times took the opportunity to recite the numbers,

In the last week, the administration counted more than 8.7 million visits to HealthCare.gov, including more than 2 million over the weekend. The telephone call center took more than 2.5 million phone calls in the last week, compared with 2.4 million for all of February.

As expected, the Administration was feeling victorious, if still not answering the important question(s),

At the White House, officials embarked on a kind of victory lap. Jay Carney, the press secretary, said that the number of people signing up for health care would be “significantly above six million,” and he reminded journalists of the predictions of doom when HealthCare.gov crashed last fall.

Mr. Carney said he did not have “any concrete numbers” to show how many people had paid premiums, as required to activate coverage.

And, troubling, a Southern California couple who are registered Republicans, were surprised to discover a voter registration card pre-marked with an “X” in the box next to Democratic Party, inside an envelope from Covered California, the state’s Obamacare website.

Covered California spokeswoman clarified and instructed,

“We are mailing voter registration material. However, the application forms come directly from the Secretary of State’s office, with no fields pre-marked. The individual should contact the Secretary of State, which takes these violations of election law extremely seriously, and they will investigate, using the unique serial number.”

(Apparently, the couple was unable to reach anyone at the Secretary of State office. The San Diego County Registrar of Voters office directed them to contact Covered California…).

–Dana

22 Responses to “Obamacare Deadline: A Few Highlights”

  1. It’s come to my attention that some people are double-counted.

    If you had a policy that was cancelled, and they sent you a letter with a proposed replacement policy, and you did nothing, you got signed up for the new policy. Signup number 1.

    If you didn’t realize they were going to do that (and they didn’t actually say there were going to do that) and you got another policy with another company through the exchange, you were counted a second time.

    To be rid of the first policy and owe nothing takes a bit of work. In any event, I’m willing to bet that they don’t subtract you back out.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  2. Apparently, the couple was unable to reach anyone at the Secretary of State office.

    This was the office that State Senator Yee aspired to. Just sayin’

    Kevin M (b11279)

  3. I have no idea how many people signed up today and neither do you. I suspect the White House doesn’t know either.

    Journalists, for whatever reason, decided to just go along with the administration a long time ago.

    The whole thing will be adjusted, delayed and re-legislated for a long time to come. It will never be repealed, so forget that fantasy.

    The President came into office with a single intention: Teach the people that what the government does is sacrosanct. Opposing is useless. The leaders of the Dem party repeat the line: “It is the law of the land.” What they mean is resistance is futile, much as the Borg.

    The sad part is they are right. The whole point of this law was to increase the power of the government to inflict the masses with the majesty of their betters.

    The right can, and probably will, elect a whole new constituent in the Senate, maybe a new President. They have no chance to undo this mess.

    Obamacare is here to stay. So, Cruz was stupid?

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  4. In a bit of irony, long-term sustainability problems ahead:

    Health industry officials say Obamacare premiums will likely double, and in some cases triple, in certain parts of the country next year, and announcements of rate hikes could come within months, potentially adding to the pressure on Democrats going into the midterm elections.

    The botched rollout of the federal healthcare program, including its numerous delays and changes, is one of the chief reasons for impending hikes, officials told The Hill, as is the impact on insurers of Obamacare’s new fees and regulatory restrictions.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  5. I just finished signing up for a plan but I have not paid. I was finally able to open an account Saturday after trying several times during the previous months. I had trouble accessing the site four different times this afternoon after it was reported back up and functioning.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  6. We will never know how many signed up–for what plans–who got subsidies– and if they paid, will we? .

    elissa (0666e5)

  7. They’ve obviously done away with drug screening at the LAT. There has never been a more addled group of “journalists”.

    Colonel Haiku (ec903e)

  8. Attention everybody–just remember to take everything and anything that Patterico posts tomorrow with a carefully raised eyebrow and a grain of salt. Skepticism is warranted. You have been warned.

    elissa (0666e5)

  9. Daleyrocks:

    I have a couple of questions. Are you finally comforted that you have affordable insurance? Did you qualify for subsidies? What was your deductible? Were you able to keep your doctor?

    My questions are objective. I really want to know. I am not really interested on what the left or right media are saying. For right now, my employer and I are paying for my insurance.

    I just want to know what happens to people without insurance.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  10. Ag80 – First of all the answers to some of your questions are none of your business. The others I am happy to answer.

    All in financially I figure I will be cash out of pocket about the same as I have been spending on medical crap without insurance. That’s with around $6,000 of premiums, a $6,000 deductible, co-pays and co-insurance. Plus no, my doctor is not included so seeing him is full freight and the closest and best hospital is not part of the network of any of the plans I reviewed.

    In my view I was faced with a choice of least bad options and I chose the one which was most likely to benefit me based on past spending habits.

    I think the only comfort I have added is that if I am hospitalized, I’ve reduced my financial exposure.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  11. Please fill me in but I thought that there was another extension so long as you said that you tried to get on but had experienced a computer glitch. It’s the honor system, of course. So bottom line is today is not the deadline.

    AZ Bob (533fbc)

  12. AZ Bob – You have until 4/15 as far as I know because of system problems. It kept bouncing my email address. I finally cleared all my history, cookies and cache and only kept one browser window open and used a different email address before I was able to open an account.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  13. AZ Bob,

    From the post, Last week HHS offered an extension to consumers prevented from finishing their transaction due to exceptional circumstances, such as natural disasters, website technical issues, or other administrative problems.

    http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/complex-cases-SEP-3-26-2014.pdf

    (I am unable to link)

    Dana (9a8f57)

  14. Oh. Link.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  15. Last week HHS offered an extension to consumers prevented from finishing their transaction due to exceptional circumstances

    Dana – Do you think I could get away with saying Putin made Obama his bytch so I was hiding in my bunker and that is the exceptional circumstance which prevented me from signing up?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  16. Ha, so it is true that yesterday was not the deadline. Except that the media made a big deal about it and of course said it was going well with only a glitch or two.

    AZ Bob (533fbc)

  17. daley, Rush says his not signing up is do to the intrinsic hardship of signing up.
    Of course, he has money for lawyers.
    And he could dry up the budget of the IRS while they fight him. (Though, since they can get more money printed, it’s not quite like Reagan being able to bankrupt the Soviets with SDI.)

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  18. 8.Attention everybody–just remember to take everything and anything that Patterico posts tomorrow with a carefully raised eyebrow and a grain of salt. Skepticism is warranted. You have been warned.
    Comment by elissa (0666e5) — 3/31/2014 @ 8:49 pm

    thanks, I wouldn’t have thought about it

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  19. Health industry officials say Obamacare premiums will likely double, and in some cases triple,

    In the 1930s, during the height of the Great Depression, things like Smoot-Hawley (or extreme protectionism) and certainly a huge ratcheting up of income taxes were sort of the rotten cherry on top of the rotten whipped cream, of an economy still reeling from the effects of the great stock market crash of 1929. So far, we’ve avoided a double (or triple) whammy like that, but Obamacare and other nonsense promoted by the left — not to mention natural technological changes like the internet and its effect on the retail industry, or what the arrival of the automobile in the early 1900s did to buggy-whip makers — is doing everything possible to make history sort of repeat itself.

    Mark (38186e)

  20. Happy Obamacare Day!

    Kevin M (b11279)

  21. Well it will work out like his last great pitch:

    http://www.autotribute.com/4500/obama-calls-chevy-cruze-car-of-the-future/

    narciso (3fec35)

  22. The ACA rules allow a 3-month grace period for non-payment. How many people signed up on the exchanges for a Jan 1 start date, did not need to use it so did not pay, and signed up with a different company for an April 1 start?

    You would get two bursts of signups that way. And guess what!

    Kevin M (b11279)


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