A fiasco that could haunt progressives for years to come
A disaster that could undercut progressive ambitions for years to come
Attention, scared Democrats: Resisting the urge to tweak now is in your political interest later
Attention, scared liberals: Resisting pressure to tweak the law now is in your political interest later. Here's why.
President Obama on Thursday announced a new administration initiative designed to help that small portion of Americans whose insurers are cancelling existing policies.It’s not clear how much impact it will actually have, which means many (and probably most) of the people losing coverage aren’t likely to get those same policies back. But it appears the plan does minimal damage to the rest of Obamacare, which means the millions of people about to get insurance for the first time—or get cheaper, more comprehensive coverage than they had before—will still get those benefits.
Five reasons a Congressional fix will be destructive
House Republicans have rallied behind the cause of people getting insurance cancellation notices—and, on Friday, they will vote on a measure that will purportedly allow these people to keep their current policies. The bill might not work as intended, but it might well have another set of consequences. It would allow insurer companies to keep discriminating against the sick, while selling people policies that leave them exposed to crippling bills in case of serious illness.
The Department of Health and Human Services just released enrollment figures for Obamacare in October. How you assess them depends entirely upon your baseline and expectations.Here’s the quick summary:
Good news: There's a "side door" into Obamacare via insurers' sites. Bad news: It relies on the same terrible information technology.
It’s been widely noted that one of the biggest challenges for the Obama administration in setting up the new federal exchange for health insurance was that the project was much bigger than anticipated. Why? Because far fewer states than expected decided to set up their own exchanges—36 of them left the task to the federal government.
Bill Clinton has been one of Obamacare’s most effective advocates—the "Secretary of Explaining Things," as President Obama famously called him. But in a new interview already getting attention and sure to get more, Clinton didn't explain things very well. He made a statement that's likely to create some misimpressions about the possibilities of health care reform, while giving the administration and its allies yet another political headache. But maybe it's also an opportunity to have a serious conversation about the law's tradeoffs—the one that should have happened a while ago.
The real detail to watch is still to come
The Department of Health and Human Services will release initial enrollment statistics for Obamacare sometime this week, perhaps as early as Tuesday. But the disputes have started already. Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky of the Wall Street Journal are reporting that no more than 50,000 people successful enrolled in insurance plans via healthcare.gov last month.