Toby Dials cartoon
ObamaCare is a huge Rube Goldberg device with near-infinite springs, levers and cogs that flip, spin and spiral, continually casting off parts and pieces in unanticipated vectors.
The latest iteration of this, as The Washington Post reports, is that about 22,000 people who signed up for ObamaCare on the infamous HealthCare.gov website have found the computer made errors — charged them too much, steered them into the wrong program or denied coverage entirely.
Lisa Benson cartoon
“For now, the appeals are sitting, untouched, inside a government computer,” WaPo relates. “And an unknown number of consumers who are trying to get help through less formal means — by calling the health-care marketplace directly — are told that HealthCare.gov’s computer system is not yet allowing federal workers to go into enrollment records and change them, according to individuals inside and outside the government who are familiar with the situation.”
Speaking of computer glitches, today’s Las Vegas newspaper carries an op-ed by an Hispanic activist, Daniel Garza, executive director of something called the LIBRE Initiative, who reports that the “Spanish-language health care website, CuidadoDeSalud.gov, is already a laughingstock. Much like its English language counterpart, the site is filled with technical issues. There are mistranslations and links to English-only pages and forms.”
He also attests the Affordable Care Act is unaffordable for Hispanics and they can’t keep their doctors.
Speaking of cost, an Investor’s Business Daily editorial today tells us that one study has found the average deductible for a low-cost “bronze” ObamaCare plan is more than $5,000, which is about 40 percent higher than the average deductible available prior to ObamaCare.
Then there are all those people who are getting insurance coverage at the expense of the taxpayers. Obama told Bill O’Reilly on Superbowl Sunday, “What we’ve ended up doing is we’ve got 3 million people signed up so far. We’re about a month behind of where we anticipated we wanted to be. We’ve got over 6 million people who have signed up for Medicaid.”
And, when Congress decides to stop borrowing 40 cents on the dollar from the Chinese to pay for those Medicaid enrollees, the states, which must have balanced budgets, will have to turn to the taxpayers to foot that bill.
That will be a particularly heavy burden for those who have had their workweek shortened to less than 30 hours by the 401 companies trying to dodge ObamaCare penalties, according to an article in IBD.
That cutting of hours is one reason the unions are turning against ObamaCare, but another is the costs imposed on their Cadillac health plans. Union officials in a recent letter to Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi wrote:
“We were bitterly disappointed upon reading the proposed regulations put forward by the Administration. If the Administration honestly thinks that these proposed rules are responsive to our concerns, they were not listening or they simply did not care. We have examined various health exchanges and should members be forced to purchase insurance on an exchange, their out of pocket costs are likely to be significant, reaching into the thousands of dollars even if they are eligible for a subsidy under the act. It would be a sad irony indeed if the signature legislative accomplishment of an Administration committed to reducing income inequality cut living standards for middle-income and low-wage workers.”
That’s got to sting.
Another sting will come when 12 million currently illegal aliens are given amnesty. “Adding these largely poor immigrants to the state health exchanges and Medicaid rolls threatens to explode the $2 trillion cost of ObamaCare by another $210 billion to $300 billion over the next 10 years, according to the Senate Budget Committee,” reports IBD in an editorial, which added that the Congressional Budget Office estimates amnesty will add $112 billion over the next decade to the cost of Medicaid, Medicare and ObamaCare.
And that is just the out-of-pocket cost, because now the CBO is saying ObamaCare will slow economic growth and cost 2.5 million jobs and add $1 trillion to projected deficits, according to The Hill.
And just when you thought there was nothing else in the law that could be delayed comes another delay. The obscure “two midnight” rule for Medicare hospital admissions has been put off till Sept. 30, reports Modern Healthcare. Under this rule hospitals are presumed to have made an error and provided medically unnecessary care if a patient doesn’t spend 24 hours, or two midnights, in a hospital bed. More paperwork.
Too many moving parts mean too many things can and will go wrong.
Glenn McCoy cartoon