Friday, April 11, 2014
Sebelius Resigns: Leaving ObamaCare Where?
Where is it now, the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?
William Wordsworth (1770-1850): Intimations of Immortality
Kathleen Sibelius resigns today as ObamaCare enrollments have climbed to 7.5 million. Having achieved that goal, Sibelius seems to feel, is a good time to leave.
But in her wake, she leaves the legacy of the disastrous healthcare.gov rollout and critics who questions her legacy. She is glad, she says, to leave the “animosity” behind.
Where does her resignation leave ObamaCare? It remains unpopular, by 52.2% to 39.8% in an average of recent polls. It has decreased the number of uninsured from 18.0% to 15.9%, a 6.7 million drop, but it has led to 9.3 million cancelled policies. Average premiums and deductible are spiking for many in the middle class, and for some who signed onto ObamaCare even though they are receiving subsidies.
Over the 6 month enrollment period, 3 million have been added to the Medicaid rolls. Who will care for them? Less than 50% of doctors now accept Medicaid patients, and growing numbers say they will not take patients on health exchange plans.
ObamaCare’s challenges will daunt Sylvia Mathews Burwell, now director of the Office of Management and Budget, Sebelious’ successor. Burwell and Obama, must prove ObamaCare works, improve customer service so people can navigate healthcare.gov, enforce the individual mandate, compel employers to provide coverage or pay hefty penalties, make palatable those narrowed choices of doctors and hospitals, and protect vulnerable Democratic candidates in November midterm elections.
Tweet: The resignation of Kathleen Sibelius as HHS secretary leaves significant Obamacare problems in its wake.