Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The ObamaCare“Fix” Is On, Will It Be Enough

It’s  broke, fix it.

American people’s attitude towards ObamaCare Troubles

President Obama and Democrats rammed through the health law because they believed the health system was “broken” and needed “fixing.”  Most Americans, including me,  thought reform was needed.  What kind of reform was the question.

The new administration had its own idead.  They set out to “fix it” with a complex government overhaul stretching out over 10 years.

To “fix it’ in the mind of the public, the Dems lead off with “sweeteners” – covering all with pre-existing illness, young adults under their parent’s plans,  “free” preventive tests, ban on lifetime limits, and saving seniors from falling into the dreaded “donut hole.”

The Reckoning

But then 4 years into the 10 year selling of ObamaCare came the “reckoning” -  the “launch,”  the cancelling of millions of “substandard plans,” the “sticker shock” of high premiums and deductibles, the loss of doctors and health plans that you could not “keep,” as initially and repeatedly promised.  It became clear the administration could not deliver on its premises and promises – lower costs, keeping your plans and your doctors, greater access, and better quality.]


A deep vein of skepticism set in, the political “fix’ to stop the hemorrhaging began.  The public pleaded for the politicians to “fix it.” The President got the message.  He applied over 30 “fixes” in the form of delays, exemptions, and waivers.  

The "Fixes"

A  very big “fix” was delaying the employer mandate.  Another was extending the period over which people could keep their plans.   The latest is giving waivers for the individual mandate to millions  suffering hardships ("ObamaCare's Secret Mandate Exemption, " Wall Street Journal, March 12, 2014).   

The most promised, and visible “fix” is "fixing",  first the front end and then the back end, so people can easily enroll and get federal subsidies.

But how to “fix it?”  The administration is now in the midst of a series of “fixes” – a PR campaign to sell the plan,  recruiting of thousands of navigators to reach the uninsured, the young, and minorities, especially Hispanics; gathering testimonies from rich and famous celebrities and professional athletes. 

The Unconvinced 

The uninsured,  for the most part, are unconvinced.  Only 27% of those signing on were previously uninsured.   The majority  of the young think the ObamaCare exchange plans are simply too expensive and a bad deal.  Republicans and independents remain adamantly opposed and are poisoning the airways wit negative ads slamming ObamaCare.

Perhaps the Democrats and their Organizing for Action platform will pay positive dividends by signing up millions more for the March 31 deadline.  But perhaps not.   Yesterday  a Florida Republican won a special election by denigrating ObamaCare.   This negative result does not bode well for the Democrats’ “ We can fix it” strategy.   The public is not yet persuaded ObamaCare is “fixable.”

Tweet:   Can ObamaCare be “fixed,” indeed, is it “fixable?”  These are questions Democrats must resolve before the midterms.

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