Tuesday, September 16, 2014

ObamaCare and All That Jazz

All That Jazz

Song, Chicago, a stage play, 1975

Here, “All that jazz”refers to the health law bureaucracy and its intricate rhythms. When asked to explain jazz rhythms, Lois (Satchmo) Armstrong (1900-1971) replied, “Man, it you have to ask you’ll never know.”

What follows is daily commentary of the day so you will know.

The Political Gift That Keeps on Giving

Scott Rasmassen, “Health Law is Obama’s Gift to Republicans for 2013,” Real Clear Politics, September 15. Rasmassen explains people who seek to renew health plans will feel burned by higher rates. And in 2017, government will no longer cover costs of insurers’ losses. Ergo, insurers will automatically raise rates to cover expected losses. The higher rates, then not government guaranteed, will be announced in the summer of 2016, just in time to damage the Democratic presidential candidate. Off-setting this will be the 13 million or so of the uninsured receiving subsidies.

Caveat Emptor

Robert Pear “Health Law Has Caveat in Renewal of Coverage, “ New York Times, September 15, 2014. In 2015, consumers will receive notices their policies have been renewed. The notices will contain facts on their new monthly premiums, but they will not be told about new subsidies, new co-payments, new co-insurances, or new deductibles based income. Why not? Because of technological flaws in the healthcare.gov, the government does not know. Consumers, especially those 8 million or so who enrolled in 2013 and 2014, on health exchanges will have to revisit healthcare.gov to find out. They will not be happy about higher premiums or revisiting healthcare.gov with all its bureaucratic jazz.

• More Health Plan Cancellations

Investors Business Daily (IBD). IBD, no friend of Obama and his health law, has just run this headline in a September 14 editorial “Another ObamaCare Cancellation Wave Approaches.” IBD notes 250,000 Virginians have learned their health plans have been cancelled if they bought their policies before ObamaCare was enacted on March 23, 2010. According to Kaiser Health News, other consumers in other states received the same notices. These cancellations, opines IBD, will be “fresh reminders of the extraordinarily high costs of the ‘Affordable Care Act,’” which it implies, is not so “affordable” after all.

Notices to Immigrants and Those with Unverified Incomes

• Louise Radnodsky, “Tens of Thousands of Immigrants May Lose Coverage” Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2014. 115,000 immigrants could loss coverage because of missing September 15 deadline to prove legal residence. In addition, federal officials will send notices tp 279,000 whose income cannot be verified but the feds will give until September 39 to submit further verification. Both of these problems are said to be due to technological glitches in healthcare.gov website whose backend is still being fixed. It must comfort Americans to know that Big Brother is still watching even though his computer lenses are sometimes flawed and foggy.

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