The Obama Administration announced yet one more major delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (Here) People who have health insurance in the individual market may now keep their non-Obamacare-compliant insurance for an additional two years instead of one year.
The Washington Health Benefit Exchange just released the latest enrollment numbers. (Here) These were the enrollment figures from December 23rd, which was the deadline for coverage that began on January 1, 2014. Although somewhat improved over the November data, the numbers still reflect a serious adverse selection problem.
January 1st marked the beginning of the real implementation of Obamacare. Both the Medicaid expansion and the new health insurance received through the state/federal exchanges all began on the 1st. How has the American public responded?
The latest numbers for enrollees in the Obamacare health insurance exchanges were recently released. We are now over half way through the enrollment period, but only 2.2 million of the 7 million people the federal government predicted have signed up.
The 2014 Washington state legislative session began today and Republicans have introduced a bill to help the 290,000 Washingtonians who had their health insurance policies cancelled because of Obamacare.
The Obama Administration continues to lurch from one fix to another as the Obamacare trainwreck barrels down the tracks. The latest came yesterday when officials declared that people with cancelled health insurance could purchase simple catastrophic plans for one year on a "hardship" exemption.
The Obama Administration and leading Washington state Democrats are now promoting a "new" plan that allows employers to purchase employee health insurance with federal tax credits. This is being advertized as a one-year stop-gap measure to give employers financial releif until the the SHOP program is up and running state-wide in 2015.
Medicaid began in 1965 as a health insurance entitlement for poor children and their families. Over the past 48 years, the program expanded to include disabled adults and long-term care. Today in the legacy Medicaid, 25% of enrollees are disabled and long-term care adults, but these people account for 75% of the cost of the overall program.
Washington state has been very pro-active about implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare. Washington is one of only 15 states to establish a state health insurance exchange. The other 35 states plan to use the federal exchange, which has been plagued by glitches and major problems. Medicaid expansion is a huge part of Obamacare and will be administered through the state exchange. The legislature never took a formal vote on the Medicaid expansion.
In 2009 the President said if you like your current health insurance you would be able to keep it - period.
The Administration has known for months, years actually, that millions of Americans who owned health insurance in the individual market would lose their plans because of Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act requires every plan sold in this market to contain 10 benefit mandates, many of which people don't want or need, like maternity care, and pediatric glasses, and substance abuse treatment.
Virtually everyone who understands federal government financing in this country believes we need entitlement reform. The existing programs either need benefit reductions, or the government needs more tax revenue to pay for benefits, or the programs need some combination of these two things.
Whoops - Seattle Childrens Hospital was excluded in the state exchange insurance plans by six of the eight insurance companies selling in the exchange. (Here)
The state health insurance exchanges are a big part of Obamacare. Individuals and small businesses can buy health insurance with taxpayer subsidies in the exchanges. Anyone earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($94,200 for a family of four) will qualify for the subsidies.
The latest is that employees and Members of Congress must get their health insurance through the exchanges, just like regular folks. At least that's what Congress and the President would like you to believe. But regular folks will pay for their own insurance in the exchanges and will be eligible for subsidies on a sliding scale.