According to The Washington Post, the Obama Administration has decided to delay by six weeks the requirement that all Americans have to buy health insurance. The newspaper reports, “The Obama administration said Wednesday night that it will give Americans who buy health insurance through the new online marketplaces an extra six weeks to obtain coverage before they incur a penalty."
When the new online healthcare exchanges opened on Oct. 1, President Obama blamed their numerous malfunctions on overwhelming web traffic. In fact, California’s exchanges said they received 5 million hits, but that claim turned out to be false.
The House’s main piece of legislation last week was a plan “that would ban new subsidies to help people buy health insurance on upcoming exchanges until the Obama administration enacts a new verification system to ensure benefits go only to those who are eligible.” The measure, which supporters argued would prevent fraud under the program and save taxpayers money, passed 235 to 191.
With the federal government reopened, focus this week has been squarely on implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Several editorials – including The Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg, and The New York Times – this morning discussed glitches in the website where Americans can sign up for health insurance, but what do Americans think of this law more broadly? A couple polls from last week are revealing.
Bankrupting America, a project of Public Notice, today released a web video, “Obamacare Horror Story,” which highlights how the dysfunction and breakdown of the online health insurance exchanges have turned the rollout of the ACA into a national nightmare for millions of Americans.
The New York Times’ Jonathan Weisman offers what might be the truest paragraph in the newspapers today. Weisman says, “For three years, Congressional leaders have relied on tactical maneuvers, sleights of hand and sheer gimmickry to move the nation from one fiscal crisis to the next — with little strategy to deal with the actual problems at hand. Medicare and Social Security continue to swell with an aging population. Health care costs grow. A burdensome tax code remains unchanged, and economic revival is shadowed by the specter of Washington’s crisis-driven mismanagement.”