Getting Glitch-y Wit It

| May 4 2013

Getting Glitch-y Wit It

This past Tuesday President Obama told reporters that there will most likely be some ‘bumps’ and ‘glitches’ in the rollout of the Affordable Health Care Act legislation. But some in his party have another word for it: “train wreck.” While businesses, investors and individuals are expressing fears about changes to the law, Congress is trying to jump the tracks with its own exemption. With the law’s supporters even bracing for impact, it seems implementing it will be more than a few bumps in the road for families and businesses.

Obama Warns Of “Glitches” And “Bumps” In New Health Care Law. “Even if we do everything perfectly, there will still be glitches and bumps,’ Mr. Obama told reporters Tuesday. (Louise Radnofsky, “Obama Sees ‘Bumps’ for Health Law,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/1/13)

 

GLICHES INCLUDE – ‘TRAIN WRECK’ OF RISING PREMIUM COSTS, MONEY PIT, TROUBLING INVESTORS AND SMALL BUSINESS

Rising Costs:

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius Warns Premiums Would Most Likely Rise.  “Insurance premiums could rise for some with individual plans, she said, as Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act enhances the level of coverage and either eliminates or reduces the rate of price discrimination against people who are older, female or have preexisting medical conditions. ‘These folks will be moving into a really fully insured product for the first time, so there may be a higher cost associated with getting into that market,’ Sebelius said.”(Jeff Mason & David Morgan, “Kathleen Sebelius: Obamacare Implementation May Cause Some Health Care Costs To Rise,” The Huffington Post, 3/26/13)

 

Burden To Business:

Job Makers Sees Added Stress From Implementing Obamacare. “Some employers, especially those with many part-time, temporary and seasonal employees, say they expect to have difficulty carrying out new requirements for employer-sponsored coverage.” (Robert Pear,  “Health Care Law Is ‘Working Fine,’ Obama Says in Addressing Criticism,” The New York Times4/30/13)

Businesses Surveyed Say It Will Be Harder To Insure And Hire.  “More than 75 percent of the 1,332 small business owners/executives surveyed by Harris Interactive said health care reform will make insurance coverage for their employees more expensive. More than 70 percent said the law makes it harder for them to hire more employees.” (Kent Hoover, “Obamacare edges economic uncertainty as top concern for small businesses,” US Chamber Of Commerce, 4/8/13)

Rising Health Care Costs Are Among Investors Top Concerns. “With this more pragmatic mindset, investors value planning ahead, and feel highly prepared for key goals like retirement and protecting against some catastrophes with “rainy day” savings and life insurance. … This remains a significantly greater concern than retirement. However, long-term care planning is severely lacking, and this challenge to investors is exacerbated by rising healthcare costs and an increased life expectancy.”(UBS Management, “Investor Watch,” 4/17/13)

 

Growing Concerns Among Democrats:

POLITICO: “Democrats Fret Over Obamacare As 2014 Looms.” (David Nather and Darren Samuelsohn, “Democrats Fret Over Obamacare As 2014 Looms,” POLITICO, 4/30/13)

The Hill: “Botched Obamacare Rollout Tops Democratice Fears For 2014.” ”There are many questions about the law’s effects, especially how it will impact premiums and whether private employers will drop coverage and move workers into the state insurance exchanges.” (Elise Viebeck, “Botched Obamacare Rollout Tops Democratic Fears for 2014 Election,” The Hill, 5/1/13)

Sen. Baucus (D-MT) Warns Of Impending ‘Train Wreck.’ “Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said Wednesday he fears a ‘train wreck’ as the Obama administration implements its signature healthcare law…. ‘I just see a huge train wreck coming down,’ he told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a Wednesday hearing. ‘You and I have discussed this many times, and I don’t see any results yet.’”(Sam Baker, “Baucus warns of ‘huge train wreck’ enacting ObamaCare provisions,” The Hill, 4/17/13)

South Carolina Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch. “Obamacare is extremely problematic, it is expensive, it is a $500 billion [higher] cost than we originally anticipated, it’s cutting into Medicare benefits and it’s having companies lay off their employees because they are worried about the cost of it. That is extremely problematic, it needs an enormous fix.” (Kimberly Strassel, “Democrats Cissing ObamaCare,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/1/13)

Senate Dems Express Fears To White House.“Democratic senators, at a caucus meeting with White House officials, expressed concerns on Thursday about how the Obama administration was carrying out the health care law they adopted three years ago.” (Robert Pear, “Democratic Senators Tell White House of Concerns About Health Care Law Rollout,” The New York Times, 4/25/13)

  •  Fear From Constituents: “Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, who is up for re-election next year, said, ‘We are hearing from a lot of small businesses in New Hampshire that do not know how to comply with the law.’… “Restaurants that employ people for about 30 hours a week are trying to figure out whether it would be in their interest to reduce the hours” of those workers, so the restaurants could avoid the law’s requirement to offer health coverage to full-time employees.” (Robert Pear, “Democratic Senators Tell White House of Concerns About Health Care Law Rollout,” The New York Times, 4/25/13)

 

AMERICANS ARE UNHAPPY, UNCLEAR ABOUT HEALTH CARE CHANGES

Kaiser Survey: 41 Percent Of Americans Don’t Know That ACA Is The Law Of The Land. ”A Kaiser Family Foundation survey [PDF] conducted in April found that 41 percent of American adults did not know that the Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land.” (Micah Coehn, “Uncertainty Still Clouds Health Care Law,” The New York Times, 5/1/13)

Half Of All Americans Say They Don’t Understand How It Will Affect Them. ”A separate tracking survey conducted by Kaiser, which has done far more surveys on health care than any other polling organization, found that roughly half of American adults said they did not have enough information about the law to understand how it will affect them.” (Micah Coehn, “Uncertainty Still Clouds Health Care Law,” The New York Times, 5/1/13)

More View Law Negatively Than Positively (Same As When It Passed). “Among those who do have an opinion, more people still regard the health care law negatively than positively, according to a series of recent polls. In fact, the law’s net approval numbers stand basically where they did when it was passed.” (Micah Coehn, “Uncertainty Still Clouds Health Care Law,” The New York Times, 5/1/13)

 

“WE JUST FIXED THE GLITCH” 

Lawmakers Try To Exempt Themselves From Changes To Health Care:

Congressional Double Standard Would Grant Congress Exemption From Health Care Law They Passed. “Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, sources in both parties said. … Yet if Capitol Hill leaders move forward with the plan, they risk being dubbed hypocrites by their political rivals and the American public. By removing themselves from a key Obamacare component, lawmakers and aides would be held to a different standard than the people who put them in office.” (John Bresnahan And Jake Sherman, “Lawmakers, aides may get Obamacare exemption,” POLITICO, 4/24/13)
 

And Decide To Throw More Money At It:  

Reid Says The “Train Wreck” Is Coming Without More Funding. “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says he shares colleagues’ concerns that the Affordable Care Act could become a “train wreck” if it’s not implemented properly. …  Reid warned the federal government is not spending enough money to implement the law because of Republican opposition to ObamaCare.” (Alexander Bolton, “Reid: More funding needed to prevent ObamaCare from becoming ‘train wreck,’” The Hill, 5/1/13)

 

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