As the front cars of the ObamaCare train wreck crumple and explode into flames, the conductor is waddling through the third-class cabin to let everyone know there will be a slight delay before they can disembark at the insurance exchange. Reuters reports on the latest snag in the government’s brilliant plan to take over the health insurance industry:
The Obama administration has delayed a step crucial to the launch of the new healthcare law, the signing of final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on federal health insurance exchanges starting October 1.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified insurance companies on Tuesday that it would not sign final agreements with the plans between September 5 and 9, as originally anticipated, but would wait until mid-September instead, according to insurance industry sources.
Nevertheless, Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for HHS, said the department remains “on track to open” the marketplaces on time on October 1.
No need to panic. All is well. Who cares if it’s only a week or so from the signing of final agreements to launch date? Especially since states like California and Oregon have already said their exchanges won’t be ready on time. There’s plenty of “flexibility” to shift the exact date when insurance companies become subsidies of Consolidated Amalgamated Regulation and Debt, Inc.
Just out of curiosity, what’s gone wrong with the People’s Glorious Health Care Revolution this time, Reuters?
The reason for the hold-up was unclear. Sources attributed it to technology problems involving the display of insurance products within the federal information technology system.
Peters said only that the government was responding to “feedback” from the companies, “providing additional flexibility and time to handle technical requests.”
Coming at a time when state and federal officials are still working to overcome challenges to the information technology systems necessary to make the exchanges work, some experts say that even a small delay could jeopardize the start of the six-month open enrollment period.
More IT glitches! We keep hearing that excuse for ObamaCare delays. I don’t doubt that it’s a legitimate problem. What amazes is me is that our genius central planners didn’t see it coming. Nobody took an hour to check with the server gremlins to find out if all this government-mandated data sharing was even possible, on the timetable set forth in the Affordable Care Act? Nobody followed up on that during the ensuing two and a half years? The government paid a zillion bureaucrats to crank out an eight-foot stack of ObamaCare regulations, but couldn’t hire a few computer guys to determine if the electronic infrastructure for the exchanges could be constructed in the allotted time?
Golly, I wonder what other “unexpected” problems they might have failed to predict. (Don’t answer that – it’s a trick question.) But rest assured the most important component of ObamaCare will begin chugging on schedule in January, and it’s not the part an unnamed “former administration official” mentioned to Reutuers:
“It makes me wonder if open enrollment can start on October 1,” said a former administration official who worked to implement Obama’s healthcare reform.
“But having everything ready on October 1 is not a critical issue. What matters to people is January 1, which is when the coverage is supposed to start. If that were delayed, it would be a substantive setback.”
No, the part Democrats really care about is the web of subsidy payments that will turn large swathes of the formerly somewhat independent middle class into government welfare dependents. And that will kick in on January 1, even if the cost is billions of dollars in fraud, because all precautions have been abandoned in the mad dash to start handing out those subsidy checks.
One of the reasons we’re having these insurance exchange IT glitches is that ObamaCare’s designers sought to hide some of its true costs by foisting them off on the states. But in order to keep some nervous congressional representatives on board, it was also necessary to give states the option of refusing to set up their own exchanges – an option 34 state governments chose to exercise, obliging the federal government to set up exchanges instead. They don’t seem to have anticipated so much resistance from the states, and while the federal payrolls are swollen with paper-pushers, it doesn’t look like they bothered to hire enough information technology experts to meet the challenge. Maybe the ruling class should have listened to the people who actually worked in the insurance industry – and not just in the boardrooms – before arrogantly asserting they could do the job better.