Obamacare Means Whatever the Obama Administration Thinks It Means

And no, that’s not an exaggeration:

The Obama administration announced Wednesday that some Americans with health insurance policies that don’t meet consumer standards set by the president’s new healthcare law would be allowed to keep their plans into 2017, three years later than originally envisioned.

The delay, which could put off the final cancellation of some health plans until after President Obama leaves office, may have limited practical impact.

Senior administration officials, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, said they believed that only about 1.5 million consumers nationwide currently were covered under such plans, about 500,000 of which were purchased by individuals and the rest by small businesses. That number probably will dwindle over the next couple of years because of the usual churn in the individual insurance market.

“The expectation is that this will be a very small number of people,” one of the senior officials said.

The political effect could be larger. The move marks the latest effort by the administration to contain one of the most damaging controversies shadowing the launch of the Affordable Care Act.

Remember that in the past, we were told that it was good that people were losing their old plans, because those old plans were so decidedly inferior, and would not provide good coverage. Now, the administration is fine with people keeping their old plans . . . just so long as Democrats don’t suffer election defeats this year, and in 2016. The New York Times editorial board, which is always willing and eager to serve as a mouthpiece for the administration, endorses this blatantly political move:

Ideally, President Obama would not have extended the period for retaining the less-comprehensive policies, but in the current political environment, he opted to take a step to protect health care reform against a Republican takeover in the Senate.

Extending the old policies will allow some individuals more time to look at the options on the exchanges. They may be pleasantly surprised at the comprehensive coverage and the availability of subsidies for people with modest incomes.

Hypocrisy, quite clearly, is not dead.

More health care related news can be found in the revelation that Obamacare is not doing what it was intended to do:

ObamaCare isn’t achieving its primary goal of extending coverage to the uninsured, according to a new study.

The survey released Thursday by the McKinsey & Co. consulting firm found that only 27 percent of people who have selected a plan on the new exchanges didn’t previously have coverage.

The Obama administration says 4 million people have selected a plan since the exchanges launched on Oct. 1, but has not said how many of them already had an insurance plan.

At a healthcare industry conference on Thursday, Gary Cohen, a top official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), said it’s not something the administration has the ability to track.

“That’s not a data point that we are really collecting in any sort of systematic way,” Cohen said, according to The National Journal.

So, not only is health care “reform” failing to extend insurance to the uninsured, but the Obama administration has no way of being able to find out how many of the previously uninsured are part of the supposed 4 milli0n people who signed up for Obamacare. More on this issue here:

Only one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private plans through the new marketplaces enrolled as of last month, one of the surveys shows. The other found that about half of uninsured adults have looked for information on the online exchanges or planned to look.

And defenders of Obamacare wonder why the law’s opponents are so determined to repeal the legislation.

  1. RushBabe49

    “About half of the uninsured had looked at the site, or Planned to Look”???  Only the Democrats could say that Planning to Look was as good as signing up!

    Here in the State of Washington, which runs its own exchange (where 60% of the signups have been for Medicaid), the office of the Insurance Commissioner has said that will not happen here.  No Washingtonians will be allowed to keep their old plans.

  2. civil westman

    Interesting how bureaucrats claim to not track or know any information which could be politically embarrassing. These same bureaucrats regulate medical care and demand documentation – in databases -of every breath in, breath out and every episode of flatus. Many of the required data points, by the way, have nothing to do with clinical care; they are for the purpose of government knowing everything. This seems a most odd juxtaposition of bureaucratic affairs.

  3. Aaron Miller

    If a Republican is elected the next President, will Obamacare also mean whatever he wants it to mean?

  4. Kozak
    Aaron Miller: If a Republican is elected the next President, will Obamacare also mean whatever he wants it to mean? · in 0 minutes

    Of course not. it will be “Settled  Law” and therefore Holy Writ and as unalterable as the Koran.

  5. Aaron Miller

    That’s certainly how it would play out in the media.

    But is that how Democrats would stop him from doing whatever he wants with it? By media pressure? Or could they stop him via law?

    If Democrats could stop a Republican President from dictatorship where Obamacare is concerned, why are Republicans not stopping Obama?

  6. J Flei

    What I really can’t believe is that no one on the left is at least intellectually honest enough to acknowledge that the president can’t change laws according to our constitution.  Pretty simple. 

  7. Pejman Yousefzadeh
    C

    Because the president has broad powers that courts are traditionally wary of restricting, and do no restrict either because of standing issues concerning litigants who seek to limit those powers, or because courts are unwilling to get into Article II political questions.

    Aaron Miller: That’s certainly how it would play out in the media.

    But is that how Democrats would stop him from doing whatever he wants with it? By media pressure? Or could they stop him via law?

    If Democrats could stop a Republican President from dictatorship where Obamacare is concerned, why are Republicans not stopping Obama? · 16 hours ago

  8. Aaron Miller

    You’re citing odds. Whatever the odds, Republicans must try.

    And if words (media) are Republicans’ only force, they must use it, however limited the effect.

    Silence is acceptance. Neither Obamacare itself nor Obama’s lawless manipulation of it can be accepted if this government is to retain a scrap of legitimacy.

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