The wave of health insurance policy cancellations reminds me of the gas lines in 1979. Once a week I took a gas break instead of a lunch break so I could fill up my car with gas. Lines were shorter in the middle of the day than in the morning or evening.
The good news for the Obama administration is that Jeffrey Zients, the management consultant turned economic advisor, bought them a month on Obamacare implementation. He did so by announcing that the dysfunctional online enrollment and subsidy determination system was not fatally flawed
Last Thursday Judge James R. Spencer of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond said that he would rule on whether people who sign up for health insurance in the federal exchanges in 34 states can get subsidies.
As expected, Secretary Sebelius’ testimony yesterday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee generated a lot of partisan wrangling, with each side hewing closely to its favored talking points. But there are a few nuggets of genuine importance for the public and media that is not immersed Obamacare minutiae.
The Obama administration has spent the last several months telling reporters that the benchmark by which to measure Obamacare’s success is 7 million new exchange enrollees. That number comes from the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent baseline estimates of how the law will affect spending and taxes as well as enrollment
As metaphors go, “train wreck” turned out to be pretty apt. That’s how retiring Democratic senator Max Baucus described his expectations for the implementation of Obamacare at a hearing last April. If anything, he could be accused of soft pedaling the fiasco that has been on full display since the beginning of October.
Yesterday afternoon, chief executives of 12 major health insurers—including Aetna, Humana, WellPoint, and Kaiser Permanente—trudged to the White House to “discuss…ongoing implementation of the Affordable Care Act.” The meeting was off the record, but we have a pretty good idea of what happened.
American hospitals are expensive. Reams of data show that hospital-based services are more expensive than the same services provided in other settings. Moreover, the cost of hospital services has grown faster than costs in other parts of our health care system; from 1997 to 2012, for instance, the cost of hospital services grew a spectacular 149 percent, while the cost of physician services grew only 55