Friday, October 25, 2013

CBS News: Obamacare's Entire Financial Model is In Danger of Collapsing

With so much of the media's attention fixated on Obamacare's technological meltdown, some important storylines have gone under-explored. CBS news, to its credit delved into one of them today, noting that of the people who have successfully obtained coverage under the new law, it appears that the vast majority of them are new Medicaid enrollees. And that poses a mortal threat to the entire structure of the law (Video at the link) - Guy Benson/TownHall

Those stats from Washington, Kentucky and New York are hugely problematic. The poor and sick are managing to sign up for Medicaid -- to the "surprise" of state officials -- but they aren't been offset by people who are actually purchasing care. Another crucial point: Medicaid was already in very poor fiscal and functional condition before Obamacare extended it massively. It's terribly underfunded; many doctors and hospitals refuse to accept new Medicaid patients due to the government's paltry reimbursement rates. Perhaps worst of all, Medicaid is catastrophically ineffective. Just because indigent individuals are enrolled in Medcaid coverage doesn't mean they actually receive quality care.

According to the most comprehensive study ever done on the program (which used Oregon's system as the basis for analysis) poor people enrolled in Medicaid have no better health outcomes than their uninsured counterparts. We're not just spending endless billions on a program that flat-out doesn't work, we're expanding it through Obamacare. This is why the president isn't being truthful when he claims that apart from the website, the underlying Obamacare product is "good" and working "really well." It's not. We touched on the issue of dropped coverage yesterday, another one of the law's glaring flaws and broken promises. CBS News is on that case, too - MORE at the link.

HHS Probably Can't Fix It by the End of November, and That's Probably Too Late Anyway - Jim Geraghty/National Review

Here’s the new promise:
“By the end of November, will work smoothly for the vast majority of users,” Jeffrey Zients, President Obama’s appointee said Friday. “The site is fixable. It will take a lot of work, and there are a lot of problems that need to be addressed.”
Five weeks.

...CBS News:
“I think the damage was done,” Joseph Antos, a health policy expert from the American Enterprise Institute, told “It really does startle me — I never would have guessed two-and-a-half weeks ago we’d be where we are today.”

Antos contends the “tech surge” that the administration has deployed has until around mid-November to create a “tolerable” shopping experience for people before the website’s flaws take a true toll on enrollment.
NBC News:
The Obama White House has about a month — so until Thanksgiving — to find a solution before the system is negatively impacted.
Kaiser Health News:
They’ve got a few weeks. But if federal officials can’t get the new online insurance marketplace running smoothly by mid-November, the problems plaguing the three-week-old website could become a far bigger threat to the success of the health law, hampering enrollment and fueling opponents’ calls to delay implementation, say analysts.
The Obama administration is way, way, way up a river, with no paddle.

8,000 Washington State Obamacare applicants about to get a nasty surprise -