Obama’s coming humanitarian crisis

Courtesy of Tina’s JourneyLately, trying to ascertain the number of times Barack Obama uttered the words “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” has become something of a perverse pastime. The president has had other mantras, including “the mess I inherited,” a reference he was still making as late as the fourth year of his first term in office. Counting up the iterations of those lame attempts to shift blame for his own failings will have to wait for another day. For now, Americans’ attention needs to be focused on the mess he has created and the dire consequences it will have for many of them.

Yesterday, Reuters reported that the administration had managed to reach only 3% of its target enrollment target for the initial period since the rollout of Healthcare.gov. “States with functioning exchanges,” the dispatch continued, “have signed up 49,100 people compared with the 1.4 million people expected to be enrolled for 2014.”

At the same time, millions have already had their policies canceled because they failed to meet the rigid conditions imposed by the health care law and tens of millions more will. The White House said that it is working to restore these coverages, but once the plans are canceled, they are gone, said Robert Laszewski, a health insurance industry consultant at Health Policy and Strategy Associates.

You just can’t send tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of ‘never mind’ letters out to policyholders on, maybe, a month’s notice. So an executive order to change the regs would be like putting Humpty Dumpty back together.

The administration has floated reports that it is considering providing subsidies to individuals whose plans were canceled, but Tim Jost, an Obamacare expert and professor at Washington and Lee University, said, “I can’t imagine how they can give subsidies to people who aren’t eligible.”

This nightmare is compounded by the fact that many of those receiving cancelation notices live in one of the 36 states where enrollment in the federal HealthCare.gov website is impossible because the site isn’t functioning. The administration is hopeful that the site will be running smoothly by the end of November, but what if they’re wrong? And even if they’re right, how fair is it to those who were promised they could keep their plan but will have to spend more on coverage?

What is likely to happen in the next twelve months is the diametric opposite of the problem Obamacare was supposedly designed to fix. Instead of insuring the un- or underinsured, Obama will effectively uninsured the insured. As many as 52 million Americans may be without health coverage before all is said and done. That is true, even if the administration agrees to delay the individual mandate or onset of the law. It is a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. And one man is ultimately to blame.

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