A report has the White House “scrambling” to make Obamacare work:
The White House is trying to heal what has been ailing the implementation of ObamaCare.
Three months before the most sweeping parts of the law are scheduled to go live, the administration has hired Chris Jennings, a veteran of the Clinton administration, to help lead the massive effort.
Jennings, a widely respected expert who can read the political winds, was a critic of then-Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) healthcare plan in 2008. As the lead healthcare adviser on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Jennings ripped Obama’s healthcare proposal for lacking a mandate for people to buy insurance.
A reminder: Obama was, characteristically, against the personal mandate before he was for it:
Now we learn that the White House has known for months that Obamacare implementation was not going to work as advertised:
If you’ve been reading all the Obamacare stories lately, you might get the impression that the administration has just realized it will not be able to implement the massive health reform as designed.
It has known for months.
As far back as March, a top IT official at the Department of Health and Human Services said the department’s current ambition for the law’s new online insurance marketplaces was that they not be “a Third-World experience.” Several provisions had already been abandoned in an effort to simplify the administration’s task and maximize the chances that the new systems would be ready to go live in October, when customers are supposed to start signing up for insurance.
In April, several consultants focusing on the new online marketplaces, known as exchanges, told National Journal that the idealized, seamless user experience initially envisioned under the Affordable Care Act was no longer possible, as the administration axed non-essential provisions that were too complex to implement in time. (Read the story for some examples and commentary.) That focus has intensified lately, as officials announced that they would not be requiring employers to cover their workers next year or states to verify residents’ incomes before signing them up for insurance.
“There’s been a focusing in not on: ‘What is the full ACA vision?’ but: ‘What are the pieces we have to get running by October 1?” said Cindy Gillespie, senior managing director at McKenna Long and Aldridge, who is working with states and health plans.
But then the writer goes right up Obama’s rear end:
“To get a sense of what the Obama administration is up against,”
Up against? This is what Obama wanted!
And here is what Obama wanted:
It’s about impossible to imagine this kind of bureaucracy functioning at all, let alone properly. After all, we’re talking government.
And there’s this:
Each of those departments has its own computer system and its own means of tracking information. Creating a “data hub” to share them has been a challenge, as a recent Government Accountability Office report highlighted. It is increasingly clear that the kind of Amazon.com, one-stop shopping that was once described – and that Obama himself referenced in a speech on Monday — will not be available in most parts of the country.
We also learn that the IRS has let slip thousands of Social Security numbers in another screw-up.
Another day, another slipup by the Internal Revenue Service.
The incident involves the unwitting exposure of “tens of thousands” of Social Security numbers, according to a recent audit by the independent transparency and public-domain group Public.Resource.org. The identifying numbers were on the Internet for less than 24 hours after being discovered, but the damage was done. And unfortunately, the data-breach concerns some of the most sensitive types of transactions: Those made by nonprofit political groups known as 527s.
Every so often, 527s have to file tax forms to the IRS, which then get added to a database. The database itself is hardly a secret; the IRS has been sending updated records routinely to Public.Resource.org and other public-interest groups, and it’s a favorite among political reporters. But when the IRS told the group’s founder, Carl Malamud, to disregard the Form 990-Ts included in the agency’s January release, he took a closer look at the files in question.
After analyzing the breach, Malamud wrote a letter to the IRS pointing out 10 instances where a social security number was accidentally revealed on the government’s website—just a small sample of the larger breach.
Reminder- the IRS also recently seized thousands of medical records:
Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee are looking into allegations that the Internal Revenue Service seized 60 million medical records from a California health care provider.
“(T)he Committee on Energy and Commerce is investigating allegations that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in the course of executing a search warrant at a California health care provider’s corporate headquarters in March 2011, improperly seized the personal medical records of millions of American citizens in possible violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” members of the committee wrote in a letter Tuesday to Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel.
Trust us, they say.
And let us not forget that Obama joked about using the IRS to punish enemies:
At his Arizona State University commencement speech last Wednesday, Mr. Obama noted that ASU had refused to grant him an honorary degree, citing his lack of experience, and the controversy this had caused. He then demonstrated ASU’s point by remarking, “I really thought this was much ado about nothing, but I do think we all learned an important lesson. I learned never again to pick another team over the Sun Devils in my NCAA brackets. . . . President [Michael] Crowe and the Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS.”
Given the FUBAR Obamacare is turning into, Obama delayed the implementation of Obamacare for employers and it’s pretty obvious why:
House Republicans returned to work Monday to accuse President Obama of delaying key parts of the 2010 healthcare law in order to boost the political chances of Democrats in the 2014 election.
“The President is playing politics with the American people’s healthcare,” Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) said on the House floor Monday afternoon.
Wilson and other Republicans were reacting to the administration’s decision to delay a piece of the law saying companies must provide health insurance to workers or face a fine of $2,000 per worker. Republicans said last week that delaying enforcement until 2015 appears to be aimed at getting through the 2014 elections without complaints from companies, and repeated those charges on the House floor Monday.
And to top if off Obama decided that he would subsidize liars as part of Obamacare:
The White House seems to regard laws as mere suggestions, including the laws it helped to write. On the heels of last week’s one-year suspension of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate to offer insurance to workers, the Administration is now waiving a new batch of its own ObamaCare prescriptions.
These disclosures arrived inside a 606-page catch-all final rule that the Health and Human Services Department published on July 5—a classic Friday news dump, with extra credit for the holiday weekend. HHS now says it will no longer attempt to verify individual eligibility for insurance subsidies and instead will rely on self-reporting, with minimal efforts to verify if the information consumers provide is accurate.
Remember “liar loans,” the low- or no-documentation mortgages that took borrowers at their word without checking pay stubs or W-2s? ObamaCare is now on the same honor system, with taxpayers in tow.
People are supposed to receive subsidies only if their employer does not provide federally approved health benefits. Since HHS now won’t require business to report those benefits or enforce the standards until 2015, it says it can’t ask ObamaCare’s “exchange” bureaucracies to certify who qualifies either.
All of this is designed to get democrats through the next election unscathed by the monster they have created.
Republicans should not permit any of this. Obama should not be allowed to dismiss the law he so badly wanted.
It’s just too damn bad that Obamacare has become an albatross around the necks of democrats.