Federal officials have a secret list of 11 Obamacare health insurance co-ops they fear are on the verge of failure, but they refuse to disclose them to the public or to Congress, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has learned.
Just in the last three weeks, five of the original 24 Obamacare co-ops announced plans to close, bringing the total of failures to nine barely two years after their launch with $2 billion in start-up capital from the taxpayers under the Affordable Care Act.
All 24 received 15-year loans in varying amounts to offer health insurance to poor and low income customers and provide publicly funded competition to private, for-profit insurers. Among the co-ops to announce closings were those in Iowa, Nebraska, Kentucky, West Virginia, Louisiana, Nevada, Tennessee, Vermont, New York and Colorado.
The Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, was “only” 906 pages long. A subsequent version of ObamaCare, passed by the U.S. Senate on 24 Dec. 09, was 2,409 pages long. Ain’t it funny how a bill grows as it becomes a law? That law spawned over twenty thousand pages of regulations and is being amended as this is being written.
I think that all will agree that there were some surprises in its final version. For example, remember in 2009 when Obama said, “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what”? Technically he was correct, but…”You can keep that policy, but you may very well not want to,” said Linda Blumberg, a health economist at the Urban Institute. Another surprise: remember the “Employer Mandate”? In order to avoid ObamaCare’s two- to three-thousand-dollar-per-employee penalty for failing to offer qualifying health care coverage, companies offered coverage that did not cover X-rays, maternity care, or surgery as just one cost-cutting option to offset the additional expenses of ObamaCare.
Now we have the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – all 1,648 pages of it. The bill was posted online at 2232 hrs. on Tuesday, 3 Dec. 14. It is scheduled to be voted on as early as Thursday, 5 Dec. 14. Got that? One thousand six hundred and forty-eight pages to read in two days. I don’t think that even Evelyn Wood could read that fast.
What surprises await us with this one? Well, as a taste of what is to come, there are two parts of this bill that have absolutely nothing to do with national defense.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday there would be no delay of Obamacare’s individual mandate. Via The Politico:
But according to The Wall Street Journal Obama repealed the individual mandate in Obamacare that requires Americans to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty. And it was delayed last week.
ObamaCare’s implementers continue to roam the battlefield and shoot their own wounded, and the latest casualty is the core of the Affordable Care Act—the individual mandate. To wit, last week the Administration quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty.
This latest political reconstruction has received zero media notice, and the Health and Human Services Department didn’t think the details were worth discussing in a conference call, press materials or fact sheet. Instead, the mandate suspension was buried in an unrelated rule that was meant to preserve some health plans that don’t comply with ObamaCare benefit and redistribution mandates. Our sources only noticed the change this week.
That seven-page technical bulletin includes a paragraph and footnote that casually mention that a rule in a separate December 2013 bulletin would be extended for two more years, until 2016. Lo and behold, it turns out this second rule, which was supposed to last for only a year, allows Americans whose coverage was cancelled to opt out of the mandate altogether.
Family Security Matters
The Obama administration’s announcement that the employer mandate will be delayed yet another year for employers with 50 to 99 full-time workers will clobber taxpayers because fewer people getting coverage on the job means more people needing coverage at the public’s expense.
The sudden change also trashes the rule of law. Presidents lack the constitutional authority to make such changes. Their job is to see that the law is “faithfully executed,” not improvised.
The upside for the president and his party is that Democrats seeking re-election this fall will face fewer angry constituents complaining about the impact of ObamaCare on hiring. The mandate delay is a political act. Rule of law and taxpayers be damned.
Obama’s disastrous presidency represents a fork in the road. We can turn back, toward limited government, division of powers, and individual liberty. Or we can plunge forward, into egalitarian autocracy. At the rate Obama is laying waste to the foundations of our government, we may not have three years to make the decision. Already Forbes is calling for impeachment:
Since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, he has changed it five times. Most notably, he suspended the employer mandate last summer. This is widely known, but almost no one seems to have grasped its significance.
The Constitution authorizes the President to propose and veto legislation. It does not authorize him to change existing laws. The changes Mr. Obama ordered in Obamacare, therefore, are unconstitutional. This means that he does not accept some of the limitations that the Constitution places on his actions. We cannot know at this point what limitations, if any, he does accept.