Thread: Barack Obama???
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:26 PM
redrat11 redrat11 is offline
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Default Re: Barack Obama???

ObamaCare Enrollment Slows To Crawl, State Data Show

24 CommentsBy*JED GRAHAM,*INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY*Posted*02/10/2014 06:13 PM ET

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seven weeks of open enrollment to go, ObamaCare enrollment — and payments — have slowed to a near-crawl in some states.Minnesota's exchange enrollment goal of 67,000 seemed within reach on Jan. 4, when signups stood at 25,860.But after surging by more than 4,000 per week in the prior five weeks, signups collapsed back to November's pace of less than 700 per week.As of Feb. 1, Nevada had just 14,999 paid enrollees — vs. the state's March 31 goal of 115,000.Washington state, meanwhile, was slightly more than halfway to its goal of 340,000 signups — but only 88,071 had paid as of Feb. 1.The January data available from a handful of states raise new doubts about whether ObamaCare's downgraded first-year prospects are still too optimistic.Further, a spotty payment rate (50% in Washington and 66% in Nevada) creates a risk that the demographics of the paid exchange population may be older — and possibly sicker — than even the national signup data have signaled.Health care consultant Robert Laszewski wrote that he believes about 20% of*ObamaCare enrollees haven't paid. The administration said that exchange signups hit the 3 million mark around Jan. 23 — up from 2.2 million on Dec. 28. Laszewski figures the paid total through Feb. 1 will likely be about 2.5 million.More will be known about how pervasive these trends are when the Obama administration releases January data for all of the exchanges in coming days.Late January SlumpBut January data from New York, Colorado, Maryland and Kentucky (easily accessible via* all suggest that the momentum which carried from December into January substantially faded in the second half of the month.To some extent, this isn't surprising. Those who missed the deadline for January coverage — some due to technical glitches — would have been expected to try to complete enrollment by Jan. 15 to attain coverage effective Feb. 1.But the extent of the drop-off in signups in states like Nevada,*Minnesota*and*Maryland*that have made little progress toward their goals does highlight an important question: Is demand lagging mainly because of informational hurdles — or because the subsidies and policies aren't well designed to attract broad participation?No state has provided as much detail about its enrollment through Feb. 1 as Minnesota, and the details are somewhat concerning. (The state counts people who have completed their application and chosen a payment method.)Minnesota Goes 'Platinum'Only 21% of signups were in the key 18-34 demographic vs. 35% ages 55 to 64. Minnesota officials have been taken by surprise at the share of people signing up for ObamaCare's richest "platinum" coverage, which reimburses 90% of the covered group's qualifying expenses.Fully 29% have signed up for low-deductible platinum policies — compared to a projection of 5%. Such policies would tend to be favored by people who want to guard against high medical expenses, while someone expecting minimal costs might go for a high-deductible bronze plan.Minnesota is different than other states because households earning less than 200% of the poverty level qualify for MinnesotaCare, meaning they don't go through the exchanges.Thus, the lack of participation in ObamaCare in the state is among those earning more than 200% of poverty ($23,095 for a single person).This shouldn't be unexpected. Just above that level, an individual would have to pay about 6.3% of income ($1,500) to buy a silver policy with a significant deductible. The idea of spending less up front to buy a bronze plan also has a drawback — a typical deductible of $4,000 to $5,000 before benefits kick in.Some experts have predicted a late March enrollment surge, as procrastinators decide to attain coverage to avoid going uninsured for eight months or having to pay the mandate tax penalty — 1% of income in the first year.But there are reasons to be skeptical. The precedent they cite is RomneyCare's Massachusetts rollout in 2007, but coverage there carried no deductible for up to 300% of the poverty level. Nor is it clear how aware people are of the individual mandate, which only got attention recently when the White House delayed it in December for those with canceled policies.Some policy analysts expect the Obama administration to suspend the individual mandate in 2014 for for everyone, once the March 31 deadline is passed.Read More At Investor's Business Daily:**Follow us:*@IBDinvestors on Twitter*|*InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook


Obamacare Court Ruling in*Halbig*a Major Blow to Opt-Out States


The*court’s ruling today in*Halbig v. Sebelius*delivers a major blow to the states that chose not to participate in the Obamacare insurance exchange program. It is also a blow to the small businesses, employees and individuals who live in those states as well. In upholding this IRS regulation that is contrary to the law enacted by Congress, this decision guts the choice made by a majority of the states to stay out of the exchange program. It imposes Obamacare penalties on employers and on many individuals in those states, penalties that Congress never authorized, putting their livelihoods and the jobs of their employees at risk. Worst of all, it gives a stamp of approval to the Administration’s attempt to substitute its version of Obamacare for the law that Congress enacted.The court does all this despite its own finding that our arguments were supported by, in its words, “the plain language” of the law’s key provision regarding state-established exchanges.* And by erasing the distinction between functions carried out by states and functions carried out by the federal government on behalf of states, the ruling undercuts some basic aspects of federalism. We have appealed this decision, and will shortly move to expedite the appeal.> View more about the lawsuit at*

Last edited by redrat11 : 02-16-2014 at 06:51 PM.
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