“State lawmakers on Tuesday voiced their continued frustration with the technical problems still afflicting the Washington Healthplanfinder insurance exchange.
On Saturday, the first day of enrollment for the second round of insurance signups on the exchange, the site was live for only a couple of hours before a technical error was discovered and the exchange was taken offline for repairs. Meanwhile, first-round problems involving the transfer of payment information from the exchange to insurance companies have not been corrected, despite assurances they would be fixed by now.”
“The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear King v. Burwell, an important case about Obamacare’s subsidies (tax credits) to health insurers. Plaintiffs argue that in the 36 states with federal Obamacare exchanges, subsidies cannot be paid legally. If no subsidies can be paid, neither the individual mandate to buy health insurance nor the employer mandate to offer insurance can be enforced.
Few people would voluntarily buy health insurance from an Obamacare exchange if health insurers on the exchanges did not receive subsidies to enroll people. The premiums would be too high otherwise. Experts expect that the Supreme Court might decide on King v. Burwell in July, in which case Obamacare will end with a bang.”
“Imagine what would have happened in the midterm elections if the Jonathan Gruber videos had emerged a week before November 4th than the week after. Actually, we don’t have to imagine it, at least not entirely. There is one more Senate race still left to settle, and it looks like Gruber will play a big part in the finale for Mary Landrieu in Louisiana:
I included this in last night’s QOTD, but it’s worth its own look here. The attack strategy in the last two cycles of “Senator X was the deciding vote on ObamaCare” had a mixed track record. The exposure of Gruber’s remarks makes the attack work better than it did in the past, though. It makes each Democrat complicit in the lies and deceptions of ObamaCare which may resonate better than opposition to the law itself. The sheer arrogance of Gruber’s remarks will rub most voters raw.”
“By now you’re aware of the red hot ‘federal subsidies’ controversy, yes? The star of the show at the moment is one Jonathan Gruber — a famed economist and top Obamacare architect — who’s been caught repeatedly lying about the law he helped design, while smirking about the “stupidity” of the American people. Gruber’s performance has become so harmful to The Cause that Nancy Pelosi is now pretending she doesn’t know who he is:”
“The Supreme Court has granted cert. in King v. Burwell, one of four cases challenging the IRS’s ongoing expansion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s main taxing and spending provisions beyond the clear and unambiguous limits imposed by Congress. Here I will attempt to dispel common myths surrounding these “Obamacare” cases.”
“As Bob Laszewski so aptly explained over the summer, there are reasons why the White House delayed the 2015 Obamacare enrollment period until after the midterm elections. CBS News summarizes several of the unhappy developments consumers will encounter in the coming days and weeks:”
“RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia lawmakers approved emergency legislation Monday allowing health insurance companies to renew plans that do not meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act.
Republican proponents said it could help 250,000 Virginians whose insurance policies are slated to be canceled because they don’t meet the minimum requirements of the federal health care law.”
“Missouri health insurance consumers can get a first look at rates for 2015 coverage on HealthCare.gov, but they may be in for a bit of sticker shock.
St. Louis-area customers will have almost twice as many options to consider once open enrollment begins Saturday. Four insurers are selling a total of 42 different plans, a substantial increase from last year when only two carriers combined to sell 25 plans.”
“The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a case on a subject that’s important to millions of people who receive subsidies to help purchase coverage under the health-care law. Friday’s decision follows earlier action in July when two U.S. appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on the issue. KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey answers some frequently asked questions about those court decisions and how they impact consumers.”
“With the second open enrollment period of the health insurance marketplaces approaching, this analysis provides an initial look at premium changes for marketplace plans for individuals in 15 states and the District of Columbia that have publicly released comprehensive data on rates or rate filings for all insurers.
The analysis examines premium changes for the lowest-cost bronze plan and the two lowest-cost silver plans in 16 major cities. The second-lowest cost silver plan in each state is of particular interest as it acts as a benchmark that helps determine how much assistance eligible individuals can receive in the form of federal tax credits. The findings show that in general, individuals will pay slightly less to enroll in the second-lowest cost plan in 2015 than they did in 2014, prior to the application of tax credits.”