Administration officials are also, of course, delaying by a year enforcement of the mandate that employers provide health insurance. The stated reason: Administration officials are still trying to craft workable regulations implementing the mandate. However, given that they’ve had three years to write those regulations, and that employer health costs are expected to increase under Obamacare, there is a strong suspicion that the administration is mainly trying to defer until next year the anticipated bad news that employers are dropping coverage and dumping their employees into the government exchanges.
And consider the fate of the high-risk pools for individuals with pre-existing conditions. It faced higher costs and lower enrollment than expected. Even though only 110,000 signed up (far short of the 700,000 originally projected), the government had to freeze enrollment and cut payments to doctors and hospitals to prevent the $5 billion program from going bankrupt.
Another pothole on the road to Obamacare: the Supreme Court’s ruling that states don’t have to expand their Medicaid programs to insure more people. Considering how unaffordable the program is now, it’s no wonder that states were resisting pressure from the administration to add still more to the rolls.
This is only a partial list of the problems that have plagued the new law so far. No wonder pressure is growing to defund it altogether. Rather than try to fix its myriad difficulties, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and implement serious, patient-friendly reforms that actually work and are affordable.
“It’s a train wreck,” Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mt.), has admitted of Obamacare’s implementation. There’s still time to throw on the brakes. But we’re running out of track.
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