Guy Benson

Here we have another Obamacare implementation delay that threatens to adversely impact the timely roll-out of legally mandated state exchanges, on which millions of Americans will rely.  Yawn.  It's only your healthcare, America.  Reuters has the details:


The Obama administration has delayed a step crucial to the launch of the new healthcare law, the signing of final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on federal health insurance exchanges starting October 1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified insurance companies on Tuesday that it would not sign final agreements with the plans between September 5 and 9, as originally anticipated, but would wait until mid-September instead, according to insurance industry sources. Nevertheless, Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for HHS, said the department remains "on track to open" the marketplaces on time on October 1. The reason for the hold-up was unclear. Sources attributed it to technology problems involving the display of insurance products within the federal information technology system...Coming at a time when state and federal officials are still working to overcome challenges to the information technology systems necessary to make the exchanges work, some experts say that even a small delay could jeopardize the start of the six-month open enrollment period. U.S. officials have said repeatedly that the marketplaces, which are the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform law, would begin on time.

Except where they won't.  Remember, "officials" have said a lot of things about this law, including a number of flat-out falsehoods.  In my Obamacare item yesterday, I quoted Colorado's insurance commissioner (a Democrat) describing the inevitable "bumps in the road" ahead.  She noted that in her previous federal capacity, she'd seen data indicating that other states that were in significantly worse shape in terms of on-schedule implementation.  Asked to identify the unlucky populations that will be effected, she chuckled that she "can't remember."  Because it's so hilarious.  The good news is that Obamacare's under-vetted 'navigators' are being trained to smile as they enroll people:


Section 2.2.1 Smile –Maintain a Positive Demeanor

This is the most simple and most powerful tip for consumer assistance (and most interpersonal interactions). Smile. Smiles are contagious; usually when you smile at somebody they will smile back at you. Do not pretend to smile, or produce a false smile; these are easy to spot and send the wrong messages. Relax, gain eye-contact, and smile naturally. This will help consumers to feel at ease and welcomed. You will come across as friendly and approachable, setting the scene for positive interaction.

If you are talking to somebody on the telephone, you can still smile; your voice sounds different when you smile and are happy.

Hey, your personal data may be at risk due to under-protected data hubs and hastily-hired bureaucrats, your previous coverage may have been snatched away, and your premiums may be spiking, but at least these blows will be delivered with a government-required smile.  Isn't it wonderful?


UPDATE
- For the 8,000th time, Obamacare is raising premiums.  The "vast majority" of Americans in the individual market will experience hikes, concludes National Journal's independent analysis.

Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography