The fast-approaching Obamacare roll-out date has forced the administration's hand, prompting additional on-the-fly amendments to the law. The White House has already delayed and altered the small business exchange, postponed the employer mandate, significantly loosened eligibility verification requirements for subsidies, and precipitated a regulation that effectively exempts members of Congress and their staff from the law. Any one of these actions would be problematic; taken together, they paint a picture of logistical chaos, cronyism and lawlessness. It's time to add another item to the growing roster of eleventh-hour revisions (via the Wall Street Journal):
Opening day for the new health-insurance marketplaces is two months away, but efforts to recruit and train workers to help people enroll are barely off the ground in many states. With time running short before enrollment kicks off Oct. 1, the Obama administration last week cut back on training requirements for these ‘navigators.’ Officials were concerned there might not be enough time to do more-extensive training before the health-insurance exchanges open ... Three weeks ago, the administration said navigators would need up to 30 hours of training before they start, but it said last week that 20 hours would be sufficient.
So rather than maintaining some semblance of quality control, the administration has slashed by one-third the amount of training taxpayer-funded Obamacare 'experts' will receive before they're "qualified" to walk ordinary Americans through the process of obtaining healthcare through the law's exchanges. Yes, these are the same under-trained, under-vetted "navigators" that privacy experts worry will have too much unfettered access to reams of citizens' confidential information. This alteration was necessitated by realities on the ground -- from uncertainty surrounding whether the exchanges will be ready on time, to worries about technical "glitches" and "crashes," to the fact that Obamacare worker training is "barely off the ground in many states." To avoid another political embarrassment, Team Obama is cutting corners with your healthcare. Meanwhile, HHS is spending taxpayer money to run ads assuring Americans that everything is "on schedule," while President Obama is describing the law as "working the way it's supposed to." For good measure, Nancy Pelosi has labeled the implementation process "fabulous," and Harry Reid insists that the unpopular law has been "wonderful for America." In this propaganda effort, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is the queen of happy talk:
"Everywhere I go, I meet people who are excited about the marketplaces and hungry for information," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Monday..."We are on target and ready to flip the switch on October 1," Sebelius said.