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:
With the Affordable Care Act to start enrollment for its second year on Nov. 15, some unpleasant surprises may be in store for some. That's because a number of low-priced Obamacare plans will raise their rates in 2015, making those options less affordable. On top of that, penalties for failing to secure a health-insurance plan will rise steeply next year, which could take a big bite out of some families' pocketbooks. "The penalty is meant to incentivize people to get coverage," said senior analyst Laura Adams of InsuranceQuotes.com. "This year, I think a lot of people are going to be in for a shock." In 2014, Obamacare's first year, individuals are facing a penalty of $95 per person, or 1 percent of their income, depending on which is higher. If an American failed to get coverage this year, that penalty will be taken out of their tax refund in early 2015, Adams noted. While that might be painful to some uninsured Americans who are counting on their tax refunds in early 2015, the penalty for going uninsured next year is even harsher. The financial penalty for skipping out on health coverage will more than triple to $325 per person in 2015, or 2 percent of income, depending on whichever is higher. Children will be fined at half the adult rate, or $162.50 for those under 18 years old.
A major loophole to escape the "even harsher" mandate tax exists, but how many Americans are aware of it? Between consistently negative public polling and dramatically scaled-back enrollment projections, it appears as though most people want nothing to do with this law. Even some of its loudest supporters are even slamming the manner in which Obamacare was cobbled together and passed. Howard Dean's been railing against clueless elites, while National Journal's Ron Fournier surveys the Gruber debacle and rightly concludes that the law was built upon a "foundation of lies:"
[Gruber] called you stupid. He admitted that the White House lied to you. Its officials lied to all of us—Republicans, Democrats, and independents; rich and poor; white and brown; men and women. Liberals should be the angriest. Not only were they personally deceived, but the administration's dishonest approach to health care reform has helped make Obamacare unpopular while undermining the public's faith in an activist government. A double blow to progressives. On top of that, Gruber has helped make the legal case for anti-Obamacare lawyers...Last year, The Post helped document how Obama and his advisers knowingly misled the public during his 2012 reelection campaign by repeatedly saying that, under Obamacare, people could keep their doctors and keep their health plans. To knowingly mislead is to lie. "It's hard to know what might have happened if the truth had won the day," writes Post columnist Kathleen Parker. "But we do know that truth squandered is trust lost." And so even I have to admit, as a supporter, that Obamacare was built and sold on a foundation of lies. No way around it, unless you're willing to accept a political system that colors its lies—the reds, the whites, and the blues.
Say, who's up for round four from Gruber?
In this fourth video, Gruber's language is not as stark as in three previous instances, but his suggestion that Obamacare proponents engaged in less-than-honest salesmanship remains. "Barack Obama's not a stupid man, okay?" Gruber said in his remarks at the College of the Holy Cross on March 11, 2010. "He knew when he was running for president that quite frankly the American public doesn't actually care that much about the uninsured....What the American public cares about is costs. And that's why even though the bill that they made is 90% health insurance coverage and 10% about cost control, all you ever hear people talk about is cost control. How it's going to lower the cost of health care, that's all they talk about. Why? Because that's what people want to hear about because a majority of American care about health care costs." You can watch the speech on the C-SPAN website here Gruber said the measures in the bill that attempt to lower costs constitute a "spaghetti approach" -- throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks. And while preferable to the status quo, Gruber said he could offer no guarantee that any of the measures would work.
Containing costs was a lie from the start. But they repeated it ad nauseam because "that's what people want[ed] to hear." And now prominent Democrats are frantically trying to pretend that they know nothing of this "Gruber" character:
Oh man -- can you say "busted"?