Who's excited for October 1st? That's when the majority of the president's healthcare law will come on line -- his previous assurances that the implementation process is already over for 90 percent of Americans notwithstanding. We've already seen strands of evidence in places like Colorado and Oregon that the process will be bumpy and fraught with problems. Indeed, experts have been predicting as much for months. As the moment of truth approaches, another major player is warning Americans to prepare for a choppy ride ahead:
Obamacare is likely to have a "rocky" enrollment start on October 1 in some U.S. states, because of ongoing technology challenges facing new online health insurance exchanges, a leading expert told U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday. "At this moment, not a single state appears to be completely ready," W. Brett Graham of the Salt Lake City-based consulting firm Leavitt Partners said in testimony...He said states should be capable of providing "baseline functionality" when enrollment begins in three weeks. But he cautioned about the potential for delays: "Most, if not all, exchanges will experience a rocky enrollment period as they work to overcome both known and unknown operational challenges." Leavitt Partners has been involved in the design and development of some state exchanges and tracks exchange progress nationwide
Three-plus years after passage, 'not a single state appears to be completely ready' -- perhaps because the Obama administration was caught off guard when most states opted not to set up their own exchanges. The competency just oozes from this crowd, doesn't it? No worries, they're only totally transforming your healthcare system, with the IRS' help. Obamacare is killing jobs, and driving a disheartening trend toward part-time hiring. More than 1,000 workers in Michigan and part-time workers at Sea World are its latest victims, as Big Labor debates stepping up the stridency of its opposition to the new law:
Some Obamacare supporters have already begun highlighting a few of the law's shortcomings, such as the fact that despite all its exorbitant costs, the law still leaves tens of millions of Americans uninsured. And so begins the entirely predictable shift to advocating for single-payer healthcare as "fairest" way to improve the president's unpopular law. Harry Reid has already admitted that the law is an unsustainable placeholder. What we really need, they'll say, is even more government. If Obamacare fails to launch, expect to hear a lot more of this, coupled with a heavy dose of blaming Republicans for a law none of them supported. I'll leave you with more cheery news about the people being hired with taxpayer dollars to help average Americans navigate the new system:
For more on this theme, see my post from last week.
UPDATE - Tough luck, part-time Trader Joe's employees:
After extending health care coverage to many of its part-time employees for years, Trader Joe's has told workers who log fewer than 30 hours a week that they will need to find insurance on the Obamacare exchanges next year, according to a confidential memo from the grocer's chief executive. Trader Joe's has won kudos for offering its health care, dental and vision plans to part-time workers at a reasonable price -- a rarity in an industry known for low pay and scant benefits. But with low-wage workers eligible for tax subsidies to buy health insurance next year, the company has apparently calculated that offering medical coverage to part-timers who work 18 hours or more is no longer worth the cost.
"If you like your plan..."