Obamacare does not work as advertised

Note:  You might want to start at the Obamacare Index Page, especially if you arrived here by using a search engine.

Obamacare -- the latest attempt to nationalize the medical profession in America -- is simply not feasible.  Anyone who puts ten minutes of effort into researching the facts can come to the same conclusion.

Subsections:

Obamacare does not work as promised.

      Congressional investigations and political stonewalling

      The coercion and scapegoating of insurance companies

      Low enrollment numbers, especially in critical demographic categories

      Incompetence

      Astroturf

      The Obamacare law is in a constant state of flux

      They knew the web site wouldn't work before it was launched

      They knew Obamacare itself wouldn't work

      CGI and Accenture

      Scapegoats and rationalizations

      Other issues

      Parts and pieces of Obamacare are delayed until they become feasible.

Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with... what?

The implementation of Obamacare is delayed until after the 2014 election.

Obamacare depends on the "honor system" -- in this country?

Obamacare will never work as advertised.  The promised benefits will never come to pass.

Doctors won't work under these conditions!

Obamacare solves problems that don't exist and doesn't address problems we already have.

Related pages:

Obamacare horror stories:

      Billing errors / fraud

      Enrolling in Obamacare is not user-friendly

      Miscommunication and data errors

      Unpleasant surprises await, if and when you sign up

      Surprise! You have just signed up for Medicaid-plus

      Your private information is in a big leaky bucket

      Navigators

      Unexpected insurance cancellations

Obama magically "fixes" Obamacare by making a speech.

Obamacare is tremendously expensive.

Obamacare is political poison.

Obamacare is based on a pack of lies.

Obama and his team are incompetent.





Obamacare does not work as promised

News about Obamacare since its implementation on October 1, 2013.

Where Did The Uninsured Go Under ObamaCare?  Not Where You Think.  A new report from the Centers for Disease Control shows that the uninsured rate has hit a historic low, or at least it's the lowest it's been in the 20 years the CDC has been tracking it.  This is being treated as trouble for Republicans who want to repeal ObamaCare, since it seems to indicate that the law is working as promised.  But does it?

Major Blow to Obamacare Mandate:  IRS Won't Reject Tax Returns That Don't Answer Health Insurance Question.  How much difference does a single line on a tax form make?  For Obamacare's individual mandate, the answer might be quite a lot.  Following President Donald Trump's executive order instructing agencies to provide relief from the health law, the Internal Revenue Service appears to be taking a more lax approach to the coverage requirement.  The health law's individual mandate requires everyone to either maintain qualifying health coverage or pay a tax penalty, known as a "shared responsibility payment."

The Scandals That Valerie Jarrett Overlooked.  When Obama became president in 2009 and enjoyed signicant Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, he and his colleagues devoted themselves entirely to an issue nowhere in the Constitution — health care. [...] The abominable statute they enacted, which has caused millions of folks to lose their primary care physician and millions more to see their premiums skyrocket and still millions more to see their full-time jobs become part-time, has acquired the nickname Obamacare.  Instead of reducing taxes or regulations or spending so more folks would have better-paying jobs, the president and his folks were determined to tell us all how to stay healthy.  Obamacare passed on a party-line vote, with not a single vote to spare in the Senate.  At the time it was enacted, the president argued vociferously that the financial consequence of not obtaining health insurance — the penalty for disobeying the law — was not a tax.  He made that argument because he had promised Democrats — many of whom lost their congressional seats for going along with his utopian experiment — that he would not raise taxes to accomplish his purposes.  When the statute was challenged in the federal courts and the various challenges were consolidated before the Supreme Court, the challengers did not dispute the claim that the penalty was not a tax. [...] Yet notwithstanding agreement among the parties before the Supreme Court and notwithstanding the absence of any evidence that the penalty was a tax, the Supreme Court made new law by declaring this non-tax to be a tax and then ruling that Congress can tax anything it wants — so Congress can force you to purchase a product you don't want by taxing you if you fail to make the purchase. [...] It has resulted in an expansion of federal powers and a reduction in the availability of health care providers and is yet another glaring rejection of the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.

Census: 118 million on government health insurance, 29 million remain uninsured.  There were approximately 118,395,000 people in the United States who had "government health insurance" at some time during 2015 and 28,966,000 who were uninsured for the entire year, according to numbers released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.  The number on government health insurance was up 10,108,000 from 2013, when 108,287,000 people in the United States had government health insurance, according to the Census Bureau.

ObamaCare Fallout:  Health Care Costs Per Person Expected To Soar Past $10,000 For The First Time.  Well, I'm sure this comes as no surprise to people who have been following the fallout from Obamacare.  The law that was supposed to make health care more affordable has not done so.  In fact, Medicare is projected to go bankrupt in 12 years.  Right now, health care spending is projected to grow faster than the national economy.  And for the first time ever, spending per person will soar past $10,000.

Centrist Dems wonder:  Why are we pushing the public option now?  Why is an easy question to answer.  Why now is a little more difficult.  Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both launched efforts to get Congress to revive the "public option" for ObamaCare, claiming that a lack of competition makes it increasingly difficult for consumers to find health insurance. [...] The irony of floating this proposal now is that recent events proved what a disaster the public option would have been.

As Obamacare Fails, Hillary Wants to Expand It.  It doesn't matter that Obamacare — aka the Unaffordable Care and Patient Deflection Act — has been an expensive, immoral disaster.  What counts, according to the Left, is that it has made "care" (actually, an overpriced form of coerced insurance "coverage") more "available."  But as taxpayer-funded state "co-ops" continue to collapse across the country, what's needed is... expansion!

Obama Concedes Shortcomings of Obamacare, Proposes 'Public Option'.  President Obama is urging Congress to revisit a public option for Obamacare in parts of the country where coverage is limited in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  Obama noted that while 88 percent of enrollees live in counties with at least three insurers, a large number of Americans live in areas with only one or two insurers.

ObamaCare's latest victims: 100,000 New Yorkers and taxpayers everywhere.  Bad news for New Yorkers, thanks to ObamaCare:  More than 100,000 policyholders just learned that their Health Republic insurance plans will be canceled on Dec. 31.  The start-up insurer (spun off from the Freelancers' Union) is hemorrhaging red ink and has to close down.  That's unfortunate for the policyholders, who now have to scramble to find other coverage and try to keep their doctors.  But even worse is the abuse of taxpayers across the country:  Congress loaned a whopping $2.5 billion of taxpayers' money to Health Republic of New York and 22 other boondoggle insurance co-ops, even after being warned by its own budget experts that many co-ops would fail and not repay the loans.

Highmark Health sues government for risk corridor payments.  Health insurer Highmark has lost $700 million in the first two years it sold insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.  Now the company is demanding taxpayers cover a portion of those losses and is suing the government for a quarter of a billion dollars.

Obamacare: Costs Go Up, Insurers Drop Out and Consumers Get Screwed.  Remember the now-infamous promise made by President Barack Obama when pushing the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare?  "If you like your plan," the president repeated on dozens of occasions, "you can keep your plan."  When millions of Americans got thrown off of their existing health-insurance plans in the fall of 2013, PolitiFact called it the Lie of the Year.  Obama ended up apologizing for the lie in an interview with NBC News' Chuck Todd in November 2013, even if he couldn't quite bring himself to admit that it was a lie.  "We weren't as clear as we needed to be in terms of the changes that were taking place," was as far as Obama's contrition went.

As Obamacare Collapses, Prepare for Single Payer.  National Public Radio collaborated with Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation surveyed Americans' recent experience with health care, Powerline reported.  The findings fulfill all expectations of Republicans and suggest that Obamacare is a complete waste of money.  No business would have survived such a massive failure.

Obamacare Moves to Cover More Criminals.  White House officials on Thursday [4/28/2016] announced a new rule that would extend government-funded health care to most people living in halfway houses, providing coverage to nearly 100,000 additional people.  They also clarified for states that people on probation, parole or in home confinement were not considered inmates of a public institution and could also receive the government-funded coverage.  Medicaid, the program they will be covered under, extends to the poorest Americans under Obamacare and comes at little or no cost to patients.

ObamaCare Suffers Three Major Blows In One Week.  ObamaCare rates will skyrocket next year, according to its former chief.  Enrollment is tumbling this year.  And a big insurer is quitting most exchanges.  That's what we learned in just the past few days.

The Hidden Economic Damage of Obamacare.  Obamacare resulted in big increases in the fiscal burden of government (ironically, it would be even worse if Obama hadn't unilaterally suspended parts of the law).  The legislation increased government spending, mostly for expanded Medicaid and big subsidies for private insurance.  There were also several tax hikes, with targeted levies on medical device makers and tanning beds, as well as some soak-the-rich taxes on upper-income taxpayers.  These various policies are bad news for economic performance, but the damage of Obamacare goes well beyond these provisions.

One Strike, Two Strikes, Three Strikes (and Many More Strikes) for Obamacare.  Part of me is glad the law is such a failure, but it's tragic that millions of people are suffering adverse consequences.  These are folks who did nothing wrong, but now are paying more, losing employment, suffering income losses, and/or being forced to find new plans and new doctors.

The Increasing Instability of Obamacare.  Working-class individuals are paying too much, and insurers are losing too much.  Something has to give.

NPR and Harvard Say:  Obamacare is a Complete Failure.  National Public Radio collaborated with Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to survey Americans' recent experience with health care.  As to the Affordable Care Act, the survey's findings are damning.  They suggest that Obamacare has been worse than a complete waste of money.

Under ObamaCare, Insurers Are Losing Money On A Product People Must Buy.  A few days after the Congressional Budget Office issued a serious downgrade of the law's future, UnitedHealth (UNH) announced it was pulling out of ObamaCare in Georgia and Arkansas.  That could be the first step toward the company's abandoning ObamaCare entirely — something the insurer had warned that it would do after posting a $720 million loss last year.  Some ObamaCare boosters have dismissed this as no big deal, since UnitedHealth isn't a big player in the individual market.

Competition in Obamacare Exchanges Declined in 2016.  On Oct. 1, 2013, President Barack Obama lauded the opening of the Affordable Care Act's new health insurance exchanges and claimed, "You'll find more choices, more competition, and in many cases, lower prices."  In his latest paper tracking choice and insurer competition in the exchanges, Heritage Foundation senior fellow Ed Haislmaier reports that fewer insurers are offering exchange coverage in 2016 compared to 2015.

ObamaCare Is Sick, And Getting Sicker, Report Finds.  A new report from Blue Cross Blue Shield finds that those who signed up for ObamaCare in 2014 and 2015 had higher rates of various diseases and used "significantly more" medical services in their first year of coverage.  For example, new enrollees were 25% more likely to have hypertension, 32% more likely to have coronary artery disease and 94% more likely to have diabetes.  They had far higher rates of ER visits, prescriptions filled and hospital visits.

Obamacare online portal has logged 316 cybersecurity incidents, report says.  The web portal used by millions of consumers to get health insurance under President Barack Obama's law has logged more than 300 cybersecurity incidents and remains vulnerable to hackers, nonpartisan congressional investigators said Wednesday [3/23/2016].

In 5 Charts, How Obamacare Has Worked the Past 6 Years.  Six years ago Wednesday [3/23/2016], President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law.  Since then, Americans have seen their premiums increase, a dozen nonprofit insurers have closed their doors and the number of people on the Medicaid rolls has expanded.  Americans nationwide have both praised and cursed the law since the federal and state-run exchanges launched in October 2013.  Many credit the president with giving them access to coverage — the result of Obamacare's provision prohibiting insurers from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions.  Others, meanwhile, have reported high premiums and deductibles, with the cost of their coverage increasing annually.  And for some, the cost of premiums has increased enough to leave them choosing between paying for insurance or paying the fine and going without.

ObamaCare After Six Years — $55 Billion In Waste, So Far.  ObamaCare was supposed to make the health care system more efficient and less expensive.  Yet it has flushed tens of billions of dollars down the drain before providing anyone affordable coverage.

More Perverse (but Predictable) Economic Consequences of Obamacare.  Even before it was enacted, it was obvious that Obamacare was going to have a negative economic impact.  From a fiscal policy perspective, the law was bad news because all the new spending and higher taxes increased the fiscal burden of government.  From a regulatory intervention perspective, the law was bad news because it exacerbated the third-party payer problem.  Form a jobs perspective, the law was bad news because it increased the attractiveness of government dependency compared to employment.  But those were just the slap-you-in-the-face impossible-to-overlook problems.  As Nancy Pelosi infamously noted, the law needed to pass so we could know what was in it.

Shocker: "Profitable" ObamaCare co-op now losing millions.  The Associated Press reminds us that [the] story of collapsing co-ops in ObamaCare is far from over.  Only one co-op in the country showed a profit before Congress restricted funding for risk-corridor payments to the revenues received from insurance companies — Maine's Community Health Options, which made almost $11 million in the second year of ObamaCare operations.  They're now deeply in the red, thanks mainly to the rapid increase in health-care costs that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) admit is being driven by the Affordable Care Act itself.

New HealthCare.gov features won't be ready when enrollment begins.  The Obama administration is promising a smoother and more user-friendly shopping experience on HealthCare.gov when the 2016 enrollment season for marketplace health coverage begins on Nov. 1.  But a new feature that lets online users see which doctors and hospitals are covered by certain health plans will not be ready on Day One.  Neither will a similar search tool that shows which prescription medications each plan will cover.

Audit: Healthcare.gov Did Not Verify Social Security Numbers, Citizenship Status.  Healthcare.gov's internal controls did not effectively determine eligibility for coverage because Social Security numbers and citizenship status were not always verified properly, according to a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) audit.  The Inspector General (IG) investigated HHS to determine whether the Federal marketplace's internal controls determined correctly whether individuals were eligible for qualified health plans.  The IG found that the internal controls did not always correctly verify Social Security numbers, citizenship status, annual household income, and family size information to determine eligibility.

Are Obamacare's 22 Health Insurance Co-ops Near Financial Collapse?  Ominous signs are proliferating among 22 Obamacare health insurance co-ops of imminent financial collapses that could leave more than a million Americans without coverage, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group analysis.  All but one of the federally funded co-ops are experiencing accelerating net losses. President Obama's signature health care reform program established the co-ops to provide non-profit competition to private sector health insurance providers.

ObamaCare Can't Account for Almost $3 Billion In Subsidy Payments.  Now we learn that the Obama administration doesn't know whether billions in subsidies it paid out to insurers were appropriate.  Yeah, this law is working just great.

Obama Admits Healthcare.Gov [is] 'A Well Documented Disaster'.  In a glossy "Fast Company" magazine spread promoting his new "tech team," President Obama admitted that his Obamacare website was a "well-documented disaster" and that it forced him to pay more attention to technology. [...] Obama added that he was too busy handing national crises including the collapsing economy, bailing out the auto industry, and halting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to pay enough attention to the technology that was running government.

Obama: Healthcare.gov 'a well-documented disaster'.  President Obama admits HealthCare.gov was a "well-documented disaster," but says it helped the federal government better understand how to handle technology.

Obamacare is Working Even Better Than President Obama Expected.  Perhaps the strangest claim made by President Obama in his speech about health care earlier today is that, "in a lot of ways, the Affordable Care Act worked out better than some of us anticipated."  He followed up on this argument, which he's used version of before, by noting, as the White House has repeatedly bragged, that 16 million people have gained insurance under the law.  Yet not all of the gains in health coverage are directly attributable to Obamacare, and, as Philip Klein of The Washington Examiner recently pointed out, enrollment in the law's exchanges has lagged for the two years they have been open.  On this front, the law is clearly not performing up to the level that was anticipated.

In Vermont, Frustrations Mount Over Affordable Care Act.  The online insurance marketplace that Vermont built to enroll people in private coverage under the law had extensive technical failures.  The problems soured public and legislative enthusiasm for sweeping health care changes just as Gov. Peter Shumlin needed to build support for his complex single-payer plan.  Finally, Mr. Shumlin, a Democrat, shelved the plan in December, citing the high cost to taxpayers.  He called the decision "the greatest disappointment of my political life."

Obamacare flying machine begins a death spiral.  The Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell, the case challenging the Obama administration's decision to award tax credits for health insurance sold through federally established exchanges, could turn on the question of whether a ruling that ends the tax credits on federal exchanges might cause something known as a "death spiral" in health insurance markets.  The good news is the answer is probably no, but the bad news is that's only because the death spiral has probably already started.

My three part plan for the post-ObamaCare era.  Five years ago, President Obama and Congressional Democrats disregarded both the Constitution and the opinion of the American people when they enacted ObamaCare.  Since then, Americans have seen the law transition from political to personal.  Many have lost access to their longtime doctor.  They lost the insurance plan they were happy with.  They pay higher premiums or a higher deductible.  Maybe it cost them their job, maybe it cost them hours at work, or maybe they're suffering from all of the above.  As the legislation has been implemented over the last five years, the cracks in the final bill have expanded one by one into full scale crises.

CBO: Obamacare to Hit Only 65 Percent of 2015 Coverage Target.  When the Democrats rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2010 without a single Republican vote, the CBO said that the unpopular overhaul would lead to a net increase of 26 million people with health insurance by 2015 (15 million through Medicaid plus 13 million through the Obamacare exchanges minus 2 million who would otherwise have had private insurance but wouldn't because of Obamacare).  Fast-forwarding five years, the CBO now says that Obamacare's tally for 2015 will actually be a net increase of just 17 million people (10 million through Medicaid plus 11 million through the Obamacare exchanges minus 4 million who would otherwise have had private insurance but won't, or don't, because of Obamacare).

Obamacare is 5 years old — and none the wiser.  "In the Obama administration," candidate Obama boasted in 2008, "we'll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family in a year."  Flash forward to 2015.  A recent report by HealthPocket — an online insurance marketplace — has revealed that premiums for individual Americans skyrocketed after Obamacare became law.  For 23-year-old men, premiums rose by as much as 78 percent.  Sixty-three-year-old men saw their premiums increase 23 percent.

Nearly 200,000 Colorado Health Plans to be Canceled Despite Obamacare Extension.  Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R) said he's "utterly appalled" by the Colorado Division of Insurance decision to cancel 190,000 health plans that don't comply with Obamacare regulations — even though they have the authority to continue the old plans for another year under grandfathering rules announced last year.

Hawaii ObamaCare exchange projected to be financially viable — in 2022.  Hawaii's ObamaCare exchange, Hawaii Health Connector, has been under fire for being the most costly in the nation, and a new report from the Hawaii Commerce and Consumer Affairs Department shows the Connector won't be fiscally sustainable until 2022.  That's based on an enrollment of 70,000 to 80,000, said its director, Jeff Kissel.  The Connector had about 1,000 people enrolled at this time last year.  As of Thursday [1/12/2015], that number had grown to 16,000.

Half The Uninsured Want ObamaCare Repealed.  ObamaCare was supposed to be a gift to the uninsured.  Maybe someone should have checked with them first.  A new poll finds the uninsured hate ObamaCare more than any other group.  The Economist/YouGov poll asked the public a series of questions about ObamaCare, and then broke down the findings based on their insurance status.  As with many other polls, this one finds widespread disapproval of the law.  Fully 43% say it's a failure, compared with just 25% who think it has been a success.  Nearly one in five say it's been "a complete failure."

An Obamacare tell.  President Obama has touted the success of the second year of open enrollment for his signature healthcare law.  "The Affordable Care Act is working," Obama said in a Facebook video.  "It's working a little better than we anticipated."  But courtesy of the Department of Health and Human Services, we have a signal that all may not be going a smoothly as the administration would have us believe.  Last Friday, HHS announced that it was effectively extending the Feb. 15 deadline for individuals to purchase insurance through Obamacare, so that those who claim that they didn't know about the tax penalties on the uninsured could have more time to sign up for coverage.  This is ridiculous on several levels.

Could anything be more awful than Obamacare?  The latest snafu: Some 800,000 Americans who got their plans on the technologically toxic Healthcare.gov were given incorrect tax forms and will need to "amend" their filings.  Don't worry though, the correct forms are coming ... in March!  Bad news if you've already spent your refund.  By the way, you're going to need that refund because anemic enrollment means fewer dollars in the pool and that means premiums will go up, up, up.  So much for the "Affordable" Care Act.

Tax Error in Health Act Has Impact on 800,000.  About 800,000 taxpayers who enrolled in insurance policies through HealthCare.gov received erroneous tax information from the government and were urged on Friday to hold off on filing tax returns until the error could be corrected.  The Obama administration, under heavy pressure from congressional Democrats, also announced that it would give several million people more time to buy health insurance so they could comply with federal law and avoid tax penalties.

Obama administration sent 800,000 HealthCare.gov customers incorrect tax forms.  The Obama administration revealed Friday [2/20/2015] that it sent about 800,000 HealthCare.gov customers a tax form containing the wrong information, and asked them to hold off on filing their 2014 taxes.  The self-inflicted bungle follows weeks of administration officials touting a successful enrollment season — one that saw far fewer technical glitches than the rocky launch in late 2013.

Nearly 6 million uninsured get reprieve from ObamaCare fines.  The Obama administration is giving a reprieve to up to 6 million Americans who face fines for failing to sign up for health insurance this year, opening up enrollment again during the critical tax filing season.  At the same time, it's admitting another colossal blunder:  800,000 ObamaCare enrollees were sent the wrong tax information and have been asked to delay filing their returns until they can get the corrected data.

800,000 Obamacare Customers Given Wrong Tax Info; Sign-Up Deadline Extended for Uninsured.  In a new setback for the health care law and the people it's supposed to help, the government said Friday it made a tax-reporting error that's fouling up the filings of nearly a million Americans.

You must buy insurance you don't want.
Democrats Freaking Out as Obamacare Tax-Penalty-Fee-Fines Loom for Millions of Americans.  The whole point of the tax-penalty-fee-fine was to force people into the program so that Obamacare wouldn't collapse under its own weight.  And now the Democrats are concerned?


Obamacare Tax Threatens to Close West Coast Ports.  The slow-roll implementation of Obamacare threatens to close U.S. commercial ports on the West Coast.  The 29 ports, which handle 70 percent of maritime imports from Asia, were closed over the weekend after months of contentious contract negotiations. [...] Obamacare imposes a 40 percent tax on health benefits deemed too generous by the government.  Health benefits exceeding $10,200 a year in value for individuals or $27,500 for families are defined as "Cadillac" plans and are subject to the tax.  Health benefits for longshoremen exceed $40,000 per employee, meaning the union would be served an enormous tax bill when the penalty is imposed in 2018.

Doubling down on Disaster.  President Obama is for choice and competition in the health-insurance market, as befits a champion of the free market, except when he isn't. [...] Two years after Obamacare opened for business, Mr. Obama's health care scheme isn't exactly solving the problem every American must deal with.  A study by the Heritage Foundation finds that there's less competition and more dissatisfaction than ever.  The number of insurers has declined by 21.5 percent, and by the government's own measurement the Obamacare exchanges are less competitive, by a factor of 75 percent, than before the Affordable Care Act was enacted by Democrats with no help, or votes, from Republicans.

Top Obamacare official resigns with 'sadness and mixed emotions' following website meltdown and enrollment exaggerations.  Medicare's top administrator unexpectedly resigned Friday [1/16/2015], becoming the latest casualty of the troubled rollout of the president's health care law.  A former intensive care nurse with a businesslike approach to one of the most divisive areas of public policy, Marilyn Tavenner told staff in an email that she's stepping down at the end of February with 'sadness and mixed emotions.'  Tavenner survived the technology meltdown that initially paralyzed Healthcare.gov but was embarrassed last fall when she testified to Congress that 7.3 million people were enrolled for coverage.  The number turned out to be an overcount that exaggerated the total by about 400,000 people.

Liberal dream of single-payer health care dies in Vermont.  The problem with ObamaCare, liberals argue, is that it didn't go far enough — we should have an entirely government-run health-care system.  As former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin put it shortly before his retirement, Democrats "should have pursued single-payer right from the get-go."  These advocates perhaps haven't noticed that their latest efforts to give the government greater control over our health care just collapsed — in the People's Republic of Vermont of all places.

5 Federal Agencies in the GOP's Crosshairs.  [#2] Health and Human Services Department:  Obamacare has certainly had its problems since it became law in 2010, but a natural target of the GOP is the agency tasked with implementing the health law.  HHS officials, including Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, have been regularly called to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform committee over the problem-plagued website and the incomplete enrollment numbers.  Tavenner and others may well be before the committee again in the New Year.

ObamaCare woes: Struggling Iowa health insurer taken over by state.  A taxpayer-backed Iowa health insurer created under ObamaCare has been taken over by the state amid deep financial problems, sending policyholders in the Midwest scrambling for new coverage and raising questions about the status of similar outfits across the country.  The Iowa Insurance Division announced Wednesday that Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart was taking over CoOpportunity Health, a struggling cooperative that sprouted out of the Affordable Care Act.

Single-Payer Strikes Out in Vermont.  Single-payer government funded healthcare-for-all struck out in grand fashion in Vermont.  The irony is that Vermont is an extremely liberal state, and to the political left, single-payer is the Holy Grail of healthcare reform.  To borrow from Frank Sinatra, if single-payer can't make there, it can't make it anywhere.

Obamacare sticker shock fears: Government pleads with Americans to shop around.  The administration is trying to preempt Obamacare sticker shock in 2015 by pleading with Americans to shop around in the marketplaces instead of automatically re-enrolling in the health plans they chose last year.  Officials said Thursday [12/4/2014] those who don't look around and compare plans during open enrollment could see their costs rise because the so-called benchmark plans are more expensive this year.

HealthCare.gov's insurance marketplace for small businesses gets off to a slow start.  A year after the Obama administration temporarily shelved an unfinished part of HealthCare.gov intended for small businesses, it has opened with reports of only modest technical flaws — but with doubts that it will soon benefit the millions of workers at little companies with inadequate health insurance or none at all.  Insurance brokers are, at times, having trouble getting into their accounts and, in scattered cases, are not showing up in the computer system's lists of local insurance professionals available to coach small businesses.

Washington State Health Exchange Shuts Down.  Washington's health care exchange shut down after the first few hours of open enrollment Saturday [11/15/2014] as state officials and software engineers tried to resolve a problem with tax credit calculations.

Obama's Economic Propaganda Has a Limited Shelf Life.  Obama can spin it however he wants to, but people know that their premiums are going up, that they're losing their plans and doctors, that the White House has been dishonest about all aspects of Obamacare, and that the administration has made a colossal mess of rolling it out and administering it.  It's one thing for Obama to entice people with grandiose promises.  It's another for him to convince them that he has fulfilled already-broken promises.

Sorry, New York Times: ObamaCare Is Not Working.  The New York Times on Monday featured a huge news package claiming that ObamaCare is delivering on all its main promises. But the Bible of the liberal press has badly misled its flock.  'After a year fully in place," the Times story begins, "the Affordable Care Act has largely succeeded in delivering on President Obama's main promises."  So case closed, right?  After all, a team of New York Times "reporters and data researchers" came to that conclusion.  In a word, no.  To claim success, the Times gets things wrong or ignores the law's most glaring failures.

The Obamacare news just keeps getting worse.  Those 30,000 Wal-Mart employees who are losing their health insurance aren't alone.  There's another huge wave of cancellations of health plans coming.  Fox News reported that 13 states and the District of Columbia are cancelling plans that are not in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.  Virginia will be the hardest hit, with some 250,000 families losing their health insurance.  Of course, all of the plans being canceled now weren't in compliance a year ago.  But back then, President Obama asked that they be granted a reprieve from enforcement.  That is now coming to an end.  As a result, hundreds of thousands more people will lose their health insurance.

Healthcare.Gov's EZ Form Not For Legal Immigrants.  HealthCare.gov's new EZ application for coverage can't be used by legal immigrants or naturalized U.S. citizens, prompting concern that many Hispanics and Asians will go right back into long enrollment queues this year.

Obama's Enablers in the Senate.  Is there a single Obama initiative that has actually worked as advertised, or even one that has improved the lives of most Americans or improved the U.S.'s standing in the world? [...] Obamacare, famously enacted with the vote of every Democratic senator, has limited patient choices (including taking away the chosen insurance plans of as many as 5 million Americans, who saw their policies canceled as a direct result of Obamacare); jacked up premium prices by an average of 202 percent; imposed more than a trillion dollars in new taxes, including on medical-device companies, that have resulted in many thousands of job losses and a slowdown in medical innovation; trampled on religious liberty and the rights of conscience; driven people crazy with a bollixed website; added potentially $6.2 trillion to federal deficits; and destroyed as many as 2 million jobs.

Virginia Dem Refuses To Address 250,000 Taxpayers Who Lost Healthcare Due To Obamacare.  Democratic Senator Mark Warner (D., Va.) refused to elaborate on the 250,000 Virginians that will lose their health care plans due to Obamacare during Tuesday's [10/7/2014] Senate debate against Republican Ed Gillespie.  Moderator Karen Tumulty asked Warner to respond to the taxpayers losing their plans, but Warner did not acknowledge the cancellations.  Rather, he touted the elements of Obamacare that he believes Virginians support.

No lessons learned from last year's Obamacare debacle.  Judging from last year's experience, one would expect the bureaucrats who run healthcare.gov to be relatively transparent about any issues they expect this time around.  The last thing they need is for customers to be blindsided again by massive technical, systemic or security failures on the website.  Unfortunately, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services — the agency in charge of healthcare.gov, known colloquially as CMS — has chosen darkness and smoky back rooms over sunlight.  The agency has explicitly forbidden insurers who participate in testing the new system this month from revealing anything about their experience.

Obamacare's website still faces hurdles as year two approaches.  A year ago this week, Healthcare.gov launched and set a new standard for costly technological disasters.  The portal for obtaining private insurance under Obamacare proved completely impenetrable for consumers in its first two months. [...] But here's the problem:  Beginning with the website's early failure, the Department of Health and Human Services has concentrated mostly on fixing the portion of the site that the public interacts with.  They have not yet fixed major structural and security issues on the back-end, and testing for some of these only begins this month.

The Two Issues That Could Bring Down Obamacare.  Today [10/1/2014] marks the one-year anniversary for Obamacare's health exchanges — which have helped more than 7 million people across the country enroll in health coverage.  And while Obamacare's marketplace is settling in for its second year, serious issues are cropping up that could potentially derail the entire health care law leaving millions without affordable health coverage.

Hospitals ask patients to pay upfront.  Get ready to whip out your credit card before you are wheeled into the operating room or undergo an MRI. Hospitals are increasingly asking patients to pay for procedures either upfront or before they are discharged. That's because Americans are shouldering a greater portion of their health care bills, and medical centers don't want to get stuck with patients that can't pay.

More Virginians to lose current coverage under Obamacare.  Another quarter of a million people in the commonwealth will likely lose their health insurance plans by the end of the year.  Virginia's Health Insurance Reform Commission learned on September 10 that 250,000 Virginians will receive notices their health insurance plans are being canceled as a result of the Affordable Care Act.  That's in addition to the thousands of Virginians who had already been notified over the last year their plans are no longer compliant with President Obama's signature health care law.

Politics color information on Obamacare premiums.  In Arkansas, Gov. Mike Beebe touted signs of a 2 percent drop in premiums in the state's Obamacare insurance exchange as proof the health law is working.  In Alaska, though, Gov. Sean Parnell said some plans' premiums would spike by as much as 37 percent — evidence, he said, that his concerns about the law "are, unfortunately, proving to be true."

Automatically re-enrolling in ObamaCare could pose dangers, analysts warn.  After the rocky rollout last fall of the ObamaCare website, the administration wants to re-enroll those already in the system in hopes of avoiding another technological embarrassment.  But analysts warn that just blindly re-enrolling could mean trouble for consumers.  "This notion of just sit back and re-enroll is really misleading and I think could cause a lot of harm to people," said Bob Laszewski of Health Policy and Strategy Associates.

Why You Are Likely To Lose Your Health Insurance — No Matter How Much You Like It.  One of Barack Obama's best-remembered promises was, "If you like your health insurance, you can keep it."  But at the very same time the president was making that promise, lawmakers on Capitol Hill were drafting legislation that would make sure that promise could never be kept.  We call it Obamacare.

Obamacare Web Sites Still in Trouble.  I ran across this article today on the Vermont Watchdog site, describing the serious problems that still exist with that state's Obamacare exchange.  With only six weeks to go until the next open enrollment period and the memory of last fall's disastrous launch, defenders of Obamacare ought to be stocking up on Maalox.

Obamacare's Tax Troubles Just Got Worse.  The administration required states exchange websites to allow individuals to apply for tax credits, but did not require the same from Healthcare.gov, suggesting that the administration believed that individuals in the 36 states run by the federal government were not eligible for tax credits.

Getting There.  Obamacare — or at least the version of it that the president and his advisers currently think they can get away with putting into place — has been upending arrangements and reshuffling the deck in the health system since the beginning of the year.  That's when the new insurance rules, subsidies, and optional state Medicaid expansions went into effect.

Minnesota's Top ObamaCare Insurer Drops Out For 2015.  In 2015, well more than half of MNsure exchange subsidies won't go to insurers on the [Obamacare] exchange, but to a public program serving households that fall between the cut-off for Medicaid and 200% of the poverty level.  To date, this MinnesotaCare program for households above 138% of the poverty level has signed up 72,000 people vs. just 55,000 for the subsidized exchange.

Another ObamaCare website suffers delays, glitches ahead of launch date.  At issue is a database known as the Open Payments website.  It was created under the Affordable Care Act to shed light on the financial ties between doctors and pharmaceutical companies as well as device manufacturers.  The transparency initiative is supposed to include detailed information about drug payments made by doctors as well as the value of gifts and services given by drug makers.

Lorem ipsum filler text is still in place months after the web site's launch.
The Latest From Healthcare.gov: Nonsense Text.  Healthcare.gov has had its share of problems over the ten months since its launch, but those looking for information about appealing a Marketplace decision are facing a brand new one:  nonsense. [...] The page can be seen by selecting the "Get Answers" menu from the home page of Healthcare.gov and choosing "How to appeal a Marketplace decision."  Selection of the submenu items on the left return the same result.  Appeal information is not the only page with the nonsense text.  Why Health Coverage is Important brings up an identical result, as does the page on Immigrants.  Other problems exist on the site as well.

Turns Out HealthCare.gov Really Is Full Of Nonsense.  It may be the least of HealthCare.gov's many, many problems, but the Obamacare website still features web pages full of nonsense filler language.  The Weekly Standard located a series of pages on HealthCare.gov that feature 'Lorem ipsum' text, a dummy language used by graphic designers to hold a place until the information is ready.  The website's instructions on "How to appeal a Marketplace decision, directions for immigrants and, most ironically, "Why Health Coverage is Important" are filled with "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..." instead of any information on getting health coverage.

HHS grapples with massive ObamaCare backlog.  Now that the ObamaCare exchange websites are largely up and running, federal health officials are finding themselves swamped as they fact-check a flood of paperwork from applicants seeking taxpayer subsidies.  The Department of Health and Human Services seems to be caught between critics on both sides as it confronts the task.  The department, which oversees the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, has gotten hit by audits showing it hasn't done enough to crack down on fraudsters trying to scam the system.  At the same time, some frustrated applicants say they have played by the rules — signed up on time and submitted the necessary paperwork — only to be caught up in bureaucratic red tape.

Obamacare Train Wreck.  [Scroll down to page 6]  In a December issue of Consumer Power Report, [Benjamin] Domenech explained how the exchange structure prevents the offering of key medications or requires patients to pay as much as 50 percent of the cost per prescription in coinsurance, which in some cases works out to more than $1,000 a month.  The problem affects drugs used to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune diseases.  It is another example of the ways Obamacare offers worse coverage and reduces access to care.

Confusion over doctor lists is costly for Obamacare enrollees in state.  Frustration and legal challenges over the network of doctors and hospitals for Obamacare patients have marred an otherwise successful rollout of the federal healthcare law in California.  Limiting the number of medical providers was part of an effort by insurers to hold down premiums.  But confusion over the new plans has led to unforeseen medical bills for some patients and prompted a state investigation.

Survey Says: ObamaCare Isn't Doing So Well.  ObamaCare loyalists are trumpeting a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey finding that more than half of those who enrolled had been uninsured.  But the survey's findings are nothing to cheer about.  First, nobody knows exactly how many ObamaCare enrollees were previously uninsured, because the administration didn't bother to ask for that information when people signed up.  So it's been up to pollsters to figure out what happened, and previous surveys showed that only a small percentage of ObamaCare sign-ups came from the ranks of the uninsured.

Obamacare Exchanges Are 'Disappointing' With Fewer Than 4 Million Newly Insured — The Government Hoped for 26 Million.  In April, President Obama told the nation that "marketplace" or "exchange" enrollment, at 8 million customers as of March 31, had exceeded expectations and costs were lower than expected.  Many in the news media accepted the selectively released statistics, despite the Obama administration's record of sometimes providing inaccurate or incomplete information on HealthCare.gov.  Even today, the government continues to withhold relevant public information on costs and enrollment requested by Congress and the press under the Freedom of Information Act.

HHS's Burwell makes management changes.  The changes are Burwell's first visible efforts to improve the functioning of CMS since she was sworn in less than two weeks ago, succeeding Kathleen Sebelius.  While the moves sound bureaucratic, they represent a swift attempt to avert what President Obama called a "disastrous" beginning of the launch of HealthCare.gov, the Web site for the federal insurance exchange.

California probes Obamacare doctor networks at Anthem and Blue Shield.  California regulators are investigating whether Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California have violated state law in connection to patients struggling to find doctors under Obamacare.  Officials at the California Department of Managed Health Care said they are looking into whether consumers were misled by inaccurate provider lists and the difficulty some patients are still having at locating a physician in narrower networks statewide.

HHS Document Reveals Scope of Obamacare Rollout Disaster.  Though the Obama administration tried to cover up the full extent of the website failure in the days following its launch, the lengthy HHS document tells a tale of complete collapse. [...] A simple request — that was stonewalled for over six months.  Now we know why.  This document shows that, on its first full day of operation, October 1, 2013, Obamacare's Healthcare.gov received only one enrollment!  That's one — out of 334 million Americans.  On the second day, 48% of registrations failed to process.

Federal investigators issue subpoena to Cover Oregon, Oregon Health Authority.  The investigation, led by federal prosecutors and the FBI, is seeking documents, memos, and emails between the two state entities that oversaw the botched health exchange with U.S. authorities in charge of dispensing federal money for the project.  Oregon has spent $250 million and three years on an ambitious IT project that failed to produce a fully functional exchange.  Instead, what was produced was bug-ridden and largely unfinished, documents show.

Obamacare's big opening day touted one enrollment: report.  Only one person successfully enrolled in Obamacare on its first day of business, a nonprofit government watchdog group found via documents obtained from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.  Judicial Watch issued a 106-page report based on the documents it received after suing the Department of Health and Human Services — a case initiated to find out just how badly the enrollment process went.  The report found how there were 43,208 accounts created on day one of Obamacare, but only one that was successfully completed.  And that just shows how bug-ridden and convoluted the enrollment process was, despite the White House mantra that all was smooth sailing, the watchdog said.

California consumers say duped by Blue Shield's limited Obamacare plans.  Consumers who purchased new health plans from Blue Shield of California have sued the insurer, claiming they were misled into thinking the insurance would cover their desired doctors and hospitals.

U.S. taxpayers on the hook after Oregon's health exchange implodes.  A Washington Post article described Cover Oregon as "the White House's favorite health exchange."  But a funny thing happened on the way to nirvana.  Oregon's health insurance exchange turned out to be the most dysfunctional one in the United States, and last Friday [4/25/2014] the board of the state's exchange threw in the towel.  After spending $248 million of the $303 million in federal money allocated for the exchange, Oregon officials determined the best course of action would be to scrap the website altogether and simply default to the federal healthcare.gov website.

Behind the scenes, much of HealthCare.gov is still under construction.  The Obamacare website may work for people buying insurance, but beneath the surface, HealthCare.gov is still missing massive, critical pieces — and the deadline for finishing them keeps slipping.  As a result, the system's "back end" is a tangle of technical workarounds moving billions of taxpayer dollars and consumer-paid premiums between the government and insurers.  The parts under construction are essential for key functions such as accurately paying insurers.  The longer they lag, experts say, the likelier they'll trigger accounting problems that could leave the public on the hook for higher premium subsidies or health care costs.

Obama administration prepares to take over Oregon's broken health insurance exchange.  The Obama administration is poised to take over Oregon's broken insurance exchange, according to officials familiar with the decision, who say that it reflects federal officials' conclusion that several state-run marketplaces may be too dysfunctional to fix.  In public, the board overseeing Cover Oregon is scheduled to vote Friday [4/25/2014] whether to join the federal insurance marketplace that already sells health plans in most of the country under the Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare's Medicaid Trap.  The technology behind a huge part of Obamacare's efforts to expand insurance coverage — the part aimed at low-income Americans — remains far from fixed, and the glitches are keeping some of the nation's most vulnerable patients from getting insured.  The administration launched a "tech surge" to improve the HealthCare.gov experience for those shopping for private insurance, but the website's process for enrolling in Medicaid remained mired in glitches.  And for President Obama's efforts to expand health coverage that's a major problem.

Obamacare: The health care law that won't die, but won't heal, either.  Twice, the health care law seemed on the brink of extinction — the Supreme Court case in 2012 and the presidential election — and twice it escaped.  Four other times, it seemed poised for a victory lap — when it passed; when it survived the court challenge; when Obama won re-election; and when it enrolled 7 million, or 6 million, or 5.7 million, in its opening phases — and victory failed to arrive.

The Number of Uninsured Is Dropping, but Not Thanks to Obamacare Exchanges.  Two new surveys clearly show that the number of people who lack health insurance in the United States has dropped — but largely not because people have enrolled in Obamacare exchanges.  Gallup's monthly survey of the uninsured, which in February discovered that the number of uninsured had dropped to pre-recession levels, reported on Monday that the rate had dropped further.  Only 15.6 percent of Americans lack insurance coverage as of the end of March, down from 17.1 percent at the end of December.  The two groups that saw the biggest drops were black Americans and those earning less than $36,000 annually.

15-20 Percent Aren't Paying Obamacare Premiums, Insurer Says.  One of the biggest players in Obamacare's exchanges says 15 to 20 percent of its new customers aren't paying their first premium — which means they're not actually covered.  The latest data come from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, whose members — known collectively as "Blues" plans — are participating in the exchanges in almost every state.  Roughly 80 to 85 percent of people who selected a Blues plan through the exchanges went on to pay their first month's premium, a BCBSA spokeswoman said Wednesday. [...] If the nationwide payment rate, across all carriers, remains at 80 to 85 percent, the 7.1 million sign-ups Obama announced Tuesday would translate into somewhere between 5.7 and 6 million people who are actually covered.

Oregon's $300 Million Dollar Obamacare Exchange Hasn't Enrolled a Single Person Online.  After spending over $300 million on its exchange, the state of Oregon has failed to enroll a single person online.  Somewhere along the way Oregon managed to sign up 44 people for Obamacare, but not through the internet.

Captain Obama and the wreck of the Hesperus.  Barack Obama's legacy legislation, the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) — commonly known as "Obamacare" — has clearly become the political equivalent of the wreck of the Hesperus.  If there was any doubt remaining about that, it was all but removed by the administration's recent decision to provide "hardship exemptions" to just about anyone who can work up the energy to apply for one — and its admitted inability to control the security of its own web portal.

The ACA: Still Falling Short.  The Obamacare open-enrollment season (supposedly) closed yesterday, so it is good time to step back and assess where things stand with the law and its first-year implementation.  Interestingly, Obamacare remains something of a Rorschach test for journalists and health-policy analysts.  Looking at the same set of facts, two observers can reach very different conclusions. [...] Is Obamacare on track to be an historic achievement?  Or is it falling well short of the lofty goals set for it by the administration?

5 Reasons Obama's 7.1 Million Number Is Meaningless.  [#2] The Chief Beneficiaries of Obamacare Have Been Medicaid Recipients and 26-Year-Old Basement Dwellers.  There are approximately 6.1 million people who have gained coverage through Obamacare's non-private exchange program.  4.5 million were beneficiaries of Medicaid expansion, and another 1.6 million 26-year-old "children" were forced onto their parents' policies.  That far outweighs any supposed gains in the private insurance market.

Healthcare Expert: Obamacare Hasn't Put a Dent in Number of Uninsured.  On Thursday [3/27/2014], the Obama administration announced that enrollment had reached six million.  Using McKinsey's findings of 14 percent gaining new coverage, only 900,000 previously uninsured individuals will have acquired insurance as a result of the exchanges.  So, there remain nearly 35 million uninsured citizens.

Yet Another Obamacare Glitch Was Just Discovered.  The federal website central to Obamacare has been operating with a calculating error that could have negatively affected enrollment numbers, and no one seemed to know about it for nearly six months.  The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that HealthCare.Gov has a little-known glitch in its subsidy calculator that, though quite small, may be notifying people who are eligible for financial assistance that they do not qualify for a subsidy.

A glitch in Obamacare marketplace no one noticed.  Incorrect poverty-level guidelines are automatically telling what could be tens of thousands of eligible people they do not qualify for subsidized insurance.  The error in the federal marketplace primarily affects households with incomes just above the poverty line in states like Pennsylvania that have not expanded Medicaid.  The mistake raises the price of their insurance by thousands of dollars, making insurance so unaffordable many may just give up and go without.

Obamacare's Failed State Exchanges.  The federal government spent more on broken state-run exchanges than it did on its own troubled system.  Of the 14 states, plus the District of Columbia, that established their own health insurance coverage under Obamacare, seven remain dysfunctional, disabled, or severely underperforming.  Development of those exchanges was funded heavily by the federal government through a series of grants that totaled more than $1.2 billion — almost double the $677 million cost of development for the federal exchange.

Costs of ObamaCare bungles start to add up, with Maryland first at about $30.5M.  Maryland could end up spending as much as $30.5 million as a result of a glitch in its ObamaCare website, as the Obama administration steps in to help states with problematic exchanges.  Because of Maryland's defective exchange, the state cannot determine whether customers remain eligible for Medicaid, according to a report by state budget analysts released Thursday [2/27/2014].

Hawaii health marketplace off to an especially rough start.  Hawaii already had one of the highest insured rates in the nation as the result of a 40-year-old state law requiring employers to provide coverage.  The state received more than $205 million in federal money to build a health insurance exchange to serve those still uninsured.  Yet four months after enrollments began, the Hawaii Health Connector has allocated $120 million while signing up only about 4,300 people for health plans — fewer than any other state.  Despite officials' initial hopes of enrolling tens of thousands of Hawaiians, only 400 employers have applied for plans for their employees.

Conservative Vindication.  There's been a lot of fine commentary on the right about the decision by the president to delay the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate for another year, which is just the most recent in a series of lawless acts by Mr. Obama, all aimed at keeping his teetering health plan from utterly collapsing.  It's worth pointing out, I think, that the manifold and multiplying failures of the Affordable Care Act were predicted by conservatives, many of whom warned — in advance, repeatedly, on the record — how awful ObamaCare would be.  Things are, if anything, worse — or at least worse, quicker — than many on the right predicted.

Is your pre-existing condition really covered under Obamacare?  One of the selling points of ObamaCare is the claim that one cannot be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition.  However, what if you're covered under ObamaCare, but your providers are not part of any ObamaCare plan?

Ex-lawmaker accuses Oregon Obamacare exchange of creating fake site.  Former Oregon Republican state Rep. Patrick Sheehan is alleging that Cover Oregon staff created dummy web pages to fool the Obama administration into thinking the Obamacare exchange was being built on time.  Sheehan, a former state representation on Oregon's joint IT oversight committee, reports that he's gone to the FBI with his evidence concerning Cover Oregon's botched launch.  Sheehan alleges that Oregon officials may have been touting "smoke and mirrors" in order to receive federal funding and con state lawmakers into believing the Obamacare exchange was further along than it really was.

Cover Oregon Scandal: 'If it's true, someone's going to prison'.  Cover Oregon's Obamacare website is a mess.  Months after its initial rollout, it still doesn't work.  It has more than a dozen outstanding critical errors.  There is no date set for its completion.  But according to KATU-TV, it kept passing federal "gate reviews" easily during its development.  How could that be?  Former state lawmaker Patrick Sheehan has been looking into the scandal.  He has even spoken with the FBI about what he has found.  Pick through his and KATU's investigation, and it looks like the Obama administration's incentive system played a part on how Cover Oregon remains unable to cover anyone at all.

Low-Information Leadership.  Everyone understands in their own rough way that ObamaCare is a big mess.  And that it's not the website, it's the law itself.  They have seen systems crash.  In the past 20 years they've seen their own computers crash.  They know systems and computers get fixed.  But they understand a conceptual botch when they see one.

Not a Good Enough Obamacare Fix.  Success!  The Obama administration announced over the weekend that it had hit its deadline of November 30 for HealthCare.gov.  Of course, there were caveats.  The site will still probably get buggy when there's a lot of traffic, which is why Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius advised people to use it at off-peak hours.  But that simply means peak hours will be moved to after midnight.  After all, you don't alleviate crowding if you tell everyone to try a different door.

It Turns Out Obama Was Nothing But a Community Organizer All Along.  [W]e've learned that officials at the Department of Health and Human Services warned in September that the security of the site had not been properly tested before it opened, creating "a high risk," and that online security experts are warning that it could take a year to secure the risk of "high exposures" of personal information on the federal ObamaCare online exchange.

Considering Which Head or Heads May Roll for a Troubled Website Rollout.  Officials declined to offer details about which government employees at the White House or other agencies might be under the microscope during any review of the development of the health care website.  But there is a long list of people who have been publicly identified as key players.

Fire Your Team, Mr. President.  A series of self-inflicted wounds during his fifth year in office, capped by the botched launch of the Affordable Care Act, have Americans questioning the president's competence and credibility.  History suggests that second-term presidents rarely recover after their approval ratings fall as much as Obama's have this year.  History also suggests that there are two types of White House shake-ups.  The first is mostly cosmetic and is aimed at sending a signal that the president is serious.  He fires somebody, anybody, as a sacrificial lamb.  The second is deep cleansing — that rare occasion when a president rebuilds his team to change himself.  The latter is what Obama must do.

New Obamacare website 'fix' crashes just as White House boasts of its success.  The flagship Obamacare website continued to spout error messages on Monday, hobbling a new fix that the White House bragged would avoid system crashes caused by too much Web traffic.  Frustrated with news reports about crashes, delays and other online failures, the Obama administration's 'tech surge' team put in place an email-driven 'queuing system' similar to the overdraft feature available with some checking accounts.

Has Obamacare Been Rescued by the Administration's 'Tech Surge'? Don't Bet On It.  The administration vowed to fix those problems by the end of November, and today [12/2/2013], the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it had met the goal of making sure that the site "worked smoothly" for the "vast majority of users."  In a conference call this morning, a spokesperson for HHS said, "we believe we have met that goal."  A six-page progress report released by the administration this morning touts technical progress as well as managerial improvements, declaring that the team making the improvements is now "operating with private sector velocity and efficiency."  Anyone else catch the irony there?  Set up a vast, government-managed tech operation, watch it fail — and then, as it attempts to reboot itself, boast of private-sector quality work?

Obama's 'Tech Surge' Consisted of Six People.  President Obama stood in the Rose Garden and promised a "tech surge" to fix healthcare.gov.  In reality, the surge was a tiny influx of "about a half-dozen people."

Will the (lack of) state exchanges bring Obamacare down?  Obamacare's penalties for not buying insurance, as well as the subsidies that make its plans affordable in the first place, may not be legal in a majority of states, according to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.  Pruitt is suing the federal government on those grounds.  According to the letter of the law, the government can only reward subsidies and levy penalties in states that have created Obamacare state exchanges, but conservative resistance has stopped state exchanges from being set up in a number of states, including Oklahoma.

Obamacare's New Goal: Stay Alive Until 2015.  So Nov. 30 has come and gone, the day that President Barack Obama promised HealthCare.gov would be up and working.  And his administration says that the site is working, dramatically better than when it first went up.  On the other hand, anecdata suggest slow enrollment.  So what does it all mean?

NPR Reporter Frustrated by WH's Transparency: 'Have to Take Their Word' on Obamacare Site Fixes.  On Saturday [11/30/2013], the White House reached the self-imposed deadline it set to ensure that HealthCare.Gov functions for at least 80 percent of visitors.  While the White House is indicating that a number of goals it set for itself have been met, National Public Radio's health policy correspondent Julie Rovner said she found verifying the Obama administration's claims "frustrating."  She added that the administration has not provided reporters with "independent access" to the data they claim shows that they have largely repaired the federal insurance exchange portal.

Spreading around the blame for Obamacare.  Soon after President Obama told the White House press corps he was solely responsible for the botched Obamacare rollout, he decided to shift part of the blame onto Republicans.  A mea culpa can be hard to deliver in public when you are the kind of politician who thinks he never makes mistakes and rarely if ever apologizes for anything that went wrong.

Obama's 'Sham-Wow' Presidency.  Let's say a TV pitchman promised free health insurance.  Let's say he promised "If you don't like mine, you can keep your current health insurance... PERIOD!"  Then millions of Americans, thinking they had nothing to lose, took him up on it.  And then, because of this conman's lies, fraud and misrepresentations they found the policies they liked and their families depended on cancelled.  When they went to his web site for help, to try to save themselves, they found it not only defective, but deceptive as well. [...] Can you imagine if this happened at a private sector company?  Or at a publicly-traded company?  Can you imagine the outrage and criminal accusations coming from consumer protection advocates?  Can you imagine how quickly the federal government would shut down the business?

Web techs spend Thanksgiving fixing ObamaCare mess.  An army of techies scrambled on Thanksgiving to fix America's largest turkey — the much-maligned ObamaCare Web site.  The IT workers from CGI, the main contractor overhauling HealthCare.gov, were treated to a chicken and pasta lunch at their corporate headquarters as they worked overtime to correct the defective site by the White House's Saturday deadline.

Impact Of Repairs On Affordable Care Website Remain To Be Seen.  The healthcare.gov website is supposed to be up and running.  But a sudden run on the site could cause it to crash.  That is the conundrum faced by President Barack Obama who said that the page would be working by the end of November.

Administration to release more data on ObamaCare site's progress.  [Scroll down]  The White House says it's made numerous upgrades in both software and hardware over the last month, which also will allow the site to handle more than 800,000 visitors a day.

The Editor says...
The web site might be able to handle 800,000 visitors per day, but I suspect that figure depends on the visitors being evenly spaced across all 24 hours of the day.  There would be no "off peak" hours in that case.  The American people have daily routines, which is why there is heavy rush hour traffic morning and evening on the freeways, and that's why there is "prime time" television.

D-Day arrives for Obamacare... and oh so badly.  D-Day arrived for Obamacare Saturday and it began with an 11-hour shutdown of the website.  The system is functioning a bit better than before but is still terribly inadequate.

New plan on Healthcare.gov: Declare victory, and fix it later.  Well, I guess it beats explaining why the Obama administration failed to meet yet another of its deadlines in getting a 42-month web-portal project to work.  According to the Washington Post, the White House will announce tomorrow [12/1/2013] that the Healthcare.gov site has been fixed, even though the site won't actually be fixed — not even by the administration's own metrics.

Why has wave of Obamacare insurance cancellations mostly missed Texas?  Insurance companies, brokers and consumer advocates say a highly publicized national wave of health plan cancellations largely bypassed Texas.  There are several complex reasons, but one of the biggest is this:  Following the example of Arkansas and other Southern states, the Texas Department of Insurance told health insurers in June that they could compress the contractual period of this year's policies.  That meant they could be renewed late this year.

HP to replace Verizon as website provider.  The Department of Health and Human Services is replacing Verizon with Hewlett-Packard as its web-hosting provider for the federal health insurance marketplace, according to multiple reports.  The website has suffered significant glitches since its rollout, prompting widespread criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike and complicating Americans' efforts to sign up for coverage under ObamaCare.

The ObamaCare Website: The World Outruns the Government — By a Decade.  We recently found out that the incredibly effective ObamaCare exchange website is — well, not exactly state-of-the-art.  The federal health care exchange was built using 10-year-old technology that may require constant fixes and updates for the next six months and the eventual overhaul of the entire system, technology experts told USA Today.  The site could be perfect, but if the systems from which it draws data are not up to speed, it doesn't matter, said John Engates, chief technology officer at Rackspace, a cloud computer service provider.

White House woos HealthCare.gov critic with private briefing.  [John] Engates has been a vocal critic of the HealthCare.gov launch calling it "one of the most spectacular public failures of any website ever."  The briefing was held Monday morning in the White House Situation Room with a half dozen private sector IT experts in attendance, according to Engates, including representatives from IBM, Salesforce.com and ExactTarget.com.  Members of the media were not invited.  In fact, the private industry group received the kind of access that members of the news media, including CBS News, have requested but been denied.

The Editor says...
Something tells me Mr. Engates wasn't summoned to the White House so the left-wing tyrants could "woo" him.  I suspect there was a lot of yelling and badgering, but no sweet talk.  Stand by for an IRS audit, Mr. Engates, because that's what happens to those who dare to criticize the Dear Leader and his pet project.

Fearing a HealthCare.Gov Holiday Crash, White House Urges 'Allies to Hold Back Enrollment Efforts'.  White House officials are nervous that the holiday season will bring a flood of new users to the fragile HealthCare.gov.  While administration officials say that significant progress has been made in the effort to repair the website, they worry that a rush of online traffic could again crash the website.  In order to avoid this outcome, according to the New York Times, the White House is urging "allies to hold back enrollment efforts."

A Plea to Avoid Crush of Users at Health Site.  White House officials, fearful that the federal health care website may again be overwhelmed this weekend, have urged their allies to hold back enrollment efforts so the insurance marketplace does not collapse under a crush of new users.

Health Website Deadline Nears.  With the clock ticking toward a Saturday deadline, Obama administration officials promise that the HealthCare.gov website will work better.  Exactly how much better?  That is hard to say.  The measure of success, repeated by an array of administration officials, is that the online marketplace intended to be used by millions of Americans to obtain health insurance would be working smoothly for the "vast majority of users" by Saturday, the last day of November.

What ObamaCare Disaster? NBC Continues Blackout of Failing Health Care Law.  After going 72 hours without even mentioning ObamaCare on its air waves, NBC's continued refusal to cover the disastrous policy on Thursday's [11/21/2013] Nightly News or Friday's Today brought that total up to 96 hours.  Amazingly, Friday's Today had the audacity to include two segments about Vice President Joe Biden buying lunch at a Washington D.C. sandwich shop rather provide any ObamaCare updates.

Just 7 percent think Obamacare is working.  A CBS News poll found that just 7 percent of Americans believe Obamacare is working well and should be kept around.  Forty-eight percent think the law needs to be changed, but that it includes some good policies, and a close 43 percent think the law needs to be fully repealed.

Healthcare.gov Crashes in Front of Kathleen Sebelius.  The White House hopes to have the Affordable Care Act federal exchange website, better known as Healthcare.gov, up to 80% capacity by November 1st.  Unfortunately for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, it ain't there yet, as the website crashed while she was watching a couple try to use it at Miami's North Shore Hospital on Tuesday [11/19/2013].  Sebelius had first stopped by a couple enrolling with help of a navigator who said everything was going fine.  But at a second table, the screen read, "I'm sorry, the system is temporarily down.

James Carville: Blame Obama, not Republicans.  Longtime Democratic strategist James Carville said the president is to blame for the blundered Obamacare debut, not Republicans.  Interviewed by Fox Business Network today, Carville said, "I think the president has himself to blame as much as anybody.  I don't think he was done in, in this instance by the Republicans, or done in by the media, done in by anything."

No Bailouts for ObamaCare.  With every passing day, ObamaCare's flaws are being exposed in painful ways for the American people.  What started as a broken website — and nonexistent Spanish one — is now snowballing into a full-scale disaster that makes it increasingly clear this law can't be fixed.  Under ObamaCare, people are being recklessly exposed to identity theft and fraud through the dysfunctional website and navigator network.

Prosecute HealthCare.gov?  Conservatives often argue that the federal government should function more like a private business.  Obamacare supporters should be grateful it does not, because otherwise HealthCare.gov would almost certainly run afoul of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as well as of the recently established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  Orson Swindle, who served as an FTC commissioner from 1997 to 2005, says there are a number of practices that, if HealthCare.gov were a private entity, would result in its being "taken to the shed and horsewhipped" by government regulators.

Obamacare Schadenfreudarama.  The October 1 deadline for Obamacare was set by Obama's own administration years ago — and it caught them completely off guard.  The president may now claim that he knew nothing, but he must have wondered why Henry Chao, Healthcare.gov's chief project manager, set the bar of success at sea level last March:  "Let's just make sure it's not a Third World experience."  At this point, it could only be more of a Third World experience if Healthcare.gov required enrollees to pay with chickens.

4 Things the White House Still Hasn't Told Us About Obamacare.  The White House finally released its much anticipated enrollment numbers on Wednesday, revealing that some 106,000 Americans selected insurance policies on the state and federal health exchanges in October, the first month those marketplaces went live.  While the report offers some insight into the demand for the new policies — about 1.5 million people have applied for coverage — it lacks specific information, like who is enrolling and how many people have actually purchased plans.

Health care fiasco highlights Obama's broken promise.  You know you're having a tough week when you're essentially being called untruthful by, of all people, Bill Clinton, who knows a thing or two about stretching the truth.  At the very least, Clinton insisted that Obama — in trying to sell Obamacare to the American people — should not have broken his promise that, if they liked their doctor and health care plan, they could keep both.  For millions of Americans, perhaps tens of millions, this hasn't been the case.  Their policies were cancelled.

Troubled HealthCare.gov unlikely to work fully by end of November, as White House vowed.  Software problems with the federal online health insurance marketplace, especially in handling high volumes, are proving so stubborn that the system is unlikely to work fully by the end of the month as the White House has promised, according to an official with knowledge of the project.  The insurance exchange is balking when more than 20,000 to 30,000 people attempt to use it at the same time — about half its intended capacity, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose internal information.  And CGI Federal, the main contractor that built the site, has succeeded in repairing only about six of every 10 of the defects it has addressed so far.

Troubled HealthCare.gov unlikely to work fully by end of November.  Software problems with the federal online health insurance marketplace, especially in handling high volumes, are proving so stubborn that the system is unlikely to work fully by the end of the month as the White House has promised, according to an official with knowledge of the project.  The insurance exchange is balking when more than 20,000 to 30,000 people attempt to use it at the same time — about half its intended capacity, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose internal information.

Is it too late for "Keep Your Plan?"  Obamacare has, with an impressive combination of incompetence and irony, seemingly been optimized to create a death spiral.  But is it logistically possible for people to keep their plans?  For insurance companies to reinstate them?

Three 20-Year-Olds Make Working Obamacare Website in Three Days.  Even as President Obama has issued a constant refrain of how upset he is that his Obamacare website doesn't work and promises that he's on top of the fix, three 20-year-old website designers in San Francisco made a working Obamacare website using Healthcare.gov's own code.  They did it in only three days.  The three web developers who created the site, HealthSherpa.com, programmed it to do much of what Healthcare.gov, the Obamacare website, is supposed to do.

Healthcare.junk.  So the national embarrassment known as Healthcare.gov and the 36 federal ObamaCare exchanges won't be fixed by the end of November after all, notwithstanding a month of assurances from the White House.  In updates for reporters on Thursday and Friday, the Affordable Care Act's lead repairman Jeff Zients more or less conceded that the website three years in the making won't work until sometime after the end of this month.

The Editor says...
"Sometime after the end of this month" covers a lot of territory.  A statement like that could mean anything.

Obamacare adviser says healthcare website encountering new issues.  The Obama administration's HealthCare.gov adviser Jeffrey Zients said on Friday [11/8/2013] that the trouble-plagued federal healthcare website is improving, but that higher volumes of visitors are exposing new capacity and software issues.

Obamacare Shouldn't Have Been Managed Like a Campaign.  [Scroll down]  There was another reason that the exchanges' architects were tucked away inside CMS:  to try to stay out of the public eye.  Other such decisions followed.  CMS carefully obscured the unwillingness of a large number of states to build exchanges — despite the fact that this would greatly increase the complexity of the job — lest Republicans seize on that fact.

Top Obamacare executive behind troubled healthcare website launch steps down.  A top Obamacare executive behind the flawed roll-out of the health insurance website has stepped down.  Tony Trenkle, the chief information officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has resigned and will move into the private sector.  CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille sidestepped questions about the reasons for his departure or whether he was asked to resign.

Sebelius' chief tech officer leaving, first major departure since website troubles.  The official in charge of technology at the federal agency that developed the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov website is leaving the government for a private sector job, according to an internal email announcement.  The email, sent Tuesday to staff at the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, announced that Chief Information Officer Tony Trenkle would be retiring effective November 15.

The Editor says...
One junior scapegoat is not going to cover this mess.

ObamaCare website could only handle 1,100 users [per] day before launch, docs show.  The problem-plagued ObamaCare website was only equipped to handle 1,100 users a day before it was launched, documents released by the House Oversight and Reform Committee reveal.  The Obama administration has repeatedly insisted that the website's repeated crashes were due to unexpectedly high traffic.  U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park said on Oct. 6 that the website was expected to draw around 60,000 simultaneous users but instead drew many more, around 250,000.

The Editor says...
I suppose both could be true:  It could very well be that the web site could only handle 1,100 users a day and anything more than that would have been unexpectedly high traffic.

Documents show first days of Obamacare rollout worse than initially realized.  A stack of daily updates written by Obamacare contractors shows the October rollout hit more walls than previously known: In the first days, half of the calls to the phone center had problems, paper applications could not be processed and up to 40,000 people at a time were sitting in the waiting room of HealthCare.gov.  The 175 pages of internal updates during the sign-up chronicle the growing ailments and efforts to heal the system during October.  The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, led by Republican Darrell Issa, obtained the documents from contractors involved and released them Wednesday [11/6/2013].

Senate Democrats supported rule that led to insurance cancellations.  Senate Democrats voted unanimously three years ago to support the Obamacare rule that is largely responsible for some of the health insurance cancellation letters that are going out.  In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama's promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it.

Starbucks CEO Jumps Off Obamacare Bandwagon.  Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz blasted the implementation of Obamacare on Thursday [10/31/2013], just a month after he voiced his support for the law.

Obamacare 'War Room' docs.  Officials expressed concern that the next shoe to drop in the evolving story about the Affordable Care Act would be disappointment from consumers once they are able to get on the troubled HealthCare.gov website — disappointment because of sticker shock and limited choice, according to a new document obtained by CNN.

Obama loyalists head up 'tech surge' for Obamacare website.  Administration loyalists from the technology community are being tapped to join the "tech surge" designed to rescue the malfunctioning Obamacare website.  Originally, the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services pledged that Silicon Valley's "best and brightest" were being mobilized to save the botched website.

Expert: At least 129 million will 'not be able to keep' health care plan if Obamacare fully implemented.  If Obamacare is fully implemented, 68 percent of Americans with private health insurance will not be able to keep their plan, according to health care economist Christopher Conover.  Conover is a research scholar in the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research at Duke University and an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.  In an interview with The Daily Caller, he laid out what he estimates the consequences of Obamacare's implementation will ultimately be.

Obamacare is junk insurance.  Now embarrassed by his oft-repeated and false promise that "if you like your health plan you can keep it," Obama has retreated to a new line of defense:  Your old health plan had to be canceled because it was "junk."  There are two problems with this new argument.  The first is admittedly anecdotal:  Where are the cancellation victims who now stand to pay less for more insurance — or even just the same amount for a better plan?  Yet there is no shortage of people who are finding they will now pay more for less coverage under Obamacare — higher deductibles, smaller provider networks, significantly higher premiums — and end up with little more than free birth control to show for it.

Obamacare will reward some and punish others.  Yes, President Obama faces a major political problem explaining his promise, now proven false, that if Americans like their current health coverage, they can keep it.  But beginning next year, as Obamacare truly becomes a fact of American life, the president may have an even bigger problem:  reconciling his pledge to make the health care system "better for everybody" on the one hand, with the redistributive nature of Obamacare on the other.

Schieffer on ObamaCare: 'I Have Never Seen Anything That Flopped the Way This Thing Did'.  Just imagine what's going to happen in coming weeks when millions of Americans on employer-sponsored plans find out how much their premiums are going up in January due to the so-called "Affordable Care Act."

Obama: 15.8 Million Insignificant.  During the past few weeks, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Americans have been notified that they are being dropped from the health insurance coverages they have now.  Some may remember President Barack Obama's promises, made over and over again, that if you like the insurance you have, Obamacare will let you keep it.  He lied.  Now, he and his minions are attempting to minimize the outrage.  Why, the number of people involved is only "5 percent of the population," White House spokesman Jay Carney said the other day.  Five percent of the country's population is 15.8 million people.

Broken Promises/Broken Presidencies.  Today, we see millions, yes, millions of Americans, losing their health care coverage.  These are the folks who were promised over and over by President Obama "if you like your doctor, you can keep him or her; if you like your health care plan, you can keep it."  Well, it turns out that millions of Americans cannot keep their doctors or their plans.  They have been betrayed.  They are outraged.  They should be.  Many of these rejected and dejected millions are Obama voters.

Obama-don't-care that his signature program uses deceptive advertising.  [Kathleen] Sebelius has admitted that healthcare.gov — the federal online shopping exchange that is the digital lynchpin of the program — required one year of successful testing before launch.  Instead, it got two weeks of failed testing.  If an automaker had knowingly put a vehicle on the road without appropriate crash tests, this administration, the self-appointed guardian of consumers, would have taken it to the mat.  But just like a defective car, Obamacare's defective exchange is not just a nuisance; it will destabilize the health insurance industry and jeopardize coverage.  Yet the administration's march to enforce its law continues unabated.

Obamacare fix-it czar says website repair on track.  Jeffrey Zients, the management expert and former top White House budget aide tapped by President Obama to help fix the federal Obamacare website, said Friday his repair team is still on track to have the online portal working smoothly for the "vast majority of users" by the end of this month.

Stick a Fork in Obama.  America put men on the moon.  Now, with 3½ years and a half a billion dollars, we can't even build a website.  This is how much Barry and his ilk have degraded the brand.  We used to be the shining light on the hill.  Now, we are darkness at the end of the tunnel.  Barack Obama has been the worst thing that has ever happened to the Oval Office, and in the end, ObamaCare will seal his fate as a failed president.  Three and on half years ago, who would have thought that the most emblematic part of the Affordable Care Act, would be the website?  Yet, they already have more than a half a billion dollars in for something that doesn't work at all.  Just imagine how much they will spend to fix it.

No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.  Obamacare, even with massive Democratic supermajorities in Congress, would never have passed if Americans thought that they would be forced to give up their current plans.  The reason is simple.  To begin with, Americans were overwhelmingly happy with the quality of their health care.

Obama accused of breaking promise to consumers as health plans cancel policies.  A new controversy over the president's health-care law is threatening to overshadow the messy launch of its Web site:  Notices are going out to hundreds of thousands of Americans informing them that their health insurance policies are being canceled as of Dec. 31.  The notices appear to contradict President Obama's promise that despite the changes resulting from the law, Americans can keep their health insurance if they like it.

Sebelius rejects enrolling in Obamacare exchanges.  President Obama's top health care official apologized Wednesday [10/30/2013] for the broken Obamacare website and said it would take another month to fix — but even as she defended the law as a good deal for most Americans, she said there was no reason for her to have to purchase coverage from the exchanges.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also was on the defensive over Mr. Obama's 2010 vow that his health care program wouldn't force Americans out of their existing insurance.

Sebelius says 'Obamacare website never crashed' — Obamacare website promptly crashes.  The website is a disaster.  It's full of slow downs, glitches and crashes that are an apt metaphor for a healthcare reform that is forcing people to upgrade to more expensive plans, leaving others confused and employers considering layoffs.  Needless to say, the government knew about the technical problems long before the roll out began.  The Obama administration at first denied this, despite a) complaints from insurance companies and b) that it actually crashed during a pre-launch test.

ObamaCare Site Crashes Minutes Before Sebelius Testimony.  During her testimony before Congress Wednesday, Secretary Sebelius claimed, "The website never crashed.  It is functional, but at a very slow speed and very low reliability." [...] The site was still down thirty-minutes into Sebelius' testimony.

'Pathetic, horrible, mortifying performance': Krauthammer slams Sebelius's testimony.  "To her credit — and it was a pathetic, horrible, mortifying performance.  She wasn't holding a lot of cards," Krauthammer said.  "I mean, I was just thinking about it this morning — what is there to say?  You just presided over the biggest debacle in sort of liberal administrative history.  You're into it for several weeks.  You have no way out. [...]"

Obamacare 'tech surge' experts are White House fellows.  President Obama promised elite Silicon Valley talent to fix Healthcare.gov, but so far his "tech surge" appears to consist of a handful of White House fellows assigned to the main contractor that designed the troubled website.  "If there were tech experts that were flown in from Silicon Valley, they did not land at our facility," said a knowledgeable official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Obamacare website administrator apologizes.  The hearing [10/29/2013] served as a hot seat for Tavenner, whose agency has been blamed for the website troubles causing a political headache for President Barack Obama and his signature health care reforms, as well as a venting session for Republicans after their failed efforts to scuttle the reforms.  Tavenner reports to Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who has come under fire for the problems that plagued the introduction of the enrollment website.

Top health exchange official apologizes for Obamacare website woes.  The head of the agency running the troubled federal government health insurance website apologized for the website's problems Tuesday [10/29/2013], promising they will be fixed. [...] "I want to apologize to you that the website has not worked as well as it should," Tavenner said.  "This healthcare.gov site is fixable," she added.  "The system is working.  It's just not working as smoothly and consistently as we want."

Tavenner: 'I Want to Apologize to You that the Website Has Not Worked As Well As It Should'.  Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator for the Centers for Medicaid & Medicaid Services that oversaw the office creating healthcare.gov, apologized in her opening statement on Capitol Hill Tuesday for the glitches that have plagued the website and turned into a national punchline.

The Editor says...
Apologies are easy.  Resignations are not.

Republicans Allege Obama Deception on Health Plan Cancellation.  "This is government-run health care because virtually every policy that is sold has to be approved by the government," [House Speaker John Boehner] said.  "That's why you've got 1.5 million Americans who are already gotten these notices that they're going to lose their health coverage because it doesn't meet the minimum standard."  Some health insurers across the country have begun notifying consumers that their existing plans are being discontinued because they don't meet minimum requirements under the Affordable Care Act.  The notices require those consumers to purchase a different plan, often for a higher premium than was previously paid.

Celebrities who promoted ObamaCare now quiet in wake of website debacle.  In the heady days after the October 1 launch of the Affordable Care Act — better known as ObamaCare — Lady Gaga, Amy Poehler, Nina Dobrev, Rosario Dawson, Sarah Silverman, Olivia Wilde, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Pearl Jam, Lance Bass, John Legend, Alyssa Milano and Kerry Washington joined the President to encourage Americans to #getcovered.  Since then, technical glitches and website snafus have so marred the ObamaCare website that the team who built it has been called to testify before Congress on Thursday [10/24/2013].  But there will be no celebrities flanking them on Capitol Hill, as the stars that helped launch the initiative are now being advised to walk away.

ObamaCare sites fail to rate insurance plans.  The consumer ratings are called for in the Affordable Care Act.  They would be provided by a respected independent company, allowing consumers to judge health plans by treatment outcome, service and consumer satisfaction.  Federal and state officials, though, largely decided it would reflect poorly on the insurance exchanges if some companies were rated and others were not — and have not yet published them.

Obamacare's Mugged by Reality Moment.  The main entry point into Obamacare for citizens in 36 states is healthcare.gov, an online portal through which consumers are supposed to enter personal information and then shop for health insurance.  But healthcare.gov is so poorly constructed that it is essentially useless as an enrollment system.  This is a website the Obama administration had three years to build.

Federal officials still mum on many Obamacare website problems.  Former White House aide Jeffrey Zients, who is heading up the administration's efforts to rescue the malfunctioning website, briefed reporters on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Friday [10/25/2013], but continued to remain vague about both the problems and possible solutions.  Zients still refused to say how many people had enrolled through the new health care exchanges.  He also refused to predict how many people would enroll by the Dec 15 enrollment deadline.

ObamaCare website has been [a] rolling disaster.  You can't afford to screw up your signature accomplishment.  And yet that's what the Obama administration seems to have done with the botched launch of HealthCare.gov.  After all of the overheated debates, the midnight votes and Supreme Court skirmishes, the long-anticipated October 1 ObamaCare debut has been a rolling disaster.

White House promises to fix Obamacare website by the end of November.  Jeffrey Zients, once the acting director of the Obama administration's Office of Management and Budget, is now a management consultant.  The White House brought him in this week to evaluate the website's woes and coordinate a plan to fix it.

Did White House Obamacare guidance stop ahead of 2012 election?  CBS News has been digging into the cause of the delays in preparing the website for the government's health insurance market and has learned was a major interruption in the months before President Obama's re-election.  At the height of the 2012 presidential election campaign, it was crunch time for the Obama administration to release key instructions so contractors could work toward the October 2013 deadline.

Obamacare's Ticking Clock.  It's a sure sign that the bar has been lowered to curb height when spinners are touting the exciting news that phone calls actually go through.  Someone picked up the phone!  Quick, hang that "Mission Accomplished" banner.  Never mind that you simply cannot buy insurance from the exchanges over the phone.

We should probably ask... November of what year?
Official: Federal health care site should be fully functioning by end of November.  The Obamacare website, plagued by major problems since its rollout at the start of the month, should be functioning smoothly by the end of November, according to the official now in charge of fixing it.

What Happened to All of Obama's Technology Czars?  Why does the White House need a private-sector "tech surge" to repair its wretched Obamacare website failures?  Weren't all of the president's myriad IT czars and their underlings supposed to ensure that taxpayers got the most effective, innovative, cutting-edge and secure technology for their money?  Now is the perfect time for an update on Obama's top government titans of information technology.

Xenophon on the Website Roll-out.  [Scroll down]  Now we move to the website.  The symbol of the incompetence in the roll out is stunning.  Where is the "smooth," the "cool" and the efficient in running things?  It would seem that the least gifted of administrators would have checked things out a while ago and begun to exercise a nudge here or there to get things going.  On top of all that some of the president's disagreeable qualities have become manifest.  Instead of fessing up like an ordinary guy and taking responsibility, we are treated to the full set of our leader's little pathologies.

No one is responsible.  The president was just as surprised as anyone else, as health secretary Kathleen Sebelius attested to CNN.  She told the network when the chief executive received reports of unexpected problems with his flagship website only after it had been launched. [...] It just inexplicably went bad.  However as soon as the president learned of the site's problems he swung into action, taking the opportunity to ask his many supporters for money to fix it.

Is Obamacare's 'tech surge' real?  On Sunday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a major "tech surge" to save the health-care exchanges.  "Our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve HealthCare.gov," they promised.  This is exactly what most everyone wanted to hear:  The Silicon Valley cavalry is riding to the rescue.  But in the days since, the White House has been extraordinarily secretive about who, exactly, is involved in this surge.

What didn't Obama know and when didn't he know it?  The administration is trying to get out in front of the Obamacare rollout disaster story, attempting to shift the narrative to 1) blame Republicans for the fiasco, and 2) absolve the president of any responsibility for the rollout.  Their latest effort involved making HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius available for an interview with that bulldog of a reporter at CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  Dr. Gupta is a very nice fellow, a gentle soul, who just happens to be a big supporter of Obamacare.  Let's just say if I were a PR hack at the White House and needed a friendly reporter to interview the person most directly responsible for the Obamacare disaster, I'd consider myself blessed if I were to snag Gupta for the softest of softball interviews.

To fix Obamacare website, Blow it up, start over.  Experts say the major problems with the Obamacare website can't reasonably be solved before the end of 2013, and the best fix would be to start over from scratch.

Obama using Obamacare meltdown to raise cash.  President Barack Obama is using the disastrous crash of his Obamacare website to extract cash and volunteer hours from his supporters.  "By now, you've probably heard that the website has not worked as smoothly as it was supposed to," Obama told his supporters in an email sent out late Tuesday [10/22/2013].  "That's why I need your help," he said, in a video pitch that links to an online fundraiser.

Obamacare: A broken website is doing more damage than the Republicans.  Could bad coding succeed where Ted Cruz failed?  Yesterday, President Obama came out and gave a speech admitting that the website that is crucial to Obamacare has failed disastrously.  "The affordable care act is more than just a website", he said.  That's true of Facebook too, but the point is, the whole thing won't work without the website.

Carney: Obamacare 'system is not failing'.  White House press secretary Jay Carney on Monday said Obamacare is "not failing" in the face of criticism that the administration botched the rollout of the new website responsible for enrolling consumers in the insurance exchanges.

Oh, by the way: The "tech surge" isn't going to rescue the ObamaCare website.  Or, to be more precise, it's not going to rescue the site anywhere near as quickly as the White House needs to avert disaster.  The task is simply too complex, and Healthcare.gov's problems too various, to get things humming smoothly within the three-to-four-week timeframe HHS is now realistically staring at.

The Health Site's Chaotic Debut.  The administration created the Web site so the buck necessarily stops with high officials — Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, and President Obama himself — who allowed this to happen.

HealthCare.gov feeds doubts about rollout.  Anyone who supports the plan to cover Americans who couldn't get health insurance has to hope the administration quickly gets it right.  But you can't help but wonder:  Where was all this frantic effort in the three-and-a-half years from the time Obama signed the health law to the day the exchanges opened on Oct. 1?

Sen. Marco Rubio pushes to delay Obamacare mandate.  Sen. Marco Rubio hit the television talk show circuit Tuesday [10/22/2013] touting his plan to delay the individual mandate in Obamacare until the government takes care of the mounting problems from the programs' costly website.  Mr. Rubio, a Florida Republican, said he will introduce a bill to put the individual mandate on hold because it is not fair to "punish people" for not purchasing a product that they can't purchase right now because the website is not working.

Poor Julia.  Yesterday I noted on Twitter that "The really funny part is that #Julia was a web designer."  Some people thought I was kidding.  But I wasn't.  Even better, the "Life of Julia" slideshow informed us that "For the past four years, Julia has worked full-time as a web designer. [...] Now, in the real world, thanks to Obamacare, her hours have been pared back to 29 hours and she's been dumped onto the exchanges where, as a young, healthy single woman, her premiums will go through the roof even as she earns less money.  That is, if she can even get onto a website created by and for people just like her.

You remember Julia, don't you?

Root cause of Obamacare website crashes is red tape, not technical glitches.  The history of information technology acquisitions by the government is a bit like the history of helicopters.  You spend a lot of money on something and most of the time, it lifts off the ground.  But more frequently than you'd like, it crashes, and when it does, it leaves a big fiery mess.  HealthCare.gov is but one of those fiery crashes.

White House Obamacare team: Best, brightest — and a mystery.  The "best and the brightest" also appear to be the cloaked and elusive.  President Barack Obama insists he's culled the country's tech elite to help repair the mangled Healthcare.gov website.  But the administration hasn't made its smart new crew public, and any of the tech companies or federal contractors involved remain tight-lipped.

Healthcare.gov is walking dead.  In a White House speech Monday, President Obama assured the public that his new health-care law is up and running even in the absence of a functioning Web site.  He told people they can call an 800 number instead of buying coverage online.  Reporters duly called the number and got busy signals, or when getting through and following the directions, got referred back to healthcare.gov.  This, no doubt, is another "glitch" — the administration's catchall word for the fact that it is almost impossible to enroll for insurance under ObamaCare.

A software installer's view on the Obamacare IT mess.  My prediction is that the December 15 drop dead date will come without these problems solved.  The Republicans offered a lifeline.  Make the individual mandate optional.  So what happens on December 15?  A real mess unless the insurers could extend the old individual policies they are phasing out for one year and make signup optional.

HealthCare Dot Commie.  The most surprising thing about the botched launch of Obamacare's "online insurance marketplace" is that the failure surprised anyone.  From the moment, during the 2008 presidential campaign, that Barack Obama began promising to reform our medical delivery system, conservatives have repeatedly warned the public that his view of the issue was distorted by tired statist shibboleths.  We pointed out that Obama's closest friends and most influential mentors were communists and that, for him, "reform" was a euphemism for "federal take-over."  Based on these realities, we predicted that Obama's brave new health care system would be a government-dominated, command-and-control disaster.

White House Was 'Extraordinarily Confident' About Obamacare Rollout.  [Scroll down]  So which is it?  Were the White House officials:  a. lying, or b. did they not know what a disaster was brewing?  I'd almost be tempted to go with 'b,' since it would have been colossally stupid and counterproductive to build expections for this wreck of a rollout.

Contractors See Weeks of Work on Health Site.  Administration officials approached the contractors last week to see if they could perform the necessary repairs and reboot the system by Nov. 1.  However, that goal struck many contractors as unrealistic, at least for major components of the system.

No More Apologies.  While Obama could probably continue to tell Americans that the Obamacare rollout is little more than an iPhone app in need of an update, his health care law actually needs uninsured people to choose to sign up or it will fail.  And so the spin can no longer stand.

Why Obama should be freaked out by Obamacare.  The White House has tried to position the failed first days of Obamacare as mere hiccups caused by the site's popularity.  Obama called them "kinks."  An administration spokesman told the Washington Post on Sunday [10/20/2013] that the "main driver of the problem is volume."  This is intentionally misleading.  The White House has heard complaints from insurance companies, consumers, and health policy experts about issues embedded deeply in the online system.

The White House has put 'the best and the brightest' on Obamacare. So who was on it before?  The Obama administration should have figured out a way to tap the tech world's "best and brightest" from the beginning.  But at this point, there's really no way for Silicon Valley to come in and save HealthCare.gov.  The key coordinator — which not only oversaw CGI Federal but all the other contractors building the site — was the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and in particular, their IT department.  But CMS didn't have the technological expertise to carry out this role — and they still don't.

Consumer Reports mag issues scathing advice:
'Stay away from Healthcare.gov for at least another month'.  The Obamacare program's flagship website is so error-prone and user-unfriendly that Consumer Reports magazine has thrown up its hands in disgust, advising readers to 'stay away from Healthcare.gov for at least another month if you can.'  The website's messy launch has been the subject of endless news reports, talk show segments and late-night comedy bits — adding to a full-time congressional inquiry and, now, questions about why Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is refusing to testify on Capitol Hill.

Consumer Reports: 'Stay Away From HealthCare.gov'Consumer Reports, which publishes reviews of consumer products and services, advised its readers to avoid the federal health-care exchange "for at least another month if you can."  "Hopefully that will be long enough for its software vendors to clean up the mess they've made," the magazine said, having tested the site themselves over the course of the past three weeks.

HHS brings in Verizon to help HealthCare.gov.  The international telecommunications company Verizon has been tasked with helping the government fix the federal health exchange, USA TODAY has learned.  An informed source in the telecommunications industry said Verizon's Enterprise Solutions division has been asked by the Department of Health and Human Services to improve the performance of the HealthCare.gov site, which is a key component of the Affordable Care Act.  The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not been made official.

Contractors See Weeks of Work on Health Site.  Federal contractors have identified most of the main problems crippling President Obama's online health insurance marketplace, but the administration has been slow to issue orders for fixing those flaws, and some contractors worry that the system may be weeks away from operating smoothly, people close to the project say.

Obama, the Manager.  Apple doesn't force you to pay a fine if you don't buy an iPhone.  If the late Steve Jobs had handled the rollout of its most important product in a generation this badly, he'd probably have been looking for a new job.  The "glitch" in the iPhone operating system didn't stop people from being able to use the product, and it was seamlessly fixed after a few days.  The Healthcare.gov "glitches" are in fact structural defects that may take weeks or months to repair.

Why ObamaCare is a fantastic success.  The GOP needs to stop calling ObamaCare a "trainwreck."  That means it's a mistake, or accident.  That means it's a gigantic flop, or failure.  It's NOT.  This is a brilliant, cynical, and purposeful attempt to damage the U.S. economy, kill jobs, and bring down capitalism.  It's not a failure, it's Obama's grand success.  It's not a "trainwreck," ObamaCare is a suicide attack.

More about Obama's intentional and systematic destruction of America's economy.

The Best and the Brightest.  Anyone who has been part of a federal project that involves technical work performed by contractors has got to be shaking his head today at the vision of outsiders swooping into a massive project and fixing complex mistakes.  The attempt to integrate new people with very high opinions of their own technical prowess into this mind-numbingly complicated undertaking will involve a lot of unpleasant meetings that waste the time of people who should be working on the site, [...] and it will all only delay the inevitable end game — which is that the contractors who screwed this up will need to be the people who unscrew it, they will do it slowly and clumsily, and they will get paid handsomely by the taxpayer for the additional work.

The Editor says...
At least when all the government's best IT people are concentrating on the obamacare web site repairs, they won't be tapping your phone and reading your email.

Four Ways to Fight Obamacare.  As [Michael] Cannon has been arguing for a while, Obamacare authorizes individual health-insurance subsidies only through state-established exchanges.  That means, as the law's written, the 34 exchanges created by the federal government are not supposed to distribute any subsidies.  The states that have rejected the Medicaid expansion and declined to set up an exchange by law have therefore actually defunded a good chunk on the law.

Where is the White House getting the money for ObamaCare's "tech surge"?  Unless I missed it, neither O nor HHS has said how big the "tech surge" is.  Maybe they've hired 200 people to come in and re-write millions of lines of code, or maybe they've convinced 10 highly regarded IT managers to come in and reorganize the site with the people already on staff.  I can kinda sorta buy that the latter might work pro bono, for the glory of "rescuing" ObamaCare, but not the former.  So if we're talking about dozens or hundreds of new contractors, where's that money coming from?

In Obamacare speech, Obama makes a desperate sales pitch.  It was an extensive pitch — a bit too extensive.  As Obama was closing his 27-minute infomercial, a woman standing right behind him passed out.  The people around her caught her, and Obama turned around to assist.  "This happens when I talk too long," he explained.  Talking too long, yes.  And protesting too much.  Obama's pitch sounded a bit desperate and perhaps it should.  The product he rolled out three weeks ago was seriously defective.

Obama has declared Healthcare.gov problems unacceptable. Problem solved.  The "unacceptable" speech is a staple of the Obama presidency.  Through gritted teeth, the president acknowledges something he'd rather not, usually something his administration has screwed up royally — Benghazi, the IRS scandal, or the push for intervention in Syria.  He detaches himself from the situation and all responsibility for what he's acknowledging while offering a stern lecture for those who caused the problem — usually someone he hired and under his direct instruction — and promising to get to the bottom of it.  He might show a flash of barely contained Spock-Obama anger to send a thrill up the legs of newscasters.

Healthcare.gov Obama's biggest lollygag to date.  A website up and running smoothly would be the best education in existence to teach people exactly how much ObamaCare is going to cost them.  Obama can't afford that kind of knowledge coming out until he and his Democrats are safely past next year's midterms.  Forbes magazine hit the nail on the head when it headlined "Obama's Website is Crashing Because It Doesn't Want You to Know How Costly Its Plans Are".

Friedrich Hayek, Central Planning, and Obamacare.  [Scroll down]  First, the problem isn't just that the information is limited, but that much of the existing information is flawed.  Take, for example, 47 million — the supposed number of Americans who don't have health insurance and one of the prime movers of the pro-Obamacare argument.  The figure is a complete joke that includes illegal immigrants, those who are temporarily in between insurance plans, and those who can afford insurance but opt not to buy it.  Yet it was cited repeatedly by Barack Obama, both on the campaign trail and as president (but I repeat myself).  Government can't centrally plan based on data because so often the data derived from sociologists and economists are fleeting, fudged, or wildly politicized.

Technology experts say poor design and last-minute change to blame for malfunctioning Obamacare website.  The Obamacare website — HealthCare.gov — has largely been dysfunctional since launching on October 1.  Technology experts are now explaining why the website isn't working, and they largely blame the site's manufacturers.  Lev Lesokin advises 250 businesses around the world on website efficiency and told CBS News that the problem with the Obamacare website is 'largely structural'.

Doomed From the Start.  On October 1, the online insurance marketplaces that are the lynchpin of Obamacare (as the law has colloquially become known) were opened for business — but it quickly became clear that they are not functioning properly.  Computer malfunctions have prevented enrollment, consumers are frustrated, and politicians and pundits are attacking Obama for the resultant "train wreck."  The problems are all the more embarrassing given that publicly funded health-insurance programs are commonplace in most other countries.

Obamacare, Failing Ahead of Schedule.  If you had told me, months ago, that weeks after the health care law's coverage expansion went into effect I would be writing about the problems its launch had exposed, I would have assumed I'd be writing about rate shock, rising premiums and the disappearance of many cheap insurance plans  — basically, all the problems conservatives have worried will make Obamacare a ruinously expensive failure if they play out as we fear they might.  I may be writing about those issues soon enough.  But for now there is a more pressing subject:  The online federal health care exchange, the heart of the Obamacare project, is such a rolling catastrophe that it may end up creating a major policy fiasco immediately rather than eventually.

Meltdown Now In Plain Sight.  If Obama and his fellow Democrats hoped that the startup "glitches" would soon fade from view as technicians patched up the federal exchange, they were badly mistaken.  Since its launch, ObamaCare's problems have only mounted.  Tech experts are now saying that the federal exchange site — which covers 36 states — may be hopelessly flawed.  USA Today reports that the government apparently used 10-year-old technology to build it, and quotes experts saying that it will need a complete overhaul before it works properly.

HHS calls in high-tech cavalry for Obamacare website fixes.  The Obama administration Sunday said it's called on "the best and brightest" tech experts from both government and the private sector to help fix the troubled website at the root of the Obamacare enrollment problems.

Maryland exchange, model of Obamacare implementation, won't be fixed until December.  [A] week into its launch, the Maryland exchange had reportedly enrolled only 326 people.  A week later, the number had improved to just a little over 1,000, and [Gov. Martin] O'Malley told reporters it could be six weeks before the exchange website was working smoothly.

ObamaCare software is endless nightmare.  It's not just a problem of overloaded servers.  Everyone knew there would be lots of traffic in a nation of 312,000,000 people.  Information-technology folks say it's easy to add servers.  It's harder to get software systems to communicate.  And as [Ezra] Klein quotes insurance consultant Robert Laszewski, "The backroom connection between the insurance companies and the federal government is a disaster."  The reconciliation system isn't working and hasn't even been tested, Klein reports.  Insurers are getting virtually no usable data from the exchanges.

House panel questions firms paid $$ for troubled ObamaCare website.  A House committee is probing the widespread technical problems with the launch of the ObamaCare website, including the contractors that were paid hundreds of millions of dollars to create it.  The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced Thursday [10/17/2013] they have scheduled a hearing on the issue for Oct. 24, and have asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to attend.

HHS Official: Sebelius not available to testify Thursday .  An official with the Health and Human Services Department said Friday that Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is not available to attend a congressional hearing next week on the Obamacare website glitches.  "Given that the government was shut down until today, we were given a very short timeline to respond to this request," the official added.

The Editor says...
Apparently we are supposed to believe that Kathleen Sebelius is too busy reprogramming the web site that she can't take time out to testify.  As usual, liberals think you're stupid.

Obamacare Website Violates Licensing Agreement for Copyrighted Software.  Healthcare.gov, the federal government's Obamacare website, has been under heavy criticism from friend and foe alike during its first two weeks of open enrollment.  Repeated errors and delays have prevented many users from even establishing an account, and outside web designers have roundly panned the structure and coding of the site as amateurish and sloppy.

Adventures in Obamacare.  In this series I've been trying to follow news and columns and editorials that report the unfolding Obamacare disaster.  The disaster is just beginning, and the federal Obamacare exchange is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  Today's Wall Street Journal carries a reported editorial documenting the omertá operative inside the Obama administration with respect to the technical issues bedeviling Healthcare.gov.  Kathleen Seblelius and others have clammed up.

How the Left Views Health Care.  The liberal view of health care is easy to describe: health care is too complex and complicated for individuals to make good choices on their own.  Therefore they need bureaucracies — employers, insurance companies or government — to make decisions for them.

Behind the curtain, more waving red flags for Obamacare.  As originally envisioned, Healthcare.gov (which serves the residents of 36 states) was supposed to enable individuals to shop for health insurance starting Oct. 1, 2013, just as they would shop for airline tickets on Orbitz.  But unlike Orbitz, Healthcare.gov makes consumers seeking information on their available choices go through a multi-step process to create an account and then log in and enter personal information.

Tech experts: Health exchange site needs total overhaul.  The federal health care exchange was built using 10-year-old technology that may require constant fixes and updates for the next six months and the eventual overhaul of the entire system, technology experts told USA Today.  The site could be perfect, but if the systems from which it draws data are not up to speed, it doesn't matter, said John Engates, chief technology officer at Rackspace, a cloud computer service provider.

Assessing the Exchanges.  Some blame the contractors involved for not being upfront about the potential for such fundamental difficulties, but some say the contractors did offer warnings, and especially that the contractors believed the time they were given for development was totally inadequate.  It seems clear, though, that the administration was not warned to expect quite what has happened here, and was not prepared for it.

Healthcare.gov Borrows Code, Leaves Out Copyright Notice.  The newest coding problem with Healthcare,gov, the website for the federal Obamacare exchanges, isn't exactly a glitch.  According to The Weekly Standard, the site uses an open-source script named DataTables, which was created by British developer SpryMedia.  The company makes the software available to anyone under two open-source licenses, but says the licensing requires that the code contain a copyright notice.

We Won't Back Down on ObamaCare.  Supporters of ObamaCare usually defend the law by insisting that they want to help people.  I won't question their motives.  I do wonder, however, if they understand what they're doing to the country.  We know that premiums are going up due to ObamaCare — Americans are getting notices in their mailboxes every day. [...] In North Carolina, for example, many consumers will find their premiums almost double when shopping on the government exchanges.  The hardest-hit states, such as Georgia, Arizona, Vermont and North Dakota, will see premium increases of up to 150%.

Humiliation: Design firm yanks Healthcare.gov credit from its website.  A fitting tribute to Obama and Sebelius, who helped wreck the Healthcare.gov site because hiding stuff was more important to them than getting it to work properly.

The Abysmal, Pathetic Obamacare Rollout.  It's a colossal, expensive failure that projects a 1970s-era DMV experience into cyberspace.  Welcome to Healthcare.gov, the botched website of Obama's botched health-care reform.

Health care exchange still plagued by problems.  Two weeks into the launch of the federal health insurance exchange, the website is still plagued with problems, leading critics to wonder if the problem is worse than it appears.  There are two key issues at the core of the problem, said Dan Schuyler, a director at Leavitt Partners, a health care group.  One is the volume, which Health and Human Services estimates at 14.6 million unique visitors, and the second is the platform's design.  The main problem, Schuyler said, could be "core fundamental design flow," but it's impossible to know because HHS is saying so little.  "Only the contractors and HHS know that," he said.

ObamaCare's Black Box.  The White House set low expectations for the Affordable Care Act's October 1 debut, so anything remotely competent should have seemed like a success.  But three weeks on, the catastrophe that is Healthcare.gov and the 36 insurance exchanges run by the federal government is an insult to the "glitches" President Obama said were inevitable.  This isn't some coding error, or even the Health and Human Service Department's usual incompetence.  The failures that have all but disabled ObamaCare are the result of deliberate political choices, which HHS and the White House are compounding with secrecy and stonewalling.

Two weeks in, Obamacare website still broken.  The Obamacare enrollment website remains badly broken despite two weeks of intensive round-the-clock efforts at repairs.  HHS isn't making any predictions about how long it will take to fix it — or rebuild it.  But advocates, lobbyists and industry officials are talking about it as a months-long repair effort.  How many months is an open question [...]

Premiums by state
How Will You Fare in the Obamacare Exchanges?  Enrollment in Obamacare's health insurance exchanges has proven to be a somewhat difficult process amidst technical glitches and delays.  Aside from the issues associated with actually purchasing health care, once an individual gets a quote for health insurance on an exchange, is the premium higher or lower than before?  Our research finds that for many states, the insurance on health exchanges will cost more than existing insurance.  This study illustrates that the general experience for individuals shopping on the exchange is that of increasing premiums from what was available to them prior to implementation of the exchanges.

Grand Theft Nation: Red States, Younger Americans See Highest Rate Hikes from Obamacare.  Obamacare was sold as a plan to make health insurance more affordable and more accessible.  Only a handfull [sic] of Americans live in states where insurance rates will actually decline.  In a few of those states, the declines are tiny.

Obama's Illinois [is] A Case Study In ObamaCare Horrors.  The president and his cohorts in the media have long accused Republicans of being out of touch with ordinary people.  Remember the concocted story about President Bush the elder being so out of touch he was unfamiliar with supermarket bar-code scanners?  But it's President Obama who's out of touch with ordinary people and the damage his Affordable Care Act is doing to them as they lose their doctors and current health insurance while being forced under penalty of heavy fines to buy plans they can't afford on a website that doesn't work.

Something very strange going on behind Healthcare.gov.  Hundreds of millions of Americans will use Healthcare.gov every day for decades to come if the site ever functions properly and Obamacare becomes as permanent a feature of American life as Social Security.  So, if you were picking the IT firm to design Healthcare.gov, you would spare no effort to make sure every potential bidder knew about the opportunity, that the integrity of the bid selection process was beyond question, and that the company most likely to create the best possible site got the award, right?  But that's not what happened with Healthcare.gov.

5 Reasons Even Backers Should Want ObamaCare Delayed.  Last week, CNN's Wolf Blitzer made waves when he opined that the ongoing problems with ObamaCare might be reason to delay the program.  "They had three years to get this ready," he said.  "If they weren't fully ready, they should accept the advice Republicans are giving them, delay it for a year, get it ready and make sure it works."  Blitzer later said he was only referring to the ObamaCare exchange website.  But as the rollout continues, there's increasing evidence that an across-the-board delay would make sense — even to supporters of the law.

States encounter ObamaCare impostors.  Attempts at imitating healthcare.gov have met with cease-and-desist letters; the sites could confuse consumers seeking to enter ObamaCare's marketplaces.  In New Hampshire, the insurance commissioner reportedly cracked down on one webpage last week that could have been mistaken for the state's insurance exchange.  And regulators from Washington, Pennsylvania and Connecticut are warning the health insurance industry against creating sites that might mislead the public.

Sebelius: ObamaCare To Bring 'Western Civilization To Its Knees'.  [Scroll down]  Then in a moment of intended sarcasm that was really one of unintentional honesty, the U.S. secretary of health and human services said, "As you know, we're facing the end of the Western Civilization by having a market-based strategy.  We are bringing Western Civilization to its knees by selling private insurance plans on a website where people can pick and choose."  People have long been able to buy insurance online and free to choose which insurance to buy and from whom or not to buy any at all.  By forcing people to buy a product they don't want, Sebelius and the Obama administration are bringing Western civilization to its knees — at least our Constitution-based part of it.

Obamacare's Website Is Crashing Because It Doesn't Want You To Know How Costly Its Plans Are.  Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping.  This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you're eligible for subsidies.  HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly.  But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare's insurance plans would scare people away.

Obama offers support for embattled Sebelius.  Two weeks into the federal government's disastrous launch of Obamacare's online marketplaces, the White House said Tuesday [10/15/2013] that President Obama still supports beleaguered Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in spite of calls for her resignation.  Complaints about the user-unfriendliness of HealthCare.gov are pouring in from consumers, insurers, opponents of the administration and even from presidential allies such as former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, who called the program's rollout "excruciatingly embarrassing."

Obamacare chart
The Krell machine.  Program that.  And program it so that nobody ever winds up in jail.  Remember that many of those neatly drawn boxes actually represent complex legal objects the violation of which may result in penalties or even jail.  From the current condition of the system it is evident — even to Ezra Klein — that the Obamacare ship has put to sea with the shipwrights still aboard.  This much is already consensus.  The question the diagram raises is actually different.  What the blueprint above asks is whether this ship can ever float in principle.  It asks whether the architecture by itself is proof of incompetence; whether it is ipso facto an act of criminal negligence.

The Obamacare implosion is worse than you think.  The administration claims the Obamacare online exchanges crashed because the Web site got more than 8 million hits in the first week.  Please.  You know how many people visit Amazon.com every week?  More than 70 million.  The difference is:  1.) Amazon seldom crashes, and 2.) on Amazon, people actually buy something.

GOP seizes advantage on Obamacare, White House struggles to defend.  Millions of people tried, and failed, to log into the Obamacare website; lots of stories there.  And what about the tales of pathetically small numbers of Americans who actually succeeded in signing up for coverage?  For example, there was a report that five people in all of Iowa had signed up; that state's GOP leaders could have been enlisted to make sure everyone knew that.

Smooth functioning may be months away for Obamacare website.  Starting on Oct. 1, Americans were supposed to be able to visit websites to purchase subsidized health insurance much as they do now with Expedia and Orbitz for other products.  Instead, Americans attempting to sign up have encountered error messages and long wait times.  The New York Times has now detailed that there were early warning signs that the exchanges would not be ready in time.

As bad as the ObamaCare Website has been, its actual implementation will be worse.
ObamaCare Best Advertisement for Libertarianism Ever.  No organization, legislation or plan in memory makes a stronger argument for the inferiority of government to the private sector than the black comically named Affordable Care Act.  The president himself seemed to realize this when he reached for a private sector comparison to explain ObamaCare's fumblings and delays by reminding us that even Apple has glitches when it rolls out a new product.  So it does.  But nothing remotely on the level of the ObamaCare website fiasco that still isn't anywhere near fixed.

Baghdad Bobs of Obamacare.  The technical issues that have bedeviled the rollout of Obamacare don't go to the root of the law's evil.  Nonetheless, the dishonesty with which the administration has publicly addressed them is endemic and representative of the foundational lies of Obamacare. [...] Characterizing Sebelius as the Baghdad Bob of Obamacare is unfair.  She is only one among many, including President Obama and Obama flack Jay Carney.  They repeatedly assure us, for example, that Obamacare is doing no damage to employment, though the evidence to the contrary is deep and persistent.

Repeal, Not Repair.  Obamacare cannot function without its individual mandate or its exchange subsidies, for example, so repealing those would amount to something close to full repeal while helping to ensure that result.  Republicans should therefore take clear aim at such targets at every turn, whether targeting them for repeal or delay.  They should also stand up against the lawless implementation of Obamacare, as they have by passing a bill to delay the employer mandate by law rather than by executive fiat, and another to prevent the illegal Obamacare congressional carve-out.

Obamacare is a blemish on American technology.  The White House and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) claim they do not know how many Americans have successfully signed up for Obamacare.  Unofficial reports say that perhaps as few as 51,000 people were able to complete applications during the first week.  Is President Obama angry about this roll out?  Does he not know what is happening?  How long can his administration pretend it doesn't know the extent of its problems?

Now Is the Time to Delay ObamaCare.  The Obama administration has an implementation problem.  More than any administration of the modern era they know how to talk but have trouble doing.  They give speeches about ObamaCare but when it's unveiled what the public sees is a Potemkin village designed by the noted architect Rube Goldberg. [...] They have trouble implementing.  Which, of course, is the most boring but crucial part of governing.  It's not enough to talk, you must perform.

If Only Obama Cared As Much for ObamaCare As He Did About Reelection.  The launch of the ObamaCare exchanges had long been slated for October 1 of this year.  The Obama administration had three years to build the website and almost half a billion dollars at its disposal to make it not only functional, but also secure.  From the morning of October 1, however, stories of its utter failure have reverberated through the normally Obama-friendly media.

Health Reform Breaks Bad:  The deceptions and disasters of Obamacare.  While Obamacare undoubtedly will do a modest amount of good, the urgent question is whether the law's supporters will come to see that the good pales in comparison to the damage.  Obamacare may still crash and burn (see Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988), or it may endure as a monument to government ineptitude and inefficiency (see U.S. Postal Service, whose deficit last year alone was $15.9 billion, despite being exempt from taxes, regulations, and even parking tickets!).

Healthcare.Gov's Flaws Found, Fixes Eyed.  Government officials are considering rebuilding some parts of the federally run health-insurance marketplace that have been identified as the key flaws that blocked many consumers from getting coverage.  Much of the problem stems from a design element that requires users of the federal site, which serves 36 states, to create accounts before shopping for insurance, according to policy and technology experts.  The site, healthcare.gov, was initially going to include an option to browse before registering, but that tool was delayed, people familiar with the situation said.  The decision to move ahead without that feature proved crucial because, [...]

Ben Carson: Obamacare worst thing 'since slavery'.  Dr. Ben Carson, a rising star in conservative circles, on Friday compared President Obama's health-care law to slavery.  "You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery," Carson, who is African American, said Friday in remarks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington.  "And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care.  It was about control."

Poll: Health Exchange Rollout Gets Poor Reviews.  The debut of the government's health insurance marketplaces drew a huge audience — and underwhelming reviews.

Some say health-care site's problems highlight flawed federal IT policies.  Problems with the federal government's new health-care Web site have attracted legions of armchair analysts who speak of its problems with "virtualization" and "load testing."  Yet increasingly, they are saying the root cause is not simply a matter of flawed computer code but rather the government's habit of buying outdated, costly and buggy technology.

ObamaCare Glitches Are A Sign Of Things To Come.  The White House says it will fix all the ObamaCare glitches and soon everything will be working fine.  That's about as believable as all the other ObamaCare promises.  If anything, problems are getting worse.

Government Shutdown Day 6: Lie, Lies, Lies and Five Guys.  Day Six and the Obamacare Website — riddled with "glitches," error messages and random question marks since it went live, is now officially down for "scheduled maintenance." [...] After 3 years in the incubator and we suffered a major system overload and complete failure just 5 days into the program.

The Editor says...
How many of you believe the website had scheduled maintenance during the first week of its operation?  The maintenance must have been "scheduled" right before it started.

Obamacare meltdown.  [T]he president really did promise that nothing would stop Obamacare from being implemented — not Tea Partiers in the U.S. House or government shutdowns, nothing.  That is unless you consider the dreadfully flawed technology, especially the software, which was to link eager would-be consumers of health insurance to the government that has promised them everything but delivered not so much.

Potemkin.gov?
Is Healthcare.gov only an empty shell mockup?  As the days of glitches, snafus, down-time and critical errors mount up, evidence is mounting that the Healthcare.gov Obamacare exchange is not actually a fully-formed online application.  More and more, it appears to be a mockup of a health care exchange enrollment system.  Think about it:  HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, on live television with Jon Stewart two nights ago, couldn't even answer the question of how many people have enrolled.  This is a statistic you would have immediately, in real time, if the database application were actually functioning.

Conservatives Demand Info on Obamacare Rollout Failure.  Conservative critics of Obamacare want to know how many people have actually purchased insurance through the president's signature legislation following the glitch-ridden rollout of the Obamacare website last week.  Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) launched a website Monday — obamacarecoverup.com — attacking the administration's refusal to release information about the number of enrollees.

If a private company did this, would it stay in business?
Obamacare Site Resets All Passwords to Try to Fix Issues.  Generally speaking, the "your username got eaten by the computer machine or lost in the interwebs tubes so choose a different one, and no, we don't know what happened to the original" isn't a best practice solution.  If I were a cynic, I might suggest they're just wingin' it at this point.

Republicans Didn't Sabotage Health Exchanges, Obama Did.  Essentially [the Obama administration] spent a week arguing that no one could have predicted that, in a country of 300 million people, 2.4 percent of those people might stop by sometime in the first seven days to check out the administration's signature legislative achievement.  We can now dismiss that theory, because the administration has:  "Six days into the launch of insurance marketplaces created by the new health-care law, the federal government acknowledged for the first time Sunday it needed to fix design and software problems that have kept customers from applying online for coverage."

IT experts skeptical Obamacare website has just "traffic" problem.  The other day, I wrote that long wait times are not the only issue with the Obamacare website, highlighting my skepticism of the administration's claims that high volume was to blame for all the glitches in the system.  It turns out that Reuters news agency spoke with five technology experts who expressed similar skepticism and question the architecture of the Obamacare website.

The Death Spiral Begins.  As a retired computer systems manager, I am always fascinated by large, complex software systems that fail — such as the Federal ObamaCare "insurance exchange" currently being rolled out at HealthCare.gov.  This software monstrosity is now in its second week, and most people trying to use it still can't get into the system, or else they can't create an account on it, or their account information is lost.

Obamacare Website Full of Software, Design Problems.  The Obama administration said last week that the Obamacare website was down due to a surge in traffic.  But now it says problems with the website are due to design and software flaws, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Software, Design Defects Cripple Health-Care Website.  [Scroll down]  The website is troubled by coding problems and flaws in the architecture of the system, according to insurance-industry advisers, technical experts and people close to the development of the marketplace.  Among the technical problems thwarting consumers, according to some of those people, is the system to confirm the identities of enrollees.  Troubles in the system are causing crashes as users try to create accounts, the first step before they can apply for coverage.

Obamacare glitches: Was website fixed this weekend?  Using overnight hours this past weekend to debug the system, the Health and Human Service Department hoped to fix the technological problems that overwhelmed the launch of new health insurance markets.  This past week, glitches have frustrated millions of consumers unable to complete their applications.  Enrollment functions of the healthcare.gov site were unavailable during off-peak hours this past weekend.

Analysis: IT experts question architecture of Obamacare website.  Days after the launch of the federal government's Obamacare website, millions of Americans looking for information on new health insurance plans were still locked out of the system even though its designers scrambled to add capacity.

5 Lessons For Entrepreneurs From Obamacare's Failed Launch.  Recent polls show that a majority of Americans would prefer to delay or terminate implementation of the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), AKA Obamacare.  While some citizens certainly oppose the law for ideological or macro-economic reasons, it is fascinating that many people who both originally supported the law and whom stand to gain from its enactment have become increasingly uneasy with its actual implementation.

ObamaCare site to go offline for more repairs.  Healthcare.gov, the primary website to enroll in health insurance through ObamaCare, will be taken offline again Monday night for improvements, following weekend work designed to fix major technical problems.  The site will be offline beginning at 1 a.m. in order to improve its capacity and make software changes, the Health and Human Services Department said.  HHS said the site had improved as a result of work done over the weekend.

How much worse will the ObamaCare website glitches get?  Said O this weekend of his massive technological faceplant, "Folks are working around the clock and have been systematically reducing the wait times."  No doubt that's true; the shutdown might stop the feds from manning the Amber Alert site, but rest assured they'll find a loophole to keep repairs to Healthcare.gov humming.  But how much is left to repair?

How AP altered its headline to protect Obamacare.  Don't believe the press is in the tank for Obama and Obamacare?  Well, check this out. [...] I realize this happens frequently, but the dishonesty is still breathtaking.  And this is why much of the MSM cannot be trusted:  they are not honest brokers of information, but a propaganda and marketing arm of the Obama White House, the Democratic Party, and the Left.

Wolf Blitzer: Shutting Down Obamacare Website For Repair "An Embarrassment".  Blitzer sarcastically notes the administration has "only had three years" to get ready for the roll-out.

Boehner hits White House over ObamaCare website repairs.  House Speaker John Boehner criticized the Obama administration's plan to disable a key part of its health overhaul website this weekend to resolve glitches that overwhelmed the launch of new health insurance markets.  "The news that its enrollment system is already going offline confirms that the launch of the president's health care law has been an unmitigated disaster," Boehner said in a statement Friday.

Obamacare: Error 404.  The wave of computer glitches that has undermined the unveiling of Obamacare now has its own YouTube video, thanks to the Republican National Committee.  The RNC today released "Error 404," which shows the frustration news organizations had signing on to the Obamacare site this week.

Can You Hear the ObamaCare Train Wreck Now?  The federal government had 1,288 days to build the ObamaCare exchanges, where millions are supposed to enroll.  Yet they were crashing across the U.S. on opening day.  Your health care is in the best of hands.

California: So, Obamacare exchange traffic wasn't actually 5 million; it was 700K.  California's lie about its first official day of failure in administrating Obamacare is just a preview of what (even more) politicized health care looks like.  Some states, to their credit, did release statistics from opening day that they've not yet had to retract. [...] Look forward to many years of stalled FOIAs to find out anything about the massive amounts of health care data, performance stats, and patient care results Obamacare collects, and how they're using them.  Look forward to strategic release of statistics that serve each administration's narrative and donors.

After rocky start, Obama admin. launches awareness campaign.  Slow Web service continued to plague the exchanges that form the foundation of the Affordable Care Act more than 24 hours after their Tuesday morning launch.  It was a problem Republican critics pounced on as a sign that their fears had been well-founded.  "The rollout of this thing made a trip to the DMV look like a good time," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said Wednesday.

Officials tight-lipped about problems with enrollment at ObamaCare opening.  The Obama administration offered few details Tuesday about the technical problems that locked consumers out of new health insurance marketplaces.  Officials from the Health and Human Services Department would not say how many people enrolled in coverage through healthcare.gov, the website for federally run insurance exchanges in 36 states.  The website was unavailable for most of the day, and technical issues also forced some state-based exchanges offline shortly after they launched Tuesday morning.

Obama now says Obamacare will bring months of 'glitches'.  President Obama said in comments broadcast Tuesday, on the cusp of enrollment in Obamacare's exchanges, that of course there will be "glitches" in the implementation of the health reform -- months of glitches, he added.

Narrative Fail: Media Forced to Acknowledge Obamacare Failures on Shutdown Day.  The topic had been shifted.  Now the question wasn't whether the government should be shut down over Obamacare.  Now the question was why in the world the Obama administration hadn't insisted on an Obamacare delay rather than rushing a disastrously glitch-prone program to the public.  President Obama and his allies spent the rest of the day on defense, attempting to play off the major errors in the system as a result of user overload.

Despite Three-and-a-Half Years to Prep Obamacare, A Fiasco Takes Shape.  The best clue that the initial open enrollment period for Obamacare's health insurance exchanges is destined to be a bureaucratic nightmare which will fail virtually every benchmark came on Saturday morning.  Hadas Gold and Kyle Cheney at Politico, two advocates posing as reporters, all but begged the press to avoid "any rush judgments (which) could have a big impact on public opinion of the law" during its critical first few days.  They described administration officials as "pleading with reporters to avoid being seduced into treating every technical snafu as a catastrophic failure."

ObamaCare's Technology Mess.  President Obama is bracing Americans for inevitable problems as the Affordable Care Act rolls out this week, but what he calls "glitches" are hardly routine.  Information technology is ObamaCare's Achilles' heel.  The faulty IT will expose Americans to lost data, attempts to enroll online that fail and the risk of fraud.

Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with... what?

The GOP's Last-Ditch Effort To Repeal ObamaCare Is Surprisingly Good.  Put together by Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsay Graham, the plan would take the money being spent on ObamaCare's insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion, and give it to states in the form of fixed block grants.  States would then have wide latitude in how they spend the money — for example, they could use it to set up high-risk pools, reduce out-of-pocket costs, pay providers or subsidize premiums.  They'd also be able to get out from under ObamaCare's disruptive and costly market regulations and benefit mandates.  It would repeal ObamaCare's individual and employer mandates, and its tax on medical devices.  It would expand Health Savings Accounts and for the first time let those with accounts spend HSA money on insurance premiums.  It would reform the rest of Medicaid by replacing the current open-ended matching grant program with fixed per-capita payments.  And it would also let states impose work requirements for able-bodied adults enrolled in Medicaid.

The Last Best Hope to Euthanize Obamacare.  After September 30, Senate Republicans will no longer be able repeal, replace, or otherwise alter Obamacare with a simple majority vote.  For all intents and purposes, that means they have exactly 12 days to keep a solemn promise they have repeatedly made to the voters.  Beginning in October, any meaningful change to the "Affordable Care Act" will require the cooperation of the Democrats, who have pledged to filibuster any bill that fails to bail out the imploding health care law.  That leaves the GOP with precisely one realistic option — pass the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ) bill before the end of the month.

Sanders Admits His Health Plan Will Bankrupt the US.  Bernie Sanders's single-payer health care plan released yesterday offered no cost estimate, and no funding mechanism, though a credible estimate from the Urban Institute of a previous Sanders proposal came in at $32 trillion of new spending for the first ten years.  I suspect that for Sanders, this is a feature and not a bug.

Democrats want to cancel the health policies of 180 million Americans.  ObamaCare falsely promised Americans they could keep their health plans, but what Democrats really had in mind is now clear:  They want everyone to lose their insurance and take what government gives them instead.  That's obvious from Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All scheme, rolled out Wednesday with the support of the party's chief 2020 presidential hopefuls.  ObamaCare kicked some 7 million people off their plans.  But Bernie's bill would outlaw both employer-paid health care and private insurance for individuals.  That is, more than half the country — 180 million people — would have to say good-bye to their current plans (which they're mostly happy with) and switch to BernieCare.  (Most of the other half is already on some form of government health plan.)

Medicaid for All Would 'Bankrupt the Nation,' Warns Bernie Sanders — In 1987.  Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced new legislation yesterday [9/13/2017] to expand Medicare to everyone in the United States.  The bill, which came with 15 Democratic co-sponsors, envisions universal coverage, paid for by tax increases, that would be far more generous than what is offered by any other first-world government-run health care system offers.  Notably absent from Sanders' proposed single-payer system was a detailed plan to pay for it.  The senator said he would lay out the tax hikes necessary to fund his new system in separate legislation.  That may be because enthusiasm for single payer tends to die down pretty quickly once people get a sense of what sort of tax increases would be necessary to fund it.  An Urban Institute analysis of a previous version of Sanders' plan estimated that it would cost $32 trillion over a decade.

Dems are stampeding to support 'health care from hell'.  This week, Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced legislation calling for "Medicare for All," a single-payer system that would put government firmly in charge.  His proposal was backed by 17 senators — one-third of the Democratic caucus — including New York's Kirsten Gillibrand.  Bernie's plan is long on promises, with benefits far more generous than current Medicare, including dental and vision care.  In fact, the benefits would be more generous than almost any national health-care system anywhere, including Canada.  And it would all be "free."  No deductibles, copayments or out-of-pocket costs.  What's not to love? [...] BernieCare has not yet been scored by the Congressional Budget Office, but independent analysts suggest it will cost at least $1.4 trillion per year.  That would be equal to 36 percent of our current federal budget.

Canadian Doctor, Sander's Guest, Notes Year-Long Wait Under Canadian Single-Payer.  A Canadian doctor appearing on Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I., Vt.) podcast highlighted the year-long wait times in a health care system similar to the one that Sanders supports.  Dr. Danielle Martin appeared on Sanders' podcast, the Bernie Sanders Show, to discuss the Canadian single-payer health care system.  Sanders' Medicare-for-all bill, which went to the Senate floor on Wednesday [9/13/2017] with 15 Democratic co-sponsors, is intended to create a similar system in the United States.

The Democrat Repeal and Replace Plan:  Single-Payer.  There is a significant bloc of conservatives who believe that Obamacare was always a gigantic bait-and-switch operation.  The advocates of this view have consistently said that Obamacare's true goal was to wreak so much havoc on the health care system that the voters, the vast majority of whom don't support single-payer, would eventually become so frustrated by the chaos that they would accept any "solution" that promised to make the pain stop.  Once that point was reached, the theory goes, the Democrats would be able to get single-payer through Congress.

First, cut off the birth control mandate, then kill it.  In January 2012, President Barack Obama finalized his regulation banning employers from offering their staff health insurance unless it paid the entire cost of birth control.  The penalty for providing coverage without birth control was set at $100 a day per worker — more than 15 times as much as the penalty for offering no coverage at all.  This mandate was not part of the Obamacare law passed by Congress.  It probably wouldn't have passed if the controversial proviso had been included.  In the time since, the mandate has been battered by litigation.  A unanimous Supreme Court recently rebuffed the Obama administration's efforts to impose it on religious nonprofit organizations.  The parties and government have tried to negotiate a compromise that respects religious freedom but have not yet found one.

The Obamacare Drama Is Not Over.  The Republican Congress's failure to repeal and replace Obamacare is of course embarrassing, and may well be a political blow to the GOP, as most expect.  Still, we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that Congressional Republicans actually set out to save Obamacare, and not a single Democrat was willing to join in the effort.  The future of Obamacare could be grim.

Dems Will Make Us Suffer before Obamacare Repeal.  Medicaid was originally designed as a program to guarantee healthcare for the poor.  ObamaCare was in reality, mostly an expansion of Medicaid.  After the passage of the ironically named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) most of the boasted increase in those with coverage ended up in Medicaid metamorphosing the program into healthcare for the poor and non-poor alike.  Along with this came the establishment of one-size-fits-all insurance policies.  In other words, policies that were designed to include Democrat politically perceived universal exigencies instead of individual healthcare needs.

A plea to Republican politicians to prevent an Orwellian health care system.  A few hesitant Republican senators hold the future of our health care funding system in the balance.  The public has indicated that this issue is the highest-ranking concern for the people.  Time is quickly evaporating to repair the damage wrought upon us by the Obama administration when it pushed through the Affordable Care Act.  Perhaps a short review of the situation is in order.

7 Years of Promising Obamacare Repeal Leaves Republicans Just 1 Option.  Obamacare is failing.  It has done little to fulfill its original promise of producing more choice and lower costs, and worse, has set off a cascading set of problems that will increasingly hurt the American people. [...] It is inexcusable for the GOP, which has majorities in Congress, a president in the White House, and widespread officeholders in the states, to fail on delivering on its most prominent and recurring promises from the past seven years.

Senate GOP Decides to Keep Obamacare.  I miss the old days, when Republicans stood for repealing Obamacare.  Republicans across the country and every member of my caucus campaigned on repeal — often declaring they would tear out Obamacare "root and branch!"  What happened?  Now too many Republicans are falling all over themselves to stuff hundreds of billions of taxpayers' dollars into a bill that doesn't repeal Obamacare and feeds Big Insurance a huge bailout.  Obamacare regulations?  Still here.  Taxes?  Many still in place, totaling hundreds of billions of dollars.  Insurance company bailouts?  Those, too.

"Conservatives" willing to murder unborn babies to pass healthcare.  We begin with a lunch Trump held yesterday with Republican Senators — notice I didn't say conservative Senators — to discuss the so-called repeal of Obamacare.  During the meeting, Trump repudiated the House healthcare bill pushed by Paul Ryan even though he once praised the legislation.  Calling the House effort "mean," he demanded that the Senate create a replacement bill will be "generous, kind," and show "heart."  He also repeated his promise to spend more money on the whole thing.  So, what will all this look like?  Unfortunately, we aren't likely to find out until the very end, and then it will be too late.

47 Conservative Groups and Activists:  The Senate Should Repeal All Obamacare Taxes.  The U.S. Senate should accelerate or maintain the tax relief in the House passed American Health Care Act, 47 free market groups and activists today wrote in a letter addressed to Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).  Recent media reports suggest the Senate may delay or eliminate repeal of some of these Obamacare taxes.  As the coalition notes, this would be a mistake.

Obamacare Repeal Moves Steadily Forward.  Last week, while most of Washington obsessed over the self-serving cavils of a cashiered federal bureaucrat, Senate Republicans focused on a project much nearer to the hearts of the voters — repealing Obamacare.  And the GOP made significant progress in that effort.

Cornyn: Obamacare Will Be Repealed 'By July'.  Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn pledged Wednesday [5/31/2017] that Senate Republicans will pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare this summer.  Cornyn, appearing on the "Chad Hasty Show," said that the Senate will "absolutely" repeal Obamacare "by the end of July at least."  The Senate leader cautioned against those who claim Republicans are "running out of time," but said "we do need to take care of business."  "You mention healthcare and that's certainly front and center in the United States Senate, something that we will have to get resolved here in the next few weeks and I expect that we will," Cornyn said.

Where Is The Democrats' Plan To Fix ObamaCare?  This week ObamaCare suffered two more blows, making a replacement plan all the more urgent.  Not that you'd know it, since all anyone wants to talk about is how horrible the Republican replacement plan supposedly would be.  Why aren't Democrats being pressured to produce their own fix?

House approves Obamacare repeal bill.  The House passed legislation Thursday [5/4/2017] to repeal and replace Obamacare, as Republicans came closer than ever to realizing their seven-year pledge to overturn the Democratic law and remake health insurance for millions of Americans.  The plan, the American Health Care Act, was approved mostly along partisan lines, 217-213, with just one vote to spare.  No Democrats backed the bill, and a slew of Republicans opposed it as well.

Dems Taunt GOP For Voting To Replace A Collapsing ObamaCare.  What does this bill do again?  First and foremost, it accepts ObamaCare's central premise — that private insurance companies should be banned from denying coverage to anyone who has a pre-existing condition, or from charging them higher premiums.  In addition, it preserves ObamaCare's costly essential health benefits.  These are, mind you, the very regulations that are causing ObamaCare premiums to skyrocket, the young to refuse to buy coverage, and the massive insurance industry losses. [...] Nor does the bill reverse ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion, at least not initially.  It does propose to alter Medicaid's funding so that both the state and federal governments can get costs of this program under control.

Why can't House repeal Obamacare?  Because a lot of Republicans don't want to.  Republicans have 238 seats in the House.  Repealing Obamacare will require 217 votes.  Even with unanimous Democratic opposition, Republicans could lose 21 votes and still prevail on repeal.  Why haven't they done it?  By this time, it's becoming increasingly clear that Republicans have not repealed Obamacare because a lot of Republicans do not want to repeal Obamacare.  They don't even want to sorta repeal Obamacare.  The bill currently on the table, like the bill pulled in March, falls far short of a full repeal of Obamacare.  And yet Republicans still cannot agree on it.

How to Craft an Effective, Politically Viable Repeal-and-Replace Bill.  Given the united Democratic opposition, inside-the-bubble D.C. thinking has made the tug-of-war between Republican moderates and the Freedom Caucus into an impossible zero-sum game.  But a viable path for free-market health-care reform still exists — if Republicans in Congress can coalesce around some key ideas, such as pursuing smart insurance deregulation that puts families back in charge, creating a targeted and robust free-market safety net, and unleashing productivity and innovation by unshackling the health-care-delivery system.

A Guide To Repealing ObamaCare, Hidden In Plain Site.  The GOP has apparently decided that, despite the problems it causes, any ObamaCare repeal plan must keep the core feature of ObamaCare — its protections for those with pre-existing conditions.  Are they not aware that several states have already gone through this exercise before, and that many ended up abandoning these very protections after their insurance markets started to implode?

Republicans Claim That Obamacare Repeal Is Still On The Table, Don't Believe Them.  On one side of the debate, there's the Freedom Caucus and other hard-core conservatives who want nothing less than the complete repeal of the PPACA, including portions that are popular with the public such as guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, the ban on lifetime coverage caps, and the provisions which allow adult children to remain on their parents policy up until the age of 26.  As far as replacement goes, this group is often rather vague at what they are aiming at, but typically what you hear from them involves returning to some kind of "free market" in health care which they apparently (and falsely) think existed before the PPACA became law, allowing insurance companies to operate across state lines, which isn't really forbidden under current law but is also not as easy as they make it sound, and Health Savings Accounts combined with high-deductible catastrophic care coverage for things other than routine medical procedures.

Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks Introduces One Line Bill to Repeal Obamacare.  On the same day that the House of Representatives canceled its vote on Ryancare, Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks filed a simple one-line bill to repeal Obama's signature health care law.  The Huntsville Republican titled the bill 'Obamacare Repeal Act."  It is short and to the point, AI.com reported.  "Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted," the bill reads.

Why "repeal and replace ObamaCare" has always been a scam.  During every election cycle, to maintain the illusion of representative government, Republicans tell voters exactly what they want to hear.  After the election, successful Republicans candidates either simply ignore their campaign promises or offer legislation that provides the appearance rather than the substance of fulfilling those promises, usually in a form constructed to reward their real constituents, the special interests.  No one should be shocked.  The American Health Care Act H.R. 1628, RyanCare, TrumpCare or whatever you prefer to call it, is the bill the Republicans were working on for seven years.  The Republicans championed "repeal and replace" because it was a more effective campaign slogan and fund-raising tool than "tweak."  People should have known what was coming — that Republicans would never decisively act against ObamaCare [...]

The GOP's Obamacare retreat: Another circular firing squad.  Since 2010 the House of Representatives had staged dozens of symbolic Obamacare repeal votes, which it knew full well were futile as long as what's-his-name had his feet up on the Oval Office desk.  Repeal was torpedoed by a rump pack of Republicans themselves who've shown a keen interest in policy-strutting but none in the actual teamwork of governing.  It's worse than embarrassing.  After seven long years of Obamacare opposition, Republicans couldn't agree on what to repeal and what to substitute.

Steve Bannon Says American Health Care Act 'Written by the Insurance Industry'.  The failure to repeal and replace Obamacare would be a stinging defeat for Trump.  But it would be an even bigger defeat for Paul Ryan, who has all but staked his Speakership on passing this bill.  And in the hall of mirrors that is Washington, the big winner to emerge out of the health-care debacle could be Steve Bannon.  That's because Bannon has been waging war against Ryan for years.  For Bannon, Ryan is the embodiment of the "globalist-corporatist" Republican elite.  A failed bill would be Bannon's best chance yet to topple Ryan and advance his nationalist-populist economic agenda.  Publicly, Bannon has been working to help the bill pass.  But privately he's talked it down in recent days.  According to a source close to the White House, Bannon said that he's unhappy with the Ryan bill because it "doesn't drive down costs" and was "written by the insurance industry."

What to Do About Obamacare and the Uninsurable?  Free Markets and Charity!  When it comes to repealing and replacing Obamacare, defenders of President Barack Obama's signature domestic law constantly ask, "What about those with pre-existing illnesses?"  After all, the most popular feature of Obamacare is that it prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage because an applicant has a pre-existing illness.  And President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan insist that those with pre-existing conditions will be covered.  But by agreeing with Obama on the issue of pre-existing illnesses, by promising to replace Obamacare "with something better," Republicans are making a massive concession:  That access to health care insurance should be guaranteed by the federal government, and that denying people coverage based on their health history is unfair and should be prevented by law.  That's a lot for the supposedly limited-government party to buy into.  Free markets are the best way to improve quality, accessibility and affordability.  But by campaigning to "repeal and replace" Obamacare, by refusing to make the case that free markets beat government-controlled health care, they've done just that.  So the question now simply becomes who pays and how much.

Tom Cotton Nails It On The AHCA.  Medicaid reforms, notably the imposition of a work requirement for certain recipients, are desirable, but peripheral.  It's all about the premiums and the deductibles.  If, under a Republican plan, premiums/deductibles continue to rise, people will believe that Obamacare's replacement made things worse.  They will blame Republicans and the GOP will pay a heavy price.  No Republican should support replacement legislation unless he or she is confident it will result in better outcomes with regard to premiums/deductibles.

The Big Missing Piece In The ObamaCare Replacement Debate.  Critics of the Republican's ObamaCare replacement plan — and many moderate Republicans as well — complain that it will result in millions losing insurance.  What nobody asks is whether we have too much insurance today.  Insurance, after all, is supposed to make health care more affordable.  But what if it's making it less so?  University of Michigan economist Mark Perry recently compared inflation rates for health care with price increases for cosmetic surgery.  What he discovered was illuminating.  From 1998 to 2016, the overall inflation rate was 47.2%.  But for medical care services, prices went up 100%.  And for hospital services, the inflation rate was 177%.

How to Repeal and Replace ObamaCare ASAP.  Because President Trump reportedly told a closed-door meeting of grassroots conservative leaders on March 7 to expect another, companion healthcare bill to hit the House as early as this past week, it is likely that a set of modifications has already been codified (articulating such additional desired features as interstate competition, expansion of medical savings accounts, and promotion of insurance-pools).  To ensure prompt Senatorial passage, a simple-majority vote would be necessary to abolish the Byrd Rule, allowing for a simple-majority vote to suffce to pass the AHCA.

Democrats need to help fix the Disastercare they created.  Disastercare has jumped the ditch and flipped over the guardrail and is now teetering on a cliff about to slide off into the abyss.  And while there may have been some stupid, reckless Republicans (In Name Only) who eight years ago abetted Democrats in their dangerous scheme to saddle the poor with unffaordable housing loans, there was not one single Republican in Congress who supported Mr. Obama's dangerous scheme to destroy health care in this country.  Not a single one.  And yet here we are today, and the entire onus on fixing Disastercare rests squarely on the shoulders of President Trump and congressional Republicans.  Mr. Obama and his "Choom Gang" Democrats are standing around whistling and smoking their joints.

Psychopolitics and the Republican Repeal of Obamacare.  On first impressions the bill also appears to do away with the so called individual mandate; however, upon closer scrutiny it is learned that a failure to maintain insurance still results in a fine, it is just paid directly to the insurance companies as opposed to the IRS.  What the Republicans are offering is anything but a full repeal of the unconstitutional law.  In fact, it is nothing more than an expansion on the idea that government should be in control of health care.  The Republicans have become fearful of repealing the law because they have been made to believe that the majority of Americans accept this to be a government responsibility and they don't want to take it from those that are dependent.  In other words, Republicans have been brainwashed into believing that dependency is the new norm.

This just in from the Projection Booth:
Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber says Republicans setting up a 'scam'.  MIT economics professor and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber said that any healthcare replacement law the GOP has in store is a "scam."

How Trump Can Gut Obamacare Without Congress.  [Scroll down]  Undoing all of this, like untangling a knot, requires backing up, reversing the process in order.  Which is why the current House repeal plan is a reconciliation bill, involving only budgetary items, not needing the 60 votes necessary, and unobtainable in the current Senate, to repeal the actual legislative bill.  This is not a defense of Paul Ryan and his establishment pals, but those are the rules.  Just as three outs are needed to end an inning, not two outs.  A straight repeal bill would be filibustered in the Senate and never pass.  Could President Trump use executive orders to dismantle Obamacare?  Perhaps, but lawsuits will follow, thwarting each executive order, as is happening with Trump's immigration orders.

No, Waiting for ObamaCare to Implode is Not an Option Either.  As more people begin seeing through the fog of political "talking points", the next response from those suffering from battered conservative syndrome is to say:  well, do nothing, and allow ObamaCare to simply self-destruct.  Unfortunately, this is not an option.  At least it's not a reasonable option.  To understand how battered conservatives are being lead around, used and abused, it is very important to understand the abusers.  There are many.

Why Republicans Are Losing Steam On Obamacare Repeal.  If you want to know why Republicans have bogged down, notice one peculiar thing about the Obamacare debate so far.  It's not really a debate over Obamacare, it's a debate over Medicaid.  That's because Obamacare mostly turned out to be a big expansion of Medicaid.  The health insurance exchanges that were supposed to provide affordable private health insurance (under a government aegis) never really delivered.  They were launched in a state of chaos and incompetence, and ended up mostly offering plans that are expensive yet still have high deductibles.  Rather than massively expanding the number of people with private insurance, a lot of the effect of Obamacare was to wreck people's existing health care plans and push them into new exchange plans.

Paul Ryan predicts 'bloodbath' if Republicans don't unite behind Obamacare replacement bill.  House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) agreed Sunday [3/12/2017] there would be a "bloodbath" if his party didn't unite behind his Obamacare replacement bill, even as Republican opponents to the proposal continued blasting it and as the White House dismissed the importance of an imminent Congressional Budget Office analysis expected to conclude that the plan will leave more Americans uninsured.

Rep. Jordan:  Fulfill Promise to Voters with 'Clean Repeal' of ObamaCare.  U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) joined "Fox News Sunday" to discuss the replacement to ObamaCare.  The Freedom Caucus member said he is not for the proposed House GOP health care bill, known as the American Health Care Act, and said there is much opposition to that plan in the House and the Senate.  Jordan said he is in favor of a clean repeal to ObamaCare first — a motion he introduced in Congress this past week.

Republicans Cave On ObamaCare.  Seven years after vowing to repeal ObamaCare, Republicans have labored to produce plan that replaces ObamaCare with ... ObamaCare.  The plan released Monday — called the American Health Care Act — has some good parts.  It repeals ObamaCare's multitude of largely hidden but no less destructive taxes on health insurance plans, medical devices, flexible spending accounts and so on.  It gets rid of ObamaCare's individual mandate and the job-killing employer mandate.

Obamacare Repeal:  The Dangers of Unrealistic Expectations.  From the moment the GOP released the American Health Care Act, the first iteration of what will evolve into Obamacare repeal and replace legislation, conservatives have been griping.  The editors of Investor's Business Daily sum up the general reaction of the right thus:  "Republicans have labored to produce plan that replaces ObamaCare with... ObamaCare."  Interestingly, the editorial goes on to refute this argument by listing the bill's positive attributes, including repeal of the law's individual mandate, employer mandate, countless hidden taxes, and its expansion of HSAs.  Yet IBD's editors conclude that it "supports all the key elements of Obamacare."

President Trump Outlines Principles for Congress to Repeal and Replace Obamacare.  In a speech to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, President Donald Trump outlined five principles to guide lawmakers when repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.  "Tonight I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower cost, and at the same time provide better health care," the president said.  "Mandating every American to buy government approved health insurance was never the right solution for our country."  "The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we are going to do," the president said.

Key GOP senator:  For many voters, Obamacare is 'a subset' of the Affordable Care Act.  Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), the co-sponsor of legislation that would replace most of the Affordable Care Act by allowing states to keep portions of it, hears "repeal" differently than some Republicans.  In a scrum with reporters this week, Cassidy said that "Obamacare" was not really a synonym for the Affordable Care Act.  For many voters, he said, "Obamacare" meant the parts of the law that Republicans would get rid of, and the Affordable Care Act was the provisions, such as continued coverage for people with preexisting conditions, that Republicans intended to keep.

The Right Way to Repeal.  After years of campaigning on the need to repeal and replace Obamacare, Republicans in Congress are in disarray about what to do now that voters have empowered them to do just that.  In his address to Congress on February 28, President Donald Trump helpfully exercised some leadership by letting Republicans know what kind of replacement plan he prefers.  "We should help Americans purchase their own coverage through the use of tax credits and expanded health savings accounts," Trump said, "but it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by the government."

Voters won't forgive Republicans if they fail to repeal ObamaCare.  Two months into a new Congress and a bill to repeal ObamaCare has yet to move.  Initially, Republicans had hoped to put a repeal bill on President Trump's desk on his inauguration day.  Then the timeline moved back to Presidents Day in February.  As we head into March, the timeline threatens to slip again as a GOP plan to repeal and replace is coming under serious conservative criticism.  The draft repeal plan leaked last week replaces parts of ObamaCare with a plan that centers on a refundable tax credit — a new program that conservatives fear could cost nearly as much as ObamaCare itself.  That approach has left a lot of conservatives scratching their heads.  Of the refundable credit approach, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told the Wall Street Journal, "It's a long, fancy title for an entitlement program."

There's No Turning Back From ObamaCare Repeal.  For weeks, headlines across the country blared about protesters showing up at town hall meetings to attack Republicans who wanted to get rid of ObamaCare.  And two new polls show public support for the law suddenly growing.  At the same time, the GOP has been fumbling around in search of a strategy to repeal and replace the law.  Now we have the specter of prominent Republicans undercutting the entire effort.  Former House Speaker John Boehner predicted last Thursday that ObamaCare won't be repealed, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Republicans should work with Democrats to mend, not end, the law.  It wouldn't be surprising if some lawmakers are starting to wonder whether repeal is worth the hassle.

Rand Paul Joins Freedom Caucus to Kick Off Conservative Obamacare Replacement Drive.  Capitol Hill conservatives rallied behind the bill sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) to replace the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, with a patient-centered federal policy at a Wednesday [2/15/2017] press conference at the Capitol.  "This is a big, big day for conservative Republicans," said Paul, who was flanked by members of the House Freedom Caucus.  The senator, who has been a physician and eye surgeon for more than two decades, said that for the last six years, Republicans have promised voters that they would repeal and replace Obamacare.

Cutting the health insurance Gordian Knot.  I've seen this many times in my practice.  Uninsured patients are financially "wiped out," or even forced to declare bankruptcy or sell their homes because of exorbitant medical bills ten times what insured patients pay.  In most cases, they would have been able to pay their bills if they had only been charged what insured patients pay.  Most medical businesses show no mercy to the poor.  But with one simple executive order, President Trump could reduce their healthcare costs by 90%.

Krauthammer: Not Repealing Obamacare 'Would Be the Ultimate Betrayal of the Electorate'.  Republicans are between a rock and hard place when it comes to fixing Obamacare.  For years Republicans ran on the campaign promise to repeal and replace the former president's signature legislation, but with millions of people already on it, repealing and replacing is easier said than done.  This reality seems to have set in for some key Republicans, who are now making fixing the Affordable Care Act their goal, rather than dismantling it and beginning anew.  But if the GOP backs out of its oft-repeated pledge to repeal and replace, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer says it will be the "ultimate betrayal of the electorate."

Tom Price has his finger on the Obamacare destruct button.  Tom Price spent years railing against Obamacare.  Now he'll finally have sweeping power to do something about it.  The Georgia Republican congressman is on the verge of becoming the Trump administration's top health care official, armed with broad authority to begin unwinding Obamacare by using as much executive power as possible, even as Congress struggles to find consensus on a plan to repeal and replace the health care law.

Some Congressional Republicans say we should just fix Obamacare, forget repeal and replace.  We're going to repeal and replace Obamacare with something terrific.  That was a campaign pledge made by President Trump on the campaign trail.  Yet, he also said his replacement plan would cover everybody.  Despite what the Left may think, there is a way to move towards universal coverage that that isn't as a one-size-fits-all package that's fraught with government mandates.

GOP senator: 'We only have so much power to repeal' ObamaCare.  Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is warning that the GOP can only do so much to repeal ObamaCare, downplaying lawmakers' ability to completely dismantle the law.  "We only have so much power to repeal certain elements of ObamaCare through reconciliation — 51 votes — the taxes, the subsidies," Johnson told CNN on Friday morning [2/3/2017].  "So many of the market reforms — I would call them the market distortions — that have caused premiums to skyrocket and out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles to skyrocket, those are probably going to need 60 votes.  And it doesn't sound like the Democrats are really willing to bear the responsibility of the mess they created."

Republicans Express Doubts Over Obamacare 'Repeal and Replace' Plan.  Some Republican lawmakers are beginning to have doubts about the GOP's plans to repeal and replace Obamacare, they revealed in a closed-door gathering Thursday [1/26/2017] in Philadelphia. [...] The Washington Post reported Friday that some Republicans appeared to be wavering over how to follow through on their long-held promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Trump has committed the most revolutionary act I've seen in 45 years.  Within four hours of becoming president of the United States, Donald Trump signed an executive order intended to limit immediately the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) in ways that are revolutionary.  With the stroke of a pen, the president assaulted the heart of the law that was the domestic centerpiece of his predecessor's administration.  How did this happen?  How can a U.S. president, who took an oath to enforce the laws faithfully, gut one of them merely because he disagrees with it?

Trump's Obamacare Order Is Bigger Than You Think.  A textbook example of the bureaucratic mischief that the President's order seeks to stop is the contraception mandate.  Nothing resembling this edict appears in the "Affordable Care Act."  It was the brainchild of HHS apparatchiks and arbitrarily added to the list of "minimum essential benefits" that all health insurance must include, whether sold through Obamacare's exchanges or offered by businesses to their employees.  The damage done by this one regulation, in terms of restricting religious liberty, destroying businesses, and wasting taxpayer dollars, is incalculable.  This executive order seeks to prevent further such outrages.

GOP senators unveil ObamaCare replacement bill.  Two Republican senators on Monday [1/23/2017] unveiled one of the first ObamaCare replacement bills of the new Congress — a state-centric plan they admit is imperfect but describe as a tangible start to overhauling the 2010 health care law on a bipartisan basis.  "We recognize that our bill is not perfect," said Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who introduced the 2017 Patient Freedom Act with Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, a physician and fellow Republican.

POTUS Signs Executive Order That Could Gut Obamacare's Indivdiual Mandate.  Mr. Trump, nor those in HHS, cannot do away with the mandate.  That's part of the actual law, unlike, say, the Contraception mandate, which was created out of thin air.  But, they could change the hardship exemption, and provide other exemptions, just like Obama did.  Because the Mandate portion is pretty specific about the timeframe which applies the penalty/tax/fee, and what that penalty would be.  Perhaps the hysterical writer of the Washington Post article, and those who wrote others, should read the actual text of the bill.

Will TrumpCare Be Worse Than ObamaCare?  Trump has the right political instincts about how to get rid of ObamaCare.  Rather than repeal a portion of it through the reconciliation process — as Republican congressional leaders propose — then delay even that until a replacement plan gets hammered out, Trump figures it should all be done at the same time.  Democrats own ObamaCare, he notes, and partially repealing it while diddling around on a replacement will only shift blame for all future ObamaCare failures to Republicans.  But it's when Trump got around to describing his own plan — which no one has seen, apparently — that things got very worrisome.

Republican senator to propose eliminating mandates in Obamacare bill.  U.S. Republican Senator Rand Paul said on Sunday [1/15/2017] that the Obamacare replacement bill he plans to unveil would get rid of some of the mandates for health insurance coverage with the aim of bringing down the cost of insurance.

Number of people who will lose health care upon repeal is zero.  Repealing the Democratic Party's Patient Protection Act and Affordable Care Act of 2010 does not end health insurance for millions of people.  Nothing of the sort.  What the repeal does is end all the mandates in the act.  Employers will continue to offer company-subsidized health insurance.  Those states who took on expanded Medicaid coverage will continue to offer it.  Insurance policies will continue to cover birth control.  Repealing the mandate should not change those policies, unless the insurer wants to.

Trump vows 'insurance for everybody' in Obamacare replacement plan.  President-elect Donald Trump said in a weekend interview that he is nearing completion of a plan to replace President Obama's signature health-care law with the goal of "insurance for everybody," while also vowing to force drug companies to negotiate directly with the government on prices in Medicare and Medicaid.  Trump declined to reveal specifics in the telephone interview late Saturday with The Washington Post, but any proposals from the incoming president would almost certainly dominate the Republican effort to overhaul federal health policy as he prepares to work with his party's congressional majorities.

House cements path to Obamacare repeal.  Congress has officially taken the first step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act after the House voted to approve a budget resolution that directs committees to start crafting legislation to repeal the law.  The House voted 227-198 Friday to approve the resolution a day after the Senate voted 51-48 to clear it.  Nine conservative House Republicans voted against the measure:  Justin Amash of Michigan, Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Walter Jones of North Carolina, John Katko of New York, Raul Labrador of Idaho, Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Tom McClintock of California.

5 Big Myths About ObamaCare's Repeal — Busted.  Democrats are predicting doom and gloom if Republicans make good on their ObamaCare repeal plans.  Aren't these the same Democrats who promised that ObamaCare would be a huge success?

Republicans move to spend billions on Obamacare — before they kill it.  The irony is deep:  Republicans have never voluntarily funded an Obamacare program.  This particular subsidy, which covers out-of-pocket health care costs for low-income participants, has been a GOP target since 2014 when House Republicans went to court to argue the White House funded it unconstitutionally.  Republicans were exultant last May when the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in their favor, even though the payments were allowed to continue pending an appeal.  Now, though, several Republican sources say they will have no choice but to appropriate the money.

What to expect from Obamacare's replacement.  Former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid paused on his way out the door to warn, "People are going to die" if the health-care law is repealed.  His successor, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, was only slightly less gloomy, warning of "chaos" and claiming ObamaCare repeal would "make America sick again."  New York Times columnist Paul Krugman suggested Republicans were preparing to "snatch insurance away from millions," while a CNN report claimed that repeal would lead to the loss of 3 million jobs.  Let's all get a grip.  Initially, any changes will be very small and incremental.  Repeal won't happen overnight, or all at once.  Rather, Republicans are likely to establish a sunset date, three or four years from now, allowing time to craft a replacement.  Still, sooner or later, we'll be living under a very different health-care system.  Therefore, over the next few days, we'll take a look at what it's really going to mean for health-care consumers, patients, doctors, hospitals, insurers, businesses and taxpayers.

The Obamacare hustle.  News recently broke that executive actions are being put in place to start unwinding Obamacare.  President-elect Donald Trump and his team are preparing for pullback of the health care bill starting on Day One.  Like a penny-stock boiler room, you can picture the legions of Obamacare-touting politicians aligning their fear sell.  Cue the panic.

Obamacare Repeal Is on the Way.  As soon as the newly elected 115th Congress was gaveled to order last week, both houses got to work on the long-promised effort to "repeal and replace" the failed legislation known as Obamacare.  The Senate, with its more cumbersome rules, began 50 hours of debate on a budget resolution that will eventually repeal much of the law by reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority of 51 Senators.  In the House, "replace" was launched with a bill endorsed by the 170-member Republican Study Committee, which is by far the largest caucus in the chamber.

Democrats Now Totally Willing To Work To Fix Obamacare.  For the most part, Democrats have avoided campaigning on Obamacare since it was passed.  Most did not even want to discuss it.  It was a loser topic, which has seen Democrats go from a wildly majority party before the 2010 midterms to massive losses at the federal, state, and local levels.  They own this lock, stock, and barrel.  So, what do they want to do now?

Growing chorus of GOP senators could doom Obamacare repeal.  A small but expanding group of Republican senators are casting doubt on whether Republicans are moving too fast to repeal Obamacare without a replacement ready.  More than five senators expressed doubts in the last week about immediately repealing the law but leaving it intact for a few years while a replacement is created and approved.  Major sticking points include adding billions of dollars to the deficit and a measure included in the repeal bill to defund Planned Parenthood.

Obama: GOP 'Afraid' to Show America What They Will Replace Obamacare With.  Friday [1/6/2017] on a live webcast for Vox, President Barack Obama said the Republicans were "afraid" to show their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.  Obama said,"The strategy of repeal first and replace later is just a huge disservice to the American people."

On Obamacare Repeal, Republicans Use [the] Same Game Used To Pass It.  This has liberals very freaked out, but, as David French notes, what comes around goes around, because, as Vox notes, Democrats cannot stop it.

U.S. Republican senator introduces Obamacare repeal resolution.  Republican U.S. Senator Mike Enzi introduced on Tuesday [1/3/2017] a resolution allowing for the repeal of President Barack Obama's signature health insurance program, which provides coverage to millions of Americans, Enzi's office said in a statement.  The move by the Senate's budget committee chairman on the first day of the new Congress set in motion the Republican majority's promise to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, as its first major legislative item.

Here's how Republicans plan to repeal Obamacare within weeks of Trump taking office.  In the weeks following the presidential election, there's been some debate about whether Republicans would actually go through with repealing Obamacare as opposed to getting cold feet.  But after a number of conversations with senior GOP leadership aides in both chambers of Congress, this is the message I've received:  Republicans are moving full-speed ahead on Obamacare, and could have a bill repealing much of the law on President Trump's desk within weeks of him being sworn into office.

Repealing Obamacare is A Giant Middle Class Tax Cut.  Congressional Republicans have vowed that one of their first acts next year will be to send legislation repealing Obamacare to the desk of President-elect Donald Trump.  Doing so will not only repeal a failed law that has resulted in skyrocketing premiums, cancelled healthcare plans, and billions in new, wasteful spending, it will also provide a giant tax cut to middle class Americans.  Obamacare imposed roughly one trillion in higher taxes over ten years, including at least seven that directly hit middle class families.  Repealing these taxes will provide much needed relief to the paychecks of families across the country.  Repealing Obamacare will also undo Barack Obama's broken promise not to sign "any form of tax increase" on any American making less than $250,000.

Death Panels:  Obamacare IPAB Repeal Can't Wait Three Years.  You have to ask yourself, if Republicans couldn't agree over the last eight years of the Obama administration on a replacement bill, what do they think three more years is going to accomplish?  It's not like there's an easy solution, it's just nobody had time to deal with it yet because there were more pressing matters.  Many Republicans spent many hours diligently working on a health care bill, but every effort fell apart in acrimony.  The big problem with waiting for three years is the law has plenty of terrible things in store before then.  For example, the law's rationing mechanism — officially called "Independent Payment Advisory Board" or, colloquially, the Obamacare "death panels" — is still in place and threatens to cause major damage to the health care system.

After Repeal.  It's the opportunity Republicans have been awaiting for six years, which invites the obvious question:  Are they going to screw it up?  In January, a united Republican Congress and Republican White House will finally have the ability to dispose of Obamacare, the unpopular and destructive health-insurance law.  After running four straight national elections against the jammed-through, unconstitutional, failing, expensive, and disastrous Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the GOP finally has the power to do something about it.

Obamacare RIP: Republicans Finally Have a Plan.  Two days after the election, President-elect Donald Trump met with outgoing president Barack Obama to start planning the transition.  Until then, the Republican successor to the White House had adamantly insisted that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) had to be repealed on day one of his administration.  After an afternoon with Obama, Trump appeared to back down a little from that campaign promise.  "I told him I will look at his suggestions, and out of respect, I will do that," Trump said of the discussion the two had about the future of the ACA.  "Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced."

Here's how Trump's HHS pick wants to replace Obamacare.  By tapping House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price to serve as his Secretary of Health and Human Services, President-elect Trump would add to his team one of the most serious and knowledgeable Republicans on healthcare policy, and in the process press his finger on the scales of the internal GOP debate over how specifically to replace Obamacare.  In contrast to many Republicans, who have talked in terms of repealing Obamacare without offering their own vision for the healthcare system, Price, an orthopedic surgeon, has for years been refining his own detailed plan.  In fact, he was one of the few Republicans who introduced an alternative bill in 2009, during the actual debate over Obamacare.

Republicans Begin to Unite Around Obamacare Repeal Plan.  Republicans' talks of repealing the Affordable Care Act became a possibility following Trump's victory over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton last week.  In the days following the election, scholars and lawmakers began floating plans to unravel the health care law.  But now, House and Senate budget leaders have endorsed a proposal that involves Congress passing two budget resolutions — one for 2017 and one for 2018 — early next year, the first of which would instruct lawmakers to use a budget tool called "reconciliation" to dismantle the health care law.

Donald Trump Is Right:  You Can Repeal Obamacare And Still Cover Everyone With Pre-Existing Conditions.  Liberal tongues were wagging all over the internet on Friday, because Donald Trump promised to repeal Obamacare, while guaranteeing health insurance coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.  They claim Trump's goal is impossible.  But the joke's on them, because in this case, Donald Trump is right.  Some outlets, like the Wall Street Journal, were breathlessly reporting that Trump was backing away from his pledge to repeal the health law.  "Donald Trump, in Exclusive Interview, Tells WSJ He Is Willing to Keep Parts of Obama Health Law," wrote Monica Langley and Gerard Baker.  "President-elect hints at possible compromise after vows to repeal the Affordable Care Act."  Liberal tongues were wagging all over the internet on Friday, because Donald Trump promised to repeal Obamacare, while guaranteeing health insurance coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.  They claim Trump's goal is impossible.  But the joke's on them, because in this case, Donald Trump is right.  Some outlets, like the Wall Street Journal, were breathlessly reporting that Trump was backing away from his pledge to repeal the health law.  "Donald Trump, in Exclusive Interview, Tells WSJ He Is Willing to Keep Parts of Obama Health Law," wrote Monica Langley and Gerard Baker.  "President-elect hints at possible compromise after vows to repeal the Affordable Care Act."  And what were the parts of the law Trump expressed openness to preserving?  Two minor provisions: [...]

Writing on the Wall:  Replace Obamacare, Stat.  With the news that Obamacare premiums will go up by an average of 22 percent next year, the Democrats and their media cheerleaders have engaged in Olympic-caliber hand-waving and misdirection, anything to avoid admitting the obvious:  that the program is poorly designed, incompetently executed, and based on false assumptions about what actually ails the U.S. health-care system.  The case for replacing the law entirely has never been stronger.

Economist: The ObamaCare nightmare is coming true.  Here's what needs to happen.  ObamaCare is becoming a nightmare.  Health insurance premiums will jump an average of 22 percent in 2017, and federal spending to assist moderate income families is spinning out of control.  For Democrats, the answers are simple — raise taxes on the wealthy to further subsidize a failing system — or force a single payer system — which can dictate prices to service providers and compel their participation — onto reluctant Americans.  For conservative Republicans, the issue is more vexing.  Merely repealing the law is not enough, because that would hardly return America to a free market.

Obamacare's Public Option Is No Longer Defensible.  Since I last wrote about it, Aetna's withdrawal from the Obamacare exchanges has ginned up even more drama.  Jeff Young and Jonathan Cohn of the Huffington Post published a letter in which Aetna told the Justice Department that it would reduce its exchange participation unless Justice allowed the merger with Humana to go through.  This has naturally triggered a firestorm of accusations about "extortion" and renewed calls for a public option that can protect people against the threat of insurance-less insurance exchanges.  Could a "public option" fix the problems on the exchanges?  More precisely, the question is:  What problem would a public option solve?

A Big Step Toward Repealing and Replacing Obamacare.  Like the Obamacare alternatives advanced by the 2017 Project, the Hudson Institute, Ed Gillespie, Tom Price, and Scott Walker, the House GOP plan would finally fix the tax inequality in health care — which favors job-based insurance over individually purchased insurance — by offering a simple, refundable, non-income-based tax credit to those who buy health insurance on their own.  (Those who don't use their whole tax credit could put their savings in a health saving account.)  Why should someone who has to buy health insurance on his own not get a tax break while his next-door neighbor, who has job-based insurance, gets a tax break?  Fixing this longstanding tax inequity, combined with repealing Obamacare, would allow the individual market — finally — to begin flourishing.  Meanwhile, the GOP plan wisely wouldn't touch the tax treatment of the typical American's job-based insurance — that wouldn't change one iota.

Speaker Ryan:  Patients Should Be 'Driving the Healthcare System'.  House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled the Republican Party's alternative to Obamacare at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) on Wednesday [6/22/2016], saying that patients, not government officials, should "be the ones driving the healthcare system."  "Obamacare focused on quantity, because it put bureaucracy first.  Our plan will focus on quality, because we put patients first," Ryan said.  "We think that's the way to go.

Ryan, Republicans Aim Big with Obamacare Replacement.  House speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday [6/22/2016] that the House GOP's new Obamacare replacement is focused more on quality than quantity.  That's true, as far as the substance goes.  But as far as the number of proposals in the health care package is concerned, quantity doesn't take second place to anything.  The comprehensive platform released as part of Ryan's "A Better Way" agenda unifies several Republican priorities from recent years with a couple of popular Affordable Care Act carryovers.  It counters a central Democratic critique of the GOP — that its only health-care idea has been to eliminate the president's health-care law — and aims to encourage a competitive insurance market that suppresses costs and ups the quality of care.

Obama's Veto Just Postpones the Inevitable.  On Friday [1/8/2016], the President vetoed H.R. 3762, which would have repealed Obamacare's worst provisions.  This was not a surprise.  Nor was it, as the law's apologists claim, an indication that the fight is over.  As House Speaker Paul Ryan put it, "The idea that Obamacare is the law of the land for good is a myth.  This law will collapse under its own weight, or it will be repealed. ... It's just a matter of time."  Only one vote, Obama's, saved it this time.  If he is replaced by a Republican next January, the "Affordable Care Act" will go shortly thereafter.  Advocates of Obamacare scoff at the suggestion that it will ever be repealed.  These people would do well to remember that the supporters of the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) had a similarly smug attitude.

President Obama Vetoes Health Care Repeal Bill.  The president's veto comes after the House's recent passage this week almost entirely along party-lines, 240 to 181, to repeal the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood.  Just one Democrat voted for the bill and three Republicans voted against it.  The Senate passed the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act in December.  It was successful because Republicans used the process of budget reconciliation that prevented a filibuster by Senate Democrats.

Congress sends health law repeal to Obama's desk for first time.  The bill repealing most of President Obama's signature health care law was approved in a final 240-181 House vote Wednesday afternoon [1/6/2016], after clearing the Senate late last year.  The legislation also would strip federal funding for Planned Parenthood.  The measure still faces certain doom at the White House, and Democrats derided the vote Wednesday as pointless.  The president is sure to veto, and Republicans do not have the votes to override.

Obamacare Repeal Bill: More Than Mere Symbolism.  The President, congressional Democrats, and their media allies have attempted to portray the partial Obamacare repeal passed by the Senate last Thursday as cynical GOP posturing.  As MSNBC phrased it, "It's not exactly a secret that when congressional Republicans vote to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act... it's not because they intend to succeed."  The Democrats want to convince the electorate that the Senate bill is just another "symbolic" GOP repeal effort.  But it isn't.  This measure will actually reach Obama's desk [...] The Senate bill and the President's inevitable veto will constitute a practical and timely demonstration of his party's contempt for representative democracy.

Senate votes 52-47 to gut key parts of Obamacare.  The Senate approved a bill Thursday [12/3/2015] that would gut much of the Affordable Care Act, marking the first time both chambers of Congress have voted to repeal President Obama's signature health care law since it became law five years ago.  The bill passed by 52-47 but will not head to the president's desk yet.  While the House approved a similar repeal measure, the Senate amended it, which will require the House to vote on the bill passed Thursday by the Senate.  While the House is likely to pass the Senate's version, the legislation will never become law.

Senate Plan to Repeal Obamacare Could Include Major Concession to Conservatives.  Last month, the House sent a fast-track reconciliation bill to the Senate that repeals parts of Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, and defunds Planned Parenthood.  But three prominent conservatives — Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Mike Lee of Utah — said they won't support the House's Obamacare repeal bill unless it goes farther to eliminate more provisions of the law, including Medicaid expansion.

How Hillary Clinton and the left will move Obamacare into single-payer.  If you loathe Obamacare, you're going to hate what the Democrats have planned next.  Their imminent assault on health care will go far beyond the quasi-socialized medicine of Obamacare.  While Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed satisfaction with the Supreme Court's recent decision in King v. Burwell, which upheld federal subsidies in states that did not establish their own exchanges, she must have been disappointed that she didn't have the decision to herself.  Her major primary opponent, Sen. Bernard Sanders, a Democratic-Socialist, has long been in front of her on full-blown socialized medicine, generally known as single payer.

Colorado Looks to Replace ObamaCare With Something Even Worse.  Conspiracy theorists who think ObamaCare was just a steppingstone to a single payer system now have a shred of evidence to back up their claim.  Next November, a voter initiative on the ballot in Colorado would, if approved, dump ObamaCare and replace it with ColoradoCare, a Medicare-type program for all of the state's residents.  To finance it, the initiative would impose a new 10% payroll tax, which amounts to a $25 billion tax hike.

ColoradoCare would replace Obamacare with statewide single-payer plan — at $25 billion cost.  With Colorado's shaky Obamacare exchange in peril, some health care advocates are calling for voters to scrap it and replace it with something far more ambitious.  Proponents of a statewide single-payer health care system have submitted 156,107 signatures, far more than the 98,492 required to qualify for the November 2016 ballot, to the Colorado secretary of state's office for verification.

CBO: Repealing Obamacare mandate would save taxpayers $305B.  Congressional budget minders say repealing Obamacare's "individual mandate" would save taxpayers more than $305 billion and increase the number of uninsured Americans by 14 million over the next decade.  The mandate requires people to obtain adequate health insurance or pay a tax penalty, unless they qualify for a financial exemption or other carve-outs spelled out in the Affordable Care Act of 2010 and regulations authored by the Obama administration.

Walker, Rubio, and Jindal Lead the Way on Replacing Obamacare.  Perhaps today will mark the beginning of a new phase in the long campaign for the GOP nomination for president in 2016.  That's possible because two of the leading candidates — Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and Florida senator Marco Rubio — have offered serious plans for replacing Obamacare in its entirety.  (In Senator Rubio's case, he reiterated in an op-ed the principles of a plan he outlined several months ago.)  They, along with Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, are now the candidates who can speak most credibly about what's wrong with Obamacare, because they have actual plans to do something about it.

Obamacare: Pull It out by the Roots and Replace It with a Plan That Works.  Obamacare was nothing more than a bait and switch.  But Americans never took the bait.  In 2010, as President Obama and his fellow Democrats were trying desperately to ram Obamacare down our throats, they made one false claim after another.  They told us health-care premiums would go down.  They insisted if you liked your health-care plan you could keep it.  They guaranteed Obamacare wouldn't include any tax increases for the middle class.  Americans didn't buy these lofty promises then, and they certainly don't now, given that each and every one of them has been broken.

ObamaCare battle not over, despite court ruling.  President Obama declared Thursday [6/25/2015] that "the Affordable Care Act is here to stay," after winning yet another round in the Supreme Court.  But the battle's not over — a host of legal and political challenges remain, and if anything, Republicans say they are more emboldened than ever to repeal the law.  "ObamaCare is fundamentally broken, increasing health care costs for millions of Americans.  Today's ruling doesn't change that fact," House Speaker John Boehner charged in a statement Thursday [6/25/2015], vowing to continue efforts on Capitol Hill to "repeal the law and replace it with patient-centered solutions."

House ready to repeal pieces of Obama health care law.  Despite White House veto threats, the House is ready to vote to repeal taxes on medical devices and kill a Medicare advisory board that foes say would ration health care as the chamber aims its latest whack at President Barack Obama's health care law.

The New Congressional Plan to Repeal and Replace Obamacare.  A group of House Republicans unveiled a 192-page health care plan that fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with "patient-centered reforms" and "free-market solutions."  Lawmakers released the plan Thursday [6/4/2015] as the GOP-led Congress prepares to attack the Affordable Care Act.  Both houses of Congress have already signaled their intentions to repeal Obamacare by a simple majority vote using the reconciliation process — just as the law was passed in 2010.

Senate committee formally begins process to repeal Obamacare.  The Senate Budget Committee sent formal instructions Friday [6/5/2015] to committees tasked with leveraging a fast-track budget tool to chalk up a major, if symbolic, GOP victory:  the repeal of Obamacare.  The congressional budget for fiscal 2016 instructs chairmen of the Finance and Health committees to each find ways to reduce the deficit by $1 billion over the next decade.  Earlier this week, House budget negotiators sent similar instructions to its committees on Education and the Workforce, Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means.

An Obamacare Replacement That Works.  Tom Price, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, is the latest Republican to unveil a conservative health-care plan to replace Obamacare.  It's a good plan, although it could be made better — and it helps to clarify some of the trade-offs involved in health policy.  Price's plan would give people tax credits to buy health insurance.  The credits would be based on age but not on income.  Everyone between 35 and 50 would get $2,100 a year, for example.

A second chance to get America's health care right: Give authority to our states.  Health care reform has dominated our nation's political and social conversations for the past six years.  After the implementation of ObamaCare, it is clear the law brought radical change and real pain to our nation's families, economy, and health care system.  The promised "affordable health care fix" made things worse.

A Step Toward Repealing and Replacing Obamacare.  The effects of repealing Obamacare, and replacing it with a conservative reform that moves us away from government control even by comparison with the pre-Obamacare status quo, would be hugely consequential.  The reverberations from its defeat would be felt across the American political landscape.  Such a profound rejection and reversal of the progressive worldview and agenda would strengthen the resolve of conservatives, shake the confidence of liberals, and usher in further conservative victories.  Needless to say, a failure to repeal and replace Obamacare despite a GOP presidential victory would have the opposite effect.

Ted Cruz: In 2017, GOP president will sign legislation 'repealing every word of Obamacare'.  As the administration touted new health insurance enrollment numbers on Monday [3/16/2015], Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas predicted a Republican president would undo the entirety of President Obama's signature domestic achievement upon taking office in 2017.

The Editor says...
Senator Cruz seems to have a great deal more confidence in the Republican Party than I do.  Unless Mr. Cruz himself is the next president, I find it hard to believe that the next Republican president will actually follow through on the threat to undo Obamacare.

A plan to repeal ObamaCare — root and branch.  Now that Republicans have taken over in Congress, you're expecting great things, but I wouldn't hold my breath.  You should expect to be disappointed.  Many will have you believe that a full repeal of ObamaCare is not possible, but, in fact, it is.  Unfortunately, it may not happen.

Obamacare is an empirical failure that must be replaced.  Since being elected to Congress, I have never supported Obamacare.  This is a piece of legislation that was sold to the American people through a number of broken promises.  Over time, these promises were debunked.  Most recently, a top Obamacare consultant, MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, was exposed for explaining why deceit and, in his own words, the "stupidity of American voters" was needed to enact this law.

Obamacare Replacement: More Covered, Fewer Pained.  Republicans announced a plan on February 4, just weeks before the Supreme Court will hear a second challenge to the health law.  If the president loses in court, he will have to deal with this GOP blueprint, not dismiss it.  Gone are the major features of the Affordable Care Act, including mandates on individuals and employers, numerous taxes, and the Independent Payment Advisory Board.  Instead, the blueprint offers tax credits for low-income citizens, more consumer choice, regulatory relief for employers and medical malpractice reform.

The GOP's 'ObamaCare backup' — ready if Supremes gut law.  For five years, President Obama has ridiculed Republicans for not having "a meaningful alternative" to ObamaCare.  The tables are turning.  Republicans announced a plan on Wednesday, just two weeks before the Supreme Court will hear a new, major challenge to the health law.  If the president loses in court, he will have to deal with this GOP blueprint, not dismiss it.

Cruz: Obamacare Passed With Reconciliation,'Can Be Repealed With Reconciliation'.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said "absolutely," the Senate should use reconciliation and "every procedural means possible" to repeal Obamacare.  CNSNews.com asked Cruz, "Given that the Senate enacted Obamacare in a reconciliation measure that required only 51 votes, would you support repealing Obamacare with only 51 votes?"  "Absolutely," Cruz responded.  "If it can be passed with reconciliation, it can be repealed with reconciliation.  And we need to use every procedural means possible to fight to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare."

An Actual Republican Alternative to Obamacare.  A viable Republican substitute for Obamacare used to be the yeti of Capitol Hill:  often talked about, never seen.  But it has suddenly become real.  This week, three leading Republican members of Congress offered a realistic plan for reform, one that accepts the need to provide all Americans access to health insurance.

The Editor states the obvious:
Every American had access to health insurance ten years ago, or a hundred years ago.  All it takes is money, which means all it takes is the effort to find a job.  Selling insurance is not the proper role of government.

Republicans unveil new ObamaCare replacement plan.  Congressional Republicans are unveiling what they say is a new plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, but the 'blueprint,' as they call it, looks an awful lot like what's been floated before.

Republicans proposing vote on Obamacare alternative.  [Scroll down]  Although Republicans haven't laid out a singular plan, their discussions have focused on scrapping insurance mandates and putting in place provisions that promote individual responsibility for health costs, such as the use of tax-advantaged health savings accounts.

House Votes to Fully Repeal Obamacare, 239-186.  The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has just voted to repeal Obamacare in its entirety.

States Continue War Over Obamacare.  State lawmakers are at odds over hundreds of bills to either cripple or prop up the Affordable Care Act.  The Center for Public Integrity has published a comprehensive investigation examining the efforts to gut or enhance Obamacare.

ObamaCare Opt-Out Act: Let all Americans make their own health care decisions.  In the coming weeks, Americans will embark on the painful process of filing their tax returns.  While this annual ritual leaves most people confused, depressed and overwhelmed, many will be faced with the additional step this year of paying hundreds or thousands of dollars if they chose not to purchase health insurance under ObamaCare for 2014.

Full Speed Ahead.  The new Republican Congress should move full speed ahead to repeal and replace Obamacare.  It would be unwise to wait for the Supreme Court to perform this service for the American people.  With GOP command of Capitol Hill starting tomorrow, Republicans should use their hard-won mandate to obliterate Obama's medical Godzilla.  A record 58 percent of registered voters want to junk Obamacare, according to a December 10 Fox News survey.  As well they should.

Mia Love stands strong against Obamacare: 'Repeal and replace' it.  Rep.-elect Mia Love vowed to walk the talk she promised voters of Utah and that as part of that pledge, she would stand strong on Obamacare and push for its repeal and replacement.  Specifically, she vowed to "do everything humanly possible to stop Obamacare," she said during an interview on "This Week" on ABC News.

Rubio and Paul Ryan developing health care alternative.  Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Paul Ryan are preparing to release a health care alternative to Obamacare, a proposal that could get more traction under a Republican-controlled Congress but set up a confrontation with President Barack Obama.

Mitch McConnell Is Right — You Can Repeal Obamacare And Keep Kentucky's Insurance Exchange.  The other night in a debate between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and his challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes (D.), McConnell argued that it was "fine" to keep Kentucky's insurance exchange, called Kynect, while repealing Obamacare "root and branch."  This has led the lefty blogosphere to explode in outrage.  But Sen. McConnell is right.  Repealing Obamacare would leave many states' exchanges in place.  But exchanges like Kynect, under a more market-oriented system, would be meaningfully different than those under Obamacare.  And that's a good thing.

Republicans' attempts at Obamacare replacement stall.  The GOP push to replace Obamacare is stuck in neutral, with Republicans deeply fractured over what to do and fearful of giving President Obama and his Democratic allies an easy target ahead of November's elections.  House Republican leaders vowed earlier this year to craft and vote on a bold proposal to fulfill the second part of its repeal-and-replace approach to Obamacare.  But those plans have been derailed by rank-and-file lawmakers who say they want to see tweaks, but don't want to vote on sweeping alternatives.

The Economics Of Replacing Obamacare: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.  The ongoing collapse of Obamacare, economically and politically, is heightening the stakes in that debate, delaying matters.  But the replacement plan now emerging will broaden health coverage at least as much as Obamacare, which teased universal coverage but never delivered.  Moreover, the replacement plan would actually reduce health costs (through tried and true market incentives, proven to work in the real world), again which Obamacare promised, but instead produced exactly the opposite.

Yes, we can still repeal ObamaCare — let's get to work.  According to those in the elite salons of Washington, ObamaCare cannot be repealed.  The conventional wisdom on the cocktail circuit contends that once you mandate health insurance for millions, you cannot unmandate it.  This theoretical belief has become accepted in Washington as a dogmatic article of faith.  And the Obamacrats and most of the press believe that repeating this mantra often enough will make it so.

The Coming Two-Tier Health System.  The health-care law was generated by an administration promoting government as the solution to inequality, yet the greatest irony of ObamaCare is what will undoubtedly follow as a long-term, unintended consequence of the law:  a decidedly unequal, two-tiered health system.  One will be for the poor and middle class, and a separate system will be for those with the money or power to circumvent ObamaCare.

Vermont's Single-Payer Dream Is Taxpayer Nightmare.  Of the plans that states have hatched for the Affordable Care Act, none has been bolder than that of Vermont, which wants to implement a single-payer health-care system, along the lines of what you might find in Britain or Canada. [...] Just two small issues need to be resolved before the state gets to all systems go:  First, it needs the federal government to grant waivers allowing Vermont to divert Medicaid and other health-care funding into the single-payer system. And second, Vermont needs to find some way to pay for it.  Although Act 48 required Vermont to create a single-payer system by 2017, the state hasn't drafted a bill spelling out how to raise the additional $1.6 billion a year (based on the state's estimate) the system needs.

Dr. Ben Carson's Seven Principles for Alternative to Obamacare.  Dr. Ben Carson put forward seven principles today that he says will guide him as he develops the conservative alternative to Obamacare.  Carson is chairman of the American Legacy PAC's "Save Our Healthcare Project" and former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Real health care reform: Give states the tools, and let them do the job.  The president backtracked on nearly every single promise he made:  on an individual mandate, keeping your plan, cutting premiums by $2,500 per year, and even on taxing health benefits — all in the name of achieving the left's utopia of "universal coverage."  And in return, America has been left with shredded promises, cancelled insurance plans, and a major-league case of buyer's remorse.

Bobby Jindal: Conservatives 'absolutely' can't give up fight to repeal Obamacare.  The potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate was in town to promote a new health care plan developed by his America Next policy group that would not only repeal Obamacare in its entirety, but also make sweeping changes to the system that existed prior to the law's implementation.  Under Jindal's proposal, Obamacare would be replaced with a system that equalizes the tax treatment of health insurance.  Instead of merely giving tax advantages to those who obtain insurance through their employers, the Jindal plan would create a standard deduction for health insurance for all taxpayers.

Not the Party of 'No'.  The Democrats try to claim the Republicans are "the party of no" while publicizing the president's two main agenda issues, healthcare reform and income inequality.  However, Republicans have made counterproposals that the mainstream media and Harry Reid refuse to consider.  American Thinker interviewed authors of some of these alternate bills.

Conservative group releases Obamacare alternative aimed at paving way for full repeal.  Last month, a group of Republican senators unveiled a health care plan that grappled with how to create an alternative to President Obama's health care law as part of a strategy to repeal it.  A conservative group known as the 2017 Project, headed by Jeffrey Anderson, has released another proposal rooted in the following premise:  "The common formulation is that we need to 'repeal and replace' Obamacare.  The truth is more nearly the reverse:  We need to advance a winning alternative to pave the way to full repeal."

A GOP plan to repair Obamacare, not repeal it.  Of course, GOP lawmakers don't have any hope of actually repealing the law as long as Barack Obama, and his veto pen, are in the White House.  Now some Republicans are looking at what might be done to undo as much as possible of the Democrats' national health care scheme without actually repealing it.

After Obamacare, what?  Whatever fate eventually befalls the Affordable Care Act, this much seems obvious:  The program, as presently constituted, cannot endure.  The plan's prospects were questionable from the beginning.  Sweeping social programs usually require broad, bipartisan support to ensure their survival.  Obamacare, by contrast, was passed with virtually no support from Republicans.  That fact only increased the pressure for the program to function smoothly.  Now that it's failed to do so, extensive revisions or outright repeal seem virtually inevitable.  While this fact may be a source of comfort for Republicans, it also presents them with a challenge.  The public may have soured on the president's plans for health care reform, but that doesn't mean that they're anxious to return to the pre-Obamacare status quo.

A Serious GOP Alternative to Obamacare.  This plan, the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment Act (or CARE Act), has been put forward by GOP Senators Tom Coburn, Richard Burr, and Orrin Hatch.  But it is more than a legislative prophylactic meant to protect Republicans from the charge that they aren't for anything but a return to the dreaded "status quo."  The CARE Act, unlike the stillborn Obamacare, is a serious health care reform proposal.

Republicare.  Last week, three GOP senators — North Carolina's Richard Burr, Oklahoma's Tom Coburn and Utah's Orrin Hatch — introduced a new proposal that would do far more than repeal ObamaCare and return us to what we had before.  It would improve our system in three broad ways the American people are likely to support.

Senate Republicans Develop The Most Credible Plan Yet To 'Repeal And Replace' Obamacare.  "Repealing and replacing" Obamacare with market-oriented reforms has been the Republican mantra for years now.  If you're a long-time follower of this space, you know that we're skeptical that Obamacare will ever be repealed, GOP slogans to the contrary.  Today, however, a trio of experienced Senate Republicans — Tom Coburn (Okla.), Richard Burr (N.C.), and Orrin Hatch (Utah) — have put forth the most thoughtful and constructive plan yet developed to repeal and replace Obamacare.

An Obamacare Replacement in the Senate.  The past few months have seen some very promising new conservative reform initiatives emerging from Capitol Hill — ideas that build on the work of conservative wonks in the think-tank world and the academy and translate them into practical proposals.  Senator Mike Lee has offered a very appealing tax-reform proposal and important ideas for transforming our approach to transportation and higher-education policy.  Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Paul Ryan have outlined some promising improvements to the safety net.  And today [1/27/2014], senators Tom Coburn, Orrin Hatch, and Richard Burr have proposed a conservative health-care reform that has enormous promise.

The Burr-Coburn-Hatch Proposal.  As Bill Kristol and Jeff Anderson noted earlier today, the introduction by Republican Senators Burr, Coburn, and Hatch of an Obamacare replacement plan is an important milestone in the health care debate.  This is a serious and practical replacement proposal, offered by three prominent legislators.  It could easily serve as the starting point for a legislative effort, perhaps even next year if Republicans regain control of the Senate, to undo Obamacare and replace it with something far better.

How Republicans Could Replace Obamacare.  For the last five years, Republicans have spent plenty of time bashing the president's health law, but far less time describing what they would do instead.  A new proposal from Republican Sens. Coburn (Okla.), Burr (N.C.), and Hatch (Utah) represents a tentative attempt to respond substantively to the question.  It's called The Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment (CARE) Act, and it's not intended to be the answer, but one possibility — a first step toward a Republican vision for reform.

Obama has begun repealing Obamacare.  Obamacare as written is already gone, dismantled by its namesake.  Obamacare itself has not, strictly speaking, collapsed of its own weight.  Rather, it has been changed from its original, unworkable form first by Chief Justice John Roberts and then by the president into some new, unworkable mishmash.  Obamacare per se is already gone.  The question remains whether the law in some form will remain or whether the 2016 contest will be about what sort of plan replaces Obamacare.  The latter is the odds-on favorite.

GOP to 'pull the emergency brake' before Obamacare 'train wrecks'.  A House Republican leader in the fight to repeal Obamacare said the House plans to "pull the emergency brake" on the president's health reform bill before it crashes when fully implemented in January.  Georgia Rep. Tom Price, as early as Wednesday [6/5/2013], plans to introduce his latest version to replace Obamacare with an alternative he said will cost less but insure just as many as the president's expensive plan.

Congressional investigations and political stonewalling

White House won't reveal documents related to ObamaCare website security.  The White House has rejected a request to publicly disclose documents relating to the kinds of security software and computer systems behind the federal health care exchange website on the grounds that the information could "potentially" be used by hackers.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services denied a Freedom of Information Act request made late last year by the Associated Press amid concerns that Republicans raised about the security of the website, which had technical glitches that prevented millions of people from signing up for insurance under ObamaCare.

Obama Health Official Instructed Staff To Delete Email Exchange With White House About Healthcare.gov.  House Republicans on Friday [8/15/2014] released an email from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, a key Obama administration health official instructing the top CMS spokeswoman to delete an email exchange between CMS, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the White House.  The email exchange discussed how to handle calls from people asking about Obamacare.  The email is dated October 5, 2013, five days into the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov. and the first line of the email reads "please delete this email but see if we can work on the script".

Sharyl Attkisson Sues Federal Government to Obtain Obamacare Documents.  Attkisson, a senior independent contributor to The Daily Signal, filed the lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services to obtain information about the troubled Obamacare rollout last year.  The former CBS News reporter and Emmy award-winning journalist won't be going alone; the legal group Judicial Watch will represent her in court.  The lawsuit follows four unsuccessful Freedom of Information Act requests.  In October 2013 and again in June of this year, Attkisson requested information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning the efficiency and security of the HealthCare.gov website.  All four requests went unanswered.

HHS HealthCare.gov Official: "Delete this email".  An email obtained by Congress shows the top official for Healthcare.gov at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under the Department of Health and Human Services, Marilyn Tavenner, instructed the agency's top spokesman to "Please delete this email."  The instruction appears significant for several reasons:  First, the email to be deleted included an exchange between key White House officials and CMS officials.  Second, the email was dated October 5, 2013, five days into the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov.  Third, federal law requires federal officials to retain copies of — not delete — email exchanges.

Republicans question HHS official's instruction to 'delete' internal ObamaCare email.  A key official overseeing the ObamaCare launch last fall asked a subordinate to "delete" an email exchange on the matter, according to newly released records, fueling Republican concerns that the administration may be hiding internal discussions from Congress.  "Time and again, the self-proclaimed 'most transparent administration' has been anything but," House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said in a statement.  "And now we know that when HealthCare.gov was crashing, those in charge were hitting the delete button behind the scenes."

Is it time to view the Obama administration as a criminal enterprise?  [C]onsider the steadily accumulating evidence about the Obama administration's modus operandi with potentially incriminating documents subpoenaed by Congress:  A scandal erupts.  Congressional hearings are held.  Documents are requested and withheld.  Subpoenas are issued.  Contempt charges threatened.  A few documents dribble out.  Then come the admissions that, oh by the way, emails required by multiple federal laws to be preserved have either been destroyed or "lost."  Over and over and over...  The latest example comes from the Department of Health and Human Services, which admitted Wednesday [8/6/2014] that hundreds of Obamacare emails subpoenaed in 2013 by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform were destroyed months ago.

Lost emails scandal spreads to top Obamacare official.  The Obama administration admitted Thursday [8/7/2014] that it has lost emails from the key official who oversaw the botched federal Obamacare rollout last year, and the health department may have broken the law by failing to report the lost emails to the National Archives.  Marilyn Tavenner, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, thought she had saved the emails as official records but now realizes they "might not be retrievable," the Health and Human Services Department said in a letter to Congress detailing the problem.

HHS to Issa: We Won't Comply With Your Subpeona Because We Don't Trust You.  The website is secure, they insist, but they won't corroborate that claim with evidence because Darrell Issa might leak the truth to the public — a public, incidentally, that is being urged by the government to enter their sensitive personal data into online state and federal systems that have been breached more than once.  They warn that potential Issa leaks would jeopardize Healthcare.gov's security, which is currently in strong shape.  Just trust them — and ignore admonitions from IT security experts.

The Potemkin website.  Oppressive regimes throughout history have built cities of false facades meant to impress from afar, concealing the embarrassing condition of the places.  In its quest to persuade Americans that Obamacare is working, the Obama administration has built the most expensive Potemkin website yet.  Rep. Darrell E. Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wants to bulldoze the facade of Healthcare.gov to find what lies beneath, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is telling her aides they better keep quiet, or else.  In a Dec. 6 letter to Creative Computing Solutions, she instructed the Healthcare.gov construction workers not to talk to Congress.

House Committee To Launch Investigation Into Obamacare Website.  Technology glitches have frustrated many consumers trying to sign up for coverage online, and efforts to upgrade and repair healthcare.gov are ongoing.

ObamaCare contractor to comply with Issa subpoena.  House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) announced Friday [12/13/2013] that an ObamaCare contractor would comply with a subpoena he issued, despite efforts by the Obama administration and some Democrats to keep the documents out of his hands.  After consulting with its legal counsel, MITRE Corp., a contractor working to assess security issues with the ObamaCare website, determined that it "has no alternative but to comply with the terms of a Congressional subpoena absent some form of judicial intervention."

Sebelius Asks for Investigation of Flawed Website.  President Barack Obama's top health official is asking for an investigation into the administration's botched rollout of HealthCare.gov.

Congressman Accuses Agency of Blocking Obamacare Probe.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told contractors not to cooperate with Congress's efforts to investigate work related to the Obamacare website, a top Republican lawmaker said.  The agency informed Creative Computing Solutions Inc. on Dec. 6 that it isn't authorized to disclose security testing information and other details to third parties, according to a letter today [12/11/2013] from Representative Darrell Issa to Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Obstruction of justice.  Congress' top GOP watchdog is warning the secretary of Health and Human Services to stop instructing contractors behind healthcare.gov not to talk to Congress about the project.  House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chair Darrell Issa, a hard-charging California Republican, told Sec. Kathleen Sebelius in a letter on Wednesday that it's against the law to get between Congress and the companies her agency hired to work on the crash-and-burn website.  'Obstructing a Congressional investigation is a crime,' Issa said Thursday [12/12/2013] in a statement.

HealthCare.gov Contractor Rejects Illegal Obama HHS Request to Withhold Subpoenaed Documents from Congress.  HealthCare.gov contractor Creative Computing Solutions, Inc. (CCSi) has rejected an unlawful request from the Department of Health and Human Services to withhold documents subpoenaed by the Oversight Committee.

Obama boosts healthcare law with selective release of data.  The Obama administration is selectively releasing data and metrics on ObamaCare to bolster its case that the rollout is going better in the month of December.  Tidbits of information from federal health officials — especially figures that show improvements at HealthCare.gov — have become a key tool in the effort to "reboot" the law in the eyes of the public.  But the limited nature of the releases has created conflict with the media and put the spotlight on outstanding areas of concern for the rollout, such as the enrollment site's back end.

Obamacare IT chief really, really doesn't want to testify.  Todd Park is the administration's Chief Technology Officer.  Before taking the job in 2012, he was head of technology at the Department of Health and Human Services, where his biggest project was the development of the Obamacare website healthcare.gov.  Now, as he oversees the administration's tech efforts, his biggest project is still healthcare.gov.  That is why Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wants Park to testify at a hearing Wednesday on the Obamacare rollout.  But Park doesn't want to talk, as Issa is finding out.

White House blocks tech chief from testifying on Obamacare.  The Obama administration is refusing to make Todd Park, one of the chief technology officials repairing HealthCare.gov, available for a hearing next Wednesday [11/13/2013] with House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa.  They say he's too busy right now fixing the Obamacare enrollment portal.

Key House committee threatens Obama admin. with subpoena over health care data.  House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, Michigan Republican, sent a stern letter Friday [11/1/2013] to Marilyn Tavenner, the federal official closest to the health care law's implementation, that threatened to subpoena the records from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  "The Committee is not prepared to wait until 'around mid-November' for the Administration's scrubbed and spun numbers," Mr. Camp wrote.

Panel tells Sebelius to bring 'real numbers' on enrollees next time.  Repeatedly during the hearing Sebelius was described as President Obama's "point person" on implementation of the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare, and the launch of healthcare.gov, the federal portal to shop, compare and enroll in health coverage.

Rep. Issa: We're subpoenaing ObamaCare website vendor for facts on site problems.  House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa has subpoenaed a lead contractor involved in the development of the ObamaCare website.  Issa told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren that the company, QSSI, is the only vendor involved in the website that has so far refused to cooperate in a timely manner, saying he wants all of the facts to determine how the website became "such a colossal failure."  "We've subpoenaed the documents to get to the facts," he said on "On the Record."  "What we want to know is, of course, all the decisions that went into this failed site."

GOP threatens subpoenas over Obamacare rollout.  The chairman of the House oversight committee and ranking Republican member of the Senate health committee threatened to subpoena documents tied to the rocky rollout of Obamacare.  In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, and Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican, demanded that she turn over information that could shed more light on what exactly went wrong with the healthcare.gov website, which has been plagued with problems.

HealthCare.Gov developers tell Congress crucial tests were shirked.  The Obama administration waited until the last minute to test the main Obamacare website and refused to ask for a delay when hiccups arose, government contractors testified to Congress on Thursday [10/24/2013] as they tried to explain why the rollout of the insurance exchanges has been so rocky.  Executives from lead contractor CGI Federal and three other vendors who worked on HealthCare.gov told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the federal agency in charge seemed to have assembled a flawed puzzle from the intact pieces they provided, and didn't go through the months of testing that should have accompanied such a complex system, they said.

Testimony About Obamacare Website Leaves Everyone Baffled.  If House lawmakers wanted a clear admission of guilt during today's testimony from four government contractors behind the botched healthcare.gov launch, they must have been sorely disappointed.  Instead, the committee hearing offered a daisy chain of blame and interconnected responsibilities — a reflection of just how convoluted the massive effort became.

Full testing of HealthCare.gov began too late, contractors say.  Private contractors in charge of building the federal online health insurance marketplace testified Thursday that the administration went ahead with the Oct. 1 launch of HealthCare.gov despite insufficient testing.  In their first public remarks since the debut of the problem-ridden insurance exchange, executives of the main IT companies told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that full tests of the Web site that should have been carried out months in advance, but began just two weeks before its rollout.

Ryan blasts Sebelius' silence on ObamaCare implementation inquiries.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has repeatedly rebuffed requests by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to testify on ObamaCare implementation, Fox News has learned, raising more questions about what the administration knew about problems with the site in advance of the troubled launch.

Sebelius Agrees to Testify on Obamacare Rollout — Eventually.  Bowing to pressure from House Republicans, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has reportedly agreed to testify in the House on the troubled rollout of the Obamacare website for health insurance exchanges.  Sebelius had been asked to testify on Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce panel, but she declined, citing a scheduling conflict and the recent end to the government shutdown.

5 Questions Kathleen Sebelius Must Answer.  The hottest hot seat in Washington is the one occupied by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whose office confirmed Monday she'll testify about the Internet disaster that is HealthCare.gov, the Affordable Care Act website.  It's not yet clear when she'll go before Congress, but it won't be soon enough for the Republicans who are calling for her resignation.

The Obamacare Death Spiral.  Congress is trying to get Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius — who in any sane government would be "former HHS secretary" by now — to testify about the disastrous ObamaCare rollout.  She is reportedly resisting these demands, which again should be grounds for dismissal.  In the Obama era, top officials have become entirely too comfortable with refusing to testify, invoking the Fifth Amendment, and committing perjury.  But you can see why Sebelius would be reluctant to answer questions from Congress, because on previous occasions, it hasn't gone well for her.


The coercion and scapegoating of insurance companies

Related topic:  Obamacare opens the door to tyranny.

Obama Administration Lied About Insurance Company Bailouts.  It can be difficult to keep track of all the untruths the Obama Administration has told in the process of selling Obamacare to a disbelieving public, and it is tempting to write these all off as history, more than four years later.  But the untruths have never stopped coming.  A House oversight report released last week reveals that the Administration has been misleading the public about the likelihood that it will have to bail out insurance companies that sold policies under Obamacare.

Emails Show Cozy Government-Insurer Alliance, Expectation of Bailout.  Publicly, President Obama loves to demonize insurance companies.  But behind the scenes, Big Government and Big Insurance maintain a cozy alliance that the Obama administration actively nourishes, often at taxpayer expense.  Indeed, as emails recently obtained by the House Oversight Committee show, Big Government and Big Insurance have worked together to promote Obamacare.  They've also worked together to make sure taxpayers will help bail out insurance companies who lose money selling insurance under Obamacare — that is, unless Republicans stop this from happening.

Obama admin to insurers: No worries, we'll find "other sources of funding" for those risk corridors if need be.  Just a small smackerel of potentially very costly ObamaCare regulatory minutiae for a Friday afternoon, you know — the usual.  Via the ever-vigilant Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner, it appears that the Obama administration felt the need to reassure insurance-industry lobbyists that the "risk corridor," a.k.a. bailout, provision included in the president's crowning legislative achievement will without a doubt be there to catch them if and when they fall.

Somewhat related:
Valerie Jarrett Assured Insurance Company CEO Who Feared Losing Money on Obamacare.  When the chief executive officer of a major insurance company threatened to raise insurance premiums by 20 percent or more in response to the expected implementation Affordable Care Act, Valerie Jarrett, President Obama's senior adviser, wrote him a letter.  A congressional investigation shows how Jarrett assured an insurance executive that the risk corridors in Obamacare would prevent companies from losing money.

Deception 1342 of the Affordable Care Act.  Translated from governmentese, Section 1342 is designed to bail out the big insurance companies when they lose billions of dollars because they have to provide health insurance they can't afford to provide.  In order to make ObamaCare work (by suckering millions of gullible Americans into thinking it was free or cheap), the White House and Democrats in Congress told insurance companies they had to offer affordable policies.  But the insurance companies balked.  They knew in advance they couldn't possibly be able to offer ObamaCare's Cadillac policies at such low-low prices without soon incurring huge-huge losses.  No problemo, the generous ObamaCare-givers said to the insurance companies.  "We'll bury this little 'risk corridor' mumbo jumbo — Section 1342 — in the act somewhere.  Congress won't find it for years.  It guarantees that the federal government will cover your ObamaCare losses through 2016.

GE boss Jeff Immelt says Obamacare 'uncertainty' hurting medical business.  A week after General Electric blamed Obamacare for hurting its medical business, the company's chairman on Wednesday [4/23/2014] warned that uncertainty in the health care field will persist for much longer.  "I think that there's still a lot of uncertainty in health care and we'll just have to see that over time," warned Jeff Immelt during a shareholders' meeting in Chicago.

Obamacare architect: Law will cause 'the end of employer-sponsored insurance'.  Obamacare architect Zeke Emanuel claims in his new book that the health care reform law will result in "the end of employer-sponsored insurance."  Despite President Barack Obama's claim that "if you like your plan, you can keep it" — a talking point developed in his first 100 days in office by a tiny but influential left-wing messaging group called the Herndon Alliance — his administration has long planned to disassemble the current U.S. insurance industry as well as alter health care reform.

HHS outlines policy changes to lift insurers.  Federal health officials dropped regulations late Friday outlining how they plan to help insurance companies stuck with unanticipated costs due to ObamaCare's botched rollout.  In a 279-page document, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) detailed adjustments to the healthcare law's "risk corridors" program, a means for shifting money from insurers who fare better under the new system to those who fare worse.

Obamacare Insurers to Cover Same-Sex Spouses, U.S. Says.  Insurers participating in Obamacare must cover same-sex married couples as families, the U.S. government said.  Separately, the government said a program for sick Americans who were denied insurance coverage before this year will be extended another month, through April.  Insurers, meanwhile, were told to include more health providers for low-income people in their networks next year.

Ezekiel Emanuel Gleefully Predicts the Death of Private Health Insurance Companies.  Ezekial Emanuel, brother of Chicago mayor and former Obama staffer Rahm Emanuel, is cheerily predicting that Obamacare will bring about the death of the private insurance companies in the US.  Ezekiel makes the provocative prediction in the New Republic.  Emanuel writes that Obamacare is already causing insurance companies to either die or evolve into something else.  "The good news is you won't have insurance companies to kick around much longer," he writes.

Aetna could be forced out of Obamacare: CEO.  Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told CNBC on Wednesday [1/22/2014] that Obamacare has failed to attract the uninsured, and he offered a scenario in which the insurance company could be forced to pull out of program.  The company will be submitting Obamacare rates for 2015 on May 15.

ObamaCare Chaos Continues.  [Scroll down]  All of it will wreak havoc on the insurance companies, many of whom richly deserve such chaos for climbing into bed with Democrats and the Obama administration in the first place.  And it happened only a week after Sebelius "urged" insurance companies to adopt additional measures.  She "suggested" that they give consumers additional time to pay their premiums past today's deadline for coverage beginning January 1, that they treat out-of-network providers as in-network, and refill prescriptions from previous plans.  If they don't adhere to such urges and suggestions?  "The regulatory fine print reveals that HHS intends to kick insurers off the exchanges if they don't obey," the Wall Street Journal reveals.

Obamacare's Silent Insurers.  When will the insurers revolt?  It's a question that's popping up more and more.  On the surface, the question answers itself.  We're talking about pinstriped insurance-company executives, not Hells Angels.

Obamacare Escapes the Chains of Law.  You Want to Sell Obamacare You've Got to Take Care of Obama:  Megan McArdle notes that Obama's HHS has "reached the limits of its November strategy of using last-minute rule-making to implement on-the-fly changes to the law."  No more rules!  Now insurance companies are being "encouraged" and "strongly encouraged" to extend deadlines, accept late payments, pay for some out-of-network doctors and out of plan prescriptions.  Many of these things violate the formal terms of the deal the government had made with insurers and will cost the latter money.  "They're asking insurers to pay for the mistakes" the administration made in the launch of the program, complains Avik Roy.  The key word is "asking."

Obamacare: A Law or a Shakedown?  Late last week, the Obama administration made a series of "requests" to insurance companies that are participating in the new exchanges, federal or state, as well as those companies processing renewal requests for individual insurance policies that were initially cancelled and may now be renewed in those states where the state insurance commissioner has given the OK.  These "requests" follow a series of retreats from deadlines established at the time the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010.

GOP could be trapped by Democrat demands to fix Obamacare.  In 2009 and 2010, President Obama and his party took a health care system in which 85 percent had insurance coverage, and blew it up.  Now, with Obamacare causing misery right and left, those same Democrats are screaming, "You can't go back!"  The national health care scheme they designed is so complex and has already embedded itself so deeply in the health care system, they argue, that it can never be repealed.  The only course now is for lawmakers of both parties to "fix" Obamacare's problems.

Government Takeover: White House Forces Obamacare Insurers to Cover Unpaid Patients.  [W]hat happened on Thursday, December 12 will stand as one of the most lawless acts yet committed by this administration.  The White House — having canceled Americans' old health plans, and having botched the system for enrolling people in new ones — knows that millions of Americans will enter the new year without health coverage.  So instead of actually fixing the problem, the administration is retroactively attempting to force insurers to hand out free health care — at a loss — to those whom the White House has rendered uninsured.  If Obamacare wasn't a government takeover of the health insurance industry, then what is it now?

Backdating ObamaCare.  The White House says that ObamaCare is all fixed, but its conduct suggests otherwise.  As it has realized that the government-created chaos is exposing patients to nasty and even deadly surprises, the government is now forcing the insurance industry to cover everyone retroactively and also to waive the contractual terms of that coverage — or else.

Krauthammer on new Obamacare rules:'This now approaches banana republic lawlessness'.  Columnist Charles Krauthammer attacked new Obamacare rules unveiled by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a late Thursday conference call, saying the Obama administration is "approach[ing] banana republic lawlessness" by issuing the decrees.  Krauthammer spoke with Fox News' Bret Baier on a panel with Juan Williams and Judge Andrew Napolitano, as the three reacted to Sebelius' new directives for insurance companies.

Pressing the Panic Button?  As usual, it's hard to tell just what's going on inside the administration regarding Obamacare, but I don't think we can really take the steps announced by HHS yesterday [12/12/2013] as anything but a bright, red, flashing warning light about the internal expectations regarding January.  Some of what they announced is frankly bizarre and slightly crazy.  Beside extending the high-risk pool program (which isn't nuts, just a strong indication that they're not ready for January at this very late stage), they are asking insurers to pay claims for consumers who haven't paid their premiums, to treat out-of-network doctors and hospitals as though they were in-network, and to pay for prescription drugs not actually covered by the plans they offer.

Sebelius 'Urging' Insurers to Cover People Who Haven't Paid.  Fearing that many people will think they have health insurance coverage when they do not, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is "urging" insurance companies to "give consumers additional time to pay their first month's premium and still have coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014."  Insurance companies should cover people who haven't yet paid, in other words.

HHS goes lawless, flailing around as Obamacare deadline looms.  Panicking, they're just making it up as they go along, under pressure of the December 23rd deadline for enrollment in Obamacare in order to be covered in 2014.  In an ill-considered move, the Department of Health and Human Services contravened the law and vaguely threatened ("strongly encouraged") the health insurance industry in order to assuage some of the injuries done by the poor design and incompetent administration of Obamacare.

HHS 'encourages' insurers to fix problems created by Obamacare.  During the Obamacare rollout, stories have spread about millions of Americans losing their current health insurance coverage, preferred doctors and hospitals as plans restrict networks to comply with the law, and losing their prescription drug coverage.  On Thursday afternoon [12/12/2013], the Department of Health and Human Services said it was "strongly encouraging" insurers to help the department fix a raft of problems created by the rocky rollout of President Obama's health care law.

'Fairy Tale' Continues as Obama Proposes Extralegal Obamacare Fix.  The president is not proposing that the law be changed to allow all health insurance plans grandfathered into Obamacare's eligibility requirements.  No, instead the White House is saying that it will use "enforcement discretion" to allow illegal health insurance plans to be able to still be sold.  That is, the Obama administration will not enforce the penalty on individuals for not having eligible health insurance plans and they'll allow the insurance companies to still sell so-called bad plans — plans they technically can't sell under Obamacare.

Obama retreats on Obamacare, allows existing low-cost policies to continue.  President Barack Obama has decided to save his endangered Obamacare law by suspending for one year enforcement of the law's critical but unpopular elimination of roughly 15 million low-cost insurance plans held by Americans who buy insurance on their own.  The plan sets up the insurance companies to take the political blame for the Democratic-designed Obamacare plan during the 2014 election.  Officials explained the president's decision as a prerogative of the nation's chief law-enforcement officer.

The Editor says...
The Attorney General is frequently described in the press as "the nation's chief law-enforcement officer."  In this case, Mr. Obama isn't enforcing the law — he's changing it week by week.

Howard Dean Questions Legality of Obama's 'Keep Your Plan' Fix.  Following President Obama's speech revealing a "keep your plan" fix for the Affordable Care Act, former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean questioned the legality of such a proposal.  The president's plan to assist those who've seen their healthcare plans canceled after the implementation of Obamacare includes allowing such people to retain their plan for one more year.  Additionally, insurance companies will be required to tell people renewing those plans of all the alternate options and benefits they'll lose in the process.

Obama Announces Obamacare 'Fix' That Doesn't Fix Anything, Blames Insurance Companies.  President Obama announces today [11/14/2013] that he supports a "fix" for Obamacare that would allow some Americans to keep the healthcare plans they already had for an additional year.  That was already built into the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare law.  It's not an actual change to anything, it's just an attempt to get out ahead of the bills that Republican Fred Upton and Democrat Mary Landrieu are sponsoring in the House and Senate that would legislatively "fix" Obamacare.  It's an exercise in blame-shifting, and an abdication of leadership.

The word privatization seems to have been omitted.
White House relying more on insurance carriers to help fix HealthCare.gov.  The White House is increasing its reliance on insurers by accepting their technical help in efforts to repair the problem-ridden online health insurance marketplace and prioritizing consumers' ability to buy plans directly from the carriers.

Aetna CEO Calls on Feds to Shut Down Federal Exchange to Fix It.  The CEO of America's largest health insurer, Aetna, wants the Obama administration to shut down the federal health-care exchange rather than attempt to fix it while it's still running.

Insurance Executives Speak Out Against ACA, Anonymously.  Many insurance executives whose companies are offering plans on the federal exchanges are frustrated with the realities that the rollout of the Affordable Care Act have laid bare.  They're talking about it, yes, but prying a quote from them on the record is a different matter.

California Insurers Contractually Required to Cancel PlansThe San Francisco Business Times reports that they have confirmed with Anthem Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente, Health Net, and Blue Shield of California that they were contractually required to cancel "non-ACA-compliant plans on December 31."

Obama's health promises backfire.  Health insurers will terminate coverage for up to 250,000 Pennsylvanians as Obamacare unfolds with a troubled website that has prevented many from enrolling in plans online, the state Insurance commissioner said.  "It's a Kafkaesque nightmare," said Michael Consedine, the state's chief insurance regulator.  Such cancellations are occurring nationwide, despite "promises that were made" by President Obama that people could keep plans rather than change them, Consedine said.

Feds ask Blue Cross Blue Shield in North Dakota not to release exchange numbers.  During a Monday forum in Fargo for people interested in signing up for coverage via the exchange, James Nichol of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota told the crowd his company received the request from the federal government earlier Monday.  Nichol is a consumer sales manager for the company.  Still, a spokeswoman from Blue Cross Blue Shield says about 14 North Dakotans have signed up for coverage since the federal exchange went live Oct. 1.  That brings total statewide enrollment to 20 — less than one a day.

Obama Admin Asks Blue Cross Blue Shield to Hide Poor Enrollment Numbers.  In a bombshell revelation, a consumer sales manager for North Dakota's largest health insurer said Monday [10/21/2013] that the Obama Administration asked Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota to hide how many people registered for health insurance through an online exchange that just went up.  James Nichol of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota told a forum in Fargo that the Obama Administration had made the request.

'So much wrong': Aetna CEO blasts Obamacare tech debacle.  Aetna's CEO gave a harshly critical review Monday of the federal government's Obamacare marketplace, saying, "There's so much wrong, you just don't know what's broken until you get a lot more of it fixed."  Asked on CNBC's "Squawk Box" if he knew that the rollout of Healthcare.gov would be problematic, the insurer's CEO, Mark Bertolini, said his giant company's role as an alpha tester for the system gave it a sense of how many problems the health insurance marketplace faced on the eve of its launch.


Low enrollment numbers, especially in critical demographic categories

Missed It By That Much — The Obamacare Enrollee Lie.  Like in all projections, the underlying assumptions bake the cake, and CBO makes a whopper of a mistake right up front when they estimate the number of people who are likely to have coverage under Obamacare after the GOP passes replacement language.  They start with a faulty 2016 baseline that predicts that 18 million people will be covered by Obamacare in 2017, when the people who are actually in charge of tracking Obamacare enrollments, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, report that the number will be between 10 and 11 million.  On the generous side, CBO only missed the correct number of enrollees by 7 million people — oops.

Obamacare flops
ObamaCare Repeal Just Got A Lot Easier, As 2 Million Drop Out.  The latest official count shows that 10.3 million are enrolled in the ObamaCare exchanges.  That's down from the 12.2 million who were reported to have selected an ObamaCare plan this year, which means that nearly 2 million people (16%) signed up for coverage and then failed to make a payment on it.  It also means that there are 800,000 fewer ObamaCare enrollees now than there were a year ago.  And it means that after the first year, enrollment has effectively flat-lined — each year, around 12 million sign up for a plan, but only about 10 million make the first payment.


Two Things the CBO Got Very Wrong About Obamacare.  Washington, D.C. is buzzing on Wednesday [5/24/2017] about the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score for the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the House GOP's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.  Democrats are sure to weaponize the CBO's projections on cost and coverage, but the CBO, despite its nonpartisanship, has been incorrect about health care projections before.  In fact, CBO made two very incorrect predictions about Obamacare, both concerning enrollment.

The Democrats forced this fiasco on the country and they own it.  Shortly following Donald Trump's upset victory in November, the Obama administration and the legacy media began telling us that Obamacare enrollment was skyrocketing due to fear of the president-elect's pledge to repeal the law.  Three days after the election, for example, CNN produced this headline:  "Obamacare sign-ups surge after Trump's election."  Obama himself boasted in December about "the biggest day ever for Healthcare.gov."  Well, like everything else these people told us, this was hogwash.  The actual signup numbers are in, and they are the lowest ever.

Terrible 2017 Enrollment Numbers Have More Insurers Eyeings Obamacare Exit.  When President Trump and Congressional Republicans make the case that Obamacare must be uprooted and replaced, they often note that the law is already falling apart and harming people.  They're right.  Despite some recent polling reflecting less than half the country's 'status quo bias' against another round of healthcare upheaval, surveys continue to show that more families are being hurt than helped by the still-unpopular law.  A large majority favors replacing Obamacare.  To that end, now that the latest (and perhaps last?) open enrollment period has concluded, we are getting a look at some of the figures.  They are weak.  As in recent years, Obamacare's exchanges have failed to attract the numbers of sign-ups that the government had projected.

Did ObamaCare Add 20 Million To The Insurance Rolls?  Not Even Close.  As soon as Donald Trump won the election, left-wing groups were busy predicting that, should he succeed in repealing ObamaCare as promised, anywhere from 20 million to 37 million would lose coverage.  An analysis by the Heritage Foundation shows that these claims are largely based on phony numbers coming out of the White House.

Health Law Tax Penalty?  I'll Take It, Millions Say.  The architects of the Affordable Care Act thought they had a blunt instrument to force people — even young and healthy ones — to buy insurance through the law's online marketplaces: a tax penalty for those who remain uninsured.  It has not worked all that well, and that is at least partly to blame for soaring premiums next year on some of the health law's insurance exchanges.  The full weight of the penalty will not be felt until April, when those who have avoided buying insurance will face penalties of around $700 a person or more.

White House insists everything is OK with Obamacare.  President Obama's chief spokesman said Monday [8/29/2016] that fewer people have signed up for Obamacare than predicted at this point, a few years into its implementation, because private companies did not shed employer-sponsored plans at the predicated rate, not because there are any problems related to Obamacare. [...] [White House press secretary Josh] Earnest was reacting to a string of bad news about the fate of the law, including that fewer people overall have signed up and many of those who have are older and costlier than the healthy people Obama banked on joining.

Health-care exchange sign-ups fall far short of forecasts.  Enrollment in the insurance exchanges for President Obama's signature health-care law is at less than half the initial forecast, pushing several major insurance companies to stop offering health plans in certain markets because of significant financial losses.  As a result, the administration's promise of a menu of health-plan choices has been replaced by a grim, though preliminary, forecast:  Next year, more than 1 in 4 counties are at risk of having a single insurer on its exchange, said Cynthia Cox, who studies health reform for the Kaiser Family Foundation.  Debate over how perilous the predicament is for the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, is nearly as partisan as the divide over the law itself.

ObamaCare Enrollment Dropped In Nine States This Year.  For a product that is supposed to be so great — and that was supposed to be in such high demand — ObamaCare is having trouble getting people to buy it, or keep it.  Updated figures released at the end of the week showed that in the first three months of the year 1.6 million enrollees dropped out — a 13% decline — pushing actual enrollment down to 11.1 million as of the end of March.  Many of them signed up for a plan but never paid their first premium.  Given the continued declines in enrollment seen in previous years, there could be fewer than 10 million people enrolled in an ObamaCare exchange by year's end.  In other words, it won't be much higher than it was at the end of last year.

25% Dumped Their ObamaCare Plans Last Year, White House Admits.  An official report released last Friday said that enrollment in the ObamaCare exchanges fell to 8.8 million by the end of the year, from 11.7 million who'd initially signed up.  That's a 25% decline.  About 1.5 million who signed up never paid their first premium, so the number of actual enrollees dropped to 10.2 million by the end of March 2015.  Then another 1.1 million canceled their coverage in the last six months of the year, according to an analysis by the Mercatus Center's Brian Blase.  Half a million got booted off because they couldn't verify citizenship or immigration status.

Latest ObamaCare Flop: Enrollment Will Be Way Below Plan.  [Scroll down]  The latest evidence of this is from a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation — which has been supportive of the law — that says overall paid enrollment is likely to top out at 14.7 million.  That's almost 10 million shy of what the Congressional Budget Office had originally projected ObamaCare would enroll. And it means that ObamaCare will only sign up about half of the "potential market."  And, to add further perspective, there were 15 million people who bought individual insurance plans before ObamaCare, a number that Obama himself once dismissed as an insignificant 5% of the insurance market.

ObamaCare Enrollment Fails To Make It Over Obama's Drastically Lowered Bar.  About 12.7 million people enrolled in ObamaCare plans this year, which is almost 9 million fewer than had once been expected and 1.4 million fewer than the upper boundary of its revised enrollment forecast.  Nevertheless, Health and Human Services secretary Sylvia Burwell declared the year "a success" and claimed that enrollment "exceeded our expectations."  "The marketplace is growing and getting stronger," she said, "and the Affordable Care Act has become a crucial part of health care in America."  In reality, ObamaCare enrollment has hit a wall.

Aetna Joins Growing Chorus Warning About ObamaCare Failing.  ObamaCare was supposed to be on a roll by now, promising 20 million signing up, low cost and stable premiums.  Turns out it's on a roll all right.  It's rolling towards the cliff. Insurance giant Aetna (AET) has joined a growing number of insurers warning that the ObamaCare exchanges are failing in just the way critics said they would.  This year's anemic enrollment won't help.  This week, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini warned that "we continue to have serious concerns about the sustainability of the public exchanges."  Aetna lost more than $100 million last year on the 750,000 enrollees it has through ObamaCare exchanges.

Gaming of Obamacare Poses a Fatal Threat.  UnitedHealth's bombshell raised the specter, once thought safely in the grave, of the "adverse selection death spiral," the phenomenon where sick people are more likely to buy insurance, which raises the average expenditure, which means higher premiums, which makes insurance a worse deal for the healthiest members of your insurance pool, which means they drop out, which means your pool is even sicker and average expenditure goes up even more ... and there goes the insurance market.

ObamaCare Enrollment Is Nothing To Brag About.  First off, 11.3 million is nothing to celebrate when you consider that at the end of open enrollment last year, the administration claimed that 11.7 million had signed up.  By the end of the entire year, that number had been whittled down to about 9 million, of which 8.2 million re-enrolled.  More will no doubt sign up before open enrollment ends on Jan. 31.  Even so, the numbers are likely be only marginally improved from last year's.

Marco Rubio has already cut ObamaCare's throat.  The problem: Exchange policies (written by Democratic politicians and bureaucrats) turn out to be a good deal only if you're sick.  Healthy folks have been opting out — so not enough are paying premiums to make selling the policies profitable.  One gimmick might keep insurers in the game:  The law's "risk corridor" provision allowed Washington to tax profitable exchange plans to prop up unprofitable ones.  But even in Year One, there weren't enough profits to cover the losses — so Team Obama transferred money from elsewhere.  This subsidy was entirely distinct from the law's support for lower-income folks:  It was a bailout for the companies.  Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) put a stop to that last year, passing an amendment that prevents these back-door bailouts.

Critics: Even sky high Obamacare fines won't get people to sign up.  The piece of Obamacare designed to make the entire law work is scheduled to reach full strength starting next year, when the penalty for remaining uninsured will increase for a third and final time.  But even when the fine reaches its steepest point, it's not clear how effective it will be in prodding roughly 30 million Americans lacking health coverage to actually buy plans.

Obamacare Teetering.  United Health has announced they might be leaving the Obamacare insurance market; it seems that what I and others have said is happening.  That is, the people coming into the exchange aren't paying enough (even though the rates are exorbitant) and they're sicker.

The Texas county where only 12 people signed up for Obamacare.  This is Texas, after all, one of the most anti-Obamacare states in the country, and people here have heard plenty from politicians about why they should demand the repeal of President Barack Obama's health law.

ObamaCare On The Ropes As Third Open Enrollment Looms.  When the administration announced that the enrollment in 2016 will end up being 10 million, it was an admission of failure.  Just this March the administration was claiming 11.2 million were signed up, which means it expects an enrollment drop of nearly 11% by the end of next year.  Ten million sign-ups is also less than half of what the Congressional Budget Office projected for 2016 in its most recent forecast.  ObamaCare's troubles only start there.

Obamacare's problems are only just beginning.  When Congress passed Obamacare, the Congressional Budget Office was expecting 21 million people signing up for Obamacare exchange plans by the end of 2016 open enrollment.  Now, the administration expects to have only about 10 million paying customers by the end of next year — essentially no more than now.  Why the sudden stall?  The sickest and oldest customers — the low hanging fruit among the uninsured who were most eager to get insurance — have already signed up.  The ones the insurers need most, who are healthier and younger, predominate among those who have not signed up.  Although there is more than one reason for this, the main one is that Obamacare plans are not especially affordable and will become worse as insurers adjust prices to match reality.

Insurance Dropouts Present a Challenge for Health Law.  On Nov. 1, a new sign-up period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act will begin, and insurers, health care providers and enrollment groups are ramping up campaigns to encourage 10.5 million eligible uninsured people to buy policies.  But even as those efforts begin, the public insurance exchanges, also known as marketplaces, created by the law are facing another challenge:  keeping the customers they already have.

Obamacare enrollees must double to make budget projections work.  President Obama will need to more than double the number of Americans enrolled in Obamacare exchange plans to reach 21 million next year, the target set in budget projections, in what is shaping up as the next major test for the health care law.  As of June, the Department of Health and Human Services counted 9.9 million customers who have bought plans through the federal HealthCare.gov portal and a handful of state-run exchanges.

Coverage in Affordable Care Act health plans wanes since winter.  Nearly 1 in 4 of the Americans who picked a health plan this year through the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplaces have dropped or lost their coverage, according to new federal data.  A report, released Tuesday [9/8/2015] by federal health officials, shows that 9.9 million people were paying, as of the end of June, for health plans they had gotten through the federal and state-run insurance exchanges created under the health-care law.  Those people reflect a decline from the roughly 12.7 million consumers who signed up for a 2015 health plan.

Paying More And Buying Less: The Story Of Obamacare.  According to the Wall Street Journal, insurance companies are seeking to raise their premiums by as much as 65 percent because the people who signed up "seem to be older and have more chronic conditions like diabetes or congestive heart failure than predicted."  Color me surprised.  There are two sources of this high degree of sickness:  first, fewer healthy people have signed up for the exchange than were anticipated.  For healthy people, particularly young people, some of the provisions of Obamacare just simply do not make sense as they provide too much coverage in wrong areas, making them too expensive to be worth the cost.  As a result, these healthy people do not sign up, meaning that the average person in the exchange is sicker because there are too few healthy people around to decrease the average.

How the Left Fails.  Millennials have been told over and over again that the rich will pay for everything.  Then they hear the Obama administration openly talking about how people their age need to enroll in massive numbers to cover health insurance for older, sicker people?  It won't take them long to realize they've been duped again.  I think they are already catching on, but you won't hear that from the mainstream media.

Is ObamaCare Enrollment Already Hitting A Wall?  When discussing ObamaCare, President Obama has repeatedly bragged about what great products the insurance plans are.  Subsidized premiums.  No medical underwriting.  Rich benefits.  Free preventive care.  Choice of plans.  But the public doesn't seem to share Obama's enthusiasm.  This year, for example, sign-ups in California and New York — the two biggest states that eagerly embraced ObamaCare — climbed a total of just 2.5% as of late February, according to the latest enrollment report from the Department of Health and Human Services.  In Vermont and Washington, two other eager ObamaCare states, enrollment actually fell slightly this year.  In the 11 other states that successfully set up their own exchanges last year, the average gain was only 7.5%.

Did 11.7 Mil Sign Up For ObamaCare? Not By A Long Shot.  First off, we already know that this ObamaCare number is inflated because it counts anyone who picked a plan during open enrollment, not those who actually paid their first premium.  A year ago, the White House bragged that 8 million had signed up, only to admit months later that the actual enrollment number was just 6.7 million.  Assuming the same rate of attrition this year, the real enrollment number will be more like 9.8 million, which is well below the Congressional Budget Office's forecast of 13 million paid enrollees for this year.

11.4 Million ObamaCare Signups Is No Big Deal — Just Ask Obama.  The Obama administration says more than 11 million signed up for ObamaCare this year.  Should anyone believe this number?  Even if it's true, is it a sign of success?  The answer to both is a resounding no.

2015: The ObamaCare Crucible.  The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare, has had a tough run of it since being signed into law nearly five years ago.  It has faced constitutional challenges, voters ousting congressional Democrats who supported it, and the disastrous rollout of its federal website in October 2013.  This past fall, supporters launched a public-relations campaign dedicated to the proposition that things were finally going well for ObamaCare's 7 million sign-ups, but their campaign was derailed when the Obama administration admitted that it had added 400,000 dental patients to the roster of health-insurance enrollees to falsely claim it had reached the 7 million number.  It is likely that ObamaCare's low point hasn't been reached.

Only One-In-Four Obamacare Enrollees Returning To Sign Up Again.  The Obama Administration is touting how many people are enrolling for Obamacare again this year, but the numbers they're not touting are how few "returning customers" they have.  As of Dec. 12, only one-in-four 2014 Obamacare enrollees have returned to the website to sign up for 2015.

New Obamacare signups for this year are only 1.9 million as most customers are re-enrolled automatically.  The vast majority of the 6.4 million Americans enrolled in Obamacare coverage for 2015 through Healthcare.gov never clicked a mouse or made a phone call this year:  They were re-enrolled on autopilot.  Only 1.9 million signed up on their own, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said Tuesday [12/23/2014].  Yet even with this help in capturing customers — including reluctant ones — the Obama administration is far behind what Congress' independent bean-counters estimated it would need in order to keep the Affordable Care Act financially afloat.

Obamacare enrollment numbers reached 7 million only because they were padded with 400,000 dental plans, HHS admits.  The Obama administration conceded on Thursday that its vaunted Affordable Care Act enrollment numbers from last year were inflated by a whopping 400,000.  That's how many dental insurance plans were included in the final number when the White House boasted in September that 7.3 million Americans had signed up for medical insurance through government-managed marketplaces.  The dental plans should not have been lumped into the overall total because they represented people who also had purchased medical insurance, effectively double-counting them.

Oops: Obama Administration Inflated Obamacare Enrollment Numbers.  In September, federal health officials announced that 7.3 million people had signed up for health insurance on the state or federal exchanges.  This was big news — as it meant Obamacare had beaten the White House's goal of enrolling 7 million people in the first year of the program.  However, it turns out, the real number of people who signed up for medical coverage is actually about 6.97 million.  A report by Bloomberg's Alex Wayne revealed that the administration quietly lumped as many as 400,000 dental plans into the total enrollment number without telling anyone.

Number of ObamaCare enrollees appears to be dropping.  President Obama's claim last spring that 8 million people had enrolled in ObamaCare recently got a significant downgrade from the head of the agency overseeing the plan.  Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told a congressional committee that "as of August 15, this year, we have 7.3 million Americans enrolled in Health Insurance Marketplace coverage and these are individuals who paid their premiums."  A key part of her statement was Tavenner's reference to those who paid, because just signing up isn't enough to be counted as enrolled.

Why Is Obama Hiding ObamaCare Enrollment Data?  It's been 110 days since the last "monthly" report on ObamaCare enrollment, when the president bragged that 8 million had signed up.  What are they hiding?

ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Unreliable, Audit Finds.  Buried in a largely overlooked government audit of the Obama-Care exchanges is a finding that casts still more doubt on the reliability of the 8 million enrollment number commonly cited by the administration and the press.  In a section titled "Other Issues," an inspector general report released last week found that the HealthCare.gov marketplace couldn't show it had been reconciling its monthly enrollment numbers with insurance companies.  That's despite the fact that the law specifically calls for this reconciliation, and the fact that, as the IG report notes, "the federal marketplace obtained the services of a contractor to reconcile enrollment information."

Report: Just two-thirds of Obamacare enrollees in the federal marketplace have paid for their insurance plans.  Republicans on Capitol Hill announced Wednesday evening that just 67 percent of Americans who bought Obamacare plans through the federal government's health insurance marketplace have sealed the deal by actually paying for their policies.  GOP members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations said they went to 'all 160 insurance providers in the federally facilitated marketplace' for the data after the White House repeatedly insisted it didn't have numbers to share.  The startling results will reignite the protracted political fight over the Affordable Care Act that has dogged the Obama administration since shortly after the president took office.

Obamacare: Sicker than we thought.  Early reports show that folks signing up for health insurance through ACA exchanges are less healthy than expected, and that the high cost of medications they'll need will put additional strains on the ACA's unrealistically optimistic budget.  Consensus has been that, for the exchanges to work, not only young, but young and healthy folks would have to sign up in hefty numbers, paying for the needs of the less healthy.  That apparently isn't happening.  Recent numbers from the Gallup Organization show that only 37% of folks signing up for new insurance on the exchanges reported that they were in excellent or very good health, compared to 50% of the general public.

2.7 Million ObamaCare Enrollees Still Unaccounted For.  President Obama has for a while been bragging that 8 million people have signed up for ObamaCare.  But the administration still hasn't released the state-by-state numbers to back up that number.  You'd think that with such good news, the administration would want to put out as many details as possible, as soon as possible.  But judging by previous months, the latest Health and Human Services enrollment report is now nearly two weeks behind schedule.  As a result, we still don't know where 2.7 million ObamaCare enrollees came from.

Less Than Half of GA Obamacare 'Enrollees' Have Paid For Plans.  Over half of the 221,604 Georgia Obamacare "enrollees" the Obama administration claims as enrollments have not paid for their plans, thereby leaving them still uninsured.  Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens says only 107,581 Georgians have paid for coverage.

Congressional Budget Office projections on ObamaCare raise questions about future enrollment.  President Obama and other officials like to point to projections by the Congressional Budget Office to show that ObamaCare "is working," as the president put it.  He said 8 million have enrolled in the federal exchanges, but the CBO said in a recent report only 6 million are newly insured and some say even fewer than that did not have prior insurance.  "Twenty to 33 percent are actually newly insured and out of 8 million, that would be no more than 2 to 3 million people," said David Hogberg of National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington.

Half of Georgia's Insurance Enrollees Haven't Paid Yet.  Sure, the nonpayment rates will be a lot lower in other places. But this indicates how much skepticism is warranted for the administration's much-touted enrollment figures.

The shocking secret behind ObamaCare enrollment numbers.  Barack Obama wants you to know he enrolled 7.5 million Americans through ObamaCare's health insurance Exchanges.  What he doesn't want you to know is how.  Federal courts may soon rule that President Obama induced the majority of those enrollees to enroll by offering them taxpayer dollars he has no legal authority to spend.  If the courts put a stop to that unauthorized spending, a majority of Exchange enrollees would suddenly face the full cost of ObamaCare coverage, and enrollments would plummet.

Obama taunts GOP, takes nationally televised victory lap on Obamacare.  The 8 million enrollment number marks a major success for Mr. Obama, who scrambled six months ago after computer glitches nearly left the system stillborn.  But the president nursed Obamacare with a series of delays and extensions  — many of which Republicans said were illegal  — and easily surpassed the initial target of 7 million sign-ups.  Beneath the enrollment numbers, though, are plenty of questions.  Although Mr. Obama touted the 35 percent of federal exchange enrollees he said were younger than 35, the administration acknowledged in a fact sheet that just 28 percent are 18 to 34 — the key demographic insurers need to sign up in order to cover the costs of older Americans with health conditions who no longer can be denied coverage.  Economists said the number needed to prevent premium spikes is close to 40 percent.

The Debate Will Be Over When the American People Say It's Over.  Shortly after the Supreme Court's decision on Obamacare, the CBO projected that 9 million people would buy Obamacare-compliant insurance through newly established government-run exchanges.  Now, after an enrollment period that his administration expanded by about two months — to more than half a year — President Obama says that 8 million people have "signed up" for (but in many cases haven't actually bought) insurance through those exchanges.  The Obama administration's stated goal was to have 39 percent of those who bought such insurance be between the ages of 18 and 34.  Now Obama says the actual percentage is 28 percent.  Only in Washington, D.C. could someone put up numbers like these and then brag about them.

Jay Carney: No timetable for releasing information about Obamacare sign-ups.  White House spokesman Jay Carney said he doesn't know when the administration plans to release more information about the 7.5 million Americans who signed up for Obamacare on the federal exchanges by the March 31 deadline.  The Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services "are working to crunch the numbers and assess the data and collect it in a way that provides as much information as possible," he said Monday during his daily briefing with reporters.  "I don't have a timetable for when that would happen," he added.

Study Finds Sicklier Enrollees in Earliest Stage of Health Law.  People who signed up early for insurance through the new marketplaces were more likely to be prescribed drugs to treat pain, depression and H.I.V. and were less likely to need contraceptives, according to a new study that provides a much-anticipated look at the population that signed up for coverage under the new health care law.  The health of those who enrolled in new coverage is being closely watched because many observers have questioned whether the new marketplaces would attract a large share of sick people, which could lead to higher premiums and ultimately doom the new law.

AIDS Patients Flock to Obamacare.  Offering a first glimpse of the health care needs of Americans who bought coverage through federal and state marketplaces, an analysis of the first two months of claims data shows the new enrollees are more likely to use expensive specialty drugs to treat conditions like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C than those with job-based insurance.  The sample of claims data — considered a preliminary look at whether new enrollees are sicker-than-average — also found that prescriptions for treating pain, seizures, and depression are also proportionally higher in exchange plans, according to Express Scripts, one of the nation's largest pharmacy benefit management companies.

6 Big Unanswered Questions About Obamacare.  [#2]  What percentage of those who are enrolled are between the ages of 18 and 34?  After the launch of the exchanges last October, the White House repeatedly emphasized that they were less focused on the total number of enrollments and more concerned with the demographic mix — specifically, the number of young adults signing up. [...] Early on the administration had been clear that it was aiming for 40 percent of enrollees to be in the youngest cohort.  But so far, the administration's reports have indicated that only about 25 percent of sign-ups are young adults.

White House 'confident' in O-Care website.  The enrollment figures have increased in recent weeks with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services delivering the news Thursday [3/27/2014] that 6 million people signed up ahead of the March 31 deadline.  The numbers mean that approximately 1 million people enrolled in recent days, and 1.8 million signed up throughout the month of March.  Approximately 2 million people signed up in January and February.  However, it is unclear how many of those people have actually made a premium payment, which is the threshold for actually purchasing insurance on the exchanges.

Obamacare Enrollment Numbers? 'They Are Lying to Us,' Rep. Blackburn Says.  The Obama administration now says more than 6 million people have signed up for Obamacare, but critical information is missing, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) told Fox News on Friday.  "I think that they are lying to us about who has paid, who has not paid, who is getting subsidies...  They don't want to give us the numbers," she said.  "The way they are surveying this (web)site — you know they are trying to cover things up."

Few African Americans Enrolling in Covered California.  African Americans make up about 7 percent of California's population but just 3 percent of Covered CA enrollees.  But the situation is actually worse than that because African Americans make up 17 percent of the state's uninsured population, the very people Obamacare was supposed to attract.

Why Is the ObamaCare Mandate So Toothless?  The [individual] mandate is supposed to force young and healthy people to enroll so they can subsidize premiums for the older and sicker.  Otherwise, ObamaCare rates will spiral out of control.  (Which already appears to be happening, according to TheHill.com.)

New emails released on Dem senator's resistance to Obamacare cancellation numbers.  New emails have been released about whether Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall pressured a state agency to change its estimate of Obamacare cancellations.  Udall wanted the state Department of Insurance to downgrade its estimate of Obamacare-related insurance cancellations from 250,000 to just 73,000, because some Colorado residents were offered replacement plans.

Young Invincibles Are Killing Obamacare.  As the clock ticks down to the end of open enrollment for health coverage, one thing is becoming clearer:  what the final demographics will look like.  Demographics matter a lot because they will help determine whether the health insurance market goes into a death spiral (or requires hefty federal subsidies to keep it from doing so).  Young healthy people, and a lot of them, are needed to keep the market stable and premiums low. [...] As of March 1, 4,242,325 people had selected a plan on one of the exchanges; 1,075,990 of them, or just a smidge over 25 percent, were young adults ages 18 to 35 — that critical demographic that the exchanges need to enroll.  Previous projections had been for 40 percent.

Obamacare Hits Another Make Believe Milestone.  Obamacare "enrollment" in qualified health plans has now reached 5 million according to an announcement posted on the HHS website Monday.  As with all the previous "enrollment" milestones, we know for certain this one isn't true.  What we don't know is how far off the mark it is.

A Celeb Is Not a Cause.  The administration had projected that 40% of seven million enrollees would be adults under 35.  Actual sales came up short in every way.  "But the alarming shortcoming is the number of young participants, which would make the insured population older and sicker and the program too expensive."  There's no way to know, but it wouldn't be surprising if the young enrollees are sicker than their overall age cohort, too.

No, Obamacare Hasn't Reached 'Five Million Enrollments'.  You know the drill by now.  The Obama administration releases an enrollment figure, the media credulously repeats it, then we bring you the facts. [...] Back in reality, the generally-accepted estimate of the nationwide non-payment rate is 20 percent — meaning that one-fifth of the "newly enrollment" are not, in fact, enrolled.  The administration "counts" anyone who's placed an Obamacare exchange plan in their virtual shopping cart as signed up.  Kathleen Sebelius again testified last week that HHS is not keeping track of who checks out and pays their first month's premium, which are necessary steps to becoming fully enrolled.

The Editor says...
If a private business were run so sloppily, and the CEO couldn't give federal investigators accurate information about the number of its paying customers, that business would either collapse or it would be "regulated" to death by the feds.

Jonathan Tobin on Obamacare 'fake enrollment numbers'.  Note how quickly the administration announced the 5 million enrollee number.  This is in stark contrast to how other information about Obamacare has been forthcoming from the White House.  They are treating most enrollment information as it it was a nuclear secret.

Fake ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers.  The administration is claiming a limited victory by saying the number of those enrolled in ObamaCare has now hit 5 million with two weeks to go until the March 31 deadline. [...] But before the president and his team start popping the champagne corks to celebrate their achievement and their faux hipness, it's time once again to point out that the administration's Potemkin enrollment figures should be read with a truckload of salt.  As the New York Times reported last month, as much as 20 percent of all those enrolled had not actually paid their premiums, meaning they were not covered by the program.

Survey: One-third of uninsured do not plan to buy insurance, despite ObamaCare deadline.  Two weeks out from the ObamaCare enrollment deadline, a new survey shows about one-third of uninsured American have no plans to buy insurance — despite the law's requirement to do so.  And despite the administration's aggressive campaign to spread the word about the health care law, the same survey shows a startling percentage of people still don't know about the Affordable Care Act's basic provisions.

White House's March Madness-Themed Obamacare Pitch Is a Circus.  When the Affordable Care Act launched in October, enrollment figures were hard to come by.  The consensus was, however, that due to the problems associated with the non-functioning federal insurance exchange portal, enrollments would be low.  In November, the first figures were released and they were, as expected, dismally short of their targets.  But beyond the total number of enrollees, policy wonks became fixated on the number of younger enrollees.  The White House needed those ostensibly healthier young people to sign up in large numbers in order to stabilize the risk pool.

So how many have paid ACA premiums?  The White House insists it doesn't know how many people are fully enrolled in Obamacare but insurers say they've handed over enough data to show that the sign-up numbers are not as rosy as federal officials say.  The latest administration figures show that 4.2 million people have selected health plans in the new insurance markets.  Insurance industry officials at four of the big national health plans tell POLITICO that about 15 to 20 percent [of the] people who have signed up have not yet paid their first monthly premium — the final step to get coverage.

Sebelius has no idea what's going to happen.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee, was asked on Thursday [3/13/2014] if she could promise no more changes or delays in Obamacare.  She replied cryptically.  She was also asked how many of the 4.2 million people who purportedly signed up actually paid the required premium to be "enrolled."  She testified, "I can't tell you that because I don't know that."  She was 0 for 2 at this point.  So she'll agree to put off the individual mandate for a while, right?  Nope.  Zero for 3.

White House STILL won't say how many Obamacare enrollees have paid for plans.  As of March 1 about 4.2 million Americans had signed up for medical insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act, according to numbers released Tuesday [3/11/2014] by the Obama administration.  But it remains unclear how many of those enrollees have put their money where their mouse is.  Combined figures published by Obamacare marketplaces in California, Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington indicate that just 79 percent of signups in those states have come with checks attached.

Uninsured: Obamacare is Unaffordable.  A new survey confirms that the "Affordable Care Act" has failed to achieve one of its most important goals — making health coverage accessible to the uninsured.  As the Washington Post reports, "Just one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private health plans through the new marketplace have signed up for one."  Why so few?  According to the survey, which was released last Thursday by McKinsey & Company, the most common reason cited by uninsured respondents was lack of affordability.  Out of five possible reasons for failing to enroll, most chose, "I could not afford to pay the premium."

The ObamaCare Hydra-Headed Monster.  [Scroll down]  First, hardly any uninsured are signing up.  A McKinsey & Co. survey finds just one in 10 previously uninsured people have signed up for ObamaCare.  What's more, it finds that the most common reason for not signing up was ... affordability.  Since the justification for the "Affordable Care Act" was to make insurance available to those "locked out" of the market, this is a real problem for ObamaCare.  Amazingly, the administration can't even determine how many ObamaCare enrollees were previously uninsured because they forgot to include this question in the online sign-up form (it's in the paper version).  Second problem:  A huge number aren't paying their premiums, which means they actually aren't covered.

New health insurance marketplaces signing up few uninsured Americans, two surveys find.  The new health insurance marketplaces appear to be making little headway in signing up Americans who lack insurance, the Affordable Care Act's central goal, according to a pair of new surveys.  Only one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private plans through the new marketplaces enrolled as of last month, one of the surveys shows.  The other found that about half of uninsured adults have looked for information on the online exchanges or planned to look.

The Obamacare Disaster Is Now Undeniable.  [T]here goes the famed rationale for the health-care law — which was to bring the people, numbering anywhere between 31 million to 47 million depending on how and whom you count, without insurance into the system.  Why aren't they signing up?  First off, there will always be people who choose to live on the margins in some way or other.  They don't want to be in the system, they're paranoid about the system, they keep their money in their mattress and lots of cans in the basement.  But mostly, people aren't signing up now and haven't had health care before because of the cost.

Joe Biden admits Obamacare will fall short of enrollment goals by 1 or 2 million Americans.  Vice President Joe Biden publicly conceded on Wednesday [2/19/2014] what many critics of the Affordable Care Act have claimed:  The federal government will end the Obamacare open enrollment period far short of its goal.  'We may not get to seven million; we may get to five or six, but that's [...] a start,' Biden said during a speech in Minneapolis.  'I'm here to say thanks.'  The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that in order for the Obamacare system to avoid a financial 'death spiral,' at least 7 million Americans must enroll.

ObamaCare's Potemkin Enrollment Figures.  As the New York Times reports, of the millions who had purchased ObamaCare prior to last month a staggering 20 percent did not pay their premiums.  Though these people are still being counted among the total of those who are enrolled, they are, in fact, not covered and won't be until the bill is paid, assuming that ever happens.  That means the figures the administration has been proclaiming as good news are entirely fictional.

ObamaCare Enrollment Slows To Crawl, State Data Show.  With less than seven weeks of open enrollment to go, ObamaCare enrollment — and payments — have slowed to a near-crawl in some states.  Minnesota's exchange enrollment goal of 67,000 seemed within reach on Jan. 4, when signups stood at 25,860.  But after surging by more than 4,000 per week in the prior five weeks, signups collapsed back to November's pace of less than 700 per week.  As of Feb. 1, Nevada had just 14,999 paid enrollees — vs. the state's March 31 goal of 115,000.  Washington state, meanwhile, was slightly more than halfway to its goal of 340,000 signups — but only 88,071 had paid as of Feb. 1.

Report: ObamaCare Enrollment 'Slowing to a Crawl' in 2014?  The White House and its Congressional allies have been pumping greatly exaggerated Obamacare enrollment statistics in the media, which we helped debunk earlier in the week.  How are they going to dress up an apparent sharp downward trend in sign-ups (or "plan selections") in late January and early February, with the March 31 enrollment deadline fast approaching?

The Obamacare Enrollment Crash Is Coming.  Right now, the administration is counting the total number of people who have selected an insurance policy under the law, rather than the number of people who've paid for it.  But at some point, likely this spring, the administration will be forced to disclose how many people are actually paying their premiums — a more accurate, yet undoubtedly lower count of who actually got insured under the Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare boasts nearly 3.3 million signups, but administration won't talk about how many have PAID.  The White House and the Health & Human Services Department boasted Wednesday that 3.3 million Americans have signed up for private insurance coverage through marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act.  But the administration still hasn't said a word about how many — or how few — of those signing up on the chronically ill healthcare.gov website have paid for their insurance, and are actually covered.  A MailOnline analysis of publicly available totals from five states that run their own health insurance exchanges found that on average, just 66.5 percent of enrollees in those states have paid premiums.

One-Fifth of New Enrollees Under Health Care Law Fail to Pay First Premium.  One in five people who signed up for health insurance under the new health care law failed to pay their premiums on time and therefore did not receive coverage in January, insurance companies and industry experts say.

It's one thing to sign up -- it is another thing to pay up.
How many Obamacare customers have paid for their plans?  Democrats claim three million people have enrolled in private health insurance through Obamacare.  But how many have actually paid for their plans?  Several state exchanges have begun reporting the number of customers that did pay their first premiums, and some results are as low as 51 percent.

This will help inflate the enrollment numbers.
Jails Enroll Inmates in Obamacare to Pass Hospital Costs to U.S.  Being arrested in Chicago for, say, drug possession or assault gets you sent to the Cook County Jail to be fingerprinted, photographed and X-rayed.  You'll also get help applying for health insurance.

Taxpayers hit for millions as six states put inmates on Obamacare plans.  The Affordable Care Act prohibits the enrollment of full-time prisoners serving sentences, but many prisoners awaiting trial in prison jumpsuits are being enrolled purely to save county governments money — and shift costs to the feds — when they lengthy hospital stays are required.

Virginia Democrat: Not Enough Young People Signing Up for Obamacare.  Retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D., Va.) said Obamacare could become undone because not enough millenials are signing up for the exchanges, WAMU reports.  While more than 40,000 Virginians signed up for health insurance last month, only 27 percent were part of the younger set the White House is depending on to fund the law, and Moran doesn't expect those numbers to improve.

Obamacare is a Bad Deal For the Young: Cheaper to Be Uninsured, Study Shows.  The success of Obamacare largely rests on the shoulders of the estimated 2.7 million "young invincibles" whose premiums are needed to subsidize healthcare costs for others.  People in the 18 - 35 age group are needed to create a balanced risk pool.  Now a study shows that coverage through the ACA is just not a good deal for those young adults.

Study: Young adults lack incentive to buy ObamaCare coverage.  The conservative American Action Forum (AAF) released a study on Tuesday [1/21/2014] saying that the individual mandate penalty may never be substantial enough an incentive to get young adults to buy into the ObamaCare exchanges.  The study finds that after accounting for cost-sharing and subsidies in 2014, it would still be cheaper for 86 percent of young adults to forgo coverage and to pay the individual mandate instead.  That percentage decreases to 71 in 2015, and 62 in 2016, as the individual mandate penalty goes up.

The Young and the ObamaCare-less.  ObamaCare's defenders say its troubles are over as more people sign up and, by the way, stop griping because the law is here to stay.  Much evidence says otherwise, to the extent that the embroidered information the White House is willing to release counts as evidence. [...] The Health and Human Services Department still won't say how many people have enrolled in a plan by paying the premium.

New Study: It's Cheaper for Young People to Opt Out of Obamacare than to Enroll.  In short, the law stipulates that those who do not have health insurance must sign-up for Obamacare or pay a penalty.  But unfortunately for this administration, young people are already discovering that it's cheaper for them to pay the fine than sign-up for an insurance plan they can ill-afford.  Question:  How is this not a major problem for Obamacare supporters?

Where Have All the Uninsured Gone?  [V]arious sources suggest that the number of previously uninsured people who have so far bought policies on the exchanges is somewhere south of 750,000. [...] U.S. Census figures say that 45 million people go without insurance every year in this country.  To be sure, some of those are undocumented immigrants, who are unlikely to show up at a government-run exchange; others are legal residents who may not be eligible for subsidies.  But where are the rest?  We just created a giant new entitlement to take care of these people.  Why aren't they showing up to take advantage of it?

5 States Potentially Headed for Obamacare Disasters.  When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, some states appear to be in much worse shape than others.  For certain states, total enrollment has been nothing short of abysmal — particularly when compared with the potential market size of uninsured individuals. [...] The biggest potential for disaster, however, stems from a combination of relatively high total enrollment and low enrollment of younger residents.

This Obamacare number that nobody is talking about may be the most revealing.  According to government tallies, 44.5 million people called or visited state and federal websites they said, presumably indicating broad interest in the new benefit.  But we also know that only 2.2 million people have signed up for Obamacare.  Factoring in all of the professed web traffic, this would mean that the number of people who signed up (but didn't necessarily pay) for an Obamacare health plan amounts to a conversion rate of less than 5% of the Obamacare web traffic.  And this is among consumers who had the patience to navigate the faulty Obamacare web portals.

Dope or dopes?  Colorado essentially legalized the drug Jan. 1.  There are lines around the block, most outlets are already sold out, and the price has shot up to $400 an ounce.  A quick look at photos of those lined up for pot tells you they're exactly the kind of people Obamacare needs.  Most experts agree that Obamacare would work best if the so-called young invincibles would agree to buy insurance.  But these same invincibles are not crazy about the idea.

On Obamacare Death Spirals and Medicaid Time Bombs.  The Obama administration recently announced that 24 percent of enrollees on the Obamacare exchanges have been between the ages of 18 and 34. [...] The death spiral was the prediction made by many that not enough young people would dive into the Obamacare risk pools, leaving them filled with high-cost elderly patients and driving up premiums.

Jimmy Kimmel Savages ObamaCare and Uninformed Young People Who Support It.  As NewsBusters has been reporting for months, late night comics have been tearing the atrocious rollout of ObamaCare apart.  Conceivably the best job done to date was by ABC's Jimmy Kimmel who during his opening monologue Tuesday evening [1/14/2014] absolutely savaged the law whilst ridiculing the uninformed young people in this country that have ignorantly supported something that clearly harms them.

ObamaCare's Sex Problem.  The official ObamaCare "enrollment" numbers are out, and they're very close to the unofficial estimates on which we based yesterday's column arguing that the "adverse selection" problem does indeed seem to be materializing.  That's based on the age breakdown, which shows ObamaCare failing to attract the required proportion of younger Americans (18-34) and skewing heavily toward middle age, especially late middle age.  It can't be stressed enough that the real story is almost certainly far worse than the age distribution would suggest.

Hello, Death Spiral.  At first, it sounds good that 2.2 million Americans signed up for private health insurance through the federal and state exchanges from October 1 to December 28.  But the administration's goal was a bit more than 7 million by the end of March.  So half of the signup period has passed, and they're at 31 percent of their goal.

How many people who have signed up for Obamacare have actually paid?  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Sunday [12/29/2013] announced that 1.1 million Americans in 36 states had signed up for a plan through the federally run Obamacare exchange.  Adding signups for the remaining states running their own exchanges, the total number of reported signups would be slightly more than 2 million, according to the website acasignups.net.  In either case, the number would be far short of the 3.3 million enrollments the administration projected by the end of 2013.

Ouch: Obamacare Enrollment Numbers Fall Two Million Short of Goal.  White House officials announced Sunday [12/29/2013] that Obamacare enrollment has reached more than 1.1 million, this falls more than 2 million sign-ups short of their 2013 goal.

States lag far behind on ObamaCare enrollment.  Perhaps the most notorious is Oregon.  The state's insurance website failed spectacularly after the Oct. 1 launch.  The state reportedly has signed up 11,000 for private plans after moving to a paper application system.  But in another sign of the uncertainty, applicants began receiving robocalls warning them they should look elsewhere for coverage if they hadn't heard from the state by Monday, in order to get coverage by Jan. 1.

Oregon Health Exchange Yet to Complete One Enrollment.  Oregon is now analyzing what went wrong with the website, with many blaming the main contractor of the site.  The state has been able to enroll some people through a process that requires some online work and some paperwork.

With Friends Like Obama's Strike Team, Obamacare Doesn't Need Enemies.  After a public relations blitz targeting America's youth, the results are in:  The kids aren't signing up.  It's not just the bad deal on offer that's keeping them away.  It's also the White House's tone of contempt.

Obamacare Enrollments Lag Millions Behind.  [The] December 23rd deadline, which was extended an extra week due to the HealthCare.gov debacle, marks the near midpoint of Obamacare's six-month enrollment period.  The Obama administration says it needs to sign up 7,000,000 people to Obamacare by the March 31 deadline.  Individuals wishing for health coverage to begin January 1 must be enrolled by tomorrow's deadline; those wishing to avoid the government's fine of $95 or 1% of their income must get health coverage by March 31.

The reason young people have little interest in Obamacare.  The real reason for low enrollment in the so-called Affordable Care Act is that Americans (including the young) have finally found out "what is in it."  Because of this, ObamaCare has already gotten the attention of the younger generations, who are rapidly discovering they've been had by Obama.

Obamacare 'death spiral' scenario is about the states.  The term "death spiral" refers to an unraveling of the individual market if insurers are stuck with a disproportionate number of older and sicker enrollees with high medical claims without a sufficient number of younger and healthier participants to offset the costs.  Though the Department of Health and Human Services hasn't yet released a demographic breakdown of those who have picked a plan through Obamacare, early data from a handful of states has suggested that the risk pool has been disproportionately older.

National Lampoon's ObamaCare Vacation.  Enrollment and technical dysfunctions and security breaches akin to the 36 federal exchanges continue to beset Minnesota's operation, called MNsure.  On Tuesday [12/17/2013], April Todd-Malmlov, the exchange's executive director since 2011, resigned under political duress. [...] Out in Hawaii, Coral Andrews stepped down from her position running that state's exchange on the same day as Ms. Pearce.  Fewer than 500 people have enrolled thus far in the Aloha State's exchange, despite having received $205,342,270 in federal exchange planning and establishment grants.

45 States Still Haven't Hit 10% of Enrollment Goals for Obamacare.  Check out that runaway Obamacare enrollment over on EnrollMaven.com!  In Arkansas, its up to 1,404!  Well along the way to the state's goal of 51,000 paid enrollees by the end of March.  In Delaware, it's up to 793!  The state's goal is 35,000.  In New Hampshire, they hit 1,569.  Getting close to that goal of 19,000!  In West Virginia, it's up to 775!  They'll hit their goal of 24,000 in no time!  In Hawaii, all the way up to 444!  That goal of 9,000 is in sight! [...] Note all of the above states have Democratic governors.  The Obamacare fan's usual dodge or whine that the rollout is impeded by uncooperative Republican governors does not apply in any of those states; the difficulties in these states indicate that the problems with the program do not stem from insufficient enthusiasm from GOP lawmakers.

Alaskan Company Suspends Obamacare Enrollments, Cites Faulty Subsidy Calculator.  Enroll Alaska, an organization that was specifically created to aid Alaskans in enrolling for Obamacare, has thrown in the towel, at least for the time being.  As the Peninsula Clarion reports, Enroll Alaska has been able to enroll a grand total of only three people since the launch of the health-insurance marketplaces on October 1.  It has now given up entirely on that goal, at least until Healthcare.gov, the federal health-care exchange, gives Alaskans accurate figures on the subsidies they're eligible for.  According to Enroll Alaska, the exchange is telling people that they're eligible for a subsidy $100 less than what they actually qualify for.

'HealthCare.gov is in de facto shutdown'.  There are two sides to this coin.  The numbers of people enrolling and then the problems in processing enrollment information between federal government and insurance companies.  If I were spinning for the White House I would say enrollment is up 50 percent!  But that's because it's up from like 10 a day to 15 a day.  I haven't talked to large insurers seeing more than 100 enrollments a day.

Canceled Policies for New York Professionals.  Many in New York's professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama's health care plan.  But now, to their surprise, thousands of writers, opera singers, music teachers, photographers, doctors, lawyers and others are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage, if they can find it.

Where Obamacare enrollment stands in each state.  As enrollment starts to increase, the government has started using manual work-arounds for the various software errors that plague HealthCare.gov.  About 365,000 people have signed up for private insurance in the last two months, and 5 million visited the site in the first week of December, according to Reuters.

Obama the oblivious.  In explaining the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, President Obama told Chris Matthews he had discovered that "we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly."  An interesting discovery to make after having consigned the vast universe of American medicine, one-sixth of the U.S. economy, to the tender mercies of the agency bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service.

Colorado enrollment spikes, but age may be a problem.  Demographic information released at the end of November shows the makeup of the exchange so far skews much older than federal officials have targeted.  The White House has set a goal of ensuring that roughly 40% of all enrollees on the federal exchange are young and healthy.  As of November 30, just 11% of total enrollees in Colorado's exchange fall into the targeted 18 to 34 age bracket.  The majority of new enrollees — more than 60% — are between 45 and 65.

Oregon signs up just 44 people for Obamacare despite spending $300 million.  Oregon, once touted as a model for President Obama's health care law, signed up just 44 people for insurance through November, despite spending more than $300 million on its state-based exchange.  The state's exchange had the fewest sign-ups in the nation, according to a new report today by the Department of Health and Human Services.  The weak number of sign-ups undercuts two major defenses of Obamacare from its supporters.

GOP bill blocks pay hike for ObamaCare officials.  Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) proposed legislation on Monday [12/9/2013] that would prevent the federal government from giving bonuses or raises to people who run state-level health insurance exchanges under ObamaCare. [...] The Denver Post reported just 6,000 Coloradans were signed up through mid-November, even though the exchange expected that enrollment of 11,000 people would be a worst-case scenario.

HHS report shows Obamacare in deep hole on enrollments after two months.  Just 364,682 Americans picked a health insurance plan through President Obama's health care program between the Oct. 1 launch of the insurance exchanges and Nov. 30, the Department of Health and Human Services announced today [12/11/2013].  Though the pace of signups accelerated during November, as only 106,185 Americans had picked plans as of Nov. 2, the combined signups were still less than half the administration's target of 800,000 enrollments by the end of November.

ObamaCare had 25 percent error rate in enrollment rollout.  One in four applications for ObamaCare was botched during the process of forwarding the electronic files to insurers over the last two months, officials admitted Friday [12/6/2013].  The startling 25 percent error rate for October and November means that thousands who signed up on Healthcare.gov during that time could face problems when they try to use their new policies starting Jan. 1.  The error rate fell to 10 percent this month, after repairs were made to the troubled Web site.  But insurance-industry leaders are warning that the transmission situation is far from resolved.

Online Obamacare Enrollment Surges in November, but Still Lagging.  Around 100,000 Americans successfully signed up for health insurance in November through the troubled federal online marketplace, HealthCare.gov, a person familiar with the preliminary data confirmed to ABC News.  The figure reflects a surge in enrollment as software and hardware fixes to the site were made over the course of the month.  In October, only 26,000 people could successfully enroll in Obamacare plans, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

A Roll of the Dice.  About 40 percent of those who sign up for new plans will have to be under 35 for this cost-shifting scheme to work.  If they're not, then to avoid having everyone's premiums start to dramatically spike upwards, Obama may have to bail out insurance companies, the least popular and least trusted private-sector provider of services outside of used-car lots.  Explaining that to voters may be beyond anyone's rhetorical gifts.

Oregon healthcare exchange website never worked, has no subscribers.  Oregon, a state that fully embraced the Affordable Care Act, is enduring one of the rockiest rollouts of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, with an inoperative online exchange that has yet to enroll a single subscriber, requiring thousands to apply on paper instead.

It's Official: Obamacare Enrollment Is Super Low.  Roughly 100,000 people enrolled in health insurance through Obamacare last month — far short of the administration's goal.  The Health and Human Services Department said 106,185 people have successfully applied for and chosen private insurance through the health care law's new marketplaces.  That total is only about 20 percent of the administration's initial enrollment target for October, the first month in which consumers were able to sign up for coverage.

Health insurance enrollment data predictably low in South Carolina, across U.S..  Fewer than 600 South Carolinians successfully enrolled in a health insurance plan through the federal marketplace last month, according to initial data released by the Obama administration Wednesday [11/13/2013].

October Surprise? 106,000 Enrolled in Obamacare, 27,000 through Healthcare.gov.  Just under 27,000 people enrolled in insurance via the federal health exchange through November 2, the Department of Health and Human Services announced today [11/13/2013].  Combined with 79,391 enrollees from states running their own exchanges, 106,185 total people have enrolled in exchange plans.

Obamacare: 106,000 signed up for health coverage so far, officials say.  Just 106,000 Americans successfully signed up in October for health coverage through President Obama's healthcare law, the administration announced Wednesday in a report that underscored damage from the botched launch of the law and gave critics new fuel in their effort to roll it back.  The tally falls well short of administration hopes that as many as 500,000 people would select a health plan in the first month of enrollment.  Enrollment has been particularly weak in the 36 states whose new insurance marketplaces are being run by the federal government.

Obamacare enrollment at 106,185, HHS says.  The first month of enrollment in President Obama's health-care overhaul yielded 106,185 consumers who were fully processed by health exchanges, but those numbers are mostly for state-run operations, Health and Human Services officials said Wednesday.

Only 1% of Massachusetts Cancellations Have Enrolled for Obamacare.  There are too many rolling and coming catastrophes caused by ObamaCare to keep track of.  Just wait until the employer market is hit late next year.  But within a few weeks, a humanitarian crisis is about to hit millions who could find themselves without health insurance.  Millions who had their insurance policies cancelled are now unable to re-insure themselves on the broken ObamaCare websites.  In liberal Massachusetts alone, only 1% of those cancellations have re-enrolled.

Administration: 106,000 enrolled in health insurance in first month of HealthCare.gov.  Slightly more than 106,000 Americans signed up for health plans in the first month of new state and federal insurance marketplaces, the Obama administration reported Wednesday [11/13/2013].  The figure, which was far lower than the administration predicted, points to the steep challenge ahead as the White House tries to overcome public and congressional frustration with the program's problem-plagued rollout.  The tally showed that just a quarter of the enrollments were in the federally run marketplace, while the rest were in the state exchanges.

Obamacare credibility going up in smoke.  The health insurance signup numbers the White House released Wednesday afternoon were deeply disappointing, though not particularly surprising.  Everyone knows that the HealthCare.gov website has been performing abysmally, and the actual numbers confirmed what everyone could only guess at until now because the White House had withheld the data.  Overall, only about one-fifth of the people the White House expected to sign up for insurance in the first month actually did so:  106,185 against a forecast of 500,000.  That's just slightly less than a capacity crowd at Penn State's Beaver Stadium.  And of those who signed up, only 26,794 did so on the federally run exchanges in 36 states.  The rest enrolled on state-run exchanges.

1,370 Illinoisans enrolled in Obamacare in first month.  In Illinois, 1,370 individuals selected an insurance plan in the first month of open enrollment in President Barack Obama's health care law, the federal government said Wednesday [11/13/2013].  Nationwide, a total of 106,185 individuals enrolled in a plan under the Affordable Care Act, a fraction of the nearly 500,000 initial signups that federal officials had projected a month before the trouble-plagued website launched on Oct. 1.

513 insurance policies sold on Nevada health exchange.  So far 513 Nevadans have purchased health coverage through the state's health insurance exchange that went live Oct. 1.

Cover Oregon Still Doesn't Cover Anyone.  The billboards and ads are eye-catching, and they paint a utopian picture of health care and wellness now available in Oregon at the behest of benevolent big government.  Never mind the facts showing recipients of government health care, (Medicaid) have no significantly better health outcomes than those without insurance, they're going to sell you the dream regardless.  Some estimate as much as $28 million will be spent on feel good songs and other advertising to convince people to enroll in "Cover Oregon."  Except, so far, you can't enroll in private insurance at all.

HealthCare.gov Enrollment Falls Far Short of Target.  Fewer than 50,000 people had successfully navigated the troubled federal health-care website and enrolled in private insurance plans as of last week, two people familiar with the matter said, citing internal government data.  The figure is a fraction of the Obama administration's target of 500,000 enrollees for October.  The early tally for the HealthCare.gov site, which launched Oct. 1, worries health insurers that are counting on higher enrollment to make their plans profitable.

Working ObamaCare Exchanges Enroll Only 3 Percent of Goal.  The Wall Street Journal reports that only 40,000 to 50,000 have thus far signed up on the federal website.  This brings the total number of enrollees (including the 12 states with working sites) to fewer than 100,000.  The White House target for October alone was 500,000.

Time to Start Considering Obamacare's Worst Case Scenarios.  If you're expecting a low number of enrollees when the Department of Health and Human Services announces its first round of Obamacare registrant figures this week, here's a sneak peek into what to expect.  Health-care consultant Avalere Health reported Monday that 3% of the expected 2014 enrollment figure was met as of last week, or 49,100 registrants out of 1.4 million, for 12 of the 15 exchanges available in 14 states and the District of Columbia.

HealthCare.gov Enrollment Falls Far Short of Target.  Fewer than 50,000 people had successfully navigated the troubled federal health-care website and enrolled in private insurance plans as of last week, two people familiar with the matter said, citing internal government data.  The figure is a fraction of the Obama administration's target of 500,000 enrollees for October.  The early tally for the HealthCare.gov site, which launched Oct. 1, worries health insurers that are counting on higher enrollment to make their plans profitable.

About 40,000 Americans are said to have signed up for plans on HealthCare.gov.  Roughly 40,000 Americans have signed up for private insurance through the flawed federal online insurance marketplace since it opened six weeks ago, according to two people with access to the figures.  That amount is a tiny fraction of the total projected enrollment for the 36 states where the federal government is running the online health-care exchange, indicating the slow start to the president's initiative.

The Editor says...
The people who have signed up already are the ones who are most eager to do so.  Those who are more reluctant will not put up with a broken web site and very high prices.

States report low health insurance enrollment numbers.  Enrollment for health insurance on state-run exchanges has been low in the first month, as officials in various states cite website glitches, a months-away deadline and even the government shutdown as reasons for the low numbers.  Officials from 13 of the 15 states with their own exchanges, said 757,000 have registered for the exchanges, but only 139,170 people have bought or enrolled in health insurance plans.

DC ObamaCare numbers show 5 people signed up for exchange.  While President Obama continues his cross country pitch on the merits of his landmark health care law, dismal new data shows only five people in the D.C. area have signed up for the Affordable Care Act — or ObamaCare.  The enrollment data from the four health insurance companies participating the D.C. exchange was released Friday [11/8/2013] by Republicans Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Colorado's canceled health insurance count tops 200K .  More than 200,000 Coloradans are losing their health insurance because of the federal overhaul, the state Division of Insurance reported Thursday in a count of lives on health plans canceled by 23 carriers in the wake of new requirements.

Delaware reports 4 enrollments under ObamaCare.  More than a month after the launch of Delaware's health insurance exchange, officials report only four Delawareans enrolled for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

O-Care stonewall: Media stymied.  CNN, ABC, MSNBC and others have filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking information on the beleaguered healthcare.gov website.  They have also asked for government documents revealing how many people have enrolled in the new healthcare exchanges.  Journalists have repeatedly pressed the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the enrollment data, but the administration says it won't do so until mid-November.  Republicans have noted that President Obama has dropped hints he is aware of the enrollment figures.  In a recent speech, Obama said "thousands" have signed up.

No wonder they won't release the numbers!  The first look at administration efforts to track signups for ObamaCare shows just how bad the Oct. 1 crash of the new entitlement program was.  Memos obtained by the House Oversight Committee are not official enrollment numbers, but say that as of the morning of Oct. 2, "six enrollments [had] occurred so far."  After two days, only 248 enrollments were on the books out of an estimated population of uninsured Americans in the tens of millions.

Obamacare website enrolled just SIX people on its launch day, and only 248 after two days of operation.  Just six people successfully enrolled in health insurance plans through healthcare.gov during the first day of the Obamacare system's operation, according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services meeting notes released Thursday night [10/31/2013] by a congressional committee.  By the end of the second day, a total of 248 people nationwide had bought insurance policies through the federal government's online portal, [...]

Oregon: some significant progress fixing health exchange, still no enrollment.  Officials for Oregon's health insurance exchange on Thursday [10/24/2013] reported some progress, but acknowledged a major fix to the problem-plagued site may not happen this month as hoped.  The website still has not enrolled anyone.

The Editor says...
Please note that Oregon is a very "Blue" state on the west coast, and nobody has signed up.

How many people onstage with Obama today have successfully enrolled in ObamaCare?  The White House communications team had three weeks to find 10-15 people who've actually enrolled in O-Care via Healthcare.gov to serve as human props for an Obama press conference on this subject.  Three weeks.  And yet, according to the WH's own mini-biographies of the people invited to the Rose Garden today, just three have successfully registered so far.

AP's Julie Pace: White House Is Lying About ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers.  The media, specifically MSNBC, believe the White House is openly lying to them about not having the numbers on those who have enrolled for ObamaCare.  Monday [10/21/2013] on Morning Joe, the AP's Julie Pace said that on a daily basis she is being told by the Obama administration that "we don't have the number yet."  A few sentences later, Pace reveals that she knows the administration is lying to her, "We know that they have these numbers."  Joe Scarborough and Mike Barnicle agreed with her.  Rather than being outraged over being lied to, though, Pace seemed amused by the whole thing.

Number of People Who Have Signed Up For Private Insurance in Oregon: Zero.  Sarah Kliff trumpeted Oregon's "success" yesterday [10/17/2013].  The state had signed up 56,000 people for Medicaid, due to ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion.  Today, the actual Miss Local Crime Story reports on a number the Administration isn't as excited to trumpet:  The number of people enrolled in private insurance, through the market place, is zero.

Obamacare figures leave a lot unsaid.  The administration hopes to get 7 million people enrolled in coverage through the exchanges by the end of March, and millions more on Medicaid.  But the longer the computer problems persist, the harder it will be to meet that goal.  To get covered by Jan. 1, people must enroll by Dec. 15.  But they can still sign up for coverage until the end of March 2014.  Administration officials Saturday night would not release any information beyond the raw number of applications.

One state is spending $12,000 so far to attract each new insurance customer.  A startup venture recruiting people for a one-way, 43 million mile trip to live on Mars has generated more signatures than all the Obamacare health insurance plans combined.  Just 712 people in Vermont have enrolled in the state's new health insurance exchange, despite $9 million in outreach, advertising and other PR expenses paid for by the federal government.  The entire state of Alaska has yet to register a single person, according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Obamacare fail: More enroll for Mars trip than for health exchange.  The Daily Mail reported that Twitter exploded on Thursday [10/17/2013] after it was revealed that 202,586 individuals had successfully signed up for the Mars One colony project to populate the red planet as soon as the technology becomes available.  By comparison, the analytics firm Compete.com found that only 36,000 have registered for Obamacare via the official government site, Healthcare.gov.

Analysis: 0.4% of All HealthCare.Gov Visitors Enrolled in First Week.  "It's no surprise that news media organizations are having a difficult time finding anyone who has actually enrolled for health insurance, or that the Obama Administration has been reluctant to share enrollment statistics with the public," writes Millward Brown Digital managing director Matt Pace.  According to an analysis by his firm, 99.6 percent of visitors to the online health insurance exchanges failed to purchase insurance during its first week.

Analysis: Less than 1 percent of visitors to ObamaCare exchange enrolled.  Less than one percent of people who visited healthcare.gov in its first week actually enrolled for coverage under ObamaCare, according to a new analysis.  The consulting firm Kantar US Insights estimated that only about 36,000 people completed the enrollment process by Oct. 5, out of about 9.5 million unique visitors to the glitchy ObamaCare portal.  The analysis also found that traffic to healthcare.gov plummeted 88 percent between Oct. 1 and Oct. 13 as users encountered problems with the system.

Colorado gives 1st look at insurance enrollments.  Officials with Connect For Health Colorado said 226 people have signed up for insurance using the exchange, for a total of 305 people getting coverage.

No One in Alaska Signed Up for Obamacare Exchange.  Not a single citizen of the state of Alaska have [sic] signed up for the Obamacare exchange.  The Associated Press reports that Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, has written a letter to Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the problems with the health insurance exchanges set up by the federal government.

Obamacare enrollees become urban legend.  Nearly two weeks after the federal government launched the online Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov, individuals who have successfully used the choked-up website to enroll for a subsidized health insurance plan have reached a status akin to urban legend:  Everyone has heard of them, but very few people have actually met one.

Newest urban legend: Obamacare enrollees.  Mockery of Obamacare's incompetent rollout has spread to the mainstream media, no longer able to ignore the fiasco. [...] The first two weeks of healthcare.gov have passed, with no progress toward a usable website on which to enroll.  The public is being told that they can also enroll via paper applications, but does anyone really think that the staff are in place to handle the volume of applications that must be completed to avoid the  fines  taxes that are part of Obamacare?

Awesome: Hawaii Signs Up Zero People for ObamaCare.  Another ObamaCare success story.  Considering this is his home state, it's a colossal humiliation.

We paid over $500 million for the Obamacare sites and all we got was this lousy 404.  The site itself, which apparently underwent major code renovations over the weekend, still rejects user logins, fails to load drop-down menus and other crucial components for users that successfully gain entrance, and otherwise prevents uninsured Americans in the 36 states it serves from purchasing healthcare at competitive rates — Healthcare.gov's primary purpose.  The site is so busted that, as of a couple days ago, the number of people that successfully purchased healthcare through it was in the "single digits," according to the Washington Post.

Internet: 1; Obamacare: 0.  Just 51,000 people completed Obamacare applications during its websites' first week, according to MailOnline, The target for the six-month open enrollment period is 7 million for the program to be financially feasible.  At this rate, they will come up 5 million short.  All this for Healthcare.gov websites that cost taxpayers over $500 million, according to an estimate from Andrew Couts of Digitaltrends.com.

El Paso TV Station Can't Find One Local Person Who Has Successfully Signed Up for Obamacare.  It's too bad that Chad Henderson doesn't live in El Paso, Texas.  The entire national mainstream media industrial complex lauded the Organizing for America volunteer last week when he claimed that he had successfully signed up for Obamacare.  El Paso's KVIA-TV tried to duplicate the media's feat on the local level — it tried to find a single local person who had successfully signed up under President Obama's signature law.

Only Five Iowans Have Signed Up on Obamacare Exchange.  A total of five Iowans have signed up for Obamacare through the state's healthcare exchange, according to a new report.  KCRG-IA reports that state Obamacare officials say, "We cannot say for sure whether anyone has successfully signed up through the healthcare.gov website."

The Sebelius Subterfuge.  [Scroll down]  Stewart also asks Sebelius how many individuals have signed up for Obamacare.  Here Sebelius was prepared with the correct answer.  As we learned from Treasury Secretary Jack Lew this past Sunday, the correct answer (at this point, anyway) is:  I don't know.  Translation:  the number is laughably small (at this point, anyway).  Sebelius wasn't going to give Stewart any more material for comedy than absolutely necessary.  Well, the number may be small today, but it will grow.  We may be laughing now, but we won't have the last laugh.

Cali: only 1.7% of exchange visitors signed up.  While early "guesswork" had estimated the sign-up rates were not 'terrific', Covered California — the Obamacare exchange — has released data on the final enrollment rates.  They are not great.

HHS Secretary Sebelius: 'I don't know' how many have signed up for ObamaCare.  Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius admitted Monday night [10/7/2013] that she did not know how many people had signed up to take part in the online health insurance exchanges provided for by ObamaCare, but then claimed that "hundreds of thousands" of accounts had been created.

The Editor says...
Those two claims contradict each other, and neither claim can be believed.  Ms. Sebelius is in charge of the program, so she should know exactly how many people have signed up for it, from one hour to the next.  But in any case, she can't claim that she doesn't know the number and then claim that it's in the hundred of thousands.

What are you hiding, Mr. President?  The "most transparent administration in history" will not reveal the federal enrollment numbers for Obamacare.  A White House spokesman said it could be "weeks" before the Obama administration releases Obamacare enrollment figures.  Your tax dollars pay for Obamacare, unfortunately.  But your president can't be bothered to reveal how many — or how few — people have actually signed up.

Obamacaid.  ObamaCare's website appears to have been built by Mitt Romney's "Project Orca" digital team, and perhaps tens of people have managed to sign up so far.  "Fully enrolled, I can't tell you.  I don't know," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius conceded Monday [10/7/2013].  But Democrats do have one lament about implementation:  Some states are opting out of the Medicaid expansion.

Historic Numbers Are Enrolling for Obamacare But You Can't Know How Many.  The LA Times is now reporting that Covered California originally reported more than 5 million hits on October 1st and that somehow was supposed to account for their inability to stay online and work while online.  Those numbers were a bit overstated.  They only had 514K hits according to the Long Beach Press.  That's just hits — some were probably bots.  Most of the healthcare.gov sites in the country crashed or simply didn't function.  They still aren't.  The Obama administration attributed it to the overwhelming interest in the new healthcare options.  Anonymous insurance industry officials told The Washington Post that very few people have signed up.  They say the numbers are in the single digits.

Paging Federal Obamacare Enrollees: Is Anybody Out There?  We've written before that critics of Obamacare shouldn't put too much weight on early glitches and technical failures, but the problems may be even more extensive than we thought.  Wonkblog states that reporters haven't yet been able to locate a single person who has successfully signed up for coverage on the federal exchanges.

Few buy into ObamaCare by day 3.  ObamaCare is attracting lots of window shoppers, but not that many buyers. [...] In Connecticut — where ObamaCare was predicted to send prices for individual policies soaring — 498 residents had completed applications for coverage as of midday Thursday, out of 85,000 unique visitors to the Access Health CT Web site and another 4,000 calls to its help line, spokesman Jason Madrak said.

Salt Lake City mayor lies about successfully enrolling his son on Obamacare exchange.  Earlier this week, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker claimed it was "relatively easy" to sign one of his adult sons up for Obamacare on the exchange website.  Well, as it turns out, he lied.  His son isn't enrolled yet.

If You Build It Poorly, They Won't Come — Even If It's Free.  Getting young, healthy people into the exchanges is critical to Obamacare.

Less than 1 per cent of Web visitors are signing up for Obamacare on some state health exchange websites.  As President Obama's signature health insurance overhaul effort began to enroll new participants on Monday, some states running their own insurance exchanges saw huge levels of website traffic but paltry interest in signing up.  California, the ultimate blue state whose federal lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in support of Obamacare, turned less than 1 per cent of its Web visits into 'Covered California' participants on Tuesday [10/1/2013].

California's Obamacare fails to enroll a single customer.  California's Obamacare network failed to register even one person for insurance on when the exchanges opened on Tuesday, according to a local TV station.  Covered California initially claimed 5 million visitors on the first day, but that turned out to be a web-page count of clicks by 500,000 visitors.

Zero Enroll in New LA Plan on Obamacare's First Day.  Louisiana's top health-insurance provider said that not a single person enrolled in a new health-care plan offered through the Affordable Care Act on its first day.  An executive with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana told the Times-Picayune that the agency was unable to sell the plan because customers were unable to access the HealthCare.gov website due to its website's sluggishness.

Tenn. TV Station Can't Find Anyone Who Has Successfully Signed Up for Obamacare.  "We're hearing not a single person locally has been successful getting through to the new health insurance exchange," said a local reporter.  "It seems to be a problem especially in states like Tennessee, where the state opted out and left it up to the federal government to run what is essentially an online shopping site."

Incompetence

13 Incompetent Failures in the Obama Administration.  [#10] Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is perhaps best remembered for the absolutely disastrous rollout of the Obamacare website in 2013.  President Obama's signature healthcare achievement, ironically known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, has put providers out of business, caused thousands of Americans to lose their coverage, and driven up the costs of health care.

The incompetence of our neo-monarchy.  So, if I follow correctly, the smartest president ever is not smart enough to ensure that his website works; he's not smart enough to inquire of others as to whether his website works; he's not smart enough to check that his website works before he goes out and tells people what a great website experience they're in for.  But he is smart enough to know that he's not stupid enough to go around bragging about how well it works if he'd already been informed that it doesn't work.  So he's smart enough to know that if he'd known what he didn't know he'd know enough not to let it be known that he knew nothing.  The country's in the very best of hands.

O'Malley, Obamacare, and the Technocracy Myth.  When Democrat Martin O'Malley announced his presidential bid, the media billed him as part of a new generation of talented technocrats.  The former Maryland governor, as one outlet put it, "helped pioneer a data-driven approach that made government more efficient."  These people have evidently forgotten the spectacular failure of Maryland's online Obamacare exchange, which crashed moments after launch because O'Malley and his administration studiously ignored ominous data provided by its technical experts.  In other words, O'Malley's "data-driven approach" didn't involve looking at actual data.  It consisted primarily of telling the media that Maryland's exchange would be a "model for the nation."

Former Obamacare chief to lead top insurance lobby.  The former chief of Medicare and Medicaid, who was responsible for overseeing the implementation of President Obama's healthcare law, will lead the insurance industry's top lobbying group.  Marilyn Tavenner, who in February stepped down from her role as chief administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will become the new head of America's Health Insurance Plans, which represents dozens of U.S. insurers.  AHIP's board of director unanimously elected Tavenner AHIP president on Wednesday [7/15/2015], the group announced.

Insurance Industry Taps Top ObamaCare Official To Head Its Lobby.  Where do you go after you've overseen the massively botched launch of the still unfinished ObamaCare website and were caught wildly exaggerating the number of people enrolled in ObamaCare plans?  Why, you get a job as head of the insurance industry's top trade group, of course.

Problems Found With 2.2 Million ObamaCare Enrollees.  Millions of people could be in for a rude surprise later this year when they discover they aren't eligible for ObamaCare, or are getting too big a subsidy, thanks to another failed ObamaCare promise.

Obamacare Contractor Pays Employees To Do... Absolutely Nothing.  Under a Republican administration, this would be a huge scandal.  Above-the-fold coverage in The New York Times for weeks on end.  The lead story on the network news.  You know the drill.  Given this administration, however, suffice it to say that you'll only see this immense waste of taxpayer dough on a few select outlets willing to speak truth to power.  Please note that this investigation was the product of an intrepid, local news team at St. Louis KMOV.  And anyone with a modicum of sense knows that this is but the tip of the iceberg.

Employees charged with reviewing paper applications for Obamacare contractor do nothing all day, whistle blower alleges.  Employees working for Obamacare contractor Serco do nothing for days or weeks at a time, a whistle blower within the company told a local news station this week.  The employees want to work but there's not enough work to go around, the employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told St. Louis, Missouri's News 4 KMOV.  The employee alleged that Serco is keeping its workforce unnecessarily high to get more money out of the federal government.

Cash for Obamacare Shirkers.  When Obamacare operatives aren't busy trashing the private health insurance market and squandering billions on useless technology, they're busy ... being idle. [...] According to at least one Obamacare paper-pusher, employees at an application-processing center in Wentzville, Mo., are getting paid to sit around and do nothing.  Investigative reporter Chris Nagus of the St. Louis television station KMOV News 4 spoke to the whistleblower.

Obamacare Contractor Pays Employees to Spend Their Days Doing Nothing.  The contractor is called Serco and local reporter discovered that, despite there not being any work to be done, the government contractor is still hiring.  "The company is still hiring," says a local reporter.  "A current employee wonders why ... After providing proof of employment, this Serco employee agreed to speak through the phone with their voice altered.  The employee says hundreds of employees spend much of the day staring at computer screens, with little or no work to do."

FBI reportedly probing Oregon's botched ObamaCare launch.  The FBI reportedly is probing the failed launch of Oregon's ObamaCare insurance exchange, joining several other agencies looking into the multimillion-dollar program that was scrapped last month.  The Oregonian and KATU first reported on the preliminary investigation.  The law enforcement arm of the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general also is involved, according to The Oregonian.  The state exchange, called Cover Oregon, stood out as perhaps the worst-run of all the ObamaCare exchanges.  The state decided last month to abandon the system and default to the federally run insurance exchange, on HealthCare.gov.

FBI reportedly probing Oregon's botched ObamaCare launch.  The law enforcement arm of the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general also is involved, according to The Oregonian.  The state exchange, called Cover Oregon, stood out as perhaps the worst-run of all the ObamaCare exchanges.  The state decided last month to abandon the system and default to the federally run insurance exchange, on HealthCare.gov.  The Wall Street Journal reports that the FBI has interviewed several people as part of the inquiry.

A doctor, not a bureaucrat, should be in charge of Health and Human Services.  It is time for a physician or an expert in health care to administer Health and Human Services, not another numbers-massaging manager, no matter how able. [...] HHS stands for "Health and Human Services," not Health and Insurance Services.  Only a doctor who deals with ObamaCare every day can attest to the problems the growing insurance bureaucracy pose to actual patient care.

Despite Rollout Failures, Federal Obamacare Employees Awarded Big Raises.  Last year employees at the federal office in charge of implementing Obamacare were given raises despite the massive failures of the rollout of the president's takeover of our healthcare system.  A recent Freedom of Information Act request made by the Washington Examiner discovered that employees of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) were paid substantially more in 2013 compared to their 2012 salaries.  The CMS is Obama's "ground zero in launching and managing Obamacare."

'Confidential' memos allege cover-up in health exchange errors.  Confidential documents which appear to be from a Nevada Health Link employee may reveal huge problems within the state health exchange.  What could be internal memos seem to show the former health exchange CEO knew early on there were problems with premium pricing and tried to hide them from the public.  Now, one local law firm is planning a class action lawsuit against Nevada Health Link and Xerox, the company in charge of running the website.

11 Sebelius Supporters with Egg on Their Faces Today.  [Kathleen] Sebelius stuck around just long enough to reach the mythical 7 million enrollment number so Obama didn't have a major public relations fiasco on his hands.  Then she was forced out — although, in a final touch of somewhat charming bewilderment, she announced to the press that she had no clue just how many Americans who signed up for Obamacare were previously uninsured.  Competent to the very last drop.

Sebelius botches farewell speech.  Sebelius was praised by Obama for her five years of service, and was speaking about the families benefiting from the new health law.  She turned one of the pages and lost her place.  She spent a moment rummaging through her notes and told the audience, "Unfortunately, a page is missing."  The audience laughed, she smiled and Obama looked on.

Sebelius Misspells Successor's Name in Farewell Email.  Newly-retired Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius misspelled the name of her successor, Sylvia Burwell, in her final goodbye email to her HHS coworkers, reports Politico.

Sebelius' Parting Words: 'And Unfortunately, a Page Is Missing'.  Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius officially announced her resignation Friday, but just like the glitches that plagued the federal website for Obamacare — healthcare.gov — which she was responsible for, Sebelius experienced a glitch of her own when the last page of her speech went missing.

About Mrs. Sebelius.  Kathleen Sebelius is getting out of Dodge, and the timing of her resignation as Secretary of Health and Human Services makes l [sic] sense.  Though the 7.1 million figure for ObamaCare sign-ups is overblown, it provides the proper political cover for her to leave.  By leaving now, Mrs. Sebelius also denies the GOP a juicy target in its campaign to retake the Senate this year.

Sebelius's Slow-Motion Resignation From the Cabinet.  Everyone knew it was a disaster.  After Kathleen Sebelius appeared on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" last October, she and her staff at the Department of Health and Human Services felt she had been sandbagged by Mr. Stewart.  At the White House, President Obama's top aides were aghast at her wooden performance.  The White House frustration with Ms. Sebelius crystallized by Thanksgiving, as it became clear in Washington that she would eventually have to go.  Republicans were brutalizing her at congressional hearings.  The health care website's problems were consuming the White House.

Sebelius's final glitch?  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's resignation speech didn't go off without a glitch.  "Unfortunately, a page is missing," she announced in the middle of a speech she had printed out in front of her.  Twitter exploded, with people calling it a metaphor for her time at the department.

Kathleen Sebelius resigning after botched Obamacare rollout.  With the rocky rollout of his health care law in a post-deadline lull, President Obama will move this week to shake up his health care team, accepting the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and tapping his budget director as a troubleshooting replacement, the White House confirmed Thursday.  Mrs. Sebelius, a former Kansas governor who has served as HHS secretary for Mr. Obama's entire tenure, was the president's point person as his signature law stumbled out of the blocks in October.

Covered California Sends Deaf Callers To Hotline Offering 'Hot Ladies'.  On the deadline to sign up for health coverage through Covered California, some hearing-impaired residents were sent to a chat line offering 'hot ladies' instead of an insurance navigator. [...] A Covered California spokesperson declined an on-camera interview, first saying by email, "We've never had the incorrect number on our site."  A screenshot captured by CBS13 shows the incorrect number as it appeared on the site.  Later, we would get another email saying in part, "...After investigating it further, we are reviewing the shop and compare tool as an incorrect number.  We're currently working to correct the problem."

As Obamacare deadline looms federal health care website is down for maintenance.  Visitors to HealthCare.gov on Monday morning saw messages that the site was down for maintenance.

Obamacare Website Down on Final Day of Enrollment.  The federal Obamacare website is down for maintenance on the final day of open enrollment.  Since 3:00 a.m. Eastern time, HealthCare.gov has been down to fix a software bug.  "The tech team is working now to bring the system online as soon as possible," a spokesperson told Politico.

Obamacare website crashes TWICE on enrollment deadline day.  On the final day of enrollment this year for medical insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government website that runs the program went offline.  Again.  And White House Press Secretary Jay Carney found himself in the awkward position of taking a victory lap — citing enrollment totals of more than 6 million — while last-minute customers were frozen out of the system.  Carney appeared rattled at the beginning of his daily press briefing, committing an unforced error that quickly attracted scorn on social media.

Healthcare.gov hit by glitches on final day of enrollment.  It's been months since the most egregious problems for Healthcare.gov were smoothed out, but on Monday, the site was down once again.  On the final day (sort of) of individual enrollment on the federal exchange the Affordable Care Act's website was "down for maintenance" for about six hours Monday morning.

The Editor says...
Does that make any sense?  Why would they take the web site down on the most critical day of the year?  Sounds to me like they are cooking up an excuse to move the registration deadline again.

Sebelius: Higher Premiums and 'No Idea' Who's Paid.  An admission on premium pricing and a denial on enrollment details under ObamaCare were the major headlines out of testimony from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday [3/12/2014].  With less than three weeks left to the close of the Affordable Care Act's open enrollment season, Sebelius faced questions about the rollout of the federal exchange, coverage costs and weaker-than-expected enrollment numbers.  The secretary was appearing before the House Ways and Means Committee to defend her agency's proposed 2015 budget.

Maryland to reportedly abandon $125M ObamaCare exchange for new system.  The Washington Post reported late Friday [3/28/2014] that the board of the Maryland exchange will vote on changing the system that has cost at least $125.5 million at a meeting on Tuesday [4/1/2014], the day after the end of the first enrollment period under ObamaCare.

America in Decline.  [Scroll down]  Scandals follow in the wake of Obama appointees to key governmental jobs.  Kathleen Sebelius, Obama's Health and Human Services Secretary, apologized, last October, for the abject failure of the computer system that was supposed to deliver the Obamacare plan to the American public.  "In these early weeks, access to health care has been a miserably frustrating experience.  You deserve better," she said.  The planning team had been working on the computer system for years.

White House turns to cat pictures to sell Obamacare.  With the deadline for enrolling in the Obamacare exchanges just days away, the White House is scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas — including turning to cat GIFs, or animated videos made of multiple still photos.  The cats are just some of the goofy GIFs the White House has posted, according to the Florida Times-Union, which said the White House is trying to catch the latest retro Internet craze.

White House's March Madness-Themed Obamacare Pitch Is a Circus.  In the first weeks of March, President Barack Obama sat down with comedian Zach Galifianakis for his online interview program as part of a comedic effort to convince young people of the benefits associated with health coverage.  Days later, a slew of celebrity moms joined the first lady as part of the ACA pitch, "#YourMomsCare."  "We nag you because we love you," Michelle Obama said to the camera in what has to be the most misguided effort to appeal to young people in the history of advertising. [...] Expect more of this kind of flailing desperation as the end of the open enrollment period nears.

Sebelius has no idea what's going to happen.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee, was asked on Thursday [3/13/2014] if she could promise no more changes or delays in Obamacare.  She replied cryptically.  She was also asked how many of the 4.2 million people who purportedly signed up actually paid the required premium to be "enrolled."  She testified, "I can't tell you that because I don't know that."  She was 0 for 2 at this point.  So she'll agree to put off the individual mandate for a while, right?  Nope.  Zero for 3.

Official in charge of federal ObamaCare exchanges to leave job.  The official in charge of the federal ObamaCare exchanges, who oversaw the insurance marketplaces through their troubled rollout, has announced he is resigning at the end of open enrollment.  Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced to staff in an email Wednesday [3/5/2014] that Gary R. Cohen would be leaving his position at the end of the month.

ObamaCare's Potemkin Village Website Written In Belarus?  U.S. intelligence agencies report that developers linked to the Belarus government helped create the Healthcare.gov website and may have inserted malicious code making it vulnerable to cyberattacks and hacking.

Obamacare — The incompetence and denials keep coming.  Two stories converge today to illuminate how the White House and the Democratic establishment are attempting to hide the next wave of Obamacare failures.  Both [Washington] Post stories reveal how the president and Democratic leaders at the state level are hiding problems with Obamacare instead of confronting and fixing problems.

Maryland Obamacare website gave insurance seekers the phone number of a Seattle pottery shop.  Maryland's Obamacare insurance marketplace is enduring the latest of a series of public embarrassments as its website has been referring hundreds of confused shoppers to a pottery store in Seattle, more than 2,300 miles away. [...] The state government listed the toll-free number of Seattle Pottery Supply on a page meant to help people who had trouble signing up for a new insurance plan on what critics say is one of the nation's worst-managed Obamacare websites.

El Web Sito Obamacare Es Written en Spanglish.  Presidente Obama y su personnel de la White House have launchar un websito del Obamacare en español.  "¿Viva Obama?"  Not so fasto.

Spanish-language Obamacare website is written in 'Spanglish'.  It launched two months late, but the rollout of the Spanish version of the federal Obamacare portal has been just as disastrous as its English counterpart's October debut, according to an Associated Press report. [...] The AP says the translations on so poor that many users feel they were computer-generated.  The name of the site, CuidadoDeSalud.gov, can be litterally [sic] read as "for the caution of health."

Obama administration mulls loosening tech hiring rules after ObamaCare rollout.  The Obama administration, stung by the failures of the HealthCare.gov rollout, is considering loosening hiring rules for technology specialists and creating a new federal unit dedicated to big tech projects, officials said.  The steps, some of which President Barack Obama could announce this quarter, are designed to address the lack of concentrated talent in civilian federal agencies to manage large technology projects — a shortcoming exposed by October's disastrous launch of the federal health-insurance site.

It's not working.  Let's add another layer of bureaucracy!
Obama administration mulls loosening tech hiring rules after ObamaCare rollout.  The Obama administration, stung by the failures of the HealthCare.gov rollout, is considering loosening hiring rules for technology specialists and creating a new federal unit dedicated to big tech projects, officials said.  The steps, some of which President Barack Obama could announce this quarter, are designed to address the lack of concentrated talent in civilian federal agencies to manage large technology projects — a shortcoming exposed by October's disastrous launch of the federal health-insurance site.

Top Republican smacks Obamacare higher-up as she resigns following healthcare.gov debacle.  Rep. Darrell Issa, the hard-charging conservative Republican who chairs the House Oversight Committee, criticized Michelle Snyder on Monday [12/30/2013] for 'bypassing the recommendation of CMS' top security expert' before green-lighting the October 1 launch of healthcare.gov.  Those experts, Issa said in a statement, recommended a delay 'after independent testers raised concern about serious vulnerabilities from a lack of adequate security testing.'

12 questions the White House press corps could have asked Obama about Obamacare.  [#6]  Today, just hours before we came to this press conference, the HealthCare.gov website was down.  It had a note on it referring to the crash as "scheduled maintenance."  Was it scheduled maintenance today or just another crash?  And, if it was scheduled maintenance, why was maintenance scheduled just days before the extended deadline for enrollment?

Revealed: How a simple spelling error helped bring down $630 million Obamacare website.  A spelling mistake in the words 'not recommended' on the Obamacare website led to the site going down, it was revealed today in internal notes from 'war room' meetings of experts scrabbling to breathe life into the shambolic operation.  The error limited the choices Obamacare shoppers were offered in October and often presented them with overpriced options.  Ultimately, at least some of the website's many outages were brought about by this simple typo, as technicians struggled to give the public an experience that mirrored President Obama's promises.

Sebelius Seeks Firm to Help HHS Not Appear 'Ignorant and Unaware'.  One week after a Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report created a media firestorm by revealing that the official White House calendar and Politico presidential calendar recorded only a single one-on-one meeting between President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, HHS announced it is looking to hire a media firm to help the embattled agency not appear "ignorant and unaware."

Incompetence.  They had 3½ years to make sure ObamaCare will work, three years to get it right top to bottom, to rejigger parts of the law that they finally judged wouldn't work, to make the buying of a policy easy on the website.  And they not only couldn't do that, which itself constitutes an astounding and historic management failure, they make it clear they were taken aback by their failure.  They didn't know it was coming!  Or some knew and for some reason couldn't do anything.

With Enemies Like This, ObamaCare Doesn't Need Friends.  ObamaCare is, without a doubt, the most haphazardly conceived, clumsily written, deviously passed and poorly executed law in American history.  It is an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions.  And Americans know it.  In the rush to pass it without GOP help, Democrats made huge drafting errors.  Obama himself has ditched, delayed or waived several unworkable parts.  The Supreme Court found a major chunk unconstitutional.  Because of ObamaCare, workers are seeing hours cut or their jobs eliminated.  Unions say it will destroy longstanding, multiemployer health plans.  And countless people are right now getting cancellation notices on their existing policies because of ObamaCare.

ObamaCare Schaden-Fraud.  This is the magnificent validation we are experiencing as all elected Democrats and members of the Jurassic media are fast discovering that the man and the plan they have so arrogantly shoved down our throats — and so naively placed their hopes in — are simultaneously being exposed as shams.  And sham-wow, is it ever cathartic, as we have been called racists, terrorists, hostage-takers, kooks, haters, and stupid for years — all because we deigned to be correct about the biggest legislative boondoggle in American history.

Obamacare and the Death of Liberalism.  [Scroll down]  These "smart" people can't even run a website.  The eternal liberal dependence on class warfare and racism?  Yes indeed, the party of slavery, segregation, lynching, the Ku Klux Klan, racial quotas and illegal immigration never blinked at the shameful firing of an Obamacare operator — a black single mom — for the "crime" of answering Sean Hannity's questions honestly.  And doing so while keeping on a rich white woman named Kathleen Sebelius whose management of Obamacare has been as incompetent as it is dishonest.

David Gergen: Report on Obamacare Prep Shows 'No One in Charge' of White House.  A veteran Washington adviser who has worked for four Presidents on both sides of the political aisle said that the stunning Government Accountability Report that found President Barack Obama has not had a one-on-one meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius since the passage of Obamacare over three years ago is an indictment of the entire White House operation and shows that the Obama administration has bordered on "malfeasance."

Obama: Sebelius has done a 'great job'.  President Obama defended his embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Thursday [11/7/2013], saying she had done a "great job" setting up the ObamaCare insurance despite the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov.  "I think Kathleen Sebelius, under tremendously difficult circumstances over the last four and a half years, has done a great job in setting up the insurance markets so that there is a good product out there for people to get," Obama said when NBC News's Chuck Todd asked him if the secretary retained his "full confidence."

Ten Republican senators press Obama relieve Sebelius.  Ten Republican senators asked President Obama on Thursday to fire his top health official because the problems tied to the federal Obamacare website are "profound, systemic and undeniable." [...] They outlined a litany of problems with HealthCare.gov, which is supposed to connect residents of 36 states with health plans on the individual market but has frequently crashed since its Oct. 1 debut.  The site also has struggled to transmit accurate reports to insurers that correspond to individual transactions.

Core Incompetency.  December 1 has come and gone without the Obama administration's having delivered its promised "fully functioning" health-care website — another item in President Obama's catalogue of broken health-care promises, another example of his administration's utter incompetence at anything other than campaigning.  When it comes to making speeches, the president is pretty good; when it comes to getting things done, it's a clown show.  And now the clowns are running your health care.

Unbelievable incompetence led to no-bid contract for healthcare.gov.  Suddenly realizing that you can't manage the finance and accounting aspects of the program is somewhat like a contractor erecting a skyscraper and suddenly realizing that it hadn't competently excavated the foundation.  In toher [sic] words, the whole edifice is at risk of collapse in both cases.  You can tell how embarrassing and revealing this is by the fact that nobody is willing to speak on the record.

Obamacare agency rushed in contractor without bids, documents show.  Caught flat-footed by the challenges of building the financial-management and accounting parts of the U.S. government's new online marketplace for health insurance, officials rushed to hire a familiar contractor without seeking competing bids, according to government procurement documents reviewed by Reuters.

War on What?  A left-liberal magazine's publication of an article titled "The Republican War on Competence" would have seemed unremarkable at just about any point in this columnist's adult lifetime.  But this article, by Jeff Shesol for The New Yorker, was published yesterday — with a Democrat in the White House presiding for the 51st day over the most stunning display of governmental incompetence since Prohibition, maybe since Nero.  In that context, it's like a dispatch from a different planet.

Incompetence and arrogance go hand-in-hand.
Sebelius says she doesn't 'work for' those calling for her resignation.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is rebuffing calls from Republicans for her to resign over the troubled launch of the ObamaCare sign-up website, saying those asking her to resign are "people I don't work for."

Sebelius: 'I Don't Work For' People Who Want Me to Resign.  Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius responded moments ago to questions about whether she will resign in the wake of the Affordable Care Act's problematic rollout.  Her response is raising some eyebrows.  "My goal is to actually get the website up and running," she told reporters.  "The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are people who I don't work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place. [...]"

She's on thin ice, and it's starting to crack.
Sebelius on the run.  President Obama in his interview with NBC News couldn't quite summon an endorsement of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who has presided over the epic failure of the ObamaCare launch.  When asked if he still had "full confidence" in his health law pointwoman, Obama ducked:  "I think Kathleen Sebelius, under tremendously difficult circumstances over the last four and a half years has done a great job in setting up the insurance markets so that there is a good product out there for people to get."

Obamacare Is Obama Unmasked.  Everyone is focusing on Obamacare because it is such an obvious disaster, but in fact, it is but a microcosm of Barack Obama's entire presidency. [...] At first, you may have been hanging on to the fantasy that this was just a technical problem with the website — perhaps marginally understandable given the immense scope of the "transition" into government-run health care.  But unless you have been asleep the past few weeks, you understand that the problems with the website were so colossal that only an incompetent and arrogant administration could have presided over them.

Sebelius: 'I apologize, I'm accountable' for Obamacare website flaws.  It's been almost a full month since the HealthCare.gov website launched, riddled with technical problems despite a series of advance warning signs.  And despite a chorus of apologies out of Washington, it may be another month before everything's running smoothly.

The Editor says...
If she is accountable for this fiasco, why hasn't she resigned?

HHS chief must pay for this fiasco.  The rollout of ObamaCare and especially its Web site, HealthCare.gov, has been a fiasco of Inspector Clouseau proportions.  The White House says the site's going to wind up costing a billion dollars — with the fix costing roughly twice what was spent to build it in the first place.  And we have no reason to believe the White House will meet its end-of-November deadline, and good reason to doubt that, even if fixed, the site can handle the millions of Americans who are required by law to enroll in insurance by Dec. 15.

Let me guess.  Because she's a woman?  Because Valerie Jarrett won't let him?  Because he doesn't know what incompetence looks like?
Why Obama Won't Fire Sebelius.  Speculation has swirled since the sputtering start of Obamacare that the Health and Human Services secretary would take the fall — and that the only reason the president hadn't yet swung the ax was a pragmatic one:  Any replacement could be held up by Senate Republicans as the health care law is re-litigated ad infinitum.  But that isn't the case.  Those close to the president say that Obama hasn't even thought about dumping Sebelius.  "He is interested in solutions, not scapegoats," says top advisor Valerie Jarrett.

Heckuva job, Sebelius.  Little did they know it, but Republicans fighting to defund or delay Obamacare had an ally in spirit in Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  Her explanation for why the Obamacare website doesn't work is that she couldn't possibly have been expected to make it work in the mere 3½ years since the law passed.

Lawmakers: Sebelius failed at government website projects prior to serving in Obama administration.  Obama administration Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' failure at designing websites to provide government services began during her term as governor of Kansas, long before the Obamacare website debacle, Kansas political insiders told The Daily Caller.

'Barry Bam Bam' never knows the gun is loaded.  Most Americans had never heard about Canadian company CGI that built the still floundering website until after it crashed.  But Obama knew the company and was praising it as a "wonderful" one way back during the 2008 presidential campaign.  Obama didn't know it might have been time to worry when CGI was fired by the Ontario Government for delays and cost overruns on the building of data bases for diabetic clients.

In July, HHS bragged that Obamacare and its website would be ready 'on schedule'.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius bragged in July on her agency's health care blog that 'we're on track with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  It's signed, sealed, and it's delivering — on time.  Eleven weeks later, Sebelius and the rest of the Obamacare rollout team came under fire when its flagship website crashed, flubbed and gaffed its way into the historical annals of failed launches.

Way to go, liberals.  You elected Sergeant Schultz!
The ObamaCare debacle marks the return of 'President Passerby'.  Last spring, President Barack Obama maintained plausible deniability throughout the Benghazi, IRS, and Department of Justice snooping scandals, letting most of the blame fall on the people below him.  He was dubbed "President Passerby" by members of the press, and accused by critics of either lying about his level of involvement in the scandals or being woefully uninformed about what was happening in his own administration.  Now, as more details emerge about the ObamaCare rollout fiasco, it looks like the hands-off president is back.

Even Liberals are Gagging on the Bitter Taste of Obamacare.  The Obama administration's incompetent half-billion-dollar rollout of its incompetent multi-trillion-dollar signature achievement is but a tragic metaphor for this man's entire presidency.  (It's not hyperbole when it's true.)  Nearly three weeks in and the utopian promise of "affordable care" for all has yielded but a handful of folks who've even been able to sign up for this clinic in socialism.  That Obamacare — something billed as a health-care panacea for the collective — is something that the collective neither asked for, nor wanted, is now the back story.  That it has failed so fantastically in every respect, has taken center stage.

Top Ten Things Overheard from the Obamacare Website Design.  [#10]  "Are you sure we can't just program it in Fortran?

Liberal Hates Obamacare Now, But Still Won't Admit that Ted Cruz Was Right.  As a poor executive, Obama has proven himself incapable of spotting trouble as Healthcare.gov was being built, and on Monday appeared just as ineffective as the nation's IT manager.  Obama's team know how to campaign.  They do not know how to do much else.

ObamaCare Website Now Officially the Most Incompetent Thing Obama Has Ever Done.  The ObamaCare website, which estimates have placed at anywhere from under [$]100 million to [$]400 million to just under 300 million to 634 million dollars, not only tops even Solyndra, but couldn't have been designed any worse if Joe Biden had tried making it in his spare time.

Troubled Obamacare website wasn't tested until a week before launch.  Federal officials did not permit testing of the Obamacare healthcare.gov website or issue final system requirements until four to six days before its Oct. 1 launch, according to an individual with direct knowledge of the project.  The individual, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the troubled Obamacare website project as suffering from top-level management disarray, changing systems requirements and recurring delays.  The root cause of the problems was a pivotal decision by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services officials to act as systems integrator, the central coordinator for the entire program.

Can Sebelius Survive Rollout Disaster?  [Kathleen Sebelius] owes a huge debt to Cruz, Mike Lee and the House Republicans for bringing Washington to a standstill for 16 days.  Had they not put forward the strategy that led to the government shutdown while monopolizing the attention of the media, it's likely that most Americans would have spent this period obsessing about the incompetence of Sebelius and her department.

It's time to fire Secretary Sebelius.  Now, two full weeks since its launch, the website healthcare.gov still isn't functioning.  One CNN reporter began trying to sign up on Oct. 1.  As of the morning of Oct. 14, she still hadn't been able to.  A researcher who works for the New York Times has tried and failed to sign up for Obamacare 40 times since the website launched.  But the Obama administration continues making excuses for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the people who spent hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on a site that does not work.

HHS secretary faces calls to RESIGN over Obamacare web debacle.  Kansas Republican Pat Roberts has been a member of Congress since 1981 and a Senator since 1997, but he's never run this hard to the right before.  On Friday [10/11/2013] he demanded the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and his newly minted tea party challenger thinks he knows why.  Milton Wolf, a fire-breathing conservative radiologist who's also a second-cousin to Barack Obama, announced on Tuesday that he would run against Roberts in 2014 for the Republican nomination.

Gibbs: Obamacare Launch 'Excruciatingly Embarrassing'.  Former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs joined the chorus of media voices slamming Obamacare's rollout Monday [10/14/2013] on Now With Alex Wagner, calling the launch of his old boss' law "excruciatingly embarrassing."  Now an MSNBC contributor, Gibbs added the architects of the website should be fired for botching the site so badly.

Gibbs: 'I hope they fire some people' over ObamaCare rollout.  Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that people should be fired over the botched rollout of ObamaCare's new insurance exchanges.  "I hope they're working day and night to get this done.  And when they get it fixed, I hope they fire some people that were in charge of making sure that this thing was supposed to work," Gibbs said on MSNBC.  "We knew there were going to be some glitches, but these are glitches that go way beyond the pale of what should be expected."

Barack Obama, Our Dogmatic Amateur.  Like the Mississippi, the Affordable Care Act just keeps rolling along.  And as it does, the problems continue to pile up, one on top of the other.  The most recent one, of course, is the disastrous rollout of the ObamaCare exchanges.  It's not simply that it's failed; it's that the failure has been so complete, so total, and it has occurred despite the Obama administration having had so much time to prepare for this moment.

Kansas senator: HHS chief Sebelius should resign.  Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., says it's time for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign for "gross incompetence" over the rocky start to a centerpiece of President Obama's health care law.  It's not unusual for a GOP senator to call on a member of a Democratic Cabinet to resign, or vice versa.  But when the senator and the Cabinet secretary hail from the same state, their families have long been friends, and the senator supported the secretary's confirmation, that's noteworthy.

Why Does Sebelius Still Have a Job?  The government's website apparently cost more than $500 million to build — and counting.  This is more than LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Spotify, and yet it has been a disaster from the get-go, freezing, crashing, and locking people out.  The administration's line is that the website was overwhelmed by surprisingly strong demand, which they cast as a good thing.  Programmers who peeked under the hood of the website scoffed at that assertion, saying that the site was so poorly constructed, so full of glitches and buggy code that it could never have supported even the most modest traffic levels.  Some of that code was actually caused by spelling errors in Javascript.  Worse still, despite repeated warnings about the deficiency of the site, it apparently was not even taken out for a test drive before the administration launched the thing.

The Obamacare law is in a constant state of flux

Clinton's River of Corruption.  The Obama scandals weren't always indictable, but they are the most serious of impeachable offenses because they are offenses against the Constitution itself.  Describing only a few proves the point.  How many times did President Obama unilaterally amend the terms of his "Affordable Care Act" — Obamacare — without Congress enacting legislation to make the amendments part of the law?  A February 2015 article by the Galen Institute listed 48 changes to Obamacare since it was enacted.  Twenty-nine of them were made by Obama without congressional action.  Article I of the Constitution says that all legislative powers it creates are vested in Congress.  The president, under Article 2, is sworn to protect and defend the Constitution and execute the laws passed in accordance with it.  The president has no legislative power, but Obama exercised it.  And Congress did nothing to stop him.  It could have impeached him for these acts, but it was too chicken-hearted even to try.

House Bill protects members of 17 failed Obamacare Co-ops from uninsured penalty.  The House of Representatives has passed a bill to protect more than 800,000 former members of 17 failed Obamacare CO-OPs from having to pay a penalty for being uninsured when they file their 2016 tax returns.  The CO-OP Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 954), which passed last week on a 258-165 vote, would "amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exempt from the individual mandate certain individuals who had coverage under a terminated qualified health plan funded by the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) program."

Obama's Ideas to Fix Obamacare:  Expand Medicaid, Offer a 'Public Option'.  President Barack Obama is "quite proud" that his signature health care law has expanded coverage to 20 million more Americans.  But he admits the law could be strengthened, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Monday [10/3/2016].  "The president does have some ideas for things that we could do to further strengthen Obamacare.  The first is to find a way to ensure that every state across the country is expanding Medicaid, consistent with what was envisioned in the law."

The Editor says...
Am I the only one who remembers that Obamacare was originally a term of mocking derision?  The White House spokesman seems so proud of it now.

Ailing Obama Health Care Act May Have to Change to Survive.  The fierce struggle to enact and carry out the Affordable Care Act was supposed to put an end to 75 years of fighting for a health care system to insure all Americans.  Instead, the law's troubles could make it just a way station on the road to another, more stable health care system, the shape of which could be determined on Election Day.  Seeing a lack of competition in many of the health law's online insurance marketplaces, Hillary Clinton, President Obama and much of the Democratic Party are calling for more government, not less.

Obama caught breaking healthcare law.  For years, critics have said that President Barack Obama's administration plays fast and loose with the laws of our country.  Now, it's been revealed that Obama blatantly broken the law and bilked taxpayers for billions — all to prop up his failing healthcare system.  The Obama administration failed to follow the president's healthcare law in a $5 billion dispute over compensating insurers for high costs from seriously ill patients, Congress' investigative arm said Thursday [9/29/2016].

Time for the Senate to Tell Obama Where He can Put his Phone and Pen.  When Obamacare could not actually garner the support it needed to pass under regular order due to the fact that Scott Brown was elected specifically to stop it from passing, Democrats (with the full blessing of Obama) passed it under reconciliation even though it was not a budget bill.  When Democrats became skittish about the electoral consequences of the deadlines and penalties associated with Obamacare, Obama repeatedly just essentially rewrote the law without Congress by extending statutory deadlines, treating them as optional, or just not enforcing them at all.  At no point did he ever even contemplate approaching Congress and asking them to change these deadlines in accordance with their prerogative to change or modify existing legislation.

Obama Just Signed His 10th Bill Repealing (Parts Of) ObamaCare.  If you listen to the rhetoric from Democrats, the proof that Republicans are fixated on repealing ObamaCare comes from the claim that they've voted 50-some odd times to do so.  That's not entirely true, since many were votes to repeal parts of the law.  What is true is that Obama himself has signed multiple bills into law that have repealed ObamaCare bit by bit.

America's descent into lawlessness.  Mr. Obama also was worried about the political impact of his new Obamacare legislation on the 2014 midterm elections.  So he simply suspended by executive fiat the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act.  Had another president done that to the laws of Obamacare, the left would have demanded impeachment.

What Obama Has Taught Us.  On the Obamacare front, all the Supreme Court did was to clean up the Affordable Care Act, in a postmodern ruling that the administration's poorly worded law actually meant something other than what the text as written actually said.  The Court's intervention was an act of partisan salvation, not disinterested legal reasoning.

Obamacare Is Here to Prey.  Saturday morning [6/27/2015], fresh from his latest victory over the rule of law, President Obama delivered his weekly address to the bored technicians and sycophantic aides who make up most of the audience for this anachronistic performance.  His theme was as predictable as it was Orwellian:  "The Affordable Care Act is working, and it is here to stay."  The first half of this assertion fails to pass the laugh test. [...] That it is a failure by every standard set forth by its apologists is of no importance to the President or his fellow Democrats.  They never cared what effect the law would have on the cost, quality, or availability of American medicine.  It was never really about health care.  This is why they have been willing to revise it more than 50 times to keep it alive.

SCOTUS Rewrites ObamaCare to Save It.  One might think a 2700-page, largely unread healthcare bill passed solely by Democrats that remains as unpopular as ever might chasten the president who championed it.  Especially when that effort was based on a litany of lies, one of which earned Obama Politifact's 2013 Lie of the Year award. [...] We begin with Obama's insistence that Americans who had insurance prior to the passage of ObamaCare "got a better deal now" in reference to the additional insurance requirements provided by the law.  Yet those additional requirements come at a higher cost for many Americans, and many of those requirements, such as maternity care coverage provided to single men or the elderly, are nothing more than subsidies that force some Americans to underwrite the healthcare of other Americans.

Supreme Court Caves on Obamacare Again.  The Supreme Court had an opportunity, with its ruling in King v. Burwell, to determine whether the United States is a nation of laws or of men.  Today [6/25/2015], in a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled that we have devolved into the latter.  Although the text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) clearly states that the government may issue subsidies only through insurance exchanges established by the states, Obama administration bureaucrats unilaterally rewrote that part of the law so that the IRS could dispense such premium assistance through "marketplaces" created by the federal government.  The plaintiffs in King sued the government on the grounds that the Executive Branch has no power to thus alter an act of Congress.  Incredibly, SCOTUS has sided with the White House.

Obama: Congress can fix health law if court rules against it.  President Barack Obama says he has no alternate plan if the Supreme Court invalidates a key benefit of his health care law and he places the burden on the Republican-controlled Congress to fix the law if the high court wipes out insurance for millions of Americans.

Why the Obamacare Train Wreck Must Be Stopped.  As of this month, Obamacare has undergone not fewer than 50 substantial changes since its enactment in March 2010.  One wonders what is worse:  the law and its economically destructive mandates or that US President Barack Obama initiated 31 of these changes without legislative approval.  Such wholesale changes on the fly, by the law's own architects, demonstrate the Affordable Care Act's resounding failure better than any critic ever could.  Many of those responsible have now admitted the error of their ways, resigned, or inadvertently revealed the dishonest manner of its passage.  Political proponents such as former Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana have also suffered swift dismissals from their constituents.

HHS re-writes Obamacare rules: Orders free birth control for all.  The Obama administration on Monday ordered all insurers to provide IUDs, the contraceptive patch and other birth control free of out-of-pocket charge to all women, rewriting the rules after reports that some insurance carriers were refusing to cover all types of contraceptives.  Insurers must cover at least one brand of contraception in each of 18 different methods outlined by the Food and Drug Administration, such as oral contraceptive pills, the emergency contraceptive morning-after pill and intrauterine devices.

How the IRS repeatedly rewrites Obamacare tax credit provisions.  The plaintiffs in King v. Burwell argue that an IRS regulation unlawfully extends tax credit eligibility beyond what is expressly authorized under Section 1401 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  It appears that this sort of administrative rewrite of the PPACA may be more the rule than the exception, as there are at least two other instances of the IRS rewriting the PPACA's tax credit eligibility requirements.

The IRS delays yet another piece of Obamacare.  You know, for such a marvelous law, the Democrats seem awfully reluctant to actually implement it.

I, Obama Supplicant.  I don't know if you realize it, but gradually, over his presidency, Obama has become king, and we have for all intents and purposes become his supplicants.  He speaks, and, without congressional oversight or debate, we are forced to obey.  I mean, think about it.  A king speaks the word, and it becomes law.

My three part plan for the post-ObamaCare era.  Five years ago, President Obama and Congressional Democrats disregarded both the Constitution and the opinion of the American people when they enacted ObamaCare. [...] As the legislation has been implemented over the last five years, the cracks in the final bill have expanded one by one into full scale crises.  President Obama has attempted to patch these problems by writing new rules and regulations on the fly, often with questionable constitutionality.

Obama's Ongoing Assault on the Constitution.  Throughout his tenure in office, Obama has been exercising powers outside the scope of his constitutionally prescribed executive authority. [...] In implementing Obamacare, he granted exemptions and suspended deadlines at his sole whim and even granted federal subsidies to people in states that had not set up an exchange, in direct violation of the law, as his advisers have admitted.

Obama's Little Shop of Horrors.  In 2010, the takeover of America's healthcare system, leaving millions of Americans without the insurance Obama promised they could keep if they liked it.  He then illegally delayed the individual mandate for 2 years, extended the deadline to enroll, gave business a waiver from the employer mandate, gave waivers allowing "friends of the White House," not to participate in Obamacare.  Obama then offered waivers to Congress and their staff from having to participate in the very healthcare law that has been crammed down America's throat.

Unfaithful Executive.  When Obama campaigned for the White House in 2008, he joined many other Democrats in condemning President George W. Bush's use of "signing statements" narrowly to construe federal laws touching on the president's powers.  Obama excoriated the Bush administration's efforts "to change the meaning of the legislation, to avoid certain provisions of the legislation that the President does not like, and to raise implausible or dubious constitutional objections to the legislation." [...] But that was then.  After years of controversy over his targeted nonenforcement of federal laws — from "waiving" inconvenient provisions of the Affordable Care Act to disregarding provisions of the Clean Air Act that would render his climate-change program unsustainable — the president announced that he was effectively waiving the federal immigration laws with respect to 5 million illegal immigrants.

Who's Going to Pay for This Obamacare Wish List?  I wrote in this space last June that supporters of the president's health-care law had not made many specific suggestions about how to amend or otherwise change the Affordable Care Act.  Last week, the advocacy group Families USA attempted to change that, releasing its "Health Reform 2.0" agenda of how to expand on Obamacare.  But the paper also raises an important question for the law's supporters — including presidential candidates running in 2016:  How to pay for the myriad promises that liberal groups want to add to the health-care agenda?

The Editor says...
While reading the article immediately above, it quickly becomes clear that amend and change really mean expand.  Obamacare must be plucked up by the roots; otherwise it will continue to grow and spread.

White House Still Hasn't Approved IRS Paperwork On Individual Mandate.  Americans have to be prepared for an increased individual mandate tax to hit in just two weeks, but the White House still hasn't gotten around to approving the Internal Revenue Service paperwork on the requirement.  The IRS is trying to comply with federal rules that require White House approval on its new paperwork for the individual mandate.  But the White House has rejected one proposal and ignored another, according to new research from the American Action Forum, a free-market think tank headed by former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin.

The president rewrites the ObamaCare law — again.  On Thanksgiving eve, the Obama administration dumped reams of mind-numbing ObamaCare regulations into the Federal Register — including yet more unilateral rewrites of the Affordable Care Act.  Dropping the rules as most Americans were busy preparing for the holiday made a mockery (again) of President Obama's promise to have "the most transparent administration in history."  The stunt has even worked to keep most of the media from reporting on the rules.  Yet the changes these regulations make in the health care law are substantial.

Jeh Johnson: Legalized Illegals Don't Need to Comply With Obamacare.  Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in congressional testimony today that the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — will not apply to illegal aliens who are allowed to stay and work in the United States as a result of President Obama's executive action.  "Mr. Secretary, is it true that the illegal immigrants who are granted amnesty will not need to comply with the Affordable Care Act?" Rep. Lou Barlett (R-Pa.) asked Johnson at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.

HHS contemplating rule allowing them to choose your Obamacare plan for you.  Obamacare currently has auto-renewal enabled on its policies, because without it the signup and membership rate would probably slow, or even decrease.  The problem here is that auto-renewal also means lots and lots of future stories about people signing up for policies and suddenly discovering that their rates have gone through the roof.

If You Like Your Obamacare Health Plan, You Can Keep It, If HHS Doesn't Pick a New One For You.  Here's a Friday Obamacare news-dump for you:  In a 300-page regulatory proposal released late this afternoon, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it is considering changing Obamacare's auto-renewal rules so that, within the health law's exchanges, instead of being automatically renewed into your current health plan, you'd be moved into the lowest cost plan from the same service tier.

HHS calls for slew of Obamacare rule changes.  The Obama administration late Friday [11/21/2014] called for numerous significant changes to rules controlling the Obamacare health care program, including ones that would shorten open-enrollment seasons, increase transparency of insurance plans and prices, and push current customers toward lower-cost plans.  Most of the new rules proposed by the Health and Human Services Department would go into effect in 2016 if they are approved.  The extensive proposed changes were outlined by a six-page fact sheet distributed by HHS, containing 35 different individual explanations of the suggestions.  The proposals themselves are 324 pages long.

Like your Obamacare plan? HHS may re-enroll you in a different one.  When President Obama's healthcare law went into effect and millions of Americans had their plans canceled despite promises to the contrary, the administration argued that the new law would provide those who were displaced with better options.  But under changes being contemplated by the Department of Health and Human Services, people who like their Obamacare plans might not get to keep their plans.  Or at least, not by default.

Smoking Gun: Obamacare Subsidies For States Without Exchanges Invented 2 Years After Law Passed.  A new paper by businessman and finance expert Scot Vorse throws an evidentiary grenade into the pending Supreme Court Case on Obamacare, King v. Burwell.  The new information, published in a white paper from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, "highlight[s] a growing body of evidence indicating government officials originally planned to offer Obamacare tax credits only on state-established insurance exchanges," according to the accompanying CEI press release.

Latest Obamacare 'Tweak' a Doozy.  [I]t's not surprising that the bureaucrats at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would want to keep tweaking Obamacare.  Mind you, it's not so much because they think they can perfect the law.  Rather, they keep tweaking the law in order to keep the American people from brandishing pitchforks and coming to Washington to tar and feather them and ride them out of town on a rail.

Our Make-It-Up World.  Do bothersome facts matter anymore?  Not really. [...] Laws used to be real, not abstract.  Again, not anymore.  The administration sort of enacts some elements of Obamacare but ignores others.  Enforcement of federal immigration law is negotiable, likewise depending on the campaign cycle.

How Much Will Obamacare Cost? Bet on 'More Than Expected'.  Back in 2009, it was really important to President Obama that people understand he would not "sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future.  Period."  He sold the plan as costing about $938 billion in its first decade of operation (2010 through 2019) but saving about $143 billion overall because of the various taxes and other revenue it raised.  A 2012 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report figured that Obamacare would shave $109 billion off the deficit between 2013 and 2022.  This past June, however, the CBO said it will no longer try to estimate the law's effects on the deficit.  There have been too many delays, postponements, modifications, you name it, to the original bill.

Just Moseying Around in BHO Land.  Funny how that Constitution is conveniently ignored when it doesn't suit Obama.  As of July 18, 2014, we are currently up to 42 changes to ObamaCare, with "at least 24 that President Obama has made unilaterally."  Talk about ignoring the constitutional separation of powers.

The Latest Step in the HHS Mandate Saga: The Non-Accommodation Is Still Not a Solution.  In the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held for-profit companies had rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and that the contested HHS rule did not meet RFRA's "least restrictive means" test for imposing this requirement on employers with religious objections.  A few days later, the Supreme Court granted a preliminary injunction to Wheaton College — a not-for-profit institution that objects both to complying with HHS mandate and to the terms of the "accommodation" the Obama administration had written for institutions with such objections.  Wheaton will not be forced to comply with the regulation while its case is pending in the courts.  In response to these high-court rulings, the Obama administration released another round of rulemaking today [8/22/2014].

Friday News Dump: Feds Unveil New Birth Control Mandate.  The problem with ObamaCare isn't just that it's the so called law of the land, said law seems to keep changing in reaction to events and court rulings until not even "we have to pass it to see what's in it" holds up to the slightest scrutiny.

Obamacare Now Covers Gender Reassignment Surgeries.  Transgender Americans seeking gender reassignment surgeries are finding relief through Obamacare, The Daily Beast reported on Monday [8/25/2014].  Federal laws banning health insurance discrimination against transgender people, combined with Obamacare's ban on denying coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, have paved a path for transgender patients who wish to make the transition from one gender to another.

Administration Proposes New Health Rules Addressing Religious Objections.  The Obama administration on Friday [8/22/2014] offered compromises intended to address objections by some nonprofit groups and private companies over providing contraceptive coverage.

Obama Administration Revises HHS Mandate Yet Again.  Today [8/22/2014], the Administration released its eighth revision to the Health and Human Service (HHS) Mandate.  This is the latest step in the administration's long retreat on the HHS Mandate.  It is the eighth time in three years the government has retreated from its original, hard-line stance that only "houses of worship" that hire and serve fellow believers deserve religious freedom.  We look forward to reviewing the new rule and its implications for the 102 cases, including religious charities like Little Sisters of the Poor, Mother Angelica's Eternal Word Television Network, and religious colleges like Colorado Christian University.  Ninety percent of religious ministries challenging the mandate have received relief from the courts, and we are hopeful the administration's new rule will reflect the robust protections that have always been given to religious individuals in this country.

ObamaCare's Latest 'Accommodation' to Contraception Mandate: 'Insulting Accounting Gimmick'.  On Friday [8/22/2014], the Obama administration issued its eighth "accommodation" to ObamaCare's HHS contraception mandate, which requires most employers to provide free contraceptives, sterilization procedures, and abortion-inducing drugs to employees through their health insurance plans.  Lori Windham, Senior Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has represented many of the plaintiffs in their lawsuits against the Administration over the mandate, described the new rule in a press release as "the latest step in the administration's long retreat on the HHS Mandate."

President Humpty Dumpty.  The law that Congress wrote (but didn't read, under the shameless leadership of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi) turned out to be, as was inevitable, filled with holes and errors.  No matter:  a presidential edict a day keeps collapse away.  But the Constitution doesn't allow for government by executive edict.  That's for monarchy or dictatorship.

West Virginia Attorney General Sues Obama Admin For Obamacare's 'Administrative Fix'.  When it seems like the Obama administration is getting sued left and right for its implementation of the Affordable Care Act, West Virginia's attorney general is now suing the administration for one of its last-minute changes to the law.  Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a complaint Tuesday against the Obama administration for its so-called "administrative fix" issued last November, which punted the responsibility for millions of cancelled health insurance plans to states and private insurance companies.

ObamaCare's Shrinking Geography.  Probably hoping no one would notice, regulators late last week exempted from ObamaCare five U.S. territories where it was failing.  Will they do the same once it's obvious ObamaCare is failing everywhere else?

King Barack Rewrites Obamacare ... Again.  Obamacare's supporters have long insisted that it is the "law of the land," implicitly suggesting that it is immutable and permanent.  Evidently, it hasn't occurred to these people to mention that to their dear leader.  His Majesty, Barack I, obviously thinks of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a collection of royal decrees, any one of which may be altered at his pleasure.  Thus, in a proclamation issued last week through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, His Highness declared that all U.S. territories are now exempt from most of PPACA's morass of rules and regulations.

The administration just took Obamacare away from the territories.  The Affordable Care Act's design dealt a pretty big problem to the territories.  It required insurers there to comply with the law's major market reforms — guaranteed coverage, mandated benefits, limits on profits, etc. — without requiring residents to get coverage or providing subsidies to help them afford coverage.  The territories — Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands — have been warning for years that would destroy their insurance markets.

Hilarious lawlessness.  The Constitution's injunction that the executive "take care that the Laws be faithfully executed" is not a suggestion.  It is a requirement.  It is designed to prevent the executive from unilaterally suspending laws, as English kings claimed the right to do.  The lawsuit against the president undertaken by House Speaker John Boehner targets the serial delay of ObamaCare's employer mandate, just one of a number of seat-of-the-pants delays and alterations in the law.

Stopping a lawless president. Regarding immigration, health care, welfare, education, drug policy and more, Obama has suspended, waived and rewritten laws, including the Affordable Care Act.  It required the employer mandate to begin this year.  But Obama wrote a new law, giving to companies of a certain size a delay until 2016 and stipulating that other employers must certify they will not drop employees to avoid the mandate.  Doing so would trigger criminal perjury charges; so he created a new crime, that of adopting a business practice he opposes.

The Myriad Contradictions of Barack H. Obama.  In September of 2013, the president made an emphatic declaration about delaying the health care law:  "Delay the law [ACA] — that's not going to happen as long as I'm President."  This sentiment was echoed by then-Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during congressional testimony when she insisted, "Delay of the healthcare law is not an option."  At most recent count, despite the president not having the statutory authority to allow for this, ObamaCare deadlines and implementations have been delayed by the White House and/or Dept. of HHS at least 38 times.

The Constitution, Rule of Law, and the Power of the Political Class.  Why are so many people upset that the Obama White House keeps arbitrarily changing parts of Obamacare — even when bad provisions are being suspendedor certain groups are being exempted from bad policy?  Well, some of them may simply dislike Obama or government-run healthcare, and there's nothing wrong with being against a politician or rejecting bigger government.  But the most important reason to be upset is that the White House is making a mockery of the rule of law.

The Employer Mandate is a Goner.  Conservatives have long known that Obamacare's employer mandate, if implemented, will create harmful distortions in the labor market and damage the economy.  The mandate will force small employers to rebuff workers they would hire in its absence, and it will incentivize large employers to replace full-time employees with part-timers.

Will Obamacare's Employer Mandate Ever Be Implemented?  Several days ago, a trio of researchers at the Urban Institute released a paper titled "Why Not Just Eliminate the Employer Mandate?"  The paper argues that the provision in Obamacare requiring employers with 50 or more workers to provide health coverage or pay a penalty could be ditched without significant effect on insurance coverage.  The paper's particulars are probably less relevant than its overall argument:  It's the latest in a series of motions designed to test the waters for the elimination of the requirement.  Movement began last summer, when, over a long holiday weekend, the administration called for a one-year delay of the employer mandate and reporting requirements.  It continued this year when an additional year's delay for smaller businesses, as well as a reduction in the requirement for larger employers, was tacked on.

"If You Like Your Doctor" Might Be Discarded Altogether.  Here's the thing:  health policy wonks on both the left and right have spoken about the upsides of disentangling employment and health insurance.  The past (and current) status quo still includes huge incentives for employers to be the primary vehicles for insurance, however.  The employer mandate is a part of that.  Obamacare was controversial enough on its own without going after the employment-insurance nexus, though.

76 'Lawless' Obama Actions.  [President Obama] Granted a "hardship" exemption from the individual mandate for people whose health plans were canceled because their plans weren't Obamacare compliant.  Delayed the individual mandate for two years.  Allowed individuals to buy health insurance plans in 2014 that did not comply with Obamacare.  Extended this delay until 2016?past the mid-term elections.  Extended the deadline to enroll in Obamacare.  Illegally granted businesses a waiver from Obamacare's employer mandate.  Twice.  Illegally continued the Obamacare employer contribution for congressional staffs.  Illegally delayed the Obamacare caps on out-of-pocket healthcare payments.  Illegally delayed Obamacare verification of eligibility for healthcare subsidies.  Illegally required people to violate their faith via the Obamacare contraception mandate.

HHS widens O-Care penalty exemptions.  People who obtained health plans off the marketplaces after March 31 will not automatically face a penalty under the individual mandate, the Obama administration said Friday [5/2/2014].  In a bulletin, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created a temporary hardship exemption for people who purchased coverage that was effective on Thursday of this week or beforehand.  The move essentially nullifies the month of April for the purposes of enforcing the mandate.  Previously, people with a three-month gap in coverage in 2014 would have faced a penalty of $95 or 1 percent of annual household income.  This meant that almost everyone needed to have health insurance by March 31.  But the administration changed this deadline to May 1 for many people who struggled to enroll on the marketplaces.

Aetna: 'On the Fly Obamacare Changes Responsible for Half of 2015 Premium Jump.  Americas third-largest health insurer said on Thursday that customers can expect 2015 premium spikes that in some states will be "over double digits" because of the Obama administrations endless "on the fly" Obamacare changes.  Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told reporters that his company prefers to stay at its current level of Obamacare participation in just 17 states and said customers can expect health insurance premiums to climb, despite the Affordable Care Act.

Sebelius: Extra Time To Enroll In Obamacare Is "Not An Extension".  [Video clip]

CRS report: The administration has missed 44 of its own ObamaCare deadlines.  The delays range from days to months to years, and the report isn't even talking about the many unilaterally implemented delays to the law's most fundamental parts like the employer mandate (the better to delay the politically inconvenient results, you know).  This is just getting into the overwhelming bureaucratic weeds of ObamaCare's regulatory minutiae — plenty of which are still being written.

Robert Gibbs predicts elimination of employer mandate.  Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs predicted on Wednesday that the Obama administration would scrap the employer mandate, which has already been delayed twice.  "I don't think the employer mandate will go into effect.  It's a small part of the law.  I think it will be one of the first things to go," Gibbs, President Obama's former top spokesman, said at the Benefits Selling Expo in Colorado Springs, Colo.  Earlier this year, the administration delayed the employer mandate for a second time, giving companies with between 50 and 99 employees until 2016 to offer insurance coverage to their workers or pay a fine.

Is ObamaCare a Law?  Coming in the week the White House wheeled out its 38th rewrite of the law, Halbig v. Sebelius is even more important for the contours of executive power and the rule of law.  The case asks whether the Affordable Care Act, which limits insurance subsidies to "an Exchange established by the State," also authorizes subsidies for the 36 exchanges established by the federal government.  The courts tend to give the executive branch deference in interpreting ambiguous statutes, but here the Administration is asking the court to declare that the statute unambiguously means the opposite of what the plain language says.

Obamacare: Taxpayers in the Hole for $1.5 Trillion.  Late Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services — which has taken to bragging about "enrollment" numbers that fall millions short of their original goals — announced that the March 31st deadline for open enrollment had become more of a guideline.  For those who could not navigate the troublesome Healthcare.gov web portal in time to meet the cutoff date for accessing approved plans, HHS would now keep the portal open and plans available for purchase, as long as users attested to the fact that they were "in line" for processing before the deadline.

Extension of Health Law Signup Period Worries Insurers.  The Obama administration's decision to let some consumers enroll in health plans beyond Monday's deadline sparked concern among insurers and prompted fresh attacks from opponents of the health law.  A surge of consumers is expected to hit HealthCare.gov before Monday's deadline to sign up for insurance and avoid a penalty under the Affordable Care Act.  In the past, heavy traffic has stalled the federal site.

Obamacare's hard enrollment deadline melts.  The Washington Post is reporting that the Obama administration will give extra time to Americans who say they are unable to enroll in health-care plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline.  According to the Post, consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.  To take advantage of this extension, consumers need only check a box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline.  The government will make no effort to determine whether, in fact, an individual actually did try to enroll.

Obama administration extends health care enrollment deadline, report says.  The Obama administration will grant extra time to Americans who say they are unable to enroll in health care plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline. [...] "We are experiencing a surge in demand and are making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment — either online or over the phone," Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman Joanne Peters told Fox News.

The Editor says...
A surge in demand?  I find that hard to believe.  The only people signing up at this stage are those who are doing so reluctantly.

The Individual Mandate Goes Poof.  After a last-ditch effort with President Obama himself encouraging "young invincibles" to sign up before the deadline, the administration is scrambling to boost enrollment.  On Tuesday, the White House announced that people who applied for coverage on the federal health-insurance exchange will have until mid-April to finish the paperwork.  The mandate was supposed to be the administration's magical elixir for the assorted shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act.

Obama administration will allow more time to enroll in health care on federal marketplace.  The Obama administration has decided to give extra time to Americans who say that they are unable to enroll in health plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline.  Federal officials confirmed Tuesday evening [3/25/2014] that all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.

Here Are All the Times the White House Said Latest Obamacare Delay Wouldn't Happen.  Late on Tuesday night, the White House "decided to give extra time" to prospective Affordable Care Act enrollees. [...] Administration officials maintain that they are simply giving consumers who may be interested in insurance, but have not yet selected or paid for coverage, an extra two weeks to complete the arduous enrollment process.  They add that this extension is only available to those who have begun the process of enrollment by March 31.  How do administrators verify that a prospective enrollee is eligible for this grace period?  They don't.

Kathleen Sebelius: Obamacare Extension 'Is Not An Extension'.  Embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that the Obama administration's decision to extend the Obamacare open enrollment period is not, in fact, an extension.  "This is not an extension of open enrollment," Sebelius told Michigan Fox 2.  "It is just saying, like you do on election day, if you're in line to vote, we want to make sure you vote."

After promising 'no delay' in final Obamacare sign-up deadline, Obama administration unveils new 'honor system'.  During a March 12 congressional hearing, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Texas Republican Rep. Kevin Brady that there would be no such extensions.  'Are you going to delay the open enrollment beyond March 31?' Brady asked.  'No, sir,' she replied.  On the same day, Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — the agency charged with implementing the Obamacare law — told reporters that 'we have no plans to extend the open enrollment period' that began disastrously on October 1.  'In fact, we don't actually have the statutory authority to extend the open enrollment period in 2014,' she said.

U.S. to allow some people to enroll in Obamacare after deadline.  The Obama administration will soon issue new Obamacare guidelines allowing people to enroll in health coverage after a March 31 deadline, but only under certain circumstances, according to sources close to the administration.

Obama's ever-growing insurance-company bailout.  Health-insurance executives are starting to warn of double- and even triple-digit premium hikes for health plans sold on the ObamaCare exchanges for 2015.  But Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Congress last week that any ObamaCare premium hikes would be modest.  In fact, the Obama administration is scrambling to rewrite the law to make that happen.  After close of business Friday, the administration proposed greater bailout protection for insurers who sell exchange plans.  The new rule sweetens what the Affordable Care Act provided (at taxpayer expense, of course) to protect the companies from losses.  It's illegal, because no president has the constitutional authority to rewrite any law, including the Affordable Care Act.

Obama's World of Make Believe.  Mr. Obama is, in fact, unusually dogmatic, blind to counter-evidence, and mostly unable to adjust his views to the way things are.  So when his worldview collides with reality, he often can't adjust.  He instead creates his own make believe world.  We've seen it time and time again with the Affordable Care Act.

Krauthammer: ObamaCare 'changes at the whim of the president'.  Charles Krauthammer said Monday [3/17/2014] on "Special Report with Bret Baier" that since President Obama is frequently changing the rules of ObamaCare on a whim, the law "exists in his head."  "You look at the stack of the papers and all the bills and all the legislation and the regulation, but in fact nobody has any idea what the law is," Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor, said.  "It changes at the whim of the president every Wednesday morning.  So there really is no bill.  It exists in his head."

Obama Quietly Releases Newest Edict: Everyone can be Exempted from Individual Mandate if they Can't Afford Obamacare.  With Obamacare looming large for Democrats, the president who once promised hope and change now operates as a king to avoid the political fallout of his signature "achievement."  President Obama quietly and unilaterally delayed the dreaded individual mandate once again.  In a move telling of their duplicity, the Obama Administrations Health and Human Services purposefully did not release to the press the mandate change but, instead, buried the change in an obscure rule that dealt with Obamacare insurance requirements.

Obama secretly waives individual mandate for millions, tries to hide it from view.  Wow.  The administration is more politically desperate than thought.  Now they are waiving the individual mandate in secret and intentionally trying to conceal it.

Oh, by the way: Obama just quietly suspended ObamaCare's individual mandate until 2016.  The "hardship" exemption applies only to people who used to have insurance, and it applies only for this enrollment period.  The mandate penalty would continue to bite people who didn't have insurance before, which seems unfair, and it'd be back in full force this fall even for people who did have it, right around the time that America votes in the midterms.  And so a political problem gets a policy solution.  Again.

White House: Sequester No Longer Applies to Part of Obamacare.  The Obama administration has decided that the sequester's mandatory spending cuts no longer apply to part of Obamacare.  The health care law provides subsidies to help low-income people cover some of their out-of-pocket costs.  Last year, the administration said those subsidies were taking a 7 percent cut because of the sequester, which imposed across-the-board reductions in federal spending.  But now, the White House has changed its mind.  It removed the cost-sharing subsidies from its list of programs that are subject to the sequester, eliminating the 7 percent cut for 2015.

Follow ObamaCare Delays at Your Peril.  The individual mandate tax went into effect in 2014.  Individuals who are without employer-provided coverage, and not excluded by a myriad of hardships, must purchase a qualifying plan by March 31, 2014, or pay a tax of $95 per dependent adult and $45.5 [sic] per child or 1% of adjusted gross income, whichever is higher.  One of Obama's unilateral changes was to allow people to keep their existing, non-qualifying insurance plans, but those who do will still owe the taxes, regardless of what Obama says or leads you to believe.

Obama Just Guaranteed ObamaCare's Failure.  Almost two years ago, President Obama's solicitor general told the Supreme Court that without the individual mandate, ObamaCare would fail.  But after winning that victory, the administration itself has effectively killed the mandate.  In his oral arguments before the court, Donald Verrilli made it abundantly clear that, without the individual mandate, ObamaCare would "make matters worse, not better."

ObamaCare is dying.  Some people insist ObamaCare is here to stay.  Nonsense.  President Obama is dismantling it himself, lawlessly hacking off provisions as they become unpopular in order to minimize Democratic losses in the fall election.  Health reform [notwithstanding].

Some HealthCare.gov shoppers may get enrollment extension.  The Obama administration is planning a workaround to the health care law that would extend the March 31 enrollment deadline for health care coverage for some users if technical glitches prevent them from signing up on HealthCare.gov, The Wall Street Journal reported.  Under the plan, people who can demonstrate that they were unable to sign up for coverage before the deadline because of website problems would be able to sign up after March 31, officials familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

ObamaCare's Secret Mandate Exemption HHS quietly repeals the individual purchase rule for two more years.  ObamaCare's implementers continue to roam the battlefield and shoot their own wounded, and the latest casualty is the core of the Affordable Care Act — the individual mandate.  To wit, last week the Administration quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty.  This latest political reconstruction has received zero media notice, and the Health and Human Services Department didn't think the details were worth discussing in a conference call, press materials or fact sheet.  Instead, the mandate suspension was buried in an unrelated rule that was meant to preserve some health plans that don't comply with ObamaCare benefit and redistribution mandates.  Our sources only noticed the change this week.

Obamacare Insurers to Cover Same-Sex Spouses, U.S. Says.  Insurers participating in Obamacare must cover same-sex married couples as families, the U.S. government said.  Separately, the government said a program for sick Americans who were denied insurance coverage before this year will be extended another month, through April.  Insurers, meanwhile, were told to include more health providers for low-income people in their networks next year.

Eating their own ObamaCare words.  The most recent retreat measures — call it the ObamaCare Endangered 2014 Midterm Democrats' Rescue Plan — include:
 •  Allowing insurers for two extra years to continue selling plans that ObamaCare otherwise would've banned. [...]
 •  Extending the open enrollment period for 2015 from November 2014 to February 2015, a month longer than originally scheduled.  (It will no doubt be extended again as the midterm elections get closer.)
 •  Relaxing requirements for insurers to qualify for financial help under a three-year program intended to cushion insurers' costs of complying with ObamaCare mandates.
 •  Exempting labor unions, universities and other self-insured employers from paying a fee to help fund the above-noted program.

Would Hillary Clinton Give Us Worse Than ObamaCare?  Despite all efforts, the narrative about the Affordable Care Act has become increasingly difficult for the Obama administration to control as it scrambles to temporize the very deadlines and penalties it had repeatedly insisted must be obeyed without any delay.  Most recently, some of the world's most accomplished economists are defying common sense in order to rationalize the ACA's overtly disastrous consequences on employment, especially for low-income Americans.

The President's Devious ObamaCare Delays.  A lawless and politically transparent Obama administration just became more so on both counts.  The "imminent" decision to implement yet another delay of ObamaCare, reported by The Hill on Tuesday, became reality Wednesday [3/5/2014]. [...] The Hill provided an accurate assessment of just why the administration is making these changes:  "The White House is intent on protecting its allies in the Senate, where Democrats face a battle to keep control of the chamber," the website stated.  Why should they need protection?

Obama to delay Obamacare AGAIN to protect Democrats in 2014.  If Obama's health care law is so [...] good, then why does he keep delaying it to protect Democrats from losing elections?

House to Vote on Making Fine for Disobeying Obamacare Individual Mandate $0.  [Scroll down]  Given these extralegal executive actions, and given the technological train wreck than the Obamacare exchange rollout has been, it would seem to be a no-brainer to pass actual legislation (as the Constitution requires for changing laws) to waive the fine (at least for the time being) for those who choose not to buy federally mandated insurance they don't want.  But the Democrats love the individual mandate and rightly recognize it as Obamacare's coercive core, so this puts them in a bind.

Report: Obama plans new Obamacare delay to help Dems in midterms.  When the 2016 presidential debates take place, one question to be posed to both the GOP and Democratic candidates would be:  "Does the next president have the right to unilaterally suspend any or all portions of Obamacare the same way President Obama has?"

New ObamaCare delay to help Democrats in midterm elections.  The Obama administration is set to announce another major delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act, easing election pressure on Democrats.  As early as this week, according to two sources, the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet ObamaCare's minimum coverage requirements.  Prolonging the "keep your plan" fix will avoid another wave of health policy cancellations otherwise expected this fall.  The cancellations would have created a firestorm for Democratic candidates in the last, crucial weeks before Election Day.

Obamacare rule eased for states with website troubles.  The administration quietly issued the health law fix Thursday [2/27/2014] to help [a few Democratic-led] states.

Destructive Missions, Partially Accomplished.  [Scroll down]  Places getting especially chilly include the human resource departments at HR consulting firms serving employers with between 50-100 "employees," which includes "full-time equivalents" as defined by the Affordable Care Act.  One of the more recent of the 27 mostly illegal or unconstitutional changes made by presidential or regulatory fiat to the Affordable Care directly affects them. [...] The pervasive changes to the law Congress originally passed, as well as the new regime of coercion, signify that there really isn't an "Affordable Care Act" anymore.

So many changes to the health care law, but are they legal?  The [employer] mandate was supposed to take effect this year, but it was first delayed until 2015.  Now midsize employers have until 2016 to comply.  The administration also changed the rules to allow larger employers to phase in their new coverage requirements over the next two years.  The flurry of on-the-fly fixes has sparked outrage from Republicans and conservative legal activists who say the moves are executive power run amok — an illegal, politically motivated rewrite of the law.

The politics of Obamacare delays.  By now, the pattern is pretty clear:  Obamacare deadlines don't stick.  And they probably never will.  The unanswered question is, does the extra time create more hassles than benefits for those affected — and is the goalpost-moving worth the political headaches it creates for the Obama administration?  Because undeniably, every time the Obama administration bends a deadline for the Affordable Care Act — delaying the employer mandate for the second time, putting off parts of the enrollment launch, or giving customers just a little more time to sign up — it fuels the perception that the administration is just winging it, and gives Republicans new fodder to accuse the White House of rewriting laws too casually.

Obama defies his own law.  We were told that President Obama would wield his executive power this year to defy Congress.  Instead, he's defying his own health-care law.  The administration announced this week it is delaying and changing the law's employer mandate, the latest in a series of seat-of-the-pants revisions to ObamaCare.  The president was eager to highlight steps he was taking to bypass Congress in his State of the Union last month, but left this one out.  If he'd demanded congressional action to delay the employer mandate, he surely would have gotten a bipartisan bill on his desk forthwith.  His call for executive unilateralism should be amended:  Even if Congress will act ... I still prefer to act on my own.

Washington's Pack of Pretenders.  The administration pretends that there is a law on the books called the Affordable Care Act, and inconsistently whines when people call it "Obamacare."  But the president's statist health care regime simply must be called "Obamacare," because any time something in the law as passed by Congress become politically inconvenient, Obama's bureaucrats at either Kathleen Sebelius's Department of Health and Human Services or Jack Lew's Treasury Department concoct regulations self-evidently designed to minimize electoral fallout.  At last count, the administration has made 18 major changes, "unilaterally and often in direct contradiction to legislative language."

The United States of Decline.  America is unraveling at a stunning speed and to a staggering degree.  This decline is breathtaking, and the prognosis is dim.  For starters, Obama now rules by decree.  Reportedly for the 27th time, he has changed the rules of Obamacare singlehandedly, with neither congressional approval nor even ceremonial resolutions to limit his actions.  Obama needs no such frivolities.  "That's the good thing about being president," Obama joked on February 10.  "I can do whatever I want."

An Executive Order that Hurts.  Employers with 50 to 99 employees have been given yet another one of these fiat waivers from Obama.  And the employers with over 100 employees can now cry foul, and even a Democrat might see the inconsistencies and injustices of the recent waiver.  Employers with over 100 employees — say 110 — are still bound to obey and incur fines, no taxes, (or is a penalty?).  They are being placed in a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace.

Reading Obamacare before passing it would have been a waste of time.  During the original debate over Obamacare, we saw some of the perils behind amateur attempts to read and decipher complicated legislation.  A cottage industry of genuine misunderstandings arose — although those who tried to read those thousands of pages deserve credit for trying when most members of Congress never did.  But some of Obamacare's provisions are very simple and can confuse no one — for example, its deadlines.

Steve Hayes Pleads: 'Where is the Mainstream Media' on Obama's Lawlessness?  "Where is the mainstream media on this?" Steve Hayes of The Weekly Standard pleaded on Tuesday's [2/11/2014] Special Report with Bret Baier in reference to President Obama's latest decision to change the ObamaCare law.  "Can you imagine if this were George W. Bush?  I mean, we would be talking about a constitutional crisis, front page New York Times splashed above the fold, 'George W. Bush: Dictator President.'  You're seeing none of that."

No one can make ObamaCare work.  Remember: The law passed in March 2010.  It was to go into full effect on Jan. 1, 2014.  That means the administration had almost four years to get its ducks into a row.  Four years. [...] And yet here we are, four years later, and the administration has spent the past six months effectively rewriting the law for both political and practical reasons.  It shouldn't be able to do this, because it is, you know, a law.  The president doesn't write laws.  Congress does.  He signs them and it's his job to implement them.  If he can't write laws, he can't rewrite them either.  But he is, and without resistance.

Here's Why Barack Obama is Delaying Obamacare Again.  The left is going all in on the idea that having people work is a bad thing.  People should be able to stay home on the government dole, according to the left.  This delay seems to be a rather public admission that the latest line from the Democrats will not save them in 2014.

If Obamacare is so great, why does Obama keep delaying it?  If there's really nothing to worry about here — if, as the White House insists, the stories of hundreds of businesses and state and local governments shaving down hours and shifting people below 30 are just "anecdotal" — then why oh why do we keep delaying this thing until after the next election?

Obama's Arbitrary Health Care Flexibility.  Systematically and with an eye toward his party's immediate political troubles, Obama has reshaped, photo-shopped, reimagined, and reengineered Obamacare.  It all sounds techy and cool and flexible — at least to the administration.  To those who must live with and live under the law, the arbitrary is the norm.  The only pattern is chaos.  Obamacare's worst enemy is Obama.

Don't be silly. Obama's words don't make him a tyrant!  Today [2/10/2014], during a visit to Thomas Jefferson's home of Monticello with French President Hollande, President Obama jokingly stated, "That's the good thing as a president, I can do whatever I want."  Of course this was spoken as he was breaking visitors' protocol, and walked to the off-limits Jefferson terrace.  The real issue is about dumb luck and coincidence because the press pool report of this absurd "slip of the lip" came right as it was revealed that the White House plans to unilaterally delay the Obamacare employer mandate for businesses with 50 to 99 employees.

Yes! We Have More Bananas.  President Obama's latest rewriting of the Affordable Care Act may prove to be the last straw.  From all quarters, scorn is being heaped on him for his banana republic behavior.  Visiting Monticello, Obama told French President Francois Hollande that "[a]s President, I can do anything I want."  Obama calls it a joke; as Glenn Reynolds likes to point out, Obama "joked" about using the IRS to audit his political enemies as far back as 2009.  It seems pretty clear that "I can do anything I want" accurately reflects Obama's views on executive power.

Obamacare Employer Mandate Once Again Altered By Royal Decree.  By royal decree, it has been proclaimed that the employer mandates of His Majesty's most glorious achievement — which some of you filthy peasants have been heard sniggering is "the settled law of the land," in the same tone of voice you might use to describe the S.S. Titanic as "unsinkable" — shall once again be delayed.  Let all in the land accept the new dates as chiseled in the hard granite of absolute law... until such time as His Majesty deems it necessary to change them again, of course.

Obama Rewrites ObamaCare.  "ObamaCare" is useful shorthand for the Affordable Care Act not least because the law increasingly means whatever President Obama says it does on any given day.  His latest lawless rewrite arrived on Monday as the White House decided to delay the law's employer mandate for another year and in some cases maybe forever.

Obama's New Delay of Employer Mandate Violates Plain Language of Law.  President Barack Obama's Treasury Department issued a new regulation today that for the second time directly violates the plain and unambiguous text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by allowing some businesses to avoid the law's Dec. 31, 2013 deadline to provide health insurance coverage to their employees.  Initially, on July 2, 2013, the administration unilaterally delayed the deadline for the employer mandate until 2015.  Now, the administration is unilaterally delaying it for some businesses until 2016.

Obama Rewrites ObamaCare.  [Scroll down]  Well, which is it?  Either ObamaCare is ushering in a worker's paradise, in which case by the White House's own logic exempting businesses from its ministrations is harming employees.  Or else the mandate really is leading business to cut back on hiring, hours and shifting workers to part-time as the evidence in the real economy suggests.

More ObamaCare Delays Won't Save Dems.  From its inception, the strategy behind the Obama administration's implementation of ObamaCare has been simple:  to frontload the benefits and postpone the pain and costs of this massive government intrusion into the private sector for as long as possible. [...] Over the course of the last year, as the president's signature accomplishment debuted with a disastrous rollout, the administration has retreated bit by bit from its insistence on implementing the entire unwieldy and gargantuan edifice on the American people immediately after Obama was safely ensconced in his second term.

Obama's Boil the Frog ObamaCare Strategy.  On Monday, administration officials said that companies with between 50 and 99 workers won't have to comply with the mandate until 2016. [...] The Treasury Department claimed the delay was because medium-sized firms "need a little more time to adjust to providing coverage."  Pure poppycock.  The one and only reason for this delay is political.  Obama wants to hide the job-killing effects of ObamaCare until after midterm elections.

Krauthammer's Take: In the End, Obama Will Cancel Employer Mandate.  [Scroll down]  "They are getting tremendous complaints from small business that they can't do this.  It will destroy their business, and that's why it's a delay.  It's a political delay," Krauthammer said.  "I think in the end they are going to decide they're going to have to cancel it because there is no way it will not increase joblessness on top of the 2 million who will be leaving on their own."

'Once Again Moving the Goalposts': Regs Give Obamacare Reprieves to Medium, Large Employers.  Beginning next year, businesses that employ 50 to 99 workers will have to report statistics to the government on how many employees are being offered or are receiving health insurance.  These employers won't be assessed penalties on the non-insured until 2016, though.

Why I'm Getting Sick of Defending Obamacare:  It's getting difficult and slinking toward impossible to defend the Affordable Care Act.  The latest blow to Democratic candidates, liberal activists, and naïve columnists like me came Monday [2/10/2014] from the White House, which announced yet another delay in the Obamacare implementation.  For the second time in a year, certain businesses were given more time before being forced to offer health insurance to most of their full-time workers. [...] Not coincidentally, the delays punt implementation beyond congressional elections in November, which raises the first problem with defending Obamacare:  The White House has politicized its signature policy.

The Editor says...
Get a clue, liberals.  Everything Obama does is politicized.

Report: 'Avalanche' of Regulations Still to Come Under Obamacare.  The Obama administration has yet to finalize 28 additional regulations under Obamacare that could lead to an "avalanche" of regulatory burden on the economy, according to an analysis by the American Action Forum.  A report released Monday [2/10/2014] by Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at American Action Forum, details the billions in cost and millions in paperwork hours that will result from the pending regulations, including the individual mandate, which has yet to be finalized.

Obama Delays Health-Insurance Mandate for Some Firms.  A batch of employers won't face a fine next year if they fail to provide health insurance to their workers, the Obama administration said Monday [2/10/2014].  In regulations outlining the Affordable Care Act, the Treasury Department said employers with between 50 and 99 full-time workers won't have to comply with the law's requirement to provide insurance or pay a fee until 2016.  Companies with 100 workers or more could avoid penalties in 2015 if they showed they were offering coverage to at least 70 percent of their full-time workers, the Treasury said.

White House delays health insurance mandate for medium-sized employers until 2016.  The Obama administration announced Monday [2/10/2014] it would give medium-sized employers an extra year, until 2016, before they must offer health insurance to their full-time workers.  Firms with at least 100 employees will have to start offering this coverage in 2015.  By offering an unexpected grace period to businesses with between 50 and 99 employees, administration officials are hoping to defuse another potential controversy involving the 2010 health-care law, which has become central to Republicans' campaign to make political gains in this year's midterm election.

The White House is relaxing the employer mandate again.  The Treasury Department on Monday rolled out more tweaks to the health-care law's requirement that all large employers — those with 50 or more workers — provide insurance coverage to their workers.  This is the part of Obamacare was supposed to take effect at the start of 2014, but was delayed by the White House this past summer as the White House was facing significant push back from employers.  In today's final rule, the Obama administration is essentially relaxing the employer mandate for 2015 — in a big way for medium-sized businesses, and a smaller way for the largest employers.

Who's Up for Yet Another Obamacare Delay?  The fierce urgency of now loses out to the fierce desire for political convenience.  The Obama administration is considering delaying yet another chunk of Obamacare.

Obama May Decree... What Would Surprise You At This Point?  Obama is thinking about decreeing that the law he claims is inviolable — you know, the law he says Congress must not repeal because the Supreme Court has ruled and "It's. The. Law." — shall be further altered by his personal decree.  He is considering permitting already-illegally grandfathered policies to remain in force for another three years... which, just coincidentally, would take them beyond the 2016 elections.

Retreat: Obama Admin May Extend Plans Canceled by Obamacare for 3 Years.  This is either a glaring admission of defeat from the White House or... no, that's really all it could be.  After weeks of defending the cancellation of health plans insurers discontinued in 2013 in order to comply with the Affordable Care Act's coverage mandates, the White House announced in November of last year that it was urging insurers to reinstate those plans.  The catch was, of course, that most insurers would be unable to turn on a dime and reinstate those plans.

Treasury IG to Admin: Stop Changing Obamacare.  A new audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration warned that further changes to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act would create "challenges" for the IRS.  The Obama administration has repeatedly altered the law, delaying the employer mandate until 2015 and suspending numerous enrollment requirements due to the disastrous roll out of Healthcare.gov.

Confusion Over Deadlines Jeopardizes Obamacare.  As the enrollment deadline approaches for Obamacare, The White House is counting on a surge of sign ups.  But more than half of Americans have no idea when that deadline is, and even more are shrugging it off because they believe it will be extended.  Despite the administration's outreach efforts, a new Bankrate survey shows 55 percent still aren't aware of the March 31 health care sign up deadline through the exchanges.

America's Bipartisan Political Class.  Critics of Obamacare successfully pushed an amendment requiring congressmen and congressional staffers to purchase their health insurance through the new government exchanges.  Being tossed from their special plans meant the end of federal subsidies, which run $5,000 annually for individuals and $11,000 for families. [...] So the administration stepped in to help. Without any legal authority President Barack Obama offered to maintain existing federal contributions.

ObamaCare's 'mandate' meltdown.  This exemption is likely only the first of many.  How, for one, can the administration exempt people who had insurance last year but not exempt people who were uninsured because they couldn't afford coverage?  ObamaCare's architects were always ambivalent about the mandate.  They knew compulsion was necessary to make their system work — but, fearing a backlash, opted for a fairly weak penalty for those who didn't obey.  Oops:  They wound up with a mandate that still provokes resentment, yet probably won't work.

White House reportedly delays ObamaCare equal coverage provision.  The Obama administration is reportedly delaying enforcement of another aspect of ObamaCare, one that prohibits employers from providing better health benefits to top executives than those being offered to regular employees.  According to The New York Times, tax officials said they would not enforce the provision in 2014 as they had not yet issued the appropriate regulations.

WH delays another ObamaCare deadline.  The Obama administration announced Tuesday [1/14/2014] that it was again extending the ObamaCare enrollment deadline for people with pre-existing conditions.  The administration said it will extend the Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan (PCIP), slated to end January 31, until March 15.

Obamacare Customers Given More Time to Pay Insurers.  Insurers and the Obama administration have repeatedly moved deadlines, relaxed sign-up rules and made other concessions to smooth the process for people who are getting new health coverage this year as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

State Attorneys General to Obama: Enforce your own Obamacare law.  Throughout 2013, as implementation of his signature health care law hit snag after snag, President Obama unleashed a steady stream of administrative revisions of the Affordable Care Act without seeking the approval of Congress, which is the branch empowered with making and changing laws.  Among other things, he delayed the employer mandate, income verification requirements and the exclusion of union plans from a new fee.  Then in November [...] he announced an "administrative fix" that amounted to him saying he wouldn't enforce his own law, which barred certain insurance policies.

Judicial Watch's Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians of 2013.  Judicial Watch notes Obama's penchant for ignoring Congress and rewriting federal law himself, including rewriting the Obamacare law 14 times by executive fiat; his "continual lies" that Americans could keep their own health care under Obamacare, despite his knowledge that "more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them;" and his disavowal of responsibility for targeting the Tea Party and other conservative groups by the IRS, though he had made remarks warning about the dangers of conservative groups since 2010.

Eleven attorneys general slam Obama healthcare fixes as illegal.  Eleven GOP attorneys general say the Obama administration is breaking the law by repeatedly making changes to ObamaCare without going through Congress.  The attorneys general specifically criticize President Obama's executive action that allowed insurance companies to keep offering health plans that had been canceled for not meeting ObamaCare's more rigorous standards.

Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2013.  According to the Galen Institute, Obama has now unilaterally rewritten the Obamacare law as passed by Congress 14 times by executive fiat, with the majority of those changes coming in 2013. Those changes include such major overhauls as the congressional opt-out, eviscerating the individual mandate, and delaying the employer mandate.  The latest Obama fix came on December 20, when he suddenly moved to allow hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their insurance due to Obamacare to sign up for bare-bone "catastrophic" plans.  As National Review observed, "Of course, like every other exemption from Obamacare the latest fix is supposed to last only a year, raising the prospect that people will be kicked off their catastrophic coverage as soon as the 2014 election is safely in the political rear-view mirror."

White House Insults Nation's Intelligence by Pretending Obamacare Enrollment Goal Never Existed.  Appearing on MSNBC on Tuesday [12/31/2013], White House health care adviser Phil Schiliro asserted that the White House never had a target number of Affordable Care Act enrollees.  The widely circulated figure of 7 million — a figure which has been cited and repeated regularly by the press and members of the administration, was never their number, Schiliro asserted.

Joke's on us: WH now says 7M never 'target number' for Obamacare.  Brushing aside Obamacare's ongoing problems, the president's top health official said Tuesday [12/31/2013] that 2014 marks a "new day in health care for millions of Americans," with more than 2 million people having enrolled as of Saturday and nearly 4 million learning in the first two months of the rollout that they're eligible for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program.  The White House also sought to rewrite longstanding goals for sign-ups on the health exchanges, disputing the 7 million enrollees target that's long-been accepted as the number of Americans needed by March 31 in order for the economics to work.

Obama keeps fleeing the consequences of his own signature legislation.  Announcements are sometimes made at night, when everyone eagerly awaits the latest news on how American health insurance will work.  It was around 9 p.m. that the administration let it be known that it was partially suspending the individual mandate in 2014 by exempting people who have had their insurance policies canceled.  It didn't even publicly announce its one-day extension of the deadline to get insurance by January 1.  This is not just government by diktat, but government by embarrassed diktat.

Patchwork of ObamaCare insurance deadlines adds to confusion.  So you've signed up for health care on the ObamaCare exchanges.  Think you're covered?  Not quite.  As with any insurance plan, new enrollees still have to pay their first month's premium to lock in coverage.  But the deadlines for that task are different all over the country, adding to the confusion over an already-perplexing sign-up process.  "It makes an already kind of chaotic situation even more chaotic," Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers said.

NY Times: Obamacare Extensions 'A Sweeping Exercise of Executive Power'.  Insurance industry experts say the White House's endless rounds of delays and shifting deadlines create more confusion and uncertainty in an already murky market.  "The goal posts keep moving," insurance lawyer William G. Schiffbauer told the Times.  "That raises questions about whether insurers can collect premiums in a timely manner to pay claims from doctors and hospitals."  Legal experts have questioned the constitutionality of the Obama administration's "on the fly" changes, delays, modifications, and extensions to settled law.  The [New York] Times conceded that "taken together, they amount to a sweeping exercise of executive power."

PR nightmare on Pennsylvania Ave.  Just when everything seems settled and people are starting to catch their breath, all of a sudden, it's back.  That's pretty much any disaster or monster movie.  It's also the story of the Obamacare rollout the past few months.  Over and over again, Obama administration officials have promised that they're finally getting everything under control.  Each time, they assure people, they've put whatever the latest problem was to bed.  No more changes.  No more surprises.  And then another arrives.

La Loi, C'est Obama.  In a move worthy of a Third World banana republic, President Obama used his extraconstitutional lawmaking wand and secretly extended the Dec. 23 Obamacare enrollment cutoff by 24 hours, usurping the authority of Congress.  This is only the latest in a long series of capricious, imperial, impeachable, ad hoc adjustments that the 44th president has made to his creation.  Each and every unilateral abridgment or abrogation of the Affordable Care Act, as monstrous as the statute may be, is an affront to the rule of law that is supposed to prevail in our constitutional republic.

White House Extends Time for Health Care Sign-Up — Again.  This is just the latest extension of the sign-up period by the administration.  The original deadline for people seeking coverage that begins Jan. 1 was Dec. 15.  It was later extended to Dec. 23 and then Monday the White House added another 24 hours through midnight today [12/24/2013].

Obamacare's First Deadline [is] Already a Public Relations Disaster.  Earlier [Monday 12/23/2013], the White House — quietly and without announcement — delayed the deadline to purchase insurance in order to receive coverage by January 1 from December 23 to December 24.  Within hours of that delay being revealed to the public, however, White House communications official Jennifer Palmieri informed MSNBC's audience that it would be "dangerous" for consumers to consider tomorrow to be the new deadline, even though it now is.

Obamacare deadline secretly pushed back to tomorrow night rather than tonight.  Americans had been told that they would have to sign up for health insurance through the ever-breaking healthcare.gov site by the end of Monday night but now it has been revealed that the deadline has been covertly pushed back one more day to try to give more people a chance.  Two anonymous officials announced that the 11.59 pm deadline that had been set for tonight was pushed back to Tuesday- Christmas Eve- over the weekend, according to The Washington Post.

Obama administration secretly extends health care enrollment deadline by a day.  At midnight Monday, the official deadline arrives for Americans to sign up through the new federal health insurance exchange for health plans that begin Jan. 1.  But, without any public announcement, Obama administration officials have changed the rules so that people will have an extra day to enroll, according to two individuals with knowledge of the switch.

Mr. Obama comes out of his office every few days and, by his royal decree, changes the rules, moves the goal line, and puts more time on the clock.  When deadlines are missed, they are revised.

Does Obama expect a Christmas Miracle to save Obamacare?  [President] Obama is dismantling Obamacare, jettisoning whole chunks as he tries to save his own creation even as he cripples it and creates public chaos.  Not relying on divine intervention, Obama has his whole team scrambling to change rules, to re-interpret and to re-define how everything is done and measured.  Insurance companies complain that he's causing utter havoc with his constant changes (usually outside his legal authority) that will make the already-high Obamacare prices even worse within a year.

Mixed Messages Add Anxiety as Deadline Nears in Health Act.  For most Americans, Monday is the deadline to sign up for health insurance that takes effect on Jan. 1. [...] But as the date approaches, a series of decisions by the Obama administration to delay some of the law's most important provisions and to extend some deadlines has caused uncertainty among insurers and confusion among consumers.

A Government of Laws? The ObamaCare Rot.  Nancy Pelosi is off the hook.  Her famous comment that we had to pass ObamaCare to find out what was in it will live on as a shining example of legislative malfeasance and irresponsible governance, of course, but it's no longer operative.  The reason her remark resonated was because it was true:  even the members of Congress who voted for the law seemed to have no idea what much of it said, and therefore they and the public they misled had to find out the hard way.  The reason she is off the hook, however, is that President Obama has now made it clear that it is scarcely relevant what the law says anyway.

Obamacare Is Falling Apart Before Our Eyes.  [B]y conceding that the individual mandate can and should be delayed for one group, the administration has opened a major can of worms.  For starters, this exemption is going to strike many Americans as blatantly unfair and arbitrary.  It comes at the 11th hour, after millions of people, including those with canceled plans, have already made their choices based on the rules they thought would be in effect.

12 questions the White House press corps could have asked Obama about Obamacare.  [#1]  [F]rom where do you derive the legal authority to change large parts of this law passed by Congress?  And, if you believe you have the legal justification for it, what's to stop a future president from simply deciding he won't enforce large parts of it? [...] [#3]  Does the administration have the authority to exempt people from certain taxes on an ad hoc basis?  From where does it derive this power?  Are there other taxes from which people could be exempted by the president's decree?

The 14th Fix.  The people in charge of the Obamacare rollout have made their already difficult position even worse.  The root of the latest self-inflicted catastrophe is their determination to forge ahead with an flawed product by simply papering over the cracks.  These bands aids eventually come off and they find themselves worse off than before.

Obama Repeals ObamaCare.  It seems Nancy Pelosi was wrong when she said "we have to pass" ObamaCare to "find out what's in it."  No one may ever know because the White House keeps treating the Affordable Care Act's text as a mere suggestion subject to day-to-day revision.  Its latest political retrofit is the most brazen:  President Obama is partly suspending the individual mandate.

Obama Finally Calls It As It Is.  The latest panicky "fix" from the White House grants the millions whose policies were canceled a "hardship" exemption from ObamaCare.  If the law's such a hardship, why must the rest of us suffer with it?

Obamacare Initiates Self-Destruction Sequence.  On the one hand, the administration is trying to minimize the number of people who have been affected by cancellations, and on the other hand, it is unveiling a fix to the problem of cancellations.  And these are not minor changes.

Pandemonium: Obama partially waives individual mandate as ObamaCare comes crashing down.  It was already the biggest disaster in history, but even by the standards of ObamaCare failure we've grown accustomed to, this is jaw-dropping.  Critics thought something like this was probably coming, but it's still amazing to see it get here — delivered, of course, by the usual royal fiat of dubious legality.  Barack Obama was kicking World War II veterans out of their own memorial during Shutdown Theater to thwart the kind of delay he just imposed.

Obamacare: A man-caused disaster.  In the Obama administration's continuing rule by decree, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced that those whose health insurance policies were terminated (notwithstanding Obama's vow to the contrary) will be allowed to buy catastrophic coverage and will be exempt from the statutory penalty if they choose to escape from Obamacare next year. [...] The termination of insurance plans required by Obamacare is now deemed "an unexpected natural or human-caused event."  In other words, for those brought within the scope of the announcement, "Obamacare itself is the hardship."

Obama announces 'hardship exemption' for nearly 500,000 Americans who lost health insurance under Obamacare.  'The administration is recognizing the grim reality that more Americans have lost health insurance than gained it under Obamacare,' Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio said Thursday night [12/19/2013].  'Holding a fire sale of cheap insurance is not a responsible fix for a broken program.  This is a slap in the face to the thousands of Americans who have already purchased expensive insurance through the Obamacare exchanges.'  Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn noted that in a recent hearing, 'we asked Secretary Sebelius point-blank what would be the next "holiday surprise," and she was silent.'

Slapstick calamity continues: People who lost insurance because of Obamacare given mandate exemption.  Basically it sounds like the lie of the year has been revised to:  "If you liked the plan you lost, you can keep that plan if you can still get it back."  Good luck with that.

The WH Is About to Hold a Fire Sale on Obamacare.  [Scroll down]  This, I believe, is a game changer and an admission that the law is failing.  And just think how you must feel if you were one of the people who spent the last two months fighting their way through HealthCare.gov to buy a policy that will be thousands of dollars more expensive than this catastrophic insurance!

Utter Chaos: White House Exempts Millions From Obamacare's Insurance Mandate, 'Unaffordable' Exchanges.  It's hard to come up with new ways to describe the Obama administration's improvisational approach to the Affordable Care Act's troubled health insurance exchanges.  But last night, the White House made its most consequential announcement yet.  The administration will grant a "hardship exemption" from the law's individual mandate, requiring the purchase of health insurance, to anyone who has had their prior coverage canceled and who "believes" that Obamacare's offerings "are unaffordable."  These exemptions will substantially alter the architecture of the law's insurance marketplaces.  Insurers are at their wits' end, trying to make sense of what to do next.

Insurance Companies Deserve Obamacare.  The latest attempt by the Obama administration to avoid the consequences of its inept implementation of the Affordable Care Act has been to issue yet another of its surprise edicts.  This new Health and Human Services regulation, which was announced Thursday night, "significantly relaxed the rules of the federal health-care law for millions of consumers whose individual insurance policies have been canceled, saying they can buy bare-bones plans or entirely avoid a requirement that most Americans have health coverage."  This last minute movement of the goalpost comes on the heels of another HHS rule change, issued a week ago, [...]

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off.  [Scroll down]  Obamacare proponents must also be prepared to discuss what comes next.  Millions of people will likely lose their existing insurance coverage in 2014, as employers conclude they would rather pay a penalty than provide the kind of coverage Obamacare mandates.  Will these people get an exemption?  If so, it will blow a huge hole in Obamacare.  If not, why not? [...] This means that prices for 2015 will probably rise.  And that means that the "hardship" of purchasing Obamacare-compliant plans will become even greater than the hardship that spurred this exemption.

Obama administration relaxes rules of health-care law four days before deadline.  The Obama administration on Thursday night [12/19/2013] significantly relaxed the rules of the federal health-care law for millions of consumers whose individual insurance policies have been canceled, saying they can buy bare-bones plans or entirely avoid a requirement that most Americans have health coverage.  The surprise announcement, days before the Dec. 23 deadline for people to choose plans that will begin Jan. 1, triggered an immediate backlash from the health insurance industry and raised fairness questions about a law intended to promote affordable and comprehensive coverage on a widespread basis.

Administration announces new ObamaCare exemption.  The Obama administration, in an 11th-hour change, announced significant exemptions for people who recently lost their insurance coverage and are struggling to get a new plan — drawing immediate criticism from the insurance industry and Republican lawmakers. [...] The administration, which made the announcement right before the holiday break and as President Obama prepared to fly to Hawaii for vacation, downplayed the sudden change, saying they expected it to impact fewer than 500,000 people.

HHS changes rules on O-care mandate.  The Obama administration announced Thursday [12/19/2013] it would broaden exemptions from ObamaCare's requirement that people have insurance.  It said it would allow individuals whose health insurance was cancelled under ObamaCare to buy catastrophic plans once intended mainly for young people.  The signfiicant change comes just before a deadline people faced for choosing plans to ensure they had coverage on Jan. 1.

Obama Administration Announces Another Obamacare Exemption; Insurance Industry Warns of 'Tremendous Instability'.  To date, roughly 5 million Americans have seen their plans canceled due to Obamacare mandates.  This move is supposed to help them.  So the 500,000 number is already suspect.  It's about 10% of the number who have lost their insurance thanks to this administration.  These people have, what, about 10 days or so to get signed up?  That means the insurance industry has that same amount of time to draw up the plans.  This isn't going to work.  Unless the aim is to continue to weaken the insurance industry.

Obamacare's Architects Plugged Their Ears and Misled Public.  Central to the goal of Obamacare's architects, universal health insurance, was preventing the possibility of exit.  Its individual mandate meant everyone had to sign up for insurance.  The Supreme Court created a big exit door when it ruled unconstitutional, by a 7-2 margin, Obamacare's attempt to coerce states into expanding their Medicaid programs.  Many states declined to make the change.  Obamacare's proprietors have also punched big exit holes in its structure.  The employer mandate was suspended for a year.  Labor unions and other political cronies of the administration received waivers and exemptions.  And it's not clear that even the supposedly fixed website will enable people to actually get health insurance.  The website for insurers to receive applications and charge premiums hasn't even been designed yet.

ObamaCare Mission Accomplished.  Great news: The White House says that Healthcare.gov and the 36 federally run insurance exchanges are finally good to go. [...] Most Democrats are eager to believe any good news, which may explain why the Sunday report is so short on basic information.  The eight pages are heavy on charts with unverifiable claims — more than 400 "cumulative software fixes"! — and the Health and Human Services Department declares that "we believe we have met the goal of having a system that will work smoothly for the vast majority of users." This weekend miracle defies other evidence, such as the recent admission by an HHS official that 30% to 40% of the exchanges are still unfinished.

MissionAccomplished.gov.  Today [12/1/2013] is the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline for Healthcare.gov to be "fixed."  After initially promising a complete fix of the broken Web site by "the end of November," the White House has incrementally lowered expectations, moved the goalposts and backpedaled on earlier promises as the depth and intractability of the site's problems became apparent during November's "tech surge."

As Deadline Expires, Problems Persist With Health Site.  Contractors believe the upgrades will improve the system's performance and let it handle more visitors, but the person said they are testing the system and aren't yet sure it can handle 50,000 simultaneous users, the administration's stated objective.  A few days before the deadline, officials said the site was only able to handle 25,000.

White House Misses HealthCare.Gov Fix DeadlineThe Washington Post reports that the White House will announce Sunday that it has met its self-imposed deadline to fix the federal ObamaCare exchange known as HealthCare.gov.  The Post also reports that, like everything else surrounding ObamaCare, this announcement is not even close to true.

Goals of health reform act downsized, promises broken.  The Obama administration promised to have the Obamacare website working smoothly by Saturday [11/30/2013], but even President Obama knows this latest deadline is another target that his team is likely to miss.  Only about 25,000 Americans were able to enroll on the federal government's HealthCare.gov website in October, when most people instead encountered computer errors.  And although Mr. Obama and his top advisers vowed to fix the problems by the end of November, they have retreated from that pledge in favor of a scaled-back promise by Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that the website will be working for "most users" by Saturday's deadline.

CMS Official: Only 30 Percent of HealthCare.gov System Has Been Built.  A chief official responsible for building the federal health-insurance exchange revealed that as much as 70 percent of the system still needs to be built.  Henry Chao, the deputy chief information officer for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told a House subcommittee that the administration still needs to construct the payment systems and other "back office" functions, which constitute 60 to 70 percent of the system.

Obama: You can keep your plans ... for now.  Privately insured Americans whose insurance was deemed unworthy under Obamacare can keep their plans one more year, President Barack Obama said today.  In a news conference [11/14/2013] announcing the policy shift, Obama tried to calm public fury and address his own party's concerns that he reneged on his promise to allow people to keep their insurance plans if they wanted to.

Of Sharks and Windshields.  The Obama administration is beginning to resemble a damaged car windshield:  A small ding from an unexpected flying pebble turns into a spider web of cracks, leaving the windshield difficult to see through and dangerously unstable. [...] But where most windshields remain serviceable for months after the first chip, the façade of President Obama's credibility is cracking up with stunning rapidity, even among some ardent "journalist" supporters and erstwhile human shields.

The game has just started, and already the goalposts are moving.
Obamacare deadline will be several weeks earlier than expected: IRS.  Those who want to sign up for Obamacare will have to do so by around Valentine's Day in order to avoid tax penalties, roughly six weeks ahead of the March 31 deadline originally stated.  The currently uninsured will need to be covered by March 31 in order to avoid tax penalties but in order to accomplish that, signups must be completed by around mid-February and coverage would then be initiated by March 1.

They knew the web site wouldn't work before it was launched

The D.C. Idiocracy: Remember The Really Dumb Kids In School? They're Now In Charge Of Your Life.  [T]he Obamacare website may have been the single worst website rollout in the history of the Internet.  There were months of delays, glitches and general incompetence that drove millions of people up the wall.  The cost of that disaster?  It was 2.1 billion dollars, which is more than four times the 500 million dollar cost of Facebook.  Just to up the ante on the level of stupid involved here, the Obamacare website failed every test right before it went live.  The website couldn't even handle 200-300 people at a time without crashing and it was STILL released to the public because, you know, what could go wrong?

Key ObamaCare official used threats, 'tantrums' to push website launch despite concerns, email claims.  A key ObamaCare official engaged in a "cruel and uncaring march" to launch the federal health care website last year and wasn't open to seeking a delay despite concerns, according to a newly revealed email from her former second-in-command.  The damning email from Michelle Snyder, the then-chief technology officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, was released to FoxNews.com ahead of a Wednesday [11/19/2014] House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee hearing on the security and botched rollout of Healthcare.gov.

White House won't reveal documents related to ObamaCare website security.  The White House has rejected a request to publicly disclose documents relating to the kinds of security software and computer systems behind the federal health care exchange website on the grounds that the information could "potentially" be used by hackers.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services denied a Freedom of Information Act request made late last year by the Associated Press amid concerns that Republicans raised about the security of the website, which had technical glitches that prevented millions of people from signing up for insurance under ObamaCare.

Rushed HHS Let Contractors Fumble Obamacare Website, GAO Says.  A rushed team at the Department of Health and Human Services failed to plan properly or watch over contractors hired to set up and run the online health insurance exchange, setting it up for its spectacular blowout when it rolled out last October, according to a report to be released Thursday.

Another report nails Obama for poor planning, mismanagement, incompetence.  Yet another government audit out Wednesday [7/30/2014], this one dissecting last fall's ObamaCare roll-out debacle.  Everyone except Obama, he claims, knew about it instantly on Oct. 1 when the half-billion dollar website collapsed, over and over, after three years of development, as in 36 months.  The new report from the nonpartisan General Accounting Office blames systemic problems such as poor planning, lack of follow-up, ineffective oversight and chaotic coordination.  Expenses for the website alone stand at $840 million — and that was last March!

Probe exposes flaws behind HealthCare.gov rollout.  Management failures by the Obama administration set the stage for the computer woes that paralyzed the president's new health care program last fall, nonpartisan investigators said in testimony released Wednesday [7/30/2014].  After a months-long investigation, the Government Accountability Office found that the administration lacked "effective planning or oversight practices" for the development of HealthCare.gov, the online portal to coverage for millions of uninsured Americans.  As a result the government incurred "significant cost increases, schedule slips, and delayed functionality," William Woods, a GAO contracting expert said in testimony prepared for a hearing Thursday [7/31/2014] before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

White House had been warned about Obamacare website's woes.  Senate Republicans will shine a spotlight on Obamacare's early stumbles Thursday [6/19/2014] with a report that divulges new details about warning signs that surfaced before HealthCare.gov's failed launch.  The report collects congressional testimony and inter-agency emails to portray the Obama administration as rudderless and ignorant of red flags raised by outside experts and auditors who scrutinized the federal website that linked consumers in 36 states with private health plans.

Judicial Watch Obtains 106-Page HHS Document Revealing Scope of Obamacare Rollout Disaster.  Judicial Watch today [5/19/2014] released a 106-page document obtained on May 1 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), revealing that on its first full day of operation, October 1, 2013, Obamacare's Healthcare.gov received only one enrollment.  The document, obtained in response to a November 25, 2013, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against HHS, also reveals that on the second day of Healthcare.gov operation, 48% of registrations failed.

HealthCare.gov — Obama can't build that.  The latest news is that the initial estimates for fixing the site were grossly underestimated.  That's no surprise, but that doesn't make it any better.  Accenture is claiming that it will need $121 million to make it through January 10, 2015.  To place that in perspective, just the latest figure exceeds at least one set of estimates for 10 highly popular web start-ups.  That is exceeding the cost to start all of them, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, Pinterest and Vine.

Sebelius says timeline for ObamaCare rollout 'flat out wrong'.  Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says the timeline for the ObamaCare rollout was "flat-out wrong" and that the federal exchange could have used "more time and testing" before going online. [...] Sebelius also said the roughly first eight weeks of the glitch-filled rollout was the low point of her five years as secretary.

Revealed: How Obama considered scrapping healthcare.gov website just 16 days after its disastrous launch.  One day before the guffaw-inducing October 1 launch of the Obamacare program's healthcare.gov website, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was telling friends that 'when we turn it on tomorrow morning, we're gonna knock your socks off.'  Less than three weeks later, President Barack Obama asked McDonough whether it would ever be possible to make the website function reliably.

Vatican's Consultant Firm Warned WH of Obamacare Rollout Flop.  The private U.S. management consultancy firm hired by the Vatican to advise it on its media operations is the same firm that warned the White House of serious problems with the Obamacare rollout. [...] The White House requested that McKinsey assess possible Obamacare rollout scenarios.  The company ended up finding a range of problems with the healthcare exchanges and warned the Obama administration as far back as March that the federal website for enrollment into Obamacare, Healthcare.gov, could very well fail.

Obama Administration Knew of Healthcare.gov Security Risks Before Launch.  Documents provided to the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform reveal that the Obama administration knew of security vulnerabilities within Healthcare.gov prior to Oct. 1, but launched the website anyway.  Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said Health and Human Services (HHS) officials showed a "disturbing lack of judgment" by going ahead with the site's launch and putting Americans' personal information at risk.

Emails show CMS knew small-business exchange would not be ready.  The Obama administration knew as early as August that the small-business portal on healthcare.gov would not be ready by the Oct. 1 launch, but delayed admitting those problems until Nov. 27, according to documents released by House Republicans on Friday [12/6/2013].  In one colorful email exchange in mid-August, Henry Chao, the administration official charged with the development of the online insurance marketplaces, expressed frustration with delays from the private contractor working on the website.

Obama administration KNEW days before launch that healthcare.gov could only handle 500 users at a time, emails show.  Emails released late Thursday [11/21/2013] by a Republican-led congressional committee show that healthcare.gov was unable to handle more than 500 simultaneous users in the days before its disastrous October 1 launch.  And in the final, frantic pre-launch days, the website's software failed when engineers simulated activity from 2,000 users over a three-day testing period.  Meanwhile, President Obama was boasting that the online health insurance exchanges would work as advertised when they debuted.

Obamacare official in July feared HealthCare.gov "crash".  Almost three months before the botched launch of HealthCare.gov, a U.S. health official expressed frustration with a main contractor working on the website, fearing quality assurance issues could "crash the plane at take-off," according to government documents obtained by Reuters.  The documents were released by Republican investigators with the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.

U.S. health official warned Obamacare website would crash 3 months before launch.  Almost three months before the botched launch of HealthCare.gov, a U.S. health official expressed frustration with a main contractor working on the website, fearing quality assurance issues could 'crash the plane at take-off,' according to government documents.

On Sept. 5 Test of Obamacare's Website, Govt. Staffers 'Secretly Rooted For It To Fail'.  We've known for at least nine months that Obamacare's website could turn out to be a "third-world experience."  In recent weeks, we've learned that there hadn't been an end-to-end test of whether Americans could enroll as late as September 26, five days before the October 1 launch.  So the obvious question has been:  if the administration knew the website wasn't ready, why did they roll it out anyway?

CBS: White House warned three years ago that ObamaCare was running off the rails.  CBS News reports that an internal memo warned the White House three years ago that the Healthcare.gov project was turning into a disaster, and that no one with any expertise had control of the project.

Report: Contractor warned administration about Obamacare site problems.  HealthCare.gov contractor CGI warned the Obama administration that the website might not be ready just one month before launch, CNN reported Tuesday night.  CNN obtained a memo from CGI, the main contractor that built HealthCare.gov, informing administration officials that the site wasn't finished and wouldn't be by Oct. 1, but Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) officials claimed again just Monday [10/28/2013] that they had no knowledge of the problems.

House Republicans: Obama administration tampered with Obamacare launch.  [A]lthough some have managed to sign up, thousands more have encountered problems even viewing their options for healthcare plans.  House investigators think they've discovered why:  The Obama administration decided to hide them.  Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday [10/22/2013] announced they have information indicating the administration — a month before the website's launch — ordered contractors building the insurance portal to change the system so that unregistered shoppers can't see price comparisons.

Nancy Pelosi: Republican 'sabotage' hindering health care law.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi believes the new health care law should move forward without delay and said that "sabotage" by Republicans, and not just computer glitches, is hindering implementation.  Pelosi said the offices of some Republican lawmakers "are not giving information to constituents for how they can avail themselves" of the new program.  Republicans are withholding the information, Pelosi said, "to undermine the Affordable Care Act."  Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the GOP had nothing to do with the troubled rollout.

Pre-launch tests of Obamacare site crashed with only a few hundred visitors.  Disastrous test results didn't stop the Obama administration from launching its now-notorious Obamacare exchange website.  Only a few days before the launch, test runs of the website crashed the exchanges with only a few hundred visitors.

The Administration knew Healthcare.gov would be a disaster.  Healthcare.gov crashed under the burden of only a few hundred users, but they launched it anyway, and two thousand connections was enough to kill it.  And they've been admitting the system was only designed to handle 50,000 users at most, spread across all fifty states, even though it cost half a billion dollars to create, and Obama's propaganda has stridently insisted there were forty or fifty million uninsured in the country, plus he knew (but lied repeatedly about) the millions more who would lose their existing insurance under his scheme.

Website programmers knew there were problems with the Obamacare site.  President Obama's healthcare website has come under scrutiny and now the programmers who made the site are speaking out about how they expressed concerns before the launch but were ignored by higher-ups.

Health insurance exchange launched despite signs of serious problems.  Days before the launch of President Obama's online health-insurance marketplace, government officials and contractors tested a key part of the Web site to see whether it could handle tens of thousands of consumers at the same time.  It crashed after a simulation in which just a few hundred people tried to log on simultaneously.  Despite the failed test, federal health officials plowed ahead.

Builders of Obama's Health Website Saw Red Flags.  As questions mount over the website's failure, insider interviews and a review of technical specifications by The Associated Press found a mind-numbingly complex system put together by harried programmers who pushed out a final product that congressional investigators said was tested by the government and not private developers with more expertise.

Did the Obama administration know Healthcare.gov would fail?  The Congressional Budget Office estimated that paper applications would represent about 30 percent of federal Obamacare sign-ups during the six-month open enrollment period, with the remainder being handled by Healthcare.gov's online insurance exchanges.  But that website has proven more unwieldy than anyone anticipated, and very few eligible individuals have so far managed to purchase insurance.  Numerous deadlines were missed in the run-up to the Oct. 1 rollout, including one for the development of privacy and security systems for Healthcare.gov.

An Inauspicious Debut.  For over a year it has been common knowledge within the Obama administration that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could not launch its network of health exchanges for the Affordable Care Act in a minimally acceptable way.  That knowledge did not stop the HHS publicity machine from constantly assuring the American public that its computer systems would be ready for the first enrollment period.  That knowledge did not stop carefully scripted HHS employees and contractors from making similar false assurances to two House committees just weeks before the botched October 1 launch.

They knew Obamacare itself wouldn't work

When elites lie without much consequence, the public follows their examples.  Almost every element of [Obama's] promises about Obamacare — easy online signups, reduced premiums and deductibles, maintenance of current policies and doctors, national savings, and less frequent emergency room use were not just untrue, but realized in advance as simply not possible.

Emails Reveal Jonathan Gruber's Obamacare Work Was Of 'Key Political Importance'.  A top Obama administration health official considered putting MIT economist Jonathan Gruber to work on Obamacare to be an initiative of such "key political importance" that it was expedited because of "political push" from the Obama administration, emails released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reveal.  The agency released 750 pages of heavily-redacted records on Monday [6/8/2015] to The Daily Caller and other news outlets in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Obama Adviser Jonathan Gruber In 2009: Obamacare Will NOT Be Affordable.  President Obama's health care adviser Jonathan Gruber said that the Affordable Care Act would definitely not be affordable while he was writing the bill with the White House.  As Gruber continues to withhold documents while he awaits a call-back for more testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the new year, more shocking information is coming to light detailing the deceptions that went into the writing of the health-care law.

New deception questions: Obamacare adviser warned of premium increases as Obama vowed savings.  While President Obama campaigned on a promise that his universal health care plan would lower premiums, his controversial adviser and plan architect was privately warning the state of Wisconsin that Obamacare was poised to massively increase insurance costs for average residents, internal documents show.  Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist currently under fire for suggesting the Obama administration tried to deceive the public about the Affordable Care Act, was hired by former Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle in 2010 to conduct an analysis on how the federal health-care reform would impact the state.

ObamaCare Going Forward.  The 2013 Obamacare website was constructed to stop people from having an early capacity to see what financial impact it was (and is) going to have on their family or themselves.  That is also why could not identify your 2015 enrollment premium price until after the November 2014 election.  They knew in the architecture of the regulation itself that millions of people would lose their health insurance policies.  As Kathleen Sebelius stated before congress, even a $5 increase in any private insurance annual premium leads to ANY policy having to conform to the new regulations.  This was by design.  The architects, including Gruber, wanted private insurance cancellations.  They designed private insurance cancellations.

Jonathan Gruber Obamacare Deception Video Goes Viral.  On Saturday, Newsbusters was the first major website to feature a video posted to YouTube by AmericanCommitment of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber boasting in 2013 how he helped deceive the public via a lack of transparency about that bill.  Some readers were anxious about that video being made better known to the public since at the time the article was published, there were only a couple of dozen views of the video on YouTube.  Well they needn't have worried because since then the video has gone over the top viral to the extent that Rush Limbaugh led his show talking about it at length this morning as did Sean Hannity on his radio show.

Caught on Camera: Obamacare Architect Admits Deceiving Americans to Pass Law.  "Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage," says the MIT economist who helped write Obamacare.  "And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass."

Obamacare Architect: Lack of Transparency Was Key Because 'Stupidity Of The American Voter' Would Have Killed Obamacare.  Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber said that lack of transparency was a major part of getting Obamacare passed because "the stupidity of the American voter" would have killed the law if more people knew what was in it.  Gruber, the MIT professor who served as a technical consultant to the Obama administration during Obamacare's design, also made clear during a panel quietly captured on video that the individual mandate, which was only upheld by the Supreme Court because it was a tax, was not actually a tax.

Obamacare Architect Met with Obamacare Author the Afternoon Before His 'Typo'.  On July 24th, footage surfaced of Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist and the chief architect of Obamacare, discussing the issue at the heart of the latest ACA court cases:  whether subsidies are only available for state-run insurance exchanges or can also be paid as part of a federal exchange.  During a January 18, 2012 videotaped lecture, Gruber said, "I think what's important to remember politically about this, is if you're a state and you don't set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits."  The next day, Gruber spoke with Jonathan Cohn, a senior editor at The New Republic, about the video and said the remarks were a "mistake" made while "speaking off-the-cuff."

Obamacare Architect's 'Mistake' About Subsidies Used by HHS as Defense in Court.  Last Saturday [7/26/2014], Breitbart News uncovered three reports and analysis written by Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist and chief architect of Obamacare, stating that subsidies or tax credits will be provided to individuals "to purchase health insurance from private companies through state-organized exchanges."  These reports were discovered after a video clip surfaced of Gruber making similar comments on the clip.  Gruber said his remarks were a "mistake" made while "speaking off-the-cuff."

Your ObamaCare subsidies are probably wrong, but don't worry. We'll bill you later..  [T]he part of this story that is both frightening and aggravating is that this is apparently yet another problem which they knew about all along, but never bothered to mention.  And it has a very direct impact on hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of Americans. [...] And remember, some of the key portions of the back end of the site are not simply malfunctioning due to unforeseen technical problems.  That could be almost forgivable if you lean toward being an ObamaCare apologist.  But that's not the case here.  These are critical functions of the application which were never even built and the government knew it.

White House Masked Fears of Obamacare Collapse.  The numbers are still coming in on the Affordable Care Act, and that will continue for years.  There will never be one number that tells the full story of the law's impact on health care costs, the underlying economic health of the law, its effect on the federal deficit or job creation.  Obamacare will be a statistical kaleidoscope for its entire legal life — even after this Congress or another changes it under political duress.

Obama's Transformation of America — an Entire Class of People Dependent on Government.  As we watch the Affordable Care Act lay waste to the healthcare industry in America, the end game result will be a single payer system or socialized medicine; because it was not designed to make healthcare either available or affordable to all Americans, but designed to create such chaos, confusion and anger, that people would beg for a single payer system.  Then the takeover of one sixth of this nation's economy will be complete, and everybody will be dependent upon the government to save their very lives.

The Biggest Healthcare Scandal You've Never Heard About.  "Bottom Line: We Are On Track To Launch" ranks right up there with "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," as one of the biggest falsehoods in the annals of Obamacare.  The latter quote is the one that President Barack Obama used repeatedly as he lobbied for passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and then as he campaigned for a second presidential term.  Less is known about the first quote, offered by Rocky King in a PowerPoint presentation.  King was the then-Executive Director of Cover Oregon. [...] What King should have known was that the Cover Oregon website wasn't anywhere close to being ready for launch.  In fact, half a year after the official launch date the website is still not functioning properly.

HHS official found White House 'disarray' months before health law rollout.  A senior Health and Human Services official was so frustrated last May over the White House's "disarray" on health care before the launch of Obamacare insurance exchanges that he warned of needing a "come to Jesus meeting" with his counterparts.  The comment from Anton Gunn, then-HHS director of external affairs, came in an email exchange with Anne Filipic, the president of the outside group Enroll America, a nonprofit with close ties to the White House that was formed to promote the fall Obamacare rollout and boost enrollment — an effort the two were working on closely.

Stop Giving Obama Radicals the Benefit of the Doubt.  The Obama administration policies, ranging from Fast and Furious, to the New Black Panther dismissal, to the debacle of Obamacare, are not incompetent follies.  They are instead representative of ideological desires deliberately implemented through the mechanisms of power available to this administration.  Fast and Furious emerged because of hostility to the constitutional right to bear arms.  The New Black Panther dismissal happened because the civil rights industry today doesn't think civil rights laws should be used against "people of color."  Every nutty and seemingly dumb Obama policy has a genesis in ideological radicalism.  These and other seemingly dumb Obama administration decisions are features; they are not glitches.  Stop treating them like glitches.

Should Americans believe anything Obama says?  Healthcare.gov was a disaster from day one, but even more serious were Obama's three most important promises concerning Obamacare.  He said Americans could keep health insurance policies they liked.  He said they would be able to keep the doctors they liked.  And he said they would save thousands of dollars on health care costs.  Not long after Obamacare's launch last fall, millions of Americans began receiving cancellation notices on insurance they wanted to keep.  Many also quickly learned their preferred doctors would no longer be able to treat them.  And they found that Obamacare would cost them much more than their old policies.  Most disturbing, it turned out that top officials in the the Obama administration knew all along that the president's promises weren't true, even as he repeated those promises over and over.

ObamaCare Misreporting Underscored Mainstream Media's Malfeasance.  No better example of this mainstream-media malfeasance exists than the case of ObamaCare and thousands of liberal "journalists" at the networks, cable networks, newspapers and radio outlets who chose — out of loyalty to the president and his naively utopian nanny-state beliefs — to shill for a program they knew to be built on a foundation of lies from day one.  Worse than knowing it was built on a foundation of deceit, most also knew it would decimate our health-care system, increase costs for tens of millions of Americans and put doctors in an untenable position.  They knew it, and they still hid the truth.

Kinda funny but kinda sad.  Perhaps the saddest and funniest story in recent days comes from Forbes.  Merrill Matthews, himself an insurance industry leader, writes about how his industry was led on by the golden visions of Obamacare only to find itself in a waterless desert. [...] My favorite line in that story is:  "lots of health policy experts have always feared", which sounds suspiciously like "and they knew all along".  They knew all along that enrollees would take a number and wait.

The Emperor's New Credibility.  How many sycophantic fools must there be in the Obama administration to let the boss go to the microphone and compare the unmitigated disaster of Obamacare to an iPhone?  But, before "The Emperor's New Website" could see the light of day, we had the revelation that the administration knew as early as 2010 that millions of Americans would not be able to keep the policies they liked, at prices they could afford.  And yet, the President, at every opportunity, repeated over and over the now infamous thirteen words: [...]

Advertising in the Age of Obama.  Obama was sold to the American voters twice on the strength of shrewd marketing, but as the truth of his unsuitability for this high office becomes increasingly obvious to all but his most uninformed base, even advertising cannot help him pull out of his nosedive.  People who know a thing or two about medical care, insurance, and simple math warned about the doom embedded in the very heart of ObamaCare, warnings the media ignored or made fun of.

Sebelius Admits She Needed Four Year Delay.  Obama knew he couldn't be re-elected if people learned what Obamacare was.  He also knew it was not ready to be launched.  The White House tactic was to keep the Obamacare regs and prices secret from the public, which meant the website could not be constructed properly.  Each day brings more news proving the administration's political motivations that made failure inevitable and acceptable to them.

White House Has Known For Months Obamacare Implementation Wouldn't Work.  If you've been reading all the Obamacare stories lately, you might get the impression that the administration has just realized it will not be able to implement the massive health reform as designed.  It has known for months.

Obamacare's Financial Unraveling: Predictable, and Predicted.  Advocates marketed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known colloquially as "Obamacare," to the American public as a way to "bend the cost curve" of soaring health care costs downward. [...] Three years later, the fiscal harm stemming from the ACA is as bad as-and even worse than-many experts predicted.  The problem lies with the nature of the law itself, promising trillions in new government benefits while relying on dubious financing mechanisms.  These problems were not only foreseeable, they were indeed widely foreseen.

A lot of money was wasted on the Obamacare web site

Taxpayers looking at $1B bill for ObamaCare site.  Taxpayers can expect to get stuck with a more than $1 billion bill for the creation and repair of the federal ObamaCare website, a top House Republican warned.  "The fact is, eventually they'll get this website working at the cost of probably over a billion dollars," House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (Calif.) said on Fox News Channel.  The Obama administration did not respond to The Post's questions Thursday about the tab for the round-the-clock "tech surge" deployed in mid-October to repair HealthCare.gov.  The cost of building the bug-ridden site, which launched Oct. 1, is estimated at $600 million.

The Editor says...
As many other bloggers and comedians have already stated, I could have built a dysfunctional web site for half that amount.

This is called throwing good money after bad.
Government awards more contracts to company that created glitchy ObamaCare website.  CGI Federal Inc, the company that created large parts of the error-plagued ObamaCare exchange website, which it says it is scrambling to fix, has recently been awarded several other government contracts.  Since the ObamaCare exchange website launched on Oct. 1, government officials have signed at least five different agreements with CGI totaling $7 million, according to USASpending.gov, a government website that lists government contracts.

It's Ted Cruz's Fault!  Texas Senator Ted Cruz is why ObamaCare is having 'glitches' a month after its $600 million rollout — software any contractor could have designed for one million.  The president explained that Apple also had glitches when OS7 was rolled out.  He is correct and Apple fixed theirs in 24 hours.  That's the difference between private and government enterprise.

ObamaCare spending to top contractors tops $1 billion.  The price tag usually associated the Affordable Care Act rollout is $394 million, based on a Government Accountability Office report.  [Peter] Gosselin argued that study was too narrowly focused, so he expanded his search of a federal contractor databases to include all awards where the acronym "ACA" or other related words and phrases appeared.  "In looking at the full range of ACA-related contracts for just 10 firms, the BGOV analysis found more than $1 billion worth of contract awards," he wrote.

3 Questions About Obamacare for Obama and the GOP.  The $400 million-plus online marketplace fueling his signature legislative achievement is a bust.  Its failure threatens to undermine the public's confidence in Obamacare, which could dampen sign-up rates and undercut the goal of providing affordable health care to 40 million Americans.  The site launched despite internal warnings that it was not ready.  When did the president realize his site was a joke?

Reality Check for HealthCare.gov.  [A] lot of people would like to know how the federal government showered $634 million on a host of IT contractors to build HealthCare.gov, a website that has had the worst debut of any product since New Coke.  The site is supposed to provide a menu of insurance plans for Americans in the 36 states without their own site.  Instead, it has become a black box — the few applications insurance companies have managed to receive from it are glitch-filled and error-riddled, the insurers say.

Insight: As Obamacare tech woes mounted, contractor payments soared.  A Reuters review of government documents shows that the contract to build the federal Healthcare.gov online insurance website — key to President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform — tripled in potential total value to nearly $292 million as new money was assigned to the work beginning in April this year.

WaPo: Traffic plunges 88% at Healthcare.gov since launch.  To paraphrase one of the more memorable lines of American cinema:  If you build it badly, they'll stop coming.  Every private-sector firm operating in the on-line market discovered that in 1995 or so, but the Obama administration only just started to learn it after spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the world's worst web portal.  And now consumers are staying away in droves, according to the Washington Post.

From the Start, Signs of Trouble at Health Portal.  For the past 12 days, a system costing more than $400 million and billed as a one-stop click-and-go hub for citizens seeking health insurance has thwarted the efforts of millions to simply log in.  The growing national outcry has deeply embarrassed the White House, which has refused to say how many people have enrolled through the federal exchange.

Why Is Obama Hiding ObamaCare Enrollment Data?  After spending three-and-a-half years and $634 million building its ObamaCare exchange, the administration claims it can't manage to produce any enrollment data. [...] That makes no sense, since the 14 states running their own ObamaCare exchanges have already released their first week's enrollment figures.  New York says 40,000 signed up, for example, and California claims 28,000 did so.  The only conceivable explanation for Sebelius' refusal to do likewise is that the federal enrollment number is embarrassingly small.

Just how much does HealthCare.gov cost?  Government officials deny the price tag on the troubled ObamaCare website is as big as $634 million, as widely reported on Thursday.  Nonetheless, a close look at the cost of HealthCare.gov and the overall architecture of this giant federal program reveals no real bargain for the American taxpayer.  "What a train wreck.  How can we tax people for not buying a product from a website that doesn't work?" Speaker of the House John Boehner demanded on Wednesday [10/9/2013], as report after report indicated that the software problems experienced by the online portal were nowhere near being resolved.

Sebelius promo event for ObamaCare in Pittsburgh flops as websites still fail.  Kathleen Sebelius came to Pittsburgh yesterday [10/10/2013] to team up with Steelers chairman Dan Rooney to promote the newly launched ObamaCare exchanges. Maybe she should have tried the Denver Broncos.  The promotion flopped as badly as the Steelers in their first four weeks of the season, thanks to the $634 million website that can't make a play.

Behind the talking points on Obamacare.  The strategy was perfect:  talk about need, but not why that need was to be paid for by everyone else.  Talk about how hard it is for people with pre-existing conditions to get health insurance, without examining why that makes sense.  Talk about benefits, without mentioning costs.  And wrap the whole thing up under the IRS, and don't say it's really the biggest tax this nation has ever seen.  Now, some of the public is waking up, but only around the details:  the website doesn't work.  So, it has already cost some $600 million, according to sources quoted on the news (since the government either doesn't know or won't say, officially), and it doesn't work.  People are used to things that don't work, coming from the government.  This time, though, more people are paying attention.

Obama Spent $634 Million to Build Broken Healthcare.gov Website.  I could have built him a broken website for only $633 million.  But I have trouble even taking in or believing that number is real. [...] Google managed to build an index of 60 million pages while basically being run by two guys with $100k in seed money.  Sure they had Stanford's computers, but this was supposed to be backed by the US government.  Data centers are expensive.  That's why you used to see Twitter's Fail Whale so much.  But Facebook spends $50 million a year on data centers.  And it rarely goes down.

Obamacare meltdown triggers congressional investigations.  Recent weeks have seen the meltdown of the Obamacare national online marketplace, reported to have cost between $400 million and $600 million so far.  There are also indications the administration knew serious problems were coming and hid them from lawmakers who have a responsibility to oversee the program.  The episode has prompted a lot of questions on Capitol Hill.  Just how many people have tried to purchase coverage on the exchanges?  How many have succeeded?  Is the level of interest sufficient for Obamacare to reach its goal of seven million enrollees?  Why is the administration being so secretive about it?

CGI and Accenture

Disgraced Healthcare.gov Firm Ensnared In New Jersey Sandy Recovery Flimflam.  A federal watchdog is throwing a red flag on a $60.2 million Hurricane Sandy Recovery contract New Jersey officials awarded to the Canadian firm behind the disastrous Obamacare Healthcare.gov web site.  CGI Federal lost its $93 million contract for Healthcare.gov after it crashed within hours of going live in 2013 and contained so many design flaws the Obama administration had to assemble an emergency team to make the Obamacare website minimally operable.

The Obama Era of Unresolved Scandals and Outrages.  Remember Healthcare.gov?  The president goes out, tells the American public the site is working at the precise moment it is thoroughly dysfunctional.  The inspector general later confirms the obvious:  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services "did not perform thorough reviews of contractor past performance when awarding two key contracts."  The contractor, of course, was CGI Federal.

IRS Has Active Contract For Millions With Company HHS Fired Over Botched Healthcare.gov.  Seven months after federal officials fired CGI Federal for its botched work on Obamacare website Healthcare.gov, the IRS awarded the same company a $4.5 million IT contract for its new Obamacare tax program.  CGI is a $10.5 billion Montreal-based company that has forever been etched into the public's mind as the company behind the bungled Obamacare main website.  After facing a year of embarrassing failures, federal officials finally pulled the plug on the company and terminated CGI's contract in January 2014.

CGI Gets Rewarded for Scamming Taxpayers.  Looks like Déjà vu all over again.  On Thursday, CGI, the Montreal-based company involved in Obamacare's $678 million website disaster, announced the U.S. Department of Homeland Security chose its subsidiary CGI Federal as a prime technology contractor.  According to CGI management the new contract might enable the company to" expand its footprint within the organization, particularly in mission-critical IT services such as cyber security and big data solutions."

Obamacare website fix will cost feds $121 million.  Fixing the Obamacare website and improving it so it's ready to handle a second round of enrollments will cost the federal government $121 million, according to Accenture, the contractor hired to repair the glitchy website after the original contractor, CGI Federal, was fired.  That cost is roughly $30 million more than initially projected, underscoring the price of trying to keep President Obama's signature domestic law on track.  The price is also about $30 million more than the reported value of CGI's initial Obamacare contract, signed in 2011.

Massachusetts firing Obamacare contractor CGI.  State officials are moving to fire CGI, the contractor responsible for Massachusetts' broken health exchange website, and are starting to search for a new vendor, the state's Obamacare czar said this morning.  "We have made the decision that we are going to be parting ways with CGI," Sarah Iselin said.  "We have just begun the process of negotiating what we hope will be a very careful transition."

Accenture, hired to help fix HealthCare.gov, has had a series of stumbles.  Accenture, the contractor urgently tapped to help fix the federal health-insurance Web site, is a favorite of corporate America but has a record that includes troubled projects and allegations of ethical lapses, a review of the consulting giant's history shows.  At the University of Michigan, students and faculty members are protesting the school's use of Accenture to help cut costs, citing a report by a committee of alumni and graduate students that said the firm has "a disturbing pattern of problematic past performance."

Administration fears part of health care system so flawed it could bankrupt insurance companies.  While the administration publicly expresses full confidence in its health care law, privately it fears one part of the system is so flawed it could bankrupt insurance companies and cripple ObamaCare itself.  "Week after week, month after month," says John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis, "the Obama administration kept telling us everything's working fine, there's no problem and then they turn on a dime and fire their contractor."

ObamaCare Puts 'Entire Health Insurance Industry At Risk'.  A procurement document posted on a federal website, but little noticed by the press, depicts an administration desperate to immediately replace CGI, the key contractor behind Healthcare.gov, with Accenture.  The need was so immediate, the document says, that the usual competitive bidding process had to be dispensed with.  Why the urgency?  It turns out that after three years, CGI still hadn't built the "financial management platform" needed to track eligibility and enrollment, account for subsidy payments, and produce accurate "risk adjustment" forecasts.  As a result, the document says, "the entire healthcare reform program is jeopardized."

No-bid contract for Obamacare site goes to firm whose former top researcher developed Obama campaign voter tracking.  The Obama administration gave the latest no-bid Obamacare website contract to a company whose former top analytic researcher developed the complex voter-tracking computer strategies that led Obama to victory in 2012.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a division of Kathleen Sebelius' Department of Health and Human Services, recently fired Obamacare website contractor CGI Federal after the botched website rollout that began in October — though CGI Federal still holds five major tech contracts with CMS that are valid for at least another year.

Obamacare gets outsourced amid unemployment crisis.  President Obama spent $831 billion of taxpayer money on a stimulus plan for the economy.  He gave nearly $50 billion in aid to GM to keep it afloat.  He lost $500 million on energy company Solyndra.  All in the name of saving jobs.  Yet when it comes to his own signature initiative, the president doesn't care about American workers.  He's outsourced ObamaCare.  After the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov, the administration hired Accenture as the new lead contractor.  The deal is estimated to be worth $90 million and is now in the hands of the poster boy for global labor arbitrage and offshore tax havens.

Feds Release Details of 'Urgent' New Healthcare.gov Contract.  Newly released documents reveal the anxieties of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) about Healthcare.gov, which warn that failure to finish the website puts the entire health insurance industry at risk.  The HHS released documents relating to its new contract to maintain the federal health exchange on Wednesday, justifying its reasons to expedite the procurement process because of an urgent need for the website to work.

Shredding the layers of the ObamaCare onion.  It was just announced that the Obama White House is dropping CGI, Inc. next month when its contract with the U.S. federal government expires.  Certain journalists and armchair sleuths with a peculiar penchant for political partisanship engaged in a frenzied frolic at the discovery of cronyism related to CGI. [...] CGI Federal ultimately secured a $678 million no-bid contract to build the ObamaCare website, and did so miserably.  At least, that's the government's story, and they're sticking to it.  Yet that's just the veneer of a much deeper, more nefarious scheme, especially when you look at its replacement.

Finally! White House to replace lead HealthCare.gov contractor.  The Obama administration plans to replace the lead contractor on HealthCare.gov, the glitchy federal website that hindered the fall rollout of the new health care law, with another company.  Officials plans to drop CGI Federal, after the company took a share of blame for its role in preparing a website that serves 36 states and needed extensive repairs after its Oct. 1 launch, the Washington Post first reported.  A major consulting company, Accenture, will take its place.

Obama administration to end contract with CGI Federal, company behind HealthCare.gov.  The Obama administration has decided to jettison CGI Federal, the main IT contractor that was responsible for building the defect-ridden online health insurance marketplace and has been immersed in the work of repairing it.  Federal health officials are preparing to sign a 12-month contract worth roughly $90 million, probably early next week, with a different company, Accenture, after concluding that CGI has not been effective enough in fixing the intricate computer system underpinning the federal Web site, HealthCare.gov.

State Obamacare exchanges halt payments for 'substandard, messed-up' websites.  Several Obamacare exchanges in states that didn't participate in the healthcare.gov fiasco are now having so much trouble with their own health insurance websites that they're withholding payments to their biggest IT contractor — and it's the same company that botched the federal government's insurance portal.  CGI Group, the Montreal company behind the White House's error-prone, $677 million online white elephant, is under fire in Massachusetts, Vermont and Hawaii after those states' Affordable Care Act websites suffered from some of the same problems that first made Obamacare a late-night punchline in October.

Mass., Vt. halt payments to firm behind health sites.  Even as President Obama's health insurance website limps to recovery, at least two states that used the same contractor and are still plagued with malfunctions — Massachusetts and Vermont — are taking preliminary steps to recoup taxpayer dollars.  Massachusetts officials are reviewing legal options against CGI Group, a Montreal-based information technology company, and will make recommendations on how to seek financial redress at a Jan. 9 meeting.

Report: States withholding payments to ObamaCare contractor.  Officials in Massachusetts and Vermont are withholding payments to a primary ObamaCare contractor over the problem-plagued healthcare rollout.  The Boston Globe reported on Thursday that, in addition to halting new payments to the CGI Group, officials in both states are weighing their legal options against the company in a potential effort to recoup taxpayer dollars.  CGI is the largest ObamaCare contractor and was primarily responsible for developing HealthCare.gov.

HealthCare.gov contract: Politics not a factor, but neither were firm's ties to failed projects.  CGI Federal, the company responsible for building the problem-plagued Web site for the Affordable Care Act, won the job because of what federal officials deemed a "technically superior" proposal, according to government documents and people familiar with the decision.  Not considered in the 2011 selection process was the history of numerous executives at CGI Federal, who had come from another company that had mishandled at least 20 other government information technology projects more than a decade ago.

Obamacare website-maker runs failed Army Human Terrain System program.  The company that earned the no-bid contract to build the failed Obamacare website also runs the Army's disastrous Human Terrain System in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has been accused of fraud, sexual harassment and racism. [...] CGI Federal, the U.S. arm of the Canadian CGI Group and the designer of the failed Obamacare website, attempted a failed turnaround in HTS during the Obama administration.  The young company, which employs Michelle Obama's former Princeton classmate and Christmas guest Toni Townes-Whitley as a top executive, received eight figures from the Army in 2013 for the project, records reveal.

Inside the company that bungled Obamacare.  Through a lucrative government contract, CGI Federal is the principal contractor assigned the daunting job of building the federal online insurance marketplace — a large, complex website intended to help millions of ordinary Americans obtain health insurance that instead has become a byword for technological failure.  American taxpayers are among the main drivers of earnings at CGI, whose stock market value is $11.6 billion.  For its recently ended fourth quarter, the company's revenue grew nearly 53 percent, to $2.38 billion.  That put its total revenue for its fiscal 2013, which ended in September, at more than $9.8 billion, with nearly $442 million in profits.

The Editor says...
There are two implications in Newsweek's story:  The headline suggests that a private company is responsible for the Obamacare debacle, and the story starts out with statistics about how much money the company makes, implying that its profits are excessive.  But socialized medicine was the Democrats' idea, pushed through Congress entirely by and for Democrats, in an effort to get most of the American voters dependent on it.  Even if the internet-based sign-up process works perfectly someday (and it won't, primarily because it's a massive government bureaucracy), none of the lofty promises made by Barack H. Obama will come to pass.  Newsweek is apparently trying to help the Obama regime by focusing on a private company's faults rather than the utter failure of Barack H. Obama's pet project.

Obamacare Designer Says U.S. Agency Is Site's Quarterback.  An executive of CGI Group Inc., a contractor criticized for flaws that have hobbled sign-up for health-care exchanges, said the U.S. government is the "ultimate responsible party" for the insurance marketplaces.  CGI "works under the direction and supervision" of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said Cheryl Campbell, a senior vice president at CGI Federal Inc., a unit of CGI Group based in Fairfax, Virginia.

Red Flags? Company behind ObamaCare site has checkered past.  While the company behind the dysfunctional HealthCare.gov was virtually unknown to the American public until this month, critics say the Obama administration should have known this multibillion-dollar firm had a checkered history with other government contracts.  In projects stretching from Canada to Hawaii, parent company CGI Group and its subsidiaries ran into complaints about its performance.  And this was while, and in some cases before, CGI Federal was paid millions, along with other contractors, to create the ObamaCare website.

Obamacare Tech Firm Tried, Failed to Build Gun Registry in Canada.  CGI, the Canadian company whose U.S. subsidiary built the failed Obamacare website, was once contracted to build a federal gun registry for the Canadian government, Breitbart News has learned.  CGI's contract was canceled in 2007 after a report by the Auditor General found that the Canadian Firearms Information System (CFIS) being built by CGI was "significantly over budget" and that it had been plagued by delays.

Cronyism, incompetence cited in failure of healthcare.gov site.  A report by a private foundation on how the Obamacare website was designed reveals that cronyism and sheer incompetence is at fault for the spectacular failures of the rollout.  InfoWorld summed it up:  "It was built by people who are apparently far more familiar with government cronyism than they are with IT."

Obamacare website firm's execs had White House access.  CGI Federal is the U.S. subsidiary of CGI Group, the Canadian company based in Montreal that won the $93 million contract from the Department of Health and Human Services in December 2011 to build Healthcare.gov, the main Obamacare web site.  Prior to the official award, senior CGI executives met with top White House officials and attended a number of invitation-only addresses by President Obama.  According to the logs, CGI Federal President Donna Ryan visited the White House six times prior to her company being selected to do the IT design work behind the high-profile website.

How federal cronies built — and botched — Healthcare.gov.  [Scroll down]  Why did they get the work?  The report hints at a likely reason:  The companies were big lobbyists, with "some 17 contract winners reported spending more than $128 million on lobbying in 2011 and 2012."  Granted, some experience with government work is vital for any contractor, and the federal procurement system is geared to favor those already doing government work, but Sunlight pointed out that the list tips heavily toward those with both existing contracts and political leverage.

Healthcare.gov [Doesn't Work] Because They Hired Political Cronies, Not Internet Native Companies To Build It.  [I]t appears that the federal government basically handed this project over to the same crew of giant government contractors, who have a long history of screwed up giant IT projects, and almost no sense of the "internet native" world.  The Sunlight Foundation figured out the list of contractors who worked on the site, and noted that the big ones not only are well-known DC power-player insiders, but they're also big on the lobbying and political contributions side of things.

Obama was looking for company with single-payer expertise.  Was President Barack Obama aiming for a tech company well-versed in designing websites for a single-payer health system when he awarded the now glitch-riddled healthcare.gov contract to Canadian CGI?  Behind all the glitches, and at the heart of the utterly stalled healthcare.gov, that's exactly what CGI is:  the Canadian tech firm — Canada's largest — that has provided to Canada's single-payer health system.

Feds reviewed only one bid for Obamacare website design.  Federal officials considered only one firm to design the Obamacare health insurance exchange website that has performed abysmally since its Oct. 1 debut.  Rather than open the contracting process to a competitive public solicitation with multiple bidders, officials in the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid accepted a sole bidder, CGI Federal, the U.S. subsidiary of a Canadian company with an uneven record of IT pricing and contract performance.  CMS officials are tight-lipped about why CGI was chosen or how it happened.

The Editor asks...
Did somebody's brother-in-law got the contract?

Canadian officials fired IT firm behind troubled Obamacare website.  Canadian provincial health officials last year fired the parent company of CGI Federal, the prime contractor for the problem-plagued Obamacare health exchange websites, the Washington Examiner has learned.  CGI Federal's parent company, Montreal-based CGI Group, was officially terminated in September 2012 by an Ontario government health agency after the firm missed three years of deadlines and failed to deliver the province's flagship online medical registry.  The online registry was supposed to be up and running by June 2011.

Scapegoats and rationalizations

Kathleen Sebelius: Scapegoat.  It wasn't entirely Sebelius' fault, though her experience with a website when she was governor of Kansas should have sounded alarm bells.  As The Daily Caller website reported last October, "Sebelius oversaw numerous costly and disastrous government website projects during her six-year governorship ... including a failed update of the Department of Labor's program to provide unemployment pay and other services and similar updates pertaining to the Department of Administration and the state's Department of Motor Vehicles services."  Kansas Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee told the Daily Caller about this:  "In the Kansas Senate, I chaired the Commerce committee.  We had oversight over the Department of Labor.  For years, we watched as the Department of Labor under Sebelius worked on that computer program.  After seven years and $50 million, something should work."  When you're spending taxpayer money, apparently successful outcomes is not a requirement.

GOP, Don't Be Comforted by Sebelius' Resignation.  This was no rogue incompetent tinkering with America's health care.  This was one of Obama's chief lieutenants, one who was doing his bidding every step of that treacherous road they traveled together.  Don't get me wrong; Sebelius was inexcusably bad — arrogant, defiant, uncompassionate, dogmatic and unrepentant.  Obama cashiered her only because it was time to deflect blame from himself and change the channel.  There is nothing incompatible between assigning major blame to Sebelius for all aspects of Obamacare and also squarely placing the primary blame on Obama for all of it.  There is plenty of failure to go around, and they all own it.

Sebelius is out, but ObamaCare's staggering problems remain.  Kathleen Sebelius, the face of ObamaCare, is out.  If only the Affordable Care Act were going with her. [...] Sebelius may have drastically mismanaged the start-up of ObamaCare, but she cannot be blamed for the law's fundamental flaws.

Democrats have their scapegoat, they can blame ObamaCare failures on HHS chief.  Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius resigned Thursday. Actually, according to press reports, Sebelius resigned last week, but the White House waited a week to get ready.  Friday, the president, according to the New York Times, intends to announce that Sylvia Mathews Burwell, currently director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, is his choice to head of HHS.  The White House defended Kathleen Sebelius all through the healthcare.gov debacle.

Insurers become O-Care foot soldiers.  Insurance companies are serving as foot soldiers for ObamaCare with a multimillion-dollar ad campaign intended to push customers into the insurance exchanges.  Though the companies are reluctant to publicize their role in the unpopular law, health insurers are expected to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in 2014 alone on television, radio and online ads aimed at boosting enrollment.

Pitiful: Sebelius to blame contractors, not HHS, for Healthcare.gov problems in House testimony tomorrow.  Not only is this an egregious understatement of her own culpability, it's horrible politics.  Everyone knows that when a political crisis strikes, the surest way to soothe public/media outrage is with a phony, half-hearted "the buck stops here" statement accepting responsibility.

He's no Truman: It seems the buck doesn't stop at Obama's Oval Office desk.  In the Obama White House these days, the buck stops somewhere — anywhere — below the president.  White House aides insisted Wednesday [10/23/2013] that President Obama wasn't told about major problems with the Obamacare website before its failed launch, adding to the growing list of blunders in which his advisers allegedly have kept him in the dark.  As the president summoned a dozen top health insurance executives to the White House for a meeting on salvaging his signature initiative, administration officials said nobody in Mr. Obama's inner circle had any inkling of how bad the federal website for HealthCare.gov would be until it went live Oct. 1.

The Editor says...
I don't know why "officials" — whoever they are — would ever make a statement like this, because it is either a public confession of incompetence, or it is an obvious lie.

Contractors deny culpability, say Obamacare website problems getting fixed.  It was the government's fault, contractors on the problem-plagued website for President Barack Obama's signature health care reforms told a congressional hearing on Thursday [10/24/2013].  In more than four hours of testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, officials of companies hired to create the HealthCare.gov website cited a lack of testing on the full system and last-minute changes by the federal agency overseeing the online enrollment system.

WH Official Blames Republicans for Obamacare Website Problems.  An unnamed Obama administration official claimed that the White House feared GOP subpoenas would slow their work on the Obamacare website, leading to keeping its design in-house with "trusted campaign tech experts" that seemed to have spectacularly failed at creating a successful commerce website.

ObamaCare's Serious Complications.  The functional failures of the Affordable Care Act websites are well-documented, but the fundamental flaw is the law's mind-numbing complexity.  The officials who planned ObamaCare blame their Web engineers, but they're passing the buck.  ObamaCare is a hugely complicated approach to addressing problems in health care that have simpler solutions.

No Good Excuses Exist for the Failure of Obamacare's Expensive Website.  Almost as quickly as the train wreck itself unfolded, so did the explanations for it evolve.  First, both President Obama and then Press Secretary Jay Carney claimed with straight faces that the failures were a result of the massive interest in the exchanges.  Then, others claimed that these were normal rollout errors that occur with all large, complex systems.  Finally, as the engineers rolled the platform back to the hangar for retooling, there was no hiding the fact that this was indeed a software failure, not just a set of normal launch "glitches" (to use the press's word du jour).

Astroturf

Affordable Care Act 'success story' at State of the Union needed extra help to sign up.  A few weeks ago, Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.) invited a guest to President Obama's State of the Union address:  Lorita Katherine Waltz, a 49-year-old nurse from Prince George's County who the congresswoman considers an Affordable Care Act "success story."  But Waltz's family did not become enrolled in a new insurance plan until Tuesday — the day of the president's address — after weeks of trying and only with help from state leaders.

The Only Man in America Who Successfully Signed Up for Obamacare Just Happens to be an Obama Volunteer.  Meet Chad Henderson.  He's the only man in America to have successfully signed up for Obamacare.  He's an instant media celebrity. [...] Never believe in coincidences.  Not when we have a PR presidency at work.  It turns out Henderson's knowledge of OFA was not the result of his astuteness or political acumen.  According to his LinkedIn profile, he is a current OFA volunteer.  Maybe those many media outlets who spoke with him will make note of this seemingly relevant fact.

Obamacare Poster Boy Chad Henderson and His Dad Haven't Signed Up for Obamacare, Says His Father.  Chad Henderson is the media's poster boy for Obamacare.  Reporters struggled this week to find individuals who said they had been able to enroll in one of the law's 36 federally run health-insurance exchanges.  That changed yesterday, when they found Henderson, a 21-year-old student and part-time child-care worker who lives in Georgia and says that he successfully enrolled himself and his father Bill in insurance plans via the online exchange administered at healthcare.gov.  But in an exclusive phone interview this morning [10/4/2013] with Reason, Chad's father Bill contradicted virtually every major detail of the story the media can't get enough of.

Poster boy for Obamacare website launch is a ringer.  What's a leftist to do when a cherished program fails embarrassingly?  Of course, create a phantom success, and publicize it relentlessly.  And that is exactly what has happened with the disastrous launch of Healthcare.gov and the assorted state websites intended to enroll people in Obamacare.  Obamacare found its poster boy for "success" in one Chad Henderson, who claims to have successfully enrolled where others have encountered nothing but frustration. [...] In fact, as it turns out, Chad has a long history as an Obama activist.

Media's Favorite Obamacare Enrollee Did Not Actually Sign Up for Plan.  Eager to find someone — anyone — who had successfully managed to enroll in a plan through the HealthCare.gov website, both local and national media outlets flocked to the story of 21-year-old Chad Henderson who claimed to have enrolled in the federal exchange.  He just so happens to be a volunteer for Organizing for Action, the nonprofit outgrowth of the president's campaign apparatus.  And now, his father, Bill Henderson, just so happens to be contradicting his claims.

FEC Records Confirm Obamacare Signup Poster Boy Donated $1,000 to Obama.  21 year old Chad Henderson has rocketed to fame over the past few days as the only known person to have successfully signed up for Obamacare.  The mainstream media has trumpeted his story at every opportunity.  As it turns out, much of his story may not be true.  At the very least, it is incomplete.

Confirmation of Paid Democrat Trolls?  On Thursday, Democrat tool Chad Henderson claimed to have enrolled in ObamaCare while most others' attempts failed.  News organizations eagerly lapped up his story.  Apparently, though, the story was "too good to check," because when someone finally did, it fell apart, discrediting Big Media, the Democrats, and ObamaCare.  Conservative and libertarian websites now are reporting the corrected story, and even some Big Media outlets reluctantly are reporting it.  But almost as devastating to the left is Mr. Henderson's confession that he is being paid to post pro-Democrat propaganda on the internet. [...] He claims to be employed as a "Volunteer at Organizing for America."

What a coincidence: Single ObamaCare success story is [an] OFA volunteer.  Allahpundit told the story yesterday about how our intrepid national media searched high and low in this nation of 330 million people to find someone, anyone who could figure out how to actually buy coverage through the ObamaCare exchanges.  After putting out an SOS, the Washington Post finally found Chad Henderson, and so did the Wall Street Journal, Chattanooga Times/Free Press, the Huffington Post, and even "POLITICO!", as Henderson himself announced later yesterday [10/3/2013].

Astroturf: Media's Obamacare Poster Boy is OFA Volunteer.  "Surprise:  Media's Obamacare health insurance exchange poster boy is OFA volunteer" — that's Organizing for Action, spun-off from the Obama presidential campaign, as spotted by Twitchy: [...]

Other issues

Ethics Panel Decides Senate's A Small Business Under Obamacare, Gets Premium Subsidies.  Senators, their staff members and families did not violate Senate rules by purchasing health insurance as a small business under Obamacare, a congressional ethics committee has ruled.  The Senate Select Committee on Ethics was responding to a June 2015 complaint filed by a nine-organization coalition led by watchdog group Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), which announced the result Tuesday [10/4/2016].

Little-Known Health Act Fact: Prison Inmates Are Signing Up.  In a little-noticed outcome of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, jails and prisons around the country are beginning to sign up inmates for health insurance under the law, taking advantage of the expansion of Medicaid that allows states to extend coverage to single and childless adults — a major part of the prison population.  State and counties are enrolling inmates for two main reasons.  Although Medicaid does not cover standard health care for inmates, it can pay for their hospital stays beyond 24 hours — meaning states can transfer millions of dollars of obligations to the federal government.

An Obamacare Milestone.  This week Obamacare passed an unflattering milestone.  As of today [12/18/2013], the Obama administration has spent longer botching the implementation of Obamacare than the Roosevelt and Truman administrations spent fighting and winning the Second World War.

How Healthcare.gov is like the Challenger.  As many parallels as there are between the fateful maiden voyage of the Titanic and the launch of Healthcare.gov, however, there is another colossal technological disaster that may be even more apt:  the catastrophic 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger just 73 seconds after liftoff.

If everybody gets a subsidy, who's paying for this program?
More than 85% of Obamacare enrollees qualify for subsidies.  More than 85% of Americans who signed up for health coverage this year through the Affordable Care Act qualified for government subsidies, according to a new report that underscores the scope of the aid at a time when the Supreme Court is considering sharply restricting it.

Top 5 Reasons America is Toast.  [#2] We have a medical and insurance industry in this country that routinely, on a daily basis, engages in behavior that can easily be described as meeting the criteria for fraud, bid-rigging, racketeering and routinely uses the threat of both bankruptcy and violence by government goons to get what it wants.  This "industry" routinely, for example, bills for things they didn't actually do, sends people bills for hundreds or thousands of dollars for someone sticking their head in a door and saying "Hello", allows "off-plan" doctors to treat people without their consent exposing them to thousands (or tens of thousands!) in unauthorized charges and then enforces those "charges", takes drugs off the market that they produce so that the only remaining options are those made by the same company but are under patent and more.  The single most-common cause of bankruptcy in this country is medical debt incurred as a direct result of these practices and these practices are where the so-called "need" for Obamacare, that is now resulting in demands for 50% premium hikes in some markets for the next year, came from.

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2016 by Andrew K. Dart


Doctors won't work under these conditions!
... and any doctor who would is not a doctor you want to visit.


Why this doctor hates Obamacare:  Insurance does not equal quality care.  When President Obama gave an impassioned defense of Obamacare last week in advance of this November's open enrollment period, he bragged about the uninsured rate being the lowest in American history.  But though he acknowledged problems such as affordability, which are driving huge annual premium increases on the Obamacare exchanges, he didn't say one word about a key unhappy group:  doctors.  For good reason.  The latest Great American Physician Survey surveyed more than 1,000 doctors and found that "because of continuing economic and regulatory pressures, 72%" "found the profession more stressful and less lucrative than in previous years, and a strong majority said they are concerned about the direction that health care is headed."

Risk of 'Mass Exodus' of Doctors from Medicare.  In what may be the most significant modification to Medicare since the program began in 1966, on Oct. 15, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule for implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).  It dramatically changes how Medicare pays doctors for their services.  Does it really matter how doctors get paid?  Yes — the success or failure of the new payment system will profoundly influence the future of the U.S. health care system.  And while the goals of MACRA are laudable, its implementation carries a number of unknowns and the potential for unintended consequences — for patients and doctors alike.

Doctors Want Face Time With Patients, Not Screen Time With CMS.  The health care industry has entered a brave new world in which doctors spend up to half the length of each appointment looking past their patients at their computer monitors.  Despite these appearances, doctors do prefer to treat the patient in front of them, not stare at the computer screen next to them.  So, what's stopping them?  A common — I dare not say popular — answer is federal regulations set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  Many doctors divert extraordinary resources away from patient care toward attempts to comply with CMS' cumbersome "meaningful use" reporting requirements concerning electronic health records.

Government Policies May Drive Doctor Shortages in the Unhealthiest States.  Two of the country's unhealthiest populations live in states experiencing extreme doctor shortages, according to reports by two organizations ranking patient health and patient care among the states.  The United States will have a shortage of 94,700 physicians by 2025, an analysis conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) found in May 2016.

More than half of U.S. doctors experience burnout.  Burnout among U.S. doctors is becoming more common and now affects more than half of practicing physicians, according to a new study.

Doctors Will Be the Scapegoats in the Coming Obamacare Disaster.  In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the landmark case of King v. Burwell to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from legal precedents, the rule of law, the English language, and common sense, the battle over the role of government in health care has now shifted away from the courts and back to the ballot box.

'Medical Meltdown:' Obamacare Ushers in Doctor Shortages.  This past weekend, one hundred medical professionals met in California for the 33rd Doctors for Disaster Preparedness meeting and they all warned that healthcare as we have known it is over, thanks to increasing federal regulations and taxes.  And as Obamacare rolls across the land, it is leaving in its wake a shortage of doctors and surgeons.  According to a Breitbart report, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lee Hieb told the conference, "What do I mean by medical meltdown?  Well, sadly, I'm here to tell you that the medical care you've enjoyed in the past in your life is simply not going to be there in the future."

The White House Wants Your Doctor To Teach You About Global Warming.  The Obama administration has been hard at work trying to draw a link between global warming and public health issues.  The summit included the U.S. Surgeon General, top administration officials, and public health experts from around the country telling doctors, nurses and other conference goers how to talk about global warming with their patients.  The central message:  doctors should warn their patients that global warming could make their health worse.

No plans for California to make up for expiring 'Medicaid fee bump'.  California has one of the lowest Medicaid payment rates in the country.  According to data compiled by the California Medical Assn., in April 2014 Medicare paid $45.69 for a basic office visit for a returning patient — more than twice the standard Medi-Cal rate at the time of $18.10.

N.J. doctors facing steep drop in Medicaid reimbursement rates.  The provision of the health law that boosted Medicaid reimbursement rates to make them equal to Medicare rates expires at the end of the year, and New Jersey has no plans to pick up the program on its own.  "It was a two-year Band-Aid, basically," said Mary Campagnolo, a Bordentown family physician.  Once the Band-Aid comes off, Medicaid reimbursements to New Jersey providers will decline by 53 percent, according to an Urban Institute report.

257,000 Doctors Will Get Medicare Pay Cut For Using Paper Records.  More than 250,000 physicians and other health professionals are being notified as early as today [12/18/2014] that their payments from Medicare and Medicaid will be cut because they aren't adequately using electronic health records in their practices, the Obama administration confirmed.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, known as CMS, is telling about 257,000 eligible medical care providers who are largely physicians that they will be paid 1 percent less in reimbursement next year from both the Medicare health insurance program for the elderly and the Medicaid insurance program for the poor because they failed to comply with so-called "Meaningful Use" of electronic health records standards in 2013.

Say Goodbye to the Family Doctor.  I am old enough to remember our long-time family physician making house calls.  He knew every member of my family, and was a trusted advisor.  Thanks to the government, few patients can expect to have that kind of long-term relationship with a physician anymore.  Soon, most care will be administered by teams of providers with no one doctor continuously responsible for a patient's well-being.  Physicians in solo or small-group private practice are being replaced by large-group practices that are increasingly affiliating with or owned by hospitals.  From 2004 to 2011, hospital ownership of physician practices increased from 24 percent to 49 percent.  Just 39 percent of doctors can now be considered old-fashioned family doctors.

Half of Doctors Listed as Serving Medicaid Patients Are Unavailable, Investigation Finds.  Large numbers of doctors who are listed as serving Medicaid patients are not available to treat them, federal investigators said in a new report. [...] Many of the doctors were not accepting new Medicaid patients or could not be found at their last known addresses, according to the report from the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services.  The study raises questions about access to care for people gaining Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Rural hospitals in critical condition.  The Affordable Care Act was designed to improve access to health care for all Americans and will give them another chance at getting health insurance during open enrollment starting this Saturday [11/15/2014].  But critics say the ACA is also accelerating the demise of rural outposts that cater to many of society's most vulnerable.  These hospitals treat some of the sickest and poorest patients — those least aware of how to stay healthy.  Hospital officials contend that the law's penalties for having to re-admit patients soon after they're released are impossible to avoid and create a crushing burden.

Over 214,000 Doctors Opt Out of Obamacare Exchanges.  Over 214,000 doctors won't participate in the new plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA,) analysis of a new survey by Medical Group Management Association shows.  That number of 214,524, estimated by American Action Forum, is through May 2014, but appears to be growing due to plans that force doctors to take on burdensome costs.  It's also about a quarter of the total number of 893,851 active professional physicians reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation.  In January, an estimated 70% of California's physicians were not participating in Covered California plans.  Here are some of the reasons why: [...]

Some doctors wary of taking insurance exchange patients.  Now that many people finally have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchanges, some are running into a new problem:  They can't find a doctor who will take them as patients.  Because these exchange plans often have lower reimbursement rates, some doctors are limiting how many new patients they take with these policies, physician groups and other experts say.  "The exchanges have become very much like Medicaid," says Andrew Kleinman, a plastic surgeon and president of the Medical Society of the State of New York.  "Physicians who are in solo practices have to be careful to not take too many patients reimbursed at lower rates or they're not going to be in business very long."

Doctors' silent protest against politicians.  Having graduated from medical school 28 years ago, I have witnessed firsthand the transformation of our country's health care system.  Then, medical practice focused more on the deeply personal decisions made between doctor and patient.  Today, bureaucrats are inserting themselves ever deeper into every aspect of health care.  Physicians across the country are responding to this evolution — and most recently the Affordable Care Act — by shielding their practices from government interference.

Oklahoma doctor making a run around ObamaCare.  About a year before the birth of Obamacare, Dr. Keith Smith, director of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, posted all the prices for his center's surgeries online.  Today, he's in expansion mode, looking to build two more operating rooms.  His fastest-growing group of patients?  Obamacare enrollees.  Though armed with Obamacare health insurance plans, the patients are saddled with high deductibles.  Looking for alternatives, some of them fly from around the country to the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, where the cost of care and travel together amounts to less than their deductibles under their Affordable Care Act plans.

The One Promise Obama Kept.  The Department of Justice just announced another multimillion-dollar settlement, this time against Community Health Services (CHS) involving alleged "medically unnecessary" inpatient stays.  After settling for $97 million plus interest, CHS CEO Wayne Smith said that "shifting and often ambiguous standards make it extremely difficult for physicians and hospitals to consistently comply with regulations."  Smith is right.  In addition to complying with a 2,400-page health care law, hospital systems and other providers have been under increased scrutiny from an interagency task force created by Attorney General Eric Holder and former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in 2009.

Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients.  Obamacare plans have shrunk payments to physicians so much that some doctors say they won't be able to afford to accept Obamacare coverage, NPR reports.  Many of the eight million sign-ups in Obamacare exchanges nationwide already face more limited choices for physicians and hospitals than those in the private insurance market.  But with low physician reimbursement rates, the problem could get even worse.  For a typical quick patient visit, Dr. Doug Gerard, a Connecticut internist, told NPR a private insurer would pay $100 while Medicare would pay around $80.  But Obamacare plans are more likely to pay closer to $80, which Gerard says is unsustainable for his practice.

A Doctor's Declaration of Independence.  In my 23 years as a practicing physician, I've learned that the only thing that matters is the doctor-patient relationship.  How we interact and treat our patients is the practice of medicine.  I acknowledge that there is a problem with the rising cost of health care, but there is also a problem when the individual physician in the trenches does not have a voice in the debate and is being told what to do and how to do it.

Obamacare deals blow to one-doctor medicine.  [The Obamacare law,] coming on top of previous legislation, is speeding the demise of an American small-business institution; the one-doctor medical practice.  Their problems began in the late 1990s.  Government cost controls steadily eroded revenues while simultaneously boosting costs, by stacking on requirements for paperwork and accounting.  Some doctors adapted by figuring out ways to see more patients.  Others just accepted falling incomes.  Now federal health care policy has delivered a major blow to productivity.

Nonpayment of ObamaCare premiums could cost doctors.  While the debate continues over how many ObamaCare enrollees are actually paying their premiums, one aspect of the law temporarily rewards those who actually stop paying — and doctors may wind up bearing the cost.  "This law provides a 90-day grace period for people who have subsidized ObamaCare exchange plans and stopped paying their premium," said Betsy McCaughey, health care author and former New York lieutenant governor.  But the insurance companies are only obligated to cover the first 30 days of the 90-day grace period.  "You're still entitled to care for another 60 days," said John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis.  "The insurance company doesn't pay, you don't pay, who pays?  Well, the doctors and the hospitals have to eat it.  That's a very strange feature of this new health reform."

Forget 'You Can Keep Your Doctor: Try Finding One First.  Its called "Medical Homelessness" and its [sic] just the latest Obamacare SNAFU to make anyone who purchased a policy from healthcare.gov or the state exchanges wonder about the sanity of lawmakers who voted for this monstrosity.  As was pointed out at the time Obamacare was passed, the United States currently has a shortage of primary care physicians — and its getting worse.  By 2020, there will be 45,000 fewer primary care physicians than are needed — a problem exacerbated by the fact that most physicians do not accept Medicaid patients because of low reimbursement levels.  As Californians are discovering, thousands of doctors arent accepting any patients with an Obamacare policy.

You're on the clock:  Doctors rush patients out the door.  Joan Eisenstodt didn't have a stopwatch when she went to see an ear, nose and throat specialist recently, but she is certain the physician was not in the exam room with her for more than three or four minutes.  "He looked up my nose, said it was inflamed, told me to see the nurse for a prescription and was gone," said the 66-year-old Washington, D.C., consultant, who was suffering from an acute sinus infection.  When she started protesting the doctor's choice of medication, "He just cut me off totally," she said.  "I've never been in and out from a visit faster."

The Editor says...
Always beware of over-confident doctors that are in a hurry to move from one patient to the next.  They are the ones who make mistakes.

The October Surprise that Could Cripple the Practice of Medicine.  [The International Classification of Disease] is a list of codes that physicians and hospitals use when billing insurance companies.  These codes cover all manner of medical diagnoses for diseases, conditions, and injuries. [...] The American Medical Association announced this week that ICD-10 implementation will cost three times as much as originally estimated.  The "costs of training, vendor and software upgrades, testing and payment disruption" could be $225,000 for a small medical practice and over $8 million for a large practice.  How do medical practices of marginal profitability absorb these costs?

Conservatives slam rushed controversial House vote.  Some conservatives are up in arms over a hurried Thursday vote on the so-called "doc fix" for Medicare, which they felt leadership tried to slip by them.  The bill passed in a 30-second voice vote with very few members on the House floor.  The "doc fix" is a temporary patch to prevent a 24 percent cut to the amount of money the government pays doctors who take care of Medicare patients.  The cut will take effect on April 1 if Congress does not move to prevent it.

Letter Exposes the Harrowing Reality of Obamacare's 'War Against Doctors'.  In an address to the House on Wednesday [3/26/2014], Alabama Representative Mo Brooks read aloud a letter sent to him by Dr. Marlin Gill of Decatur.  The letter holds nothing back while detailing the excessive costs and regulations that Dr. Gill calls Obamacare's "war against doctors."

American Medical Association: Obamacare sticks doctors with unpaid bills.  The American Medical Association is protesting an Obamacare provision it argues will leave doctors with the bill for up to two months of unpaid care.  The provision requires insurers to allow patients with federally-subsidized health insurance plans a 90-day grace period to pay their premiums before canceling the coverage.  Insurers are on the hook for the first 30 days of care, if the customer never pays up, but doctors will be stuck without payment for any services between 30 and 90 days, until the coverage is canceled.  The American Medical Association was a strong supporter of Obamacare.

Medical group that backed ObamaCare warns obscure rule could hurt doctors.  The largest doctors group in the country is raising alarm that an obscure ObamaCare rule could stick them with the tab for patients who skip out on paying their premiums.  The American Medical Association, which originally supported the Affordable Care Act, warned the rule could pose a "significant financial risk" for doctors and hospitals, and on Wednesday blasted out guidelines to help members try and avoid those costs.  At issue is a 90-day "grace period" which lets patients who are not paying their premiums keep coverage for 90 days before it can be canceled.

Apprehensive, Many Doctors Shift to Jobs With Salaries.  American physicians, worried about changes in the health care market, are streaming into salaried jobs with hospitals.  Though the shift from private practice has been most pronounced in primary care, specialists are following.  Last year, 64 percent of job offers filled through Merritt Hawkins, one of the nation's leading physician placement firms, involved hospital employment, compared with only 11 percent in 2004.  The firm anticipates a rise to 75 percent in the next two years.

Texas Doctor Writes Epic Letter Breaking Up With Insurance Company: I Will Not Comply.  Obamacare, the "law of the land", contains ever-changing-at-the-whim-of-HHS, politically-expedient mandates, rewards, penalties, rules and regulations with which I cannot rationally or morally treat my patients and run a practice, much-less interpret, implement, or comply.  Millions of Americans have lost coverage because of the healthcare law and must now shop on a defective, insecure government website and sign up for more expensive policies through Federal and State exchanges.  Only by logging in as a prospective patient did my office manager and I discover that Aetna was selling plans for which I am a provider — effectively selling my services without even asking, much less informing me that my services would be sold on such a site, under the auspices of new terms with which I will not comply.

Obamacare's Medicaid Fraud.  A couple of weeks ago I visited my internist for the annual physical to which she subjects me in order to confirm that my various organs are still operating according to specifications.  As she poked and prodded, I asked how her practice was going.  This question elicited a resigned sigh and a brief but poignant discourse on the necessity of "firing" her Medicaid patients.  Medicaid, the government program that ostensibly provides health coverage for the poor, imposes so much red tape and pays so parsimoniously that she simply cannot afford to treat these patients if she wishes to avoid bankruptcy.

This 'Doc Fix' Would Be Bad for Your Health.  Imagine if a provision in ObamaCare allowed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to dictate directly to doctors which services they could and could not provide their patients — what individual tests they could conduct, which treatments they could offer, and medicines they could prescribe.  Americans would be outraged.  Yet some Republicans on Capitol Hill are about to help Democrats pass such a provision for Medicare patients.

Professional groups aren't spearheading California's doctor rebellion against Obamacare.  California's budding doctor rebellion against Obamacare appears to be genuinely spontaneous, lacking leadership from a single individual or organization.  As the Washington Examiner has reported in recent days, an estimated 70 percent of California's physicians — ranging from general practitioners to specialists — are "just saying no" to Obamacare's Covered California health insurance exchange.

What Obamacare Could Do To Your Doctor.  The least discussion about Obamacare, to date, has centered on actual doctors and their practices.  Nobody ever talks about the doctors.  Yet they're the ones all our lives depend on as the federal government runs roughshod over their livelihoods, professional integrity and motivation for working at all.

The Future of Medical Specialists under the Affordable Care Act.  ObamaCare has as its modus operandi a focus on medical management by already beleaguered primary care physicians and para-health professionals, at the expense of medical and surgical specialists.  The law's administrators hope to control costs by cutting already bare-bones specialty physician payments, limiting medical technology and access to imaging, and instituting de facto health care rationing.

Doctor Posts Newspaper Notice: Closing Due to Obamacare.  Obamacare realities just became a little more intense in the Bluegrass State.  Requirements in the Affordable Care Act presented Kentucky Dr. Stephen Kiteck with obstacles he "just couldn't overcome."

HHS Spending $55.5 Million to 'Bolster' Healthcare Workforce as Obamacare Causes Doctor Shortages.  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is spending an additional $55 million to "bolster" the healthcare workforce, as Obamacare contributes to shortages in the industry.  HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced last week that her agency will provide over 270 grants "from diversity to dentistry" to address worker shortages in the healthcare industry.  The funding includes $45.4 million to support the nursing workforce, $5.2 million of which will go towards "improving nursing diversity."

The Editor says...
The government is really good about pretending to solve problems that don't exist, when in reality they are pandering to specific constituents:  How many people have complained about a lack of "nursing diversity?"  And how much does diversity cost, anyway?

More Physicians Are Refusing to Accept Any Third Party Insurance.  A small but growing number of physicians are not accepting government insurance, such as Medicare and Medicaid, and are even refusing to accept patients' private insurance, according to Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

Obamacare will end up forcing doctors to take patients.  Just as cars can't go anywhere without drivers and employees can't work without bosses, health care doesn't happen when there are no doctors around.  And when an estimated 70 percent of the doctors in the nation's deepest-blue state are rebelling against Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act is forcing a critical decision:  America will have to junk Obamacare and go back to square one on health insurance reform, or trash the last vestige of private health care in this country by forcing doctors to do the government's bidding.

Doctors boycotting California's Obamacare exchange.  An estimated seven out of every 10 physicians in deep-blue California are rebelling against the state's Obamacare health insurance exchange and won't participate, the head of the state's largest medical association said.  "It doesn't surprise me that there's a high rate of nonparticipation," said Dr. Richard Thorp, president of the California Medical Association.

Vast Majority of Doctors Boycotting Obamacare... in California.  Despite being one of the bluest states in the country and one of the first to implement state based Obamacare exchanges, doctors in California are boycotting Obamacare... a whopping 70 percent of them.

'Doc Shock' On Deck in Obamacare Wars.  Come January, when some number of Americans have bought insurance on the new health exchanges and are starting to use the services, you can expect another controversy to arise when many of them find out just how few doctors and hospitals they have access to.  Call it "doc shock," though the biggest outcry will not come when people try to schedule an appointment with their physician, but when someone gets sick and they learn they cannot go to whatever top-notch hospital they want, only to the hospital that is included in their plan.

Doctors Don't Like What They've Seen In ObamaCare.  The survey, which polled more than 3,000 doctors, also found that 80% of physicians say Americans currently insured will have to pay more under ObamaCare — remember the Obama promise of bending the cost curve downward? — while 76% see overall health care costs rising due to the ACA.  And what will America get in exchange for increasing costs?  Quite likely, substandard results.  Six in 10 doctors, the poll found, believe the quality of patient care will be hurt by ObamaCare, while 57% say the law will have negative impacts on treatment decisions.

Walmart's Black Friday, Obamacare's Black Saturday.  If less than one-tenth of one percent of the American people visits the site at any given time, the administration fears more error messages will appear.  Too many customers will crash the site.  Too few will crash the entire program.

Medicaid Fraud: Obamacare promise of free quality healthcare.  It may be the biggest Obamacare lie of all.  Not that you can keep your health care plan if you like your plan.  Not that you can keep your doctor if you like your doctor.  Not all of the phony cost estimates and supposed efficiencies.  The biggest lie of all is that 15-30 million additional people who will be enticed or shoved onto Medicaid will receive quality health care.  In reality, they will receive health care "insurance," but there will be few doctors willing to see them because the reimbursement rates are so low.

Four reasons why your doctor might not want to keep you under ObamaCare.  Although President Obama repeatedly made the statement during his marketing effort to promote ObamaCare that each individual would have the ability to keep their doctor, the ensuing problems with the rollout are, in fact, making that promise a myth.  Even if consumers make a wholehearted effort to find a plan that still has their doctor within the insurance company's network, many doctors may soon decide that it is not worth the effort or the money, unfortunately.

UnitedHealth drops thousands of doctors from insurance plans: WSJ.  UnitedHealth Group dropped thousands of doctors from its networks in recent weeks, leaving many elderly patients unsure whether they need to switch plans to continue seeing their doctors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday [11/15/2013].

Obamacare Leaves Doctors On the Hook for Deadbeats.  Tucked inside nearly 11,000 pages of the Affordable Care Act is a little-known provision that doles out three months of free health care to individuals who choose to default on their premiums.  People who receive the federal subsidy to be part of Obamacare will be allowed to incur a three-month "grace period" if they can't pay their premiums and then simply cancel their policies, stiffing the doctors and hospitals.  Their only repercussion is that they have to wait until the following year's open enrollment if they want coverage on the exchange.

Democrats Want Doctors To Be Owned By The State.  Don't think that ObamaCare is the Democrats' last word on health care.  They won't be content until both patients and doctors are under their command.

Seniors lose insurance and doctors under Obamacare.  Retired chemist Edward Schokowitz was incredulous when he received a letter from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey early last month saying his Medicare Advantage Plan, which had no premium, would be eliminated next year.  "They took all the senior citizens and threw us out of the plan.  They now want to give us the same plan for $153 [per month]," he told the Daily Caller.  "The President said you can't be kicked out of your plan.  He lies."  Schokowitz is one of many Medicare beneficiaries now learning that — like Americans who buy insurance on the individual market — they are losing their insurance, and in some cases their doctors, under Obamacare.

The 'you can keep your doctor' lie starting to hit Medicare recipients.  The firestorm over President Obama's blanket false assurances on Obamacare is only going to intensify, as more groups discover they have lost either their coverage or their doctor thanks to the health insurance changes imposed on the country without a single Republican vote.  One of the biggest, yet so far almost completely ignored, changes is the looting of Medicare to pay for Obamacare.  Now, it is starting to hit home.

CNN: ObamaCare "war room" worried about reaction when some enrollees figure out they can't keep their doctors.  [M]ost consumers are still comparison-shopping for plans, which means cost is foremost in their minds right now.  Not until next year, after they've received their new coverage and begun making doctor appointments, will they start focusing on the shrinking size of their provider networks.

Affordable Care Act Could Be Further Hamstrung By Shortage Of Doctors.  A doctor shortage is threatening to make the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act even more difficult — and it could create lines for care and services.  New Yorkers are notorious for wanting things immediately, and that includes medical care.  But even doctors who support Obamacare say there could be delays due to more patients and fewer doctors, CBS 2's Dick Brennan reported Monday [11/4/2013].

Forced collectivization of the health care kulaks via single payer is inevitable under Obamacare.  The great Obamacare reform is turning into the great thrust of tens of millions of people onto Medicaid.  The problem is, fewer and fewer doctors are willing to take Medicaid patients because the reimbursements are so low.  I have met numerous doctors who tell me they either refuse Medicaid patients or restrict them because the reimbursements do not cover their costs.  They also double and triple book, because so many Medicaid patients who make appointments don't show up.

Up With Teachers, Down With Doctors?  The Left's education mantra is "pay teachers more to attract the best and brightest," while its health-care mantra seems to be "pay doctors as little as we can get away with."  Do doctors not respond to financial incentives as teachers do?  Underpaying for either occupation will have consequences.  The broader point here is that if paying below-market prices for education would be bad, what does that say about the "savings" generated by single-payer health care that the Left touts?

New York doctors flee Obamacare: 'I plan to retire'.  Only 23 percent of 409 New York doctors queried by the State Medical Society said they're accepting patients who have enrolled in an Obamacare health exchange.  And another 33 percent haven't decided whether or not to take the patients and become official Obamacare providers, The New York Post reported.

You want to keep your doctor but will your doctor keep you?  Whether that number of doctors will actually be able to actually walk away from ObamaCare is unknown, but one thing's for sure, it is a pretty good gauge of doctor discontent.  The question that the media is ignoring is, how can you keep your doctor, as the president repeatedly promised, if your doctor is not keeping you?

Docs Resisting ObamaCare.  New York doctors are treating ObamaCare like the plague, a new survey reveals.  A poll conducted by the New York State Medical Society finds that 44 percent of MDs said they are not participating in the nation's new health-care plan.  Another 33 percent say they're still not sure whether to become ObamaCare providers.  Only 23 percent of the 409 physicians queried said they're taking patients who signed up through health exchanges.

Elderly patients sick over losing doctors under ObamaCare.  Elderly New Yorkers are in a panic after getting notices that insurance companies are booting their doctors from the Medicare Advantage program as a result of the shifting medical landscape under ObamaCare.  That leaves patients with unenviable choices:  keep the same insurance plan and find another doctor, pay out of pocket or look for another plan where their physician is a member.

Docs Worried Sick About Obamacare.  New York doctors are feeling queasy about ObamaCare — and many won't participate in the new national insurance program because they fear they'll go broke, The [New York] Post has learned.  "ObamaCare is going to send me more patients to see and then cut the payments to provide the care — that's what's going to happen," predicted Donald Moore, a primary-care doctor in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.  "I will not accept it."

Survey: Doctors May Not Participate in Obamacare Exchange Plans.  A recent survey covering more than 1,000 physician practices confirms what many experts had feared — many doctors will not participate in Obamacare's exchanges.  The survey was conducted by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), a trade group representing multi-physician medical practices.  The results are in, and they're unambiguous:  A majority (55.5 percent) of practices believe the exchanges will have an unfavorable, or very unfavorable, impact on their practice.

The Obamacare software mess.  Since October 1st, when Obamacare's health-insurance exchanges were launched, they have been plagued by glitches.  The federal government, which is operating an exchange on behalf of 36 states, has seen some of the worst problems.  Officials say that too many people tried to log on at once; within three days, 8.6 [million] had visited healthcare.gov.  But having trumpeted health reform for years, Mr Obama's team should hardly be surprised that Americans decided to check it out.

Just 51,000 people completed Obamacare applications during the website's first week.  Just 51,000 people completed Obamacare applications during the first week the Healthcare.gov website was online, according to two sources inside the Department of Health and Human Services who gave MailOnline an exclusive look at the earliest enrollment numbers.  The career civil servants, who process data inside the agency, confirmed independently that just 6,200 Americans applied for health insurance through the problem-plagued website on October 1, the day it first opened to the public.

Obamacare Rollout "Nothing Short of Disastrous".  No one knows how many people have managed to enroll.  The administration refuses to release those numbers.  But the website's launch has been nothing short of disastrous.  Media outlets have struggled to find anyone who's actually been successful.

Thousands of doctors fired by United HealthCare.  In the midst of major changes in health care, UnitedHealthCare has sent thousands of pink slips to Connecticut doctors.  Termination letters went to physicians caring for Medicare patients.  Those letters were sent out to doctors caring for 'Medicare Advantage' patients.  It's a plan, marketed to Seniors to provide additional services through UnitedHealthCare.

The ObamaCare Website — The Biggest Tech Gaggle Ever?  Regardless of the variety of places to hear whatever facts and justification align with how you feel about the program, it is undeniable that this launch has been an incredible technical failure.  Straight up — an absolute failure.  Everywhere you look there are reports of issues across the board in just its first 8 days.  Reports of the site just not being available.  Reports of people unable to even create accounts.  Those are just the first steps.  Many people have reported being unable to sign up at all, or getting caught up in loops of reset passwords and lost accounts.

How the government spent $634 million on the Obamacare website and it still doesn't work.  The federal government has spent $634 million on the Obamacare website — more than it cost to build Facebook or Twitter, it was revealed today. [...] The price tag for the broken healthcare site is more than six and a half times higher than what the government initially meant to pay.

The Media No Longer Cares For Obamacare.  The Obama Administration refuses to release on data on how many people actually signed on the first day, or subsequently.  "The website's launch has been nothing short of disastrous."  Ouch!  And this indictment from the Main of Mainstream Media, CBS!  National newspapers like USA Today and the Washington Post have also issued their searing series of headlines, admitting that they can find no one who has enrolled successfully on ObamaCare.  "Inexcusable Mess!" "Nightmare!" sum up USA Today's take on ObamaCare.

Doctors Fleeing New Jersey, Obamacare Could Make it Worse.  Of the medical students it trains, the Garden State only keeps 34% of them within their borders after their schooling is complete.  That's well below the national retention rate average of 48%.  Why are docs leaving New Jersey?  A survey of doctors found that New Jersey's cost of living and taxes are way too high for them to practice in the state.  They also cite the high price of homes and the low salaries they face if they stay in New Jersey post-graduation.

Docs Flee Jersey (Wouldn't You?).  The top five reasons for physicians leaving are:
  ·   Better salary offered outside of New Jersey
  ·   Cost of living in New Jersey
  ·   Better job/practice opportunities in desired locations outside of New Jersey
  ·   Taxes in New Jersey
  ·   Affordable Housing
Oh, and add malpractice insurance costs, which docs say make starting a practice in Jersey a deal-buster.  So, that's six reasons.  I'm sure Letterman could come up with four more.

Still More Lies On ObamaCare.  Why should anyone believe what the president says about ObamaCare?  Last week he touted nonexistent rate cuts and rebate checks.  And the White House now admits his promise about keeping your doctor was false.

Doctors bail out on their practices.  Doctors who own private practices are looking for a way out.  Fed up with their rising business expenses and shrinking payouts from insurers, many are selling their practices to hospitals.

What ObamaCare Is Going To Do To Your Doctor.  Here's what's happening:  hospitals are merging and they are acquiring doctors.  In the process, they are making the market less competitive, gaming third-party payment formulas and doing other things that make our health insurance premiums and our taxes higher than they otherwise would be.  None of this is the result of any plan the administration ever announced, however.  What did the Obama administration intend to happen?

ObamaCare: Talk to your doctor now.  Is she planning on retiring early or moving to a large group or a hospital practice where you can't follow her?  Will she be taking your new insurance?  Will the various Medicare cuts and changes force her to limit her practice size just when you're reaching 65 and need her the most?  How does she feel about a future where doctors will be paid for government-defined "quality," rather than for delivering you a service the way lawyers are paid?

The Editor says...
In the English language, male pronouns are used to refer to an unknown or generalized third person.  Political correctness apparently dictates otherwise.

How Government Killed the Medical Profession.  I am a general surgeon with more than three decades in private clinical practice.  And I am fed up. [...] Government interventions over the past four decades have yielded a cascade of perverse incentives, bureaucratic diktats, and economic pressures that together are forcing doctors to sacrifice their independent professional medical judgment, and their integrity.  The consequence is clear:  Many doctors from my generation are exiting the field.

California facing doctor shortage amid Obamacare implementation.  California, the state that first attempted to implement President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, has realized there aren't enough doctors to care for the large influx of newly insured patients.  The Los Angeles Times reports that only 16 of the state's 58 counties meet the federal government's recommended standard of primary care physicians, and almost 30 percent of California's doctors are close to the retirement age — the highest percentage nationwide.

'Obamacare' health care reform ALREADY forcing doctors to close practices.  The Affordable Care Act isn't scheduled to be fully implemented until next year, but some doctors already are viewing it as dead on arrival.  The medical rumor mill is abuzz with stories about physicians girding for Mr. Obama's signature domestic policy achievement by limiting their exposure to Medicare and Medicaid, selling their practices, converting to fee-for-service approaches, or even retiring from medicine altogether.

The Doctor's Office as Union Shop.  As the country moves toward the effective start date of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, the operational and economic elements of this vast legislation are becoming clearer.  Yet one likely outcome of the act that will directly affect the quality of patient care, and could affect its cost, has gone virtually unnoticed and unreported:  the increasing trend for physicians to become employees, rather than self-employed.  This development represents a potentially radical factor in the transformation of health care — the doctor as union worker.

Southwestern Pa. hospital to stop baby deliveries.  A southwestern Pennsylvania hospital will stop delivering babies after March 31 because its obstetricians are either leaving or refocusing their practices, and because hospital officials believe they can't afford it based on projected reimbursements under looming federal health care reforms.

Primary care doctors growing scarce.  Roughly 4 million additional Californians are expected to obtain health insurance by 2014 through the federal health law, an expansion that will likely exacerbate the state's doctor shortage and could even squeeze primary care access in the Bay Area, experts say.

ObamaCare: Game On for Physicians.  The health care fix is now set to be law.  The federal government stepping into administration and provision of medical services is creating a lot of uncertainty and concern among those of us that provide health care service.

Oklahoma Doctors vs. Obamacare.  The major cause of exploding U.S. heath care costs is the third-party payer system, a text-book concept in which A buys goods or services from B that are paid for by C.  Because private insurance companies or the government generally pick up most of the tab for medical services, patients don't have the normal incentive to seek out value.

Obamacare shutters D.C. family practice.  A Washington physician, whose father founded his practice in the late 1960s, is shuttering operations because of the burdens created by federal health care reform, in addition to Medicare and insurance company hassles.  Health care regulations and laws created by President Barack Obama's 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are the biggest problem, said Dr. Andrew Lee, a general practitioner who has treated more than 10,000 patients since he opened his business.

Why doctors hate ObamaCare.  You see, there comes a point where we doctors can no longer afford to stay in practice.  We rely on an unfettered environment to provide creative health-care solutions.  This is why survey after survey (most recently one by The Physician's Foundation) show that ObamaCare is highly unpopular among physicians.  Under ObamaCare, we're being asked to provide the same high-tech service with more restrictions and regulations to more patients and to be paid less for doing so.

Why ObamaCare has doctors depressed and discouraged.  President Obama and Congress should have checked with the country's physicians before passing a law that relies on our efforts to handle health insurance expansion to more than 30 million more people.  A new on-line survey by the non-profit The Physicians Foundation, one of the largest doctors surveys ever performed, confirms that over two thirds of physicians are pessimistic about the future of medicine, over 84 percent feel that our profession is in decline, and a majority would not recommend it as a career for their children.

Socialized Medicine Is Enough To Chase Away British Doctors.  Britain is suffering from an exodus of doctors.  If America doesn't want physician flight in its future, voters will have to turn President Obama out of office this fall so that repeal of ObamaCare can be possible.

Report: 83 percent of doctors have considered quitting over Obamacare.  Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Barack Obama's health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association.  The DPMA, a non-partisan association of doctors and patients, surveyed a random selection of 699 doctors nationwide.  The survey found that the majority have thought about bailing out of their careers over the legislation, which was upheld last month by the Supreme Court.

Why Your Doctor Secretly Hates Obamacare.  Doctors already live in constant fear of malpractice lawsuits.  The last thing they want to do is stick their necks out and publicly attack Obamacare.  Doctors also do not have an effective D.C. lobby group or public advocate.

Side Effects: Doctors Fear Obamacare.  The American public doesn't support Obamacare, and a new survey shows that doctors have an even worse opinion.  No one has a better grasp on the state of the health care system than physicians, and according to the Doctors Company survey, 60 percent of them believe that Obamacare will have a negative impact on overall patient care.

Obamacare's stench grows even worse.  [Scroll down]  Under Obamacare, we can expect a loss of talent and a decline in quality of care.  Thousands of us, the doctor explained, abandoned England to practice medicine in America.  "So, how's this?" my doctor said.  "I left the U.K. to get away from the government telling me how to practice, what to charge — and now we are getting the same thing.  Obamacare stinks, and the people will regret it.  What happened to the docs there will happen here."

Doctors hate ObamaCare even more than you do.  What will ObamaCare do to the supply of doctors?  For the answer, we turn to a Heritage Foundation report on a new survey of the medical profession, which confirms the results of a previous survey from 2010.  Doctors hate ObamaCare even more than the general public does, with 60 percent of respondents saying it will "have a negative impact on overall patient care," but that's not the worst of it.

Worse Than Death Panels.  During the debate over ObamaCare, more than one critic charged that government panels would make life and death decisions affecting patient care.  Now it seems the Obama administration is contemplating something that is even scarier:  doctors would be given immunity from malpractice lawsuits, but only if they practice medicine according to government guidelines.  The pressure would be enormous.  Have you ever met a doctor who wanted to be sued?

ObamaCare: More Government, Fewer Doctors.  In its heavy-handed attempt to provide medical coverage to some 34 million Americans, ObamaCare is going to provide it to them for free.  But those "free" services are predictably going to increase the demand for medical care while simultaneously reducing the number of doctors available to supply it.

Your Doctor is Rude? Maybe this is Why.  What would you feel like if the government declared that your services were owed to the community whether members of the community could afford them or not?

Taxing Medical Progress to Death.  Stents don't grow on trees.  They were not created, developed, marketed or sold by government bureaucrats and lawmakers.  One of the nation's top stent manufacturers, Boston Scientific, warned at the time that Obamacare's punitive medical device tax would lead to worker losses and research cuts.

The Coming Indifference of American Medicine.  In the New York Times, a recent article describes the migration of doctors from business ownership to shift workers.  In increasing numbers physicians are no longer entering traditional "private practice" but exchanging autonomy (such that it is) for a role as employee of hospitals, large "corporate" physician groups, or universities.

Texas doctors leaving Medicare hits record high.  Texas doctors fed up with Medicare's declining reimbursements dropped out of the government-funded program for the elderly in record numbers in 2010, according to new data.  One hundred and seventy-two doctors formally ended involvement with Medicare last year, the most yet in a surge of "opt-outs" that has claimed more than 450 Texas doctors since 2008.  Before 2007, the number averaged a handful a year.

Asclepius Shrugged.  What if doctors went on strike against a society which sought to hyper-regulate their practice of medicine, which created a nightmarish world of malpractice litigation that forced medical offices to spend giant sums on liability insurance, and which through Obamacare tried to remove medical judgment and independence in the practice and the business of medicine?  It is not a hypothetical question.  The Wall Street Journal in April reported that our nation will already be facing a shortage of 150,000 physicians in the next fifteen years.

Nearly One-Third of Doctors Could Leave Medicine if Health-Care Reform Bill Passes.  Nearly one-third of all practicing physicians may leave the medical profession if President Obama signs current versions of health-care reform legislation into law, according to a survey published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Obamacare Endgame: Doctors Will be Fined or Jailed if they Put Patients First.  If Obamacare is completely implemented, doctors will no longer be practicing medicine.  They will instead become the drones tasked with deciding who gets the meager healthcare crumbs doled out by the bureaucrats who have the ultimate power over patient life and death.  Those who are deemed to have illnesses that require treatments which are not cost effective can expect a one way ticket to a hospice.

The 'Unintended Consequences' of Liberalism:  [Scroll down]  According to the Houston Chronicle, doctors in that state are "opting out of Medicare at alarming rates, frustrated by reimbursement cuts they say make participation in government-funded care of seniors unaffordable."  Again, only liberals believe doctors would be willing to lose money in order to make government health care workable.  That they won't is another one of those "unintended consequences" that apparently mystify those who consider themselves intellectually superior to the hapless dullards known as ordinary Americans.

Obamacare has a poison pill for doctor-owned hospitals.  Physicians at McBride Orthopedic Hospital had ambitious plans for their Oklahoma City hospital before Obamacare.  Two new operating rooms and a four-bed intensive-care unit were part of a multimillion-dollar expansion project that promised to bring competition and more health care choices to the community.  But once President Obama's signature was dry on the 2,409-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, so, too, was the McBride project.

It's Hard to Make a Doctor.  The academic requirements [start] early.  A child that falls behind in grade school or high school will not become a doctor.  For all the ambitious new college freshmen that choose the "pre-med" track, the majority do not make it.  The academic and financial demands through college, and the intense competition for medical school acceptance, insure that only the highest achievers will be successful.

Truth Is A Casualty Of The Final Push.  Tired of waiting for the major media to take note, here's a small sampling of whoppers we took from the president's speeches last week in Ohio and Virginia, plus his interview with Fox News' Bret Baier: ... "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."  That's if your doctor chooses to remain in the profession.  Unfortunately, our own IBD/TIPP Poll found that up to 45% would consider quitting if they're going to be dictated to by unaccountable bureaucrats who couldn't get into medical school.

To Repeat:  Doctors Could Hang It Up.  We were harshly criticized last September for an IBD/TIPP Poll that showed 45% of doctors would consider leaving medicine if a health care takeover passed.  A new poll has vindicated our findings.

Atlas Is Shrugging.  The headline in Investor's Business Daily, September 16, 2009: "45% of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Health Care Overhaul." ... The problem with four of nine U.S. doctors saying they "would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement" is that "the number of doctors is already lagging population growth," reports Investor's Business Daily.

Fed-up doc:  I've had it.  Dr. Jacquelline Perlman, who's helped deliver hundreds of Brooklyn babies in her 12-year OB-GYN career, is calling it quits — and citing sky-high malpractice insurance and plunging income.  "I've decided to retire from obstetrics," said Perlman, 42.  "It breaks my heart.  Malpractice costs are a big part of it.  It's a very sad story.

The Doctors Are Out.  A recent IBD/TIPP Poll showed two-thirds of physicians opposing Congress' proposed reforms, and warning of dire consequences.  Now, a forum of prominent doctors has amplified those concerns.  Of 1,376 doctors responding in late August, 65% opposed Congress' reform plans; 45% said enactment would make them consider leaving their practice or take early retirement; and 67% expected fewer students to apply to medical schools.

Obama and the Practice of Medicine:  On the defensive because of an increasingly skeptical public, President Barack Obama has recently spoken extemporaneously about his health plan.  In doing so, he has revealed his lack of understanding about aspects of medical practice and the reasons for rising health-care costs.

Medicine and the New Slavery.  President Obama, by declaring medical care a right, may force doctors like me to work in his nationalized health service.  After all, if medical care is a right, the government may use force to insure that all people have that right.  But as every slave knows, "They can pretend to pay us, and we can pretend to work."  Besides being immoral, slavery was not economically sound in 1840, and it is not any better in 2009.

Doctors Fight Back.  The largest group of doctors in the country has made it clear that it is not comfortable with legislation that would twist the country's health care system into a Euro-style scheme that "threatens to restrict patient choice."  With 250,000 members, the American Medical Association has some heavy political clout and deep resources.  It will need to use everything it has if it is to help shield the nation from a health care disaster being engineered by Democrats and their constituents.

Doctors can write their own prescription.  There are more than 800,000 doctors in the United States, up from a half million only 20 years ago.  Each and every one of these professionals face a tidal wave of change whether or not Obamacare passes out of the Congress in the next 90 days.

How ObamaCare Will Affect Your Doctor:  At the heart of President Barack Obama's health-care plan is an insurance program funded by taxpayers, administered by Washington, and open to everyone.  Modeled on Medicare, this "public option" will soon become the single dominant health plan, which is its political purpose.  It will restructure the practice of medicine in the process.

The end of physician conscience protection in America?  No one wants the government telling physicians they must violate their conscience in the practice of medicine.  This is especially important regarding life and death decisions.  This basic principle securing the integrity of physician-patient relationships has been threatened of late.

Obama Administration Wants to Be Your Conscience.  The "conscience clause" was put in place by President Bush in his final days in office.  According to LifeNews.com under this rule "workers in health-care settings — from doctors to janitors — can refuse to provide services, information or advice to patients on subjects such as contraception, family planning, blood transfusions and even vaccine counseling if they are morally against it."

Survey: Many Doctors Plan to Quit or Cut Back.  Primary care doctors in the United States feel overworked and nearly half plan to either cut back on how many patients they see or quit medicine entirely, according to a survey released on Tuesday [11/18/2008].  And 60 percent of 12,000 general practice physicians found they would not recommend medicine as a career.

Obama to America:  Bend Over and Cough.  [Scroll down]  Democrats say, "If you like your plan and your doctor, you can keep them."  But won't some employers drop their employee plans, pay the fines and slough the costs onto the taxpayers?  And won't some doctors, as polls suggest, restrict their practices or quit altogether?

Florida Doctor Tells Obama Voters to Go Away.  A Florida man who had been referred to specialist Dr. Jack Cassell found this sign on the doctor's office door:  "If you voted for Obama, seek urologic care elsewhere.  Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years."

Congressman Plans to File Complaint Against Anti-Obama Doctor.  An outspoken U.S. congressman is planning to file a complaint against the central Florida urologist who posted a sign on his office door warning supporters of President Obama to find a different doctor.

Anderson Cooper Takes On Alan Grayson Over Doctor's Anti-Obama Sign.  It was by no means surprising to see Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) come down harshly on the Florida doctor who posted a sign in his office telling Obama supporters to seek care elsewhere.  What was somewhat shocking was seeing CNN's Anderson Cooper take on Grayson Friday evening [4/2/2010] when the Congressman accused Dr. Jack Cassell of being racist.

Grayson:  Doctor shooing away Obama backers will deny treatment to blacks.  A doctor who posted a sign at his practice asking Obama supporters to seek care "elsewhere" will end up denying service to many African Americans, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) said Friday [4/2/2010].

Obamacare's doctorless world.  In rural areas of the country, obtaining a doctor's appointment is practically mission impossible.  Even in cities such as Boston and Manhattan, it can be very difficult for patients to attain the medical care they badly need, particularly for Medicare and Medicaid patients.  From New York's Upper East Side to the heartland to San Francisco's Haight Ashbury, a striking physician shortage exists in this country.  The reasons for the dearth of doctors are complex, but one thing is certain:  The "health care reform" that President Obama ardently pushed down the public's throat and recently signed into law will not increase the scant supply of doctors.  In fact, it will make the problem worse.

Dr. Galt Won't See You Now.  After the recent passing of ObamaCare, the Florida urologist taped a sign to the door of his practice that read:  "If you voted for Obama, seek urologic care elsewhere.  Changes to your health care begin right now, not in four years."  Cassell will not refuse to treat patients, he just suggests that Obama voters go elsewhere.  He also notes that ObamaCare poses far more of a danger to his patients than his sign.

Arizona doctor says Obamacare will force him to close shop.  While it may be years before most Americans feel the impact of President Obama's health-care bill, a few patients in Scottsdale, Ariz., got a small taste of life under Obamacare last week when they arrived at their Dermatologist's office only to see a sign with the following taped to the front door:  "If you voted for Obamacare, be aware these doors will close before it goes into effect."

Dr. Jack Cassell:  Hero.  Jack Cassell is too much for some people.  He's the Florida doctor who told his patients to go elsewhere for treatment if they voted for Obama.  The message posted on his office door:  "If you voted for Obama, seek urological care elsewhere.  Changes to your health begin right now, not in four years."  It didn't take long for Cassell's Congressman, Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democrat, to say that he smelled racism.

Uh, so why did the AMA back Obamacare?  In passing Obamacare, Democrats not only didn't address a scheduled pay cut for doctors who provide Medicare services, but they also instituted new pay cuts for other Medicare providers (such as hospitals and nurses), which the Medicare chief actuary says threaten to reduce Medicare patients' access to care.  Simultaneously, the Democrats took money that could have been used to provide a "doc fix" and directed that it instead be spent on Obamacare.

Why Five out of Six Doctors Have Quit the AMA.  Sally Pipes, President of the Pacific Research Institute, has written an important article in Forbes analyzing new survey results demonstrating that 87% of medical physicians in the United States no longer view the American Medical Association as representing their views and interests.

The Doctor Deficit.  One of the marks of national health care is the waiting-list problem that plagues Britain and Canada.  Delays in treatment have caused suffering and, in some cases, death.  Soon, we'll be waiting for doctors too.

The Criminal Intent of ObamaCare.  [Scroll down]  The only sure way for a doctor, hospital, ambulatory surgery center, etc. to avoid being sucked under by this dangerous legal quicksand is avoid Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP patients like the plague.  If a doctor simply declines to treat patients whose care is paid for by the government, he need not worry about landing in the penitentiary for unintentionally violating a law about which he knows little or nothing.

The President's Nun: Obamacare Scranton Scandal Explodes.  A mushrooming political battle over ObamaCare involving the White House, two incumbent Pennsylvania congressmen, three Catholic hospitals and a nun has just exploded in, of all places, Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Charges from the Scranton medical community of intimidation by the Obama White House and its allies are filling the air.

The Scranton Scandal: More Unintended Consequences of ObamaCare.  The Spectator has a very interesting but somewhat complex story about some closing hospitals in Pennsylvania.

ObamaCare 'Absolutely' Played Role In Catholic Hospital Sale.  A potentially explosive scandal has arisen after it became public that the sale of several Catholic hospitals in Pennsylvania was due in part to increased burdens imposed by the federal health reform legislation, according to the hospitals' director.  However, that message was quickly combated by the Catholic Health Association (CHA), an organization infamous for its role in helping pass the bill despite U.S. bishops' opposition, which attempted to dismiss the health law's role in the matter.

Obamacare will worsen the physician shortage Congress helped create.  There is a new disease spreading like a cancer in doctors' offices and hospitals throughout the U.S.  I have named it Doctor Unavailability Syndrome.  It is characterized by a rising shortage of doctors, both specialists and primary care, as well as the growing inability of the doctors we do have to take care of patient needs.  What good is a shiny new insurance card if there is not a physician available to see you?

Doctors aren't the only ones...
CBO Confirms:  ObamaCare Discourages Work.  Congressional Budget Office director Doug Elmendorf said Friday [10/22/2010] that ObamaCare includes work disincentives likely to shrink the amount of labor used in the economy.  In a speech on ObamaCare's economic impact outside the health care sector, Elmendorf said that those effects will primarily be related to the labor market and "will probably be small."

ObamaCare: Flight of the MDs.  For all the times that President Obama promised "you'll get to keep your doctor" under his health-care reforms, he apparently failed to ask any practicing doctors.  A recent survey finds that countless MDs will respond to ObamaCare by limiting which patients they'll see.  The Physicians Foundation asked 2,400 doctors and American Medical Association members what they thought of the new law; a full 67 percent were against it.

Is America in a Pre-Revolutionary State this July 4th?  We are two-thirds of the way into the most incompetent presidency in our history.  People everywhere are fed up.  Even many of the so-called liberals who propelled Barack Obama into office have stopped defending him in the face of an unprecedented number of scandals coming at us one after the other like hideous monsters in some non-stop computer game.  And now looming is the monster of monsters, ObamaCare, the healthcare reform almost no one wanted and fewer understood. [...] Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal warns the costs of ObamaCare are close to tripling what were promised, and the number of doctors in our country is rapidly diminishing.

Divided We Fall.  I have the good fortune to interact with physicians across our nation.  What is stunning is the commonality of our experiences, frustrations, and fears.  Nearly everyone echoes the same sentiments.  We are downtrodden by the yoke of our loss of social and economic standing combined with an overdose of unnecessary and crippling logistical constraints.  Regarding the former, doctors have been subjected to an apparently intentional diminution of stature.  Most obviously we are no longer "doctors"; instead, we are a mere segment of the blurred gamut called "healthcare practitioners".

Thanks To Obamacare, Doctor Shortages Set To Quintuple .  Obamacare is set to provide some 16 million people with health insurance through Medicaid or the new exchanges next year.  Unfortunately, their policies may not be worth much, because they may not be able to actually get care.  America is suffering from a doctor shortage.  An influx of millions of new patients into the healthcare system will only exacerbate that shortage, driving up the demand for care without doing anything about its supply.

Why doctors quit.  [Scroll down]  I hear this everywhere.  Virtually every doctor and doctors' group I speak to cites the same litany, with particular bitterness about the EHR mandate.  As another classmate wrote, "The introduction of the electronic medical record into our office has created so much more need for documentation that I can only see about three-quarters of the patients I could before, and has prompted me to seriously consider leaving for the first time."  You may have zero sympathy for doctors, but think about the extraordinary loss to society — and maybe to you, one day — of driving away 40 years of irreplaceable clinical experience.

Follow-up:
Why doctors quit, Chapter 2.  Physicians who responded tended to agree with my claim that doctors are being driven out of the profession by the intrusions, interferences, regulations, mandates, constraints and sundry other degradations of their vocation that are the result of the bureaucratization of medicine.  Chief among them is the imposition of electronic health records (EHR).  I've also heard from people who notice how much attention their doctor must devote to filling out EHR boxes on a computer screen rather than to engaging with them during an office visit.  To the point where a heretofore-unheard-of profession has been invented — the "scribe" who just enters the data so the doctor can actually do doctoring.


Obamacare solves problems that don't exist and doesn't address problems we already have.

Problems we don't really have:

"46 million people have no access to health care."  That's a lie.  The number of U.S. citizens who want medical care and can't get it is about five million.

"Democrats are the only ones offering feasible ideas."  That's a lie.  The Republican alternatives are simple and relatively inexpensive, but the Democrats are stonewalling them.

"The American people want something done now!  That's a lie.  Most people are satisfied with the system we have now.  In any event, they don't want the "big bang" revolution being assembled by the Democrats.

"The government will make health care more affordable and accessible."  That's a lie.  When has government intervention ever made anything easier or more affordable?  Private health care is far more efficient that government health care could ever be.


Stupidity reconsidered.  What is truly disturbing is the fact that our government is willing to engage in the purposeful deception of the populace in order to thrust its secretive agenda on an unsuspecting populace and a sycophantic mainstream media.  As I have said many times before, Obamacare was never about health care; rather, it was about government control and wealth redistribution.  If there was real concern about the uninsured, it would have been much cheaper and considerably less complex to simply give all the uninsured Cadillac health plans for life.

The Obamacare Fraud.  [Scroll down]  This brings us to another distortion upon which Obamacare was based that we continue to hear, which is that the healthcare system was "broken."  The fact is that prior to Obamacare, polls showed that nearly 85% of Americans were happy with their health care coverage, which is an amazing level of consensus — one that is rarely achieved within the American population.  Moreover, to the extent that the system was "broken" or in need of reform, pre-existing government intrusion was largely the cause.  Much of the American electorate seems not to realize that the free market system equals a free people, free to make decisions that are best for themselves and their families within a consumer-driven economy, one which forces corporations, small businesses and providers to be innovative and compete for their business.  This is what made America great — not government control.

How Obamacare will hurt doctors.  A study just published in the prestigious journal Science reveals that new Medicaid patients in Oregon were 40% more likely to use the emergency room than the uninsured were.  This finding is not a surprise to me or most physicians — we have known that truth for years.  But it does undermine one of the basic philosophical and practical underpinnings of Obamacare:  the notion that expanding insurance will invariably unclog ERs, improve primary and preventive care, prevent diseases and lower costs.

Another Problem Obamacare Won't Solve: Health Costs.  Does giving people Medicaid drive ER usage up, or down?  The answer, it turns out, is "up."  People who got access to Medicaid used doctors more than people who didn't.  But they also used the ER more.  And contrary to the theory that Medicaid might divert people from ERs to primary care physicians, the big increases actually came from the somewhat-less urgent problems that we were hoping to divert from ERs.

ObamaCare was Unnecessary.  The law has not lived up to its promise of affordable healthcare coverage for everyone.  Rather than repair existing federal laws that would improve access to affordable healthcare for many, President Obama and Congressional Democrats instead passed a law that consolidates federal power and creates new government-controlled healthcare entities designed to financially burden the middle class in order to pay for the previously uninsured.  Obama's stopgap delays and bandaids have not fixed the law's terminal problems.

New Obamacare application separates Latinos from other 'races'.  The new Obamacare application for employees separates Latinos from the traditional race category, offering six different types of Hispanic classifications.

Sebelius to Class of '13: Good News, Obamacare Gives You Free Birth Control.  Thanks to Obamacare, high school and college graduates of 2013 can look forward to "protections and benefits" that "give you greater control," including birth control, said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a HealthCare Blog post to the class of 2013.  In the May 22 posting, "Class of 2013: Graduate with Peace of Mind," Sebelius congratulated the new graduates and assured them that because of the Affordable Care Act they will have less to worry about in terms of health insurance.

Health care wasn't broken.  The epic debate over President Obama's controversial individual health insurance mandate finally reaches the Supreme Court this month.  Stripped of legal jargon, the administration's defense of the mandate — and the broader Affordable Care Act — boils down to this:  The U.S. healthcare system was badly broken, so we had to fix it.

Good News! ObamaCare Covers The Young And Healthy.  One finding in the new Census Bureau report on health insurance has ObamaCare supporters cheering.  As one pundit puts it, "some 494,000 young adults, those ages 18 to 25, gained coverage, which seems to point to the ACA provision allowing children to stay on their parents' plans until age 26 that went into effect in the fall of 2010."  But is this much of an achievement?

Obamacare Based on Fraudulent Premise.  [Scroll down]  We've been through the phony numbers before.  Of that 40-plus million without health insurance, millions can afford it but choose not to buy it, mostly young people gambling on their good health.  Millions have access under existing government programs but decline to avail themselves of it.  Millions are not U.S. citizens.  Many others are misleadingly included in the uninsured category, though they are only without coverage for a part of the year.  Some experts have estimated that between eight million and 12 million Americans actually fall through the cracks, making just enough not to qualify for government programs but not enough to afford insurance.  But even they can receive emergency room care.

This Is No Reason For Reform.  Over and over we were told Washington had to take over health care because so many Americans lack insurance due to pre-existing medical conditions.  So how many fall into this category?  Try 8,000.  You read that right:  In this nation of nearly 311 million, the Democrats overhauled the world's best health care system to benefit 8,000 people.

ObamaCare:  Does It Cover 'Stupidity'?  Most Americans, up to 85 percent, already have health insurance and are satisfied with it.  Lacking health insurance is different from lacking health care — which, by law, emergency rooms must supply.  Millions go without health insurance by choice and not due to lack of resources.

America's Standard.  Those who wish to nationalize medicine point to America's low position in world health rankings.  But when a rich Saudi who could go anywhere for treatment chose, where did he go?  America, of course.

Dr. Washington.  The Census Bureau reported last week that the number of uninsured Americans jumped to almost 51 million last year.  Is this a reason to become panicked and reform the system?  No.

Understanding all the facts about the uninsured.  To support his sweeping makeover, Obama and other liberal Democrats repeatedly point to the 46.3 million uninsured Americans. ... A careful examination of the data, however, reveals that Obama and his allies are misrepresenting the problem of the uninsured.  Democratic plans would not come close to driving the number of uninsured to zero.  At best, about only 29 million would be covered.

$1T reform for 5%.  The Census is the source for the much-cited figure of 46 million uninsured. Yet the very same table plainly indicates that 9 million of those are not US citizens.  That leaves 37 million uninsured who are Americans.  But there's more.  In the same document, the Census also plainly states that "health-insurance coverage is underreported" in its survey.  When it cross-checked its survey results with the official Medicaid rolls, it found that 16.9 percent of those on Medicaid had claimed on their Census forms that they were uninsured.  That 16.9 percent amounts to 9 million people.

Frankenstein's Monster:  ObamaCare's 'Individual Mandate'.  [Scroll down]  As I've mentioned, this freeloader argument has been severely criticized on various grounds, including that it is factually challenged.  Shikha Dalmia ... notes that "uncompensated care costs only about $40 billion annually — or about 2% of the country's $2.2 trillion health care spending.  That's less than what department stores lose to shoplifting every year." ... There are many other factual criticisms, such as that people without health insurance impose no costs on others if they pay for their own medical care.

The uninsured:  A bogus excuse for trillions in new welfare spending.  Health insurance, so far, is not mandatory by law, and we've got 16 percent of the population -- 47 million or so -- without it.  Auto insurance is mandatory by law, and according to the Insurance Research Council, 14 percent of drivers nationwide still don't buy it.  Government can't make people do what they don't want to do.  And it can't change human nature.  Political freedom and capitalism work so well because they reflect the truth that human beings have free choice.  But this means individuals take personal responsibility.

ObamaCare: Kiss Your Access Goodbye.  President Obama and the Democratic Congress repeat a mantra so often that it has become a truism:  America's health care system is a scandalous failure, and it is absolutely urgent that we fix it now.  The mainstream media nod their agreement, and yet, the polls tell us something else:  Eighty percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the quality of their health care.

Alternative to Obamacare.  Without much fanfare, Sens. Richard Burr (R., N.C.) and Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) have become leading advocates of market-based health reform.  This week they will introduce their alternative to Obamacare.  It has no chance of passing in the current Congress.  But it does signify progress for GOP health-care reformers, who recognize that if Republicans are to improve their credibility on this issue, they must offer their own proposals for reducing costs and expanding coverage.

The Myth of the 46 Million:  Whether it's in political speeches, commentary, newspaper features, or hard news stories, the statistic of 46 million uninsured is one of the most-widely cited numbers in the health care debate.  It promotes the idea that nearly one out of every six Americans does not have access to health care and it plays into the arguments of those calling for massive expansion of government to fix the problem.  Yet the ubiquitous figure is highly misleading.

The Truth About Nationalized Healthcare.  It doesn't make sense to buy insurance when you are young and healthy if you are guaranteed access anyway when you are older and sicker.  And that's the problem.  The exchange between the two Democrats highlights the dirty little secret that not even Hillary will tell you about a universal government health insurance program.  The problem with our current system that mandatory national health insurance will solve is not that people don't get health care — it's that they don't pay for it.

Medical Care is a Successful and Growing Industry, not a Liability.  Shall we permit a successful, growing and productive industry to be destroyed, to be replaced with dozens of new bureaucratic agencies?  Bureaucrats and committees will then choose the care to be made available to you, and there will be no appeal.  Regulators will create a maze of new rules, thousands of pages of regulations, complicated forms, and red tape, for doctors and patients alike.  Long lines, impersonal cattle-car service, rationing, waiting lists, and increased costs are the inevitable result (think DMV, Post Office, $500 toilet seats).

No golden eggs to pay for Obamacare.  Obama also wants to ration health care, although he employs euphemistic language in discussing restrictive treatment guidelines of a kind that Americans utterly rejected when they were employed by health maintenance organizations during the Clinton administration.  He tried out some of these idea at a meeting of doctors the other day while repeating the canard about 46 million Americans being uninsured.  He did not explain that millions of these are illegal aliens, that others are qualified for Medicare or Medicaid and that still others can obtain affordable insurance if they choose.  That leaves about 10 million American citizens who at least temporarily cannot get insurance.

Health Care In The Good Old Days:  We were actually making some progress towards that when the Republicans controlled Congress.  Congressman Nathan Deal (R-Ga) chairman of the subcommittee on Health until the Democrats took control, pushed through measures reforming Medicare and Medicaid and actually began the process of saving money and being more efficient.  One of the first things Democrats did was strip these provisions out.

Busting Healthcare Myths.  One of the first myths [Sally] Pipes demolishes is the oft-cited statistic that some 46 million Americans lack health insurance.  Of those, 10 million make more than $75,000 a year and almost 18 million make more than $50,000 a year.  That means 38 percent of the uninsured likely make enough to afford health insurance but choose not to buy it.

'45 Million Americans' — Who Are Those Guys?  About 45 million Americans lack health care insurance.  Or do they?  A pro-"universal health care" television host recently cited this widely accepted "fact."  The number is bogus. ... 255 million Americans already have it.  Many millions more could get it if they wanted to.  And 89 percent of Americans are satisfied with the care they now receive.

President Obama: Health system a 'ticking time bomb.  President Barack Obama described the American health care system Monday as a "ticking time bomb" in need of a drastic overhaul -- and said that part of that fix must include the controversial public insurance option. ... "Make no mistake:  the cost of our health care is a threat to our economy," Obama said.

Obamacare and Las Vegas.  The casinos set the rules, they own the venue, and they put up the risk of capital.  Americans lose nearly $100 billion in gambling every year.  And in Las Vegas, it's all perfectly legal.  Meanwhile, according to the Weekly Standard, the ten largest health insurance providers earned about $8 billion in 2008 profits... combined.

Sign Of Times Under ObamaCare:  'The Doctor Is Out — Permanently'.  President Barack Obama's health care bill aims to achieve universal coverage while at the same time reducing costs.  In reality, this contradictory strategy will ensure that Americans enjoy less health care, of poorer quality, and from fewer doctors.  And while the full effects of ObamaCare might not be felt until Tax Day 2014, the promise of free health care to millions of Americans will begin to prove hollow long before then.


Here are the problems we do have but Obamacare doesn't address:

Interstate competition is prohibited.

Ambulance chasing lawyers make the practice of medicine more costly.

Obamacare versus the Hippocratic Oath.  Obamacare was advertised to the American people as a fix for two problems:  Reining in the runaway cost of health care and extending health insurance to the uninsured.  Long before the law was passed, physicians agreed that major reform of health care financing, taxation and insurance could help fix these issues, which were very real.  The cost of health care had ballooned from coast to coast.  These steady increases simultaneously made it harder for many to afford health care or health insurance for their families, thereby driving up the number of uninsured.  Intentions didn't equal results with Obamacare.  Neither of these two problems have been addressed by the law.

Obamacare Turns 4, Just 1.4% of Uninsured Americans Covered.  According to CNBC, of the 5 million people the Obama administration claims have enrolled in Obamacare, just 715,000 are previously uninsured Americans who have chosen and paid for new insurance.  As the Washington Post notes, there are 48.6 million uninsured Americans.  That means that after four years of being the law of the land, Obamacare — whose purported purpose was to cover the uninsured — has provided coverage for just 1.4% of uninsured Americans.

The plain truth about who owns the Democratic Party.  Speaking at a Northern Virginia town hall meeting, [Howard Dean] stunned many in the nation's capitol with these unexpected words:  "Here's why tort reform is not in the bill.  When you go to pass a really enormous bill like that, the more stuff you put into it, the more enemies you make.  And the reason the tort reform is not in the bill is because the people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers in addition to everyone else they were taking on and that is the plain and simple truth."

ObamaCare Whets Lawyers' Appetites.  It turns out the Democrats tucked away a little gift for one of their biggest constituencies, the trial lawyers, in Section 2304 of the new health care law.  It alters the section of the U.S. code that defines what "medical assistance" means for state government health care programs, including Medicaid.  That leaves states open to far more liability.

Trial lawyers love Obamacare.  President Obama made a big show about being open to some Republican reform ideas to rein in lawsuit abuse.  Those pledges — which Mr. Obama made twice in major public forums — were worthless.  The final version of Obamacare, as signed into law, is a dream come true for big-money plaintiffs' lawyers.

Healthcare Reform:  A Looming Policy Disaster.  Market-based solutions that reward personal responsibility and emphasize transparency in healthcare pricing, along with meaningful, nationwide tort reform are the only options that are ultimately sustainable and compatible with a free society.

Questions for your representative.  [Scroll down slowly]  Surely there's room for tort reform in a 2,700-page health reform bill or the 2,900-page so-called "reconciliation shell."  The verdict is in.  States with limitations on junk lawsuits have seen both an increased accessibility to care and a decrease in cost.  Howard Dean has admitted that Democrats ignored this because they didn't want to take on the trial lawyers.

Government Won't Allow Fair Competition.  Proponents of socialized medicine learned an important lesson from the 1993 failure of Clinton Care, and recognize that they must hide their agenda in the rhetoric of market competition.  Government is not going to take over insurance, they say; it merely wants to compete.

Obama, Heal Thyself.  The medical liability system as we know it is highly flawed.  It poorly compensates those injured, drives up the cost of health care by forcing physicians to practice defensive medicine for fear of being sued, and is driving good doctors out of practice.

The Costs of Defensive Medicine.  Many doctors feel the need to practice "defensive medicine" — the ordering extra tests, scans, consultations and even hospitalization — to protect against malpractice lawsuits.  Doctors say the hidden costs of the tests along with malpractice insurance and lawsuit awards are major drivers behind the soaring cost of care and account for up to 10 percent of health care spending.

Did someone mention malpractice lawsuits?

A Society that Venerates Lawyers More than Doctors.  Those of us who are not true believers in expanded government are certain of the following:  If the 1,990-page House Health Care Bill becomes law, the average American will receive worse health care, American physicians will decline in status and income, American medical innovation will dramatically slow down and pharmaceutical discoveries will decline in number and quality.  And, of course, the economy of the United States will deteriorate, perhaps permanently.

Competition.  In place of the variety of products that competition would generate, we would be forced to "choose" among virtually identical insurance plans.  Government would define these plans down to the last detail.  Every one would have at least the same "basic" coverage, including physical exams, maternity benefits, well-baby care, alcoholism treatment, and mentalhealth services.  Consumers could not buy a cheap, high-deductible catastrophic policy.  Every insurance company would have to use an identical government-designed pricing structure.  Prices would be the same for the sick and the healthy.

Liberals never learn.  Liberals have no shame.  They argue endlessly that what American medicine needs is more competition in health insurance.  There are thousands of insurance companies competing and the only barrier to even more spirited competition is government restrictions that prohibit them from competing across state lines.

Health-Care Reform Must Serve Patients, Not Lawyers.  As the Obama Administration faces the reality that some sort of compromise with Senate Republicans will be necessary to pass health-care reform, personal injury lawyers have launched a campaign of misinformation to protect their wallets.  The American Association for Justice, a special interest group for lawyers, would have Americans believe that legislation that limits how lawyers can gain from the legal system would hurt patients.  However, it is because of massive lawsuit abuse initiated by the trial bar that many Americans cannot afford health insurance.

Here's what is stopping tort reform.  In his Sept. 9, nationally televised speech before a joint session of Congress, President Barack Obama made news by saying that medical-malpractice litigation "may be contributing to unnecessary costs" in the U.S. health care system.  Since then, trial-lawyer advocates — including their lobbying arm, the American Association for Justice (AAJ), and various allied "consumer" groups such as the Center for Justice and Democracy — have been engaged in a fierce counterattack.

More about lawyers.

Obamacare Only Healthy for Lawyers.  Tucked away in the thousands of pages of the Democrats' health care overhaul bill are a number of gifts to the trial lawyers.  Which, by the way, are the Party's largest financial backers.

Tort Reform Is Key To Health Reform.  Though common-sense Americans have repeatedly raised the issue of tort reform while discussing health care legislation with members of Congress during town hall meetings this month, too many lawmakers and analysts still stubbornly insist that medical liability lawsuits do not contribute significantly to rising health care costs.  These lawmakers and analysts are wrong.

Health care run by trial lawyers.  Political power, rather than substance, is at the heart of the Democrats' proposed health care legislation.  Admission of that power-politics reality was the most significant occurrence in a very odd town-hall meeting Tuesday night [8/25/2009] held by Virginia Democratic Rep. James P. Moran.  It is now clearer than ever that plaintiffs' lawyers collectively are the political powerhouse running the health care show.

Questions for Obamacare Supporters:  Medicare costs skyrocket because it is a poorly mismanaged bureacracy.  It's cheaper to pay for private insurance coverage than to cover the medical costs.  Anybody have the answer to that?  We need tort reform because that's what drives medical costs up.  What about that?

Tort Reform Can Lower Costs Without Harming Health Care.  It seems that the president should be desperate to find some savings in his health care plan, as the Congressional Budget Office has said almost every Democratic Party idea increases rather than decreases spending.  Tort reform may very well be the ticket to heath care savings that President Obama is looking for.

Health care reform must include leashing trial lawyers.  President Barack Obama has often stated his belief that "health care reform should be guided by a simple principle.  Fix what is broken and build on what works."  Those are fine-sounding words, but the president muffed a recent opportunity to back them up with concrete action.

The president is asking everyone to sacrifice — except the malpractice litigators.
Free-Riding Lawyers on the Obamacare Bus.  No one really knows how much time is wasted by doctors (and money by patients) on tests and procedures that do not actually help diagnose or treat any condition but do help protect doctors from the appearance of sub-standard care in malpractice lawsuits.  This practice is sometimes called "treating the chart rather than the patient" — making sure all hypothetical diagnostic bases are covered.

Why No Presidental Wrath Aimed at Trial Lawyers?  Everyone knows that President Obama has made health care reform his signature issue. ... Given Barack Obama's alleged passion, just why is it that the president has steadfastly refused to take on greedy trial attorneys, those ambulance-chasing barristers who are largely responsible for out-ofcontrol jumps in health care costs?  Even socialist wild man Howard Dean admitted that health care change without tort reform would be a meaningless charade.

My Healthcare Plan.  Liberals keep complaining that Republicans don't have a plan for reforming health care in America.  I have a plan!  It's a one-page bill creating a free market in health insurance.  Let's all pause here for a moment so liberals can Google the term "free market."

Why No Presidential Wrath Aimed at Trial Lawyers?  Given Barack Obama's alleged passion for containing health care costs, just why is it that the president has steadfastly refused to take on greedy trial attorneys, those ambulance-chasing barristers who are largely responsible for out-of-control jumps in health care costs?  Even socialist wild man Howard Dean admitted that health care change without tort reform would be a meaningless charade.

Demystifying, and Maybe Decreasing, the Emergency Room Bill.  Emergency room bills are notoriously high and perplexing; patients often are left feeling like captives who have few alternatives.  It is impossible to know how much the services will cost when you walk in the door.  The hospital bill, which arrives weeks later, may include seemingly inflated charges for things like Tylenol or an M.R.I.  Doctors who treated you may send their own separate bills, further complicating the payment process.

Trial lawyers:  Medical liability costs ONLY $56 billion per year!  Our medical malpractice system costs Americans, insurers, and the government $56 billion in increased costs every year. ... The trial lawyers' spin?  It ONLY costs $55 billion per year!

ObamaCare's Anniversary: Hospital Inefficiency.  [Scroll down]  America's third-party payer system, in which insurers or the government pays for health care instead of patients paying for it directly, is a big reason why hospitals remain inefficient.  "Because the consumer isn't paying directly, he doesn't have the visibility he has in other industries," Garnick said.  What does ObamaCare do to change this?  Nothing.



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Updated September 19, 2017.

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