Republican political strategist Karl Rove says that it is inconceivable that President Barack Obama and his aides did not know as early as 2009 that millions of Americans would lose their health plans under the Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare.”
Rove says that this represents “a serious breach of trust with the American people.”
President Obama’s aides said four years ago, early in promoting the Obamacare healthcare law, that the president shouldn’t be taken literally when he said that people happy with their health insurance could keep it. Obama, however, consistently kept making that promise, forcefully, in debates on the subject.
As he said in 2009, “No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
However, insurance must meet new standards, and coverage that falls short cannot be sold except through a grandfathering process that insurance administrators say is untenable.
Moreover, the Obamacare law does not stop employers from changing plans or carriers, or from dropping coverage altogether, and the law’s cost-control measures are driving changes for people with generous workplace plans
Now that millions of people are receiving insurance cancellation notices, or who are seeing major changes in their employer-provided plans, Obama has said that those seeing individual policies canceled should “just shop around” and get another one.
Congress has been attempting to figure out why Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius would give the “all clear” for the Obamacare website after the system failed repeatedly before its debut.
Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, testified under oath on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, on Capitol Hill that she had no idea just before launch that the website problems were so bad.
Because of website glitches, individuals buying health insurance through government-run websites now have an extra six weeks – until the end of March 2014 – to enroll in a plan without a penalty.
The open enrollment period for “Obamacare” extends from Oct. 1 to March 31, 2014. If an individual is not covered for three months or longer, he or she will face a financial penalty for not having insurance. In order for the insurance to take effect, uninsured Americans would have to sign up by Feb. 15, 2014 to avoid the fines.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, in an interview with Newsmax TV, calls the Obamacare rollout a “multi-hundred-million-dollar disaster,” and that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius should be held accountable and lose her job.
Gringrich also feels that the Republican Party could do “very, very well” in 2014 because of the “failure” of the current adminstration.
Six voters in ten describe implementation of Obamacare as “a joke,” and more voters than not say problems with the government’s health insurance website are so bad someone should be fired, according to a Fox News national poll released Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013.
Fifty-one percent of those surveyed describe the health care law is either “a step backward” or “disastrous.” That’s down two percentage points from 53 percent from a survey in August, 2013. On the other side, 44 percent describe ObamaCare positively, either as “wonderful” or “progress.” It was 43 percent two months ago.
Most Democrats continue to describe the health care law positively: 12 percent “wonderful” and 62 percent “progress,” while most Republicans continue to call it “a step backward” (20 percent) or “disastrous” (66 percent).
Meanwhile, 60 percent of voters say the way the law is being carried out is “a joke.” That’s is up a bit from the 57 percent who felt that way in August, 2013. Likewise, 31 percent say things are “going fine” — unchanged from summer 2013.
Programmers involved in building the Obamacare health insurance website explain how they saw the failure of the system coming months in advance. It is a complex system put together by harried programmers who pushed out a final product that congressional investigators said was tested by the government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and not private developers with more expertise. It was also reported that the Obama administration also was aware Healthcare.gov would collapse because of high traffic on the site, but the administration demanded an Oct. 1, 2013 rollout anyway.
The U.S. government has spent more than $394 million to build the federal healthcare exchange and data hub.
As U.S. officials warned that the technology behind Obamacare might not be ready to launch on October 1, 2013, the administration was pouring tens of millions of dollars more than it had planned into the federal website meant to enroll Americans in the biggest new social program since the 1960s.
A Reuters review of government documents shows that the contract to build the federal Healthcare.gov online insurance website tripled in potential total value to nearly $292 million as new money was assigned to the work beginning in April this year.
The increase coincided with warnings from federal and state officials that the information technology underlying the online marketplaces, or exchanges, where people could buy Obamacare was in trouble.
To enroll in a new ObamaCare health insurance plan on the federal marketplace, most consumers must first provide private personal information.
Buried in the website’s programming code there sits an alarming warning revealed by the Weekly Standard.
“You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system,” reads the disclaimer, which does not appear on the site’s visible “Terms and Conditions” page.
The disclaimer continues: “At any time, and for any lawful Government purpose, the government may monitor, intercept, and search and seize any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system.”