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Bryan Preston


November 5, 2013 - 7:26 am

CNN has obtained an internal Obama administration document that details a big worry inside the brain trust running Obamacare.

The website is garbage, as everyone knows by now. But what happens once the website gets fixed?

Prediction: Pain.

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 website – disappointment because of sticker shock and limited choice, according to a new document obtained by CNN.

“Mike described a general concern of PM (plan management team): getting to the point where the website is functioning properly and individuals begin to select plans; the media attention will follow individuals to plan selection and their ultimate choices; and, in some cases, there will be fewer options than would be desired to promote consumer choice and an ideal shopping experience. Additionally, in some cases there will be relatively high cost plans,” say the notes from the Obama administration’s Obamacare ‘War Room’ from one week ago.

Plan management team is a reference to those individuals in the Obama administration tasked with standing up the president’s health care law at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.

The discussion appeared to be in reference to an October 24 story by The New York Times titled “Health Care Law Fails to Lower Prices for Rural Areas.”

Supposing that the website gets fixed by the end of November as the brain trust now promises, those Americans suddenly able to shop for insurance face a deadline of December 15 to buy coverage that will kick in by January 1, which is when most of the canceled insurance plans die.

Merry Christmas! You get to pay more of your money for, in many cases, crappier insurance. How much more? On average, about 41% more, according to Avik Roy.

And you’ll be told that you should like it and that it fulfilled Obama’s clear promise! Who are you gonna believe, Barack Obama or your lying ears?

Believe whichever you want, but Obamacare sticker shock could have a big negative impact on the Christmas shopping season — the season that most retailers depend on to get them through the entire next year. The price increases could be enough to force millions of Americans to rethink how they’ll spend for the holidays.

Are we looking at a nasty sequence of events leading to the next economic downturn here?

  1. Obamacare website starts working.
  2. Americans losing their plans shop for insurance from the end of November through Dec. 15.
  3. Sticker shock/weaker plans impact holiday shopping in its final 10 days.
  4. Retailers take the hit, lay workers off after the lackluster holiday shopping season.
  5. Economists report unexpected! job losses in January. Manufacturing slips due to dampened demand.
  6. 2014 begins with an economy circling the drain.

Happy holidays…

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
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And as daddy loses his job, junior, who though he'd be on daddy's plan until he's 26, suddenly has to get his own plan. But of course, he's unemployed too, and living in daddy's basement.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dear C-level managers of retail chains who voted for Obama and the Democrats. I HOPE TO GOD YOUR COMPANY COLLAPSES.

While I feel sorry for your workers, they need to know their bosses were part of the problem, and now the market is responding to the problem.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Long time defense contractor here. PM does not mean "Plan Management Team", it means Program Manager. The PM is the one in charge of the contract, and in addition to being the sole interface with the government, is the one who has to manage all the subcontractors.

On a contract this large the single most difficult factor is the government manager(s) in charge. They routinely don't know diddly-squat about the technical end and care only about passing any blame for problems back to the contractor.

The situation with the Obamacare website reminds me of another government-sponsored website that my company was hired to find out why, after some $300M was spent, the delivered product crashed whenever more than a couple of dozen users logged in. Nobody in the government lost their jobs over that fiasco, and nobody will over this one.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I feel it, I do engineering work and the new work coming in is just a trickle right now. It feels like July 2008 except no one is optimistic.

Most people have had insurance with deductibles so know that number well even if they get covered at work. Staring at a 2K jump in the deductible comes out of the start of the year until medical expenses fulfill it sometime in the spring.

Oh joy, lets buy a lump of Coal for Xmas
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They need to start now figuring out how to blame the Repubs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You just figured that out now?

I've been telling people that all week.

And if you think THIS Black Friday is bad...wait until next year when the Employer Mandate postponement expires.

We are staring a Depression in the face with this ghastly money-grab by ObamaCare.

The money you spend on your new premiums cannot be spent on consumer goods, and consumer spending is what makes Sammy tick.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No, consumer spending isn't what makes the economy tick, but it's not going to help.

Consumption does drive part of the economy, but savings is really the other half of the equation. Savings generates the real, loanable funds banks used to load to companies and individuals to expand.

Interest rates coordinate time and money, and so help dictate when people will invest and when (and how much) they will borrow. With zero interest rates, there's no incentive to invest. Now, you're relying on only half the economy to carry all the load.

It's so basic, and yet so few people seem to be capable of understanding it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Neither brains nor trust.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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