November 12, 2013

PETER SUDERMAN: Time to Start Considering Obamacare’s Worst Case Scenarios.

The saying goes that things have to get worse before they get better. But with Obamacare, things just keep getting worse—and then they get worse still. In private, even many critics of the law are at least a bit surprised by how poorly the rollout has gone. The question that many are asking is: How bad can this really get?

The answer is…worse. A lot worse.

Over the weekend, several reports suggested that, despite continued assurances that Healthcare.gov, the problem-plagued online insurance enrollment portal run by the federal government, would be running smoothly for most users by the end of the month, it increasingly looks likely that the deadline will be missed. . . .

It’s a problem that would be big enough on its own, but is now compounded by the fact that, thanks to rules and regulations built into the law, millions of Americans have already had their existing individual-market insurance cancelled, and estimates say that millions more cancellations are on the way. The end result could be that many people—thousands, perhaps even millions—end up with their current private insurance plans terminated due to the law, but no way to sign up for new coverage.

This is not a problem confined to the 36 states covered by the federally run health exchanges. In the state of Oregon, which has struggled to get its online enrollment system working and has yet to enroll a single person in private coverage, some 150,000 people are losing their existing health plans.

Remember how ObamaCare defenders accused opponents of being heartless killers who didn’t care about the uninsured? Stopping ObamaCare would have done more to prevent people from being uninsured than anything else we could have done — including, probably, making ObamaCare work as advertised, which is looking increasingly implausible.

It’s layer after layer of disaster — like peeling an onion of fail! — and why? Because: “They were running the biggest start-up in the world, and they didn’t have anyone who had run a start-up, or even run a business.”

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