Health Law Deadlines, And Even Statistics, Still In Flux
News outlets report on the changes that have been made to the health law and whether these tweaks may be adding new layers of complications. Meanwhile, stories also center on enrollment efforts and the current tally of enrollment numbers.
McClatchy: So Many Changes To The Health Care Law, But Are They Legal?
After President Barack Obama bowed to critics in November and allowed people with canceled health insurance policies to keep their coverage for another year, the White House quickly hit the spin cycle. In a telephone briefing with reporters that same day, senior administration officials said their “enforcement discretion” allowed them to tweak the Affordable Care Act to ensure that it would be implemented with minimal disruption. Previous administrations had done the same thing with complicated new laws, they said, and the slow-motion rollout of the sprawling health care law was sure to encounter more problems along the way (Pugh, 2/24).
Politico: The Politics Of Obamacare Delays
By now, the pattern is pretty clear: Obamacare deadlines don’t stick. .... 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. That doesn’t mean the busted deadlines always matter in the real world, though (Nather, 2/21).
Fox News: Tracking Obamacare: As Enrollment Deadline Nears, Law Endures 28 Delays And Counting
As the administration touts the benefits of ObamaCare in a push to sign up more people before the March deadline, a FoxNews.com review shows how much of the law has really been pushed off. Since its inception, provisions of the law have been delayed a total of 28 times; the average delay was six months and three weeks. Put another way, the cumulative delays add up to an astonishing 15 years and three months. The administration has been announcing changes to the law at a fairly steady clip. The White House's latest delay was rolled out on Feb. 10, and allowed companies with between 50 and 99 workers to skirt the mandate to provide health care until 2016 (Walker, 2/21).
The Washington Post: Health Care Law's Small-Business Marketplace Not Attracting Many Small Businesses
Small-business owners, who were supposed to gain more choices and cheaper rates from the new online-health-insurance portals, have been slow to select plans through marketplaces since the rollout started last fall. In part, some say, that is because luring employers to the marketplaces has taken a back seat to fixing technical problems and recruiting individuals and families. As a result, businesses in many states have been left with an online-shopping portal that is only partially functional — if they have one at all (Harrison, 2/23).
Politico: Obamacare Stats Still Hard To Nail Down
The truth is, nobody has a good, real-time fix on how successful the Affordable Care Act has been in reducing the ranks of the uninsured. The Obama administration hasn’t been able to say how many of the 3.3 million people who have signed up for private health insurance coverage, or of the 6.3 million who have been determined eligible for Medicaid, were actually uninsured before — and health care experts aren’t sure yet, either (Nather, 2/23).
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: 40 Percent Of Enrollees Through eHealth Website Are Young Adults
Private online marketplace eHealth reported that the percentage of people between the ages of 18 and 34 who applied for coverage through the firm’s website in the last quarter of 2013 was well above the 25 percent rate cited by the Obama administration for enrollments through sites run by the states and the federal government (Appleby, 2/21).
The Hill: White House Pushes For Black Enrollees
The Obama administration is engaged in a “final coordinated push” to enroll blacks in ObamaCare, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said Friday. Jarrett said blacks have a “disproportionately low rate of coverage,” and called enrolling them the administration’s “top priority” (Easley, 2/21).