Few uninsured are signing up for Obamacare

A survey has found that only 1/10th of the uninsured have signed up for Obamacare.  (The deadline is March 31.)  Actual numbers from HealthCare.gov and the insurance companies are hard to come by, due in part to the still-confusing application process.  Also, of those who did sign up, half have not paid the first premium, so they don’t have health insurance either.

If the uninsured don’t buy the insurance, preferring to pay the fine and to go without, the whole concept of Obamacare comes apart. [Read more...]

Still more Obamacare postponements

More Obamacare provisions have been postponed, including letting people keep their non-complying insurance policies for three more years. This would prevent some unpopular measures from going into effect before the next presidential election.

But the March 31 deadline for buying health insurance and thus avoiding a fine still stands, so if you haven’t signed up at Healthcare.gov, time is running out. [Read more...]

“Fish in the afternoon, criticize after dinner”

At the findings that Obamacare will take over 2 million jobs out of the economy, Democrats have been saying this is a good thing:  Now, people will no longer have to work at unfulfilling jobs just to keep their health insurance.  Charles Krauthammer takes up this mindset and throws in a great quote from Karl Marx. [Read more...]

A conservative alternative to Obamacare?

A conservative alternative to Obamacare has been unveiled.  Read about it after the jump.  Then consider these questions:  (1) Does it sound better than Obamacare?  (2)  What is particularly conservative about it?  (3)  Is it qualitatively different from other efforts to have the government presiding over the health care of its citizens?  [Read more...]

Employer mandate postponed yet another year

President Obama postponed yet again the Employer Mandate part of Obamacare, which will require employers of 50 or more workers to provide them health insurance.  The measure was supposed to go into effect in 2014, but he had earlier postponed it until 2015.  Now it will not go into effect until 2016.  Never mind that these postponements violate the text of the law.

Employers of 100 or more will still have to offer insurance next year, though they received some breaks too, detailed after the jump.

[Read more...]

The next legal obstacle to Obamacare

Under Obamacare, those who don’t have health insurance coverage at work sign up for policies at online “exchanges.”  If their income level makes the policies too hard to afford, the government will offer subsidies to make up the difference.  There is a problem, though.  As the law is written, the subsidies are for people who signed up for a plan on an exchange “established by the state.”  Thirty-four states refused to set up the exchanges, which send applicants to a federal exchange.  Technically, applicants from those 34 states would not seem to be eligible for a subsidy.

But wait, you may say.  That is obviously just a technicality.  The clear intent of the law offers subsidies to everybody eligible.  Except that the legislative history of the bill shows good evidence that the “established by the state” language was put in precisely for the purpose of pressuring states to start their own exchanges.

Now this is being litigated, with several lawsuits against the IRS, which has been tasked with enforcing Obamacare.  (That is surely a misuse of that agency, but that’s what we get when the Supreme Court defines penalties and fines as “taxes.”)

But here is the point:  Even people who support some program that would provide universal healthcare should surely admit that Obamacare is not a very good way of reaching that goal, that the Affordable Care Act is too complicated, was poorly written, was passed too quickly without normal legislative scrutiny, and has too many unintended consequences. [Read more...]