STORIES FROM DICK MORRIS—#1

(45GH) 11/26/13
ObamaCare Is Disappearing: With about a quarter of the country using state exchanges, one can assume that, had those throughout the entire nation been relatively glitch-free, about 300,000 would have signed up in the first six weeks of the program’s 26-week enrollment period. Projecting that out over the entire period, we reach fewer than 1.5 million enrollments nationally — a ridiculously low figure. With Medicare enrolling 46 million, Medicaid reaching more than 100 million with the new expansion and even the State Children’s Health Insurance Program for children topping 7 million. : First President Obama waives them for a year for pre-existing policies, . The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), scheduled to go into operation next year, has yet to be appointed, much less confirmed. Nor is it likely ever to meet. The board’s mission is to force reductions in Medicare spending to bring the program in line with budgetary guidelines. But the low rate of medical inflation is vitiating its purpose. Most health economists estimate that Medicare costs, per capita, will rise only at about the rate of GDP growth or less. One expert suggests a likely rate of increase of only 0.5 percent for this year. At such a low rate of Medicare growth, the IPAB provisions would not kick in. The board would not be called upon to impose any cuts. Health economists predict a continuing low rate of medical inflation, suggesting that the board might become an anachronistic appendage of a once massive legislative edifice, likely facing repeal when the statute permits it in 2017.
The employer mandate has already been delayed by the president.
The individual mandate has fines so token as to make a mockery of the idea that there even is a mandate. How are fines of 1 percent of income, rising to 2.5 percent, going to induce people to spend 9.5 percent of their income on policies they don’t want? The IRS is barred by statute from seizing bank accounts or property to collect the fines and may only move to take income tax overpayments from those who fail to pay the fine. Lacking the coercion of cancellations or fines, the ObamaCare population will remain small and will include mainly very needy people. This process of adverse selection will drive up premiums until they drive out the young and the healthy.
Soon we will be left with a slightly larger pool of high-risk patients that are already covered in state and federal pools. So all that will be left are some very good consumer protection insurance reforms requiring coverage of pre-existing conditions and a ban on cancellation or premium hikes in the event of illness.Beyond that, there will be a vestigal administrative superstructure erected to run a massive, national healthcare system in which only 1.5 million people are participating. Like a monument in the desert, it will gather sand and erode over time.
Obama’s legacy. Obama’s Hope: Cancellations Will Continue:
President Obama’s program of misleading the American people continued today when he proposed allowing insurance companies to rescind cancellations of insurance policies for a year. By leaving it up to the insurance companies to decide on whether or not to cancel, he clearly knows and hopes that they will proceed with the cancellations. He thinks they will because, obviously, they make more money if they force people into higher premium ObamaCare plans than if they renew the lower premium private coverage now in force. In addition, insurance companies will not want to go through the administrative hassles and unreimbursed costs of backtracking on cancellations that may now be several months old. Obama wants the cancellations to stand. The more cancellations, the more people will have to enroll in ObamaCare at the exchanges. His only hope for decent participation levels is to cancel tens of millions of policies and force people onto ObamaCare. He is also making a skillful political maneuver to make the insurance companies take the hit for cancellations by giving them the option of not proceeding with them. Now, he can escape voter anger for cancellations and blame them on the insurance companies. Fred Upton has the same flaw as the Obama Plan in that it provides that insurance carriers “may” renew policies that don’t meet ObamaCare standards. Landrieu bill which requires insurance companies to rescind the cancellations.
All the fixes — Obama’s, Upton’s, and Landrieu’s — all extend only to individual policies. But while about ten million individual policies are likely to be cancelled (five million already have bitten the dust), estimates suggest that an additional 20-40 million policies will be cancelled by employers, primarily by small businesses that are not required to provide coverage.

Sources—dick morris, the hill

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