The National Open Election begins in two months and a day. That is when people can enroll through the new health insurance exchanges for one of 4 different health insurance plans and claim a government subsidy to help with their premium, if they qualify.
It all sounded nice when it was just theory. However, the theory is about to become practicality and the level of certainty that formerly was present among supporters of Obamacare has gone down.
Many of those who screamed the loudest in support in 2009-2010 are crossing their fingers as the final implementation of the law they supported 3 years ago begins.
The worried looks on many faces, that were so confident of having the moral high-ground 3 years ago, speak volumes. They may say that they still know that passing the PPACA was the right thing to do. However, what I hear is, “I hope that Obama does not screw it up!”
They know that the law will benefit the poor and uninsured but only a handful of middle-class Americans feel like Obamacare will actually benefit them.
Unfortunately, the signs that are coming out of the White House do not give me confidence that the implementation of Obamacare will go smoothly.
Rumors are flying that the Department of Health and Human Services is behind schedule with the new health insurance exchanges for individuals. We are assured that they will have something ready to go on October 1. However, since neither congress nor the American people can get a straight, confident answer from HHS about the HIX, we will have to wait until they open on October 1 to see if they are a trustworthy system or just something that was thrown together.
Earlier this summer, President Obama announced that a key part of Obamacare, the S.H.O.P. exchanges for small businesses who want to provide benefits for their employees would not be available on time. It was only after pressure was put on Obama from some of his fellow Democratic leaders in congress that he modified his announcement and told Americans that a modified version of S.H.O.P. would be available in October.
The PPACA that was passed in 2010 on party lines, provided that employees whose employers used S.H.O.P. exchanges would have several options. Those options will not be available.
If an employer elects to use S.H.O.P. for 2014, the employer will be the only one with options. He/She will choose which plan will be the best for employees. Employees, who need help to pay premiums, will have no options.
That is the reason for the chart, “How To Split Health Insurance.” Employees can take the subsidized plan from work but get an Individual type plan for their dependents either through the new health insurance exchanges or outside of the exchanges.
The graphic above shows just some of the things that were learned in a July poll by United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection. Click the graphic to read a summary of the entire article.
Unfortunately, baring a miracle, Obamacare will start its implementation on October 1.
Now that Obamacare is about to be implemented, perhaps the theoretical arguments can stop. By the time of the presidential election campaign in 2016, we will know whether the Democratic Party who supported Obamacare or the Republican Party who opposed Obamacare were right. At that time Americans will be able to choose a president who can allow Obamacare to continue for another 4 years or repeal the parts of Obamacare that are not working as advertised and replace them with something that will actually help all Americans with the “Health Care Crisis.”