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ObamaCare Full Court Press: T-Minus...Tick Tick Tick - By Joel Aaron

September 23, 2013 J,

We are in the last period of a full court press for the ObamaCare countdown to Open Enrollment that starts tomorrow, October 1st, if Congress cannot come to terms on the Continuing Resolution by midnight tonight. The chicken wire is flying as Washington tries to hold the roll out together with a litany of exemptions, and a multi-million dollar air and ground assault that involves media buying and on-the-ground health insurance navigators.

For the roll out, HHS has purchased nearly $12 million in TV ads, issued $67 million in grants to Navigators and awarded $150 million to community health centers.

This hard sell effort seems to be a case of misplaced priorities as actual implementation seems to be an afterthought. This week alone, we’ve seen reports that various pieces of the exchanges are not ready for prime time. Colorado isn’t ready.

Last week, we saw multiple reports that various pieces of the exchanges aren’t ready for the beginning of open enrollment. Colorado isn’t ready. Neither is DC.
The Federal small-business exchanges, not so much. Spanish language exchange websites? Nope.

Despite the efforts, we are already seeing the casualties of war. Over 300 employers have dropped coverage, cut jobs or cut hours, according to Investor’s Business Daily. See the list here. According to the Society of Actuaries, insurance premium increases have climbed to a national average of 31.5% (see the State-by-state figures here). And the CBO estimates that 7 million will lose their employer sponsored health insurance by 2023. Last week, HHS reported nationwide data that ignores how much new premiums will cost relative to what is available today. Forbes’ state by state comparison clears it up, suggesting average individual market insurance premiums are set to skyrocket.

Today, the Senate continues to demand a “clean” continuing resolution for funding the federal government (i.e., no language that defunds Obamacare or other non-appropriations measures) and plans to vote today to table the changes made over the weekend by the House, including a 1-year delay in implementing the President’s health-care law. At a minimum, Congress should exempt all Americans from the train wreck of ObamaCare with the same ease that they did so for themselves weeks ago. [Please sign our petition here and share it with your friends].

All in all, given these costs and the government’s own frantic effort to sell the law as a good thing, I have a hard to time seeing how any honest broker would agree with their story.

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