Delays, Disappointment, and Defeat – This Week In Obamacare Headlines

Obamacare had a rough week — one of delays, disappointment, and defeat (but we’re not surprised). Here’s a round up of the President’s latest health care headlines:

Delays. The small business Obamacare enrollment has never reached it’s full potential — but don’t hold your breath.

Obama Administration Delays Another Health Care Rule for Small Businesses,” The Washington Post

“In the latest in a long string of delays in enforcing the rules under the health care overhaul, the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department announced on Wednesday that they will wait until summer to start enforcing financial penalties on small businesses that provide so-called Health Reimbursement Arrangements to their employees.

“In regards to the rules in the health care law, the delay is nothing new for employers. Most notably, the Obama administration has several times pushed back the start of penalties for business that do not provide adequate health insurance to their employees, first pushing the entire deadline back one year and then last year announcing an even more gradual, tiered (by company size) rollout.

“At this point, the small business community has had about enough of the temporary reprieves and is calling for permanent solutions.”

And if you’re trying to maneuver your way through confusing costs? You’re not alone. The penalty process is so confusing,  states are having to extend their application period.

Obama Pressured to Re-Open Obamacare,” The Hill

“Millions upon millions of people are unaware about these penalties,” Ron Pollack, the executive director of the nonprofit group Families USA, said in a briefing Wednesday.

“Many are confused when they are told of the penalty.

“If the administration doesn’t provide another enrollment period, it could create a situation where residents of some states have more time to avoid the tax while people on the 37-state federal exchange do not.”

Disappointment. A word commonly associated with Obamacare, but this week we saw even more examples of how this top-down health care approach is hurting American families.

HHS Messed Up 800,000 Obamacare Tax Forms,” National Journal

“About 800,000 people received tax forms from the IRS with incorrect information about their Obamacare coverage, officials from the Health and Human Services Department said Friday.

“The errors would cause some taxpayers to claim too large a subsidy and others to claim less than they’re actually eligible for.”

Democrats Are Bracing For Another Obamacare Backlash,” The Hill

“The Obamacare window technically just closed this weekend, but a new round of political headaches could just be beginning for the administration.

“Up to 6 million Americans are expected to pay a penalty for not having coverage in 2014, according to recent Obama administration projections. The 2014 penalty for this tax season is $95, or 1 percent of family income — purposefully on the weaker side to let people adjust to this new coverage scheme.”

Defeat. Sometimes, you just gotta look at Obamacare, shake your head, and give up.

Behind the curtain, Troubles Persist in HealthCare.gov,” Politico

“The ‘back end’ of the Obamacare website still isn’t properly wired to the health insurance companies. It’s slow going for health plans to make sure the 11.4 million people who have signed up end up in the right plan. Subsidy payments aren’t automated, so the insurers get payments based on estimates. And adding information like a marriage or the birth of a child is a convoluted, multi-step process.

“Even though consumers had a largely smooth enrollment experience this year, the fact that these gaps persist behind the scenes 18 months after HealthCare.gov launched shows that the system is still not working as intended. Instead of a swift process, health plans use clunky workarounds and manual spreadsheets. It takes time and it costs money.”

Presdient Obama’s top-down, bureaucratic approach to health care is costly and harmful to American families — and it obviously isn’t working.

Health care decisions should be made by patients and their doctors, not by Washington, D.C. House Republicans will continue to pursue solutions that reduce costs, give every Americans more control over their health care decisions, and provide access to world-class care with 21st-century cures and treatments.