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Editorial: ‘Time out’ is the wrong fix for Obamacare

Disasters have huge, life-altering consequences. Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy were disasters. The entombment of Pompeii in volcanic ash and the 1918 flu pandemic were disasters. The bungled rollout of the Affordable Care Act is a gigantic embarrassment for the Obama administration, but it is not, despite the declarations by countless pundits and politicians, including New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a disaster.

Why? Because, as frustrating as the launch of the federal health care exchange has been for the millions of people trying to buy insurance on it, the problems with the government website, and the problems with Obamacare, can be fixed. As of yesterday afternoon, the exchange was capable of enrolling 17,000 people per hour, according to its administrator, and it should be fully operable by month’s end. So enough with the histrionics. Nobody died. Some money was wasted, but not a lot in government terms because Republicans blocked funding for the exchange, forcing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to build it on the cheap.

The botched rollout prompted both Shaheen and Sen. Kelly Ayotte to respond with calls for legislation. Shaheen wants the March 31 date by which Americans must purchase insurance or pay a penalty extended. That makes sense. Pushing the deadline ahead by a month or two, presuming the website is fully operable and easy to use by month’s end, seems fair.

Ayotte wants a “time-out” called on all the act’s provisions to give a bipartisan panel time to fix not just the website’s flaws but also problems with the law itself. Like most in her party, Ayotte supports a complete repeal of Obamacare. To her credit, she recognizes that isn’t going to happen unless the 2014 elections give Republicans an overwhelming majority in both the House and the Senate. Her call for a time-out could thus be a stall to give her party time to find yet more ways to block the law’s implementation, but we don’t think so. We think she’s sincere, but we still think a time-out is a bad idea. The Affordable Care Act marks a major change in the way the United States approaches health care. No team of experts, wonks and augurers will be able to foresee all its problems or potential improvements. At this point, the plan needs to be test-driven and the problems fixed as they arise.

Yes, millions of people are losing their coverage as insurers cancel policies. President Obama’s promise that anyone who liked their health insurance could keep it was false. It does not apply to the 5 million people whose coverage fails to meet the minimal standards for policies set by the new law. Many of those people will have to buy more expensive insurance on the exchange or pay a penalty, and they are the ones who have been complaining the loudest to their representatives in Congress. But what are they really losing?

By some estimates, roughly half the people receiving cancellation notices will qualify for a subsidy if they buy coverage on the exchange. Most of the rest will pay more but also get far more than their current bare-bones policy offers. Some of the policies being canceled are health insurance in name only. If the policyholder develops a serious illness, such policies can be the equivalent of homeowner’s insurance that, when your house burns down, pays to replace your couch. And who pays the rest of the bill? Taxpayers and employers and employees who bite the bullet and buy good insurance.

It is not a disaster when people lose the ability to buy cheapo insurance that shifts the true burden of health care costs to everyone else and no reason to call “time out.”

Legacy Comments32

So now the plan is to spin what is actually going on. We have seen this time and time again. The folks who are blind to incompetence start using phrases like, that statement was taken out of context, cheapo insurance , glitch, etc. When you have to keep covering up these problems with talking points, what does that tell you? We often hear how the right denies global warming. Yet we have the left doing the same thing with the ACA. But that is how it works these days. Folks seem to be fine with incompetence, accepting excuses and holding nobody accountable. No wonder the left wants more govt. Folks are willing to accept poor quality.

This is QUITE a shiny object, isn't it?!?!

The president said that healthcare plans are being cancelled because they are substandard...not true...the plans are being cancelled because our president is substandard. Period.

See what I mean about intelligent discussion?

Curious...when you call Reagan "saint Ronnie" really mean something else...right? Is that "intelligent discussion" ???

GWTW, you don't do intelligent discussion. You all just regurgitate all your Obama hatred. I thought that was Reagan's nick name

No..the Gipper or Dutch were Reagans nicknames. You can look it up.

...... said the pot calling the kettle black

I see the new tactic. Any time you don't like what another poster says, label it a "talking point." It's just a variation on ad hominem attacks. Instead of addressing the content, you imply that the speaker is not capable of independent thought. You also imply that if many people hold the same opinion, it's because they've been massively led astray, rather than because they've got a good point. I see through you, and every time you engage in this behavior you make it more and more difficult for me to take you seriously.

I quickly found out how useless it was to have a discussion with certain posters on here. Mostly it is just fun to have a battle of wits with them, though most of them don't bring any ammunition to the fight. Sail is the worst of course, he hates Obama so much that he can barely be coherent. You could watch Fox news and listen to Rush and you would hear the same thing you see on here. sometimes it is barely out of a Hannity's mouth and it appears in one of their posts.

Tillie, in most cases I enjoy debating with you. You got a few things right. I catch about 20 minutes a day of Hannity and Rush per day but I also for a laugh catch a few minutes of Maddow, Matthews, and Shultz are trying to push.

Well you see, I don't like hate speech so I don't listen to Fox or Rush. I read an article by Bob Schieffer where he said that most people are watching a certain channel or listening to talk radio not because they are looking for facts but for a news product that validates what they already believe. Very true, but then because they have read it or heard it on their favorite website they provides links to it as if it is the truth. Doesn't make it so. I watched Rachel Maddow call Rand Paul out for repeating word for word lines from Wikipedia. I don't trust Wikipedia because anyone can edit it, but the people on here treat it as a Bible. Paul called Maddow out for a duel instead of saying the truth but now even the Washington Times has fired him. But you people never question anything the conservative media tells you because it validates what you already believe. I can't imagine a person with a conservative mind ever becoming a scientist because they don't question what they already believe.

Sorry Field, when I see talking points I expose talking points. Perhaps when you can back up your arguments with facts they neutralize your opponents and prove your points. Echoing or repeating something that is not true or is a half truth proves nothing.

Anyone who knows me will tell you I don't defend Obama all the time, the way some of you think everything is always about the right versus the left. Stop a moment, and think. We have a free market system that was in charge of the health care insurance pool for 30 years. When they brought us the HMO, they promised they could do a better job than the non profit and do it for less money. And don't you DARE tell me that isn't what happened, because I was a working NHite when this happened, and I was among those forced in to the HMO system even though I didn't desire to be part of it. For 30 years they were in control, proposing ever increasing premiums, remember just a few years ago when Anthem requested a 39% increase in premiums in several States? They backed off only after a lot of negative attention. This is what the HMO brought us, along with many other negative problems. Canceling policies during cancer treatment, for example. Denial of coverage, with the excuse of the week as the reason why. Now we have the start of full ACA implementation just over the next hill. Interesting that so many problems with insurance are popping up, coming from the HMO industry, an industry that never has supported the ACA and wants it repealed. Seems to me they are doing everything they possibly can to turn Americans against this law-before it even takes effect. If you think they wouldn't deliberately sabotage everything about the ACA that they possibly can, make as much trouble as possible, you have much to learn.

I'm sure they are just having a great time selling you OBGYN coverage too. We'll show them" takes a govt to do something that stupid..

Obamacare is a disaster because the partisan, elements of the law. Blaming insurance companies for abiding by the law is simpley irresponsible but a clearly an new democrat talking point tactic. Your are only fooling the poorly informed gdn.

Abiding by, or taking advantage of loopholes Van?

Abiding by and you know it. Stop the talking points it is nauseating. Prove me wrong.

"...because Republicans blocked funding for the exchange, forcing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to build it on the cheap. " Built the excahnge on the cheap??? really? you meant theend result appeared cheap..but was it really cheap? How much is cheap???

Screech-Testing testing there is a spill in isle 1, Screech Testing testing there are now spill in isles 2 4, 7, 8, & 10. All Obama sycophants and apologists are requested to get their brooms and mops to clean up after the Serial Liar Barack Obama. So lying to the American people over and over and over again about something a personal as their healthcare or being able to keep their long time doctor or their children's doctor is no big deal to the Monitor? To me lying to the American people is huge and a major disaster and the Monitor is in sweep it under the rug mode. Obama lied our health care died. More people are losing their healthcare than getting healthcare because of Obama.

Thanks for catching the error. We fixed it.

Perhaps you could fix this statement: President Obama’s promise that anyone who liked their health insurance could keep it was false. Perhaps it was false the first time he said it but saying it over and over again when he new it was false is a huge lie. There is documentation from the White House saying they knew this was "false" but Obama kept on lying.

So, now that the geography lesson is over, can anyone refute the actual point of the editorial? Seems to me that if only 2.5% of the population has something negative happen because of a law this huge, then we're doing pretty well. Let's not forget that if that that 2.5% don't qualify for a subsidy, then they can well and good afford a decent policy. They can still get just catastrophic care policy if that's all they want or feel they need.

Field, Where did you get the 2.5% statistic the lying Obama White House? This article shows that Obamacare are sticking it to the Obama Zombies as well. 2.5% what a joke:

You know what? I don't exactly know at the moment. Somewhere along the line in the many things I've read, I saw a statistic that 5% of the population will have their policies dropped, and that half of those will be able to get equal or better coverage through the exchange, for same or less money. That leaves 2.5% with a less desireable outcome.

That may be it for individual plans but here is the truth about how many people will lose coverage:

another botched roll out of an editorial

Should of used Wikipedia. All the Republicans use it, and they know everything.

Really?? Pompei (sic) is in Greece?? There is no city, town or village called "Pompei" in Greece. However, there is a city named "Pompeii" in ITALY that was buried in volcanic ash. How can we expect our youngsters to know their history and geography when the editors and writers of the newspapers from which we all get our information don't know their history and geography. Looking back, I'm just surprised your editorial writer didn't bury his/her mythical "Pompei" in a flood of molasses.

To call Pompei a Greek city is a literary disaster. It's in Italy.

Its spelled Pompeii too.

"....forcing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to build it on the cheap. "...Please give us the much was budgeted for the website, how much did it actually cost, and how much to fix it. Then, armed with the facts, we can decide if it was "on the cheap"...

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