7:20 AM, Nov 22, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Obama administration has decided to delay next year's enrollment period for Obamacare to begin after the November midterm elections. Bloomberg reports:
The enrollment period, previously scheduled to begin Oct. 15, 2014, will now start Nov. 15, said an official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services who asked not to be identified because the decision isn’t public. The change is important to insurers that need more time to evaluate the first year of the government-run marketplaces.
Technical problems are undermining efforts to attract a broad array of customers to the new markets, a prerequisite to keeping plans affordable in the long run. Keeping prices from spiking next year is “absolutely critical” for President Barack Obama if he wants to preserve his signature legislative achievement, said Ana Gupte, a Leerink Swann & Co. analyst.
“The death of this law would be for health insurance companies to price policies for 2015 in a way that premiums skyrocket,” said Gupte, who is based in New York, in a telephone interview. “At that point, it’s a death spiral and it’s over. So he needs to do something.”
Obamacare is looking to be a political liability for Democrats ahead of the midterm elections next year. While Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has said Democrats will run on the benefits of the president's health care law in 2014, some Republican challengers are already saying opposing Obamacare will be the "cornerstone" of their campaigns.
3:03 PM, Oct 25, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
A week after THE WEEKLY STANDARD reported that the Obamacare website Healthcare.gov was using a copyrighted web script without attribution, the lines have been quietly added back to the code.
1:42 PM, Aug 8, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
News broke Wednesday that, even as the October 1 deadline for Obamacare "marketplaces" approaches, training requirements for Obamacare "navigators" were being scaled back by one-third.
12:02 PM, Aug 6, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Department of Health and Human Services is beginning a public effort to educate and train Americans about health insurance ahead of the implementation of parts of Obamacare this fall.
11:21 AM, Jul 13, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Here are two clips from yesterday’s House Budget Committee hearing on Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). In the first, Chairman Paul Ryan asks Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about her views on competition and choice:
4:43 PM, Apr 8, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
While the possible government shutdown means most federal employees, from the National Park Service workers to those handling your tax returns at the IRS, won't be coming into work, some bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are going to keep punching the clock. At the department's website, HHS has posted its shutdown contingency plan for its employees. Here's the relevant part for the department's Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight:
4:48 PM, Mar 23, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Politico reports that the Obama administration’s pro-Obamacare Andy Griffith TV ad cost taxpayers $3.66 million, according to records obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services. Actually, there were at least three such ads (here, here, and here), so it’s not clear whether this was the cost for one, or for the whole batch. In this ad, Griffith says, “That new health care law sure sounds good for all of us on Medicare!”
2:15 PM, Mar 5, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
According to Politico, President Obama will be forced to abandon his controversial nomination of Donald Berwick as the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Politico reports that “Senate Democrats have given up on confirming Don Berwick as CMS administrator in the wake of a letter from 42 Republican senators opposing the nomination,” as “there's no way for Berwick to get the 60 votes needed to clear the Senate.”
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