Congress really needs to get cracking on ObamaCare repeal… while there’s still something left to repeal. Because another big chunk of it – another massive system we were promised would be ship-shape by the end of November – just blew up, leaving the maestros of under-achievement to announce a one-year delay on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday. From the Washington Examiner:
Everybody who was waiting for the pre-Thanksgiving Obamacare news dump can stop waiting.
The online exchange that was supposed to make it easier for small businesses to sign up for health insurance through President Obama’s health care law has been delayed for a year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, announced on an afternoon conference call.
According to CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille, the small business website now won’t be available until December 2014.
HHS officials have repeatedly vowed that the feature, known as the SHOP exchange, would be available this November for the federal exchange, which serves residents of 36 states.
“The SHOP Marketplace for Federally-facilitated Marketplace states opens Oct. 1, 2013, when small employers can start the application process and get an overview of available plans and premiums in their area,” an HHS press release from Sept. 26 read. “All functions for SHOP will be available in November and if employers and employees enroll by Dec. 15, 2013, coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2014.”
This promise was repeated in testimony before Congress, too. The small-business exchange had already been delayed twice; skeptical Republicans wondered if there was any reason to believe the new assurances.
And now… poof. Gone. All that Intertube and webby stuff is overrated anyway! Never mind the millions of tax dollars that have been frittered away. Grab a pen and some stamps, and mail your small-business paperwork with the tried-and-true postal service. Or maybe you can use one a’ them newfangled “fax machines” the youngsters are all lathered up about!
“We’ve concluded that we can best serve small employers by continuing this offline process while we concentrate on both creating a smoothly functioning online experience in the SHOP Marketplace, and adding key new features, including an employee choice option and premium aggregation services, by November 2014,” said the official declaration of failure, as quoted by Politico. Oh, so they’re going to “continue the offline process!” Huzzah! Just give them another year, and they’ll have that online thing all worked out. You can believe them this time. Pinky swear.
Amusingly, it appears President Obama didn’t warn his pet liberal bloggers this was coming, when he had them over for a meeting just the other day. Bafflement and mystification are the order of the day among the White House media auxiliaries. Let’s see if they have enough integrity to refine those feelings into anger and betrayal by Monday.
Republicans didn’t have to waste any time shedding illusions, so they responded quickly. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH):
The president bit off more than he can chew with this health care law, and small businesses are now forced to bear the consequences. Business owners across this country are already having health care plans for their employees canceled by this law, and now they’re told they won’t have access to the system the president promised them to find them different coverage. Instead, they’ll have to resort to a system you’d expect to see in the 1950s. It’s another broken promise and more proof this administration’s assurances have no credibility. This law has been an absolute disaster, leaving us to ask ‘what’s next?’ If the president won’t repeal it, he should at least delay the entire law before it wreaks any more havoc on American families and small businesses, as well as our economy.
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sponsor of the recently-passed Keep Your Health Plan Act:
Turkey is not the only thing being carved at the White House this Thanksgiving. As Americans prepare to celebrate and give thanks with their families, the administration announces yet another carefully timed delay of its signature health care law. Just as it did over July 4 while we celebrated our independence, today the administration is doing its best to bury the latest confirmation that this law was not ready for prime time. For months officials looked us in the eye and told us everything was ‘on track’ but we have now learned through our investigation that internally the administration had serious concerns about its ability to deliver on October 1. Piecemeal delays and working outside of Congress to issue regulations does nothing to solve the fact that this law remains a tremendous failure that still, two months into open enrollment, is not even 80 percent operational.
RNC chairman Reince Priebus:
While Americans prepare for the holidays and one day after President Obama gave another speech trying to blame the ObamaCare trainwreck on Republicans, his administration is delaying yet another portion of his signature healthcare law. With each passing day, it’s clear how much worse ObamaCare is than a website full of glitches.
Isn’t technocratic liberalism grand? Never before has so much money been spent on computer systems to enable the offline process of stuffing folded paper into envelopes to “continue.”