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Lowered Expectations

- November 1, 2015

Clinton Doubles Down On A Law That Fails To Meet Key Benchmarks

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CLINTON'S "OBAMACARE 2.0" HEALTHCARE PLAN IS MEANT TO CORRECT THE PROBLEMS THE ORIGINAL WAS SUPPOSED TO SOLVE

Clinton's Health Care Policies "Amount To ObamaCare 2.0" To Fix The Problems ObamaCare Was Supposed To Solve. "Hillary Clinton touted a plan Wednesday to address a growing concern among strapped middle-class voters: fast-rising out-of-pocket costs for those who have health coverage. The plan is part of a broad package of changes she is rolling out this week that amount to Obamacare 2.0, pivoting from the divisive debate over expanding health care coverage to concerns about affordability and economic security uppermost in the minds of middle-class voters." (Paul Demko, "Clinton Pivots To Health Care Affordability," Politico, 9/23/15)

After Five Years Of Obama Avoiding Rising Healthcare Concerns His "Affordable Care Act" Was Supposed To Solve, Clinton's Healthcare Proposal Is Just More Government Intervention. "Mr. Obama has spent five years minimizing cost issues still confronting many health care consumers. Mrs. Clinton is taking those on without apologies. She would go beyond the president's 2010 law, capping a patient's share of the bill for doctor visits and prescription drugs. She would repeal the law's planned tax on high-cost employer-sponsored insurance - a tax the White House says is needed to constrain the growth of health spending." (Robert Pear, "Hillary Clinton's Health Care Proposals, Focus On Cost, Go Well Beyond Obama's," The New York Times , 10/6/15)

Even As Clinton Proposes Expanding ObamaCare, She Has Applauded The Law For Working. "Even as she proposed changes in the health law, Mrs. Clinton said it was working, and she promised to fight Republican efforts to dismantle it. Republicans said she was trying to have it both ways, embracing popular parts of the law while rejecting those that are unpopular." (Robert Pear, "Hillary Clinton's Health Care Proposals, Focus On Cost, Go Well Beyond Obama's," The New York Times , 10/6/15)

EXPECTATIONS FOR OBAMACARE ARE ALREADY BEING LOWERED AS COST REMAINS AND ISSUE FOR MANY

The Obama Administration Projects A "Flat Estimate Of Growth" On The ObamaCare Exchanges Next Year. "This nearly flat estimate of growth on the exchanges reflects both the successes so far and the challenges ahead for the new marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act." (Jeffrey Young, "ObamaCare Enrollment Will Barely Increase Next Year, Feds Say," Huffington Post, 10/15/15)

Obama Has Played "An Elaborate Numbers Game" In Managing Expectations In An Election Year So That Enrollment Numbers Don't Fall Short. "Why did the Obama administration set such a modest goal? It was part of an elaborate numbers game played for several years by proponents and opponents of the health law. On the one hand, administration officials want to manage expectations in a presidential election year, when surpassing the goal will be better for Democrats than falling short. In this respect, federal officials are like corporate executives who smooth out earnings to meet or exceed projections given to investors." (Robert Pear, "Careful Calculus Guides Obama Administration In Health Insurance Projections," The New York Times , 10/17/15)

Obama Plays Games With ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers As Millions Of Americans Find The Price Tag Too High

Despite The Promises Of ObamaCare, The Cost Of Insurance Is "Still An Obstacle" For Many Americans. "The tax penalty for people who go without insurance will be higher next year: $695 for each adult or nearly 2.5 percent of household income, whichever is greater. That may encourage some people to enroll, Mr. Dorn said, but the cost of insurance is "still an obstacle" for some." (Robert Pear, "Careful Calculus Guides Obama Administration In Health Insurance Projections," The New York Times , 10/17/15)

As The "Costs Are Going Up" On Insurance Sold Through The Federal And State Exchanges, Many Of The More Than 10 Million Eligible Americans Without Insurance "Are Skeptics." "Costs are going up on the private, taxpayer-subsidized coverage sold through HealthCare.gov and state insurance exchanges, and many of the more than 10 million eligible uninsured Americans are skeptics. They tend to be younger people on tight budgets, with other priorities for spending their money." (Carla K. Johnson and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Prices, Politics Challenge Health Law's 3rd Sign-Up Season," Associated Press , 11/1/15)

Lowered ObamaCare Enrollment Projections Spell Trouble In The Years Ahead

"The Congressional Budget Office Predicted In June That Enrollment Through The Exchanges Would Reach 20 Million In 2016 And Then Level Off Around 22 Million Through 2025." (Robert Pear, "Careful Calculus Guides Obama Administration In Health Insurance Projections," The New York Times , 10/17/15)

For 2016, The Obama Administration Set A Goal Of 10 Million Customers Enrolled. "The administration has set a goal of 10 million customers enrolled and paying their premiums by the end of 2016 on HealthCare.gov and state insurance markets." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Bigger Bite For Health Law Penalty On Uninsured," The Associated Press, 10/19/15)

  • 900,000 New Consumers Will Purchase Coverage On The ObamaCare Exchange For 2016. "The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 10 million people will be covered by private health insurance policies obtained via the Affordable Care Act's exchange marketplaces in 2016, an increase of just 900,000 from the 9.1 million people the department estimates will have such plans by the end of this year." (Jeffrey Young, "ObamaCare Enrollment Will Barely Increase Next Year, Feds Say," Huffington Post, 10/15/15)

The Number Of ObamaCare Enrollees Is "Well Below What Congressional Budget Analysts Had Estimated." "That's roughly the number covered now, and well below what congressional budget analysts had estimated for 2016." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Bigger Bite For Health Law Penalty On Uninsured," The Associated Press, 10/19/15)

  • The Congressional Budget Office "Long Expected 2016 To Usher In The Biggest Surge In Enrollment." "That figure is just half the most recent forecast by congressional budget analysts, who have long expected 2016 to usher in the biggest surge in enrollment." (Amy Goldstein, "White House Projects Marginal ACA Enrollment Growth In 2016," The Washington Post , 10/15/15)

The Obama Administration's Lowered Enrollment Projection Is The Second Time The Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office Has Undercut Obama's Enrollment Projections. "The new HHS prediction represents the second time that the administration has significantly undercut that of the Congressional Budget Office." (Amy Goldstein, "White House Projects Marginal ACA Enrollment Growth In 2016," The Washington Post , 10/15/15)

  • The CBO Had Projected 13 Million Enrollees For 2015. "The latest discrepancy is much greater than a year ago, when federal health officials predicted that enrollment through the insurance marketplaces would reach up to 9.9 million by the end of 2015, compared with the CBO's 13 million." (Amy Goldstein, "White House Projects Marginal ACA Enrollment Growth In 2016," The Washington Post , 10/15/15)

"This Is Not Good News For The Health Insurance Exchanges." (Jeffrey Young, "ObamaCare Enrollment Will Barely Increase Next Year, Feds Say," Huffington Post, 10/15/15)

Has Obama Ceded The Legislative Hallmark Of His Presidency To Clinton?

Bob Laszewski - Health Industry Analyst And The Washington Post's WonkBlog "Pundit Of The Year" Asked: "Has The Obama Administration Given Up On ObamaCare?" "Robert Laszewski, a consultant who works with insurance companies, said the goal announced Thursday by Ms. Burwell was astonishing and made him wonder, 'Has the Obama administration given up on ObamaCare?'" (Robert Pear, "Careful Calculus Guides Obama Administration In Health Insurance Projections," The New York Times , 10/17/15)

  • Laszewski: "Enrollment Of 10 Million People Is Not Sustainable. You Need Almost Twice That Number To Have A Viable Pool Of Policyholders With Enough Healthy People To Pay For The Sick." "'Enrollment of 10 million people is not sustainable,' Mr. Laszewski said. 'You need almost twice that number to have a viable pool of policyholders with enough healthy people to pay for the sick.'" (Robert Pear, "Careful Calculus Guides Obama Administration In Health Insurance Projections," The New York Times , 10/17/15)

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