We begin with the unintended comedy known as Pajama Boy. The Obama administration’s former campaign apparatus, Organizing for America (OFA), apparently believes the way to get the so-called “young invincibles,” necessary to subsidize older and sicker Americans to sign up for healthcare, is to appeal to their inner metrosexual. “Wear pajamas. Drink hot chocolate. Talk about getting health insurance. #GetTalking,” reads the ad, accompanied by a picture of a slightly built man-boy wearing plaid, zip-up “onesie” pajamas, and a pair of horn-rimmed glasses that evoke memories — depending on your age — of Buddy Holly, Elvis Costello, or Johnny Galeki, aka Leonard Hofstadter, from the popular CBS sitcom “Big Bang Theory.” And lest anyone doubt how the story ends, OFA has followed up the original ad with our young man lounging in contentment, sporting a Christmas sweater and coordinated socks, accompanied by the caption, “And a happy New Year with health insurance.”
One suspects as many six million Americans, who have had their individual policies cancelled because they didn’t comply with the ObamaCare requirements, will be far less contented.
Administration officials tried to put a happy face on that reality, contending that “fewer that 500,000 thousand Americans” will have no insurance at all when the healthcare plan kicks in January 1. Four officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, further contended the number may be even lower because the insurance industry had accommodated President Obama’s first dalliance with selective law enforcement in November. That was when the president first contradicted his oft-stated declaration that the healthcare bill is the “law of the land” and announced that those Americans who had their policies cancelled could retain them through 2014. That many of those policies were no longer available, and that such a move could help precipitate a “death spiral” for insurance companies, was apparently of little consequence.
So too is the reality that the number of Americans left uninsured on New Year’s Day is unverified. Considering the Obama administration’s track record with regard to telling the truth, only time will tell how many individual American “eggs” will have been broken to make the ObamaCare “omelet.”
Moving on to stereotyping, one is hard-pressed to imagine anything more offensively cliched than a YouTube video created by Out2Enroll, a coalition of organizations who want to make sure that LBGT communities are aware of ObamaCare. ”Get Enrolled” parodies “Let It Snow,” sung by an earnest young woman. “Hope you’re stuffed from your Thanksgiving. Now it is the season of giving. Before the doctor brings a lump of coal, get enrolled, get enrolled get enrolled,” goes the first verse. As the song progresses, the accompanying video shows a quartet of gay young men wearing nothing but red and green briefs and Christmasy headgear, engaging in a series of sexually provocative poses.
Some members of the gay community were not amused. “This cynical ad betrays the depths Obamacare advocates will sink to in order to pad their pathetic enrollment numbers,” Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo said in a statement released Sunday. “As a self-proclaimed ‘fierce advocate’ of gay equality, President Obama would do well to distance himself from this nonsense and denounce it immediately.”
Angelo further noted the hypocrisy of promoting such stereotypes. “Out2Enroll and others should take a look in the mirror and ask if the truth is that they are the ones responsible for promoting … harmful stereotypes,” he said.
Angelo may be well-intentioned, but he is naive. When the only commandment for implementing the progressive agenda is “by any means necessary,” there are no such things as stereotypes, cliches, unseemly titillation — or the rule of law.
Thus, it was completely unsurprising that a desperate Obama administration was more than willing to “improvise” yet another last-minute change to ObamaCare. On Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to Democratic senators, notifying them that the individual mandate will be now suspended in 2014 for those Americans who had their insurance policies cancelled by the new law. In addition, those Americans are eligible for a “hardship exemption,” meaning that if they don’t, or can’t, sign up for a new plan, they don’t have to pay the tax penalty embodied in the original legislation. Moreover, they will qualify for a category of ObamaCare created for people under 30.
Section 1411(c)(5)(A) of the Affordable Care Act grants Sebelius the power to grant a “hardship exemption,” but as Forbes Magazine’s Avik Roy explains, the Obama administration “has, in effect, declared that Obamacare’s regulations are themselves a ‘hardship’ worthy of mass exemption.” He further notes that this latest change has “thrown the individual insurance market into chaos.”
That chaos is engendered by the reality that consequences for failing to enroll have been removed, and premium calculations for catastrophic insurance that were based on the idea that enrollees would be under 30, need to be reconfigured virtually overnight. Furthermore, there is nothing stopping Americans who have already enrolled in Obama from changing their minds. All that is necessary is filling out a form declaring the insurance options they face are unaffordable, even as the administration would have no basis for denying them an exemption.
The administration itself added fuel to that particular fire on Friday, when they suddenly admitted that many consumers will be exempt because they “were finding other coverage options to be more expensive than their cancelled plans or policies.” Couple that with the anger that many Americans undoubtedly feel for having been betrayed by an administration that had previously said there would be no waiver of the penalties, to the point where they had promised a veto of any such legislation enacted by Congress, and the trickle of cancellations could rapidly become a flood — courtesy of an administration that has never shied away from its unwavering commitment to “fairness.”
All of it will wreak havoc on the insurance companies, many of whom richly deserve such chaos for climbing into bed with Democrats and the Obama administration in the first place. And it happened only a week after Sebelius “urged” insurance companies to adopt additional measures. She “suggested” that they give consumers additional time to pay their premiums past today’s deadline for coverage beginning January 1, that they treat out-of-network providers as in-network, and refill prescriptions from previous plans.
If they don’t adhere to such urges and suggestions? ”The regulatory fine print reveals that HHS intends to kick insurers off the exchanges if they don’t obey,” the Wall Street Journal reveals. ”Having destroyed the old individual market, HHS will only certify the new ‘qualified health plans’ if insurers ‘adopt policies to prevent disruptions in treatment of episodes of care.’”
Tony Soprano would undoubtedly applaud such a “reasonable” effort to, as Sebelius put it, ”smooth this transition” to ObamaCare.
Thus, as the administration’s chief water-carrier, aka the New York Times, puts it, “deadlines, which once seemed firm, are now somewhat flexible. Some state exchanges have enrollment and payment deadlines that differ by a few days from those of the federal exchange. Some insurers will provide retroactive coverage; others will not.”
All of it spells disaster for millions of Americans. And that’s before the chaos that erupts next year. That’s when the unilaterally delayed business mandate threatens another 50-100 million Americans who get their insurance through their employers with policy cancellations and premium hikes, right before the mid-term elections. Assuming there are no further “improvisations” on the “law of the land.”
Keep your onesie handy, Pajama Boy. Your work is just beginning.
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