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Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Obamacare Ends Another Bad, Bad, Bad Week



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From the last Morning Jolt of the week:

Obamacare Has Another Bad Week — Really, Even Compared to Previous Bad Weeks.

Meanwhile, out in Nevada, the worst nightmare of Harry Reid and Barack Obama comes to fruition:

Contract negotiations are stalled for thousands of workers at casinos on the Strip and in downtown Las Vegas to the point where they may go on strike — and the sticking point is Obamacare.

On Feb. 20, thousands of housekeepers, porters, cooks, cocktail servers, and others represented by Nevada’s largest union, the Culinary Union Local 226, voted to end a contract extension the workers agreed to last summer. The union wants to maintain its current benefits — including health care coverage at no cost to workers, pensions, and guaranteed 40-hour workweeks.

Rising health care costs due to provisions in the Affordable Care Act could put those benefits in jeopardy, the union says.

“The biggest hurdle to reaching settlements in Vegas is the new costs imposed on our health plan by Obamacare,” Donald “D” Taylor, president of Unite Here, the parent union of CU Local 226, told BuzzFeed in a statement. “Even though the president and Congress promised we could keep our health plan, the reality is, unless the law is fixed, that won’t be true.”

When the unions are starting to sound like us, then you know this law is in serious trouble.

But hey, at least the law is getting insurance to the uninsured, right? Eh, yeah, about that . . . 

The new health insurance marketplaces appear to be making little headway so far in signing up Americans who lack health insurance, the Affordable Care Act’s central goal.

A pair of surveys released on Thursday suggest that just one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private health plans through the new marketplace have signed up for one — and that about half of uninsured adults has looked for information on the online exchanges or plans to look . . . 

One of the surveys, by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., shows that, of people who had signed up for coverage through the marketplaces by last month, just one-fourth described themselves as having been without insurance for most of the past year.

The survey also attempted to gauge what has been another fuzzy matter: how many of the people actually have the insurance for which they signed up. Under federal rules, coverage begins only if someone has started to pay their monthly insurance premiums.

And, the survey show, that just over half of uninsured people said they had started to pay, compared with nearly nine in 10 of those signing up on the exchanges who said they were simply switching from one health plan to another.

But hey, at least the law . . . eh, forget it, let’s just move on to the next poll result:

Although several parts of the Affordable Care Act have yet to be implemented, 23% of Americans say the healthcare law has hurt them or their families, while 10% say it has helped them so far. Still, the majority of Americans (63%) feel the law has had no impact on them or their families.

This update is from Gallup polling conducted between Feb. 28 and March 2, just prior to the Obama administration’s announcement this week that insurance companies will be able to delay until next year the requirement that they cancel or replace policies that don’t conform to the provisions of the law often referred to as “Obamacare.”

The 23% who feel the law has hurt them is the highest percentage for the question since Gallup began asking Americans about it in 2012, and is up from 19% in previous polling.

By 40% to 21%, Americans say the law is more likely to make their families’ healthcare situations worse rather than better, with the rest saying it will make little difference.


Tags: Obamacare


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