Obama is delaying the enrollment for next year's individual health insurance debacle until after the election. The motivation fools no one - here is CNN:
White House: Politics aren't pushing back start date of 2015 Obamacare enrollment
By Kevin Bohn and Ben Brumfield, CNN
Washington (CNN) -- White House spokesman Jay Carney denied Friday that next year's midterm elections are the reason behind the administration's decision to postpone the 2014 opening date for 2015 enrollment in Obamacare -- from October 15 to November 15.
Pushing back the start date, Carney said, will give insurers more time to get an idea of their new pool of customers before they set their 2015 rates.
Some critics, including Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said that the move was simply a political ploy and that any changes to health care plans, such as premium increases, for example, should be public before the election.
As Sen. Grassley surely knows, proposed premium changes will be public - the insurance companies file proposed plans with the state insurance commissioners over the summer and new rates are approved (or not.) (Cf this release from the HHS ASPE in July 2013 touting premiums that were "lower than expected" for the plans that went public on Oct. 1.)
Now it may be that some states, particularly with Democratic governors, aid Team Obama's attemt to play 'hide the ball'. However, most state data ought to be available before the election.
And an enterprising Republican attack dog with a bit of funding could set up a very simple website that let people input their state and family status and get back the proposed pricing for plans in their state, pre-subsidy.
The website would not be attempting to estimate, or especially, confirm people's eligibility for subsidies so there would be no need for Social Security numbers, secure access to the IRS database, or secure storage of customer data. Similarly, no reporting/reconciliation/payments system or linkage to the insurance vendors would be necessary (although if someone wants to build one we all know a buyer...).
It always seems simple, especially when someone else is tasked with delivering. But this website should be a simple database look-up, after someone does the work of compiling insurance filings from fifty-seven (or fewer) states.
Roll it out in October and let the press and the public marvel at the new unsubsidized prices. And build or link in a subsidy estimator if that seems politically helpful.
Eleven months. Time's a-wastin'.
THAT'S NOT A BUG, THAT'S A SHOUT-OUT: If the glorious RNC website crashes they should make sure their crash message says something like "You Have Now Activated The HealthCare.fail Emulator".
DON'T DREAM IT, BE IT... There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time came weeks ago.