Obamacare “War Room” Working Overtime in Advance of Likely September Insurance Premium Increase
After the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, the program seems to have found its footing and the tide of “horror stories” has abated. Yet, with open enrollment in the program closed now for four months the “White House’s Obamacare war room” is still working full-time.
With the 2014 midterms in full-swing, the White House is preparing for the probably rise of insurance premiums in 2015, which should be announced sometime in September. “The White House and its allies,” according to POLITICO, “know they’ve been beaten in every previous round of Obamacare messaging” and they don’t want to lose this next round. The increases in premiums could reopen old wounds and put Democrats on the defensive very close to Election Day.
Still, it’s going to be a tough fight for the White House, because facts have often lost to rhetoric where the controversial health insurance program is concerned. For example, in Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor has already started railing against the premium increases as a result of “Obamacare making things more expensive in Ohio.” Of course, the White House hopes to successfully point out insurance rates have risen by double digits in the years before Obamacare was implemented.
The “cost problem” is an intrinsic weakness in the ACA and has been since the earliest days of the debate surrounding the program. Concessions were made to various industries in order to gain their support and assure them their profits would not suffer.
The problem can be traced back to one of the earliest concessions on behalf of the White House, when the Public Option – a government-run health insurance program that would have (theoretically) been offered at a lower cost than most private insurance – was taken out of the program almost immediately. Without the Public Option, for-profit insurers can barely be blamed for trying to maximize their profits.
Obamacare is indeed a flawed program, but there seems to be little political will to try to improve it while the GOP is trying to make it an albatross around the President’s neck. If they are successful and the GOP holds the House and retakes the Senate, the future of the program is as bleak as it could possibly be.