Kaiser: Employers getting ready to dump workers into ObamaCare

Kaiser: Employers getting ready to dump workers into ObamaCare

Who didn’t see this coming? According to Kaiser Health News, employers are increasingly looking at the benefits of getting out of the health-insurance delivery process. Fueling this interest are ObamaCare-related spikes in health-insurance premiums, plus the opportunity to fix costs and reduce vulnerabilities presented by employees who develop serious health issues:

Can corporations shift workers with high medical costs from the company health plan into online insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act? Some employers are considering it, say benefits consultants.

“It’s all over the marketplace,” said Todd Yates, a managing partner at Hill, Chesson & Woody, a North Carolina benefits consulting firm. “Employers are inquiring about it and brokers and consultants are advocating for it.”

Patients with preexisting medical conditions like diabetes drive health spending. But those who undergo expensive procedures such as organ transplants are a burden to the company as well. Since most big corporations are self-insured, shifting even one high-cost member out of the company plan could save the employer hundreds of thousands of dollars a year—while increasing the cost of claims absorbed by the marketplace policy by a similar amount.

And the health law might not prohibit it, opening a door to potential erosion of employer-based coverage.

“Such an employer-dumping strategy can promote the interests of both employers and employees by shifting health care expenses on to the public at large,” wrote two University of Minnesota law professors in a 2011 paper that basically predicted the present interest.

One did not have to be UM law professors to see this coming. We have pointed out these perverse incentives in the employer mandate since before Democrats put the ACA up for a vote. Barack Obama and his supporters insisted that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” based in large part on the assumption that businesses would simply eat the exploding costs of mandate health insurance.

That, however, ignores the efficiency process and cost-benefit analysis that any business with a survival instinct uses. If it’s cheaper to pay the fine and dump the coverage, the only incentive that employers have to do otherwise is strictly competitive. And that will only last as long as the competition doesn’t make the same move. Once the first few employers looking to gain a tactical advantage on costs make the decision to get rid of that overhead, everyone else will follow to negate that advantage — and to push those costs off onto the federal government. That will make a hash of the carefully managed cost analyses offered by ObamaCare supporters, and subsidy payments will explode far past the ability of revenues within the ACA to keep pace.

By the way, we should start seeing this phenomenon in just a few months. Even though the White House pushed the open-enrollment date for 2015 to mid-November to avoid having an ObamaCare shock just before the election, these businesses have to decide on whether to keep coverage as part of their budgeting process for the next year — and that will take place long before November 15th. Employees will start noticing that their employers aren’t holding their usual private-sector open enrollments on October 1st, even if employers wait to give them the bad news until November. That will not motivate voters to rush out and support Democrats, to say the least.

This report comes at an opportune moment. Sylvia Burwell will testify this morning at 9:30 at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing to discuss her nomination to replace Kathleen Sebelius as HHS Secretary, and to answer some questions about ObamaCare:

Before the Senate confirms Sylvia Mathews Burwell to take the helm of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, lawmakers are sure to have tough questions for her.

On Thursday, when she appears before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Burwell will find out whether those questions will focus on the partisan controversies surrounding Obamacare or more substantive policy matters. She’s likely to get a taste of both. …

The failure of Oregon’s Obamacare marketplace – which cost the federal government more than $300 million — has piqued the interest of not just lawmakers but also nonpartisan investigators, including reportedly the FBI. Other states such as Massachusetts are also struggling to run their own marketplaces.

While lawmakers Thursday are sure to bring up Obamacare’s existing flaws, there are plenty of other questions for Burwell about the law’s continued implementation.

For one thing, lawmakers may ask if she’s prepared to oversee the ongoing construction of HealthCare.gov. Insurers on Capitol Hill this week reminded Congress that the back end of the website has yet to be finished.

In February, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters it would take “several months” to finish the back end portion of the website, which will automate the transfer of federal subsidies from the government to insurers.

The HELP committee doesn’t actually get a vote on Burwell’s confirmation. Her official confirmation hearing will take place with the Senate Finance Committee, and the new filibuster rules makes it all but certain that Burwell will win confirmation in the end. Republicans will get two public hearings in which to press for answers on ObamaCare failures and the dishonesty of administration claims and promises — and probably should demand some answers on the real impact of the employer mandate, too.

Final Obamacare Headcount Lacks Details on Who’s Paid, Newly Insured

Final Obamacare Headcount Lacks Details on Who's Paid, Newly Insured

More than 8 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance plans under Obamacare’s online exchange, officials say, but some details remain vague.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported Thursday that 8.01 million selected a plan from the federal exchange under the Affordable Care Act. This is the final report for the first enrollment period of Oct. 1 through the March 31 deadline, plus some widely publicized extensions.

“Together we are ensuring that health coverage is more accessible than ever before,” outgoing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.

Although the 45-page enrollment report gives more insight into the gender, age, and financial assistance status of the new “enrollees,” it does not say how many had paid their first month’s premium. The Obama administration also did not disclose how many of the enrollees previously were uninsured.

Instead, officials promoted the 2.2 million young adult (ages 18 to 34) that made up 28 percent of the participant pool. Officials originally projected that, to be successful, Obamacare’s state and federal exchanges would need nearly 40 percent of new enrollees to be relatively healthy young adults — and thus spread out health care costs.

The announcement came a day after the House Energy and Commerce Committee charged that only 67 percent of Obamacare enrollees paid their first month’s premium by the extended deadline of April 15.

Citing data from insurers, committee members called previous enrollment figures from the Obama administration “misleading.” HHS officials argued that final payment deadlines are set by insurers, who could have extended them to late April — meaning more may have paid.

By the rough estimate of insurers, 80 percent to 90 percent likely paid their first month’s premium, The Hill newspaper reported.

The Next Four ObamaCare Disasters

The Next Four ObamaCare Disasters

On Friday, the president used the long-awaited resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to again claim victory for his namesake health law. “She got it fixed, got the job done,” Obama said. Right.

Sorry, there is plenty of more bad news ahead.

It’s not called SebeliusCare, and she wasn’t to blame for most of its problems. The horrors were mostly baked into the law, with some made worse by the president’s dishonest hard sell to get unsuspecting Americans to sign up.

Premium defaults

Obama claimed Friday that 7.5 million people have enrolled in exchange coverage. In fact, perhaps 20 percent haven’t paid their first premium and therefore aren’t covered, according to estimates by RAND Corp. and Goldman Sachs.

The bigger question is: how many will keep paying premiums? That’s got the American Medical Association, a chief ObamaCare booster, so worried that it’s sending warnings to its members.

Why the concern? First-time insurance purchasers, especially those living paycheck to paycheck, will be shocked by ObamaCare’s high deductibles: about $3,000 for the silver plan (the most commonly selected) and $5,000 for the bronze plan (the most affordable).

Basically, you’ll have to pay thousands out of pocket for appointments, tests, and prescriptions until you reach your deductible.

Millennials who heard Obama say on “Between Two Ferns” that they can buy a health plan for the price of a cellphone contract won’t be laughing when they realize what the $5,000 deductible means. (It’s like a cellphone contract that makes you pay $5 a text for your first thousand texts.) Rather than pay thousands out of pocket for care while also paying premiums, some will quit paying premiums.

That’s why the AMA is worried. Section 1412 of the health law gives consumers a 90 day “grace period” before their subsidized plan is canceled for nonpayment. But insurers only have to keep paying doctors and hospitals for 30 days. The next 60 days of care are on the care provider. The AMA says “it could pose a significant financial risk for medical practices.”

Premium hikes

Consumers reeling from Obama­Care premium shock are in for another jolt when the 2015 rates come out.

Overall, consumers had to pay far more for individual plans this year. In some states (Delaware and New Hampshire), rates went up 90 percent or even 100 percent, according to a newly released Morgan Stanley analysis.

And insurance executives already are warning about double- or triple-digit hikes for next year. “I do think it’s likely premium-rate shocks are coming,” said Chet Burrell, CEO of Care First BlueCross BlueShield. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, one of the first to raise the alarm, said increases “could go as high as 100 percent.”

In most states, insurers will be setting their 2015 rates in June; but the administration is doing everything possible to keep the grim news under the radar until after the November elections. It even postponed the beginning of the open enrollment period until Nov. 15.

Losing on-the-job coverage

But there’s no way to hide the impact on the 25 million to 30 million Americans who could lose coverage in the coming months.

For the same reasons that millions of policies in the individual market were canceled last year, employers who buy plans in the small-group market will have a hard time renewing their old plans this year. Many will have to choose between providing the more costly ObamaCare benefit package or dropping coverage altogether.

Count on employers with low-wage work forces (such as retailers, hoteliers, and restaurateurs) to push employees and their families into the exchanges.

Protests over cancer care

Cancer is the leading cause of death in America and our No. 1 health fear. But access to the nation’s top cancer centers is becoming a hot-button issue, as ObamaCare enrollees are finding how few choices of hospitals and doctors they have.

Many plans exclude all specialty cancer hospitals, even though research shows that women with ovarian cancer, for example, live a year longer when they are treated at high-volume cancer hospitals instead of local facilities. But insurers say they’d have to raise premiums for exchange plans even higher if this growing outrage over access to cancer centers forces them to broaden their networks.

The president said Friday that ObamaCare has “turned the corner.” Not exactly. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he hopes the confirmation hearings for Sebelius’ successor, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, “will be the start of a candid conversation about ObamaCare’s shortcomings.”

That could take a while.

Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/next-four-obamacare-disasters/#VBids4U7vg7udXDb.99

Report: Kansas GOP will pay bus fare for Kathleen Sebelius to come home for Senate bid

Report: Kansas GOP will pay bus fare for Kathleen Sebelius to come home for Senate bid

The Kansas Republican party jokingly offered to pay for former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to return to her home state if she wants to run for Senate — seeing her chances for victory unlikely.

“If Kathleen Sebelius wants to come back to Kansas to run for office, we will pay her bus fare,” said Kansas GOP Chair Kelly Arnold, according to the New York Daily News.

The party is also already fundraising off a potential Sebelius bid.

“We need your help to stop Obama’s former cabinet secretary – Kathleen Sebelius – from returning to KS to run for the US Senate Please consider a contribution,” said a post on the Kansas Republican Party’s Facebook page.
Sign Up for the Politics Today newsletter!

The New York Times first reported Wednesday that Sebelius, a Democrat who served as Kansas governor before being Obama’s HHS chief, is considering a run for Senate in the state.

The Times wrote that Sebelius, who announced her resignation as Health and Human Services secretary April 10, is “weighing revenge” against her old family friend, Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.

Roberts accused Sebelius of “gross incompetence” and demanded she resign following the disastrous early months of the Obamacare rollout.

Sebelius’ resignation came after the Obama administration triumphantly claimed it had reached its goal of seven million signups on the Obamacare exchanges by March 31.

The Times was unable to find anyone to comment publicly on the rumored candidacy.

Sebelius has until June 2 to decide whether to run against Roberts.

Enrollment rush fails to boost ObamaCare

Enrollment rush fails to boost ObamaCare

The Obama administration has been touting the last-minute enrollment surge for the healthcare law, but that success hasn’t boosted its popularity with voters, according to two new polls.

A Gallup survey released on Friday found that 54 percent disapprove of ObamaCare, compared to 43 percent who approve. That’s in line with Gallup’s polling on the law since last November.

Gallup interviewed 1,009 adults for the poll on April 7–8, so the administration’s announcement earlier about a week before that more than 7 million had enrolled in ObamaCare had time to sink in.

Similarly, a poll conducted by The Morning Consult of 1,009 likely voters on April 3–6 found that 51 percent disapprove of the law and 43 percent approve. That’s almost unchanged from the same poll in March.

“Americans continue to evaluate the Affordable Care Act negatively, and their basic opinions of the law have been fairly stable over the past year,” Gallup wrote. “That may suggest Americans have already made up their mind about the law, for the most part reflecting their underlying political orientation, and the law’s implementation is not going to influence how they feel about the law.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced on Thursday that more than 7.5 million had selected a plan under ObamaCare in the first open enrollment period. That’s better than the Congressional Budget Office’s forecast of 7 million, and an impressive feat considering the broken website essentially shaved two months off the enrollment period.

Sebelius announced Friday that she’d be resigning from the president’s Cabinet.

Democrats and the Obama administration hope all of the bad news surrounding the botched rollout will blow over before the 2014 midterm elections.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/203348-polls-enrollment-rush-fails-to-boost-obamacare#ixzz2ygQze6cr
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

The debate over repealing this law is over': Obama boasts 7.1 MILLION have signed up to Obamacare – but study shows just 858,000 newly insured Americans have paid up!

The debate over repealing this law is over': Obama boasts 7.1 MILLION have signed up to Obamacare - but study shows just 858,000 newly insured Americans have paid up!

‘The debate over repealing this law is over': Obama boasts 7.1 MILLION have signed up to Obamacare – but study shows just 858,000 newly insured Americans have paid up!

President took a major victory lap and took political shots at Republicans, but ignored shortcomings in his administration’s official numbers
Press secretary Jay Carney will only say ‘we’re aggregating a lot of data’ when asked how many enrollees have paid for coverage
Carney dodged questions about damning study that showed very few Obamacare customers were uninsured before the law took effect
Percentages from a hush-hush RAND Corporation study suggest barely 858,000 previously uninsured Americans have enrolled and paid premiums
HHS Secretary Sebelius met a televised challenge Monday about ‘unpopular’ Obamacare with lengthy awkward silence

By David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor

A triumphant President Barack Obama declared Tuesday his signature medical insurance overhaul a success, saying it has made America’s health care system ‘a lot better’ in a Rose Garden press conference.

But buried in the 7.1 million enrollments he announced in a heavily staged appearance is a more unsettling reality.

Numbers from a RAND Corporation study that has been kept under wraps suggest that barely 858,000 previously uninsured Americans – nowhere near 7.1 million – have paid for new policies and joined the ranks of the insured by Monday night.

Barack Obama spoke about Affordable Care Act enrollment totals at the White House but took no questions, as Vice President Joe Biden stood by wordlessly and applauded
+11

Barack Obama spoke about Affordable Care Act enrollment totals at the White House but took no questions, as Vice President Joe Biden stood by wordlessly and applauded

an ebullient Jay Carney, fresh from greeting his hometown world-champion Boston Red Sox, bragged about the administration’s signup totals — but hid the ball on thorny questions that could unravel the celebration
+11

an ebullient Jay Carney, fresh from greeting his hometown world-champion Boston Red Sox, bragged about the administration’s signup totals — but hid the ball on thorny questions that could unravel the celebration

Others were already insured, including millions who lost coverage when their existing policies were suddenly cancelled because they didn’t meet Obamacare’s strict minimum requirements.

Still, he claimed that ‘millions of people who have health insurance would not have it’ without his insurance law.’

‘The goal we’ve set for ourselves – that no American should go without the health care they need … is achievable,’ Obama declared.

The president took no questions from reporters, but celebrated the end of a rocky six-month open-enrollment period by taking pot shots at Republicans who have opposed the law from the beginning as a government-run seizure of one-seventh of the U.S. economy.

‘The debate over repealing this law is over,’ he insisted. ‘The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.’

The president also chided conservatives ‘who have based their entire political agenda on repealing it,’ and praised congressional Democrats for their partisan passage of the law without a single GOP vote.

‘We could not have done it without them, and they should be proud of what they’ve done,’ Obama boasted, in a clear nod to November’s contentious elections in which Republicans are expected to make large gains on an anti-Obamacare platform because of the law’s general lack of popularity.

More…

‘What the hell is this, a joke?’ Boehner goes ballistic after latest Obamacare deadline extension — the one the Obama administration promised two weeks ago would NEVER happen
And it’s down – AGAIN! Obamacare website crashes TWICE on enrollment deadline day
Voter registration papers from California’s Obamacare enrollment agency come with Democratic Party already checked off!
‘Guys, hot ladies are waiting to talk to you’: What deaf Obamacare customers were greeted with after being mistakenly directed to a sex chat number instead of insurance line

‘In the end,’ he warned the GOP, ‘history is not kind to those who would deny Americans their basic economic security. … That’s what the Affordable Care Act represents.’

‘“The bottom line is this,’ said Obama: ‘The share of Americans with insurance is up, and the growth in the cost of insurance is down. There’s no good reason to go back.’

Republicans will differ with that assessment as Election Day nears. They need to gain a net total of six Senate seats in order to reclaim the majority and control both houses of Congress, a goal that appears reachable since two-thirds of the seats being contested are held by Democratic incumbents.

\No national political analyst has predicted a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives.

White House press secretary Jay Carney stopped short of saying ‘I told you so,’ but chided a sparse press corps in the briefing room at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for ever doubting that the Obamacare system would enroll more than 7 million Americans.
Debate is over? Republicans stand to make huge gains in the U.S. Senate in November, and increase their margin in the House, largely on the strength of Americans’ weariness with Obamacare — but the president for the first time Tuesday went out of his way to thank Democrats for making it happen

Debate is over? Republicans stand to make huge gains in the U.S. Senate in November, and increase their margin in the House, largely on the strength of Americans’ weariness with Obamacare — but the president for the first time Tuesday went out of his way to thank Democrats for making it happen

Still growing: The ‘final’ enrollment day for Obamacare saw long lines and eleventh-hour panic, but the administration has rolled out a red carpet for latecomers who are willing to check a box and swear they tried to sign up on time
+11

Still growing: The ‘final’ enrollment day for Obamacare saw long lines and eleventh-hour panic, but the administration has rolled out a red carpet for latecomers who are willing to check a box and swear they tried to sign up on time
Triumphant: Obama appears to have made good on his signature legislative pledge, but the numbers don’t bear out his promises of insuring millions of uninsured Americans
+11

Triumphant: Obama appears to have made good on his signature legislative pledge, but the numbers don’t bear out his promises of insuring millions of uninsured Americans

‘At midnight last night we surpassed everyone’s expectations,’ he boasted, ‘at least everyone in this room.’

While he took great pains to emphasize that the total would grow – saying ‘we’re still waiting on data from state exchanges’ – he dodged tough questions about other statistics that reporters thought he should have had at the ready.

Those numbers included how many Americans have paid for their insurance policies, and are actually insured. Also, he had no answer to the thorny question of how few signups represented people who had no insurance before the Affordable Care Act took effect.

Aside from the issue of the numbers’ likely decrease when non-paying enrollments are taken into account, administration officials have been coy about the RAND Corporation study, which suggests that relatively few Obamacare enrollees were previously uninsured.

‘What I can tell you is that we expect there to be a good mix of people who were previously uninsured who now have insurance,’ Carney said Monday.

‘Certainly, there’s a significant number who now have qualified for Medicaid in those states that expanded Medicaid who will have insurance who didn’t have it before.’

In addition to his claim of 7.1 million enrollments, Obama also announced that ‘three million young people’ under age 26 have gained coverage as add-ons to their parents’ policies. and ‘millions more … gained access through Medicaid expansion,’ he said.

Those totals – young adults attached to their parents’ insurance and new taxpayer-funded Medicaid subscribers – far exceed the 7.1 million number the White House trumpeted on Tuesday.

The Affordable Care Act carried with it the promise of covering ‘every American,’ and it appears to have fallen tremendously short.
Obama and Biden rolled their political party’s dice on the Affordable Care Act, and despite Tuesday’s fanfare the results are falling short of their campaign promises
+11

Obama and Biden rolled their political party’s dice on the Affordable Care Act, and despite Tuesday’s fanfare the results are falling short of their campaign promises
‘We’re aggregating a lot of data,’ Carney insisted, refusing to comment on how many Obamacare enrollments came complete with payments, and how few of the customers already had insurance before the law took effect
+11

‘We’re aggregating a lot of data,’ Carney insisted, refusing to comment on how many Obamacare enrollments came complete with payments, and how few of the customers already had insurance before the law took effect

The unpublished RAND study – only the Los Angeles Times has seen it – found that just 23 per cent of new enrollees had no insurance before signing up.

And of those newly insured Americans, just 53 per cent have paid their first month’s premiums.

If those numbers hold, the actual net gain of paid policies among Americans who lacked medical insurance in the pre-Obamacare days would be just 858,298.

Obama’s Rose Garden speech included an acknowledgement that the Affordable Care Act ‘has had its share of problems,’ and has at times been ‘contentious and confusing … That’s part of what change looks like in a Democracy.’

But ‘there are still no death panels,’ he joked amid laughter. ‘Armageddon has not arrived.’

A standing ovation greeted him after his speech. A White House aide said the crowd consisted of ‘”organizations and stakeholder groups who helped lead the enrollment and outreach efforts, as well as Hill lawmakers and staff from HHS, CMS and other agencies involved in implementing the ACA.’

Not among them: Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathlen Sebelius, the administration official most responsible for the Obamacare program’s implementation. She also did not appear in the White House press briefing room earlier in the afternoon.

But Carney and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough distributed donuts to reporters in the press center on Tuesday morning – presumably without checking with the first lady – and eagerly pitched talking points to journalists writing about the milestone day.

Questions remain about the effectiveness and affordability of Obama’s plan, which he sold to congressional Democrats and the American people as a scheme to cover the uninsured, and about how the law is contributing to the spiraling cost of medical care.
‘The Affordable Care Act is here to stay,’ Obama declared, laying down a marker for Republicans who favor repealing or gutting the law
+11

‘The Affordable Care Act is here to stay,’ Obama declared, laying down a marker for Republicans who favor repealing or gutting the law

Rose Garden no-show: Kathleen Sebelius appeared on an Oklahoma TV station on Monday to buck up Obamacare’€™s flagging numbers in the Sooner State, and had only a blank-stare response to the law’s unpopularity — she was nowhere to be seen as Obama took his victory lap
+11

Rose Garden no-show: Kathleen Sebelius appeared on an Oklahoma TV station on Monday to buck up Obamacare’€™s flagging numbers in the Sooner State, and had only a blank-stare response to the law’s unpopularity — she was nowhere to be seen as Obama took his victory lap

As information about the chasm between Obamacare’s promises and its reality have reached the public, the program has become more and more unpopular – a fact that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met with awkward silence during a Monday television interview in Oklahoma.

‘At last check, 64 percent of Oklahomans aren’t buying into the healthcare plan; they don’t like Obamacare, and they’ve been pretty vocal about it,’ a KWTV-9 reporter told her.

‘Now that’s going to be – still continue to be a tough sell, but we’ll see how that plays out over the coming months.’

Sebelius, a deer trapped in TV’s headlights, offered only a blank stare. Asked if she had lost the audio feed, the icy secretary responded, ‘I can hear you. But I – thanks for having me.’

Hours earlier, she tooted Obama’s horn during a fawning Huffington Post interview, claiming that healthcare.gov saw a surge in traffic when the president appeared on the gonzo show ‘Between Two Ferns’ on the Funny or Die website.

Obamacare ‘definitely saw the Galifianakis bump,’ she said, referring to the show’s host Zach Galifianakis.

‘As a mother of two 30-something sons, I know they’re more likely to get their information on “Funny or Die” than they are on network TV,’ she added.

Americans who missed the online broadcast still knew enough to queue up Monday for panic-induced sign-ups. Crushed with traffic, healthcare.gov crashed twice.

‘Between Two Ferns': the President of the United States gave a March 11 interview to comedian Zach Galifianakis, at a time when political reporters often fight to get a single question answered by one of Barack Obama’s surrogates
+11

‘Between Two Ferns': the President of the United States gave a March 11 interview to comedian Zach Galifianakis, at a time when political reporters often fight to get a single question answered by one of Barack Obama’s surrogates

The Obama administration’s health care website stumbled on deadline day for new sign-ups. Visitors to HealthCare.gov on Monday morning saw messages that the site was down for maintenance
+11

The Obama administration’s health care website stumbled on deadline day for new sign-ups. Visitors to HealthCare.gov on Monday morning saw messages that the site was down for maintenance

On its way to 7 million, the Obama administration has never answered some key questions about the open enrollment period.

The White House has instead kept to its talking points.

‘What I can tell you is that we expect there to be a good mix of people who were previously uninsured who now have insurance,’ Carney said Monday.

‘Certainly, there’s a significant number who now have qualified for Medicaid in those states that expanded Medicaid who will have insurance who didn’t have it before.’

The midnight deadline for enrollment has become a temporary formality, as the Obama administration has offered extensions to anyone willing to claim they tried in earnest to sign up in time.

Sebelius promised Congress weeks ago that there would be no extension.

The White House has compared it to voters who are permitted to cast ballots if they are in line when the polls close. But conservative opponents note that ballot officials won’t accept voters’ claims the day after an election.

California has also extended its deadline through April 15.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2594309/President-plans-victory-lap-strong-Obamacare-enrollment-Sebelius-faces-unpopular-law-blank-stare-tough-questions-remain-whos-signing-up.html#ixzz2xfuCB967
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook