All day, I've been watching, hearing, and reading news reports like this one: More Senate Dems call for Obamacare enrollment extension and lifting the penalty for those who are uninsured.
Well, others, including me, are saying enough already. Seriously, I've had it with all the 24/7 sky-is-falling yakety-yak. I'm talking to you, Senator Feinstein-- who happens to be my senator-- as well as Jeanne Shaheen, Kay Hagan, and Mark Udall, and a few others mentioned at that CNN link. Calm down and breathe. Or drink. Or smoke. Anything to chill you out and start using your head instead of your emotions, or your donors' money or your own self-interests.
First of all, the Affordable Care Act website at Healthcare.gov, should be running smoothly by the end of November, according to the official now in charge of fixing it. So how about waiting and seeing instead of panicking? We all know things have started off badly, but it's only been three weeks. Chill.
An editorial in today's Los Angeles Times explains why the requirement that adult Americans get covered next year should not be scrapped, and they make a lot of sense. They start out by reminding us that there is still time to make the necessary corrections before the first of the year and to focus on that, as well as on signing up more people for insurance:
Some have responded by suggesting that the administration suspend the penalties for those unable to sign up for subsidized policies, which are available only through the exchanges.
Suspending the penalties is tantamount to delaying the mandate. And if there's no enforceable requirement to buy insurance, many Americans who don't need healthcare immediately won't do so.
The Times goes on to explain that by succumbing to a mandate delay, as the GOP has demanded, an "ever-sicker, costlier pool of customers, ... would cause premiums to spiral upward. Suspending those penalties would only make that result more likely."
The variations being floated by Democrats are just as bad. If HealthCare.gov can't be whipped into shape within the next month or so, the federal government may have to pour resources into other enrollment efforts, such as the phone banks and in-person "navigators" who guide people through the sign-up process. But we're not at that point yet, and won't be for several weeks.