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Oct. 1, 2013

'The Health Insurance Marketplace Is Open!'

The Grand Opening of ObamaCare.

Despite last night’s government shutdown, the ObamaCare exchanges at Healthcare.gov had their Grand Opening today. Well, some of the exchanges are open – several states ran into “glitches” that need fixing. But not to worry: Barack Obama says, “In the first week, first month, first three months, I would suspect that there will be glitches.” That’s putting it mildly.

Today is the day that individuals can begin signing up for health insurance through these exchanges. Individuals have until Dec. 15 to obtain coverage beginning by Jan. 1 or face a tax fine – $95 or 1% of annual income, whichever is higher. The fine increases every year. (Recall that Chief Justice John Roberts was only able to find the law “constitutional” by rewriting it, calling the fine a tax that was permissible congressional power. Predictably, Democrats still haven’t adopted that word.)

As this major aspect of the “Affordable” Care Act launches, The Wall Street Journal outlines one of the law’s fundamental problems:

The larger story is that ObamaCare is gradually splitting U.S. health care into a two-tier system. One tier will be insurance that depends on direct government subsidies and controls – Medicaid, Medicare and the Medicaid Plus of ObamaCare’s exchanges. This care will be constrained over time by how much the public is willing to be taxed.

The other tier will be the 156 million Americans who now have private coverage through their jobs, though ObamaCare is changing that too. One consequence has been a boom in part-time employment to avoid the law’s penalties, especially in low-wage and seasonal industries, and larger and more stable employers are also re-evaluating traditional worker benefits.

Indeed, Obama’s oft-repeated promise that if you like your health plan or your doctor you can keep them is already going by the wayside.

As ObamaCare takes hold, we maintain that every American of every political stripe who has any issue with health care, whether a hangnail or heart transplant, a delay in a doctor’s office or in critical care for a loved one, will tie blame for their discontent like a noose around the necks of Obama and his Democrats, who were solely responsible for forcing this abomination upon the American people.

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