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Health Care Edge

The ‘Train Wreck’ May Have Happened

November 6, 2013

The 'Train Wreck' May Have Happened

Kathleen Sebelius is back before the Senate Finance Committee today for the first time since Chairman Max Baucus told her he was afraid of an Obamacare "train wreck." Republicans took that quote wildly out of context, but it's worth noting that what Baucus was afraid of is almost exactly what has happened.

"A lot of people have no idea about all of this," he said. "People just don't know a lot about it … I understand you've hired a contractor. I'm just worried that that's going to be money down the drain because contractors like to make money ... People are going to be really confused … I tell ya, I just see a huge train wreck coming down."


A little over six months later, here we are. Contracts for public relations are on hold while contracts for are being extended to cover the site's repairs. People are indeed confused about the law, and the botched rollout has contributed to that confusion. The specifics of Baucus' prediction are holding up better than he—or Sebelius—probably want to acknowledge.

Sam Baker


By Sophie Novack and Clara Ritger

STUDY: 17 MILLION ELIGIBLE FOR OBAMACARE SUBSIDIES. A Kaiser Family Foundation study breaks down the number of Americans eligible for premium tax credits in 2014 by state.

ISSA RELEASES 175 PAGES OF CMS NOTES ON OBAMACARE. The House Oversight chairman is continuing his investigation. The full 175 pages can be found here.

POVERTY IS STAMPED INTO DNA IN CHILDHOOD. New research shows a poor upbringing increases people's susceptibility to colds later in life, something they can't shake even if they climb the socioeconomic ladder.

OBAMA'S NEW AND IMPROVED HEALTH CARE PLEDGE. Version 2.0 of "If you like what you have" is far more accurate.

DID SEBELIUS HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO DELAY WEBSITE LAUNCH? CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner says she doesn't know the answer.

DEMOCRATS EXPRESS MISGIVINGS ABOUT OBAMACARE SITE. At Tuesday's hearing, Sen. Barbara Mikulski said Obamacare has created "a crisis of confidence" among consumers.

WARREN: MASS. SHOWS THERE'S STILL TIME FOR OBAMACARE TO SUCCEED. "We learned ... that when it comes to enrolling in health care, many wait until the end to get it done," the senator says.

OBAMACARE IMPROVEMENTS BY THE NUMBERS. Tavenner outlined improvements at a Senate hearing Tuesday.

THE HIDDEN MARRIAGE PENALTY IN OBAMACARE. Childless couples and empty nesters pay more. Much more.

CALL CENTERS RECEIVED BIG OBAMACARE CONTRACTS. Exactly how big remains unclear in some states.

INSURERS REPORT OBAMACARE ENROLLEES ARE OLD. Younger individuals will likely sign up closer to the enrollment deadline.

OBAMA TO SEEK PROCUREMENT REFORMS. The president aims to address the rules following the troubled launch of

INSURER DELAYS SOME POLICY CANCELATIONS IN CALIF. Blue Shield of California—one of the state's largest insurers—said about 80,000 individuals can keep their soon-to-be cancelled policies until March 31.

FDA NOT SOLD ON COMPOUNDING BILL. The Drug Quality and Security Act gives more authority to the FDA, but the administration is not sure it goes far enough.

SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS REMAIN CONFUSED ABOUT HEALTH LAW. An NFIB study finds one-third of small businesses are not familiar with the ACA requirements.


SEBELIUS TESTIFIES IN THE SENATE. The Senate Finance Committee will hear from the Health and Human Services secretary at 10 a.m. regarding the Obamacare insurance exchanges.

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