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Uncertainty awaits ObamaCare enrollees

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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UNCERTAINTY AWAITS OBAMACARE ENROLLEES - While the administration touts that close to a million people signed up for ObamaCare this month – a third of the troubled program’s enrollment target for the end of 2013 – uncertainty looms with the Jan.1 start date approaches for coverage to kick-in. Over 5 million policies were cancelled under President Obama’s signature entitlement program, whether or not those able to enroll in time will start 2014 with insurance coverage remains to be seen. Insurers are concerned with the flood of inaccurate data they have received since the program began and whether last-minute enrollees will see seamless activation of coverage Wednesday. The stakes are high for team Obama and vulnerable Congressional Democrats still trying to recover from the botched rollout of the health law. Should millions of Americans wake up Jan. 1 only to find they aren’t covered, or tangled in a web of data problems, the fallout will make prospects for Democrats running in 2014 ever bleaker. The forecast from former Gov. Howard Dean, D-Vt., is hardly bucking up spirits. Dean told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace there will be more problems but, “I think the numbers are going to be small enough so that the antis — the partisans are going to try to talk about all of these individuals who have gotten screwed by this. But most people, the vast majority of people are going to benefit from this.” Fox News has more.

Youth revolt? -  How successful was team Obama in their campaign, complete with “Pajama Boy,” extolling young people to enroll? The numbers will not be released until the middle of next month and are critical. If the young “invincibles,” 18 to 34 year-olds, don’t sign up and opt for a tax penalty instead, it could spell higher premiums across the board. Rates would go up even higher if the figures also show a late surge in older Americans with more expensive conditions buying coverage under the new entitlement program.

Doc dash - WSJ details how many patients are cramming in tests, elective procedures, and visits to specialists that may not be covered as ObamaCare goes into effect. “More than two-thirds of silver-tier (mid-priced) health plans sold on insurance exchanges sharply reduce the number of hospitals offered from what most plans include.”

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Chris Stirewalt

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