…and the Obama administration and the Democrats may not be able to finesse this one:
According to an Affordable Care Act timetable established by administration officials, early next October insurance companies will announce their new menu of health care plans for the ACA marketplaces — plans that may be more varied and numerous than those offered this year, but that almost certainly will come with higher prices.
The likely price hikes will hit the individual and small-business insurance markets only weeks before Election Day on Nov. 4, 2014.
“What genius came up with that timetable?” asked one key Democrat, who declined to be quoted by name because he is involved in private White House talks.
Democratic senators and their political advisers have been lobbying the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services to push back the next “open season” date until after the election, to no avail.
The concern about the 2014 timetable highlights a fundamental political reality of Obamacare: The success or failure of the program depends largely on the kindness of strangers — the insurance companies — and whatever happens in the marketplace, for good or ill, will be ascribed to President Obama and the Democrats, since Republicans refused to vote for the law or cooperate in efforts to make it work.
Obama may come to regret dissing the insurance companies.
He may come to regret a lot of things. Of course, he could postpone the announcement date till after the election—but even low-information voters might start to get a mite suspicious.
[ADDENDUM: Scary stuff. Well, it is Halloween.]