The Other Trainwreck
The Los Angeles Times is reporting:
The state's strategy of tapping $3.2 billion in federal money to begin construction of an ambitious bullet train project may be legally flawed and could put the state in financial jeopardy, key lawmakers say.
After recent legal rulings that bar the use of state money for the project, legislators from both political parties say that even the use of federal funds is questionable and the entire project needs to be reassessed.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), the chairman of the House rail subcommittee, and Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), chairman of the appropriations panel for transportation, have asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate the issue.
I honestly thought there was nothing that could compare with the federal trainwreck (aka, ObamaCare) but I'm beginning to wonder."It has been a colossal failure," Denham said. "They are trying to make up the rules as they go along."
Did HHS just "nationalize" the US insurance industry? Was their a takeover?
The other day the federal government "told" insurers to accept/pay claims even if folks do not pay their premiums in early 2014. Obviously there had to be a reason for this "directive." There are two major reasons that folks who are willing and able to pay their premiums, in fact, won't pay their premiums, at least early on: a) the software won't be written by January 31, 2014 (very likely); and/or, b) the applications completed on-line in October and November did not reach the insurers (confirmed).
Well, now we know. The applications did not reach the insurers.
The Washington Post is reporting that "thousands" of on-line applications never reached their destination. And, of course, you just know that "thousands of others" reached their destinations in multiple copies or with significant errors.
Back to the scarier story: did HHS just nationalize US health care? Not to worry. The insurers can play hardball, too. As I understand the Forbes article, HHS is simply telling insurers that if they don't "honor" implied commitments, HHS could "ban" certain insurers next time around. All that does it cancel more insurance policies. More likely, the insurers will buckle, but they will require co-pay and deductibles up front, with premiums to be paid within 30 days. This is essentially a 30-day "premium-to-be-paid" following the first medical visit. It will, however, be interesting to see how this plays out. Generally speaking, the first thing emergency rooms, clinics, and hospitals ask for is evidence of insurance. It will be interesting how quickly insurance companies get proof of insurance out to folks who have not paid their premiums. This is an absolute mess.