Avik Roy details the result of the Obama administration’s surprise announcement last night essentially allowing a hardship exemption and making catastrophic plans available for all.

Roy’s post is worth a full read. Here is a summary of recent events:

  • millions of Americans have seen their plans canceled (making the president’s promise to his fellow Americans that if you like your plan, you can keep your plan, period the lie of the year, presumably since it is too early to decide the lie of the decade)
  • only tens of thousands have been able to enroll in new coverage
  • the health care web site is an ongoing disaster with new, fatal flaws being discovered daily
  • the latest flaw is the discovery that the systems needed to pay the insurers and therefore enroll people in coverage weren’t even built
  • the administration has been engaged in a flurry of ad-hoc fixes by executive fiat that are of (a) dubious legality and (b) quite obvious futility
  • this latest attempt is primed to fail also given that the catastrophic plans aren’t much cheaper than the bronze plans — they are in fact more expensive than the bronze plans in some parts of the country — meaning few people are likely to sign up for them
  • insurers’ expectations have been overturned yet again and they have no idea what to do, as the moves could cause them to lose money on exchange plans and catastrophic plans
  • all this instability and disruption could harm consumers
  • meanwhile, in a year all of the Obamacare provisions set aside in the administration’s panic right now will be suddenly be back in force, bringing a new round of chaos

Amid such chaos, Roy writes:

This most recent announcement from the Obama administration is the first time it has publicly admitted that Obamacare is making health insurance less affordable, not more so, for millions of Americans.

This is the second time this year that the Obama administration has had to acknowledge complete, abysmal failure of a signature policy achievement by the president.

This failure is more blatant, meaning it cannot be ignored as readily by his acolytes in the media as they did in ignoring the president’s admitted failure with the stimulus. Locker Room readers will recall, however, that the administration projected unemployment not even dipping below 5.4 percent by 2023 despite having boasted back in 2009 that, thanks to the stimulus, unemployment would be below 5 percent now.