"The Obama administration said Thursday that sick patients in the temporary, federal [PCIP] program now will have until June 30 to select an exchange health plan."
Let's consider this for a moment, shall we?
We've always considered the PCIP (Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan) as one of the very few (if not the sole) good things about the ObamaTax. It allowed those with severe and/or chronic conditions to purchase reasonably effective, reasonably priced health insurance, and covered their pre-existing conditions from the get-go. Unfortunately, it was designed with a built-in "sunset clause" that (ostensibly) closed down the program on January 1, based on the (naive) idea that it would no longer be necessary.
At that, the reports of its demise were somewhat exaggerated, as the phase-out was pushed back to the end of March.
And even that was pushed back in a last-minute, under-the-radar announcement that "Enrollees in the federally-run [PCIP], who have not yet found new health insurance coverage through the Marketplace, can purchase an additional month of PCIP coverage through April 30, 2014, while they continue their search."
All well and good (one supposes), but now we learn that, again with little fanfare, the program has been extended an additional 2 months.
Which raises some questions:
First, why would we believe that even the new-and-improved June 30th deadline will be enforced?
Second, and perhaps more critically, just how is this extension being funded? The money originally set aside for it is long-since spent, and I've seen no Congressional activity authorizing additional funding.
Finally, if the ObamaTax folks can't get even those who value such coverage to sign up, why would they believe that healthy folks would be interested in an ObamaPlan?