Open enrollment, closing opportunity

The designers of Obamacare put some serious thought into the expansion of the welfare state. If you have an income up to 400 percent of the designated federal poverty line, you can now skip your application for disability benefits and proceed directly to get on the Obamcare dole. You may actually need the subsidy to cushion the shock of the premium increases that Obamacare will deliver along with the benefits.

The Los Angeles Times gets to the heart of the story, with an illustrative local twist:

Some Republicans still cling to the hope that they’ll be able to repeal Obamacare someday, but a report released Wednesday by Families USA shows why it may be even harder for them to do so after Jan. 1.

The report estimates that nearly 3 million Californians could be eligible for generous insurance subsidies under the 2010 healthcare reform law, starting next year. Anyone with an income between one and four times the federal poverty line — in other words, between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of four — could receive a tax credit that reduces monthly premiums dramatically.

The date in the opening sentence of the Times story isn’t quite right. Open enrollment for Obamacare is scheduled to begin this coming October 1 in anticipation of the January 1 start date of Obamacare for individuals and families. After October 1, “repealing Obamacare will become even harder,” as the Times puts it, because it will take away benefits from the millions who have signed up for those “generous insurance subsidies.”

Delaying the commencement of Obamacare should be a GOP legislative priority for more reasons than this, but this is one of them. Is anyone doing anything about it?

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