White House 'Quietly' Exempts 4.5 Million People In 5 "Territories" From Obamacare

Tyler Durden's picture

As WSJ reports, last week's geopolitical chaos and distraction was ideal for a news dump, and the White House didn't disappoint: On no legal basis, all 4.5 million residents of the five U.S. territories were quietly released from ObamaCare. It seems the costs of healthcare soared in these five territories due to uneconomic mandates - which woul dhave been a disaster PR-wise for the administration and so, under cover of catastrophe, WSJ reports all of a sudden last week HHS discovered new powers after "a careful review of this situation and the relevant statutory language," that enabled them to 'selectively exempt' American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and Virgin Islands from Obamacare. And all while vacationing...

As WSJ reports,

The original House and Senate bills that became the Affordable Care Act included funding for insurance exchanges in these territories, as President Obama promised when as a Senator he campaigned in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and other 2008 Democratic primaries. But the $14.5 billion in subsidies for the territories were dumped in 2010 as ballast when Democrats needed to claim the law reduced the deficit.


As a consolation, Democrats opened several public-health programs to the territories and bestowed most of ObamaCare's insurance regulations, which liberals euphemize as "consumer protections," such as requiring insurers to accept all comers and charge the same premiums regardless of patient health.

However, costs soared as no insurer would touch them...

These uneconomic mandates promptly caused insurance rates to soar and many insurers to flee the territorial markets. You can't buy any policy at any price in the Mariana Islands. So the territories have spent the last two years beseeching HHS for a regulatory exemption.

So time to change the rules... from this...

As recently as last year, HHS instructed the territories that they "have enjoyed the benefits of the applicable consumer protections" and HHS "has no legal authority to exclude the territories" from ObamaCare.

To this...

Laws are made by Congress, but all of a sudden last week HHS discovered new powers after "a careful review of this situation and the relevant statutory language."

And thus 4.5 million people in the following 5 territories are now free of the tyrannical demands of Obamacare...

American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and Virgin Islands.

*  *  *

Which leaves only one question... where does everybody else apply for their 'uneconomic' exemption?

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zorba THE GREEK's picture

Obamacare, hell no, Obama don't care.

takeaction's picture

This is your obama voter..First the ORiginal..



Then the remix...

NoDebt's picture

Obama was just informed of this exemption, and boy is he pissed.  He's going to make this right.  Just you wait.

McCormick No. 9's picture

This is why I didn't sign up, and I'm not signing up. If I wait long enough, I be exempt- because Obamacare will fail and become a sidenote to history. Just like I figured.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture



Here's how (step-by-step) to get your Bitcoin wallet, and then buy (not free, so sorry) Bitcoins with a credit card (5% over "spot").  Even a Bearing (with a hole in the middle where his brain should be) can do this...:


wee-weed up's picture

"Do as we say... NOT as we do!"

Greetings from Obamaville

markmotive's picture

What a mess. Either socialize healthcare or don't.

Gerald Celente on Obamacare:


TeamDepends's picture

Hey everybody look over here, we just discovered the power to not pay any federal taxes. It's called "no taxation without representation"!

zhandax's picture

"And all while vacationing..."

Pardon me, this is his normal routine.  Dickweed doesn't leave the WH until August.

GetZeeGold's picture



All hail to the boy king.


If you don't....well you're just a racist.

ndotken's picture

Apparently there's no middle class in those 5 territories Obama can tax to pay for it ... so it failed ... coming soon to your Main Street as well Amerika

Antifaschistische's picture

you're killing me POTUS....so, by your 'watch what I do and not what I say' routine your administration is openly confirming that Obamacare is the hardest...on the poorest sector of our nation/economy.

This is classic....so classic.

Colonel Klink's picture

King Obama rewriting laws with the stroke of his pen.  The CONstitutional lawyer knows that's exactly how the founding father intended it.

Eirik Magnus Larssen's picture

I'll never understand the level of fuss Americans continue to create around receiving universal healthcare. In virtually all industrialized nations of the world, universal healthcare has been as basic a public service as law enforcement, maintenance of roads or fire stations for decades.

Offthebeach's picture

What is this "road maintenance" you speak of?
We dont have cops. Dog shooters and baby granading, Ukrainian Separatist looking roid freaks, yes.
Schools are were you pay for your kids to learn. The other you speak of a minimum security day care centers for, and by idiots until EBT, WIC and Section 8 kics in for breeder stock. Males go to county, upstate or down, depending, or the military, the 5% who can pass a piss test and aren't too fatty.

Yeah, more DMV type VA care.

o2sd's picture

And you never will. It is an issue than not one American seems to have a sensible thought about. The height of hilarity on this issue is how the American 'free market' health care system delivers half the health care quality at twice the cost of almost every other industrialised nation. It would be one thing if their so-called non-socialist health care system delivered better health care for twice the cost, but to actually deliver half the outcome for twice the price is the epitome of incompetence and stupidity.

Even more strange is the insistence that universal health care is 'socialist', when the corrupt US health system milks 8% of GDP to pay corporate welfare to insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

On the one hand, you have the 'food' corporations shoving empty starches, neurotoxins (like aspartame) and high fructose corn syrup into human gullets through the fat pie holes of the great American unwashed, and on the other you have punitative health care costs for those whose bodies and internal organs eventually fail from this deliberate poisoning for profit.

Every Empire eventually turns on itself, with the citizens fighting each other for the spoils of wars and the profit of plunder. The rest of the world gets to witness this vile but fascinating spectacle in real time from the comfort of our lounge rooms. Strange times, strange times.

N2OJoe's picture

Universal healthcare is great and efficient and top notch!

Until you realize that you don't actually GET any care from it. They should really call it what it is - universal low grade insurance where you still have to pay just as much as any other country in order to actually get care.

No Death Panels but just ignore that Universal Healthcare at the VA.

Not to mention the people drinking plant water in UK hospitals because no one ever comes to check on them.

Then the Canadians(whole world to some extent) coming here for healthcare because their universal insurance doesn't actually get them care in the home country.

o2sd's picture

Any fantasy can be true, including yours. Given that I come in contact every day with my fellow citizens, if they can't afford basic medical care, then I am exposed. Public health is a public good. I don't see you complaining about the national highway network.

Sean7k's picture

One, government run industry is socialist by definition. Two, many of us are not just aware but incredibly angry about the degree of toxicity we are exposed to, the way we subsidize the pharma costs for other countries (europe included), but even more so when it is done in a manner which violates the Constitution.

There is no joy in being the debt mules of the British Aristocracy or their pet guard dogs. Many of those corporations are european. Remember we bailed out everybody's banks, not just our own. It is nice to know you are sitting on the sidelines watching us suffer and expend ourselves so you can prosper.

While we have fallen for the program hook, line and sinker, I see no glorious uprisings anywhere else. Especially as the other socialist governments continue to crush their citizens as well. Just wait, the overlords will bring their three ring circus of hell to northern europe soon enough and you might be whistling a different tune by then.

Personally, I never entered the system and never will. Because guess what, just because it is cheaper and better doesn't mean it is worth having. You are also being poisoned by the same pharma, the same medical practices, just at better prices. Getting a discount on death is not much to crow about.

o2sd's picture

I don't live in Europe, so your EuroTrash rage is probably misplaced.

Second, I don't deny that universal health care is socialist. It is. But running your health system as an economic rent extractor for the the pharmaceutical and insurance industries is also socialist. It is corporate welfare. Since both systems are socialist, the true comparison is on outcomes and cost.

Both systems regularly kill people through medical error, although the US system appears to kill more because rushing drugs to market is incentivised (i.e. highly profitable). The US system costs around 16% of GDP. Most 'socialist' health care systems cost 8-12% of GDP. 

In terms of innovation, both systems are about equal. The US system is biased towards innovation in treatments, the socialist systems are biased towards innovation in prevention and long term management. However, both types of innovation come from both types of system, but innovations in the 'socialist' system tend to be disseminated faster because there is no financial drag.

Personally, I would rather someone with an infectious disease have no financial barrier to getting treatment so they can be treated before they pass their infection on to 150 other people. But that's just me, some people are fine with epidemics and pandemics if they can lock themselves away in their gated community and have their food trucked in by armed security vans.

Everybodys All American's picture

and virtually no new innovations or techniques come from these socialized health care systems now do they?

exi1ed0ne's picture

Healthcare reform was actually health INSURANCE reform - US laws are never about what the title they give us says.  It did nothing to address the inefficiencies and inequities in actual healthcare, which would start with the removal of the private AMA as a monopoly on the sector.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Bitcoins, so easy, even a caveman can do it..

shouldvekilledthem's picture

Be careful. bunzbunzbunz is a scammer. Mods should remove his posts

RaceToTheBottom's picture

I think I was replying to another poster, dochen, who believes in bearings, gold and bitcoins (I hope not a huge amount)

The Blank Stare's picture

And that's the same resoning of my loser brother who refuses to sign up, all the while sponging off my folks retierment money to pay his $6,000. medical bills. Make it free and kill the insurance agencies!

RafterManFMJ's picture

I tried to sign up for 0blam0 care but it never went through; I'm guessing the carrier pigeon got shot down, got eaten by a hawk, the paperwork fell off its leg or, most likely, the pigeon I was sold wasn't really a carrier pigeon at all.

espirit's picture

Must have forgot Mexico...

Wait What's picture

that might be the funniest thing i've seen in weeks.

thx for posting.

makes me wonder how many voted for him just because they think he's black or didn't want to feel racist when they were asked who they voted for.

he's running neck and neck with Nixon and W Bush as worst president in American history, and he's got 2 more yrs to win.

CuttingEdge's picture

Neck and neck? You are being way too kind on the twat.

He leads the "worst president in living memory" stakes by about a furlong and is widening the gap every week from here on in, judging by the foreign policy road his handlers are running him along...

Lotsa tax-funded vacations and golf for 18 months to keep him sweet while irrelevant. He reminds me of Steve Martin's Ruprecht character in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

o2sd's picture

Three Baby Boomer presidents and they hold the top 3 positions in the "worst president ever" ranking.

Look, just stop fucking voting for Baby Boomers, alright?

Renewable Life's picture

So as this madness continues to "evolve" it has occurred to me something profoundly terrifying is occurring in America and Europe!!

We NO longer live in a solidified economic and political structure, and we sure as shit, DONT live in a free market, entrepreneurial capitalist system, instead what we have happening simultaneously is, Socialism (Lenin/Marx style) for some, fascism for some, and Obligarchy for some!!

The elite are benefitting from this "hybrid system" and the rest of us are suffering under it!! With the middle class taking the short end of the stick on all three dynamics!

Yellen confirmed this notion before Congress, several months ago, when asked by a Congressman, "in your acedemic professional opinion, what is this economic system we are living in, what do you call this"?

Yellen replied "I have no idea, Congressmen!"

Well Mr(s) Yellen, if you fucking don't even know what it is we are living in, how the fuck do you think you have any chance of "controlling" the fucking outcomes of it, like you and CNBC tell us every day, you can????

drendebe10's picture

"There ain't nuthin uglier than an old white woman."  Fred Sanford

NidStyles's picture

I thought she was Jewish...

August's picture

It's called Fascism, Janet.  Yes, I know it may hurt to admit it.

sunnyside's picture

+ for you.

I don't get it when people keep calling Barry a communist or socialist, 

As I understand the words (and correct me if wrong), In socialism, the state owns it and the leaders decide the markets; in communism all of the people own it together and decide together how the markets will be, and in fascism you can own it privately, but the gov't is going to tell you what to charge, what to pay, etc.  I've also read and believe that true communism isn't possible because people are assholes and the elite won't give up the power to transition from socialism to communism.


WeNeedaRealGovt's picture

Obamacare...so bad...?

He won re-election by 5 million votes.

Healthcare costs stagnant for the first time in years. Premiums lowest rate of increase since the '50s.

Uninsured rate drops 4%.

Red States opting out have hospitals closing, the real death panels are GOP governors.

ACA states have healthy hospitals.

Don't let the facts confuse ya', ya' betcha.

More ZH support of the Fox/GOP agenda.  

Under Bush we built roads bridges in Afgan and Iraq with the lost $trillions.  We built 4000 schools in Iraq, not one in the US.  Other than with county state taxes.

ZHers fooled again, want to turn the country over to the GOP so we have a real WW3.  

Obamacare is winning.  

Bush's failed HSAs were a givaway to Insurance Company CEO, Big Pharma and the Docs.  And one more Crisis - 49 million uninsured.

At some point you have to admit your wrong!  Move on.

francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

"At some point you have to admit your wrong!  Move on."

And yours will come in November 2014, right after the elections, when next year's premium adjustments hit the market (conveniently moved back to be revealed AFTER the mid-term elections).  Please follow up on your post then (and hopefully not before that).

francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

"At some point you have to admit your wrong!  Move on."

And yours will come in November 2014, right after the elections, when next year's premium adjustments hit the market (conveniently moved back to be revealed AFTER the mid-term elections).  Please follow up on your post then (and hopefully not before that).

TeamDepends's picture

"He won re-election by 5 million votes." Do you really believe that?

buyingsterling's picture

How does President Pimp's rancid cock taste? (you've got a little something dribbling down.... that's got it. Tasty? )

Mr. Crisp's picture

Soros's paid trolls are out in force lately. Must be part of Obama's latest political offensive.

Bill of Rights's picture

All this fail and not one cite to prove your point, you must be new at this or your just a brainwashed retard, ill go with the latter.

I think I hear your mommy calling you for breakfast.

WeNeedaRealGovt's picture

Only (-)35.  This site is a joke. ZHers = Zeros!

drendebe10's picture

..don't forget that the corrupt elected ruling political elite turds voted & passed to exempt themselves from bureacratic morass of obamascare.

As for all the serfs & peasants, Phoenix VA hospital care coming to ur neighborhood soon.

ebworthen's picture



Bendoverpeasants yur cuntry luvs you.