- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sen. Thad Cochran said Wednesday he will file a bill that triggers the repeal of Obamacare if the number of Americans who are uninsured after Jan. 1 is higher than the amount of uncovered people at the time of the law’s passage in March 2010.

“The American people understand what many in Washington won’t admit: the Affordable Care Act is an unfixable and expensive mess,” the Mississippi Republican said. “I have supported its repeal from the beginning, and I will offer legislation based on the simple premise that the law should be repealed if it fails to meet its primary goal of expanding health insurance coverage.”

Republican critics of President Obama’s overhaul are touting the fact that an estimated 5 million to 6 million American are losing their existing health coverage because those plans do not meet Obamacare’s coverage requirements, yet they’ve had a hard time exploring their options to replace it.

About 365,000 people had selected a private plan through Obamacare as of Nov. 30, although more than 800,000 more have been determined eligible for the Medicaid program, which is expanding in about half the states.

Those numbers fall below projections, and the Obama administration had to walk back its promise that people who like their plans can keep them under the law. But they’ve said there is great churn in the individual market, anyway, and that people may be able to find better coverage at a lower price on the Obamacare marketplaces.

The federal online portal, HealthCare.gov, has improved since the start of the month.

Time is running short for people to enroll, however. They must pick a plan by Monday and pay their first premiums by Jan. 1 to get covered by the new year, although an insurers’ trade group said Wednesday that many health plans would accept initial premium payments until Jan. 10.

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