Economics, Health Care

December 1st is past, and the administration said they’ve made the needed fixes: Where are we now on the Affordable Care Act?

Image Credit: shutterstock

Image Credit: shutterstock

Despite optimistic sound bites from the White House about improvements to HealthCare.gov, the President’s health reform remains dysfunctional. The website now boasts that it can handle 50,000 users at a time. But HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius warns that there will still be delays and urges people to try in off-peak hours. That is an improvement over the complete failure of  HealthCare.gov in October—but if amazon.com had that level of performance, it would not stay in business for long.

Even with a better-functioning website, the government is having trouble enrolling people in health plans. An anonymous source claims that 29,000 people selected a plan through the website on December 1 and 2. That does not mean they actually completed their application or paid their first month’s premium. HHS still cannot accurately transmit applicant information to insurers, including state Medicaid programs.

This is a far more serious problem than it may seem. Five million people have had their current coverage cancelled because it did not satisfy ACA requirements. They are facing higher premiums and tighter provider networks, and they want to know what the government is offering just as much as the uninsured. During the week before Christmas, millions of people will try to purchase coverage through a web site that falls far short of private sector standards.

The result will be human calamity with political consequences. Parents bringing their sick children into the doctor in January are liable to find that there is no record that they are covered by the insurance they think they have. People with chronic conditions going in for a long-delayed checkup may be handed a bill that was supposed to be covered by insurance. These stories will play out in every community across the country, permanently undermining public belief in big government solutions.

4 thoughts on “December 1st is past, and the administration said they’ve made the needed fixes: Where are we now on the Affordable Care Act?

  1. “Human and political calamity”, no less. Compared to the War on Terror ($758 billion), the War on Drugs ($38 billion in 2013 alone) and the government shutdown ($24 billion)? You guys are so far up your own ideological tunnel, you’ve lost touch with reality.

    • Everyone seems to have an idealogical tunnel. Its debatable whose tunnel is costing the most.

      Fifteen trillion dollars: That’s how much American taxpayers have forked over in the name of helping the poor since 1964. And what do we have to show for it? A poverty rate that has barely budged, an entrenched bureaucracy, and a population — like that of Greece and Portugal, two welfare-state basket cases — increasingly dependent on government handouts.
      http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/11864-the-war-on-poverty-$15-trillion-and-nothing-to-show-for-it

      • Equating the amount of money with the failure of policy is a non sequitur. Is it possible that the money may be right but the method wrong? How can there be 46 million Americans living in poverty? Of developed countries, only Romania has a greater percentage of children in poverty. Since when did “promote the general Welfare” become “promote the Welfare of the wealthy”?

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