Sally C. Pipes: Obamacare's exchanges are on a collision course with reality
More than three-quarters of Americans know “little” or “nothing” about the state-based exchanges, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Scheduled to open for enrollment in October offering coverage that takes effect in January, Obamacare’s exchanges were supposed to be technocratic masterworks. They’d bring together insurers in one, simple, online marketplace. Consumers and small businesses could choose from among several health plan options. “Managed” competition among participating insurers would help keep costs low for shoppers — and hold down public spending on subsidies for purchasing coverage.
Take enrollment. The Department of Health and Human Services’s first effort at an application clocked in at 21 pages for a family of three. After a public outcry, the Department spent stacks of taxpayer dollars on high-priced consultants to teach them how to make the form simpler. In late April, they proudly presented a redo that was only three pages.
It’s precisely this kind of complexity that’s going to scare consumers away from the exchanges. And consumers aren’t the only ones fleeing. Insurers are increasingly opting out of the exchanges — uncertain about the regulations they’ll face or whether there will actually be any customers for them to sell to.
With fewer plans on offer, the exchanges are going to be significantly less competitive than planned. That means higher prices for enrollees.
The exchanges have gotten off to such a bumpy start that even Obamacare’s most vehement supporters are hedging their bets. Henry Chao, who’s officially in charge of the exchanges’ technology apparatus, recently told Congressional Quarterly that he’s “pretty nervous.”
Sally C. Pipes is president, CEO, and Taube Fellow in Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute. Her next book, “The Cure for Obamacare” (Encounter), will be released this summer.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Bedford Women's Club to recognize Air Force veteran Dieter - 0
- Meredith man gets McQuillen Award for service to vets - 0
- Wright Museum in Wolfeboro to preserve Walter Healy's story - 0
- Auburn students get special visitor - 0
- Wounded warrior needs some help - 0
- VAMC Manchester : Try quitting smoking today - 0
- New Hampshire Veterans News in Brief - 0
- Bedford town council honors World War II veterans - 0
- Bill seeks to name Derry bridge for Marine - 0
READER COMMENTS: 6
- UPDATE: Portsmouth woman, 60, identified after her body is found in creek - 1
- N.Y. man charged with reckless conduct after accidental shooting in Nashua - 1
- Cases against Keene 'Robin Hooders' dismissed by judge - 4
- Task force arrests man in Nottingham for Candia burglary - 1
- Police: Salem man used car keys to stab officer in hand - 0
- Manchester muffler shop burglarized - 0
- Boy, 12, struck in Newton remains hospitalized - 0
- State revenue under projections for November - 1
- Armed man arrested after Manchester convenience store robbery - 0
John DiStaso's Granite Status: Bob Smith ready to hire campaign manager for his 2014 US Senate run
Push to block casino in NH ramping up