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
- Girl Scouts need help sending cookies to military personnel overseas - 0
- Auto dealers group offers scholarship aid, funds to NH veterans programs - 0
- Commentary: Chronically homeless vets are a problem for all of us - 0
- Rep. Shea-Porter bashes planned military cuts - 0
- New Hampshire Veterans News in Brief - 0
- Sen. Ayotte concerned about cuts in COLA for new service members - 0
- NH veterans get a deal at Amesbury Sports Park - 0
- VA Medical Center to host open house - 0
- Parents of fallen SEAL will speak in Hollis - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Manchester man convicted on drug, weapons counts - 0
- Londonderry set to vote on school repairs - 0
- Danville police chief's challenger says department in dire shape - 0
- Proposed purchase of trucks launches power struggle in Nashua - 0
- Staples to shut 225 stores as online competition hurts sales - 0
- Cruiser video systems await Barnstead voters' OK - 0
- Inter-Lakes school voters pass articles, add custodian - 0
- Dunbarton voters to decide on $2.17M budget - 0
- Court to decide future of Claremont community center - 0
Bad Joe: Levasseur stalls again
House says no to bill to reduce NH meals tax
Good Joe: Kenney for Executive Council