Wednesday, October 23, 2013
“The stakes are huge – not just because of public opinion, but practically, in terms of creating the broad insurance pools which are key to the law’s success. The marketplaces are supposed to be one-stop shops where individual consumers could compare policies, find out if they are eligible for subsidies, and enroll in coverage. But without robust participation – and the government is counting on 7 million enrollees the first year -- the program could fall short of attracting the necessary numbers and balance between healthy and unhealthy consumers, potentially resulting in premium hikes in future years.”
“The risk in frustrating consumers is that those who are healthy or on the fence about enrolling may give up, leaving the unhealthy to persevere and enroll, which could drive up premiums in future years, potentially leading to what experts call “a death spiral,” where only the sickest people sign on.”
Given the resources of the government, the fact that it has already pumped $400 million into healthcare.gov, that ObamaCare’s survival may depend into the website, a death spiral seems unlikely. Still, confidence in the credibility and belief in the competence of President Obama and Kathleen Sibelius rides on getting healthcare.gov fixed. Consumers have until Dec. 15 to enroll for coverage that starts Jan. 1, although the open enrollment period goes to March 31.
Consumers have until Dec. 15 to enroll for coverage that starts Jan. 1, although the open enrollment period goes to March 31. The government is well behind schedule in its efforts to sign up 7 million enrollees by March 31. That would require 40,000 a day to sign on. HHS may react by extending the enrollment date. Another option would be delaying the Individual Mandate for a year, but the Obama administration will not do that because it would indicate lack of preparedness and might result in November 4, 2014 midterm defeats
Tweet: KathleenSibelius faces a firestorm because of healthcare.gov’s stumbles and must get the website up and running by Nov.15 to save face.