Today, President Obama shared his concerns with the roll-out of his signature achievement thus far in his presidency. While much of the media’s attention over the last three weeks was understandably focused on the government shut down and negotiations to fund the government and avoid a default on our debt, the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act has been faltering.
The main theme of the President’s remarks centered on the realization that the current enrollment problems are “unacceptable” and the administration is redoubling efforts to fix the glitches. The difficulties potential beneficiaries have had trying to find out what their options are for coverage through the exchanges have been documented and continue despite repeated attempts to fix what ails the government’s healthcare.gov website. What hasn’t been well documented is the metrics by which we can determine whether the Affordable Care Act is successful or not – how many people have signed up for coverage? Are there any trends we can see with the population that has signed up already? Are they older, younger, sicker, or healthier than expected? What is the average subsidy being received by those who have signed up to date? There are many questions that could be answered that aren’t being answered – why?
Politically it makes sense the President hasn’t addressed the issues plaguing the exchanges until now – but the administration is hiding the football on who’s signed up for coverage through the federal exchange so far. We know the numbers are going to be low, because we know the problems with the portal are serious, but to claim you don’t have the information is farce.
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