Rational Thoughts on the Exchange Rollout, and Other Health Wonkery

Hank Stern did an excellent job hosting the Health Wonk Review today.  Head over to check it out – you’ll learn all sorts of things about health care policy and reform, and you’ll also learn why this Thanksgiving/Chanukah overlap is truly a once in a lifetime event.

My favorite posts in this edition come from Joe Paduda and David Harlow, both providing logical, clear thinking about the state of the ACA.  In the wake of several weeks of web snafus and PR messes, it’s easy to let the doom and gloom media reports about both Obama and Obamacare cloud our thinking.  But Joe and David remind us that there’s so much more to this whole thing than sound bites and initial enrollment in the exchanges.

Joe reminds us that Obamacare is not the same thing as the Healthcare.gov website.  This is good, because the website is not exactly a shining light at the moment.  If we want to focus on the positives, there are many, including all of the consumer protections that the law put into place, many of Colorado's exchange has had its fair share of issues over the last several weeks, but it's working relatively well nowwhich have been in effect for some time now.  And the state-run exchanges – some of which are in very populous states – are doing much better than the federal one (reminder to states for the next time you have an opportunity to run something yourself or just default to letting the federal government do it for you… probably better to put in some state-based effort on things like this).  Colorado’s exchange has had its fair share of issues over the last several weeks, but it’s working relatively well now.  Ever since 2010, I’ve said that I’m glad we’re in a state that took the initiative to create its own exchange.  The issues with Healthcare.gov have made me even more thankful for that over the last several weeks.

David puts the slow first month of enrollment in the exchanges in perspective by comparing them to enrollment in Mass. when that state rolled out its exchange several years ago.  The take away?  This is all going to work out just fine, we just need to give it some time.

There are tons of other great articles in this Health Wonk Review, so be sure to stop by and read a few.  And Happy Thanksgiving and Chanukah!  May you all have a holiday week filled with good food, thankfulness, and time with loved ones.

About Louise Norris

Louise Norris has been writing about health insurance and healthcare reform since 2006. In addition to the Colorado Health Insurance Insider, she also writes for healthinsurance.org, medicareresources.org, Verywell, Spark by ADP, and Boost by ADP, and Gusto. Follow on twitter and facebook.

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