I really wanted to put “clusterfuck” in the title, but a devil on my shoulder objected. Still, it is as clusterfuck. The launch of Obamacare has been hobbled by many impediments. First, the GOP has done everything they can to make it fail. They convinced states not to have their own exchanges, which, it turns out, is really, really stupid. I didn’t help that the most visible part of the rollout—healthcare.gov—was a disaster. A webportal is small potatoes, normally, but since this is the public face of the law, it feeds into the over-the-top anti-Obamacare rhetoric.
The insurance companies, who have been granted a gift by this insurance-reform law (it is not healthcare reform) seem to be doing all they can to suck advantage off the bone they’ve been thrown. My patients are getting letters warning them of the cancellation of their soon-to-be non-compliant plans and are being offered new plans at higher prices. These letters do not inform them that they may very well find a better deal by signing up at healthcare.gov. And the states that turned down local control of their exchanges received very little money to get out the word. The states smart enough to start their own exchanges have been given a lot more flexibility (i.e., money).
Any large-scale insurance reform is going to be a bit kludgey on launch, but with the landmines, tank traps and grenades tossed in the way, everyone here is going to get hurt.