Is the CBO Skeptical that ObamaCare’s Insurance Exchanges Will Be Ready on Time?

b614k i s s i n g 600x400 Is the CBO Skeptical that ObamaCares Insurance Exchanges Will Be Ready on Time?

In
theory, ObamaCare’s health exchanges will be up and running,
enrolling new people before the end of the year. Fewer than half
the states will be running their own exchanges, and so the
Department of Health and Human Services has stepped in to run the
rest. In recent months, however, a number of health policy
observers have openly questioned the ability of the federal
government to get ObamaCare’s health insurance exchanges up and
running by the end of the year. That might explain why HHS has been
so willing to waive and extend exchange creation deadlines for
state.HHS
insists that the federally run exchanges will be online on
time, but it has also
continued to delay state implementation deadlines in a way that
could suggest the agency is not quite as ready as it claims to be.
That makes the following passage from the
new federal budget baseline published by the Congressional
Budget Office this afternoon rather, well, interesting:
CBO and JCT [Joint Committee on Taxation] have slightly reduced
their estimates of the rates at which people will enroll in the
insurance exchanges or Medicaid as the expansion of coverage is
implemented—a process that had already been anticipated to occur
gradually. That change reflects the agencies’ judgment about a
combination of factors, including the readiness of
exchanges to provide a broad array of new insurance
options, the ability of state Medicaid programs to absorb
new beneficiaries, and people’s responses to the availability of
the new coverage.
So is the CBO skeptical that the federal exchanges will be ready
on time? That certainly seems possible, although the report does
not specify whether it’s uncertain about the readiness of federal
exchanges as opposed to state exchanges, nor does it clearly
indicate what its readiness concerns are.HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius seems a bit concerned about the
pace of implementation herself. At a health policy conference in
Washington, D.C., yesterday, she
declared ObamaCare the law of the land and asked for help
making it work: “My challenge to all of you today, and actually my
plea to all of you…is help us speed up the rate of change.”

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Is the CBO Skeptical that ObamaCare’s Insurance Exchanges Will Be Ready on Time?

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