Health Exchanges and Plans Not Ready: HHS Says We'll Open Anyway
In Jurassic Park, after the grand opening of the dino-themed park has taken a deadly turn, the park's owner- played by Richard Attenborough says," All major theme parks have delays." Then a wise-cracking chaos theorist named Ian- played by Jeff Goldblum- returns, "But when the pirates of the caribbean shuts down the pirates don't eat the tourists." Although it may not be as exhilarating as the blockbuster movie, the healthcare reform roller coaster is just as much a matter of life and death, and it's still not working properly even as people line their families up to hop on.
Less than 30 days before we ditch our dinosaur of a healthcare system and let folks line up for Obamacare health insurance, health exchanges and the Obama administration are still experiencing major delays with both their federal information technology, and final approval of the health insurance plans that will be sold via new online insurance markets called "health exchanges."
On October 30th, at online health exchanges throughout the United States, the open enrollment period for all new Obamacare health insurance plans is scheduled to begin. There's just two problems with that: The online health exchanges aren't ready to sell insurance online, and the new ACA compliant health insurance products they're supposed to be selling haven't been approved.
Last week, negotiations between the Obama administration and insurance providers delayed final approval of the new Obamacare health insurance plans by another week due to technical issues and efforts to remain flexible with those providers. A spokesperson for the Health and Human Service Department said that the health exchanges will none the less open as scheduled on October 1st.
Apparently Oregon did not get that memo however and has decided to delay the full opening of it's health exchange and only offer phone and paper enrollment for the first few weeks. California's health exchange will follow suit until the technology is up and running to capitalize on the online health exchange CoveredCalifornia.org
All across the country state health exchanges are scrambling to iron out the kinks of healthcare reform.
I'm sure that Right now chaos theorists all over the country are hoping that if Jeff Goldblum were in a movie about the transition to Obamacare, it would end with a stroke of genius a-la 'Independence Day,' and not the torturous transitional sequence of 'The Fly.'
Questions remain as to whether or not there will be enough people at the grand opening of the Obamacare theme park to pay the bills, but so far conservatives in Congress have been unable to kill Obamacare a.k.a. the PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). That means that even if Obama, insurance companies, state health exchanges, and Jeff Goldblum all put their heads together before flu season arrives, it will be the working poor who are uninsured and uninformed that will determine the fate of the Obamacare health care reform strategy.