Alexis Simendinger has a few questions regarding ObamaCare:
Question: Because the affordability of insurance under the law hinges on insurance companies’ expectations of large pools of new customers, how many Americans to date have purchased coverage through the new exchanges? HHS, which reports that half a million people submitted applications for insurance, won’t say how many have purchased it. That detail won’t be revealed until mid-November, according to the White House.
Question: When will the health exchanges’ “glitches” be corrected? Various officials and contractors close to the project have indicated that necessary fixes, including corrected or additional software coding, could take weeks and perhaps months.
Question: Will the administration extend the law’s six-month enrollment period for consumers who haven’t been able to navigate the new Web-based system for the better part of a month? That will depend on whether the government can fix the most critical problems fast enough. “I’m not going to speculate,” Obama spokesman Jay Carney said.
Question: Will Americans, who are required by law to have basic health insurance by March 31 — and in practical terms would need to hook up with insurance companies by Feb. 15 to meet that deadline — be penalized if the government has not resolved problems in time? HHS will soon have new guidelines to explain that, Carney said.
As a citizen, it’s somewhat difficult to get in compliance with the law, when the agency in charge of enforcing it doesn’t necessarily know what parts of the law it will be told to enforce, or which parts might be safely ignored. It’s even more difficult to stay in compliance when those goalposts, once shifted, might be shifted again just because a web site started working better. Or perhaps worse.
This kind of regime uncertainty has been hindering business decisions for years, and now it’s come to the individual insurance marketplace, too.