Thirty four days, and counting:
The Obama administration has delayed a step crucial to the launch of the new healthcare law, the signing of final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on federal health insurance exchanges starting October 1.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified insurance companies on Tuesday that it would not sign final agreements with the plans between September 5 and 9, as originally anticipated, but would wait until mid-September instead, according to insurance industry sources.
Nevertheless, Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for HHS, said the department remains “on track to open” the marketplaces on time on October 1.
Welllll… yes, and no. Let us be honest, here: On October 1, 2013, something will be up and running. That something will undoubtedly be called “federal health insurance exchanges” and “marketplaces” by the Obama administration. And the administration will certainly act as if whatever is up and running at that point was what the administration intended, all along. Why, I even expect that the administration will make the claim that the ‘exchanges’ exceeded expectations; and if the administration does that, rest assured that at least some members of the Media will duly pass on that report without comment or clarification. These are all things that we know.
However: anyone who is going to be in need of health insurance (and doesn’t feel like just paying the modest penalty tax) would be well-advised to go ahead with acquiring it on their own, instead of waiting for the Obama administration to get its act together. It will be some time before this administration puts up anything truly functional. Assuming that it ever does, of course…
Moe Lane (crosspost)