Published on September 20, 2013 at 8:16 AM
Forbes: Health Insurance Exchanges: Don't Everyone Show Up At Once!
On Oct. 1, health insurance exchanges will open for business across the United States. Our advice: wait. That's also the same advice you can infer from the president on down. There will be bugs. Count on it. The always excellent Politico blog ran a story about how federal officials are looking at the exchanges as a marathon, not a sprint. And the worst thing that could happen is if everyone in the nation who needs insurance logs on to their respective state health insurance exchange on the first day (Evan Albright, 9/18).
The Fiscal Times: Business Boondoggle: Shedding The Cost Of Health Care
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama laughed off the concerns of Americans that have driven approval for the ACA to their lowest levels ever as the start date for the individual mandate approaches on October 1st. Asked whether "everybody" is wrong to oppose Obamacare in an interview with Telemundo, Obama chuckled and replied, "Yes, they are." He insisted that the law has delivered "the lowest increase in healthcare costs in 50 years over the last several years," and that "there is no evidence at all that this is somehow making healthcare more expensive." Maybe he should tell that to his partners in the program. Walgreens, one of the nation's largest retailers, surprised its 160,000 employees by ending employer-provided health insurance. Instead, the company will provide a fixed stipend for use in a private exchange (Edward Morrissey, 9/19).
California Healthline: A Dozen Hospitals Are Laying Off Staff And Blaming Obamacare. Don't Believe Them.
Hospitals tend to be among the largest employers in their communities -- which means that any individual decision to lay off staff can have an outsized local impact. And taken together, a dozen recent announcements seem to paint an especially dire picture for hospitals (and their communities) around the nation. … When Obamacare was being debated in Congress, its opponents tried to tar it with a deadly label: "the job-killing health law." So is the ACA finally living down to its sobriquet? Not exactly. While the recent news makes for provocative headlines, the devil's in the details -- and the financial reports (Diamond, 9/18).
The Star Tribune: MNsure Data Breach Needs To Be Taken Seriously
Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox have had a painful couple of weeks. This time, the legendary lumberjack's injuries weren't inflicted by woodpeckers, water skiing or sledding -; among the hazards that make Minnesota the land of "10,000 reasons to get health insurance,"' according to the ads in which Bunyan and Babe promote the state's new online health coverage marketplace. Instead, the latest mishaps came at the hands of their new MNsure colleagues, who have made two disappointing mistakes recently that sapped confidence in this important marketplace in the critical lead-up to its Oct. 1 launch (9/18).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.