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A Timely, Smooth Launch for the Health Care Law? The Jury’s Out

Posted By Tamara Lytle On June 19, 2013 @ 6:22 pm In Washington Watch | Comments Disabled

Will everything be ready to launch President Obama’s health care law by the Oct. 1 deadline? We’re getting mixed signals.

HEALTHCARE [1]Start with a report released June 19 by the Government Accountability Office, the first in-depth look at the sprawling system.

The upside: “Much progress has been made in establishing the regulatory framework and guidance required for this undertaking, and [the administration] is currently taking steps to implement key activities of the [online insurance marketplaces],” the report said. (Read the full document at this .pdf. [2])

The hedge: “Nevertheless, much remains to be accomplished within a relatively short period of time.”

And then there’s “Get Covered America,” a campaign launched June 18 by a nonprofit group Enroll America to spread the word about the law to the uninsured Americans it targets.

The upside: The campaign will start by sending volunteers door to door and handing out brochures at farmers markets and churches in 18 states, including California, Florida and Texas.

The hedge: “Seventy-eight percent of the uninsured aren’t even aware [3] of what’s coming their way,” says Anne Filipic, the president of Enroll America who previously worked in the White House.

One of the most critical pieces of the operation is a computerized clearinghouse for the entire system – a federal “data hub” that’s supposed to offer instant rulings on consumers’ eligibility. It hasn’t had a full test run.

Here’s how AP writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar sums it up [4]: “Translation: most of the specs have been written, but the all wiring hasn’t been laid, and what will happen when they flip the switch nobody really knows. And remember, Oct. 1 is less than four months away.”

While open enrollment for new health insurance plans starts Oct. 1, coverage becomes effective in January 2014.


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Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/06/19/obamacare-deadline-looms-online-marketplaces-and-awareness-campaigns/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/HEALTHCARE1.png

[2] this .pdf.: http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655291.pdf

[3] aren’t even aware: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/05/02/obamacare-outreach-new-health-care-law-opinions-affordable-care-act/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL

[4] sums it up: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/19/gao-health-care-law_n_3463284.html

[5] Why Do People Oppose Obamacare? The Answer May Surprise You: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/06/11/why-do-people-oppose-obamacare-the-answer-may-surprise-you/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL

[6] How to Cut $200 Billion in Health Care Costs: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/06/19/how-to-cut-200-billion-in-health-care-costs-prescription-drug-waste/?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS

[7] Join AARP: https://appsec.aarp.org/MSS/join/application?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-MEM

[8] AARP home page: http://www.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-HP

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