With just six days before the Obamacare insurance exchanges open, news of glitches and delays abounds.
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal noted several examples of how officials in Washington and the states have suffered new and significant problems implementing the law’s exchanges:
Colorado became the second state, after Oregon, to limit the ability of residents to enroll online in its state-run exchange in the first weeks, saying some people will have to enroll by phone or in person for about a month until glitches are ironed out.
In other words, for its grand opening next week, Colorado will rely on old-fashioned pen-and-paper applications for individuals interested in qualifying for coverage.
The exchange implementation failures have not been isolated, nor have they been limited to states. The Wall Street Journal reported in the same article yesterday that, “in another sign of the technical challenges” facing Obamacare, federally run exchanges in 33 states will not be able to sign applicants up for Medicaid coverage directly; instead, individuals will be sent to the state Medicaid agency to start the application process over again.
Late in the day yesterday came a separate story involving exchange delays and glitches, this one regarding the District of Columbia’s exchange:
The Obamacare exchange serving Washington, D.C. is delaying important parts of its operations less than a week before it is scheduled to open for enrollment. Washington’s exchange said Wednesday that it will not be ready on Oct. 1 to calculate the tax subsidies people can receive to help purchase private insurance. The D.C. exchange also will not immediately be able to determine eligibility for Medicaid.
So if you live in the District and qualify for exchange subsidies, the exchange won’t be able to determine what subsidy you’ll receive, and what you’ll actually pay for coverage—and if you think you might qualify for Medicaid, the exchange won’t be able to help you at all.
All these technical headaches might be enough to cause some Obamacare implementers to seek some “Obamacare” themselves. But the real headache will soon be facing the American people if Congress does not stop an increasingly unworkable law.