October 26, 2013
GLITCHES AREN'T TERMINAL:
The Tortoise, the Hare, and the Massachusetts Lesson for Obamacare : It is much, much easier to sign people up for free health coverage than subsidized plans--especially in the first months of a rollout. (GARANCE FRANKE-RUTA, OCT 24 2013,Atlantic)
Slow and steady wins the race, according to the old Aesop fable, and that's also what happened in the state of Massachusetts, when it rolled out its new health-coverage plans in 2007. Today, 97 percent of people in the state have health insurance of one type or another. But when the state's bid for universal coverage got started, it launched to a very slow start, according to those oversaw the rollout in the state. And that's without all the website issues that have plagued Healthcare.gov."To my friends in the media, I have one message: please take a chill pill. You won't see 7 million enrollees for a while, and that's not failure, that's real world," John McDonough, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health who was deeply involved in the passage and implementation of Massachusetts' 2006 health reform law, wrote of the new Obamacare program in mid-October. In Massachusetts, getting people signed up "was a slow crawl, not a sprint."Data from the first full year of enrollment in the Commonwealth Care plans in Massachusetts shows that the number of people who purchased premium plans was minuscule at first, with a rate of increase of only 123 people in February 2007. That surged to 3,645 in April and then remained fairly steady all year, before spiking to 7,783 in the month before the penalty deadline for remaining uninsured kicked in.
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 26, 2013 7:09 AM
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