Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 19, 2014

Obamacare Exchanges Were Destined for Disaster

Kimberly Morgan explains why we should not be surprised that the online health insurance exchanges created under President Obama’s health care reform law are facing so many early problems.

“The real source of Obamacare’s current problems lies in the law’s complexity. A straightforward way to assure coverage would have been to extend an existing, well-worn program to more people. This is how most other countries guarantee health insurance.”

“In the United States, political antipathy to government programs precludes this kind of straightforward administrative solution. Faced with such hostility, policymakers regularly rig up complex public-private, and often federal-state, arrangements that are opaque to the public, difficult to administer, and inefficient in their operation.”

  • Jacksonian Dem

    Wow, really, no kidding? Yet, the Senate Finance Committee insisted on making it a mess and then Baucus had the temerity to wag his finger at the administration. Imagine if we just opened Medicare to all?

  • EricFromTheHill

    Morgan has the right policy prescription, but she’s making a hasty generalization. IT problems, as big as they might or might not be, aren’t the same as bad policy. Additionally, there are many federal-state partnerships that are successful and efficient. It would be wise to note that the state-based exchanges are reportedly doing much better.

    The law’s potential weakness, as even reasonable supporters like myself admit, is that it has set up a Rube Goldberg machine to deliver insurance. The law leaves the private insurance industry intact because the White House wanted to avoid its opposition in 2009-10, which necessitates more moving parts, which adds complexity. Hopefully, these exchanges are just the foundation on which to administer a public option and that Hillary Clinton can get it passed during her term as president.

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