As HealthCare.gov gets fixed, six key questions remain
(This is from the tumblr of Charles Ornstein at ProPublica)
D-Day for HealthCare.gov is upon us.
The federal health insurance marketplace for 36 states has undergone round-the-clock fixes during the past eight weeks after what could only be characterized as a disastrous launch. Obama administration officials have promised that it will work better by month’s end (read: now) for the “vast majority of users.”
That’s the good news.
But major questions remain about whether the improvements are enough to salvage the Affordable Care Act’s central element and ensure consumers can get coverage before Dec. 23, the deadline to sign up for benefits that begin on New Year’s Day. Among them:
- Can the website handle the expected crush of traffic? Media reports about problems with HealthCare.gov surely kept some consumers away. But as the deadline for signing up for coverage looms, they are likely to come back. The New York Times reported today that administration officials “have urged their allies to hold back enrollment efforts so the insurance marketplace does not collapse under a crush of new users. At the same time, administration officials said Tuesday that they had decided not to inaugurate a big health care marketing campaign planned for December out of concern that it might drive too many people to the still-fragile HealthCare.gov.” The trepidation is well-founded and a dose of it could have gone a long way on Oct. 1, when the site debuted.