Obamacare insurance exchanges are now live and open for enrollment despite reports of technical glitches that will affect residents in certain states. So what does this mean for consumers and for health care insurance more broadly?
John Kingsdale, who helped create and run Mitt Romney's heath care reform program in Massachusetts and has consulted with the Obama White House, says the exchanges are simply health insurance “stores” set up by states or the federal government. He tells The Daily Ticker that these exchanges make insurance transparent and easy to shop for, especially for the 5% to 10% of Americans who are uninsured.
Kingsdale, who is currently helping some states set up their exchanges, says there "will be a whole bunch of delays" that will happen initially in October though the program is going “reasonably well.” In his view, the six-month window for enrollment is long enough that the glitches won’t make a difference commercially to health care companies that are participating in the program or to consumers (if the glitches are worked out by November). He says most people will probably wait until November or December to sign up because the insurance doesn't take effect until January 2014.
We asked Kingsdale, now a director of Wakely Consulting Group, a health care consulting company, if Obamacare was the most efficient way to provide affordable health care to more people. “Absolutely not,” he tells us. “We’ve taken the most complex financing system for healthcare in the world and made it even more complex.”
Check out the video above to find out what's behind Kingsdale's statement and what alternatives he says would have been simpler and be less costly to adopt, especially when it comes to the high administrative costs of health care in the U.S.
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