Monday, November 18, 2013

Individual consumers in states that run their own exchanges seem to have much better experience with Obamacare

Obamacare (or the Patient Protection and Afforable Care Act) is working relatively well in states that set up their own exchanges, at least in Washington, Kentucky and Connecticut, according to a Washington Post story on p. A23 Monday November 18, 2013, by Jay Inslee, Steve Beshear, and Daniel P. Malloy, “How we got Obamacare to work”, link here. The story took surprising effort to find on the Post site even when searching for “Obamacare”.
The writers point out cases where, on state run exchanges, consumers were able to find superior products quickly, allowing them to keep their own doctors and often more coverage for less money.  They point out that it is the attitude of state politicians that determine whether this will work.  Instead, in many states, politicians have wanted to treat this as a kickball.  Then the failure of the federal site in these states (as well as a refusal to accept extension of Medicaid coverage) led to a self-fulfilling cycle. 
The authors point out that it is up to states as to whether to allow insurance companies to keep old policies for one more year, as Obama has asked them to do. So far, Arkansas, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and Washington have refused to allow the extension, as with the New York Post story here  or Mediate, here,  Only Arkansas (among these denier states) doesn’t have its own exchange yet.  Forbes has a map on which states have exchanges here.  New York State is considering whether it can allow the extension.  States that run their own exchanges (including NY) have less reason to accept the extension. 

Picture: Whiteface (Adirondacks, NY, Aug. 2012).  

Update: Nov. 20

The Washington Post reports that Minnesota also is refusing to allow the extension. 

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