Obamacare, month one: Monitoring the vital signs

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Event Summary

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance exchanges have been open for a month, and the rollout has been rocky. What implications will this rollout have for the long-term viability of the law? AEI's Scott Gottlieb, Joseph Antos, and Thomas P. Miller hosted the first in a series of three AEI breakfast meetings on Monday to respond to this question.

Gottlieb explained how defenders of the ACA compare the law's rocky rollout to the implementation of Medicare Part D. He rebutted this notion, pointing out that Part D was tested for months before it went into effect, and that people were allowed to shop for plans for two weeks before enrollment opened. He then elaborated on the ACA's cap on medical-loss ratios, which limits the profits insurance companies can make and effectively bars new firms from entering the market.

Antos turned the conversation to President Obama's recent announcement that the many problems with HealthCare.gov are being addressed by the best and brightest technology-industry experts. Antos claimed that this technology surge will probably be insufficient to fix all of the website's problems by the mid-November mark the administration hopes for.

Briefly channeling his inner medical doctor, Miller diagnosed the law's architects with inflated egos. He furthermore criticized the law's politically driven implementation and said the ACA's top-down paternalism is becoming more apparent.

The panelists concluded with a brief discussion of their expectations for the law in the short and long term. Even considering best-case scenarios, they were not optimistic.
--Neil McCray

Event Description

This is the first event in an AEI breakfast series discussing the implications of developments in Obamacare implementation.

One month into the Affordable Care Act’s rollout, where do we stand? From the website malfunctions to the ongoing federal court cases to the delay in the individual penalty, many aspects of the law have yet to be settled.

How are these developments affecting Obamacare’s long-term viability, and what do they mean for Americans now attempting to access insurance through the exchanges? What implications do they have for stakeholders — such as insurance companies, businesses, and providers — who are affected by the law? And what problems have yet to appear?

Join AEI scholars for the first event in a discussion series of the promises, problems, and implications of the Affordable Care Act rollout.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.

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About the Author

 

Joseph
Antos
  • Joseph Antos is the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where his research focuses on the economics of health policy — including the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, the uninsured, and the overall reform of the health care system and its financing. He also studies the impact of health care expenditures on federal budget policy.

    Before joining AEI, Antos was assistant director for health and human resources at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). He has also held senior positions in the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Management and Budget, and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He recently completed a seven-year term as health adviser to CBO, and two terms as a commissioner of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission. In 2013, he was also named adjunct associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University.

    Antos has a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from the University of Rochester and a B.A. in mathematics from Cornell University.



    Follow Joseph Antos on Twitter.

  • Phone: 202-862-5938
    Email: jantos@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Neil McCray
    Phone: 2028625826
    Email: Neil.McCray@aei.org

 

Scott
Gottlieb
  • Scott Gottlieb, M.D., a practicing physician, has served in various capacities at the Food and Drug Administration, including senior adviser for medical technology; director of medical policy development; and, most recently, deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs. Dr. Gottlieb has also served as a senior policy adviser at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 

    Click here to read Scott’s Medical Innovation blog.


    Follow Scott Gottlieb on Twitter.

  • Phone: 202.862.5885
    Email: scott.gottlieb@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Kelly Funderburk
    Phone: 202.862.5920
    Email: Kelly.Funderburk@AEI.org

 

Thomas P.
Miller
  • Thomas Miller is a former senior health economist for the Joint Economic Committee (JEC). He studies health care policy and regulation. A former trial attorney, journalist, and sports broadcaster, Mr. Miller is the co-author of Why ObamaCare Is Wrong For America (HarperCollins 2011) and heads AEI's "Beyond Repeal & Replace" health reform project. He has testified before Congress on issues including the uninsured, health care costs, Medicare prescription drug benefits, health insurance tax credits, genetic information, Social Security, and federal reinsurance of catastrophic events. While at the JEC, he organized a number of hearings that focused on reforms in private health care markets, such as information transparency and consumer-driven health care.
  • Phone: 202-862-5886
    Email: tmiller@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Neil McCray
    Phone: 202-862-5826
    Email: Neil.McCray@aei.org

 

Ramesh
Ponnuru
  • A senior editor for National Review, where he has covered national politics and public policy for 18 years, Ponnuru is also a columnist for Bloomberg View. A prolific writer, he is the author of a monograph about Japanese industrial policy and a book about American politics and the sanctity of human life. At AEI, Ponnuru examines the future of conservatism, with particular attention to health care, economic policy, and constitutionalism.


    BOOKS:



    • "The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life," Regnery Publishing, 2006



    • "The Mystery of Japanese Growth," AEI Press, 1995



    Follow Ramesh Ponnuru on Twitter.
  • Email: ramesh.ponnuru@aei.org

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