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

 

Scott
Gottlieb

 

Thomas P.
Miller

 

Ramesh
Ponnuru

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