COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Some thoughts as the first year of PPACA enrollment
With HealthCare.gov stumbling briefly (again) on deadline day, and with the administration so close to its goal, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see another eleventh hour delay. But you should take that with a grain (or three) of salt since I've been wrong about every other delay (or non-delay) so far. Course, I've been basing all my decisions on common sense rather than political theater...
That being said, despite more technical glitches than my new Xbox, nearly 40 of those delays and half the states not supporting it (or actively fighting against it) the administration can probably safely call this first year a success — whether we like it or not. Sure, they've bent (or rewritten) every rule along the way, but it's clear there was a market need not being filled. For whatever reason, this market was simply underserved. Not that the Feds — or we as taxpayers — can afford it, but that's another story.
It's important to keep in mind here that relying on the national numbers alone to tell the whole story is intellectually dishonest. Health insurance
, as we all know, is sold, regulated and bought at the state level. And that's where the real success of this enrollment should be measured. Hell, no two states present more dramatically different lessons than, say, Oregon and Washington, kindred spirits ideologically. But Oregon's been a disaster while Washington state's rollout couldn't have been better scripted by Sebelius herself.
Speaking of states fighting back, Texas has been pushing back against the navigators more than anyone. Which sounds great in theory, but we'd be wise to consider that all these restrictions and qualifications we're trying push on navigators could just as easily be forced down brokers' throats in the future. Especially if Wendy Davis is your next governor.
Nevertheless, Obama doesn't have to have the last word. And I don't think he will. I think the private sector will adapt to this market disruption and prove once again that whatever federal bureaucrats can do, entrepreneurs can do better.
Finally, I'd like to formally welcome everyone to the Benefits Selling Expo
this year. It's our 10th, as I'm sure you've heard me mention before, so in the words of Joe Biden, it's a big effin' deal. Besides, this is the longest relationship I've ever had. Who knew it would be with a bunch of strangers? Here's to wishing you all the best conference trip of the year. I know it will be the most unique.
Originally published on BenefitsPro.com