Mike Beebe was right on health exchanges | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mike Beebe was right on health exchanges

Posted By on Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Remember when Gov. Mike Beebe said Arkansas should run its own health insurance exchange? Remember? Remember when Republicans thought it better to default to federal government (admitted as part of the general massive resistance campaign.)

More evidence from Governing magazine that Mike Beebe was right:

HealthCare.gov, the federal health insurance exchange, is a disaster. One month out from launch, the mother ship is still grounded and looks like it will be for some time yet. The state-level stories, however, are quite different. The Washington Post reported last week on four states—California, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Washington—that are doing pretty well at getting citizens signed up. The same seems to be true for Arkansas and Rhode Island, based on data through the first four weeks of enrollment.

The 16 states that chose to create their own exchanges have online insurance marketplaces that are independently developed, and locally hosted and operated. Consumers living in the other states go to a single federally hosted webpage, HealthCare.gov.

State-based exchanges have their share of glitches but have pretty much gotten the technology right. What they didn’t get quite right was the human factor: Both interest and demand for information about the possibility of affordable health care is “more than most states anticipated,” says Angela Sherwin, program director of the Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership program at Brown University. “Enrollments are slower than desired, but states with their own exchanges are running more smoothly in general than the feds, and they may be able to react to demand and tech issues more quickly.”

Be sure to note how high the demand. Yes, there are people who are happy with the insurance they now have and could face higher costs for the better coverage required by the Affordable Care Act. But they are in the small minority. Someday, a local TV station, rather than focusing on one unhappy insurance customer, might round up some of the 60,000 or so already in line for better benefits in Arkansas thanks to the law. Is the solution really to take all that way — and coverage for sick people — to keep the lady in Conway happy?

The media manipulation by the massive resisters is working well.

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