POLITICS

Coverage worries grow as ObamaCare cliff nears

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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COVERAGE WORRIES GROW AS OBAMACARE CLIFF NEARS - Millions of Americans who saw their insurance policies cancelled under ObamaCare have three weeks to get signed up for new plans or face coverage lapses. With that very real deadline looming, the Obama administration gave itself high marks on its self-imposed weekend deadline for improving the site on which the entitlement program depends. While the administration was boasting about a Web site that was 90 percent stable, worries were deepening about the real deadline. Insurers claim the system can’t reliably deliver customer information. Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, tells NYT, “Until the enrollment process is working from end to end, many consumers will not be able to enroll in coverage.”  While the government site remains under repair and under construction, it is unclear how many Americans who believe they have purchased insurance are actually signed up for policies. The administration extended the signup deadline from Dec. 15 to Dec. 23, to be covered starting Jan. 1 but that may still prove impossible.

[In a USA Today OpEd, Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is urging customers to visit the site during “off-peak” hours while promoting the fixes.]   

Hand grenades, horseshoes and ObamaCare - Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein breaks down the administration spin on the soft re-launch of ObamCare’s online home: “On the call, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid spokeswoman Julie Bataille was a bit vague about whether that goal had been met. Five weeks ago, Bataille said, just 30 percent of users could get through the process. ‘Today, we’re now more in the zone of about 80 percent of users being able to do that same process successfully,’ she said. What does ‘in the zone of about’ mean? Furthermore, she emphasized that not all Americans will feel comfortable signing up by the website, and could seek help by phone or in person. That suggests that the vague 80 percent number includes all forms of signing up for insurance, not just through the website. And once again, comparing it to the private sector, imagine if one out of every five people trying to buy airplane tickets on Orbitz could not do so.”

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