Peter Lee, Executive Director of Covered California said, “Come January 2014, Covered California will be open for business providing subsidies for millions of Californians”, but he didn’t promise it would be smooth. The truth is that the rollout is likely to be messy. This is a massive change, on a par with the launch of Medicare, that will take time to get right.
Keep in mind that I am a stong supporter of the ACA and Covered California in particular so I not some critic taking a potshot. But here are plenty of Obamacare critics out there and they will have a field day with the inevitable problems sure to accompany the launch. It will be difficult enough for consumers, agents, and insurers to maneuver through the launch period’s screw-ups, but all this will be happening amid a tough election year political fight, in which Republican opponents of health reform will renew their call to repeal the ACA, or at least roll it back.
We hope that some journalists will take the long view, but this is probably too much for which to hope. When the shit hits the fan next January, as it surely will, there won’t be many newspaper headlines taking the long view.