Healthcare


Dr. Mandy Cohen, Senior Adviser to Marilyn Tavenner, CMS Administrator, says "We're Going to be Ready" October 1st

by Patrick Riley 28 Aug 2013
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Yesterday, in Chicago the keynote address at the National Association of Community Health Centers' Community Health Institute meeting to discuss health insurance exchanges or marketplaces as Kathleen Sebelius at HHS likes them referred to was given by the senior adviser to the CMS Administrator,  Mandy Cohen, MD. With less than 40 days until the actual go live date of 1 October, it would have been fatal news to the Obama administration if she said otherwise.

Dr. Cohen provided few details other than to reaffirm what CMS and HHS officials have been saying for 6 months now, that being, they will be ready. It is encouraging and at the same time a bit unnerving given the steady flow of sound bites predicting October 1st to be a day that will launch the GOP Presidential bid for 2016 as many Republican candidates are hinting that October will be the month that buries Obamacare either thru failure of the online health insurance marketplaces or the defunding for implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Democrats are hoping for millions of "customers" to show up and sign up for health insurance. Predictions are for millions, CBO says 7 million and a recent USA Today poll indicated that the 16 states running their own exchanges are hoping to enroll 9.5 million alone, just in those states.

This is not my first rodeo, but it is my first health insurance exchange, just like it is for  everybody else. Here is what I believe will happen. First, there will be problems, guaranteed, but I believe there is resolve beyond politics to push through the fog of war, if you will, and get to the other side of the creation of a true national health information exchange capability and with it, a process for individuals, small companies, and families to buy health insurance and receive care that will keep them healthy and out of the hospital. A simple, but solid goal. Either way, October will be a month we will all remember.

Please follow me on Twitter if you want to learn more about health insurance exchanges and join the dialogue @Patrick_FrostHC

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