And They're Off! Health Insurance Marketplace Launch - October 1, 2013

by Patrick Riley 01 Oct 2013
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As it happens, I was in our nation's capital for the past two days, on the very eve of the launch of the much maligned and much touted health insurance marketplaces, which were once called exchanges. But, nothing in my travels down K Street and a walk past the White House gave any indication of this historic moment was about to be born. Instead, the city was languishing over a pending, and almost certain shutdown, as the House and Senate could not reach a deal to keep the government going without either defunding or postponing the affordable care act.

As I boarded a plane at Reagan International late on the evening of September 30th, by the time I got back to Texas the clock had, indeed, run out on reaching a compromise or piece of legislation that was agreeable to the House, which called for a postponement of launching the Affordable Care Act for one year, among other riders to the funding bill. So, the Senate sent the bill back to the House stripping out this provision which was, of course, doomed before it hit Speaker Boehner's desk.

So, there you have it. Government shut-down. And with it, almost 1/2 half of the HHS staff assembled to launch and oversee the insurance marketplace launch will be at home today as a result. Not exactly what Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary for Health and Human Services had drawn up in her playbook for today.

After reading so much anticipation for today from both sides of the argument, it appears that October 1, 2013 will come in with a whimper and not a bang. It remains what the American people will do with online access to health insurance today. Perhaps, they will ignore their government as it appears the politicians have ignored those who seek to find coverage.

I will continue to write on health insurance marketplaces, as this saga unfolds. You can follow me on Twitter @Patrick_FrostHC or continue to read this daily blog.

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