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The Simple Feature That Could Save Obamacare

This episode of The Motley Fool's Market Checkup drills down on health-care's hottest headlines, biggest market movers, and updates on Obamacare's rollout. 

In this video, health-care analysts David Williamson and Max Macaluso discuss how a simple oversight could have saved a lot of consumer headaches. Obamacare's exchanges have a series of problems, from bandwidth to giltches. However, not all exchange experiences are the same. CGI Group is responsible for the federal sites used by 36 states, and they have been largely the most problematic. However, Washington, D.C., seems to be learning its lesson and is adding a simple feature from Washington state's exchange that helped make it one of the most successful.

That simple feature: the ability to window-shop. Most consumers have no reason to purchase insurance immediately, since they won't begin coverage until January. However, as we saw from traffic, there were a lot of Americans interested in seeing what Obamacare was about and the types of policies they could get. The federal sites required detailed information first, which is where a good amount of these glitches happened.

Insurance exchanges are the one critical part of Obamacare that is susceptible to failure. If people can't sign up successfully for insurance, the exchanges are in danger of not reaching a critical mass and potentially suffering an actuarial death spiral. Watch and find out what these means for both consumers and investors.

Obamacare: What you need to know
Health care as we know it is about to change. Do you know how the changes in the health-care law will affect you and your portfolio? If not, we're here to help: The Motley Fool has compiled a special new report filled with Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare. This report is a free offer from us to help you get educated on this important subject. Please click here to access your free copy.

Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (2)

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  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 6:40 PM, peckbill wrote:

    Obamacare is a name only the very ignorant use and the very dumb believe it is a good word. The Correct name is The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Let’s try to get the name right and show some respect, especially you members of the Congress that voted to approve the law.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 10:17 PM, Baxter1939 wrote:

    There a lot of reasons why Obamacare is really a poor deal. It based on a tremendous burden being placed on a lot of functions.

    • Business, the one year delay. Keep in mind that a lot of costs being incurred in reading, chasing down all the references that were changed, trying to develop the necessary systems and just getting to a point of being able to make a decision as to initiate a insurance program, or adjust your existing insurance program or dropped it and take the penalties. Guess who going to be pay for all these costs, the people who buy their products are services, with increased prices.

    • Government, they not ready either. In order to determine if people meet the requirements for subsidies Obamacare computer systems must be able to check the people bank account to see their routine deposits, payroll or SS cash debt cards deposits and IRS & State income tax filings, along with their Employers payroll withhold filings and the new required, yet undeveloped, insurance filings. As we all know the Government has not been very successfully in getting computers systems between Government Departments to work together. They have been trying for years with the FBI, CIA & Others with little success.

    • People, many of the people have little knowledge of Obamacare, don’t have any clue as to where to find any information. And if they had a paper copy of the Obamacare Law and all the reference material that it changed or affected it would completely fill one room of their house or apartment. Many of the people are going to have to have help to even go through the sign up process, the same as many having to pay someone to do their IRS short form income tax return.

  • Report this Comment On October 21, 2013, at 11:55 AM, mainelegal wrote:

    Health Care is almost 20% of GDP. The legions of rent collectors hovering around it match the economic size of the sector and the impenetrable difficulty in pricing health care services in a competitive or rational way. Any freeloader can show up at an ER and game the system. That cost is ultimately paid by the dwindling few with private insurance, a cohort which shrinks as the cost drives higher and higher.

    The only efficient large scale operations are Medicare and Medicaid, and each has the need for reform to make paid services correlated to outcomes.

    Obamacare can't possibly make anything less destructive economically or functionally.

    Since the recession, many hospitals have reported drops in surgical care and other events leading to vacant beds and lower revenues. It remains to be seen whether this persists through a slow recovery.

    I agree that cost control should be the next step, but creating a payment capacity requirement for all the people who use the system is a critical requirement and Obamacare will do that.

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