The October 1 deadline has already begun to falter at the state level, with Oregon announcing plans to scale back the launch of its own marketplace and California saying it would consider a similar move.Tuesday’s notification by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the HHS agency spearheading marketplace development, affects insurance plans that would be sold in federal exchanges that the administration is setting up in 34 of the 50 U.S. states. The remaining 16 states, including Oregon and California, are setting up their own marketplaces.“It makes me wonder if open enrollment can start on October 1,” said a former administration official who worked to implement Obama’s healthcare reform.
As the article points out (and as Wonkblog argues here), January 1st, when the individual mandate goes into effect and the coverage starts, is probably a more important deadline than October 1st. But a delay in October could presage further problems down the road.In more bad news for the ACA, a new Kaiser Family Foundation finds that all the money the Obama administration is pouring in ACA awareness campaigns hasn’t made a dent in the public’s opposition to the law, or even increased general knowledge about the law. The WSJ reports 51 percent of Americans say they still don’t understand what the ACA means for them or their family, and 62 percent of the uninsured report not knowing enough about the how the law will work.But there is a news item that should cheer up Obamacare supporters a little. Market research firm Deft Research finds that young people are more likely than the elderly to sign up for the insurance under the ACA exchanges. Having more young people get coverage is crucial for the financial success of Obamacare, so if accurate this is good news for the law. It would be premature to conclude victory from a single study, especially given other analyses pointing in the opposite direction. When it comes to Obamacare news, though, beggars can’t be choosers.