The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services now expects 11 million uninsured Americans to obtain coverage next year, down from about 22 million projected a year ago, according to the report, which appeared in the journal Health Affairs. It said healthcare spending would rise 6.1 percent in 2014, partly due to the implementation of Obamacare, compared with a previous projection of an increase of 7.4 percent.
The slowdown in spending growth might seem to be a bright spot in this otherwise disastrous announcement, but spending restraint has very little to do with Obamacare and much more to do with the increasing prevalence of high deductible plans. Moreover, many aren’t even sure the slowdown will be permanent.As if the diminished expectations weren’t enough bad news for the ACA for one day, the law is also running into some fresh technical glitches. There have been stories all summer about problems with the software for the online exchanges, but this one seems quite serious. WSJ:
Less than two weeks before the launch of insurance marketplaces created by the federal health overhaul, the government’s software can’t reliably determine how much people need to pay for coverage, according to insurance executives and people familiar with the program.
Lingering technical problems like this are exactly what you might expect from a rushed rollout of a complex system. Obamacare is ending out the week on a very bad note.