I still am.
I only wish that Republicans would have been willing to own their original idea and to work with Democrats when crafting this law. I would have been a better law.
What I am really surprised about, however, is the poor quality of the “marketplace” websites – both federal and state – that have been created to sell health insurance under ACA. These websites are mostly web – and there are many different spiders (computer geeks call them bugs) within those webs whose goals are to keep you from being able to “obey” the law.
When it comes to creating marketplaces, I think the government should have turned that task over to amazon.com! From the outside, it appears that each amazon.com “associate” has access to a page template on the larger amazon.com site that the associate largely has control over. When I elect to purchase a laser cartridge for my printer, I have many sources to select from. When I decide to buy from one of them – say printers.com – via the amazon.com site, it feels like I am really dealing with printers.com. Beyond requiring printers.com to meet some minimal requirements – and probably pay a portion of their profit from my purchase to amazon.com – it looks like printers.com is pretty much in charge of what they are selling. There are many laser cartridge dealers that I can choose from – and they all offer different deals.
Amazon.com is a true marketplace.
How is participating businesses (insurance companies, in this case) offering tightly pre-defined policies (given the names of different metals, by the way) a marketplace? The only competitive piece that seems to remain is the cost of insurance premiums. Nearly everything else about the policies appears to have been “standardized” by the ACA in to what they call “qualified health plans.” That’s why the president was wrong when he stated that we could keep the insurance we had, if we liked it. What ACA proponents are now saying is, “You should not have liked it in the first place.”
Yes, calling the federal and state ACA websites "marketplaces" is like calling manufacturing robots "life forms."
We are a long way from such realities in both instances.
Minnesota’s ACA website, MNSure allows us to take our pick from four sets of “qualified health plans”: Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum.
Considering the exorbitant costs to taxpayers associated with the development of the Minnesota and federal ACA websites, I have to say that they have overlooked the most important metal.
This commentary was originally published January 16, 20143 in the print edition of the Winona Daily News