ACA: Web Problems and Political Drama are Temporary. Ambivalence of the Uninsured is Permanent
HealthCare.gov will be fixed, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will survive the associated political turmoil (amplified by policy cancellations) without immediate major modifications. These temporary problems ultimately are irrelevant
Since the ACA was passed, the essential rate limit to its success (ignoring the Supreme Court challenge) has been the fundamental matter of whether the uninsured will buy coverage on the exchanges. Even if HealthCare.gov were working acceptably – as it eventually will be – enrollment is likely to disappoint
Despite generous subsidies, an essential truth remains: For the average uninsured person, it is cheaper to remain uninsured than to buy subsidized coverage on the exchanges. And, the younger and/or healthier that uninsured person is, the more this is true. The average person with income between 138 and 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) already has negative savings of nearly $3,000 annually; purchasing exchange-based coverage will require spending an additional $1,500
The 15 states operating their own exchanges are less affected by the glitches facing HealthCare.gov, though some problems with underlying share data platforms affect both the state and federal exchanges. In these 15 states, during October only 0.73% of non-Medicaid eligible uninsured persons selected a plan on an exchange. In the remaining states that rely on HealthCare.gov, 0.09% of non-Medicaid eligible uninsured persons selected a plan on the shared federal exchange
For our full research notes, please visit our published research site.