Rolling out the Affordable Care Act

The following is  a post I saw on Huffingtonpost.com in the comments section of the following article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/13/obamacare-enrollment_n_4266865.html  by a person with the user name “eflish.”  I thought it contained some pretty good information, so I thought I’d repost it here:

“A Comparison of Other Roll outs:

1. ROMNEY CARE. In the first month of Romney care, 123 people signed up.

http://www.coloradoindependent.com/144693/colo-obamacare-launch-on-track-with-mass-romneycare-launch

2. BUSH’S MEDICARE PART-D ROLL OUT. January 12th 2006 – Philadelphia Inquirer:

Nearly two weeks after it began, the new Medicare prescription drug program remains plagued by problems, and calls for help are growing, advocates report. 

“There are breakdowns at every point, and there is no one there to fix them,” said Michael Campbell, executive director of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project. 

Many of the most vulnerable elderly and disabled patients have been unable to get medicine since the program’s start on Jan. 1, according to interviews with patients, medical professionals and public-interest lawyers.

http://articles.philly.com/2006-01-12/news/25410200_1_medicare-spokeswoman-medicare-beneficiaries-medicare-prescription-drug-program

2. SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME. SSI is a program that provides money to disabled Americans. It suffered from many of the same problems Obamacare has:

a. GAO Report. The GAO summarized the problems:

“After the program became effective January 1, 1974, many benefit payment errors, delays, and other difficulties prompted numerous public complaints, State criticisms, and congressional inquiries about the way the Social Security Administration was operating the new program.”

b. Computer Problems. Social Security developed a new computer system to handle claims. The GAO said the program was riddled with problems and caused massive delays.

c. High Volume. The SSI programs experienced a much higher volume than was originally predicted causing delays and confusion.

d. Low Sign Ups. There were 7.2 million people were eligible for the program but two years after the start, only 4.3 million had signed up.

Today, 8 million people use it with few complaints.

3. SOCIAL SECURITY. When Social Security started, it took five years for Social Security to solve all its problems.

a. They Said It Couldn’t Be Done. A management expert hired by the Social Security board recommended that “the board notify Congress that the government could not run the Social Security program, after all.”

b. Never Live Up To Its Promise. Republican presidential nominee, Alf Landon said that Social Security was a “cruel hoax and fraud on the working man” and would never live up to its own promises.

4. TRICARE. Tricare is the government-run health insurance program for Military Dependents. In 2002, they rolled out a new Program called Tricare For Life. This is what happened:

a. A computer glitch blocked 13% of enrollee’s claims.

b. Claims adjusters refused to pay for 15% of certain doctor’s bills.

c. Claims were rejected because of computer glitches.

d. A high percentage of Widows and spouses were denied care.

Today, Tricare has very high satisfaction ratings in the 90% range.

http://www.gao.gov/assets/120/113885.pdf

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/23/obamacare-problems_n_4148466.html

http://www.tricare.mil/hpae/_docs/2009_TRISS%20Mail%20Survey_Overall_Report_final_26July2010[1].pdf

http://www.ausa.org/publications/armymagazine/archive/2002/5/Documents/Loper_0502.pdf ”

So, I think what the point that the poster was trying to make, is that new programs typically have problems.  Many of the programs that have rolled out in the US have experienced problems, but they ended up working very well.  Obamacare, like the other programs, just needs a chance to have the bugs worked out.

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