Obamacare marketplace on road to recovery?

Staff Reports
Obamacare marketplace on road to recovery?

    The patient shows signs of improvement. 

     On Sunday, the Obama administration reported it had met its goal of improving the troubled online health insurance marketplace, reports The Washington Post. The website “works well for the vast majority of users,” the newspaper reported, but extensive work is still necessary.
     The Obama administration had promised since late October that its crippled online portal would work for most people by Nov. 30. Consumers in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Oklahoma and Ohio said in interviews that they noticed a difference when they tried to sign on, according to Kaiser Health News.com.
   The Affordable Care Act and its website, designed to provide nearly universal health coverage, have had plenty of problems, but one of them is not the Internal Revenue Service, Politico reports. The IRS, frequently the target of criticism, apparently is doing a good job processing data on income and health insurance. “It seems as if the IRS could emerge from the rollout headache as the one agency that didn’t, as President Barack Obama said, ‘fumble the ball.'”
     The administration’s campaign to build support for the new law and fend off critics could have had the Catholic Church in its corner, said New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan in an interview with Meet the Press moderator David Gregory.
     But the proposals on contraception coverage required the church to “violate” some “dictates of our conscience,” Dolan said.  He added: “That’s when we began to worry and draw back and say, ‘Mr. President, please, you're really kind of pushing aside some of your greatest supporters here. We want to be with you, we want to be strong. And if you keep doing this, we're not going to be able to be one of your cheerleaders.’ And that, sadly, is what happened.”
     The rollout story varies state by state. While few have signed up in Mississippi, Kentucky is having better luck, according to the Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Miss. “The cheapest mid-range plan for a 50-year-old nonsmoker in Mississippi’s most populous county costs $385 per month through the federal health insurance marketplace, nearly 40 percent higher than its equivalent in Kentucky,” the paper reports. “There, the same person can find a mid-range, or “Silver” plan, for as little as $278 per month. The annual savings between those two could purchase a new Apple MacBook Pro laptop, for example, or six weeks of groceries for the average family of four.”