NEWS: Media Outlets on New Nonpartisan Reports that Sound Alarm on Obamacare’s Delays and Missed Deadlines

June 19, 2013

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) this morning released two new reports confirming the Obama administration is ill-equipped for the implementation of the federally facilitated health insurance and the Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) exchanges created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The reports state the programs’ implementation delays and missed deadlines show potential for “implementation challenges going forward.” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) requested the federally facilitated exchange report. House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) requested the report on the SHOP exchanges.

In response to the reports, Chairman Fred Upton commented, "The non-partisan GAO reports underscore the sad reality that the administration is still woefully unprepared for implementation despite the law being signed over three years ago. News of delays and missed deadlines are now just as prevalent as reports of Obamacare’s broken promises and the looming rate shock in store for millions of Americans."

Health-Insurance Exchanges Are Falling Behind Schedule

Government officials have missed several deadlines in setting up new health-insurance exchanges for small businesses and consumers—a key part of the federal health overhaul—and there is a risk they won't be ready to open on time in October, Congress's watchdog arm said.

The Government Accountability Office said federal and state health officials still have major work to complete, offering its most cautious comments to date about the Obama administration's ability to bring the centerpiece of its signature law to fruition.

"Whether [the government's] contingency planning will assure the timely and smooth implementation of the exchanges by October 2013 cannot yet be determined," said the GAO in twin reports to be released Wednesday. …

Read the full article online here.

Gov't report: Smooth launch unsure for health law

WASHINGTON (AP) - There's no guarantee that President Barack Obama's health care law will launch smoothly and on time, congressional investigators say in the first in-depth independent look at its progress.

But in a report to be released Wednesday, the congressional Government Accountability Office also sees positive signs as the Oct. 1 deadline approaches for new health insurance markets called exchanges to open in each state — in many cases over the objections of Republican governors.

Additionally, the report discloses that the administration had spent nearly $400 million as of March to set up the infrastructure of a sprawling system involving major federal agencies, every state, hundreds of insurance companies, and millions of citizens, among them many individuals seeking coverage for the first time. …

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Federal Health Exchanges Are Behind Schedule, GAO Finds

Computer systems to help Americans gain coverage on the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges may not be ready on time, and training for the people who will assist consumers is behind schedule, a government report found.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is still developing and testing computer systems meant to determine consumers’ eligibility for government subsidies, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said today. Plans to train “navigators” to assist people in finding new insurance plans have been delayed by about two months past a June deadline, the GAO found. The exchanges are set to open Oct. 1.

“Factors such as the still-evolving scope of CMS’s required activities in each state and the many activities yet to be performed -- some close to the start of enrollment -- suggest a potential for challenges going forward,” the GAO said in its report. “Much progress has been made, but much remains to be accomplished within a relatively short amount of time.” …

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New 'Obamacare' exchanges could miss enrollment deadline: GAO

New health insurance exchanges being set up by the federal government in more than 30 states under President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare overhaul could miss an October 1 deadline for open enrollment, a government report said on Wednesday.

The launch of the exchanges, which are expected to provide health coverage for 7 million people in 2014 and 22 million by 2016 as well as to some small businesses, could determine whether Obama's signature domestic policy achievement succeeds.

The report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) said key parts of the framework of the exchanges, including those that addressed consumers' eligibility for federal subsidies, management and monitoring of insurance plans and consumer assistance, had not been completed. …

Read the full article online here.