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A talk with D.C.’s health exchange board

Home - by - November 19, 2012 - 13:45 America/New_York - 11 Comments

WA Examiner

As Washington, D.C. went about creating its health insurance exchange to comply with President Obama’s national health care law, they had to deal with a unique problem. Given its relatively low population and already generous Medicaid program, officials determined there weren’t enough uninsured residents in the city to make a new exchange viable without more drastic action. So, they have taken the step of forcing all individuals, and businesses with between two and 50 employees, into the exchange. The idea is that by 2014, the Obamacare exchange will be the sole market to purchase health insurance in the District for individuals and small businesses whose plans aren’t “grandfathered in.” By conscripting these individuals and businesses, officials hope to meet the critical mass of participants they believe are needed to make the exchange viable (roughly, at least 100,000 people).

In a meeting with the Washington Examiner on Tuesday, members of the D.C. Health Benefits Exchange Authority tried to argue that their aim was to make the market function better.

“We are trying to find out the best way that we can implement this with the businesses so that there is minimum disruption in the marketplace as we implement this law,” the board’s chairman, Mohammad Akhter, said. “We looked at this not as a government venture, but as an independent venture…We want it to be ultimately self-sustainable to be able to do the work we need to do serving the small business community and uninsured people.”

Yet on top of taking the step of forcing individuals and small businesses into the exchanges, the board will be tasked, within the confines of Obamacare, with designing the health insurance policies that will be offered on those exchanges.

“We decided, generally speaking, to take a passive approach to insurance offerings in the regulatory sense, which means we’re not going to dictate detailed specifics for plan offerings,” vice chairman Henry Aaron insisted. Yet he added, “We do have a responsibility for deciding what is a qualifying health care plan. We have taken no decisions yet on that.”

Specifically, the board has not yet determined whether high-deducible health care plans with lower monthly premiums – plans that would make sense for younger and healthier beneficiaries – will be allowed in the District.

“We have not yet faced the question of what, if any, restrictions would limit the offering of a high-deductible plan within the exchange,” Aaron said. “I cannot answer that because I don’t know where we’re going on that. We haven’t received the staff work, we haven’t even begun to discuss it within the insurance working committee, and it hasn’t gone to the full board.”

 

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» 11 Comments

  1. Nutjob

    November 19th, 2012

    Looks like the beginning of the worlds biggest clusterfuck led by clusterfucks for clusterfucks.

    Just don’t forget to eliminate Obamas exemption for the union government motors workers and for Congress who also are exempt. You need to maximize your funds and these are a whole lot of millionaires and 6 figure douchbags that should be contributing.

    Boy are the leeches going to be pissed once they see they’ll have a high deductible and premiums for Obamas FREE healthcare.
    Bwahahhahahha…idiot Obamavoters.

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  2. Maudie N Mandeville

    November 19th, 2012

    “We want it to be ultimately self-sustainable”.

    ‘Bwahahhahahha…idiot Obamavoters.’ htp: Nutjob

    Thumb up +5

     
  3. Dr. Tar

    November 19th, 2012

    Kiss freedom of choice good by. The govm’t knows whats best for you and they are going to force you into their system one way or another.

    Thumb up +4

     
  4. Rick

    November 19th, 2012

    “We decided, generally speaking, to take a passive approach to insurance offerings in the regulatory sense, which means we’re not going to dictate detailed specifics for plan offerings,” vice chairman Henry Aaron insisted. Yet he added, “We do have a responsibility for deciding what is a qualifying health care plan. We have taken no decisions yet on that.”

    Then what the hell good are ya? Sounds like a nice fluffy sinecure without doing anything.

    Can a health insurance company say, “Nah, not worth getting in the market” in a specific geographic area?

    “We have not yet faced the question of what, if any, restrictions would limit the offering of a high-deductible plan within the exchange,” Aaron said. “I cannot answer that because I don’t know where we’re going on that. We haven’t received the staff work, we haven’t even begun to discuss it within the insurance working committee, and it hasn’t gone to the full board.”

    Better get your shit in gear; time’s running out.

    Thumb up +3

     
  5. msq

    November 19th, 2012

    WOW, they just cant wait to have complete control.

    Thumb up +3

     
  6. Menderman

    November 19th, 2012

    A forced health plan run by a muslim immigrant from Pok-i-ston who pushed and passed free pot and free condoms for all DC residents…yup, sounds like a good plan.

    Thumb up +3

     
  7. bitterclinger

    November 19th, 2012

    I can’t tell you what I just read.

    Thumb up +4

     
  8. Nutjob

    November 19th, 2012

    Liberals Idea of a soultion.

    First create a problem, then appoint idiots with no experience as the leaders.
    Then decide how you can mandate an overpriced product that no one wants or needs.
    Then explain how it is going to be free and cost nothing while figuring out how to get revenue from something that is free.
    Then explain, you have no idea what the products and services are.
    Then start offering exemptions to campaign donors and politically affiliated friends but mandating this unknown service to all others.
    Then order millions of bullets for this new agency as well as vehicles, offices, solar panels and hire thousands of liberal students who just graduated with no life experience.
    Then when it is broke and under congressional review after taxpayer bailout multiple times explain it was the deadguys fault who can longer defend himself.

    and walluh……you have another liberal beaurocratic program that accomplished nothing and cost taxpayers trillions, but made these fucksticks feel all warm and cozey trying to figure out what their place in life is after being raised with no daddy.

    Now let me click my heels together 3 times and wish I was back in Kansas or at least the late 80′s.

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  9. Unneutral

    November 19th, 2012

    This entire bullshit is nothing but bullshit, we’d all be much better off if we’d just pick up the tab for those that were not insured. But then the government would not have enough ‘CONTROL’ over the people that built this country.

    Fuck government.

    Thumb up +6

     
  10. Stranded in Sonoma

    November 19th, 2012

    If they’re trying to get to 100,000 people, I can think of 537 right now that would be happy to join up.

    Thumb up +2

     
  11. Jorel Lives!

    November 19th, 2012

    The interviewee has expressed doubt, uncertainty, and speculation. The shit is unraveling before it’s even had a chance to be fully implemented. Waiting ten hours at the County Hospital will be a thing of the past; you’ll need to bring your sleeping bag.

    Thumb up +1