Health Reform Weekly
A weekly compilation from Aetna of health care-related developments in Washington, D.C. and state legislatures across the country.
Week of October 14, 2013
Public opinion polls in the past week have confirmed what everyone already knew – the government’s new health insurances marketplaces got off to a rough start. An AP-GfK poll found that only 7 percent of Americans think the rollout on October 1 went well. Three-fourths of those trying to sign up reported having problems. News coverage last week shows that those states operating their own exchanges were bouncing back much more quickly than the federally operated exchange site serving 34 states across the country. Also, the coverage is now beginning to move beyond the start-up issues and focus instead on the cost and scope of coverage options available through the exchanges across the country. Reports show wide variations in price and availability, with an overwhelming array of competing plans available in some counties and sparse options in other places.
President Obama and Congressional leaders continued discussions last week over how soon the government can be reopened. A meeting with House Republicans at the White House seemed to be a positive step, though it ended without resolution on a strategy for going forward. House Republicans have indicated that they could reopen the federal government by early in the week if the president and Senate Democrats agree to their debt-ceiling proposal. It is unclear what concessions the GOP would seek if they advance a government funding bill. Discussions are expected to continue this week as policymakers move closer to the October 17 deadline for action to address the debt ceiling.