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Arguments For And Against Obamacare, Right Now 46:20
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Rollout woes and beyond. A defender and a critic of Obamacare debate  the Affordable Care Act’s coming impact on America.

Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing as the panel seeks reassurances about problems with the debut of the Affordable Care Act. (AP)
Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing as the panel seeks reassurances about problems with the debut of the Affordable Care Act. (AP)

The Obama White House’s proudest achievement is –was-- the Affordable Care Act of 2010.  But it’s been a rocky five weeks since the so-called ‘rollout’ began.  The website Healthcare-dot-gov has become Public Enemy Number One.  Signing up has been a mess.  If the present is murky, so is the future.  We don’t know yet how Obamacare will, long-term, change American health care, what it costs us, and the health of the American people.

Guests

Sam Baker, health care correspondent for the National Journal. (@sam_baker)

Gail Wilensky, Senior fellow at Project HOPE. Former head of Medicare / Medicaid and senior health and welfare adviser to former President George W. Bush.

Jonathan Gruber, professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Key architect of Massachusetts' health care reform, former technical consultant to the Obama Administration during the development of the Affordable Care Act.

From The Reading List

National Journal: The ‘Train Wreck’ May Have Happened -- "A little over six months later, here we are. Contracts for public relations are on hold while contracts for HealthCare.gov are being extended to cover the site's repairs. People are indeed confused about the law, and the botched rollout has contributed to that confusion. The specifics of Baucus' prediction are holding up better than he—or Sebelius—probably want to acknowledge."

Washington Post: Inside the Obamacare War Room, HealthCare.gov’s launch was chaos — "Mostly though, the war room notes underscore how significant it was that the federal government ended up running the majority of health law insurance marketplaces, and how that increased the Obama administration's workload.Thirty-four states decided to either operate an insurance marketplace in partnership with the federal government, or leave the entire task to the Obama administration. That means, that in about two of every three states, its the people in the CCIIO War Room, and their colleagues, who are managing the back end of the exchange."

New Yorker: Obamacare's Three Percent -- "But if the Web site isn’t working by the end of November, Gruber thinks the difficulties with A.C.A. implementation will escalate to DefCon 3. By that point, some people may not be able to sign up for a plan before January 1st, when health coverage begins for people who bought plans during the open-enrollment period that started on October 1st. 'Those people whose plans are now being dropped would be screwed,' Gruber said."

This program aired on November 7, 2013.

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