Obamacare applications get shorter
April 30th, 2013
09:24 AM ET
1 year ago

Obamacare applications get shorter

(CNN) – Applications for health insurance coverage under President Barack Obama's sweeping healthcare law will go from 21 pages to three, according to a White House official, who said the change was part of an effort to simplify the implementation of Obamacare.

"The President wants the Administration to be as flexible and nimble as possible in implementing the ACA law," the White House official said, referring to the law's official name, the Affordable Care Act. "It is a complex undertaking, and it is particularly important to the success of the law that enrollment into the Markteplaces be as user friendly as possible."

Starting this fall, the some 15 million Americans who buy health insurance on the individual market will be able to shop for and enroll in health insurance through state-based exchanges, with coverage taking effect in January. By 2016, some 24 million people will get insurance through the exchanges, while another 12 million will continue to get individual coverage outside of them, the Congressional Budget Office estimates.

A draft application to receive insurance on the exchanges topped out at 21 pages, the White House official said, which prompted criticism that it was overly complicated.

"Obviously, the drafting of the Marketplace application is just one small piece of ACA implementation," the official continued. "But we hope that people concerned with implementation will view this corrective action as a positive step and a demonstration of our interest in taking whatever actions we can to make the law work well for all."

The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 with loud opposition from Republicans, who have repeatedly tried to repeal the measure in Congress. The centerpiece of the law, an individual requirement to obtain health care insurance, was upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court in 2012.


Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. Bert

    It is dismaying to see how some of you are rooting for ACA to fail. This is a first step at trying to turn around the Titanic that is our present health care system. As a family doctor and small business owner I have seen the problems with our present system from both sides. Let's give it a chance without this constant badmouthing of the plan and our president.

    April 30, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Far left Liberal

    Constitutionally taxes must originate in the house. This bill (now law) originated in the senate. When the SCOTUS deemed Obamacare a tax it made the law unconstitutional and therefore should be abolished according to the constitution.

    April 30, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. 4JULY1776

    "I cannot afford the health coverage that my company offers, and it isn't even very good if I could. By the end of this year I will be LEGALLY REQUIRED to do so, and I am not quite sure what I am going to do"

    OldSchool.....welcome to the wonderful world of an all-powerful leftist government that can coerce you into doing what they decide is good for the "community." This is why Democrats hate freedom and independence....you might not decide what they believe is good for everyone else.

    April 30, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. overtaxedBK

    The wheels are already off the bus... unfortunately, the general public won't "get it" until we are further down the sink hole.

    All great empires eventually fall... most are too arrogant to see it until it's too late to fix.

    April 30, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Big business conservatives don't like the bill for a host of reasons, and all of them have to do with profit. The big insurers will be making smaller profits. The law puts a cap on their profits, which is a good thing IMHO. Health care should not be an industry where people can become billionaires.

    The ACA puts in place laws that should drive the number of people seeking Medicare, because private insurers can no longer drop people or deny them coverage simply because they pass a certain age.

    April 30, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Triple A

    Are they going to also bother to print them in English or just go with Spanish?

    April 30, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. overtaxedBK

    I know a lot of people in the service industry (without healthcare currently)... and NONE of them plan to buy insurance. They're willing to pay when needed and/or take chances with fines.

    I think it may have been a bit idealistic to think everybody would run right out and sign up.

    April 30, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Frank

    I think I've just solved the medicare bankruptcy issue!!! Allow anyone under 65 to buy into medicare! Medicare won't go bankrupt and anyone under 65 will have affordable healthcare! Problem solved! Oh wait..that means no one will be forced to buy un-affordable insurance and the insurance industry might go out of business. Ah, who cares let them blood suckers die.

    April 30, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. USAGuest

    "Affordable Care"...LOL!

    My husband and I, in our 50's, have seen our insurance rates skyrocket. We used to pay $450.00 and soon after this "act" was signed it went up to $650.00, then $750.00 to now $1,500.00 monthly.

    We have seen our waiting time for potentially life-saving tests increase tenfold.

    Many of our friends have seen their work hours reduced to the point their employers no longer have to provide any health care at all.

    This is nothing more than a tax; brought to you by the insurance companies that were seeing people go without insurance to their greedy higher rates...and the rates as I have seen and have heard from others have only gone higher, and higher. Nothing "Affordable" about this at all. Oh, and for those who think nobody can be denied; well sure, you may be able to get coverage but there has been no discernible limits put onto the insurance companies to how much they can charge. Go for the cheap plan and no better than welfare MediCal and good luck getting any quality care in a reasonable amount of time.

    And if this is supposedly good enough for the American People then why have so many government officials opted out? Why have companies been asking for waivers to get out of this "Affordable Care Act" if it is sooo good?

    Again, nothing more than an added tax and burden.

    April 30, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. Frank

    @ 4JULY1776 " This is why Democrats hate freedom and independence" Umm I thought it was the theocratic republicans who hate freedom to marry, freedom for women's health care, freedom to do what you want with your own body, etc. I'm confused.

    April 30, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    4JULY1776

    "I cannot afford the health coverage that my company offers, and it isn't even very good if I could. By the end of this year I will be LEGALLY REQUIRED to do so, and I am not quite sure what I am going to do"

    OldSchool.....welcome to the wonderful world of an all-powerful leftist government that can coerce you into doing what they decide is good for the "community." This is why Democrats hate freedom and independence....
    -------------
    You are not required to buy insurance from your employer. You're simply required to have some form of health insurance if you go to a public hospital. You could be covered by your spouse's plan, for example. Or, you could sit at home and practice faith healing.

    April 30, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. KLARGAR

    Mark do you hear me you ignorant dog turd. So you are going to go to the ER when you get sick instead of seeing a doctor before you need emergency care. Good luck with your case of stage 4 cancer or your completely blocked arteries. You are an idiot one of the reasons that health care is so costly in this country is that we all pay for the poor and in your case ignorant people who use the emergency room as their primary health care provider.

    April 30, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. Joe

    You will not be required to purchase the lousy plan your employer now offers. There are 3 points to that. 1. There are minimum requirements that health plans must meet regarding coverage and cost. 2. You can decide to get a plan from the state exchange that is required to be set up. 3. You can elect not to have coverage at all as you currently do not have. The penalty the first year, $95. At no point are you Legally Required to purchase health care insurance. It's your choice.

    April 30, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. w l jones

    Some people should been around Sixty or seventy years a go when only the rich an well to do could afford healthcare everybody else only had turpine and cow morrow tally for most of there treatment.

    April 30, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. jbmar1312

    Just like democrats under the Clinton administration forced mortgage companies and banks to lower their home loan standards so folks who could not reponsibly keep up with a burdensome mortgage payment because of their low or inconsistant income situation caused the the current housing issue. This is not the fault of the poor but a long term plan by the dems to lock in the largest voting block our country has ever seen by coersion of dependency. Who knows how far the impact of this law will be to continue to break the middle class and create a large class enslaved to government handouts. The government truely being the special interests money groups and corporations. There is no longer a government, by the people, of the people and for the people. Our country has been hijacked by domestic terrorists. We call them politicians. The very term disgusts me! Huh, saying that is probably a hate crime. I am guilty as charged.

    April 30, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    I work closely with many warehousing and manufacturing firms and continuously hear the exact same thing... at the end of this year, al part time people will have hours cut to no more than 30 hours/week so the company is not required to pay for or ofer them insurance and the company will just hire a few more temps to cover the lost hours... The average person cannot live on a 30 hour/wk paycheck so will have to get a second job at 30/wk or less... Now they're working two jobs and still don't have insurance, government has to foot the bill. Ocare will implode from the law of unintended consequenses.

    April 30, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. John

    Bert,
    It is dismaying that this was forced down our throats and our so called "reps" didn't bother to read it to find out what they were voting for. Obama lied when he said "you can keep your doctor". He lied when he said "it is a cost saving measure". He lied when he said "congress will be under the same plan". And, given that MA spent over $300 million on illegals for healthcare he also lied when he said "illegals will not get benefits".
    Where are the jobs? I can care less about a gay basketball player, or a gun bill that does nothing to solve a problem, or a immigration bill that allows illegal criminals to stay here as legal members of our society.

    April 30, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. Delta Dame

    "I'm 33 years old and Social Security in its current form will not be available when I am of age to retire." Just a suggestion Shaun – if your generation expects social security payments when you retire, it would be helpful for you to have some kids that grow up and work. That's how the program works. Pay as you go. We've paid in for 30-40-50 years ourselves. That paid for a lot of retirees. Your turn, now.

    April 30, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. fed-up

    This is to The Real Truth:

    One of the reasons Americans have came to be the most overweight nation on the globe is because our government is enabling Americans to be overwieght. My point....when you have almost 50 million people on the tax payers dime getting food stamps and not being held accountable for their own existence you reap what you sow. It has become nationally acceptable to give endless amounts of money (food stamps, free housing, free child care, temporary assistance for needy families, free cell phones, WIC, free lunch programs, etc, etc) to people with no strings attached; lets take the food stamp program........people get food stamps and basically buy anything they want, not necessarily what they need. Prime example: did you know fast food restaruants and pizza places take food stamps. Unbelievable, if these people had to be accountable for their existence you can bet they wouldn't be woofing down endless amounts of food, they would be getting off their lazy butts and working which would increase exercise, decrease blood pressure, decrease the epidemic of diabetes in this nation, and we would have healthier people. So, I do blame our government for enabling Americans to become an obese nation. I know what its like to be poor; it was enough insentive for me to get an education, get a good job, and be a productive citizen in society without being a burden to the public. I pay for my own existence and it is time for Amercians to be held accountable: if someone cannot provide for their child, put the children in homes that can provide for them, if someone doesn't have a job then let them starve and be homeless, I am tired of all the whining sniveling brats out there that think its ok for everyone else to pay their way in life.

    April 30, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. Scottish Mama

    We paid for these uninsured people to have insurance before Obamacare, what is different these people can go to a doctor for preventive care and catch diseases before the disease is terminal and cost more. Preventive care is in the insurance policies. Many insurance companies do not worry about Obamacare, just the people whom have never read it.
    @4JULY- Obamacare also has plans for the people like you who cannot afford it, if you make less you pay less. If you have chronic diseases you will not be turned down. If we already pay for people like you whom do not go to the doctor till your too ill to take care of yourself, what is the difference?

    April 30, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. Josh

    Will you vote for a Democrat next election?

    If 'yes' here is all the coverage you want.
    If 'no' you will pay for yourself as well as the next person that checks 'yes'.

    There, shortened it for him.

    April 30, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. Fair is Fair

    "The ACA puts in place laws that should drive the number of people seeking Medicare, because private insurers can no longer drop people or deny them coverage simply because they pass a certain age."
    -------
    This statement makes no sense. Medicare is for people over 65 (unless you have end-stage renal disease or are disabled). What does the so-called ACA have to do with Medicare (besides robbing a good deal of it's funding)?

    April 30, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. NorCalMojo

    A 2500 page bill that no one read?

    What could go wrong?

    April 30, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    This statement makes no sense. Medicare is for people over 65 (unless you have end-stage renal disease or are disabled). What does the so-called ACA have to do with Medicare (besides robbing a good deal of it's funding)?
    ---------------------
    What currently drives people from private insurers to Medicare? Private insurers drop them when they hit 65. Private insurers do not open policies for people over 65. Under the ACA there should be fewer people over 65 entering Medicare because they will still be covered by their private insurers.

    April 30, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. Scottish Mama

    @Fair – maybe they meant medicaid?

    April 30, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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