Obamacare applications get shorter
April 30th, 2013
09:24 AM ET
9 years 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)

    To all the micro encephalic conservatives and republicans drooling and frothing like rabid animals about how Obama care is going to destroy healthcare and the greater American way of life. Yesterday for the first time in recent history health care expenditures were lower than the preceding quarter, approximately 25% is directly due to Obama care . Take this into consideration mouth breathing frothers, most of Obama care has not yet been implemented and we should see consequent lowering of the cost of healthcare as the AHCA kicks in. Good luck in 2016 buttholes,when your lies aren't even believed by the bulk of your accolytes.

    April 30, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. seriously, what were you thinking?

    ^ That is the problem right there Al. I'm in the industry. Insurance companies will not take the hit for you. With more risk being added to their books, comes more premium they must collect. With the millions of sick individuals out there there is no way to sufficiently do this without raising rates. People are being punished now because of other peoples health. This isn't a politcal issue, it is a CONSTITUTIONAL issue. Why do I have to pay for your insurance. In just the state of Ohio, rates are expected to go up 85%. Small business owners will be forced to turn away the option of offering insurance.

    So now the economy will take the hit, right after we are trying to recuperate from 2008. Make no mistakes about it, you will pay more, and you will pay for you neighbor as well. The economy will in turn, slow to a creep because of this decrease in disposably income. Before you put someone in office use your brain, you just cost yourself tons of money and you will have no benefit from it. Go after the hospitals that charge you $30 dollars for a cotton swab, then triple bill you for it. Good job!

    April 30, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. Max in AL

    Now if only the guv'mint was as interested in making the U.S. Tax Code as simple as possible. Now THAT would be something!

    April 30, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. ghostriter

    "seriously", you are not up on things. Those were the talking points back in 2009.

    Since then, we have found out that the poor will get subsidies to help cover the cost. Matter of fact, the subsidies might be too generous. But still, the poor won't go broke over this.

    April 30, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. OldSchool

    As a liberal and a 2-time Obama voter, I am becoming less and less supportive of this restructuring. It has been my opinion from the beginning that we need nothing short of universal single-payer health care for a litany of reasons. The biggest reason being that I think the entire premise of lording a basic human necessity like health care over people as something to be profited from by corporations is immoral. Some will disagree, I think these people are selfish and short-sighted, again this is my opinion.

    The system as a whole would cost less for many reasons. Removing profit from the equation (sorry, rich healthcare industry execs!), returning costs for medical supplies and equipment to their ACTUAL costs as opposed to artificially inflated costs ($20 boxes of Kleenex?). Doctors will still be compensated handsomely for their services as they currently are, this is generally not one of the causes of the absurd modern healthcare costs. Universally available access to preventative care will VASTLY reduce the cost of the entire system – people can have problems fixed before they worsen and require an expensive emergency room visit.

    I do not see this limp, watered-down half measure that we ended up with working out very well. While they did get a few things right such as forcing insurance companies to take on people with pre-existing conditions and limiting just how much they can gouge people – at the end of the day we are being legally compelled to purchase unaffordable health care from private for-profit entities. 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. I imagine that I qualify for some sort of subsidy, but who knows how that even works or where I would seek that out? This convoluted mess will not end well...

    April 30, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. Data Driven


    Well, as things stand now, you're FORCED to pay higher premiums to satisfy the shareholders of insurance companies whenever they lose money providing free healthcare at the ER for those who can't afford insurance now. Seems like you should be pleased with Obamacare.

    April 30, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Sniffit

    "Just like us currently, Switzerland does not have nationalized/socialized healthcare "

    Absolutely wrong. Switzerland has universal health care and health insurance is compulsory/mandated for all persons residing in Switzerland under the Federal Health Insurance Act of 1994. The average per capita health expenditure for residents of Switzerland is about $4,500 per year, compared to $7,250 or so per year in the US. Also, Swiss residents can supplement their compulsory coverage with private plans...but insurers are not allowed to make a profit on the compulsory plans, only the private supplementary ones. They have a longer life expectancy and lower infant mortality rate that we do.


    April 30, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Max in AL

    And, and ,AND we haven't been able to fill all of the slots open for Primary Care physicians. ACA will NOT help that one bit.

    April 30, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  9. Larry L

    @Fair is Fair
    Conservatives can speak in volumes about how much they hate Obamacare – a program invented by a conservative think tank and used successfully by Governor Romney. All I've heard from Republicans as an alternative is a vague reference to the "free market" – with absolutely no specifics. What WOULD YOU DO? Costs are going up 7-9% per year and American healthcare is dropping like a stone in quality. We've heard your obstructionism – what's your idea? Should the elderly and the poor simply not get healthcare?

    April 30, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. Ralph in Orange Park FL

    Maybe you would prefer Republican WeDon'tCare. No application. No benefits. Just death.

    April 30, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. Cynthia

    Hey seriously what were you thinking? Insurance rates have already skyrocketed. Insurance Companies want to get as much money out of consumers before the "OBAMACARE" takes affect. Just like Bubba said remember to call it "OBAMACARE" when it becomes a hugh success!

    April 30, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. Bill Smells

    How many posters have actually read the legislation? Yeah, none. Lots of ignorant statements here.

    Reducing legalese down to three pages means there's more ambiguity and more to hide. People should be very suspicious about this. It's just ObamaCare's version of the "click here to agree to our terms" button. You never really know what the "real" terms are until it's too late.

    Educated yourselves about this law, it's a lot more complicated than three pages. The devil is in the details. Enjoy the wool, sheep.

    April 30, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. Shaun

    Hey Pete, you really think that Social Security and Medicare are success stories???? Really??? They are both on the verge of going bankrupt. I'm 33 years old and Social Security in its current form will not be available when I am of age to retire. It doesn't matter that I pay thousands into it every year, it will be depleted by the time I'm that old. And THAT is your "success story". It's a shame that people like you are allowed to vote. It's the leaches and low information voters like yourself that are destroying this country. Wake up Pete.

    April 30, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Max in AL

    We have figured out that raising the taxes for those who work will not pay for this. Look up the income tax rates paid in those "enlightened" countries.

    April 30, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. seriously, what were you thinking?

    @ghostriter @datadriven,

    Your subsidiaries are a joke. Wait and see how it plays out. You have no idea what your talking about or how they are structured. Some will get it paid for them by the government, which in turn you will be paying for. If your all for charity, great, but dont force me to pay for people who sit back and look for handouts. When this thing bites you and the economy in the butt, I'll be looking for your post. In all likelihood, it won't be found.

    The main problem here are the businesses, not indvidual healthcare. But I will guarantee you this. premium dollars will not go down. Only for the people who are old.

    Have fun!

    April 30, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. Robert

    This law should never have seen the light of day. I almost can't wait for this thing to be fully implemented; just to see the look on the Obama worshippers faces as they are slammed with taxes, regulations, and mandates that they didn't even see coming. lol. I can almost see the Liberal News headlines trying to cloud facts and prop up their one-true President. This law will do nothing but expand the power of government and trash our economy. It should be a good show.

    April 30, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  17. Dan

    When are we going to put a leash on healthcare companies? Why can we not come up with a healthcare plan that is free? It should not cost money to live.

    April 30, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  18. Jeff

    "Costs are going up 7-9% per year and American healthcare is dropping like a stone in quality. Should the elderly and the poor simply not get healthcare?
    Just wait. You haven't seen anything yet! Lol

    April 30, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. nuclear mike

    Just goes to show how very poorly planned ObamaCare really is as to knowingly start out with a 21+ page applicatioln form and then take credit for shortening the form to 3+ pages as your own improvement.

    Congress passed all of this so quickly & secertively that ALL Americans are going to suffer more than before with such a unplanned governement nightmare that is decending upon us.

    April 30, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. Far left Liberal

    We forgot to include dental. After all many health problems start there.

    April 30, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. Mark

    I'm going to refuse Obamacare, take the fine. If I get hurt, I'll go to the ER and still get seen.

    April 30, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. Fair is Fair

    @ Larry L –

    Some day you will realize that Medicare – and the cost-shifting that takes place because of below-market reimbursements the government gives to providers as well as the ever-increasing pool of longer-living beneficiaries is THE NUMBER ONE REASON why healthcare costs outpace inflation. Maybe some day.

    April 30, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. Aerin

    A lot of the original form was just repeating depending on how many people were covered. Of course conservatives jumped on this as being too "complicated" for them.

    April 30, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. iceload9

    This law will effect very few. The majority who cannot afford healthcare now will not be able to afford it later. The only difference will be, they will be given a fine as they leave the emergency room they won't be able to pay as well. These fear tactics to reduce the people using emergency rooms will fail.

    April 30, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. Mr. Commonsense

    Coming from a country, Canada, that currently has a single-payer healthcare system administered by the provinces (meaning, in essence, we have 12 different healthcare delivery models) it doesn't work either. You think suppliers will reduce their prices if the government is the provider and SUPPLIER??? Haha think again, they'll go up; I know this because I used to work at a hospital here in my hometown and saw the invoices for everything that came in.

    The problem with single-payer systems is the provider is also the supplier which doesn't work. It now becomes a government tendereing process that has to go through bureaucratic hurdles leading to delays and shortages. However, I can also tell you that the entirely free enterprise approach in US doesn't solve the problem either. What is needed IS a hybrid system like you see in Switzerland, France and Germany tailored to the population at large; not a top down government regulated approach.

    Disagree with me? Look at the healthcare costs of the countries i've just mentioned and compare them to Canada and the US and you will see that the European countries, in this context, have gotten it right. Healthcare has to be a partnership between the private and public sector to be effective. Neither one can do it by itself.

    April 30, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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