The federal online health care marketplace has been plagued with problems from its launch. President Obama promised a fix by November 30th. That deadline has come and gone, and things are markedly better, according to John Bowblis, an economics professor at Miami University who specializes in the health care industry. He says significant improvements have been made for the consumer experience with faster download times and successful completion. However, Bowblis adds there may still be snags when it comes to that data being transferred to insurance companies.
Bowblis says the website issues actually may have been a good thing for Obamacare. He says a major concern for the program was that not enough people knew about it, and now the issues surrounding the website have generated publicity.
Serious challenges remain for the success of Obamacare, however. Bowblis says the program is dependent on young people signing up for the plan to subsidize the older, less healthy population. If they don't, it could undermine the entire system.
"If sick people sign up, you've underestimated what the premium should have been, so next year you have to make the premium significantly higher," says Bowblis. "Then what happens is that the people that are the healthiest then drop out and so you're only left with the really sick people so what happens the premiums spire higher and higher until the point where they're unaffordable for anybody."