HealthCare.gov Costs Hit $2B; Admin Reassess 2015 Enrollment Goals
In comparison, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell had recently projected that the cost of HealthCare.gov to be about $1 billion through fiscal year 2015, according to The Hill.
Meanwhile, the total cost of implementation of the ACA is more than $73 billion since 2010, according to the analysis.
CMS "pushed back" against the report, saying that the ACA overall has been saving money for consumers. CMS spokesperson Aaron Albright said, "The fact is expenditures related to the Affordable Care Act are publicly available and widely known, but what’s also known is just how much it's saving -- $9 billion for consumers and billions more for reductions in uncompensated care, among other savings for the American people."
Meanwhile, lawmakers criticized the administration over the law’s costs.
House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said, "Two billion dollars is an awful lot to pay for a website with lingering security issues that transfers the costs of health care from customers to taxpayers" (Viebeck, The Hill, 9/24).
Administration Reassessing Exchange Enrollment Goals for 2015
In related news, the Obama administration is re-evaluating how many U.S. residents might sign up for health coverage before it announces its estimate for the second enrollment period beginning Nov. 15, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times' "Nation Now" reports.
Burwell said, "One of [the] things we are doing right now is applying analytics to how should we think about that goal."
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 13 million U.S. residents will have exchange coverage after the end of the second open enrollment period. However, Burwell said that number might not be correct. She said the agency is working with insurance industry officials and market analysts to gauge the market's performance.
Burwell declined to say when a new estimate would be announced. This year, about 7.3 million people paid their premiums for plans sold through the insurance exchanges, surpassing CBO's estimate of six million people.
Regardless of a new target, Burwell said the goal is to get coverage to as many of the remaining uninsured people as possible.
She said, "We think that the most important number to move is the number of uninsured," adding that there are various ways to do so. "We have a healthy employer-based system in this country. We want that used. We have Medicaid expansion, and we have the marketplace" (Levey, "Nation Now," Los Angeles Times, 9/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.