13 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2017 Last revised: 1 Dec 2017
This case follows the rollout of HealthCare.gov, the website that allows consumers to compare plans and purchase health insurance online as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The website was plagued with problems from the start, including missed launch dates, faulty functionality, and ballooning costs. But despite the issues, was the project a success?
Rev. Nov. 21, 2017
The first few weeks of October 2013 had been maddening for President Barack Obama. More than two weeks had passed since the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov, and the administration still did not know what had happened. Daily meetings with the members of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had produced minimal understanding of why or how the website had failed. Obama's chief of staff, Denis McDonough, traveled constantly to the headquarters of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the lead agency charged with constructing the website, searching for answers. On an October 17 visit, CMS told McDonough that only 30% of visitors to HealthCare.gov could access the site at all. That same day, the White House press secretary publicly announced that improvements were being made every day. Privately, however, McDonough was tasked with a different mission: determining whether HealthCare.gov could be salvaged and improved upon, or if the administration needed to scrap the whole website and start over.
The Affordable Care Act
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or simply Obamacare. (See Exhibit 1 for a timeline of ACA milestones.) The most comprehensive piece of legislation passed in the United States in nearly half a century, the ACA established a wide-ranging set of laws, including ending insurance discrimination for patients with preexisting conditions, providing further coverage for young adults and women, and strengthening the Medicare program for senior citizens. In establishing a “Patient's Bill of Rights,” Obamacare sought to protect consumers from the health insurance industry and make health insurance more affordable and accessible for all Americans.
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Keywords: health care, government, insurance, marketplace, exchange, law, bill, Affordable Care Act, ACA, medical, Health and Human Services, HHS, Medicare, Medicaid, Obama, Obamacare, federal
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