You can make Obamacare’s exchange
technology usable. But that doesn’t mean that the uninsured will
suddenly decide they like it.
There’s little question that Obamacare has fewer tech woes now
than when its online health insurance exchange system launched in
October. Anything approaching functionality, however, would have
been a meaningful improvement. During the first month, the federal
exchange covering 36 states was practically unusable for most
people. And the second month wasn’t a whole lot better.
The most noticeable operational improvement came at the
beginning of December. Capacity improved significantly, error rates
dropped, and lots of users finally found that they could get
through the gauntlet: The vast majority of the insurance sign-ups
that have been reported in the federal exchange system took place
during that third month.
What didn’t improve by much, however, was the perception of the
user experience amongst the uninsured.
Daily tracking polls by Gallup found that, overall, 63 percent
of the uninsured who visited an exchange site reported a negative
experience using Obamacare’s exchanges in October and November,
when the online technology was at its worst.
Yet even after the December technology upgrades, a clear
majority of the same group continued to give the site poor marks.
According to the same daily tracking poll, 59 percent of the
uninsured reported a negative or very negative experience using the
exchanges. Indeed, the share of uninsured individuals who reported
a “very negative” experience stayed the same at 29 percent; the
percentage who said their experience was negative dropped from 34
in October and November to 30 percent in December.
File this under More Reasons Obamacare Won’t Be Popular Any Time
Soon. Yes, many more people are now signing up for coverage under
the law, but its design, even the part that’s supposed to be simple
and user-friendly, remains irksome, even to the uninsured—the
people the law is supposedly designed to benefit the
from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/02/even-after-website-improvements-obamacar