From the department of lowered Obamacare expectations: This video.

July 15, 2013

Health and Human Services tweeted some exciting news this morning: the health-care law is on schedule! And the agency has a video to prove it:

Notably absent from the video is any mention of the employer mandate and small business health exchange, both of which have not moved ahead on schedule.

This isn't the most rah-rah of political messages; on-time doesn't necessarily suggest hope and change. It's not a video that would even get produced if everyone expected that the law would roll out on time. It doesn't promise perfection on Day One either. Instead, the bar is a relatively low one for the administration to clear: That come Oct. 1, there will be a marketplace where consumers can purchase health insurance coverage.

Update: HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters contends there has been no lowering of standards at all. Quite the opposite, the agency will be able to deliver on the law's promises starting October 1. Her email:

HHS is focused on delivering quality, affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. Here are the facts: We’ve already implemented key insurance market reforms, with more scheduled to take place in January, that are ending the worst practices of the insurance industry and we are putting money and control back into the hands of consumers.  The work to set up the marketplaces is on track.  Despite Medicare’ s annual call traffic of 26 million calls, there were questions about our ability to get a call center up – that is done.  There were worries about the web technology, however the beta version of the website is up nearly three months before October 1, when families will begin shopping for new insurance options.

 

 

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Brad Plumer | July 15, 2013