Mounting technical delays are complicating the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
The website Politico is reporting that the Obama Administration intends to delay a portion of Obamacare aimed at small businesses.
The delay involves online enrollment for small business health exchanges run by the federal government known as “SHOP” exchanges, Politico reports. Enrollment was scheduled to start on October 1, 2013. Small businesses will now have to wait until November to enroll online, though paper enrollment is still an option.
In addition, the Associated Press is reporting that the Spanish language version of Healthcare.gov, Obamacare’s primary website, will not be ready on October 1, 2013 as planned. This technical glitch could hinder the effort to enroll Latinos, a key goal for the administration.
The significance of these delays may be more political than practical because they add fuel to Republican attacks that Obamacare is not ready for implementation.
The bad news for the administration filters down to the state level. Colorado, Oregon, and the District of Columbia have announced delays in rolling out their non-federal exchanges. A DC official told the Wall Street Journal that its system still has a “high error rate” and will likely open in November, a month behind schedule.
These delays might simply be insignificant and foreseeable speed bumps on the road to implementation – or they might portend a larger systemic dysfunction. Only time will tell.
We will keep you apprised of updates.