Health & Science
10:48 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Emory Professor: Insurance Exchange Issues Won't Influence Long-term Success or Failure of Obamacare

Anecdotal reports from consumers indicate the federally-run health insurance exchange is starting to work, days after Tuesday’s launch left an untold number of Georigans without guidance. 

An audio version of this report

No doubt it’s been a public relations blunder for President Obama' signature health care law. 

David Howard is an associate professor in the Dept. of Health Policy and Management at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health.
Credit Courtesy: Emory Univ.

But Emory Univ. Associate Professor David Howard says it’s not how the Affordable Care Act will be judged long-term.

Instead, he says, the real test will involve answers to questions like, “To what degree is it successful in extending insurance coverage? How do employers react? Do they drop coverage or continue to provide coverage?” 

Success will also hinge on whether—and how well—the health care ‘message’ gets out to those who most need it, Howard says. 

Much of that responsibility relies on so-called healthcare “navigators.”

“People with low health literacy, who do tend to predominately be low income and minorities, will be targeted by navigators,” Howard says.

Even so, the immediate attention remains on when the exchange portal will be fully functional.  Those who are unable to access the site are encouraged to call the toll-free enrollment hotline: 1-800-318-2596.