Exchanges among best aspects of Obamacare

Beginning Tuesday, Coloradans will be able to shop online for health insurance plans, comparing scores of different plans from at least a dozen companies.

Whether they will actually be able to purchase plans to go into effect in January remains uncertain, as Congress continues to wrangle over the budget and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. But the health insurance mall will be open, in the form of online health exchanges, and Colorado is leading the nation in that regard.

For the first time, health insurance will begin to resemble auto insurance — where companies such as Geico, Progressive and All State compete for business and consumers can shop around to see which firms offer them the best deal and the plans that best fit their needs.

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has many flaws, from its incentives for employers and individuals to purchase insurance to the arbitrary method by which waivers have been granted, to the panels that are assigned to determine what will be covered.

But the health insurance exchanges are one of the better ideas associated with Obamacare, perhaps the best one. They apply the principles of free-market competition to health insurance purchases for individuals who don’t have insurance through their workplace, and they allow consumers to compare prices and plans online.

For people in most states, that will mean going to a health insurance exchange set up by the federal government because lawmakers in those states refused to establish their own exchanges. But, as the articles in today’s Daily Sentinel make clear, that’s not the case in Colorado.

Here a bipartisan group of legislators pushed a bill to create an insurance exchange for this state. The result is, a website that goes live Tuesday. On it, people can examine a variety of plans at the bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels of service, as well as whether they qualify for a federal subsidy.

It will be “the most market-based market in the country,” according to Steve ErkenBrack, the president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Health Plans and a member of the board of the group overseeing the Colorado exchange.

Other sources say that Colorado’s health insurance exchange is already being viewed as a model for the country because it is expected to have more competition and more available plans than any other.

We don’t mean to suggest that using ConnectforHealthColorado will be as easy as shopping for the latest book or DVD on It will be complicated. That’s why experts advise consumers to consult with an insurance broker or a federally approved guide to help them understand all the intricacies of the site.

Nor are we predicting what prices will look like on the exchange. In fact, there is an ongoing dispute over whether the Affordable Care Act will actually make insurance more or less affordable for most Americans. A report from the Department of Health and Human Services last week touted lower prices for many Americans. But critics say the HHS report focused mostly on low-income people who will receive the largest subsidies for insurance.

One thing seems certain: A free-market approach to health insurance, where consumers can compare prices and plans, is the best way to ensure prices are affordable in the long run.


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Resemble car insurance? Hell one must fight with their insurance companies on paying now. Will we be able to buy “collision, no-fault, personal injury, new car replacement?” Leave it to the Sentinel to endorse the hussein, pelosi monstrosity. Write and endorse a worthless program in which you yourselves do not know will be implemented. You would have served us much better having written an informational article concerning how many hundred percent our premiums go up. Leave it to the left wing sentinel.

Kudos to the Daily Sentinel’s editors (and reporters Gary Harmon and Greg Ruland) for their comprehensive – if not courageous – coverage of Colorado’s soon-to-be activated health insurance exchange (“Connect for Health Colorado”).

For three years now, the Sentinel has chronicled the highly-charged partisan debate over the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).  If one uncritically believed the hyperbole too-often expressed in misinformed guest columns and letters to the editor – cynically fanned by the disingenuous pronouncements of 3d C.D. Congressman Scott (“Tea Party”) Tipton—“ObamaCare” embodied evil incarnate and evinced no socially redeeming virtues.

However, as informed readers already know, the ACA originated as a Republican idea – and was successfully test-implemented in Massachusetts years before it was enacted nationwide as “ObamaCare”.  Thus, after President Obama was inaugurated in 2009, Republicans had a choice – either demonstrate bipartisan support and take credit for their own good idea, or demonize it and President Obama in order to sabotage his presidency.

We all know what they did – and are still doing.  However, as CNN news anchorman Don Lemon—who had been routinely “reporting” Republican “talking points” as if they were factual “news” – recently admitted, they have been lying about the ACA all along.

Lemon now concludes that Republicans – having lied about “ObamaCare” for years – have maneuvered themselves into holding Americans hostage instead of telling them the truth.  According to Lemon’s own fact-checking, the three biggest “whoppers” (lies) are that it’s a job killer, that it will raise premiums, and that it would affect medical care.

Today, the Sentinel confirmed that market-based health insurance exchanges are “among the best aspects of Obamacare”.  Yet, still, some 27 mostly Republican-controlled states refuse to implement exchanges and/or refuse to inform their citizens about the ACA.

Imagine how much smoother implementation would be had Republicans helped govern responsibly rather than vindictively.

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