On Oct. 1, President Obama's Affordable Care Act for Americans finally begins. According to the Washington Post, the question now is whether the federal government is ready.
There are, arguably, two big things that need to happen between now and October. The first is technical: The federal government needs to finish building the infrastructure that allows multiple government agencies to transmit information, determining whether an individual should qualify for tax subsidies. This is a really big lift that means connecting Health and Human Services, Treasury, Homeland Security and other agencies in a way that has never really happened before.
Also in the technical arena, the federal government needs to finish building the federal exchange, an online portal that most states will have their residents use to purchase health insurance. Fifteen states are also in the midst of putting finishing touches on the insurance markets they opted to run.
"It's a compressed time frame," says Kevin Walsh, a top executive at Xerox, who has worked extensively on Nevada's health insurance exchange. "We are working diligently to implement the entire scope of work for October 1. So, you back up from there. It means we have to have all our enhancements done in mid-July, so we can do the integration testing."
Read more at the Washington Post.