Maybe I helped create the focus on punctuality of implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
These past couple of weeks, it’s seemed as if actual and fake PPACA delay stories have been coming out more often.
Idaho, for example, really did postpone its efforts to set up a state-based exchange system for a year, and Oregon really put off the launch of its exchange website for a few weeks, until late October.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) did not really suddenly, furtively increase out-of-pocket maximums for health plan enrollees this week, even though media reports made it sound as if it had.
Figuring out how to write about, for example, a 300-page regulation rough draft is complicated.
It’s much, much easier to search for references to terms such as “transition relief” and “postpone” and write about delays in implementation than to figure out what the stuff in the other 298 pages of the regulation could do.
To the extent that PPACA is a gladiatorial contest between the Obama administration and the Republicans, noticing implementation delays is a bit like detecting beads of sweat on a gladiator’s brow. Maybe it’s a sign the gladiator is weakening.