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Editorial: Health plan gets new 2014 extension

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opinion Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

The first set of available figures on health care plan signups via state and federal exchanges announced this week were rather dismal.

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Just 106,185 individuals signed up to select a health plan during the month of October. About 75 percent of those signed up via state exchanges; while only 27,794 signed up via the federal HealthCare.gov.

It has certainly been a dysfunctional start for the federal exchange HealthCare.gov.

It is no surprise that the Obama administration made a significant policy retreat Thursday. President Obama announced that policyholders could continue their insurance plans that had previously been cancelled under the new health-care law.

Obama also said that policyholders who have received cancellation letters will be able to renew those policies through 2014.

House Republicans were moving toward a vote today on a Keep Your Health Plan bill to address the growing concern about cancelled policies. House Democrats were also considering a backup legislative strategy to address the issue as well.

The clock is ticking as Americans face a March 31 deadline to sign up for a health plan or Dec. 15 if coverage is to start on Jan. 1.

It remains to be seen if this administrative fix will ease the growing frustrations of consumers and in Congress with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. This fix allows insurance companies or state insurance commissioners to extend existing plans for a year, but the decision will be made state-by-state.

It is a likely reality that the Affordable Healthcare Act will continue create concerns on both sides of the political spectrum, especially as we move into the mid-term election season of 2014.

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