Tags: will | obamacare | medicaid

George Will: Medicaid is Next Obamacare Crisis

Sunday, 01 Dec 2013 10:28 AM

By Greg Richter

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As the White House touted improvements to the troubled HealthCare.gov website Sunday morning, conservative pundit George Will said the real test might be in six months when employers begin to weigh their options for 2015.

"Watch the employers, because if they start dumping people into … Medicaid – and the doctors then say, the burdens are too high and the reimbursement is too low; we're not seeing Medicaid patients – then all hell is going to break loose," Will said on "Fox News Sunday."

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Former Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., voted for Obamacare, and admitted Sunday it hasn't worked out like he expected.

"Clearly, the rollout has been a disaster, and it's still a work in progress," Bayh told host Chris Wallace. Short-term, he said, the program has been "very problematic, and first impressions tend to be lasting."

If things don't turn around in the next year, he said, it will be "problematic" for Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections.

With the passing of the November 30 deadline to have the glitch-filled website functioning, James Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center told Fox News it may be a month before anyone can tell if there has been success in fixing the site.

He said the appearance of a better-working site doesn't mean the system is functioning as it should.

"The real test of HealthCare.gov is whether you make the right payment to the right people to the right insurance plans, he said. "It's very easy to fix the front-end enrollment if you turn off controls on the back end. And it's very clear from multiple media reports that the system is still not accurate when it makes payments to the insurance plans."

The technicians are working around the problem instead of fixing it, he said. The government currently is making bulk payments to insurance companies who are self-reporting their sign-ups because the back end of the system isn't properly keeping an accounting.

Neera Tanden, of the Center for American Progress, agreed that the true test is a month away, but as a supporter of the Affordable Care Act noted, "I think the idea of gloom and doom over that is overstated."

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