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Ilisa Halpern Paul Quoted in Modern Healthcare

December 12, 2013
Ilisa Halpern Paul was quoted in a Modern Healthcare article titled, “Making ACA Work Seen as Key to Elections.”

Unless the Obama administration fixes as promised and ensures that healthcare reform is working effectively, the national crisis of confidence in President Barack Obama could have dire political consequences in 2014 for congressional Democrats who supported the law, political observers say.

National attention has focused on the functionality of the problem-ridden federal Web portal for health plan enrollment in 36 states. It's vital for the administration to fix the federal website problems so millions of Americans can shop for and purchase affordable health coverage. Given that Obama is in his last term, the biggest gamble isn't for him but for Democrats who have supported the ACA from the start. If the law's rollout continues to go poorly, the Democrats could lose control of the Senate. That could block Obama's agenda on a variety of issues in his last two years.

Ilisa said “timing and the American electorate's memory are crucial factors. She compared it to the reaction of pro-football fans at the start of their team's new season. Fans lose confidence if their team suffers a string of losses, blaming the coach and the players. Even if the team wins a few games, it's hard to win back those fans. Of course, everything changes if the team pulls off a late-season comeback.”
Obama administration officials must make sure that by spring or summer of next year, the public is generally happy with how healthcare reform is going, and that they have health coverage they are satisfied with. “If that comes to fruition by spring, think the political consequences are blunted,” Ilisa commented.