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Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 04:08 pm

The path not taken

Crain’s Chicago Business recently took its own look at why the State of Illinois failed to set up its own state-run exchange under the Affordable Care Act. The result is that uninsured Illinoisans who wish to purchase insurance are forced to rely on the glitchy federal website to shop for policies. The short version of the answer is political cowardice on the part of Democrats in moderate districts, who didn’t want to own a program which, they feared, might not work. 

And how might it have worked? If the state tried really hard to make it work. That anyway was what several other states with Democratic majorities did. As the Los Angeles Times reported a few days ago, several states that use their own systems are on track to hit enrollment targets for 2014. Consumers in California, Connecticut and Kentucky, are outpacing their enrollment estimates, and enrollment in the second half of October ran well ahead of the signup rate in the first half in Minesota, Washington, and Kentucky. 

Said the official apologist for the Quinn administration, “We’re reviewing our options to determine the best path forward for health care consumers in Illinois.” The best path was clear all along, and Illinois did not take it.

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