Editorial

Obamacare: Cutting out (bureaucratic) fat

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Tedious, daunting, a train wreck. These were just some of the early reviews of a 21-page draft application for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services last month. That form, thankfully, proved short-lived: The White House unveiled a new, slimmed-down version on Tuesday.

In an impressively simple three pages for individuals, the five-step finalized form asks only for basics, such as a Social Security number, employment status, and estimated income. (The first draft had a full page dedicated to determining if an applicant was an American Indian or Alaskan Native.) There’s a slightly longer, 11-page option for families.

The whole application process is now designed to be completed in under seven minutes, fewer if done online, and much closer to the e-commerce shopping experience previously promised by the Obama administration. Chalk one up for responsive government.

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