NORMAN — In the newspaper business, we live and die by deadlines. Without one, we’d never get the next day’s paper printed in time to arrive on your driveway the next morning.
The way to get someone to act is to set a deadline. There’s no question that a hard deadline — and no hint of an extension — caused hundreds of thousands of Americans to sign up for health insurance on the federal marketplace this week. Americans lacking coverage had to sign up by March 31 or face a small penalty on their 2014 income tax returns. Enrollment counselors and navigators were overwhelmed by the avalanche of persons who waited until the last few days to commit to buying insurance.
The real test will be who bought into the system. If young, healthy Americans continued to stay away, the system won’t support itself. The next enrollment season opens Nov. 15.
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