Megan McArdle’s post on why Healthcare.gov needs a “drop dead date” is useful if only for this succinct description of why time is of the essence for the PPACA:
The administration estimates that it needs 2.7 million young healthy people on the exchange, out of the 7 million total expected to apply in the first year. If the pool is too skewed — if it’s mostly old and sick people on the exchanges — then insurers will lose money, and next year, they’ll sharply increase premiums. The healthiest people will drop out, because insurance is no longer such a good deal for them. Rinse and repeat and you have effectively destroyed the market for individual insurance policies. It’s called the “death spiral,” and the exchanges, like the mandate, were designed to keep it from happening.
The open enrollment period for the exchanges is over on April 1—there are 182 days from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. To enroll 7 million people over that period you’ve got to enroll more than 38,000 every single day. Heck, to enroll 2.7 million you’ve got to enroll almost 15,000 people per day every single day. By no account is that happening.