The federal government is doing everything it can to ensure public health insurance exchanges are ready to begin enrollment on October 1. However, the head of the agency that is building the marketplace warned it will be a close call to the finish and everyone must work together to ensure that happens.

Speaking at America's Health Insurance Plans' annual policy forum in Washington in mid-March, Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said we are at a crucial moment. "If this was a horse race and October 1 was the finish line, I think we are rounding the final turn and heading into the home stretch," he said. "My problem is I'm not sure if I'm the jockey or the horse."

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