Before I get started, you should know that everything that went wrong with the Obamcare website was the fault of the Republicans. They didn’t give Obama enough money – $654 million wasn’t enough. They didn’t give Sebelius enough money to advertise.
Worse yet, HHS techs were so afraid Republicans would embarrass them that they couldn’t ask for help!
“Facing such intense opposition from congressional Republicans,” Politico wrote, “the administration was in a bunker mentality as it built the enrollment system, one former administration official said. Officials feared that if they called on outsiders to help with the technical details of how to run a commerce website, those companies could be subpoenaed by Hill Republicans, the former aide said. So the task fell to trusted campaign tech experts.
Those rotten Republicans!
That would be funny if they weren’t serious.
The terrible Republicans have been criticizing healthcare.gov just as the White House predicted and it is unfair! The federal website, constructed under the leadership of HHS Secretary
Nurse Ratched Kathleen Sebelius, serves as the conduit between the states and the exchanges and they have already enrolled a whopping 51,000!
The insurance on the exchanges is unaffordable. It won’t get any more affordable as the oldest and sickest Americans sign up. There aren’t enough healthy young people to offset the costs in this Obamacare pyramid scheme. That’s the Republicans fault as well.
I’ve listed ten reasons why you just gotta love Obamacare:
1. Cybersecurity on healthcare.gov is very poor. The website is vulnerable to phishing, hacking, spoofing, et al.
2. There are reports from more than a dozen healthcare insurers that they are receiving bad information from the exchanges.
From the Wall Street Journal:
“Insurers say the federal health-care marketplace is generating flawed data… Emerging errors include duplicate enrollments, spouses reported as children, missing data fields and suspect eligibility determinations, say executives at more than a dozen health plans.”
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Nebraska has 50 enrollees and had to stop enrollment because of all the inaccuracies.
3. CNN reports that healthcare.gov has been spontaneously wiping out some enrollees’ passwords. Can you imagine what will happen when people actually try to use healthcare services?
5. Many states don’t have a search option or they have one that doesn’t work. As a result, applicants can’t find which doctors, hospitals, and medications the plans include:
Covered California has 95,000 applications but they won’t release enrollment figures. Applicants can’t find out what doctors and hospitals are in the various plans. California had to pull its online directory of medical providers after acknowledging it is riddled with wrong information. Opthamologists are listed as obstetricians, doctors who speak Russian are listed as speaking Farsi, and so on.
Most of the 15 exchanges run by states and the District of Columbia do not have provider directories or search tools built into their Web sites. That, by the way, has nothing to do with volume as the administration would have us believe and it has everything to do with poor website architecture.
In Connecticut, people have to sign up and then they find out which doctors and hospitals are in the plan. You have to sign the agreement before you can know what’s in it.
Out of 300,000 potential applicants, Minnesota has 3700 applicants and another 1800 in the pipeline. They are hoping that less than half will need subsidies. There are no doctors in Minnesota though. The search feature can’t find doctors.
Kentucky exchanges can’t tell you if the plan will pay for doctors or medications but the Daily Kos says Kentucky’s success makes a mockery of GOP criticisms. Kentucky did have almost 7,000 enrollees – people who are willing to buy a pig in a poke.
6. Some states are reporting that the people they are signing up are the sickest and oldest which will prove to be expensive but we can borrow from China to pay for it:
The high risk pool in Texas is pushing their sickest towards the exchanges. High risk pools are a thing of the past. High risk are now the taxpayers’ problem.
Washington State is doing great. They have 25,000 enrollees, most of whom won’t be paying for their insurance – the taxpayers will! Most of them will be fully subsidized. Washington believes that 90% of the million without insurance in the state are those who will receive some subsidies. What a surprise!
In Connecticut, mostly middle-aged and older adults are signing up. Most, in other words, signed up for government-funded Medicaid.
Liberal Oregon is thrilled with their success. They signed up 56, 000 low-income people for Medicaid. A survey of 38,000 people on the Oregon Health Plan waiting list in 2012 found 11 percent had diabetes, 8 percent heart problems, 30 percent high blood pressure, 22 percent high cholesterol and 5 percent cancer.
7. The numbers signing up are astounding:
South Dakota exchanges have signed up at least 23 people!
One Delaware resident – a stalwart – sat on the phone for seven hours to sign up and she is the only Delaware resident to sign up so far. Delaware has one – that’s right – one enrollee.
Alaska didn’t fare as well as Delaware. No one signed up in Alaska. Nary a soul.
Vermont spent $9 million taxpayer dollars setting up their exchanges but only 712 have signed up via healthcare.gov.
Maryland has 1,121 actual enrollees. Of those who signed up, 53% were women, 36% were under 35, and 68% were under 50. They have the best records to date.
Hawaii abandoned all efforts for two weeks and relaunched last Tuesday. They have an unknown number of applicants and no enrollees yet. Smart move Hawaii!
We don’t know how many enrolled in New York but they had 134,000 sign up.
Five have signed up in Iowa. Enough said.
In Colorado, 226 have signed up! Yay!
New Mexico has deferred the federal exchange and will set up their own in 2015.
8. The feds can’t handle identification verification on their website.
In Rhode island, only 580 signed up and the identification verification led to many of the sign-up problems. The feds don’t know who the people are applying and they can’t seem to find out.
9. The costs of health insurance on the exchanges are shocking many people. The Bronze plan, which is the cheapest plan, only covers 60% of the healthcare costs. Deductibles are often between $4000 and $8000 while out of pocket costs are capped at about $12,700 for a family of four. It’s unaffordable for the average American.
The Obama administration likes to tout the fact that many will be subsidized. But who pays for the subsidies? Everyone who doesn’t get a subsidy does – they have to pay for their own healthcare and everyone else’s.
10. You will be happy to know that venture capitalists stand to make big money off Obamacare.
“This is the greatest opportunity I’ve seen in my lifetime. It’s the first time we are seeing really fundamental changes happen. And there’s a lot of money that can be made as this chaos is sorted out,” said Lisa Suennen, the co-founder and managing member of Psilos Group, a health-care-focused venture capital firm.
We’re talking trillions!
Seventeen states currently run their own health insurance exchanges, 27 states have a federally-run marketplace and six states have a hybrid of both. It’s all going swimmingly. What’s not to love? What a great signature achievement.