The website is a disaster. But it can be fixed. The big question is when and we just can't know until it happens.
Now that the GOP has finally had sense enough to stop obstructing everything, they can focus their efforts on scaring people about Obamacare.
Of course, the absolute MESS the exchange website apparently is--by all accounts--makes their job much easier.
But there are going to be spinmasters on the right that work hard to scare people into being up in arms against health insurance reforms that actually BENEFIT them and their kids.
Do away with [thunder]Obamacare[/thunder] and you make these things happen:
* insurers can refuse to cover you and your loved ones because of pre-existing conditions like diabetes, asthma, heart disease, cancer
* insurers can refuse to pay your medical bills once you've reached your "lifetime limit" on expenditures. (This was an effective technique to cut off very sick people who required more medical care.)
* insurers can go back to allowing young adults to stay on their parents insurance up to age 22 ONLY if they are in college, booting a lot of people up to age 27 off their parents' insurance.
* insurers can charge more for coverage for women and older people.
* insurers can stop providing free-of-copay preventive care and all sorts of other minimal coverages dictated in Obamacare.
In short, it is NOT a good deal for Americans to roll back the ACA. It doesn't do enough, but it does do SOME good toward making insurance more accessible and more affordable.
So think hard about it when you get swept up in the anti-ACA hysteria.
And if you believe anything you hear on FoxNews, I have some swamp land in Florida for sale.
As Hannity called on each of them, the guests recounted their “Obamacare” horror stories: canceled policies, premium hikes, restrictions on the freedom to see a doctor of their choice, financial burdens upon their small businesses and so on.
“These are the stories that the media refuses to cover,” Hannity interjected.
But none of it smelled right to me.
The author had a good idea of what was in the ACA because "I have worked as a senior adviser to a governor and helped him deal with the new federal rules."
So he actually tracked down the people Hannity had on his show, the ones who told their horror stories.
Obamacare has no effect on businesses with 49 employees or less. But in our brief conversation on the phone, Paul revealed that he has only four employees. Why the cutback on his workforce? “Well,” he said, “I haven’t been forced to do so, it’s just that I’ve chosen to do so. I have to deal with increased costs.” What costs? And how, I asked him, is any of it due to Obamacare? There was a long pause, after which he said he’d call me back. He never did.
Allison’s husband left his job a few years ago, one with benefits at a big company, to start his own business. Since then they’ve been buying insurance on the open market, and are now paying around $1,100 a month for a policy with a $2,500 deductible per family member, with hefty annual premium hikes. One of their two children is not covered under the policy. She has a preexisting condition that would require purchasing additional coverage for $600 a month, which would bring the family’s grand total to around $20,000 a year.
Of course, she had not looked to see what their actual options were under the exchange. This is in part because of the damned website glitches, but also because she just hates it. She's long hated it.
And this is what's sad to me. Here is a family that could BENEFIT from the ACA but they are too indoctrinated to give it a try.
The author then interviews the third couple.
Finally, I called Robbie and Tina Robison from Franklin, Tenn. Robbie is self-employed as a Christian youth motivational speaker. (You can see his work here.) On Hannity, the couple said that they, too, were recently notified that their Blue Cross policy would be expiring for lack of ACA compliance. They told Hannity that the replacement plans Blue Cross was offering would come with a rate increase of 50 percent or even 75 percent, and that the new offerings would contain all sorts of benefits they don’t need, like maternity care, pediatric care, prenatal care and so forth. Their kids are grown and moved out, so why should they be forced to pay extra for a health plan with superfluous features?
When I spoke to Robbie, he said he and Tina have been paying a little over $800 a month for their plan, about $10,000 a year. And the ACA-compliant policy that will cost 50-75 percent more? They said this information was related to them by their insurance agent.
Had they shopped on the exchange yet, I asked? No, Tina said, nor would they. They oppose Obamacare and want nothing to do with it. Fair enough, but they should know that I found a plan for them for, at most, $3,700 a year, 63 percent less than their current bill. It might cover things that they don’t need, but so does every insurance policy.
This is sad. These people have been brainwashed into being opposed to something that would actually save them a considerable amount of money each year.
So be careful what you believe. The ACA is far from perfect. But it's also hardly the scary-horrible thing that the Sean Hannitys of the country make it out to be.
While the @#!!&-ing stupid website is under repair, folks can at least go here to see approximately what insurance/subsidies they can get on the exchange:
Or they can just do what these people did and "know" how bad it is--without even checking, sort of like not looking at your lottery ticket because you just "know" you didn't win anything anyway. And maybe you didn't. But maybe....