Take this into consideration when thinking about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (from The New Yorker):
There are three things to recognize about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and all the criticism of it: First, the Web-site glitches really are a problem. Second, the hearings that Republicans in Congress insist on holding are no way to fix them. Third, when it comes to evaluating the worth of Obamacare we may not remember the Web-site hiccups all that well. What we will remember, and what ultimately matters, is whether, in the next year, the A.C.A. fulfills its promise: to provide affordable health insurance to people who did not have it through an employer, could not afford it on their own, were denied it on the basis of pre-existing conditions, paid more for it than they should have because they were, say, women of child-bearing age, or could no longer get by because their insurance benefits had been capped.
The first thing that irks me right out of the gate is that the company that is in charge of creating the website is Canadian. Not that there is anything wrong with Canada, but isn’t it a bit hypocritical that the Administration & President is paying huge amounts of lip service about getting Americans back to work, and the company that they employ is from another country. I also found out that this company was either the only one that was contacted or considered for the contract to build the website.
Designing a website is no piece of cake, especially with the number of incompatible governmental databases and insurance companies (who don’t like having their databases made public to start with). Herding cats would be easier by comparison – I’ve worked on databases from various companies to compile & correlate test data, and it is an absolute nightmare just with a half-dozen companies & databases. Now think of ten-times that number, and the problems increase exponentially.
The website also has a couple of other issues as well:
- The websites were deliberately designed backward, some suspect, to hide for as long as possible how much more people will have to pay for health insurance. There is no fix for sticker shock.
- Many who filled out application forms likely will learn the hard way that the websites have made them easy marks for identity thieves.
But despite the website meltdown, does the ACA really deliver upon the President’s promises of affordable healthcare insurance, and you can keep your current healthcare insurance? Pundits such as Michelle Malkin found that that just isn’t the case:
Last week, our family received notice from Anthem BlueCross BlueShield of Colorado that we can no longer keep the plan we like because of “changes from health care reform (also called the Affordable Care Act or ACA).” The letter informed us that “(t)o meet the requirements of the new laws, your current plan can no longer be continued beyond your 2014 renewal date.”
And affordable? Not according to this:
The problem will be most acute for the 19 million or so people who today purchase individual insurance. As industry expert Robert Laszewski has pointed out, today’s individual market is essentially being replaced by the Obamacare exchanges. Some insurance plans can continue operating into 2014 outside of the exchanges if they are “grandfathered.” But very few insurance plans qualify for grandfathered status under Obamacare because the rules strictly prohibit even the smallest changes in coverage or cost-sharing. Consequently, about 16 million Americans will shortly find out that they can’t keep the plans they have.
If and when they are able to look at their options on healthcare.gov or the state-built websites, many of these consumers will quickly become unhappy. The Obama administration keeps arguing that the premiums in the exchanges are below what was expected, based on hypothetical estimates produced by the Congressional Budget Office four years ago. But that’s not the relevant comparison. Consumers want to know how much more they are going to pay for insurance under Obamacare in 2014 than what the pre-Obamacare market offers them today.
The Heritage Foundation has carefully looked at this question, and the results are dismaying. The average family of four will see a premium increase in the exchanges of 10 to 30 percent. For young Americans, the premium hikes are much worse, in the range of 50 to 100 percent or more for 27-year-olds, including 71 percent in Nebraska and 170 percent in Georgia. And these premiums are for plans with, in most cases, very high deductibles, ranging from $2,000 to $2,500 for the so-called silver plans and $4,000 or more for bronze plans.
The ACA doesn’t pass the smell test by any stretch of the imagination. And I take some pleasure is saying “I told you so!” to the twits that were trying to blow sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns around to make everything look rosy. No, this is a nightmare that the People of the United States did not want from the get-go, but the Democrats had to push through while they had the trifecta majority in Congress and the White House. After all, during a townhall with then Senator Arlan Spector and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibilius, a woman stood up and stated,
“I look at this health care plan and I see nothing that is about health or about care. What I see is a bureaucratic nightmare, Senator. Medicaid is broke, Medicare is broke, Social Security is broke and you want us to believe that a government that can’t even run a cash for clunkers program is going to run one-seventh of our U.S. economy? No sir, no!”
So when do you think this is going to get fixed? Think of Hell freezing over, but then again…
Time to trash this turkey and bury it deep.