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Obamacare: The Reboot

Picture Joe Isuzu selling for one of those pyramid sales companies and you'll get an idea of how Obamacare works.

by
Stephen Green

Bio

December 1, 2013 - 10:42 pm
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Hollywood, in all its timid lack of creativity, likes nothing better than a reboot. That is, taking some beloved old TV or movie, slapping a fresh coat of paint on it — usually in the form of a big budget and some big names — and calling it new.

Sometimes, you get epic popcorn fare like 2009′s Star Trek. It might not have been the best Trek movie ever, but the new actors stayed true to old beloved characters, and brought youth back to a franchise that had long gone geriatric.

Other times, you get The Avengers. I don’t mean the Best. Superhero. Movie. EVER., helmed by Joss Whedon and starring the best of Marvel’s movie lineup, including Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Cobie Smulders…

Mmm, Cobie Smulders.

Yeah, she does.

Sorry. I got distracted there.

What I do mean is the 1998 movie reboot of the classic ’60s British television series, The Avengers. In that one, we had the horribly miscast Ralph Fiennes playing Patrick Macnee’s dashing John Steed with all the charisma of a wet boot. It also starred the horribly miscast Uma Thurman as Diana Rigg’s super-sexy Emma Peel with all the sex appeal of, well, a wet boot. Together, Fiennes and Thurman produced the same sparks as one brick laid down in the vicinity of another brick. Director Jeremiah S. Chechik went on to have a long career of directing handfuls of episodes of TV shows you probably don’t remember all that well.

This weekend, Obamacare’s troubled HealthCare.gov portal received its long-awaited reboot.

Are the results more Star Trek, or more The Avengers?

I’ll walk you through what I went through on Sunday morning. I was fortunate to have picked Sunday for my little adventure, because HealthCare.gov was taken down for 11 hours during Saturday’s reboot. I’m trying very hard not to let that failure color any of my perceptions. The site also didn’t crash on me like it did for CNN on Sunday, so I had that going for me, which was nice.

The new (and improved?) site is bereft of Vaguely Ethnic Smiling Woman, replaced instead by four friendly looking icons which could have come right out of Apple’s polarizing iOS7 mobile operating system. Whether that’s beauty or not is in the eye of the beholder. My employer provides a plan I like, which I intend to keep so long as The Authorities will allow, so I clicked on “See Plans Now.” Everybody window shops on the web, and HealthCare.gov should be no different.

The next page came up very quickly. In part that’s because I spring for a top-of-the-line internet connection, but mostly it’s because that page is just static text and the typical social media sharing buttons. In other words, my shopping experience begins with one of the oldest web features ever: The dreaded FAQ. Amazon.com, this ain’t.

The headline question is, “How can I see Marketplace health plans and prices before I fill out an application?” The short version of the answer is: “You can’t.” The long version says that I can “preview Marketplace health plans and prices available in your area. But to find out the actual costs for your personal situation, you need to apply.”

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Top Rated Comments   
Thanks for the nod to Douglas Adams!

"But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months." "Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything." "But the plans were on display ..." "On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them." "That's the display department." "With a flashlight." "Ah, well the lights had probably gone." "So had the stairs." "But look, you found the notice didn't you?" "Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'."
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, let me get this straight.

You have to obtain this insurance...to find out what's in it.

You have to give your identity to the same STATE apparatus that spied on you, ran guns to drug cartels and lied about it, allowed or caused the murder of an ambassador and three other Americans and lied about it...then midnight perp walked an innocent man and still is holding him hostage.

Turned off the credit card check security system TWICE in successive campaigns, in order to allow election fraud, foreign infestation and deceit...using the SAME company as the one in Obamacare.

You lose your doctor, you pay more, for much worse service.

But, we are told this is not tyranny. It walks like it, quacks like it...

The movie that comes to mind...is Howard the Duck.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is no way on this green Earth that I'm exposing my computer to whatever infests all that code. I won't even go there with a protected browser on an isolated machine outside my firewall.

NOT happening. I don't go around licking the floors and public telephones in Times Square either, which is the biological equivalent of going to Healthcare.gov.


Orion
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (46)
All Comments   (46)
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Frank Herbert and Douglas Adams, very good.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's like the absurdity of bureaucracies.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"To take you any further I would have to go back to where I began, and provide Uncle Sam with my email, Social Security, income, and all the rest of my hacker-friendly information. And I’m sorry, but I’m not willing to risk all that just for the sake of a story."

Why not use SSN 045-26-8722 (the most likely stolen) number that our Dear Leader is using.

In fact, I don't know why anyone now reading this doesn't try to flood the system with (frankly) similarly false data.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, 042-68-4425 is the number he's been using since 1979...

Let's call it open season for enrollment with this number.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks for doing the research for us on your Sunday. I have used (and credited) it on my blog :)

You sum it up so well: "My insurance options remain a riddle, wrapped in a subsidy, smothered in regulations."

What struck me was the number of times you said you encountered ALL CAP invitations to apply for subsidies. I had already suspected, but have now concluded that Healthcare.gov is not a site designed to educate us as to our insurance coverage options; rather, it is a site designed to funnel as many people as possible into government-subsidized programs.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
They both lie, and want to control you.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
As much as you and I are in shock over the stupidity of this thing there are still millions out there, like a coworker of mine, who think they are going to ring up a Doctor's office on 1/1/14 and get an appointment 'to get their back pain fixed' because after ObamaCare kicks in it'll be free. I kid you not, they are out there. millions of them.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
It'll be about as likely as getting Dr. Who as your health-care provider.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know you're just going thru this catacomb of horrors for your readers sake.
Since you already know your family doesn't qualify for a susbidy, there's no reason to use any of the portals. Just call your insurance agent and tell him what you want/need. Of course all policies now have to be O'Care compliant, just think of the Sandra Fluke cohort you'll be saving the cost of birth control for.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is only becoming clear now to me, or anyone, wtf the *site* is all about, and the *site* is only for those who get the subsidy. If you make a median wage, you probably get a small-ish subsidy, if you go through the process. This in NO way makes up for the extra costs on *all* plans due to the other aspects of Obamacare. Tough nuggies, America.

If you are about one sigma above average, then no subsidy for you, and you have NO reason to use the web site whatsoever. The same policies and more are available through other channels and other, more competent and easier to use, web sites.

I still don't know, if you are one sigma *below* average, does the subsidy make up for the increased cost on all policies so that you "win" even a little? Or does NOBODY win because that only shoves you out to Medicaid? My guess is that *somebody* wins this subsidy game, but it might be less than five percent of the public - and even THEY probably lose compared to any employer-provided policy they had before, which will be punked out over the next fourteen months, unless this travesty is completely withdrawn.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
My med insurance runs out on Dec 31. I have daily meds to take, or I'll likely die (according to Doctor bloke). I can't afford to pay retail for the drugs. My current monthly insurance is about $100; the cheapest I can get is about $600, which I can't afford, and I'm not even sure I qualify for that one. So as of Jan 1, I'll be uninsured and unable to afford both drugs and insurance. Maybe it's time, in the words of Tam, to pack a sack lunch and a Mauser, and go sightseeing from a tall building in D.C. What the hell; I'm going to die anyway.
Note to the NSA, when they read this: I'm joking. (I can't afford the gas to drive up to D.C. either.) But I'm not joking about my insurance problem. That, alas, is very real.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Epic suckballs! Still read through the archives of your blog from time to time sir. Hope you can find something workable or that America wakes up and casts this garbage aside!
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
call the pharma companies. One thing out of the Bush era was working with folks to get them their drugs at reduced prices or free.

Sorry to hear about your situation. We are not in dire straights as you are.
We have to decide between
1) keeping our mortgage and no insurance or
2) or having insurance with deductibles so high we will never use them and renting
3) stiffing the emergency rooms
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry to hear, sir.

46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I, too, have to take some drugs, but was able to persuade the doc to limit the subscriptions to those available on the Evile WalMart $4 drug list. That worked for me, though I know it won't work for everyone.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Crap.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
What he said.

:( :( :( :( Mr. du Toit, you are a national treasure and should be treated as such.

Orion (yes, THAT Orion from waaaay back)
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cobie Smulders: Sorry, not seeing it. I mean, she's not bad, but even in her Maxim shoot, she's just "pretty." In her slinky Maria Hill Shield Agent outfit, she has a bit of the "competent, sexy, bad*ss" vibe, but that's a pretty crowded field these days and I can't say she stands out. She doesn't have the charisma of Anna Torv (Olivia Dunham of Fringe), for example. Different Strokes.....

... which leads me to my healthcare options.

We're not allowed to have "different strokes" under Obamacare. I can't buy catastrophic insurance because Much Wiser People Than Me have decided I can't. No, we get lumped into Bronze, Silver and Gold plans that are custom-tailored to fit ... no one. Like a one-size-fits-all hospital gown: they all humiliate and gap in the back.

I, too, went on the site last night and tried to check out what a family plan on the exchange would cost me. I also make too much for "subsidies" (a.k.a., other peoples' money). The HUGE deductibles on the bronze plans mean that they're essentially catastrophic plans priced like comprehensive plans. It's a farce and a travesty.

46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
That is EXACTLY what they are : catastrophic plans, very very expensive ones.

Until now, you could have bought the very same for $70 a month, $5000 deductible, $10,000 cap on out of pocket and 60/40.

Now they are $380 and they don't even have the decency to put a cap on out of pocket.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory"
Have you checked the mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall's porch?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
details, details, details.

Only 15 million people are in the individual market. Most of them wouldn't vote for the Liar he had a gun to their heads. Most of the remaining would vote for the Liar even if he carved up and ate a baby on national TV. Most of the of the remaining don't vote. Which leaves how many, a hundred, a thousand who are susceptible to changing their mind about the Liar based on exposure to his signature achievement?

The other 285 million (less 20 million who watch Fox) will be told of the Messiah's great new accomplishment in turning the website around in a few short days.

They control the guys who control the shells.

And the people who actually have a chance to get on a network to get the word out about the horror, McCain, Boehner, Mitchell, and the rest of the Marxist JV team...not hearing much from them are we?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The remaining question is will young, healthy Americans risk all that just for the sake of coverage they don’t want? The IBD report I quoted above indicates that the answer is a big, fat, digital “NO!” Snappy, too."

This presumes that young people care enough to be well-informed about the security problems with Healthcare.gov. I was in one of "those' conversations with my niece's husband (Rah Rah Obamacare!) this weekend (sigh...what fun), and he was flabbergasted when I mentioned the WSJ and IBD stories about security and hacker problems with the site. He was then reduced to claiming it was just conservative propaganda. I wished him luck on the site.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
The ability for Liberals to ignore reality is somewhat awe inspiring! I had a Libtard tell me that FBI crime statistics were "propaganda"! Really? Yes, good luck with Obamacare, you're gonna need it!
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
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