The PJ Tatler

How Is Obamacare Like the Hotel California?

You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.

Lara Imler, an Anchorage-based hairstylist, managed to enroll in Obamacare, but problems with her application — her new insurer didn’t have it and nobody she reached on the HealthCare.gov hotline could help her figure out why; she also discovered that the exchange under-calculated the subsidy she was supposed to receive by $50 — made her want to cancel her enrollment.

“If you look at my profile on the website it shows my full subsidy, but it says I’m only using part of it,” Imler told Alaska Public Radio. “So they know I’ve got a screwed up subsidy but they don’t know what to do with it. There’s no one directly you can talk to to say, ‘Hey my subsidy is on there. How do I apply for all of it?’”

She recently attempted to cancel her new plan but HealthCare.gov was having none of it. Despite clicking on an option to terminate coverage, then confirming that she wanted to cancel her plan, nothing changed. Her plan was still listed on her profile.

She tried logging out and logging back in. She checked her e-mail to see if she’d been notified that her coverage was canceled. Nothing.

It’s also like the Hotel California, in that we can stab Obamacare as much as we want but so far we just can’t kill the beast.