If you have "no place to go," come here!

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: ACA signups, a great site that shouldn't even exist

Here's their February report.

Of course, with single payer -- "Everybody in, nobody out" -- we wouldn't have entire web sites devoted to the minutiae of tracking signups at all.

ObamaCare, in a way, is like an artificial reef:

Since at least the 1830s, American fishermen used interlaced logs to build artificial reefs. More recently, castaway junk, such as old refrigerators, shopping carts, ditched cars, out-of-service vending machines replaced the logs in ad hoc reefs. Officially sanctioned projects have incorported decommissioned subway cars, vintage battle tanks, armored personnel carriers and oil drilling rigs.

So, you dump junk in the ocean, and then marine life finds niches in the junk, and the junk gradually gets encrusted the fronds and barnicles 'n' stuff. And so, with ObamaCare, we have little niches like sign-up tracking sites (or apps (or lots and lots of websites and callcenters and brochures and training materials...))*.

Except what kind of civilization dumps dead refrigerators and shopping carts and oil rigs in the ocean, fer pete's sake? The same civilization that brought you ObamaCare, I guess.

NOTE * Walking around money for the "creative class."


mellon's picture
Submitted by mellon on

Long before Obamacare there was a phrase "consumer driven healthcare" which is basically cheap, high deductible low actuarial value insurance plans that only healthy and/or wealthy people should buy, but which now are being sold to poor people without even the formerly customary admonition that people needed to combine them with a health savings account for the "plan" to have any chance of working.

Basically, the idea is, if you are really healthy and almost never need to go to the doctor, you buy one of these "consumer driven healthcare" plans and put the thousand or so bucks you save every month in the HSA, faithfully. However, as we know, in the blindness that is Obamacare, any suggestions that this is the only prudent way to use Obamacare are being drown-voted by the sock-puppet brigades.

But, getting back to my original point, the confusion of thousands of tiers and its bewilderness is there for one reason only, to increase confusion, and increase waste, and make it less obvious that for a huge segment of society (my guess around 75% of us now) there is no workable solution in Obamacare that gives people security. There cannot be any security for the working people. They wouldn't want that.

One of the goals of Obamacare, I suspect, is to keep working people from asking for and getting more of a living wage.

Every dollar in raises they get will be offset by huge increases in risk exposure in health care costs.

Also, in employment law, there is no better excuse to lay off higher paid workers than costs, i.e. cannot afford them any more. So Obamacare is really a gift to large companies who are being blessed by huge improvements in productivity due to technologies like the WWW.

Over the next few decades we'll be transitioning to workplaces that have far fewer people than today. Unlike single payer, which would detach healthcare from jobs completely, Obamacare's costs gives them all a way to lay off large numbers of older employees without the huge amount of anger that normally elicits when companies who are doing quite well lay off large numbers. Its for this reason that I think that despite all their talk of gridlock, and disagreement, that the entire chain of events we've seen since Obama's entry into the race for the Democratic nomination has been to a large degree a scripted series of events, designed to give te illusion of democracy but in fact be a sort of coup where democracy is replaced by something else. I think Obama is basically powerless, as he was probably just hired for his oratorial skills, the real decision making is probably being done by other people. I hope I'm wrong.

The thing that really started me thinking that the whole healthcare situation was not at all what it seems was this paper by now deceased single payer activist Nick Skala

The reason I think it was "staged" to some or a great degree is because its now from my understanding of GATS - that they really had no "options" at all within the GATS constraints other than the really crappy ones we've been seeing again and again.

However, they had to make it look as if it was a big change. The people voted for a change but they got the same old BS. Ironically, it appears to me that the much ballyhooed portions of the ACA which were used to sell it, for example, guaranteed issue. (where sudden jumps in costs are used - after a would-be insured had been paying into the system for many years- to dump people when they get sick, instead of medical underwriting being used to prevent them from paying that money in the first place-

Rules like that seem to me to be likely to be struck down as market access/trade barriers by a WTO panel once we become irreversibly trapped in the for-profit healthcare. (As we are seeing, because of these investor-state entitlements given to corporations, FTA's generally are, by design, one way streets with no exit.)

Caveat Emptor

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

when you say:

It's for this reason that I think that despite all their talk of gridlock, and disagreement, that the entire chain of events we've seen since Obama's entry into the race for the Democratic nomination has been to a large degree a scripted series of events, designed to give the illusion of democracy but in fact be a sort of coup where democracy is replaced by something else.

And it will continue to be this way, IMHO.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

I am too pushed to attempt an actual diary on this topic, but it is important to make a quick mention of the recent talk of Democratic Party proposed "ACA Reform," which was mentioned on two Sunday Talk Shows earlier today.

Background Material:

See link below to Lambert's excellent post at NC about a month ago.

Hillary Clinton, Pre-2016, Gingerly Addresses ObamaCare Debacle, Supports “Evidence-Based” Changes

[Very pushed for time, so excerpts will be VERY brief.]

Hillary Clinton* gave two back-to-back speeches on health care in the 2016** swing state of Florida. The later one, at the University of Miami, was “visionary” (I think the word is) and a sales pitch to UM students to sign up for insurance. The earlier one, the keynote at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference, is more interesting. . . .

And then there is the Politico piece authored on March 26th by Dem Party strategist, and former [Bill] Clinton pollster Douglas Schoen.

Here's the link, below.

Democrats Should Embrace Coburncare or Face a 2014 Reckoning

BTW, Schoen starts out referencing "Clinton's Miami speech and call for evidence-based changes" that was mentioned in Lambert's post.

Here's the first three paragraphs:


Just went to do a "copy and paste"--the piece with the same title and picture is there--but it has been rewritten.



Don't believe that I've ever seen this before--maybe I've got my answer! Dunno.

Will be back after I see if I can retrieve a "cached copy."

{To Be Continued . . . }

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

as this "switch" would indicate.

Honestly, I thought there were laws, or at least, official publishing protocal that made this type of "switch" impossible (in a mainstream publication, that is).

The "piece" that I viewed at 5:53 pm on 3/29/2014 barely resembles the one, by the same name that I've linked to here, today.

It is laughable, actually.

Yesterday's version devoted the first two pages to mentioning the Dem Party leaders (FS Clinton, Pelosi, a string of Senate conservadems, and what they had to lose if the Democrats "face another shellacking" in election cycles to come.

Heck, it even mentioned poor ole Alex Sinks, LOL!

Notice today's version: The emphasis is on the President.

Hmmmmm, could it be because he's the only one that is not up for reelection?

Yesterday's piece even blatantly acknowledged that "the ACA is certainly unpopular." Even quoted an unfavorable poll.

Seriously, what is the most shocking to me is the in-your-face admission that the Democratic Party should sell out its values (if it ever really had any) regarding providing Americans will "health care," in order to neutralize an obstacle, and "win" in 2014 and 2016.

That main point was woven throughout both articles.

So, where does this leave the disaffected and disillusioned rank-and-file members of the Democratic Party Base, and/or single-payer health care activists of any political persuasion?

Oh, wait--this will work to create a "perfect opening" for a straw man primary candidate-- who's not in the race to win--to run a faux campaign as a single-payer champion, LOL!

And even after all that this piece (and the other one) reveal, the Democratic Party Establishment Leadership will once again attempt to appeal to bipartisanship in order to score points with "the American People."

Never mind that this will trample all over the values and goals of their Party Base. And what's worse--they'll probably get away with it!

It will be interesting to see how many left-leaning pundits and blogs even mention this obvious swing to the right--and we're 2-1/2 years out from the election.


I must say, however, that I am in agreement with ending the "individual" mandate.

But other "CoburnCare" proposed changes, like hiking the premium ratio to 5:1, seniors to youth--instead of 3:1, I'm in total opposition to.

We may as well expect more "near- and early-retirees to go uninsured--if this proposal is also endorsed by Dems.

And it will be an "absolute catastrophe" if Dems endorse opening up the "consumer-driven health plans" (referred to as expanding the use of health-savings account with high-deductible health plans) will be--especially for lower income individuals and families.

End of rant.

[I'll be back to post the PDF version of the original piece, if I can figure out how.]

mellon's picture
Submitted by mellon on

Medical mistakes are almost certainly up, because of criminally abbreviated HMO care.

But, malpractice suits and costs are not even the tiniest reason for skyrocketing medical costs, anybody who is knowledgeable on healthcare costs will tell you, they are actually at all time, historic lows.

Somebody- perhaps we here- should break their 'proposal' into all its pieces and analyze them one by one.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

a chance to scan the Public Citizen brief, but have bookmarked it, and will give it a good reading tomorrow--thanks!

Sounds like you're probably in a better position than I, to dissect ObamaCare and/or the (possibly) soon-to-be endorsed "CoburnCare." But I'll "put in my 5 cents" on the topic, for what it's worth.

(Heaven help us all, if this proposal is actually endorsed by the Democratic Party.)

I almost had to pinch myself yesterday when I first ran across the article, because of the acknowledgement (by Schoen) that Dems should be prepared to triangulate, and literally "sell out" their values or principles, in order "to win."

His inference that it's really mostly about raw power, was quite disturbing to me.

Not to mention his very insulting and dismissive attitude toward "liberals."

Notice he didn't use the DLC's pet term--"progressives." Guess it hits too close to home, since the term was first used by Schoen's ilk to "hijack" the word liberal--by marginalizing it. Some time I'll post the DLC's Al From reciting the definition (on C-Span)--it's good for a laugh, trust me!

Schoen is such a "piece of work." Heck, half the time he's "to the right of" the Republicans on Fox, LOL!

Why would any liberal care if Democrats obtain or keep power, if Dem politicians sell out most of their principles in order to keep it.

I mean--what have we achieved?

I suppose the best thing we can do, if raise awareness.

This new proposal seems to be just now taking shape, and the propaganda appears to be in the "early stages."

Hopefully, it's not too late to try to nip this proposal in the bud!