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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Improved application form to be introduced

Joe Klein:

A few weeks ago, I gave the President a tough time about the slow and messy implementation of his health care plan. But there’s been some progress in recent weeks—and I’m happy to pass it on.

Well, then you couldn't have been all that tough.

Tomorrow morning the Administration will announce a spiffy, new 3-page application [the The Single, Streamlined Applicaton] for individuals (which we’ll attach here when it becomes public).* There will be an 7-page application for families (11 including the appendix), but even that one will be far better designed than the initial effort. “We did a lot of work testing words, to come up with simpler language,” an Administration official told me, “and we did time tests. Our average was 7 minutes to fill out the paper version and even less if you do it online.”

This compares favorably with applications for private insurance plans, which average about 17 pages (and can go as high as 35). “We’re hoping to move as many people as possible to the email application form,” a second Administration official told me. “We received a lot of [negative] feedback from insurers and individuals like you when we published the first application forms and we’re trying to be responsive to those concerns.”

There are more than a few other concerns and ways the system might be improved that I’ve written about in the past. The good news about the streamlined application, though, is that it shows the Administration is alert and flexible and responsive–and, if we’re lucky, may turn out to be innovative in enacting a system that will bring health care to those who haven’t had it before, and lower costs to the self-employed masses who’ve had to go out and buy insurance on their own.

I'll be interested to see the new form. I have seen a mockup of the online California form. Three pages it wasn't.

NOTE * [T]the self-employed masses." Fucking patronizing.

NOTE As far as the new short forms, alert reader Nihil Obstet comments:

While we talk about the problems that the poor will have, remember that it's not just the poor -- over 20 million Americans pay tax preparers to prepare the 1040EZ form, which is one page and has 10 blanks to fill in. No decisions to make based on analysis of the medical marketplace or anything like that -- just 10 blanks.

Excellent point. My impression at H&R Block this year was that they were gearing up for ObamaCare. Fine, so long as they take the perjury rap.

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Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

How very big of you, Mr. Klein. Why thank you. It is not everyday that we, the forced consumers of Mr. Obama's ACA, are privileged with such useful inside information.

Joe Klein's generous "leak" to us: Access Journalism noblesse-oblige in action.

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

And who was the lucky vendor that got the contract from CMS.

“We did a lot of work testing words, to come up with simpler language,” an Administration official told me, “and we did time tests. Our average was 7 minutes to fill out the paper version and even less if you do it online.”

ACA is clearly not about delivering health care.

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

"... to be responsive."

A for effort Ms. Sebelius and CMS -- we're all rooting for you!

(Granted, it would be difficult for anyone to design an application form that is written in plain English and simple when the product on the other end of the application (including, potentially, federal criminal perjury charges), by definition and design, is an obscure and complex con. Generally, executing a fraud does not involve candid and clear communication with the mark.)