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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: When Obama said the exchanges would be like when you "buy a flat-screen TV or plane tickets" he was flat-out lying

The quote, from Obama's recent speech in Galesburg:

If you don’t have health insurance, then starting on October 1st, private plans will actually compete for your business, and you'll be able to comparison-shop online. There will be a marketplace online, just like you’d buy a flat-screen TV or plane tickets or anything else you're doing online, and you'll be able to buy an insurance package that fits your budget and is right for you.

That's a steaming load of crap. Here's a more realistic perspective (hat tip, joe6pac):

You may have heard that shopping for health insurance under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul will be like using Travelocity or Amazon.

But many people will end up with something more mundane than online shopping, like a call to the help desk.

Struggling with a deadline crunch, some states are delaying online tools that could make it easier for consumers to find the right plan when the markets go live on Oct. 1.

Ahead of open enrollment for millions of uninsured Americans, the feds and the states are investing in massive call centers.

"The description that this was going to be like Travelocity was a very simplistic way of looking at it," said Christine Ferguson, director of the Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange. "I never bought into it."

"The bottom line is that with tight timelines ... states have had to scale back their initial ambitions for Day 1," said Paul Hencoski, leader of KPMG's government health practice, which is advising nearly 20 states. "A lot of the more sophisticated functionalities that might have been offered through the Web are being deferred to later phases."

When the markets first open, Hencoski said, "there will be a significant amount of manual processing of things that will later be automated." Translation: emails, phone calls, faxes.

The Obama administration, which will be running the markets or taking the lead in 35 states, has yet to demonstrate the technology platform that will help consumers get financial help with their premiums and pick a plan.

So the states are already triaging functionality, and many millions will experience exchanges that are nothing like Obama's description. Read the rest of the article. It's going to be a total PITA, with the difference that when you apply for insurance to any insurance company, you don't face a perjury rap if you make a mistake, or clawback on next year's tax return.

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jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

say I agree with this message.

Rainbow Girl on Fri, 07/26/2013 - 12:04am

It's almost as though someone writing it has been closely reading Lambert's posts and our merry threads here at Corrente and pulled it together for AP.

I'm sure ap will be sending a check real soon;)

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

yeah, right :)

AP could at least send a check for the fundraiser, though !!

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

So one of the "folks" in charge of the Rhode Island exchange, which is eliminating key functionalities to meet Obama's Public Relations Deadline of October 1, responds thus when confronted with the fact that what R.I. will be rolling out won't exactly be, er, so terrific:

" ... With time, (*) "it's going to get a lot more user friendly and effective," said Ferguson, the Rhode Island director. "Were there things I would have liked to see delivered on Oct. 1 that are going to be delayed? Yes. But is that something that I think is horrible? No." (**)

Does anyone think that when Ferguson says "things" as they will be on October 1 will not be horrible [what an endorsement!] he really means it's not going to be a Third World Experience? Readers?

(*) Again with the "with time" shtick. One of the Prog Stenographers said the same thing a few months ago when HHS's fumbling, screw ups etc. were getting press and it was becoming increasingly clear that one shoe after another was dropping from the "original vision" -- something like "oh well, over the next few years (!) ACA's kinks will be ironed out."

Who are these people who have the luxury of hanging on until Whenever?! As they say in the law, justice delayed is justice denied. QED ObamaCare. Though as we well know here, there's nothing "justice-like" about ACA and it needs to be nuked and replaced with Medicare for All tomorrow.

(**) Does anyone know whether a name or label was ever given to this passive aggressive style of responding to serious criticism with a unilateral Q&A that both pseudo-admits fault but then minimizes it? This started a few years ago and I've found it majorly annoying from the get go. I put it in the same yuck-bucket as "conversation."

Submitted by lambert on

.... but that's not really it. Blame shifting is part of it, and also a willlingness to hold others to a standard that they themselves do not meet -- proudly do not meet.

Perhaps it's an Eric Berne game. Maybe "Wooden Leg?"

The thesis of "Wooden Leg" is, "What do you expect of a man with a wooden leg?" Put that way, of course, no one would expect anything of a man with a wooden leg except that he should steer his own wheel chair. On the other hand, during World War II there was a man with a wooden leg who used to give demonstrations of jitterbug dancing, and very competent jitterbug dancing, at Army Hospital amputation centers. There are blind men who practice law and hold political offices (one such is currently mayor of the writer's home town), deaf men who practice psychiatry and handless men who can use a typewriter.

As long as someone with a real, exaggerated or even imaginary disability is content with his lot, perhaps no one should interfere. But the moment he presents himself for psychiatric treatment, the question arises if he is using his life to his own best advantage, and if he can rise above bis disability. In this country the therapist will be working in opposition to a large mass of educated public opinion. Even the close relatives of tbe patient who complained most loudly about the inconveniences caused by his infirmity, may eventually rum on the therapist if the patient makes definitive progress. This is readily understandable to a game analyst, but it makes his task no less difficult. All the people who were playing "I'm Only Trying to Help You" are threatened by the impending disruption of the game if the patient shows signs of striking out on his own, and sometimes they use almost incredible measures to terminate the treatment.

Both sides are illustrated by the case of the stuttering client of Miss Black's, mentioned in the discussion of the game "Indigence." This man played a classical form of "Wooden Leg." He was unable to find employment, which he correctly attributed to the fact that he was a stutterer, since the only career that interested him, he said, was that of salesman. As a free citizen he had a right to seek employment in whatever field he chose, but as a stutterer, bis choice raised some question as to the purity of his motives. The reaction of the helpful agency when Miss Black attempted to break up this game was very unfavorable to her.

"Wooden Leg" is especially pernicious in clinical practice, because the patient may find a therapist who plays the same game with the same plea, so that progress is impossible. This is relatively easy to arrange in the case of the "Ideological Plea," "What do you expect of a man who lives in a society like ours?" One patient combined this with the "Psychosomatic Plea," "What do you expect of a man with psychosomatic symptoms?" He found a succession of therapists who would accept one plea but not the other, so that none of them either made him feel comfortable in his current position by accepting both pleas, or budged him from it by rejecting both. Thus he proved that psychiatry couldn't help people.

Some of the pleas which patients use to excuse symptomatic behavior are colds, head injuries, situational stress, the stress of modem living, American culture and the economic system. A literate player has no difficulty in finding authorities to support him. "I drink because I'm Irish." "This wouldn't happen if I lived in Russia or Tahiti." The fact is that patients in mental hospitals in Russia and Tahiti are very similar to those in American state hospitals. Special pleas of "If It Weren't For Them" [Republicans!] or "They Let Me Down" should always be evaluated very carefully in clinical practice—and also in social research projects.

Slightly more sophisticated are such pleas as: What do you expect of a man who (a) comes from a broken home Cb) is neurotic (c) is in analysis or (d) is suffering from a disease known as alcoholism? These are topped by, "If I stop doing this I won't be able to analyze it, and then I'll never get better."

The obverse of "Wooden Leg" is "Rickshaw," with the thesis, "If they only had (rickshaws) (duckbill platypuses) (girls who spoke ancient Egyptian) around this town, I never would have got into this mess."