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View Diary: Rocky start to HealthCare.gov could erode support for law (189 comments)

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  •  People desperate for insurance will keep trying (9+ / 0-)

    Young, healthy people, maybe not so much if it stays screwed up.

    •  If the young and healthy stay away, that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eileen B, quagmiremonkey, bdop4

      could doom the whole project. In order to keep the premiums and cost low, you have to have a balance of healthy paying in to help cover the older, sicker subscribers.

      There's no way any insurance plan can stay viable with only those with major or ongoing medical problems.

      It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:20:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, and that's why insurance companies used to (6+ / 0-)

        kick out people that were sick or deny people that had preexisting conditions.

        The "young and healthy" don't have to sign up immediately for the ACA to be a success, remember that. We all have until March to enroll, and the youngest ones probably will wait until over the holidays when their families nag them.

        Check out my progressive tshirts & gear: DemSwag.com or my hand-drawn reproduction of Rachel's Excelsior Poster from Friends available on cards, stickers, curtains etc.

        by Eileen B on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:32:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are so right (2+ / 0-)

          to point out that the way insurance companies kept up with this balance between the young and the healthy and the older and more needy of care, was to deny coverage for anything that might cause them to pay out, IOW, pre-existing conditions. Which is one of the biggest reasons we have so many uninsured.

          So Obamacare fixes at least that, and will need time and government money to help it flourish, which of course we know we'll not get anytime soon from the GOP, who would like nothing more than to go back to the old system, where millions were left uninsured and eventually, we all paid for that. Of course they don't talk about that.

          It is SO disgusting to me to watch this happen, and I have to sit on my hands these days not to slap anyone who wants to talk about how "exceptional" America is. We are not, haven't been for a long time, on so many levels. We are exceptional these days only in as much as we have great resources and wealth, now all locked up for the 1%.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:58:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I want this to succeed (4+ / 0-)

        And I'm even having a hard time putting up with this BS. Minnesota even created its own exchange and it's an unmitigated disaster. Since signing up on October 1st I STILL have no idea what my premium tax credit amount is. One page says my application was approved and to click the "link above" to enroll in health plans (there is no link); one page says I haven't completed the application, one page says my application is "disposed" and one page says I am ineligible (with my hefty yearly gross income of less than $25,000). I KNOW I am eligible, but I'm pretty sure most of the other people being told they don't qualify for assistance don't know it's not true. GREAT JOB MNSURE! YOU ARE AN EFFING JOKE!

        Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

        by bull8807 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:37:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My oh my (4+ / 0-)

          I work for one of the big insurance companies but support health care for all even if it puts me out of a job.. I am willing to accept ACA as a huge victory step in the right direction.  Thought about going back to consulting in order to work on the exchanges for the Feds . .. But opted not too... Trying to do my part by implementing it one the other side but would volunteer 7 days a week to get things corrected if there was a way to do so... I think about the antiquated system that the Feds have and wonder how they are going to get it done....

        •  MnSure is absolutely struggling with this. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto, auapplemac

          And I'm surprised that Kentucky managed to do this so much better when Minnesota has long been one of the most progressive health care states, and last I heard, is offering the lowest rates on Obamacare in the country.

          It is true that the "navigators" I've accessed so far have been pretty useless and seem to know less about all this than I do. And some of them are simply insurance brokers. Also true that you get no answers where it says you can submit questions on line.

          However, couple of things you should know. On the MnSure site you CAN access all the plans offered w/out glitch, to view, at least I and my pals and neighbors have been able to do so since day one, unlike the federal exchanges. and subsidy information is there, if you can figure it out.

          But, The Star Trib said that if you KNOW the plan you want, you can sign up through that company and bypass MnSure.

          http://www.startribune.com/...

          This in particular:

          You don’t have to have a computer to shop. Many libraries, community centers and health clinics will be able to enroll Minnesotans in coverage. Consumers may also shop with insurance brokers or contact the health insurance companies directly.
          For me, I know I'm going to stick with Health Partners for many reasons. So tomorrow I will call them directly, much easier to get through, and see if this is true. I've done enough research on the MnSure site to know the plan I want.

          Will write on more on this when I find out if I can in fact sign up through Health Partners instead of MnSure, which will be easier. Called them with a question today and got right through.

          The biggest problem I see, in addition to the computer glitches is that MnSure has not been proactive in providing this info on its site, if it is indeed true, and that they offer no phone sign up.

          It is frustrating, but please keep in mind that this is an incredibly complex deal made even more complex by the republicans refusal to not only not help, but to hinder in every way possible, like forcing the Federal government to use its funds to provide the exchanges they refused to. This has all complicated things plenty.

          I hope folks will understand that patience w/this undertaking is necessary and that if it's all about how you couldn't click your way to coverage immediately, then you are helping the right wing of this country kill the only advance in our health care system since Medicare---and keep in mind, they have offered and won't offer one single alternative plan.

          So we either fasten our seat belts and help make this work by spreading all the help and info we can, or it will be decades till this comes our way again.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:28:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've seen the plans (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StellaRay

            And I have narrowed down my choice to two, the issue is that I want to know what my premium tax credit amount will be before I sign up, because the price difference between the plans is enough that I can't reasonably afford the better plan without a certain amount of subsidy, and I also might qualify for cost-sharing assistance too. Since I need the price reduction rather than the retroactive tax filing credit, I have to go through MNsure. If I go through the insurance comapny's website, I do not get the premium assistance right away. I realize I still have two months, but from the user experience end of things, if this doesn't get fixed - especially the glitch that flags people eligible for the tax credits as ineligible (and this is system-wide according to the MNsure help line, meaning the same glitch will happen for the navigators), people are going to give up and not try again.

            And here's the thing - I do work in insurance, but from the clinic side. I deal with denied claims. I know exactly how little most average people understand about their insurance to begin with. If these people are told they are ineligible, at least 80% of them will believe it and not ask for another look at their financial situation. This is what seriously concerns me, because these are exactly the people who need the help.

            Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

            by bull8807 on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 07:24:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I understand. (0+ / 0-)

              And yes, there are those that will be discouraged after one or two tries. Just as there are those so scared and alienated that they don't vote, even though they have the most to gain by doing so. As has been said often by Kos, when Democrats vote we win.

              You actually have more than 2 months. True it's 2 months to start your coverage Jan. 1. But the enrollment period lasts till March. Small comfort, I know.

              Still, I'm an optimist and I believe that things will be fixed sooner than later. Once things are working we can only hope the word will get out that they are. I hope folks here continue to post their experiences and educate all of us as to what's happening.

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 07:49:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  A Major PR Effort is Needed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        auapplemac

        The Obama administration needs to pull out all the stops to get ahead of this situation. Ads targeting young voters need to impress the fact that yes, they may not be potential victims of certain degenerative diseases, but they still are susceptible to injury and other calamities which will require insurance coverage.

        Sebelius must get her house in order. If she does not have a viable restart plan within the next two weeks, Obama should seriousy consider bringing in a new team to fix the situation.

        If they knew this was coming, they should have delayed the start date. If they didn't know, then there is a serious breakdown in communication and oversight. She should have at least one independent IT firm advising her on the status of the rollout.

        Bottom line: there is huge demand for healthcare coverage, so the market will not be going away anytime soon. But they must get a handle on the situation within the next 30 days.

      •  Borked at birth by Obama. (0+ / 0-)

        Instead of Medicare which does not require the " eligibility engine" bullshit we get this....   "Could erode support for the law?"  Are you being facetious?

    •  ...and THIS could be the dagger: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quagmiremonkey, Wolf10

      from the diary:

      Fixing Obamacare has to be the number one priority of the administration.
      No, the budget chaos will be #1 priority...then immigration reform...the the primary season opens up...

      then Syria and chemical weapons (again)....and....and...

      All the while Obamacare flounders along...giving Tea Party drones something to beat a drum about as public support goes from bad to worse.

      Fixing this SHOULD be the #1 priority, but I have serious doubts about follow through given how piss-poor the roll-out was.

      Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

      by Love Me Slender on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:25:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They can multitask (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bdop4, PorridgeGun

        Unfortunately I've not been impressed by Sibelius's competence on the ACA implementation.  She doesn't talk about it like someone who lives and breaths it every day.

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:23:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's because she does not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto

          live and breath the technical issues every day, as that's not her job. She is a spokesperson and a figurehead and is probably pretty busy 24/7 these days just doing that.

          To get someone who lives and breathes it, you have to talk to the contractors that set it up, and that's not going to happen.

          Folks have no idea of the arcane system of government procurement of resources and how much that handicaps the government in a roll out like this. This program should have had the brightest tech minds in our country working on it, but I guarantee you that was impossible cost wise, and in many other ways.

          I have gotten state contracts in the past a couple of times, and I can tell you I long ago stopped pursuing them. The requirements to pursue this business are mind boggling and so time consuming you need a person just to do that. Furthermore, budgets are very much an issue and the republicans have seen to it that there isn't a dime to spare on a good value.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:38:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What a mess (0+ / 0-)

            How do you figure it is that other government websites work well?  I've been told my many that the social security website is very user friendly and fast.

            "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

            by Subterranean on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:52:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, right off the cuff, (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hyakuban, willynel, FightersFate, bryduck

              I'd say that the SS website has had years and years to come to its optimum use, to iron out all the glitches before most were even using the computer to access info and sign up for SS.

              I have to be honest to say, without wanting to insult you, that I find Americans need for immediate gratification a bit too typical, even progressives who imo, could be a bit more patient instead of adding into right wing talking points.

              Don't get me wrong, there's no doubt that the Obamacare rollout has been one bumpy ride, but it is not w/out successes. California, Washington, Kentucky, Oregon, just to name a few, are moving along quite well.

              And then you have to consider that what is it, 26 states? that refused to set up exchanges, which is eating up federal monies that could be used to make improvements in the roll outs and the plan.

              And I DO KNOW that the rollout of Medicare part D was terribly fraught with glitches and problems, but the Democrats at that time did not make a political hay day of it, and it ironed itself out. Unfortunately perhaps, because I hate it and still can't believe the idiocy of disallowing the government to barter w/big pharma.

              The web sites are problematic, the computer science far from the best money can buy. if you understand anything about the government system of procurement you know how arcane and faulty it is, and how much it helps guarantee you are NOT going to get the best resources for the problem.

              But I still wouldn't call it a mess. I'd call it embryonic and struggling to take it's first breaths. What I'd call a mess is the other side of the aisle, who are doing everything they can do to pull out Obamacare by the roots, without so much as ONE alternative plan. And there will be no alternative plan from them.

              So that's my idea of a mess, as in a steaming pile of selfish, greedy shit that makes me ashamed for this country. The Obamacare rollout---uncomfortable and should have been better, but frankly didn't have much of a chance to be so, considering all factors. I have not been shocked or surprised by what's gone on.

              The ACA itself, a huge compromise to the right wing vs. single payer, but it is SO much better than what we had, and I really hope that progressives will be at the forefront of patience w/it, instead of being less forgiving of it than they are w/the average Apple roll out of a new product.

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:14:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Onion says O'care App coming out on Floppy's (0+ / 0-)

              Think they said you can load it from 36 floppy disc's....

          •  I don't expect her to be an IT expert (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            madronagal, PorridgeGun

            But I do expect her to hire someone who is to oversee the process, and I would probably hire a second expert as a safeguard.

            It just seems that she has been uncritically accepting whatever the contractors have been telling her.

            •  You really don't understand (4+ / 0-)

              the parameters of government procurement of resources, which I have been repeating all day long here. The government does not end up with the best choices it could get because of the wildly restrictive rules of hiring outside contractors. Not to mention the budgetary factors that say, were not a part of the Obama campaign's problems when they rolled out the best technology effort EVER.

              I can guarantee you the government including Sebelius did not end up with the best and brightest when all bids were in. First of all, the most expensive and best people, in MANY fields, want nothing to do with government contracts. They don't need them and they don't need the hassles, which are enormous.

              As an independent contractor, many years ago I won a few state contracts, but in the end deemed them not worth the trouble and time it takes to JUST GET THEM, let alone deal with them once you've got them.

              And when you're dealing with IT issues, you're trying to speak a language that very few speak at all, let alone well. So that further diminishes the folks that can even hope to understand in the detail they need to. Those people cost a lot of money.

              Could it have been done better? Probably, but not to the degree you and others hollering here think was possible, under the circumstances.

              And as I have also said here over and over again, I understand the frustration, I don't understand Americans' need for immediate gratification on EVERYTHING. Or I should say, I do understand it, and it's not our best side.

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:24:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is not for nothing that government contractors (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                StellaRay, bdop4

                are called Beltway Bandits. The Republican insistence in government on the cheap, preferably government that does not work for the people, makes it a magnet for those whose expertise is in working the system, not in any of the work needing to be done.

                I have been on the inside of various corporate software development projects. Some are wonderfully managed, and some are complete disasters from before they are begun. As we say, Garbage In, Garbage Out. I have studied successful government-run software development projects. They either have to be run outside of the political process, as has sometimes happened at DARPA, NASA, and other such agencies, or they have had to have many years of development in order to became usable.

                It is my personal opinion that there is not a legal payroll system from any vendor in the US that correctly calculates wages, deductions, and benefits for every contract and every employee category in every jurisdiction. The rules change much faster than programmers can even be informed of them, much less implement the changes on time. Unions have often had to sue to get the correct pay for their members. That is apart from businessmen who simply steal from the workers, refusing to pay what everybody knows is owed.

                Some of the writers here evidently forget, or never knew, that Social Security was a more or less functioning system long before computers, and continued to function in that primitive manual state while its initial computerization struggled. I have interviewed SSA employees about the problems of implementing data access services before there were any computers that could even hold the data, when access time was not measured in milliseconds from disk, but days or even weeks from the offsite tape library. They were supposed to keep on top of decades of data on each of tens of millions of workers way back when a 10 megabyte hard drive was a big deal.

                (My father got started in vacuum-tube computing. I got started when there was one digital Terabyte Data Store in the world, a photographic system built by IBM for the New York Times. It had a read time of about a minute, as the robotic arms accessed digital film cartridges and put them in readers; and a write time measured in days while sufficient data were accumulated to write a whole new cartridge. Today, you can buy a 1 terabyte hard drive off the shelf for well under $100.)

                It turns out that there are functioning parts of the Affordable Care Act, too, if you don't insist on only accessing it via the deeply-flawed computer systems. But you have to know where to look for them. At least you can go on healthcare.gov today and find out which insurance companies are offering insurance on the exchange in your state, and then ask them directly for the details. Insurance companies have budgeted far more than HHS gets for marketing to tens of millions of potential new customers.

                Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

                by Mokurai on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 10:35:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks for this very interesting (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bdop4

                  and informed comment.

                  "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                  by StellaRay on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 06:25:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks for both your comments (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    StellaRay

                    I agree that these are not simple tasks and the current austerity binge this country is on (in addition to GOP states refusing to lift a finger to establish their own exchange), makes a successful launch extremely problematic.

                    I'm just frustrated that such an important event was not handled better. If there were issues, such as insufficient capacity and/or faulty programming, they should have delayed the launch. I can wait longer, but then again, I have insurance.

                    •  I have insurance too, (0+ / 0-)

                      that I pay for by myself---self employed. The plan I've chosen is better coverage than I have and will cost me $300 less a month. So I'm pretty happy with it. But agree, the problematic roll out is unfortunate. Yet if they kept delaying it, the longer it would take America to realize that Obamacare is going to be better than what they had before, and in the face of the fierce GOP opposition, that could be even more costly to the success of it.

                      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                      by StellaRay on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 12:12:05 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Not in the long run (0+ / 0-)

      I always figured it was likely that the majority of YHP (young healthy people) would skip out on the first year. But when those YHP pay that 1% penalty the first year, and 2% the second, and get NOTHING in return, they'll come around.

      That will not be too late. This is a long-term deal. It will not fail just because of some botched web apps.

      -Jay-
      

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