Uninsured, Unemployed & Obamacare: The Conclusion

My journey with the Affordable Care Act---or Obamacare---has been an exhausting one.

Yet as most of you know, it wasn't easy.  Let's review:

  • After submitting an application on Healthcare.gov, I was told that the information wasn't transferred to the state level and had to start all over again.
  • I only found out that I had to start over with the state because *I* took the initiative and called to check the status of my application.  No one from Healthcare.gov ever let me know what was going on.
  • Despite the fact I started over with another application with the state, Heathcare.gov continued to send me confusing and inaccurate information about the status of my application that I completed almost 90 days earlier.
  • While waiting for the resolution of my application with the state, I received an erroneous rejection letter from Healthcare.gov stating that I didn't meet the income requirements and that the state was going to deny my application.
  • Days later, I received a medical card from the state.

Virtually no communications prior to the October launch, a web site not setup to withstand a large amount of traffic, poor communication between the federal level and the state exchanges.  In short, the launch was an unparalleled shit show.

Despite all of this, I finally got accepted into the expanded Medicaid program.  But damn it took a lot of effort.

The whole experience was horrible---each and every minute of it---I expected better from the Obama administration.

And that's when it hit me---for all of the President's good intentions and his posturing, he and his senior staff are woefully out of touch with the needs of struggling Americans.  Hell, I think he and his senior staff are out of touch with the needs of most Americans who aren't making over $250,000

Because if he and his staff truly understood what the average American is going through, the Healthcare.gov and HAMP programs wouldn't have been such unbelievable failures.

Yes,  I called Healthcare.gov a failure.

From what I understand the Affordable Care Act through Healthcare.gov was supposed to connect unemployed and underinsured Americans (depending on their state of residence) with affordable insurance.

It's somewhat difficult to secure affordable insurance if your application never makes it through the proper channels.

And the buck stops with the President.

I realize that he has battled an obstructionist Congress determined to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

I also realize that the Affordable Care Act is lengthy and confusing and could have been simplified.

I often told people that when I voted for President Obama, I voted for someone who I perceived was smarter than me.  He is after all a double Ivy League graduate who taught law at the University of Chicago.  Imagined how surprised I was that he didn't hire people who had enough common sense to gauge what type of traffic Healthcare.gov was going to receive and tailor the website to withstand that traffic.

Seriously?

Calling in the computer guru's *after* the launch and spectacular crash of the lynchpin of your signature legislation is not what I expected from someone who was the head of the Harvard Law Review.

Trust me, I know that all of this has been covered and seemingly the "bugs" and "glitches" have been ironed out.  Some would even say it's water under the bridge.

Yet I purposely waited several months before writing this to see if my feelings would change or the passage of time would give me a different perspective.

They haven't.

I think that there is a lot that the President has done right while being fought tooth and nail by forces that want him to do nothing but fail.

When someone desperately wants you to fail, you don't help them along by half assing important programs.  Or as my mother used to say, "You don't give your enemies a stick to beat you with."

But the President stopped being a "normal American" the night he gave that speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention.  He's a wealthy and powerful man who has clearly forgotten the struggle.

Yeah, he's done a great deal of good, but being able to consistently and effective help average Americans may not be one of them.

 

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