Monday, October 21, 2013

Many Roses and One Thorn for Health Law in the Rose Garden
A rose is a rose is a rose.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) Sacred Emily (1913)

But ne're the rose without the thorn.

Robert Herrick (1591-1694), The Rose
I have just finished listening to President Obama’s White House presentation in the Rose Garden about the Health Law rollout.
He spent much of his 40 minutes lauding the health law as a “good product” with “good prices” that “will save you money.” He ticked off its benefits – affordable care for the insured,  free mammograms and free contraceptives,  cheaper drugs for seniors falling into the donut hole,  and, above all,  mandatory coverage for young adults under their parents’ plan and for those with pre-existing illnesses.
He mentioned one thorn among the roses – website – and inability of consumers to sign on and complete the application process.  He said, “No one is more frustrated than I am” about its rocky rollout.   
But again and again,  he stressed ObamaCare is much more than a website.    Once a “surge of tech experts” work out the “kinks,”  the rollout will be “smooth”,  the system will be “better,” “you will be protected,” and  your health care will be more “affordable.”  is “not the only way” to gain access to health plans ,  to complete your application, and to qualify for health law benefits.     You can call 1-800-318-2596,  I repeat,  1-800-318-2596, or you can talk to an actual person at one of many call centers, or talk s navigator,  or you can visit s government run community health centers.
In summary, President Barack Obama acknowledged  problems with his health care law's rollout.  He said these “kinks” were unacceptable, as the administration was “doing everything  it could possibly do” to fix things.  This included a “surge of tech experts” and ramping up call centers where people could apply by phone and talk to people rather than being stranded or abandoned on websites.

The President mentioned that 19 million Americans had visited, that some 476,000 had tried to apply, but he did not say how many had enrolled. 

Nor did he mention the thorns among the  ObamaCare roses -  that premiums and deductibles may soar as the young and healthy encounter difficulty signing up at government of state  websites;  that the government will be unable to penalize people for not signing up when they are unable to sign up by June 15; that  3 ½ years after passage, the government had not prepared or tested  its website to meet consumer demands;   that consumers in many states may suffer “sticker shock” when they compare new health plan prices to those of their old plans and not enroll; and that delaying the Individual Mandate for a year was a possible option until the Administration gets its collective act together.
Tweet:  Today President Obama defended ObamaCare,  said it was more than a website,  he was bringing in experts to fix “kinks

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