Obamacare stumbles out of the gate. Borked software, confusion


People and providers often don’t know if someone is covered. Michael Moore says Obamacare is ‘awful’, a boon to insurance companies, and we have to take the mess that is Obamacare and make it into something workable and useful. And that Obama will be no help.

Now that the individual mandate is officially here, let me begin with an admission: Obamacare is awful.

I believe Obamacare’s rocky start — clueless planning, a lousy website, insurance companies raising rates, and the president’s telling people they could keep their coverage when, in fact, not all could — is a result of one fatal flaw: The Affordable Care Act is a pro-insurance-industry plan implemented by a president who knew in his heart that a single-payer, Medicare-for-all model was the true way to go. When right-wing critics “expose” the fact that President Obama endorsed a single-payer system before 2004, they’re actually telling the truth.

What we now call Obamacare was conceived at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, and birthed in Massachusetts by Mitt Romney, then the governor. The president took Romneycare, a program designed to keep the private insurance industry intact, and just improved some of its provisions. In effect, the president was simply trying to put lipstick on the dog in the carrier on top of Mitt Romney’s car. And we knew it.

Meanwhile, continuing problems glitches in the system means some have no clue if they are covered or not. People sometimes don’t know if their signup worked, and until they get and pay the first bill, they are not officially covered. Some have been turned away by hospitals and doctors because of unclear insurance status.

California extends payment deadline for Obamacare policies to Jan. 15

Amid deepening consumer frustration, California’s health exchange extended the payment deadline to Jan. 15 for insurance coverage starting Jan. 1 under the federal healthcare law.

Unbelievably, people are being told to start over at the state’s Medicaid office because the software is so borked it apparently told them they were signed up but didn’t actually do it. I’m a software developer and genuinely do not understand how a software system can be that screwed up.

HealthCare.gov defects leave many Americans eligible for Medicaid, CHIP without coverage

To try to provide coverage to these people before they seek medical care, the Obama administration has launched a barrage of phone calls in recent days in 21 states, advising those who applied that the quickest route into the programs is to start over at their state’s Medicaid agency.