Did you really expect a program this big to work first time?
by Ziks511 - 10/22/13 10:44 AM
Washinton State and Oregon report nearly 250,000 inquiries and applications. That's just two states.
Meanwhile 22 states have either opted out or are leaning that way. Want to know which ones? Just look at the party of the Governor.
Meanwhile in the land of reality, it is barely 3 weeks into the process, and a frequently reported statistic reports 476,000 applications and most approved, even with all the trouble. At half a million every three weeks, this won't take very long, except for those people in states that won't allow them to participate.
And from the extremely conservative magazine The Economist on October 12th (after less than two weeks!!)
But they're still honest enough to point out:
"Officials say that too many people tried to log on at once; within three days, 8.6m had visited healthcare.gov." Of course they go on to beat the Administration over the head for the software problems, which everybody agrees were stupid, but that's a staggering number of inquiries. 2.8+ million per day for the first three days. Mind you Fox and CNBC and a crowd of nay-sayers have been playing all this down mostly by ignoring the larger implications and concentrating on one-off glitches, mistakes and stupidity.
The over-all best, Fair and Balanced look at the legislation is the one from the Brookings Institution.
"1. I heard that Obamacare starts on Tuesday. What is Obamacare, anyway?
Health Care Reform Opportunities and Affordable Care Act Implementation
September 13, 2013
Passed in 2010,
"Obamacare is a national law with two goals: making
health insurance better for people who already have it and getting
health insurance for more of the 60 million people who are uninsured.
"Here's the upshot: About half of all Americans—about 160 million
people—already have private health insurance, mostly bought by
employers. If this applies to you, Obamacare matters only if your plan
was stingy. Under the law, insurers must now pay for many things that
used to be optional, like prescription drugs, having a baby, and mental
health care, among other services. The law also blocks any extra charges
for routine checkups, cancer screening, and some other stuff. Obamacare
also limits your yearly out-of-pocket fees, such as co-pays for going
to the hospital. It also forbids insurers from kicking you out if you
get sick. One other thing: Starting in 2015, workplaces with more than
50 people must provide insurance to full-time workers. Another change:
Your paycheck must show how much your boss pays for your health
coverage, which may shock you."
"2. That answer was too long, so I didn't read it. Can you just show me some cartoons instead?
The Kaiser Family Foundation, in partnership with Free Range Studios,
created this seven- minute cartoon video explaining Obamacare. Narrated
by Charlie Gibson, a former anchor of ABC's Good Morning America, it features the YouToons, who have won rock-star level fame among health policy wonks.
" Go to the brookings.edu website above for the cartoon.
"3. Why did we need to change things in the first place? I was perfectly happy with the old system.
You weren't the only one. According to Gallup,
82 percent of Americans were quite pleased with their health care. The
problem really was with the other 18 percent. People routinely got
kicked off their plans for getting pregnant, having a pre-existing
condition, or losing their job. Afterward, no one would sell them
insurance, which pretty much screwed them. Many people also had bad
health plans that imposed all kinds of restrictions. In addition, 60
million Americans had no health insurance at all, and as a result, many
people lost their homes, endured bankruptcy, and suffered other
hardships trying to pay for treatment for their illness. Among
industrialized nations, the United States was an outlier in having no
basic guarantee of health care."
I kept telling you that the US was odd man out in the industrialized world, but did you listen? Okay, maybe you listened, but did you care? Thought not.
"4. Why are some people so mad about Obamacare.
"The angriest people—those looking to provoke a national economic default over Obamacare, comparing the law to the Fugitive Slave Act, or calling it the "the most dangerous piece of legislation ever passed"—are
worried Obamacare will cost too much and also harm the quality of
doctors' care. They believe the existing system had problems but worked
well enough for most people. Unfortunately, many vocal Obamacare
opponents regularly misstate facts. Their vitriol is best understood not as based on rational policy disagreement but as political theater."
"9. What was that whole thing with the Supreme Court and Obamacare last year?
"To get people insured, Obamacare sat on a "three-legged stool."
It includes a mandate for people to buy insurance if affordable, a
prohibition on insurers from barring any buyers regardless of health
status, and a huge expansion of free health care for the poor through
Because states have to pay for part of Medicaid,
several strongly opposed expansion, and Florida and other states filed a
lawsuit to stop Obamacare. (To be honest, however, Obamacare promised
to give states almost all the extra money.)
In the end, the 2012 case was a mixed victory for Obamacare. The
Supreme Court upheld the law broadly and the mandate (the first two legs
of the stool), but it made the Medicaid expansion optional for states
(cutting out the third leg). <b>Though extending free care to the poor
would cost states quite little,</b> 22 mostly Republican states have refused to take the money and insure more poor people. This is a major problem for
Obamacare's central goal and likely will leave millions more people
uninsured. If you live in one of these states, are poor, and don't have
Medicaid, you are out of luck."
So that's a big Yaayyy for Pin-headed Partisanship from the "I won't spend a nickle to help Poor People no matter what the Bible says" crowd, who obviously from the previous sentence are almost all Republicans. So much for "Kinder, Gentler Conservatism. If they cant grind your face in the dirt, knock out all your teeth and kick you in the stomach for mumbling, they don't want any part of it. That's Schadenfreude for you. " The Joy in the Misery of Others", or simply the feeling of unwarranted superiority through having more money.
Oh, I stole most of the underlined line from The Big Sleep, screenplay by William Faulkner and Leigh Brackett (a woman who wrote mostly Science Fiction novels beside screenplays), but the original line is pure Raymond Chandler, who knew a thing or two about inequality and poverty in California, even though he was a Brit and a lawyer.