Obamacare

Speaking of, Kevin Drum has some valid reasons for concern about the website.

So how is the website? Have you tried to sign up for coverage in the past week and if so, how did it go?

Keep in mind that the signup numbers only count people who have signed up for a plan and actually paid for it, something that you do not have to do for a while yet. How many of you have signed up for a plan and paid for it, and how many have signed up but plan to pay closer to the deadline? Any feedback from real users would help a lot.






187 replies
  1. 1
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    I’ve done neither. That’s because I’m in Canada and I’ve had public health insurance for my entire life!

    Ha ha suck it libtards!

    /me flees…

  2. 2
    cintibud says:

    My company offers only single and family plans and there is a huge gulf in prices between them. As there is only the two of us we are considering my taking the single plan from my company and my wife getting a plan from the exchanges. Price wise, it looks like we’ll come out ahead but the one major thing I am not finding yet is a summary of what the plans actually cover, beyond the 90%, 80%, 70% etc that the different “metals” cover. Do we actually need to click the “purchase plan” button on the website to get that information for each individual plan? I would sure like to see a summary of benefits comparison in addition to the price comparisons. Any suggestions about how to get that info is appreciated.

  3. 3
    Violet says:

    I don’t have to use the website, but as I said in the health insurance thread yesterday, if people are taking their time figuring out what plan to choose, that makes perfect sense to me.

    I’m lucky enough to have employer-provided health insurance, but had to choose between two plans during open enrollment this year, and they were significantly different in pricing and how they covered things that in previous years. Spent the better part of a week going through typical expenses to make an attempt to compare. It’s apples and oranges and it’s hard to know how it’s going to work in real life, especially when everyone from multiple HR reps to dedicated insurance-question-answerers, to the insurance company itself to the p h a r m a c y benefits company could not answer the questions.

    A decision had to be made by last week, so a decision was made, but if more time had been available, I’m sure I would have taken it, especially if it gave, for instance, the p h a r m benefits company a chance to get the actual plan in their hands so that they could answer questions.

    If sign-ups are not up to expectations at the moment, I’m not surprised. It’s hard to make an educated and smart decision and I only had two plans. I can’t imagine if there were more plans to choose amongst.

  4. 4
    Waysel says:

    @cintibud: Maybe call the 1-800 number or the individual insurance companies websites?

  5. 5

    This bill that Feinstein and Merkley are supporting… how much of the ACA does this kill outright? It sounds as if it extends the grandfather clause to such an extent as to basically nullify the regulations on the individual market. By keeping young healthies out of the exchanges, could it basically destroy the whole scheme?

    People keep talking about the “Obamacare death spiral” threat, and I’m trying to figure out how bad the death spiral could be. It sounds as if Democrats are running away from the ACA as fast as they can, and the tweaks are oriented toward watering it down and responding to right-wing attacks rather than making it stronger.

  6. 6
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Couldn’t get in with Firefox. Had to reboot computer. Safari worked, though. Got signed up, got all the way through to shopping for plans. That part wasn’t working but that was a few weeks ago. Going to give it another go soon.

    Was given the website for our local plans without subsidy so we were able to compare that to COBRA pricing.

  7. 7

    @cintibud: Yes, at least with the WA state website you have to click on “purchase plan”. Then you have to enter your information, including your income, to get a list of the available options, their price and the subsidy (if you qualify). You do not have to purchase anything, though.

  8. 8

    the signup numbers only count people who have signed up for a plan and actually paid for it,

    REALLY? Well holy fuck, I didn’t know that. You’d think our clueless media wankers would have mentioned that. You don’t actually have to have a plan until, what, March 31 2014? So who the fuck is going to actually PAY for something now when they don’t have to until March?

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    I’m past the website

    PICK UP A MUTHAFUCKING PHONE AND CALL!!

    Damn!

    Folks like the ONLY way to get health insurance is on a website.

    PICK UP THE PHONE….

    tired of this bullshyt

  10. 10
    PeakVT says:

    Does anyone know of a succinct-yet-still-technical explanation of why the site isn’t working? Impossible requirements? Shitty coding? Are they trying to run the thing on an old Sparc 20 or something? TIA.

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    Ta-Nehisi Coates: Richard Cohen In Context

    The problem is that Richard Cohen thinks being repulsed isn’t actually racist, but ”conventional” or “culturally conservative.” Obstructing the right of black humans and white humans to form families is a central feature of American racism. If retching at the thought of that right being exercised isn’t racism, then there is no racism.

    Context can not improve this. “Context” is not a safe-word that makes all your other horse-shit statements disappear. And horse-shit is the context in which Richard Cohen has, for all these years, wallowed. It is horse-shit to claim that store owners are right to discriminate against black males. It is horse-shit to claim that Trayvon Martin was wearing the uniform of criminals. It is horse-shit to subject your young female co-workers to “a hostile work environment.”It is horse-shit to expend precious news-print lamenting the days when slovenly old dudes had their pick of 20-year old women. It is horse-shit to defend a rapist on the run because you like “The Pianist.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/pol.....xt/281426/

  12. 12
    Jim says:

    I did manage finally to get through the application process this past Saturday. Funny thing though, I was told that I and my oldest daughter were eligible to purchase through the exchange but my other two younger children were not. I called the 800 number to get an explanation and spent at least another hour going line by line through the application only to be told they cannot figure out why my two younger children were not eligible for purchasing on the exchange with me and my older daughter as a family unit. I was told I had to file an appeal and had to go to another site to print out a form and then fill it out and mail. I did that the same day. Meanwhile, I already know I don’t qualify for any rate assistance so I’m going directly to Kaiser this next weekend to apply with them. Pretty bad when you follow the steps and they tell you you are eligible but your kids are not then cannot even tell you why that is.

  13. 13

    @Southern Beale: What I’ve heard is that, while the numbers are way below the stated targets, they’re way ahead of a comparison with Massachusetts’ program during its initial open enrollment period. Most people waited until the last minute.

  14. 14
    PaulW says:

    I’ve only had a few people at the library come in for it so far. The trend is that the first month or two is slow, but that the last month of enrollment will see a huge uptick.

    I was told that having health coverage through my workplace, I did not have to register on the website.

    If I have to register, I will let you know.

  15. 15
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @cintibud: Should be on the individual website for the company offering the insurance.

    Also, your state insurance commissioner might have vital info on plans that will help you make your decision.

    My county only has two companies offering plans and only one has a significant presence here so you have to wonder what the other company is thinking. I know about the #s because of a state website.

    Florida’s insurance commission sucks due to spite from the top but there is a wonderful website that tallies exactly how many people are insured through each company in every county in the state. It was intended for small business owners but there’s no sign up to access the data.

  16. 16
    sparrow says:

    I think the doom and gloom is way overblown. For most people, the ACA doesn’t change anything. I think they will realize that eventually. Meanwhile, the good stories that aren’t being reported are going to slowly turn a big chunk of the uninsured population into rabidly pro-Obamacare voters. So while it “looks bad” in the national media, I’m guessing the facts on the ground are not as dire. Perspective, people.

  17. 17
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @PaulW: If your individual care through your employer is less than 9.5% of your income, generally, you have compliant care and don’t do anything through the website.

    Your employer should furnish you with a document to help you do your taxes next year that states that your plan is compliant/grandfathered/affordable. It’s about one page long.

    Also, too, if you’re getting health insurance through a job or directly from an insurance co and you DON’T get a drop notice you can keep your care. All this angst is because insurance companies are sending out drop notices–!!

    Btw, it’s a known fact that insurance companies have been known to suppress price increases under threat of regulation and prices did not grow much the last few years. The move to exchange plans is a new economic opportunity for the insurance companies, and the companies are barred from totally changing around existing plans, so they have made a business decision to eliminate the old style plans, which are probably costing more money than it’s worth to administer going forward in the new system. Remember, they have that ratio which if they go over they have to rebate you, and it doesn’t state 20% profit or 20% administrative costs.

    This is just cold, hard capitalism. Why do tea partiers hate capitalism?

  18. 18

    @sparrow:

    I think the doom and gloom is way overblown. For most people, the ACA doesn’t change anything. I think they will realize that eventually.

    By the time they realize it, most of it could be gone. Suppose this makes 2014 a Republican wave election and the law becomes so toxic that Democrats will join in a veto override.

  19. 19
    cintibud says:

    @Waysel: Yeah, we’ll probably end up calling and/or clicking through but haven’t done it yet, partly because there’s no rush – I want to see what our company plan looks like for next year so I can get an idea of how much I might save. I do need to see the actual schedule of benefits though before I can determine if our savings will be eaten up by higher out of pocket expenses.

    We are lucky in that we both are currently covered by good insurance and earn enough not to be eligible for subsidies, so this is really a pretty trivial problem compared to all those folks who couldn’t get decent (or any) insurance before

  20. 20
    cckids says:

    I posted this on the thread yesterday, but I’ll reiterate here. We’re thrilled to finally be able to get insurance that will actually be, you know, insurance. We’ve been going bare because the only policies we could afford were such crap & also expensive enough that we couldn’t afford to use them. I know that sentence doesn’t seem to make sense, but if you’ve been in the insurance market it does.

    We’ve got the account part done & are deciding between the plans. I believe we have 28 or 32 to choose from (in Nevada). Our state, despite our Repub governor, does have a website up & running. It is clunky, but manageable. There has been swearing, though.

    We’ll have a plan chosen & paid for by the Dec. deadline, because we want, nay NEED, insurance ASAP. We’re going through plans a few at a time because it is just mind-numbingly boring & we don’t want to f*ck it up. Lots &lots of details & similarities that could turn out to be a huge deal if we get it wrong. So we are thinking about it.

    Also, too, not to be shallow & have my priorities screwed up, but Christmas expenses are here, plus all my kids’ birthdays in the next 8 weeks. So we’re juggling how & when to pay for everything. And, as said above, the deadline is weeks away.

    Also, we’ve shopped for insurance in the past, and I have to say, this is NOT harder or more complicated than that was. Losing the BS “medical history” catalog you had to fill out makes up for several tries with the clunky website. Easily.

    As I said yesterday, breathe, people. This will work. As long as the backstabbing D’s don’t kill it in the cradle.

  21. 21
    Violet says:

    @sparrow: I wish I had your confidence. I think “Obamacare” is going to have a bad reputation. It’ll be “website that doesn’t work,” “can’t keep my plan,” etc.

    “Being able to get insurance now” will be co-opted by Republicans. “Of course we were always for people being able to get insurance and the elimination of needless hurdles like pre-existing conditions,” they’ll say. And our enabling media will nod sagely and point out nothing that contradicts that statement.

    The average person may not know that they can not get insurance because of Obamacare. How much do people pay attention to the news? If Democrats aren’t claiming credit every chance they get–which it seems they are not because they are running away from Obamacare as fast as they can, then the average person may have no idea why they can get insurance now. And Republicans certainly aren’t going to tell them, nor is the MSM.

  22. 22
    randomworker says:

    I am currently thinking about retirement in 2014. My employer offers retirees who are not 65 three choices in plans, all of them high deductible. The plan that covers 80% of expenses would cost me $907.26 per month. I am 55.

    If I move to the North Sound area I would have a choice of 27 different plans. The most expensive plan on the Washington State website for that particular county is $611.54. Unsubsidized. Lower deductible. Lower copayments.

    If I elect to stay here in Minnesota in the Twin Cities area I would have a staggering 54 choices ranging from around $200 per month to about $600 per month. Unsubsidized.

    Both states where I could reside have well designed functioning websites where I can browse plans and make comparisons.

    Only problem is if President Ted Cruz and the Republican majorities in congress succeed in repealing Obamacare. And replace it with nothing, which is their preferred outcome.

    So maybe I don’t retire early and open up my job to someone else. Because I can’t buy insurance on ehealthinsurance.com because I got sick 30 years ago and even though I recovered I will never be able to get an individual plan (and I have tried).

  23. 23
    chauncey1186 says:

    I signed up for both medical and dental for myself and my college-aged child. Still waiting to hear back from the insurance companies while they “verify” my information so they can send me a bill for the first month’s premium. Not sure what that is all about. It’s Priority Health and BCBS here in Michigan. I had the option of paying the first month while I was online but opted not to until I received some sort of paperwork from the companies. Signed up on Halloween, no glitches, no delays. Even hopped back on this morning to make sure everything was still there. Yup!

  24. 24
    Gypsy Howell says:

    I just enrolled a few minutes ago!! I’m going to save hundreds per month next year, and I’m not even eligible for subsidies.

    I know I said yesterday that I was going to wait until December to enroll, but I’d already pretty much made up my mind which plan I was going to buy, and after seeing all the bullshit in the news about low enrollments to date, I decided to enroll today as much a “fuck you” to those who want to destroy the ACA (and I include the media in that) as it was just to get it done.

  25. 25
    Rhoda says:

    @Violet: ITD. The problems we are seeing now and the push by Democrats to essentially allow junk insurance is a product of the media turning against the ACA and the website and basically bullshitting the public. It’s death panels all over again; and the only way to deal with it is to go through the god damn mess and get to the new year.

    People will buy insurance. By March; it’ll be a requirement and most people will follow it. By the summer, people will be living with the knowledge that they have real health care. And this will turn around, we’re in a bad phase right now and it’s length is determined by how quickly the adminstration can fix this website issue.

    I’m not worried about the junk insurance push from the left; the President will veto anything that destroys the ACA and I think pre-empt a lot of this with adminstrative fixes were possible. Remember, despite all this hullaballoo support for the ACA has actually INCREASED as people experience the benefits.

  26. 26
    Rhoda says:

    @Violet: ITD. The problems we are seeing now and the push by Democrats to essentially allow junk insurance is a product of the media turning against the ACA and the website and basically bullshitting the public. It’s death panels all over again; and the only way to deal with it is to go through the god damn mess and get to the new year.

    People will buy insurance. By March; it’ll be a requirement and most people will follow it. By the summer, people will be living with the knowledge that they have real health care. And this will turn around, we’re in a bad phase right now and it’s length is determined by how quickly the adminstration can fix this website issue.

    I’m not worried about the junk insurance push from the left; the President will veto anything that destroys the ACA and I think pre-empt a lot of this with adminstrative fixes were possible. Remember, despite all this hullaballoo support for the ACA has actually INCREASED as people experience the benefits.

  27. 27
    Brian R. says:

    @Violet:

    if people are taking their time figuring out what plan to choose, that makes perfect sense to me.

    Hell, we had open enrollment for next year’s HR plans start in my office on Oct. 1, and my wife and I finally got around to doing it last night — and that was just to consider a tiny change in our vision plan.

  28. 28
    sparrow says:

    @Matt McIrvin: @Violet: I think it will come down to: the republicans will hate it because of stupid nonsense reasons, while the dems (actual voters) will stick by it. I still think that Obamacare having a “bad reputation” in the national media is the same thing as how “entitlements need to be reformed” in the national media, which is to say, totally disconnected from the way most people feel.

    I’m going off my facebook feed, where the original rollout of the ACA had several wingnuts and faux-centerists in a tizzy. I haven’t heard much of anything from them, but lots of good stories from people finally able to get insurance. That may not be representative at all, but I don’t see a shift in attitudes among the people that voted for Obama in the first place.

  29. 29
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @rikyrah: So, finally a white conservative TNC can’t bring himself to make excuses for.

    Here is the context of Richard Cohen’s statement: Gallup* polls asked about racial attitudes and then asked if they thought other Americans were racist. (They did the same thing asking about attitudes towards gays and lesbians.) They found that the average American supposed that their neighbors were much more disapproving than they were.

    *I thought it was Gallup but google isn’t coughing up what I want. I found a similar poll but not the one I was thinking of here: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/12/12/racism.poll/

    This is Cohen. He still thinks it’s the 1960s. Oh, he’s a man of the world, but “Rill Murca” is much more disapproving of all this oo la la hedonism he gads about daily.

    See also his “Mad Men” vintage notions about workplace sexual harassment.

    Early 60s.

    Spock: “Fascinating – a totally parochial attitude.” (November 1967)

  30. 30
    gelfling545 says:

    @Matt McIrvin: That’s what I’m wondering and it won’t stop insurers from canceling plans in any case, if their profitability was built around dropping people when they get old or sick or not covering basic services.

  31. 31
    kc says:

    Real user here. I successfully created an account last night (after receiving error messages on prior attempts).

    I don’t have all my financial info for the year to date together yet, so I had the idea that I would fill out an application, look around at the available plans, and then return to the application in a week or so, when I have the numbers nailed down, and edit the application for accuracy. However. There is no “save” or “save and continue” option. So I got on the live chat and asked a rep if I could do this. She said nope. Once you put any information on the application, you have to call in to make any changes.

    So, it’ll be a few days at least before I can get back to this. Minor pain in the ass. I’m not whining, just saying, so don’t get all pissed off, people.

  32. 32
    David Hunt says:

    I am having the same problem with the Website that I’ve had since I first tried to sign up. I created an account an got through all of the bits where you input info on yourself, and got to the point right before you apply for coverage. There’s a bit where you click on a button to see what discounts, subsidies, whatever, that you’re eligible for and it tells you that you should check this before continuing. Every Single Time for the past three weeks (including yesterday), all I have gotten from that stupid green button is a blank page. Totally white with nothing at all. I’ve not gone forward because I don’t know if I need that information to get an affordable price on the insurance when I actually apply.

    I’ve tried going through every browser I have (IE, Firefox, Chrome) and have tried turning off pop-up blocking on each one. It doesn’t work. Has anyone else run into this problem?

  33. 33
    kc says:

    @Gypsy Howell:

    Did you enroll via healthcare.gov or a state exchange?

  34. 34
    skerry says:

    I’m in Maryland and we have the state exchanges. I’ve looked for coverage for my me and youngest child and there are 58 plans available at the various levels of coverage. HSAs, HMOs, Co-ops, PPOs – too many options! (Thank goodness for Richard’s posts. I need the education.) I used the website and made a call to the hotline for clarification on one issue. No problems. Haven’t made a decision yet. Lots of time. I certainly am not going to pay for something until it is due.

    My oldest daughter will now be eligible for Medicaid (healthy in her late 20s). She has not signed up yet since the deadline isn’t until mid-December. Other child is covered by her employer.

    Most people I have talked to are in the same place as me and mine. Lots of time to make decisions that don’t come into effect until January. The national press needs to take a deep breath.

  35. 35
    Greg says:

    I have had no problems here in CA. It took about 15 minutes of questions and then the exchange referred me to Medi-Cal (which I expected and am already on). But the portion I got to deal with was easy to use, very user-friendly, and had no slowing or glitches of any kind. As of now I don’t know a single person who has lost their existing insurance or had their premiums raised, so I am baffled by all of these horror stories I read about on-line.

  36. 36
    different-church-lady says:

    @rikyrah: The phone? That’s for old people. If I can’t sign up through Pinerest, I’m just not going to bother.

  37. 37
    kc says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch:

    Plenty of Canadians vacation here where I live, and they all freaking LOVE their socialist health care. Bastards . . .

  38. 38
    kc says:

    @rikyrah:

    Folks like the ONLY way to get health insurance is on a website

    Folks act like we weren’t told that enrollment would be easily available via a website.

  39. 39
    wmd says:

    i contributed to first day traffic – site was able to correctly direct me to my state exchange. I looked at the information required and decided to defer exploring my options until later in the year – closer to the date I’d actually purchase insurance.

    I’m in transition between regular full time jobs at the moment and am covered via COBRA. I can keep that coverage until November 2014 if need be. I expect to be covered through a new employer offering prior to that. Before coverage under ACA becomes truly available (January 1, 2014) I’ll work through the process on the Covered California exchange and weigh my options. I suspect I will be eligible for a silver level plan that costs less than the gold level PPO I currently have via COBRA from my previous employer.

    If I start work sooner I may not spend the time to check my options via Covered California.

  40. 40
    Gypsy Howell says:

    @Gypsy Howell:
    And by the way, you only have to pay the policy before Jan 1, not necessarily when you sign up. I actually was ready to pay today, but got a notice from my insurer that they’d be sending me an invoice “within the next 45 days” for the policy.

  41. 41
    Gypsy Howell says:

    @kc:
    Healthcare.gov

  42. 42
    Jeremy says:

    @sparrow: I agree. I’m so sick of the doom and gloom from some on the left. We have people on this blog saying that 2014 will be a wave year for republicans when we are a year out from the election, and the republican party is behind in the congressional ballot with horrible polling numbers. The same people who bought into the Romney is going to win “OMG Obama lost the first debate” bullshit that the gop media shills were pushing. These people need to calm down and get a grip.

  43. 43
    taylormattd says:

    WHO CARES.

    @Jeremy: A fucking men.

  44. 44
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @David Hunt: Why don’t you just pick up the phone and dial 1 800 318 2596?

    As for myself, I tried just after midnight when the exchanges opened. Since I live in Florida, (no state exchange; no expanded medicaid) I couldn’t get the info I need. However, I’m in the self-insured pool with BC/BS FL and I fully intend to enroll once the kinks are out. I also need to do some more groundwork because my ins. co. is on the exchange. Since navigators were thwarted here in FL., I just might have to make a trip into Jacksonville because that’s the closest place when I clicked for human assistance help according to my zip code.

  45. 45
    kc says:

    @Gypsy Howell:

    Thanks. I was wondering if, once I filled out the application in full, the site would require me to select a plan right away. It sounds like I’ll have time to ponder the options?

  46. 46
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @kc: Ask the livechat rep for a link to the plans with unsubsidized (full) pricing. That way you can see what’s available. Also, Kaiser has a website that will estimate your subsidy. So that will let you shop around without your exact numbers yet.

    It’s what I did.

  47. 47
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @PeakVT: I thought this at Daily Kos was a pretty good explanation.

  48. 48
    Jeremy says:

    The people in this country are a joke. There is no point in being a leader of this country because the people are so fickle.

  49. 49
    kc says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Why, thank you! I didn’t know that was available. I’ll do that.

  50. 50
    Mark says:

    signed up yesterday in CA
    not as easy as it should and will be
    Silver 87 Anthem Blue Cross
    I have not paid for it yet

  51. 51
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @kc: It’s not obvious on the website because Jean Sebelius figured we couldn’t handle the truth. I mean, so what, it’s like looking at your taxable income before deductions. Whatever. Anyway, some of the livechatters aren’t all that bright: I was given a link to somewhere in Michigan but I was able to navigate around and get my county instead.

  52. 52
    Jeremy says:

    @taylormattd: I’m sick and tired of the doom and gloom. You would think that some people would stop buying into the media’s bullshit after trying to bring this president down since he announced he was running. They have pushed every single right wing bullshit meme in order to hurt the Obama’s and every time it fails.

  53. 53
    Belafon says:

    @Jeremy: Republicans want the world to end; Democrats worry that the world will end.

    And, yeah, I’m sick of it as well.

  54. 54
    mk3872 says:

    Over 100k new private insurance enrollees and over 200k new Medicaid enrollees because of Obamacare.

    And all of this while the media, Dems & Repubs yell “DISASTER” and “EMBARRASSING”.

    This episode is the most overblown overreaction that I have EVER seen.

  55. 55
    MikeJ says:

    @Jeremy: But look at the way Obama put a million and a half ground troops into Libya and then bombed Syria for six straight months.

    There are plenty of people outside of the media, people nominally of the left who are still pissed off that Obama won. They have to scream that every single thing he does is the end of the goddamned world.

  56. 56
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @rikyrah:

    “Cohentext” – “That statement doesn’t mean what it plainly means because I don’t like how that makes me look.”

  57. 57
    mk3872 says:

    Oh, man, ANOTHER link to that WaPo “story” from last night … They found an unnamed “official” close to the website project who says that not all problems will be fixed by Nov 31.

    Even today in the House session, the Admin said enough progress will be made by Nov 31 to complete most requests.

    I HATE the fact that political pundits feel they have any qualifications whatsoever to comment on software engineering.

  58. 58
    askew says:

    @David Hunt:

    I had that problem when creating an account and what was happening was that scriptblock/adblock was blocking the page from loading even though I had turned it off for that site. So once I got to the green screen, I turned off scriptblock and adblock again on that page and reloaded. Viola, the page loaded perfectly. Maybe that would work for you?

  59. 59
    Cacti says:

    Focusing on the bugs of the web site, while a valid concern, is sucking up all of the oxygen in the room, while telling only one part of the story.

    10 of the states that opted for Medicaid expansion have enrolled 440,000 new applicants to date. There are still 15 additional states that haven’t reported enrollment numbers from the Medicaid expansion yet.

  60. 60
    Angelo says:

    I signed up yesterday afternoon on the federal government’s website (I live in Illinois). It worked fine on google chrome, no delays or errors and I got to the list of plans in about 15 minutes. Can’t seem to find out exactly what subsidies I can get, they just direct me to Kaiser’s subsidy calculator; seems like I can get a bronze ppo plan starting at $74/year in the end. I haven’t enrolled yet, will do that in a week or so.

  61. 61
    Chris says:

    @rikyrah:

    The problem is that Richard Cohen thinks being repulsed isn’t actually racist, but ”conventional” or “culturally conservative.” Obstructing the right of black humans and white humans to form families is a central feature of American racism. If retching at the thought of that right being exercised isn’t racism, then there is no racism.

    I encounter this all the time among conservative white Baby Boomers and even more the previous generations. They really and truly don’t get it. It was totally normal when they were growing up, apparently, and they really expect that everyone will understand and approve or at least forgive that they still act like it’s normal and pine after the good old days when it was.

  62. 62
    Jeremy says:

    @MikeJ: I think there is a group of liberals who are purists that prefer bad outcomes and election losses. They loved it when Reagan and Bush II won. They hate Obama as much as the right and they both want republicans in power.

  63. 63
    MikeJ says:

    @Jeremy: And there are a lot of people who just liked the Red Sox better before they started winning.

  64. 64
    Eric S. says:

    About two weeks ago I went on the site for the first time. A couple glitchy things but I was still able to register and see the list of available plans in about 20 minutes. It took a little longer to figure out what plans would cover my current primary doctor. Health care dot gov linked me to the various insurance company sites to search for my doctor and they were a bit clunky too.

    I know what I’m going to buy but haven’t gone through and completed the transaction. No reason other than I procrastinate. It’s what I do.

  65. 65
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Speaking for myself, I would like to never hear another goddamned thing about healthcare.

  66. 66
    Chris says:

    @cckids:

    I posted this on the thread yesterday, but I’ll reiterate here. We’re thrilled to finally be able to get insurance that will actually be, you know, insurance.

    This.

    My insurance goes up at the end of this year, but it was going to go up anyway – I turn 26. This way at least I know what I’m paying for something that’ll cover me when I get in trouble and not the latest scam.

  67. 67

    @sparrow:

    I’m going off my facebook feed, where the original rollout of the ACA had several wingnuts and faux-centerists in a tizzy. I haven’t heard much of anything from them, but lots of good stories from people finally able to get insurance. That may not be representative at all, but I don’t see a shift in attitudes among the people that voted for Obama in the first place.

    I’m seeing a lot of conservatives in comment threads who will not shut up and continue to talk about how this is the biggest disaster ever (including one individual-market insurance agent who seems to see the ACA as a personal attack on his integrity, and insists its defenders know nothing about insurance); one very Republican relative who seems quietly gleeful about the whole business; and liberals who are basically defending the law, but bend over backwards to be fair about how Obama did say something that wasn’t true, and other liberals should stop denying it.

  68. 68
    jharp says:

    I have not yet tried to sign up. Still waiting for the bugs to be worked out and I am in no hurry.

    My wife and I will be buying insurance from the exchanges.

    Not yet sure if we need it January 1st or not.

    Oh and we did speak with Anthem Blue Cross and for the very first time my daughter’s pre existing condition is covered. Our current policy does not cover it.

  69. 69
    Linnaeus says:

    I’ve been able to get on the Washington state exchange web site and shop around for plans, though I haven’t yet purchased one. I also received a notification that there was an error in the calculation of my subsidy and that my subsidy will be less than I was originally told. That does mean I may have to get a “lesser” plan than the one I was looking at.

  70. 70
    Marcopolofinch says:

    I went to healthcare.gov last Wednesday to check it out. I made all the way through to the point where I can compare plans in about an hour and a half or two hours. There were a couple of glitches/freezes along the way but I could just back out and then pretty much restart from where I had gotten hung up each time. I am now figuring out which plan I’ll be getting and plan to enroll in one by the end of the month. As a fifty-year old guy who has not had affordable health insurance for about a decade (and who paid out-of-pocket for appendicitis during that time), I have been waiting for this for a long time.

    I’d add that despite my happiness at being able to get insurance at a reasonable price, I do see a lot of problem areas in the ACA that could use fixing. Like what happens w/ folks who, based on their estimated 2014 income, participate in the exchange & get a subsidized policy then get a raise or something & wind up making too much. Does the government try to claw back their subsidy (which they will have received starting in Jan.) somehow (which might work for people getting refunds on their taxes). Or, for folks in non-Medicaid expansion states who expect to make just over the poverty line (allowing the to participate), what happens if the lose their job & only earn $10K? They cant go on Medicaid since their state didn’t expand. Do they still keep the insurance coverage the whole year? Do the Feds come after them to claw back their subsidy payments? Thank you Roberts supreme court.

    Anyways, glad to have ACA, think it is flawed & wish we had single-payer, but if it stays the law for a couple or three years I think they will mostly fix all the little issues.

  71. 71
    flukebucket says:

    Printed out the form and mailed it in a couple of days ago. Will just wait and see what happens. But I did have a fantastic opportunity to witness to my right wing employer this morning. He was on Yahoo and shouted out across the hallway, “did you know that hospitals have to charge 40% more just for the hassle of dealing with insurance companies?” and I said, “yes. Isn’t that terrible? Wouldn’t it be great to cut them out of the middle completely?” and he said, “It sure would” and I said, “do you know what they call that?” and he said, “no” and I said, “Single Payer”.

    It was a glorious moment.

  72. 72
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: Oh, it’s just getting started. We managed to collectively create a system that was both unjust, inefficient and very costly and let it grow to a huge percentage of the economy. There’s years of discussions we’ll be having.

  73. 73
    MomSense says:

    It took me about 25 minutes to set up an account and go through verification. I did get bounced twice in the identity verification. I have narrowed it down to several plans but have yet to sign up and pay the money. The thing is, I will definitely do it before the deadline and I can get insurance I can afford.

    I am very pissed off at the Democratic Senators who are backtracking on the ACA now. How many fucking years did they go along with the disaster in Iraq without pushing back at all on the Bush administration? Furthermore, the Bush administration said it would cost 50 billion dollars (Wolfowitz can suck it!) and they didn’t laugh in his face and they certainly didn’t push back or make any of those officials apologize.

    Again, I will say that from my vantage point as someone who has been struggling with health care access for myself and my family while working more than full time–the only person who has had my back consistently and tried to help is President Obama.

  74. 74
    marcopolo says:

    I went to healthcare.gov last Wednesday to check it out. I made all the way through to the point where I can compare plans in about an hour and a half or two hours. There were a couple of glitches/freezes along the way but I could just back out and then pretty much restart from where I had gotten hung up each time. I am now figuring out which plan I’ll be getting and plan to enroll in one by the end of the month. As a fifty-year old guy who has not had affordable health insurance for about a decade (and who paid out-of-pocket for appendicitis during that time), I have been waiting for this for a long time.

    I’d add that despite my happiness at being able to get insurance at a reasonable price, I do see a lot of problem areas in the ACA that could use fixing. Like what happens w/ folks who, based on their estimated 2014 income, participate in the exchange & get a subsidized policy then get a raise or something & wind up making too much. Does the government try to claw back their subsidy (which they will have received starting in Jan.) somehow (which might work for people getting refunds on their taxes). Or, for folks in non-Medicaid expansion states who expect to make just over the poverty line (allowing the to participate), what happens if the lose their job & only earn $10K? They cant go on Medicaid since their state didn’t expand. Do they still keep the insurance coverage the whole year? Do the Feds come after them to claw back their subsidy payments? Thank you Roberts supreme court.

    Anyways, glad to have ACA, think it is flawed & wish we had single-payer, but if it stays the law for a couple or three years I think they will mostly fix all the little issues.

  75. 75
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I’m time-constrained, so I’m going to limit my contribution to going over to Daily Kos and taunting people who still can’t, three, four, five years on, tell the difference between a publicly underwritten insurance option offered on the exchanges, single-payer a la mode Canadienne, and a UK-style national health service.

    You drop your hook where the fish are.

  76. 76
    Kay says:

    @Cacti:

    10 of the states that opted for Medicaid expansion have enrolled 440,000 new applicants to date. There are still 15 additional states that haven’t reported enrollment numbers from the Medicaid expansion yet.

    The Medicaid thing will be huge, because of the expansion but also because Medicaid was “under-enrolled.” People didn’t know it was available in places where it was available, but now they’ll have to go thru a sign up process and they’ll end up there.

    I think the whole attitude towards health care will be different when all these Medicaid-eligible kids grow up, because they will have had single-payer government coverage right thru high school and there will be a lot of them. It’ll be their norm. I think that’s part of the reason conservatives were so terrified with SCHIP.

  77. 77

    Unrelated but since there’s no open thread: Disney is hosting an open casting call for the new Star Wars movie in Nashville. Sadly, I’m too old to try out. They’re seeking a young, athletic woman, any ethnicity, and a young man. 18-23ish for both roles.

    Come on, geeks! Give it a try!

  78. 78
    Chyron HR says:

    @Southern Beale:

    EXCLUSIVE BASTILA AND REVAN CONFIRMED FOR STAR WARS 7 MUST CREDIT BALLOON JUICE

  79. 79
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Southern Beale: I can pass for 21 in the right lighting.

  80. 80
    Jeremy says:

    @Davis X. Machina: That’s funny. You have some liberals that believe that every European country has single payer healthcare. I actually laughed when someone claimed that Germany has single payer when they don’t. So I’m not surprised that we have people that can’t tell the difference between a public option in an exchange vs. single payer.

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mk3872:

    Oh, man, ANOTHER link to that WaPo “story” from last night … They found an unnamed “official” close to the website project who says that not all problems will be fixed by Nov 31.

    I’m pretty sure that this is a typo on your part, but if not, I will start laughing at the WaPo now and not stop.

    Though I guess it would be another talking point: Obama said it would all be fixed by November 31st and November 31st doesn’t exist, so he lied!

  82. 82
    chauncey1186 says:

    @David Hunt:

    Try starting all over using another email account. That’s what I did. I created a gmail account just for healthcare.gov. Went through just fine. My “first” account got hung up the same as yours, so I just started all over. Second time was a breeze.

  83. 83
    Kay says:

    It’s all just so irrational on health care, the media coverage. A couple of days ago they were writing glowing editorials about parity between mental health and physical health coverage, which while certainly a good thing, will certainly be expensive and is a big expansion. That passed by without a ripple of dissent, 3 days ago.
    These are the same media outlets who had a 6 month screeching nervous breakdown over women getting a free pack of birth control pills every month.
    I never know what they’ll object to.
    They didn’t give a rat’s ass about 40 million people with no health insurance, and now 3 million people are losing underinsurance coverage and it’s a human rights violation and they’re conducting personal interviews with each one.

  84. 84
    ericblair says:

    @Jeremy:

    That’s funny. You have some liberals that believe that every European country has single payer healthcare. I actually laughed when someone claimed that Germany has single payer when they don’t. So I’m not surprised that we have people that can’t tell the difference between a public option in an exchange vs. single payer.

    Also, Canadian heath insurance is not a national system. Each province has its own plan; if you move from one province to another you change plans. The equivalent here would be single-payer on a state level, which is absolutely doable through the ACA (ie Vermont).

  85. 85
    Violet says:

    Maybe we need a “Call your Senator” campaign for the turncoat Democratic Senators who are speaking out against the ACA. Let them know their turncoat actions aren’t going unnoticed and they can be primaried.

  86. 86
    piratedan says:

    @Kay: if only the same scrutiny had been paid to telling the public what the fuck was in the ACA to begin with…..

  87. 87
    Elie says:

    What I want to know is this: how much have all the bystanders, crepe hangers and curiosity seekers jumping on the site actually impaired the ability of people to enroll?

  88. 88
    Violet says:

    @Kay:

    I never know what they’ll object to.

    Betting on anything that helps women, poors and browns is a good place to start. You’ll figure out most of what they’ll object to that way.

  89. 89
    Gypsy Howell says:

    @kc:

    I was wondering if, once I filled out the application in full, the site would require me to select a plan right away. It sounds like I’ll have time to ponder the options?

    No you’ll have plenty of time once you get your application approved (and I admit, that took me a while — ultimately, I gave up on my initial application and started over with a new email address and login ID)

    I spent several weeks- maybe 3? – pondering my options before enrolling today. And as I said, I didn’t have to pay today either; I’ll be getting an invoice from my insurer in the mail.

  90. 90
    Belafon says:

    @Mnemosyne: Actually, this just means that the unnamed official is wrong. It will be fixed BY Nov 31st. This is very similar to “I didn’t say what year!”

  91. 91
    Kay says:

    @Violet:

    I heard a woman on PBS Newshour last night. She’ll never use childrens health care coverage. Also, she was never a child.

    “I’ll never use maternity coverage’. Okay, were you born? I paid for some of that. Pay me back. I want my $1.47.

  92. 92
    danimal says:

    @Mnemosyne: Mark my words: All the problems will be fixed by February 30th.

  93. 93
    mk3872 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yeah, Nov 30

  94. 94

    @Kay:

    These are the same media outlets who had a 6 month screeching nervous breakdown over women getting a free pack of birth control pills every month.

    Those sluts weren’t going to shame themselves, you know!

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay:

    I’ll never use the coverage for prostate exams, prostate cancer, or anything related to the prostate, ever. Can I get that refunded?

    Funny how people demand refunds for women’s healthcare but never complain about healthcare specific to men being covered.

  96. 96
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Violet: Yep. Mammograms! I don’t need those! Women need to pay for their own biologically determined tests!

    Colonoscopies can be covered, as both sexes have those in equal numbers.

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Tell you what, I’ll give you a couple of bucks to cover your prostate exams if you give me a couple of bucks to cover my mammograms.

    Look, we just invented the insurance pool! :-)

  98. 98
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mnemosyne: She got pregnant on her own.

  99. 99

    @Jeremy:

    We have people on this blog saying that 2014 will be a wave year for republicans when we are a year out from the election, and the republican party is behind in the congressional ballot with horrible polling numbers.

    The latest Quinnipiac poll has the generic House question even, 39-39. It’s just one poll so far, but the huge Democratic gain from the shutdown had been evaporating rapidly, and it’s consistent with the trend. I would not be surprised if the Republicans are ahead again in a week or two.

  100. 100
    Rhoda says:

    So, I just called my senators and asked them not to support Sen Landrieu’s bill. I think it makes sense to start doing that since it looks like the White House has a democratic insurrection to deal with this week.

  101. 101
    MikeJ says:

    @Southern Beale:

    They’re seeking a young, athletic woman, any ethnicity, and a young man. 18-23ish for both roles

    I got carded at the package store last week, but I think the clerk was high.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Let’s face it, most of the men whining about having to pay for women’s birth control pills would never get close enough to one to be able to impregnate her anyway.

  103. 103

    @ericblair:

    The equivalent here would be single-payer on a state level, which is absolutely doable through the ACA (ie Vermont).

    Last I heard, the Vermont single-payer plan was going to need some sort of special federal legislation to let it happen; I’m not sure what the conflict with the ACA is specifically.

  104. 104
    Violet says:

    @Kay: I cannot stand these people. They’ve also go no idea how insurance works.

  105. 105
    Violet says:

    @Rhoda: It’s a waste of time to call my teabagger Senators, so I’m not going to bother. Anyone with Dem Senators needs to call, though.

  106. 106
    catclub says:

    @chauncey1186: “I had the option of paying the first month while I was online but opted not to”

    There you have it. One anecdata that proves Obamacare website is a failure. … Or not.

  107. 107
    Gypsy Howell says:

    After I got finished enrolling today I made a few phone calls:

    First to my senator to let him know that A) I just enrolled through the exchange and I am delighted with the new rates and coverage I’m getting, and 2) to resist DiFi and Merkley’s foolish efforts to scale back the ACA provisions.

    And then I called the White House to thank the Obama administration for the ACA and to let them know I enrolled through healthcare.gov today, and to tell them to just hang in there on the ACA – people are going to love this.

    Both staffers sounded SO happy to hear from someone who supported the ACA and had actually enrolled. They could use some positive feedback from us. It was obvious they don’t hear much of it.

  108. 108
    Kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    “Parity” was like the dream deferred for the NYTimes. It’s their favorite bleeding heart liberal stance.

    ONLY in that one area, however. They’re very stern and frugal on all other health care parity issues. No $14 dollar a month birth control for you! Buy it YOURSELF, slut.

    Watching this it’s like everyone just feels free to let their weird bias out. It has nothing to do with money or health or numbers or any other measurable, tangible thing.

  109. 109
    El Caganer says:

    And here’s where having a media fascinated by horse races and beauty pageants and shiny objects gets us:
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/201.....roval.html

    A huge number of Americans believe they’re going to get dicked on health care because The Liberal Media couldn’t be bothered explaining what was in the ACA.

  110. 110
    jason_atl says:

    we have our own small company and have to buy on the individual marketplace. we will be saving about $600/month starting in january (and we dont qualify for subsidies). i tried the exchanges a couple of times early and just ended up going directly to kaiser. interestingly enough, they had sent a notice that my previous policy was going up in price, but when i searched their site i found an almost identical plan that was $600/month less. we have a daughter with congenital heart defects and i, being in my mid-40s have been dubbed to have a “pre-existing” condition. needless to say, we are big fans of PPACA.

  111. 111
    patroclus says:

    I was going to sign up for coverage from the exchanges under O-Care, but I recently got promoted to full-time, so now I’m eligible for employer coverage after 6 months (which will be in March). So, now I’m just comparing plans between the ones on the exchanges and the ones provided by my employer. Either way, after 13 years or so of no coverage, I’ll be covered by 3/31/14. The problem is the deductibles – because they’re so high, any actual medical care I’m really likely to get will be out-of-pocket just like always. The difference is if I get really sick or have some catastrophe, I’ll get coverage beyond the deductibles.

  112. 112

    @Suffern ACE:

    Colonoscopies can be covered, as both sexes have those in equal numbers.

    Republicans deserve a discount, since they’re such giant assholes their colonoscopies should be especially easy.

  113. 113
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Southern Beale:
    The BBc reported that they held open auditions last week for two similar parts in Bristol, England — David Prowse’s hometown.

  114. 114
    catclub says:

    Why doesn’t another democratic senator propose putting all the people who get dropped, on Medicare?

  115. 115
    FoxinSocks says:

    Two of my friends, just in the last month, have been saved from medical bankruptcy thanks to the ACA. While at lunch with another group of friends, someone (not me!) spoke up and basically said, “Thank God for Obamacare. January 1 cannot come soon enough.”

    I don’t think the media ever realized how bad the individual insurance marketplace was or how many people have been going without basic health care. To quote some guy, “This is a big f-ing deal.”

  116. 116
    agrippa says:

    Mother Jones is a drama queen site and Kevin Drum tends to troll himself.
    And, may of the comments are just fatuous.
    Neither is unusual. GIGO.

    I see no reason to panic.No website start up is without problems; and no website is perfect. Many people are in no hurry to sign up as there is a lot of check out and think about.

    The so called ‘news media’ is prone to panic mongering, sensationalism and drama. In that the media is very similar to politicians.

  117. 117
    Yatsuno says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: Basta. Just kidding. I’m pretty damn proud of what Tommy Douglas got for y’all.

    @catclub:

    Why doesn’t another democratic senator propose putting all the people who get dropped, on Medicare?

    Paging Senator Sanders. Senator Sanders, please pick up the white courtesy phone for an important message.

  118. 118
    Kay says:

    @Jeremy:

    Stop focusing on Congress and look to state races. Everyone hates Congress. If the state races are competitive and interesting and hard-fought Democrats will come out and they’ll also vote for the Democrat in Congress.
    I don’t know why we don’t just try this approach. I suspect we don’t because all the political strategists are clustered in DC.
    I was on a conference call yesterday afternoon for the Ohio Democrats. They think they can beat Kasich. They have a PPP poll that has him at 41/41 with FitzGerald, the Democrat. Since no one knows who FitzGerald is, that’s a very bad number for John Kasich. There’s a libertarian who takes 6 points from Kasich, so Ohio Republicans are desperately trying to keep him off the ballot.
    Also, don’t respond to this with The Fifty State Strategy. I refuse to hash that out again, and this isn’t what that means anyway :)

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jason_atl:

    interestingly enough, they had sent a notice that my previous policy was going up in price, but when i searched their site i found an almost identical plan that was $600/month less.

    It’s becoming very clear that a lot of the shenanigans that the insurance companies were blaming on “Obamacare” was the insurance companies trying to upsell customers to a more expensive policy in the hope that the customers wouldn’t check to see what the other options are.

    The people who are checking what the insurance company tells them are getting kinda pissed off, as far as I can tell.

  120. 120
    David says:

    I had trouble back on 10/1, but last Saturday I got up early and went on and was able to work my way fully through the application. Since my wife and I are both self-employed and our income varies from year to year I had to upload a copy of my 2012 return to prove eligibility for the subsidies. I’m waiting to hear back from them when that is approved. I was told it will take 1 to 2 weeks. While I’m waiting I am able to see plans and costs, but not the details of those plans. Even if I choose the most expensive plan in my state it is about the same price as I am paying now (over $1000/month). And that is BEFORE the subsidies which will save me around $500/month. The site also let me know that based on my income my kids are eligible for S-CHIP. It would have been nice for my health insurance agent to even mention that to me. It looks like I can cover both of them for about $85/month. I’m cautiously optimistic that all of this will work out.

  121. 121
    Jeremy says:

    @Matt McIrvin: We are a year out from an election so a poll from a pollster with a bad reputation means very little. The point I’m making is that it’s too early and this bullshit like everything else will pass.

  122. 122
    David Hunt says:

    @askew:

    Maybe. My internet skills are close to zero and that did had not occurred to me. For example, it took me at least five minutes to figure out how to turn off each of the pop-up blockers I referenced above. I’ll look up how to do that tonight.

  123. 123
    agrippa says:

    @FoxinSocks:

    There are a lot of things the media does not realize.

  124. 124
    David Hunt says:

    @chauncey1186: I didn’t want to do that just yet. I was planning on calling the help number before I did that.

    Is there some reason that you suggest using a different email address besides the simplified logistics of having an email address dedicated to that specific task?

  125. 125
    Jeremy says:

    @Kay: I agree with that approach. We saw what happened in Virginia and right now things are looking up on the state level.

  126. 126
    Flying Squirrel Girl says:

    I have a question: my employer is rolling out a health plan (the company is only a few years old and just now getting large enough to offer benefits). They are opting for a self-funded plan. Given that the owners are all pretty much RWNJs, I am afraid they are opting for self-funded because there is some loophole that will benefit them.

    If an employer self-funds their health plan, does the 20% rule still apply? If I have very little in the way of claims next year, will I still get a premium refund the following year for all but 20% plus the cost of my claims?

    Also, they are making all of us fill out applications that include detailed health history questions. I asked if we had to fill it out since after 1/1/14 pre-existing conditions will no longer apply, and I was told since we are implementing the plan prior to 1/1/14 the health history questions were valid.

    As we are just now in the application phase, I have strong doubts that the plan will actually be in place prior to 1/1. Andn ow they will have my health history info.

  127. 127
    Thad says:

    My fiance and I have gone through the registration process on the exchange web site and browsed the plans. We’ve picked out plans but have not completed the enrollment process. I expect we will do that before the end of the month. The website seemed to be working fine when I used it a couple of weeks ago.

  128. 128
    Tina says:

    I just tried. I got all the way trough creating my account, then I got a “screen freeze”. I have to admit, it is/was frustrating. I really don’t know what the answer is (sigh).

  129. 129
    Goblue72 says:

    @Matt McIrvin: if DiFi is behind something, you can bet that its something that will screw Democrats – and likely line the pockets of her corporate masters.

    Somebody needs to primary her from the left.

  130. 130
    Thad says:

    @Flying Squirrel Girl: Even before the passing of ObamaCare, group/employer plans were regulated under the ERISA labor laws such that health conditions should not come into play. This seems a bit suspicious that your employer is asking these questions.

    A dirty little secret of the HR racket is that while employer plans have long been regulated such that nobody can be denied and all people pay the same premiums.. a business can still lower their overall insurance costs by making sure they have mostly healthier employees. It is illegal to fire someone because they have a chronic condition like diabetes etc… but that doesn’t stop some businesses from doing it.

    Short answer is… your employer is a shyster. They are asking for health info so they can fire people and lower the cost of their self funded plan. It is illegal… but they will claim those people were fired for other reasons to avoid blame. Happens all the time.

    More than ever, I am glad that I am essentially a freelancer and can now just buy insurance on the exchange.

  131. 131
    Kay says:

    @Jeremy:

    No one was ever going to crawl over broken glass to vote for Kay Hagan. But they have all that state-level energy in North Carolina! I don’t know why they wouldn’t just focus there and let her get carried along. Its the best shot for her and they could make gains at the state level even if she loses.
    99% of the anti-worker stuff comes at the state level, along with 99% of criminal law, election law, education, etc. The national focus is a function of a DC focused media and punditry. We don’t HAVE to follow where they lead, and why would we, in an anti-DC year?

  132. 132
    Redshift says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    By the time they realize it, most of it could be gone. Suppose this makes 2014 a Republican wave election and the law becomes so toxic that Democrats will join in a veto override.

    And Ken Cuccinelli is assuring supporters that if he’d just had a little more time to rail against Obamacare, he would have won!

    Any wavering Democrats should look at our election results in Virginia. We had Democratic candidates who ran as unabashed supporters of Obamacare, and Republicans who ran as implacable opponents, and all three statewide offices went from Republican to Democratic. And we’re a well-known swing state. And contrary to the media narrative, the election for governor wasn’t a “squeaker” or a “narrow victory” just because low-population Republican areas report their results earlier on Election Night. McAulliffe won by 3%, which is a comfortable margin.

  133. 133
    Betsy says:

    @David Hunt: After I successfully created my account, I got a white page at login every time, then, following a web tip, I cleared my browser cookies and it has worked ever since. Don’t know if this would work at the page that you are getting hung up on.

  134. 134
    MomSense says:

    Liberal Librarian wrote a great open letter to Sen. Feinstein. I’m going to tweet it to her now.

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/.....ianne.html

  135. 135
    Flying Squirrel Girl says:

    @Thad: Thanks for taking the time to reply. I was pretty sure there were shady reasons for going the self-funded route. I am basically healthy, and am thinking of replying to all the health info questions with “no” rather than give them any personal info; in a few weeks it will be a moot point, but they’ll have all that info on us. I just feel weird about the 4 dudes who own the company knowing about my health and wellness. I would think they wouldn’t want to know their employees so intimately either.

  136. 136
    Thad says:

    @Redshift: I tend to agree. Despite all the media attention focused on those people seeing sticker shock in the individual market, the truth is the vast majority will see little effect, and many more will benefit. The net effect come election time is at best a wash and very possibly to the positive for the Democrats. More than half the people seeing those individual insurance market ‘cancellations’ will qualify for subsidies that will ultimately lower their premium while providing better insurance. You have to look at the whole picture, good and bad, to really understand what the electoral effect might be.

  137. 137
    John Mc in NC says:

    It took 3 or 4 tries over as many weeks, but I finally got all the way trough the website and got my results.

  138. 138

    @catclub:

    Why doesn’t another democratic senator propose putting all the people who get dropped, on Medicare?

    Brilliant!

  139. 139

    @FoxinSocks:

    I don’t think the media ever realized how bad the individual insurance marketplace was or how many people have been going without basic health care. To quote some guy, “This is a big f-ing deal.”

    They realize. They also realize that poor people don’t buy newspapers, so they write their articles to those that do buy newspapers.

  140. 140
    MazeDancer says:

    If you want to shop plans, go to HealthSherpa.com. Just enter your zip code. If your state has an exchange, it will give you the link to that exchange. Otherwise, it will show you plan choices.

    The site was set up pro bono by some young people who wanted to contribute to the common good.

    One of the massively bad decisions Healthcare.gov made was to not let people shop and browse plans without creating an account. Strangely, RomneyCare lets you browse plans without signing up, no clue why ObamaCare doesn’t allow that. Any Marketing Consultant could have told them “let people shop freely” on day one.

  141. 141
    Redshift says:

    @Thad: I also think the GOP is sorely mistaken about how much mileage they’ll get out of “if you like your insurance coverage” (rather reminiscent of “you didn’t build that.”) In my experience the only people who “like” their insurance coverage are people who’ve never made any claims. I’ve had better-than-average employer health insurance for almost my entire career, and my wife has chronic but not severe health conditions. My mantra has long been “all insurance companies are evil. Some are more evil than others, but they’re all evil.”

    People don’t “like” their insurance, they fear change and uncertainty. There’s going to be a one-time change to Obamacare, and then they will fear any change from that. Getting it over with soon is better than dragging it out and letting the fear continue to be exploited.

  142. 142
    Elizabelle says:

    @Flying Squirrel Girl:

    Wow, that sounds creepy. Maybe they have an innocent reason (let’s make sure we’re covered for what our employees really will use), but who wants to give them detailed health info.

    Their pushing for pre-January 2014 sets off alarm bells.

  143. 143
    Seanly says:

    it’s great that many people can obtain coverage who couldn’t get it or afford it previously.

    One big problem with health coverage though is that it is still too expensive. And with the increased coverage requirements, insurance companies can continue jacking up the premiums. Are there any additional tools in ACA to contain healthcare costs for those of us with employer coverage?

  144. 144
    burnspbesq says:

    Covered California has a couple of things to clean up on the website, but it works first time.

    I was stunned by what we were able to buy. For approximately what we were paying for shitty individual-market coverage plus our out-of-pocket for prescriptions, we were able to get a platinum plan that is better than any coverage we ever got from BigLaw or BigConsulting. Get this:

    Zero deductible.
    Max out of pocket per year of $4k per individual, $8k per family.
    10 percent co-pay on pretty much everything.
    $5 co-pay on generic drugs, $15 or $25 on branded.

    Yeah, I loves me some Obamacare. Now I just have to not get sick or injured until 1/1.

  145. 145
    Redshift says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Last I heard, the Vermont single-payer plan was going to need some sort of special federal legislation to let it happen; I’m not sure what the conflict with the ACA is specifically.

    Got a link for that? Every article I see says that Vermont got their waiver, passed the law setting up their single-payer, and it’s going ahead in 2017, the first year it’s allowed by the ACA. There was a proposed law to move that date up to 2014, which hasn’t gone anywhere because Republicans area assholes, but nothing that prevents it from starting in 2017.

  146. 146
    Hawes says:

    @catclub: I think you’re on to something there…

  147. 147
    IowaOldLady says:

    At this point, I’m trying not to read or listen to stories about the ACA because they just infuriate me. I figure it will either work or it won’t. And Obama is president until 2016, which means he can veto anything meant to destroy it utterly.

  148. 148
    MikeJ says:

    @Redshift:

    And contrary to the media narrative, the election for governor wasn’t a “squeaker” or a “narrow victory” just because low-population Republican areas report their results earlier on Election Night. McAulliffe won by 3%, which is a comfortable margin.

    And we got all of those wins in a year with 40% turnout. Which means that for presidential elections (60% turnout? 66.9 in ’12), you should mark Virginia as pretty solidly blue now.

  149. 149
    Journeywoman says:

    Well, it’s cool that most people’s experiences here have been decent, but personally, my every attempt at interacting with that website has been a clusterf*ck from start to finish. Every time I’ve had to give it information, I’ve had to input it two, three, four times, even, because it would get to the end of the process and crash. After multiple attempts over the course of weeks to create an account, it crashed on hitting Submit, then later sent me an email saying I needed to click the link to confirm the apparently successful account, then told me my two-minute-old link had expired and was no longer valid. And don’t even get me started on the application itself.

    After weeks of trying, I’m finally sitting at a point where we’ve been approved for a subsidy and can see the plan summaries, but I can’t actually compare the plan details because there’s a script on that page that keeps hanging in every browser I try (or it did as of a few days ago). What I saw was fairly scary, though. My husband and I are in our early 40s with individual market plans – no major diseases, though we both have documented and chronic back problems. I would not have thought that we’d be in the “sticker shock” crowd, and it’s true that the actual rates for Bronze and Silver plans, even without the subsidy, are in the ballpark of what we currently pay. The deductibles, though, are jaw-dropping. My current deductible is considered high enough to qualify for an HSA at $1250 per year, and my husband’s is something like half that. These plans we’re looking at, however, start at $4000 per year, and most are in the $6,000-$12,000 range. For two people? Seriously? This counts as insurance? I’d love to know if I’m misunderstanding something here, though I can’t say for sure until they fix the stupid script. Our current plans have been canceled (of course), though we can have them until the end of 2014. At this point I can’t tell if it’s worth staying on our current plans as long as possible or not, nor can I tell if we’re getting some sort of “family” deductible that assumes we have kids rather than a couples rate – there’s no info anywhere about whether we’d be better off signing up individually or together.

    This is not an indictment of Obama personally, nor of his administration, nor of healthcare reform generally. But yeah, count me in among those who say the roll-out so far has sucked big-time. :o/

  150. 150
    Redshift says:

    @Seanly:

    And with the increased coverage requirements, insurance companies can continue jacking up the premiums. Are there any additional tools in ACA to contain healthcare costs for those of us with employer coverage?

    They’re still subject to the 80% medical loss ratio, so if the cost of care doesn’t match those jacked-up premiums, they’ll have to rebate them. There are various measures to control hospital costs and a variety of experimental measures to reduce costs, which will affect employer coverage more indirectly.

    I got an annoying spiel from the HR person at our company that was obviously mostly straight from the insurance company, that our premiums are increasing because of Obamacare’s requirements for universal coverage. Since our group insurance already covered everyone in the group with no exclusion for pre-existing conditions, my translation was “they’re not allowed to make our coverage cheaper by screwing over other people any more.” I would have been fine with that if it had been stated openly, but the whole passive-voice presentation of it bugged me.

  151. 151
    Fair Economist says:

    I think grandfathering existing plans is good politics and good policy. On a policy level, it doesn’t look likely that *all* of the folks getting cancellations will be able to enroll by Jan 1. That means a lapse in coverage for them, which could be a huge problem. The exchanges don’t need these people – there are lots of healthy uninsured people. Plus, the insurance companies are ****s and will drive people onto the exchanges in a few years no matter how generous the grandfathering.

    Politically, it would be fantastics if EVERY TIME somebody complained about their insurance being cancelled, we could say “Not Obamacare! Cancellations happen ONLY because the company wants them to.”

    On a final note, because of the subsidy cliff, there are people making just over the subsidy limits who really will pay a lot moving from a crappy private plan to even a Bronze plan. Mostly they are educated older middle age folks, who tend to be very influential. IMO they should have the option to stay with what they have until the system can be adjusted (most likely by a blanket extension of the 9.5% limit).

  152. 152
    Redshift says:

    @Journeywoman: Geez. What state are you in? I haven’t heard about deductibles like that in most of the states that I’ve read reporting on.

    Deductibles are where they’re screwing us in my new employer group plan, too. For the first time, we’ve got separate deductibles for in-network and out-of-network doctors, so for the one out-of-network doctor we really like, we’ll basically be paying out of pocket. I presume the reason for this is that deductibles don’t count as premiums for purposes of the 80% MLR. If insurance companies keep pushing the limits on this, I could see it provoking enough outrage to drive some regulation or legislation.

  153. 153
    Kay says:

    @MomSense:

    Democrats have to decide if they are planning on backing this law. Wandering around and waiting to see if it’s a political winner or loser just won’t work here.

    They have an..opportunity to influence how the law is perceived but they have to commit to acting as advocates. That doesn’t mean “cheerleader” or delusional. It means they defend the benefits of the law. Obama will be down the road long before their careers are over. It’s in their self-interest to finally get off the fence and act as unapologetic advocates.

    If they piss that away running for the exits I don’t think there’s a thing we can do about that.

    It won’t work, politically, “distancing”. It never does. People don’t respect it, and they shouldn’t respect it. It’s cowardly. They don’t always get the perfect set of conditions or even facts to make their argument. Tough shit. They’re supposed to make it anyway.

  154. 154
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @MomSense

    I have a tweety account but have never tweeted. Maybe this is as good a first tweet as any. But I will first have to figure out how I direct it at Feinstein. I am as ignorant as a gohmert when it comes to the twitter.

  155. 155
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Journeywoman:

    As far as the technical problems go, make sure you have ALL of your security plug-ins turned off on your browser (cookies turned on, no AdBlocker or similar programs, etc.) If you have a problem on a specific page, double-check that the plug-ins are still turned off and then re-load it — some people are discovering that they turned off (say) AdBlocker for the site, but the way they were routed around made the software think it was a new site and they had to turn everything off again.

  156. 156
    kc says:

    @Gypsy Howell:

    That’s good to know. Thanks.

  157. 157
    imonlylurking says:

    @Flying Squirrel Girl: For the record, here is the exact text of the bill. Page 36:

    Subtitle C—Quality Health Insurance Coverage for All Americans
    PART I—HEALTH INSURANCE MARKET REFORMS
    SEC. 1201. AMENDMENT TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ACT.
    Part A of title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg et seq.), as amended by section 1001, is further amended—
    (1) by striking the heading for subpart 1 and inserting the following:
    ‘‘Subpart I—General Reform’’;
    (2) (A) in section 2701 (42 U.S.C. 300gg), by striking the section heading and subsection (a) and inserting the following:
    ‘‘SEC. 2704. PROHIBITION OF PREEXISTING CONDITION EXCLUSIONS OR OTHER DISCRIMINATION BASED ON HEALTH STATUS.
    ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage may not impose any preexisting condition exclusion with respect to such plan or coverage.’’;

    Here is from page 38:
    ‘‘SEC. 2705. PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPANTS AND BENEFICIARIES BASED ON HEALTH STATUS.
    ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage may not establish rules for eligibility (including continued eligibility) of any individual to enroll under the terms of the plan or coverage based on any of the following health status-related factors in relation to the individual or a dependent of the individual:
    ‘‘(1) Health status. ‘‘(2) Medical condition (including both physical and mental illnesses). ‘‘(3) Claims experience.
    ‘‘(4) Receipt of health care. ‘‘(5) Medical history. ‘‘(6) Genetic information. ‘‘(7) Evidence of insurability (including conditions arising out of acts of domestic violence). ‘‘(8) Disability. ‘‘(9) Any other health status-related factor determined appropriate by the Secretary.

    And here’s the kicker:
    Page 44:
    SEC. 1253. EFFECTIVE DATES.
    This subtitle (and the amendments made by this subtitle) shall become effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014.

  158. 158
    kc says:

    @Kay:

    I heard a woman on PBS Newshour last night. She’ll never use childrens health care coverage.

    I do not get this objection. Do people really not understand how insurance has always worked, long before the ACA?

  159. 159
    Kay says:

    @MomSense:

    I watched PBS Newshour last night and they did this rambling, lame apology for what they seem to believe is excessively negative coverage of the law. I don’t know because I only watched 20 minutes, but they said they asked “an Obama Admnistration” official to come on and defend the law, but no one came. So obviously that’s not good, very bad, but Democrats have plenty of safe blue state Senators who are good advocates. They could even pick for those who aren’t up for re-election a while, if they’re all having some sort of nervous breakdown. They serve 6 year terms. Some of them are safe as houses. I mean, just throw caution to the wind and act as an actual advocate. Why take that job if they’re so risk averse? What’s the point of having it? Surely they could have chosen another career if they’re so terrified of losing.

  160. 160
    Journeywoman says:

    @Redshift:

    @Journeywoman: Geez. What state are you in? I haven’t heard about deductibles like that in most of the states that I’ve read reporting on.

    Pennsylvania. Like I said, I seriously hope I’m misunderstanding something. I also saw mention (though I haven’t had time to look into it thoroughly) in one of Richard’s posts that something about the subsidies can wind up reducing the effective deductible. I think the numbers he used were a $3000 deductible for a family taken down to $600 – I’d still be looking at around 4 times that, though, even assuming it scales.

  161. 161
    kc says:

    @Thad:

    A dirty little secret of the HR racket is that while employer plans have long been regulated such that nobody can be denied and all people pay the same premiums.. a business can still lower their overall insurance costs by making sure they have mostly healthier employees.

    I used to be part owner of a small business that provided good health care coverage. It appears that just one person with a serious health issue can result in greatly increased premiums for the whole small group. It never affected our personnel decisions, but, yeah, it’s hard to imagine that that wouldn’t be a factor (a dirty little secret factor) for many companies.

  162. 162
    Journeywoman says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    As far as the technical problems go, make sure you have ALL of your security plug-ins turned off on your browser (cookies turned on, no AdBlocker or similar programs, etc.) If you have a problem on a specific page, double-check that the plug-ins are still turned off and then re-load it — some people are discovering that they turned off (say) AdBlocker for the site, but the way they were routed around made the software think it was a new site and they had to turn everything off again.

    Thanks, I’ll look into that. I do have Adblocker running in at least one of my browsers (though not Chrome, and the script failed there, too).

  163. 163
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Flying Squirrel Girl:

    Honestly, I’d probably say “no” to everything as well. What are they going to do, fire you for not disclosing information they would have used to illegally discriminate against you? The one thing that could potentially get you in trouble for saying “no” if the answer is really “yes” is if you’re a smoker since that’s one of the things insurance companies can legally use to raise your rate.

    The Giant Evil Corporation I work for has a voluntary “wellness” program that pays you $300 if you participate, but even there they only collect two pieces of health information: BMI and blood pressure. You get $100 if each of those is within normal ranges and $100 for filling out a confidential health questionnaire. I think they’re allowed to gather statistical information from that questionnaire but they are not allowed to see individual answers to the questions or use the answers to identify an individual.

    But I’m in California, which has a lot of worker protections, so YMMV as far as state law goes.

  164. 164

    I set up an account on the Colorado Exchange site in the first week and I’ve been comparing plans.

    Just yesterday I decided to pull the trigger and go ahead and buy. My new premiums will be $380 as compared to COBRA at $534 so I’m okay.

    Before 10/1 I couldn’t get insurance due to a pre-existing condition so I get particularly annoyed at these jerks calling for repealing or even delaying the ACA.

  165. 165
    Keith G says:

    As a person with chronic and serious pre-existing conditions, I was waved off using the website by a medical services administrator.

    His concern was that they were finding issues with continuity of care between various policies offered in my area. He advised me to wait until more in-person resources were available and then schedule an hour long block of time to essentially war game through the various options.

    It makes me wonder how many citizens in similar situations to me have trudged on ahead (like I had tried to do a few weeks ago) and now are connected to a policy that they will come to regret.

  166. 166
    Kay says:

    @kc:

    I have to say, I get it. They got a cancellation and they’re pissed.

    There doesn’t seem to be an awareness that private plans change all the time and (subject to some restrictions and notice provisions) they could raise rates or drop, pre-ACA. I knew that because I had a private plan at one point. The woman who was interviewed at least recognized that her INSURER could have let her know the plan was not in compliance with federal law and would be canceled when they happily sold her the policy and took her premium payments. If I were selling it I think I would have told her that, but maybe she bought it online or something and never spoke to anyone.

  167. 167
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I would not be surprised if the Republicans are ahead again in a week or two.

    They should be. Any political party predicated on appeals to the worst in people begins an election cycle half-a-lap ahead.

  168. 168
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Keith G: Anytime someone has life circumstances outside of a “normal” range, that person is going to have issues with standardized solutions. Most people can file taxes using standardized software (Turbotax or the proprietary systems used by the tax companies), but there are others whose situations are more complex and would benefit from sitting down with a knowledgeable professional.

  169. 169
    Keith G says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Exactly. And that is a good message to have out there.

  170. 170
    Keith G says:

    @Kay:

    I have to say, I get it. They got a cancellation and they’re pissed.

    There doesn’t seem to be an awareness that private plans change all the time

    I am very curious why no one in the West Wing, knowing that some policies would be canceled and knowing that the simple meaning of Obama’s words implied that there would be no cancellations, was able to see the vulnerability there. This specific side show could have been pre-empted with a two sentence insertion every time Obama made the statement in question.

    It’s shoddy work.

  171. 171
    MomSense says:

    @Kay:

    It won’t work, politically, “distancing”. It never does. People don’t respect it, and they shouldn’t respect it. It’s cowardly. They don’t always get the perfect set of conditions or even facts to make their argument. Tough shit. They’re supposed to make it anyway.

    Amen, Kay. Amen.

    @Jebediah, RBG:

    Once you have logged in to your twitter account, go to the search bar at the top of your page and enter Sen. Dianne Feinstein .

    Look for the official account.

    On the left hand side of your wall, you will see a bar that says something like “tweet to Sen. Diane Feinstein” and below that will be her twitter in blue.

    Then have at it!! Geaux get Mary Landrieu while you are there!

  172. 172
    MomSense says:

    @Jebediah, RBG:

    You can also go to the article and click the twitter link. The link will automatically show up. Then you can add @SenFeinstein to the beginning.

  173. 173
    cckids says:

    @Keith G:

    I am very curious why no one in the West Wing, knowing that some policies would be canceled and knowing that the simple meaning of Obama’s words implied that there would be no cancellations, was able to see the vulnerability there. This specific side show could have been pre-empted with a two sentence insertion every time Obama made the statement in question.

    Its reminding me, strongly, of TARP, where the government just assumed the banksters would, after taking the bailout money, act honorably, in the best interest of the economy, and lend it out. FAIL. It seems the administration made the same mistake; trusting the insurance companies to be honorable about the grandfathered policies & not screw people over just because they could.

    I’m not sure why they would assume that, because screwing people over seems to have been #1 on the list of “what most ins. companies do”, but that is the vibe I’m getting.

  174. 174
    MomSense says:

    @Kay:

    And I think that most people will react well to someone who says that they realize that their vote or opinion isn’t popular but they are acting out of moral conviction. When it comes to health care we are talking about an issue that can be life or death. We are talking about working poor people who can continue to work, even look for a better job if they have health care and can stay healthy. Without that health care they are much more vulnerable to illness that could cost them their job or housing.

    It is an issue where people need champions. That is why I am so grateful to the President. When his advisers and pollsters and Democrats in Congress wanted him to back off– he championed those of us who have been struggling without adequate health care. I embrace the ObamaCare label because he does care and that is a too rare quality in DC.

  175. 175
    Keith G says:

    @cckids:

    It seems the administration made the same mistake; trusting the insurance companies to be honorable about the grandfathered policies

    If that were shown to be the case, I would find that process scarier than if the White House knew better and just outright lied.

  176. 176
    Kay says:

    @MomSense:

    Well, the President has a political crisis on his hands. It doesn’t matter now how they got into it and I don’t think they should dwell on mistakes, but every President in my lifetime has had a second term crisis of one kind or another and Obama wasn’t spared that. It sounds like a cliche but they have to handle it. There’s the mistake or the fuck up and then there’s how they handle the mistake or fuck up. Those are two different things. I just don’t think crouching or hiding is an option right now. They have absolutely nothing to lose in just boldly defending the law. In the grand scheme of things it’s not that terrible a crisis. It’s not Katrina (no one died) and it’s not impeachment or Iran-Contra or corruption. The idea that it’s “self created” so somehow worse than those other things is nonsense. Iran Contra was self-created and so was Katrina (response) and so, arguably, was impeachment. It’s almost the definition of the thing that it’s self created and could have been avoided.

  177. 177
    Elie says:

    @Keith G:

    I know that its hard to believe, but sometimes people make mistakes, or forget something important in the firehose of stuff they have had to prepare and manage on this and everything else. Your light bulb doesn’t work – well its because the President’s team didn’t get you a new one in time..

    I have a job with one 300th of the responsibility that they do and we (me and my team), have dropped , forgotten and/or mismanaged issues that in theory, we should have never in shouldacoulda land. sometimes there is little forgiveness for these fuck ups, but thankfully, I am still working.

    I dunno. Seems like so many people must have simple lives and responsibilities where you get to do one thing at a time and connect all the dots. More power to you. Its not my life and definitely not the President’s. Yes, we have to live the consequences of his mistakes or his team’s. Other than in heaven, that will always be so for any President or senior leader of something important.

  178. 178

    @MomSense:
    Thanks for the twittertutor!

  179. 179
    Kay says:

    @MomSense:

    It’s funny, because having a bad set of facts and bad circumstances really frees me up in my work. It can be the best part of my job, once you get out of “woe is me, I can’t go in there with this horror” and realize you can’t get out of this one!

    You LITERALLY have nothing to lose. Try anything! What the hell.

  180. 180
    Moe Gamble says:

    I’m still unable to log in, and unable to create a new account because when I try my data matches the data in the account I can’t log in to.

    And when I write to the contact address, I keep getting the same dumb answer even though I explain in advance why the answer they always give me hasn’t worked.

  181. 181
    MomSense says:

    @Kay:

    I think it is because President Obama and his administration have been so ethical and scandal free that they are seizing on this.

    I mean the whole premise is ridiculous. They have been trying to stop the law from passing, trying to repeal it, trying to defund it, trying to prevent people from enrolling–trying to sabotage it from the beginning. And now they are upset because people can’t enroll with the website??

    But the stupid media are loving this.

    The President and his administration are keeping their heads down and focusing all energy on getting the website to work–and then they will get the political side in gear.

  182. 182
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @MikeJ:

    @Jeremy: But look at the way Obama put a million and a half ground troops into Libya and then bombed Syria for six straight months.

    Stolen for book of faces status. No attribution. I am Rand Paul.

  183. 183
    voncey says:

    @Another Holocene Human: @Another Holocene Human: That’s probably because he, Jean Sibelius, is dead.

  184. 184
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Way to cherrypick. Fox has R+3 and every other (4) polling outfit has D +2-+8

    ETA: I see several other of your posts are concern-trolling. My bad.

  185. 185
    Keith G says:

    @Elie:

    I know that its hard to believe, but sometimes people make mistakes, or forget something important in the firehose of stuff they have had to prepare and manage on this and everything else. Your light bulb doesn’t work – well its because the President’s team didn’t get you a new one in time.

    Light bulbs? WTF?

    Jesus.

    If it was a one time reference in a one time speech, you would have a point.

    A repeated reference to a major selling point…No Dice.

    That is why we pay for a presidential staff. Many, many years ago, I had a poli sci seminar (semester-long class) with a professor who had been on the NSC staff of two presidential administrations. One of his first assignments was scut work of a sort – reviewing and vetting the comments made by administration officials (both in advance and ad hoc) checking for inaccuracies that might prove problematic.

    Presidential statements, even off the cuff ones, are assumed to reflect real policy.

    Remember the Red Line?

  186. 186
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    The website’s messy. Some stuff doesn’t join up like one would expect — banners saying that you have a notice but no way to click and read that notice. There’s also no real way to go back and add information online to a submitted application, and instead you have to mail in documentation.

    Anyway, I’m with Kay (and Josh Marshall for that matter): if elected Dems don’t grow a fucking spine about this, then they can fuck off. They can’t run away from the ACA in advance of 2014, so they should be doing a better job of handling both the policy and the politics.

  187. 187
    RonzoniRigatoni says:

    I tried the web site tonight and it worked fine. I didn’t sign onto any plan because I already have the BC/BS Fed Employee Plan, but this is ridiculous now that BC/BS forced me to sign up for Medicare Part B. So now I am obviously paying way too much for the BC/BS plan in addition to the 5 year Part B penalty I hafta pay. So Imma gonna drop the FEP and find some crap Medicare supplement plan that is way cheaper. But I did learn that I can get a tax break. Big Whup!

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