Newest urban legend: Obamacare enrollees

Thomas Lifson
Mockery of Obamacare's incompetent rollout has spread to the mainstream media, no longer able to ignore the fiasco. Case in point: The Miami Herald, not exactly a right wing rag.

Nearly two weeks after the federal government launched the online Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov, individuals who have successfully used the choked-up website to enroll for a subsidized health insurance plan have reached a status akin to urban legend: Everyone has heard of them, but very few people have actually met one.

The Miami Herald searched high and low for individuals who completed enrollment for a subsidized health plan through the marketplace, also called an exchange, launched by the federal government on Oct. 1 in 36 states, including Florida. (snip)

As of Friday, however, only a smattering of success stories had emerged in news reports. Politico.com, an online news outlet, reported that a 21-year-old Georgia resident who enrolled successfully has become a cause célèbre, with national media and even the White House touting his story.

The American public has four months in which to enroll in Obamacare or alternative health insurance plans that meet with federal approval. That's because:

That often-cited March 31, 2014 deadline is dead wrong. 

You must be covered by March 31, meaning you should enroll in whichever healthcare plan you chose by February 15, 2014 or face penalties.     

Said Roger Flippo, a licensed, certified health insurance agent of the penalties: "In Oklahoma just like anywhere else in the United States -- there are penalties that a person would have to pay if they do not get health insurance."

The Feb. 15 date to enroll is because coverage typically starts on the first day of a given month and takes up to 15 days to process.

The first two weeks of healthcare.gov have passed, with no progress toward a usable website on which to enroll. The public is being told that they can also enroll via paper applications, but does anyone really think that the staff are in place to handle the volume of applications that must be completed to avoid the fines taxes that are part of Obamacare? Eventually, those paper applications will have to be converted to computer files, and is it likely that those computer systems will be up to the task?  Or that the data entry personnel will handle the conversions without massive problems?

Next April, just as income tax returns are about to be filed, with required paperwork indicating the taxpayer has health insurance acceptable to the feds, there are likely to be millions of people claiming they tried to enroll, but could not.

At that point, the Republicans who tried to delay the implementation of Obamacare by a year are going to look pretty good. No matter what the media generated polls are saying right now.

He who laughs last, laughs best.

It is widely believed that Americans hate their health insurance companies. But just wait until the far less competent, impossible-to-fire federal bureuacrats are finiing people for not buying health insurance the are unable to purchase because the damn website doesn't work.

Mockery of Obamacare's incompetent rollout has spread to the mainstream media, no longer able to ignore the fiasco. Case in point: The Miami Herald, not exactly a right wing rag.

Nearly two weeks after the federal government launched the online Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov, individuals who have successfully used the choked-up website to enroll for a subsidized health insurance plan have reached a status akin to urban legend: Everyone has heard of them, but very few people have actually met one.

The Miami Herald searched high and low for individuals who completed enrollment for a subsidized health plan through the marketplace, also called an exchange, launched by the federal government on Oct. 1 in 36 states, including Florida. (snip)

As of Friday, however, only a smattering of success stories had emerged in news reports. Politico.com, an online news outlet, reported that a 21-year-old Georgia resident who enrolled successfully has become a cause célèbre, with national media and even the White House touting his story.

The American public has four months in which to enroll in Obamacare or alternative health insurance plans that meet with federal approval. That's because:

That often-cited March 31, 2014 deadline is dead wrong. 

You must be covered by March 31, meaning you should enroll in whichever healthcare plan you chose by February 15, 2014 or face penalties.     

Said Roger Flippo, a licensed, certified health insurance agent of the penalties: "In Oklahoma just like anywhere else in the United States -- there are penalties that a person would have to pay if they do not get health insurance."

The Feb. 15 date to enroll is because coverage typically starts on the first day of a given month and takes up to 15 days to process.

The first two weeks of healthcare.gov have passed, with no progress toward a usable website on which to enroll. The public is being told that they can also enroll via paper applications, but does anyone really think that the staff are in place to handle the volume of applications that must be completed to avoid the fines taxes that are part of Obamacare? Eventually, those paper applications will have to be converted to computer files, and is it likely that those computer systems will be up to the task?  Or that the data entry personnel will handle the conversions without massive problems?

Next April, just as income tax returns are about to be filed, with required paperwork indicating the taxpayer has health insurance acceptable to the feds, there are likely to be millions of people claiming they tried to enroll, but could not.

At that point, the Republicans who tried to delay the implementation of Obamacare by a year are going to look pretty good. No matter what the media generated polls are saying right now.

He who laughs last, laughs best.

It is widely believed that Americans hate their health insurance companies. But just wait until the far less competent, impossible-to-fire federal bureuacrats are finiing people for not buying health insurance the are unable to purchase because the damn website doesn't work.