Online Health Insurance Exchange Snoops and Flops. Obamacare Bad Insurance Deal, Part II

obamacareexchangepleasewaitcropped“Please wait here until we send you to the login page”.  Such were the words of the Obamacare health insurance exchange as it created the first web-based waiting line in history and the first of many waiting lines it will create in healthcare. The Obamcare Health Insurance exchanges went live to provide health insurance to Americans today, but the site then crashed immediately upon opening, giving endless messages to “please wait” or “System down” or “unavailable” to the approximately one million people attempting to use it.  Sun Beam Times Blogger and founder Dr. McKalip went online to see what kind of deal he could get on insurance for his family through the exchange and relates the numerous problems below. This episode demonstrates the inability of the government to provide a good product or service to consumers on something as important as their health care. It should serve as a red flag for all who have supported Obamacare and prompt them to start opposing it.

“It’s the DMV. You’re gonna go to health care DMV to get your insurance.” Rush Limbaugh, July 3,2012

Only the government seems capable of creating an online site where you are told to get in line and wait!  On attempts to simply create an online account, the site advised the user to “please wait” since so many people were attempting to use the system.  For the record, Amazon.com manages nearly 5 million people a day conducting tens of millions of online searches, transaction and purchases.  Yet the mighty federal government shut down within minutes of attempting to field the first of a million people that day.  This user waited and ultimately was let on to  create an account.

obamacarenotavaildusernamecroppedThe interface then asked me to create a username and provided some rules to do so. I used my email address (dmckalip@neuro3.net).  It must have a “lower case or capital letter” (check), must have a character including “_.@/-“  (check), be 6-74 characters long (check) or a number (check). So the username was appropriate, but the Federal website would not recognize it! So much for government efficiency and accuracy! Off the bat the government is inspiring absolutely no confidence that they can actually set up health insurance plans that will make sure I don’t go bankrupt, cover me with the best doctors and the best care when and where I need it!

obamacareexchangeunavailablecroppedAfter changing to another username the government website liked better  (maybe my email address is tagged a “dangerous rebel” by the IRS and the NSA), I finally made it to the next step. 

obamacareexchangequestionscroppedThere I was asked to tell them very personal information like my pet’s name,  my favorite cuisine and more. I am sure the government won’t use any of this to build a profile on Americans or give that the NSA to hack into my computers to do some snooping. I dutifully entered a non-incriminating response and filled out some more info. This was it, the magic moment had arrived: I would have an online Account to help me shop for Obamacare’s bronze, silver, gold or platinum plans!  Oops, no such luck as I was told that the system was “unavailable” to create an account.

I tried again later in the day and was told the “system is down”. When I sat down to write this post, I was put again in the digital waiting line as I “waited” my turn to create an account.  It still hasn’t taken me to the next step. I am still waiting in line although it did change me to another screen to tell me to continue to wait online (one hour and 20 minutes later*)!  What is there, a brusque DMV agent at a desk waiting to take my “internet” call?

(*After 10 minutes it STILL wouldn’t create my account – “unavailable”).

obamacareystemdowncroppedFor an interesting comparison, I logged into “e-health insurance” in about 2 seconds, and had 81 quotes in under 30 seconds. They were all cheaper than Obamacare’s plans and were from a private website that didn’t require a single government agent to run it.  Go figure.

I guess the good news is that the government is likely to be very good at rationing the care once people get enrolled in Obamacare.

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One Reply:

  1. Ron Thompson

    A computer system swamped by eager users on its first day is not a sign they dislike the program.

    Every system: Google, Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, UrbanSpoon, PetSmart, and Arbys have restart procedures to help you recover your lost or forgotten password.

    Have you never created a user profile? Or are you part of the gigantic effort to scare uninformed users that “the government” is “creating a secret profile” by having a password recovery question?

    These computer systems know not to use “mother’s maiden name” since that secret data is used by serious systems, like banks.

    When all of these scare tactics are discovered to be untrue, humiliated Republicans will lose the support of independent thinkers.

    Untrue scare tactics included:
    – Govt Death Advisers, paying doctors for counseling they currently give for free.
    – Govt Death Panels, based on new shortages or tighter industry standards. Already exist at the hands of private insurers. I’m asked to put a quarter in a jar or donate to a walk-a-thon for some kid with leukemia not covered by private insurance. THAT is a death panel.
    – Govt wants your credit card#. Private insurers can bill you monthly, and you can sign up for auto deduction. There is no “Government” database of credit card numbers captured by ACA. Besides, “government” already knows all that data!
    – Cant see a doctor, just look at Canada! Anecdotal stories from Canada are always denied by Canadian citizens, on-line and in person. Scared Americans speak of hearsay examples, not real ones.
    – Over half don’t want it. A small percentage want to go back to the prior system (repeal). Many more are unhappy that ACA did not go far enough. Most progressives feel Obama is too conservative. There are middle voters happy with ACA, and those wishing it was more sweeping (Single payer). Only a small percentage want it repealed.
    – Taking money from Medicare. Those were payments to vendors higher by duplication and extra govt work. By streamlining purchasing, money can be saved, and savings should return to the program, not the vendors.
    – Doctors will quit. Doctor retire each year. Many left due to lawsuits, paperwork, excess technology, CYA testing, and being distanced from their patients. Clearly, ACA would be the last straw for more. At the same time, Med Schools are full of students, and ACA exploits the strategy of using ARPN's for simple procedures (Office Calls, Routine review) with MD's working 1 per office in a supervisory role. This is used around the world, and dovetails with the newest internet technologies.

    Each scare story has simple explanation. There will be difficulties, technical problems, and inefficiencies like any new system. However, bi-partisan, country-first, solution-oriented efforts would minimize the impact and lower the cost.

    Anyone actively working to maximize the negative impact to our citizen neighbors and to raise the cost to fellow taxpayers and neighbors need to take a long look in the mirror.

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