Some may boil our misadventures down to its core, a bratty dirge by privileged whiners who don’t even need Obamacare and are sore they couldn’t get their medication covered. But that’s just it — we, too, need and want more affordable health care. We are precisely the kind of folks they need to make these exchanges work. If it’s all poor, very sick people, Obama can kiss his legacy goodbye.
What’s more, we have the time and initiative to dig for answers. As journalists, we could tap on the shoulders of people who ought to know, but that failed, too. Even with the looming prospect of being subject to this sort of publicity, nobody could give us complete, prompt or useful information. How are people who don’t badger public figures for a living, people who have no other option than to contend with Phone People, supposed to work it out?
But this isn’t merely a failure of government — though it is that. It’s also a failure of the private sector in the form of the insurance industry. They’ve received an unbelievable gift, a government-backed money-minting machine on an epic scale. Nobody really likes them, either. This is their chance, too. And their Phone People are no better despite being significantly more experienced. Their media spokespeople were even less responsive than the government’s, and that’s a pretty low bar.
Come November, we’ll check back and see what Obamacare plans are available for 2015. We want the ACA to work; the previous status quo certainly did not.
Right now, though, it’s time to move on. It’s easy to shrug that these are the expected growing pains of a massive new system. That’s probably true. But in real time, it is destructive to our finances and potentially bad for our health.
The president promised a system that would make obtaining insurance as easy as buying a book on Amazon.com. Instead, he gave us – so far, anyhow – one that’s about as easy as getting the NSA to stop listening to our phone calls.