So I have heard that the Obamacare Exchanges were going to open soon, so I took a little stroll over there to see what it was all about. I was greeted by this young smiling lady:
Who is she and what does she have to do with Obamacare? A Google image search of her did not reveal any matches. I looked carefully at her earrings, and the appear to have letters in them - 'SMMM'. Could that mean 'Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy'? Probably not. I guess it's her initials - so i'll call her 'Samantha'. So Samantha, can I call you Sam? Yes? Good. I am interested in getting health insurance. Ah, I see you have a link over there to 'Get Insurance'. I'll click on that. Goodbye, and thanks for all the help!
More pictures of smiling people! This time two ladies, perhaps a mother and daughter? There is still no explanation of what they have to do with healthcare insurance but there must be something about this site that is making everyone smile! I guess they aren't worried about being kicked to the curb when their employer drops their coverage (here, here, here) . When I clicked on "Small Business", I found this lady, who apparently couldn't put down her phone long enough to have her picture taken:
I'm guessing the message here is that Obamacare doesn't include dental care. I have to say, as a middle aged white guy, I am starting to feel a little awkward, like I wondered into the wrong bathroom or something...
I then went to the 'Choose Your State' selection bar to see what my options were. Clicking on the menu, I noticed right away that territories and the District of Columbia had apparently become states with the adoption of Obamacare. How nice for them. Just for fun, I selected the Northern Marina Islands state. The 'information' section informed me that if I live in the Northern Marina Islands I am not eligible to use the 'Marketplace' to apply for health insurance. So first the ACA makes territories into states, but then excludes them from coverage? That's just not right! What about people from other states that are there on extended stays or otherwise domiciled in a 'real' US state? They can't apply? I am already confused...
So then I picked my state, Virginia. The help selector noted that I could use this web site to apply, compare plans, and enroll. This is because Virginia declined to set up it's own exchange, so the Federal government opted to do that for the citizens of Virginia. How nice and helpful of them. Was it part of the law that they would have the authority to do this? This is what I found on the HHS site:
In states that elect not to establish a Marketplace, the ACA requires HHS to establish and operate a "federally-facilitated Marketplace" (FFM) in that state. This would also apply in the event HHS determines that despite state efforts to establish a Marketplace, the Marketplace has not made sufficient progress to become fully operational by January 1, 2014. An FFM can be implemented by HHS alone, or a state can enter into a “partnership” with the FFM, combining state-designed and operated functions with federally designed and operated functions. Partnerships are considered a subset of the FFM, indicating that HHS has authority over partnerships in the FFM.So rather than set up a separate web site for each state that does not set up an exchange, there is one federal site for all of them. I am not a lawyer, but this seems to be a violation of the intent of what the ACA says is to be done. Where exactly in Virginia is this FFM that the HHS has set up? The location wasn't given in the web site. I strongly suspect that it doesn't exist, but that is a topic for another time.
That's all I have time for today. I must make more time to look into this wonderful web site in the future. Stay tuned!
On to more madness: Part Two
UPDATE UPDATE: Even Better! Welcome IMAO Readers! Take a look around and maybe come on back sometime. Oh, and feel free to give the puppy blender readers a piece of your mind in the comments, or whatever...
UPDATE: Holy Cow! An Instalaunch! Welcome Instapundit readers! Have a look around and see if there is stuff on my little blog that amuses you. I do humor, serious, and hiking notes. A little something for everyone... to quote a very wise old TV man, "ya'll come back now, ya hear?"