Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ruling Class and Obamacare

There has been a great deal of coverage about how hard people are finding it to sign up for Obamacare using the online exchanges. Take this story about how there is no one in Oregon who has signed up, despite there being an exchange there. Then I got to wondering...

If members of congress and their staffs were all going on the exchanges, albeit with massive subsidies that the rest of us don't have, how were they signing up for it if most of their home states were either saddled with the non-functioning generic Obamacare site or their own non-functioning state sites? Looking just a little deeper, I found a list for the House and Senate noting what members said they would use. From those list, it appears that the vast majority were choosing the safer 'no comment'  response to whomever is generating those lists. If only they had followed dear leader's example and just voted 'present' when Obamacare came up in the first place then we wouldn't be in this mess. Voting 'no comment' now is just too little, too late.

However, there were quite a few who said they were going to use the exchanges. So how exactly are they signing up? This article implies that they are using the DC health care exchange. (yes - that exchange that I wrote about earlier) Is that even legal? I believe they are bound to use their home state's exchange, not the one set up for DC residents. That is unless they are claiming to live in DC, in which case they are not qualified to represent their home states in office. I am very confused...

The joke appears to be in them though, as they are getting shafted by the same shoddy website that the rest of the DC residents are dealing with. Turns out that being political suck-ups and actually turning out a real, functioning e-commerce site don't necessarily equate to the same thing. Looking further at that article, the insurance companies have set up special phone lines for congress critters to use, bypassing the exchanges altogether. I am pretty sure that wasn't in the law either.

It will be interesting to find out how many of them actually end up without insurance like too many of my fellow citizens. I am dreaming of a remake of that classic movie: "Mr Smith goes to Washington and Looses His Health Insurance". 

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