By Dave Andrusko
I promise not to post a story a day, each day, following enrollment in the health-insurance marketplaces (“exchanges”) which are such a key part of Obamacare. But when the WASHINGTON POST mocks and ridicules the White House, it’s worth discussing.
Everybody’s heard about the endless stream of snafus. What many/most probably don’t know is that along with the many errors is gross exaggeration. Here’s what the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday:
“California’s health insurance exchange vastly overstated the number of online hits it received Tuesday during the rollout of Obamacare.
“State officials said the Covered California website got 645,000 hits during the first day of enrollment, far fewer than the 5 million it reported Tuesday.
“The state exchange had cited the 5 million figure as a sign of strong consumer interest and a major reason people had so much difficulty using its $313-million online enrollment system.
“Dana Howard, a spokesman for Covered California, said the error was the result of internal miscommunication.
“’Someone misspoke and thought it was indeed 5 million hits. That was incorrect,’ he said.”
But what about this, from Sarah Kliff, writing online this morning at the Washington Post under the headline, “The White House says people have bought Obamacare. We haven’t met them quite yet.”
“If you have purchased health coverage on the federal government’s new Obamacare marketplace, about a dozen or so reporters would like to speak with you. We promise we won’t take up too much of your time.
“We just need to find you first.
“The federal government has said that somewhere out in this vast country of 313 million people, where 48 million lack insurance coverage, someone has managed to sign up for health insurance on the federally-run marketplaces. As of yet, we haven’t tracked this person – or these people – down.
“This is not for lack of effort. Reporters here at The Washington Post and at other publications have been on the hunt for this mythical creature.”
And, yes, the Post accompanied its post with this picture of an unicorn!
But it gets better.
The blogger Allahpundit updated the situation this afternoon. Turns out the Post DID find someone:
“His name’s Chad Henderson. It took him three hours and his plan cost him ‘a little more than I was expecting.’ (Some enrollees on the state exchanges are finding the same thing.) And he’s now apparently spending most of his waking hours taking calls from reporters since he’s the only person they can find — in America — who can report a somewhat useful experience on the Healthcare.gov site. Obama tried to explain that away yesterday by claiming that the demand over the first two days has far exceeded expectations; in that case, how low were their expectations that they weren’t prepared for several million curiosity seekers on launch day of the most momentous social program in decades? Haven’t there been a few presidential speeches and a few thousand news stories over the past several weeks reminding people that October 1 was the big day? Did they … not understand that there might be a heavy load on government servers as a result?”
But there is nothing at all funny about the “scammers and fraudsters” who are already busy exploiting the uninformed (and many of the informed, as well). Ed Morrissey quotes a cheat-sheet (so to speak) of what to look out for provided by KTNV-TV.
“Number one is the non-existent Obamacare card. You do not need to get an Affordable Care Act insurance card in order to buy coverage. There is no such thing.
“Number two is the phone call from people pretending to work for the government and asking for personal information such as social security numbers. These people claim they are trying to verify eligibility for Obamacare.
“Number three is the bogus Obamacare navigators. They claim to be able to help people through the sign-up process. Instead, they are stealing people’s information and identities. There are legitimate navigators but they were for agencies like the United Way.
“Number four is the Medicare scare tactic. People over the age of 65 are being told that they will lose coverage if they do not sign up for ACA.
“Number five are websites that look real but are not. Once again, this is an effort to collect personal information so that it may be used for fraudulent activities.”
It can only get worse, with no assurance it will ever get appreciably better. BTW, be sure to read “List of companies that will drop health insurance under ObamaCare spreads to include a quasi-public entity, the Fairfax County Water Authority.”