Monday, October 7, 2013

Are those ideologues complaining about clogged healthcare websites part of the reason they’re clogged?

As someone who is self-employed, has experienced a lack of health insurance, and who will now have to use the procedures established by the Affordable Care Act, I am among those with a personal interest in all the stories that have emanated about how the websites meant to guide us through the process of gaining a health insurance policy are ridiculously flawed.

We'll be making a return trip when it's less crowded.
It’s slow. It's confusing. In some cases, people who spend significant amounts of time working their way through the process wind up being told they can’t get any information now and will have to try again later.

NONE OF THIS surprises me. Technological glitches are always likely to cause problems, particularly in the early days of something.

So while I took a quick look last week on Tuesday at the website ( created by Illinois state government, I didn’t really try to get any information or start the process on my behalf.

For one thing, the process that we’re in now in which we’re supposed to sign up for a health care plan will last six months. I do not plan to be one of those people desperately trying to find something in the final days of March 2014.

But I also realize that there is time – particularly since the policies that people wind up getting for themselves through the Affordable Care Act will not take effect until January 1.

I PROBABLY WILL be one of those individuals who waits a few weeks before trying to figure out what exactly my situation will be.

Maybe I’ll be the guy who’s filling out my applications while kids come a-knockin’ on my front door come Halloween! Or maybe I’ll find some early November day when I happen to be up ridiculously late.

Perhaps an application filed around 3 a.m. some day will come at a time when there won’t be so many people (relatively speaking) trying to get on the computer at once.

Also, I figure by then, things will start settling down. There won’t be the initial rush of people that always causes computer programs to crash (just remember how ridiculous it was to call up anything on the Internet in the morning and early afternoon hours of Sept. 11, 2001).

I SUSPECT THAT by showing some patience, I can avoid many of the problems. I also suspect that many people who are going to be in need of the federal government’s health care reform initiatives will do the same.

Now I don’t doubt that people who tried to get a head start on their applications last week experienced confusion.

A part of the reason I didn’t even try to do an application Tuesday was that I could see for myself that this has the potential to be a time-consuming process. And I detest anything that requires me to both mindlessly sit in front of a computer screen while also requiring me to provide sensitive (and personal) information.

That is a dangerous combination that could cause me to inadvertently do myself in!

ONE THING DOES bother me about the assorted bits of coverage that tried telling us how flawed the application was thus far. Many people claiming to be reporter-types (I suspect they’re more ideological blowhards – even the ones I know personally and sort of think of as being friends) went through the process to give a “first-hand” account of how mucked-up things were.

I wonder how much those ideologues wound up adding to the clutter – causing people who seriously need help in obtaining some form of health insurance to have troubles.

And considering how they were determined to write commentaries trashing the process, I’d question the legitimacy of anything they had to “report.”

They’re the ones who have been trashing health care reform initiatives for years, while also trying to justify the inactivity this past week of certain federal government agencies and programs by calling them a “slimdown.”

ALL THE WHILE ignoring the fact that so many people in our society lacking in health insurance does cause a serious drag on our society’s overall economy. It is a problem that needs to be dealt with.

While some people are acting these days as though they merely want to add to the cheap rhetoric that ensures nothing gets done!


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