Why Should They Get it Better?

The voice inside my head is getting louder and louder.  It has been happening for over three weeks now.  I have to let it out or my head will explode.

It’s not what you think.

I haven’t been trying any of the products I research, or no more than usual.

I haven’t become a schizophrenic hearing demons that chant “kill, kill, kill.”

I haven’t even become a Tea Party member muttering “screw the poor, screw the folks who don’t look like me, don’t touch my Medicare.” Nope.

It’s just my Dad’s voice.  But he won’t shut up.  He keeps on saying:

“For Cryin’ Out Loud, Lease, What Did You Expect?”

It’s no use telling him that I agree with him and that really, I didn’t expect this whole thing to go smoothly.  He was a hard man to beat in an argument before, but since his death it has been absolutely impossible to win an argument with the man.   He’s gone all passive-aggressive on me, the bastard.

But in point of fact, I figured that the roll-out of Obamacare would be just like it has been since October 1.  Full of problems that lead everyone to bang their head on their desk, throw their laptops out the window and threaten bodily harm to anyone who interrupts them when they’re just about done.  I could have told you that before the bill passed either House of Congress, was signed by the President.  I could have told you there would be huge problems even before the Supreme Court deemed it constitutional.

Remember how I am an expert patient?  An expert patient who has had health-and-therefore-insurance issues for 40 years?  I am pretty sure I have fought with each and every single insurance company that has done business in the United States, and a few in Europe.  And this includes the six hours I spent online and on the phone with CareFirst this past Monday trying to figure out the fine details of the two different policies I had to choose from.  The recordings of my running commentary would not be suitable for training purposes.

So really, I think the folks who set up Healthcare.gov  did the folks who qualify for insurance under the Affordable Care Act a favor by having so many problems on the website.

Because they’ve gotten just the first taste of what it’s like to deal with a god damn insurance company.

*     *     *

With heartfelt apologies to my Dad, who was an insurance agent and would have been able to tell everyone that this is exactly what they should have expected.

Apologies also to my favorite live insurance agent, Peg of PegOLeg.com who is probably too busy working on getting folks covered to read this post anyway.

Thanks to both List of X for his two funny posts on the rollout here and here, and Moe of Whatever Works for inspiring me to comment on their blogs and inspired me to write this one.


Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Criminal Activity, Crohn's Disease, Family, Health and Medicine, Humor

39 responses to “Why Should They Get it Better?

  1. There are always going to be problems with anything new. I know it’s frustrating, but hopefully it will work out the bugs soon.


  2. My sister is one of the “Navigators” for the Exchange in New York. She said that, while there are some glitches, there are too many people for her to process every day and it’s working well to get people necessary, reasonable health care coverage. It’s a good thing.


    • Oh, I agree. Seriously. I just feel like anytime I deal with any kind of insurance that I want to scream. I don’t think it is any different if you’re going to access insurance via ACA! (Or if it is, I’m signing up — although with my medical history, I will make it go bankrupt)


      • I think with a Navigator’s help, it’s not too bad at all. And I agree, dealing with health insurance is a pain anyway you look at it. I’ve got Medicare (from my disability) and a back-up plan from when I worked at my college. The two work well together and I don’t pay that much for a single person. I consider myself very lucky…so far.


  3. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Poor America. So many blgs are on this Obamacare. Thank mercy, thank mercy it’s not happening here. I really appreciate reading all I can on it though.


  4. Just so you know I haven’t won an argument with my Dead Dad since he passed. And there have been plenty. DDs are like that.


  5. Six hours of your life. Geez. I nearly cry and get cranky over an hour’s time. They can do better and we deserve better.


    • This was not Obamacare. This was traditional insurance. It ALWAYS sucks. Not just the new program. The news media is pretending that when you work through traditional employer-based insurance, that it is all smooth sailing. Ummmm no. All of them suck.


  6. I am an IT developer, and I sometimes botch things on forms that will be used by 20 people. So, it doesn’t surprise me at all.


  7. I will talk from the other side of the house, the IT side, the beltway bandit side and the government integration implementation and governance side.

    This deployment of technology was bound to be an abysmal failure initially. There is absolutely no way the government could get this done in 2 years. Those who say it is only a Website are idiots. The fact there are 20+ states to be supported make this a complex integrated solution.

    I think I will write a post about it. You are so right Elyse. Don’t let your head explode.


    • It stopped exploding once I hung up the phone with my insurance company.

      And I really think, in many cases, it should be called “The Department of Disservice.”


    • Snoring Dog Studio

      I’ve read some good posts – great posts – from IT folks who aren’t nearly as harsh as a lot of people have been about the rollout. Experts understand what it takes to pull something this huge off and do it right the very first time. Yes, the spin could have been managed better, and the rollout could have been beta tested – but we’re still much further along than the godawful insurance hell we had before. No more pre-existing condition exclusion! Now that’s humane. And sane.


  8. You know, if they’d just expanded Medicare to cover everyone, they could have used systems that were already in place.


  9. “Because they’ve gotten just the first taste of what it’s like to deal with a god damn insurance company.”—Well, that is certainly true. I’ve experienced the ‘joy’ of insurance companies both as a patient and a provider. So many letters I’ve written on behalf of patients to get a test covered. Makes my head spin. On the other hand, I am annoyed by the problems with the website. As I mentioned on List of X’s post, why did it have to be a free for all? Couldn’t they have done the sign-ups in shifts, for example, those whose last names start with A-C take the first two weeks, or go by geographic region or something? This mess only gives the GOP more fuel to try to get the law delayed or derailed. Arrgghh.


    • I agree — I’m annoyed by the problems too. They should have done it better. But is it really as bad as the reports. Isn’t it funny how folks in states that expanded Medicaid and adopted it the way it was supposed to work, it works pretty damn well. I’m sure it is no coincidence that the folks who are having trouble are in the states where their own elected governments ummm, didn’t go along with Obamacare. No coincidence at all. None. Nada.


    • Moe

      Carrie – kind of amazing, isn’t it, that they didn’t just make a phased roll out like you suggest part of their original plan. I’m in FL and changes to FEMA flood insurance are being implemented, but gradually over a year with different counties having different starting dates. That’s a Federal program and they knew how to do it correctly. And compared to ACA, it’s a tiny program. I agree with you – I’m damn glad that flawed as it is the damn thing passed and I’m astonished and angry that they f**ked up so badly with the enrollment.


  10. Thank you, but I did not really inspire this. It your 6 hours spent banging your head against the wall (figuratively, I hope) on the CareFirst call that was probably your main inspiration. Credit’s where credit due.
    Oh, and as far as I know, Obamacare phone help line is working fine, and people can sign up there – at least I haven’t heard complaints about that. That’s VERY different from dealing with phone services of insurance companies.


    • Well, I didn’t give you complete credit, X. But you helped push me into it.

      To be honest, insurance has ruled my life for 40 years and I deeply resent it. It is one of those things everybody needs but nobody wants. And the insurance companies are horrible. Just horrible. Stupid, corrupt, venal.


  11. I agree. Without a single payor system, the ACA is basically a service that will direct you to an insurance company. And insurance companies suck.


    • Oh, and am I being too suspicious that there might be a little sabotage going on to “help” it fail?


      • Your comments are right. We should have gone with single payor. It’s all going to suck, it’s insurance!

        But I would be shocked, shocked to find out that there was sabotage in the glitches. Shocked.

        But it would still suck, with or without sabotage!


  12. Um…it can only get better?

    On the bright side, the far right would have done much better to just shut up and let the ACA website do the talking for them.

    Oh well.



    • Actually, anything involving contacting an insurance company in any way, shape or form sucks. The new folks found out from the start. They will have no illusions.

      Insurance is great; having insurance, that is. It’s the guaranteed frustrations we all have with dealing with the red tape that makes me nuts.

      But clearly, I didn’t quite make my point!


  13. … and dealing with a health insurance company would be difficult with or without the ACA.

    Meanwhile, I can’t imagine writing this got your frustration out, heck … I expect it cranked it up a notch or two.


    • No, actually all major programs have been screwed up initially. It will work out.


      • Dealing with insurance companies will work out?


        • No! It will always suck. But it will be much improved. Down to three head bashes per visit is the goal, I hear.


          • That’s what I was saying.


          • Moe

            And even though you’ve a few years to go my friend, believe this old broad when she says that after a lifetime of insurance thru work, Medicare is a dream. It really works well and it’s really easy. I never had to deal with the kinds of things you did so I can’t even imagine what it’s like since I remember that just simple things often required multiple phone calls with multiple people to resolve.

            Oh! And thanks Elyse for the shout-out. My soul withers if I don’t get a pat on the back often enough. I am shallow, yes I am. People tell me ‘nice doggie’ just so I’ll go away. And it works for me. Pathetic.


Play nice, please.

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