Saturday, November 30, 2013

A fix for, access to affordable care

By Michael J.W. Stickings

According to the WaPo, Obama Administration officials will announce tomorrow that they met today's deadline for fixing, more or less,, the website where you're supposed to be able to sign up for affordable health insurance under Obamacare, though questions and challenges remain:

Government and outside technical employees worked through the night on the latest upgrade, intended to increase the Web site's capacity for consumers seeking to go through the early stages of registering for an account and then logging in. The upgrade was successfully completed about 4 a.m. Saturday, according to a government official familiar with the project, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe details that the administration was not publicly disclosing.

But it was not immediately apparent, the official said, whether the improvement meant that the site can now meet one of the Obama administration's internal goals — for 80,000 people per hour to be able to register and 320,000 per hour to be able to log in — and added that the overnight tinkering was, at least for now, causing a slight increase in error messages on the site.

The fix can't come soon enough, because I really need to sign up for new insurance -- and to buy into this relatively progressive new system where insurance companies can't completely fuck consumers by denying them access to care for any number of reasons.

Oh... wait.

I live in Canada. And here, of course, we have a universal single-payer system that combines with private insurance to provide Canadians with guaranteed access to care as well as significant choice.

I feel for Americans, I really do. Unless you have a lot of money and/or excellent coverage through work, you're either fucked or in a position to be fucked at some point -- by having care denied or by being financially crushed by the overwhelming cost of care.

Or at least you were. Obamacare isn't perfect, but it's an effort to fix some of the American health system's worst abuses, both in terms of cost and coverage. Tens of millions of Americans stand to benefit from it, and they will once the registration process is fixed, just a technical glitch, though of course many have been able to sign up already.

But still, America, what we have up here is far better. Won't you join us in our more advanced state of civilization?

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