You Can’t Apply for ObamaCare by Website or by Mail


I’m not sure what options that leaves. Carrier pigeons? Smoke signal ObamaCare applications?

Or maybe insurance agents can meet Federal health insurance officials in back alleys and exchange codes. “The weather is unseasonably warm in the Oval Office.” “The crippled jackass brays at midnight.”

Federal health officials, after encouraging alternate sign-up methods amid the fumbled rollout of their online insurance website, began quietly urging counselors around the country this week to stop using paper applications to enroll people in health insurance because of concerns those applications would not be processed in time…

“We received guidance from the feds recommending that folks apply online as opposed to paper,” said Mike Claffey, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Insurance.

After a conference call earlier this week with federal health officials, Illinois health officials sent a memo Thursday to their roughly 1,600 navigators saying there is no way to complete marketplace enrollment through a paper application. The memo, which Claffey said was based on guidance from federal officials, said paper applications should be used only if other means aren’t available…

That contradicts what federal health officials told reporters during a national media call this week, during which they said there were no problems with paper applications…

In early November, President Barack Obama himself encouraged paper applications as one of several alternatives to the federal website.

The website is producing a whole lot of errors when it comes to properly passing along information, but Obama Inc. has decided that’s a problem for insurance companies to deal with.

But the paper applications are still going through the website. So that just means someone is going to have to manually enter that data into the website.

With the supposedly state-of-the-art $600 million portal malfunctioning, President Barack Obama is urging Americans to go ahead and try to get health coverage by mailing in a paper application, calling the helpline or seeking help from one of the trained “assisters.”

But the truth is those applications — on paper or by phone — have to get entered into the same lousy website that is causing the problems in the first place. And the people processing the paper and calls don’t have any cyber secret passage to duck around that. They too have to deal with all the frustrations of — full-time.

“I feel like we’re sort of back in the era of control-alt-delete where we’re trying to figure out the different tricks that facilitate people’s enrollment,” said Jennifer Ng’andu, director of health policy for the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group that has been helping to publicize the Affordable Care Act.

I don’t think Ctrl-Alt-Del is going to help you there. Though a lot of people seem to want to Ctrl-Alt-Del this administration.

Healthcare.con still lists paper as the top alternative for applying for ObamaCare. Even ahead of the torturous website process. Or you can try applying by phone… though operators have been known to be just as hapless as the website.

But this mess is typical of bureaucracies where no one is quite sure where anything is or what to do about it. Departments develop their own clashing methodologies and ignore conflicts.

Obama told people to drop the substandard website and go find a paper application. Now people are told to drop the paper applications and go to the website… even while the website is telling them to go fill out a paper application.

If you’ve ever dealt with the runaround from a bureaucracy, then you already know what’s happening here.

  • Biff Henderson

    I say flood the system with paper applications and let the incompetents at that end facilitate the collapse.

  • Clare Spark

    My friend James Pagano MD and I predicted all this in 2009, when the debate began. See the several blogs by Jimmy here: “James Pagano MD on Healthcare Chaos, updated.”

    • pupsncats

      Its been common knowledge there is a shortage of doctors. But Obamacare never set out to address that problem it was implemented for one reason-greater government control over our lives. Period.

      • LolKatzen

        You will end up with same waiting lists we have in Canada with our simple single-payer system. You will get single-payer results without the simplicity. Obama is utterly incompetent.

        • Lanna

          That’s what the government wants us to have, Canada’s healthcare system. Waiting lines, and lack of Doctors.

          • pupsncats

            And for the priviledged, the finest care money can buy.

        • pupsncats

          Obama isn’t incompetent. He has a plan to transform America into a totalitarian state ruled by Progressives who like all totalitarians, after confiscating the wealth and property of the producers-the workers-takes the majority of it for themselves, dishes out the remainder to their favored few, eliminates their enemies, and rules over the remaining impoverished with an iron fist.

      • BagLady

        Perhaps you should do what Britain is doing to make up for the lack of front-line medical staff; bring them in on the cheap from QuackyQuackyLand. Knock China all you like but, from personal experience, I found their system second to none and very very affordable.

        • pupsncats

          When the government grants amnesty to the millions of illegal alien criminals already here, many who are not in the best of health, and as the baby boomers age and need more medical care, the system will be overwhelmed. That’s when the unelected bureaucrats in the IPAB will begin rationing health care. They will have to.

        • The March Hare

          But, here, you are not going to get acupuncture, you are just going to get “stuck”.

          • BagLady

            I’m not speaking of acupuncture. The Chinese practise both Chinese and Western medicine. It’s the staffing levels and the speed at which the staff work that makes the difference.

            I arrived at the Peking Teaching hospital at 9 am. I saw a doctor twice, had a blood test, an ex-ray, an ECG. By 10 am I was out of the door with all my results and was to return the next day to see the very eminent Professor Wang Si Zhi – no appointment necessary.

            I compare it to the last time I visited a GP in the UK. I had to go privately as an ex-pat but was still kept waiting for 2 hours even though the practice had 4 doctors and there were no more than 3 people waiting. The GP made no apology for keeping me waiting and spent the entire consultation filling in silly details on his computer. I asked him for antibiotics and he wrote me a script. The charge was BP60 plus BP8 for the antibiotics.

            On the other hand, when accompanying a friend to the doctor in India, the waiting room was heaving. However, they got around the problem by calling patients in 3 at a time! There is no word in Hindi for ‘private’. Perhaps the Indian model will be the chosen system for the plebs of the west.

        • pupsncats

          When are you emigrating to China? Or have you already? It seems like you are like those in the past who believe government will take care of you and give you everything you want while someone else pays for it only to find that when the little money their controllers have left to confiscate from the producers, the little people are left impoverished.

          • BagLady

            I think no such thoughts. I should just like to see some value for the years of paying taxes and national insurance into an health system that prioritizes healthcare rather than the bottom line. Incidentally, as an ex-pat, I receive no free care anywhere in the world… even in my mother country. My tax contributions only benefit others.

            Not sure how you came to such a conclusion from what I wrote about China. Did I say I received free treatment? No I did not.

            What I did suggest is that perhaps, just like Britain, the best qualified medics are being laid off and replaced with cheap and badly trained foreign labour, all to please the shareholders. I believe it is against a nurses ‘human rights’ to have to speak English on the wards.

  • DogmaelJones1

    “Obama told people to drop the substandard website and go find a paper
    application. Now people are told to drop the paper applications and go
    to the website… even while the website is telling them to go fill out a
    paper application.” Perfect summation of the conundrum. It’s a guy you ask for directions from, and he stands there with a silly look on his face, arms crossed, fingers pointing in opposition directions. Or maybe should adopt a cartoon logo, one of Alfred E. Newman, tweaked a little to resemble Obama, saying, “What? Me Worry?” Someone could also come out with a new T-shirt on which is emblazoned the Obama logo, with “I’m with Stupid.”

  • pupsncats

    The bigger shock is coming later when people find out they can’t find a doctor, have to wait weeks or months to see one, and if in need of a specialist, a better bet would be to play the lottery.

    Bloomberg Businessweek, owned by Michael Bloomberg of course, a big fan of Obama and all things of big government, surprisingly had an article in the current issue exposing the reality that there is already a shortage of doctors and more surprisingly stated “No one’s quite sure when the full weight of the newly created insured will be felt within the U.S. health-care system, and the troubled launch of the online marketplace adds to the uncertainty.”

    The article also gives us a glimpse of the future going on to state “Massachusetts, which passed a health-care law similar to Obamacare in 2006, may offer a preview of what’s to come. The state has more doctors per capita than any other. Yet patients in Boston have the longest wait times of the 15 U.S.cities surveyed this year by AMN Healthcare. Physicians were booked for more than six weeks, on average, almost double the next longest time, which was in Denver. Roughly half the state’s internists and family doctors aren’t taking new patients, says the Massachusetts Medical Society.”

  • Lanna

    The tactics by this government are beginning to be so ridiculous, people are going to ignore anything they say or do!

    • The March Hare

      Or grow more and more afraid of them.

      • Lanna

        There are those who will never give up their freedom…intimidation is NOT going work.

  • The March Hare

    LOL Daniel. Did you mean that or was it a Freudian slip? It sure fits.

  • carltjohnson

    Hell, back in the ole days…the insurance agents went house to house…
    As for the web site…did you really expect parasitical humanoids to get anything right??? They ARE…the dumbest among us!, the great unwashed…the barbarians, lacking the ability for self rule and given power because they could be controlled.