Perspectives: The joys of signing up for healthcare

OPINION – Back in September 2013, prior to the rollout of www.healthcare.gov, I wrote a column taking numerous cheap shots at the president’s magnum opus.

People came out of the woodwork to whine, moan, and complain about the typically Republican, closed minded, childish, anti-progressive and ultra-conservative views I was espousing regarding this highly misunderstood thing known as Obamacare.

There was so much flack coming from my liberal friends that I was almost convinced that the government could run health care as well as the private sector,  then I tried to enroll.

On Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 6 a.m., while doing the morning show with Marty Lane on 97.7 FM, in St. George, I turned my computer on and tried to log in and buy a Gold Plan … or maybe bronze plan depending upon cost.

I was one of the lucky few that was able to log in on that first day. After the website got the basic information from me, it wanted me to create a password. So like any computer savvy American I used one of my favorite passwords for when I don’t want to have to worry about remembering another password, and that is ‘Password’ with a capitol ‘P’ for added security.

The website immediately came back and told me that I was not allowed to use that password.  In fact, the ACA website informed me that I was not allowed to use a password that I had used on any six previous log-in attempts. How did it know that?

I succumbed to the pressure to choose a unique password that there was little hope of me ever remembering.  It serves them right because to date they have had to reset my password at least a dozen times.

For two months I would try to log in and usually just get error messages from the website, but on occasion I could actually enter a bit more information. This went on for two months while the Prestigious Presidential Programming Team worked fervently on the website at a cost of more than $634 million.

There were a few moments of frustration when the website demanded to know if my 6-year-old son was married and they also wanted me to confirm that my 2-year-old daughter Emma wasn’t pregnant.  I just figured this was standard operating procedure for a government questionnaire.

Eventually, my perseverance paid off and I got the entire application filled out. I was greeted with a message that said: “Congratulations on completing your application; we will contact you when we find a solution.” I waited with bated breath.

Then, just prior to the first deadline to get insured I got a personal email from the Affordable Care Act people informing me that they had found a solution and that I should log on to healthcare.gov as soon as possible.

My fingers trembled with anticipation as I logged on to the healthcare.gov website. First, I had to request another password change as I couldn’t remember which of my baker’s dozen passwords was current. I finally got to my message center and here is the message that was waiting for me: “Someone will be contacting you by phone.”

That was months ago and I am still waiting. I tried to log in again to check my message center thinking that maybe I missed their call. My file is missing.

My brother Guy in Salt Lake City had a much better experience with Obamacare. He recently got his insurance cancellation notice in the mail, but he was able to log in easily and search the exchange. His old policy cost him $600 a month. The cheapest replacement policy he can find is $1,200 a month. It can’t be said for sure, but I think they had to raise the cost of his policy to pay for the website.

Here is what our own government’s website says about healthcare.gov: “The Affordable Care Act is more than just a website. The ACA contains over a thousand pages of provisions that increase the affordability, quality, and availability of health insurance through consumer protections, regulations, subsidies, taxes, exchanges, reforms, and the expansion of Government programs.”

That is exactly what I was afraid of.  If there is anyone out there who thinks that the government can do anything better, faster, or cheaper than the private sector I would like to sell you a little park I own. Maybe you’ve heard of Zion National Park? Although, I was told if I like my park I can keep it.

Guest columnist John Carter is filling in for Perspectives regular Bryan Hyde. The opinions stated in this column are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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24 Comments

  • Giuseppe February 10, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Funny, I logged on first try when it first rolled out. Logged on several times between then and January 1. I only had one instance in 20 (by my best calculation) when I was given the message to try again later. I had such good luck I continued to press my luck and helped 2 friends create accounts and select health coverage. So because my computer seems to be blessed based on all the complaints I have heard I invite you to my house where I can hold your hand, write your password in crayon for you and get you on the right track.

    • DoubleTap February 11, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Guiseppe:

      Did you request and receive a bishops blessing for your computer?? WOW, that’s amazing!!!
      I guess being member of the prominent religion has its benefits.

  • Cat Litter February 10, 2014 at 10:39 am

    If this anti-Obama article was written on paper, I’d use it to line the cat litter box. That’s about the extent of value of the continual anti-Obama garbage you hear in Utah. Why doesn’t he write an article about job applicants in this area who are asked what ward they are in? Why must a person be subjected to a question regarding his/her religious orientation. Really, find new material. The anti-Obama crap is very tired, old and boring.

    • HelluvaTime February 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Old and boring are all the comments on this site that serve as a support group for those who have so severely convinced themselves that the Mormon culture influences everything in this state. There are so many … who have been drinking way too much of their own bath water that you all have no problem blaming Mormons on everything you can, even pushing them ahead of this Obamacare crap. Really, … about Mormons gets you more excited than the cost of the Healthcare website? The effect it’s having people all across the country and how much they’re being told they have to pay? Sounds like a much bigger beast than than blaming Mormons for the cable going out or your favorite food place running out of fries.

      Ed. ellipsis

      • Bub February 10, 2014 at 2:27 pm

        I can say confidently that it’s not just mormons but religious nuts in general. They seem to want to live in denial of truths and facts. It’s very bizarre. I hope one day people aren’t as easily convinced of lies and general idiocy.

      • Taliban February 10, 2014 at 2:37 pm

        The mormon taliban does influence and control everything in this state and its towns. Example is St George council selecting another mormon to their ranks to do their work for the mormon religion. Otherwise, they would have selected the best choice to represent all people in this city, not just the mormons. However, they failed to prove they are open to public input and public representation. Liars, every one of them. Liars, Scammers and Discrimination.

    • jeff February 10, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      Asking religious questions on a job application is against the law. Simple as that. Report any business that does that to the DOJ. I am blessed that I have health insurance from my great employer, Costco, but I have friends that are not so blessed who have signed up on the Washington State Healthcare Exchange. Easy signing up and good prices. They are both very happy to have GOOD coverage for the first time in many years. It appears that the difference is what state you are in. If your state cooperated and set up their own exchange, you will probably have fewer problems signing up.

      • Utah Taliban February 11, 2014 at 9:33 am

        The questions aren’t written, they’re asked at interviews. They are asked in volunteer groups (i.e. PTA). At the college are apartment rental advertisements. Call the person and guess the first or second question they ask. All illegal, but these liars will deny it. Maybe they feel okay telling lies to and screwing the infidels.

  • Bub February 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Democrats: a few million wasted on a screwy website

    Republicans: Trillions wasted on a bloody war that lasted over 10 years and cost hundreds of thousands of lives, and accomplished nothing but “got rid of the bad man Saddam Hussein”

    Hmm, which is worse right-wingers?

    • HelluvaTime February 10, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Say the word “trillion” and whose name do you think of?

      Yeah, add the website cost to his
      tab…not mention how dam vacations
      my taxes have paid for.

      That’s you guy left-wingers!

      • Chris February 10, 2014 at 1:59 pm

        Been speaking English long?

      • Taliban February 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm

        You must be talking about Bush, the guy who mired us into two decade-long wars, sinking trillions of taxpayer dollars to those defense contractor industries that contributed handsomely to his campaigns? Do you mean Bush who spent almost half his term in office vacationing in Texas, where he wooed oil companies and those Texas based defense contractor industries? If that wasn’t enough, sink the nation’s economy to the worst ever since the great depression. Meanwhile, the healthcare issue, a national concern for over a decade continues to become a larger beast to deal with. However, senators like Hatch, who receive huge campaign dollars from healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, continues doing business for them, not the people of this country. But why should senators like Hatch concern themselves with affordable healthcare for all Americans when he receives free healthcare courtesy the US taxpayer?

      • jeff February 10, 2014 at 8:11 pm

        Dude, you really shouldn’t criticize Obama for his vacations. BUSH took almost 2 years off of his eight years as president.

        • Utah Taliban February 11, 2014 at 9:28 am

          Probably was drunk the other six years. Take a close look at his photos. His disheveled look reminds me of drunks

  • Bub February 10, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    the problems I have with the right-wing establishment is all the lies and half truths. I really don’t know how you guys can stand it. The right-wing’s ability to convince you guys that their agendas are in your best interest is astounding. I’m not much of a fan of Obama, but the alternative in 2012 was a hedge-fund billionaire religious extremest. Obama was the lesser evil by far.

  • HelluvaTime February 10, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Hey, no one said that the right is all truths, in fact I’m convinced that most, repubs and dems, have separate agendas and other crap that’s full on corrupt. But after almost 8 years of this guy…his best day of his presidency was the very first one, and that’s not a good thing. This guy has gone down hill since day one so if I could turn back the clock and take the other guy I would in a second and seeing as how low Obamas approval rating is, mist will agree.

    • Taliban February 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      I think he’s done a good job despite the media (Fox News and its affiliates), the Tea Party and those worthless Republicans who exist only to criticize and tell lies about this administration. Funny how the locals jump on board with this drivel. When their own town economy and housing market collapses to levels worse than the national average, actually levels that were worse in the nation, the local religious faithful were content listening to their leader just asking if they were from dixie, singing dixie and reciting poetry. Wow! What kind of worthlessness is that? Have unchecked development and then when it collapses and puts people of work and their homes, all he’ll do is recite poetry and sing dixie? What a loser and what a bunch of losers to believe he was a great leader.

  • Don Corleone February 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    These articles always bring all of the LIBtards out from under their rocks. Kinda like cockroaches.

  • Darren Tyler February 10, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    No joke, I like this writers style and personality. Obamacare is a waist of space and so is your leader. Liberals….(shaking my head)

    • Citizen February 11, 2014 at 9:23 am

      What have your Utah senators Lee, Hatch, Chaffetz done other than just complain about Obama? Nothing. Hatch has been in long enough to create laws to improve it. However, he preferred to accept campaign contributions and donations to his Utah based family program from pharmaceutical companies and healthcare groups. Conflict of interest, take their money and politic for the companies, not for people. Lee and Chaffetz are just a waste of oxygen do nothings.

      • Bub February 11, 2014 at 10:34 am

        I think so long as those senators are against ‘the scary black man’ in the white house, then the right-wing voters feel they are doing something, even if they aren’t. I think it’s a deep rooted hatred, racism, homophobia…whatever you want to call it.

  • DoubleTap February 11, 2014 at 9:59 am

    LIBERALISM IS A MENTAL DISORDER.

    Sadly it is on display in these threads AND in this community. I just avoid them like bad burrito.

  • Bub February 11, 2014 at 10:28 am

    How come when folks can’t put together a coherent argument they always resort to name calling?

    I think the term ‘liberal’ might be an equivalent slander to them as the ‘N word’ for black people.
    If I’m wrong please define the term ‘liberal’ in your own words.

  • Tracie February 11, 2014 at 10:32 am

    It worked fine for me. I got a great plan that is costing me a whopping $34/month, after over a decade without access to insurance because insurance companies deemed me uninsurable. Actually I had gotten the “someone will contact you by phone” message earlier, before my income increased, and you know what? THEY DID. So basically in my case, everything worked exactly as promised. I couldn’t be more excited to finally have access to healthcare.

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