Obamacare: A really confusing situation that did not need to start this horribly!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 4:14 AM
My family is kind of a subsection of the normal middle class Americans that don't need Obamacare so badly. We have folks that are retired and on Medicare, others that are 60ish and still working, so they have group insurance and then we have those that are 30ish and 40ish with little ones (or not) and group plans through work so they are fine insurance-wise.
I feel darn lucky for our family. I also am just very disappointed that as much good as can be had from allowing folks in need of insurance to purchase on an exchange type basis, the whole process was seemingly put together so piece-meal. I have this rule. If you are going to complain then you need to have some possible solutions to offer. So here we go:
1) Spend enough time with possible consumers, providers (insurance companies), administrators of the plan, technology implementers (the web site folks, web server folks, back end folks - people at the insurance companies that accept the data from the front end web servers) and other government policy folks that we can anticipate possible deal-breakers and bumps.
2) Anticipate that the start of the project will have bumps, so start small with a few states with their own system and the federal systems covering a few states so when the bumps occur the amount of damage will be smaller and more manageable.
3) For those in "the buck stops here positions," surround yourself with people who will ask tough questions and knowledgeable questions of those they have been asked to vet and then when the input starts coming back have the confidence that these people will give you both the good news and bad news and then swallow your egos and truly listen.
4) Stop blaming the millennials (25 to 35 years old) for how they look at the need to purchase health insurance. They are trying to find jobs, pay off student loans, start families, buy houses, have some fun and all the other things we do when our life span seems infinite in length. It's just human nature. Did we ever think of getting a good cross-section of these younger folks together and try to get a sense of what we could do to motivate them to buy health insurance, rather than threaten them with some slap-in-the-face fine that most of them probably think - whatever?!
I'm sure when earlier programs were implemented like the draft for the armed forces, Social Security, Medicare, Part D Medicare and many other government programs, they did not go perfectly at first. But come on, we are a nation of intelligent, well read, well educated, capable of communication, technology savvy people. This is the best we can implement, a life changing program? It's truly a head shaker. Well, best of luck to ALL involved and keep your chin up. It will get better.