Commentary: With Obamacare, the website isn't the only crash
The Obamacare insurance website has been a catastrophic failure since its launch in the beginning of October. Much news has been made about the letdowns of the healthcare insurance exchange website, but it is not the only problem with the legislation that created it.
There have been constant crashes of the website, many cases of wrong information being given to applicants, and insurance providers being given the wrong information about applicants.
From its design to its application, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the exchange it has created have caused more problems than they have addressed.
Connecticut’s Access Health exchange has been less of a logistical failure when compared to the flailing federal health insurance exchange system.
Few people enrolling in CT
Which raises the question of why so few Connecticut residents have signed up. There are an estimated 340,000 to 350,000 Connecticut residents without health insurance yet fewer than 10,000 state residents have enrolled in government-administered health insurance thus far.
With fewer than 10,000 applicants signed up for the new healthcare program in a month, it seems that Connecticut residents are not interested in these new higher cost plans.
The lack of interest in the program exposes the structural problems of the ACA. Few people actually want what the government is now forcing them to buy.
This is made worse by the mandate that everyone must carry health insurance or be imposed with a significant fee. Those that make a decision to forgo health insurance will now be facing a hefty fine imposed by the government.
Connecticut has now opened multiple health insurance storefronts to allow applicants to get their questions answered by Access Health CT staff members.
These new storefront openings and open enrollment fairs being held across the state should allow for anyone with minimal interest in the program to sign up and not be affected by the system’s tech failures.
Still, the number of sign-ups amounts to under 3% of uninsured population of Connecticut. This is a significantly smaller number than was expected by the Obama administration.
People don't want this program
Yet the Obama administration continues to blame the lack of sign-ups on glitches with the website — but in a state like Connecticut, that doesn’t fly. The reason why sign-ups are so low is that people simply don’t want this program.
Another problem receiving widespread criticism is that millions of Americans have received notices informing them their current insurance plans have been canceled. These plans are not allowed to add more customers under the ACA and are now illegal.
This goes directly against President Obama’s promises that everyone could keep their insurance if they liked it. It will force many residents to pay more for healthcare.
Taking choices away from consumers
The problems with Obamacare legislation do not end with the failed website. They run through the entire mass of its unwieldy bureaucracy.
The rising cost of health insurance is now being passed along in higher premiums for many Americans. American citizens, including Connecticut residents, should be able to choose how and if they want to carry health insurance.
The ACA forces changes to the insurance market and takes choices away from the consumer. Those who were willing to sacrifice that for lower costs are now getting neither.
The failures of Obamacare both in its construction and application continue to demonstrate that it is not the answer for America or Connecticut.
Republican state Rep. Jason Perillo of Shelton represents the 113th District, which includes most of Shelton.