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As we noted, Emily Bazar of the Center for Health Reporting did a fine job outlining how Covered California, a wholly owned subsidiary of Obamacare, was responsible for “countless glitches and widespread consumer misery.” The $454 million Covered California computer system, for example, proved dysfunctional and insecure. Covered California bosses blamed it for canceling Californians’ policies, even as others found it impossible to cancel their Obamacare deal when they became eligible for Medicare. Covered California also tormented consumers with mixed messages about eligibility for tax credits. Bazar also did her best to help Californians avoid the sticker shock of skyrocketing premiums.
In her most recent report, Bazar explains, “between October 2015 and May of this year, about 2,000 pregnant women were automatically dropped from their Covered California plans and placed into Medi-Cal, even though they had the right to stay with the state insurance exchange. Some women lost their established doctors or missed prenatal appointments.” This happened because, “the Covered California computer system wasn’t programmed to give them the choice, and some pregnant women in that situation were moved immediately into Medi-Cal.” This “snafu” prompted 16 members of California’s congressional delegation, “to call on Covered California to quickly fix the problem.” And Bazar shows how they jumped into action.
“Covered California has fixed its computer system to prevent pregnant women in a certain income range from being transferred into Medi-Cal without their knowledge or consent.” That’s the $454 million computer system that Covered California bosses blamed for other miseries. Now it’s good to go, and check out Bazar’s take on the timing: “The fix comes nearly a year after the problem began.” That is, nearly a year after 2,000 pregnant women lost their established doctors and missed prenatal appointments. Nearly a year is longer than a pregnancy. How’s that for performance and accountability.
Meanwhile, Obamacare premiums are still rising in California, but not as high as other states. If you don’t like your deal, you pretty much have to keep it. Under Obamacare, you don’t get to choose what you want; you get only what the government wants you to have. The “widespread consumer misery” is inherent in the system.