Maryland exchangeWhile the failures of the federal government’s healthcare website are now legion, individual state exchanges have also had some problems and one of the biggest failures is in Maryland.

Maryland’s exchange was supposed to be a model for then nation, with outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) hoping to use it as an example of what he accomplished as part of his springboard to a potential 2016 presidential run.  O’Malley was so confident that nothing would go wrong, that he even appointed his Lt. Gov Anthony Brown to oversee the rollout in an effort to assist Brown who hopes to succeed O’Malley as governor in November.

But all has not gone well.  The exchange has been been plagued by numerous problems and a panicked O’Malley has even convinced the Democratically controlled legislature to pass emergency legislation to provide insurance for those that weren’t able to obtain coverage by January 1.  This is expected to cost the state between $5 million to $10 million and is seen by Republican legislators as both a sign of the exchange’s failure as well as an unnecessary expense.

I know these problems are real and heard from a friend of mine yesterday who was very frustrated with her experience in obtaining a new policy.

Here is what she wrote to me;

Yes, I’m one of those who had a great health plan..not through work..our premium was 1203 a month..we were told we could keep it for 2014 ONLY..at 1595 a month..whoa !! same plan ?!? ..sooo I went to md health connection…which was a 6 week endeavor…applied, enrolled in a plan…started calling CareFirst 1/3/14 to find out what was next…between the two i have over 100 hours worth of hold time…even took days off work to get this done..was told there was a glitch in getting my paperwork..then was told they were given the wrong amount..yet, they still telling me i had to pay for January …ummm..January is over…and now February is half way through…last thing i heard they had the wrong amount, also, showing no monthly credit…still waiting…i even faxed them screen shots of the my pages from md health connection website..still nothing..no change..no insurance..its infuriating !!! I’ve been trying to pay for my plan since 1/3/14…its more than scary not having coverage..i did everything the way i was “told” to do it..everything on my end done correctly..yet, I’m stuck..no one to call, no one to get answers from…

She was perfectly happy with her old plan, but couldn’t stomach a 32.5% increase in the premium for the same plan.  An increase that wasn’t uncommon for CareFirst policy  holders, and a direct result of the implementation of Obamacare.  She then went to the Maryland exchange seeking the affordable insurance that President Obama promised only to wind up in a maze of bureaucracy and without insurance.

This type of foul up has marred the O’Malley administration and provided fodder for Brown’s main Democratic challenger Doug Gansler who has been hitting Brown over the failures of the exchange, but has also been forced to walk a tight line so that he doesn’t give the Republicans the edge they desperately need in what has been a one-party state for decades.

My friend isn’t the only victim of Obamacare but could easily serve as a poster child for the failures of the program.

obama1

The disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act website-healthcare.gov has resulted in conservatives and Republicans in Congress to once again call for the repeal of Obamacare and earned the enmity of liberals who are confident that the problems that have occurred will be fixed and that the law will be a success.

What liberals like Chris Matthews rail about on a regular basis is the lack of a Republican alternative as if they need to create one.  The fact of the matter is that they do have an alternative plan.  Go back to what was in effect before Obamacare was passed.

Granted that it wasn’t a perfect system, but based on what has transpired in the last seven weeks, with the government website failing miserably along with many poorly performing state exchanges and millions of people being sent insurance cancellations notices, it is very clear that the old system was far better than Obamacare.

Instead of a free market system where individuals were able to choose the benefits and plans that they wanted and could afford, we now have a system that forces insurers to provide certain benefits- like pregnancy, whether or not a person wants or needs it, covers pre-existing conditions and expands Medicaid in states that opt-in, which drive up the cost of health care for everyone.

And while the Obama administration said that the goal was to insure the 30-40 million Americans who didn’t qualify for insurance due to their medical condition, or couldn’t afford it, the reality is that the law will wind up helping less than half that number, while adding yet to be determined costs to the health care system.

So in effect we have overhauled a system, that while imperfect was working t help maybe 12 million people out of the 315 million people living in this country.

Not only that but while people are being sent cancellation notices and being given more expensive alternatives, the taxpayers will be subsidizing many of the newly insured through tax credits that the government will give them to make insurance more affordable.  So the affordable in the Affordable Care Act needs an asterisk that should say it’s only affordable if you can get a  direct taxpayer subsidy.

Don’t forget that Obama promised that people could keep their plan and their doctor if they wanted to when he was pitching Obamacare even though he knew that it wasn’t the truth.  Even with his edict telling insurance companies to reinstate canceled plans, that doesn’t solve the problem.  For some reason Obama thinks that insurance companies and state insurance commissioners will be able to magically flip a switch and put everything back the way it was.

If you wanted a  good example of a nanny state- Obamacare is a poster child for it.

Maybe we should consider ourselves lucky that we only got stuck with Obamacare and not what the Democrats really wanted- a single payer system.

Talk about the lesser of two evils.

MoveOn.org the radical leftist website is stirring up their supporters to help them save Obamacare from those vicious right-wingers.

Dear MoveOn member,

Starting on October 1, America will take a huge step towards universal health care. That’s the day that 22 million uninsured Americans will be able to start getting affordable health insurance under Obamacare.
But now, with just weeks to go, right-wing groups have launched a multi-million-dollar campaign to torpedo Obamacare before it even gets started.1

Their plan: Mislead young people about how the law works so they get scared and don’t enroll. The problem is that it really could work because if younger, healthier people don’t participate, then costs will skyrocket and Obamacare will fail. Period.

It’s disgusting—people could actually die because they don’t get the health insurance they need, and our entire health care system would be thrown into chaos. But these groups are soblinded by hate for Barack Obama that they’ll do anything to make his signature program go up in smoke.

To fight back, MoveOn is launching an urgent campaign of our own to debunk right-wing lies and go after Republican politicians and media outlets that spread misinformation—but we need to raise at least $250,000 in the next 72 hours to make sure we have the resources to set the record straight.

Can you donate in $5 to fund our urgent campaign to save Obamacare?

Yes, I can contribute $5.

Conservatives are so desperate to stop Obamacare from succeeding that they’re literally telling people to “burn your Obamacare card”—even though these cards don’t even exist.2

Our plan is to counter their misinformation campaign with a laser-like focus on social media and the websites where young people spend the most time. Young people live on the Internet today, and reaching them online is far cheaper than with traditional TV advertising.

Just for starters, we’ll be able to put an ad on the Facebook pages of 18- to 35-year-olds across America, and we’ll also run ads in college newspapers—right as students return to school—explaining the truth about what Obamacare means for young people.

We’ve seen these kinds of right-wing scare tactics work before—lies about Social Security have convinced an entire generation of young people that that program won’t be around in the future. And polling shows that awareness about the new program is dangerously low among the young people who need health insurance most.3

We can’t just sit back and hope for the best. And the clock’s ticking. We’ve got just weeks to fight back—and we’ve got just 72 hours until Sunday, when we’ll look at what’s come in, decide how big we can go with this campaign, and get started. Can you chip in?

Yes, I’ll chip in $5 to make sure right-wing extremists can’t kill health care reform.

We know from the past that MoveOn can run effective campaigns to debunk lies and misinformation. During the last election, we lampooned Mitt Romney’s lies with truth and humor, and it worked.

So, can you help us debunk the lies again?

We’ve reached a critical moment. Summer’s ending. School’s starting. And with just weeks to go, young people are starting to tune in. We’ve got a plan. We’re literally ready to wire money to our ad vendor and get started. But we’re 100% member-funded—and we can only do this campaign the right way if enough MoveOn members chip in.

MoveOn members were integral in passing the Affordable Care Act. We’ve come too far and fought too hard to let right-wing extremists succeed at making sure health care reform fails. Can you help out? Click below to donate $5 and help fund our urgent campaign stop the right-wing effort to kill Obamacare before it gets started.

Yes, I’ll chip in $5 to make sure right-wing extremists can’t kill health care reform.

Thanks for all you do.

–Mark, Rosy, Manny, Eric, and the rest of the teamSources:

1. “Inside the Obamacare resistance,” The Washington Post, August 1, 2013
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=292769&id=74086-20851955-Fjkjvyx&t=7

2. Ibid.

3. “Young Adults’ Obamacare Awareness Low Ahead of Rollout, Survey Says,” The Huffington Post, August 21, 2013
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=292801&id=74086-20851955-Fjkjvyx&t=8

Want to support our work? MoveOn Civic Action is entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

Maybe  MoveOn should consult with AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka who said “mistakes” were made in Obamacare after learning that many union plans won’t qualify for federal tax subsidies.

Still worth saving?

Joy Behar will soon be back to one job, co-hosting The View on ABC now that her HLN show has been canceled so she is amping up her liberal political side again on the daytime show.

In a discussion this week about Obama’s job performance, Behar lauded Obama for saving General Motors ( at what cost?) and a minute later mentioned the health care law admitting that it was flawed but that Truman couldn’t make it work either.

That sounds like someone who knew it wasn’t going to work from the start, but thought it was worth the time and expense to Americans to foist it upon them.

The fun starts at the one-minute mark.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat down with CNN’s John King for an interview and criticized the Republicans for being inconsistent and hypocritical since they took control of Congress on Wednesday.

If Pelosi was expecting the Republicans to play nice-nice with them then she really is delusional especially after the way she ran Congress for the last four years running roughshod over the GOP at every turn.

Pelosi makes it seem as if all the Republicans who railed against Obamacare made a pledge to reject government insurance if they were elected.  In fact there were very few candidates that made this pledge.  What they did say was they would vote to repeal Obamacare.

Frankly I don’t blame Democrats or Republicans from accepting the government run health care as it is far superior to what they could get in the private sector.  What they should be doing is not putting themselves above their constituents and creating programs that are better than what the general public can buy or that cost taxpayers more money.

As the Speaker Pelosi was an imperious leader and she shows no signs of backing down from the leadership style that eventually cost the Democrats control of the House and her the top job in Congress.

Remember that 19 Democrats voted against her as the Speaker on Tuesday in a protest to her leadership.  What is even more interesting is that this number was higher than the 13 that bucked the Democrats on Obamacare revealing a chink in the armor.  Rather than criticize the GOP from the get go Pelosi should be trying to mend the fences with her disaffected fellow members before the entire Democrat coalition comes tumbling down.

House Speaker Nancy Pelois who will be handing over her gavel today gave one final plug for Obamacare by claiming that even if everyone was happy with their insurance and it was affordable reform was still necessary.

Deusional?  That’s an understatement.