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ACA Fail Fractal
I'm Calling It Kafkacare: One Reader's Obamacare Experience

From reader J. M., a healthy, 26-year-old Midwesterner who is married with one child:

In mid-summer, I realized that my family should be eligible for an insurance subsidy. I experienced cautious optimism mixed with frustration that our existing coverage would be canceled for not complying with new regulations.

I went to a broker the second week of October and filled out a paper application because the website was broken. I was frustrated but still hopeful. After waiting two months, I was increasingly jaded, but I finally was able to begin the sign-up process in early December. I spent three weeks trying to get our coverage figured out due to an error on the website before I got coverage for wife and myself.

I was told daughter may be eligible for Medicaid, so I applied. I had to wait a week before I heard back, and then I found out her application was denied and we need to reapply through the marketplace for her coverage. I attempted to re-apply, but was unable to do so because my broker’s authorization expires every two weeks, and every Medicaid employee we speak with tells us something different so that neither my broker or I have any idea what we need to do to end our misery.

I just spent 30 minutes on hold while the representative tried to find out something new he can tell us that will almost certainly be contradicted by the next employee we speak with. The result? The representative told me that someone will need to enter the change in status manually because it doesn’t work on the website yet for us to do so. She told me she’d call us with a week and that it would take 30 days to resolve. I was told exactly the same thing two weeks ago, but no one ever called.  I am now on the phone, and getting the same drivel. It is completely unreal.

Short version: We met with our broker the second week in October. It’s nearly February. We still don’t have our coverage figured out. From now on, I’m calling it Kafkacare.

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  • qet

    This may seem all Godwin-y, but his story reminds me of a (probably apocryphal) story about Hitler that even as Fuehrer he was unable throughout his entire reign to obtain a military pension through the ordinary workings of the German bureaucracy. The point being, that even if the ACA is “fixed,” stories like this will still be quite common.

  • TommyTwo

    Another example of market failure. The government needs to step in and eliminate this monopoly, so that J.M. will be free to contract with a competitor with better service.


  • Boritz

    The next debate will be between three camps: those like TAI who proclaim this to be Kafkaesque, those who are perhaps less educated but more in tune with pop culture who would call it the Twilight Zone, and the Democrats who say it’s not only the law of the land but a success.

    • rheddles

      The donks will call it Green Acres.

  • Anthony

    “What happened during the first 61 days of the active life of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – popularly known as ObamaCare – will be the focus of historical and political scrutiny for decades.”

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