Now that the federal insurance exchange website is, I hear, considerably less buggy, the GOP is zeroing in on some state exchanges that are not doing so well —
With the federal online insurance exchange running more smoothly than ever, the biggest laggards in fixing enrollment problems are now state-run exchanges in several states where the governors and legislative leaders have been among the strongest supporters of President Obamaâ€™s health care law.
Republicans have seized on the failures of homegrown exchanges in states like Maryland, Minnesota and Oregon â€” all plagued by technological problems that have kept customers unhappy and enrollment goals unmet â€” and promise to use the issue against Democratic candidates for governor and legislative seats this fall.
â€œPeople see incompetence when they look at this,â€ said Michael Short, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee. â€œEveryone thatâ€™s associated with it is going to have to deal with the consequences of this terrible law, including the state legislators who created these exchanges and the governors in charge of running them.â€
Hmmm. People are frustrated with the sites not working well because they’re trying to buy the bleeping insurance. And Republicans, who oppose the legislation to make buying the insurance possible, think this is an issue that will work for them, because …?
But they’re still trying to make the law look bad. David Weigel tells us about a couple of the women appearing in anti-Obamacare commercials.
Lamb didn’t have private insurance per se. She was on a Tennessee-sponsored health care program that covered 16,000 people, canceled last year because it “had a $25,000 annual limit on benefits” and “the federal health law does not allow yearly expenditure caps.” The state applied for a waiver, and didn’t get it, but nor did it consider accepting the expansion of Medicaid. (Since 2011, the state’s been run completely by Republicans.)
Here’s the other one, a woman whose insurance policy was canceled but refused to use the exhange to get new insurance:
The reason she didnâ€™t visit the Washington state health exchange was basically #OBUMMER. â€œI wouldnâ€™t go on that Obama website at all,â€ she said. This didnâ€™t start with her cancellation. This started years ago. Republicans told Bette, and others inclined to distrust Obamacare, that theyâ€™d face death panels and rationing boards. That their options would be unaffordable, and irredeemable. That the exchange sites would make their personal information vulnerable to hackers and that creepy Uncle Sam would sexually violate them. They said all this in the hope that people like Bette wouldnâ€™t give the law a fair shake, then turned around and feigned outrage on their behalf when the plan worked.
Finally — I just heard that the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has died, possibly of a drug overdose. He was only in his 40s. Very sad.