Hill staffers hit errors galore as they try to sign up for ObamaCare
posted at 8:15 pm on December 6, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham
Capitol Hill staffers are hitting multiple obstacles in trying to enroll in the Obamacare exchange just days before the federal government’s deadline for getting coverage.
They and lawmakers have until Monday to sign up on DC Health Link, the District’s insurance exchange, if they want to maintain the government’s generous employer contribution to their health insurance.
But as crunch time approaches, Democratic and Republican staffers are getting error messages, denials, notices that they’re enrolled in multiple plans and incomplete confirmation — as well as a website that went down briefly Thursday.
Officials at DC Health Link say that they are working quickly to fix each problem. But the snags are causing a lot of frustration and grief.
I feel for anyone who has to go through this process who didn’t have a direct hand in passing this thing. As for the true believers, it is quite useful to have them experience exactly what the rest of America is going through. And, this is what that looks like:
We are in the best of hands.
Rep. John Boehner’s journey through the system has been well documented. It took him 3-4 hours to find out his premiums will double and his co-pays and deductible tripled.
“I’m thrilled to death, as you can tell.”
An amendment to the Affordable Care Act required federal lawmakers and their personal staff to forfeit their government-sponsored health care plans and enroll in state-based insurance exchanges. The goal was to make lawmakers experience what many Americans face in the individual marketplace.
But with the enrollment deadline looming, the complaints are growing louder — and are aimed particularly at the D.C. small-business exchange that members of Congress are supposed to enroll in.
The D.C. exchange’s log-in tool experienced technical difficulties Thursday morning.
“Sigh. I was just in the middle of signing up,” the chief of staff for Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, tweeted in response to an internal Senate email about the hiccup.
Sen. Ted Cruz’s speechwriter and communications adviser Amanda Carpenter has also been tweeting her experiences. She went to a physical DC Health Link help line offered for staffers after her first online attempt failed.
There was no one there:
This is a photo of no one from DC health link being here to help us, as promised, at 10am. http://t.co/8OOO0F3Dwv
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) December 3, 2013
The metaphor is apt but that doesn’t make it fun for Amanda, who would like to stay insured. How long before Obama decides he can waive this part of the law?