What Apple Retail Store can teach Obamacare health exchanges

“The Affordable Care Act is a hefty 2,000 page law that is extraordinarily complex,” Carmine Gallo writes for KevinMD. “It should come as little surprise that just over half of U.S. adults struggle to explain any of the components of the law. The survey conducted by the American Institute of CPAs, also found 48 percent of younger adults, aged 18 to 34, have no knowledge of the law at all. Here in California, where I live, another survey showed that three-quarters adults under the age of 65 have heard ‘nothing or little’ about the exchange.”

“If the surveys had been conducted in Connecticut the results might have looked considerably better. In a poll conducted by Access Health CT, the organization tasked with administrating the new health insurance exchange for the state, 70 percent were aware of the health reform law. It’s partly due to the fact that all summer long Access Health CT has strived to communicate the implications of the new law in plain English. The organization has taken out television and newspaper ads, promoted the exchange on social media like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, and had a presence at popular summer festivals and concerts,” Gallo writes. “‘It’s a new law and we have an obligation to explain it,’ Access Health CEO Kevin Counihan, told me in a recent conversation.”

“Make no mistake, Counihan and most other states that create the insurance exchanges have a serious communication hurdle to overcome. First, the law is polarizing. All I had to do at summer parties this year was to mention “Obamacare” and I’d have my own fireworks show. Second, it’s complex. Third, it’s simply not a sexy topic. ‘It’s not like buying an iPad,’ says Counihan,” Gallo writes. “Counihan is right. It’s not like buying an iPad. Or is it? Apple Store employees are trained to hide the complexity of technology and to clearly explain the benefit behind the products. They’re also trained in communication to make sure shoppers understand their choices and walk out of the store having made the choice that best fits their needs. Counihan knows this, which is why Connecticut will be the first, and perhaps the only state, to open physical brick and mortar stores where anyone can walk in, learn about health insurance, and enroll in a plan. The stores are directly inspired by the Apple Store model, right down to the ‘Genius Bar’ in back of the store where employees — dressed in orange instead of blue shirts — will troubleshoot more complicated requests and issues.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James M. Gross” for the heads up.]


  1. There is NOTHING that Apple can Teach Obamcare Exchanges, they are simply too STUPID to listen. If they had any brains this screwed up law wouldn’t exist and they would have done the right thing by improving the current system.

    1. But this law is directly based on earlier Mitt Romney’s law, so it is truly bipartisan solution. Rebublicans became against it only because it was offered by Obama.

      And now polls show that people start to understand the law little better and like it more than ever before, even Republicans. Reagan said that Medicare was an end of USA, but as soon as people knew what that law was about they liked it and now 89% of all people say that it should not be cut under any circumstances. Yes, most of Republicans, too.

        1. Yes, and get rid of those socialist roads and socialist airports and socialist police forces and socialist . . .

          Only the rich get to have anything that they pay for and they can have as many slaves (from the poor) as they can afford. Everyone knows that the plague only affected the poor and the diseases would never think of attaching themselves to the rich.

            1. lol, yeah right forgot about those billions in government “cancer research” while cancer incidence in the US exponentially…similar to the malignancy that is the present administration.

            2. [citation needed]

              Even if it is true that cancer rates have gone up (I think that’s what you meant), it is because we have CURED other diseases that killed people sooner.

            3. I think you’ll find that most cancer research is being conducted under the auspices of the American Cancer Association, various State and private Universities with grants from private foundations and a few from the government. . . Those, usually with political strings attached.

            4. Most medical research that produces actual results is paid for by private companies and charitable organizations. Government research did produce Tang, for what it’s worth. And the method to destroy a perfectly good health care system with a 2500 page law combined with 20,000 pages of regulations that nobody has read, resulting in a system which has produce ZERO enrollees after two weeks being on line. Do you know anybody who has enrolled? Anybody? Bueller?

            5. data please.

              While Big Pharma indeed spends billions on marketing and certification of their expensive drugs, I believe that most research is federally funded. I recently read that university research on average is well over 50% funded by federal money. I would cite the latest statistics from the NIH, but unfortunately that agency is closed while the crybabies in the House are pouting about not getting their way, being defeated in vote over 40 times by bipartisan vote to continue ACA funding.

              If the USA wants to reign in spending, it needs to do so in a way that doesn’t hinder its domestic economic health. Why not start at the top of the list? 52% of the current budget goes to the military, which maintains an unnecessary worldwide network of leftover WW2 bases and seems to have spent the last 50 years doing nothing but foreign nation-building.

              Is foreign occupation and maintaining the “right” of freeloaders to get free healthcare at any emergency room without paying into the medical system truly of top importance to the extreme right-winders? It would seem so. The other 90% of the American population suffers due to the influence of the Military-Industrial complex and the ignorant people who believe the deceptive rhetoric of the nutcases who will sacrifice national prosperity to wage partisan flawed-logic ideological battles.

            6. University funding is highly backed by the government. . . But look where those dollars go. Back out the support to Scandia, Livermore, and other military backed labs, as well as the Jet Propulsion Labs, etc., then back-out the “Climate Change” grants that have funded all the green BS looking for non-existent global warming when the evidence has now shown the Earth has been cooling for the last fifteen years and there is 1.6 MILLION square miles of ice this year in the arctic this year than last, not to mention research into homosexual tendencies of grey-winged fruit-flies, the ability of people to tell what someone else is feeling from looking at their face based on whether you’ve read a paragraph from Shakespeare or Heinlein before looking at them (true research funded by our government), there is very little of that left for medical research.

              Is it any wonder many people think the shut down of our government might be a good thing?

            7. “Government funding for medical research amounts to approximately 36% in the U.S. The government funding proportion in certain industries is higher, and it dominates research in social science and humanities. Similarly, with some exceptions (e.g. biotechnology) government provides the bulk of the funds for basic scientific research. In commercial research and development, all but the most research-oriented corporations focus more heavily on near-term commercialization possibilities rather than “blue-sky” ideas or technologies.”

              In many instances corporate funding is on top of the basic research already done by the military and collegiate research.

            8. Polio/

              “A history of the March of Dimes

              In this topic
              Eddie Cantor and the Origin of the March of Dimes
              Research breakthroughs timeline
              Virginia Apgar
              The polio years

              The March of Dimes has always approached its mission with a spirit of adventure. Born on the eve of World War II as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP), the Foundation achieved an instantaneous popularity that reflected the contemporary popularity of its founder, Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR’s polio disability – he was never able to walk again on his own after contracting polio – translated into a systematic program to uncover the mysteries of polio and to lend a helping hand to Americans suffering from the disease. The war years were a time of titanic struggle, and efforts to launch the March of Dimes were boosted by radio, Hollywood, and the personal appeal of the president. Basil O’Connor, a close associate of FDR through his entire presidency, became the leading light of the March of Dimes for over three decades, and his immediate task in 1938 was to build an organization that could quickly respond to polio epidemics anywhere in the nation. As president of the NFIP, Basil O’Connor set out at once to create a network of local chapters that could raise money and deliver aid – an adventurous program that paid off substantially just as polio was on the rise.

              Little was known about polio then, but the scientific committees established by the NFIP to fund virus research found opportunities to assist the war effort by investigating diseases affecting those in uniform. In 1943, the NFIP awarded a grant to the U.S. Army Neurotropic Virus Commission to study polio in North Africa; Albert Sabin, MD was dispatched to conduct parts of this study. The end of the war ushered in new complexities to effective fund-raising, though FDR was memorialized on the U.S. dime in 1946 thanks to a polio patients’ club of the Norfolk Hospital Association Chapter of the NFIP. This assured the remembrance of FDR’s intrinsic connection to the March of Dimes in perpetuity. March of Dimes-funded medical research accelerated as the patient aid program was taxed to its limits, particularly in the huge polio epidemic of 1949. Entering the 1950s, the 3,100 chapters of the NFIP operated almost completely by volunteers who proved that the March of Dimes was a grass-roots movement, captured nicely in the ubiquitous slogan “Join the March of Dimes.”

              The NFIP closed in on a solution to polio thanks to not only countless medical researchers supported by March of Dimes grants, but also to energetic staffers like Elaine Whitelaw, who cultivated volunteers nationwide, and Charles Bynum, an African-American educator who recognized that polio care was also a civil rights issue. The greatest promise, however, came in a breakthrough at the University of Pittsburgh by a young physician whose name soon became a household word as a symbol of hope. A March of Dimes grantee, Jonas Salk, MD, pressed forward from a routine virus typing project to the creation of a vaccine that spelled the end of polio in a matter of years. Tested in a massive field trial in 1954 that involved 1.8 million schoolchildren known as “polio pioneers,” the Salk vaccine was licensed for use on April 12, 1955, the very day it was announced to the news media as “safe, effective, and potent.” Many had labored diligently to reveal how poliovirus functioned and how to stop it, but no accomplishment seemed as dramatic and instantly newsworthy as the Salk vaccine. From this point, polio declined rapidly from tens of thousands of new cases per year to a mere handful; a fearsome disease had been put to rest by the sustained efforts of millions of volunteers, coordinated by the NFIP.”

            9. The stupid it burns…. (reference to you)

              My IQ is between 140 and 145 depending on which test you believe but that is neither here nor there. But hey.. you don’t really have an argument beyond your racism so I will let the personal attack slide.

            10. CitizenX, the challenge was to name a disease in which the government found the cure… You named Polio, and posted a nice history which proved your answer 100% WRONG. As the founder of a non-profit, and one who has had to run numerous fund raisers, I am here to tell you that the March of Dimes WAS NOT A GOVERNMENT EFFORT. It was a private foundation. . . The National Foundation for Infant Paralysis. A non-profit. Not a government agency. Not taxpayer supported. It raised the money that funded the research. They gave a grant to the US Army to do a study in Africa, that’s all.

              I have a measured IQ of 149. That with $4 or $5 will get me a cup of coffee at Starbucks. So, we’re back to the question.

              Most drugs are funded with money from Big Pharm who intend to amortize the development cost by charging huge price for the drugs during the patent period. Only one out of 2000-3000 potential drugs researched ever reach product sales so those costs are amortized into the sale of successful patented drugs as well. . . and then there are the costs of adverse effect lawsuits that are amortized in also. That’s why low benefit drugs for rare diseases are so damn expensive or not researched. $1000 a dose for a pill? How can tat cost so much? There’ she answer. Because the government did NOT fund it, nor should it… Perhaps the government should limit liability on lawsuits, though. That alone would cut the cost of medications drastically. Accept that there are risks in trying to save your life through medication.

            11. one last comment regarding the great Jonas Salk…almost as important as his polio vaccine discovery was his selfless, honorable move to make his vaccine public domain. This single, brilliant action disallowed pharma from jacking up prices on parents of crippled children. This saved the lives of countless members of my generation. I’m pretty sure Dr. Salk has a condo in Heaven.

            12. Not sure about you but I have not had a president in years.
              No great leader. Nothing. Been pretty quiet these days.

              I needed to find a leader to make up for the loss. I appointed my 20 year old nephew who works as a community organizer.
              He has experienced it all.

          1. Yes, get rid of government-run roads, airports, schools, etc. Federal government has overreached and now they own you (and now with ACA). Everywhere private ownership of roads and schools has occurred there are successes in cost, time, and quality.

            1. I think he means that at some level, either through direct grants, or student loans or grants, all private colleges but one get government money. One will not allow its students to accept such help.

            2. Yes, of course. I’m ok and the rest of you can suffer. India has little public schooling and few good roads. Are they the model to strive for? The poor are just under-utilized people who need education and health care to join in carrying the burden of a super society and to also be able to join in on its bounties. Henry Ford paid his workers enough so that they could buy the automobiles they produced. Think about it.

            3. When I mentioned “government” I was only referring to the US. Obviously India has bigger issues.

              In the US it is not the federal government’s role to provide healthcare and schools. Besides, there are already programs in place for the very poor to get healthcare in America without the need for ACA so not really sure what you are referring to.

              Your phraseology disturbingly reeks of socialism.

            4. Go ahead and pretend the “average” american has adequate health care.

              By the way. I personally have great, inexpensive health care, on the order of less than 800 dollars a year in premiums. Even I wonder why it is people have problem with health care. The reality of the situation is that many people and families do not.

          2. Dumb a$$, all this system is going to do is cause poor people (those making 12k+) even poorer because they are forced to buy something they can’t afford.
            The problem is being forced to pay for something if you don’t want it.

        2. Do you realize the Individual mandate was originally a proposal by the anything-BUT-socialist Heritage Institute? But I agree with you — the Affordable Care Act is a mess. We should have gone straight to Single-Payer, like the rest of the world.

          1. Mike, the Heritage plan was to mandate that everyone buy a Catastrophic health savings plan, not a Comprehensive health plan ala Obamacare in which EVERYTHING but the kitchen sink is covered at high expense. There’s a huge cost and actuarial difference. One was affordable, the other is not.

        3. Exactly. If Jesus came back today, preaching sympathy for the poor and disdain for the rich, he’s be branded a socialist and a commie, and his teachings would be ignored. Guess what, kiddo: Jesus didn’t charge for health care, either.

            1. bot, way to go off topic!

              But to satiate your incessant desires, here you go:

              … of course, you must understand that the New Testament is merely thirdhand accounts of oral stories that Paul and his scribes collected decades after Jesus’ death, while completely omitting the many writings of people who knew Jesus firsthand (most notably: James the Just , Mary Magdaeline, and Thomas).

              Jesus and most of his disciples, if they even could write, wrote nothing that survives to this day. Jesus was a Jew and preached directly out of the the Torah, which does not quite match up to what has been re-compiled into the “old testament” of modern bibles.

              Jesus lived during the reign of Octavian (Augustus Caesar), who was treated like, and acted like, a living god. Poet Horace noted that while all previous deifications had occurred only after death, “upon you [Augustus], however, while still among us, we already bestow honors, set up altars to swear by in our name, and confess that nothing like you will arise hereafter or has ever arisen before now” (Epistles 2.1.15-17). Needless to say, after decades of being conquered by foreigners, Jews became increasingly rigid and insular and did not respect foreign influences readily — neither cultural, economic, technological, or religious. A weak frontier town, however, it was ignored and allowed to foment by the empires that controlled it.

              But actually, Rome was the most benevolent of a string of empires that dominated Jerusalem. Rome did not force its pagan or Caesarean religions upon conquered provinces. It actually allowed a the theological/dictatorial local Jewish government (King Herod, with a token synod) to manage its local people. Herod was a brutal dictator who died 4 years before Jesus’ birth, at which time Rome appointed governors to rule Jerusalem — which actually represented a step up from the heavy taxation Herod imposed. Nevertheless, talk of revolution was an ingrained cultural feature by this point.

              Several sects of Jews advocated revolt — likely in real life Jesus did as well, since that is the most likely reason for his crucifiction. However, in Paul’s (Saul’s) epistles, he actively re-writes Jesus from being a Jew into being a benevolent god who has no qualms with Rome. In Luke 20, Jesus is asked whether it is right to pay tribute to Caesar (Augustus). Contrary to his revolutionary contemporaries who would eventually betray him, Jesus supposedly claims yes. What modern day readers don’t understand is that this is highly unlikely. Jesus, a Jew who preached from the Torah, should have known that it was against Jewish law to use money imprinted with a false god (Caesar). Paul (Saul) and his scribe Luke, being Romans, didn’t understand this. They all went to great lengths to portray Jesus as a non-Jew, even twisting Jesus’ mysterious conviction (conducted by Romans) into an improbable democratic election whereby Jesus’ fellow Jews would free known thieves and advocate crucifiction of a benevolent faith leader and medicine man. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight….

              The new testament was assembled by Paul (Saul), who never met Jesus and merely recorded (and liberally rewrote) stories of the prior generation as he formed a new anti-Jewish but pro-pacifist ministry. Jesus’ followers — the Pharisees, led by Jesus’ brother James (“James the Just”) did not approve of Paul’s teachings, as Jesus’ ministry was actually strongly rooted in Judaism. With the leveling of Jerusalem in the revolt of AD 70, many Jewish sects were scattered to the winds, including the Pharisees. But Paul’s new faith, Christianity, was popular amongst the underclasses of Rome. After all, what more would a slave have to live for than a promised afterlife? One didn’t even need to follow the increasingly rigid dogmas of Islam and Judaism in order to be accepted. Sold with Paul’s fell-good social message, it was an easily accepted religious movement, albeit soon corrupted.

              …and that is the long answer why your question is bunk, bot boy. According to surviving accounts, including Roman and Islamic records of the period, Jesus appears to be one of many leaders of various Jewish sects who attended to their poor and advocated charitable behavior, all while chafing under the yoke of empirical aggression. Inventing a martyr without becoming one himself — that is the genius of Paul’s new religion. When you can do that, you can also make Jesus say and do anything to support your own selfish desires. …bless your heart, botvinnick.

        4. botvinnik, if it did turn out to save you and I money by making the freeloaders who clog our taxpayer-funded emergency rooms pay into the system, would you change your tune? Perhaps instead of slinging mud and whining about what you can’t change, you could list some specific reforms that you would like to see.

          1. you are a young fool, before the advent of corporate hospitals, local hospitals were either municipal or parochial; it was not their goal of making obscene profits from the misfortune and misery of their fellow man. With the introduction of socialized medicine (imposed non-competitive markets courtesy of the federal government via the taxpayer) these municipal and parochial hospitals could not compete with their false market payrolls. These hospitals and their doctors (the backbone of America’s superior healthcare) were bought up…when I was as old as my early teens, when a patient was too ill to sit in a waiting room, the doctor came to a patient’s home. I know this because my father was one of those doctors. He predicted this horseshit mess in the mid-60’s…yet another brilliant move by the formerly worst president of the United States: Lyin’ Lyndon. All hail the new Prince Of Liars…Obama Messiah.

      1. And it’s now well-known in Massachusetts that if you don’t already have a doctor, or if your doctor retires, you’re not likely to GET a doctor. Doctors aren’t accepting new patients in MA because of the Romneycare payment limits. This, and many other problems, are conspicuous in the media… because of the SILENCE of the media concerning them.

      2. Why should what Mitt Romney did in one very small and very liberal state have to do with anything? Why should what they did in that one dictate what we do in the other 49?

        This is a Republic. A Federation of nation states. Chirping over and over again that it’s from Mitt Romney is irrelevant, and to call it a “bipartisan” solution on account of that really has got be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever come across.

        And the notion that people only came to dislike it because of Obama is likewise preposterous. We already went thought this with once with Hillary-care, and we didn’t like it any better then.

        1. Yes, the federal government is overreaching again. If a state thinks this is in their best interests that is the state’s prerogative. The fact that a state already has this proves there is no need to force that system across the board. If this type of healthcare is so important to you then move to MA, or another country.

      1. Not true. It would be the “Microsoft of Medicine” if the government required us all to run Windows and purchase a Surface tablet. And put us in jail if we did not.

  2. The difference is the iPad is a great product and the ACA is a pile of dog doo.

    Ask yourself this: if Apple stores were selling Microsoft Surfaces, how many happy customers would Apple have?

  3. Glad to see the Obama haters are back. There seemed to be a very small number of them a few days ago when the subject was the shutdown, but thankfully they are onboard once again to educate us with their learned opinions.

    1. No one with half a brain is, “on board” with ObamaCare. Only the black people in the projects, illegal aliens and socialists are on board with this trash document. One of the worst character flaws of a great nation is to demand to have your life paid for by those who work hard and give them no choice. The president has lied about the process and done anything he could, constitution be damned, to get it.

      1. Unlike Vega51, I have a whole brain and therefore am “on board” with “ObamaCare”. I also am not one of the ill-informed Tea-Baggers who still think that President Obama is from Kenya and that only minorities and socialists would like the Affordable Care Act.

        The ACA uses existing health insurance companies to provide the coverage; hardly a socialist construct.

        It is pathetic as to how many Americans are as ignorant as that post illustrates.

        1. HAHA nice one, Rick.

          Vega51, you set yourself up for that one. Your position is that people who agree with you have half a brain. My position is that you are right.

        2. Rick

          I looked up “teabagger” on Wikipedia. Wow, you are certainly well informed to know what such terms mean. Why don’t you explain your terminology for those who don’t do most of their reading in rural gas station rest rooms?

        3. And those existing insurance companies, accepting the coverage mandates of the ACA, are using standard actuarial tables and the RULES established as fair and reasonable under the ACA, AKA Obamacare raising rates for everyone, reducing coverages, increasing co-pays and out-of-pocket maximums until those with the premiums are astronomical and anything but affordable, even with the minuscule subsidies that we, the tax-payers are going to have to pay off in the future because our government is run on marginal BORROWED MONEY! Every cent of subsidy is a cent added to the national deficit and thus added to the national debt! Every penny of money paid by other subscribers is paid into the general fund. . . why do you think it’s administered by the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE. The exchanges the pay the insurers a discounted price for your coverage, with the balance supposed to cover the subsidy. Right, sure. Won’t happen.

      2. You assume wealth and hard work have anything to do with each other. Find me a guy who works harder than a guy who picks crops or works for minimum wage cleaning toilets.

        Yeah, those guys on Wall Street who mess with Apple stock work SO hard don’t they hitting their keyboards for minutes every day.

    2. Thank you. I do hate Obama. I hate Marxists. I hate a Commander in Chief who barricades open air monuments so WWII vets cannot see them. I hate the douchebag President who closes “the Atlantic ocean” off of Florida to commercial fisherman. I hate the guy who let four of his employees be raped and murdered while he went to bed without lifting a finger, except to make sure all senior military officers knew no help was allowed to be given. I hate the President who daily talks about how he will personally “transform” America to something good, while he believes America prior to his coming to power was evil. What a crock. And what losers who still support this guy who has never done anything positive in his entire life.

    3. Barack Obama is repugnant.

      He’s been treating our National Parks is if they belong to him, rather than the people. He shut veterans out of their own memorial, but then let the illegal alien squat monsters rally in that same area.

      I hate Barack Obama. Unapologetically. He deserves every bit of that hate. He is slime.

  4. “Gholland04,” “doing it wrong,” and “Rp” don’t know what they are talking about. The majority of the people of Connecticut will be informed and satisfied with their health insurance options/choices provided by the ACA. The more troglodyte-like states could learn some lessons regarding presentation of the information.
    Try removing Medicare from the marketplace. The people who rely on Medicare for quality assurance of their health care requirements would run the perpetrators out of town on a rail. In 2 to 5 years one will not be able to erase the ACA from the list of services provided by the federal government because too many people’s health care will be improved by it. That is the purpose of the ACA.

    1. BTW: I recognize that my comment, and the above comments regarding Obamacare, have nothing to do with the products and services originating or deriving from Apple, Inc. Therefore, I believe they are not appropriate for this blog. I apologize for my contribution to the distraction from this blog’s purpose regarding information and discussion of all things Apple. Sorry.

          1. Having worked with national media back in my Army days, i know many in the media world- especially TV- are not the brightest people by a long shot.

            TeaNN is not my idea of news.

            1. I remember less than 300 Teabaggers on the Mall getting hours of coverage on TeaNN a couple of years back when CNN was trying to be Faux Lite- now the calling card of ABC.

              They never showed the crowd- just the platform of idiots ranting about Obama.

            2. Strange. . . CBS underestimated the crowd at 87,000. Experts who had experience in estimating crowds on the all put it at over 500,000. You say 300.

              Let’s look at the CBS coverage:


              How about a black conservative’s site comparing two rallies, one run by a liberal group where they claim a huge turn out and the Tea Party turn out. . . where there was a huge turn out. With photos taken from the same vantage point.


              There were 300 at the Tea Party??? Note the Tea Party rally was the second photo, not the empty mall of the Union sponsored Rally in the first photo. No way is that 300 people. 300,000 maybe. That’s why even a Liberal CNN covered it.

            3. Funny, I present links to PHOTOGRAPHS of the events showing hundreds of thousands in attendance, not 300, as Darwin Evolved claimed, and at least two people rate the TRUTH at one star.. LOL!

              Some people just can’t handle the truth when it slaps them in their preconceived smug notions. Of course, given the opportunity, even knowing the truth, like Apple Trolls who have been told and shown the facts, they will repeat the lie the next time because the AGENDA is more important than truth.

            4. There has been more than one event on the Mall.
              Yes, they had a small assembly (by National Mall Standards) but had others barely attended.

              BTW- 250,000 + protested Bush’s invasion of Iraq in NYC and not one frame aired on any Network Evening Newscast, even though all are based in NYC.

    2. Obamacare is already ruining the best health care system in the world. And it is hardly affordable. It is nothing less than a government grab for power of our lives. Every single person that voted for Obama should have to move to North Korea while real Americans can run their own lives as they please, without interference for tyrannical fools.

  5. Apple could teach the government that if you create a product or service that people want, you don’t have to threaten them with punitive measures to get them to participate. They actually line up, in the cold and rain with smiles on their faces. You don’t bribe your political foes by exempting them from your product or service because it is so bad. You don’t create 2000 pages of gibberish to explain your product or service, people can just figure it out. You don’t look at existing products and services and do everything in your power to make yours more complex, vastly more costly, and even more unattractive. You look at existing products and services and ask what’s wrong. You ask how can we make this easier and much more simple for people. You say to yourself, “We’re going to spend trillions of dollars here, the least we can do while bankrupting the country is make it pleasant for people.”

    You say to yourself, “Hmmm… maybe a multi-trillion dollar health care plan should result in a few new doctors, not just countless new IRS agents to make sure we catch anyone trying not to participate.”

    If the government decided to build mobile phones… they’d start with a $700 fine for anyone not using the government carrier plan. They’d lie and say you can keep your existing plan if you want, but once the government plan came out they’d say, “We lied about that.” Your new government mobile phone plan would be as much as 200x more expensive than your old plan, your text messaging would be much more expensive, and the government would decide exactly how much data you really need every month. Your iPhone or Android or whatever phone would be taken away and you’d be given one of those big mobile phones people used to carry back when cellular service first started to be affordable. You’d be assigned times when you could make a call, and hope that your call allotment times matched up with the person or place you wanted to call.

    But the important thing here is equality, so competition from existing carriers and device makers would be squashed or not allowed all together, except for the extremely wealthy and government employees.

    The goal here, as always with the left, is not to make things better, but to make sure things suck equally for everyone, cause that’s easily achieved.

    1. Gosh, how enlightening. Thanks for that rant, Mr Cruz (or is it Mr Ryan?). In response to your rant, here are a few facts:

      As promised, MY employer-paid health insurance isn’t changing. At all. My girlfriend is also seeing zero changes.

      A friend of mine, who is an IT contractor, and has his own policy through BCBS, isn’t seeing any changes to his policy OR rate.

      My stepdaughter IS seeing changes. Her chosen option through her employer is being phased out, and she’s waiting to hear what new options are available. Related to ACA? Who knows…policies hange fairly regularly.

      So, out of four *I* know about, one is seeing changes that may or may not even be related to ACA.

      I’m sure there are people who ARE experiencing negative impact from ACA, which is unfortunate. I’m sure there are also many who will be singing its praises. No legislation is perfect, and there are usually winners and losers.

      ACA is no different, but at this point I think it’s way too early to pull the plug on it as the radical right has demanded.

      Our healthcare system was a train-wreck prior to ACA. I, for one, am not willing to go back to the era of being denied due to pre-existing conditions, etc, without giving ACA a shot.

      To make this somehow Apple-related, this post was written in my iPhone. 🙂

      1. Blue Cross Blue Shield isn’t increasing rates? Strange. When does your or your girlfriend’s company’s plan have its annual renewal? THAT’S when you will see the rate and plan changes. I am the insurance administrator for my company’s health insurance for our employees. We carry a Blue Shield plan. BS just sent me an offer to extend our 2012-2013 coverage beyond our normal March 1, 2013 renewal by changing our annual renewal date to December 1, 2013, without changing plans or cost, otherwise, our current plan’s cost would INCREASE by 88% under the ACA requirements and 2013-2014 coverage requirements for LESS coverage than we were currently receiving! By extending, we would avoid eight months of Obamacare mandated costs and coverage. But starting in January 2014, our OLD plan would not meet the ACA requirements. In fact, NONE of BCBS’s old plans would meet the ACA requirements. So, you are wrong. Your plan WILL change whether you like it or not.

        Swallow the Flavor Ade. You just go on believing that good old propaganda. You WILL find out when it’s too late to do anything about it.

        When were YOU denied because of a pre-existing condition? That was fixable far easier than this draconian solution.

        To make this Apple related, Blue Shield’s web site was not Apple friendly in Northern California. It demanded you use ONLY a Microsoft Explorer enabled browser to log on to your account to choose your primary care physician. When I called tech support to complain, I was told, after moving up the food chain, by their head of IT Customer Service, that it was MY fault for buying a “Toy Computer!” and that I should “junk that toy, and buy a real computer!” at which point he hung up on me. I was livid. Their VP of Customer Relations, a very nice lady named Penelope, once I got through to her, which was a story in itself as all calls on technical issues were routinely routed to their head of IT Customer Service, as were complaints about the website, was NOT AMUSED. . . especially when I told her that the latest statistics showed that more than 25% of California consumers were Mac users who could not use Blue Shield’s web site! I asked her “is Blue Shield in the business of selling insurance and servicing their clients or selling Microsoft computer products?” Less than two weeks later, you could log into Blue Shield’s website with a Mac.

        Incidentally, you cannot pay a wage garnishee in the State of California with a Mac using Safari, even though the State Disbursement Agent website claims you can. It’s written with Microsoft products in ActiveX, and keeps returning you to the login window. No go. If anyone wants to use it from a Mac, you have to use FireFox. Repeated calls to the State Department of Child Protective Services shows there is no one to. . . and complaints about the STATE’S website help line are supposed to be referred to a phone number that when called connects you to the County CPS who refer you to the phone number. There’s no one home! Three years ago I DID talk to their IT and web designer and he told me “No one uses Macs anymore, so we don’t need to test for them. Why don’t you buy a real computer!” I spoke to someone in the Governor’s office and they said “put it in writing.” I did. No Joy.

        1. Sheesh…. New ACA rates and plan take effect with the 88% increase in January 2015. REALLY a senior moment.

          So, extended from old renewal date of March 1, 2014 through December 1, 2014 to keep our old rate and plan in place through December 31, 2014, at which point it can no longer be legally sold by Blue Shield. New “equivalent” plan with less benefits, higher deductibles, much higher co-pays, fewer drugs in the formulary, greater out of pocket maximum, 88% higher premium (if that’s still the price), goes into effect January 1, 2015. And no, our employees do NOT get to keep the plan they liked. It simply is NOT available because the government will not approve it for sale! Those are the true facts of Obamacare.

    2. Damn Thelonious, was that an off the cuff post or had you been using that analogy before? Well said and 10 stars to you if I could.

      Too many free loaders and ignorant people out there. Gotta keep hit back with info they can relate to.

      Keep up the good work.

  6. Good or bad, Obamacare is failing because of the technology. The technology behind Obamacare is not just broken, it does not actually exist. There is no way the system currently in place was going to work on Day One, and the people behind it know it. It’s almost like a non-operational “placeholder” web site that (sometimes) let’s users create accounts and “browse” but not “buy.” This “spin” about overwhelming demand causing the melt-down is nonsense.

    I’ll bet that even if ONE person was on the system, that person would not been able to get through the ENTIRE automated process to sign up AND get approved. Why? Because the overall system, with the many complex interfaces between the many different sub-system, was never fully tested. It doesn’t work, whether the load is ten or ten million.

    Now that the system is supposedly “online,” it’s going to be next to impossible to implement the necessary changes in a timely manner. These systems rely heavily on databases, which are now partially populated with real customer data, not test data. Significant changes may not be possible without destroying the integrity of this existing data. Without such changes, the system will not work.

    Without the automation in place and working smoothly, there is no way to enroll enough customers by the deadline. IF the problem is simply capacity, and they just need to add servers, it may be possible. But the actual problem is that the system, as currently designed, does not work. That’s not something that can fixed in a few weeks (or even a few months).

      1. That’s what I said…

        “There is no way the system currently in place was going to work on Day One, and the people behind it know it.”

        But maybe you are talking about the concept of Obamacare itself, not just the technology currently in place to implement it… 😉

  7. The Fanbois seem to conveniently forget the crashing Apple webstreams of Stevenotes when far fewer people were hitting Apple’s servers than are trying to hit the Federal Exchange website.. The activation via iTunes mess that happened just a few short years ago. The complete effup iTunes match did to more than a few music libraries, etc.

    The ACA is not hosted on one site for all. The states that chose to set up their own exchanges have- for the most part- had relatively few problems. The states that left it to the Feds- mostly Republican governed states in the old Confederacy and the hinterlands- are lumped up on the site that the media is bitching about.

    In addition, many states have people set up to help people by phone or in person excepting the same backward southern and hinterland states. Rick Scott, former CEO of the company convicted of the biggest Medicare fraud in US history and Republican Teabagger Governor of FloriDA (emphasis on duh), has actually banned such consumer friendly signup practices.

    The ACA is not my idea of how to fix the health insurance problem in the US, but it is the law. The old system was broken and unsustainable and even the Republicans cannot and will not tell you what they would replace the ACA with. January 1st will come and the overwhelming majority of people who qualify for the exchanges will have a chance to get signed up.

    Just like people who seek the Gold iPhone 5S- not everyone will be served on day one.

  8. As a foreigner, the opposition to the ACA is perplexing. My understanding is:

    1: Those with health insurance keep it and their policies now incorporate some minor changes to ensure a minimum standard of coverage. So, for. most Americans, the ACA has little practical effect, except…

    2: Most Americans derives health cover from an employer, and lose that cover if they lose their job. If they lost their job because they are too sick to work they often could not afford, or even obtain, insurance.

    3: The ACA includes various mechanisms which will help to reduce the outrageous cost of healthcare, which is the highest in the world. Those who can afford it will still be able to pay for the care they choose, but the costs will come down for everyone else.

    4: Millions of Americans will now have health cover for the first time.

    5: Young people, who forget that they won’t be young forever, now must take out healthcare or pay a small amount (in Australia this is called a levy and is a small percentage of taxable income). In the US it is $75/yr or 1% of taxable income. It means young people contribute in advance to the cost of their healthcare when they are older.

    6: Those who oppose the ACA are really saying to their fellow Americans that if they cannot afford healthcare they should just crawl into a corner and die. “Let them die”.

    7: Anyone, except the rich, could find themselves out of a job and, before the ACA, without health cover. That means most readers of this site. So that probably means YOU.

    People around the world are much the same. The civilised world implemented healthcare for all decades ago, with no opposition. No Australian would suggest unwinding universal health care. Ditto for UK, Canada, Europe and so on. So why all the fuss in the US?

    1. I think you are reading off the handout the Obama administration gave to the MSM a few years back.

      1. This is no longer correct for many. It is a broken promise.

      2. It used to be the norm that employers provided this but slowly over the years the costs* of healthcare forced many employers to stop offering this, especially when ACA was announced. Even before all of this not all employers offered this benefit to employees or their families. *Government regulations

      3. This is another broken promise. Costs will come down marginally if at all. Quality will go down and doctors are exiting the field altogether. “Everyone else” will get something that resembles healthcare. :shudder:

      4. Sure, but it won’t be the same “healthcare.”

      5. That would be nice if it were 1% of taxable income but it doesn’t work that way. Those who don’t have taxable income now face a fine. Though I am against raising tax rates. Young people could just as easily save 1% of their taxable income on their own. HSA has been around for a while. We already have a system that helps older people with healthcare.

      6. This is just crazy talk and fearmongering. Does anyone honestly believe that before ACA anyone felt this way? If anything the new government-run death panels will be pulling the plug much sooner due to accounting than before.

      7. Same as #2

      Not sure why you think the ACA is the same as the systems in use by other countries or that the quality of healthcare in other countries is the same as in the US. You might want to do a bit more reading on both sides to get a well-rounded picture of what is really happening today and how the ACA promises are far from reality.

    2. SunbeamRapier,

      You are perplexed because your understanding is highly flawed.

      Plus which, foreigners needn’t weigh in on our domestic issues. I never go to foreign websites and start telling them my opinion of their state of affairs. Since this is an American issue, and since you are not American, your opinion is worthless.

    3. We, as Americans, do not give a flying f**k what people in the UK, Canada, Australia, or Europe sign on to. It is not relevant. We have a much better quality of health care.

      Moreover, those problems which do exist could have been adequately addressed without this awful government grab for power over our lives.

      We do not want socialized medicine. Real Americans are not socialist. We do not care how many useless foreigners are socialist. We only care that we are definitely not.

      All fake Americans should emigrate to the socialist utopia of their choice and leave the rest of us to run our own affairs.

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