Friday, November 22, 2013

CNN Morning Anchor says ObamaCare hasn't started yet but Washington Post reports insurance brokers have hundreds of very sick people who can't get help, brokers can't get on website, phone system 'hangs up' on them

11/20/13, ""How can we say it's not working when it isn't implemented yet? How can you say premiums are skyrocketing when they haven't put the plans into effect yet?" Cuomo asked Sen. Ted Cruz, on Wednesday's (CNN) New Day."...

11/21/13, "Insurance brokers, agents also caught in technology woes," Washington Post, Lena H. Sun, Sarah Kliff
"Brokers and agents say a host of technological problems is blocking their ability to help consumers sign up for coverage through the federal health insurance Web site

They say it is a particular problem for people with major health issues — those considered high-risk — because they are least able to weather a gap in coverage.

Brokers “have hundreds of these [consumer] files sitting on their desks trying to get help for these people,” said Jessica Waltman, senior vice president for governmental affairs at the National Association of Health Underwriters, which represents about 200,000 health insurance agents and brokers. Waltman was briefing state insurance regulators by telephone Thursday about enrollment problems in the new health insurance marketplaces. She said the problem was occurring mostly in the 36 states in the federal marketplace....

Brokers and agents who have completed training and certification can help individuals and small businesses sign up for exchange plans. Because of glitches with, many frustrated consumers who haven’t been able to sign up on their own are turning to brokers, Waltman said.

But when brokers get involved in the middle of the process, the online system is not letting them enter their identity numbers. Without those identity numbers, brokers can’t get paid by insurers. And regulators can’t follow up with brokers if there are mistakes.

Brokers and consumers were also supposed to be able to log on to at the same time to allow brokers to virtually help consumers shop and enroll. But that process hasn’t been working properly since the Oct. 1 launch. An alternative was to allow brokers and consumers to get on a three-way telephone call with the call center. But brokers “are still being hung up on” by staff at the call centers or told the call center can’t add the broker’s ID number.

Chiquita Brooks-Lasure, a senior federal health official who took part in the briefing, said she thought the agent identity issue had been fixed. “We’re also working on some other issues,” she said. “We are very focused on making sure agents and brokers are able to enroll consumers in coverage.”"...


11/20/13, "CNN Accuses Ted Cruz of Being 'Dangerous' With 'Political Spin' on ObamaCare," NewsBusters, Matt Hadro

"A day after a high-ranking Medicare official estimated that "30 to 40 percent" of ObamaCare's federal exchange hasn't even been built more than a month after its rollout, CNN's Chris Cuomo
actually challenged the notion that ObamaCare is "not working."

"How can we say it's not working when it isn't implemented yet? How can you say premiums are skyrocketing when they haven't put the plans into effect yet?" Cuomo asked Sen. Ted Cruz, on Wednesday's New Day, after Cruz stated that the law "isn't working, let's start over." [Video below the break. Audio here.]

Cuomo accused Cruz of being "dangerous" and Cruz bristled at the implication:

CUOMO: You're being a little dangerous with how much political spin you put on something that's so central to the well being of so many families?

CRUZ: Well, I appreciate the adjective you tossed my way.

Of course, estimates are already warning of premium increases and millions of Americans have received insurance cancellation notices. Cuomo wouldn't even allow Republicans to write off ObamaCare, though, and pestered Cruz to give an alternative.

CUOMO: You don't think that you have a responsibility as a U.S. senator to do better than that in terms of offering a solution for what to do next?

CRUZ: Well, I -- I appreciate your trying to lecture me in the morning. Thank you for that.

And after lecturing the senator on bipartisanship, Cuomo had one last obnoxious question for him:

"[I]t's great to see the bipartisanship. Is this your green eggs and ham moment, perhaps, Senator where you've now tried it and it turns out that you like it? You like working with members from the other side and you can get to work on finding solutions instead of just opposing Obamacare and helping with debt relief?"

Just last Friday, Cuomo argued that the millions whose insurance plans were cancelled comprised only "one slice" of the crowd, and asked if that controversy wasn't a "straw man" laid by Republicans to "distract" the media.

So the insurance cancellations might just be a GOP "straw man" and ObamaCare is "central to the well being of so many families"? That sounds like spin from the brother of New York's Democratic governor."


No comments: