More low-spin reporting on the Obamacare rollout

Image credit: cogdogblog

Hi readers.
Time to check in on the health of the ACA healthcare rollout again.

The Red State Blues
Charles Ornstein at ProPublica has an article on a part-time worker in Missouri which tells you what must be happening to thousands of low wage or part-time workers in Wisconsin.

Harum Helmy lives in Missouri, works 20 hours/week and maeks $10/hour as a reporter. Missouri, like Wisconsin, did not accept expanded Medicaid money from the fed. gov’t, so according to the article she doesn’t have that option available for healthcare. And with her low wage and low hours wage, she can’t afford a healthcare premium.

I tweeted a couple questions about this article to Ornstein which inquired about a tax penalty Helmy might get or whether her parents can “gift” health premium payments to her [she’s a grad. student] but so far no reply. I’ll try emailing him and Helmy next.

See the story at For Uninsured Missouri Reporter, Obamacare Is a Real-Life Story

red state umbrella
Image originally comes from – was reprinted at ProPublica

Nancy Metcalf advises Consumer Reports readers to use now
But she also advises that users of the site contact the insurer directly later to make sure they got the information (advice the fed gov’t’s CMS also gives).

“Metcalf warned that consumers had no control over the back-end problems, which are giving inaccurate information to insurance providers, and said that if you enroll through and don’t hear from your new provider within a week, your best bet is to contact the insurer directly.”– source: Mediaite

Nice you have a bug fixed. But show us the 834 transmissions
By now everybody has figured out the 834 transmissions are the true barometer of how is functioning, no matter the PR.

Obamacare media updates are starting to get tense
“Monday’s media call started to get more tense than the dozens that have happened in the past, with reporter after reporter asking about the numbers of 834 errors and not getting a response from the administration.”

Washington Post reporter Sarah Kliff wrote, “The reason I’ve kept asking about it is because experts tell me repeatedly that if the health law wants to have a shot at working, then the 834 transmissions need to work, too.”

In contrast to Kliff, MSNBC’s Sarah Muller just about strikes up the band with the headline “Major Obamacare website bug killed” and the lead sentence, “It’s dead!”

She DOES also report on the 834 transaction problems and she also lets us know that CMS refused to give a specific number of “users who ran into this problem” – – but, yeah – – that’s minimized in comparison to the “bug killed” news.

The President’s PR
President Obama’s remarks on ACA today are at CSPAN. He appeared with a crowd of supporters standing behind him and he didn’t take any questions.

Another recommended writer for ACA info
Everything Trudy Lieberman is writing at Columbia Journalism Review looks good.


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