Obamacare supporters would probably dismiss this devastating story as nothing more than a mere “anecdote,” an unfortunate consequence of a law that someday, we’re told, will insure millions more American than ever before. So therefore the ends justify the means. But this is yet another example of how some Americans, all of whom were promised they could keep their health care plans, cannot and will not be able to. (By the way, despite the rosy projections, many Obamacare enrollees who think they have insurance coverage starting next year might not. If that proves true, the White House will have a great deal of explaining to do).
Anyway, meet John Gisler. He reportedly tried to sign his middle-aged son (who has a "rare degenerative condition") up for coverage at Healthcare.gov more than 50 times. Finally, he just called it quits (via WaPo):
After three months and more than 50 phone calls, John Gisler gave up on buying coverage through HealthCare.gov.
Gisler wanted to purchase a plan for his 45-year-old son, who has a rare degenerative condition affecting his coordination and speech. His current coverage through Utah’s high-risk insurance pool plan ends Dec. 31. By that time, the Obama administration expects enrollees to transition into health plans sold through the new health-care law.
But so far, Gisler hasn’t succeeded in purchasing coverage -- but not for a lack of effort.
“We’ve had three separate applications that failed to make it through,” Gisler says. “I have a notebook with all the calls I’ve made, maybe 50 or 100. It just goes on and on.”
Earlier this week, Gisler quit trying. Worried about a potential gap in coverage, he decided to forgo his son’s $3,000 tax credit and buy outside of the exchange from a local insurance broker.
The Gisler family has been hit hard: (1) They can’t keep their previous coverage, which presumably they liked; (2) they will (almost certainly) pay more for health insurance in 2014 after forgoing a substantial tax credit; and (3) they had the misfortune and bad luck of experiencing technological snags, managerial incompetence, and a non-functioning website first-hand for months. How many other families are facing similar ordeals? Thousands? Millions? We simply don’t know yet.