Healthcare still sucks

in

My dad lives in Florida and isn’t too well off. So much so that since the early part of this year I’ve been paying for his health insurance, its the first time he has ever had regular healthcare since leaving the Soviet Union in 1993.

Getting healthcare

Because it was for an individual and I was handling everything, I had to use healthcare.gov. This is like two years since the site had been up, I think, so I presumed all the bugs had been hashed out or at least the easy ones (my dad’s application was basically the simplest one out there). Hint, the site still had bugs and didn’t actually work on Chrome. (What amazing things a startup could have done with $300 million)

We discovered he had prostate cancer and he underwent surgery on the 31st of August. I was relieved and glad that I was taking care of my dad, the bill was on autopay and he was doing well. A few days later I got a call from my dad saying his insurance was canceled, very strange to me since I already paid that month’s bill.

No one takes responsibility

So I called Florida Blue, being in San Francisco that three hour time difference can be annoying. Florida Blue told me that the Marketplace, aka healthcare.gov, terminated the plan. That was immediately strange to me as the Marketplace never asked me whether I wanted the plan canceled. I called the Marketplace and they told me they never canceled the plan and subsequently told me to call Florida Blue; you can see how this is getting aggravating. The Marketplace then told me they would assign a case worker to this and of course it would take up to 30 days, 30 days to do what is essentially some SQL queries and other record lookups. Of course I’m having to waste many hours on the phone and explain this all over to my dad. I think I’ve said my name and requested authorization to speak on dad’s behalf about sixteen times already.

Wait a Month

So now my dad, who underwent surgery on the 31st of August, has no insurance for the entire month of September. All his followup doctor visits, medications are canceled. He has to wait until October 1st until the insurance is reinstated all because of the incompetence of a third party that forcibly injected itself into the patient-doctor realm.

Something to be said

My dad grew up in the Soviet Union so everything that he knew was ultimately state owned, both physically and intellectually. But he said the following to me,

Why is the government involved between me and the doctors, or the insurance company we choose?

And it stuck to me because I also believe that, every experience we’ve had with the government is bad or a waste of time and its why I’m suspicious of white leftists espousing the wisdom of “if we only spent more money on …” Thought-experiments and ideas need to hit reality at some point, its similar to why I like Silicon Valley and open source coding; the idea should be good but the implementation is more important. In any case the point I want to make is simple: Healthcare.gov still sucks.