Local Tales of OCare fail
Courtesy RI Red, “Federal glitches ‘devastating’ for HealthSource RI”:
The Obama administration’s botched launch of the health law’s online marketplaces has created problems for Rhode Island even though the state’s own locally built system has been working well, HealthSource RI executive director Christine Ferguson acknowledged Thursday.
“For us what happened at the federal level has been somewhat devastating,” Ferguson said during a taping of myRITV’s Executive Suite. “If you think about marketing – anytime you have to do marketing or sales, if you’ve got some huge thing that’s affecting your ability to get your message out, it seriously dampens your ability to do it.”
“Initially … I downplayed it,” Ferguson said of the impact. “But at this point it’s affecting us.”
But don’t fret. Ferguson is optimistic nevertheless:
HealthSource RI processed 4,405 completed applications for insurance between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2, with 3,213 of those enrolling in Medicaid, the government program for lower-income Americans, and 1,192 enrolling in private plans. More up-to-date enrollment data won’t be released until next week, but Ferguson said the trend is up.
“It’s increasing on a weekly, daily basis,” she said. “Given all the stuff that’s happening on the federal level, it is still encouraging because we are moving in the right direction – not as fast as I would like, but I’m competitive anyway; it’s never going to be fast enough for me.”
Individuals have until Dec. 23 to sign up for insurance coverage and have it take effect at the start of the year. Open enrollment for partial-year coverage is scheduled to continue through March 31, “but at this rate it wouldn’t surprise me if the federal government changed that, too,” Ferguson said.
HealthSource RI is seeking an annual administrative budget of $17 million to $20 million, according to Ferguson – not the widely cited figure of nearly $26 million contained in state budget documents for 2014-15. She said the higher figure includes one-time federal money that won’t be used again.
A budget of $17 million to $20 million is “a number that we’ve put out as a possible range, but the legislature has to act, the governor still hasn’t made a decision, so we’re in the process of working those things through,” Ferguson said. No decision has been made about how to pay for HealthSource’s annual budget once federal money runs out in 2015.
Who needs decisions? What you have going for you is leftist economics: just pretend you have the money, spend it, and accrue debt that you have no intention of ever having to pay back, and that will somehow magically resolve itself because, well, SOCIAL JUSTICE.
So long as a big budget is allotted for administration and government service work, that’s all that really matters. That people will be receiving inferior health care at higher rates and less choice? That’s the price we have to be willing to pay for equality. And many politicians who don’t have to worry about participating in the flawed system are willing to pay that price for us.
God bless ‘em.