The season is once again upon us--where we are reminded constantly of what we "absolutely have to have"--and there is "no time to waste" in getting it--and there are "people out there waiting to help you". I don't mean the Christmas shopping season--I mean the now-annual Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period.
I got an email over the weekend from the League of Women Voters that they are putting on another forum this week to "help" those "confused" by the ACA to "navigate the system" and get their federally-subsidized health insurance. It will take a mere five panelists to "explain" the process of logging onto healthcare.gov before December 15th....or January 15th....or March 15th....or whatever date the Obama Administration decides to make its arbitrary deadline for coverage to begin on January 1st this time around.
Similar efforts to make sure as many people as possible signed up for the exchanges resulted in eight-million registrations last year--many of whom were people already covered by a more expensive policy through their employer or who had been on Medicaid--and a far cry from the 30-million Americans we were told time and again were "desperate for health insurance" when the ACA was approved in 2010. You have to wonder why "affordable health care" remains such a difficult sell to people who "obviously" need it?
Meanwhile, the few that will likely attend this week's forum are probably already able to tell you when Interstellar opened in theaters, what new GoPro cameras are on the market this holiday season and how to shop on Amazon.com. Yet the organizers of these forums believe that all of these uninsured people are that way because they "just didn't know about their options"--or they "just don't have access to the right information" to get signed up.
Unfortunately, the frustration that groups like the League of Women Voters will feel as attendance at these forums dwindle every year--while the number of uninsured remains about the same--will drive the inevitable push to forgo private insurance altogether and go to Nationalized Health Care with Uncle Sam paying everyone's bills--even if they (the patient)can afford to pay--and Uncle Sam cannot. It's obviously too much to ask Americans to make their own choices about their lives.