One Liberal Woman’s Experience With Obamacare

Nancy Wurtzel writes for the Huffington Post, on her own site, and occasionally for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It is safe to assume that she is a liberal; worse, she makes no bones about the fact that what attracted her to Obamacare was the prospect of a subsidy–making someone else pay her bills. So the heartbreak that she experienced trying to get that subsidy via MNSure, Minnesota’s Obamacare plan, as she described it in the Star Tribune, could reasonably be a source of schadenfreude: “MNsure Made Me Cry. My Five-Month Quest for Health Insurance.”

As a self-employed, small business owner, I had high hopes for the Affordable Care Act. I was giddy at the thought of lowering my premium costs, which now total $6,000 a year for an individual policy with a very high deductible.
Obamacare, as it is usually called, was passed in spring 2010, but didn’t go into effect until this year. I couldn’t wait to sign up.

If only it were that easy. …

When MNsure launched in late October 2013, I was probably one of the very first to go on the website. Certainly I was one of the first kicked off the website. We’ve all read the news accounts of people attempting over-and-over to create a MNsure account, shop for insurance and then filter through the qualifying process. I had the classic bad experience. Countless times, I went on the website, only to have it freeze up or boot me off. Then, at one point, the system would no longer let me login at all and I got a “password fail” message. …

[After the MNSure site started working better], I logged on easily and sailed through the application process. Next, I started shopping for healthcare policies. To my surprise, the policy costs were about the same as the open market and there didn’t seem to be any way to find out if I qualified for a reduction due to my income level.

That’s when I discovered, I had clicked on the wrong tract [sic] — the tract that was for those who wanted to purchase insurance with no financial assistance. This proved to be a mistake that would cost me, both financially and emotionally.

God forbid that she should pay for her own health care! What a blunder!

One of MNSure's dumber ads for Obamacare.

One of MNSure’s dumber ads for Obamacare.

Back to the phone, which meant more hours calling and calling and holding and holding. Many times, I would simply have to hang up since I had a life with responsibilities and obligations. Other times, I would be holding for a long period and suddenly the call would disconnect.

That’s when I cried again.

You can read it all if you have a strong stomach, but the short version is, after five months of frustration and countless phone calls with Obamacare “navigators” who had no idea what was going on–one of them told Wurtzel, “No one can do anything more for you”–Wurtzel finally found the key to success: political influence. The update to her Star Tribune article says:

Thanks to some helpful staff of the Minnesota State Legislature, I am happy to report I now have my MNsure health care policy in place and retroactive to the beginning of 2014. I do not like to use my blog and social media platform for this purpose, but I felt I was out of options. This saga took close to five months to resolve.

Right. So, if you have Democratic Party connections and you squawk in a major metropolitan newspaper, so that the Democratic Party is embarrassed, functionaries will cut through the red tape and get you a health insurance policy. Not only that, a policy that is subsidized by your neighbors! Yeeaah! Nothing like stealing from your fellow citizens to make you feel good about being a Democrat. If you are not a politically connected Democrat, of course, you are stuck with what the Affordable Care Act actually says, in which case…sorry, you poor loser! No one ever cared about you in the first place.

Never before has our nation seen corruption on this scale.