Want health insurance? Get ready to fill out 15 pages of forms
Love doing your taxes? Of course not. And that means you probably aren't going to be a fan of applying for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. ObamaCare.
According to the Associated Press, the government's draft application for applicants who want government help in paying for and obtaining insurance coverage is 15 pages long, and will be looked at by at least three federal agencies, including the IRS.
Applying online won't be much easier. It involves 21 steps, some with additional questions, and that's even before you pick a specific health plan. And remember, ObamaCare mandates that you must obtain insurance coverage. So for the country's many, many uninsured citizens, this bureaucratic obstacle course may soon become an unpleasant reality:
Seven months before the Oct. 1 start of enrollment season for millions of uninsured Americans, the idea that getting health insurance could be as easy as shopping online at Amazon or Travelocity is starting to look like wishful thinking. [Associated Press]
Of course, like chum in the water, news of bloated bureaucratic procedures has brought out conservative bloggers looking for an easy kill. Here's the American Thinker's Rick Moran:
Remember when the president touted the ease with which consumers would be able to get a health insurance policy under ObamaCare? It would be almost as easy as shopping on the internet, we were told. Oh, really? How many retail companies would stay in business if they required that you fill out a 15 page form before being able to purchase a pair of shoes? [American Thinker]
For its part, the government says that filling out an online application should only take 30 minutes. "We are not just signing up for a dating service here," Sam Karp, a vice president of the California HealthCare Foundation and part of a group that designed the model application, told AP when asked about the lengthy form. The government will actually have to check your background by instantly retrieving your birth records from Social Security, fetching income data from the IRS, and verifying your immigration status with Homeland Security. It won't, however, ask you to fill out a medical questionnaire — a safeguard to make sure sick people pay the same premiums as healthy ones.
Conservative blogger Clayton Cramer wonders whether that rather complex application process will confound those who most need help:
Keep in mind that most of the people who did not have health insurance, and for whom ObamaCare was supposed to be a help, were not highly paid professionals. I would presume that many were high school graduates (if that) doing blue collar jobs. How many are going to be overwhelmed by this monstrosity? What are the chances that the government will start funding "health insurance assistance corporations" that will hire college graduates to help ordinary people figure out how to fill out the applications? [Clayton Cramer]
Paul Ryan fans, however, might be able to rest easy. The Republican Wisconsin congressman, after all, has committed himself to the rather Sisyphean task of repealing ObamaCare.
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