Covered California’s ObamaCare Exchange Fail

Covered California fail

The San Jose Mercury News reported this weekend that two weeks after the now infamous debacle that was the ObamaCare exchange rollout, California’s new pride and joy still doesn’t offer a way to find out which doctors and hospitals are included in each health plan:

The website tool designed to help shoppers cross-reference tens of thousands of doctors and hundreds of hospitals that belong to the networks of Covered California’s 12 insurance providers finally launched last week after earlier promises that it would be available on Oct. 1, the day similar exchanges opened for business nationwide under the new federal health care law.

But when it finally appeared on Tuesday, a hard-to-find online tool was only in place about 48 hours before it was removed from the site because of what exchange officials called “uneven” performance.

Hmmm.  This is the same “Covered California” that cost $313 million to develop, funded almost entirely with federal taxpayer dollars (thank you, everyone not living in CA).  The same site that originally boasted of 5 million hits on launch day, only to later admit that the real number was actually 645,000.  The same folks who described the overstatement of nearly 4.5 million hits as an “error,” “the result of an internal miscommunication,” and the always golden “someone misspoke.”

What to do if you’re anxious to purchase some government-driven health care?  “[Covered California spokesman Dana] Howard said if knowing whether certain physicians or hospitals are in a particular plan is a big part of someone’s decision, it’s best to hold off from enrolling until the online tool is functioning….”  You think?

To add insult to injury, major carriers are significantly limiting the doctors and hospitals you can access through an ObamaCare exchange policy in California:

Moreover, once consumers are able to see which medical providers are part of the insurance networks, they might be in for a bit of a surprise: In an effort to keep premiums low, some major insurance companies are limiting the numbers of doctors and hospitals they are offering consumers.

Blue Shield of California confirmed to this newspaper that it will offer only 50 percent of its network doctors and 75 percent of its network hospitals to those who sign up for its exchange plans.

In other words, welcome to your government clinic ObamaCare enrollees.  Remember when President Obama was pitching his plan in 2009?  Here’s what he pledged: “no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”  Oops.

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