We’ve gathered a few stories of interest on the latest in Obamacare developments and commentary this weekend.
Apparently, some insurance agents are feeling left out of “Obamacare.” As the Associated Press reports Sunday, some frustrated insurers and agents wish they could just bypass healthcare.gov and enroll consumers directly.
When insurance agent Kelly Fristoe recently spent 30 minutes helping a client pick a mid-level health plan and the federal marketplace website froze, he called the government’s hotline and tried to finish the application. But the operator refused to credit Fristoe as an agent on the application, meaning he wouldn’t get the commission or be listed as the follow-up contact if his client needed help again later.
The Wichita Falls, Texas, insurance agent is one of many brokers around the country finding frustration as they try to help customers navigate the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces while earning the commissions they’ve long built their businesses around. Some insurers and insurance agents are calling on President Barack Obama’s administration to allow them to bypass healthcare.gov and enroll consumers directly amid growing complaints about problems with enrollment information generated from the website.
The so-called ‘back-end’ problems could mean that consumers who think they’ve successfully signed up for a health plan, may find themselves unable to access their coverage come January. The problems include enrollment information that’s rendered practically useless by errors, duplication or garbles. Efforts to fix the issues are underway.
This follows a week that has seen reporters pushing for more information about those “834 errors” that are still dogging the system.
But some think that while technical issues will eventually get fixed, PR is a pressing issue.
In speaking to “Fox News Sunday,” former health adviser to the president, Ezekiel Emanuel, opines that Obamacare hasn’t been promoted enough and that a ‘big PR campaign’ is what’s needed.
The federal health care overhaul was central to President Obama’s two campaigns for the White House, and has been the defining achievement — for better or worse — of his presidency.
But one of the architects of ObamaCare, in a heated interview on “Fox News Sunday,” argued that the reason young people are not signing up in droves for coverage under the law is the administration hasn’t promoted it.
Ezekiel Emanuel, a former health adviser to the president (and the brother of former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel), argued the administration has been too caught up with fixing HealthCare.gov to give the law the proper promotional push.
In that same interview, Emanuel seems to have a rather interesting interpretation of Obama’s “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” pledge.
(Mediaite has video of a more complete segment from the program).
Meanwhile, the administration is bringing on some additional help – Obama taps former top aide to work on health law.
President Barack Obama is bringing a former top aide with deep ties to Congress back to the White House to help get his health care overhaul back on track after a bungled rollout.
Officials say Phil Schiliro, who as Obama’s top liaison to Capitol Hill helped push the Affordable Care Act through Congress, is taking on a short-term assignment to help coordinate policy surrounding the law.
He’ll work with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, other agencies and members of Congress.
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