Consumer Reports On Obamacare: ‘Stay Away’

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Consumer Reports has bailed on Obamacare, at least for now.

The consumer advocate magazine is cautioning would-be volunteers who wish to enroll in overpriced government-managed health coverage to “stay away” from the bug-ridden rabbit hole at www.healthcare.gov.

“If all this is too much for you to absorb, follow our previous advice: Stay away from Healthcare.gov for at least another month if you can. Hopefully that will be long enough for its software vendors to clean up the mess they’ve made,” advises Consumer Reports’ Nancy Metcalf, whose tolerance for the Federal health care marketplace has steadily eroded over the course of its bad rollout, now three weeks in the (un)making.

Her assessment comes after repeated attempts at walking through the enrollment process, and doesn’t even begin to consider the cost and coverage merits (or lack of them) of the Affordable Care Act itself.

Working with Phoenix-based software tester Ben Simo, who’s been tracking the many problems that plague the Federal health care website, the magazine ran through all the many hang-up points in the online sign-up process, concluding that completing an Obamacare application is equal parts faith and gritty determination. Metcalf’s enrollment walkthrough is fraught with advice like this:

If you are truly successful, you should receive an “account activation” e-mail within a few hours to verify that the email address you gave was legit. Answer it promptly, because if you don’t, Healthcare.gov will time you out. If the e-mail never comes, you’ll have to go back to square one.

The magazine continues to hold out hope that the technical problems will eventually all be solved, but its bottom-line advice even for people who’ve bought in to the big-government corporatism of Obamacare – at least for now – remains unequivocal: don’t be an early adopter.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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