If Barack Obama is “fighting the good fight” his CIC (Cheerleader in Chief), Kathleen Sebelius is leading the shout of support.
Earlier this year, Secretary Sebelius was accused of abusing her authority by making inappropriate fund-raising calls to the heads of private insurance companies.
Last week she announced that American could set up an “Obamacare Account” on the Federally Facilitated Exchange (FFE.) I find this option a waste of time and an attempt by the Secretary to deflect attention from the problems that CMS is having with the FFE.
A couple of weeks ago the Congressional Budget Office and Treasury Department expressed concerns that the FFE will be ready on time.
Last week, Secretary Sebelius, assured congress that work was progressing so that the FFE will be ready to go on October 1. However, I still have some concerns.
With less than 8 weeks to go before the National Open Election, I still do not know which plans will be selling Essential Benefit Plans in the FFE and which ones will be selling Essential Benefit Plans only through direct purchase.
With less than 8 weeks before the National Open Enrollment, Navigators and Insurance Agents have still not been trained. Nobody, outside of the Department of Health and Human Services knows how to use the new system.
Americans have been assured that costs for health insurance will be “affordable.” However, Americans have no way to know what premiums they will pay if they buy health insurance through the FFE.
Most of the states who have built their own exchanges have already published their exchange rates. However, the premium rates that will be charged for plans in the Federally Facilitated Exchanges will not be available before the National Open Enrollment starts on October 1.
I find the announcement by Secretary Sebelius that Americans are able to register for an “Obamacare Account” just another attempt to distract Americans from the truth.
It amazes me that a president who ran in 2008 on a platform of restoring “Transparency” to the White House, is so stingy with facts.
In my opinion, if the FFE is truly on schedule, Secretary Sebelius would provide proof of her claims to congress and not just say, “Trust me.”
On the other hand, if things are not going to be ready on time, a truly transparent administration would tell America exactly what the problem is, what is being done, and when we can expect it to be solved.
As it is, I do not think that setting up an Obamacare Account is they answer. It may mollify those who blindly trust the White House but we thinking Americans need more than excuses and distractions.
I have read nothing that would convince me that Americans should not put off using a FFE as long as possible.
Unless there is a need for a benefit from the FFE, I am advising my clients, in Texas, to buy their Essential Benefit Plans directly from private insurance companies.
If they do that, they benefit in 3 ways.
- They avoid the “Usage Fee” that will be added to the cost of health insurance purchased in an exchange.
- They avoid the computer “glitches” that will be present with the system that CMS is developing.
- They can get the benefit of professional counseling from a licensed insurance professional.