Why is Obama Care Like Eating Beets?

If you haven’t eaten in a while, I encourage to TiVo whatever you were going to watch and make a sandwich before you read this.

As you know, I was never a fan of Obama Care. I had no empirical basis for not liking Obama Care, I just knew that I did not like it. I have no empirical basis for not liking beets either, I just know that I don’t like them.

For years, people have been telling me to try beets. So, I tried them. And do you know what I discovered? I really do not like beets. Full disclosure, I don’t also like turnips.

Now that we are all on the same page regarding the nuances of my vegetable husbandry, perhaps we should get back to my issues with Obama Care.

So, instead of just whinging about Obama Care, I thought I would take the same approach I took with the beets. Try it. And then complain.

Which I did. And I am doing that now—complaining, that is.

To set the stage, I received an MBA from a pretty good school. While I’m not always the smartest guy in the room, in some rooms I hold my own rather well.

For those of you who are familiar with the television show M.A.S.H., in one episode, Hawkeye Pierce told Radar, “In war, there are two rules; Rule 1—men die, and Rule 2—doctors cannot change Rule 1.”

With Obama Care there are also two rules, Rule 1—there are policies and procedures, and Rule 2—only God, or a Republican Congress can change Rule 1.

More than 12,000,000 people have Obama Care.  That number is about equal to the number of policies and procedures that define Obama Care. As a former mathematician, I know enough about math to be able to quickly calculate the amount of the tip if you and I went to lunch.

I also know that the branch of mathematics called combinatorics would state that the likelihood of a single Obama Care recipient from a sample size of twelve million people being able to comply with twelve million policies and procedures being able to successfully navigate the morass of policies and procedures is zero. Especially if their only option of successfully navigating those policies and procedures is to do so through a customer service structure that was outsourced by CMS.

Obama Care’s customer service function is outsourced to General Dynamics.  General Dynamics has four main business segments: Marine Systems, Combat Systems, Information Systems Technology, and Aerospace. General Dynamics also manufactures the Stinger, the world’s best surface-to-air missile.

In its spare time, General Dynamics also runs the customer service function for Obama Care. To paraphrase Lewis Carroll, things just get curiouser and curiouser.

Ones’ ability to be insured under Obama Care sort of comes down to what the definition of ‘is’ is. To the Clintonites reading this, I implore you to give me the benefit of the doubt for a few seconds instead of creating a Voodoo doll in my image. If you choose to move forward and euthanize me using the doll, please don’t make the doll look like I borrowed Biden’s hair transplants.

I have a small, albeit, really good healthcare consulting company which focuses on consumerism and patient and customer experience. As such, I decided to see what the marketplace for health insurance looks like for the twelve million Americans who decided to purchase health insurance through Obama Care. I thought it only fair that if I was going to continue to compare being insured under Obama Care to eating beets that I should understand the Obama Care consumer experience.

I discovered that the sycophants at the General Dynamics CMS Obama Care call center and I have agreed to disagree about the meaning of the word ‘deadline.’ I discovered this fact during a two-hour and thirteen-minute phone call.

“You had to submit this form by the deadline, August, 29,” the supervisor told me. The first thirty minutes of my call was with someone who was not a General Dynamics Obama Care call center supervisor.

“And when does your system show that I submitted the form?” I asked. The General Dynamics Obama Care customer experience call center supervisor put me on hold. When he returned he told me that the center received my form August 29. However—and this is significant, however—it took us a few days to process your form. We processed your form on September 1, which means you missed the deadline. What the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.

I was momentarily grateful that I was speaking with a supervisor.

In his attempt to explain why I did not have insurance, even though I had submitted the required form prior to the deadline, he told me that I needed to reapply and that I needed to resubmit the form.  The same form that I had submitted by the required date.

I told him that he had just confirmed that he had the form he was requesting that I resubmit. He said he no longer had the form because although my form was submitted prior to the deadline, that although he was viewing on his screen, it had been “shredded by the system.” My electronic form, the one at which he was looking, was shredded.

There are times that being the smartest person in the room, that being the smartest person on the call is worth nothing. That is what happens when people who are interested in helping you are forced to comply with nonsensical policies and procedures. I fully expected him to tell me, “I can help you purchase a Stinger Missile, but I cannot help you solve your problem of buying Obama Care simply because you submitted the information we require by the date we required it.

I realize how nonsensical this seems. To those who somehow navigated Obama Care’s policies and procedures and who are now insured, you are now the smartest person in the room.

I am not. Instead of continuing to whinge, I have decided to go to lunch. I am thinking of ordering a beet salad.


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