Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cyber Tsunami

One of the most maddening, frustrating, hard-to-believe scenarios is the Obamacare website that doesn't work. In the first month it was launched, only 200 people made it through cyber-glitches, like the lucky sperm that gets the egg, to sign up for what is actually called The Affordable Care Act. In that very same time period, a few million more eager citizens took their best shot for naught.

Tea Party officials must have had a tweeting bonanza of unbounded glee.

It is completely mystifying that Apple and the Droids manage sophisticated interfaces, as well as Google and Walmart, but not the US government -- the guys that make remote controlled drones and send people to the moon. Did someone in the government hire interns to save money, in our era of budget cuts?

California attempted to exercise foresight and set up its own state site. Thus, I was sure that when I called my competent insurance agent, he would help me wade through a myriad of plans -- a head-spinning morass of choices with too much unfathomable fine print. After he impressed me with his knowledge of the landscape, exhibiting the intelligence of a PhD, he said, "Let's wait until close to the December deadline because the site doesn't work properly yet. Maybe by then it will be easier to join." So much for the computer geniuses of California; Silicon Valley must be a separate state.

The numero uno reason for despair lies in the fact that the average American currently dangles from the jaws of corporate greed, hemorrhaging their savings (if they have any). Lest anyone debate this fact, a cautionary tale: this year, an American couple was traveling in England when the lady contracted pneumonia. Treated at a local hospital, she was presented with a bill for $37 dollars that included take-out medications. Our former colonizer has universal health care.

A week later, back in the good old USA, her husband catches the same illness (at least it demonstrates that they probably kissed while on vacation). He in turn goes to a hospital, which ironically happens to be the main go-to health spot in my neck of the woods. Treated for the same illness as his wife, his bill was $17,000. And he had to go to a drugstore to fill his prescription.

As the richest country in the world, our brainpower ought to be able to overcome a tsunami of computer errors so we can get some relief. But if this TACA site isn’t fixed soon, I have a better idea. Outsource the job to India.

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