NPR Obamacare Success Story (Part One): It Isn’t One

Yesterday, NPR’s Morning Edition ran “a success story” about Obamacare: “Persistance Pays Off For Uninsured Alaskan.” It features Lara Imler, hair stylest and ex-accountant. At the very end you are quickly informed that “success” story doesn’t include a verified success:

Imler is still waiting for enrollment confirmation from her new insurance company. She’s optimistic that will come soon. If it doesn’t, she’ll start all over with HealthCare.gov.

So she has no idea if the insurance company actually got her application! This is after an weeks-long ordeal:

She logged onto HealthCare.gov a few days after it went live last month. She tried four times that day and four more times the first week but kept running into messages that the site was unavailable. So she decided to wait a few weeks. On Oct. 24, she logged back in and slowly slogged through the process.

Imler’s degree is in computer programming, and she’s even built a few websites. She thinks that experience helped her persevere through the trouble spots on HealthCare.gov.

“You get to a point where you finally get to pick what health insurance you want and all the buttons have to be double-clicked. If you don’t know that or try that, it doesn’t go anywhere. It just sits there,” says Imler. “This website is so not user-friendly. You can’t figure out what they’re trying to get you to do, unless you accidentally get there.”

About two hours after she started, she landed on a screen that told her she had successfully enrolled. She was pleasantly surprised by the price. Imler qualified for subsidies and chose a mid-level plan that will cost her $110 a month.

Sidenote: requiring double clicking is crazy to anyone who uses the web at all, not just computer major. How was that not intentional?

So NPR has told us a story of a woman who still might have to try again and they are claiming that her persistence has already paid off. This, I assume, they selected as their show case Obamacare success story. What does that tell you?

This story also makes some other amazing and very negative revelations about how the Affordable Care Act is supposed to work. More on that later.