Subtly Outrageous

Well it’s 2014, and snarky internet humor is just about all we have left. Prez Obama actually went on Zach Galifinakis’ mock talk show Between Two Ferns to pitch

“How will it feel when you are not president anymore and everyone won’t let you beat them at basketball?”

“How does it feel to have a 3″ vertical?”

“That’s a 3″ horizontal”. Haha

I thought it was pretty funny, if not a bit demeaning to the president, to play the straight man to Zach’s feigned idiocy. This is 2nd term stuff, not really worrying about elections anymore. Obama’s people saw this as another avenue to advertise the healthcare signup website, and I think it works on that front. Lots of people love comedy and ignore the news.

And besides it is funny, and that’s what it’s there for.


Oh My Obamacare, Part 5: Software Is Now Working, Time For Research

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 11.14.59 AM let me in today, let me make my account, and get through the identity confirmation stage. That identity phase is always interesting – this one used various pieces of government-known data and asked it back to you, with misleading and nearly-accurate answers along with the factual answer. Very clever, and it was like a trick question about my own life.

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 11.21.08 AM

After you do the email confirmation and pass the identity test,you are let into your account. If you aren’t ready to register, you can follow the main top tab from “Get Insurance” to “Learn”. They ask you a similar version of the basics of your profile and then put up a list of links to more information. These cover things like pre-existing condition details, self-employment policies, coverage of unrelated people, medicaid eligibility, etc. in more detail.

I’m finding the site fast and easy to understand, at least when compared to other business sites needing to push something this complex out. I use web apps all day long plus design some myself, and this isn’t so bad, assuming it keeps working.

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 11.44.36 AM

The feds get bad reviews for everything but a couple of their more recent web offerings have been pretty decent (and are currently all shut down because of the tea party shenanigans).

Personally, I’m gonna hold off finishing my application until I have all my family info in front of me. I’m printing some of the FAQ’s to review with the fam. I thought it was important to show the site working since the mainstream media has learned it was down. Let’s see if they update their narrative.

Better Wait A Bit More – Obamacare website goes down for software fix

If you are waiting to sign up for Obamacare, wait just a bit longer. They are whipping some IT people mercilessly in a windowless server room right about now, and the website should settle down and work properly in the next couple of days.

I know a couple tings about releasing software and web apps and this one is a huge system with even larger demand. But still, I would think they would have poured enough money on it to get tested before October 1. I’m sure there will be some tell-all IT tales published from this massive project.

Our government at work, and I’m not really using that as a slam. No company is big enough to build a web service this large, so it’s interesting watching the feds try.

BTW coverage isn’t set to begin until 1/1/14 and the deadline for that was set to 12/15/13, so this shouldn’t be more than a small bump in the launch.

Oh My Obamacare, Part 3: Go Live Day For Biggest Software Project Ever

Such crazyness about Obamacare in this country, but I had a moment of clarity the other night…..  IT’S JUST A SOFTWARE CHANGE.

Repeat after me, it will make you feel better — Obamacare is just a software upgrade. We all have an ID and can be billed for service. Insurance companies get in the middle of that. Obamacare just forces everyone into the new web-app known as “exchanges” where you decide to buy insurance for you & your family.

Whether it all works or not on day 1 is a software issue. Whether it all works overall is about as complicated as it gets, involving the signup rate, the cost of the subsidies, the doctor payout charts of these newly larger insurance companies, the overall health of the population…etc.

So it’s Day 1, October 1, and I’m on my way to start the process of signing up. I’m sure there will be lots of forms and reading to do and I want to take away some stuff to read over the next couple of days before deciding on my plan. I also have to sort out my complicated (although common these days) living arrangements as it pertains to this new system.


So not a surprise, there’s a delay on day 1. My state’s republican governor opted out of building our own site, so we have to go through the federal one. Here’s the delay screen:

Lots of people hitting the system. It's been a long time since I've seen a web app put you on hold like this

Lots of people hitting the system. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a web app put you on hold like this

OK, as I was putting that into the post, it let me in. I think I was on pause for about 4 minutes total. I’d love to know what kind of hit their database is taking..

First thing I need to do is create an account  (just like any other web app). Picking a username is kind of weird here.

Got stuck on the security questions – the popup lists weren’t loading. I tried a couple of times in Chrome so I’m going to try in Safari before giving up for the day….Nope still not working. I did find this calculator to start figuring estimates. I will try more tomorrow if I can get to it. Menu value list (php) code or database problems? We will never know.


Oh My Obamacare! Part 1 – Oh My Obamacare! Part 2 – Oh My Obamacare! Part 3

Oh My Obamacare, Part 2: A Visit From The Navigator


While I was out the other day our household was visited from a friendly fellow explaining The Affordable Care Act, aka The ACA., aka “Obamacare”, (formerly “Romneycare”). He stood on the front porch and explained to my girlfriend that he was from an organization hired (created) to inform citizens in our state about the new healthcare options, how to sign up, and how to get further information.

She said she was impressed and actually called him the most helpful stranger to ever show up at the front door. Not a lot of competition, I know, but still a compliment.

He left her with a flyer spelling out pretty clearly the basics of the situation: Everyone must be covered for 2014, and if you don’t currently receive coverage from your employer or other entity you will have to purchase a plan (or ‘product’) by 1/1/14.

My household has been uninsured for 5+ years and we are all relatively healthy, so we are a primary target for signing up. I live with my girlfriend and her child, in a house I own and have been underwater on for the last 4 years. I’m living the updated american dream – I am a salaried employee with no benefits. My sole benefit is my mobile working environment and the small tax break I can take for my home office.


Yesterday on the news they were discussing the attempt to get the message out about ACA details, and the republican efforts to sabotage the ACA. They claimed these “navigator” groups have been hired in every state (total budget $50 million) to find the uninsured masses (50 million people, coincidence?) and encourage them to sign up.

The big question as to what it will all cost is still out there. I’m expecting to pay somewhere between $200-$300 month to get mid-level coverage for myself, with lower deductibles (co-pay) than a cheaper plan. I’ve been putting off healthcare for 10 years now, so as soon as I’m covered I plan on making some appointments to get this old rig serviced!

Sidenote – It will be interesting to see how they price it for the rest of my household. We are not married, so I assume we will have separate policies. She’s unemployed and a single mother so her tax credits should be more substantial than mine. I will also compare that to the rates if we were married. Should be interesting to see how the structured it.

Overall – we were very impressed with the Navigator guy and their pitch. If they really only spent $3 to get that guy on my porch explaining things to 3 uninsured people, and this is really happening all over the country through September, I have a good feeling about people becoming more informed than the republican-dominated news will let on.


Oh My Obamacare! Part 1 – Oh My Obamacare! Part 2 – Oh My Obamacare! Part 3

Oh My Obamacare, Part 1: Introduction To The Guinea Pig

O-My! I’m planning on signing up for Obamacare. I might insure my whole family through it. I voted for it and have waited for it for a while now.

And since this is so controversial and full of BS reporting, I’ve decided to blog the whole thing. Why not use the internet for some actual sharing outside the usual crap?

So the whole thing should start around October 1 2013 when my state opens it’s exchanges to people like me.

I plan on reporting to good, bad, and ugly of the process. To follow along, I’m turning on the category “Obamacare” and will tag everything as such.

I for one look forward to a fresh start, coverage for my pre-existing injuries, and the answer to whether the federal government can create a system worse than what we currently have.

Oh My Obamacare! Part 2 – Oh My Obamacare! Part 3

Only In America


Try to follow the twisted logic we ‘mericans live in: The governor of a big eastern state, to avert crisis, works with the other party to reform their state health system. They put in place a universal coverage policy that ultimately provides better healthcare benefits than the other 49 states.

This system is implemented, studied and ultimately, roundly admired. So much so that it becomes a model for national reform. Several presidential candidates, from both parties, adopt it as plank in their platform. The one that wins goes forward and implements a version of this reform nationally. This healthcare reform is given a catchy, negative label (even thought most of it hasn’t even taken affect yet) and then the funny season starts. It’s election time again, and bumper-sticker sloganeering runs and ruins the day. Good/bad, for/against, no common ground, nothing but wedges.
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