Adding to the parade of horribles attending the Obamacare rollout that Ashton mentions below is this fact: the websites are inconvenient to consumers because — unlike virtually any other e-commerce transaction — you have to build an account and start submitting personal information before you are so much as allowed to browse your possible options. Reporting in the Washington Examiner, Philip Klein notes that this isn’t a design flaw; it’s an intentional barrier to sticker shock:
As originally envisioned, Healthcare.gov (which serves the residents of 36 states) was supposed to enable individuals to shop for health insurance starting Oct. 1, 2013, just as they would shop for airline tickets on Orbitz.
But unlike Orbitz, Healthcare.gov makes consumers seeking information on their available choices go through a multi-step process to create an account and then log in and enter personal information.
Administration officials imposed these extra steps because they didn’t want consumers to see the base price of the health insurance plans offered – which are inflated by new regulations – before the system could collect their income data and calculate what they’d pay in premiums after receiving government subsidies.
For a program that’s supposedly so benevolent, it’s interesting how often getting the public to accept Obamacare either requires legal compulsion or outright evasion.