Lawmakers' ObamaCare Experience: Just Like Ours...
Only, you know, way better
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2013 2:05 PM CST
The HealthCare.gov website is displayed.   (AP Photo/HealthCare.gov)

(Newser) – So let's say you were a member of Congress—might you have an easier time using HealthCare.gov? Lawmakers insist they'll have the same problems with enrollment as everyone else—but, uh, they're leaving out a few things, the New York Times reports. Specifically: They have access to "in-person support sessions," a special Congress-only Blue Cross and Blue Shield website, and a toll-free "dedicated congressional health insurance plan assistance line." Oh, and of course, they also have more "gold plan" options when it comes to actually choosing insurance ... and when they're comparing their options, it's much easier for them than it is for the layperson to see prices, deductibles, and other information, thanks to the superior websites lawmakers can use.

More ObamaCare news from the Times:

  • As for HealthCare.gov, the federal website is still incomplete—by as much as 40%, the chief digital architect revealed in testimony before a House panel yesterday. "We have yet—we still have to build the financial management aspects of the system, which includes our accounting system and payment system and reconciliation system," he explained. That's the part of the site necessary to pay the insurance companies, and it's "still being developed and tested."
  • If you're trying to decide whether it's worth it to buy insurance once the website is actually functioning, you may want to consider your age: Those aged 25 to 34 had, in 2011, a 5% chance of racking up medical bills totaling $27,000 or more, and a 10% chance of bills totaling $13,000 or more. For many young, middle-class people, the penalty for not buying insurance will be cheaper than buying insurance, so it just depends on how you feel about those odds. See the Times for some hypothetical situations to illustrate your choices.