House Speaker tried to sign up for health care coverage yesterday, hoping to reinforce his anti-Obamacare thesis. It went a little better than planned.
Thanks to provisions in the Affordable Care Act that Republicans demanded
, members of Congress will have to sign up for health care coverage through exchange marketplaces. That’s not really the point of the exchanges – they’re largely intended for the uninsured and small businesses looking to cover their employees – but GOP lawmakers had a political point to make, and this is the result.
With that in mind, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) wrote a blog post
yesterday, highlighting his own personal experience when he “sat down to try and enroll in the DC exchange.”
Like many Americans, my experience was pretty frustrating. After putting in my personal information, I received an error message. I was able to work past that, but when I went to actually sign up for coverage, I got this “internal server error” screen. […] Despite multiple attempts, I was unable to get past that point and sign up for a health plan. We’ve got a call into the help desk. Guess I’ll just have to keep trying…
As it turns out, his willingness to “keep trying” was a good idea. Boehner, who is not yet eligible for Medicare, “called the DC Health Link help line,” and a “few hours later,” the process was complete
. He’d signed up for health insurance.
Oddly enough, the Republican House Speaker didn’t offer any details about his new health care plan. One would assume that if he’d experienced “sticker shock,” or been stuck choosing a plan that cost far more than his current coverage, Boehner would have mentioned it. Indeed, he would have been eager to mention it, since it would advance his larger political goals.
This was supposed to be a little p.r. stunt, intended to reinforce the Republican message. It’s almost certainly why the Speaker invited a photographer to document him going through the process. And while it’s a shame Boehner was one of many who ran into website trouble, I have to say his experience doesn’t sound that bad – he called a help line, signed up for insurance, and likely saved some money, all over the course of an afternoon.
Are Americans supposed to hear this and think, “Quick, repeal this monstrosity before it crushes another person’s dreams”?