Uninsured NC family: Dear US govt., we will PAY you for the privilege of spending a year away from your godforsaken web site

That’s the thrust of this article in WRAL this morning about a Mount Olive family that has been “without [health] insurance for seven years.”

Eddie Davidson has been trying to navigate HealthCare.gov for three weeks without success.

“Every day, he would start in the morning before he went to work,” his wife said. “Then, he would try again at lunchtime. Then, go on at night. This went on for a long time.”

She [Wendy Davidson] finally told him to take a break and let her try. The website stymied her as well, so she tried to enroll over the phone.

The person she spoke with over the phone was, of course, using a computer. So next she requested a paper application and was told it would take weeks to receive.

“You’re just ready to give up,” she said. “I’m really ready to start calling insurance companies myself and just forget it.”

Eddie Davidson wants to go a step further and skip the whole process.

“‘I know,’ he says, ‘Let’s just pay the penalty at least for this year and be done with it,'” Wendy Davidson said.

So there you have it. I wonder how many voters who:

  1. earnestly believed the rhetoric of 2008, that there was a crisis in that 45 million people were uninsured because health insurance is too expensive for poor families to afford, and who
  2. sincerely believed that by voting for Obama they would save those poor families with the provision of affordable health insurance,
    at any time expected that
  3. they were actually voting in a system that would take these same poor uninsured people who couldn’t afford it and tell them either sign up for more expensive insurance or pay a fine, with or without
  4. a government-provided web site so unworkable and unsecured that only identity thieves could love it.

Recall that the News & Observer told everyone weeks ago that there’s “Nothing to fear as Obamacare arrives” and “plenty to cheer.” Believe it! For “it now looks likely that the ACA will indeed work and will yet become popular.”

The immediate web site troubles were proof to the N&O that Obamacare was crazy popular, the insurance equivalent of a new iPhone hitting the market. No, really: “On Oct. 1, the online insurance exchanges opened across the nation and people crushed in like shoppers standing in line on the first day of iPhone sales.”

That glib explanation for the unfolding disaster proved laughably insufficient as days extended into weeks, and less-faithful acolytes began acknowledging the obvious. Jon Stewart broke our hearts, yet we shall persevere. Faith is, after all, “is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Now the N&O’s line is that the rollout was “bumpy” (right, and when a plane crashes into a mountain, that’s “turbulence”) but never fear! For lo, “the future is promising.”

And “once reform is in place and running smoothly” — i.e., Step Two: “Then a miracle occurs” — well, “it will work and people will like it and wonder why it took so long to put something as sensible as the Affordable Care Act into place.”

This Halloween, as we laugh at the harmless futility of Linus sitting in the pumpkin patch sincerely waiting and hoping that his belief in a “Great Pumpkin” will be rewarded, remember to save a thought for the N&O editorialists doing essentially the same thing, but for real.

At least Linus didn’t force anyone to believe his transparently foolish fantasy.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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