Hill Staff in DC Warned Not to Trust Health Exchange Info


"Your employers ordered this, so it should go without saying that you shouldn't trust it."

Nobody is safe from the extensive competency gap that has cracked into existence like a mouth staring into a great abyss in the launch of Affordable Care Act health exchange sites. Federal staff in D.C. are being specifically told to verify their applications through the exchange in person. Via The Hill:

Hill staffers that signed up for ObamaCare through the Washington, D.C., healthcare exchange, called DC Health Link (DCHL), are being told to confirm their enrollments in person, and not to rely on data provided by the website.

The Hill obtained an email sent to staffers on Wednesday warning them that "it is essential that you confirm your coverage in DCHL through the Disbursing Office."

"Do not rely on your 'My Account' page or other correspondence from DCHL," the email reads.

"Please do not assume you are covered unless you have seen the confirmation letter from the Disbursing Office," the email continues.

One wonders if residents of D.C. who aren't directly connected to the seat of federal power are aware of these potential flaws.

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  1. And who insisted DC staffers be pressured into the exchanges? That’s right, Congressional Republicans. Worse than HITLER.

  2. If you like your exchange-supplied health coverage–or even if you don’t–you had better check in person to see if you can keep it.

    1. The only place you can do that (the Disbursing Office) is DC. For some reason, there is no other region that has such an office.

      1. If you like your exchange-supplied health coverage–or even if you don’t–you had better check in person to see if you can keep it by flying on your own dime to Washington, DC and going to the only office where you can check it.

        1. It is on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.

    2. Also, IIRC, there is an exclusive private hotline that DC staffers can call for assistance with the health “exchange”.

  3. Selfies at Funerals Blog Creator shuts down blog after Obama takes a picture of himself at Mandela’s funeral.

    “I immediately posted the picture to my site and announced it would be the last: ‘Obama has taken a funeral selfie, so our work here is done.'”

    1. This is such a tempest in a teapot. Mandela was 95 friggin years old. It’s not a sad funeral.

      If I live to 95 I’m hiring a comedy act for my funeral, assuming I don’t have myself shot into space when the end is near.

      Of all the things to criticize BO for.

      1. I absolutely know it’s idiotic. I just thought the Selfie’s at Funerals comment was funny.

        1. It was hilarious. They had pages and pages of vain morons doing it, and then the president did it.

          Oh, I see what I did there.

      2. “Of all the things to criticize BO for.”
        Right up there with shaking hands with Castro. Yes, he’s a tin pot dictator (uh, Castro), but not shaking his hand isn’t gonna change that.

        1. There was a series of pictures, eitl Mrs. Obama displaying her trademark scowl. In the end, POTUS had for some reason changed seats, leaving his wife between him and the blonde Swede. Mrs. O looked no happier after the swap.

          Herewith a farce in 4 acts:


  4. Our Edwardian service economy: A wealthy few employee a bunch of servants

    Prosperous American families have adopted the same approach to wages for servants as big successful companies, hiring freelance outside contractors for all sorts of functions ? from child care and handyman chores to gardening and cleaning work ? to reduce costs.

    Instead of live-in servants, who were common in prosperous U.S. households before World War II, better-off families now outsource the family cook, maid and nanny. It is part of a problem in developed countries around the globe that is getting more attention worldwide than in the U.S.

    We are falling backward in America, back to the Gilded Age conditions of a century and more ago when a few fortunate souls grew fabulously rich while a quarter of families had to take in boarders to make ends meet. Only back then, elites gave their servants a better deal.

    Thorstein Veblen, in his classic 1899 book, “The Theory of the Leisure Class,” observed that “the need of vicarious leisure, or conspicuous consumption of service, is a dominant incentive to the keeping of servants.” Nowadays, servants are just as important to elites, except that they are conspicuous in their competition to avoid paying servants decent wages.

    Top hats and monocles!

    1. Hey, the Progs started this with all their talk about ditching cars for trains.

    2. Instead of live-in servants, who were common in prosperous U.S. households before World War II, better-off families now outsource the family cook, maid and nanny.

      Unsurprisingly, this idiot has it almost entirely backwards. The service economy has grown because you don’t need to be a member of the elite to outsource those things anymore.

      The only top-1%ers I see at McD’s every day are the top 1% in BMI.

    3. Wow. Yeah, the poor today have it so much worse then in the 19th century. I really don’t think anyone can get that stupid without going to college. I mean, wow. Let’s just make shit up why don’t we.

    4. horstein Veblen, in his classic 1899 book, “The Theory of the Leisure Class,” observed that “the need of vicarious leisure, or conspicuous consumption of service, is a dominant incentive to the keeping of servants.”

      Veblen…Veblen? Where have I heard that name before?

      Oh right! One of Mencken’s greatest essays! Unfortunately I couldn’t find the full essay, but even the excerpt does it justice.

      Here’s Mencken on one of Veblen’s books.

      One wandered in a labyrinth of nouns, adjectives, verbs, pronouns, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and participles, most of them swollen and nearly all of them unable to walk. It was, and is, impossible to imagine worse English, within the limits of intelligible grammar. It was clumsy, affected, opaque, bombastic, windy, empty. It was without grace or distinction and it was often without the most elementary order. The professor got himself enmeshed in his gnarled sentences like a bull trapped by barbed wire, and his efforts to extricate himself were quite as furious and quite as spectacular. He heaved, he leaped, he writhed; at times he seemed to be at the point of yelling for the police. It was a picture to bemuse the vulgar and to give the judicious grief.

      Sounds about right.

      1. Ha, thanks. I am ready some Mencken now.

    5. So, he’s saying that it was *better* for a service provider to be completely dependent on the goodwill and whim of a single employer than having the security and independence of being in a client/contractor relationship with multiple customers?

      Because, last time I checked, old school servants got their arses worked to the bone and only the upper level of servant got paid very well.

  5. Matthew Yglesias compared Paul Ryan to a girl doing oral and anal to keep her promise ring.

    Hilarious enough, but the arguments he got in with angry progressives have to be seen to be believed.

    Matt YglesiasVerified account
    . @TessTalks I think the obscenity is defensible, but I shouldn’t have gender-bent Ryan in the analogy. That injected unneeded sexism.

    Tess Morgan ?@TessTalks 3h
    @mattyglesias I’ll accept that as a business and economics correspondent you think using oral and anal sex in an article is needed, but…

    @mattyglesias …but it calls into question (for me) whether or not you actually know what you’re talking about. Because…

    @mattyglesias ..if you don’t understand what makes a good analogy, why should I trust anything else you write? A writer shld understand both

    Oh my God, it took you that long to realize you shouldn’t trust anything he writes?

    1. I doubt he gives a shit what grownups think. They’re not his demographic.

      1. He’s the Paul Reubens of economists.

        1. Uh, he majored in philosophy. No economist about this guy.

            1. Somebody has to be the pioneer.

            2. To be fair, every intellectual was a philosopher back in those days. It was easier to be a Renaissance man back when objects falling at the same speed and the law of supply and demand were cutting edge concepts.

              1. That’s true, but I think there is an argument that can be made that economics is still a branch of (analytic) philosophy. An economic model still makes assumptions about the nature of happiness and attempts to define “the good”. You could say economics is another name for the applied ethics of money*.

                *Shorthand for things of value.

            3. Michael Huemer knows what he’s talking about.

          1. Must have him confused with someone else… isn’t there a young leftie claiming to be an economist who writes for Slate or Suck or one of those things?

        2. No. Paul Reubens’s original Pee-Wee act was for adults with some very sly humor, but toned it down for the bucks.

          On the other hand, Matty is not yet an adult, nor has he ever been “sly”.

          1. Wow, I didn’t realize that. My first knowledge of him was his Playhouse and first movie.

              1. Yeah, my parents weren’t going to let their 2-3 year old son watch that… and I probably wouldn’t have understood anyway.

                And thanks for sullying my childhood btw. Cowboy Curtis and Miss Yvonne had innuendo? Ugh.

              2. The act was largely copped from Pinky Lee, but sexed up in a campy/retro way, then toned down a bit, yes.

  6. like a mouth staring into a great abyss

    (With apologies to The New Yorker) Block that simile!

    1. More like “A hog staring at a wrist-watch”

  7. Instead of live-in servants, who were common in prosperous U.S. households before World War II, better-off families now outsource the family cook, maid and nanny.

    Employment law and the IRS pay no role in these decisions. None.

    1. An ex-coworker of mine’s two sons both have extreme dietary issues (they are quite young, like 18 months and 3 years, something like that) and she needs a nanny to take care of the kids and feed them what they can eat while she and her husband work. Washington state law forces her to form a company and employ them, and provide health insurance, and does not allow her to hire them on as contractors with 1099 MISC reporting (which would mean they are responsible for their own withholding and insurance). It’s completely insane, and she would do anything if she were allowed to get out from under that requirement.

      See, she’s doing what the low foreheads want! She isn’t “outsourcing” the help! She’s just getting royally fucked because her kids have terrible allergies! Isn’t that better?

      1. It keeps her from mistreating immigrants and creating a human trafficking problem. She should be glad to comply. It’s for all the exploited children.

        1. She has a PhD in statistics from the University of Chicago and her husband works for a company acquired by Amazon, and they are paid well, yet they are in debt mainly because of the forced company structure they have to adopt to have the nannies and the incredible expenditures it brings. It’s that or one of them doesn’t work, which cuts out that portion of their income. All for the children…except her children.

      2. CA now requires you to provide babysitters with paid vacation. That’s right, babysitters.

        1. … How the hell does that work?

          1. You call them house-sitters and leave your kid home with instructions on how to keep it alive.

          2. http://nation.foxnews.com/baby…..abysitters

            Note the part about having to provide a substitute babysitter every 2 hours so that the primary babysitter can take mandatory breaks.

            This article is a bit old, IIRC the bill is sitting on the Gov’s desk….

            1. pay at least minimum wage to any sitter over the age of 18

              Wow, I never thought The Babysitters Club had so much political muscle.

  8. if you don’t understand what makes a good analogy, why should I trust anything else you write?

    It doesn’t bother her that he can’t combine two and two and get four, but she’ll fire him for muffing his analogies?

    1. MUFFING his analogies?
      I see what you did there.

  9. Looks like Americans will be lining up at the DMV to pick up their health insurance sooner than I thought.

    1. lol…

      government could privatize all this, concern itself with actually protecting our privacy and leave it at that. Successful gov contractors deliver all the free stuff/tax paid services the way people like best, get more business/taxes cause people always use them for government services..

  10. Schadenfreude anyone?

  11. Rudely OT:


    She had told a 911 operator and deputies last month that she and Zimmerman were having a “verbal dispute,” and she alleged that he pointed a long-barreled shotgun at her.

    But in an affidavit released Monday, Scheibe said: “George never pointed a gun at or toward my face in a threatening manner.”

    George Zimmerman needs a crazy girlfriend less than I need a crazy girlfriend: Not at all.


    1. What non-crazy girlfriend would date him (at least that lives in America)?

      1. Yeah, i would have been surprised had he not had a crazy ass girlfriend.

        1. At least this one was (relatively compared to his wife) hot.

          1. Whelp, that explains the crazy then.

          2. Not bad. She has some choppers on her though.

            1. Who doesn’t like a good rake? (not me)

        2. She might be crazy but I’ll bet she can read cursive.

  12. I have always wondered how much would it have cost to buy “ehealthinsurance.com” -a company that already operates online health insurance exchanges for every state through a variety of providers- and slap a Healthcare.gov label on it and call it a day?

    Couple hundred million maybe?

    It is simply STUNNING the amount of incompetency this administration has and continues to display. STUNNING.

    1. Probably a lot less since the Gov is de facto putting them out of business.

      1. Not yet they aren’t; not with this dismal failure of a rollout. If I were ehealthinsurance.com I’d be laughing my ass off right now.

        1. Go to ehealthinsurance.com, and you will find this message-

          eHealth makes Obamacare easy

          We’ll help you compare and find the right plan for you.


        2. I would say that the ACA was designed from the get go to put competing exchanges out of business. You can only get premium subsidies if you purchase an insurance plan through ACA run exchanges. Funny how they thought of everything…

          1. “Funny how they thought of everything…”

            And yet seem to have thought out nothing?

    2. ehealthinsurance.com isn’t owned by the First Wookie’s college buddy.

      1. To be fair, the connection with CGI is that her college buddy is a VP there. And I think Valerie Jarrett’s kid or child-in-law, too.

        I heard that IBM offered to build the site for free, but were turned down.

  13. Washington Post hires Rachel Maddow to write op-eds. Her first topic: Booossshhh

    The collapse of national leadership prospects for the Republican Party is one of the greatest political failures and most important legacies of George W. Bush. Barack Obama looks less likely to repeat that fate, but it depends on a strong grove of nationally viable Democrats starting to grow now. The crescendo of attention to Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a healthy part of that process, as is the growing national interest in such diverse Democrats as Sherrod Brown, Claire McCaskill, Cory Booker, Wendy Davis, Martin O’Malley, Deval Patrick, Andrew Cuomo and Amy Klobuchar.

    1. So it’s a political stragegy style guide for beltway politicians. And newspapers wonder why no one reads them any more.

      1. The notion that even 1/4 of the people on that list are viable national candidates is absurd.

    2. LOL. The closest thing to a nationally-viable Democrat on that list is Cory Booker, and he ain’t.

      Yeah, I’m sure Claire McCaskill or Martin O’Malley would play well in Texas, or even Missouri.

      1. Claire McCaskill just barely plays in MO.

      2. You discount a biden/clinton ticket so easily?

    3. Klobuchar

      Does everybody hear a horse whinny when you say that out loud?

    4. such diverse Democrats

      That word, I do not think it means what you think it does.

  14. OT:
    SF has a supposed ‘housing shortage’ (it doesn’t; it’s just expensive to live here), so the city gov’t decides to make it harder yet to get rid of tenants:
    “S.F. supervisors pass tough measures for tenants”
    “The Board of Supervisors confronted San Francisco’s eviction and housing supply problems Tuesday, passing three measures”…
    Yes, the results will mean rinse and repeat…

    1. What’s the scuttlebutt in SF about the ridiculous protest yesterday? Anything new? It barely made national news…

      1. Even the local rag didn’t do much with it.
        The mission denizens are famous for moving into what was almost a barrio and slamming the door behind them, to the extent that it’s hardly news.
        What was amusing is the Googlies sending messages of ‘solidarity with the masses’.

    2. Let me guess, make it more of a yuppie playground for the rich.

      1. Let me guess, make it more of a yuppie hipster playground for the rich people on public benefits.

        1. The supposed aim is almost exactly at odds with the actual result.
          ‘Rent control’ was to allow poor people to live in SF. Sorry, this is an expensive place to live and the ‘middle class’ immediately figured how to game the system. Quite a few RC apartments are now pied a’ terres for well-off folks; poor people in SF live in public housing or in Oakland.

    3. Under the measure, a property owner would be barred from merging, converting or demolishing a unit for 10 years after most evictions.

      “That’s a nice apartment building I have there. It’d be a shame if something were to happen to it.”

      1. That’s not likely gonna pass muster in court. The SF city gov’t has been trying end runs around the Ellis Act (an act *allowing people to go out of business!*) for years and they keep getting slapped back.

  15. I’m guessing this has already made it’s rounds, but Christie getting his feel on.


  16. Most Democrats in my opinion are just outright cowards, Republicans show emotion for their cause; whatever the cause may be. Democrats come with soft spoken voices and the majority of times are shouted down by Republicans.

    I watched the House of Representatives hearing on the progress of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with Kathleen Sebelius today (December 11, 2013). If Kathleen Sebelius was my wife, sister, or daughter, a few Republicans who questioned her at the hearing today would have gotten a visit from me; and my visit wouldn’t have been nothing nice. The level of disrespect Republicans demonstrated towards Kathleen Sebelius was on the level of just plain evilness.

    Here’s my problem with Democrats, Republicans trot people out on Fox News complaining about the horrible experiences they encountered with the ACA; come to find out after fact checking these people stories, all were proven to be liars. Democrats trot people out on MSNBC praising the ACA about how their experiences have been nothing but positive since enrolling in the ACA; and it has been proven by way of fact checking that all of these people were truthful.

    My question is this, why aren’t Democrats waving this in their faces every time Republicans read letters of horror in regards to the ACA they supposedly received from their constituents? The only thing I can come up with is this, there are many Democrats hoping for the failure of President Obama; while wearing a mask of supportiveness.

    1. All Democrat ideas are top notch, they’re just not communicated effectively.

    2. Cripes, another Media Matters shill.

  17. There is a dude that knows what is going on.


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