Covered CA throws a party – only 10 sign up

Covered CA throws a party – only 10 sign up

This week California’s Obamacare health insurance exchange, Covered California, rented the Sacramento Convention Center, and opened its doors to the public for a sign-up party, complete with balloons and press.

Obamacare, McKee, Cagle, Nov. 11, 2013

CBS 13 reported 1,500 people showed up to apply and enroll in person. The health fair was sponsored by the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, the California Endowment and Covered California.

“People in Sacramento got a chance to sign up for the new health insurance option in person if they didn’t want to do it online,” CBS 13 said.

“No waiting lines, no problems with computers, people are able to sign up today,” said Betty Williams, Outreach Coordinator with Covered California. Williams is the former director of the NAACP in Sacramentocurrent Sacramento County ACLU director and lost a bid recently for the Sacramento City Council.

Even with 300 Covered California “assisters,” by the end of the day only 10 people completed applications, the Sacramento Bee reported. reader John Thomas Flynn told me he emailed Sacramento Bee reporter Richard Chang with questions, after the enrollment celebration, and after he read Chang’s story, “Health care sign-ups proceeding, at least in California.”

“I was told that they need 24 hours to approve the applications,” Chang wrote back to Flynn, in an email forwarded to me. “Therefore, I reported it as 10 enrollments completed. They were completed, but we don’t know whether they’ve been approved.”

Only 46 other applications were started. Oddly, Medi-Cal application numbers were not available for the event, even though some people attended just to sign up for Medi-Cal, according to the Bee.

Enrollment figures?


Covered California released its first enrollment figures Wednesday, showing only a small portion of the state’s 5 million uninsured had signed up.

According to Covered California CEO Peter Lee, “Thousands are enrolling. That is the loud and clear drumbeat that California enrollment is working.”

However, an “enrollee” isn’t truly “covered” until he or she has made a payment and been issued a policy, just as in the real world of insurance works. No payment, no insurance plan.

“With some of the snags that we’ve had in the past 40 days, it’s to be expected with something brand new like this; but, I do expect it to smooth out and it to be a humongous turnout,” said Williams.

“Sign-ups are proceeding all right. They got 10 of them on Saturday.…with 7 million uninsured, that means they’ll need 700,000 more enrollment parties,” Flynn quipped.

Defiant Board

Covered California front page, Sept. 24, 2013

The Covered California Board of Directors voted 5-0 Thursday to continue scurrying toward the state’s year-end deadline to cancel more than 1 million private, individual health insurance policies.

Covered California board members said existing policies are being terminated because they do not meet the new requirements under the federal Affordable Care Act.

The defiant decision by the Covered California Board, in opposition to President Barack Obama’s directive this week to extend existing health plans, demonstrates the left hand doesn’t know what they right is doing.

Granting privileges

The California Legislature and the new Covered California health insurance exchange have been handing out more than $500 million in taxpayer dollars to contractors. Much of the money is going for “outreach” and “education programs” connected to voter registration drives through the health exchanges, as I wrote in a recent story.

The California NAACP received $600,000 for door-to-door canvasing throughout the state, targeting African Americans. And the ACLU is actively involved in registering new voters through Covered California enrollments. Is it any wonder Betty Williams is an Outreach Coordinator for Covered California?

Covered California announced in May it would award $37 million to 48 organizations to “conduct outreach and education programs” on how Californians can access “affordable health care coverage.”

Covered California calls these “partnerships,” and the goal is to “increase awareness about the new benefits, to educate targeted audiences, and motivate consumers.”

“The Obama administration granted $910 million to California to set up its insurance exchange,” I wrote. “The $910 million was targeted not for actual health care, but for bureaucratic spending. This included $360,000 a year for the executive director, and other rich compensation packages for exchange employees.”

Radio host exposes Covered CA ‘con’


National radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt discussed Covered California on his show this week. As for the “Covered California is working fine” declaration, Hewitt linked to my recent story about trying to enroll. And he talked about why there are no numbers on current enrollees.

“In fact, the state exchanges — while not all as abjectly miserable failures as — are close behind the federal failure in ineptitude and some are actually worse,” said Hewitt, who broadcasts from Southern California.

Hewitt asked the questions the mainstream press will not:

* “Who, if anyone, has actually made a payment to their new health plan? Almost certainly no one, which Lee will excuse as unnecessary right now.

* “Who, at least then, has gotten a real bill? Who has in hand a policy that will pay claims incurred after 1/1/14?

* “How many people have a new insurance card in their wallet with a policy number and a known price, deductible and doctor network?”

He said of his home state, “The biggest con of all seems to be running out of California, where the huge flaws in the ‘’ scheme are getting easier and easier to understand as a fraud upon the people of the Golden State, even as the Los Angeles Times and other MSM outlets flee the facts.”

The Los Angeles Times story he was referred to was headlined, “Healthcare plan enrollment surges in some states after rocky rollout.” It claimed, “A number of states that use their own systems, including California, are on track to hit enrollment targets for 2014 because of a sharp increase in November, according to state officials.”

The Times article is short on details, and is mum on projected or current enrollments. It ignores the more than one million Californians who have received cancellation notices of their current health insurance plans.

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