Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 23, 2014

Is it Fair to Compare Healthcare.gov With Amazon.com?

Acknowledging that one way to assess Healthcare.gov’s progress is to compare its performance to commercial websites, Jonathan Cohn provides “two very important caveats”:

One is an acknowledgment of the huge, fundamental difference between what the two types of systems must do. Innovative companies like Amazon are … still engaging consumers, producers and retailers in a series of relatively straightforward transactions. And they are using technology that, for the most part, has been around for a long time.”

“Healthcare.gov, by contrast, must perform a whole series of complex transactions [and] communicate with multiple government agencies, at both the federal and state levels, as well as private insurers.”

Two: “If we’re going to compare the process of buying health insurance at healthcare.gov to the process of buying books at Amazon, we should also compare it to the process of buying health insurance before Obamacare came along … Without the law’s requirements on essential health benefits and simple use of metal tiers to describe plan generosity, there was always the risk of buying plans with major gaps in coverage—the kind that only relatively sophisticated consumers understood to check.”

  • electricjack

    I have heard nonsense before but this tops the list. Amway went Online to 245,000 distributors world wide in 12 countries with zero defects. An HHS run by a Kansas incompetent who was run out of office in her home state and has zero personal feelings for anyone but herself runs this train wreck so designated by her own party members? She and her boss need to be thrown out of office and this arrogant person named POTUS should be impeached for forcing this on us. Never ever forget when the leader of any nation has dire medical problems they always fly to America. But our POTUS thinks our system is broken. The only ones broken are him and all of his appointees……IMPEACHMENT..

    • http://foundersfollies.blogspot.com/ Chredon

      A few counterpoints:

      1. Amway is tiny compared to the network of dozens of insurance providers, dozens of exchanges, and 45 million customers.

      2. Foreign leaders can AFFORD to fly to US hospitals and get the very best care at the very best hospitals from the very best physicians. Now, if you’re willing to pony up the money to offer every American health care access equal to that available to foreign leaders, then I’m right with you. Until then, your point is pointless.

      3: I refer you to the US Constitution, Article II, Section 4:

      “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

      Exactly what part of the ACA web site roll-out glitches rises to an impeachable offense?

      • electricjack

        The fact remains the POTUS lied in all of his speeches concerning the bill period.

        My point about flying was this: Leaders of nations with unlimited spending authority fly to the USA when they or there families require medical care an your whole argument is baloney.

        Point 3. The web site has only to deal with the specific companies in 1 state . Because each state has a commissioner of insurance so stop the lieing.

        Point 4 Amways roll out had to deal with 50 states laws and 22 foreign nations laws. An it worked every time.

        Point 5 Healthcare Gov does not even come close to that level.

        Point 6 Too boot paying for the insurance policy that the ACA gives you 3 choices on is smoke and mirrors because that part of the web site does not even exist yet. An anyone with half a brain understands there is no real sale until money changes hands………..which does not exist yet…

        • http://foundersfollies.blogspot.com/ Chredon

          Look, Jack, I was trying to give you an out. Your credibility was shot then minute you sported Amway as an example. In addition to being the world’s largest Ponzi scheme, Amway and its executives have a long history of conservative bias, supporting anti-gay groups, and owning GOP Senators and Representatives. If Obama cured cancer, you would probably complain about the unemployed oncologists.

          Second, you cannot deny the basis of an argument simply by saying it’s baloney. If every American was as wealthy as the Sultan of Brunei, then they would have no problem getting the best health care. Unfortunately, they are not. Yes, the best health care in the world is available right here in the USA. But because so many Americans cannot afford it, other countries have better overall outcomes. This is not baloney, this is a fact. YOUR argument is the one with the meat by-product filler. The fact that foreign leaders get their cancer treatments here has absolutely nothing to do with the health care systems available to the average American.

          Yes, every state has a commissioner of insurance. I happen to be friends with the Insurance Commissioner for my state, so I know a fair amount about it. However, my state is one of the 26 that didn’t set up a health care exchange, putting that burden on the Feds. Imagine if 26 of the states you mention in your Amway example had simply decided not to participate in your national distribution system. I seriously doubt it would have worked every time. (In fact, I seriously doubt it works every time now, but I have no data to back that up. I generally don’t make sweeping statements unless I have data to back it up.)

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