Yesterday, after multiple attempts over a series of days to enter my family's data and complete the application at healthcare.gov -- the website wouldn't verify my application. Actually, the website wouldn't even tell me by email or otherwise that my application was "incomplete". I had to go back in and re-enter my family's data several times. Then … I got the dreaded rolling ball symbol on the screen.
I called the help line, and spent another forty minutes on the phone, with a very nice man who had clearly undergone sensitivity training to be an intermediary between a disastrous health care reform roll out and civic disappointment, frustration, anger and despair. The phone agent read from a script, sprinkled with apologies delivered with unwavering sincerity.
Finally, after opening my application on his computer screen, my agent assured me that my application "went through" although neither of us could see any health care choices. Maybe that's just Florida and Gov. Rick Scott sticking the end of a wire coat hanger in the hard drive.
The customer service agent did try to get a supervisor to be involved -- I waited another fifteen minutes -- , but he couldn't clear his own phone help queue to get anyone on the line. This afternoon, I re-re logged on, or tried -- by the same password/login that I'd be using all along kept booting me back to the open login page. No message that my login failed. Just blank.
This morning I changed my password (why?) and succeeded in viewing that my application had moved from "in progress" to "submitted".
President Obama says that in time, health care reform will be viewed as his signature achievement. I agree. It is needed so desperately in the United States that one can almost feel the nation's big insurance companies pushing back as hard as they can. I have friends who did successfully enroll and are ecstatic at being able to sign up for affordable health care for the first time. Someday, I may be able to be ecstatic as well.