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The Obamacare Debacle – Part II

Obamacare train wreck

In last week’s post, I shared the letter I received from my health insurance company telling me that – despite what our President promised – I could not keep my perfectly-good healthcare plan, even though my beautiful wife Michele and I have liked it ever since we first bought it years ago.

I don’t know if President Obama read my post and the dozens of comments in response to it from you, my loyal readers, but sure enough the very next day he announced his promise to find a way for me and millions of other lied-to Americans to be able to keep our perfectly-good plans that we like.

That’s why we received this email from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois on Sunday:

President Obama announced yesterday that some individual policy members and small groups (2-50) may be allowed to remain with their current 2013 policy for an additional year. We are reviewing yesterday’s announcement and will determine next steps as we keep our members informed of their options both on and off the exchange. This may change the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that all non-grandfathered health plans must be compliant with certain benefit changes in 2014.

We will continue to work with federal and state agencies on how this approach will be implemented and will comply with any new requirements. Our primary goal remains maintaining access to quality, affordable health care for our members. We will continue to support solutions that ensure there are no disruptions in health insurance for our existing members. We will soon reach out to members who may have new options as a result of this announcement.

Do I believe that President Obama will follow through on this latest “announcement” of his? Of course not – last time I checked, he’s still a politician.

But it would be nice not to have to go through the whole “choosing a healthcare plan” process all over again, after years of just being happy with our current healthcare plan and letting it automatically renew.

So I’ll (foolishly?) keep my fingers crossed…

Meanwhile, I learned several lessons from the comments in response to last week’s post, including…

  • Many of my friends have created, promoted and executed multi-million dollar online launches. All of them did it with a miniscule amount of time, money and media support – compared to the recent embarrassing Obamacare launch.
  • Let’s put it this way…

    If a business had three-and-a-half years to put together an online launch, with a $500 million website programming budget and support from the country’s most powerful media outlets and celebrities, AND prospects were actually threatened with fines and IRS enforcement if they didn’t buy its product, could you even imagine in your worst nightmares that (a) the business would actually go through with the launch without extensive testing and security assurances, and (b) there would be more of Snow White’s dwarfs than sales of their product on the first day of the launch?

    As Stuart Patterson said in his comment: “I really think Our Government Has No Business In Business other than to protect our freedom to conduct business as entrepreneurs and citizens.”

  • Bernard Mixon commented: “America has lied and continues to lie to me all my life.”
  • Lately, all kinds of people in politics and the media have publicly pronounced that they knew all along that Americans wouldn’t be able to keep our perfectly-good healthcare plans if we liked them.

    Really? So why didn’t any of these blowhards make a big stink about this fact while our scandal-ridden leader spent the past three-plus years making what these people now claim they knew was a patently false statement?

    If you want a refresher – or just 2:53 of comic relief – here’s a compilation video…

  • As Ace Luciano and Sydney Barrows pointed out: If any salesperson or business owner treated its clients the way our federal government is treating us – with lies, broken promises, bait-and-switch tactics, extortion, a “we-know-what-you-need-better-than-you-do” attitude and a completely unsecure, hacker’s-paradise malfunctioning website on top of everything – we would either be fired or out of business in a heartbeat.
  • And yet our too-big-to-succeed federal government keeps growing and growing, bumbling and stumbling its way through various shameful and botched attempts to perform basic business functions, while its “salesmen” continue to violate even the most minimal standards of ethics and decency.

  • Bryan “The Financial Coach” Binkholder thought I was “wayyyyyy too smart” to believe Obama’s continual lies that I could keep my perfectly-good healthcare plan just because I liked it.
  • As I wrote in my reply to his comment: “You’ve made me realize that I need to pay more attention to financial matters…. Here’s the important problem this has revealed: Entrepreneurs are often visionaries who are not meant to deal with details, so we MUST engage expert advisors to help us navigate important financial issues.”

    The Obamacare Disaster is no laughing matter, and this is no time to force-feed our nation a massive social welfare program that will cause tremendous damage to an already weak and frail economy. Millions of good people are already being harmed – with many more still to come – by this “but-it’s-the-right-thing-to-do” disastrous program.

    On Sunday, a story surfaced that a woman that our President recently celebrated as a shining example of someone who was helped by his signature program actually turned out to be one of its many victims. That is truly pathetic and disgraceful for our President in particular and our government as a whole.

    Here’s the bottom-line…

    The main lessons in all of this are:

    1. Entrepreneurs, business owners and sales professionals should feel proud and celebrate the fact that we take responsibility for our own successes and failures in life, and don’t depend on the government or anyone else to provide for us or determine our future.
    2. Honesty and integrity are the key to long-term business success. On this, the day after the 150th anniversary of Abe Lincoln’s iconic Gettysburg Address, we remember his famous quote, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” It would be nice if modern politicians remembered this, too.
    3. Always resist the temptation to over-promise and/or make false statements – no matter how badly you want to make a sale of a product or service.

    4. Always test technology, and don’t be afraid to postpone any sales event if you aren’t ready.
    5. This entire Obamacare disaster and the resulting lack of trust in our federal government will undoubtedly have a continuing stifling effect on our overall economy. This means that it is more important than ever for all business owners, entrepreneurs and sales professionals to implement effective marketing and business strategies to avoid further frustration and disappointment due to what will now be an even longer and slower economic recovery for our nation.
    6. The main function of an entrepreneur is to create profit, so make sure to follow the advice of a financial expert to make sure you keep more of what you make FOR yourself and your family, and AWAY from the Big Government and Big Banks.

    So… What business lessons do YOU get out of The Obamacare Debacle?

11 Responses to The Obamacare Debacle – Part II

  1. Phil Brakefield Reply

    November 20, 2013 at 6:03 am

    Perhaps it’s S&D time???? Kentucky, California and Connecticut in particular seem to have found the secret sauce on how to make the initiative work.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      November 20, 2013 at 9:48 am

      Interesting solution, Phil. (For those who don’t understand what Phil suggested, the term “S&D” refers to the practice of “Swipe and Deploy” or “modeling success.”)

      Speaking of states who seem to be implementing government-mandated healthcare insurance successfully, what about modeling good ol’ Massachusetts?

      (But shouldn’t someone in the government have thought of that one years ago? Unfortunately, my belief is that they did, and therefore “S&D” or “modeling” is not the answer to the launch disaster.)

      • Russ Burck Reply

        November 21, 2013 at 7:30 am

        I’m not going to get involved with much of your craziness about O and the ACA, Steve. I don’t find your unrelenting judgment helpful or instructive. In fact, it find in it more of the helplessness that entrepreneurship is intended to help us escape.

        The Massachusetts model involved many of the same problems, but it didn’t have a choir singing for it to fail. People got together and worked together to make it work. So this is not O’s failure alone, it’s also the failure of O’s opponents, perhaps including yourself.

        • Steve Sipress Reply

          November 21, 2013 at 10:33 am

          You’re missing the entire point of the Obamacare Debacle and overall lack of integrity of the federal government, Russ.

          We entrepreneurs are anything BUT “helpless” — in fact, it’s the complete opposite. WE are the ones who control our own economic destinies. So it’s imperative for us to stay on top of what is happening with the overall U.S. and world economies and take appropriate action.

          Millions of us have been negatively influenced directly as a result of our president’s lies about being able to keep our healthcare plans. I’ll pay the increased costs, of course, but I don’t appreciate the inconvenience of having to go through the whole “choosing a healthcare plan” process all over again when I was promised that I wouldn’t have to.

          And I certainly don’t appreciate being continually lied to by self-serving politicians.

          As far as being an “opponent” of Obama, of course that is also untrue. While I am an “opponent” of all politicians (and a “proponent” of all independent business owners), as an American I am rooting like crazy for all of them to get their act together and start leading our nation back to prosperity.

          But I can’t let my “rooting” stop me from doing what’s best for independent business owners, entrepreneurs and sales professionals: Continuing to help them survive the lies and follies of “well-meaning” politicians and build better futures for themselves.

          Because we know that no one is going to do it for us.

          Finally: Not that it matters, but I don’t think any of this is Obama’s fault. He’s just being the liberal progressive that he’s always been. It’s our fault as Americans for electing him and all of the other politicians who make up our federal government.

  2. Bernard Mixon Reply

    November 20, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Are you a politician Steve? I noticed you eliminated part of my post which was essential to my point.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      November 20, 2013 at 9:51 am

      Hmmm… I’ve been insulted many, many times — but until now I’ve never even heard anyone suggest that I’m a P-word.

      As far as your comment: I quoted the part of it which was essential to MY point.

      What part of your post did I eliminate that you feel was essential to your point?

  3. Ace Luciano Reply

    November 25, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Yes, S&D is a good practice, but if you’re going to blindly follow a plan why not follow one that’s successful.
    Massachusetts? California?
    May as well implement the “Enron” business plan and have Rod Blagojevich as head of implementation. . Lie, lie, get more money, then lie some more.
    It all works fine…until the day it doesn’t.
    California, new York, and Illinois are losing their battles against insolvency. Businesses are running away as fast as they can.
    I am a big fan of mentors and coaches.
    I just make certain those coaches are winners.
    Insurance in California, New York, New Jersey, AND Massachussetts are hopelessly expensive, all by design. Increased regulation and government input makes it so.
    Need proof? Go to any one of the many insurance calculators out there and price policies as a resident of Massachussetts and then again in SOUTH DAKOTA.
    Then price new cars in California and MISSOURI.
    This is not about “help.”
    This is all about CONTROL.
    Need hard evidence? Just look at the newest bald-faced lie from Harry Ried and the dems regarding the Fillibuster. They changed it so that they could have more and gain more future CONTROL.

    We, as Entrepreneurs, do what we do so that we have FREEDOM.
    Yes, the money is/can be good, but I can and have made a great deal of money in sales for others.
    FREEDOM is why we do what we do. if you choose to stick your head in the sand, the lions will come for you.
    If you follow the “flock” maybe the wolves will be sated by the blood of some of your outlying members.
    I do not hide. I am not a sheep, nor am I a wolf. I am a ferocious sheepdog that protects MY flock.
    I advise all to do the same.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      November 25, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      Very well stated, Ace.

      This was never about “healthcare.” Like all “progressive” policies, it is about more and more government control over our lives and therefore very much against the entire notion of self-reliance/self-determination, which is the basis for the entrepreneurial attitude and lifestyle.

      I remain hopeful that America’s century-long march towards “progressive” policies will soon change.

      The Obamacare Debacle may help wake Americans up — but I’m not holding my breath.

      I’ll just continue to take the steps necessary to protect my own freedom, and I’ll help my clients do the same.

      If every American did that, our nation could stop its stagnation, decline and infighting and return to its glory.

  4. Ace Luciano Reply

    November 25, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Yes. Thats a good idea… Take the necessary steps.
    I have already taken many.

    Let me know how much ammo you need.
    I may have some extra…

  5. Loralyn Tate Reply

    February 9, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I was in a wreck and needed to go to my mechanic for an estimate. I was unable to go during the week and went on Saturday. Time 2:00 pm, should be a busy time for them. It was closed. I have gone to this mechanic for over 20yrs and was never closed on a Saturday. The hours are cut back to the bone, via a sign posted on the door. The only reason Dave would close for any reason is he’s forced to do so. A small business, losing business, because of mandates that have been force on him. Then, I went to a mechanic my husband used at times, and, it closed on Saturday. Last time I was there was around 8:00 pm, needing some instruction on a car. These businesses are extremely busy and for them to close at the busiest time for the type of work that is performed at their establishments, is about the most shameful outcome of the so-called healthcare debacle.

    Loralyn Tate

  6. Loralyn Tate Reply

    February 11, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    I have been on the phone with my insurance carrier, medicine provider, most of the afternoon. I paid ~ $10,000.00 for the year to provide me with health insurance. $1200 out of pocket, 4200.00 ded. I did not know I was on a COBRA plan for 6 months with the Ray’s office. Cancelled it last week. Finally, got it all worked out to my plan. Called my pharmacy to get it switched to my plan, and they owe me money!! I only owe a $10 co-pay on a $613.00 prescription . Steve, I’ve worked with insurance claims, negotiations, for years. The math is not there. I have a medicine that costs, $4200.00/mnth, will I just be charged for that? Or, will it be a $10 co-pay, ? I inquired about a HSA, since I do have a business, waiting on the phone call. Who are the scape-goats in this crap? This one is going to send us, not, if your successful business practices are followed, into such a crisis. I feel, the country needs business people in charge. No one there has ever had a job!

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