CHICAGO - The promised "benefits" of President Obama’s health care overhaul took effect Wednesday, the first day of 2014. By Thursday, the first business day of the new insurance system, it became clear that snags in the rollout of Obamacare still remain.
One example: Obamacare paperwork problems almost delayed suburban Chicago resident Sheri Zajcew’s scheduled surgery Thursday, but Dr. John Venetos decided to operate without a routine go-ahead from the insurance company. That was after Venetos’ office manager spent two hours on hold with the insurer Thursday, trying to get an answer about whether the patient needed prior authorization for the surgery. The office manager finally gave up.
In the southern Illinois city of Benton, 61-year-old Nancy Pace spent part of New Year’s Day calling Blue Cross Blue Shield to make certain she and her husband were covered by the silver plan they chose on the troubled federal insurance website. “When you get to where it says ‘Pay for your policy,’ well, that button doesn’t work,” Pace said.
“My biggest concern is, how long is this going to last? How long can our country bear this expense?” Pace said. “It’s a benefit for us right now. But I don’t see how it can possibly be sustainable. … Am I going to use it? You bet I am. For one thing, it’s a law. I don’t have a choice.”