Obamacare: Wasn’t it supposed to simplify things?

**Posted by Phineas

"Need a navigator, bub?"
“Need a navigator, bub?”

Wasn’t Obamacare supposed to relieve us of the burden of worrying about our healthcare? With the government making our choices for us, with mandatory coverage for all, and with subsidies given to all who couldn’t afford the new plans, weren’t we all supposed to breathe a sigh a relief at how easy it had all become?

Well, if the road to healthcare nirvana has become so smooth and straight, why do we need tens of thousands of “navigators?”

Tens of thousands of health care professionals, union workers and community activists hired as “navigators” to help Americans choose Obamacare options starting Oct. 1 could earn $20 an hour or more, according to new regulations issued Wednesday.

The 63-page rule covering navigators, drawn up by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, also said the government will provide free translators for those not fluent in English — no matter what their native language is.

Sixty-three pages for one rule. Remind you of anything? No wonder they need make-work jobs for their union clients “navigators.” Magellan couldn’t find his way through this mess.

They’ll need navigators for the navigators.

Not only is this farcical on its face, but consider the cost: each “navigator” will (1) get $20-$48 per hour to help people through this morass. California alone has estimated it will need 21,000 “navigators.” (2) That’s an estimated $420,000 to $1,008,000 per hour, every day during the implementation period, just for one state.

Oh, and the translators. Naturally, they’ll be well-paid, especially if they speak multiple languages. Here in Los Angeles county, there are over 224 languages spoken as of the 2000 census, so you know demand will be high. And they’re mandatory: if your primary language is something as obscure as Nenets, and even if you are the only person in the area who speaks it, they have to get you a translator.

So tack that on to the hourly cost of “navigating” our brave new healthcare world.

Can I get a navigator to take me back to someplace sane, please?

via Jim Treacher

PS: A Twitter commenter reminds us that the article also mentions a voter-registration provision as part of signing up for Obamacare. I imagine all these community organizers and union members will be quite willing to help people “navigate” this part. But, don’t worry. The law requires them to be unbiased. (Yeah, I’m rolling my eyes, too.)

(1) States aren’t required to pay at this rate, but, come on. You think these groups will work for less, or even gratis? I have some swampland for you, real cheap.
(2) And you can bet all of them will be dues-paying public employees union members, too.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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