WASHINGTON, October 29, 2013 – From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam, the buzz spread quickly last night across ObamaNation: Without advance warning, the Obamacare Cover Girl had vanished from the splash page of the terminally-ill “healthcare.gov” website to be replaced by a quartet of ambiguous buttons without helpful explanatory captions.
No one seems to know precisely how, when, or why all this happened, although speculation ran rampant among web cognoscenti and the blogosphere alike (not to mention the Twitter-verse) that “Adriana” had been offed, Victim #1 of Obamacare’s notorious and highly secretive Death Panel.
Whatever the case, the Most Transparent Administration in History erased in one stroke the cluelessly smiling image representing an equally clueless web locale that can be justifiably described as the Obamacare Health Insurance Policy Prevention Site.
Judgment of this latest outrage, not to mention the entire website debacle, was swift and harsh, even in the most liberal environs. Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert trashed the site as well as these latest developments at length on their Comedy Channel broadcasts Monday night. The most honest newspaper in the country, “The Onion,” also chimed in by trumpeting the breaking news with a typically breathtaking headline, “People In Healthcare.gov Stock Photos Now Visibly Panicking.”
Meanwhile, parodies of this entire episode abound on the Internet. One that shows the most promise is a contest being run on Red State. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the link. A couple examples of early entrants appear later in this article.
Back at their Washington ranch, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)—the alleged coordinator of those agencies and contractors responsible for putting the website’s vaporware software together—issued a bland, prepared statement on the updated appearance of the splash page. The verbiage actually spoke volumes about what’s really going on, assuming you know how to read Washingtonspeak:
“As we move from the initial launch of the Marketplace into the continuing Open Enrollment, we wanted to highlight that there are multiple options to apply for health coverage… The new splash page should “provide a better way to visually reinforce key information to users about options for applying at this point in time.”
The new icons—unlabeled and not intuitively obvious as to function—take users to information on how to apply, highlighting, and perhaps even pushing, exact ways to apply via telephone, via paper application, or with the assistance of a local “navigator” who, having likely been trained only over the last few weeks, will allegedly have all the answers.
Actually, although badly implemented on the first try, these buttons are the first good idea that’s occurred to the Administration’s bureaucrats and IT geniuses over the past month, interface-wise. Users may now have a chance to get the info they’re seeking rather than encountering page after page of witlessly grinning stock photo propaganda while they hunt through the wilderness for any useful information at all.
It’s significant that these seemingly new options have been brought to the fore, however, only after the recent website disasters came to light. Given the paper app methodology spelled out on the website via the “paper” button on the splash page (if you can even get through—a periodic problem after a system wide outage this past weekend), one can infer that this route to enrollment, however archaic, tedious and time-consuming, is likely the average Obamacare customer’s most reliable path toward tangible results for the foreseeable future.
As to that MIA Obamacare girl, enterprising reporters from Fox News, to CNN, to the Daily Mail, to BuzzFeed have continued digging in hopes of revealing her secret identity before the entire concept goes down the short-attention-span memory hole.
CMS won’t release the info, allegedly due to a signed privacy release with the model, according to BuzzFeed. “Richard Olague, spokesman for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, which oversees the new programs under the health care reforms, said she’s real,” BuzzFeed reported, citing an email sent by Olague. “The woman featured on the website signed a release for us to use the photo, but to protect her privacy, we will not share her personal or contact info with anyone,” the email claims.
While Internet wags dubbed her “Glitch Girl,” the stock photo company that may be responsible for the original image seems to have code-named her “Adriana.” But that’s as far as anyone has gotten on this. Perhaps members of the Obamacare Death Panel will need to be subpoenaed to get to the bottom of the matter.
Meanwhile, parodies of this entire episode abound on the Internet. One that shows the most promise is a contest being run on
Read more of Terry’s news and reviews at Curtain Up! in the Entertain Us neighborhood of the Washington Times Communities. For Terry’s investing and political insights, visit his Communities columns, The Prudent Man and Morning Market Maven, in Business.
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