From our One Town, Two Different Places desk
To the Boston Herald, Obamacare is melting down. To the Boston Globe, it’s just gearing up.
Page One of today’s feisty local tabloid:
Mass. health care sign-ups lag among those forced to switch
Just weeks before a Jan. 1 enrollment deadline, state officials admitted yesterday that just 1 percent of the 150,000 Bay Staters facing canceled heath insurance under Obamacare rules have signed up for new plans.
Massachusetts Health Connector officials told the Herald that only 549 applicants — out of the 150,000 Bay Staters forced to switch their health plans to comply with Obamacare rules — are poised to receive insurance through the new system.
Technically, officials explained, even those few haven’t actually enrolled in new health plans yet.
“No, nobody’s enrolled,” said Scott Devonshire, chief information officer of the Massachusetts Health Connector, “because enrollment … doesn’t happen until a (health plan) carrier receives payment. It’s a semantics issue, I guess.”
And we know how much the Herald loves semantics issues, being so fastidious about details and all.
The Globe, for its part, is more like oblivious. From today’s page B1:
Parity rules issued for mental health care
The Obama administration issued rules Friday requiring most health insurers to provide similar coverage for people with mental and physical health problems, even as Massachusetts regulators pushed insurers this week to show that they are already complying with the spirit of the law.
The day marked a milestone for mental health advocates across the country who have been waiting five years since President George W. Bush signed the mental health parity law for its patient protections to go into effect.
“This final rule breaks down barriers that stand in the way of treatment and recovery services for millions of Americans,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a press release.
Not a word about healthcare signup problems for Massachusetts residents. On the other hand, though, “Massachusetts is seen as further ahead than many states in providing access to mental health care.”
That’s good news for the Heraldniks, because Obamacare’s driving them crazy.