State Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom - yes, that Rodney Tom - wants to help constituents get on the Obamacare bandwagon. At what’s being billed as an “enrollment event” this Saturday at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue, Tom will appear along with representatives of Seattle and King County Public Health from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., intent on helping folks “navigate Washington Healthplanfinder” - the state’s online health insurance exchange created under the Affordable Care Act.
“Unlike other healthcare exchange websites across the country, which are experiences difficulties, Washington’s healthcare exchange is up and running, and has already enrolled nearly 25,000 people so far this month,” Tom says in a press release distributed by Booker Stallworth, a spokesperson for the Majority Coalition Caucus. “A big part of making this new program a success and meeting the needs of those Washingtonians looking for affordable coverage is making sure the public is fully educated about the exchange website and the choices available to them. ... This and other enrollment events are a big part of that educational effort.”
While Tom’s participation in the “enrollment event” isn’t shocking, one does have to wonder how many of his Majority Coalition Caucus colleagues will be doing the same thing. For instance, Spokane’s Sen. Michael Baumgartner has been highly critical of the Affordable Care Act in the past, issuing a statement in August that said in part: “In the very near future, Obamacare will force thousands of residents into the system while simultaneously reducing consumer choice and imposing mandates and price controls. ... Inevitably that will lead to a reduction in actual care for some – or worse, the eventual onset of a two-tiered public/private system such as that used in Great Britain. And all of this comes from a proposal that was sold to America on the promise of a reduction in health-care spending that will never materialize.”