Michael Elvin: Phone operators best

November 4, 2013 

Maybe we should give the president a break. The Obamacare website looks to be down for the full count ... but nobody’s health care site is doing much better.

We tried for an entire day to create an online account at the N.C. State Health Plan website with no success. It kept asking unanswerable questions, such as, “What was the exact date you retired?” No humans keep track of such information, although computers are very good at doing things like that, so it didn’t recognize us. When we finally got connected to a human being, he was able to sign us up in about 60 seconds. Hurray for humans.

Now we hear that over in the UK they’re having the same problem. Their National Health System is also computerized. And apparently it has been foundering since 2007. Even though they’ve spent 13 billion pounds trying to fix it, there’s been no relief. In fact they’ve just now taken it off life support and pronounced it dead.

I wonder what effect it would have on unemployment if we went back to the old way of doing things, with operators waiting by the phone to take our call. I’m thinking it would save a lot of money and work better, too.

Michael Elvin

Fuquay-Varina

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