This is not a joke

But, it is laughable.  When health care reform laws began to affect individual taxpayers two years ago, the Department of Health and Human services created this infographic to illustrate how various components of the system “work” together.  Click on the image below to see a larger version:


The folks at DHS didn’t intend to make a funny, but the irony of the chart is apparent to anyone dealing with government bureaucracy.  “Patients” have been placed at the very bottom right corner.  Just to find a healthcare provider, they must negotiate the complicated path of the “Health Industry,” until locating “Physicians” in the far bottom left.  At the center, the “Secretary” (?) spews strands of multicolored goo to the ominous entities hovering at the top of the chart: the IRS, Congress, and the President.  There’s no explanation of mysterious acronyms such as IPAB, and PCORI, MEWA, AHRQ, CMS, GAO, CDC, and NIH… an entire alphabet of agencies.  No wonder patients feel overwhelmed and powerless in a system that sees itself as the all-important controlling entity.

While it’s been a bumpy course, things are improving for those looking for health insurance coverage.  The website is easier to use and phone assistance is available 24/7 at 1-800-318-2596.  There is also an interactive feature that provides contact information for local assistance based on your zip code. Open enrollment continues until the end of January.  It’s really not as scary as it looks, especially with a little help from your friends at the OU-Tulsa Morningcrest Health Library.  Visit our insurance page for more helpful links.

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