RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
October 15, 2013
“If Apple launched a major new product that functioned as badly as ObamaCare’s online insurance marketplace, the tech world would be calling for [CEO] Tim Cook’s head.”
That searing indictment of Obamacare didn’t come from a conservative. Those were the words of the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein — yes, liberal Ezra Klein —and Evan Soltas in a blog post on Oct. 4, just three days after the online Obamacare marketplace opened. They were right.
Now, two full weeks since its launch, the website healthcare.gov still isn’t functioning. One CNN reporter began trying to sign up on Oct. 1. As of the morning of Oct. 14, she still hadn’t been able to. A researcher who works for the New York Times has tried and failed to sign up for Obamacare 40 times since the website launched. But the Obama administration continues making excuses for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the people who spent hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on a site that does not work.
How much more money will her department waste — and how much time will Americans waste on the website — before the administration admits they have a problem? In a business, someone would be held accountable for such a large-scale disaster.
When pressed on her failures, Sebelius repeats her favorite line: “We had some early glitches.” A glitch, says Merriam-Webster, is “temporary” and “minor.” For two weeks, the Obamacare website has hardly functioned. That’s not minor or temporary. That’s not a glitch; that’s a systemic failure.
HHS had over three years to build the system, and the launch date still caught them entirely off guard—though not for a lack of warning signs.
The New York Times — yes, the liberal New York Times — documented the many red flags.
ObamaCare’s “chief digital architect” worried the site would be a “third-world experience.” The firm contracted to build the site didn’t start writing code until this past spring. “As late as the last week of September, officials were still changing features of the Web site,” reports the Times. Back in February one insurance executive said he foresaw “a train wreck.” He was right.
It’s bad enough that Sebelius and company produced a terrible taxpayer-funded product. It’s even worse that they didn’t heed the warnings or spot the red flags. They put on a smile, flipped the switch, and sat by as it crashed.
Now there is a very simple way that the Obama administration could prove their critics wrong — a way to back up their claim that this really is all about a few “glitches” and that the site has worked for people. They could release the number of Americans who have enrolled for coverage. But they won’t, saying they don’t know the numbers yet and will only report them monthly.
Think about that for a second. This is not an administration that misses an opportunity to brag. They’ve even leaked sensitive national security information to burnish their image. They could release the numbers if they wanted. The truth, most likely, is that the numbers would prove their many critics right.
Then again, maybe they did such a terrible job building the system that it’s impossible even to do something as simple as count enrollees.
The website is only part of the Obamacare story. The law continues to wreck the economy and endanger the healthcare of Americans. More and more families who already have insurance are now receiving the kind of letters that many Americans dread. They’re being dropped from their current plan.
Writing for US News and World Report, Peter Roff shared an excerpt of the letter he received from his insurance company.
“Among other things, these (Affordable Care Act) requirements will cause your benefits to change to include federally-mandated Essential Health Benefits. Since your current benefit plan does not conform to these new mandates, your current health plan will cease upon your anniversary date,” it said.
Again and again and again, President Obama promised that if you like your plan you could keep it. He lied.
And now what are these families without insurance supposed to do?
Find a new plan on the exchanges.
What a train wreck. Even former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs says, “This was bungled badly,” adding “I hope they fire some people that were in charge of making sure this thing was supposed to work.”
I agree. And the first person fired should be Secretary Sebelius.
ObamaCare Kathleen Sebelius