On Saturday morning, Fox News interviewed Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan about an apparent overture by President Barack Obama intended to bring about an end to the horrible, awful, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it 17 percent government shutdown.
The idea, in essence: pass a bill to fund the entire government, and then we can talk about making needed changes to Obamacare.
Pretty funny. For practical purposes — at least in terms of having a functioning exchange, the hyped linchpin of the entire enterprise — there is no Obamacare right now. Sure, there’s a website, but only a tiny percentage of those wishing to use it have been able to and even fewer have actually purchased policies.
It got so bad last week that on Thursday, press apparatchiks, desperate for a poster child after almost three days of non-stop dispatches about HealthCare.gov’s “glitches,” swallowed the story of twenty-something Chad Henderson hook, line, and sinker: publicity hound Henderson claimed that he “got health insurance,” but was later found to have purchased nothing. Beyond that, he disclosed that he works — perhaps it’s “worked,” now that he’s no longer a useful idiot — “for an organization that pays me quarterly to posts [sic] the political stuff as ‘advocacy’ (so it’s kind of my job).” It didn’t take much of an effort to find pathetic Obama worship and hatred of conservatives in his now-protected Twitter account, and his still-open (as of this writing) Instagram collection.
Henderson claimed that the policy he finally admitted to not purchasing would cost him $175 per month. That’s about four times what a catastrophic coverage policy would have cost outside the Obamacare realm. Contrary to popular perception, as I noted in late August, “individuals and families can sign up for private coverage any time between now and the end of the year … doing so (as long as premiums are paid, of course) avoids the need to enroll in Obamacare until one year from the policy’s start date.”
Even if magical fixes occur in the coming weeks or months — can you believe the gall of a president begging for months of patience for a system to become functional when millions of Americans must have some form of coverage under penalty of law in less than 90 days? — this disaster threatens to become much more serious:
As few as 1 in 100 applications on the federal exchange contains enough information to enroll the applicant in a plan.
[F]ederal officials could face a situation in January in which relatively large numbers of people believe they have coverage starting that month, but whose enrollment applications are have not been processed.
That’s enough to make you wonder who is involved in creating this mess. And that sound you hear is of a can of worms opening:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversaw development of the site, declined to make any of its IT experts available for interviews. CGI Group Inc., the Canadian contractor that built HealthCare.gov, is “declining to comment at this time,” said spokeswoman Linda Odorisio. (emphasis mine)
Oh, it gets worse. The Washington Examiner reports that CGI has experience the Obama administration apparently finds valuable:
The company is deeply embedded in Canada’s single-payer system. (emphasis mine)
Well, that’s nice, except Obamacare isn’t a single-payer system — at least not yet — and expertise in such a system would seem irrelevant in what is supposed to be a “marketplace.”