Sebelius in Ohio: ‘HealthCare.gov Is Up and Running’
Except when it's not.
October 18, 2013 - 10:00 am
So how’s that HealthCare.gov working out for you? To hear Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, talk, the website is just humming along and everything is peachy. (I’m sure all Americans breathed a sigh of relief when they found out the Obamacare enrollments would continue unhindered during the Great American Shutdown of 2013.)
Sebelius joined a panel at the Columbus Metropolitan Library this week to discuss Obamacare’s impact in Ohio. She said her trip to the state was part of the “final phase” of implementing the law. I thought the final phase was when you gave your grandma the pain pill instead of letting her have the heart operation, but maybe that’s the final final phase of Obamacare.
Anyway, the HealthCare.gov website has been widely criticized since its October 1st launch with complaints of long wait times, crashes, buggy architecture, and security concerns. Sebelius addressed some of those concerns during the panel in Columbus.
“There is no question the website had a rocky start and I am first to say we wish it could have been a lot smoother from day one,” Sebelius said. “I can tell you it’s a whole lot better today than it was two weeks ago and HealthCare.gov, the website, is up and running. It will get better each and every day.”
Sebelius defended the decision not to delay the launch of the obviously not-ready-for prime-time website. “I think people have waited for decades for affordable health care,” she said. “We had a responsibility to get that product to them as quickly as possible. Waiting for another season would be totally unfair to those who have been desperate for affordable health care.” The subtle message seems to be that it’s better — more fair, even — to have crappy government services that don’t actually work than no services at all. This is the best we can aspire to in America in 2013.