In Review: The Obamacare Rollout
October 9, 2013 - 2:03 pm
Well, the Obamacare exchanges are open – and they’re an unmitigated disaster. It’s not like we didn’t see this coming. Paula Bolyard and Bridget Johnson have both posted about this nightmare. Now, a little over a week since the exchanges’ opened. Let’s look at what everyone else is saying about this massive federal power grab that will do nothing to help the uninsured, the poor, or curb health care costs.
To start, USA Today has described the rollout as an “inexcusable mess.”
President Obama’s chief technology adviser, Todd Park, blames the unexpectedly large numbers of people who flocked to Healthcare.gov and state websites. “Take away the volume and it works,” he told USA TODAY’s Tim Mullaney.
That’s like saying that except for the torrential rain, it’s a really nice day. Was Park not listening to the administration’s daily weather report predicting Obamacare’s popularity?
Park said the administration expected 50,000 to 60,000 simultaneous users. It got 250,000. Compare that with the similarly rocky debut seven years ago of exchanges to obtain Medicare drug coverage. The Bush administration projected 20,000 simultaneous users and built capacity for 150,000.
That’s the difference between competence and incompetence.
That incompetence falls squarely on Obama. As Megan McArdle wrote on Bloomberg on October 7, there’s no blaming Republicans for the exchanges fiasco.
[I] do not think that the Republicans can be blamed for this particular disaster. They did not force the administration to wait until late 2011 to begin awarding important contracts for implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Presumably, they were also not skulking around the Department of Health and Human Services, writing the memos that delayed, until February of this year, the deadline for states to declare whether they’d be running their own exchanges.
Relating to the technology aspect, it would’ve helped if the exchange site was tested by the General Services Administration. It wasn’t.
The site did not undergo testing from the General Services Administration’s “First Fridays” Web usability testing service, a Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman told Nextgov on Monday. First Fridays is a program to spot glitches in government websites and to make them more user friendly.
Even Ezra Klein at the Washington Post admitted that the site is “really bad.” What’s more is that the Post seem to be having trouble finding the exact number of enrollees. We’re told that those numbers will be released sometime in November. California overstated the amount of people that visited their site, and Maryland is reporting that a whopping 326 people decided to enroll in their exchanges.
As for the dynamics of the exchanges, it’s a “hacker’s wet dream.” As John McAfee told Neil Cavuto on October 2, it’s not hard for any hacker to set up a site, make it look “competitive,” and potentially steal the identities of millions of Americans. Since we’re dealing with health care, very sensitive information can be easily obtained by these criminals. With a multitude of exchange sites now operational, we should expect horrific stories about lives being stolen by fake websites.
Concerning the ones that are legitimate, they aren’t really set up well, but you already knew that. Yet, for die-hard liberals, like economist Paul Krugman,they seem to think that the “substantive news” of late about Obamacare “has been good.” Again, that’s an abject lie.
New York Times:
- Lower Health Insurance Premiums to Come at Cost of Fewer Choices
- On the Threshold of Obamacare, Warily
- Reports of problems precede launch of Obamacare
- Obamacare suffers another delay, pushing back exchange enrollment for small firms
- One week away, Obamacare’s small business insurance exchanges not all ready for launch
- VA: 6 deaths linked to delays in screenings at South Carolina hospital, says delays resolved
- Obamacare: One blow after another
- Another Obamacare delay
- Exchanges may have high out-of-pocket costs
Wall Street Journal:
- Medicaid Applications Face Delay in Health Exchanges
- Health Insurers Scramble to Keep Healthy Customers
National Review Online:
Investors Business Daily:
Real Clear Politic:
- Double Down: Obamacare Will Increase Avg. Individual-Market Insurance Premiums By 99% For Men, 62% For Women
NYT/CBS News Poll:
- Americans’ Views on President Obama- Spoiler alert! No one thinks this law is going to be executed well.
- Yet Another White House Obamacare Delay: Out-Of-Pocket Caps Waived Until 2015
- Obamacare Will Increase Health Spending By $7,450 For A Typical Family of Four
Additionally, there are these little facts highlighting the miserable failure of this law.
- A software program that can’t accurately determine an enrollee’s eligibility for Obamacare subsidies.
- A “family glitch” that could leave up to 500,000 kids without health insurance.
- Thirty-one million Americans will remain uninsured by 2023. I guess that’s why Politico admitted that Obamacare is “one blow after another.”
- The New York Times reported that lower premiums could come with limits on access to care.
- It looks like we’re going to return to the restrictive, bare bones HMO health care plans of the 1990s and have less access to doctors and hospitals.
- Obamacare will only exacerbate Medicaid fraud, which has already hit Maryland, Mississippi, and New Jersey.
- There’s the chilling fact that surgical patients on Medicaid are 13% more likely to die than those who are uninsured, even accounting for demographic differences (like age).
- A typical family of four will see its health care spending increase by $7,450.
- The list of companies cutting hours, or jobs, due to Obamacare is growing. Check out the butcher’s bill here.
- Seventy-seven percent of Americans want the individual mandate to be delayed.
- Broken down along party lines, we have 65% of Democrats agreeing – with 43% opposing the mandate outright.
- The Affordable Care Act bends the cost curve upward.
- Obamacare’s data hub circumvents two privacy laws – and could lead to massive identity theft.
So, a few things are clear; things that we on the right all saw coming when this day arrived. One is that Paul Krugman doesn’t read his own publication. Yet, it’s also fact that Obamacare won’t save families money, you can’t keep your health care plan if you like it, the process in determining subsidies is inaccurate, it leaves Americans vulnerable to identity theft, and 77% want the core provision of the law to be delayed. Yet, Democrats aren’t willing to compromise on Obamacare, even though members of their own base have voiced their displeasure over it.