And they call the GOP “crazy?”
It should be noted that Senator Dick Durbin’s belief that Obamacare is “on its way to becoming a substantial success” is not delusional. It’s strategy. If enough Democrats repeat over and over that well, the rollout for the website was a little rough, but its because no one could anticipate so many people getting excited and going online to find out about the ACA. And these itsy bitsy problems are all going to go away soon and things will be just peachy before you know it.
Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Democrat in the chamber, defended the rollout of the healthcare reform law in an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” while noting that “it’s off to a rough start with the website.”
Critics of the law have been quick to point out problems in the website that the Obama administration launched on Oct. 1, which is designed to help consumers shop for health insurance on new marketplaces, called exchanges.
Glitches and delays at the website have prevented many users from logging on and applying for insurance, even after multiple attempts.
“I don’t think this plan will work because it’s based on a couple of premises that won’t work,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) replied.
“But when you can’t even put together the package to sign up, that shows how big a job it is for the federal government to manage 16 percent of the economy and people’s health insurance plans. It’s not where the federal government should be.”
Durbin and other defenders of the law have claimed that some of the problems with the website have been due to a surge in traffic, which they say represents intense public interest.
On Saturday evening, the administration announced that 476,000 people had successfully applied for insurance through the government site. However, the Department of Health and Human Services did not disclose precisely how many of those applicants were successfully signed up for insurance.
Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius refused to testify about the website’s failure before a House committee.
Republicans have hammered her for the decision, especially since reports emerged that she will appear at a gala in Boston the night before the hearing.
The one thing that jumps out at me is this idea that people are really, really, truly, truly excited or intensely interested in Obamacare. This is a law that says you get insurance or you pay a fine. What did they expect? Besides incompetently designing a system that couldn’t handle a tenth of the traffic that migrated their way is hardly something to brag about.
And what to do with Sebelius? In a more accountable time, Sebelius would have offered her resignation without being asked. But this is the age that began when Janet Reno’s incompetent management resulted in the deaths of 76 men, women, and children in Waco, Texas at the Branch Davidian compound and she refused to take responsibility and President Clinton refused to fire her. Ever since then, most public officials who screw up get a pass. Sebelius nor her boss have any shame.
Democrats will continue to pretend Obamacare is a success right up until the moment they can no longer lie about it. Given the massive problems with the rollout, that day may come sooner than any of us think.