Mark Thiessen:

The Post reported this past weekend that the failure of the Web site is worse than previously known: “Even when consumers have been able to sign up, insurers sometimes can’t tell who their new customers are because of a separate set of computer defects.” It turns out that in some 99 percent of applications, the Obamacare site did not provide insurers with enough verifiable information to enroll people in their plans.

Computer experts say the problems with the site are not because of heavy traffic but are the result of structural flaws in system architecture. It is going to take months to rebuild it. That raises a question: If the federal government can’t manage a simple Web site, how on earth is it going to manage the health care of millions of Americans?

Of course, it was never about health care; it was always about power. And ObamaCare does more than perhaps any law in American history to concentrate power in Washington. I’m trying to think of a worse example, but I’m coming up blank. The establishment of a peacetime draft by FDR, maybe? At least that was a “temporary” national security measure.


It also means that President Obama may have no choice but to delay the individual mandate. As my American Enterprise Institute colleague, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, points out, how can Obama penalize people for not having health insurance if the government’s Web site to provide that insurance doesn’t work?

Without the individual mandate, Obamacare unravels. The only way the law works is if the government forces young, healthy people into it by threatening them with penalties for not carrying health insurance. But if there is no penalty for not signing up, then fewer Americans will sign up.

You also need to induce people to sign up. And charging young people money they don’t have for a product they don’t want on websites that don’t work is hardly a recipe for success.