'Ayes' Wired Shut: GOP Must Hold Line on Mandate Delay
- Any number of domestic firms with health insurance industry application processing and claims experience could have and should have done this work -- emphasis on "domestic." Were IBM, HP and others somehow tainted by being U.S.-based?
- Though I'm sure CGI has American citizens working on the project, it's reasonable to suspect that a firm whose services include "outsourcing" might be using foreign workers with H-1B visas to help build America's government-run health care system. Based on the fact that CGI, whose U.S. operations are based in Fairfax, Virginia, filed 299 such visa applications in 2012, up from 172 in 2011, I believe we can say with some confidence that non-citizens are doing HealthCare.gov jobs quite a few unemployed American IT professionals would be thrilled to do. If this seems like a stretch, consider that we already know that many state exchange contracts "allow, in their silence, the use of temporary visa workers."
- It's also fair, given CGI's involvement, to ask how much of the substantive work on the project is being done overseas, and how much confidential user information, over which security is already known to be shaky, is being processed overseas or passing through overseas connections.
A private insurance company, seeing such a failed rollout unfold, would immediately stop the madness and revert to what it had been doing, lest its customers flee in droves and its competitors eat its lunch. Unfortunately, this is the government, which -- thanks to John Roberts and the Supreme Court -- has its citizen-subjects held captive by a law which should have been ruled unconstitutional, and to a system which has no long-term competition. And we're dealing with the Obama administration, which is hell-bent on forcing what is perhaps the most unpopular major government program in U.S. history down Americans' throats.
Which brings us to the "shutdown."
First and most obviously, it's not the fault of Speaker John Boehner's Republican House majority. They have passed bill after bill to keep the government running. If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's Senate were really sure that sentiment is on his side, he would bring the House's bills to a vote as they arrived. He hasn't, for almost a week.
Additionally, Obama and his administration, in a display of petulance never seen in previous contentious "shutdowns," have unnecessarily and spitefully "Barrycaded" national memorials -- even wiring them shut in some instances -- closed privately run parks, inflicted harm on fishermen and private homeowners, and prevented, under threat of arrest, the conduct of religious services at many military installations.
The exchanges must be delayed for a year. This would, as the Republicans have emphasized, put individuals on the same footing as businesses, whose compliance with the "employer mandate" was delayed until January 1, 2015. Without that concession, Republican congresspersons need to keep their "ayes" as wired shut as Obama's Barrycades.
If Team Obama was supremely confident -- as they want everyone to believe they are -- that the American people are in love with Obamacare, they would give themselves another year to get the mechanics right and to make the 2014 congressional elections a final referendum on their president's self-described "historic" program.
But they won't, unless public opinion forces them to. And we know why.
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