Tuesday, October 15, 2013

No Excuse For ACA Rollout Failure

QUESTION:  Who is the one guy who wants to see the government shutdown continue more than Ted Cruz?
ANSWER:  The guy who designed the Obamacare website.
When Barak Obama was running for president his staff engaged in a web- campaign unprecedented in the annals of American politics.  So cutting edge was this cyber-campaign, it was said that they not only knew where you lived and where you worked…they knew on which side of your mouth you chewed your gum.  The Obama web-campaign was acknowledged as a key component in Obama’s successful bid to win the White House…twice.
So given the Obama administration’s access to such savvy people…one has to ask why the rollout of the president’s most important initiative…the Affordable Care Act (ACA)…has proven to be such an unmitigated failure.
The Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010.  The administration has had over three years to plan, design and test the implementation of this historic piece of legislation.  And yet, three weeks into the rollout, people are still unable to access the site after multiple attempts.
The Obama administration says that “they anticipated that these “glitches” would occur and we are working hard to fix them.”  These are not “glitches”.  “Glitches” are resolved in a matter of a few hours.  What we are witnessing are inherent problems in the core design of the website.
The rumor mill says that the website has received over 14 million “hits.”  The rumor mill says that only 4400 people have actually signed up for insurance.  These are only rumors because the administration has refused to release the actual figures.  They say that they will release them on a monthly basis beginning in November.  Translation:  either they don’t know what the actual numbers are…or the numbers are so bad that they don’t want to release them.  We know this because if the numbers were good the administration would be shouting them from the rooftops. 
Given the political, historic, economic and life changing implications hinging on the success of this program; the colossal train wreck that we are witnessing is unforgivable.
In the interest of self disclosure…we believe health care is a right not a privilege.  We believe that the self proclaimed greatest country in the world should provide quality health care for its citizens.  As a result we supported the ACA because it is the first viable attempt to provide all citizens with the care they need. 
We have commented on numerous occasions that the ACA is a flawed plan because it attempts to serve two masters:  health care for all and insurance coverage for profit.  It attempts to insert the concept of insurance for everyone into the existing free market delivery system.  As such, the ACA was bound to have difficulties that would require a bit of “tweaking” along the way.  But never in our wildest dreams did we anticipate that those difficulties would involve accessing the website or signing up for coverage.
This rollout has been an utter embarrassment for the administration. 
Today all eyes will be on the US Senate where party leaders are expected to bring a compromise bill to the floor that will end the shutdown and extend the debt ceiling.
Somewhere the Obama web guy is thankful for the distraction.

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