The administration's self-imposed deadline for Healthcare.gov has come and gone. Needless to say, the website is still nowhere near where it needs to be. The administration is boasting that the site can now handle 50,000 users at one time, among other claims in HHS' latest report. Though that didn't stop the website from failing during a CNN report on the “fixed” website. Nor do these fixes bring the website up to private sector standards, which you can read about in this Washington Examiner piece by Philip Klein. But that didn't stop the administration from claiming in its report that "the team is operating with private sector velocity and effectiveness." Even Chuck Todd points out that this is an indictment on the government's failed attempt over the last three years (and $500 million) to produce something of private sector standards.
The fact is that the website had nowhere to go but up in terms of improvement, but it still has a long ways to go. For example, two crucial "back-end" issues have yet to be rectified: verifying users' identities and accurately transmitting data to insurance companies.
The Wall Street Journal has a piece highlighting the timeline of the White House's evolving talking points on the improvements to Healthcare.gov. We went from improvement for “a vast majority of users” to operating “much better” but still the need for “further improvements.” What an embarrassment for this administration.
Despite hearings in Congress, it's difficult to determine who is ultimately responsible for this botched website rollout. Most would say Kathleen Sebeilus, but she still has a job. In fact, she penned an op-ed in USA Today alerting people to alternative methods of signing up for ObamaCare: over the phone, in person, via the mail or directly through insurers. However if you want to use the website, Sebelius is still suggesting that you visit during off-peak hours. If the website was working properly, Sebelius shouldn't have to push these alternative methods two months later.
The latest reports claim is that just 100,000 Americans have signed up for ObamaCare, which is 700,000 short of the administration's goal. Even when the website recovers (and it will), there is no doubt that ObamaCare's rollout has tarnished the law as a whole.
Let's not forget what happened right before the Thanksgiving holiday. The Obama administration loves to dump news like this right as people are tuning out. They delayed the federal exchanges for small businesses for one year. Another delay! This is from the same people who called Republicans everything under the sun for daring to suggest a delay of ObamaCare. “It's the law of the land,” remember?
Also before the Thanksgiving holiday we had the Supreme Court agree to hear the case that Hobby Lobby has brought against the contraception mandate portion of ObamaCare. That case will be heard in the spring. Today, however, the Supreme Court rejected a petition from Liberty University challenging ObamaCare's employer mandate.
The fact is that even if the website worked perfectly, ObamaCare will fail to provide better care for less cost. The Washington Examiner did a survey of insurance agents across the country and they concluded the following: “ObamaCare applicants across the country are finding their premiums are tripling, their favorite doctors aren't available, the physicians they can see are often far away and many prestigious hospitals offering specialized care are off-limits to them.” And if you don't want to believe the insurance agents, read this report from the Wall Street Journal: ObamaCare's Plans Are Worse: How the Affordable Care Act raises prices and limits medical choices.
- But if we listen to former Obama advisor David Plouffe, if we wait until 2017 then ObamaCare will be working “really well.” 2017 … are you kidding me?
Here are a few more of the latest stories related to ObamaCare and its failed rollout: