October 21 2013

ObamaCare: The S.O.S.

Patrice J. Lee

Today, the President plans to hold a press conference at which he will trot out the handful of Americans who have actually enrolled in ObamaCare as proof that it’s possible. But this press conference is nothing short of damage control to save face in front of the American people.

Lawmakers and politicos on the right and left have been highly critical of healthcare.gov and rightly so. As we’ve reported for weeks, the technical errors, breakdowns and structural issues with the ObamaCare website are indicative of what happens when government steps in to improve the private market. It makes a hot mess.

In an effort to meet the October first enrollment day deadline, the Administration churned out a website that was not ready and in some instances not tested.

Now the Administration is doing whatever it can to salvage the reputation of the President’s signature legislation. This includes finding experts to solve the scores of issues with the website:

In a blog post on Sunday, HHS said it had called in "some of the best and brightest" to help iron out the technical glitches.

“We have updated the site several times with new code that includes bug fixes that have greatly improved the HealthCare.gov experience,” the agency said. “Today, more and more individuals are successfully creating accounts, logging in, and moving on to apply for coverage and shop for plans. We're proud of these quick improvements, but we know there's still more work to be done.”

The White House said the president will also stress that the Affordable Care Act is "much more than just a website" in the event.

"The product – quality, affordable insurance – is good, and if anything, the interest and demand at the launch of HealthCare.gov proves just how urgently Americans want and need access to these new health care options," the White House official argued.

This is a bad joke. Why didn’t the Administration seek out these “best and brightest” before now instead of hiring a company that the Canadian government fired for delivering shoddy work? Or better yet, why did the same members of Congress who are expressing their indignation with the rollout even vote to pass ObamaCare in the first place?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Central planning fails and fails miserably. In this case, the Administration failed to produce the all-important mechanism to execute its sweeping healthcare takeover. Frankly, they were setting themselves up for failure.

In the private sector, when a company fails, it goes out of business. When government fails, we just get a new program or subsidy that doesn’t go away.

And speaking of going away, despite calls for Health and Human Services head Kathleen Sebelius to resign amid this embarrassment, she isn’t going anywhere. Sebelius has the full confidence of the President, but looking around he’s the only one.

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