October 22 2013
Is ObamaCare ready for a 12 step program?
The first step to overcoming a problem is admitting something is wrong. President Obama showed yesterday with his remarks in the Rose Garden that he is still in denial about the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare.
Sure, he acknowledged that the website rollout was “unacceptable” but he really treated the remarks as a campaign event. He had the usual backup of people there to prove what a success ObamaCare is. As Byron York pointed out, however, none of them had enrolled yet. They merely hope to benefit from ObamaCare:
For example, a Pennsylvania man named Malik Hassan was in the group, and this is the White House description of his situation, in full: "Malik Hassan works at a restaurant in Philadelphia. Hassan, who does not receive coverage through his employer, is looking forward to enrolling for health coverage this fall. He recently used Healthcare.gov. to process his application and is waiting for the options for potential plans in Philadelphia."
So, Hassan is employed, not covered, and has not yet succeeded in finding coverage through Obamacare. That is, in the White House's estimation, an Obamacare success story.
The president’s connection to reality was so tenuous yesterday that the Wall Street Journal headlined its editorial “1-800-ObamaCare-Denial.” Yes, the president actually told people to call a 1-800 government number if they could not use the unusable website.
This is not the first time the president showed the world that he is a pampered man who has not been put on hold in a very long time. The people who took the president’s advice didn’t get through and in some cases were referred to the dysfunctional healthcare.gov.
The president didn’t say when or how the website will be fixed—he did say that ObamaCare is “more than a website”—yeah, but how do you get to that more if neither the website or the 800 number work? I suspect the president didn’t address the website “issues” is because he can’t.
Government isn’t the right vehicle for managing our health. Unlike business, where there is such a thing as success and failure, government isn’t supple. We saw that yesterday in the White House Rose Garden. What we are seeing is just how inadequate government is for the liberal project, which is to grow government.
The Wall Street Journal notes:
In an era where Google is making self-driving cars and Amazon offers next-day delivery for just about anything, the White House plunged ahead with a system it knew to be defective and is relying on the technology of the 19th century as the fall-back. Five days before the exchanges launched, the Health and Human Services Department increased the Virginia information technology company Serco's $114 million contract by $87 million—to help process paper applications. Are contingency plans in place to sign up via telegraph?
If Apple had had such a disastrous rollout of a new product, there would be consequences. But President Obama demonstrated yesterday that government will do what it always does to “fix” a problem: spend more money. I bet I am not the only citizen beginning to suspect that this can’t be fixed.
As I commented yesterday, the prominence of Karmel Allison at yesterday’s Rose Garden remarks indicated another reason that ObamaCare is heading for failure. Ms. Allison, who has Type 1 diabetes, is the the type of potential client who will make ObamaCare unsustainable. If only the sickest enroll, ObamaCare will become actuarially impossible.
Steve Jobs would have thought of this. President Obama seems not to be willing to acknowledge it even now.