Many on the right have warned of the dangers of Obamacare for years now, but it was hard to imagine that the implementation of the President’s signature legislation could go this badly. It has been 63 days since the October 1 rollout, and Healthcare.gov still isn’t functioning properly.
“How can that be possible? This goes beyond, I think… the wildest imagination of how bad this would be. I knew it would be bad. I didn't think the website would be this bad,” Pat said on radio this morning. “I know that the Obamacare program sucks and is more expensive for most people, but I didn't think there would be these kinds of problems with the website… And that [says] something: It exceeded our expectations for failure.”
Insurance companies are complaining of error-riddled applications, security experts are warning of significant privacy concerns, and those looking to sign up for coverage are now being directed to a virtual queue that could last hours. That really sounds like a ‘fixed’ website, right?
The Obama Administration, however, is quite proud of its accomplishments. "HealthCare.Gov on Dec. 1 is night and day from where it was on Oct0ber 1," Jeffrey Zients, the former Obama Administration official now managing website repair efforts, told reporters Sunday morning. "While we still have work to do, we've made significant progress with HealthCare.gov working for the vast majority of consumers."
During a White House briefing yesterday, Press Secretary Jay Carney had no choice but to make excuses:
REPORTER: And what do you say to those -- because we've talked to some today that we've been tracking from the start of this -- who still went on yesterday and today, and still are unable to enroll? What do you say to them?
CARNEY: Well, look, I would say that we have seen steady improvement in the site, and that improvement continued over the weekend and today. What is absolutely the case is that we need to continue our work, and that while the vast majority of users are able to access the site and have it function effectively, on a day like today when you have a surge that we're likely seeing, you're going to get this queue message, potentially, if you're trying to enroll, which allows for you to return to the site when it’s going to be less crowded. And that's a vast improvement over the experience that people had during surge periods -- or any period, really -- in early October.
“It's so bad that Carney is trumpeting on… December 2… two days after this was supposed to be absolutely fixed… that it's still not fixed,” Pat said exasperatedly. “So keep that in mind. You go there now – this is after the web site has been fixed – you [are going to] get a queue message. Wait. So I don't go there and sign up now? It's not fixed? No! But you are going to get a queue message that you are 194th in line.”
“Oh, no, no, they won't tell you [that] you are 194th,” Stu interjected. “What they will say is, ‘Hey, there's too much traffic. We'll email you when it's ready.’”
Pat attempted to extent the concept of the Healthcare.gov queue to other government agencies, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it doesn’t really make much sense.
“So the vast improvement is: Now, when you come to the DMV to get your driver's license renewed, the line is so long, that [they] can't even let you stay there,” Pat said. “[They’re] going to give you a little thing that says, ‘We'll call you when there's 10 people in line and you can come back. So go home and then we'll give you a call sometime in the future when there's less people in line and you can come back and get your driver's license then.’ Very convenient.”
When you consider the fact that we live in a world of instant gratification, the fact that the Obama Administration has gotten away with the utter failure of Healthcare.gov is truly inexplicable.
“Look, websites have problems, but you get it [fixed] in hours or minutes. You get them done, at the worst, in days,” Stu said. “Two months is an eternity in the digital world.”
Pat, meanwhile, summed the entire situation up in one word: “Unbelieveable.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP