White House "deeply embarrassed" by ObamaCare Rollout
A weekend New York Times article acknowledges that the dreaded "third world experience" perfectly describes the public unveiling of Obama's healthcare makeover.
While some Republicans have been concerned that the government shutdown has "covered for the bad rollout of ObamaCare," and that a "golden opportunity" was missed, as The Hill reports, the epic failure of the ObamaCare exchanges will be impossible for the Democrats to hide.
After a five-year drumroll for the president's crown jewel, the trumpets sounded and a cork came out:
The growing national outcry has deeply embarrassed the White House
And it should deeply embarrass every liberal who thought the full weight of an overgrown government could create the perfect system to cure the ills of mankind.
Yet the liberal reaction will be that with just a little more time and a little more money, and a little less noise from the uncouth rubes in the countryside, we'll finish the job.
The authors of the Times column, Robert Pear, Sharon LaFraniere, and Ian Austen, interviewed numerous officials inside and outside of government, and the comments elicited point to a deeply troubled process bounded by political pressure, financial constraints, and government hubris.
The federal government found itself setting up exchanges for the thirty-plus states that refused to do it themselves, which "vastly expanded" the federal project "in unexpected ways." The project was further delayed by the decision to hold up releasing certain key rules until after the November 2012 election.
According to the Times, the White House "was calling the shots" and let it be known that "failure was not an option," despite numerous warnings of trouble ahead.
A key decision early in the process is cited by the Times as a major factor in the system meltdown. With some 55 contractors doing various software and database pieces, the government "Medicare and Medicaid agency assumed the role of project quarterback," with the task of integrating the components, despite the fact that the expertise to do so was not there.
That decision would have disastrous consequences on the rollout, as the pieces simply do not work together as promised.
Officials fear that the "full extent" of the problems is unknown, that fixing one glitch will just create new problems, and that the flaws could "threaten the fiscal health" of the entire enterprise because the necessary millions of rate-payers may not materialize.
An insurance executive quoted by the Times says:
These are not glitches...The extent of the problems is pretty enormous. At the end of our calls, people say, 'It's awful, just awful.'
The full scale of the unfolding debacle is reflected in the finger-pointing:
Worried about their reputations, contractors are now publicly distancing themselves from the troubled parts of the federally run project.
If the system is as deeply troubled as the Times analysis suggests, and enrollment therefore cannot pull its financial weight, how long can it be before drug companies and insurers, along with medical device companies, demand to have their share of the tax burden for a failed system rolled back? And how long can the administration hold out against demands to stop forcing citizens to sign up for this unholy experiment?
The Democrats in the Senate are huddled together behind the facade of Harry Reid's shutdown theater, but as the 2014 election draws near, vulnerable Democrats will be running for the hills faster than you can say "repeal!"