In Congress, ideology is extremely important, but it always takes a backseat when faced with close elections. Vulnerable Democrats, such as Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana are scrambling to distance themselves from the Obamacare implementation fallout and the insurance mandate.
In the House, Democrats are furious about the optics of millions of their constituents losing their health insurance. They are giving the White House until this Friday to “fix” the very law their party wrote and voted for when they were in the majority back in late 2009. Republican Fred Upton of Michigan is sponsoring legislation which would allow insurance companies the option of continuing all existing health plans for a year, and plenty of Democrats are willingto support it.
As a political issue, Upton’s bill is tactically smart. However, the bill only focuses on 2014, and Congress can not force insurance companies to absorb massive losses. The real problem is Obamacare itself, which is why the law must be repealed in it’s entirely.
Here is an update to my Obamacare Blunders list:
* If it wasn’t clear already, the Washington Post reports that healthcare.gov will not be fully operational by the end of November. Anonymous government officials have noted that the insurance exchange is balking when more than 20,000 to 30,000 people attempt to use it at the same time, which is approximately half of its needed capacity. In addition, the main contractor- CGI Federal – has only succeeded in repairing “only about six of every 10 of the defects it has addressed so far.”
* The Fiscal Times interviewed tech experts who are astonished by the disaster of healthcare.gov. According to Sumit Nijhawan, CEO of Infogix, a data security firm working with private insurers, even if the White House can fix the problems associated with the site, they’re going to find new ones immediately. Nijhawan also warned that the systems that allow the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and health insurance companies to exchange information are nowhere close to being ready, meaning tech problems “could last years.” In addition, Luke Chung, founder and CEO of the software company FMS said, “When I visited healthcare.gov on October 1, that was the worst piece of software I’ve ever experienced in my life.”
* Healthcare.gov has been such a disaster that ABC News interviewed the model whose face was on the front of the site and has since become the butt of late-night talk show jokes and internet mockery. “Adriana,” who is not an American citizen, has since been removed from the site.
* According to CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson, Henry Chao, healthcare.gov‘s chief project manager, made it clear during congressional testimony that he was unaware of the now infamous memo which outlined important security risks discovered in the computer system prior to its launch. In addition, Chao noted that security gaps could lead to identity theft, unauthorized access and misrouted data. Chao, who joined CMS in 1994, was also responsible for much of the technology behind the troubled launch of Medicare Part D in 2005.
* President Barack Obama during an interview with Chuck Todd of NBC News, “apologized” to the Americans who are losing their health insurance plans he said they could keep. Obama said, “I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me. We’ve got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.” The law and the rollout of healthcare.gov have been so disastrous that he did not explicitly rule out a delay in the individual mandate.
For the complete list, please visit Citizens United’s website.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, only 106,185 people have selected a health insurance plan through Obamacare. Keep in mind that these are – predictably – inflated figures from the Obama administration. The government won’t say how many people actually enrolled in a plan, just how many “selected” a plan. This is like saying that putting something in your cart on Amazon is the same as buying it. Not only is the number phony, it’s also pathetic. Fewer than 27,000 people “selected” a plan using the disastrous Obamacare website. Obama’s original goal was 500,000 enrollees. The government didn’t even come close. Americans are opting out of this disastrous law because it is unaffordable and unworkable. Democrats won’t allow a vote on repealing Obamacare in Congress so Americans are voting with their wallets and the result is overwhelming.