Yesterday President Obama addressed the problems with the new healthcare exchanges under the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare. Specifically, the widely noted problems with the Obamacare website which has proved extremely difficult to use. As the shutdown has ended more attention has been focused on the roll out of the provisions of Obamacare which has left a lot to be desired.
When the Web site went live Oct. 1, it locked up shortly after midnight as about 2,000 users attempted to complete the first step, according to two people familiar with the project. As new details emerged about early warning signs of serious deficiencies in HealthCare.gov, Obama on Monday gave a consumer-friendly defense of the health-care law, insisting that the problems many Americans have faced in trying to enroll in insurance plans will be fixed quickly.
“There’s no sugarcoating it: The Web site is too slow; people have been getting stuck during the application process,” he said at a White House event.
Obama went on to say that Obamacare is “more than a website” in hopes of redirecting people’s attention towards the consumer protection aspects of the law. He also noted the expansion of Medicaid citing the state of Oregon which cut its uninsured rate by 10%.
But the face of Obamacare is the website which is embarrassingly dysfunctional for a president who rode one of the most technologically sophisticated campaign operations to victory in 2008 and 2012.
Obama said government officials are “doing everything we can possibly do” to repair the site, including 24-hour work from “some of the best IT talent in the country.” “No one is madder about the Web site than I am, which means it’s going to get fixed,” he added.
White House officials said Monday that the problems have not caused the administration to consider delaying the law’s individual mandate, which requires that most Americans have health insurance next year or pay a fine.
The public is not buying it as a Washington Post-ABC News poll released yesterday shows a clear majority of Americans believe that the problems with the website are indicative of larger problems with the law.
Fortunately for Obama, his political enemies in the Republican Party are more inept than any website. Otherwise the disastrous introduction of Obamacare might have really led to political problems, maybe even repeals or extensive delays. But thanks to the stupidity of the Republicans in Congress, Obamacare will continue going as is, warts and all.