ObamaCare’s Failure to Launch


aimagesDespite repeated warnings, highlighted by Democrat Sen. Max Baucus’s (D-MT) prediction last April of “a huge train wreck coming down” if ObamaCare wasn’t implemented correctly, that train wreck is exactly what has come to pass. Furthermore, there are already signs that the unpopular law is becoming more unpopular in the process.

Nonetheless, the Obama administration defended the chaotic start to the program, contending that the innumerable technical breakdowns associated with the program’s websites were caused by heavy traffic, as opposed to flaws in the design of the system. That assertion stretches credulity: the administration has had three years to prepare for a law that requires virtually every adult in America to buy health insurance or pay a fine. Still, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urged consumers who logged on to the government website to remain patient if a “holding page” pops up, warning that any attempt to refresh the page, or navigate away from it, would cost them their place in line.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius likened the “glitches” to the rollout of an iPhone upgrade, an ObamaCare promotion strategy that several administration officials have presented to the media. “Hopefully (the public will)  give us the same slack they give Apple,” she said. “If there’s not quite the operational excellence right away, we’ll continue to press for that.” Again, owning an iPhone is optional. Buying health insurance or paying a fine is mandatory.

On Tuesday, President Obama offered up another plank of his administration’s strategy regarding the rocky implementation of his signature legislation. After using the same Apple rollout comparison as Sebelius, the president contended that interest in the program was unexpectedly high. ”This demand exceeds anything we expected,” he said. “That gives you a sense of how important this is to millions of people around the country.”

The Associated Press parroted that contention, insisting that the same chaotic conditions persisting on day two of the rollout “were good news for President Barack Obama and supporters of his signature domestic policy achievement because the holdups showed what appeared to be exceptionally high interest in the overhauled insurance system.”

Interest is one thing. Actual enrollment is quite another. According to the Daily Mail, the overall enrollment rates of those visiting the healthcare websites set up by the states is less than one percent. In California, the state with a reputation for being the bluest in the nation, the signup rate was 0.58 per cent. The Democrat strongholds of New York and Connecticut had signup rates of 0.32 percent and 0.59 percent, respectively. States seeing greater levels of enrollment included Illinois at 1.7 percent, and Rhode Island at  2.3 percent. In Vermont and the District of Columbia, the percentages were 6 percent and 28 percent respectively, but those numbers are somewhat deceiving because they tabulated how many people established user accounts, rather than completed applications.

All of the above assumes the Daily Mail’s report is accurate. It may not be. According to local TV station KUSI-CA, the California numbers are completely bogus. They announced that no one had enrolled in the plan as of late Tuesday. Approximately 500,000 people visited the Covered California website, but only 7,100 people submitted applications. “Nobody is actually enrolled yet, because the people behind the scenes are not trained,” said the news anchor.

WSMV in Tennessee also announced they couldn’t find a single person who had signed up for ObamaCare. ”We’re hearing not a single person locally has been successful getting through to the new health insurance exchange,” said a local reporter. “It seems to be a problem especially in states like Tennessee, where the state opted out and left it up to the federal government to run what is essentially an online shopping site.”

Even the left-leaning Washington Post noted that “about a dozen or so reporters would like to speak with you” if you were someone who actually purchased ObamaCare. “We just need to find you first,” the paper admitted.

The popularity of the plan is belied by another reality as well. There are ten states in the nation–California, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina and Wisconsin–where thousands of Americans will see their existing healthcare plans eliminated. Thus, ObamaCare’s “popularity” may amount to nothing more than the mandated insurance policy of last resort. Many of the insurance carriers who had previously provided coverage in those states opted out of doing so. The two most prevalent reasons cited for the withdrawals were the inability of the companies to keep their plans financially viable, and the vast complexity of ObamaCare’s regulatory apparatus.

That regulatory apparatus is nothing short of staggering. As of now, 10,535 pages of final Obamacare regulations have been published in the Federal Register, including 110 final regulations that deal solely with the bill’s implementation.

CNS News attempted to ask three Democrat officials if they had read the regulations. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) refused to answer. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) asked, “Is it important that I read it?” before angrily dismissing the inquiry as a “propaganda question.” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) contended that ”we have read the regulations of interest, the ones, the areas that we are involved with, we’ve had inquiries about, we have read those regulations.”

Thus like ObamaCare itself, Americans will once again be forced to endure the overbearing hubris of Democrats who believe that learning the details of how these regulations affect their constituents is beneath their dignity.

On the other hand, American people’s dignity may already be at risk. A Minnesota insurance broker searching for information regarding the implementation of Obamacare instead received a document containing the names, Social Security numbers and other personal information belonging to more than 2,400 his fellow Minnesotans. “The more I thought about it, the more troubled I was,” said insurance agent Jim Koester. “What if this had fallen into the wrong hands? It’s scary.”

It gets scarier. An ABC News report reveals that even before the law was implemented, scam artists posing as government representatives conned Americans into giving up personal information over the phone. It further noted the government itself was “playing a dangerous game of chicken” with regard to keeping information safe due in large part to the same kind of “glitches” the administration is dismissing as insignificant in the signup process.

That lax attitude also extends to the administration’s Navigator program. The administration spent $67 million signing up 100 organizations to provide navigators for the signup process, even as it ignored letters from Congressmen and state attorneys general critical of the program’s privacy standards. Moreover, the navigators themselves won’t be required to pass background checks, obtain a license or carry liability insurance. Nor does the program hold anyone liable for data security breaches. As the website Legal Insurrection contends, such weak oversight could result in another Edward Snowden-like security breach, exposing millions of Americans’ personal health information to whoever wishes to access it.

Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation echoes those concerns, noting that the provision in ObamaCare requiring medical providers to switch from paper patient charts to electronic records is outpacing the implementation of security measures that would prevent pharmaceutical companies and other non-medical entities from using the information for commercial purposes. “Like any other kind of customer data, it gets bought and sold and you have no idea where it went,” Tien said.

Steve Vinsik, a vice president and cyber security expert with Unisys, warns that the ability to hack patient records runs the risk of taking identity fraud to entirely different level. ”If my credit card information is compromised, I can get a new credit card and change that information,” he said. “I can’t change my Social Security number. I can’t change my birth date or medical history.”

Nor can the Obama administration change the reality that ObamaCare remains as unpopular as ever. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken the day before the exchanges opened revealed that 44 percent of respondents think the law is a bad idea, while only 31 percent like it. When asked if the law will have a negative or positive impact on the country’s health-care system, negative impact prevailed by a 45 percent to 23 percent margin.

Yet amidst all the chaos and uncertainty, a bit of unintentional humor came to light as well. It seems that the letter substitutions for the official number HHS wants Americans to dial when seeking a healthcare provider spells 1-800-F**KYO.

Unfortunately, when the laughter dies down, that may be American’s ultimate assessment of a healthcare law that has all the earmarks of another giant and unaffordable bureaucratic nightmare. A nightmare in which the number of uninsured Americans never falls below 30 million over the next decade, according to the CBO. Nothing says train wreck better than that.

*

Don’t miss this week’s Glazov Gang on the deadliness of ObamaDon’tCare:

Part I:

Part II:

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

  • Scott

    Obama is a failure. How anyone can defend this man at this point is beyond me.

    • vulgar_imposter

      The same thing your wife said about you before she took the kids and left. She’s tired of the paranoia and anger, Scott. Time to stop reading articles on this website and watching Fox News all the time. It’s ruining your life.

      • MalalchHaMavet

        Tell us, what is YOU reason for visiting this website?
        I know, you’re merely an idiot who has no comprehension of what you just wrote

      • floridavet

        And time for you to stop trolling and go back to your momma’s basement.

      • W_R_Ranch

        You’re a anal-retentive dik. There is just no other way to say it.

      • theblues77

        My such hatred from those that are supposed to be tolerant and understanding. Oh wait, that is the same party that kills babies.

      • jespasinthru

        And there you have it, folks. The first obnoxious troll of the thread, who apparently has nothing better to do with his life than to make a fool of himself online.

  • davarino

    What a legacy O will leave behind. Actually, that will be the sum of his tenure in the WH, O.

    • CaoMoo

      the professor of history said let them eat cake.

    • vulgar_imposter

      Personally, I wish we could return to the tail end of the Bush administration. Those were golden times. Two wars with no end in sight. Global economic meltdown. Unemployment going through the roof. Bank bailouts. Collapsing infrastructure. Good times…

      • 11bravo

        The only way to get people/citizens to accept and live under a progressive system is to KILL millions of them – so the rest fall in line. And in the end your system fails anyway; in practice, and theory. Just look at Europe. Hell, the US is failing by any credible measurement. Unemployment through he roof – surrendering in defeat in two wars where we never lost a battle – collapsing infrastructure the stimulus did not address (see shovel ready) – Only US economic meltdown because of the progressive economic policies. Europe’s melting was well underway. We are doing just great! 2 million less people working today than the day Obama took office – good times!
        How smart is that?

      • jespasinthru

        And in six whole years, not a damn thing has changed. Oh, wait. It’s gotten a lot worse, hasn’t it? That whole “blame Bush” routine is really getting old.

      • P_Ang

        The tail end where both House and Senate were controlled by Democrats and their policies?

  • CowboyUp

    The first administration poster boy for obamacare sign-ups was a 30 year old 3rd year law student, Brendan Mahoney, who already had an insurance policy. It turns out he, an apparently able bodied, mentally competent young adult male, was somehow eligible for Medicaid, so now he’s gone from policy holder to welfare case. Obamacare isn’t working, but I’d have to say it’s working as intended by its’ authors.

    • vulgar_imposter

      Where’d you get that information from, bubba? Hannity? Rush?

      • CowboyUp

        Hartford Courant, tweeted by Tara McGuinness, senior obamacare publicity agent, retweeted by Organizing for America. A bunch of liars, I know, but I figured you’d at least believe your own hacks.

        • jespasinthru

          Didn’t Brendan Mahoney’s dad come out and admit that it was all a lie? Mahoney never signed up. He just wanted his 15 minutes of fame. And the propaganda machine was eager to give it to him.

          • CowboyUp

            I can believe it. When an “established law,” needs a “head publicist,” you know it’s a lemon.

  • http://www.clarespark.com/ Clare Spark

    The split between Dems and Republicans is awesome on this matter. See a conservative ER doctor’s warning about the imminent doctor shortage. http://clarespark.com/2012/12/14/james-pagano-md-on-healthcare-chaos/. James Pagano MDD on health care chaos: Updated.”

  • v

    The old saying goes “Crap in, Crap out”. Did anyone really ( I am informed) expected any different results. I would say that saying goes for this whole presidency, the only difference, when crap is out in this case, it will be a relief.

  • physicsnut

    Oh my – They think obamacare is going to be like social security and medicare. Interesting. Signing up for Social security was easy enuf, but the “opportunity to go shopping for insurance” looks to me like quite a different experience entirely – for one thing, the money would be going OUT of my account, instead of INTO it. That is a rather significant difference. And if you are already in the red, what makes them think that one can AFFORD to go shopping anyway ? It seems they are baffled by elementary economic reality. SOME are happy to get what they could not get before, but is this number greater or lesser than those who are broke ? If you can not answer that question, then you are just playing games with 1/6 of the economy. But that is what they are doing, because I keep reading ‘it is just the first step to Single Payer’.

    • Fritz

      There will never be “Single Pair”, the bankruptcy proceedings and the following Greecian/Wiemar formula for economic collapse will be in full effect before they get there. Do they think they can implement a state owned health care monopoly with no wealth to pay for it and nobody buying bonds and treasury notes but the Federal Reserve? Sure they can print money all they like but it it won’t be worth anymore then the $100 billion dollar notes that were circulating in Zimbabwe a few years ago.

  • DogmaelJones1

    Due to technical difficulties beyond our control….and Obamacare is supposed to be the be-all and end-all of health insurance and medical care? This is Obamacarites strutting their stuff? Pathetic, and predicable.

    • vulgar_imposter

      I opposed this plan when the Republicans proposed it back in the 90s.

      • MalalchHaMavet

        No stupid, you forgot all about Hillarycare

      • 4arepublic

        Are you just stupid or ignorant or both?

      • Gislef

        Sadly, Obama took it and spun it in a much larger direction.

        Are you opposing it now?

        • WW4

          Nope…pretty much the same thing. I would say that conservativism has “spun in a much larger direction” since 1993, where you have the democrats adopt a bill in 2009 championed by Republicans over a decade earlier only to find Republican opinion has, um, “changed” so drastically since then that the plan they proposed in 1993 as they ridiculed Hillarycare is now an abomination.

      • http://www.FireKarlRove.com/ C. Edmund Wright

        oh, you mean Hillary Care, which inspired the worst election for Democrats in Congress EVER (1994) was a “Republican plan?” (And no lo fo troll, the Heritage report was not at all the same thing as Hillary Care). But what is more or less the same as HIllary care is OBAMA CARE, which of course allowed the 2010 elections to break the record of 1994 as being the worst ever for Democrats.

  • http://www.shugartmedia.com/ Chris Shugart

    In less than half the time it’s taken the Obama administration to develop this boondoggle, Peter Jackson did all of his principal shooting for Lord of the Rings in 150 different locations simultaneously. The reason is simple: Jackson was obligated to produce an actual product. Obamacare has no such obligation.

  • tidegateguy

    Stalin’s Collectivization of the Soviet Union had “glitches” too.

    I wonder if there will be Stalinist purges of the people “responsible” for the failure of ObamaCare?

    Kill ObamaCare now or prepare for one party rule and dictatorship.

  • MalalchHaMavet

    IF they had waited an extra year they could have fixed the software, maybe?

  • Patricia Leath

    Marxist-in-chief’s tyrannical programs are progressing as planned. How many people do you think will be killed in the first round?

    • jespasinthru

      They’ll target the old folks first, because they have the most knowledge. The death panels are already lined up and waiting. After that they’ll go after the conservatives and the children.

  • http://www.FireKarlRove.com/ C. Edmund Wright

    Actually, the fact that it’s a massive roll out is NOT AN EXCUSE for this disaster – it’s the very reason to fight it. A massive government program always is a disaster by definition. This is the core reason to fight this absurd notion.

  • xince

    TO: The Blues77, The baby killing party be the same as the P.O.S. president that resides in the Black House in DC.