Get ready for the Healthcare.gov goal posts to move
It's not looking too good for the big November 30 ObamaCare relaunch. There are still assurances that the deadline will be met, but with only a few weeks to go, they're starting to sound rather... strained.
Yesterday there was news that the official status-report conference call for reporters did not go well, and strange stories began to circulate about big insurance companies preparing themselves for a delay in the individual mandate. In fact, one of the biggest insurance providers in the country, Humana, is said to be "assuming a delay at this point," leading some to wonder if they've gotten a back-channel signal from the Administration.
Today the ObamaCare crisis management Grand Poobah, Jeff Zients, held his own conference call with reporters this morning... and repeated what caused so many teeth to grind yesterday, saying "the trouble-plagued federal healthcare website is improving, but that higher volumes of visitors are exposing new capacity and software issues," as Reuters put it.
In other words, now that they've fixed the busted front-end junk software that wouldn't have gotten past the alpha-stage testing phase at the most penny-ante fly-by-night cellar-dwelling software company, and people can actually complete the process not one of ObamaCare's testers was ever able to complete, they're finding all sorts of new problems in the deeper layers of code, which have never before been disturbed by the rough hands of actual users. It's like hydralic fracturing, except instead of oil molecules from the inaccessible depths, it pumps out bugs and punch-list fixes.
We also hear assurances that a delay won't be needed, because there will still be enough time for people to sign up and avoid the pitfalls of collapsing enrollment windows and the individual mandate. But we keep hearing these jaw-dropping reports of single-digit enrollment from entire states. Four people in Delaware, one in North Carolina (and he hasn't paid for his policy yet!) and now... drum roll, please... a grand total of five from Washington, D.C. We're seeing reports that only 18 percent of the uninsured have even bothered to try accessing the ObamaCare exchanges.
Maybe things will pick up once the website is fixed. (Hey, remember just yesterday, when Obama and his apologists were telling us the website wasn't really crucial to the ObamaCare mission? Remember the President looking you in the eye and lying to you about a wonderful toll-free number you could call to enroll by phone? I guess those phone and paper enrollments aren't working out, huh?) But there are a series of goals to hit here, from Month One, year-end, and the March individual mandate deadline, to Year One goals that would tell us a lot about the future health of the ObamaCare-distorted insurance industry. It doesn't look as if any of those goals will come anywhere near fulfillment.