National Public Radio aired a story by Sarah Varney on Friday about the progress of Covered California, the flagship of the entire Obamacare enrollment effort. The story explores the efforts of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to enroll uninsured people in the state’s health care exchanges–aided, in the case of the SEIU’s San Jose office, by a grant of $1 million. Similar grants have been made across the nation.
Tech experts have panned the Obamacare websites as “an absolute failure.” If the government were held to the same standards of accountability as the private sector, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius would have been fired long ago, notes Tom Bevan of RealClearPolitics. But the role of the SEIU in Covered California is a reminder that Obamacare was not just intended to provide health insurance.
Rather, Obamacare was designed as a form of redistribution–not just from rich to poor, but from taxpayers to the institutional left. The SEIU pushed hard for Obamacare, and has been rewarded with money that has allowed it to provide sheltered employment–and, of course, to redouble its political activism. So Americans are hit twice–once by the cost of Obamacare, and twice by empowering the people that foisted it upon us.
That is especially true in California, where President Barack Obama’s former campaign arm, Organizing for Action, has focused its efforts on making Obamacare a success. With even California’s website faltering at the open–inexcusable, given the state’s vast pool of technological talent–it is clear that “success” is not primarily about helping the uninsured, but feeding the party machine with funds, jobs, and access to voters.