Remember how ObamaCare was premised on the superior intelligence, compassion, and organizational skills of Big Government? Pretty funny in retrospect, right? (Of course, anyone with a lick of common sense knew it was funny at the time, but the American electorate can be persuaded to abandon common sense and believe such things.)
What we got was an unholy disaster of mind-boggling proportions, a billion-dollar bureaucracy that couldn’t launch a website. Even two months later, after a lot of back-patting about how the system is working better now, it’s still not functioning anywhere near the standards that would be demanded by any private-sector business operation. The system still crashes when it approaches its very modest nominal capacity of 50,000 users. Much of the code doesn’t exist yet. Even the “new and improved” user interface delivers buggy displays and inaccurate data. Shoppers are routinely flung into a “waiting room” and expected to cool their heels for hours before Obama’s primitive computer system is ready for them.
This has all, not surprisingly, driven shoppers away from HealthCareDotGov, particularly the younger folks the system vitally needs to fleece. The ObamaCare website is a joke, and a lot of people wouldn’t dream of wasting their time trying to use it.
It seems incredible that a vast army of government contractors, funded beyond the wildest dreams of any private-sector startup, could produce such inadequate results. But maybe it wasn’t entirely a “bungle.” Maybe some of this malfunction is by design.
We already know one big HealthCareDotGov malfunction was deliberate: the “window shopping” price quotes were torn out of the code in the last few days before launch. The government didn’t want people to be able to casually browse the price of ObamaCare policies. They don’t want you to see any prices until you’ve created a full account, and the system has been able to calculate your taxpayer-funded welfare subsidies. You’re not supposed to think about the portion of your premium that other people pay.
But even beyond this bit of deception, the lousy state of HealthCareDotGov has been protecting ObamaCare by making it very difficult for people who don’t need ObamaCare policies right now to browse through the system. Virtually no one with employer-provided insurance – outside of the journalist and pundit communities, and maybe a few political activists on either side of the debate – will fight the long “waiting room” queues, crash bugs, and ludicrous security risks to casually punch up what their ObamaCare policy price would be, if they were unlucky enough to be covered by an individual plan. Whether accidentally or by design, this website positively repels idle curiosity.
If HealthCareDotGov worked the way Obama promised it would, and it was quick and easy as using Travelocity or Amazon.com, a lot more people would have drifted through the system to check out the pricing offered by the Peoples’ Glorious Five Year Plan – and they would have recoiled in absolute terror. The sticker shock would be tearing through American society like a firestorm. It’s bad enough as it is, but just imagine how much worse it would be if millions of people with group plans were clicking their way through HealthCareDotGov on a slow afternoon, and discovering they’d pay several thousand dollars more per year for an Obama policy, with higher deductibles to boot. And then imagine they paid attention to all the warnings that fifty to ninety million group policies are going to disappear next year.
Heck, imagine Obama hadn’t broken the law to delay the employer mandate, and that was happening right now.
ObamaCare’s incompetent execution is causing the plan, the President, and his Party to suffer political damage… but if it had been implemented in a competent manner, they would be in even worse shape with the electorate.