Obamacare off to rough start
Published: Thursday, November 14th, 2013
Is the new national health care website working well or isn’t it? Ask the people who tried to log in last month and the answer would be a resounding no. Ask anyone in the Obama administration’s Health and Human Services department and the answer would be yes, but not at the speed it should have been operating. Really?
I think we all can agree that the rollout of the president’s signature legislation didn’t go well. The website healthcare.org continually crashed and didn’t work well at all for the millions of Americans who were waiting for it. Many of those who did manage to get into the site found their affordable deductions higher as well as the rates they were paying.
Neither HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, nor her head of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Marilyn Tavenner, nor members of the Obama administration would say what the signup numbers were for October. They said that information would not be available until mid-November. It will take about 39,000 enrollees per day to meet the administration’s goal of 7 million signups by next March.
It appears we have a long way to go. Unofficial government sources say that only “six enrollments” had occurred by the morning of Oct. 2. By that afternoon, there were just 100 enrollments. The next day, Oct. 3, there were still only 248 enrollments. No doubt, technical problems on the government’s website contributed to the low enrollment numbers. Administration officials had said 21 million Americans had visited the site in this same time period. Why didn’t more sign up?
Once on the site, people who had insurance before found they could not keep their own doctor under the new plan, which included many mandatory coverages, like maternity and drug counseling, they didn’t have before. Because of these new manadatory requirements, many found they were going to be paying much more than before. Some rates were doubled or tripled in costs.
This isn’t sitting well with Americans who recall the president’s words to doctors at the American Medical Association annual meeting in Chicago June 15, 2009. It certainly doesn’t appear that he misspoke.
“I know there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage. They like their plan and they value their relationship with their doctor. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what. My view is that health care reform should be guided by a simple principle: fix what’s broken and build on what works,” Obama said.
In retrospect, that latter sentence would have been the way to go, rather than try to overhaul the nation’s entire health care system. The clunky healthcare website in this age of advanced technology is just another example of a bloated, clumsy federal government stumbling out of the blocks and falling on their faces. We are in for a rough ride if the first month of Obamacare is any indication of what is in store for millions of Americans who will be forced into the government health care system.
Time will tell if this signature Obama legislation is the beginning or the end of his legacy.
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