Broken promises, broken website: Obama Admin. scrambles to rescue ‘calamitous’ health care rollout
Nov. 4, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in March 2010, the Obama Administration has repeatedly assured the public it can handle the responsibility of managing one-sixth of America’s economy. But a host of problems with the Administration’s health care website, premium shock, and revelations that millions of Americans will lose their current health care policies in the last 31 days have led to widespread challenges to this claim in the media and by Republican politicians.
Documents gathered by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) reveal that when it comes to the disastrous rollout of the Healthcare.gov website, fact was as strange as fiction – in this case a Saturday Night Live skit lampooning the glitch-ridden website, which joked that the website was only designed to handle six people at a time. But according to notes from three meetings in the Obama Administration's “war room” obtained by Issa, SNL was right on the mark: while millions visited the site on the first day it was launched, a total of only six people were actually able to enroll.
The Administration has pushed back against Issa for publishing the claim, observing that the website is not the only way to sign up for the exchanges, and thus coverage may have been obtained outside of the website.
But frozen pages and session “timeouts” weren’t the only problem with Healthcare.gov. Just three days before the exchanges launched, data security was known to be sub-standard. The launch went ahead anyway, with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) deciding to assign a “task force” to keep an eye on concerns -- concerns Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) said this week “put [consumers’] personal financial information at risk.
The task force was assigned in a memo approved by CMS head Marilyn Tavenner, which described “a Security Control Assessment” as “only partially completed” because of “system readiness issues.” The memo recommended a mitigation plan that would have “a full Security Control Assessment test…within 60/90 days of going live on October 1.”
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Even White House advisor David Axelrod admitted on Meet the Press on Sunday that the launch of the website was “calamitous,” although he suggested that the health reform is otherwise successful.
Meanwhile, a backlash is growing after it was revealed that millions of Americans will lose their current health care plans under the health reform law, despite repeated promises by the president to the contrary.
In response to a question on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney replied that those who are losing their plans are only a small part of the five percent of the American people in the individual insurance market. Fox News’ Ed Henry followed up by asking about the tens of millions who face losing their employer-based insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. Carney did not answer the question.
The president also avoided the question in public comments on Wednesday, saying those who lose their insurance should “just shop around” the exchanges.
But Obama’s former spokesman Robert Gibbs was more frank during an appearance on MSNBC this morning, admitting that it was a mistake for Obama to make a promise that has since been broken. “I mean, I don't think anybody dealing with this today finds what was said,” he admitted.
Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lambasted the roll-out of the health law on Meet the Press on Sunday. “[H]ad the president been truthful and told the American people that millions would lose their insurance and millions more would see their premiums skyrocket … there would have been such a hue and cry against it, (that) it would not have passed," said Romney.
Romney said the health reform “has undermined the foundation of [Obama’s] second term - I think it is rotting it away."
It’s not only federally run exchanges seeing problems. New York’s state-run exchange mistakenly gave individuals looking for coverage the contact information for Brooklyn Cupcake and other businesses.
Meanwhile, the 15 states that chose to run their own exchanges have also seen high costs – more than $1 billion spent on getting them up and running – and that includes the exchange in Oregon, which CBS reports “doesn’t work,” and “has yet to enroll a single person.”
Former President Jimmy Carter also jumped into the fray last week, noting the President’s “major accomplishment was ObamaCare, and the implementation of it now is questionable at best.”