Mark Caserta: Obamacare a signature failure for president
The irony of politics is often too rich for words.
Despite a failed Republican offensive aimed at Obamacare, ultimately resulting in a government shutdown, it would seem the administration’s incompetence in managing the i mplementat ion of the president’s signature healthcare law is a much greater threat.
And now, the Affordable Care Act is self-destructing without any help from Republicans .
While the government’s website, “Healthcare.gov.” proclaims “The Health Insurance Marketplace is Now Open,” and despite the fact Obama and his liberal minions have had well over three years to prepare for open enrollment, reports indicate that enrollment has been one huge, embarrassing catastrophe.
The Washington Post reported the failure of the website is even worse than previously suspected: “Even when consumers have been able to sign up, insurers sometimes can’t tell who their new customers are because of a separate set of computer defects.” And large numbers of Obamacare applications reportedly didn’t provide enough verifiable information to enroll people in their plans.
Initial claims by the administration that problems were the result of “heavy traffic” also appear to be inaccurate. Computer experts say the problems with the site, which reportedly cost the taxpayers $634 million, are the result of structural flaws in the system’s architecture which could take months to repair.
So, the federal government expects Americans to trust them managing health care for millions of people, when it can’t even manage a simple website?
But problems loom way past the ineptitude of the website’s mechanics.
The Chicago Tribune, the president’s hometown paper, conducted an analysis last week on the costs of plans offered for that state’s residents .
According to the Tribune, “21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered on the Illinois health insurance exchange for Cook County have annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage. ... Plans with the least expensive monthly premiums — highlighted by state and federal officials as proof the new law will keep costs low for consumers — have deductibles as high as $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families.” Even with federal subsidies, few Americans will bother to buy insurance with a $4,000 to $12,700 deductible. And millions won’t even be eligible for the subsidies.
Another indicator that Obamacare is “stumbling out of the gate” is the administration’s refusal to reveal sign-up rates. They claim they don’t know.
But a private-sector analysis showed that during the first week, less than 1 percent of those who entered the registration site actually enrolled. London’s Daily Mail reported that the total sign-ups during the opening week of enrollment were just 51,000 people.
The “fly in the buttermilk” for the president is, according to the Congressional Budget Office, he needs at least 7 million people to join the exchanges for Obamacare to be financially viable.
So, despite the stated original goal of providing “affordable healthcare” for all Americans, the Democrat’s revised goal is now “survival” of Obamacare.
Hindsight being 20/20, Republicans should now step back and begin illuminating the failures of what may be destined to become Barack Obama’s signature failure — Obamacare.
Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.
The Herald-Dispatch welcomes your comments on this article, but please be civil. Avoid profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, accusations of criminal activity, name-calling or insults to the other posters. Herald-dispatch.com does not control or monitor comments as they are posted, but if you find a comment offensive or uncivil, hover your mouse over the comment and click the X that appears in the upper right of the comment. If you do not want your comment to post to your personal Facebook page, uncheck the box below the comment.