When talking about the implementation of President Obama’s “Affordable” Care Act, it’s really difficult to use strong words like smooth or successful. Even the White House has now confirmed the errors of President Obama’s 2009 promise that individuals would be able to keep their current healthcare plans if they wanted; more than 2 million Americans have already been told that their insurance plans will have to be dropped due to Obamacare. Insurance premiums are rising all over the country. Democrats in the Senate have begun to call for a delay in the individual mandate. President Obama is continually working around the Constitution to delay parts of the bill and claims that everything is fine. And then there’s the website.
I don’t claim to be very tech-savvy or that I could write the code for a website on my own, but I have gone to healthcare.gov, and the overwhelming hypocrisies and blatant problems with this whole catastrophe are more than evident. It’s almost impossible to know where to begin.
Immediately upon entering the site, there is an option for a “one-page guide to the Health Insurance Marketplace” which makes one wonder why over 2,000 pages of legislation and 20,000 pages of regulations on the bill are necessary at all (we could have just written a simple one page summary!). Furthermore, the page claims that you are considered covered if you have a plan you bought yourself, which stands in total and unabashed opposition to the reality that millions around the country are losing their healthcare policies as we speak.
Then there’s the issue of people signing up. Excuse me, the issue of people not signing up. There are literally entire states where not a single person has enrolled in the new healthcare system that stands as the crown jewel of President Obama’s time in office. This is indicative of more than people not needing the insurance, it shows that people don’t want it and can’t afford it. The left’s continuing propaganda that Obamacare is wanted by a majority of the American people is blatantly false, there are only thousands of people enrolled (and last I checked, they were using the 48 million people don’t have health insurance statistic to qualify the bill as legitimate). It’s beginning to look like John Boehner’s prediction that more people will lose their healthcare than will enroll by the end of the month is, sadly, coming true.
Most obviously, however, there’s the actual use of the website. The government didn’t run a full trial on the site until just days before it went live, and wasn’t even close to being adequately prepared for the number of people logging on. If the government was implementing this bill intelligently (and like a well-planned business model), they would not have been caught so unprepared for the event; no CEO in the country would make a website live before checking to make sure that increased web traffic wouldn’t cause the page problems and this is a website for a bill that affects virtually everyone in the country.
Also, why was $700 million allocated to advertising the bill and selling it to the public, when its obvious that there are inherent flaws with the system itself, let alone the website that was supposed to attract a multitude of new buyers? The Obama administration is so obsessed with its appearance to the public that the actual implementation of its laws has become a second priority, and it is ironically undoing what it set out to do in the first place. They look ridiculous.
Not only does it have inherent functional flaws, it has been reported that the rate structure for people purchasing their insurance online has been completely off, estimating prices much lower or higher than what individuals are supposed to pay under the new law. Even if Obamacare was something I was personally interested in as a consumer, I would shy away from it due to the sheer number of problems with the system and the fact that I may be paying more money than necessary, and this is yet another problem the administration did not consider.
This healthcare website is the perfect analogy for how the whole administration has functioned: fight for misled principles, stiff-arm Congress, regulate, amend, botch the delivery, and throw in some more regulation for good measure. And somehow, it works like a charm every time (at least in the eyes of the uneducated). Except this time.
For a President who is supposed to be in line with the younger generation of Americans, up to date on social media and internet functions, and is generally concerned about appearing to be a young President, this website is a disaster and should be seen as such for his administration. But most importantly, kicking the dates down the road to try to fix the problem won’t save our country from the coming Obamacare storm.
Conner Dwinell | Hillsdale College | @ConnerDwinell