Kirsten Powers is fast becoming every conservative’s favorite liberal. She has unimpeachable integrity and always tells it like it is.
Yesterday, she explained the stakes in the Obamacare website fiasco. Only a true liberal could experience the anguish Powers feels when she sees that her faith in big government is being discredited by ineptitude.
The rollout of the insurance exchange that is central to the success of the Affordable Care Act has been nothing short of a disaster. This failure is a double whammy: it puts the future of Obamacare in even greater peril while placing Obama’s case for activist government on life support. If the government can’t build a functioning website to support the most important initiative of the president’s administration, then how can it be trusted to do anything?
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told The Wall Street Journal that the botched launch of the $400 million website was “another challenge that’s no worse than the near-death experiences” the health-care law has seen over the past three years. But it is a million times worse, because it’s self-inflicted. This time, Obama can’t blame Republicans.
Obviously, there are still a few aspiring propagandists trying to defend the Obama administration, but increasingly, it is not playing. Powers knows as everyone should that Obama cannot blame anyone but himself.
There comes a time in every man’s life when he is forced to take responsibility for his actions. Perhaps that time is here for Barack Obama. Then again, maybe not.
Powers is on a roll here:
The administration had to know it had only one shot to launch the exchanges, and it blew it. The damage it has caused was captured in a Washington Post–ABC News poll released Monday. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed believed the “website glitches” are “part of a broader problem with the health care law.”
What makes it worse is that officials knew they weren’t ready, and they went forward anyway. The Associated Press reported that “Website builders saw red flags for months.” The Washington Post recounted, “Days before the launch of President Obama’s online health insurance marketplace, government officials and contractors tested a key part of the Web site to see whether it could handle tens of thousands of consumers at the same time. It crashed after a simulation in which just a few hundred people tried to log on simultaneously. Despite the failed test, federal health officials plowed ahead.” Sebelius admitted Monday that the website “didn’t have enough testing, specifically for high volumes, for a complicated project.”
What have they been doing for the last few years? The administration has claimed that it can’t be helped that setting up an insurance exchange is so complex. Sebelius even lamented that she wished she had “five years” to finish this project. Who needs five years to build a website? This isn’t a search for the cure for cancer.
Worse yet, the administration did not seem to know what was going on until it all came crashing down around them:
In the week leading up to the launch of the exchanges, Obama assured Americansthat using the health insurance hub would be as easy as buying a plane ticket online. Apparently he wasn’t in on what was happening behind the scenes. Sebelius told CNN that the first the president heard of problems was in “the first couple of days” after the site went live October 1. If this is true, then either the president didn’t ask about the site’s capabilities or someone lied to him. If the former is true, then he has an incredible lack of imagination and curiosity. If the latter is the case, then why hasn’t anyone been fired?
True to form, the Most Transparent Administration in History has not been particularly forthcoming about the problems the site faces. At firs, it claimed these were just minor glitches caused by unexpectedly high traffic. The president famously compared these glitches to those that Apple has experienced in the past. He might be interested to know that Apple fired the manager responsible for the last major snafu the company encountered.
For now, the administration is hard at work trying to find a scapegoat.
The Daily Caller has its own nominee for the job.
It turns out that the company that was awarded the no-bid contract for website construction has, as one of its senior vice presidents, an old college chum of Michelle Obama.
It’s so hard to believe that the Obama administration botched the website that was going to sell its signature legislative achievement because Mrs. Obama wanted to help out an old friend.
Yet, stranger things have happened.