Hillary Clinton’s hilariously inept book tour, Iraqi cities falling to roving bands of terrorists, Bowe Bergdahl, #bringbackourgirls…the list of embarrassments for the left wing in this country are long enough that you might be forgiven for forgetting about our national healthcare crisis. While the nation watches these situations unfold with the incompetence the Obama administration has become known for, the Affordable Healthcare Act continues to flail about like a fish on a riverbank.
The latest news comes from House Republicans, who report that at least half of the 8 million Obamacare registrants made some kind of mistake on the application process. These numbers come from Serco, a federal contractor centered in Britain that won the 1.2 billion dollar bid to roll out the President’s plan. According to their chart, there have been more than 4 million serious discrepancies since the program began, including income inconsistencies, residency problems, Social Security Number mistakes, and other eligibility fudges.
While it should probably come as no surprise to see a government-run bureaucracy saddled with these kinds of issues, much of it could have been avoided. The biggest problem came from the administration and their rush to roll out the law to meet Obama’s deadline. This scramble resulted in myriad mistakes, an underinformed populace, and several cut corners. Instead of waiting until they could put an income verification system in place, for example, they decided to launch HealthCare.gov without it and just trust applicants to be honest about how much money they were bringing in. If you can’t imagine doing that with your private business, don’t worry; no one in the administration could imagine such a thing, either. Unfortunately, what has been proven to work in the private sector is all-too-often ignored when the government runs the show.
All of this comes just as Senate Republicans plan to release a new report detailing how many chances the administration passed up to correct some of the worst of the problems. No one expected a smooth rollout of an initiative this large, but the Senate’s findings will reportedly show the administration ignored warning signs in the rush. These warning signs were pointed out by the administration’s hired independent contractors and then summarily ignored, according to the report. The result, as we all now see, was a website rollout as disastrously bonkers as any government-backed initiative has ever been.
Meanwhile, former Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius continues to support the law even as she settles into her new role as private citizen. Appearing at a State of Enrollment conference on June 17th, Sebelius insisted that the right-wing media and hardline Republicans in Congress did everything they could to stop the law, only once briefly mentioning the problems with the website.
But then, what else would we expect her to blame?