Barone: Will Obamacare implode?

From Michael Barone @ GOPUSA:

Amid all the tussling over the government shutdown and the debt ceiling, a couple of bombshells went off in the blogosphere that may prove of more enduring importance.

They suggest that there is a nontrivial possibility that Obamacare may implode.

The first bombshell went off on Tuesday, from Ezra Klein of the Washington Post’s Wonkblog.

Klein was one of those young writers who formed JournoList a few years ago so that like-minded Obama fans could coordinate their lines of argument. It was like one of those college sophomore clubs, not really necessary in an age of ready contact through email, but it shows him as a guy inclined to play team ball.

So it’s noteworthy when he writes, “So far, the Affordable Care Act’s launch has been a failure. Not ‘troubled.’ Not ‘glitchy.’ A failure.”

Klein notes that the rollout of the Medicare prescription drug program was also rocky two weeks into the process. But later it got smoothed out.

Klein fears Obamacare won’t. It’s not just a problem of overloaded servers. Everyone knew there would be lots of traffic in a nation of 312,000,000 people. Information technology folks say it’s easy to add servers.

It’s harder to get software systems to communicate. And as Klein quotes insurance consultant Robert Laszewski, “the backroom connection between the insurance companies and the federal government is a disaster.”

The reconciliation system isn’t working and hasn’t even been tested, Klein reports. Insurers are getting virtually no usable data from the exchanges. columnist Megan McArdle, who unlike most Obamacare architects actually worked at an IT firm for a couple of years, sees the possibility of even more trouble ahead.

She points out that the administration delayed writing major rules during the 2012 campaign to avoid giving Republicans campaign fodder.

The biggest contractor did not start writing software code until spring 2013. They were still fiddling with the website in September.

Instead of subcontracting the responsibility for integrating the software of the multiple contractors, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services decided to do it in-house — “a decision,” she writes, “equivalent to someone who has never even hung a picture deciding they should become their own general contractor and build a house.”

“If the exchanges don’t get fixed soon,” she writes, “they could destroy Obamacare.” You need the exchanges to enroll enough young healthy people to subsidize those who are sick and old, which is one of the central features of Obamacare.

Otherwise, premiums shoot up and up, pushing others out of the system — a death spiral that can continue year after year.

“At what point,” she asks, “do we admit that the system just isn’t working well enough, roll it back and delay the whole thing for a year?” She suggests that if the system can’t enroll 50 percent of its users by November 1, such a hugely drastic step would be in order.

That sounds like a nightmare of the first order — for individuals, for insurers, for employers and for the Obama administration. A far worse nightmare than when Congress in 1989 repealed the Medicare prescription drug plan it passed the year before because of widespread dissatisfaction.

Of course it’s possible this nightmare will not happen. Things will get ironed out somehow.

But if they don’t, who’s responsible? First, a president who is not much interested in how government works on the ground. As a community organizer he never did get all the asbestos removed from the Altgeld housing project.

Politico reports that his “universal heath care” promise was first made when his press secretary and speechwriter needed a rousing ending to a 2007 campaign speech to a liberal group.

Second, lawmakers and administrators who assume that, in an Information Age, all you have to do is to assign a task to an IT team and they will perform it. Cross your fingers, and it gets done.

Third, government IT procurement rules are kludgy. Apple didn’t bid on this. The IT work went to insider firms that specialize in jumping through the hoops and ladders of government procurement rules.

Unfortunately, the consequences of a meltdown are enormous when a system is supposed to be used by everybody. If a private firm’s software fails, it can go bankrupt. No one else much cares.

But if Obamacare’s software crashes, the consequences will be catastrophic — for the nation and for the Democratic Party.


I don’t think ObamaCare crashing will hurt the nation.  It should save it.  Fortunately, those that supported it initially are beginning to see the light.

It’s a disaster.  Plain and simple.

It was always going to be a disaster.  It was predicted.  No one read it, not even a Democrat.  The Demmerhoids pushed it through without ONE republican reading the bill.  There was no discussion.  There was no public input as promised.

Simply put, ObamaCare was a mish-mash of documents thrown together by special interests that simply dusted off left over HillaryCare files.

Then consider that the software program was written just this spring.  Is anyone surprised that it would fail?

In the meantime, the Left is stuck on some Kumbaya meme that it will eventually get fixed once the bugs get worked out if only Conservatives would get out of the way.

If anyone believes that then I have a bridge to sell.  Without exception, there is not a single lefty program that has not turned to shit.  Not one.

~ Hardnox

About Hardnox

Constitutional Conservative that Lefties love to hate.
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20 Responses to Barone: Will Obamacare implode?

  1. Clyde says:

    The only thing I see coming out of this failure, is Obama will point to private insurers, and blame THEM for the system’s failures, opening the door for the REAL prize, and that would be a single-payer system run by HIS government.. He goddamn sure isn’t going to put the blame where it RIGHTFULLY belongs. Sadly, though, the sheeple will continue to bleat about how wonderful this will all be, ignoring the point that the GOVERNMENT, which does NOTHING right, will STILL be running healthcare. Good post.

  2. Kathy says:

    Barone doesn’t explain why it will be catastrophic for the nation. I can see how it will for the Democrats, but not the nation; in fact, I think it would be one huge relief.

    This is what happens when you hand over a convoluted project to amateur in-house IT guys.

    I read a piece yesterday that said out the 3 million people in the US only 36,000 have signed up. I don’t see 1.5 million people signing up by Nov. 1, so maybe it will be bye-bye o’care.

    • Hardnox says:

      Barone certainly did not elaborate on the failure. I hope this thing will die a painful death but not until the left is out of control. In the meantime they will continue to pump life into it while the lemmings cheer.

  3. Garnet92 says:

    What a cluster-bleep. The dems were so totally immersed in politics, that their decisions may well cause the program to commit Obamacide. A hearty “well done,” to our “intellectually superior” progressives who “designed” a hodgepodge of healthcare crap that will never work the way they wanted it to work and managed to destroy the rollout by their complete and utter incompetence. And yet, they somehow convince the country’s low info voters that THEY are the only answer. It’s gotta be magic of some sort.

  4. Can someone explain to me how the ‘ell the state signups are supposed to inter-relate to the overall ACA? What if the Obamacare crashes – What happens to the suckers enrolled through the state programs??? What happens to those who have ALREADY lost their insurance because of the employer mandates???

    Garnet has the right of it. This is one massive cluster-bleep~!

  5. BrianR says:

    Y’know, I think there’s something to be said about this idea. Last night I caught a few minutes of network news — a great rarity at Casa Baker, as I despise the MSM — and the story I caught was how Obamacare implementation was such an utter debacle.

    Frist of all, it was great to see the lefty mouthpieces being so critical of their ObaMessiah and his policies. But more importantly, even THEY were saying how it looks like this train wreck is going to force delay of any mandates. How can people be forced to enroll in a program in which the enrollment process is so screwed up it’s actually IMPOSSIBLE to complete the actual enrollment?

    So… as a direct result of Obamacare we have: a lot of people who are going to be slammed with a tax “penalty”; skyrocketing premiums, deductibles and co-pays; shrinking coverage; people having their work hours cut back, if they’re not actually losing their jobs entirely; companies closing their doors, adding to unemployment; health costs skyrocketing; people losing their choice of medical providers; medical providers leaving the field entirely; hospitals closing.

    And all without a single GOP fingerprint on it anywhere.

    Sounds like a TERRIFIC issue for 2014 and 2016 for the GOP. A sure-fire winner.

    So then, the only question becomes whether or not the GOP will, in their usual ineptitude, step up and again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • Garnet92 says:

      Well said Brian. While we have every right to expect that our “representatives” in the GOP party should crucify the dems with this debacle, knowing the wimps that currently occupy the party “leadership” will do anything except use it against them – they’ll fumble the ball.

      The other thing that I don’t think has fully penetrated the brains of the LIVs is the totality of premium/co-pay/deductible picture. I wonder how many heard factual information on the financial impact of anything but the premium amounts (and their subsidies) and don’t yet know how much their co-pays and deductibles will be. That true cost is likely to cause even more negative response by the “takers” than we’ve seen so far.

      • BrianR says:

        Absolutely, Garnet (and thanks for the kind words).

        How about “maximum out-of-pocket expenses”, which are now so high I even wonder why it’s worth buying insurance at all.

    • Clyde says:

      “So then, the only question becomes whether or not the GOP will, in their usual ineptitude, step up and again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”. Pretty safe bet there, pard. Wonder if we could make book on it in Vegas???

  6. Buck says:

    I don’t believe one word of it but I am interested in this bridge you have for sale…where and how much??

  7. Terry says:

    This Just In :
    Nearly 6 times as many people have successfully signed up for a Journey To Mars vs Healthcare Exchanges :

    And I understand the healthcare is much better on Mars.

    • Hardnox says:

      Thanks for the link Terry. Under normal circumstances that would be funny. This program is turning out to be a disaster worse than anyone expected. I have zero confidence that the republicans will stop this.

  8. Buck says:

    When WWII was over the people of the United States pointed fingers at German citizens and said, “…And you did NOTHING to stop this monster..”
    Funny how some hypocrisy can return to bite a country in the ass, ain’t it…

  9. garnet92 says:

    OUCH Buck – but so true.