Image Courtesy of fcir.org
There’s a new poster child for bureaucratic ineptitude in town, and the hate is flowing freely. Healthcare.gov, the online marketplace where uninsured and insured can seek new health care plans, has come under fire for its significant glitches and software errors. Predictably and almost overnight, this malfunctioning website has been purported as the greatest sign of our government’s ineptitude and inefficiency since… the last one?
Regardless, people are getting frustrated, and reasonably so. Since its passing, there has been near-constant debate in Washington over whether or not Obamacare will ever fully take effect. Many have watched nervously, hoping for the day when they could finally take advantage of the program. When that day finally came, after all of the rhetoric and political posturing, the thing that stops them is a malfunctioning website.
Of course, opponents and conservatives are taking advantage of this occasion to renew their efforts to kill Obamacare. Again. With stuff like this, for those who never realized the information that they put on the Internet was actually on the Internet. Either way, the statements are unfounded, as the website has been verified as secure and isn’t even designed to hold that information anyway. Still, opponents are taking the opportunity to call for the Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign. Because firing people always makes everything better.
Obamacare opponents are clutching at straws. They’re nervous. They see the reality of the numbers. Twenty million unique hits in the first three weeks? With almost six months to go? That’s heavy traffic, meaning heavy interest. And it’s not like there hasn’t been success. About half a million are already reported to have submitted applications, despite the technical problems. And a success is reported to mean seven million uninsured people signing up. It suddenly doesn’t feel like the end of the world.
So, the ball is rolling. There are bumps, but it’s moving. The same old voices are still spewing the same old horror stories, but they have lost, time and again either in elections or with their colleagues. This technical hiccup hurts, but that’s all it is. A hiccup. Give it time, and it will pass. Look at the states that created their own exchanges: fewer technical problems and greater customer satisfaction. Solutions exist, and they are being sought. Heck, there are already alternatives to online enrollment, like picking up the phone or going to a walk-in center.
For right now, time is on Obamacare’s side. Let’s hope it stays that way.