The Obama administration is gearing up for a new publicity push. They have been desperate to have some positive news for so long now, and now that they are claiming to have met their arbitrary self-imposed deadline, they finally have it: The Healthcare.gov website is finally working! (Cue dancing in the streets & free birth control for everyone!)
But there’s a problem: while the administration’s big push to “fix” the website might make it easier for people to sign up for Obamacare, they still have not fixed the plentiful back-end issues that plague the system. The data reporting and payment systems still are not fully functional, which means that while signing up for Obamacare may be easier now, your dog may be the one getting insurance, which actually happened to one Colorado man. Your information may be sent to the wrong place, or may be filled in incorrectly, which has happened countless times since the October rollout. Put all of this together, and Healthcare.gov still stands as a major stumbling block for people seeking to meet the Affordable Care Act’s requirement of continuous coverage. If the website messes up people’s information, then insurance companies can’t bill for the policies, which means you can’t be covered.
Of course, the fact that the Administration didn’t lay out any concrete goals is definitely a plus for them – all they said was “it’s broke, so we’re gonna fix it.” So as long as they can show any kind of improvement, they can ramp up the spin machine, roll out their own “Mission Accomplished” banner, and congratulate themselves on a job well done.
And even if the website were working perfectly, which it may never actually do, the Obama administration still has done nothing to fix the fundamental flaws in their banner legislative achievement. The ridiculous coverage mandates imposed by the Affordable Care Act mean higher premiums for everyone. This continues to give the lie to the administration’s last Obamacare publicity push, where they repeated the “the product is good” talking point ad nauseum. This, of course, was just another lie by an administration desperate to give legitimacy to one of the worst pieces of legislation ever signed into law. Before Obamacare, you could get a policy that covered what you needed to have covered, and you could pay a reasonable price for it. After Obamacare, you are forced to buy a policy that covers all kinds of things, regardless of whether you actually need that coverage, and paying for all of that extra coverage you don’t need leads to unreasonably high premiums.
Their newly “fixed” website may operate more efficiently on the surface, but buying insurance under Obamacare is like taking a bit out of a shiny, bright red apple, only to find that inside, it is worm-eaten and rotten.
Even if they truly fix the website, and are able to ensure that your data is processed correctly and securely, and are able to set up a payment system that actually works, they cannot change the fact that Obamacare is broken by its very nature. No amount of cosmetic fixes will make Obamacare easier for struggling families who have less money coming in due to higher insurance premiums. No matter how well the website works, that will not make things any easier for the working mother, forced to buy insurance, who was turned down for a subsidy, or for the child with cancer whose policy was cancelled because it didn’t meet the Administration’s new “standards,” and whose parents must now find a new policy, and probably a new doctor.
But the real problem with Obamacare is not that the website doesn’t work, that the mandates force people to buy unnecessary coverage, or even that the policies are ridiculously overpriced. The real problem with Obamacare is that no one in power is interested in fixing the Act’s significant issues. As long as they can make the right cosmetic changes and maneuver the political spin back into their favor, Obama, Sebilius, and their ilk are perfectly happy. It doesn’t matter how much pain Obamacare inflicts on you & your family, as long as they can get those poll numbers back up.