Healthcare Act debacle, debt, and the Shutdown Showdown
The Democratic spin so far is that “overwhelming” demand and desperation for healthcare are the sole problems with logging into or staying on the healthcare.gov website exchanges. I’m not desperate or in demand of a new tax or mandate, I’m simply interested in learning how true or false everything we’ve heard about the Affordable Care Act is. It is curious that everyone I’ve asked (Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Tea Party, or Independent) confesses that their interest in logging in is simply curiosity, a curiosity the administration doesn’t seem to be able or willing to answer – no numbers have yet to be released on how many uninsured have signed up versus profiles created.
Today the site is easier to log into, but the new problem with is that once logged in, you get a simple “downstream error,” or a complete profile circle jerk, rendering the site as useless as it was a week ago. Spits and sputters are one thing, but anyone launching a popular site knows you roll out softly, possibly by beta invite, and scale the impact of traffic so the backend can handle it. Why a launch strategy wasn’t employed by the administration is beyond comprehension of any tech company in the know, but the rush to be right on healthcare seems to have trumped common sense.
The growing disillusionment of Americans
The spin is thick from all parties, and consumers hope they’ll find amazing rates on the other side of the massive federal #failwhale website healthcare.gov, but confidence isn’t high because the positive stories are far and few between. The Associated Press last week doted over a few success stories (later revealing the main poster child was a fake), but what struck me were the horror stories, and actually how few positive stories there were at all – especially from those realizing this isn’t exactly free healthcare as I’ve heard many call it, especially during the election cycle in 2012.
We would like to see some accountability from Washington on the numbers, the internal polling data from the White House on public sentiment regarding experience on healthcare.gov, lest holding out on the government shutdown might be a better idea than opening the government, as Americans learn that a year delay may actually be a better idea. It’s not hostage taking, it’s called give and take in negotiating, and this President isn’t negotiating on healthcare, or even the debt.
The escalating rhetoric
The Republicans have the upper hand in this standoff in Washington, if they can stay out of their own way. At first, I believed that delaying the mandate for a year was a noble idea that would help average Americans, but now I believe it to be an out for the President.
My take on what I’ve seen and heard from the White House is a straight line attack on Tea Party elected members, and the rhetoric seems to be escalating with claims that just a few members hold the House hostage in the shutdown showdown – The President said as much in his press event yesterday. This is the White House not allowing a good crisis to go to waste. Spurn the Tea Party now before the midterms – a likely winner in local races with voters who aren’t really listening to both sides of the issue, however, the inability to navigate the healthcare.gov exchange would be a strong counter that Republicans stood their ground.
Is this the future waiting room at the doctor’s office?
If united, Republicans win either way because average voters are soon going to realize that if enough young people do not enter the exchanges to offset costs, we’re likely to see a new payroll tax similar to that of social security (and we all know the ending of the social security movie if something isn’t done to correct the shortfall).
The alternate route of a single payer system may be highly likely as the talking points are shifting in that direction already as if to prepare the American public that there may be a more practical (as Democrats would say) solution, which was the Democratic wish all along.
It’s been a week today and our family has yet to see even a set of options in the system, we’ve given up and are now shopping the private sector for an alternative. We’ve discussed it and have realized that if the mess we’re seeing now online looks anything like our future waiting rooms of doctors’ offices across the country, being insured privately outside of the exchanges may be the more preferred method of avoiding the aggravation, and our doctor may appreciate it even more. But that’s the real problem – no one knows, and no real answers came on October 1st except that something is wrong here, really wrong, especially when Experian is embedded in the online transaction to verify your identity. Is your health to become a credit risk probability? It only makes sense.
The way forward
In fairness, as an (I) Independent, I’ve been leery of the Healthcare Act from it’s first mention, and today I am no less concerned, but I did hope to log in and be completely wrong and find the healthcare my family needs.
In no way do I believe the explosion of visits to the site had anything to do with purchasing healthcare, it had to do with wanting to finally know the reality of what healthcare will look like from now on, and it looks like we’re going to have to wait a bit longer to see how the movie really ends.
I’d ask the Republicans to step aside on the Affordable Health Care Act, and not allow the Administration a one year reprieve – get to the real meat at hand, which is the national debt and the debt ceiling. Open the Government and get to the debt ceiling debate and put healthcare back on the shoulders of the White House. That’s the offer that should be made by Republicans – real budget reform for the debt ceiling and deal with social security and medicare once and for all. Land an immigration bill we can all live with and remove the President’s stick. The reforms of the Clinton second term could be a reality right now, but October 17 is virtually minutes away.