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Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« on: October 15, 2013, 11:35:13 AM »
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/14/five-thoughts-on-the-obamacare-disaster/?print=1


Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster
By Ezra Klein, Updated: October 14, 2013

1. So far, the Affordable Care Act's launch has been a failure. Not "troubled." Not "glitchy." A failure. But "so far" only encompasses 14 days. The hard question is whether the launch will still be floundering on day 30, and on day 45.

As Sarah Kliff noted, Medicare Part D was, at this point in its launch, also considered a disaster."When online shopping for prescription drug programs launched back in 2005, things went so badly that the federal government didn't even get off the ground until three weeks after its scheduled launch." Today, Medicare Part D is broadly considered a success.

But Medicare Part D had something the Affordable Care Act doesn't: An opposition party that decided to be constructive. The federal health-care law's not going to get much help from the Republican Party.

2. Are there problems behind the problems? In the weeks leading up to the launch I heard some very ugly things about how the system was performing when transferring data to insurers -- a necessary step if people are actually going to get insurance. I tried hard to pin the rumors down, but I could never quite nail the story, and there was a wall of official denials from the Obama administration. It was just testing, they said. They were fixing the bugs day by day.

According to Bob Laszlewski, those problems aren't resolved. They're just not getting much attention because the health-care law's Web sites aren't working well enough for people to get that far in the process. Laszlewski does a lot of work with the insurance industry, so I'd take this post of his very seriously:

    The backroom connection between the insurance companies and the federal government is a disaster. Things are worse behind the curtain than in front of it"

    Here is one example from a carrier–and I have received numerous reports from many other carriers with exactly the same problem. One carrier exec told me that yesterday they got 7 transactions for 1 person – 4 enrollments and 3 cancellations.

    For some reason the system is enrolling, unenrolling, enrolling again, and so forth the same person. This has been going on for a few days for many of the enrollments being sent to the health plans. It has got on to the point that the health plans worry some of these very few enrollments really don’t exist.

    The reconciliation system, that reconciles enrollment between the feds and the health plans, is not working and hasn’t even been tested yet.

If he's right then...yikes.

The health-care law's traffic problems are beginning to subside. Anecdotally, more people are getting through. But most people playing around on the Web site aren't trying to actually purchase insurance. We're far from knowing what the fail rate is for those people trying to take that final step of purchasing a plan.

3. What didn't the White House know and when didn't they know it? In the months before the launch almost every senior member of the Obama administration had a little calendar board tacked up in a prominent spot in their office. "75 days until Obamacare" it would say. The next morning they would tear off the page. "74 days until Obamacare" it would say. The message -- to them and to their visitors -- was clear: This was the White House's top priority.

We're now negative 14 days until the Affordable Care Act and most people still can't purchase insurance. The magnitude of this failure is stunning. Yes, the federal health-care law is a complicated project, government IT rules are a mess, and the scrutiny has been overwhelming. But the Obama administration knew all that going in. They should've been able to build an online portal that works.

Early on, President Obama like to compare the launch of the Affordable Care Act to Apple launching a new product. Can you imagine how many people Steve Jobs would've fired by now if he'd launched a new product like this?

So is anybody going to be held accountable? Is anybody going to be fired? Will anyone new be brought in to run the cleanup effort? Does the Obama administration know what went wrong, and are therr real plans to find out?

What's abundantly clear to anyone who reported on the run-up to the federal health-care law's launch is that the White House had no idea how badly the Web site would perform. They expected problems. But the full extent of the disaster was either obscured or ignored. Heads should roll for that. Changes should be made because of that.

4. One thing has gone abundantly right for the Affordable Care Act: The Republican Party. Their decision to shut down the government on the exact day the health-care law launched was a miracle for the White House. If Republicans had simply passed a clean-CR on Oct. 1 these last few weeks would've been nothing -- nothing at all -- save for coverage of the health-care law's disaster. Instead the law has been knocked off the front page by coverage of the Republican Party's disaster.

In the Washington Examiner, Byron York imagines an alternative history in which Republicans had spent these last few weeks trying to destroy the Affordable Care Act rather than trying to destroy themselves. The scenario he paints is persuasive:

    Republicans would have had a true embarrassment of riches when it came to material for the anti-Obamacare campaign. Millions of people tried, and failed, to log into the Obamacare website; lots of stories there. And what about the tales of pathetically small numbers of Americans who actually succeeded in signing up for coverage? For example, there was a report that five people in all of Iowa had signed up; that state's GOP leaders could have been enlisted to make sure everyone knew that.

    The various stories would have given Republicans an opportunity to make a much bigger point than simply portraying Obamacare as the work of a gang that couldn't shoot straight. The people who designed the website are the ones who will run the national health care system, Republicans would stress. They'll know everything about your finances and your health. Is that what you want?

Six weeks later, there would've been another opportunity to close the government. And it's entirely possible the federal health-care law still wouldn't be working. At that point, the Republican Party would've had a very good argument for delay -- and certainly a very good argument for delay of the individual mandate. It would be the logical outgrowth of both their messaging and the reality of the law.

But that's not what happened. Instead, Republicans managed to make themselves so unpopular that they've actually made the law more popular. Many Americans believe, reasonably but wrongly, that the reason Obamacare isn't working is that the Republicans shut the government down. And if the Affordable Care Act does begin to improve in the coming weeks Republicans will have lost their chance to harm it.

And it's not as if nobody tried to warn the Republican Party that this was exactly what would happen...

5. This isn't about politics. A lot of liberals will be angry over this post. A lot of conservatives will be happy about it. But it's important to see the Affordable Care Act as something more than a pawn in the political wars: It's a real law that real people are desperately, nervously, urgently trying to access. And so far, the Obama administration has failed them.

The Obama administration's top job isn't beating the Republicans. It's running the government well. On this -- the most important initiative they've launched -- they've run the government badly. They deserve all the criticism they're getting and more.

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Offline sinkspur

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2013, 12:10:09 PM »
Shutting down the government was the biggest mistake made by the GOP in the last ten years.  Obamacare's failure was right there for the taking...........
...........but no..........idiot Republicans had to knock that off the front page with their losing strategy.
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Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2013, 01:24:05 PM »
Shutting down the government was the biggest mistake made by the GOP in the last ten years.  Obamacare's failure was right there for the taking...........
...........but no..........idiot Republicans had to knock that off the front page with their losing strategy.

You're a freaking broken record.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline sinkspur

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2013, 01:36:28 PM »
You're a freaking broken record.

You ain't seen nuthin' yet.

When this shutdown is over and the GOP gets nothing (as it certainly appears is likely), my "I told you sos" are going to be all over this forum.
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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2013, 02:21:10 PM »
You ain't seen nuthin' yet.

When this shutdown is over and the GOP gets nothing (as it certainly appears is likely), my "I told you sos" are going to be all over this forum.

You are not going to spam threads with that!

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Offline sinkspur

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2013, 02:32:49 PM »
You are not going to spam threads with that!

Where it is applicable to the topic, I certainly will.   The majority of posters on this forum had the misguided idea that they could defund Obamacare by shutting down the government.  Those tiny few of us who said otherwise were vilified and are still vilified.
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Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2013, 02:37:56 PM »
You are not going to spam threads with that!
You and Rapunzel have a total of 261,651 posts versus sinkspur's 9,515 posts.

That means for every one of his posts, you two make 27.5 posts.

Yet you warn him he won't be able to post, if it does not follow the approved popular position?

That is quite a big change, from a site once formed to allow discussion of Rudi Giuliani, because that speech was blocked on a former site.
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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2013, 02:42:00 PM »
You and Rapunzel have a total of 261,651 posts versus sinkspur's 9,515 posts.

That means for every one of his posts, you two make 27.5 posts.

Yet you warn him he won't be able to post, if it does not follow the approved popular position?

That is quite a big change, from a site once formed to allow discussion of Rudi Giuliani, because that speech was blocked on a former site.

I have so many posts since I have posted the majority of articles up to several months ago...which I don't have to explain to you or sink.

No one is allowed to spam threads and when it happens I will take them down..

For once..just one time I would like to see you two stand with the conservatives in this fight against the libs...this is exactly why we are losing this battle because there are too many people on *our side* sabotaging us!

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Offline sinkspur

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2013, 02:50:34 PM »
I have so many posts since I have posted the majority of articles up to several months ago...which I don't have to explain to you or sink.

No one is allowed to spam threads and when it happens I will take them down..

For once..just one time I would like to see you two stand with the conservatives in this fight against the libs...this is exactly why we are losing this battle because there are too many people on *our side* sabotaging us!

We stand with you in the objective (repeal Obamacare) but not the tactics.  As it turns out, the tactics have proved not only futile, but are in fact damaging to the conservative cause. 

"We" are losing because too many people bought into the insane notion that Obama was going to agree to defund or delay his only significant achievement. 

The only good thing to come out of this is that the Republicans will never adopt the shutdown strategy again for at least another decade, maybe longer.
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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2013, 03:01:22 PM »
No one knows what the right tactics are, this is all new territory with a Prez like this who refuse to negotiate but it sure was nice seeing a few conservatives stand up and say what we were thinking whether it worked or not!.....and I agree with Rush...this isn't playing well outside of DC..they can all believe their phony baloney polls where they poll 10-15% more Dems at their risk.

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Offline Lando Lincoln

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2013, 03:01:34 PM »
I have held for months that the only way to kill Obamacare is to allow it to asphixiate itself under its own weight. 
For the progressive, there is very little to love about the United States. Washington, Jefferson, Madison? A bunch of rotten slaveholders, hypocrites, and cowards even when their hearts were in the right places. The Declaration of Independence? A manifesto for the propertied classes. The Constitution? An artifact of sexism and white supremacy. The sacrifices in the great wars of the 20th century? Feeding the poor and the disenfranchised into the meat-grinder of imperialism. The gifts of Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Morgan, Astor? Blood money from self-aggrandizing robber barons. Nat Rev

Offline Lando Lincoln

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2013, 03:17:01 PM »
And I wonder what the Republican leadership thought the best possible outcome could be following the tactics they employed.  Or, the worst.  Where on that spectrum do you think they are landing?
For the progressive, there is very little to love about the United States. Washington, Jefferson, Madison? A bunch of rotten slaveholders, hypocrites, and cowards even when their hearts were in the right places. The Declaration of Independence? A manifesto for the propertied classes. The Constitution? An artifact of sexism and white supremacy. The sacrifices in the great wars of the 20th century? Feeding the poor and the disenfranchised into the meat-grinder of imperialism. The gifts of Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Morgan, Astor? Blood money from self-aggrandizing robber barons. Nat Rev

Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2013, 03:21:55 PM »
No one knows what the right tactics are, this is all new territory with a Prez like this who refuse to negotiate but it sure was nice seeing a few conservatives stand up and say what we were thinking whether it worked or not!.....and I agree with Rush...this isn't playing well outside of DC..they can all believe their phony baloney polls where they poll 10-15% more Dems at their risk.
Then why if "no one knows what the right tactics are," would you expect everyone here to have the same opinion, and threaten to stifle non-conforming speech?

It takes a 2/3 majority to override a Presidential veto. That is a fact that no amount of emotionalism will reverse.

This entire episode reminds me of a commander, who after he is informed his forces are seriously outnumbered and outgunned, says charge to their death.

Washington used strategic retreat, to live to fight another war. Eisenhower waited until his forces and conditions were ready, to do Normandy properly.
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Offline sinkspur

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2013, 03:26:18 PM »
No one knows what the right tactics are, this is all new territory with a Prez like this who refuse to negotiate but it sure was nice seeing a few conservatives stand up and say what we were thinking whether it worked or not!.....and I agree with Rush...this isn't playing well outside of DC..they can all believe their phony baloney polls where they poll 10-15% more Dems at their risk.

You're kidding, right?  Even Ted Cruz couldn't explain how he was going to force Obama to defund a healthcare law he scratched and clawed to pass.  Nobody living in reality could have thought he was going to yield on that.  And why would he negotiate?  What did the Republicans have that he wanted?  He knew conservatives would get the hell beaten out of them in a shutdown, and they have.

No this isn't playing well outside of DC, but Republicans are at the bottom of the pile when it comes to who smells best.

So instead of beating HIM over head with the disastrous Obamacare rollout, the GOP is suffering from having shut the government down over nothing.

Nothing.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 03:27:41 PM by sinkspur »
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Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2013, 03:30:57 PM »
You ain't seen nuthin' yet.

When this shutdown is over and the GOP gets nothing (as it certainly appears is likely), my "I told you sos" are going to be all over this forum.

Juvenile.

Offline sinkspur

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2013, 03:33:24 PM »
And I wonder what the Republican leadership thought the best possible outcome could be following the tactics they employed.  Or, the worst.  Where on that spectrum do you think they are landing?

Boehner knew this wouldn't work, but he has that group of 40 that he has to placate if he wants to get anything done.  So, he takes the entire party over the cliff to please a minority. 

Maybe he thought, somehow, Obama would breakdown and negotiate.  But, why would Obama negotiate when he's holding all the cards?  There's one small glimmer of hope, that the Republicans can keep the sequester cuts in place in budget negotiations in January.
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Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2013, 03:37:15 PM »
You and Rapunzel have a total of 261,651 posts versus sinkspur's 9,515 posts.

That means for every one of his posts, you two make 27.5 posts.

Yet you warn him he won't be able to post, if it does not follow the approved popular position?

That is quite a big change, from a site once formed to allow discussion of Rudi Giuliani, because that speech was blocked on a former site.

When Sinky's "I told you so" count approaches that of your obsessive Todd Akin/Deroy Murdock posts, we will have reached obsessive/compulsive, er, free speech nirvana.  :laugh:

Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2013, 03:46:06 PM »
When Sinky's "I told you so" count approaches that of your obsessive Todd Akin/Deroy Murdock posts, we will have reached obsessive/compulsive, er, free speech nirvana.  :laugh:
Thanks for your deeply insightful additions. I'll be sure to keep that in mind in the future.
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Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2013, 03:50:22 PM »
My pleasure, hon. 

Offline Lando Lincoln

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2013, 03:55:55 PM »
I would much rather have heard in recent news how the Republicans were getting traction on the IRS scandal, Benghazi, the NSA, Syria and Putin's gain... in addition to the disastrous roll-out of ACA.  But, we haven't.
 
Ultimately, I may be wrong and I hope I am... but we sure have f'd up a lot.  At this point, it seems to me we have f'd it ALL up.

And, Ted Cruz' filibuster is already yesterday's news.
For the progressive, there is very little to love about the United States. Washington, Jefferson, Madison? A bunch of rotten slaveholders, hypocrites, and cowards even when their hearts were in the right places. The Declaration of Independence? A manifesto for the propertied classes. The Constitution? An artifact of sexism and white supremacy. The sacrifices in the great wars of the 20th century? Feeding the poor and the disenfranchised into the meat-grinder of imperialism. The gifts of Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Morgan, Astor? Blood money from self-aggrandizing robber barons. Nat Rev

Offline sinkspur

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2013, 04:09:14 PM »
When Sinky's "I told you so" count approaches that of your obsessive Todd Akin/Deroy Murdock posts, we will have reached obsessive/compulsive, er, free speech nirvana.  :laugh:

Deroy Murdock is a journalist.  You must mean Richard Murdock.
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Offline sinkspur

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2013, 04:10:41 PM »
I would much rather have heard in recent news how the Republicans were getting traction on the IRS scandal, Benghazi, the NSA, Syria and Putin's gain... in addition to the disastrous roll-out of ACA.  But, we haven't.
 
Ultimately, I may be wrong and I hope I am... but we sure have f'd up a lot.  At this point, it seems to me we have f'd it ALL up.

And, Ted Cruz' filibuster is already yesterday's news.

Yes we did 'ef it up.  Or rather, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee 'effed it up.  Rand Paul has kept his hands rather clean from all this mess and looks like the statesman of the three.
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Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2013, 05:16:10 PM »
You and Rapunzel have a total of 261,651 posts versus sinkspur's 9,515 posts.

That means for every one of his posts, you two make 27.5 posts.



Gee, I guess you missed the obvious - the reason Myst and I have such high counts is WE post the majority of articles on this site. 
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Offline Lando Lincoln

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2013, 05:28:57 PM »
Gee, I guess you missed the obvious - the reason Myst and I have such high counts is WE post the majority of articles on this site.

And, count me among the grateful!
For the progressive, there is very little to love about the United States. Washington, Jefferson, Madison? A bunch of rotten slaveholders, hypocrites, and cowards even when their hearts were in the right places. The Declaration of Independence? A manifesto for the propertied classes. The Constitution? An artifact of sexism and white supremacy. The sacrifices in the great wars of the 20th century? Feeding the poor and the disenfranchised into the meat-grinder of imperialism. The gifts of Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Morgan, Astor? Blood money from self-aggrandizing robber barons. Nat Rev

Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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Re: Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster By Ezra Klein
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2013, 05:56:27 PM »
Deroy Murdock is a journalist.  You must mean Richard Murdock.

I have no idea.  Talk to truth_seeker.  He's always whining about Deroy. 


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