Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Yesterday, as he struggled to explain away the failures of healthcare.gov—the website that most Americans must visit to enroll in Obamacare—President Obama said, “The Affordable Care Act is not just a website. It’s much more.”

He’s right. It’s not just a website. However, the website should be the easy part. The fact that the Administration can’t deliver on the easiest of its healthcare promises does not bode well for Americans forced into this bureaucratic monstrosity.

According to Consumer Reports, of the nearly 9.5 million people who tried to register in the first week, only 271,000 were able to create an account. That's not even close to the amount of people who were able to actually purchase a plan. That number, while not released by the White House, is anticipated to be significantly lower.

The low number of actual accounts is just part of the problem.

Ron Fournier of National Journal has documented a number of the complaints being directed at the White House from those who have tried to sign-up for Obamacare:

  • Low-income people erroneously told they don't qualify for Medicaid
  • Insurance companies getting confusing information about who has signed-up
  • Inaccurate information provided to people about federal tax credits

The last point is particularly startling, and it’s a preview to what is the next major shock created by Obamacare.

As the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) points out, much of the current tech problems stem directly from the failure of Healthcare.gov to reliably calculate subsidies.

So what happens when Americans inevitably find out they don’t actually qualify for the subsidies they were promised? When a government’s miscalculation means Americans owe more money, who suffers?

Again, this was supposed to be the easy part. What happens when the federal government tries to verify coverage, subsidy qualifications or compliance?

The troubles with Obamacare run far deeper than “technical glitches.” The Administration’s lackluster response to the online enrollment problems shines a light on this program’s gross mismanagement. 

Healthcare.gov is a microcosm of the serious problems created by putting a government bureaucracy in charge of your health care. Bloated. Incompetent. Glitchy. Americans have to tolerate this from government services on a daily basis. It is the very reason that we are trying to prevent President Obama’s unprecedented expansion of the federal government. With a dubious track record of results from federal programs, President Obama now wants to put our health care in the hands of the very people who mismanage the other dysfunctional services the government provides.

The Administration needs to own up to the fact that Obamacare is not ready for primetime and delay the individual mandate. The real solution is repealing this law and replacing it with healthcare reform that will work. I continue to work toward that end.