Friday, October 18, 2013
Fix the Darn Glitches
The shutdown is over, and now the GOP will set its sights on the computer glitches associated with healthcare.gov. This morning Joe Scarborough said the GOP should point out that the company working on our Affordable Care Act website was recently fired by Canada. Joe said the party should emphasize that this fiasco is in a $100 million overrun so far. If I would’ve been on that panel, I would say “the cost pales in comparison to the $24 billion the shutdown cost us.” I would have also said "the Medicare Part D’s website the Republicans passed had its delays and glitches. That would be just to get the Republicans off their high horse because this administration has to own this horrendous rollout.
There’s no way to sugarcoat the failure to implement a website that was supposed to help seven million Americans get affordable health care. It’s inexcusable but it’s not because the president had a high tech team running his reelection campaign and they should’ve known better. That’s the media version and they will repeat that line time and time again.
This system has to be able to communicate with Homeland Security, the IRS, the Veterans Administration, and Social Security and also with the state’s unique data bases. It’s a serious problem because consumers have until December 15 to choose a plan that can be in force January 1, 2014 but no later than Feb.15, 2014 or they could be hit with an IRS penalty. I wouldn’t be surprised if Health and Human Services (HHS) extended the deadline, only to hear the GOP say “I told you we should have the delayed the individual mandate for another year.”
The GOP wanted to delay ‘the individual mandate” for political reasons and not because they cared about the people who didn’t or now has insurance. The party knew if they could delay the implementation of ACA, reinforcements would come (more republicans) in the 2014 elections. They are not backing off one bit because their number one goal is to kill Obamacare.. A delay would mean that those who were insured through that the new Obamacare Medicaid program would no longer have insurance. I don’t know why the administration and democrats didn’t do more to emphasize that.
The president should make the successful healthcare signup website a priority because the GOP will exploit every hiccup. Robert Gibbs said that the administration could hire the best computer techs from Silicon Valley, but I can see the GOP controlled House handing over that much money to repair a system they hate to the core. More importantly, the people trying to signup are probably the ones who need it the most. The state’s websites are running smoothly, but they tell us that the applicants make at least 18 visits before they purchase, and traffic is the heaviest near the deadline for signup. There’s still time and when the glitches are fixed, the ones who remember this fiasco will be drowned out by the successful logins.
People seem to forget that the healthcare insurance was skyrocketing before President Obama ever took office, and the GOP did not have a plan nor were they interested in one. To this day, the Republican Party does not have a healthcare plan that will provide affordable health care for 30 million people. Republican legislators will tell us that people are not ever denied health care, but they leave out the part that those people regularly use the expensive emergency-room. Hospitals in most cases will charge the insurance companies the excess and that domino affect will add about $1000 to our health care premiums.
Rep. Louie Gohmert told a right-wing talk show host that the shutdown kept the Dems from brings up immigration reform. I don’t usually pay attention to Mr. Gohmert, but it’s in line with the GOP minority party tactics. Their plan is to filibuster, delay and basically run out the clock, so the president can’t pass his agenda.
I read an interesting Washington Post story that fact checked Senator Ted Cruz's claims about the job killing ACA. The newspaper only gave him two Pinocchios because our country has 315 million and a lot of his data could not be verified yet. Once businesses get going, those part timers will become full- timers regardless of their healthcare status ,so to say we are nation of 29 hour work week is not true.