The Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight

It’s too early to write the history of the Obama administration. But, at this point, it looks like, for the most part, that history may be summed up in three words: coulda, woulda, shoulda. I “coulda” signed an immigration bill, but Congress was too busy shutting down the government. I “woulda” closed the gun show loophole, but the NRA wouldn’t let me. “I “shoulda” done something about climate change, but I just ran out of time.

The one, big exception is the Affordable Care Act. That is the one concrete thing President Obama has accomplished. As Joe Biden would say, that’s a “BFD,” which is why the breakdown of the Obamacare website is so inexcusable. It will be fixed, but it never should have collapsed in the first place.

Launched on October 1, the same day Congress shut down the federal government, problems with the website designed for people to sign up for one of 36 state health exchanges popped up immediately. Customers had to be cleared before they could shop (just the opposite of most commercial websites). The website shut down in the middle of many searches, dropping all stored data, and forcing customers to start over from scratch. Rates were often misquoted, and inaccurate information relayed to insurance providers.

And what was the response of the Obama administration? One pitiful excuse after another. First, they declared that the problem was simply too much traffic. They didn’t expect so many people to check it out, they lamented, so they couldn’t handle the volume, which made no sense at all. How can you preach for years that millions of Americans are eager to buy health insurance — and then say you’re surprised when millions of Americans are, indeed, eager to buy health insurance?

At the same time, the White House minimized problems with the site as the kind of “glitches” every new site experiences, but which would quickly work themselves out. Except that experts soon confirmed that difficulties navigating the site stemmed from serious system failures, and not mere glitches.

Then HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius told CNN that part of the problem was that so many people going to the website were not “tech savvy.” Which may be true, but which is also why the site should have been designed as fool-proof and easy to use. Not to mention that countless “tech savvy” people reported they couldn’t find their way around the website, either.

Finally, 21 days after launch, President Obama admitted the problems were serious, expressed his anger and frustrations with the website failures and announced he was bringing in a team of the best and brightest, the so-called “tech surge,” to straighten out the mess. Good move. But, one must wonder, why the best and brightest weren’t hired to design the system from the start, instead of CGI, a Canadian firm, who, according to USASpending.gov, were paid upward of $634 million — for nothing. HHS would have been better off subcontracting the whole operation out to Amazon or ProFlowers. They know how to handle traffic. They thrive on it.

It’s not all bad news. Where the federal government has floundered, state governments have soared. On my show, I’ve heard nothing but success stories from those 14 states — California, New York, Washington State, Maryland, Connecticut and others — where governors have embraced Obamacare and set up their own websites. Under Democratic Governor Steve Beshear, Kentucky leads the pack, signing up an average of 1,000 new health care patients a day. Ironically, it’s only in those states where Republican governors have rejected Obamacare that the administration has run into trouble.

Nevertheless, opponents of the Affordable Care Act are enjoying this meltdown a little too much. They love the fact that the launch is having so many problems. It just reinforces their stale old argument that the ACA should be delayed or dumped altogether. But they’re only kidding themselves. Obamacare is here to stay. It’s already helped millions of Americans. Problems with the website, which is only one part of Obamacare, will soon be fixed. By January, as many as 30 million more Americans will be able to sign up for the health care they need for themselves and their families, at bargain rates never before available.

In the meantime, this isn’t rocket science. The Obama administration should stop making lame excuses, admit they dropped the ball big time, and just get busy and fix the darned thing. Fast!

1822 Responses to The Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight

  1. emile says:

    ***It would have been a smart business move.*
    Where and when does it end??
    At some point if you’re in business you have to reach a point that tells you…wait a minute…we haven’t sold anything in six months. Maybe, just maybe we need to do something different.
    If you’re working at Walmart and can’t afford to buy anything there, wouldn’t that be a CLUE to the upper Enders that if they pay more, they might, just might, sell more?
    Is their little country busting agenda helping them and their business at all? Right, stocks keep going up?? Through thoughtful planning and business wizardry .
    So, what’s the problem.
    I got mine, so, fuck you all!

  2. Jeffg says:

    Privatizing Social security is the perfect example. Privatizing isn’t giving the money to anyone, it lets you make in segment decisions with that best suit you. By not privatizing it you’re saying that you need the govt to take care of you. The very same govt you accuse of colluding with corporations, buying guillotines and secretly executing 9/11.

    ‘If what you say is true that it was the progressives,then, who was responsible for creating the middle class wealth that your people are continually stealing??’
    Good paying jobs brought to you by the likes of Joe Doak and bill gates.
    No one is trying to steal your wealth except the govt.

    ‘The fact that everything is broken is , of course , the progressives fault. We don’t need no stinking peasants, we need bigger corporations that are. Too big to fail.’
    It was the progressive system that kept them from failing. If we were truely capitalist we would have let them fail, and we should have.

    Do you really think Medicare, Medicaid and social security are success? How is making people more dependent on the govt a success?

    ‘If you invent a better mousetrap, good for you. This only means that you’re king of the mice, not king of the world. Because at some point it becomes overkill.’
    Says who? You? Are you now king of the world? Who gets to determine how much is enough and how much is to much?

    Again, if you had your way joe never would have gotten his invention out of the barn.

  3. Jeffg says:

    “At some point if you’re in business you have to reach a point that tells you…wait a minute…we haven’t sold anything in six months. Maybe, just maybe we need to do something different.”

    There in lies the problem. You have no clue what’s going on. ‘wait a minute…we haven’t sold anything in six months.’ Who isn’t selling anything? Walmart serves 35 million customers per day, that’s transactions, not number of people who come to the store. Burger King serves 15.7 million customers per day. They both sell plenty therefore your entire argument is incorrect, once again. The problem is cost. Like taxes and labor cost.

    ‘Maybe, just maybe we need to do something different.’ Yes we do. Lower corporate taxes. You’ll see more jobs and higher wages. But that’s not what you really want is it? You don’t people to make it on their own, you want the govt to provide for them.

    So where do you get your news from? You always seem to be at least a week late with your ‘and this just in’ statements.

  4. emile says:

    OMG! You truly are some kind of halfwit, aren’t you?
    ****Do you really think Medicare, Medicaid and social security are success? How is making people more dependent on the govt a success?***
    All have provided goods and services to people who wouldn’t have had anything without it. You see this as people that should stop sucking the govt tit.
    I see it as a payout from the money they paid into it most of their lives. They paid into it! Shocking I know. What do think should be done with the money they paid into it? Wait I know, give it to billy and warren.
    Crikey!

  5. Jeffg says:

    No. I see it as being forced to pay into something many don’t want. Where is free will and freedom of choice when the govt makes you save?
    Why can’t you do it on your own? Why can’t we decide as an individual not to contribute and not to receive?
    You have no rights when it comes to social security and you have no control your investment or what you will receive.

    How many of those people who got the payout would have paid in if they had had a choice? I would rather the individual keep the money. If they want to give to billy or warren that would be their choice.

  6. emile says:

    Why is the libertarians are Always the ones worrying about freedom and liberty??
    Why would you want to deal with a middle man like mitt romney handling your pension assets.
    Duh! I think that’s why the money’s gone now, no??
    Like GE pension money. Those people paid into it all those years ran it up to about $ 55Billion and GE decides we re not gonna do pensions anymore.
    Hold it a minute.
    Those people who paid money out of the checks into that pension fund haven’t had a raise in pensions in 100 years. So tell me smart guy, how can you be soo trusting they’ll do the right thing??? None of them ever have. None. Not without a fight not without a labor union.

    **How is making people more dependent on the govt a success?**
    Why don’t you tell me?? Why are your corporations forcing more and more people onto the government dole. Do they have any, any, obligation to anything??
    Or just profit???

  7. Jeffg says:

    ‘Like GE pension money. Those people paid into it all those years ran it up to about $ 55Billion and GE decides we re not gonna do pensions anymore.’
    Yet another fabrication on your part.

    All GE employees who paid into the pension shall receive that pension.
    New employees are not on the pension plan but are also not contributing.

    When you lie like that why should anyone believe you ?

  8. Jeffg says:

    Your Richard eskow links? Like most of his stuff it has no content. Just accusations. The first one for example accuses ’5 Obnoxious Libertarian Oligarchs Who Earned Fortunes from the Government They’d Like to Destroy’. Yet he never tells how they earned their fortunes from the govt nor how they want to destroy it. You have a very low threshold for evidence. But then that’s why you never stray from your echo chamber, or do you prefer bubble? Why don’t you try going to a site with real journalist doing real journalism? Alternet is devoid of facts, much like you

  9. emile says:

    It’s my understanding they haven’t had a raise in years. You would think that $ 55 Billion compounding itself for 50 years would be paying more than the paltry amount they’re getting.
    They had a choice to participate in the pension, and, look what happened, they got robbed. Is this also your plan?
    Scanning down through alternet, the libertarians in the news want to abolish all social programs, but, they never say where the money will come from for their retirement.
    50 years ago, what were they paying into it? .50 cents?
    Now they might get the money back they paid into it? Is this how youz people plan on running things??
    Could you have believed that the money paid in would never amount the amount needed to keep up the random fortunes being printed by the FED?
    Or has it?
    $ 55. Billion is keeping up with something but, as usual the corporation is screwing somebody over.
    Are they paying out the pension money to the shareholders??
    Seems like good business sense to me.
    After all, they’ll have you to protect them. Right?

  10. emile says:

    Me lying??
    GE said the pensions were too costly to manage. When the independent journalists did a little digging, they found that GE had been lying. They said the pension funds were too costly and too expensive to manage. Truth was GE Had Not contributed a Penny, since …………..1987….!
    Are you still following me, here?
    GE. Employees have been the sole contributors since 1987.
    So, tell me how you think GE should be allowed to keep the $ 55 billion.
    The money being paid out to pensioners will prolly be paid with the interest on $. $ 55. Billion.
    Nice haul for GE , no??
    Go ahead , spin that that one so GE looks like the white knight on the shiny white horse.
    This is only one corporation.
    Or maybe go try to battle it in THEIR Supreme Court . Yeah, that’ll work.
    So, how do you think GE would like you saying the American workers should gave their money to do with as they please?? I think the people you keep defending would be against it.
    Same for healthcare.
    They each have their own little slush fund for employe healthcare they make profit on. What other reason could there be for them not to want national healthcare.

    Here’s a new and exciting thought…
    ” Ask not what your country can do for you,
    Ask, what you can do for your country”
    -JFK-

  11. Jeffg says:

    GE isn’t keeping the $55 billion. It’s paying out to the current enrollee’s in the pension plan who have retired and will pay it to those who have not.

    ‘It’s my understanding they haven’t had a raise in years.’ You don’t get ‘raises’ after you retire. Also they were in a fixed benefits plan meaning that what you get at year one is the same you get at year last, as negotiated by the union.

    ‘They had a choice to participate in the pension, ‘. Yes they did. They approved the union contract via a vote therefore the choice was theirs. Did the union mislead them?

    You do realize that $55 billion is at much. That money is for over 500,000 current and future GE retirees. That comes to only $110,00 per person unless it is held, invested and continues to receive contributions from GE ( which contributed to it since 1987) and the future enrollee’s.

    There have been several articles showing that the independent journalist didn’t know what they were talking about.

    ‘Scanning down through alternet, the libertarians in the news want to abolish all social programs, but, they never say where the money will come from for their retirement.’ From your personal savings and investments. Why are you afraid of personal responsibility? Where is your morale outrage at people who refuse to take responsibility for their own lives?

    ‘Here’s a new and exciting thought…
    ” Ask not what your country can do for you,
    Ask, what you can do for your country”
    -JFK-’

    You do realize that is direct conflict to your line of thinking? You want others to do for their country so your country can do for you. Just look at your libertarian comment I quoted above. You want govt via social security and regulation to provide (do) your retirement. Why don’t you save, invest wisely and let govt reduce its spending this requiring it to steal less money from the citizens under the guise of taxes?

    What have you done for your country?

  12. emile says:

    You give me a headache right behind my eyeball.

    Just where is this libertarian holy land where everyone profits by making excellent decisions, good life choices. And keeps their nose to the grindstone for 16 hours per day?? Where is it? You can’t do that here, just ask GE, Apple or billy.

    ****Why are you afraid of personal responsibility? Where is your morale outrage at people who refuse to take responsibility for their own lives?***
    Afraid???
    There goes my eye roll again.
    When you’re working 5 part time jobs and still living in poverty. That doesn’t leave much time to go to school to be a Microsoft engineer. Does it.? Just how would that be accomplished?
    when all the country’s wealth has somehow fell up the ladder since oh, 1980,

  13. emile says:

    Reaganomics didn’t work. Except for the upper percentages. So, i guess you can stop trying to peddle that nonsense.
    Last poll says that only 16 % of the population has any trust in anything. Where does that fit into your little utopian idea of how things should be??
    84% of of don’t believe a word of anything! corporate! or governmental! or evangelical. Or libertarian, or republican, or democratic. Or medical, or financial, or educational,

    Face it.
    After 250 years of strife and struggle as a nation we really should be better off, …shouldn’t we?

  14. emile says:

    We should not be the number #1 country. for
    housing foreclosures
    Prison system enrollees
    Bankruptcys
    Divorces
    Suicides
    Business failures
    Police brutalities
    Student Debt
    Or any other economic disaster I may have failed to mention.

    So, smart guy…….what’s the plan??
    You always have the answers but never the right questions.

  15. emile says:

    ***Where is your morale outrage at people who refuse to take responsibility for their own lives?***

    You see, in your confusion, you are buying their nonsense again, aren’t you??
    The problems I have mentioned ARE NOT moral problems, they justifiably ECONOMIC PROBLEMS? They will not be dismissed by you saying those people are all worthless and weak.
    They are economic problems.
    If none of your corporations plan to hire here in THE United States of America Then, they should pack their bags and move to ….oh….Canada. Or Biafra or wherever they can get the best deal. But not , using American greenbacks. Use, biafran bahitis or whatever they are. You know you can’t make any money with American greenbacks, right???
    If they truly hate this country soooo much, then why stay if they have to cry everyday?? Crying, with cake in both hands , as they say.

  16. emile says:

    Like I said,
    A headache right behind my eyeball.

  17. emile says:

    ****, invest wisely****

    What does that even mean…?
    Our wealth up until 1980 was invested wisely.
    It all got wiped out by the stroke of a republican pen.
    So, what does that mean……wisely.??

  18. emile says:

    ***Privatizing Social security is the perfect example. Privatizing isn’t giving the money to anyone, **
    You say the stupidest shit.

    Just where do you think the money is planning on going??
    Maybe a vacation in canada.??
    Which one of your pals actually, and truthfully has your interests at heart?? Are they planning to set you free again from the lifelines that would keep your stupid ass from starving to death under a bridge in your later years??
    Right. Keep drinking the kool-aid, everything will be fine.

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