Shikha Dalmia in the Washington Examiner on the World of Troubles Awaiting Obamacare


Obamacare's first week has been a disaster: The rollout of the insurance exchanges has been a fiasco; its first enrollee turned out to be a hoax; Jon Stewart accused Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of lying on air; and then he and Wolf Blitzer demanded a delay in the individual mandate.

Yet there were folks like liberal columnist Eugene Robinson who declare: "Obamacare is here, get used to it."

But Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia notes in the Washington Examiner that the next few months will make or break the program:

It is never a good idea for a president to drag a country into war without broad-based support. That's because he needs political cover to stick it through when things inevitably go wrong.

What's true of war is even truer of a radical overhaul of one-sixth of the domestic economy.

Obama ignored that and pushed Obamacare without doing the hard work of putting together something that the other party could support.

Obamacare's problems ultimately are not technical but political — and they might be just beginning.

Go here for the whole thing.

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  1. I agree there are political problems, but as I keep saying around here, there are technical problems that might well be insurmountable. Check out this diagram. Look at the green areas in the upper left. In theory (though this aspect is one of the “delayed” features), the Federal hub is supposed to communicate with computer systems at the IRS, Treasury, Social Security, Homeland Security, and HHS. Over on the right, it’s supposed to communicate with state Medicaid systems.

    That means the hub is supposed to communicate with 55 pre-existing computer systems, not even counting the ones in the lower half of the chart. In a secure way. While obeying HIPAA laws. For millions of users. In something close to real time.

    Far, far simpler government IT projects have failed miserably, even ones internal to single departments (e.g. the FBI’s Virtual Case File system). Connecting different systems this way is very, very hard. It may never work as designed.

    1. It would be incredibly hard even if the 55 systems were up-to-date, functional databases.

      They aren’t. They are government databases. Guaranteed to be antiquated piles of kludged-up spaghetti.

    2. The big Unisys IRS project of the 80s failed spectacularly. Maybe for the better.

    3. I’m wondering what is going to happen when someone eventually ddos’s the exchange site, considering the damn thing has basically been designed to dos attack itself in normal operation, probably wouldn’t be that hard.

    4. there are technical problems that might well be insurmountable.

      Are you saying that we will need tax increases in perpetuity to fix problems that will only grow the more we try to fix them?

      Are you suggesting there be a massive effort to unionize an every-growing IT staff that will be doing God’s work in creating more problems than they solve?

      Are you one of those filthy public school teachers that already has the same scam going?

      1. I have seen complaints on Slashdot, where people should know better, that the Obabacare website disaster is due to “privatization,” which seems to imply that coders employed by government would have done better.

  2. How is low participation a “disaster”? I consider it a veiled victory. I have predicted many times here the ACA will be a big “So What?” in the end.

    Small government proponents should wish for low participation. It vindicates the prior ‘somewhat free-market’ prior system.

    1. Palin’s Buttplug|10.11.13 @ 6:17PM|#
      …”I consider it a veiled victory.”

      Shut up, shreek. It wouldn’t make any difference if the sites fried every computer that tried a connection; you’d see it as a “victory”!
      It’s because you’re a stupid shit. Shut up.

    2. WTF? the low-participation is only a precursor to the giant penaltax coming in a few months.

      Which was the motive all along.

      1. Which would the government prefer? Millions of people paying billions of dollars to insurance companies, or millions of people paying billions of dollars to the government?

        I think you’re onto something, Finger.

        1. The citizens DO have freedom of choice!

          They can either pay the government penaltax, or they can pay the insurance companies (who will be then be forced to purchase Treasuries with yields below the inflation rate.)

          I thought I was one of the last non-Democrats to figure this out.

    3. How is low participation a “disaster”?

      Go back and read the articles.

      Lots of people are trying participate yet cannot.

      January is not that far from now. How many people will still not be able to sign up yet will have to pay the tax bill for not signing up?

      Also wasn’t Obamacare about insuring the uninsured? if people can’t sign up how are they being insured?

      How is the compete failure of a program to do what it is supposed to do not a complete disaster?

      1. What would be absolutely poetic would be a broken system preventing people from signing up forcing Barry to give on the delay of the individual mandate. Of course New Pravda Radio and the New Kiev Times will gush over how compassionate Barry is…

    4. I love it. There is absolutely nothing that hardened partisans like PB won’t spin as (and, sadly, probably actually believe is) more evidence of the effulgent glory of Obama.

      Botched Middle Eastern foreign policy is really just Obama playing 3D chess at a level mere plebes can’t even comprehend.

      Utterly non-functional software costing $650BB and counting is a veiled victory.

      1. Dude, Obama is at 5D chess, nobody will even offer to play him anymore. Not even a computer. He’d solve all the Obamacare computer problems in 3 minutes himself but those Christfag Republicans are wasting his time on bullshit like budgeting and checks-and-balances.

    5. We paid $500 million for this shit.

  3. “Obamacare’s problems ultimately are not technical but political — and they might be just beginning.”

    Not so long as 90% of the ‘un-biased media’ licks the floor where His shoes touched.

  4. Why do I get the feeling there were columnists 70 years ago that wrote things like “Internment camps with poisonous showers are here. Get used to it.”

    1. Its “One Congress, one vote, one time.” Due to our stupid Constitution, they can’t have their “one man, one vote, one time” so they are settling for the totalitarianism they can get, rather than the totalitarianism they dream of.

      Once Congress has approved an expansion of the state, that expansion cannot be rolled back. Its just impossible. Laws of physics, and all that.

    2. “Obamacare is here, get used to it.”

      Isn’t this an admission that it is horrible?

      One would not have to get used to stuff that was comfortable.

      Normally people say get used it in a sentence like “life sucks get used to it” Not things like “Your wife is hot and great in bed get used to it.”

      1. Oh yes, the goalposts have moved. Before it was that Obamacare would give everyone insurance, it would be cheaper for everyone, cover more, nobody would lose their current plan or their doctor, and it wouldn’t increase the deficit. Now we hear: “Oh, it will make a dent in the uninsured,” and “Oh, of course some people will pay more.” And people are losing current plans and doctors. And job hours and jobs themselves. And it will increase the deficit.

        But hey, the plan you now can’t afford covers birth control which you don’t need, and kids up to 26, which you don’t have. So there’s that.

  5. Obamacare’s problems ultimately are not technical but political ? and they might be just beginning.

    And, the capacity of the American people to just put up with endless bullshit is, itself, an endless resource.

    So it’s going to suck the big one and nobody’s going to do anything about it.

    Do you hear the sucking sound yet?

    1. You pay extra for sound.

  6. California had to pull the plug at $135M on its DMV upgrade. And the DMV data is all keyed up with VINs and DLNs. That’s an OOM easier than just the consumer facing portion of the exchanges. And the backend of the exchanges is about as hard as a round trip manned mission to Sol.

    1. …”And the backend of the exchanges is about as hard as a round trip manned mission to Sol.”
      Well, the CA admins are claiming 16,000 “sign ups” (whatever that means), but mirroring the national exchanges, no one has yet been interviewed as someone who actually bought insurance from the things.

      1. I suspect the sign-ups are accounts created.

        Then you see what an actual HIE insurance plan would cost you, and you log out.

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