Tuesday, October 22, 2013

(UPDATED) (OT) Obama's Press Secretary Does "Sir Humphrey Appleby" Over ABC Reporter's Question Over Disasterous Launch of ObamaCare

(UPDATE) Washington Post reported on October 21, 2013 that the pre-launch test by the government officials and contractors resulted in the system crash with only a few hundred people trying to log on simultaneously. That's gotta be far worse than "10-year-old technology". More like 15, if not 20.

Days before the launch of President Obama’s online health ­insurance marketplace, government officials and contractors tested a key part of the Web site to see whether it could handle tens of thousands of consumers at the same time. It crashed after a simulation in which just a few hundred people tried to log on simultaneously.

Despite the failed test, federal health officials plowed ahead.

When the Web site went live Oct. 1, it locked up shortly after midnight as about 2,000 users attempted to complete the first step, according to two people familiar with the project.


Finally, someone from the mainstream media (aside from Jon Stewart's half-hearted attempt to "grill" Secretary Sebelius the other day) asks the Obama administration official directly:

"How can you tax people for Obamacare when the website doesn't even work?"

In "answering", Obama's press secretary Jay Carney does Sir Humphrey Appleby by:

  • Launching into long, meandering, mostly irrelevant monologue; and when asked the question again,

  • Thanking the questioner ("I appreciate what you're saying...") and never answering the question

"Tax" Mr. Jonathan Karl of ABC News is referring to is the penalty assessed by Internal Revenue Service on citizens and residents who fail to obtain health insurance coverage as specified by the Obama administration and fail to declare that coverage information in their tax returns.

From Real Clear Politics (10/21/2013):

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: Let me make sure I got that last part right. Given all the problems that we have seen with people trying to enroll in this program, is the White House going to be delaying the mandate?

JAY CARNEY: No. Listen, that is not all what I was saying.

KARL: Well why not?


KARL: Why not delay? You are going to charge people a fine for not enrolling, why not --

CARNEY: We're three weeks into a six-month enrollment period. As I said, the law itself as written makes clear that Americans with access to affordable insurance would need to have insurance by March 31. But people that do not have access to affordable care, due to a state not expanding Medicaid -- and there are states out there who are depriving their own residents of access to expanded Medicaid because they made that choice -- or due to other factors, will not be penalized. That is number one. When it comes to the issue I was just talking to Brianna about, with the February 15 marker period, I would refer you to HHS for more details, but they are looking to align the policies, the disconnect between open enrollment period and the individual responsibility timeframes, which exists in the first year only.

The point that I'm trying to make, Jon, and addressing the question at the end of your question, is we're focused on providing quality health insurance to millions of Americans. We are three weeks into a six-month enrollment period. If you enrolled last week or you enroll next week, your insurance does not kick in until January 1st. And ample prior experience shows that in programs like these, most people do not enroll until towards the end. If you are able to shop for an extended period of time before you have to buy, you are likely to shop.

In Massachusetts, for example, where similar health-care initiatives was passed into law, the average consumer explored his or her options six to eight times, I believe the figure was, before actually making a decision. So, again, we're acknowledging, clearly as the president did, problems that have existed on the website. That we are focused on making the consumer experience better, providing clear information to Americans about the variety of ways they can get the information about plans, as well as the variety of ways that they can enroll to them.

And our focus is on making the Affordable Care Act work and making sure that Americans have access to these plans. Not on figuring out who is to blame for a problem that clearly exists and we need to fix.

KARL: You can't really charge people a fine for not getting health insurance if don't fix this mess. You can't make the website work, can you?

CARNEY: I appreciate what you're saying and I have answered now and will answer again that people who --

KARL: So if the website is not fixed, will people still have to pay the fine?

CARNEY: First of all, we're way still early in the process. You're talking about February 15 and a March 31st deadline, it is October 21st today. We are three weeks into this.

The Obama administration, from the president on down, is trying its best to pass it off as some technical glitches of the expensive and so far useless government website created by a Canadian company using 10-year-old technology, but it goes far beyond "glitches.

Many Americans, who did not follow what was unfolding when this disaster of a so-called healthcare reform was being discussed back in 2010, do not even know that they will be penalized for not having the health insurance AS SPECIFIED BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

People who "lack" coverage in areas deemed "essential" by the Obama administration - maternity care for EVERYONE, psychological care, pediatrics care for EVERYONE, etc. - will be forced to get that coverage with potential huge increase in premiums. Many doctors have been dropping out of the insurance system altogether ever since ObamaCare (aka Affordable Care Act, even if it is not "affordable" and there will be less "care") passed as a law thanks entirely to the Democratic Congressmen and Senators in the Congress.

People who can't afford to have health insurance will either be forced into the already highly dysfunctional Medicaid whether they like it or not (if they are low-income as defined by the administration) or will be penalized with fines that they could ill-afford.

One thing for sure that ObamaCare will successfully achieve is to cause incredible bureaucracy to grow and prosper on its own (chart courtesy of Joint Economic Committee of the Congressional Republicans):

and this, I believe, has been the main purpose of ObamaCare all along - self-generating, parasitic federal and state bureaucracies.

When any politician anywhere in the world say he/she is doing it for "the people", laugh, and then be very afraid. They are doing it for them and their buddies, and make "the people" responsible for negative, so-called "unintended" outcomes.

"Who could have known?" they will be saying, while asking us to pay for their mistakes.


JAnonymous said...

Weeell, if they really did use 10 years old technology, it's a good thing.

1/ 10 years old technology is full of security holes because no piece of software can be maintained with respect to security AND grow 10 years old at the same time. Ubuntu LTS does 5 years max, even windows XP will finally run out on April 2014 (and that's unfortunate, because it was the last decent windows)

2/ Another good point with this kind of old tech, is that old timers from the hacking community can come back and find a nice juicy low hanging fruit

Expect healthcare phreaking

That reminds me of another old technology that breaks all the time, costs insane amount of money and hardly delivers (electricity).

Anonymous said...

Firstly the US is renown for the costs and the poor performance of its health care system.
Secondly, unless mr. Karl can say that some citizen has been unfairly penalized because the web site is down, he is just playing politics.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Beppe, monetary penalty is what Mr. Karl is talking about, and that will come in 2014 tax returns. People are being forced to buy the insurance with the threat of penalty. The draft of the Obamacare bill even included imprisonment as part of penalty.

Anonymous said...

JA, read the link about 10-year-old tech.

Anonymous said...

Beppe, tax authority (IRS) will assess monetary penalty on EVERYONE who doesn't buy the mandated insurance. Playing politics? Hardly.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious at this point that Obamacare was intentionally designed to fail.

Anonymous said...

If you can't use a website, send a letter for chrissakes. Worked for hundred years before www.

Vyse Legendaire said...

Obamacare is dead on arrival. Yet another blow to the reputation/credibility/dependability of the US empire in its waning days.

Anonymous said...

Admittedly I am not familiar with the matter but still it seems to me Karl is playing politics -- poorly.
Health insurance is now mandatory? Fine, it's a new type of tax directed to financing a public health care system. If taxpayers have no way to fill the papers before their deadline there will be no penalties, I am sure.
Don't like taxes? Well, come to Japan and if you make more than one million USD per year your tax rate will start going down (government data).
Don't like your taxes to be wasted? Kick out insurance companies from the health insurance business, for starters. The Japanese health care system is among the most cost effective in the world and no insurance company is involved.

Anonymous said...

Beppe, the reporter was asking questions to Obama, which in the US these days is "playing politics". The other day a black Congresswoman or Senator (I forgot which) made the news because she "dared" argue with the president, instead of politely ask superficial questions with no answers expected.

Darth 3.11 said...

What about the (I think) 26 states that opted out of ObamaCare because the Republicans in theirs states blocked it? Will they also pay this penalty? Really, single-payer health care is the only answer. This FUBAR just proves it.

Anonymous said...

Darth, yes they will pay the penalty anyway. And this debacle is exactly to solicit response like yours, that it's gotta be the single-payer system managed by the government!

I just don't know how, after that government is the one who created this mess of an outdated system contracted to a very company who was fired by a Canadian government for incompetence.

Anonymous said...

I can say that about 24 million people will be unfairly penalized by the mandate and fine. Recall that originally this was about a) making health CARE affordable, and b) insuring the 50 million uninsured. Of those, a large percentage were self-employed or those who had lost a job that had provided insurance.

Somewhere along the line, the unions and Obamabots started blaming these people for not having insurance. And as the goodies were parceled out at The Table, no one paid any attention to the uninsured, now calling them deadbeats and free riders and blaming them for health insurance and care costs. (BTW, a study by Hadley et al published in Health Affairs estimates the cost of the uninsured added 1.7% to premiums in 2009 - a pittance in the overall scheme of things.)

This group of increasingly impoverished and uninsured will remain uninsured. The exchanges originally set up for them will be used by everyone else. The government estimates 24 million currently uninsured will qualify for exemption from being fined-taxed for being too damn poor to afford the unaffordable insurance. They will not - unlike those with higher incomes, qualify for an insurance subsidy. And the only thing some will be offered is Medicaid, which at least in Oregon, IS NOT INSURANCE. It is a payday loan that will take 100% of the money spent on you out of any assets you might have. Whether or not you think Obama taxing the working poor 100% is "fair" or not, it is certainly not insurance, but it is the mother of all estate taxes, aka death taxes when the Repos are going on about taxing rich people.

So, to repeat, millions of self-employed and newly poor will not have access to care or even access to insurance.

This is what Obama delivered after having promised not to raise taxes on those making less than $250k a year.

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