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EDITORIAL: Down and still dirty

Months later and the Obama government still can’t deliver a working website

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Monday is the last day to enroll in Obamacare, and the Healthcare.gov website remains a disaster of catastrophic proportions. Many of those who were unceremoniously deprived of insurance they were promised they could keep scrambled to get a replacement at lunchtime on Friday. They were greeted with the unfriendly message: "We're currently performing scheduled maintenance. Please try again later." Another message asked those still trying to sign up for an Obamacare email list. Delay seized the site for hours.

Soon thereafter, President Obama, oblivious of the woes he has inflicted on the millions, mounted the White House podium to try to sell the appearance that nothing is wrong. "Tens of thousands are enrolling every single day," he boasted.

The incident encapsulates everything wrong with socializing something as important as medicine. When government runs the show, the problems and needs of the public are neither a priority nor even important. When a government bureaucrat is ready for lunch, he can flip a switch and turn off the website. The public will still be there when he gets back — it's not as if the public has a choice. Government managers have no requirement to meet performance standards. There are no shareholders to please. "Eighty-five percent of the population — whether they know it or not — over the last three years have benefited ... from the law," Mr. Obama said Friday, offering no evidence but the sound of his favorite voice to back up his boast. "It's working ... . The demand is there, and the product is good."

He has spent millions of taxpayer dollars to make his evermore bizarre claims. One of the print advertisements meant to sell Obamacare portrays a man — we presume he self-identifies as such — in pajamas, delicately holding a cup; not coffee, but of hot chocolate. "Wear pajamas ... talk about getting health insurance," it says. In the President Clinton years, the administration's idea of manliness was to have Al Gore take fashion advice for better "earth tones." Mr. Obama sends a grown man wearing a onesie. It's at least a bold step for lingerie.

The Center for American Progress, a left-wing group with close ties to the administration, one-ups pajama boy with a semipornographic "Out2Enroll" commercial featuring young men in nothing but Christmas caps and lingerie, prancing and dancing in gay abandon to support Obamacare. The "get enrolled" message is labeled as a "Full Frontal Freedom Production." The campaign was formally introduced at the White House in September by Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, and Valerie Jarrett, the president's closest adviser.

"I have a couple million people, maybe more, who are going to have health care on Jan. 1," says Mr. Obama. "That is a big deal ... . I'm creating greater opportunity for people." But not for all people, not for the 500,000 Americans that the administration concedes lose their coverage under the new mandates and who won't be covered by New Year's Day. Mr. Obama decided, without the constitutional inconvenience of consulting Congress, to set aside the law and allow those who lose their coverage to either buy limited, catastrophic insurance policies or skip out on health care next year without a penalty.

This does not impress Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, chairman of the House committee with oversight over Obamacare. "The health law is like a Jenga game," he says, "the administration keeps yanking out pieces, and ultimately nothing can keep it from collapsing."

Obamacare has made health insurance less affordable, less available, less effective and less desirable. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are suffering because the federal government can't deliver on Mr. Obama's firm and unequivocal promises. The sooner the president recognizes this, the sooner Congress can figure out a solution that respects the free market — and actually works.

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