You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

EDITORIAL: Health care accountability

The Democratic enablers of Obamacare fear the drubbing they deserve

- - Sunday, November 24, 2013

When the going gets tough, politicians usually get going, looking for the tall grass. Only Democrats voted for Obamacare, and now millions of Americans are coming to grips with the consequences. The millions must find a replacement insurance policy they can afford. The Libre Initiative, a nonprofit free-market group, is encouraging Hispanic voters to find their congressmen and hold them responsible.

The group expects to spend $750,000 for an English and Spanish-language advertising campaign to persuade Texans to call Rep. Pete Gallego and Floridians to ring Rep. Joe Garcia to give them a piece of their mind. These are the first such congressmen in Hispanic-leaning districts to get the treatment. "There will be more in the days and weeks ahead," says the group's spokesman, Brian Faughnan.

The idea is to chip away at the timidity of members who, deep down, recognize that they're imposing an enormous and unwelcome burden on their constituents. Since the administration reneged on its promise to provide a Spanish version of the Healthcare.gov website, speakers of foreign tongues are doubly baffled by the fact that error messages aren't translated into a language they understand.

The White House realizes the risk of big-time losses in the midterm elections over Obamacare, so on Friday it ordered an extension of the 2015 Obamacare enrollment period until Nov. 15, 2014, or 11 days after the congressional elections. The idea is to prevent anyone taking it out on the Democrats.

Bad service was baked into the health care scheme from the day Obamacare was conceived. Documents released last week by the House Energy and Commerce Committee reveal that the administration was aware several days before the launch of the Obamacare website that it was incapable of handling more than 500 users at a time. "Eventually the system reached a breakpoint, after which everything started failing," one of the department's technicians wrote in an email informing the Obama administration of the approaching collapse.

CGI Federal, which was paid millions to develop the government website, acknowledged that "the scripts are failing so far due to issues like load balancing, inefficient and defective code, and inefficient queries." In other words, just about everything. The administration decided to let politics prevail, and plowed ahead, turning the president's signature legislative achievement into a punch line for late-night television comics.

The shame and embarrassment for this flop will inevitably and eventually rub off on the congressmen who bequeathed it. Since the first Obamacare insurance plans don't take effect until New Year's Day, the Democrats in Congress have one last chance to make amends. If they don't, they'll get the drubbing they deserve.