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“White House’s incompetence, deception, and lack of accountability” continues unabated

by | Nov 18, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

The difficulty with posting stories about the rollout of ObamaCare’s health insurance exchanges (aka the disastrous Healthcare.gov. website) is that no sooner have you mentioned another in an endless string of snafus than still others pop up.

But the following, from the National Journal’s Ron Fournier, by no means an inveterate critic of the President, catches us up on a lot. Fournier began his piece with this scathing observation.

“Incompetence, deception, and lack of accountability doomed the Obamacare rollout. That’s old news. What’s new? The nagging durability of the White House’s incompetence, deception, and lack of accountability.” (See “President Obama and His Gang That (Still) Isn’t Shooting Straight.”)

He lists five—it could easily be more—but it’s a very good start.

(1) Perhaps the most annoying, because it is still another broken promise and handled with such clumsiness—was a story in the Washington Post Sunday where we learned that if 80% of users can buy insurance at Healthcare.gov, the Obama Administration will consider the new online marketplace a success. Fournier asks, “[I]n what other line of work is 20 percent failure considered a success?”

(2) This hit home. Although this is small, small potatoes, I am part of a committee that is making hiring decisions at our church. We want to be able to measure whether the hire was a good one, which requires some way of measuring performance. Fournier tells us (in the same Post story written by Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin) that they “revealed that the Health and Human Services Department hired technology contractors without requiring specific performance criteria.” So when DID they decide on criteria? “The meaning of success was defined for the first time during the panicky days of October, when White House officials belatedly recognized that the federal exchange had serious software and hardware defects,” The Post reported.

(3) “Incompetence is one thing,” Fournier writes. “Secrecy is another. The administration that promised to be the most transparent ever settled on the ‘80-percent-is-better-than-nothing’ construction without making it public.” That needs no elaboration.

(4) As it happens I did not see what Fournier calls a “cringe-inducing interview Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press” given by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi until after I read his post and went to the website. He is quite accurate when he says Pelosi “refused to acknowledge that she misled voters in 2009 when she said Americans could keep their health insurance plans.” Fournier adds, “Pelosi stammered under relentless questioning by host David Gregory. Obama acknowledged the broken promise after dragging his feet for days. Judging by Pelosi’s performance, some Democrats are still in denial.”

(5) Fifth and finally, Fournier is indignant that “accountability can wait,” meaning no one will be soon fired for this debacle. “No rush. Nobody fired. No accountability.”

As I said in the beginning this is just a start. The Weekly Standard’s Jeryl Bier wrote a fascinating piece today. It’s complicated, but the gist is we keep being told that the reason the portal has to get fixed by the end of the month is that if you want your insurance to take effect at the beginning of the new year, you have to sign up by December 15.

But the point of Bier’s important post is that you not only have to sign up by December 15, you also need to pay your first premium. But at this point, there is no reason to believe that can be easily done—or even at all!—at Healthcare.gov.

Bier talked with a Healthcare.gov representative about this. “You said above ‘It may give you that option’ to pay on healthcare.gov. Does that mean it’s not available yet?”

The representative’s chilling response was

“We are still experiencing some technical difficulties with the website, which is why it would be best to possibly go through the insurance company to make your first premium payment.”

Please join those who are following me on Twitter at twitter.com/daveha. Send your comments to daveandrusko@gmail.com.

Categories: ObamaCare