NEW YORK (MainStreet) The initial implementation for the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) website for insurance exchanges is having the same success as the Titanic's maiden voyage. It is sinking fast.
The Obama administration's ineptitude streak for selecting technology solutions (think Solyndra) continues. Healthcare.gov is ineffective and costly. Glitch ridden as it was, there were warnings that it was not-ready-for prime-time months ago.
Henry Chao, the deputy chief information officer and the deputy director of the Office of Information Services (OIS) in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), expressed doubts about the website in March according to published reports. The whole tech-side of this endeavor has become a "Charlie-Foxtrot," as they used to say in the Marines.
This website imbroglio is the kind of problem an already controversial project did not need. The problems have provided grist for Obamacare's legion of critics.
"In weeks or maybe months, Americans should expect the technological problems in the health law's exchange Web site to be fixed," said Hadley Heath, senior policy analyst at the Independent Women's Forum. "What cannot be fixed, however, is the flawed design of the President's health law. The inability of Americans to access the exchange Web site is just one of the law's many, serious disappointments, including forced changes to private plans, ever increasing costs, and reduced access to health care. This immediate technological failure simply illustrates the ineptitude of government when it comes to managing what should be free and personal decisions."
On October 11, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) called on Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to resign. He said the website debacle showed that Sebelius is grossly incompetent and that this led to the complete failure of the exchange to enroll millions of Americans in health care plans as promised.
"How long do we let this failed exchange continue to operate?" Roberts said. "From the very beginning of the bill's passage, I have said this cannot work. Just over 90 days ago in the GOP weekly radio address to the nation, I warned the American people that the exchanges were not going to be ready. In fact, I introduced legislation to end the exchanges and sunset the individual mandate if they were not ready as promised on October 1."