Like a flaming Chevy Volt brought back to the shop for repairs, the Obamacare federal health insurance exchange website has now been recalled. The application part of the site, healthcare.gov, will be taken down during off-hours over the weekend, and will be unavailable for public use – which does not truly differentiate it from its current status.
The Obamacare launch has been nothing short of disastrous for the Obama administration, particularly given the supposed urgency of implementing Obamacare that President Obama has claimed as the rationale for refusal to negotiate over the government shutdown. On September 27, CBS News reported, “Obamacare’s success may hinge on a website.” By October 4, even Obama acolytes like the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas labeled healthcare.gov “really bad.” They wrote, “the Obama administration doesn’t have a basically working product that would be improved by a software update. They have a Web site that almost nobody has been able to successfully use. If Apple launched a major new product that functioned as badly as Obamacare’s online insurance marketplace, the tech world would be calling for Tim Cook’s head.”
The Obamacare website’s launch was so poor that Sarah Kliff of the Post similarly reported that the media was struggling to find anyone who had been able to enroll in Obamacare. “We’re told they do exist and are indeed real people,” she wrote. On Friday, Kliff believed she had discovered such a person: one Chad Henderson. There was only one problem, as Kliff later learned: Henderson was an Organizing for Action volunteer, and never enrolled at all. She lamented, “I spoke with Chad over the phone about this situation. He told me that he has indeed not purchased coverage but doesn’t believe he was lying. He said he told reporters that he completed an application for coverage and knows what plan he would like to purchase, but has not, as of yet, enrolled in that insurance plan.”
No number of repairs will be able to fix Obamacare. The website is the least of Americans’ worries.