Politics

ObamaCare’s 99.6 percent meltdown

ObamaCare's 99.6 percent meltdown

The crew at Milwaukee Business News has been trying to log into that zillion-dollar ObamaCare website ever since launch day.  How’s it going, fellas?

By the end of the week, the website’s technical issues had not been solved. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services attributed the problems to a “tremendous volume” of traffic at the website.

Over the course of the week, the BizTimes editorial team attempted to log on to the website to learn more information about the new marketplaces. After running into several error messages on various attempts, we were eventually able to create an account, but were not able to fully log in to the online marketplace.

That seems to be a recurring problem for journalists – none of them can get logged into ObamaCare.  Surely regular folks are having more luck?

Stephanie Smiley, communications director for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), said that was a common problem across the state.  Three days into open enrollment, she said she did not know of a single Wisconsin resident who had been able to sign up for health insurance at healthcare.gov.

“So far, folks are getting caught up in the first stage of the application process,” she said. “We’ve not heard from anybody across the state that has been able to get beyond the first stage.”

Smiley also said she learned that the healthcare.gov site had more than 7 million hits in the first three days of open enrollment.

Wow, another state reporting an ObamaCare goose egg.  Delaware just celebrated its first confirmed ObamaCare enrollee, sixteen days into this nightmare.

Funny story about those much-touted traffic numbers – which are, for the purposes of comparison, a tiny fraction of the daily traffic experienced at big commercial sites like Amazon.com, which you are not penalized by the IRS for deciding not to patronize.  Millward Brown Digital broke the traffic pyramid down into a simple graphic that shows the vast majority of Healthcare.gov users – 99.6 percent of them, in fact – either gave up trying to access the poorly-constructed website, or ran like the Devil was chasing them when they got a look at what their premiums would be:

mbd_graph

 

So much for the “it’s so popular people can’t get through” myth.  As always, we may rest assured that if the signup numbers were encouraging, the Obama Administration would be shouting them from the rooftops, not handing us laughable excuses about how the system needs another month to churn out the figures.  (They’re currently saying we’ll have those launch-week enrollment figures sometime in mid-November.  I’m not sure they specified which year.)

That was Week 1.  How’s Week 2 looking?  Great news: traffic at Healthcare.gov declined by 88 percent after just one week.  Soon nobody will be trying to use it, and it will work just fine.  It all reminds me of Yogi Berra’s famous comment that a certain restaurant was “so crowded no one goes there any more.”

As for the grim news awaiting hardy pioneers who run the gauntlet of error messages, the Heritage Foundation computed the average monthly premium change for ObamaCare victims… er, excuse me, “beneficiaries”… and confirmed that in most states, people will be paying a lot more, especially if they’re young.  Premiums will decline for the 27-year-old age bracket in only four states: Colorado, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio.  The decline is less than 3 percent in New Jersey and Ohio.  “This is because those states had already over-regulated insurance markets that led to sharply higher premiums through adverse selection,” the study explains.

In most other states, every age bracket will pay more, but young people will be hit especially hard.  “Our findings confirm that younger populations see larger percentage increases in premiums,” writes study author Drew Gonshorowski.  “A state that exhibits this clearly is Vermont, where the increase for 27-year-olds is 144 percent and the increase for 50-year-olds is still 60 percent, but far less. All states exhibit this relationship.”

How are young people taking this?  Not well, to judge by an open letter from University of Michigan graduate Ashley Dionne, who says “this law has raped my future.  It will keep me and kids my age from having a future at all.  This is the real face of ObamaCare, and it isn’t pretty.”

CBS News has more about Dionne’s complaint:

She explains how she graduated from the University of Michigan in 2009, at which point she was told she was “too educated and wouldn’t stay” at low-paying jobs.

Dionne writes that she has a series of medical conditions, and the Obamacare system pushes her out of a system that favors the non-working poor.

“I have asthma, ulcers, and mild cerebral palsy. Obamacare takes my monthly rate from $75 a month for full coverage on my “Young Adult Plan,” to $319 a month. After $6,000 in deductibles, of course,” Dionne wrote in the Facebook post.

“Liberals claimed this law would help the poor. I am the poor, the working poor, and I can’t afford to support myself, let alone older generations and people not willing to work at all.”

At least working won’t be too much of a problem if the workforce continues to collapse under Obama’s policies.  CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder told Megyn Kelly of Fox News that “his company and others will choose to hire part-time employees instead of full-time employees because of increased costs from the health care law.”

He said in the six months in 2013 before the Obama administration delayed the employer mandate, which requires companies with over 50 full-time employees to provide health coverage to all full-time employees, employers were already reducing worker hours to prepare for the law.

“It’s very simple if you increase the cost of something businesses will use less of it,” Puzder said. “If you decrease the cost they will use more of it. So if you increase the cost of full time employment, there will be less full time employees. If you decrease the cost of part time employment, you’ll have more part time employment.”

Sure, Republicans failed in their recent effort to defund ObamaCare, but the Left has been trying to repeal the laws of supply and demand for over a century now, and they’ve been no more successful.  But hey, the sacrifice of thousands of jobs – plus a few entire business ventures, most recently the “iconic Indiana ice cream plant Bonnie Doon,” according to the Washington Free Beacon – is a small price to pay for the glories of centrally-planned health care, right?

As long as no government jobs are lost, that is.  Every one of those is a precious, glittering jewel that cannot be jeopardized, no matter now non-essential it might be.  Unlike the workers displaced by private-sector shutdowns, they get reinstated with back pay after their operations ramp back to full budget-blasting capacity.  But you private-sector chumps who lose jobs in this quagmire economy should just clam up and apply for food stamps.  The ruling class grows weary of your incessant whining.

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