That’s right, kids! The lifeclocks in your palms are all turning red, as today is Lastday for ObamaCare. Renewal on the Carousel of bloated premiums, high out-of-pocket expenses, restricted provider networks, and all-out administrative chaos is mandatory, unless you check off the box that says ObamaCare itself is a hardship that justifies an extension of your ObamaCare deadline.
Unfortunately, in order to check that box and request your deadline extension, you’ll have to log into the bugtastic ObamaCare website, which went down this morning – perfect symbolism for the ongoing disaster of ObamaCare. The incompetent boobs who manage this train wreck couldn’t even put an accurate countdown clock on the website – it’s behaving erratically, and currently says you have over 16 days until the March 31 deadline arrives. One of the chief perpetrators of this disaster, Ezekiel Emanuel, had to be informed live on the air that the site was down… while he was in the middle of crowing that several hundred million dollars of fixes to the $600 million system had finally wiped out all the bugs.
I can’t understand why Internet-savvy millennials aren’t rushing to be a part of this historic Big Government achievement!
ObamaCare signups supposedly “rebounded” after the main federal website became mostly functional. They’re doing so well that the Administration still lies incessantly about the situation, concealing the actual signup figures while chirping about the six million people that put something in their online shopping carts. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) said of the official Health and Human Services enrollment tally on Fox News Sunday: “I don’t think it means anything. They are cooking the books on this.”
“I think that they are lying to us about who has paid, who has not paid, who is getting subsidies,” Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said on Friday. “They don’t want to give us the numbers. The way they are surveying this site, you know they are trying to cover things up.”
The most crucial fact the Administration is still concealing, as of Lastday, is the number of paid and valid insurance purchases, which is the only measure of enrollment that really matters. It is thought that the Administration’s phony totals also include a sizable number of duplicate entries and corrupted data, which would not be surprising, given that for all the hoopla about how much better HealthCareDotGov’s front end works, the back-end systems are still largely non-existent. Insurance industry sources say this has necessitated “an incredibly labor-intensive process” of manual paperwork and billing, which has likely been producing a good number of errors.
Health and Human Services constantly lies about its ability to produce a reasonably accurate tally of paid and valid policies, even though it’s been established that they are receiving regular reports of payment totals from insurance providers. The House Energy and Commerce Committee recently wrote a letter to every insurance company in America, asking them to provide the information Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is concealing, so the public can be given an accurate idea of how well enrollments are coming along. Ed Rogers at the Washington Post hypothesizes that one reason for the latest ObamaCare deadline extension was to buy more time for the Administration to disseminate inflated enrollment totals and generate some good press, delaying the day of reckoning when they’ll finally have to admit how many actual policy sales have been made.
We also still don’t know how many ObamaCare buyers are people who didn’t have insurance in the past, as opposed to victims of Obama’s Big Lie who found their preferred policies abruptly canceled at the end of 2013. Nor do we know how many young and healthy people are signing up to pay big premiums so the older and sicker policy holders don’t bankrupt the system. HHS absolutely has this information, but they refuse to disclose it, which means it must be looking pretty bad. You can rest assured they would be trumpeting good news to the hills, even if the provenance of the numbers remained a bit dubious. Total silence and crazy stories about how nobody knows what’s really going on send ominous signals.
While the federal ObamaCare website was more-or-less working (up until Lastday, that is) several of the state exchanges are still abject disasters. Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber poured $300 million in federal funds into a black hole that still can’t enroll anyone, and seems determined to convince voters he was in some sort of coma while fishy contractors were absconding with all that money. Oregon and other basket-case blue states are talking about filing lawsuits to recover damages from their ObamaCare software providers. Maryland is thinking about dumping its $125 million exchange in the trash and purchasing the system Connecticut developed. Hawaii spent $100 million on a system that only managed to enroll 5,744 people. Massachusetts somehow went from 97 percent enrollment under RomneyCare to enrolling less than 13,000 people in ObamaCare.
Industry experts have estimated that 15 to 20 percent of the ObamaCare enrollments uncritically disseminated by Obama-friendly media sources are invalid, which would leave the true enrollment figure struggling to reach 5 million. Most of those are Big Lie victims; even under the Administration’s rosiest projections, the net number of uninsured Americans has barely changed at all, and there’s a good chance it has gotten worse. That’s nothing to brag about when discussing a trillion-dollar program with a billion-dollar website touted with hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising, which sells a product people are legally required to buy, under penalty of steep federal fines.
Update: For your viewing enjoyment, a viral video clip in which HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is literally struck dumb when told about the unpopularity of ObamaCare in Oklahoma. The funny part is that she could have kept it buttoned for five more seconds, after the host suggests she lost her audio connection, and gotten out of this without admitting that she had no idea what to say.