You have to say one thing about the late Richard J. Daley, Mayor of Chicago. He was a colorful man. (By that I refer to his speech rather than his skin tone). Whether you were one of his supporters or one of his detractors, I think it was clear to all of us who lived under his reign that despite his heavy-handedness he truly loved Chicago and wanted to transform it into the greatest city in America.
Perhaps President Obama, as a legatee of the realm of King Richard I, has taken some lessons from the wisdom that the Mayor imparted to us during the years. This comes to mind as the House holds hearings on the glitch-filled disaster that is the President’s Obamacare website which was rolled out three weeks ago.
“Look at our Lord’s disciples. One denied Him; one doubted Him; one betrayed Him. If our Lord couldn’t have perfection, how are you going to have it in [city] government?” – Mayor Richard J. Daley
How, indeed? And at the core of that question is that if we should not expect functionality, let alone perfection, why would any rational person believe that turning over one-sixth of the national economy and our right to life to a cadre of bureaucrats who have proven, time and again, that they are inept, unaccountable and unconcerned about those things which concern its subjects? I use the term subjects rather than citizens because that is the way that this imperious administration views the American people.
Right now the focus that the Congress is bringing to bear is on the only marginally functioning government healthcare web site. The second portion of the investigation is centered on who should be held accountable for what now appears may amount to a one Billion dollar “glitch” when and if it is able to be repaired.
It would be unfair to say that conservatives are not taking a certain amount of glee at this massive screw up. I know I am – other than for the fact that it is costing you, me and everyone else about $300 per person – money I would choose, if given the opportunity, to deploy on things other than a poorly designed website – like a donation to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital which charges none of its patients for treatment and actually delivers outstanding healthcare, specializing in pediatric medicine.
The first step in fixing any problem is admitting that the problem exists. Every twelve step program is based on this fundamental truth. And that might be the biggest impediment to repairing the website – if it is indeed reparable. During the first days after the website’s not-so-grand opening, perhaps out of ignorance and perhaps out of denial, those who support Obamacare had a number of explanations for the site’s issues.
During the first few days, it is understandable that the source of the problem had not yet been identified. But after several weeks, it is clear that the excuses which were offered were simply not the cause of the issues which surfaced. To suggest that the site was experiencing difficulties because there was “too much traffic” is laughable since the goal of enrolling seven million people in the first wave would require that the number of visitors exceeded the amount of traffic the site actually received.
So, still in denial, a variety of other excuses were set out. One of those was that there was insufficient time to get the product out. The explanation for this argument was that the administration didn’t really have the full three and one half years to accomplish the setup for the website since the law was passed.. That is because the GOP had refused to allocate funds to set up the website and HHS had to raid various of its accounts in order to pay the vendors. I would suggest that any government agency which can come up with over $600 million by looking in its couch cushions is overly-generously funded. But that’s Washington.
Finally, only because the flaws in the software are apparent to your average five year old, the admission has come out that there are significant problems with this rollout and they need to be fixed. How long that might take depends on whether the entire system has to be scrapped or whether it can be repaired. At this point, the jury is out on that question. But what is clear is that whichever path is followed, there is going to be a significant time lapse until people can actually get on the site and sign up as they are mandated to do by Obamacare.
This has caused five Democrat senators and five Democrat congressmen whose seats are vulnerable in next year’s election, to come forward and suggest that the mandate requiring individual coverage be delayed for some period of time. The proposals vary in length – partly predicated on the length of time it will take to fix the website which at this point is an unknown.
Wait a minute. Do you remember the partial government shutdown which recently ended? Do you remember how the Tea Party and Republicans in general were excoriated as “terrorists” and “hostage takers”? Do you remember the bill that they sent to the Senate to fund the entire government if the individual mandate were delayed – a bill which Senate Majority “Leader” Harry Reid refused to allow the membership of the Senate even to consider?
Perhaps the key to why we are where we are, not just with Obamacare but with a lackluster economy, over-regulation, the spiraling decrease in the middle class, the over-bloated and over budget federal bureaucracy, the NSA’s snooping and spying on our closest allies, can be found in another pithy quote from the late Mayor Daley – a quote that the president no doubt embraces.
“We as Democrats have no apologies to make to anyone.”