Gerson's description of the situation is pretty accurate, but there is
another danger lurking which he doesn't address, and that is the intent of
well funded right wing types, e.g. the Koch Bros., to use the rocky rollout of
the ACA as a lever to defund both medicare and social security. So the
inattention to detail in the opening of the ACA has put seniors in grave danger.
I'm sure President Obama did not intend this, but there it is. The
misrepresention of U S debt composition in the public mind doesn't help
either.Seniors and retirees had better pay rapt attention to what is
going on, or many of them may be left with nothing. The wealthy far right would
like nothing better than the early expiration of the baby boom generation, a
demonstration of our social disintegration. Can Democrats defend us boomers?
Or is it going to take another type of party - I claim the latter.
The government is now in charge of determining winners and losers in life. Hard
work, perseverance, frugality, ingenuity and self reliance? Doesn't matter
any more and there is no reason to put yourself out, so why try? Just get on the
receiving end and relax. Enjoy the free ride because it won't last that
I think Mitt Romney would have committed hari kari as a matter of honor if he
had been the executive in charge of the implementation of Obamacare and the
rollout was the disaster that this has been. But what does President Obama do?
The same thing he always does- go out and give a speech and criticize his
opponents in the Republican party. Nice leadership. One of the big problems with
this administration is they seem to think words are action. They think giving
speeches addresses problems. That's what happens when the Chief Executive
has no prior executive experience. The fact is, if you are going to be the
party of big government and try to sell Americans on the benefits of big
government then you may want to have more than a passing interest in making sure
that big government runs properly. It's embarrassing frankly. Domestically
and internationally. Like Cheney said- our friends don't trust us and our
enemies don't fear us. And the American people (the ones who work for a
living) just ignore the President now and go about their business. Way to go
Democrats- nice leadership.
Yes, good programs take a lot of work.
Great program. Named after a person with no credibility here or abroad. I
didn't know. It was a video.I didn't draw a line. You can keep your
present insurance and Doctor. And,and, and!
The statement “those who believe in government are not necessarily capable
of running one” is nonsense. Everyone believes in government.
It is the choice of governments that causes the problems. The governments in
our lives include our religion, our business, our gender and a whole lot of
other organizations all the way down to Mom and Dad. The most important
government must be recognized as the one which protects and enables us to live,
our national political government. If we want good government, the
people who hate government should not be allowed to be the government. Would
you choose a doctor who was averse to curing people’s problems? A laborer
who didn’t want to get his hands dirty? A pilot who was afraid of heights?
The people who hate our national government are those wishing to
impose their own choice of government on our lives. None of the other
governments do the job of protecting and enabling us that the national
government provides. The greatest freedom for people only comes
from a secular, non-commercial government controlled by the people. It may
sometimes be a bumpy ride, but it’s the direction that counts.
One VoteThis ain't a good program and for several really good
reasons. This ACA was SOLD to the country as insuring the 30 or so million
uninsured people. Many of them come from the temporary uninsured class anyway.
Yet, as one pregnant women stated in the article, why is she being affected?
Why are all of us being affected who have had insurance by our employers for
years? Why does the government then take it upon itself to declare that some
health policies are not good and we have to change, while paying more? It is
obvious that Obama lied to get this country on the road to a single payer
government health plan. Now maybe lefties like you think that is a good idea,
but it stinks that we the people have been lied to by the President of the
United States in order for the ends to justify the means. And no poll yet shows
a popular majority for this. You may want to be treated as a member of the
nanny state, but a lot of us don't.
Mountainman:If your vision of reality is true, how do you explain
Airbus? From the conservative mindset, the engineers from Airbus have no
motivation to even go to work, as they could easily lay around and not do a
thing, and still be taken care of.Yet, somehow, these slaves of
government coddling produce aircraft that are not just technologically and
economically competitive, but are seriously eroding the marketshare of Boeing -
their private US competition. Travel around the US sometime and count how many
Airbus planes are out there, compared to 10 years ago. Ask the pilots of an
Airbus plane what they think of them.The conservative explanation of
reality evaporates when really put to the test. It is a caricature, an
exaggeration we're fed.Gerson likewise reveals the severely
slanted salesmanship we've all been fed. The British healthcare system is
admired and valued by British citizens? Patently impossible, if you subscribe
to conservative thinking.Companies have spectacular failures like
the ACA website rollout all the time. Just not as high profile, and certainly
not political fodder for partisans.
This is a symptom of what happens when government contracts to private
enterprise (for easy money) more than it is a revelation of actual government
performance. You seem to forget that the government (you) is nothing more than
an administrator and law maker.
"Lessons for Democrats"Are politicians really supposed to
know about creating and managing a web site, or is this more about form a
journalist making an issue over the form rather than substance. Are Americans
that shallow that AFA success really depends on how the website is launched. My
advice is make the phone call, order the forms and sign up the old fashioned
way. I think most of us can remember how to do that.
Wow - great post. Agreed with most everything said which is strange for the
liberal Washington Post. I think this article articulates the damaging effects
of Obamacare that Jay Carney or Chris Mathews never talk about. I think the
article could have gone further to show that the cancellations are just
beginning ..some estimate by this time next year as many as 90 million will have
been cancelled. The scary thing is the cancellations will eventually drill down
to the large employers who will being dropping their plans outright for their
employees simply because of the cost...which means that you and me will get hit.
This should scare anyone who has a long time doctor or who has special care
needs and especially those who are on a fairly tight budget. Rush Limbaugh
predicted ALL of this exactly 5 years ago....I'm just saying....hard for a
liberal to admit that I understand. Some people who really see the BIG picture
and the real agenda of Obama can predict the future of his polices with relative
ease and they are right on the money.
I work in the defense industry. In 2010, the pentagon put out a letter to
defense procurement agencies that profit should only be given for exceptional
performance. If a contractor merely executes the program efficiently and
effectively, they should not receive profit. When I asked why the Pentagon would
say something so stupid since it would ultimately drive investors away and drive
defense contractors our of defense and into profitable, I was informed that this
is the objective of the current administration. They, in fact, want contractors
to out of business. They think they can hire those same employees as government
workers and do the work themselves.Does anybody really believe this
will strengthen our national defense?This, along with all the other
indicators including Obamacare, clearly shows that the current administration
honestly believes government should do everything and there should not be any
private industry. Sounds very scary (think Soviet Russia) to me.
It is hard to take the detractors of the law serious. During the months of
health care debate the opposition proposed no real alternatives to the ACA. To
this day the GOTP has refused to work to fix the deficiencies to the law or
again offer an alternative. Throw in the state's that refused to implement
the law and the roll out becomes more difficult. The GOTP has spent
the past three years throwing a temper tantrum to end the law and when funding
to implement the law the House stalled and refused to authorize the needed
funds. Funny, how the author does not point to the successful
roll-out by states that agreed to create their own exchange. Nope, more
convenient to point to the work they sabotaged from the beginning.
Next time maybe the Democratic senators will read the bill first.
10CCThe difference is that Airbus has to make a plane that airlines
and pilots like, and want to buy and fly. No one or government forces anyone to
buy their product. And there is a good choice between Airbus and Boeing. With
health care that choice is being taken away, and will be completely gone if we
ever get a single payer program. We the people are being stuck with health care
programs that we don't want to fly with.
Marxist--You and other liberals are beginning to see the debacle
that is Obamacare. That is good. But to continue maintaining political power
you use Democratic campaign-like playbook scare tactics by claiming that
Republicans want to eliminate Social Security and Medicaid. That is absolutely
ridiculous. "The wealthy far right would like nothing better
than the early expiration of the baby boom generation, a demonstration of our
social disintegration." WHAT? Where in the world are you
getting this stuff?And what planet do you live on?I am
sincere about wondering where you have heard such nonsense.
Hey, lets all get hysterical everyday about health care.
@joe5,Sorry for the complete tangent to the article's point,
but as a Pentagon contracting officer, I can't ignore your erroneous claim
that the Obama administration is purposefully trying to put defense contractors
out of business. You're confusing contractor profit (simply put, the money
a contracting company makes after paying its employees, subcontractors, overhead
etc) with award fee (essentially a bonus given for high-quality work; it's
completely subjective).The latter has been targeted for several
years now because with the gobs of money thrown around to fight two wars,
contractors started earning 100% of their award fees despite glaring performance
issues. Contractor program managers would be sacked for only earning 90% of the
award fee. When contractors come to expect earning 100% of the available award
fee and aren't providing the outstanding services necessary to earn it,
there's a problem. DOD's marching orders were to tighten use of award
fee contracts and be more stringent in determining how much award fee
contractors are truly entitled to.No conspiracy here.Contractors continue to rake in profits, though that's threatened by
sequester - which Republicans decided they could live with rather than agree to
increased tax revenue.
SCfan wrote: With health care that choice is being taken away, and will be
completely gone if we ever get a single payer program. Choice? What
choices are you losing? The choice to be denied coverage, to be dropped for
actually using insurance, to have insurance that is basically worthless, and to
choice to pass your health care costs to others because you refuse to or are
incapable to pay for your health care.Notice those nations with
socialized medicine are not rushing to implement our system? Maybe its because
they see the results and want nothing to it.
While its hard to think of a justifiable excuse for someone with as much money
to spend as the U.S. government not being able to come up with a working website
in 3 years time, it still is a laudable goal that every American get decent
health care. Democratic hearts are in the right place.I'm
willing to bet that if Republicans had been in charge getting the website up and
running the website would not have been an issue. Republicans heads are in the
right place.Too bad we don't seem to have a party in charge
with a good heart and a good head.
Sounds to me like repubs are like bitter children here. They've
been told so many times these past few weeks how they have learned lessons about
the shutdown and the backlash against the GOP that now they're trying to
"teach" lessons to the Democrats. Ha ha! Hilarious!What
lessons can we learn from the Obamacare website? I have no clue. Ummmm make a
better website next time? Ok. Check. If the repubs have to grasp at
straws over the website then that's telling you something. In fact, if the
biggest problem we experience over Obamacare is the initial setup with the
website then the program will clearly be one of the greatest successes in recent
history. I mean, look at Iraq! What a disaster! The gift that keeps on costing
us more billions and lives per year. Thanks repubs, for that one. Furthermore, I'm tired of the GOP voicing "concern." They've
cried wolf far too often to be taken seriously anymore.Lastly,
perhaps the GOP should have done something other than stand and watch the paint
dry for 8 years. Had they reformed health care under Bush, none of this would be
@Turtles Run "During the months of health care debate the opposition
proposed no real alternatives to the ACA."You've been told
this, but it isn't true.@louie "Are politicians really
supposed to know about creating and managing a web site...?"No.
Of course not. They shouldn't be running a market website, and they
shouldn't be trying to run the health industry. They don't know what
they're doing. We've been saying this for years.Obama has
just given us a real-life lesson on the perils of Big Government. This is what
progressivism looks like. They're never quite as smart as they think they
are, and the failures are spectacular.
@The Real MaverickThe website problems are only what we see on the
surface. Obamacare's entire structure is broken, and it will fail. Watch
and see.(Just so you know, this isn't a party thing with me. I
don't belong to a political party.)
SCFan:Airbus competes with Boeing to supply airlines with
transportation seats. The market price for travel is established through
competition, the product is seats to & from various city pairs.Obamacare does nothing to diminish the competition among healthcare providers.
Health insurance is a racket. I used to work for a health
insurance company, trust me, the goal all insurance companies have is to
jettison the unhealthy (because they cost too much) and attract healthy people
who don't really need healthcare. Obamacare will increase the
number of people who are getting healthcare, and competition among healthcare
providers will increase, even as they (collectively) figure out how to reduce
costs.Healthcare is the product, Obamacare sets the legal parameters
for the market to work, and gets additional customers into that market. It took
a few years for RomneyCare to get going in Massachusetts, but now it's
doing a generally good job of what it was intended to do.Since the
two are very similar, there's no reason to think Obamacare can't
likewise do a good job - if it's not snuffed out by its opponents first.
On the other hand, any time new ground is plowed it's going to be rocky.
There's a chance the software problems will be worked out and all of this
bluster will be a distant memory. Remember, ACA is a plan of action for health
care access, whereas the software is just a vehicle. Don't confuse them,
thought Tea Party wants you to.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Obamacare will NOT be a
Republican issue in the 2016 Presidential campaign. By then, a buggy roll-out
will have been long forgotten. The program will have proved its worth, it will
be popular, and no one will dare attack it.Do you remember how rocky the
first months of Medicare were? Study history--it looked like a train wreck for
a few months there. Likewise Social Security. None of this matters.
Obamacare isn't perfect--no one said it was. It's a compromise
program. But we can know, with absolute certainty how it will function. All we
have to do is look at Massachusetts. I'll say it again. Any
Republican foolish enough to run on Obamacare in 2016 will be crushed.
It's going to work just fine, and it's going to be popular.
Speaking of Secretary Sibelius, Mr. Gerson states, "Now, in congressional
testimony, she has accepted responsibility without the inconvenience of
accountability or the demonstration of competence."This kind of
abdication of **true** responsibility goes far beyond that of Sibelius. It is
characteristic of the entire Obama administration.Starting with the
now almost tragically comical reflexively repeated references to the Bush
administration as cause of current problems and failures, it continued to the
tragically insufficient security before and then deliberate mischaracterizations
of the attack on Benghazi, and on to some supposedly minor IRS functionaries
responsible for the politicization of the IRS, among a series of other scandals
that Obama referred to so dishonestly as "phony".The
Obamacare roll out disaster is merely the latest in an increasingly long list of
examples of incompetence and/or outright corruption. The continued attempts to
implement Obamacare will only mean the damage gets worse.
re:The Real MaverickYour assertion that the Obamacare web site melt
down is the biggest issue with Obamacare indicates you clearly don't
understand the bill. Actually the web site disaster is only small potatoes
compared to the law itself. Really guy do some research. I only have 100 words
here so I will try to hit the high points (or low points) of the law.1. The law was grossly under estimated cost wise. Initial estimates of 800
billion aren't even close to the nearly 2.5 trillion ...and growing...2. The raw mechanics of the law will continue to erode private insurance at an
alarming rate. Cancellations are just beginning. Wait a year and then see....3. The insurance exchanges offer only high priced plans which offer little if
any choice. Most are finding premiums 2-3 times what they were paying with
premiums mandating maturity for 60 year old men and women and other absurdities.
4.Other mandates for employers forcing reduction of work hours to 27 per
week or slamming companies with huge tax penalties. The laughable
web site is only a precursor of the ugly realities of the law itself.