| October 22, 2013

Obamacare train wreck continues

By now most Americans have heard of the epic disasters associated with the October 1 rollout of the online health care exchanges associated with Obamacare. But let’s review briefly: the administration, through the Department of Health and Human Services, had three years to design and prepare a system that would supposedly match shoppers with a myriad of health insurance plans. That’s about 600 workdays (minus weekends and lots of federal holidays) so one would expect a system that would not crash into rubble.

“It wasn’t designed well, it wasn’t implemented well, and it looks like nobody tested it,” one computer expert told a news agency. Indeed. Meanwhile, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius dashed around rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, assuring us things would be OK soon.

The few who made a successful connection found plans with high deductibles, higher premiums, and low appeal, the inevitable result of the many mandates and other burdens imposed by Obamacare. Meanwhile, just down the road, most medical device companies – the folks who make those items that help keep you alive in surgery, for example – were laying off staff and cancelling research and development because of the medical device tax embedded in Obamacare like a poison pill. Best of all, the Independent Payment Advisory Board established by Obamacare is gearing up to start telling your doctor what drugs and treatments are allowed and which ones are not.

Any private company debuting a website this troubled would soon be out of business, and deservedly so. Any non-governmental operation that jacked up prices and ratcheted down services like this would find themselves in a non-competitive position and go broke. Any private insurer telling your doctor to stop treatment because it doesn’t meet the protocols determined by far-away bureaucrats would be rightly sued into oblivion.

Back when this monstrosity passed, some asked the obvious question “what could possibly go wrong?” with government taking over one-sixth of the national economy. The answer is now clear: just about everything, and as this train wreck continues to unfold, we ain’t seen nothing yet. Given that conservatives in Washington have been unable to defund the president’s health law, it’s more important than ever that policymakers in Oklahoma do their part to defund it.

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