Cheryl K. Chumley reports for The Washington Times, Oct. 21, 2013, that Consumer Reports — the magazine that tests and rates products — has harsh words of advice for those trying to enroll in ObamaDoesn’tCare via the official website, Healthcare.gov.
Consumer Reports began testing the Unaffordable Care Act’s website since the site’s launch day to test its ease of use. But from the beginning, Consumer Reports experienced problems same as those of countless Americans. The site would slow to a crawl, then crash.
On Oct. 8, the Consumer Reports writers said: “One week in, Healthcare.gov is barely operational.” By Oct. 10, the writers were losing patience: “Healthcare.gov is slightly less terrible today. The bad news, is that it’s still next to impossible to create a user name and password that you can actually use to sign in. I myself have tried five times without success. Our readers report similar frustrations.”
Consumer Reports’ final advice: “Don’t bother even trying for another couple of weeks. But if all this is too much for you to absorb, follow our previous advice: Stay away from Healthcare.gov for at least another month if you can.”
Ron Fournier of the National Journal writes that the problems with the Healthcare.gov site go beyond what Obama this morning dismisses as mere hiccups or “kinks,” but are “embedded deeply in the online system,” including:
- Outright inaccurate information provided to people about federal tax credits.
- Low-income people erroneously told they don’t qualify for Medicaid.
- Insurance companies getting confusing information about who has signed up.
Fournier, who seems to favor the Unaffordable Care Act, takes Obama to task for dismissing the extent of the website’s problems while, at the same time, deflecting blame by saying that the Republicans had fought the law (as if the GOP had something to do with website’s problems!). Fournier concludes:
The public’s faith in government is at a record low, just as Obama is fighting Republicans on several fronts over the size and power of the federal bureaucracy. His administration needs to rapidly improve the online exchanges to stand any chance of convincing, say, young Americans to pay for insurance they don’t think they need. Beyond Obamacare, the Democratic Party’s reputation for competency is as stake. The cost of the site is already $394 million, a massive amount compared to private-sector CMS work, and sure to grow. […]
Dismissing the extent of the problem and reminding voters that Republicans fought the law — which is essentially all Obama did in his Rose Garden remarks — is a deflection, which shouldn’t be confused with implementation or governing.
Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds.