Liberals Need to Face Facts, the Health Insurance Marketplace Website is an Absolute Embarrassment

Healthcare-websiteI think of myself as someone who doesn’t base their beliefs on partisan ideology as much as I feel that I just use common sense when giving my opinion on issues.  Granted, I’m obviously a liberal, but I didn’t decide to be one.  I just don’t believe tax cuts create jobs (demand does), I support equal rights for all Americans, I don’t believe religion has any place in our government (something the Constitution agrees with me on) and that government has its place in our lives.  Though that “place” is the part which often ignites heated debates.

But I’m also someone who isn’t afraid to call out “my side” of the argument when they’re acting completely ridiculous.  And I’m sorry if this offends sensitive types, but the Affordable Care Act website has been an absolute embarrassment.  Liberals who seem to be unable to admit that much are simply lying to themselves.

When a conservative slams me on the complete incompetence behind the launch, I really don’t have much to say.  Why?  Because they’re right.  Something I (as well as millions of other liberals) have defended for years finally went live—and it’s been an absolute disaster.

Does that mean the law is a failure?  Not at all.  The website has nothing to do with what the law stands for or does.  The website has nothing to do with the philosophy behind the law.  The website is just a website.

So when some Republican tells me, “See, this proves the law is a failure!” I dismiss them as quickly as I do the liberal who says to me, “The website issues aren’t that big of a deal.”

Yes—they are.

What I don’t understand is how this even happened.  Even more so, why the hell aren’t these issues fixed yet?  We have quite possibly the most elaborate technological network in the world (proven by our NSA’s ability to spy on—everything it seems), with seemingly unlimited resources.  Find a damn tech guy to fix the damn website! 

Stop talking about it.  Stop defending its failures and just fix the damn thing.

But Republicans shouldn’t sit there and act all high and mighty about this — they are part of the problem as well.  Had many of these states, mostly controlled by Republicans, set up their own state exchanges, the rollout would have gone much more smoothly.

Does this excuse the failures of the website?  Absolutely not.  But from what I’ve heard, the Marketplace websites states have set up are running much more smoothly than the federal site.

And I can already hear the conservatives now, so I’ll address it.  No, that doesn’t prove “state rights” are always the best solution to the failures of the “big bad federal government.”  Because let’s face it, the states that didn’t set up their own exchanges failed too.  They chose to play partisan politics instead of just doing what the healthcare law allowed them to do.  President Obama allowed states more control over their citizens by allowing them to run their own exchanges.  It just so happens that many Republican-controlled states chose not to take responsibility for that and put it back on the federal government.

Again, I’m not making an excuse for the embarrassing issues plaguing the federal governments website, I’m just stating a fact.

Now as I write this, I can already tell I’m going to experience quite the liberal backlash, and that’s fine.

I’m tired of seeing Democrats on television talking about the need to “fix” the website.  I’m tired of seeing Democrats trying to downplay these problems.  Heck, I’m tired of seeing President Obama say he agrees that these issues need to be fixed.

Just fix the damn website.  

Honestly, how hard is it?  I don’t pretend to be any kind of tech genius but I would imagine that the United States government has access to any and all available resources needed to fix the website.  But for some mysterious reason it’s not happening.

Has it gotten better?  Sure.  But “not as bad” is still bad.  People shouldn’t have to “wait until slower times of the day” to do what the law tells them they need to do.

The website needs to work—period.

And again, this isn’t my condemnation of the law.  I fully support the law and what it’s going to accomplish.  Because like I said, the website isn’t the law, it’s just a website.

Anyone who didn’t expect glitches was fooling themselves.  And while I knew there would be issues, what we’ve seen goes way beyond what I had expected.

So while Republicans sit there and celebrate their one factual talking point they have against the healthcare law (because let’s face it, almost every talking point they’ve used up until now has been a blatant lie), what they attack has nothing to do with the foundation of what the law is about—it’s just an attack on the incompetency of those in charge of testing and fixing the website.

Because, once again, this is not socialized healthcare.  When you purchase insurance through these exchanges, you’re buying it from insurance companies.  The Marketplace is just set up to be the vessel which guides people to getting coverage.

And right now, it’s failing.

The law isn’t failing.  The website is.

So, conservatives and liberals alike need to take a step back and be honest with themselves.  Conservatives need to stop cheering these issues as some kind of “proof” that the entire law is a failure and liberals need to stop denying that the issues the website has experienced are a complete embarrassment.

But there’s an easy way to end all of this back and forth about the website….

Just fix the damn thing already.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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