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.


Facebook comments

  • Richard Burritt

    Sabotage by Cruz, Gohmert, Bachman and all those other wingnuts

  • RRuin

    The Medicare Part D website went down for 3 weeks after it opened. The Republicans said “It’s not the law, just the website” and no Democrat held hearings and there was the sound of crickets from the media. The Republicans refused appropriations to build the ACA health insurance website. There wasn’t supposed to be a huge government portal because the States all were supposed to run their own. It was what the States said they wanted. And many of them were sitting back waiting for the ACA to be overturned by the Right Wing Five on the Supreme court. So pat yourself on the back all you like for being so fair and open about bashing it. But a lot of this has to do with MONEY which the REPUBLICANS made sure wasn’t available to properly construct the website. Go back and try again and lay the blame where it belongs. The Republican Party has done everything to obstruct and destroy the only hope may people have for getting access to affordable health insurance.

    • Michael Siever

      Accusing the other side of hypocrisy is just playing into their game. Who cares if their crappy Medicare Part D program was a failure? If the website for the ACA marketplace is suffering the same problems, it goes to show that the liberals backing ACA (and yes, I am a liberal who supports ACA) repeating the same mistakes that conservatives did with Medicare Part D exhibits their inability to learn from their mistakes, and prevalence of repeating said mistakes, which gives the conservatives talking points to use in order to destroy ACA. Like Allen said, if we have to money to spy on people, domestically and abroad, then we should have had the money to get a proper tech team to get the website up and running in no time, so I really don’t buy the “Republicans cut funding for tech support to run the marketplace website”.

      • William Carr

        When the Republicans started screaming “Benghazi !”, we tried to explain to them that Benghazi is 416 miles from Tripoli, and you can’t get people that far in only thirty minutes.

        It didn’t sink in; they were pre-programmed with the “Obama didn’t send help” lie, and wouldn’t listen.

        Today they’re screaming about the website glitches. We could try explaining that in the REAL world, new rollouts of a major website frequently fail once they hit full unfiltered demand.

        One source I read said that a third of all major project fail or have to be delayed, but that consumers don’t usually find out.

        Apple Maps being the exception. People DID find out about that one.

        Google had by then worked out the kinks in their Mapping software for six or seven years, at least.

        Apple’s went online, got hit hard, and people started finding flaws all over the maps.

        Well, yeah; Google wasn’t about to GIVE AWAY their battle-tested maps, now were they ?

        This is how it goes. If you expect perfection, you’re going to be disappointed eventually.

        The trick is, to get back in there and fix the software.

        It doesn’t help when your opposition is squalling like an angry two year old.

      • brian

        Benghazi is 416 miles from Tripoli, no argument. Emails and phone calls occurred days before asking for either an evacuation or added security. Added security emails were sent weeks before. Know your facts. Yes by the time the attack actually started we could not have sent help. But we had plenty of time to get there during the days and weeks prior when the calls of concern and emails begun.

      • Bruce Veasey

        That’s right Brian. Now, the million dollar question, who cut the budget for the embassy security, immediately before?

      • MiMg

        KNOW YOUR FACTS, Republicans voted to DEFUND the Embassy Defense Funding!

      • MiMg

        Reality is that until there is MORE regulation on WHO gets contracted and WHY, these things will CONTINUE to happen, because it was a PRIVATE market company that did a CRAPPY job, Which is why us Dems are PRO GOVT

  • jjsardo

    I too am a liberal in the FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson (domestic
    affairs) mold.

    But I also believe in telling it like it is. And that is that Obamacare
    is a patchwork of inadequate remedies that may yet fail.

    However, it is also true that the enrollment mess is a symptom of the failure
    of private enterprise and not of government. It is just another case
    of contractors doing a shoddy job and part of a long line of costly
    private failures.

    Perfect examples of shoddy performance by private companies are defense
    contractors. The cost overrun, for example, has become a way of
    doing business. But the overrun is an example of failure of the
    company and not the government.

    There have been calls to fire Kathleen Sebelius. But not once has anyone
    ever demanded the head of a Secretary of Defense because of repeatedl
    failures on the part of a defense contractor.

    Yes, the rollout has become a swamp. But let’s place the blame where it
    rightfully belongs, squarely on the shoulders of a private profit
    making company.


    The website is a dismal failure in terms of the way
    it has rolled out.
    The Law is going to work and THAT’S what ultimately
    counts. ACA is going to help MILLIONS of Americans.
    Trey Radel (R) Fla. just said on Fox ‘News’ that “the

    website is a small, small issue in all of this.”

    It’s really funny how the GOP is attacking a Law they
    have voted 43 times to repeal, for not working fast enough?
    What will they have to say when the website is up
    & running and Americans can see the benefits for


  • Andrew Scott

    To tell the truth, I think it is already fixed with only minor bugs. I can now see the plan selection page in less time than it took a couple of weeks ago.

  • justjane

    we wouldn’t have these problems if Mitch McConnell and his party
    members had worked together with the President and the Democrats rather
    than ranting about how he would destroy a twice elected President.
    Losers are Losers – even when don’t admit that they have lost.

  • JanS

    Allen I usually like what you have to say but I disagree this time. With millions of people trying to sign on to the site who didn’t expect problems? I’m not at all surprised or embarrassed; what I am is frustrated by the naysayers and critics.
    Everyone just needs to calm down and let them iron out the bugs. Also there are other ways to get signed up besides that website. Please do your homework people and see what options are available in your state.

  • Roseann Pascoe Blackburn

    I am sure no one is more embarrassed than the people responsible, and I don’t think they are sitting around doing nothing about it. Mr Clifton, what else do you want them to admit?

    • MiMg

      Almost ALL of the website problems lie in REPUBLICANS hands, first they voted AGAINST the bill, then they did EVERYTHING in their power to RUIN the bill, then they say how “perfect” the private sector is, yet it was the private sector that RUINED the website

  • JamesKelso

    Chances are there was at least one Republican on the team that built the website. He or they likely sabotaged it, by writing bad code.

  • brian

    I myself will not support this, or participate. Any law that forces an American to purchase something they do not want, is slavery. There is no justification for this. And there are millions of us that feel the same way. Millions upon millions. I don’t care if the website works or not. It’s not affordable, a broken promise there, it’s not letting me keep my doctor, a broken promise there, and I lost the healthcare I was happy with, and the replacement is more than2x the price and crappy as hell benefits, and the deductible is so far from affordable, it’s an understatement to say this law, is ridiculous.

    And when the government steps up and says we are regulating the healthcare you receive, and you have several different choices but they are more or less the same thing, and you have no choice by law other then to buy it, it is socialized. When choice is removed and participation is forced, it is not choice. There is no freedom there. I hate the America we live in where entitlements rule the people.

    • lindycan8

      Funny how you are not supporting the government regulating healthcare, when healthcare has been regulated by the government for eons. What do you think the department of Health and Human Services does?


      how is SS an entitlement? SS is paid for by everyone who works using a SS card. The money is deducted from your pay before you get paid.

      If SS is an entitlement then you should be able to get all your money out of the program in a lump sum no questions asked because you are entitled to it.
      It is a benefit of you paying into a system and you get some of what you put back in later years like and insurance policy.

      You say choice is removed, then go on to state there are several choices that all seem the same. So which is it no choice or choices that you do not like?
      FYI you have a choice buy or pay a penalty. About the whole forced thing If you drive you have to get insurance for your car that covers a minimum payment for accidents. Is this forced? yes. are there penalties for non-compliance? yes. Do you see it as government over reach? no . Why not? because you have gotten accustomed to it it is the way of our world. Get into an accident with an uninsured driver then get back to us. SMH at the partyspeak

      • MiMg

        Brain is brainless, we ALL pay for Social Security, we ALL pay for Disability, we ALL pay for Unemployment, we ALL pay for Medicaid, and we ALL pay for the UNINSURED one way or the other!

    • MiMg

      Another brain dead Republican. We ALL end of supporting and participating in this bill, because if we don’t prices will RISE for EVERYONE, YOU included! EVERYONE SHOULD have to contribute into it, because we ALL end up paying for it if we don’t! Why, because as a country we HAVE to allow people to go to the Hospital REGARDLESS of having insurance, and when you DONT have insurance, they change THOUSANDS of dollars, which NO ONE can afford

  • MiMg

    Maybe if Republicans weren’t CONSTANTLY trying to KILL and DEFUND it, and actually tried to HELP it succeed, things would have been PERFECT