So, a Funny Thing Happened Once the Health Care Website Started Working…

1503716_10152095823117489_351466700_nRemember a few weeks back when all Republicans wanted to talk about was the issues plaguing the Affordable Care Act website, HealthCare.gov?

You couldn’t turn on a right-wing media outlet — or any conservative media source for that matter — without being blasted endlessly by what amounted to some giddy school kid who was almost peeing their pants in excitement because something they really wanted to happen was happening.

“Obamacare” was having issues.

And I’ll be the first one to tell you, the issues with HealthCare.gov were absolutely embarrassing.  For the first time, I was embarrassed of President Obama.  I just couldn’t wrap my head around how these issues were happening.  And even though President Obama wasn’t personally involved in much to do with creating the website, as president (and it being his signature law), he was still the one who deserved almost all of the blame.  I believe he’s a brilliant man — though flawed like most politicians — but I just couldn’t figure out how so much incompetence was put forth behind the scenes leading up to the official launch of HealthCare.gov.

But man, Republicans were falling over themselves to bash the website.  Many proclaiming the websites failures undoubtedly proved what a failure the healthcare law was.

Well, a funny thing happened — the website got fixed.

Now don’t get me wrong, the website still has a few bugs.  But for the most part, it’s working well for most Americans.  Though I’m sure to conservatives they’ll focus on the couple of issues the website is still experiencing instead of the vast majority of the success stories we’re seeing come out now.

However, since the website has started to work for the vast majority of Americans using it, suddenly Republicans don’t seem to care much about discussing it.  Sure, it was easy for them to bash it when the website was experiencing inexcusable issues, but once it was fixed they wanted no part of it.

When the first numbers were released, which were horrifically low, conservatives couldn’t wait to champion the “Obamacare failure,” as many put it.

Then when November’s numbers came in showing that signups for “Obamacare” through the federal website went from 26,794 in October to 137,204 — Republicans didn’t want to talk about that either.

Oh, just for the record, state exchange signups skyrocketed to from 79,391 to 227,478.  Something else Republicans didn’t want to talk about.

Well, that’s not entirely true.  They’ll bring up how signups are way behind initial projections — and they’re right.  But what’s important isn’t a set of numbers that was more or less a guess based on a “hunch,” it’s the fact that the number of Americans signing up for health care is drastically increasing.  Numbers that will only continue to skyrocket once December’s totals are released.

But I’m willing to bet that at the end of December, that’s something else Republicans won’t want to talk about either.

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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  • Stephen Barlow

    Just add it to list of failed propaganda blitz’s by the RED ARMY.

  • Max1128

    Although, if sign-ups to the exchange won’t meet the requirements next year at the rate they’re going now, which is my guess right now, that’s worth talking about since that’ll have an affect on how much people will be paying for premiums. Hopefully the administration has a plan to keep increasing the rate of sign-ups for the next few months.

    • Why5ks

      Part of the reason the number of sign ups won’t reach the anticipated numbers is because of all the Republican Governors who refused to expand Medicare. The ironic thing about that is they are causing the ACA to actually reduce the deficit because the cost of that expansion is now lowered, but the reduced payments to hospitals for indigent care stays reduced. So those Governors are hurting enrollment totals, their are hurting the hospitals and care givers in their states, and they are costing their state tax payers more in taxes. Yet, they claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility.

      • moonwalker53

        Very well put, except it’s Medicaid not Medicare. Nevertheless, thanks for putting it so clearly.

      • lillibird

        Dang I wish people would quit getting Medicare and Medicaid mixed up..totally different things.

  • TJ

    I usually like everything you write, Allen, but I don’t understand why you were embarrassed OF the president. I was embarrassed FOR him. As you said, “…he wasn’t personally involved…” I don’t believe he deserves must of the blame. Since he has just a few other things (tongue in cheek on “few”) to do, he has to hope the best people were working their best on issues and get on with other important issues himself.

    • Nancy B

      Sorry, TJ. The administration chose to keep the project management “in-house” for political reasons, and did not keep up with the oversight and even regular status meetings. There’s a great Washington Post article written a few weeks back about this failure. No time to find it this morning. But as someone who wholeheartedly supports ACA, yet STILL can’t get into the exchange, I’m laying much of the blame on him.

      • stinkingbadge

        Where do you live? Half the states set up their own exchanges. Only red state governors who oppose the law have forced people to use the federal exchange. Maybe the “blame” lies closer to home.

      • Jerry McCoy

        Bingo

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        My daughter had no problem with the State of Michigan’s exchange when it opened.

      • Daniel Hill

        unfortunately that’s not entirely true, at least for New Hampshire, we’ve had a democratic governor for the last 9 years (8 years of John Lynch and one year of Maggie Hassan) unfortunately NH does not have its own exchange not due to the governor but due to our largely republican controlled house, we would be better off with a state controlled exchange but hopefully the federal exchange will help us out

      • stinkingbadge

        But it still remains that it’s republicans blocking the law..

      • mikebank

        Same thing is happening here in Missouri.

      • Susan Acciaiuoli

        Florida is such a state. They really suck.

      • emeraldeyes24

        Yet, Florida has the most sign-ups. Floridians are really resourceful and bypassing that stupid Fire Marshall Bill Governor of yours! Get going – don’t be left out. The 24/7 1-800 # is 1-800-318-2596 . Please share it with any and everyone!

      • emeraldeyes24

        Have you tried the 1-800 # Nancy? That may be the route you need to take. Most people are having great success and signing up in 1/2 an hour, complete! …. A good leader doesn’t micro-manage and this president is excellent at choosing good people and letting them do the leg work – if the Republicans would just mind their business and stop trying to ”get the president”. He worked out the huge pieces at the top, negotiation and innovative approaches to healthcare, ensuring that the legal writing and loopholes were closed. Any Republican would have smacked his hands together and simply said ”Done”, and likely would have canned the whole thing after spending 300 million dollars. President Obama though, got in there, evaluated the glitches and worked to improve it, even signed Executive orders to extend the deadline for sign-ups. He probably knows more about computer programs and jargon than he ever hoped to now. The Republicans were the problem, rather than letting the program run it’s course and allow for making corrections along the way, they used every opportunity to ”glitch” it further. Now, they look like absolute fools!

  • Alan Foxman

    Signed up last week. Got a better policy than offered thru my employer at less than half the cost. And thats with no tax subsidy. Full price. $710 per month for a platinum plan with $2000 deductible for wife and I. My employer’s plan was over $800 per month just for me with a $5000 deductible.

  • Mark Strange

    In the beginning Obamacare was to force states to do the right thing and take care of their people, but conservative states thought it a good Idea and take that to court. Not out of any real states rights principle but because they could undermine Obamacare by doing so. They took it to court and it was decided that Obamacare could not force states to comply. That gets me wondering if that had anything to do with the website crashes. I know there were bugs, but a major part was underestimating the hoard of desperate souls needing healthcare. But if all the states would have chosen to do their own, the government exchange would not have had to deal with as many people.

  • stinkingbadge

    I’m thinking by the end of 2014 there will be a lot less republicans to talk about.

  • Kris Heywood

    Some state websites are a total failure. Are you blaming Obama for them, too? Or the governors of those states? Or is it okay to blame the programmers and designers of those? I’m really getting tired of the kind of progressives who are saying “don’t get me wrong, it’s all Obama’s fault and he deserves most of the blame,” when it just isn’t so.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      It’s a little ludicrous to blame Obama. The same thing happened with the Medicare D websites. It’s also impossible to field-test before you actually have millions of people inundating your website.

  • Jerry McCoy

    I pulled the trigger on a Silver plan and added a high coverage dental plan – $41.19. I was embarrassed for the President, and OF the President, but I knew it would get worked out. Most don’t understand the incredible complexities of the software, having to interface with all the entities trying to sell products, the states Medicaid programs, etc. etc. I read you faithfully, Allen. Thank you, and keep up the good work.

  • They have changed their attack to the numbers of “good people losing their healthcare plans and the horrific increases they face.” That’s the new attack – good people losing plans so all the dependents can get their stuff free.

    • emeraldeyes24

      The only people seeing increases are those who can afford it – and more! Everyone else is seeing mega-bucks still in their account – and that is why Republicans wanted to see it fail because once people see the re-assignment of wealth back to THEM, they will clamber for Single Payer. Instead of the Insurance industry having all that money, ordinary Americans will now see very reasonable insurance rates, much improved insurance coverage and protections AND a little cash left over!!

  • Susan Acciaiuoli

    yeah, im not hip with blaming the president either. These things are bid on, and then go to usually the lowest bidder. the president has very little if anything to do with that process or how contracts are carried out. Yes, it was embarrassing, but im with the guy further down…i was embarrassed FOR him. I also think the other commenter is right, or at least i hope they are in saying i hope we have fewer Republicans to deal with after 2014. Of course the way theyve gerrymandered the districts, its extremely hard to beat them they have it so rigged now. One more thing, I also found a great insurance deal on the marketplace, with a 4000 dollar deductible and one fifth the price it would normally be!

  • moe/larry & curly keys

    the best part? reading the superior POSTS from crybaby rightwing regressives who want to talk about Benghazi or fast and furious or Clinton inhaled