When it became clear that HHS would need more money to build the federal exchange than had been allocated in the original law, Republicans in Congress refused to provide it.As a result, said Angoff, officials “had to scrape together money from various offices within HHS to build the federal exchange.”Then there was the timing issue…First there was waiting to see if the Supreme Court would overturn the law in the summer of 2012. (It didn’t.) Then there was waiting to see if Mitt Romney and a Republican Senate would be elected that November to repeal it. (They weren’t.)Then it was another month waiting for states to decide if they wanted to build their own health exchanges or let the federal government do it for them.
An article in the WaPo, however, paints a different picture. Just a few days before the October 1 launch, a test simulation of the site showed that even a few hundred visitors would be enough to crash the site. Based on that, officials must have know the launch would be a disaster. It’s very hard to understand why, in that case, the administration didn’t delay the launch until the bugs had been fixed. Perhaps officials, using some mysterious logic, calculated that a delay of the launch would be more politically damaging than a botched launch.Whatever the reason for the decision to push forward, it was made by the administration, not by the GOP. In fact, Obamacare supporters should be, if anything, thanking the GOP. Support for Obamacare is up 4 percent from last month. It’s hard to imagine that would have happened if the Capitol Hill sideshow hadn’t made at least some of the public think the botched launch was attributable to the GOP-led shutdown.