Obamacare: Who’s to Blame?
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  • jeburke

    Of course ACA supporters will try to spin this. But the fact remains that HHS had three years and $600 million to get this online exchange in order. It had no business waiting for either the courts or the election to proceed, since the law was…the law. Indeed, I’m sure HHS and the WH said repeatedly throughout that period that they were moving ahead.

  • qet

    The blame-the-GOP trope has what Stephen Colbert calls “Truthiness” for many millions of Americans. However, I don’t expect him to ridicule the believers like he did in 2005.

  • Jane the Actuary

    Why didn’t the administration delay the launch when they knew it would fail? Hubris. But what’s the likely outcome? Throwing good money after bad, until the costs reach into the billions.

    • Andrew Allison

      “Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence, accomplishments or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power”. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubris)
      ‘Nuff said!

  • mikeb330

    Bill Clinton would have “offered” the 1-year delay, and taken credit for it. Obama doubled down, at the risk of reminding voters of just what the GOP was opposed to. If the Dems don’t get this right, history may judge the shut down differently from today’s polls.

  • crabtown


    The Department of Health and Human Services has a budget in 2013 of $941,000,000,000. If HHS were a country, it would be the 16th richest in the world, between South Korea and Indonesia. If HHS were a state, it would be bigger than any of them except for California, Texas, and New York. HHS is bigger than the economies of Vermont, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Rhode Island, Maine, Idaho, New Hampshire, Delaware, West Virginia, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Mississippi combined. The District of Columbia is about the same size as HHS — and you can’t imagine that’s a coincidence.

  • crabtown


  • I’m still shocked at the $600M figure. Software startups, even ones with complex software requiring large data centers, lots of external interfaces, and steep compliance requirements typically either get to IPO or die with far less than 1/10 of that of investment – and most of their expenses aren’t typically in engineering.

    • Andrew Allison

      $634 million before the cost of the band-aids!

  • Andrew Allison

    Let’s see now, we have Medicare serving more people than are uninsured, we have Social Security serving four times as many, and the IRS serving the majority of taxpayers who file electronically. What went wrong with ACA? The answer, namely attempting too much too soon, seems pretty obvious. The solution, namely delay the individual mandate for a year (which would take the pressure off the system while it’s being fixed) is equally obvious, but isn’t going to happen because the Administration just endured a partial government shutdown to avoid that very thing. We are spectators at a train wreck which can only get worse.

  • rheddles

    It’s time to replace the Obamacare logo for these posts with a picture of a train wreck.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Without the Feedback of Competition, everything the Government does looks like a dirt pie made by a three year old. The only way to avoid most of the waste, inefficiency, and corruption of Government is to limit the size and scope of the Government to only those tasks enumerated in the Constitution as the 10th Amendment requires.

    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    Healthcare isn’t enumerated anywhere in the Constitution, therefore the Government doesn’t have the authority to tax and spend money on it.

    • Andrew Allison

      While, being one myself, I am in agreement with your Libertarian leanings, it’s a bit more complicated that you suggest. Where, for example, is the competition for those things which the Constitution does permit the Federal government to do?
      The issue here, IMO, is whether heath care is a sufficiently universal need that it should be provided by the Federal government. If so, it must necessarily be single-payer and there’s no place for private insurance companies.
      As I have commented before on this topic, I’m one of the 16 million Americans enjoying the benefits of the single-payer plan known as Medicare and thus don’t have a dog in this fight, but think that if, as a society, we want to provide health care to all, there’s only one affordable approach, namely that adopted by every other developed country.
      Forgive me if I anticipate some of the belief-based nonsense from those ideologically opposed to single-payer health insurance: the USA is number 30 in infant mortality, the leading cause of infant mortality is preterm birth, and the leading cause of preterm birth is inadequate prenatal care. Meanwhile, the difference in longevity between, e.g., the US and the UK (home to the much-maligned NHS) is steadily widening. Tell me again how great the US system is. It is, in fact, a disgrace which ACA will do little, if anything, to change because it fails to recognize that private insurance companies exist to make money, not provide care.

  • bigfire

    Blame that Antichrist Bush. He’s been doing it for 6 years, why stop now?

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