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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Charles Blow, "Web Sites and Grave Sites": The Technical Issue Isn't Likely to Have Legs?

"Just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it. I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t."

- President Obama, October 1, 2013

At the beginning of this month, President Obama compared Obamacare website "glitches" with a problematic Apple rollout. Well, we now know that the Obamacare website does not suffer from "glitches," but rather from systemic failure, and if initiation of the Affordable Care Act was tantamount to the inauguration of a corporation's flagship product, consumers would have long ago lost faith in that product, and the corporation would now be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In a windy, hyperpartisan New York Times op-ed entitled "Web Sites and Grave Sites" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/24/opinion/blow-web-sites-and-grave-sites.html?_r=0), Charles Blow tells us that the "technical" issue involving the rollout of Obamacare "isn’t likely to have legs." Blow writes:

"In the long stretch of history, Obamacare will be judged on the merits of the policy, not the rollout of a Web site. That judgment will be sober and thorough. And along the way, as some things work and others don’t — as is the way with ambitious laws — things will be tweaked. But this is the law. It will be implemented, even over the wails of Republican resistance."

Blow couldn't be more wrong.

Consumer faith in the product, Obamacare, has been compromised. Consumers cannot be expected to place their faith in a botched system, whose susceptibility to hacking has yet to be determined. And if a sufficient number of young healthy individuals don't sign up and thereby offset the costs of older and sicker people, what will be the fate and ultimate cost of this failed enterprise?

The technical issue isn't likely to have legs? Don't kid yourself, Charles. First impressions are everything, and although I favor universal health care, Obamacare is dead in the water.

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