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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New York Times Editorial, "The Health Site’s Chaotic Debut": All the Lies That Are Fit to Print

The scandals surrounding the Obama administration continue fast and furious, but if you are a New York Times reader, you would never know it.

In an editorial entitled "The Health Site’s Chaotic Debut" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/opinion/the-health-sites-chaotic-debut.html?_r=0), The New York Times actually chastizes Obama and Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, for Obamacare's disastrous rollout:

"The administration created the Web site so the buck necessarily stops with high officials — Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, and President Obama himself — who allowed this to happen. The administration attributes the problems partly to unexpectedly high demand from people eager to compare insurance policies available in their states and partly to technical glitches that blocked or slowed people from submitting applications and erroneous data being sent to insurers. Why the administration failed to anticipate the high demand has never been explained. Nor has it clearly explained the nature of the technical problems — or who in government or among the private contractors is primarily responsible for them."

But of course, the Times must also blame those nefarious Republicans:

"Many Congressional Republicans are eager to exploit the start-up problems as evidence that health care reform is doomed to failure and ought to be delayed. They ignore the fact that Republican-led states contributed to the start-up problems by refusing to set up their own exchanges and dumping the task on the federal government."

Hmm, so the Republicans should also share in the blame, owing to the additional traffic they generated for the federal website. Or should they?

The Times perpetuates the Obama administration's claim that the system failed owing to "high demand," but is this indeed the case? According to an article in today's Washington Post entitled "Health insurance exchange launched despite signs of serious problems" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/health-insurance-exchange-launched-despite-signs-of-serious-problems/2013/10/21/161a3500-3a85-11e3-b6a9-da62c264f40e_story.html) by Lena H. Sun and Scott Wilson (my emphasis in red):

"Days before the launch of President Obama’s online health ­insurance marketplace, government officials and contractors tested a key part of the Web site to see whether it could handle tens of thousands of consumers at the same time. It crashed after a simulation in which just a few hundred people tried to log on simultaneously.

Despite the failed test, federal health officials plowed ahead.

. . . .

There were ample warning signs that the system was not working properly, according to people familiar with the project.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency in charge of running the health insurance exchange in 36 states, invited about 10 insurers to give advice and help test the Web site.

About a month before the exchange opened, this testing group urged agency officials not to launch it nationwide because it was still riddled with problems, according to an insurance IT executive who was close to the rollout."

The website couldn't operate when "just a few hundred people tried to log on simultaneously," yet the Times is blaming Republicans for "refusing to set up their own exchanges and dumping the task on the federal government"?

Get real!

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