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AP: Contractors Say Gov’t "Shares Responsibility"

From the whirling dervishes at the Associated Press:

Healthcare.gov problems are target at Hill hearing

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR and STEPHEN OHLEMACHER | October 24, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) – The principal contractors responsible for the federal government’s troubled health insurance website say the Obama administration shares responsibility for snags that have crippled the system…

The private sector contractors didn’t say "that the Obama administration shares responsibility." They said they did their own jobs correctly and it was the Obama administration who screwed up. They said the Obama administration was totally responsible. 

As the hearing began, Republican committee members said the website problems are symptomatic of deeper flaws in the Affordable Care Act, and they accused administration officials of misleading Congress with repeated assurances that the rollout was on track…

Not to mention their countless other misleading assurances.

Democrats acknowledged the website problems but defended the law, saying millions of uninsured Americans are counting on it to finally get coverage – and thousands are succeeding in signing up.

Really? Where are they getting these figures? (Hint: they are making them up, since no figures have been released.)

They accused Republicans of trying to sabotage the law, not to fix it. "Republicans don’t have clean hands coming here," said Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J.

The Republicans have been powerless to change Obama-Care in one iota. The only person who has changed the law has been Obama.

The hearing comes as President Barack Obama’s allies are starting to fret about the political fallout. Democrats had hoped to run for re-election next year on the benefits of the health care law for millions of uninsured Americans. Instead, computer problems are keeping many consumers from signing up through new online markets…

Again, this is misleading. The state exchanges are getting very few sign ups, too. And their websites are working fine. It’s the prices that are the problem. Not the glitches. The glitches are being used as an excuse for the abysmal sign-up rates.

One House Democrat says the president needs to "man up" and fire somebody, while others are calling for signup deadlines to be extended and a reconsideration of the penalties individuals will face next year if they remain uninsured.

You would think the AP would mention here that, according to reports, every Democrats in the Senate who is up for re-election now wants the individual mandate to be delayed at least one year. But, no, the AP doesn’t want its readers to know such things.

The focus on the contractors is a first step for GOP investigators. After the failure of their drive to defund "Obamacare" by shutting down the government, they’ve been suddenly handed a new line of attack by the administration itself…

Another blatant lie from the AP. The Republicans did not try "to defund Obama-Care by shutting down the government." They passed a continuing resolution which would keep the government running. The Senate Democrats shut down the government by refusing to even vote on it.

Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president of CGI, suggested in prepared testimony that Congress should look beyond the contractors. HHS "serves the important role of systems integrator or ‘quarterback’ on this project and is the ultimate responsible party for the end-to-end performance," she said…

Andy Slavitt, representing QSSI’s parent company, said the operation’s virtual back room, known as the federal data hub, is working well despite some bugs…

Slavitt blamed the administration, saying that a late decision to require consumers to create accounts before they could browse health plans contributed to the overload…

But the AP says the contractors said the administration just "shares" some of the responsibility.

Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., chairman of the panel’s health subcommittee, said he wants to focus on the administration’s decision not to allow browsing, or window-shopping. That’s a standard feature of e-commerce sites, including Medicare.gov for seniors. Lack of a browsing capability forced all users to first go through the laborious process of creating accounts, overloading that part of the site.

"Who made that decision? When was it made? Why was it made?" Pitts asked.

We already know why. They didn’t want anyone to see the premium rates before they were reduced by ‘possible’ subsidies.

Meanwhile, House Democrats are starting to worry aloud about persistent problems with the rollout.

Rep. Richard Nolan, D-Minn., told The Associated Press the computer fiasco has "damaged the brand" of the health care law. "The president needs to man up, find out who was responsible, and fire them," Nolan said. He did not name anyone.

Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley, interviewed Thursday on "CBS This Morning," said that Obama "can’t just get stuck on this for the next several weeks." As for calls that Sebelius be fired, Daley said that would be like firing the captain of the Titanic "after the ship hit the iceberg."

Er, Mr. Daley, the captain of the Titanic went down with the ship.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, October 25th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “AP: Contractors Say Gov’t "Shares Responsibility"”

  1. … Obama administration shares responsibility for snags that have crippled the system…
    I thought there were just a few glitches. I thought MILLIONS of people had already signed up and had insuragasms as they realized that they would now probably live forever. Now even the AP is saying that the system is CRIPPLED. Haters gonna hate. I wonder how long it’ll be before the AP gets investigated by the justice department for race crimes.

  2. Rusty Shackleford

    Suppose I went to a web-designer and said to them, “I want a web page that will allow me to see every phase of the moon, all the time, in real-time and will tell me also who is looking at my website, all the time, in real-time while simultaneously tracking every purchase made by whoever’s on my website, in real-time, as they happen. How much would that cost?”

    If the web designer told me, “That’s not really possible.”, then kudos to them for being realistic and up front about it.

    If the web designer told me, “Sure, we can do that and it will cost X and will take x-amount of time to implement and then there’ll be beta-testing before we can roll it out.”, then fewer kudos for them but at least they are anticipating some challenges and letting me know it’ll be expensive.

    But then, if I tell them, “I don’t care if it works or not. I will oversee all that. I just want something in place that lets people go there to see it. If it’s there and I can say it’s there, so much the better. But if it doesn’t work, I don’t really care. I’ll take charge of that.”

    The website designer will (most likely) then do one of two things: They will either decline to attach their name to a fool’s errand or, they will say, “Fine, pal, it’s your money, have at it.”.

    In the end, as we’re seeing, people (apparatchiks) like Wax-face are blaming the republicans for it not working (the desired effect) but the public is attaching this to the people who implemented it, called for it, and shoved it through the legislative process, namely, the democrats.

    However, while we, the conservatives are noting this, we need to be aware that the “give-me’s” are only angry because they want their free stuff and although they know who to run to for that, they do not know or realize that it’s not going to get any better and the disaster is all part of the mechanism to ultimately have them act in (faux) frustration to get to single-payer as the only way to “fix” it.

    They will have the media on their side, even to blame republicans for the poor rollout of the plan, in spite of the fact that republicans had absolutely nothing to do with any of it; That there’s not a single republican fingerprint on any of this craptacular legislation.

    The ad-hominems will fly, the straw-men will dance and the media will make the claim so loudly as to deafen any other sense-making discussion.

    So batten down the hatches for the oncoming onslaught of “It’s all the republicans’ fault” in the weeks and months/years to come.




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