Juan Williams has a clear grip on responsibility for the failure of a program that got passed in Congress with no Republican votes, and implemented with no Republican management in a Democratic administration. Williams claims that the White House would have delayed the rollout of ObamaCare’s exchanges except for the opposition of the GOP to the program as a whole. As a result, Williams argues, Barack Obama and Kathleen Sebelius had no choice but to lie about the exchanges and let it unfold.
Come on — you knew the media would eventually get around to this argument. You just didn’t expect to hear it first on Fox (via Twitchy):
Stephen Hayes was amazed … and not in a good way:
The look on Steven Hayes face while Juan Williams tried to explain why Sebelius is not to blame was priceless #tcot
— Eric Powers (@PowersMisterE) October 22, 2013
Follow the link back to Twitchy to catch the screencap.
My Townhall colleague Dan Doherty scoffs:
The idea that Obama refused to enact a sweeping delay of his signature legislative achievement because of Republicans is an obvious red herring. The reason The One won’t delay Obamacare is quite simple: He feels he’s “won” this battle — in other words, he defeated Governor Mitt Romney in 2012 and the ACA was ruled constitutional by the High Court. Case closed. Therefore, any attempt by Republicans to amend or delay or defund his Big Government achievement is a non-starter. He’s made that quite clear.
By the way, the Obama administration knew full well that the website did not and would not work. They tested it and (surprise!) there were all sorts of problems with it.
And actually, the issue came up even earlier than that, as Jeff Dunetz reminds us today. In early August, the Inspector General warned that the system testing had been insufficient, and that the “margin for error” had disappeared:
The federal government is months behind in testing data security for the main pillar of Obamacare: allowing Americans to buy health insurance on state exchanges due to open by October 1
The missed deadlines have pushed the government’s decision on whether information technology security is up to snuff to exactly one day before that crucial date, the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general said in a report.
As a result, experts say, the exchanges might open with security flaws or, possibly but less likely, be delayed.
“They’ve removed their margin for error,” said Deven McGraw, director of the health privacy project at the non-profit Center for Democracy & Technology. “There is huge pressure to get (the exchanges) up and running on time, but if there is a security incident they are done. It would be a complete disaster from a PR viewpoint.”
We’re still not sure whether those bugs still exist. The performance of the website hasn’t provided any basis for confidence in the competence in any other area.