Video: ObamaCare meltdown raises serious questions about being unmanageable, says … David Gregory

posted at 12:01 pm on October 25, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Why should CBS have all the fun of pointing out the many facets of the ObamaCare disaster? Meet the Press host David Gregory tells Morning Joe that the epic faceplant of the rollout raises much larger questions than just whether a web portal can or will get fixed.  Republican predictions of disaster didn’t even include the incompetence in producing a $400 million website failure, Gregory says with a laugh.  Republicans predicted that the federal government was too incompetent to run the health-care sector — and this tends to prove they were right all along, and that proof gets stronger the longer the incompetence continues (via The Corner):

The bungled launch of Obamacare’s federal exchanges may be confirming Republicans’ various warnings about the health-care laws, says Meet the Press host David Gregory. He also said that Obamacare’s “caricature of incompetence” thus far may doom the law if the administration doesn’t address the problems soon.

Because of the website’s issues, Gregory said, the Obama administration may also miss out on the window to enroll younger people, who are crucial to the law’s success. “The question I think you’ll see more and more going into next year is, ‘Is this too big, too complicated for the federal government to administer?’” he said on Morning Joe on Friday.

The incompetence turns into dishonesty and opacity, which frustrates ACA supporter Josh Barro at Business Insider.  Barro participated in a CMS conference call yesterday, and came away with more questions and worry than when he started:

  • Battaille claimed not to know how many of those applications came from the 36 states that do not operate their own exchanges (meaning consumers are supposed to buy coverage by navigating HealthCare.gov). How is CMS figuring out a total number of applications if not by adding together reports from state exchanges and information from the federal exchange? If they won’t disclose the federal-only number, it’s presumably because it’s embarrassingly low and they don’t want it publicly known.
  • Battaille wouldn’t say who, aside from Jeff Zients, is involved in the “tech surge” that is supposed to bring in bright private sector tech talents to help fix the exchange. Ezra Klein noted yesterday the administration’s silence on this question, leading him to wonder whether “the scope of the surge is less impressive, and more insider-focused, than the administration is implying.” Is the tech surge just a PR strategy to demonstrate action on the website’s problems without having to give out more detail about them?
  • She wouldn’t say when CMS expects that the site will be working properly.
  • Twice, she declined to answer a question about whether Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was aware of the system’s problems before launch.
  • She continued to emphasize website problems related to traffic (and therefore, vast consumer demand that demonstrates how great Obamacare’s benefits are) when reports in many outlets, including the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, have relied on anonymous insurance industry sources to suggest that there are major problems in the exchange system’s backend, including providing incorrect application information to insurers, that aren’t related to traffic.

Barro concluded:

There’s no reason not to level with the public right now, unless the truth is so horrible and the website is so un-fixable that Obama administration officials can’t bring themselves to discuss the matter publicly. I suspect that’s not the case.

I’m not sure why Barro would suspect that other than wishful thinking, after the litany of spin he got from the conference call. The only reason not to level with the public would be because they don’t want people to know how bad this really is. If the truth was better than popular perception, CMS and the White House would be bombarding us with that data; after all, this isn’t an administration that gets shy about leaking data that makes them look good.  And if they didn’t share data that refutes the perception of disaster, that also speaks to incompetence, does it not?

Wishful thinking eventually meets reality. That moment is now upon the media, and Barro’s bright enough to recognize it soon.


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If we make it to 2016, how many journolist are going to remember that it was Bill Clinton’s speech to Congress that helped push this atrocity through and without the help of a single Republican vote? My money says, they will push Hillary as the savior of America and Healthcare. This would actually be funny, if it weren’t so damn serious.

DDay on October 25, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Solaratov on October 25, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Solaratov, thatsafactjack is asking you what kind of puppies you have. She’s usually around during later hours of the QotD and has asked you this a couple of nights ago, on Oct. 23/QotD.

Just giving you the message.

Schadenfreude on October 25, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Battaille wouldn’t say who, aside from Jeff Zients, is involved in the “tech surge” that is supposed to bring in bright private sector tech talents to help fix the exchange. Ezra Klein noted yesterday the administration’s silence on this question, leading him to wonder whether “the scope of the surge is less impressive, and more insider-focused, than the administration is implying.”

Let’s apply some common sense here. The “best and brightest” tech talents in the private sector already have jobs. They’re already contracted to work on big projects and being paid very well to do so. And they have their own deadlines to meet.

Just who is going to drop their current projects for paying customers to run and help Sebelius and fix this mess?

C’mon.

And then, the government can’t just hire these people without an interview process, posting the job, etc. etc. etc. All of those civil service regs that you have to go through whenever you work or contract with the government. Got security clearance baby?

No. HHS is going to get the “best and brightest” from other sectors of the federal government. Someone in one department is going to get re-assigned to another department.

In other words, the same group that made the mess will be the same group suddenly now able fix it.

Because in the end, liberals always figure the “best and brightest” work for government anyway.

PackerBronco on October 25, 2013 at 2:44 PM

First we have to pass it to see what’s in it. Next we have to fix the website to see what’s in it. This is after fixing the website to not see what is in it.

It’s pure gold, no?

I’m reminded of the Book of Esther. Remember how Haman had the gallows built to hang Mordecai? And suddenly the tables turned. The very gallows he built were used by the King to hang Haman and his sons.

LetsBfrank on October 25, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Schadenfreude on October 25, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Thanks.

I’ll be on QOTD tonight.

Solaratov on October 25, 2013 at 2:50 PM

I just assumed that getting the website right would be the easy part for them. Its going to be interesting to see how the rest of this disaster unfolds.

tommer74 on October 25, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Roger, Solaratov.

Schadenfreude on October 25, 2013 at 3:17 PM

I suspect the reality is: ObamaCare has imploded – before it even went underwater.

Barry hopes everyone will forget about it by the time elections roll around again.

ObamaCare? What’s that?

Turtle317 on October 25, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Being able to say I told you so is small comfort for the pain from Obama’s reelection, but I’ll take what I can get at this point since we have a dreary 3+ years to go before we are free of the Obaminator. The question is whether the American people will get the message, and that remains to be seen.

txmomof6 on October 25, 2013 at 4:36 PM

“The question I think you’ll see more and more going into next year is, ‘Is this too big, too complicated for the federal government to administer?’” he said on Morning Joe on Friday.

If Gregory was an ethical and unbiased journalist, rather than float that as a rhetorical question, he would actually apply investigative journalism and critical thinking towards answering that question – for himself and those who watch him.

I can assure Gregory that there are a lot of people in this country who aren’t conservatives, who are asking that same question and looking at the actions and promises of this Administration versus what was delivered or really done and beginning to believe that big government is not the solution to every problem – or capable of fulfilling the promises of what it can do.

Athos on October 25, 2013 at 5:14 PM

The absence of trolls is deafening :)

Schadenfreude on October 25, 2013 at 12:22 PM

….how come…I hear…and smell farts?

KOOLAID2 on October 25, 2013 at 6:55 PM

What? Pretty much troll free…..hmmmmmm.

CWchangedhisNicagain on October 25, 2013 at 8:34 PM

Could Republicans have been right all along?

Don’t expect David Gregory to admit it. The press are all in favor of nationalized health care, no matter how much they criticize this incarnation.

flataffect on October 25, 2013 at 10:45 PM

The question for Gregory is, “Why are you so stupid?”

racquetballer on October 25, 2013 at 11:06 PM

The sad thing in this Comic Opera that is unfolding, is that real people are going to get hurt very badly before it is over. It is easy to say, “well they voted for him, let them reap what they sow.”; but, I expect it is going to go well beyond the fools who thought that his promises of something for nothing were legitimate.

My wife is in near panic. I tell her that we are in good shape no matter what comes. We have lived fairly frugally, saved as much as we could, and taken steps to guard against catastrophe. I wished that I was as confident as I try to sound.

Oldflyer on October 26, 2013 at 12:46 AM

Oldflyer, I think hospitals and docs will negotiate for fees on an individual basis if this clusterfark continues. What else can they do?

PattyJ on October 26, 2013 at 2:10 AM

Has anyone stopped to consider that young people (26 and under crowd, specifically) have no reason to sign up for ObamaCare, since the same law mandating insurance allows them to stay on their parent’s policy?

Not that they would sign up anyway…..

takeamericabackin10 on October 25, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Great point. So healthy Americans 27 and older must pay for everyone else. Of course, the sick, Seniors and illegals will be net beneficiaries. But as you say, why would a healthy person sign up for that? That’s right. They won’t.

virgo on October 26, 2013 at 2:20 AM

rogerb on October 25, 2013 at 1:37 PM

 
Easy response. The Heritage plan was a financial-responsibility proposal. Require everyone to carry some level of catastrophic care, invariably a policy that covers nothing routine, has a high deductible, and has a low premium. Does that sound like Obamacare?
 
BuckeyeSam on October 25, 2013 at 1:51 PM

 
Sure, but remember who they’re hoping to get it resonating with:
 

same as you get at say, Koch Industries.
 
Mr. Arkadin on October 15, 2013 at 8:14 PM

 

In the meantime, Fox will continue to make up stories about what folks have to pay or businesses being shut down.
 
verbaluce on October 21, 2013 at 12:59 PM

 

red_herring on October 24, 2013 at 4:37 PM

 
You expect A Working Poor to visit the Obamacare website, be told they’re eligible for Medicaid, and for them to say, “Screw that, I want to spend $500 a month”?
 
Is that what you’re saying?
 
rogerb on October 24, 2013 at 6:53 PM

 

How do you think Ted Cruz became a Senator?
 
gwelf on October 17, 2013 at 12:18 PM

 
Gerrymandering.
 
lostmotherland on October 17, 2013 at 1:39 PM

 

They want to be sure their Julias don’t have any reason to doubt the ability of their betters.
 
This helps them reassure their deluded base that it wasn’t Obama’s fault and the (R)’s are definitely, absolutely, 100% to blame for their failure.

rogerb on October 26, 2013 at 6:23 AM

Barro concluded:

There’s no reason not to level with the public right now, unless the truth is so horrible and the website is so un-fixable that Obama administration officials can’t bring themselves to discuss the matter publicly. I suspect that’s not the case.

Hilarious!

Obama Administration?

Take responsibility?

Josh, where have you been for the last 5-6 years? The Most Transparent Administration Ever has been a phony house of cards since well before the 2008 election of Teh Won. (Thanks, MSM. Great job!) Is treatment at Obamaholics Anonymous going to be covered by ObamaCare?

dissent555 on October 26, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Regarding David Gregory’s assertion that they might not be able to do the implementation…

That was true for the takeover of the student loan industry, it was not pointed out by the media, but after forcing private student loan companies to lay off their workers Scranton news said 100 were laid off at Sallie Mae after the take over) and ruining their businesses, and demanding to buy up their profitable loans to collect the interest, the Feds could not run it. Many loans were lost in government clerical limbo in the first two years they tried to run the program.

In the end they had to hire Sallie Mae et als. to put up a Department of Education website and run this for the government. You know they don’t believe in outsourcing, they could not make it work with government lackey’s they had to hire, from next on the list.

When I see the Veteran’s Administration is so poorly run by government lackey’s I think there has to be a better solution than government work. The VA is a big hole in the budget into which money is poured and the veterans are ignored. Maybe they could get Bain Capital in for a re org.

Fleuries on October 26, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Because of the website’s issues, Gregory said, the Obama administration may also miss out on the window to enroll younger people, who are crucial to the law’s success.

The mobile-ready, web-savvy youth will not tolerate waiting hours — or even minutes — on a unresponsive website. One statistic: 40 percent of viewers abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. (sources: gomez.com, akamai.com).

This generation of viewers expect an instant response; healthcare.com is going to lose its most crucial audience.

Pazman on October 26, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Has anyone stopped to consider that young people (26 and under crowd, specifically) have no reason to sign up for ObamaCare, since the same law mandating insurance allows them to stay on their parent’s policy?

I asked my 21 and 24 year old sons, both fairly astute and educated, if they planned on signing on for O’care, and they both said “What?”.

The young aren’t paying attention and only a small percentage will sign up. Very small.

filetandrelease on October 26, 2013 at 1:58 PM

If Gregory was an ethical and unbiased journalist, rather than float that as a rhetorical question, he would actually apply investigative journalism and critical thinking towards answering that question – for himself and those who watch him.
……………
Good catch.
DNC Dave is just climbing aboard the Chris Matthews solar powered homo train that speeds across the rails at a blistering 3 mph. Since its over a year before the next election its time to do the one week blast of his own socialist party.
Since anything he or fat Chris say now will be of course forgotten by election time he can blast his favs all he wants.Its a bit of faggery they both enjoy.
Pure desire for something they can never have moral equivalency or fair and balanced. Not in the cards for these guys ever.

rodguy911 on October 26, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Big government is always unmanageable

J_Crater on October 27, 2013 at 12:03 PM

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