Sebelius: On second thought, we probably shouldn’t have launched that ObamaCare website on October 1

posted at 2:41 pm on November 20, 2013 by Allahpundit

Is this news? On the one hand, of course they shouldn’t have launched it on October 1. That the site wasn’t ready to handle traffic isn’t a matter of political debate, it’s a fact. The only people who disagree are the lowest of low-information voters and the hackiest of partisan Democratic hacks. Behold:


They would’ve been hit with a wave of bad press if the launch was delayed, especially in the middle of a shutdown, but it couldn’t possibly have been worse than the press they’ve gotten for parading their galactic incompetence for the past seven weeks.

On the other hand, this raises questions. If she thinks it shouldn’t have gone live on October 1, when does she think it should have? Whose call was it to launch the site that day? If they had delayed instead, would it have been easier for the tech team to find and repair the site’s problems? Would delaying have inspired the GOP, sensing O-Care’s weakness, to hold out longer during the shutdown? Would it have increased the odds that Obama might agree to delay the mandate or the entire law until the website was finally ready to go?

I bet there are a few red-state Democrats who’d be interested in the answers.

When asked why officials pushed ahead with the Oct. 1 launch date despite warnings the site hadn’t been properly tested, Sebelius said they were hoping to give consumers as much time as possible to enroll before coverage begins in January.

“We were hoping to maximize that,” she said. “Clearly that was a bad call.”

She also said that November 30, the widely accepted last-clear-chance for to improve to the point where it can handle a massive number of daily enrollments before the December 15th deadline, is “not a magic go, no go date.” Which, I guess, is her way of signaling to panicky Democrats not to get their hopes up about a big turnaround next month. This part is fun too:

David Kennedy, head of the Ohio-based TrustedSec, a company that offers to hack into private systems to determine vulnerabilities, told the House Science Committee that a cursory look at the website revealed multiple “exposures” that put it at “critical risk.”

Asked about those concerns, Sebelius said: “I feel like it’s safe. Absolutely,” adding, “when there have been issues identified or flagged, it’s immediately fixed.”

A tech expert who built a business on his know-how says is a security disaster waiting to happen, and the person in charge of the most notorious website debacle of the Internet age says nuh uh. Imagine being a Democratic incumbent in Congress and reading those two paragraphs. Knowing that the political ice is already thin and getting thinner, how excited are you by the prospect of hundreds of thousands of users swarming onto the site next month after it’s “fixed” and some sort of mass hacking scheme compromising their personal information? Obama mumbled something yesterday about needing to “rebrand” the website. Good luck with that if/when the weeks-long 404 disaster is suddenly overtaken by a giant security breach.

Speaking of which, turns out there’s a reason Carney was cagey with reporters yesterday about what Obama knew and when. He later admitted that O was indeed briefed on the alarming McKinsey study back in March that identified major problems with the website’s development:

[H]e said the president’s familiarity with the report and recommendations did not contradict previous statements from the White House that described Obama as surprised by the scope of flaws in

Obama was told that the problems identified by McKinsey were being addressed, Carney said. And Obama had never claimed to be unaware of “red flags” about the site, only of their seriousness.

But since the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, the question has persisted whether the president has been “less than competent or less than candid,” said John Pitney, professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California. “This tips the scales in favor of less than candid.”

Exactly my point in yesterday’s post. No one much cares whether O knew how bad things were because, whatever the answer, it’s a grave indictment of his leadership. Either he knew and rolled it out anyway — a “bad call” even by Sebelius’s admission — or he was so insulated from the truth about his biggest policy gamble that he was genuinely caught off guard when it blew up on the launchpad. Liar or enormous chump? You make the call.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Liar or enormous chump? You make the call.

He is both an enormous liar and an enormous chump.

Theophile on November 20, 2013 at 5:27 PM

I’m slow on the uptake here, but really, was there any question that O knew about the website’s status months ago? Whether or not he received the brief himself in March, isn’t it logical to assume that the delay of the employer mandate was done primarily because his team feared that putting that extra 50M+ people in the market (due to employer’s cancellations) would make this situation even worse?

Best case scenario for O’s ignorance: he didn’t get the brief in March. His team, however, receives the brief, freaks out, and spends months trying to figure out how to minimize the damage. Their solution: delay the employer mandate–which they know is going to put 50+M currently insured people out of a plan–and hope that the website is fixed enough so that it can handle the “relatively small 5%” of the population that are in the individual market and, due to cancellations, will be looking for plans come Oct. 1.

SO let’s assume that O is in the dark on all those inner workings–right up until he is presented with the team’s solution. Now I have accused O of being fundamentally and tragically uncurious about many things, but even I have a hard time thinking he would just take the recommendation to delay a key part of his plan for a whole year without asking at least a question or two. And I’m sure that answer needed to be a humdinger of a bombshell to him. . .which it was. That’s the ONLY reason he delayed the employer mandate: because this mess would be even worse–perhaps even exponentially worse–if all those other folks were also breathing down a Dec. 15th deadline for enrollment in an exchange plan.

Last possible date O didn’t know about the website’s problems: July 1st. He unilaterally delayed the employer mandate portion of the law on July 2nd.

johnny alpha on November 20, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Stupid Bltch

TX-96 on November 20, 2013 at 6:39 PM

On second thought, they should have fired Sebelius’ scrawny butt. I can’t believe the people of Kansas elected this brainless bimbo governor not once, but twice.

The people of Ohio were smart enough to defeat her idiot father when he ran for re-election.

bw222 on November 20, 2013 at 7:27 PM

“This tips the scales in favor of less than candid.”

Gasp! Ya mean to say that King Barack LIED!?

GarandFan on November 20, 2013 at 7:30 PM

The open system.

Go there at your own risk.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2013 at 7:38 PM

They all have black, furry tongues.

avagreen on November 20, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Throw that skank in jail.

Jaibones on November 20, 2013 at 11:15 PM

Everyone is concentrating on the miserable job Obama did as executive in charge of implementing the PPACA, but did none of the Democrats in Congress even ask for briefings on the progress of the website construction?

AesopFan on November 21, 2013 at 12:55 AM

“I feel like it’s safe. Absolutely,”

Says the ignorant cow who wouldn’t know an SQL injection exploit from a dictionary attack. Here’s the problem with security issues in production systems honey: you generally discover them after the system has been compromised. You know, when the damage has already been done. There’s a corollary to the first rule of holes, “when you don’t know what you’re talking about, stop talking.”

wkh on November 21, 2013 at 1:50 AM

On second thought, maybe we shouldn’t have reelected Barky Obama.

RandallinHerndon on November 21, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Obama: ‘We’re Going to Have to…Re-market and Re-brand’ the Affordable Care Act

WTF? Is everything now branding and marketing? Are the concepts of character and value no longer valid?
Sorry, I unfortunately know the answer to that question.

yesiamapirate on November 21, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Wasn’t there some congressional testimony, under oath, where this lady swore that she had no choice but to stick with the Oct 1st launch? Sure sounds like there’s a lie lurking in there somewhere.

But, no worries since it is up to the DOJ to prosecute congressional perjury charges, all we will get is… crickets.

WestTexasBirdDog on November 21, 2013 at 11:09 AM

It’s too late. Much of the supporting systems for Obamacare ™ are not ready. Doctors and hospitals will not be reminbursed. Plans will not be re-instated, even with presidential edict. Hackers will exploit the security holes. This is a bust.

The 8% of the population that got their plans cancelled will not be voting Democrat again. It’s up to political organizations to warn the rest of what is in store for employer-based plans. Illegals and Acorn Democrat voter fraud will not be enough.

This is a bust! Throw out the Democrats who caused this and the Republicans who stood by.

virgo on November 22, 2013 at 12:32 AM

Comment pages: 1 2