True enough. And most of those people work as web designers for HHS.
Never mind the hubris needed to blame public ignorance for the most epic website fail in Internet history. He’s surely right, to whatever small extent, that some older people who’ve never been online and have no younger friends or family members to help will have trouble navigating the website. (Although, ironically, the story he tells below about the 63-year-old woman makes it sound like she did know what she was doing but was, alas, thwarted in the end by another Healthcare.gov glitch.) Since the potential problem of Internet ignorance was apparent from the day ObamaCare was passed, though, why should anyone need extra time past the statutory deadline to sign up? The White House had six months to reach those people through speeches, TV ads, door-knocking, etc. Reid could, if he wanted, cite the website disaster in October and November as grounds for giving people more time, but he’s not doing that. And even if he did, it’d make no sense: As I’ve said before, anyone who was gung ho to enroll back then and gave up in technological frustration surely would have returned to the site by now to try again. If near-seniors are trying and failing to sign up through Healthcare.gov, the problem isn’t their ignorance, it’s the White House’s failure to identify them in advance and give them an easy alternative method. You’d think a guy who ran a presidential campaign that was famously brilliant at “microtargeting” would have been all over that. As it is, it’s another reminder that problems with O-Care’s rollout go way beyond the website.
But all of that assumes that Reid is right and that Internet ignorance is some sort of major hurdle to enrollment. Is that true? Or are there … other explanations?
Two amazing numbers. After six months of ObamaCare propaganda from the White House and Democrats and endless news coverage of the program’s launch, more than 60 percent of the uninsured still don’t know something as simple as the deadline to enroll. And among the entire uninsured population, fully half have decided to pass and risk being forced to pay the penalty (until they claim a hardship exemption, of course). Why’s that? You know why:
It’s not the website that’s keeping people away, it’s perceptions about cost and broad ignorance about even basic elements of the law. Maybe if the White House wasn’t forced to spend the first half of the enrollment period deflecting questions about website disasters, it could have done something about that. But of course Reid can’t say that while he’s clinging to a Senate majority, so he falls back on the ol’ Interwebs to explain things away. Here he is, via the Free Beacon, plus a little extra treat from Boehner.