Yesterday, Jan Crawford told CBS This Morning that the launch of the ObamaCare exchanges have been “nothing short of disastrous,” but it’s worth noting a day later. Why? Despite the efforts to take down and revamp the Healthcare.gov website, nothing has changed — not the performance, not the promises, and not the administration’s refusal to release any of the stats on enrollees on Day 10 (via Ace):
House Republicans reminded IRS ObamaCare chief Sarah Ingram Hall during a hearing later yesterday on ObamaCare implementation that they wanted a delay all along, while Hall insisted that everything was hunky-dory on her end:
House Republicans said Wednesday that chaos in the first nine days of open enrollment under President Obama’s health care law would justify a delay in major provisions of the law, including tax penalties for people who go without insurance in 2014.
The comments came at a hearing of a House committee, where a senior official of the Internal Revenue Service said that its work on the new insurance marketplaces was ”going fine,” just as planned. …
”Obamacare’s first week has been a mess,” said the committee chairman, Representative Darrell Issa, Republican of California. ”This law is not ready for prime time.”
Representative John J. Duncan Jr., Republican of Tennessee, said, ”This is the most messed-up, convoluted, confusing law that’s ever been passed.”
The Obama administration has had three and a half years to work on the law, Mr. Duncan said, so ”it is ridiculous, and kind of sad,” that the government was so poorly prepared for the rollout of the program this week.
What does Hall mean “as planned”? The original plan — and the one in statutory law — required the IRS to do instant income verification to ensure against fraud in subsidy payments. That got postponed at least a year by a White House edict, which Republicans rightly claim as improper. The only part of the plan that the IRS still has in action is their power to fine people who don’t carry health insurance, which is hardly a difficult task after more than three years. It’s a checkbox with an information box attached to it on a tax form, with minimal data entry needed to support it — and none at all for electronic filers.
Note: Give the New York Times some credit for reporting this, though. Only fourteen newspapers this morning have any stories at all on the ObamaCare exchange, and most of those have to do with the shutdown talks ongoing in Congress.