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ObamaCare meltdown

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By John Barnhart

    Senator Ted Cruz and the other Republicans who led a valiant, but ill-considered attempt to ram their heads through a brick wall earlier this month missed a golden opportunity.
    The partial government shutdown and the partisan brinkmanship over raising the debt ceiling received top billing for news coverage over a nearly three week period. This temporarily gave President Barack Obama relief from what would have otherwise been his worst nightmare come true. The day the partial government shutdown began, HealthCare.gov went live. This is the federal website that was supposed to provide the “marketplace” for people to purchase medical insurance under ObamaCare.  The website quickly imploded.
    Had it not been for the shutdown and the flirtation with a possible technical default on our sovereign debt, the top news story for the first three weeks of this month would have been the HealthCare.gov fiasco. A better tactic than trying to defund ObamaCare would have been for Republicans to go ahead and fund the government after a brief fight to avoid a shutdown, and raise the debt ceiling, so that wouldn’t become a major news issue. Then, they could have sat back and let the “Democrats” own ObamaCare, and stew in their own juice as the HealthCare.gov train wreck grabbed the headlines.
    ObamaCare is turning out to be even worse than I ever imagined. The Obama administration never does anything well, but the level of incompetence that HealthCare.gov has demonstrated is breathtaking. It’s so bad that I’m beginning to think that Jimmy Carter may be about to forfeit the coveted title of Worst President Ever.
    The HealthCare.gov website does not work. Hardly anybody has been able to register for insurance through it, although the Obama administration has stonewalled any efforts to find out how many people were actually able to register. I’m sure they know, and I’m also sure the number is so small that it’s embarrassing to them. We do know that some are getting through because insurance companies have reported that what they are getting from the system is so garbled that they have had to contact these people and manually process their applications for insurance. They’ve indicated that it’s just as well that so few people have been able to get through because they would have been overwhelmed if they had to manually process large numbers of applications.
    President Obama has called for a “tech surge” to bring in highly qualified outside computer geeks to fix this mess, although he refuses to say who they are bringing in. That bit of stonewalling really doesn’t matter because the whole “tech surge” is just more Barack Obaloney hot air. If you have ever worked with computer code, or managed a programming project, you’ll know why.
    A heart surgeon, dealing with a complex surgery, can call in another experienced heart surgeon to scrub up with him and provide assistance. Calling in outside computer experts to help fix a botched job would be like the aforementioned heart surgeon calling in an orthopedic surgeon to help. The orthopedic surgeon may be brilliant and experienced, but his knowledge of heart surgery is limited.
    An outside expert, looking at the software behind HealthCare.gov is like that orthopedic surgeon. He may be brilliant, but he still knows less than the people who developed the website know about the software behind it. It’s going to take some work to figure out how it works, a task made even harder because it’s obvious that the software does not work. If the system was hastily put together, which I suspect is the case, then hastily written, sloppy coding, will be hard to follow. Hastily written software is also usually poorly documented, so good luck to the poor sucker who has to figure it out.
    Oh, in addition to the “marketplace” website that doesn’t work, ObamaCare has brought the American people another “benefit.” Remember when President Obama told us that people who like their existing insurance will be able to keep it? That’s turned out to be another of Barack Obaloney’s political fairy tales. Hundreds of thousands of people who purchased their own policies now have no medical insurance because the companies they bought them from canceled their policies.