We've all heard the narrative by now: the GOP missed out on a huge messaging opportunity over Healthcare.gov's disastrous roll out due to the debacle over the government shutdown. There's certainly some merit to that point. But lucky for Republicans, they got a second chance.
It wasn't just the initial roll out that proved to be a mess; the Obama administration has so far proved utterly inept at attempting to fix the tech disaster that is Healthcare.gov. We're going on nearly a month of the site being live and it, for all intents and purposes, does not function. Estimations from the White House now suggest problems will persist for at least a month to come — but likely longer, suggesting it's time to delay the individual mandate.
So the GOP has had some time to regain some ground in this epic battle over the future of the nation's health care system by pointing out the incompetence of those behind the site, particularly Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Many have called for her to be fired, as she would have been at any private firm if such a massive failure occurred under her oversight.
That said, it's time for those on the right to focus their attention on the real Obamacare issue of the moment. The reality is, the website will eventually be up and functioning. There's probably teams in Silicon Valley who could get Healthcare.gov operating for less than CGI was paid in a month flat.
Instead, Republicans should be highlighting how inefficient and incompetent the federal government has a tendency to be. (Do voters really want it overseeing their health care coverage? Eh?)
Much more disturbingly, while the healthcare.gov has been displaying 404 errors to Americans attempting to enroll in government-mandated health care exchanges, millions of Americans have been quietly receiving cancellation notices from their health care providers, informing them that their policies have been canceled.
Wait a second! What happened to, "If you like your plan, you can keep it" …? That was what President Obama promised the American people in July of 2009. That turned out to be an utter lie.
The National Republican Congressional Committee didn't mince words, suggesting it is the single biggest lie the president has ever told.
One Florida-based insurance provider, Florida Blue, was forced to cancel 300,000 policies for not meeting requirements set forth under Obamacare. Kaiser Permanente in California has sent 160,000 cancellation notices. Pittsburgh-based insurer Highmark is reportedly dropping about 20% of its individual market. While Independence Blue Cross is dropping about 45%.
This is beginning to sound like an epidemic.
So this is my plea to Republicans, moderates, libertarians, and anyone else who opposes Obamacare: Don't get caught up in the small battle over the functionality (or lack thereof) of Healthcare.gov. Don't focus all your energy on calling for Kathleen Sebelius to be fired (but by all means, certainly continue calling for it).
Those on the right should focus the bulk of their messaging on bringing attention to the blatant, misleading lie told to the American people by President Obama in an attempt to get us on board with a disastrous health care takeover that the majority of Americans oppose.
Millions of Americans are having their policies canceled or changed under Obamacare, despite being specifically promised that this would not happen. What else did President Obama lie to us about in regards to Obamacare?