I’m sure there are others, but here are the top five reasons, according to Ron Fournier of the National Journal:
1. It’s worse than President Obama and team have let on.
An administration spokesman told the Washington Post on Sunday that the “main driver of the problem is volume.” This is intentionally misleading.
The White House has heard complaints from insurance companies, consumers, and health policy experts about issues embedded deeply in the online system. For example: inaccurate information provided to people about federal tax credits; low-income people erroneously told they don’t qualify for Medicaid; and insurance companies getting confusing information about who has signed up.
The administration refuses to say how many people have enrolled through the federal exchange, the key metric for determining how well the online service is working in states that didn’t set up their own exchanges. There are two possible explanations for the Obama administration’s unconscionable lack of transparency. Their process is so screwed up that they don’t have the data, which would be embarrassing. Or they have the data – and it’s embarrassing.
I’m pretty sure that the administration has enough data to realize the embarrassment its disclosure would produce.
2. This is the easy part.
Finding and motivating people to take action online is the founding strength of Team Obama. This is what they do best. Managing a complex law is a different matter, and it’s fair to question whether the president and his team are up to it.
How do you convince healthy young Americans to pay for insurance they may not need in order to fund the program? Do companies shed workers and working hours to avoid coming under the law? Are people with cheap catastrophic plans forced to pay more in the exchanges? Tricky questions likes these will soon make the hard art of website design look like fingerpainting.
3. It reflects poorly on the president.
Yeah, you could say that. It isn’t called Obamacare for nothing.
4. It reflects poorly on government.
And, of course, it reflects poorly on the Party that exists to expand the reach of government. As Fournier says, “Beyond Obamacare, the Democratic Party’s reputation for competency is as stake.”
This is probably the number reason why Team Obama is freaking out.
5. It could hurt Americans.
I’m not so sure about this one — the “glitches,” I mean. In any case, it’s probably at the bottom of the list of Team Obama’s concerns.