Software problems with the federal online health insurance marketplace, especially in handling high volumes, are proving so stubborn that the system is unlikely to work fully by the end of the month as the White House has promised, according to an official with knowledge of the project.
The insurance exchange is balking when more than 20,000 to 30,000 people attempt to use it at the same time — about half its intended capacity, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose internal information. And CGI Federal, the main contractor that built the site, has succeeded in repairing only about six of every 10 of the defects it has addressed so far
Slightly more than half of Americans distrust President Obama, according to the latest polling, which shows the president having sunk to George W. Bush circa 2005 levels of unpopularity. Dave Weigel says it’s all about the health care fiasco:
The only explanation for any of this? The “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” controversy, or IYLYPYCKYPgate. (Maybe that acronym won’t take off.) What should worry Democrats (not that they need the help) is that the broken promise actually isn’t affecting a huge proportion of Americans. Maybe 6 percent of them are losing individual plans; 52 percent of them distrust Obama.
I think there’s something else: the catastrophe of Healthcare.gov, which plays right into people’s fears of technocratic, bureaucratic incompetence. From the Washington Post today, a report saying the White House’s promised repairs aren’t going to get done in time:
Government workers and technical contractors racing to repair the Web site have concluded, the official said, that the only way for large numbers of Americans to enroll in the health-care plans soon is by using other means so that the online system isn’t overburdened.
A private meeting on Capitol Hill with House Democrats and White House officials on Wednesday became heated when rank-and-file members expressed frustration about continued Obamacare problems, according to multiple sources in the room.
One congressional Democrat who attended the meeting said senior Obama administration officials Mike Hash and David Simas really “got hit” by House Democrats about everything from the troubled website to the broken promise that people can keep the insurance plans they like.
The most pressing political challenge for House Democrats will come this Friday, when they will have to vote on a House Republican plan by Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan that allows people to keep the policy they like.
Several lawmakers — even liberals who adamantly support Obamacare — stood and warned the officials that the White House must come up with a solution before the vote.
As CNN first reported on Tuesday, many House Democrats are feeling so much pressure from constituents on this issue, they may feel compelled to vote yes for political reasons.
The perfect storm of mistrust. Intentionally or not, Obama misled people to get this thing passed, and his team constructed a failed website that they cannot fix in a timely way. You can gripe about GOP knotheadedness, but these problems of Obama’s are entirely self-inflicted.
Where do we go from here?
UPDATE: Allahpundit savors the Democrats’ dilemma. He points out that Rep. Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democrat, said on October 29 that some people were going to have their policies cancelled under Obamacare, but now he’s doing an about-face, saying people ought to be able to keep their policies if they want to. Allahpundit says:
If he agrees that they should be able to keep their policies, why did he vote for ObamaCare? The whole point of the law is that healthy middle-class people shouldn’t be allowed to keep policies that have relatively low premiums. We need to gouge those suckers with higher premiums for new “comprehensive” plans so that we can pay for the preexisting conditions of the sick. It’s like voting for immigration reform and then feigning surprise in five years when the newly “secure” border hasn’t halted illegal immigration. It’s not supposed to do that. That’s something you tell the hoi polloi in order to give Congress enough cover to vote for it.