Column: Flaws in President Barack Obama’s health care law stirs up questions

Column: Flaws in President Barack Obama's health care law stirs up questions

Ever since HealthCare.gov and other health care mandate websites opened for business, problems regarding accessibility and feasibility have plagued the Obama administration. Only 106,000 people have so far signed up for federal or state provided insurance, 79,000 of which were from a state’s individual website, not the federal government’s HealthCare.gov site. This is far below the projected numbers that the Obama administration was expecting at this point of 500,000 signees. To go along with this, thousands of Americans are actually getting their current insurance plans cancelled by their insurance companies, since they no longer cover the ten basic tenets that Obamacare mandates. This directly violates President Barack Obama’s mantra of if you already like your plan, you can keep it and won’t have to switch. This has raised the question of, “Why did President Obama lie about this program and make it seem like something it isn’t?” Well, the answer goes deeper than that. The real questions that need to be asked are, “Why has the program been so shoddily deployed to the public? Why did these issues come up in the first place? And why would Obama say one thing and do another?”

To answer the first and second questions, the answers rest simply in poor planning. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, who has taken the blame for the ineffectiveness of the government’s website, failed to listen to the warnings of her website designers when the site was originally set up. Often times in websites of this magnitude and importance, test trials are run before the site gets launched to the public. In these trials, select groups of people get offered access and try to maneuver it to identify any glitches in the system. However, HealthCare.gov received no such trial runs, and so all of the glitches that would have been identified privately are now being seen in the public sector. And while this is a sad calamity that could have easily been avoided, it is also an easily fixable and rectifiable problem.

The third question, however, is not quite so simple. Obama created the Affordable Care Act while in his first term, and then ran off its ideas during his campaign. If, in the mandate, he knew that those who had health plans not fitting the ten requirements would be forced to change, he should have either said that to the public and used that as his policy, or simply have changed the wording of the mandate to reflect his most recent changes in heart regarding the program. After the recent exposé about this situation, Obama has decided to let those on non-qualifiable health plans stay on those plans for up to a year, not facing the tax put in place come January for not having health insurance. Maybe he thought he could simply pull a political “fast-one” on the country, although he and his advisors should have been more savvy than that. There truly seems to be no legitimate answer to why Obama saw the need to deceive the general populace about a program he had already put in place before his campaign, and then change it at this point. He could have saved lots of political turmoil by simply being accountable and consistent throughout this process, giving a little less controversy to an already highly controversial law.