To be fair, maybe the “Sonic the Hedgehog” of websites:
According to The Washington Post, the Obama administration said Healthcare.gov processed 18,000 insurance enrollments during the most recent 24-hour period, “nearly double the previous record.” Great. But consider that on Cyber Monday last year, Amazon filled 306 orders per second. That’s 26.5 million orders in the most recent 24-hour period. This year, it’s hard to imagine that number won’t be higher.
Sure, Amazon has been at this for 18 years, and the White House only launched its site in October. But the point is that the technology exists to handle e-commerce traffic on an epic scale, and the White House hasn’t figured out how to use it. It so happens that Amazon is now offering the world a set of online infrastructure services, the AWS cloud, specifically designed to handle the massive amounts of traffic the White House hoped to juggle from the get-go (Netflix and Dropbox are both clients). But it took a different route, and in the simple terms of e-commerce, it’s still stuck in 1996.
In a story published yesterday, CNBC quotes an anonymous insurance industry source as saying that little more than 125,000 people managed to enroll for health insurance through Healthcare.gov through the end of November. By comparison, when Amazon filed for its IPO in 1997, it said that through the end of the previous year it had topped 180,000 customer accounts. In other words, Obama is still trying to reach a plateau that Amazon reached 17 years ago.
Oh yeah, it’s all sh*ts and giggles until “folks” lose their health insurance:
[S]ome Americans could inevitably experience a coverage gap by Jan. 1 – since roughly 5 million policies already were canceled because they didn’t meet the requirements of ObamaCare, and the website to sign up for new coverage isn’t working smoothly for everybody.
All canceled policies expire on Jan. 1, so those families are now scrambling to find a new one by the deadline of Dec. 23. So are those who were uninsured to begin with, which leaves a huge backlog.
“To get 5 million people — who have received individual cancellations in the last couple months — signed up by Dec. 23, you have to run through the system well over 200,000 people per day for those 23 days in December,” said James Capretta, with the Ethics and Public Policy Center. “So is the website really capable of handling 200,000 sign ups just to handle the individual cancellations?”
But the pre-Christmas crush isn’t the only problem. The federal government hasn’t built the software to accurately tell insurance companies who has actually enrolled. One report says up to one third of the enrollments since Oct. 1 have errors, so people may think they have coverage when they do not.
In fact, officials say the software to make that work correctly hasn’t even been built yet.
No wonder Obama is selling this piece of [bleep] like Billy Mays on a cocaine-fueled high.
Oops. Sorry, Billy.
PS: Could any pitchman get away with this?
Nineteen people stood behind President Obama on stage in the Executive Office Building Tuesday as the president kicked off a new campaign to promote Obamacare. One of those people, a young Florida woman named Monica Weeks, introduced Obama after telling the story of being struck with Crohn’s Disease at age 19 and receiving expensive treatments for several years that were covered by her parents’ health care plan — because Obamacare allowed her to remain on that plan until age 26. Now, Weeks said, she has coverage through a job. “The Affordable Care Act gives young adults who are just starting their careers more time to find a good job that offers reliable health insurance,” Weeks said.
There were 18 other people standing with Weeks and the president on stage. Obama began his remarks by saying, “Thanks to Monica, thanks to everybody standing behind me.” A little later, criticizing Republicans who have pronounced Obamacare a failure, the president said, “I would advise them to check with the people who are here today and the people that they represent all across the country whose lives have been changed for the better by the Affordable Care Act.”
But Obama never said who those people were, and, unlike other events, the White House did not release their names or biographies. A spokesman later said the White House would not provide the information. A pool report called the group “19 individuals whom the White House said benefited from health care reform.” Beyond that, their connection to Obamacare remains unknown.
The last time Obama gathered everyday Americans to stand behind him as he delivered remarks on Obamacare turned into something of an embarrassment for the White House. It was Oct. 21, during the worst of the Obamacare website’s dysfunction, and the White House wanted to showcase people who had successfully navigated the system. The problem was, the brief biographies of those on stage — biographies released by the White House — showed that they had had the briefest and barest of interactions with the health care plan. One was said to have “used healthcare.gov to process his application and is waiting for the options for potential plans.” Another was said to be “planning to enroll after he explores his coverage options on the D.C. exchange.” And yet another was said to be planning “to comparison-shop for the best plan that meets her budget and needs.” They weren’t exactly success stories.
Pretty much no one they’ve trotted out has been as advertised. It’s fraud. A prison cell could hold Obama’s body (such a perfect specimen as it is), but I don’t think the entire island of Alcatraz could hold his chutzpah and ego. (Though Australia was a penal colony once, wasn’t it?)