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This past Tuesday was supposed to be the Grand Opening for ObamaCare's health insurance exchanges. Their digital doors would be thrown open triumphantly, and countless thousands would stampede through the gates, racing to grab their shiny, new, government-approved health care like it was the newest iPhone.
These exchanges are supposed to function as sort of like for insurance what kayak.com is for travel sites: a convenient, one-stop website where you can purchase your expensive, government approved health insurance in order to avoid being fined (ahem, I meant "taxed").
Instead, the exchanges lifted off with all of the spectacular ineptitude of a North Korean missile test.
Both the state-run exchange websites and the federal ones (for states which chose not to participate) experienced major glitches. President Obama tried to laugh off the early malfunctions by declaring them proof that ObamaCare was so popular they just couldn't handle all the traffic.
But the problems went beyond a mere internet traffic jam. In several states (and, ironically, Washington D.C.), prices aren't being displayed for the plans on the exchange, and a multitude of other technical glitches caused frustrated potential customers to be unable to finish their applications.
If you need a better example of how poorly ObamaCare's launch went yesterday, check out this report by an MSNBC reporter, who gives up on demonstrating her state's exchange after 35 minutes of error messages and futile support calls:
Do you suppose that now President Obama is thinking that a delay of the law doesn't sound so bad?
Remember, the administration has had three and a half years to meet the October 1st deadline, so one would think that the federal exchange sites, at least, ought to work.
HHS will eventually iron the biggest glitches out of the exchanges (probably), but the fact remains that the agency that took three years to launch a website that still doesn't work is going to be in charge of your health care. A private company would never tolerate this kind of incompetence -- but, hey, it's good enough for government work, right?
And if ObamaCare isn't delayed or defunded, just wait until the premium subsidies start flowing on January 1st! With the government not certain that it can verify everyone's income levels in the exchanges, the fraud should begin immediately.