October 17th, 2013
09:17 PM ET
11 months ago

Congressional fight over Obamacare turns to website woes

(CNN) - The deal ending the shutdown may not have put a dent in Obamacare, but the battle over implementing the health coverage law is not over.

One venue that Republicans are turning to for leverage, starting next week: oversight hearings, beginning with some tough questions about why the rollout of the website for enrolling in health care exchanges is having so many problems.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Kathleen Sebelius • Obamacare
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit wrote:

    Pointing out that there are REASONS for the troubles it encountered and what those REASONS are does not equate with "making excuses."
    -----------------
    I see your distinction, but when there is no excuse for the problems, then citing the reasons becomes making excuses.

    October 18, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Tony

    The government shutdown has been a bigger disaster for the GOP than Obamacare. Whatever effects Obamacare has, it does not tank the GOP's poll numbers like the government shutdown.

    October 18, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. freedom

    The biggest critics of Obamacare have always been, are now, and will always be – the American people. Democrats will fall victim to its atrocities just like everyone else – unless you're protected in one of the president's special interest groups, that is.

    October 18, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. tom l.

    You know what would have been great yesterday during President Obama's campaign rally speech....errrrrrr press briefing?

    When he was talking about how Americans are fed up with Washington DC, it would have been so cool for him to say something like "People are rightfully fed up with Washington and the tone and disfunction. I, as the President, must take some responsibility for that tone. I'm the President. It's my job to bring the parties together. These aren't easy times and we have different opinions but we are all Americans. As the leader of the country, I take some responsibility for the disfunction and I'm going to work to make sure this doesn't continue"

    Instead, he tells us how it's Democrats and "some responsibile Repbulicans".... He just can't stop. Always has to blame.

    October 18, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Sniffit
    I can understand that when the ACA was written it was thought that ALL states would have their own exchanges, however the reality turned out to be quite different.
    So my question is: at the time that the website was contracted out to be built did they have knowledge of how many states had decided NOT to have their own exchanges? Because if they did they should've taken that into account in order to accommodate those inquiries.
    If they knew and didn't make allowances for it they can't use that as an excuse for the website not performing.
    They should've anticipated and prepared adequately.
    The fact is that they did not.
    I have no doubt however that it will be resolved tout suit.

    October 18, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l.

    You know what would have been great yesterday during President Obama's campaign rally speech....errrrrrr press briefing?

    When he was talking about how Americans are fed up with Washington DC, it would have been so cool for him to say something like "People are rightfully fed up with Washington and the tone and disfunction. I, as the President, must take some responsibility for that tone. I'm the President. It's my job to bring the parties together. These aren't easy times and we have different opinions but we are all Americans. As the leader of the country, I take some responsibility for the disfunction and I'm going to work to make sure this doesn't continue"

    Instead, he tells us how it's Democrats and "some responsibile Repbulicans".... He just can't stop. Always has to blame
    ********************
    The "Democrats and "some responsible Republicans" are the only ones interested in governing. Cruz is only interested in ideological purity tests and fundraising. Yet again, giving the GOP a pass, you just can't stop, can you?

    October 18, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wake up
    I'm with you on the "hacking" theory. I too would not put it past them.
    Let us not forget that these were the same "fiscally conservative" people that without missing a beat nor blinking their eyes shutdown our government at a cost of $24 BILLION DOLLARS that we taxpayers are on the hook for. And they did this reckless act in order to force the President to defund Obamacare.
    Yes they hate him and it that much.
    And I do believe that they will go to ANY lengths to prove their point that government is broken and so is Obamacare even if they have to break it themselves.

    October 18, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    freedom wrote:

    The biggest critics of Obamacare have always been, are now, and will always be – the American people.
    -------------------–
    "Corporations are people, too, my friend." And, they are the only out there that understand the bill and still dislike it. An interesting survey was taken recently. It found that far more people disliked "Obamacare" than people who disliked the "Affordable Care Act". Jimmy Kimmel recently filmed a skit interviewing people on the street, asking which law that they liked or disliked. People were overwhelming in favor of the "Affordable Care Act", while most disliked "Obamacare."

    October 18, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    I don't think right wingnuts realize that the $25 billion they cost us with their hissy fit, and the additional $25 billion to get us back o where we were on Sept. 30, is one twentieth of a trillion that will be added to the national debt on their behalf.

    October 18, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. Tampa Tim

    In FL, we have Rick Scott Care. It's a lot like death panels. Wish he hadn't opposed Obamacare.

    October 18, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Sniffit
    I can understand that when the ACA was written it was thought that ALL states would have their own exchanges, however the reality turned out to be quite different.
    So my question is: at the time that the website was contracted out to be built did they have knowledge of how many states had decided NOT to have their own exchanges? Because if they did they should've taken that into account in order to accommodate those inquiries.
    ------------------
    It has been reported that the Candian contractor was signed on in November 2011. Most all of the red state governers had already declared that they would not be participating. Since that time, quite a number of red state governers have had a change of heart, and are now participating in their own exchanges.

    The estimated load should have decreased since the contract was signed, not increased because of red states not participating. If the web masters or the people who specified the system couldn't figure that out, then they are quacks, IMO.

    October 18, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "So my question is: at the time that the website was contracted out to be built did they have knowledge of how many states had decided NOT to have their own exchanges? Because if they did they should've taken that into account in order to accommodate those inquiries."

    I can't answer that completely. It's a good question and one of the legitimate questions to ask during a hearing (setting aside my expectation that this will be turned into a complete circus by the GOP for political purposes). The problem was that the ACA was written assuming most states would act in good faith and do it. It set aside a certain budget for picking up their slack, helping them accomplish it, or maybe having to set up a federal exchange for 2 or 3 states that refused. Instead, 26 states refused for political reasons. The specific budget suddenly became too small and, because you might as well try to squeeze blood from a stone as get the GOP/Teatrolls to cooperate and help fix any problems, there was no way to get more money for it other than dipping into the general funds of the ACA. Then what? Did they have to go with cheaper consultants, try to cut corners, take a contract bid from a less reputable and capable firm? As they say: the sheisse rolls downhill. How much did the situation that was created generate a snowball effect that EVERYONE is responsible for...some on purpose and some despite their good faith efforts?

    And again, I'm not saying anything is an excuse. Understanding that things were made vastly more complicated than expected or than they needed to be...and that people acted with the intention of creating that problem but are now running around pretending they didn't...that goes to the credibility and bias of their criticisms and the demagoguery we're about to witness in the hearings. "Oh, haha, we tried to screw you up and succeeded, but it's all your fault for not compensating well enough for everything we did to screw you up." That's a patently unfair an dishonest position to take.

    October 18, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. Tampa Tim

    Tom L – I hope I don't upset you, but the the baggers cheered the shutdown, cost us almost $50 billion, and have promised to do it again in hopes of creating another Great Depression. The president thanked those who helped bring a resolution to Boehner's Folly. I don't think he mentioned the domestic terrorists by name, so blame is stretch.

    October 18, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. Name Uche Agonsi

    What a way to appraise and pass judgement on a top government official like Sec. Sebelius. The Repubs have not yet investigated the web site problem of Obamacare. Already they have started calling for the Sec's removal. These Republicans are as strange as their judgement.

    October 18, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. Jeff Frank (R-ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Direct Hit Into the Frank: Don't you find it amazing how people hire felons, to put in charge of others.

    October 18, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "I see your distinction, but when there is no excuse for the problems, then citing the reasons becomes making excuses."

    No it doesn't. It becomes part of understanding "how we got here" so that we can do a better job fixing it and avoiding it in the future. Is it an "excuse" that Bush's wars and tax cuts are STILL the largest contributing factors to the national deficit and debt? No. It's a reason. And understanding it helps us understand what is necessary to fix the problem. Calling it an "excuse" is dismissive and nothing more than a call for people to ignore the causes of the problem.

    October 18, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. Wake up People!

    That's exactly what I think Dominican Mama. They have outwardly shown they are willing to do anything to stop the ACA and the POTUS. At this point the only member of the GOP that I would halfway believe would be Colin Powell. And I'll take whatever he says with a grain of salt.

    @Lynda.

    I won't let them do it to me Lynda. I wasn't raised to hate. Also, did I tell you I have a white daughter?? LOL. She's my daughters best friend and I love her to pieces. Our families get along great. She calls me Ma and I call her my daughter.

    October 18, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. ST

    Folks, let us all be realistic. Who has been thinking that enrolling millions and millions of people for the first programme ever would go smoothly, as if you are dealing with 100 people? That is quite impossible. Blaming. blaming thats human nature , BUT we should think first before placing our blames to someone.

    October 18, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. Me

    The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l.

    You know what would have been great yesterday during President Obama's campaign rally speech....errrrrrr press briefing?

    When he was talking about how Americans are fed up with Washington DC, it would have been so cool for him to say something like "People are rightfully fed up with Washington and the tone and disfunction. I, as the President, must take some responsibility for that tone. I'm the President. It's my job to bring the parties together. These aren't easy times and we have different opinions but we are all Americans. As the leader of the country, I take some responsibility for the disfunction and I'm going to work to make sure this doesn't continue"

    Instead, he tells us how it's Democrats and "some responsibile Repbulicans".... He just can't stop. Always has to blame
    ********************
    The "Democrats and "some responsible Republicans" are the only ones interested in governing. Cruz is only interested in ideological purity tests and fundraising. Yet again, giving the GOP a pass, you just can't stop, can you?
    _________________________
    No Tom, I don't think he is giving the GOP a pass, I have heard a few GOP (yes only a few) take responsibility and say it was a winless fight but does the president accept any responsibility or any Dem for that matter?? Of course not and never will if history is followed!! Bottom line, it is the president's JOB to LEAD and he is failing miserably at it! I would have MUCH MORE respect for him if he did exactly what Tom L suggested but instead he pushes blame to anyone but where it belongs, himself!!! I am no fan of Clinton but he was at least able to work together and bring the country together, all Obama has done is divide America!

    October 18, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. rs

    tom l.

    You know what would have been great yesterday during President Obama's campaign rally speech....errrrrrr press briefing?

    When he was talking about how Americans are fed up with Washington DC, it would have been so cool for him to say something like "People are rightfully fed up with Washington and the tone and disfunction. I, as the President, must take some responsibility for that tone. I'm the President. It's my job to bring the parties together. These aren't easy times and we have different opinions but we are all Americans. As the leader of the country, I take some responsibility for the disfunction and I'm going to work to make sure this doesn't continue"

    Instead, he tells us how it's Democrats and "some responsibile Repbulicans".... He just can't stop. Always has to blame.
    ____________________________
    Gee Tom, unless Mr. Obama joined Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell and the pinheads of the TP in January 2009 in pledging to make himself a one-term President, I fail to see how he is in an equal fashion guilty for the dysfunctionand obstruction in government. The GOP after all has the anti-government TEA Party, 460 (or so filibusters to its credit, blocked appointments, the crazy, irrational Birthers, and ultimately the ability to blow $billions in their witch hunt. All the President has done is show the GOP for what it is.
    I think you are being utterly irrational here- why can't the GOP admit to it's little attempted coup?

    October 18, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. Me

    And to add to my previous post, it was the leaders in the GOP that admited and accepted blame for the winless fight but no liberals will!

    October 18, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit

    "I see your distinction, but when there is no excuse for the problems, then citing the reasons becomes making excuses."

    No it doesn't. It becomes part of understanding "how we got here" so that we can do a better job fixing it and avoiding it in the future. Is it an "excuse" that Bush's wars and tax cuts are STILL the largest contributing factors to the national deficit and debt? No. It's a reason. And understanding it helps us understand what is necessary to fix the problem. Calling it an "excuse" is dismissive and nothing more than a call for people to ignore the causes of the problem.
    ----------------------------–
    I don't agree with your false equivalence. The Bush administration knew going in that they would create massive deficits. Cheney said deficits don't matter, and Bush made speech to the nation apologizing for turning a surplus into a deficit. They knew going in what the problems were, but chose to ignore them as if they didn't exist.

    Similarly, the future problems should have been properly intuited based on the data at hand in November, 2011. Someone dropped the ball, and failed to pay attention to the real world. It's either a case of severe incompetence, or willful ignorance. No one can be this stupid not to forsee the traffic volume, but then again the Canadian government did fire the same contractor for exactly that a year ago, incompetence.

    October 18, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "Tom L – I hope I don't upset you, but the the baggers cheered the shutdown, cost us almost $50 billion, and have promised to do it again in hopes of creating another Great Depression.

    And, because they didn't get what they wanted, they're now rallying around the promise to kill any immigration reform even though the Senate has passed a bill that contains all sorts of extreme measures to beef up border security as they demanded. It's the classic "oh yeah, well you wouldn't negotiate with us, so now we're not going to negotiate with you *sticks out tongue*....let's see how you like it." Please proceed, GOPers/Teatrolls...the Hispanic community is watching. OUTREACH!!!

    October 18, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  24. Data Driven

    @tom l,

    "(Obama) always has to blame ..."

    Because it's the other side's fault. Dems didn't shut down the government; seditious GOPhers did. Bam!

    October 18, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    "And understanding it helps us understand what is necessary to fix the problem. Calling it an "excuse" is dismissive and nothing more than a call for people to ignore the causes of the problem."

    I agree, Sniffit. Then again, I am of the age that I started my secretarial career typing on an old manual Remington (using carbon copies for duplicates). Therefore, trying to understand the complexities of the Intertubes is well beyond my knowledge. Perhaps more insight should have been brainstormed prior to the rollout, and I absolutely agree that understanding what is necessary to fix the problem ... and thus actually FIX the problem ... should be goal #1.

    Does this warrant a Congressional hearing? I very much think not.

    October 18, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6