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WSJ: Obamacare Website a 'Catastrophe'

Image: WSJ: Obamacare Website a 'Catastrophe' Ricardo Mola of Miami speaks with an Obamacare counselor on Oct. 2 after unsuccessfully trying to enroll for insurance online.

By Dan Weil   |   Thursday, 17 Oct 2013 12:14 PM

The launch of the Obamacare insurance exchanges has turned into an unmitigated disaster, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial.

"The White House set low expectations for the Affordable Care Act's October 1 debut, so anything remotely competent should have seemed like a success," the Journal stated Thursday.

"But three weeks on, the catastrophe that is Healthcare.gov and the 36 insurance exchanges run by the federal government is an insult to the 'glitches' President Obama said were inevitable."

Editor's Note: 22 Hidden Taxes and Fees Set to Hit You With Obamacare. Read the Guide to Protect Yourself.

The problem isn't merely coding errors or the Health and Human Service (HHS) Department's standard incompetence, the editorial said.

"The failures that have all but disabled Obamacare are the result of deliberate political choices, which HHS and the White House are compounding with secrecy and stonewalling."

Warnings abounded that the exchanges weren't ready for prime time before their commencement, but the Journal said those were ignored.

"The launch has been worse even than critics predicted. The rare users who weren't locked out experienced crashes, delays and error messages."

"The department simply dumped a bad product on the public to meet a self-created deadline," the editorial continued, noting that the while finally admitting to problems, HHS "still refuses to disclose how much taxpayers shelled out for this exchange lemon."

The newspaper criticized HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for also refusing to reveal "basic data about Obamacare enrollment, even as she brags about the millions of people who have supposedly visited Healthcare.gov."

"Mrs. Sebelius claims she doesn't know the answers and that the government will pull such information together in November. Given the farce so far, it makes sense that the CEO of Obamacare can't or isn't monitoring its day-to-day operations. But this claim is almost certainly false," the Journal said.

The editorial concluded that "a useful act of contrition" would be for Sebelius and other HHS officials to resign, "or failing that, to beg Congress for a year delay to clean up their wreckage."

Editor's Note: 22 Hidden Taxes and Fees Set to Hit You With Obamacare. Read the Guide to Protect Yourself.

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