Technical problems in the federally-run health insurance exchange in Texas are not the fault of some temporary “glitches” that can be easily fixed; they are the predictable result of the entire ObamaCare system and its underlying ideology.
The problems began in the planning phase, when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) assumed the role of coordinating each component of the website development, despite having no experience managing such a complex process. After delaying detailed instructions to contractors, missing deadlines, and micromanaging, the Obama administration nevertheless insisted upon hitting the October 1st deadline, which resulted in the now-infamousnon-opening of the exchanges.
Delivering a colossal-scale task into the hands of an inept federal bureaucracy compromised quality. But the agency’s political agenda also got in the way.
CMS knowingly endorsed a critical feature of the exchange website: the requirement that applicants submit personal information and sign-up before they could even view insurance plans and rates. Although Texas’ rates are lower than the national average, this conscious decision to hide the numbers belies the administration’s knowledge that rates would be higher in most states. For example, the price for a catastrophic plan for a 27-year-old in Texas sky rockets by 158 percent under ObamaCare, and premiums for other age groups escalate by similarly alarming margins.
But by forcing potential-enrollees to first relinquish income information, the exchanges could present post-subsidy rates, cloaking higher costs in a shroud of tax credits for those eligible for government-funded relief.
The website’s obfuscation reflects the crux of the system: it requires the participation of young, healthy people. At the current rate of enrollment, healthcare.gov will have only 2 million participants—5 million short of the number the administration has said it needs to keep the program afloat.
This illustrates another intrinsic flaw in the system: shifting the financial burden from older, sicker people with high health care costs to young, healthy Americans who rarely go to the doctor. With subsidies, some low-income individuals and families might get affordable care, but everyone else looking for exchange coverage is about to discover a government website designed to hide the true cost of the insurance it requires Americans to buy. That’s assuming, of course, they get the site up and running sometime soon.