ChrisWeigant.com

President Obama On Obamacare Rollout Problems

[ Posted Monday, October 21st, 2013 – 17:03 PDT ]

President Obama today addressed the problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act's website... kind of. He tried refocusing media attention from just the website's problems, and he promised that the problems would be fixed. But he didn't actually admit what those problems were. Today, to be fair and evenhanded, we're going to take a look at the president's statement extolling the good things his signature healthcare reform law has accomplished, as well as the bad things he couldn't quite bring himself to talk about in detail.

President Obama spoke for roughly a half an hour on the subject, by the official transcript. He fully admitted that the federal website has been plagued with problems. He tried to refocus attention on the benefits of "Obamacare" itself (rather than the problems), saying repeatedly "the Affordable Care Act is not just a website." It is likely that little of this will get through to the American public, because the media will focus on Obama's admission of website problems, perhaps best exemplified by a letter he read at the end of his address, which contained the line: "Yes, the website really stank for the first week."

Obama's approach today was to admit the website problems, promise they would be fixed as fast as humanly possibly, but also to make some valid points that the media has been ignoring for years. The first was to remind people of the benefits of Obamacare which have nothing to do with the website -- the end of "pre-existing conditions," better prescription drug coverage for seniors, young adults allowed to stay on their parents' insurance, preventative care, and all the rest. The president also focused on the savings many Americans would be seeing -- the "really stank" letter was from a self-employed guy who would see a reduction in his monthly insurance costs from $1,600 to $692 -- a savings of over ten thousand dollars per year. This is why Obama kept trying to separate the affordability of the insurance itself from the website problems, obviously. Obama pointed out that there is a phone number to call to sign up on the exchanges if the website is having problems, and the website was reportedly changed over the weekend to prominently feature this call number on the site itself, which may help. Obama promised that people who have tried to apply through the website and gotten stuck will be personally contacted to help complete their application process -- which is also an important message for a frustrated public to hear right now.

Obama's most important point -- again, one that will likely be ignored by the media -- was to compare the new exchanges with what they were designed to replace:

[W]e've actually made the overall process of buying insurance through the marketplace a lot smoother and easier than the old way of buying insurance on your own. Part of the challenge here is that a lot of people may not remember what it's like to buy insurance the traditional way. The way we've set it up, there are no more absurdly long application forms. There's no medical history questionnaire that goes on for pages and pages. There's no more getting denied because you've had a pre-existing condition. Instead of contacting a bunch of different insurers one at a time, ... there's one single place you can go shop and compare plans that have to compete for your business. There's one single phone number you can call for help.

Those were the informative things Obama's address today covered. But what was missing from his speech were any specifics on why the website stank so badly. The first part of fixing any problem is identifying what is going wrong, after all. Obama did pledge that some talented people were now joining in the effort to fix the website:

[W]e are doing everything we can possibly do to get the websites working better, faster, sooner. We've got people working overtime, 24/7, to boost capacity and address the problems. Experts from some of America's top private-sector tech companies -- who, by the way, have seen things like this happen before -- they want it to work. They're reaching out. They're offering to send help. We've had some of the best I.T. talent in the entire country join the team. And we're well into a "tech surge" to fix the problem. And we are confident that we will get all the problems fixed.

All fine and good. But, once again, the problems were not really specified, beyond the obvious problem of the extremely high interest from the public which has been slowing the site down with traffic overloads. Other problems were only hinted at -- the closest Obama came to admitting them was "the number of people who have visited the site has been overwhelming, which has aggravated some of these underlying problems." The underlying problems were never named, though.

Technologically speaking, the "sheer volume" problem should have been the easiest to fix. Any web-oriented software system like the exchange website is designed to run on multiple servers. Servers are the machines you communicate with when you read any website. And all but the smallest websites rely on what is called "load balancing" so they can plug in two, five, a dozen, or hundreds of servers to handle whatever demand comes in. But the software doesn't really need to change (beyond updating a few files) to add more and more servers to the mix. It's a hardware problem, not a software problem, to put it another way. Just buy more servers, and then hook them up and get them up and running. Problem solved!

But then there are problems which have nothing to do with the load. If the website's only problem was too much demand, it likely would have been fixed by now. With nothing but leaks and rumors to go on currently (since Obama obviously didn't want to get bogged down in describing software bugs today), we have no idea of how critical these problems are to getting the website up to speed. All we can do at this point is make a few educated guesses.

From what I've heard in the tech community, there may be a design flaw that is exacerbating the traffic problem. If the system's design requires too much data to be sent back and forth to the user's website by inelegant use of code or just bad design, then the individual user probably wouldn't be affected too badly (it would contribute to slow browser response, but it wouldn't freeze the browser). The problem is that the bloat in the bandwidth necessary for one single user is then multiplied by the total number of current users -- which could indeed bring the entire system to a crawl, if badly designed. If the software is sending ten times the amount of data back and forth per user than it really needs to, then the system as a whole will only be able to handle ten percent of the load it optimally could. This may be one of those "underlying problems" Obama spoke of, and a rather large one.

There was one report that the insurance companies themselves are getting "bad data." The insurance companies are at the end of the signup process -- the Obamacare exchange website is nothing more than an intermediary or "marketplace"-- and if you buy insurance through it, eventually your data is sent to the insurance company you have selected (at least, that's the way it is supposed to work). But the "bad data" seems to all fall into a couple of categories. The first is repeat applications from the same person (or family). This is likely caused by people clicking the final "submit" button over and over again, in the hopes of getting through on a slow and unresponsive website. This should be a fairly easy problem to solve, though, by running checks on the incoming data to look for duplicates, before the final submittal. The second category of bad data is incomplete submissions, which, again, could be solved by automatically double-checking the application before it is submitted. The third category is more troublesome -- some insurers reported the wrong data in the wrong field of the form. Children listed as multiple spouses, for instance. This could either be a serious bug in the software (swapping fields around at random in the database, somehow), or it could be what is politely called "cockpit error" or "user error" by the software industry (you don't want to know the impolite terms they use, trust me...). Software bugs can be fixed, but you can only do so much, programmatically, to fix a user typing the wrong thing in the wrong field (to put it bluntly).

Most of these programmatic problems should not exist, of course. Software is supposed to be designed to double-check for multiple entries in the database. With all the personal information entered, this shouldn't have been too hard to design in to the system. The fact these problems exist shows that there were major failures in either the design, the coding, or the testing of the product. They can be fixed, but doing so is harder than just adding a few dozen servers.

The biggest problem in the system as designed, though, is that to get a quote on the Obamacare website, you have to fully sign up. You can't just go and browse and see what things cost, without entering in your own personal data. There was one troubling rumor that this may have been a political problem rather than a software problem.

Comparing the Obamacare exchange to any other online retailer -- as just about everyone has done -- isn't really a fair comparison. How many websites need to know your estimated income for next year, after all? But this shouldn't excuse what is a serious design flaw. And the flaw may exist because so few Americans understood how the exchange actually is supposed to work, and someone on some government committee decided that the only way to fix this was to force everyone to pre-enter their data before shopping around.

The Obamacare exchange is supposed to do one thing: show you prices for available insurance plans. This is already a complicated thing, though, because there are four levels of coverage available (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum). So, already, the user is faced with four categories -- with multiple entries per category (for each insurer's plan under each category). That's complex enough to begin with.

But if users just jumped onto the site, entered what state they live in, and were presented with these numbers, then many of them would not be seeing their actual cost. They would be seeing the total price of each plan, not what they would have to pay. The prices would not take into account the subsidies. And the subsidies are based upon income.

To state the problem more clearly: if Joe Sixpack could go to the Obamacare exchange site and start browsing after entering just what state he lived in, he might see prices which are a lot higher than what he'll actually have to pay out of his own pocket. This could lead to a monstrous amount of public confusion, and much bad press over "sticker shock." The news would be full of stories about Joe Sixpack seeing monthly prices of $500 and up for his health insurance. But Joe never entered his income before seeing this number -- if he had, he would have seen that he was eligible for a $425 monthly subsidy.

So the Obama administration decided to make it foolproof -- Joe would not start by seeing the price as "$500 per month," he instead would see the correct out-of-pocket price of only "$75 per month." This seems reasonable, on the face of it, because it avoids a whopping amount of confusion and false media stories about outrageous prices.

There are two things seriously wrong with the way the Obama folks went about this, though, at least if initial reports are to be believed. The first is that it shouldn't have been that hard to force the user to enter only the absolute minimum of information before being allowed to browse. This might include "scratch" (or "ballpark") fields for: number (and ages) of people in family to be covered, rough family income estimate, and the state of residence. That really should be enough to browse, and all prices could be clearly marked "these are estimates only -- final prices can only be shown when the registration form is completed, with specific income figures."

The second problem is the most worrisome, though. I heard an expert who seemed to have inside information about the website's technological woes speak on the news last week (which has to be considered "unconfirmed rumor" status, it bears pointing out) and he said an astounding thing. The decision to force people to fully register before shopping around was apparently made in late September, when the website's rollout was planned for the first of October.

That's just flat-out insane, if true. Ask anyone in Silicon Valley, they'll tell you.

This is a major part of the design of such a website -- how the user is allowed to navigate through the site's pages. If such a major redesign was demanded mere days from its rollout, then no freakin' wonder it has such problems. The other shocking claim made seemed to reinforce this jaw-dropping piece of idiocy, too -- that while the Health and Human Services Department contracted out the programming of the site, they kept in-house the product management of the entire program. It's really the only explanation for why they were even able to make such a stunning last-minute design change.

If true, this could be the core explanation for the failures of the website as a whole. Software project management is a very specialized field. When done by amateurs, chaos of one sort or another should be the only expected result, really. It would be like hiring the manager of Grand Central Station to be the captain of an aircraft carrier. Sure, both have to do with "transportation management" in a loose way, but the two are simply not equivalent.

If the problems the Obamacare site is experiencing were due to a lowest-bid contractor doing some awfully shoddy computer programming, then the federal government should announce it is suing the contractor for non-performance of the contract's specifications. But if the heart of the problem was that government bureaucrats had too much power over the project management of a gigantic and brand-new software system, then someone should be fired over at H.H.S. for not hiring an expert to guide the process.

The Obamacare website will eventually be fixed. Who, after all, remembers all the confusion when the Medicare prescription drug program was rolled out? Eventually, as Obama was clearly hoping for today, the problems will be solved and the Affordable Care Act will have to stand or fall on its own merits -- whether affordable care is indeed available to all Americans or not. No matter how big a bump in the road this seems now, it will in time be forgotten if the program itself is ultimately successful. But that shouldn't excuse finding out who was really responsible for such a disastrous rollout. Up to and including having some heads "roll out" the door as a result. If this had been a few minor problems in the first few days, it might have been excusable, but it's been three weeks now, folks, and someone really should be held accountable for the poor performance so far. Even if it was only the person who made the decision: "We'll just keep the project management itself in-house, what could possibly go wrong with that?"

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

67 Comments on “President Obama On Obamacare Rollout Problems”

  1. [1] 
    akadjian wrote:
  2. [2] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    Nice write up on the technical side. I'm computer literate myself, but I just don't have a real knowledge of computer science to understand this stuff without someone putting it in layman's terms. And omg last minutes changes? That decision must have made the programmers just weep in frustration.

    As to whether or not Obamacare is a "trainwreck," yes we hear you Michale. To soon to tell, the meat of the ACA is the plans it offers, it's products so to speak. Once they fix the bugs we'll be able to find out for sure. And yes I know some just really want to jump to conclusions. But the legacy of Obamacare won't be the rollout, it'll be how it operates in 2014, and that's what I'm waiting to see.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    As to whether or not Obamacare is a "trainwreck," yes we hear you Michale.

    No, apparently you DON'T hear me. None of you do..

    Which is why I have given up trying to bring reality to Weigantia.. Ya'all are firmly ensconced in your Obamabot world that no amount of logic or reason will reach any of you.

    Do you know how I know this to be true?

    Because if obamacare had rolled out flawlessly, ya'all would be giddy with excitement and screaming to the highest heavens how awesome obamacare is.

    I know ya'all would. YOU know ya'all would..

    So, this begs the question.

    If a grand and awesome and perfect rollout is indicative of how great and perfect obamacare is.....

    How is it that a total train wreck of a rollout is not indicative of how BAD obamacare is??

    You see what I mean about there is no logic here??

    The point here, the point that NONE of you want to concede, the point that CW himself made in the commentary above, is one of competence..

    Was the obamacare rollout handled competently??

    It's obvious to ANYONE not enslaved by politically ideology that the answer is 'NO'. The rollout was not competent in the least...

    But ya'all, because it's Obama, ya'all will extenuate and mitigate and ignore the facts up the ying yang, simply because you refuse to concede one obvious point.

    Obama is incompetent as a leader..

    And, since it is obvious that this one simple reality is a bridge too far for Weigantians, it's obvious that I am just banging my head against a wall trying to make the introductions between ya'all and reality...

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    it's obvious that I am just banging my head against a wall trying to make the introductions between ya'all and reality...

    Well, that explains quite a lot! I knew it had to be something ... :)

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, that explains quite a lot! I knew it had to be something ... :)

    Yea, it was..

    The total divorce from reality became complete when "Republicans are terrorists" became official policy...

    I mean, who can argue with THAT kind of delusion???

    Gods know I tried, but there is some crazy that just cannot be fixed...

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    but there is some crazy that just cannot be fixed...

    Indeed.

  7. [7] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I mean, who can argue with THAT kind of delusion???

    No one.

    Which is why you keep using it.

    It appears the only way you can be "right" these days is to make things up.

    -David

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    ?I mean, who can argue with THAT kind of delusion???

    No one.

    Which is why you keep using it.

    It appears the only way you can be "right" these days is to make things up

    Ex-squeeze me??

    Making things up???

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2013/10/04/friday-talking-points-276-shutdown-follies/

    Talking Point #7 was "Designate Republicans as a terrorist organization"

    This is as much "making things up" as I "made up" that ya'all were saying Republicans were solely and completely being blamed for the shut down..

    The point that was made clear in A Complete Timeline Of Republican Obstructionism On Budget Negotiations They Are Now Demanding

    Parts 1 and 2...

    I am not "making things up", David..

    This is what reality is.. This is what YA'ALL are doing...

    And, when I call you on it, I am accused of "making things up"...

    And you wonder why I have been scarce of late... Like I said, I can only try so hard to keep this place grounded in reality before even *I* give up.. If ya'all want to inhabit fantasy land where Democrats are always right and Republicans are always wrong.....

    Well, I can't keep ya'all in reality if ya'all simply refuse to acknowledge it...

    But, at least we agree that "NO ONE" can argue with the delusion that says Republicans Are Terrorists....

    That's something, I spose...

    MIchale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Further, how many times has some Weigantian posted this Republicans = Terrorist meme...

    DOZENS..

    Did you stand up and post that such a comparison was ridiculous???

    No...

    Did ANYONE stand up and comment that such a comparison was utterly contemptible??

    Besides me, not a single damn person...

    So, am I really "making things up"??

    Or am I just shining the cold light of FACTS in ya'all's eyes and ya'all just don't like it??

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    But hay.... I am nothing if not a fair guy..

    If you want to make an after-the-fact concession that comparing Republicans to terrorists is the most moronic and asinine comparison that one could every make???

    I'll be happy to, in your case, with draw my objections.. :D

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    I also find it fascinating how ya'all buy into the spin and don't even care about the reality..

    FIRST, the story was that the obamacare websites are working find and there aren't any problems..

    THEN we find out, "Oh yea, there are some minor issues, but that's just caused by the overwhelming numbers.." CW eloquently exposes THAT cock and bull story for the BS that it is..

    THEN we find out, "oh well, it's not really the number that the problem. There are some minor 'glitches'..."

    And... THEN... The current story is that there are some major base code issues and, if CW's source is to be believed (which all facts point towards he/she SHOULD be) there was some MAJOR screw-ups right at the outset...

    This is the IRS chain of events all over again..

    It goes from "Nothing Happening, Everything is fine" all the way thru to major screw-ups and incompetence...

    It all goes back to two things...

    Competence and Credibility...

    Team Obama has proven over and over again that they are SEVERELY wanting in the competence department..

    And in the credibility department??

    Well, all I can say is that ya'all buy into their BS hook, line and sinker..

    It's a new take on the same old religious fanaticism..

    "Obama said it! I believe it! That settles it!"

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    Welcome back Michale, I've missed your multiple post rants.

    As far as Republicans=Terrorists, it's obviously hyperbole. But since has name calling not been a part of the American system? I'm pretty sure Jefferson got referred to as the anti-christ. To say nothing else of all the other barbs thrown at parties and politicians throughout history. But you have to admit that some Republicans threatened to blow up the world economy if they didn't get conservative policy concessions. Hostage taking is the analogy there, and that's not terribly far from terrorism. Excessive? Maybe, but you reap what you sow. Both sides are guilty of name calling, right now it's the left that's calling the names.

    With regards to the website, it's mainly a difference of short term and long term effects. You think that since the website is buggy now, it will be buggy forever, therefore Obamacare is a trainwreck. I think it's buggy now, it'll get fixed, and then in 2014 we will get past interface issues and have the debate over whether or not the the products being offered are good. Ultimately this is an historical footnote, voters won't remember this in in 2014, just like they wont really remember the shutdown. The short term memory of the American public works both ways you see?

  13. [13] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    https://www.healthcare.gov/

    Why don't we all pop on over and take a look?

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    But since has name calling not been a part of the American system?

    Ahhh...

    So, since EVERYONE does it, it's OK...

    Seems to me Democrats were whining and crying about being called terrorist-sympathizers during the Bush years...

    And there are FACTS to support such claims...

    But thank you. You have proven my point so much more eloquently than I ever could.

    When Democrats do it, it's "part of the American system"...

    When Republicans do it, it's horrendous and unpatriotic..

    Once again, the power of the almight '-D' rears it's ugly head...

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.healthcare.gov/

    Why don't we all pop on over and take a look?

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/361887/enrollee-featured-healthcaregov-video-spent-three-days-trying-enroll-sterling-beard

    Because I don't have 3 days to waste to learn what is already obvious to anyone not enslaved by political ideology..

    obamacare is a trainwreck...

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why don't we all pop on over and take a look?

    Enrollee Featured in Healthcare.gov Video Spent Three Days Trying to Enroll

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/361887/enrollee-featured-healthcaregov-video-spent-three-days-trying-enroll-sterling-beard

    Because I don't have 3 days to waste to learn what is already obvious to anyone not enslaved by political ideology..

    obamacare is a trainwreck...

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    As far as Republicans=Terrorists, it's obviously hyperbole.

    I am also constrained to point out that, if it makes it to a Weigantian Talking Point, it is FAR from "hyperbole"...

    It's as close as it can come to the official Democrat position w/o actually being an official Democrat position...

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    So you refuse to see for yourself, and I'm the one enslaved by ideology?

  19. [19] 
    Paula wrote:

    Hi Chris:

    Josh Marshall posted this at TPM: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/misunderstanding-the-problem
    which makes sense to me.

    As described, the front end of the Healthcare.gov website is pretty solid, the problem is that the back end has to interact with a bunch of other websites/databases which vary in quality and "up-to-date-ness". The problems, per this fellow, don't lie with the federal site, but with sites feeding into the federal site.

    That may help explain why some people are sailing through and others run into hiccups -- it may depend on where you live and from whom you're trying to get quotes.

    And solving some of the problems may be out of the hands of the federal site --

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    YoYo,

    So you refuse to see for yourself, and I'm the one enslaved by ideology?

    What, exactly, am I refusing to see??

    From where I sit, it's ya'all who are refusing to see the facts of the abysmal obamacare rollout..

    It's ya'all who are refusing to acknowledge how bad things are.

    It's ya'all who are refusing to see how low ya'all have sunk by referring to Republicans as "terrorists" over a political dispute.. What's next?? You are going to call the Right "worse than Hitler"???

    What exactly am *I* refusing to see??

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/dem-rep-uses-burning-cross-spell-tea-party_764510.html#

    Another example of why Democrats simply CANNOT claim the moral high ground....

    Iddn't it funny how more and more on the Left are acting EXACTLY as they accuse the Right of acting...

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thousands Of Consumers Get Insurance Cancellation Notices Due To Health Law Changes
    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2013/October/21/cancellation-notices-health-insurance.aspx

    Oh yea.... obamacare is great for EVERYONE!!!!

    Once again... Democrats get a win...

    The American middle class gets scrooed...

    Party uber alles....

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    according to reuters, about 15 million people have tried to sign up for the exchanges, and so far only half a million have succeeded. if those numbers can't be improved, we're going to have problems.

    tea party demands for a full year delay still seem excessive, much less the tactics they employed in their attempts to achieve that end. however, perhaps giving the mandate at least an extra month or two would be advisable so there's ample time for the tech experts to de-bug the system. further, each successive stage of the process is bound to have other glitches, from the subsidies to the insurance companies and all the way to the tax forms. to borrow a star trek term, maybe there should be a sort of "neutral zone" during that time period (january through... march?), where the exchanges are open but the mandate is not yet enforced. i know it seems like a slippery slope, but it seems silly to shorten the realistic sign-up period to two weeks.

    thoughts?

    JL

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.atr.org/carney-ducks-obamacare-questions-walks-press-a7947

    What happened to transparency???

    It was vapor-ware.... Pure and simple...

    Michale...

  25. [25] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Talking Point #7 was "Designate Republicans as a terrorist organization"

    Fair enough. Thanks for pointing out what you were referring to Michale.

    I personally would disagree with CW on this point and took your comment personally.

    My apologies. My response came out of anger.

    -David

  26. [26] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Jon Stewart's commentary about the bugs w/ the website is pretty funny ...

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-october-21-2013/the-weakest-link---a-few-glitches

    Warning: Contains Tron, Matrix, Pacman, & Mario Brothers references

    :)

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    thoughts?

    Any delay talk is going to make the Democrats look like morons and the Republicans look like heroes of the hour...

    And rightly so...

    THAT is exactly what comes from adopting a "NO NEGOTIATION" mentality on an issue that BEGS for negotiation....

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    I personally would disagree with CW on this point and took your comment personally.

    It's not just CW who made the comment...

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Republican+terrorists+chrisweigant.com&oq=Republican+terrorists+chrisweigant.com&aqs=chrome..69i57.10082j0j8&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8

    And it's not just "terrorist"..

    "Hostage-taker", "arsonist" and "extortionist" have all been labels applied by Democrats on Republicans..

    I doubt you will find ANY Weigantian (save 2 or 3) who won't agree that Republicans are terrorists.

    And it's THAT mentality that is the problem...

    Republicans are simply fellow Americans who have different political beliefs...

    Is it REALLY productive to demonize them in the manner the Left has stooped to the last months???

    How can you expect people to meet ya'all half way when the Left, as a movement, refers to them as criminals and worse???

    I'm just sayin'.....

    Ya'all pooh-poohed when I used the term Economic Terrorism...

    Now it seems the Left has co-opted the idea for their own use..

    I guess I should feel flattered.... :D

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Any delay talk is going to make the Democrats look like morons and the Republicans look like heroes of the hour...

    that's one possibility. another possibility is that it will make democrats look more reasonable and republicans look like morons for using ridiculously high pressure tactics, shutting down the government and costing the US GDP 24 billion dollars, all to lobby for something that was going to happen anyway.

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    another possibility is that it will make democrats look more reasonable and republicans look like morons for using ridiculously high pressure tactics, shutting down the government and costing the US GDP 24 billion dollars, all to lobby for something that was going to happen anyway.

    Two problems with your theory..

    1. Hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20

    and

    B. There is no guarantee that Democrats, who have invested so much in obamacare and it's NO DELAY mentality, will see reason and allow the delay...

    Considering the performance of the White House today, it's looking like that is going to be what will occur...

    This will bring an interesting conundrum to Weigantians..

    Ya'all are on record as being completely and unequivocally against any sort of delay...

    Will ya'all, now, JOIN Republicans in lobbying for a delay???

    Yea... About the same time that monkeys fly outta my butt....

    Party Uber Alles.....

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    and republicans look like morons for using ridiculously high pressure tactics,

    Consider this..

    Democrats resisted such high pressure tactics and allowed the government to shut down over something that Democrats end up doing anyways...

    WHO looks like morons???

    You see how it works???

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Paula wrote:

    Say Michale: is this real? Or do you think its a scam?
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/10/21/was-obamacare-guinea-pig/

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Say Michale: is this real? Or do you think its a scam?

    Are all the negative reports a scam??

    Are all the glitches real???

    Are all the heartbreak and cancelled policies a figment of the imagination???

    For every GOOD report you can point to, I can point to a DOZEN or more negative reports.

    So, let me turn your question around.

    Are they ALL real??? Are they all a scam???

    As an aside...

    You quote FOX NEWS!!????

    Aren't you the one who said that NOTHING from Fox News can be believed???

    What gives???

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    For the record, I am not the one who is claiming NO ONE is being helped by obamacare..

    It's YA'ALL who are claiming that no one is being HURT by obamacare..

    And that is simply and flat out bullshit.....

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    I don't think Republicans are terrorists. I think large portions of the Republican party are staggeringly ignorant, and also you shouldn't try to hold smokey the bear hostage. That's some seriously dumb tactics right there.

  36. [36] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Republicans are simply fellow Americans who have different political beliefs.

    Sure. The Republican party also decided to use their minority to shutdown the government and issue demands to end the ACA. Once their demands had been met they would then re-open the government.

    Sorry, Michale. Though terrorist is too far for me, their actions do fit with "hostage taker".

    A hostage is a person or entity which is held by one of two belligerent parties to the other or seized as security for the carrying out of an agreement, or as a preventive measure against certain acts of war. In contemporary usage, it means someone who is seized by an abductor in order to compel another party such as a relative, employer, law enforcement, or government to act, or refrain from acting, in a particular way, often under threat of serious physical harm to the hostage(s) after expiration of an ultimatum.

    Now do I think everyday Republicans wanted these actions. Of course not. Many of them didn't. Which is why the Republican party is so popular right now.

    If the Democratic party acted in the same fashion, I would call them 'hostage takers' too.

    Sometimes a spade is a spade.

    -David

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    YoYo,

    I don't think Republicans are terrorists.

    Yet you don't speak out when they are called terrorists..

    Silence gives assent....

    . I think large portions of the Republican party are staggeringly ignorant, and also you shouldn't try to hold smokey the bear hostage. That's some seriously dumb tactics right there.

    I really can't disagree with you..

    BUT...

    I could say the same thing about Democrats. And have done so on many occasions. :D

    David,

    Sure. The Republican party also decided to use their minority to shutdown the government and issue demands to end the ACA. Once their demands had been met they would then re-open the government.

    Sure. The Democratic Party also decided to use their majority to shutdown the government and issue demands to keep the ACA. Once their demands had been met, they would then re-open the government.

    If the Democratic party acted in the same fashion, I would call them 'hostage takers' too.

    Bullshit..

    Are you saying that the Democratic Party had NEVER used their minority status to hold the government hostage???

    It's called POLITICS, David..

    Not hostage taking..

    That's the point ya'all miss..

    Democrats do the exact same things for the exact same reasons. Yet ya'all don't have a problem when THAT happens, do you??

    You bitched and moaned about a GOP POTUS who wiretaps Americans and invade Americans privacy..

    But when a DEM POTUS does all that and so much worse, ya'all are completely and utterly silent..

    THAT's the problem here...

    The same tactics you decry when committed by the GOP, you applaud and encourage when committed by Democrats..

    You didn't have a problem with the NAACP taking hostages and committing economic terrorism over the confederate flag issue??

    Why not???

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    All I am asking for is a little consistency here, people...

    Apparently, it's simply too much to ask..

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The Democratic Party also decided to use their majority to shutdown the government and issue demands to keep the ACA.

    The ACA is law.

    There's a process for laws. It's called electing members to Congress and passing legislation.

    The ACA went through this process. It was also upheld by a conservative Supreme Court.

    One party didn't like this and decided that the normal process wasn't working for them. They decided to shutdown the government and issue demands. Then, when their demands weren't popular, they issued some new demands. This party was the Republican party.

    Sorry, Michale. But this "both sides are to blame" false equivalence doesn't work when you look at what happened.

    I now return you to your regularly scheduled Lefty liberal raging.

    -David

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    The ACA is law.

    Is it??

    Then Obama broke "the law" when he issued the Corporate Crony Mandate Delay...

    So, is "the law" sacrosanct or is it not??

    Sorry, Michale. But this "both sides are to blame" false equivalence doesn't work when you look at what happened.

    I didn't say "both sides are to blame", although they are.

    I said "both sides do it".. Apparently you don't have an argument for THAT because you changed the subject. :D

    I'll accept that as your concession.. :D

    I now return you to your regularly scheduled Lefty liberal raging.

    As opposed to the Righty conservative raging??

    Once again, it works both ways.. :D

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sorry, Michale. But this "both sides are to blame" false equivalence doesn't work when you look at what happened.

    But, since you WANT to talk about blame......

    So, what you are saying is that it's ALL the Republicans fault..

    Strange. A couple days ago you stated, in all caps mind you, that you are NOT saying that...

    So, which is it.

    Is it all the GOP's fault??

    Or do Democrats share the blame??

    Again, I just want a little consistency..

    If R does Q and ya'all rant and rave about how bad it is that R does Q, and then D does Q....

    Is it to much to ask that you rant and rave the same???

    Again.... Apparently it is....

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thousands Of Consumers Get Insurance Cancellation Notices Due To Health Law Changes
    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2013/October/21/cancellation-notices-health-insurance.aspx

    Strange how no one wants to address these issues??

    Ya'all point to the one or two good stories about obamacare and ignore the hundreds and thousands of Americans who are getting scrooed by obamacare..

    Why is that??? Why do ya'all ignore ALL the facts that don't support the agenda???

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    To sum things up..

    When the Republicans are in charge and have the White House and Congress, everything is the fault of the Republicans..

    When Democrats have the White House and the Senate, everything is the fault of the Republicans.

    When Democrats have the White House and both the House and the Senate, everything is the fault of the Republicans.

    When Democrats have a virtual lock on ALL FACETS of the Government, **Everything is STILL the fault of the Republicans**!!!!

    Do ya'all comprehend how batshit CRAZY that sounds!???

    And, what's even CRAZIER is that Republicans aren't doing anything that Democrats haven't done or tried to do!!!

    And yet, DEMOCRATS are completely blameless... Everything bad is the fault of the Republicans.

    Democrats are *ONLY* guilty of not opposing Republicans with sufficient fanaticism...

    BAT..... SHIT..... CRAZY...... in spades....

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    To sum things up..

    When the Democrats are in charge and have the White House and Congress, everything is the fault of the Democrats..

    When Republicans have the White House and the Senate, everything is the fault of the Democrats.

    When Republicans have the White House and both the House and the Senate, everything is the fault of the Democrats.

    Yup the reverse still fits you like a T. Bat shit crazy indeed...

    I'm still waiting for that good thrashing of a republican policy with the same amount of links and general hysteria that you heap on democrats. Ya, you have 11,000 - 12,000 posts but if you are looking for a needle in a hay stack rather than hay in a hay stack you pretty much prove my point that you are as partisan toward the right as you accuse us of being for the left...

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Thanksgiving is coming!

    And, you know what THAT means ...

    In other words, don't peak too soon! :)

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    HealthCare.gov pricing feature can be off the mark
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505269_162-57608843/healthcare.gov-pricing-feature-can-be-off-the-mark/

    And the hits just keep on coming......

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale,

    Thanksgiving is coming!

    And, you know what THAT means ...

    In other words, don't peak too soon! :)

    Oh no worries there.. I am a fount of anti-political tirades... :D

    Bashi,

    I'm still waiting for that good thrashing of a republican policy with the same amount of links and general hysteria that you heap on democrats. Ya, you have 11,000 - 12,000 posts but if you are looking for a needle in a hay stack rather than hay in a hay stack you pretty much prove my point that you are as partisan toward the right as you accuse us of being for the left...

    Give me a Republican policy that you think would qualify...

    Most of the stuff that is in my area of expertise that I would THINK Democrats would be against, the Democrats have emulated in spades...

    So, while ya'all would think that the GOP's positions and policies on Counter Terrorism would be fodder for disagreement, I only have to point to the Democrats and their actions to show ya'all that yer wrong..

    For chreest's sake, Nancy Pelosi *SAVED* the NSA!!

    But hay.. Give me a rundown of some Republican policies that you think qualify for my attention and then we can go from there.. :D

    I have already put out that I am completely against the Republicans and forcing their religion on people..

    But I am ALSO against Democrats and THEIR forcing OTHER religions on people as well..

    So, go fer it. Show me what ya got?? :D

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Well, you just committed the first cardinal sin, so to speak. Which is to say that you should avoid multiple responses in a single comment.

    Why say in one comment what you could rather, and more profitably, say in three or four!?

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Since healthcare seems to be a recurring topic around here lately, I am hoping someone here in Weigantia has a healthcare/medical background.

    I am willing to barter healthcare/medical advice for IT/computer/networking advice... :D

    Anyone?? Anyone?? Beuhler??? :D

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Why say in one comment what you could rather, and more profitably, say in three or four!?

    I'll do better!! :D

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Excellent!

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Why say in one comment what you could rather, and more profitably, say in three or four!?

    I promise! :D

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very good!

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Very good!

    "He CAN be taught!!!"
    -Genie, ALADDIN

    :D

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know, if all of this obamacare talk is getting ya down, we can discuss Obama's NSA??? :D

    Michale

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    Looks like Dems are jumping ship pushing for the same delay that Obama gave his political cronies...

    https://twitter.com/DanaBashCNN/status/393110100153352192

    When that delay comes about (and you can put it in the bank that it WILL happen) you can bet a LOT on the Left will have egg all over their faces.. :D

    Michale

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Do you have anything that might be construed as ... oh, I don't know ... uplifting to say today?

    You know, something that would put a smile on my face and lift my spirits in the midst of all this negativity.

    ANYTHING!?

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here’s a very disturbing story. You may have heard about this. 25-year-old man in New York arrested for trying to join al Qaeda. Well, here is the amazing part. He said it was still easier to join al Qaeda using their website than it was to sign up for ObamaCare. And he was in! He was in, in like, two minutes!

    Well, President Obama said yesterday, when it comes to all the problems with the ObamaCare website, he said, "No one is madder than me." So apparently he hasn't met any of these Republicans, I guess.

    And of course, you know, today, boy, it's, and you know, it is hard, because today there were more problems with the website. It seems when you type in your age, it's confusing, because it's not clear if they want the age you are right now or the age you'll be when you finally log in. So there’s a period there.
    -Jay Leno

    Funny eh??? :D

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    Do you have anything that might be construed as ... oh, I don't know ... uplifting to say today?

    You know, something that would put a smile on my face and lift my spirits in the midst of all this negativity.

    ANYTHING!?

    Does Jay Leno's monologue count???

    Hay, I just calls 'em as I sees 'em...

    It's not my fault that there is nothing good coming out of the Obama administration these days..

    Yea, I know, I know.. I don't have to ENJOY it so much, this is true...

    I'll work on that.. :D

    But I am constrained to point out that it is quite similar to the glee ya'all expressed when the hits kept coming one right after the other during the Bush years.. Ya'all positively gushed at that.. :D

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I never expressed anything remotely resembling glee during the last Bush administration, I'll have you know.

    No one that I have ever encountered enjoys knocking the other side quite like you do. So, yes, do try to tone it down a bit, please and thank-you. :)

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very funny!

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    No one that I have ever encountered enjoys knocking the other side quite like you do.

    Sorry, but I have to call BS on that one. Remember, I was here during the Bush years..

    Hell, long into the Obama Administration, ya'all simply could not contain the glee in blaming every bone headed move by Obama on Bush.

    Everything was all "It's Bush's fault"....

    Peruse the CW.COM archives.. Read all the shameless attacks on Bush, blaming him PERSONALLY for everything from Abu Ghraib to high gas prices...

    Remember when some unknown Senator told the country that raising the Debt Ceiling was an indication of a failure of leadership? Remember that?? And the Left swarmed around that little punk of an ignorant Senator and gleefully skewered Bush...

    I am downright POLITE to Obama compared to some of the attacks the Left rained down on Bush and his administration..

    Michale

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    You see, Obama's problems are an incredible lack of credibility...

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303902404579152082961445984

    And no amount of sunshine koom-bye-ya posts will change this one simple fact.

    With the exception of those drunk on the Obama kool-aid, no one, I repeat, *NO ONE*, in this country or on this planet trusts Obama..

    When a President Of The United States loses credibility, he loses everything...

    And NONE of that is my doing.

    It's all on Obama. And, to a lesser extent, those who enabled Obama..

    Perhaps if the Left and the Leftist Media had been a little harder on Obama, a little more critical of his missteps and mistakes, he could have morphed into a good leader.

    But the Left let him get away with murder, LITERALLY, and so here we are...

    Michale

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    But the Left let him get away with murder, LITERALLY, and so here we are...

    At least, how ya'all define "murder" under a GOP POTUS....

    Michale

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/24/nsa-surveillance-world-leaders-calls

    Where's the outrage?? Where's the righteous indignation??

    Where have all the REAL liberals gone??

    Never thought I would actually MISS them...

    They were a pain in the ass, but at least they were consistent...

    Michale

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/10/24/obamacare_operator_fired_after_taking_call_from_hannity_hannity_to_give_her_a_years_salary.html

    Say what you want about Hannity, but he showed real class here..

    I know none of ya'all can admit it or your tongues would surely turn to fire.... :D

    But there it is.. The epitome of class...

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    “No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
    -President Barack Obama, Pre-Obamacare 2009

    Health insurance cancellation notices soar above Obamacare enrollment rates
    http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/24/health-insurance-cancellation-notices-soar-above-obamacare-enrollment-rates/#ixzz2ig4JpAeW

    Post-Obamacare 2013

    Obama lied, pure and simple...

    The response from the "BUSH LIED" fanatics??

    {{{chiiiirrrrpppp}}} {{chirrrrrpppppp}}

    Face it people. No matter HOW ya'all try to spin it, no matter HOW much lipstick you put on the pig, obamacare is a train wreck..

    There can be no denying that...

    The evidence in support of obamacare = train wreck is as overwhelming as it is conclusive..

    Michale

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