As we all know millions tried to access the website where they expected to get health benefits, but the site has frozen, given the wrong information, and seemed to take forever.
The administration meanwhile seemed to have been caught with its pants down and promised to fix the problem as soon as possible.
Clearly this showed that the health program was a bad one and needed to be thrown away, and judging from comments after blogs here about the ACA, a bad computer program equals a bad healthcare plan.
The roll out was anything but smooth, and officials had a hard time getting the system up and running. There were even hearings to get to the bottom of things.
Programs like this just have to go.
But this program did not get thrown out.
If it did, we would not have the successful Medicare Part D program from the Bush years.
In 2005 and 2006 computer glitches caused low-income beneficiaries to go without needed medications, and pharmacies got wrong drug information. Dr. Mark McClellan, Bush’s head of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), laid out the flaws in the law’s implementation and detailed how the administration would address them when he appeared at hearings before the House Committee On Energy and Commerce.
In 2013 the House Energy and Commerce Committee held its first hearing on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act yesterday.
Of interest is that some of the very same Republicans who are now lashing out against Obamacare because they claim the botched rollout is proof that the government cannot implement the program effectively and should repeal the law, urged Americans not to pre-judge such a complicated process back then.
There are four Republicans still on that committee who had argued that early implementation hurdles should not taint the entirety of reform:
In 2006 JOE BARTON of Texas said, “This is a huge undertaking and there are going to be glitches. My goal is the same as yours: Get rid of the glitches. The committee will work closely with yourself and Dr. Mark McClellan at CMS to get problems noticed and solved.”
TIM MURPHY of Pennsylvania had said, “Any time something is new, there is going to be some glitches. All of us, when our children were new, well, we knew as parents we didn’t exactly know everything we were doing and we had a foul-up or two, but we persevered and our children turned out well. No matter what one does in life, when it is something new in learning the ropes of it, it is going to take a little adjustment.”
MICHAEL BURGESS of Texas said then, “We can’t undo the past, but certainly they can make the argument that we are having this hearing a month late and perhaps we are, but the reality is the prescription drug benefit is 40 years late and seniors who signed up for Medicare those first days back in 1965 when they were 65 years of age are now 106 years of age waiting for that prescription drug benefit, so I hope it doesn’t take us that long to get this right and I don’t believe that it will. And I do believe that fundamentally it is a good plan”.
And Georgia’s PHIL GINGREY said, “I delivered 5,200 babies, but this may be the best delivery that I have ever been a part of, Mr. Speaker, and that is delivering, as I say, on a promise made by former Congresses and other Presidents over the 45-year history of the Medicare program, which was introduced in 1965 with no prescription drug benefit. And what we have done here is add part D, the ‘D’ for ‘drug’ or, if you want, the ‘delivery’ that we have finally provided to our American seniors.”
As faulty as the roll out was for Medicare part D, the Bush administration eventually fixed the technical glitches, and in spite of the well-publicized initial glitches, people signed up for coverage.
Also of interest is that at the time of the program’s inception in April, 2005, only 21% of seniors had a favorable impression of the law with 66 percent not really knowing what the program was really about. A year and a half later 50% of the seniors polled said the program was working well or that just minor changes were needed.
But that was then, and this is now when those things once acceptable and unchanged are anathema to the very people who not only had no problem with something, but promoted it.
Yeah, there will be those with the usual mantra of not comparing Obama and Bush since we are not supposed to remember the past, but with four of the republicans on the same committee now that had been on the committee then, there isn't all that much of a disconnect.
Of course, there has been a major name change.