by Manny Fernandez – It has cost the American taxpayer $634 million to launch the Obamacare web site. I am sorry, but that as a reckless and misleading statement. The truth of the matter is that it has cost the American taxpayer $634 million to launch the Obamacare WEBSITE. The website plagued with major glitches has cost the American taxpayer six times as much as the bid from the private contractor bid for the contract to create the website.
Now, let me ask you something. How come Mark Zuckerberg can make billions launching a website that has hundreds of millions of subscribers without charging them a cent, but the federal government is 600 PERCENT OVER BUDGET launching the portal that is supposed to take Americans that do not have health insurance or are losing their health insurance because their employers have dropped insurance coverage in response to Obamacare? That is correct. The cost to date for a website that does not work is $540 MILLION MORE than the contractor agreed the website would cost.
If you think about it, the Obamacare website is the portal or front porch for Obamacare. So, let’s say you were having a contractor build a $250,000 home for you. Let’s assume that the soft cost line item for the plans was $5,000. Let’s say that the hard cost line items for the front door and the porch you decided would make a nice feature for the home totaled $10,000. What would you do if the contractor who was building the house for you came back to you and said that those line items — which your construction contract provides will cost $15,000 — will cost $90,000 instead. Do you still think your contractor is going to bring the job in on budget?
I think the GOP needs to go all in. I would rather bet the farm on a bold new strategy and give the country an opportunity to recover if a Obama does not play ball than allow Obamacare, as presently enacted, to bankrupt the treasury. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell should agree to end the shutdown and draft a clean continuing resolution that will raise the debt ceiling for six months. They should publicly lobby for the roll-out of Obamacare to be delayed until all of the bugs are fixed. They should also lobby for the assembly of a non-partisan blue ribbon panel of business people and computer nerds who will work together to make recommendations on how to fix Obamacare so that the program:
- Provides affordable healthcare for Americans who do not have and cannot currently get healthcare insurance;
- Incentivizes Americans to buy healthcare and incentivizes businesses to offer healthcare to their employees; and
- Does not create an incentive for businesses to fire employees, cut back their hours or stop hiring them.
I firmly believe that American business people have the ingenuity to make recommendations that will accomplish the laudable goal of providing affordable healthcare for those who cannot currently obtain it without creating a healthcare brothel where the government is the pimp, insurance companies are the hookers and the American taxpayer is getting royally screwed. Instead of using all of the obvious problems with the ACA to make the President look bad, John Boehner should ask for one concession to the end of the shutdown. He should ask for the President to go on national television and promise the American people that he is going to work with Republicans and Democrats to fix the law and agree that the discussions of the blue ribbon panel will be televised. In turn, Boehner and McConnell should promise the American people that they will stand up to both the left and the right in order to do whatever is necessary to fix the glitches in the law.
Like it or lump it, Obamacare is the law of the land. All we can do in a divided government is work together to fix it. The notion that a political party completely devoid of leadership like the GOP — or where what passes for leadership is the Audacity of Nope — is going to be able to overturn a piece of legislation that the President regards as the signature achievement of his administration without a majority in the Senate, absolutely no chance of acquiring veto proof majorities in Congress in 2014, no currently viable Presidential candidate for 2016 and dwindling support for the intransigent ideologues it sent to Congress in 2010 and 2012 is just plain silly. On the other hand, if the GOP demonstrates a willingness to work with the President to fix Obamacare, it will acquire the credibility it needs in order to convince the American public that there is more to this once Grand Old Party than the Audacity of Nope.
Manny Fernandez is the Florida Director for Cafe Con Leche Republicans