As reported in The Los Angeles Times, 16 Senate Democrats met with President Obama on November 6 to discuss the crippled ObamaCare website. They warned him of a looming crisis of confidence. The news report said that they are facing the task of explaining the site’s failures to their constituents.
These were the 15 Democrats who are up for re-election in 2014. They were joined by the Senator in charge of coordinating their campaigns.
Senator Mark Begich of Alaska was blunt.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable in this day and age that the administration can’t deliver on the promises it made to all Americans because of technical problems with a website. Alaskans should be appreciating the critical benefits of the Affordable Care Act, but there is an understandable crisis in confidence because the administration has yet to get it off the ground.”
The words “absolutely unacceptable” and “crisis of confidence” made things clear. They are in big, big trouble, and they know it.
Eleven Senate Democrats have said they are willing to vote to delay the enrollment deadline. This is another way of saying “John Boehner and the Republicans were right.” This is not good political positioning.
Jeff Merkeley of Oregon announced:
“I am very frustrated with the rollout of the exchanges. The dysfunction and delays are unacceptable. I remain deeply convinced that this is a ‘show me’ moment. This will not be resolved until Americans can, day after day, sign onto the health marketplace, review their options and complete their applications.”
So far, there are no signs of relief. The website remains crippled.
These are signs of what is facing Democrats in 2014.
There is an economic law: “When the price of something rises, less is demanded.” The price of enrolling in the program — in time, in frustration, and insurance premium fees — is rising rapidly. If the website stays crippled, the millions of expected uninsured citizens will not sign up. The economics of ObamaVCare will go belly-up. Really sick people will find ways to enroll. Healthy people will not. That will make the cost of insuring sick people prohibitively expensive.