If you see me out and about and notice that my face looks a little puffy and bruised, that's from slapping my forehead repeatedly while listening back to our interview yesterday with the supervisor of the Healthcare Exchange signup program here in Winnebago County. It turns out that Wisconsin is no different from the rest of the nation in that few people have been able to get into the exchange website to sign up for their federally-mandated coverage. What gets me is the matter-of-fact way that Anne said it was no surprise to them:
"You know, this is not unusual. When a new program starts that we administer--no matter what the program and no matter whose in charge of it--this is pretty normal at the beginning. So it's not scaring us, I guess."
The only thing missing from the end of that answer is "Well, we are talking about the Government here."
There is a good reason why we have come to accept this type of incompetence--those of us actually footing the bill for the exchange websites aren't the ones actually using it. President Obama tried to compare the exchange site "glitches" with the
new iOS7 operating system from Apple. But the iOS problem was with a
little used security feature. Everybody was still able to use their
iPhones and iPads (which, by the way, they are not federally-mandated to buy). Believe me, Apple wouldn't be the most valuable
brand in the world if every time they launched a new product, consumers
had to wait a few weeks for it to actually work.
I remember when the Oshkosh Common Council was voting years ago to discontinue garbage pickup at apartment buildings. Not a single tenant came down to the meeting to complain "I'm a taxpayer and I demand to receive the same services that everyone else is getting!" No, it was only the landlords who came down to complain, because they would still have to pay the property taxes--AND the the cost of hiring a private collection company.
Because the Federal Government is overseeing the Wisconsin exchange, we don't know how much it cost to set up the registration website--but in California, theirs cost $313-MILLION--and it works worse than ours. I know that we opponents of ObamaCare are covertly cheering the myriad
problems with its implementation as yet another sign of the incompetence
of this Administration--but we should still expect better performance
from our tax dollars.