What if the Iraq War had opened as disastrously as the Obamacare rollout?

Imagine what the public outcry would have been if the American invasion of Iraq had begun as disastrously as the rollout of Obamacare.

Imagine if the opening battles didn’t go as well as they actually did, that instead of a quick march into Bagdad, U.S. troops had been repulsed at the Iraq border? If the logistics were so screwed up that the tanks ran out of gas? Or that the soldiers couldn’t get enough ammunition? Or that communications failure had caused massive confusion among the troops? Or that taking Bagdad now seemed like an impossible dream?

It’s not too wild a comparison to make to the calamitous first act of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. It’s President Barack Obama’s domestic version of President George W. Bush’s Iraq War, in scope, cost and consequences. And it is shaping up to become the same political millstone for Obama that dragged Bush into—according to his critics—eternal ignominy.

After having three and a half years to get ready for the Oct. 1 launch, the Obama administration’s bungling and the inherent problems of the utopian legislation has far exceeded the mere “glitches” that Obama and its supports insist are a routine part of any major product or service rollout.

Such claims fall flat on their face considering the depth and the persistence of the problems. It’s not to soon to call the entire affair a meltdown.

Healthcare.gov—the online signup for the 36 federal health insurance exchanges that are the key to the success of the Obamacare scheme—clearly was not ready. A Tribune editorial enumerated a few of them:

• Illinois officials boasted that insurance premiums here would be lower than expected. But the Tribune reported Sunday that 21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered for Cook County residents have whopping annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage. That's much more than many families can afford to pay.

• The Obama administration delayed issuing major rules to set up the exchanges until after the 2012 presidential election and refused to push back the Oct. 1 launch date, lest Republicans take political advantage, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

• Sloppy design of the architecture of the computer system, not simply an overload of users, created the problems that are blocking people from applying online for coverage, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

Now comes the Heritage Foundation with a calculation of how much Obamacare will actually increase health insurance premiums instead of, as Obama promised, reducing them. In Illinois, for example, the average one-month premium for a 27-year-old will increase to $249.72 from $116.45, a 114.4 percent jump. For a 50-year-old, the premium leaps to $425.56 from $298.00, a 42.8 percent increase. And for a family of four, the premium rises to $843.50 from $753.23, a 12 percent increase.

Everyday, if not every hour, adds another failure to the chorus of failures. Here’s the latest from the Wall Street Journal:

Insurers say the federal health-care marketplace is generating flawed data that is straining their ability to handle even the trickle of enrollees who have gotten through so far, in a sign that technological problems extend further than the website traffic and software issues already identified.

In the face of all this, Obama and his administration proclaim with lockjaw determination that everything is going well. As if they are proclaiming “mission accomplished” just as the mission has begun. At least Bush waited until after he had vanquished the enemy.

More to come. Believe me, a lot more to come.

What was America's worst war? Go here to see; you probably will be surprised

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  • Comparing Bush's disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq--- with all its devastation and cost in blood and treasure--- to the birth pangs of Obamacare is just plain ridiculous.

  • It's not ridiculous. True, no one has died so far in the Obamacare debacle. But other than it, it is a great analogy, seeing as how the costs of Obamacare will ultimately match or more likely exceed that of the Iraq War. Also, like the Iraq War, the country is deeply divided, with one side wanting to end it, and the other wanting to throw more money at it. But the post actually is about public reaction to what many regard as massively failed public policy, e.g. the Iraq War and Obamacare. And, I would add, for those who keep saying that Obamacare is the law of the land, implying that its critics should essentially shut up and stop fighting it, the opposition to Obamacare is analogous to the opposition to the Iraq War, in that they both want to see change (or an end to) flawed public policy.

  • OK, let's get behind Single-Payer.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    If they can't handle Obamacare, why would they be able to handle the nationalization of an entire industry?

  • I also thought the analogy was far fetched - but I didn't need an analogy to see that Obamacare's "debut" has been a disaster. Hang on for a rough ride - can't wait to read more of your thoughts.

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