Editorial: Gibbs speaks up — Former Obama spokesman: Too many glitches with marketplaces’ websites
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Oct 14, 2013 | 1586 views |  0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“When they get it fixed, I hope they fire some people that were in charge of making sure that this thing was supposed to work. We knew there were going to be glitches, right? But these were glitches that go, quite frankly, way beyond the pale of what should be expected.”
— Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs

Suffice it to say that the rollout of Obamacare’s federal insurance marketplaces hasn’t been without its hiccups.

Results have varied from state to state. Some states, such as Kentucky, have reported thousands of enrollees and efficient web access. Other states — quite a few, in fact — have reported the opposite: difficulty with online registrations, crashed web sites and lackluster response.

Some states have up-to-the minute details on the number of residents who’ve enrolled. Others do not — and won’t, they say, for some time. Among the difficulties is getting an authentic, non-biased status report on the opening of the insurance marketplaces across the nation.

So it was news Monday when Robert Gibbs, the former Obama administration spokesman, unleashed a verbal attack on the launch of the biggest component of the Affordable Care Act to date. The Washington Post, in a midday online report, added some needed context to Gibbs’ comments.

“The fact that Gibbs issued such a scathing indictment of the launch of the federal insurance marketplaces in more than 30 states highlights the extent to which the president’s allies see the glitches as a political problem that needs to be fixed quickly,” The Post’s Juliet Eilperin and Sandhya Somashekhar wrote.

According to The Post, the White House hasn’t identified, by name, who at the Department of Health and Human Services was in charge of the marketplace rollout. Obama’s spokespeople have consistently blamed the glitches on an unexpectedly high number of Americans trying to sign up — a weak response, given that the Affordable Care Act is thus far the signature legislation of President Obama’s two terms.

Gibbs, however, is buying none of it, and we’re glad he’s spoken up. America deserves an answer.

It’s not so much to extract a pound of flesh from those who have overseen the technical aspects of the marketplace registrations. We’re not interested in another gotcha-type moment in Washington.

Instead, what’s important is making sure the Affordable Care Act’s implementation runs smoother than it has in the last two weeks. Obamacare, a needed program that’s far from perfect, shouldn’t come packaged with website glitches that are wholly preventable.
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