The Chicago Tribune is a long time supporter of Barack Obama, endorsing his election in both 2008 and 2012. But when it comes to Obamacare, they split from the president. On Wednesday, they published an editorial on Obamacare.
They started out with the obvious problem of registering. The numerous crashes, the lost passwords, applications being sent to the wrong companies. Since the beginning and well into the third week, the sign up procedure for Obamacare feels like sliding down a 50 foot razor blade. But the Tribune takes it much farther:
• 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.
The Tribune had some not so nice things to Say about Kathleen Sebelius also. They noted she had three years to develop a computer system capable of registering applicants. When the system flopped, she blamed it on unexpected volume. Why should it be unexpected when they have pulled out all stops to advertise or otherwise encourage Americans to sign up for it.
Then an amazing thing happens. They recommend that the individual mandate be put off for one year.