So, the administration’s latest solution for dealing with Obamacare rollout headaches is to discourage the public from using the website, even after promising to have HealthCare.gov working well for 80 percent of Americans seeking to enroll at the end of November.
Fearing a crush of online applicants on Saturday, the government’s self-imposed deadline for eliminating the majority of glitches in the system, the White House has urged its allies to hold back enrollment efforts, so that the marketplace doesn’t collapse under the weight of new users, according to The New York Times.
Administration officials apparently have also decided not to inaugurate a big health care marketing campaign planned for December out of concern it might attract too many people to the still-fragile, easily breakable website that for now can only handle 50,000 people at any time.
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The administration is considering other ideas to prevent the website from crashing, including creation of a virtual “waiting room” for times when the site is functioning slowly. Applicants can ask the government to notify them by email when they ought to try to sign on for maximum efficiency – similar to how the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service handle calls.
In the holiday spirit, The Fiscal Times has decided to offer six suggestions of its own for ways to protect against a deluge of applicants that could gum up the system again while addressing the public’s ongoing frustration with the website:
1) Offer Obamacare Frequent Flyer Miles points in the form of added federal subsidies to people who repeatedly have been thwarted in getting through the online health insurance enrollment process. This innovative plan will reward people with the most patience and persistence, even if they wouldn’t qualify otherwise for government subsidies because they earn too much.
2) Conduct a National Lottery to determine when Americans can log onto the site and apply for insurance. With many unsuspecting Americans assuming the government has actually fixed most of the problems with the website, there’s a danger that millions might try to sign on in the next few days, as they did when the site was officially launched Oct. 1. To avoid the repeat of that problem, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will go on national television and draw balls from a drum to determine who can sign up immediately and who has to wait, based on the first letter of their last names.
3) Bar reporters from logging on to the site this weekend to determine whether HealthCare.gov is actually working any better than before. With the administration refusing to provide any substantial evidence that the website is actually operating more efficiently, news organizations around the country will be testing HealthCare.gov over the weekend. Those journalistic tests alone might be enough to crash the fragile system again. Reporters who disobey this edict will lose their White House press passes – or receive a late night call from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
4) Bar the hundreds of congressional Republicans who voted 47 times to repeal, defund or scale back Obamacare from using the website. As punishment, the White House will reveal the names of any Republican lawmakers caught using the site. John Boehner, who did sign up for Obamacare, will receive a cancellation notice.
5) Use the money set aside to promote Obamacare to establish a Mental Health fund to treat those Americans who have gone mad trying to sign up for insurance website. They also get a discount on a year’s supply of Xanax.
6) Finally, direct frustrated customers to the White House's elaborate new Thanksgiving Turkey Pardon website where users can vote for the turkey they want President Obama to pardon. It actually works (for the vast majority of users) and it might take one’s mind off the headache-inducing Healthcare.gov.
Readers are urged to submit other suggestions in the comment section below!
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