by AMBER KELLY Photographer
President Barack Obama’s focus during his second term has been to push the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Controversy has surrounded this statute since the very beginning, with Republicans in Congress hoping to block its funding, and Americans’ approval ratings being quite low.
Recently, Healthcare.gov, the website where citizens can sign up for Obamacare, was put into place. Unfortunately for the Obama administration, the website experienced many glitches. Some people complained that they could not even get on the website, while others complained the website crashed halfway through the sign up.
Many cite the website’s malfunction as a source of embarrassment for the administration, as they have had so much time to prepare for its implementation, and it had been the focal point of Obama’s platform as president. The White House is not giving specifics as to why the website is still not working correctly, and the exact enrollment number has not been released. Even those who are involved, like Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, claim that they do not know the main problem.
Sebelius has taken much of the blame for the health care website’s failure, and has been questioned extensively by Congress on the issue. Ironically, during her inquisition on Wednesday, October 30, the website was still down.
“For something this big, that has been pushed by the Obama Administration so hard, it’s kind of ridiculous how they can’t even get the website to work. Then, to top it off, the people involved can’t even give us straight answers as to why it isn’t working and who is really in charge of it. The lack of communication really is embarrassing for the White House,” says senior Jessica McDonald.
The website’s technical problems are not the only things weighing Obamacare down. In countless speeches, President Obama assured the American people that if they wished to keep their current coverage, they could without raises in premiums and the overall cost of their insurance. However, there has been mounting complaints by citizens that their premiums are being raised, and that they have had to start paying more for their coverage.
Now, people are wondering if President Obama knowingly misled Americans concerning Obamacare, or if he really did not know that his statements were false. Both of these options constitute problems. On one hand, if President Obama purposely lied to the people, then that could be an impeachable offense. On the other hand, if he really did not know what Obamacare entailed, then that shows incompetence and miscommunication not only on his part, but on his administration as a whole.
“I don’t think he lied, or at least I hope he didn’t. I think it is more likely that he really didn’t know, even though he should have. Americans are angry that they have been misled about something as important as health care,” says senior Stephanie Pasewaldt.
Controversy now surrounds President Obama and his previous assurances to the American people; that coupled with the fact that the health care website is still not fixed makes for a bumpy road for the Obama Administration in the future.
What do you think will happen with the website, and do you think someone should be fired?