Politicians should stop playing health care website blame game


It is almost laughable that the country that invented the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and continues to lead the world in information technology, is so inept, that its government cannot get a federal website working properly.

Since Oct. 1, healthcare.gov has been down for most of the country, as millions try to access the federally mandated health care market. Maybe if government agencies could focus more on solving the IT problem for Obamacare, instead of listening in on France and Spain, the problem would be fixed already.

While it is true that this mistake is dumbfounding, the problem does need to be fixed, and healthcare.gov needs to get working — and soon.

As millions of people wait to gain secure health care, politicians are playing a childish round of the blame game. Instead of investing more energy on solving the glitches with the website, many congressmen have been wasting time over the past few weeks to call for the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

While an apology from Sebelius may have been necessary at the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday morning, it certainly didn’t help solve the problem, which she called a “miserably frustrating experience.”

Sebelius, much like President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, is not a computer expert. During their climb up the political ladder, it is dubious that Sebelius, Obama and Biden were trained on creating or troubleshooting websites. Sure they had oversight and should be held responsible, but most likely, the ones to blame for the mistakes are the IT people working directly on the health care website, or the ones who directly hired those IT people.

If people think someone like Biden should be held responsible for glitches in the government computers, they should have their heads checked, because they are putting their technology in the hands of a man like Biden.

However, Biden always has the best way with words and making things perfectly blunt. As he said in an HLN interview this week, neither he nor Obama “are technology geeks,” and they assumed the site would be “ready to run.”

It would be appropriate to assume that when the president of the U.S. tells someone to do something, it gets done (as long as it isn’t to members of Congress).

Until the website does get fixed, Congress should stop playing the blame game and actually get something done. In his HLN interview, Biden also said the mistakes of the website are “inexcusable, but they just have to fix it.”

Alex Rosenthal is a sophomore majoring in mass communications.