The Obamacare "Glitch" Explained In 25 Quotes

Tyler Durden's picture

While some have proclaimed the 36,000 enrollment in The Affordable Care Act "a good start," the online marketplaces that Obamacare has become more infamous for have been plagued with problems in the brief two weeks since launch. Politico provides 25 of the most telling and colorful comments made about the "glitches" the online exchanges have faced...


1. “I hope they are working day and night to get this done. 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.” — former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on MSNBC’s “Now with Alex Wagner,” Oct. 14

2. “A thousand Social Security numbers being sent to the wrong people is not a glitch!” — CNBC contributor Carol Roth on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Oct. 12

3. “How can we tax people for not buying a product from a website that doesn’t work?” — House Speaker John Boehner, Oct. 10

4. “Despite the widespread belief that the administration was not ready for the health law’s Oct. 1 launch, top officials and lead IT contractors looked us in the eye and assured us all systems were a go. Instead, here we are 10 days later, and delays and technical failures have reached epidemic proportions.” — Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) in a statement, Oct. 10

5. “We’re going to do a challenge. I’m going to try and download every movie ever made and you are going to try to sign up for Obamacare — and we’ll see which happens first.” — Jon Stewart to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on "The Daily Show," Oct. 7

6. “It’s a new rule: If something doesn’t work, you get rid of it! If the post office is late today, let’s get rid of the post office! If the plane is late an hour, get rid of airplanes! It’s ridiculous!— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Oct. 12

7. “There’s so much wrong, you just don’t know what’s broken until you get a lot more of it fixed.” — Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, Oct. 14

8. “They had three years to get this ready. If they weren’t fully ready, they should accept the advice Republicans are giving them: Delay it for a year, get it ready and make sure it works.” — CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Oct. 9

9. “I heard that [the website] had over 8 million hits — people that have tried to sign up — and so far they have people in the single digits that have signed up.” — Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), Oct. 9

10. “The shutdown has completely gotten in the way of the message of Obamacare not working. If there were no government shutdown, Republicans could train all their fire on the failures of the exchanges in a ‘See, I told you so’ approach.” — Republican strategist Ron Bonjean, Oct. 1

11. “The fact that there is any disruption in the website is inexcusable. But I think the attention is being diverted from the slowness of the website to the fact that we’re in this financial crisis.” — Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Oct. 10.

12. “Basically, HHS has screwed this whole thing up.” — Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Oct. 9

13. “Consider that just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it. I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t.”  — President Barack Obama, Oct. 1

14. “If Apple launched a major new product that functioned as badly as Obamacare’s online insurance marketplace, the tech world would be calling for Tim Cook’s head.” — Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas in The Washington Post Wonkblog, Oct. 4

15. “It’s bad enough that Sebelius and Co. produced a terrible taxpayer-funded product. It’s even worse that they didn’t heed the warnings or spot the red flags. They put on a smile, flipped the switch and sat by as it crashed…[T]he first person fired should be Secretary Sebelius.” — RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Oct. 15

16. “The secretary does have the full confidence of the president. She, like everyone else in this effort, is focused on our No. 1 priority, which is making the implementation of the Affordable Care Act work well. People are working 24/7 to address the problems and isolate them and fix them, when it comes to the website and enrollment issues.”  — Press secretary Jay Carney, Oct. 15

17. “If the problems persist another three or four weeks, those at the back of the line will not have coverage.” — Dan Schuyler,  consultant who helped design a health insurance exchange in Utah, Oct. 11

18. “If we are already running into issues at the user account stage, we’re going to run into a lot more issues when we get to the more complex operations at the [subsidy] eligibility determination.” — Dan Schuyler, consultant who helped design a health insurance exchange in Utah, Oct. 11

19. “The volume obviously is a factor: For the first day or two, it worked. A week and a half later, it’s no longer an adequate explanation.” — Washington and Lee University School of Law professor Tim Jost, Oct. 12

20. “In retrospect, they should have said to the public before Oct. 1, 'This is going to take a while; give us some time and wait.'” — John Rother, president of the National Coalition on Health Care, Oct. 12

21. “It is not unique that when you have a very large, new software program come out that people work to clean it up.” — Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Oct. 6

22. “[It’s] pretty clear that they’re working on the glitches in Obamacare, and it’s pretty clear that we need a geek squad for the website, not a firing squad for the entire bill.” — Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Oct. 10

23. “In eight weeks, we will find out what the cause was and work it out with the help of HHS and the Small Business Administration, to make it easier to enroll.— Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas), Oct. 10

24. “This week, Sebelius continued wasting taxpayer dollars on advertising and promotional tours. This included failed rallies at NFL stadiums and appearances on comedy shows to promote enrollment while at the same time, Americans were unable to sign up for health care plans as promised. Even Jon Stewart didn’t think it was a laughing matter.— Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Oct. 11

25. “[It’s] like trying to repair a car while someone is driving it.” — George Edwards, computer scientist, to, Oct. 10


We are sure this will all end well with the administration declaring some kind of "victory"... though that last quote seems to ring extremely true of every government plan we have seen in the last decade or 10...

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VD's picture

a not insignificant % of the population does not have the mental capacity to properly vote; you think those people could ever navigate this idiotic mess?

O&co. may want to institute ObamaVote tax on citizenry for not voting: that may keep this scourge in forever.

macholatte's picture



They are missing the target …… Obamacare has NOTHING to do with healthcare and everything to do with government control. And yes, these “glitches” are what happens when governments harass, torture and execute innocent people. These are the glitches that old relic called The Constitution sought to prevent.


When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.

Thomas Jefferson

A Lunatic's picture

It's fuck this shit o'clock people   -George Washington-

Manthong's picture

“We are committed to doing better,” agency officials said in a blog post that also said that “our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve”


knukles's picture

Can we please award Chris Mattews the one way ticket to Mars?

Dr. Sandi's picture

What good will sending him home do?

onewayticket2's picture

is it intentionally bad?

the stated goal is Single Payer.  if the "law" stands, the "fix" is to simply cut the insurance component out and have a single database (simple) powered by the government. 


this is what they want or should i say crave...maybe it's not a mistake that it's messed up.

GeezerGeek's picture

Turning the prosecution of the war in Viet Nam over to the "best and brightest" worked out really well, didn't it? Good old Robert McNamara and buddies relied on metrics (body counts, tons of bombs dropped, etc.) to measure progress. Along the way nearly 60,000 American lives were terminated and countless others ruined. Today's "best and brightest" are being called on to fix a system that has death purposely built into it. How many Americans will die, how many American lives will be ruined by IPABs/death panels? The similarity is terrifying.

BlobbyBlueBland's picture

Deez crackaz is gunna get dey healthcare fo' free one day if'n I free deez black azz slaves    -Abraham Lincoln-

boogerbently's picture

1) If they worked as diligently on the website as they did on the PORK in the bill, everyone would already be signed up.

2) "1000 SS numbers to the wrong place"??? Could this just be a ruse to get #'s for illegal aliens (potential dem voters).

CrazyCooter's picture

I have been in "IT" since graduating back in the late 90s. In the early "aughts" (i.e. the few years after 2000), I was increasingly distraught about "off shoring". A lot of parenthesis, but the terms are loose and need to be defined to discuss what I am sharing. In short, offshoring failed because of "CULTURE", which you can't export.

What I learned, going through that process, getting older, and still hanging on is that all engineering firms (IT, civil, nuclear, petro, etc), all have a CULTURE. CULTURE is very important. Why? Because when your culture is to DENY problems, everything is fine, but it really isn't. This culture doesn't fix ANYTHING. This is very prevalent in IT. Why? I call it "polishing a turd". Lacquer up a log and eventually people think it is a polished product. I have seen this over and over in IT. That is to say that a complete FAILURE, had it been in any other discipline, bridges would fall down, power plants would explode, ships would sink, lights would go out, and so on. But in IT, executives with great selling personalities can overcome failures of actually delivering a product and go up the food chain (with compensation).

Further, a lower level manager can actually BENEFIT from inefficiency, commanding more budget, deceiving management, and ultimately going up the food chain as their budget grows dues to the incompetence.

I could go on, buy why bother. Any citizen looking for "IT" to solve our problems is sorely lacking in understanding about human nature. I get that "open source" is better, but 95% of the public can't spell "open source" and doesn't understand it. Technology, like a gun, is a tool; it is good when it is applied to benefit society and it is NOT good when it is applied to steal from society.

This is the future of government; the law says you must, the system won't let you, so we are taking your young daughter until you resolve it.



Diogenes's picture

You can't polish a turd but you can roll it in glitter.

BidnessMan's picture

Actually MythBusters proved you can polish a turd.  But you probably don't want to.


mtomato2's picture

I once saw a VW Beetle with a licence plate that read, simply,


RafterManFMJ's picture

Hey FUCKHEAD was your company able to book the savings, boost EPS and allow your CEO and upper manangement to make CRAZY CASH while firing tens of thousands of Amerikan workers? If so, then it's not a bug, but a feature.

Memo to da colage bound, B sure to go to skoool and get in debt n stuff, like, cause there b jobs n shit for you when youse gradustate.

And if knot, youse can gets a job killling brown skins ober sees! hahhahahhaaah! Just dont get jurt as I hear the veteran services are, um, not really up to par.

GeezerGeek's picture

Corporate culture exists in far more than simply engineering firms. This is not to denigrate your thought, simply to expand it. 

The apparent culture existing in the circles of those who created the website reminds me of the way ACORN worked. (I say apparent because I know no one involved, and rely solely on what I've read.) Remember those videos of ACORN people actively trying to help the undercover reporters circumvent the law? The coding techniques of the website's developers have been lambasted on technical blogs for many reasons, leading me to equate the coders to those filmed ACORN employees in their ethics and levels of competence. I've seen some of the code, and pathetic is not too strong a word to apply. Further, you mention open source, and rightly laud it. Are you aware that the website developers used some open source code called DataTables? While open source, the code is, in fact, copyrighted. For those of you who don't know, open source code can be used freely under certain conditions, one of which is that any copyright statements remain in the code base. Amazingly, the scum that wrote the healthcare code removed the copyright statements

If this isn't typical of the progressive mindset (you didn't write that code, someone else did!) where theft is acceptible if it's for a good cause, I don't know what is. I saw lots of code theft in 40 years in IT, and this is among the most egregious.

bh2's picture

"Further, a lower level manager can actually BENEFIT from inefficiency, commanding more budget, deceiving management, and ultimately going up the food chain as their budget grows dues to the incompetence."

This is perhaps one of the more cogent descriptions about how government and other bloated bureacracies work. "Big" is dysfunctional by nature, offering cover to persons who are incompent and unaccountable by nature.

Harbanger's picture

@ VD.  ObamaVote tax?  O & co. are about to legalize all the illegal immigrants to solidify a 3rd world voting base.  What the fuck is wrong with you?

James-Morrison's picture

We are already close to 3rd World Status without any help from our neighbors. 

They might raise us up a notch or two.

All Risk No Reward's picture

>>a not insignificant % of the population does not have the mental capacity to properly vote<<

Anyoone who votes Bankster Democrat or Bankster Republican doesn't have the mental capacity to vote.

Until they catch up to reality, I can't bother to vote other than to VOTE WITH MY MONEY (cash, small organizations, preferably local) and VOTE WITH MY TIME TRYING TO WAKE UP THE FALSE PARADIGM VOTERS.

Unfortunately, the vast majority are willfully ignorant.

Eireann go Brach's picture

# 26: More than 98% of blacks thought Obamacare was free! Data collector for Govt Healthcare.

Squishi's picture

chicken and watermelon added.

CrazyCooter's picture

Aw shit, let's dispense with this crap. I LOVE chicken and watermelon. I am white. Color is not a predictor of an individuals love of chicken or watermelon. My wife is Asian. If the "black" gal I had the hots for years ago would have married me, my wife would be creole.

FACT: I will buy whole chickens on sale and freeze the flock. About every two weeks, I will get out my big ass soup pot and slowly boil that frozen chicken. Cold water, cold chicken, basic spices (salt, pepper, whole onion, carrots). I put it on a medium heat and as soon as steam skips past the lid I cut her down to simmer, simmer for an hour, and stop cooking.

Perfect chicken every time, just adjust the spices/veggies to your taste.

I get 5 quarts of broth, all in mason jars. Best thing that ever happened to rice since Tabasco. I bone out the chicken into Percect Portion bags via a pint jar. That is to say, I put shredded chicken into a pint jar, then when full I put the contents of the jar into a single perfect portion bag. I roll em like burritos and stack em into freezer bags and freeze the shred chicken. Because the meat never touches the actual freezer bags, I don't buy freezer bags anymore.

Those perfect portion bags save me boat loads of money on zip loc bags.

I can make bang up enchiladas (after half a case of beer) on a weekend and eat like a king (in Alaska - food sucks and is expensive). My wife makes Xôi (pronounced soy, like soy beans) from the shred, which is the best chicken/beans/rice breakfast I have ever had.

Don't hate the chicken lovers.

And I would eat it with watermelon if they didn't cost my left nut and leave me wanting for real melon.



Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Shit, you can even get culinary advice on ZH.

Thanks Cooter, I will try this.

nmewn's picture

You can get anything you want, at ZH Restaurant.

(Apologies to Arlo)

knukles's picture

In a few weeks they'll rename it the Resturant at the End of Civilization.

James-Morrison's picture

I didn't see whole chickens on the Dollar Menu at McDonalds.


knukles's picture

Oh, next week's test market's in the South Bronx!

Squishi's picture

actually learned this from dave chappelle

Chaos Trend's picture

Sounds awesome, but is that really a long enough cook time from a frozen whole chicken?

Harbanger's picture

The statists couldn't do what they do without the propaganda from the MSM.  To do it right, wait and hang the drug dealing Bankers last.  Yes, So they can see their fate.

RafterManFMJ's picture

 26: More than 98% of blacks thought Obamacare was free! Data collector for Govt Healthcare.

You know, I'll never believe the average IQ of Blacks in Amerika is 85, no matter what the research and personal experience says. Because Obama!

dunce's picture

There will be no cost to "any" low income people because as the SCOTUS said it is a tax and low income people do not pay federal income tax. This will destroy our country and the world will enter a new dark age without our leadership and values. Socialists have been trying to bring us down for about a hundred years and now they have us on the path to total failure and they will go down with our ship. Be careful what you wish for.

nmewn's picture

“[It’s] like trying to repair a car while someone is driving it.”

With an orangutan driving it.

Right turn Clyde!

One And Only's picture

Obamacare is like the feritilazation of an egg. Tens of millions of sperms trying to get the egg, but only one gets in.

One And Only's picture

If you can get in it's like magic.

johnQpublic's picture

and so far the computer software has cost only 18,333 dollars per enrollee

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

That's $18,333 that we know about.

Including graft, waste, reprogramming, ongoing code maintenance... This thing will probably cost 3x that.

If you want to fuck something up, get the government to do it. If you want to royally fuck something up so badly that it is completely nonfunctional and costs a motherfucking fortune, get the Obama administration to do it.

knukles's picture

Who was it, Uncle Milton who said ; "If the government was in charge of the Sahara within 5 years there'd be no sand."?

LawyerScum's picture

26. "In other words, it's a huge shit sandwich, and we're all gonna have to take a bite." - Lt. Lockhart (Full Metal Jacket)

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

"Does this mean Ann-Margaret's not coming?"

knukles's picture

" I bet you're the kind of guy who would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around. I'll be watching you!"

Parousia's picture

I see where you're going with this.  I refuse to call our Commander in Chief "Private Snowball."  ...even if he can suck a golf ball through a garden hose.