Disastrous debut for this show

By From page A14 | November 03, 2013

The stage is set. The production that has had the country buzzing for years is finally set for its debut. The theater is decked out as is the anticipating crowd, on pins and needles awaiting this climactic moment, which has for so long been only a dream.

The executive producers — Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the iconic Barack Obama — await the opening with the pride of parents ready to present their new child to an adoring world.

The birth of this production has been controversial and heavily debated. The authors are many, and no individual has, at this moment of the opening curtain, read the entire script. Yet there is faith that it will be a masterpiece.

The time approaches … the tension builds … and the moment is finally here. Oh, wait … Kathleen Sebelius, the technical director, can’t find the switch to open the curtains. Tension fills the crowd. In the nick of time, our hero Barack Obama stands in the front of the auditorium and picks up the microphone. “I’m sorry about this little glitch, but, this is a great show. This technical problem with the curtains has nothing to do with the quality of the production, which is really top-notch!”

Please forgive my self-indulgence for the metaphor of the Obama health care rollout. I just can’t imagine how, after all the controversy and all the hype, the administration could start on such poor footing. Sweeping health care reform was an extremely ambitious — some would say foolhardy — mission.

With 3,000 pages of skeletal content and 10,000-plus more dedicated to nuts-and-bolts implementation, with the logistical nightmares involved and the poorly understood impacts this legislation will have on an extremely fragile economy, we get stuck on launching a website? And then we’re told that this failure is in no way reflective of the integrity of the underlying program? How many businesses would put up with this kind of incompetence?

The logical conclusion here is that we’re watching the first stage of a disastrous scenario that will play out over many years. Obama is already pushing the enrollment deadline back three months. It is likely there will be bipartisan support in the Senate to extend the deadline further. I think the Republicans should not push for this.

Why allow Obama to keep this disaster in the closet for another year while he schmoozes and charms his way to more 2014 congressional victories? Let the people see it for what it is and decide for themselves!

Greg Johnson

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