At his press conference on Monday afternoon, White House Press Secretary confirmed that over 375,000 people visited the federal health care exchange between midnight and noon ET. By the end of the day Monday, that number had surged to around 800,000. This comes on the heels of news that enrollment through the federal exchange had topped 100,000. With the deadline of Dec. 23rd approaching for enrolling in a health care plan that takes effect on Jan. 1st, expect to see huge numbers of people visiting Healthcare.gov and choosing plans.
Obviously, this makes the GOP a very sad group. They spent every waking moment since the government shutdown ended hammering the website for its flaws. They got a willing media to run a 24-hour loop about the ‘botched’ rollout of the ACA. Numerous committee hearings were held where they got to yell at HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and grandstand about the terrible implementation of Obamacare. You even had Speaker of the House John Boehner blog about his ‘frustrating’ experience enrolling on the website. Of course, his story turned out to be completely false and caused him embarrassment.
At this point, the GOP has no idea what to do. For the past three years, they have been in ‘repeal Obamacare’ mode. While they couldn’t be bothered to do any actual policy making or passing bills in the House, they found time to hold repeal votes nearly four dozen times. However, as they head back into session, they do not have another repeal vote on the calender. The fact is, they know they can’t do it anymore. Before, when enrollment had not begun, they could go on their rhetorical exercise of holding repeal votes that would never get through the Senate or past the White House. Now, they realize that hundred of thousands of people have already obtained health insurance, and millions more will once they come back in January.
The Republicans made a fatal flaw when they decided to focus on the website glitches. Everyone knew that, eventually, the site would be repaired and work well. And, even before the relaunch this week, the site was working well and people were enrolling. Now that the mainstream media has decided to actually acknowledge that the site is fully functional, the GOP is left whining about the law, but without any recourse and the knowledge that millions of people will health insurance. This leaves them in a bad place politically.
Once it became clear that the website was humming along and thousands of people were visiting every minute, Republican lawmakers took to Twitter to either deny that everything was going smoothly, or just to be grumpy about the good news.
— NRSC (@NRSC) December 2, 2013
So Obamacare is fixed now that the website has been improved? Not on your life.
— JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) December 2, 2013
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) December 2, 2013
Apparently, the GOP thought that the website would forever have glitches and slow response times. They thought nobody would actually fix anything. They thought people would just decide not to buy insurance when they had never had the chance to do so before. While they focused on trying to drive the President’s poll numbers down a bit, they didn’t look at the big picture. Nobody is going to care what the President’s poll numbers were in November 2013. The midterm elections are still nearly a year away and POTUS isn’t running again. When it is all said and done, the ACA will be a rousing success, and Republicans will be the ones who will have to answer for their attempts to destroy it at every turn.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).