The editors of the Chicago Tribune, long skeptical about the PPACA, note:
The computer problems may be fixed in weeks or months — although as the nation learns more about the extent of those computer problems, there's far less confidence that a fix will come soon ... or ever.
But the problems with Obamacare go much deeper than a few million lines of faulty code and a sign-up system that swallows enrollee applications in a single electronic gulp.
The bugs aren't just in the software. They're in the law itself.
Consumers are finally seeing insurance rates and plans. In many cases, insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays are rising. Illinois officials said premiums here would be lower than expected. But a Tribune analysis of 22 of the lowest-priced plans showed that those plans required huge annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual — and $8,000 for family coverage.
Lower premiums also come with a troubling tradeoff: access to a narrower networks of hospitals and doctors. If people aren't careful in choosing coverage, they may be shocked to find they have to pay much more for out-of-network care to go to their preferred doctor or hospital.
Individuals who already have coverage are learning they can't keep it after Jan. 1. They must choose a new health plan, which may come at considerably higher cost than they're paying now.
I suspect that’s the problem that the software developers had to confront. A computer program is a statement of logic and it’s darned hard to write a program that works well when the underlying reality it’s modeling is itself illogical. When the specifications keep changing, as was apparently the case, it’s that much harder.
In due course we’ll see whether the PPACA actually solves the problem it was intended to solve: enabling more people to have health insurance.