For years, Republicans played the role of those scientists on Obamacare. Using science, they outlined exactly how Hurricane Obamacare would land and the damage it would do. Last week, Townhall.com reviewed that scientific analysis, presented by Sen. Mike Enzi in 2010. "No, Enzi’s not a psychic," they write. Neither were those weather scientists.
As the storm approached (the Obamacare storm, that is), the warnings multiplied. The administration was warned and warned. Government documents that Reuters acquired indicate that a contractor thought issues with the Healthcare.gov site could "crash the plane at take-off." (Weirdly, Hurricane Katrina also threatened to crash planes, if planes flew through it, which they didn't.)
Healthcare.gov was when the levees broke.
Then, the storm hit. When October 1 rolled around, no one was paying attention to Obamacare's worst effects, being otherwise distracted by the shutdown — itself an attempt to prevent the storm from making landfall (is that the right analogy? I'm losing track). But soon the deluge couldn't be ignored. Just as the government-made levees couldn't handle all of the water in New Orleans, the government-made Healthcare.gov website couldn't handle all the traffic.
Obama behaved exactly like President Bush.
When the scale of the emergency became clear in New Orleans, George W. Bush was nowhere to be found, out in California playing the guitar and otherwise doing nothing about the problem. For the first few days of the Obamacare storm, Obama didn't do anything either, except work on trying to end the shutdown and the other things that he had to deal with in Washington, D.C.
At no point did President Obama go to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency that runs Healthcare.gov, and look at the overheated servers and code and what-have-you. Just as Bush ignored cries for help from people who'd lost homes after the storm, Obama ignored the error logs from the website, letting them issue their error 404s and error 500s into the blank void of an unseen hard drive.
Then, when he did act, it was too little. As Bush flew over the damage from Katrina, telling the world how concerned he was about the invisible people below, Obama only paid lip service to fixing the real problem: the levees. I mean: the website. Or, I guess: the people trying to sign up for service. All three.
Kathleen Sebelius is FEMA Director Michael Brown.
The man responsible for crafting a response on behalf of the government in 2005 was Michael Brown, an unknown administrator whose previous employment was with the International Arabian Horse Association. (That's true.) Sebelius' pre-Health and Human Services Department employment was similarly obscure, running a small state called "Kansas."
On October 15, two weeks after the levees broke (reminder: that's the Healthcare.gov rollout), Obama's spokesman indicated that Sebelius still had the "full confidence" of the president, a gaffe no less memorable than Bush's telling Brown(ie) that he was doing a "heckuva job."