The Cost of HealthCare.gov's Failures

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Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- American Enterprise Institute's Joseph Antos discusses the consequences of HealthCare.gov's technical problems. He speaks with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television's "Bottom Line." (Source: Bloomberg)

Continue to crash until the obama administration understands how can sommers thing.

Exactly what do you mean?

-- they think it was better to collect all this personal information from someone before they saw their choices.

That is not the way american consumers buy products.

When you go to the used-car lot, you don't give the salesman your credit card in you don't tell him where you live and how many children you have or whether anybody is in our serrated -- incarcerated, but that's basically be information you have to give in the process of finding out whether you have three choices or 15 choices of health plans.

It's not a way to sell insurance, frankly.

President obama said this week that the health care rollout is more than just a website.

Does the president have a point, or is he being disingenuous, given the fact that the administration does need healthy young people who are more inclined to use the web to sign up?

He's got a serious problem.

It is true that there is a paper process, but once you write your information down on a piece of paper, someone has to get it into a computer.

We can't run modern business systems on pen and paper anymore.

That era has been gone for at least 50 years.

The other problem, as you point out, is that young people are not necessarily the most patient people in the world.

So they've been discouraged if they have been looking to buy insurance, they have had three weeks of not being able to get on the side, most of them, not being able to see their choices.

I think the president's problem is, will they come back if the website is actually ready to go in another month or two?

I think that's highly unlikely.

Sir, the white house has promised a technology surge to correct the problems.

At this point, would that be enough to convince those who tried to sign up online him and would it convince those who view the website's problems is just another example of the government not being able to do anything right?

Trying is not the problem, it is succeeding that matters.

You can spend another hundred million dollars trying to make it work, but if you can't make it work, you're not going to sign people up.

Young people know this.

Older people know this, too.

The fact is, the only people who are persistent enough to have bought insurance in the last three weeks are people who desperately need the coverage, because they have immediate health care needs.

But if you only have insurance that enrolls people who spend money, you've got a system that's going to collapse.

The white house was hoping that states would set up their own exchanges.

As you know, many decided not to do so.

In june of last year, when the supreme court upheld the constitutionality of the affordable care act, some states changed their minds.

Did two years of court challenges effectively undermine the law, and in so doing, did that contribute to a delay in the launch of the website?

It undermined the law in the sense that the law originally said that states effectively had no choice in terms of expanding their medicaid and doing the other things that are required under the original interpretation of the law.

What the supreme court basically did was, they said that you can't hold a gun to the heads of every governor in the country.

They have to have some authority to run their medicaid programs in a way that is fiscally sound in their state.

So of course, all this talk has undermined some people's confidence in the law, but all of that would have been washed away if the administration were simply ready, and they weren't. rexam have about a minute left.

According to numbers released on sunday, healthcare.gov received more than 90 million unique visits since the october 1 launch.

That number does not indicate how many people have successfully enrolled in the exchange.

What does the size of that number say to both defenders and critics of the law?

I'm not sure it's as much of anything.

I think it says that there are an awful lot of people who are very curious, but it doesn't necessarily mean they are ready to buy.

What matters is the product, not the process.

Joseph antos at

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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