Some of their schemes have been serious, but mostly they’re ridiculous. And they’re not working.
There’s no doubt that the rollout of Obamacare’s insurance marketplace at HealthCare.gov has been less than stellar. I’m being nice because I’m a fan of the Affordable Care Act and I know the website will get fixed — and the law will prove itself to be a good one in time.
But there are plenty of folks who aren’t being nice at all. Not one bit. In fact, they’re actively trying to sabotage the rollout and the law itself.
The Arbor Networks’ IT security blog is reporting the discovery of a tool designed to overload the HealthCare.gov website. The blog is written by Arbor’s Security Engineering & Response Team (ASERT) at the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based provider of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack protection and network security.
In the blog post, ASERT says it has “no direct knowledge of any significant denial of service attacks directed towards the site.” ASERT says the tool is “unlikely to succeed in affecting the availability” of the site. But there’s no question someone wants it to. Here’s a screen shot of the tool (click on the image for a larger version):
That’s just the most recent news. A couple of weeks ago, the Twitchy website founded by conservative harpy Michelle Malkin was offering a cash prize for people who would “troll” HealthCare.gov’s Live Chat system. One proud “patriot” bragged of tying up a Live Chat representative for nearly an hour — an hour when that rep could have been helping people who actually want to buy health insurance. Instead, Malkin and her minions want to make it harder for people to get covered. Oh, and by the way, their plot failed. I got through to a Live Chat rep in about two minutes.
Then, of course, there are the Republicans who have done everything possible to stand in the way of Obamacare succeeding.
Not only did many of them refuse to implement state-run insurance marketplaces — placing an extra-heavy load on the shoulders of the federal government’s HealthCare.gov site — but they also refused to approve funding for the extra work on the website that would be required as a result. There’s even more in this great piece from PoliticusUSA, and I urge you to read it.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll remember that states like Kentucky, which have state-run marketplaces, are efficiently enrolling consumers. About 300,000 Kentucky residents signed up in the first month.
Could the rollout of HealthCare.gov have been much, much smoother? Of course it could have — and should have — been. But any large-scale initiative is going to have a few initial bumps in the road. In the case of the Affordable Care Act, it would have been a heck of a lot easier if those bumps weren’t people lying down in the road trying to stop the law’s forward momentum.
[Photo credit: Chris Savage | Eclectablog. Screenshot courtesy of Arbor Networks].