Like the kids in the backseat of the SUV in the 2005 “Are We There Yet?” movie, I do want to know that the “Techies” are “there” in terms of fixing the Obamacare Website disaster.  To give credit where credit is due, the “Techies” are responsible for the “disaster,” not the president. But, beyond a healthy curiosity, I am not sitting on the edge of my seat anticipating the news.

Today’s newscasters and pundits would have us buy into their mantra that problems with the Obamacare Website constitute a disaster that will forever define President Obama’s legacy. These commentators and political operatives would have us believe that President Obama’s legacy hangs by a thread, and if there are problems with the Obamacare Website @ today, he will leave office a beaten man, shunned by political candidates in 2014.

I’m not an expert, but if I were a gambling person; I would bet they are wrong. It seems to me that the president’s long term vision and consistent movement to achieve his vision will determine his legacy. And, the sound and fury we are hearing today, will dissolve into nothingness tomorrow.

Although It is true that is an important component of the ACA (Obamacare); it is only one doorway to the Marketplace that has been set up to service the health insurance needs of the millions of Americans who currently have no health insurance, or who are paying exorbitant premiums for health insurance. We need only look at states like California and Kentucky where people are successfully signing up for affordable healthcare insurance to understand that there are other doors to the Marketplace.

I’m reminded that the last great STEM Field innovation in this country, prior to the ACA Website, was space exploration. If you want to talk disasters, just open this door. Inside this door are real disasters — Apollo / Saturn 204 burns, The Challenger explodes, and The Columbia disintegrates. A comparison of these real “disasters” with the Obamacare Website disaster provides perspective.

In 1967, a fire consumed Apollo / Saturn 204, resulting in the death of three astronauts. Apollo / Saturn 204 was to be the first US manned lunar landing. After the fire, Apollo / Saturn 204 was renamed Apollo 1 as an indication, it seems to me, that there would be other Apollos to follow.

The country joined President Johnson in mourning the loss of life in Apollo 1, and waited for a definitive explanation and “fix” from scientists so that the missions could resume. After numerous “fixes”, Apollo 7 was launched and the Apollo mission was fulfilled. President Johnson’s legacy was never linked to the Apollo 1 disaster to my knowledge.

In 1987, The Challenger Spacecraft exploded 73 seconds into its flight, resulting in the loss of seven lives. This disaster was viewed live by millions of people.

Again, the nation joined the president in mourning the loss of life, waited for the experts to provide a definitive explanation for the explosion and to provide a “fix” for future space shuttles. The country was rewarded with success when Discovery was launched in 1988. President Reagan’s legacy was not tarnished by this disaster.

In 2003, as The Columbia Spacecraft began its reentry into earth’s atmosphere we were told it disintegrated. Is that really possible? Could we believe President George W. Bush (2001-2009) when he addressed the nation. After all, W is the son of the president who famously said, “Read my lips; no new taxes.” But we did listen to him as we joined him in mourning the seven souls lost in that disaster. The space program continued. No one called for an end to the space program as a result of any of these real disasters.


Although President Bush’s ratings dropped before he left office and he has not actively campaigned with other politicians; it has never been suggested that the cause was tied to the human error of those hired to “fix” things.

So, yes, today is the deadline to “fix” the Obamacare Website; and, yes, I want to know that we are “there” now. But We Baby Boomers know what a real disaster looks like and a broken Website is not it. Generations X and Y are accustomed to computer glitches. They understand that a glitch is not a disaster.

As long as President Obama keeps moving towards a vision of expanding affordable healthcare to all Americans as a means of promoting the general welfare; the “long view,” as Mrs. Obama says, is that he will not need to worry about his legacy.


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