NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, President Obama has lost credibility as a leader and effective executive with most Americans.
A good CEO must work within the strengths and limitations of his organization, then execute effectively to deliver on the promises he makes.
Enter the president's signature program:
-- If you can't buy health insurance, the ACA will make it easy to obtain.
-- If you like the insurance you have, the ACA will let you can keep it.
-- If you like your doctor, the ACA will let you keep him.
-- If you already have good insurance, the ACA will make it cheaper.
The ACA Web site, HealthCare.gov, even with many efforts at improvement, is simply not easy to use or adequately effective.
As of Nov. 30, 365,000 Americans signed up for insurance via that Web site and the other exchanges set up by the states. This is well short of the Administration's target, and makes unlikely that seven million will sign up by March 31, as expected by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Many who have failed to participate are young and healthy, and whose participation is needed to make the insurance policies offered viable.
When new insurance policies take effect next year, many Americans who successfully navigated the federal Web site may find they have signed up for nothing at all. Critical data about policyholders, dependents, incomes and the like have not been effectively transmitted to insurance companies for about 1 in 10 applicants. Also, the software needed to pay insurance companies federal subsidies promised for low and moderate income Americans is not yet completed.
Insurance companies won't have enough cash to pay claims. Doctors will be scrambling to collect money directly from patients (who may not be able to pay) to keep their practices solvent.
Right out of the box, the ACA declared many individual and group insurance policies to be inadequate and illegal. After a public uproar, the president declared those policies could be reinstated for one year, but many state insurance commissioners balked at this unworkable reversal. Insurance companies simply can't recreate the risk pools of customers that made those policies viable.
Once out, the jelly could not be put back into the jar.
Across the full range of policies sold directly to individuals and provided groups through employers, insurance companies are eliminating doctors and hospitals from networks to meet arbitrary ObamaCare mandates. Americans are scrambling to find new physicians, who are often overwhelmed and sometimes cannot provide essential services some patients need.
Policies now canceled paid millions of dollars in critical services, including cancer treatments by highly specialized clinics. Now they are being replaced by new contracts that don't pay for those life-saving treatments, yet are cluttered with unneeded benefits, such as pediatric vision services for childless couples in their 50s.