This story will get buried under today's trainwreckpalooza (and righfully so), but it's worth pointing out anyway: Obamacare's tech team brain trust appeared on Capitol Hill today, and the resulting testimony was unlikely to brighten the president's day. A representative from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office noted that as of October 1, taxpayers had already spent more than $600 million on Obamacare's failed websites. Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) followed up by asking the panel how much additional cash has been, and will be, required to clean up the mess. It's a very simple question -- one that you'd think at least one of them would have anticipated. Their response? Crickets:
We're in the very best of hands. As for the administration's self-imposed November 30 deadline, things are looking very dicey:
Subtle but key shift in recent days: Admin officials saying they're working hard toward 11/30 goal. No longer emphatic that they'll meet it.— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) November 13, 2013
House committee asked witnesses if Obamacare exchange will be up and running by November 30. Nobody said 'yes.'— Byron York (@ByronYork) November 13, 2013
4 hours into hearing, biggest takeaway is that it seems highly unlikely that site will be fully functionally by Nov. 30.— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) November 13, 2013
Immediately after the federal government shutdown, Democrats claimed that their momentum improved their chances to recapture the House after next year's midterm elections. But a new poll released this week shows that momentum has vanished in the wake of the Obama administration's failures in implementing the health care law. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows the parties are now tied on the generic ballot, with each party at 39 percent. A combined 23 percent of registered voters either prefer another candidate, wouldn't vote, or are undecided. That is down from a 9-point Democratic lead in late September, immediately before Republican opposition to the health care law led to the shutdown. Independent voters, who split virtually evenly in the September survey, now back the Republican House candidate in their district by an 11-point margin, 37 percent to 26 percent. Among white voters, Republicans now have a 14-point lead, 46 percent to 32 percent. And, perhaps most strikingly, the poll shows no significant difference in vote intention by age, with the two parties virtually tied, even among voters under 30, who stuck with Democrats even in the 2010 GOP landslide.
Fun fact: Republicans were trailing slightly or tied on the generic Congressional ballot at this stage in the 2010 election cycle.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography