The political consequences will last for years. Coming soon: the doctor shortages.
Spoken like a true TeaParty ideologue. While the initial rollout of healthcare.gov was an unmitigated mess, the recovery will in time be recognized as one of the greatest tech successes. The initial design goal was for the website to be able to accommodate 50,000 simultaneous visitors. On Monday December 23rd the website was supporting 83,000 concurrent users. About 2 million people have enrolled into healthcare plans, 1.1 million through healthcare.gov. Quite a substantial number from those six people that enrolled the first day!
Regardless of what you think of the individual mandate or health care reform, that is a remarkable tech turn around - taking millions of lines of pre-alpha code in October to production status by the end of the year. Here is a short video interview with New Relic, one of the companies behind the turnaround.
For all the bad politics our government might have, do not underestimate its propensity to solve a technical problem.