Tuesday, December 03, 2013

White House goal for Obamacare: just keep polishing that turd

Megan McArdle:
The administration has given up on success, as it might once have defined it. The object is no longer 7 million people signed up through the exchanges, with 2.7 million of them young and healthy, and the health-care cost curve bending back toward the earth. It is to keep the program alive until 2015. The administration's priorities are, first, to keep Democrats from undoing the individual mandate or otherwise crippling the law; second, to keep insurers from raising premiums or exiting the marketplace; third, to tamp down loose talk about the failures on the exchanges; and, only fourth, to get to the place where it used to think it would be this year, with lots of people signed up for affordable insurance. It is now measuring the program’s success not by whether it meets its goals, but by whether it survives at all. And all of its choices are oriented toward this new priority.
In case you missed it - since the NY Times buried the lede - the vaunted Obamacare tech surge amounted to "about half a dozen" nerds.  A billion dollars and four years of work, and all we have are traffic metrics on a security nightmare that is incapable of performing its most basic task.

Time to wave the white flag on competence and start the speeches.
And when you apply this to the ObamaCare debacle, suddenly it seems to make sense. The White House is so unformed and chaotic that they probably didn’t ignore the problem, they probably held a million meetings on it. People probably said things like, “We’re experiencing some technological challenges but we’re sure we’ll be up by October,” and other people said, “Yes, it’s important we launch strong,” and others said, “The Republicans will have a field day if we’re not.” And then everyone went to their next meeting. And no one did anything. And the president went off and made speeches.
Because the doing isn’t that important, the talking is.
Rinse and repeat.


Nigel Tufnel said...

The absurdity of this rhetoric is beneath you, old boy.

Turn off Fox News and stop quoting a Koch operative who assured us the Iraq war wasn't going to be expensive. She may quiet your cognitive dissonance, but she is of little value otherwise.

Or you can ride this wave as long as it lasts and then jump on the next one.

My money's on the surfing.

Time moves on said...

A month and a half ago, Consumer Reports gave a thumb's down to the Obamacare website when it launched, calling it "barely operational" and telling its readers "stay away from Healthcare.gov for at least another month if you can."

Yesterday, Consumer Reports endorsed the updated version's workability.

Frenzy said...

How many times did this and other blogs use the phrase "Bush Derangement Syndrome"?

It's nice to see that in a bad economy, the rubber and glue businesses are booming.

Eric said...

Briefly, here's what drives my crazy: you'd think that given recent events, Obama would scale back the rhetoric a little. Instead, he goes on the offensive with the implicit thrust that - even now - he needs to explain it all to these dim Americans.

Sometime before the 2012 election, Obama said the failures of his first term were because he needed to "tell better stories." That, and meeting once with Kathleen Sebelius over the last 3 years, may have helped.