NYT: Say, Obamacare kind of undermines Obama’s big-government approach, huh?

posted at 2:41 pm on October 28, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Hey, I hate to tell the New York Times I told you so, but … oh wait, I’m happy to tell them that.  Last week, I wrote two pieces that noted the existential danger posed by the ObamaCare disaster to big-government progressivism, one at the Fiscal Times and the other at CNN. Today, the Gray Lady alerts its readers to the risks of failure and incompetence at the White House:

In his biggest and most important speeches, the president often talks with passion about a “smarter, more effective government.” He has called on Congress to embrace and pay for a “21st century government that’s open and competent.” And he has vowed to work to “rebuild people’s faith in the institution of government.”

But in the pursuit of that lofty goal, Mr. Obama faces determined opposition from conservatives who view government as the problem, not the solution. And to succeed, he must win over an increasingly skeptical public whose trust in government has eroded over decades. A survey last week by the Pew Research Center found that just 19 percent of Americans trust government to do what is right just about always or most of the time.

The breakdown of the federal HealthCare.gov Web site could emerge as a test of Mr. Obama’s philosophy, with potentially serious implications for an agenda that relies heavily on the belief in a can-do bureaucracy. Michael Dimock, the Pew center’s director, said that the longer the problems persist, the more they could bolster what he called the “almost American value that government is inefficient.” …

Yuval Levin, the editor of National Affairs magazine and a conservative opponent of the health law, said the government’s inability to get the Web site working raises broader questions about how well the rest of the health care law will be implemented in the next several years.

“The promise of the administrative state becomes harder to believe in when it fails in practice,” Mr. Levin said. He added that it was easy to overstate the impact of a Web site that would get fixed eventually. But he said that “there’s a sense that in trying to do too much, the government creates questions about whether it can do anything at all.”

The real problem isn’t confined to the website.  It comes from the suddenly-apparent economics of risk pools, and the nature of sharing costs within them.  The mandates for coverage have forced insurers to take on a lot more risk, most of it in the form of routine medical care, which means that premiums and deductibles have to rise in order to cover those anticipated costs.  Anyone with a basic understanding of supply and demand and a passing familiarity with risk pools would have figured that out immediately, but that doesn’t include anyone in this administration, apparently.  Now Americans who believed Obama are getting sticker shock from the results:

The problems with HealthCare.gov are now well documented and continued with an outage on Sunday. But even if the website gets fixed by the end of November, as the White House promises, potentially bigger problems lie ahead.

Middle income consumers are starting to get hit with sticker shock as previously low-priced plans get canceled and replaced with higher-dollar coverage. Stories of consumers getting plans canceled directly contradict Obama’s promise that people who like their plans could keep them under the new law. Defenders of the law say that the new plans will be better. But they will also cost more at a time when wages are stagnant.

And many of these middle class consumers hit by higher rates do not qualify for the federal subsidies intended help millions of lower income consumers get covered, many for the first time. Anger from consumers is likely to add to already rising political pressure to delay or alter the law.

Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds makes that the subject of his column today at USA Today:

As it’s gotten bigger the federal government appears to have gotten less competent. Apollo was a success on its own terms, but the big government policies that followed — the War On Poverty, the War On Drugs, the War On Cancer — have all been pretty much failures, sometimes disastrous ones.

Even Obama himself is evidence of this problem. His 2012 presidential campaignwas famous for its mastery of technology, building up an electronic campaign infrastructure in just a few months that helped him win the election. But, of course, it wasn’t a government operation. Obama without the government — a technological success. Obama within the government — a technological embarrassment. The difference between success and failure here, as even Obama-haters will have to admit, wasn’t Obama. It’s more likely that a political campaign has clear goals, and lots of freedom to improvise, while a federal program is much more encumbered by law and bureaucracy.

Whatever the cause, it remains indisputable that the federal government isn’t very good at delivering on big projects. The obvious response is to not entrust the federal government with big projects on which it can’t deliver. Instead, they should be left to those who can.

Will our political and pundit class draw the obvious lesson here? Stay tuned.

Better yet, will voters draw the obvious lesson? After all, we get the incompetents and the incompetence we choose.


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Schadenfreude on October 28, 2013 at 2:43 PM

I think that was the article where one of the commenters was lamenting that the whole problem was that the Dems had compromised so much with the Republicans that the watered down program couldn’t succeed.

oldroy on October 28, 2013 at 2:45 PM

May all the Utopian pipe-dreaming looters be made poor and destitute.

May all their lemming-moochers wake up and politically ‘pitchfork’ them, for keeping them in modern day plantations.

Your looters hate the middle and lower classes. They want to destroy the former, increase the latter, never make life better for you, just so long as you pull the lever for them, and their regal lives.

Wake up already and chase them to political Hades.

Schadenfreude on October 28, 2013 at 2:46 PM

As obamacare continues its’ decent into the worst public works project EVER designed, it’s time for the democrats and their supporters in the media to start blaming Republicans for the problems.

You see, even though not one Republican voted for it and that a small group of conservatives wanted to delay or end this disaster prior to its implementation, somehow the MSM will spin this to be the republicans fault….AND 50% OF THE PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE IT!!!!!

So can we now do away with the theory that when something the Democrats propose is supposed to go down in flames as a huge failure that the Dems will be blamed and we can “hang it around their necks”? Can we now conclude that the best option is to fight the dems, not wait for them top fail?

dirtseller on October 28, 2013 at 2:47 PM

In a savvier Republicans-ruined-Obamacare argument, Washington Post wonk-blogger Ezra Klein contends that the Democratic part of Obamacare — Medicaid, which is single-payer — works. But: “The part of Obamacare that’s troubled is the part Democrats lifted from Republican policymakers. It’s the part that tries to integrate private insurance companies with government systems in order to create a universal insurance system that’s subsidized by the state but run by private companies.”

Get it? If Obamacare fails, it’s because Obamacare is a Republican plan.

Now, I won’t deny that two decades ago, some conservative think tank swell came up with the term “individual mandate” — which allowed other wonks to try to pin the tail on the elephant. But if liberals have to fish for a 1989 Heritage Foundation policy paper that had no Republican support in 2008, 2009 or 2012 to establish Republican paternity for the Affordable Care Act, that tells you one thing: They think Obamacare won’t work.

Fight the Liars and charlatanic thugs, incl. the media, Rs, alas.

Schadenfreude on October 28, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Reality has the final vote.

In this case, it’s a landslide.

INC on October 28, 2013 at 2:48 PM

I would bet the Journolist website is not down while they are frantically working to find ways to blame this failure on Republicans.They have no choice so look for saturation bombing with lie after lie.

docflash on October 28, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Middle income consumers are starting to get hit with sticker shock as previously low-priced plans get canceled and replaced with higher-dollar coverage.

The fact that it is higher-dollar coverage not “better coverage” is a point the GOP cannot cede to the left. A 68-year-old guy being forced to pay twice as much for healthcare that includes maternity services as part of his benefits is not getting “better coverage.”

Happy Nomad on October 28, 2013 at 2:51 PM

This giant national liberal panty wad over Bozocare has brought a smile to my face that won’t go away. Oh, and they’re about to elect a full blown red communist in NYC. Smile just turned to full blown knee slapping laughter.

msupertas on October 28, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Today, the Gray Lady alerts its readers to the risks of failure and incompetence at the White House:

The NYT needs some help from the robot in Lost in Space:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWwOJlOI1nU

BuckeyeSam on October 28, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Work harder. The moochers need your efforts.

Schadenfreude on October 28, 2013 at 2:56 PM

But he said that “there’s a sense that in trying to do too much, the government creates questions about whether it can do anything at all.”

There is essentially a verbal contract between government and the governed. People, stupid as they are, believed Obama’s promises of lower healthcare costs and being able to keep one’s doctor and plan. The failure of Obamacare is a breech of that faith.

Happy Nomad on October 28, 2013 at 2:56 PM

After all, we get the incompetents and the incompetence we choose.

We got the incompetants and the incompetance which freeloading welfare parasites and union thugs chose for us.

burrata on October 28, 2013 at 2:56 PM

One moral of the story is: The Presidency is too big an office for on-the-job-training. Those without substantial executive experience always flounder.

Another is: Never, ever trust a leftist with anything.

Adjoran on October 28, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Work harder. The moochers need your efforts money.

Fixed…

PatriotRider on October 28, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Failure and incompetence, Obama’s legacy…

PatriotRider on October 28, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Obama’s Presidential Library will be the size of my woodshed…and empty as well…

PatriotRider on October 28, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Did Klein really say Medicaid works? Really? A program whose participant’s outcomes actually trail those with no insurance at all?

Where do libs grow these idiots?

He is going to see just how well Medicaid works close up and personal one of these days.

Zomcon JEM on October 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM

I would bet the Journolist website is not down while they are frantically working to find ways to blame this failure on Republicans.They have no choice so look for saturation bombing with lie after lie.

docflash on October 28, 2013 at 2:50 PM

We can help jourNOlistas and trolls ( with Ed’s permission ofcourse) right here, right now :O
For example :
ObamaCAIR failed because Bush lied and people died
Or
ObamaCAIR failed because Cheney shot his friend in the face
Or
ObamaCAIR failed because of Halliburton
:O

burrata on October 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Yet, If it hadn’t been for the ongoing epic failure of healthcare.guv—ObamaCare—we may have missed the long road of computer scandals that seems to now serve as the government’s way to feed mega money to their friends and supporters.

Indeed, the ObamaCare website failure may unwittingly end up blowing the whistle on one of the biggest government slush fund set ups in latter day history because the runaway costs on healthcare.gov uncovers a long trajectory of failed multi-million dollar government websites that point to coincidences way too many.

CGI, the Canadian company that launched healthcare.gov, is peopled with friends of the Obamas, including Michelle Obama’s Princeton school chum, Toni Townes-Whitley. CGI is not just the company behind the healthcare.gov epic fail. CGI is also the company behind the $2.7-billion failed, Liberal-launched Canadian Gun Registry that was so plagued with corruption and mismanagement it brought on an investigation by Canadian Auditor General Sheila Fraser.

Government website glitches can make for perfect stall tactics allowing timelines for election-bound politicians to get past elections like the upcoming 2014 midterms.

Healthcare.gov—Jeff Zeints-guaranteed as “good to go” by the end of November 2013—can rely on a company that could have already proven itself “too big to not fail”.

J_Crater on October 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM

In his biggest and most important speeches, the president often talks with passion about a “smarter, more effective government.” He has called on Congress to embrace and pay for a “21st century government that’s open and competent.” And he has vowed to work to “rebuild people’s faith in the institution of government.”

But in the pursuit of that lofty goal, Mr. Obama faces determined opposition from conservatives who view government as the problem, not the solution. And to succeed, he must win over an increasingly skeptical public whose trust in government has eroded over decades. A survey last week by the Pew Research Center found that just 19 percent of Americans trust government to do what is right just about always or most of the time.

The breakdown of the federal HealthCare.gov Web site could emerge as a test of Mr. Obama’s philosophy, with potentially serious implications for an agenda that relies heavily on the belief in a can-do bureaucracy. Michael Dimock, the Pew center’s director, said that the longer the problems persist, the more they could bolster what he called the “almost American value that government is inefficient.” …

Even here, with their ‘kind of’ admission that the credibility of the big government agenda, the NY Times can’t call out the obvious lies of President Obama in the promises he made to the American people.

There should no question or any doubt regarding the bankruptcy and vapidity of the progressive big government philosophy given the track record of this Administration and it’s efforts to implement and promote the big government agenda. It’s been well documented in the past – and like Einstein’s definition of insanity, doing the same thing again and again will not result in different results.

From INC on another thread, he posted this excellent item which hits that point home….

In his classic 1987 work, A Conflict of Visions, Sowell identifies two competing worldviews, or visions, that have underlain the Western political tradition for centuries.

Sowell calls one worldview the “constrained vision.” It sees human nature as flawed or fallen, seeking to make the best of the possibilities that exist within that constraint. The competing worldview, which Sowell terms the “unconstrained vision,” instead sees human nature as capable of continual improvement.

You can trace the constrained vision back to Aristotle; the unconstrained vision to Plato. But the neatest illustration of the two visions occurred during the great upheavals of the 18th century, the American and French revolutions.

The American Revolution embodied the constrained vision. “In the United States,” Sowell says, “it was assumed from the outset that what you needed to do above all was minimize [the damage that could be done by] the flaws in human nature.” The founders did so by composing a constitution of checks and balances. More than two centuries later, their work remains in place.

The French Revolution, by contrast, embodied the unconstrained vision. “In France,” Sowell says, “the idea was that if you put the right people in charge–if you had a political Messiah–then problems would just go away.” The result? The Terror, Napoleon and so many decades of instability that France finally sorted itself out only when Charles de Gaulle declared the Fifth Republic.

There is a reason why I sometimes use the term ‘Jacobin’ to describe Barack Obama and his ideological allies. The French Revolution was the first totalitarian revolution in history – and the its result is not unlike the results of the other totalitarian revolutions that have taken place. Failure.

Athos on October 28, 2013 at 3:05 PM

AP,

You when run a Obamacare post with an Obama screen cap, use the screen cap of him smoking.

Oil Can

Oil Can on October 28, 2013 at 3:06 PM

But in the pursuit of that lofty goal, Mr. Obama faces determined opposition from conservatives who view government as the problem, not the solution.

This was a news article? Aren’t they supposed to be unbiased?

kcewa on October 28, 2013 at 3:10 PM

I think that was the article where one of the commenters was lamenting that the whole problem was that the Dems had compromised so much with the Republicans that the watered down program couldn’t succeed.

oldroy on October 28, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Yeah, that’s why the Republicans were not allowed to read Obamacare before the Democratics passed it without a single Republican vote.

slickwillie2001 on October 28, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Prediction for Nov 1st, 2013

I was reading the papers and just found out that some folk’s healthcare rates are going up. And, let me be clear here, nobody is madder than I am. And If I’m mad, none of my staff is happy [pause for laughter]……….

This lazy stupid coward has become predictable.

Happy Nomad on October 28, 2013 at 3:15 PM

shut up NYT, she said

neyney on October 28, 2013 at 3:16 PM

OT Breaking: JUDGE DECLARES TEXAS ABORTION RESTRICTIONS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

OmahaConservative on October 28, 2013 at 3:17 PM

He added that it was easy to overstate the impact of a Web site that would get fixed eventually. But he said that “there’s a sense that in trying to do too much, the government creates questions about whether it can do anything at all.”

Hey , that is so sexist and racist as well .
After soooooo many years , for the very first time ,
the Mooch gets something which makes her proud of her country,
and instead of thanking her friend for her help in fulfiling Mooch’s dream, you people are treating her like Solyndra ?
Shame on you ;-)

burrata on October 28, 2013 at 3:18 PM

This seems to be a good time to remind people of this Bill Whittle video:

“The love of theory is the root of all evil.”

Sums up nicely why the ACA doesn’t work.

Meric1837 on October 28, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Yeah, that’s why the Republicans were not allowed to read Obamacare before the Democratics passed it without a single Republican vote.

slickwillie2001 on October 28, 2013 at 3:13 PM

The funny thing is that, at the time, it was because the Demonrats didn’t want the GOP to get any credit for handing Americans Obamacare. They were determined that only Demonrats would reap the political spoils of the ACA. Karma’s a b*tch.

Happy Nomad on October 28, 2013 at 3:19 PM

There is essentially a verbal contract between government and the governed. People, stupid as they are, believed Obama’s promises of lower healthcare costs and being able to keep one’s doctor and plan. The failure of Obamacare is a breech of that faith.
Happy Nomad on October 28, 2013 at 2:56 PM

That kind of argument plays into statists’ hands (social contract). There is no contract between myself and the Feds. A contract requires offer, acceptance and consideration between the parties. I have not accepted, verbally or otherwise, anything from the Feds. I am simply threatened, at the point of a gun, to pay up or else.

iwasbornwithit on October 28, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Remember the Former Soviet Union? Let that be your lesson. Obama is a Marxist/Socialist. They believe in Redistribution of wealth; ObamaCare is nothing but a redistribution of wealth, dressed up, as ever, as “helping the poor!”

It’s the Socialism, stupid!

mountainaires on October 28, 2013 at 3:20 PM

And as we watch this train crash (and its wide swath) in slow motion, keep in mind the entire impetus for ObamaCare was simply the need to flesh-out a weak campaign speech with something that had a populist appeal. A last minute edit for the teleprompter.

Tsar of Earth on October 28, 2013 at 3:21 PM

…the more they could bolster what he called the “almost American value that government is inefficient.” …

No, it’s a universal fact that Americans accept more than most.

RadClown on October 28, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Jay Carney lies while admitting Obama lied

From The Weekly Standard

kcewa on October 28, 2013 at 3:25 PM

The breakdown of the federal HealthCare.gov Web site could emerge as a test of Mr. Obama’s philosophy,

Philosophy…..meet reality.

/Lessons

ted c on October 28, 2013 at 3:35 PM

All Obama and his cronies need to do is pass The Erasure of Reality’s Effects Rule into law and carry on!

profitsbeard on October 28, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Stop obeying a dictator; you will then see that he is nothing! Stop obeying a king; you will then see that he is nothing! If you refuse the Devil, you will then see that he will shade away!

roflmmfao

donabernathy on October 28, 2013 at 4:08 PM

He has called on Congress to embrace and pay for a “21st century government that’s open and competent.” And he has vowed to work to “rebuild people’s faith in the institution of government.”

But in the pursuit of that lofty goal, Mr. Obama faces determined opposition from conservatives who view government as the problem, not the solution. And to succeed, he must win over an increasingly skeptical public whose trust in government has eroded over decades.

Obamacare is not the only problem. Benghazi, the IRS, Fast and Furious, NSA, etc, etc, etc…

Vince on October 28, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Big government got a lot more stupid, when Obama populated the bureaucracy with his and cronies.

Dasher on October 28, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Big government got a lot more stupid, when Obama populated the bureaucracy with his minions and cronies. /arrg

Dasher on October 28, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Former Dem Staffer: “I Spent Two Years Defending Obamacare… I Was Wrong. Very Wrong”…

I hate to say we told you so, but yeah, we told you so.

Via Chicago Sun-Times:

Sue Klinkhamer has a problem.

It’s called Obamacare.

And the irony of her situation is not lost on her. In a recent email addressed to her former boss, Illinois Congressman Bill Foster, and other Democratic colleagues, she wrote:

“I spent two years defending Obamacare. I had constituents scream at me, spit at me and call me names that I can’t put in print. The congressman was not re-elected in 2010 mainly because of the anti-Obamacare anger. When the congressman was not re-elected, I also (along with the rest of our staff) lost my job. I was upset that because of the health care issue, I didn’t have a job anymore but still defended Obamacare because it would make health care available to everyone at, what I assumed, would be an affordable price. I have now learned that I was wrong. Very wrong.”

For Klinkhamer, 60, President Obama’s oft-repeated words ring in her ears: “If you like your health plan, you will keep it.”

When Klinkhamer lost her congressional job, she had to buy an individual policy on the open market.

Three years ago, it was $225 a month with a $2,500 deductible. Each year it went up a little to, as of Sept. 1, $291 with a $3,500 deductible. Then, a few weeks ago, she got a letter.

“Blue Cross,” she said, “stated my current coverage would expire on Dec. 31, and here are my options: I can have a plan with similar benefits for $647.12 [or] I can have a plan with similar [but higher] pricing for $322.32 but with a $6,500 deductible.”

She went on, “Blue Cross also tells me that if I don’t pick one of the options, they will just assume I want the one for $647. … Someone please tell me why my premium in January will be $356 more than in December?”

The sticker shock Klinkhamer is experiencing is something millions of individual policyholders are reeling from having gotten similar letters from their private insurers.

Keep reading…

Resist We Much on October 28, 2013 at 4:20 PM

What did you think would happen? As I’ve said before: Insurance companies could have delivered non preexisting condition insurance all along but no one would have been able to afford it. So what good would it have been?

supersport667 on October 28, 2013 at 4:21 PM

If you voted for this creep or supported 0crapcare, you deserve this and I don’t give a damn what it’s adverse effect is on you. Choke on it. You were warned.

freedomfirst on October 28, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Fred Barnes – The Point of No Return for Barack Obama

President Obama is facing the abyss. It’s that moment when a president’s plans are overwhelmed by his problems, and he’s relegated to playing defense for the rest of his White House term. Obama’s agenda already lingers near death. His poll numbers have slipped to new lows. His speeches are full of alibis and accusations.

Obama hasn’t reached the point of no return, but he’s close. His biggest problem is the collapse of Obamacare on its launching pad as the entire country watched. And there’s worse trouble ahead. More likely than not, Obamacare will be the dominant issue in the final three-plus years of his presidency. From that, there’s no recovery.

Barack Obama no longer has any credibility. He didn’t have to give a ‘Malaise’ speech – he created an entirely new level and definition of ‘Malaise’.

In addition, Obamacare is now the poster child for clearly demonstrating that big government is not only not better government, but is utterly incapable of implementing ‘big things’ effectively or efficiently.

As Barnes wraps up…

Had Obamacare been created as a private enterprise with Obama as CEO, it wouldn’t have lasted a week. Not only would the stumbling company have been put out of business, so would its incompetent CEO. And we’d all—well, most of us—be better off.

Just one more advantage of the private sector over the public sector.

Athos on October 28, 2013 at 4:48 PM

To a progressive, nothing ever proves government is too big, it is only proof that government isn’t big enough. Failure means we need MORE government control of health care. The remnants of the free market caused the failure.

tdarrington on October 28, 2013 at 5:42 PM

But..but…but… the libs intend to do good things…
It gives them the reason to wreak all kinds
of havoc on their quest to make them
feel better about themselves!

I am really afraid about what happens in a few months
when the Medicaide roles explode and young people
refuse to be extorted for exorbitant-health-care
premiums for a crappy-plan that they will rarely use.

Only wealthy-libs would think that this is a good idea.

shorebird on October 29, 2013 at 12:05 AM