While Americans either read about or experience the website’s failures firsthand, the enemies of health-care reform are telling them that ObamaCare is a failure. And since virtually no one actually understands how the new law works, the verdict sounds plausible. Thus tech “glitches” make the law’s critics look better and make the administration look like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and many Americans’ first impression of health-care reform comes from the website—or from jokes about it by Leno, Letterman and Stewart. Becoming a national laughingstock is worse than getting off to a bad start. It undermines trust in health-care reform and, more generally, in the government’s ability to solve problems.
And it’s not just website problems. Americans are also hearing more and more about a second snafu. (Remember what those five letters stand for.) The president assured people over and over again that “if you like your [health insurance] plan, you can keep it.” Well, it turns out that maybe you can’t; your current insurance might get canceled.