1. The Washington Post reported on Sunday that the Obama administration will consider the new online marketplace a success if 80 percent of users can buy health insurance. That is absurd. First, it’s another broken promise. The president and his advisers responded to the disastrous rollout last month by vowing to deliver an Amazon.com-quality website by the end of November. (If history remembers President Obama for one thing, other than his barrier-breaking 2008 election, it might be the outsized and unmet expectations that paved the path of his presidency.) Second, in what other line of work is 20 percent failure considered a success? If one out of every five meals served by a restaurant is inedible, the joint goes out of business.
2. The same story by Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin revealed that the Health and Human Services Department hired technology contractors without requiring specific performance criteria. It is customary in the private sector to include benchmarks in technology contracts. Not so with the seat-of-their-smarty-pants Obama administration. “The meaning of success was defined for the first time during the panicky days of October, when White House officials belatedly recognized that the federal exchange had serious software and hardware defects,” The Post reported.