Thus the second reason the Obamacare rollout has been so awful. “They put amateurs in charge,” says Marmor. Obama would have been much better served if, for instance, he had called upon his friend Jeffrey Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric, to choose a team of specialists to lead the effort.
To even think that thought, however, requires management skills that this president has never shown. Nor has his initial reaction done much to instill faith. Calling on insurance companies to allow people to keep their old insurance plans — even after they’ve been canceled — is untenable. Even if state boards of insurance would allow such a move, it still wreaks havoc with the calculations upon which premiums are set.
Obama also announced a deadline of Nov. 30 for fixing the problems with HealthCare.gov. But what will that really accomplish? It is an arbitrary deadline that will almost surely not be met — and will sow even more mistrust.
With each day’s stories about the troubled rollout of Obamacare, it is easy to believe that it is doomed. But it’s not — not by a long shot. “We’ll know a lot more when we see what the roughly 15 million to 16 million people who are expected to get coverage that first year think,” says Altman. “And they won’t know themselves what they think about Obamacare until they start getting services.”