President Obama’s Health Care Plan:
You are a fan: Yes, the website was a disaster, and there’s no excuse. But let’s not forget the context. Republican governors fought allowing exchanges in their states, adding to the burden on the federal government. House Republicans made it clear they would never appropriate the funds needed to implement the U.S. law fully. Still, let’s stipulate that the website is a mess. But what’s the central problem—the website or the law? It’s just a website. How do we know that? Look at the success of the state exchanges. People are signing up, which means it’s not the product that is a problem, but the access to the product. If the product were bad, there would be no fixing it. At least you can fix a website.
Yes, I know, the president said you could keep your plan. Presidents say a lot of things that sometimes turn out not to be true despite their best intentions. Some even invade other countries on the basis of information that turns out to be wrong. It’s bad to have your access to a superior health care plan delayed, but not as bad as botching the invasion of an entire country. The president has apologized and moved to fix the matter. When all is said and done, the number of people who will want to stay on their previous plans where they got worse coverage and no subsidy will be small. (The number of happy people, on the other hand, is growing.) There’s even some evidence that the website is actually working a lot better, and the more it works, the more there will be good stories about people actually being helped.