Obamacare: A Careless and Clumsy Launch

In the first month of the Affordable Care Act, the administration has failed to manage its signature program.

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— Valerie Jarrett (@vj44) October 29, 2013

 

It just makes the people at the White House look as if they're papering over, and not trying to fix, the problem.

Plus, their rollout has been so slack, it makes you wonder if the people running it lost sight of the fact that Obamacare passed without any Republican votes. Or that that it gave the once-directionless Tea Party a target. Or that Mitt Romney, the individual mandate's godfather, had to constantly fight off the "Obam-ney-care" attack line in order to win the 2012 GOP nomination.

They had no choice but to get this stage of the implementation right -- and their failure to prepare for the launch of HealthCare.gov or to outline how the law works amounts to political malpractice.

Although the buck stops with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for problems with the HealthCare.gov rollout -- it should have been her top priority all along -- the buck still stops with the president for never successfully educating a majority of the public on the outlines and objectives of the ACA.

Unlike other issues tackled during Obama's tenure -- Afghanistan, Iraq, recession, immigration -- this project wasn't sitting in the president's inbox when he arrived in office. He wanted to do this.

So when the president says -- as he did Wednesday in Boston -- that "some people will move from cheaper insurance to fuller coverage because the law is intended to help not only the uninsured but also the underinsured," it's a pretty helpful explanation.

But it's one that he should have rolled out much sooner.