That’s an enormous lowering of expectations, and a reminder to liberals about the formidable barriers to further expansion of the welfare state. The public has long been skeptical of the political system’s practical ability to do the things progressives say they want to do. A health care website that comes in months late, over budget, and still lacking full functionality confirms all those fears when it was initially meant to debunk them. And that’s true whether or not it in some sense “works.”
— Matthew Yglesias, Healthcare.gov Has Already Failed: Website problems won’t stop Obamacare, but they’ve already wrecked progressives’ ambitions. Slate, today
Yglesias was discussing the Obama administration’s statement yesterday that healthcare.gov is now working reasonable well in its capacity to handle log-ons. The update, Yglesias said, tacitly acknowledged that “‘t]he government, according to the people who run the government, shouldn’t be expected to do things well.”
That’s right, Matt. What liberals have always wanted was a healthcare insurance website that works the way Amazon’s does. They never really much cared whether healthcare insurance, and healthcare itself, was available to people who have a preexisting medical condition and don’t have an employer that provides group insurance, or who just plain can’t afford huge premiums. They just used that as a pretext to get the Amazon-like website, or to try to.
The government shouldn’t be expected to do things well. If, by “things,” you mean websites.
Just wondering whether I’m the only one who is really, really tired of the punditry’s asinine conflation of means and ends–or, more specifically, of a website’s operations and access to medical insurance and medical care. I doubt that I am. I think it’s just that big-name pundits tend to conflate form and substance, because, well, that’s what big-name pundits do.
What a dumb blog post. Yglesias’s, on Slate; not mine, here.