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November 2nd, 2013 3:43 pm
Obamacare Launch Much Worse Than Medicare Part D Rollout

A meme circulating through the liberal punditry claims that the jaw-droppingly bad launch of Healthcare.gov, the federal Obamacare insurance website, is nothing to get all hot-and-bothered about. Remember the Bush administration’s poor rollout of Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit? Its website was glitch prone at the start, but now the portal and the program are considered successful.

The same fate awaits Obamacare.

Or so supporters claim.

The analogy doesn’t hold though.

For starters, Part D was a far simpler program than Obamacare because it (1) added a new benefit to an existing federal scheme, and (2) could tap into existing relationships between Medicare and the intended beneficiaries. By contrast, Obamacare’s exchange model fundamentally changes how millions of individual Americans must buy health insurance; including those without any previous history of doing so.

Unlike liberal sympathizers who want to blur the distinctions in order to obscure Obamacare’s much more significant problems, thoughtful analysts like health expert Yuval Levin see the analogy pointing in a very different direction.

“The fact that even a much simpler federal undertaking ran into real problems should lead us to think that Obamacare could well encounter far, far worse and more difficult problems, on a scale that may not be readily addressable – as in fact seems now to be happening,” writes Levin. “It doesn’t suggest everything will be fine, it suggests the government hasn’t been good at even much easier tasks than the ones now set before it.”

Time will tell if the Obama administration’s “tech surge” fixes the glitches, but in the meantime it would be better if liberals stopped hiding behind false analogies, and admit that their big gamble to remake health care is dangerously close to an unprecedented failure.

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