I am so looking forward to the stories about the health care exchanges

But Obamacare was also always going to be a test of the sheer capacity of the administrative state to actually do what it claims the authority and ability to do. At this point, it looks as though we may be witnessing a failure of the administrative state on a level unimagined even by its staunchest critics.

There’s going to be several books about this.

Certainly, at this point, my gut feeling is that the Courageous State simply isn’t competent.

4 comments on “I am so looking forward to the stories about the health care exchanges

  1. I’m going to blog at my own address about the data exchange thing. It’s too long for a comment, but the short version is “how does someone screw up data exchanges”?

  2. The National Review piece is a pretty solid indicator that everything is overblown, and that it’ll all turn out fine fairly soon. Levin admits as much, although admittedly in a tortuous and missable way:

    My gut sense after listening to these insiders, for what little it’s worth, is that it’s not likely that the situation will prove to be much worse than it now seems, and it’s more likely that it will prove to be less bad than it now seems

    So despite having heard the worst horror-stories, as recounted by the kind of insiders willing to talk to a columnist well known to be strongly opposed to both Obamacare and state healthcare provision in general, even Levin accepts that it’s most likely to clear up and that the fuss being made isn’t justified.

    You may remember this (“thing launches” / “there are teething troubles” / “calamitous panic from excitable commentators” / “turns out the panic was basically bollocks and everything is fine”) from the launch of almost every complex project of any kind in the private or public sector.

  3. john b,

    “It’ll be alright eventually” is really not a good enough excuse. Of course it’ll be alright eventually.

    One of the problems I’ve heard about with the exchange is that if you start the account process and it fails mid-way through, the username is already assigned to a user that cannot be accessed, and the user has to start again.

    That’s not a “teething trouble” in the system. That’s just poor design. Either users are going to have to live with it, or someone is going to have to go back in and redesign that user creation system (and change anything that depends on user status).

    The system was designed for 50-60,000 concurrent users, but is getting up to 250,000 users. OK, it’s a one-off period of high volume, but then again, those users will be fined if they don’t get insurance by a particular date.

    And this isn’t just a partisan attack. The NYT are running a piece on it, with sources stating that “the project was now roughly 70 percent of the way toward operating properly” which I can tell you is a long way from “implementation glitches”.

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