National Public Radio’s David Greene introduced Friday’s Morning Edition by pronouncing: “Obamacare rolled out as planned.” He repeated the phrase in introducing NPR’s news story, “Ready or Not, Obamacare Rolls Out As Planned.” The story did cover the “computer glitches and slowdowns” that plagued the launch of Obamacare’s insurance exchanges. But NPR insisted on the fundamentally false premise: “as planned.”
NPR also failed to report that the problems with the exchanges went far beyond “computer glitches.” San Diego’s KUSI News reported that California–the flagship for the entire program–had enrolled exactly zero new patients, and that the reason went far beyond computer problems or website traffic: “Nobody is actually enrolled yet because the people behind the scenes are not trained yet to sell anything,” KUSI reported.
That failure comes after the Obama administration had three and-a-half years to plan the rollout. In California in particular, the president dispatched his Organizing for Action group to “blizzard” residents to enroll in the exchanges and prove the success of the program. Having no one sign up–and no one trained to sign people up–is definitely not what the Obama organization or Organizing for Action had in mind for the rollout.
Another sign that the rollout was not “as planned” was the fact that no one in the state of Kansas–home to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius–managed to sign up for insurance through the Obamacare exchanges on the first day of the launch. That certainly didn’t go “as planned”–and if Sebelius failed to plan a better rollout in her own state, that’s an even worse sign of Obamacare’s failure.
What NPR and other mainstream media outlets refuse to do is accept reality and shift to a new paradigm. Instead of being a good program with a few flaws, Obamacare is a disaster with a few possible ideas that might be preserved when the system is scrapped (as it must be). Their bias reflects a tendency to view Obama as an essentially good but frustrated president, instead of a near-complete failure with one or two achievements.