In an apparent display of sudden objectivity, leftist media ranging from the Huffington Post to Ezra Klein of the Washington Post to the New York Times have been castigating the Obama administration’s rollout of the Healthcare.gov website. But is it all a ruse?
On Friday, Huffington Post ran a massive headline reading: “UNHEALTHY.” The piece, by Jeffrey Young, was titled “Obamacare Website Failure Threatens Health Coverage For Millions Of Americans.” Young, obviously upset, writes:
A broken website imperils the largest expansion of the American safety net since the Great Society. More than two weeks into the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov, the website created by President Barack Obama’s health care reform law still isn’t working right.
This isn’t uncommon lingo on the left these days. Ezra Klein has been writing for several weeks on the technological obstacles to Obamacare’s website. On October 4, he wrote, “Obamacare’s Web Site Is Really Bad.” On October 11, he appeared on MSNBC to state, “It isn’t just a glitchy site. Basically, nobody is capable of signing up for affordable health care right now or any health insurance. Affordable or not, that is not okay.” NBC News reports, “Since its launch, on Oct. 1, the site has been plagued by crashes as Americans to try log on and enroll for health insurance.” The New York Times reported, “From the Start, Signs of Trouble at Health Portal.”
It’s not just Klein and the Huffington Post. Even Obama himself is purportedly upset about the web rollout. Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called for Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to be fired, stating, “This was bungled badly…I hope they fire some people that were in charge of making sure this thing was supposed to work.”
Even Jay Carney said on Thursday that Obama was “not happy” with the rollout. “The accountability the president seeks today is the accountability that comes from those who are working on implementation,” Carney explained.
Then he added the punchline: “Although the glitches are unacceptable, so is the idea of leaving millions of Americans on their own, including families across the country who now have access to health care that they did not have.”
And this, it turns out, is the unspoken undertone to all the media coverage of the Healthcare.gov glitches: the notion that the biggest problem with Obamacare will be web implementation, not the systematic attempt at bankrupting the entire insurance and healthcare industry. The premise seems to be that if Healthcare.gov is fixed, all will be well. That’s why from October 1 through October 16, the Washington Post ran literally dozens of stories on the glitches, but virtually none on victims of Obamacare – in the view of the left media, there are no such victims. It’s why the networks spent several minutes nearly every night featuring the glitches, all while suggesting that Americans were growing closer every day to the glories of Obamacare’s promises. The media seem to be setting up a “make or break moment” not unlike the “make or break moment” that was Barack Obama’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in 2012 – and the media will play the game the same way, by rigging it. The coverage of the glitches is an attempt to create a faux objectivity by focusing on non-core aspects of the single most damaging piece of federal law in generations – all while upholding the central premise, which is that all that stands between Americans and affordable health care is proper implementation of Obamacare.
“Health care reform is more than a website,” Jay Carney said on Thursday, explaining why Obamacare would succeed. Indeed it is. Conservatives would be wise to take note of that fact before celebrating the shocking newfound objectivity of the Obama-sycophantic media.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).