I also love the beginning of that Washington Post article, in which an outside health adviser told the White House economic team in 2010 that “no one in the administration was ‘up to the task’ of overseeing the construction of an insurance exchange and other intricacies of translating the 2,000-page statute into reality.” And the heads of Obama’s own Economic Council and Office of Management and Budget agreed.
As did one of Obama’s health care advisers, Zeke Emanuel.
But everyone else said full steam ahead, who cares about the American people, as long as we get our power? That’s the theme echoing through every paragraph of the Post expose. The first, second, and third concerns driving this clusterfark were amassing power, holding political opponents at bay, and keeping the American people in the dark until Obama could creep over the finish line in 2012.
“Based on interviews with more than two dozen current and former administration officials and outsiders who worked alongside them, the project was hampered by the White House’s political sensitivity to Republican hatred of the law — sensitivity so intense that the president’s aides ordered that some work be slowed down or remain secret for fear of feeding the opposition,” the Post reports. Some of these cretins would have considered it a happy accident if the website actually worked, and would not have been much disturbed if everyone who tried to log into HealthCareDotGov picked up a Trojan-horse virus that proceeded to clean out their bank accounts.
Towering above it all was Barack Obama’s staggering arrogance, a galactic ego that would hear no words of warning or caution, and allow no outside forces to have the smallest bite of the power he accumulated into his Administration. The utter contempt Obama holds for capitalism and the free market reinforced his conviction that pseudo-nationalization of the health insurance industry would be a piece of cake.
“They were running the biggest start-up in the world, and they didn’t have anyone who had run a start-up, or even run a business,” said another outside adviser. “It’s very hard to think of a situation where the people best at getting legislation passed are best at implementing it. They are a different set of skills.”
It’s even harder to think of a situation in which someone like Barack Obama would understand that. He couldn’t run a popsicle stand, much less a gigantic health insurance program, but he’s firmly convinced that no business sense is necessary for the distribution of either popsicles or health insurance. The idea that economic and business realities should interfere with their glorious agenda makes such people very angry, as does the advice of knowledgeable people who tell them a major policy goal is doomed to fail from the very start. Their ideology is founded on the conviction that capitalism is pointlessly cruel and unfair. They’re not inclined to listen to anyone who says the capitalists have been right all along.