Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stop judging Obamacare based on the glitchy rollout

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The other day, I tweeted the following:

And that goes for liberals especially.

Republicans we already know are doing everything they can to try to destroy Obamacare, including shutting down the government. But when people who are generally supportive of the president and, yes, of what Obamacare is all about are piling on against it, well, it's just not helpful. Not one bit.

And so I think Joan Walsh is right:

As predictably as night follows day, on Monday the media establishment pivoted away from obsessing about GOP extremism and the party's alleged "civil war" to the "train wreck" that is, allegedly, the Affordable Care Act.

And liberals helped lead the pivot.

Don't get me wrong: The problems with are real, and disturbing, and must be fixed asap. (Think Progress has a dispassionate assessment here.) But excuse me if I believe the president knows that without my telling him. It's like watching the 21st century version of the rise of the Democratic Leadership Council, and I feel the way I did back then: On the one hand, yes, it's important for Democrats to acknowledge when government screws up, and to fix it.

On the other hand, when liberals rush conscientiously to do that, they only encourage the completely unbalanced and unhinged coverage of whatever the problem may be.

Again, no one is denying the obvious problems with the online rollout. But we're talking about glitchiness mostly impacting just one aspect of the rollout, not about anything having specifically to do with Obamacare (which isn't as good as single payer but is far better than what preceded it). And that's rather more important, is it not? The glitches will get fixed. Sooner rather than later, probably. And then millions and millions of Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions, will finally have access to affordable health care.

So, really, just stop the hyperventilating sensationalism about the rollout. It's not fucking helping.

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