Also, let’s not pretend that public ignorance and sloth weren’t a big part of the problem. Anybody who paid minimal attention understood that phasing out Brand X health insurance was the whole point of the ACA. That’s probably why you never heard Mitt Romney take serious issue with Obama’s promise. He probably heard it, as did most informed people, as a mild exaggeration.
As Sarah Kliff explained on her Washington Post “Health Care Watch” blog, “the whole point of the health-care law was to eliminate insurance plans that didn’t offer robust enough coverage. Giving these plans another year on the market would be a step backward ... The wave of insurance cancellations happening right now is a feature of the law; not a bug.”
So anyway, what really set the kittens amongst the balloons was the flabbergasting failure of the healthcare.gov website -- a Rube Goldberg contraption assembled by 55 private contractors with nobody in the Obama administration seemingly taking charge. This unaccountable failure led to millions of consumers abruptly dumped by their insurance companies having no easy way to learn that for the great majority, better options exist.
Fix the website, and the political problem fixes itself.
(Arkansas Times columnist Gene Lyons is a National Magazine Award winner and co-author of “The Hunting of the President” (St. Martin’s Press, 2000). You can email Lyons at email@example.com.)