Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison Barber

My must read of the day is "White House works to flip Obamacare narrative," in Politico:

On Wednesday the CEOs of several health insurance companies will head to the White House to meet with adviser Valerie Jarrett and chief of staff Denis McDonough, two industry sources said. And a top Health and Human Services official will update House Democrats on the glitchy health care enrollment site.

The president himself appeared Tuesday in an Organizing for Action You Tube video, asking supporters to spread the word about what Obamacare means to ordinary people — and promising to get the broken website fixed.


The White House basically has two battle lines in the Obamacare wars right now: The technology front, as tech experts from around the country have been called in to try to diagnose and repair the incredibly complex system. And there’s a battle of public perception, as the White House works to keep worried allies in line —the reason for those meetings with health plan leaders and Democrats on the Hill.

Changing the narrative isn't easy.

The administration already started down this road during the president’s speech in the Rose Garden, when he noted that while "nobody is madder" than he is about the website not working, "the fact is the product of the Affordable Care Act for people without health insurance is quality health insurance that’s affordable. And that product is working."

The attempts to switch the narrative will probably be rooted in this argument, but it's a flawed one.

To say the problems with the website are a separate issue from the law is simply inaccurate. The two cannot be separated. Internet problems are symptomatic of problems in leadership and planning. Those are things that matter for the broader law.

It is not an independent problem. If the rollout of the federal exchange was this bad, how do we know the rest of the implementation won’t be bad too?