The Corner

Obamacare’s Failed Rollout Is a Minor Story

Now that the government shutdown has ended, the mainstream press has pivoted to the biggest story in the country: the Republican Party’s woes, of course. That’s what tops the front page of the Sunday New York Times and Washington Post, at any rate, lengthy feature articles in both cases.

And Obamacare? Oh yeah, right, that. It’s gotta be in there somewhere. Ah, here it is. The Times has a piece on Page 12 about Kentucky’s Democratic governor, Steven Beshear, and his plucky campaign to convince a deep-dyed red state that Obamacare works. Beshear’s not up for reelection. In part for that reason he’s positioned himself “ahead” of public opinion on the issue, says the Times. The Times also features a proposal by Tyler Cowen for a bipartisan compromise on Obamacare, which of course would require the GOP to abandon its quest for repeal.

And the latest on the failed rollout? Ross Douthat has an opinion piece claiming that Obamacare has been a “rolling catastrophe” and a surprising “disaster.” But if that were true, wouldn’t the Times have continuing news coverage of the problems?

What about the Post? It’s got a brief news item on Page 4, an abbreviated version of this AP story, which does mention some of Obamacare’s problems. The piece is right below the much longer and more debatable “fact checker” response to a Republican congressman’s attack on Obamacare.

So with the shutdown over, is the failed Obamacare rollout still a minor news story? That’s how the heavyweights of the American press are treating it this Sunday anyway.

— Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He can be reached at