The rolling fiasco that is the launch of the health-insurance “exchanges” — the government-run online marketplaces at the heart of the Affordable Care Act — is something the Obama administration is attempting to explain away as a “glitch,” but it now threatens to throw an entire AutoZone worth of wrenches into the Rube Goldberg machine that is Obamacare. Health and Human Services managers close to the project privately say that hitting early-enrollment goals will be all but impossible. The White House has called the situation “unacceptable” (yet it is accepted); insurance companies attempting to use the system are in a state of panic; only a handful of states have their own working exchanges; and the federal exchange is snarled up in Washington’s usual managerial incompetence. Nobody knows how long it will take to fix the problems, or whether they even can be fixed. The president has said that there is “no excuse” for this mess, but there is no one taking responsibility either, nor any credible timetable for getting it sorted out.
In retrospect, those Republicans who sought a delay of Obamacare’s implementation would have been doing the Obama administration — to say nothing of the country — a favor had they been successful.