National Review / Digital
The Week
(Roman Genn)


Maybe Kim Jong Un’s uncle tried to talk to him about Obamacare over Thanksgiving.

Supporters of Obamacare decided to start saying that the website is now basically working, never mind its inability to communicate information reliably to insurers. Then the administration announced that it is asking insurers to accept payment after the start of the year for coverage starting January 1, to treat out-of-network doctors as in-network, and to keep covering prescriptions under people’s old plans even if the new ones do not cover them. The administration hinted that insurers who comply will be more likely to keep being allowed to sell insurance on Obamacare’s exchanges. The insurers are committed to this law and its promise of new, coerced customers, but their calculations may change if the administration keeps pushing them to take either losses or blame. Meanwhile the poll numbers on the law, and the president, keep dropping. The president told Chris Matthews that the law’s difficulties do not reflect problems in his “personal management style” but rather the flaws of government agencies, “some of which are not designed properly.” But why choose between those explanations? Whatever else the new year brings, it will not bring an end to the lawlessness and dysfunction of Obamacare.


December 31, 2013    |     Volume LXV, No. 24

  • How I fell in love with the United States.
  • The ancient evil and the politics of distraction.
  • A new “godless” church makes you wonder.
Books, Arts & Manners
  • David Pryce-Jones reviews The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left, by Yuval Levin.
  • Richard Brookhiser reviews The Founders at Home: The Building of America, 1735–1817, by Myron Magnet.
  • Florence King reviews The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son, by Pat Conroy.
  • Sarah Ruden reviews David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, by Malcolm Gladwell.
  • John Daniel Davidson reviews Jack London: An American Life, by Earle Labor.
  • Ross Douthat reviews Nebraska.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .