JAMES TARANTO: Does Obama Know? Does Obama Care? America needs an accounting of the health-care debacle.
Last night on Twitter, your humble columnist observed: “There’s only one thing that can save ObamaCare now. AN OBAMA SPEECH.” We were kidding, naturally–alluding to President Obama’s endless series of speeches in 2009 and 2010 in which he tried, unsuccessfully, to sell “health-care reform” to the public, and to subsequent laments like this one from Drew Westen in August 2011: “Nor did anyone explain what health care reform was supposed to accomplish . . .”
But then it occurred to us that the American people really do deserve a presidential address on ObamaCare. No, not as punishment for re-electing him, or at least not mainly for that purpose. Rather, because 2½ weeks after the launch of the “exchanges” that are supposed to be ObamaCare’s operational centerpiece, it is clear to almost everyone that they are an administrative disaster. In this crisis, there is an opportunity: to recognize an impending economic and humanitarian disaster, and to act in time to avert or at least minimize it.
That requires a willingness to face reality and a capacity for leadership. So far Obama has shown little evidence of either. CNN reports that in an interview with an Iowa TV station Tuesday, the president said: “I am the first to acknowledge that the website that was supposed to do this all in a seamless way has had way more glitches than I think are acceptable.”
Let’s let longtime ObamaCare enthusiast and Journolist founder Ezra Klein answer that: “So far, the Affordable Care Act’s launch has been a failure. Not ‘troubled.’ Not ‘glitchy.’ A failure.” A language note: One suspects the ObamaCare debut will make it impossible for anyone ever again to use the word “glitches” unironically.
It’s a disaster.