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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

1-800-ObamaCare-Denial -- Review & Outlook, The Wall Street Journal

'More than a website" is the latest defense of the Affordable Care Act's painful rollout, and liberals are partly right. ObamaCare has larger ambitions than the basket case called Healthcare.gov and the 36 federally run insurance exchanges.

But building the website was supposed to be the easy part. The health law's fiasco of a debut doesn't inspire confidence in those other ambitions, such as re-engineering how U.S. medicine is provided, but it does help explain the modern liberal project.

The White House pitched President Obama's Rose Garden event on Monday as a new transparency, but the event amounted to an infomercial, complete with a 1-800 number. Operators are standing by and "the product is good," the President said. He even encouraged Americans to bypass the website and apply for benefits over the phone or by mail.

Too bad this infomercial lacked tangible information. Mr. Obama might have explained what went wrong, and why, and where the buck stops, or if there is even a provisional timetable for when the exchanges will function properly. Instead he minimized the severity of the problems, perhaps for political reasons. Or maybe he didn't say because the defects are so deep that no one can identify the specific solutions.

By the way, we called the hotline on Monday and the automated menu redirected us to Healthcare.gov, which in turn told us to get in touch with someone at the call center.

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