President Obama is likening the glitchy rollout of his health care law to Apple products.
Consider that just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it. I don't remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn't.
Mm, yeah, and how are those, uh, TPS reports coming along, Mr. President?
Suggesting either a coordinated strategy or a stunning lack of imagination, Obama's comments echo a pre-emptive call for forgiveness made by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who hoped yesterday that when it came to enrollment muck-ups at Healthcare.gov, Americans will "give us the same slack they give Apple….If there's not quite the operational excellence right away, we'll continue to press for that."
There are many fundamental problems with this analogy (see below), but for right now, let's just stick with one: Private firms that roll out products that cost way too much or are generally ineffective usually go out of business. Apple stopped selling lots of products if and when they met either of those conditions. If it didn't, it would have gone belly up many times over its existence. Take a stroll down memory lane (anyone else remember the eMate 300?).
Yet when it comes to the government provision of health care, the opposite rules. By virtually everybody's reckoning, Medicare is fiscally unsustainable and is the single-biggest ticking time-bomb in long-term spending problems. Over its lifetime, both the number of enrollees and the cost per enrollee is simply incredible. Medicaid—slated for massive expansion under Obamacare—is not only either the first or second top budget item for every state, ever liberal defenders of the program acknowledge it has no clear positive effect on health outcomes (it does reduce money problems related to medical costs). If either of these things were Apple products, the company would have dumped them years ago.
Consumer products and services that don't fix their bugs (and quickly) disappear, often taking the companies behind them into oblivion. The government with a proven track record of expensive and ineffective medical programs? They launch Obamacare (whose costs keeps mounting in beta).
Watch "3 Reasons Obamacare is not Apple":