It may be his signature policy achievement. It may even be nicknamed after him, But the woes besetting the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, were supposedly a mystery to him until days after the exhanges launched at the beginning of October—or so claims Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius. In the days, weeks, and months leading to the debut of this massive transformation of the U.S. health care system, he knew nothing about looming problems.
Well, Barack Obama is a hands-off guy, don't you know? Apparently, he's relaxed a tad since developing a reputation as a micromanager.
Speaking to CNN's Sanjay Gupta, Sebelius engaged in the following somewhat difficult-to-believe conversation:
SEBELIUS: Nobody says the site is working the way we want it to. Certainly, the president acknowledged yesterday no one could be more frustrated than I am and this isn't smooth. People are signing up every day. People have available coverage and no one, I think it's important to say, Sanjay, is losing coverage now. The earliest the plans start is January 1st. If you sign up by the 15th of December, you will have coverage on day one. So, people are frustrated with a website, but the product is there. The prices are good. It will not sellout and the prices won't change.
GUPTA: The president did say that he was angry about this. I mean, do you know when he first knew that there was a problem?
SEBELIUS: Well, I think it became clear fairly early on, the first couple of days
GUPTA: So not before that though?
Hmmm….So President Obama knew nothing about the exchanges crashing under the stress of a few hundred testers days before the formal launch?
The president knew nothing about insurance companies warning against launching the Website nationally a month before the disastrous debut?
Barry knew nothing about federal and state officials urging that the launch be delayed even as costs tripled?
Sgt. Schultz was omniscient compared to this country's chief political seat-warmer. Or, more likely, his political protectors calculate that letting the boss come off as an uninvolved slacker is less damaging than permitting him to take responsibility for a policy mess.