by Sue Halpern for The New York Review of Books, December 13 issue
On November 14, six weeks after the failed launch of HealthCare.gov, the federal government’s insurance marketplace website and the public face of the endlessly contested Affordable Care Act, President Obama stood behind a podium at the White House and offered a mea culpa that was anything but. True, he did repeat “that’s on me” and “that’s on us” when he wasn’t invoking jocular sports metaphors (“we fumbled the rollout on this health care law”), but he also said this:
I was not informed directly that the website would not be working the way it was supposed to. Had I been informed, I wouldn’t be going out saying, boy, this is going to be great. I’m accused of a lot of things, but I don’t think I’m stupid enough to go around saying, this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity a week before the website opens if I thought that it wasn’t going to work.