IN A SWIRL AT THE WHITE HOUSE
…the obstacles, if not fixed in time, threaten to undermine the quality of the product. If the “young invincibles” who are essential to making insurance affordable are deterred from signing up, the president’s vaunted “product” will be a lot pricier. The spectacular botching of Obamacare’s launch does not, Republican wishing aside, mean that the program is doomed. But it does say something worrisome about the administration’s capability to administer an enterprise this complex. In the physical world, entropy is an irreversible process. In the political world, luckily for the president, it is possible to bring order out of chaos. Now would be a good time to start.
WHY OBAMA WON’T FIRE SEBELIUS
[Sebelius] has not drawn up a resignation letter, insiders tell National Journal. … If Sebelius is dug in, Obama has no objections. It’s a trait… “It’s not Obama’s thing,” says a former assistant secretary in the Obama Cabinet. “You never seen him fire anyone…” During the Solyndra mess Obama resisted calls to replace Steven Chu as Energy secretary. After the BP oil spill he never ripped into Interior Secretary Ken Salazar even though [he oversaw the agency that] regulated oil drilling… Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was never chewed out for the Cash for Clunkers program. And Eric Holder has never been at risk. Because the politics of the Senate make it hard to fire Sebelius, Democrats aren’t calling for her head. … “There is no way that [her replacement] could get out of the Senate,” says one former Democratic senator. “She’s solid. She’s not going anywhere.”
THE OUTRAGE ARRIVES
WALL STREET JOURNAL
The Affordable Care Act was never going to make care more affordable, except for those receiving a big subsidy at the expense of taxpayers or other insurance buyers. A non-listening press might have known better if it had paid attention in the most admirable moment of John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, when the candidate disabused a generation of liberal reporters by saying that covering the uninsured might be desirable for other reasons, but health-care costs would be driven out of sight once the government began subsidizing another large group of Americans to over consume. ObamaCare probably won’t succeed in covering even a majority of the uninsured. It will succeed, though, in forcing millions of Americans to buy more expensive insurance than they need or want, because that’s the insurance Mr. Obama likes and will let them keep.
THE OBAMACARE AWAKENING
WALL STREET JOURNAL
For all of the Affordable Care Act’s technical problems, at least one part is working on schedule. The law is systematically dismantling the individual insurance market, as its architects intended from the start. The millions of Americans who are receiving termination notices because their current coverage does not conform to Health and Human Services Department rules may not realize this is by design. Maybe they trusted President Obama’s repeated falsehood that people who liked their health plans could keep them. But Americans should understand that this month’s mass cancellation wave has been the President’s political goal since 2008. Liberals believe they must destroy the market in order to save it.
A DYNASTY TO DUCK
NEW YORK TIMES
One of the best things about the 2008 race was ushering out the incalculably destructive Dick Cheney. Except now, in 2013, he’s once more ominously omnipresent. Even blessed with the gift of a stranger’s heart, and looking so much healthier, he’s still the same nasty bully. He’s trying to bully Enzi in an attempt to help his daughter — who has never held elected office — muscle her way into the Senate by knocking off the popular three-term incumbent Republican. Showing that bullying runs in the family, Lynne Cheney told old friend and former Republican Wyoming senator Alan Simpson to “shut up” in an exchange tied to the contentious campaign, in which Simpson is supporting Enzi. This is one dynasty we want to duck.
HAVE PATIENCE WITH US
NURI KAMAL al-MALIKI, Prime Minister of Iraq
NEW YORK TIMES
…Al Qaeda in Iraq and its affiliates are conducting a terrorist campaign against our people. These terrorists aren’t just Iraq’s enemies. They are also America’s enemies. That is why, when I meet with President Obama on Friday, I plan to propose a deeper security relationship between the United States and Iraq to combat terrorism and address broader regional security concerns…It has been almost two years since American troops withdrew from Iraq. And despite the terrorist threats we face, we are not asking for American boots on the ground. Rather, we urgently want to equip our own forces with the weapons they need to fight terrorism, including helicopters and other military aircraft so that we can secure our borders and protect our people. Hard as it is to believe, Iraq doesn’t have a single fighter jet to protect its airspace.