HealthCare.gov is working. Sort of. And certainly, some Democrats will take heart in that. But so what? Even if the modest fixes have saved the site and the law—as Dana Milbank argued today in the Washington Post—the problems have already done serious, lasting damage to the progressive cause, writes Matthew Yglesias at Slate. To explain why, he recounts his recent "extremely frustrating" attempt to obtain, not insurance, but a large garbage bin from DC's Department of Public Works. The system was needlessly inconvenient and confusing, and phone support didn't help; staffers were clearly weary from "a daily routine of dealing with irate customers."
"Not every interaction with a government agency is this aggravating," Yglesias allows, "but many of them are." These bureaucracies basically work—"the trash (mostly) gets picked up"—but no one loves them. ObamaCare, too, may basically work. But progressives had hoped to restore faith in government, to prove it deserved a bigger role in society. Instead, we have "a system that functions about as well as the DC garbage bin operation, Amtrak security theater, or the DMV." Click for the full post.