This is serious — Norm Ornstein, Grand Master of the Fraternal Order of Policy Analysis, has spoken. The Obamacare rollout is symptomatic, he writes, of “the larger failure of public administration that has been endemic in the Obama White House, and is probably the president’s most significant weakness.”
Oh no! You see, according to Ornstein, it couldn’t be that the whole project of national health care is a crock.
Michael Gerson, the Washington Post columnist channeling his inner Friedrich von Hayek, says this is the inherent flaw in a huge system run by government—an obviously false conclusion given that the health care systems in France, Canada, the Netherlands. And, yes, Great Britain work smoothly and are immensely popular, and that in several states running their own exchanges, the implementation has been quite smooth.
Really? The NHS in Britain is running smoothly? How come I keep reading in the British press about patients dehydrating, dying of thirst?
I will tell you why these national health programs are all “immensely popular.” It is because many people experience them as free. Humans love free stuff.
You see, Mr. Ornstein, the big problem with Obamacare is that it is not free. Instead, it is going to cost the average American plenty.
Nearly all Americans already had health insurance before Obamacare. Now they are suddenly, in the millions, discovering that their premiums are going up, as are their co-pays and deductibles. They are not merely angry. They are desperate.
You remember the political importance of “soccer moms” and “security moms?” Welcome to the age of the “healthcare moms.” Who knows what America will look like once their done with us?
Yes, Mr. Ornstein. No doubt the Obama White House is a failure when it comes to public administration. But “public administration” is a false god anyway. Public administration is merely the technique of managing the government bureaucracy, as business administration is the technique of managing the corporate bureaucracy.
Guess what? We don’t celebrate corporations with fabulous business administrations. We celebrate leaders that created something out of nothing: Steve Jobs of Apple, Bill Gates of Microsoft, John Mackey of Whole Foods, Harold Hamm of Continental Resources. Harold Hamm? He’s the nobody that’s cleaning up with horizontal drilling for oil in the Bakken in North Dakota. You can see the impact he’s having on this map over at usgovernmentspending.com.
The government always needs a war, like a war on Fascism, or a war on Communism. When you run out of real wars, you start to gin up substitutes, like a War on Poverty, or a War on Drugs.
I think of Obamacare as a War on Healthcare, and so far Obamacare seems to be winning. By the time the president is finished, he will have completely defeated healthcare in America.
But just imagine how cool it would have been if the war had been executed by a team of real public administration experts.