Megan McArdle sees the lofty rhetoric of Obamacare changing to the grind of survival for a few more months.
The administration has given up on success, as it might once have
defined it. The object is no longer 7 million people signed up through
the exchanges, with 2.7 million of them young and healthy, and the
health-care cost curve bending back toward the earth. It is to keep the
program alive until 2015. The administration's priorities are, first, to
keep Democrats from undoing the individual mandate or otherwise crippling the law;
second, to keep insurers from raising premiums or exiting the
marketplace; third, to tamp down loose talk about the failures on the
exchanges; and, only fourth, to get to the place where it used to think
it would be this year, with lots of people signed up for affordable
insurance. It is now measuring the program’s success not by whether it
meets its goals, but by whether it survives at all. And all of its
choices are oriented toward this new priority.
Survive and advance worked for Jim Valvano in 1983.
The Obama administration has to fight longer.
Which means more chances for failure.