The editors of the New York Times are nervous:
The administration created the Web site so the buck necessarily stops with high officials — Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, and President Obama himself — who allowed this to happen. The administration attributes the problems partly to unexpectedly high demand from people eager to compare insurance policies available in their states and partly to technical glitches that blocked or slowed people from submitting applications and erroneous data being sent to insurers. Why the administration failed to anticipate the high demand has never been explained. Nor has it clearly explained the nature of the technical problems — or who in government or among the private contractors is primarily responsible for them.
They noticed something very interesting in the president’s speech, however:
Mr. Obama also made this important pledge to all consumers who tried to apply through the federal Web site and got stuck somewhere in the process: “In the coming weeks, we will contact you directly, personally” to recommend how to complete the application, shop for coverage and pick a suitable plan.
It’s now up to his office to make good on these promises, and there is no reason to believe it can’t be done. The health exchanges in several states appear to be working better than the federal site. And even with the federal site’s problems, some half-million Americans have successfully submitted applications through state and federal exchanges, the first step in the enrollment process.
For every elected official there comes a time to stop campaigning and start delivering. For the Obama Administration, this is that time. Early indications suggest that they intend to stick with their core competency.