Obamacare is a multiyear, multifaceted fiasco. It is a case study in how to alienate a country you intend to help. And it could become an intellectual crisis for modern liberalism.
So many errors in just thirty-one words. First, it’s premature to say that Obamacare is a fiasco. We’ll know in due course. Second, liberalism has not existed for decades. Its ideological descendant, progressivism (perhaps what he meant by “modern liberalism”), resembles its parent no more than I resemble the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion. It is more a form of technocracy than liberalism ever was and the rollout of the healthcare exchanges at Healthcare.gov is a perfect emblem of its technocratic approach. It applies the “statue of a rabbit” system to law and government. You know how you sculpt a status of a rabbit? You take a block of stone and cut away everything that doesn’t look like a rabbit. You take a law, ignore everything that’s inconvenient or to which you object, and proceed in continuing approximation to the desired end. How poorly executed or even disastrous intermediate steps may be is irrelevant. It will all be done by the very brightest minds, however.
There’s no crisis here. A crisis will only come if people stop voting for candidates that espouse this approach and I see no signs of that happening.
Later on he does make a good point:
But the failed rollout has already raised ideological issues of broader significance. It has reinforced a widely held, preexisting belief that government-run health systems are bureaucratic nightmares. And it has added credence to the libertarian argument that some human systems are too complex to be effectively managed. Perhaps the problem with Obamacare is not failed leadership but rather the whole project of putting a federal agency, 55 contractors and 500 million lines of software code in charge of a health system intended to cover millions of Americans.
continuing by explaining the barrier that technocratic planning inevitably runs into headlong: inadequate information. However, Mr. Gerson and, I suspect, fans of technocracy don’t fully comprehend the extent of that inadequacy. The very addition of a system will change the underlying structures and institutions the system is intended to address so that it’s inadequate to deal with the problems it was originally intended to solve.