November 15, 2013
Things seem to be spinning off the rails very fast here in Washington. The NYT has an article today explicitly comparing the rollout of the health insurance exchanges to President Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
There is no doubt that the rollout of the exchanges has gone very badly, with people having great difficulty getting on the Obamacare website and buying insurance. And the opponents of Obamacare have been very effective in hyping stories, real or unreal, of people losing their insurance due to the Affordable Care Act. But the comparison to the response to Hurricane Katrina has to qualify as more than a bit over the top.
People died because of the failed response to Katrina. For whatever reason, President Bush was unable to organize a response to a hurricane hitting a major American city even though its course and ferocity had been accurately predicted a week in advance. People in New Orleans died because they could not get access to food, water, and medical care. It seems more than a bit over the top to compare the difficulties that people are facing arranging for insurance to this sort of catastrophe.