Friday, October 25, 2013

Liberal Media Freak-Out Over ACA Website - with Krystal Ball and #EzraKleinMusic

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Cycle Host Krystal Ball on MSNBC - My Transcript
If you've been watching our show, you know that I'm pretty angry about the failures of the effort to begin the health-care program. Washington Post's Matt Miller even told me to 'chill out.' I'm sorry, I can't. I won't chill out. See, here's the problem.
Republicans, of course, have been lying to Americans about the Affordable Care Act, telling them it’s a train wreck, saying this president is a bystander to his own presidency, arguing that the federal government is incompetent and can’t work.
Now they’ve got all kinds of evidence to back up their malicious and destructive claims.
So that's one piece of why, sorry Matt, I can't chill.
But what I'm really angry about here is the fact that for millions, the success of this law is literally a matter of life or death. As outraged as we are when Republicans try to sabotage it, we should be outraged when our own side makes its success materially less likely.
Yes, before you send your tweets, I know that the website is not the entirety of the Affordable Care Act.
But to say it's just a website is just a huge understatement.
This is the first direct experience that millions of Americans will have with Obamacare. This is the critical entry point to President [Barack] Obama’s signature achievement; an achievement that we’ve marched for, and rallied for, and fought Supreme Court cases and elections over.

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I just do not understand how something so mission-critical could have turned out so poorly.
Now look, I'm not trying to engage in hyperbole here. The Affordable Care Act can still work beautifully but we've sure taken a giant risk. An unnecessary risk with such a dismal failure of a roll-out, and there's really no excuse. After all, we are the Party who are supposed to know how to do good government. And to all those states like Texas that we wanted to convince to go forward with the Medicaid Expansion piece, well, good-luck with that now!
Frankly, I'm a little disappointed in my left-leaning friends for not being more honest here. Look, we are not propagandists. We're not like them. We don't insulate ourselves into our own little media bubble, impervious to the reality around us. We are the ones who are supposed to tell it straight even when it's not convenient.
. . . We are not the ones giving comfort to the GOP propagandists. The failing website, which is keeping people from signing up for health care, is what has given them comfort.
. . . It seems to me that everyone who believes in this law, who believes in universal healthcare, everyone who believes in the promise of the Federal Government to do big things ought to be outraged at this manifest incompetence. Just because it's our team who messed things up doesn't mean they should get a pass.


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Washington Post Pundit Ezra Klein on MSNBC's Morning Joe
Watch Video Here
These aren’t glitches, the website, to a first approximation, simply isn’t working. When the Obama Administration calls them 'glitches' I think they are underplaying the problem.
. . . There’s a real management failure here. It isn’t that nobody knew. A lot of reporters, health care reporters, people who were engaged with HHS and CMS, folks like me and a lot of my colleagues, were going to them and saying, ‘We’re hearing bad things out of your testing. We’re hearing you’re not being able to transmit your data the way you need to transmit it.’ Senior White House staff said, ‘No, we’ve been watching this, we’re talking to people, it’s all fine, bugs are getting fixed.’ Somewhere along the management chain the news, the actual truth of what was going on—because it was not unknown—got lost, got spun, got hidden, got obscured, and they know that.
. . . There were things they could have done, and they were not given the information by their own bureaucracy to do it. That is a management failure on them.


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Joan Walsh on Salon
As predictably as night follows day, on Monday the media establishment pivoted away from obsessing about GOP extremism and the party’s alleged “civil war” to the “train wreck” that is, allegedly, the Affordable Care Act.
And liberals helped lead the pivot.
Don’t get me wrong: The problems with are real, and disturbing, and must be fixed asap....But excuse me if I believe the president knows that without my telling him.
. . . when liberals rush conscientiously to do that, they only encourage the completely unbalanced and unhinged coverage of whatever the problem may be.

All In With Chris Hayes Transcript, Oct. 23, 2013
Watch Video Here
EZRA KLEIN: -- And, they are getting your eligibility information through that computer system. That isn`t working. So, those things don`t work. No. Obamacare doesn`t work. And, that`s why this is a really big deal. And, we are reporting it at Wonk Blog and by the way, we are doing the same thing during the shutdown as a very big deal.

CHRIS HAYES: Do you think part of -- so, what`s your response to that?

JOAN WALSH: No. It`s more than just a website. But, I think that -- you know the affordable care act is already helping people. Millions of kids are still on their parents` policies. Millions of us, myself, included, are getting preventive care that we used to have to pay money for without a copay.

Millions are getting help through Medicaid and millions more would be helped through Medicaid except for republican governors. So, there are a  lot of great things going on. And, there also a lot of people frustrated but hanging in there because they desperately need health insurance.

So, they`re going to get it. It may be a complete disaster down the road. But we are not there yet. And, I guess, Ezra, what I would say to you is you are a wonderful reporter. I read you every day. I probably read close to every word you write.

(To Klein) But, it was your tone and I think what people trust about you is your sobriety. People think you`re a liberal, that`s because reality has a well known liberal bias. But, you know, you do your job and I appreciate that. I just felt like, you know, live blogging your attempt to reach somebody on the phone and complaining about the lack of hold music kind of crossed over.

WALSH: This is a little bit.

KLEIN: But, this is really important, right? Because -- I hope that I got a reputation from the readership of being sober about these things. I think it`s really important to keep your head about you when these things are going on. When I called the system, it`s because president was saying call the system that day. And, the system dropped the call twice because it was so overwhelmed.

I am trying through this reportage to convince people to persuade them something has really gone wrong here. Now -- You know, Chris, I don`t think there is anybody that wasn`t literally writing the law that wrote much more about this law in the construction phase in its legislative phase and through Wonkblog and its implementation phase and we have a Wonkblog.

I mean, we have been sort of covering this all every step of the way. And, so the reason we are covering this with the aggression that we are is that something real is going on here. We never said the law is doomed, but I think what we kind of found in our reporting, they think if this is fixed by thanksgiving, it`s probably pretty much OK.

But, these are not small problems. And, they`re not at the moment by the way OK problems. These are not things that the Obama administration should be given a pass on. Not least because they didn`t know they were happening. And, so one thing that I think is important about our role in the kind of informational ecosystem is something that went wrong for the
Obama Administration is they didn`t know. There was a breakdown between their bureaucracy and them.

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