'The debacle of the rollout of Obamacare is yet another moment for re-learning the fundamental truth about how little we know about what we think we can control.
That last phrase comes from F.A. Hayek, of course. Hayek died in 1992, on the cusp of the World Wide Web and the explosion of the Internet, which has transformed our economy and our individual lives profoundly. In one of his last interviews with Forbes magazine shortly before his death, Hayek was asked whether the rapid advances in technology and computing power made economic management—planning and regulation—more feasible. Hayek was emphatic that no matter how big and how fast our computing power got, it did not change the fundamental defect of all centralized economic control: the problem is not simply mastering or processing a large amount of raw data. Information and circumstances change too quickly. More fundamentally, the data necessary for centralized decision-making is not available at all.'
'Prediction: even if HealthCare.gov is fixed by the end of the month (unlikely), Obamacare is going to be repealed well in advance of next year's election. And if the website continues to fail, the push for repeal—from endangered Democrats—will occur very rapidly. The website is a sideshow: the real action is the number of people and businesses who are losing their health plans or having to pay a lot more. Fixing the website will only delay the inevitable.
It is important to remember why it was so important for Obama to promise repeatedly that "if you like your health insurance/doctor, you can keep your health insurance/doctor." Cast your mind back to the ignominious collapse of Hillarycare in 1994. Hillarycare came out of the box in September 1993 to high public support according to the early polls. This was not a surprise. Opinion polls for decades have shown a large majority of Americans support the general idea of universal health coverage. But Hillarycare came apart as the bureaucratic details came out, the most important one being that you couldn't be sure you'd be able to keep your doctors or select specialists of your choice. The Clintons refused to consider a compromise, but even with large Democratic Senate and House majorities the bill was so dead it was never brought up for a vote.
Remember "Harry and Louise"? Obama did, which is why he portrayed Obamacare as simply expanding coverage to the uninsured, and improving coverage for the underinsured while leaving the already insured undisturbed. But the redistributive arithmetic of Obamacare's architecture could never add up, which is what the bureaucrats knew early on—as early as 2010 according to many documents that have leaked.'