NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Back in October I predicted the glitches with the Obama administration's Healthcare.gov Web site would get fixed and people would flock to affordable insurance.
The right called me a Commie. Heh, heh, heh
The White House said Monday that seven million people had signed up for health insurance through the site, as part of the Affordable Care Act. Seven million people is a lot. By the end of this week, when it becomes more clear seven million people bought private health insurance through the site and maybe 17 million have acquired coverage through all parts of the law put together, you will hear that this is a failure, that 17 million people is not a lot, that it is all media hype.
It won't be true.
If 17 million people lived in a state, its population would be the fifth-largest in America, bigger than Illinois, or about the total of 14 states plus Washington, D.C.
There's a point in there about health care, but a more important point about how political discussion is distorted by partisanship to the point where ACA opponents in particular simply couldn't believe anyone on the other side was even looking at facts.
I've been there. Let me tell you what it's like.
I was on the receiving end of the anti-ACA hype machine for a spell last October, when my mostly positive review of Healthcare.gov was published in USA Today. I said the technology problems that dominated the site's launch would be fixed in two months (they were) and once that happened "they will sell tons of insurance" because "the fundamentals are well-priced insurance, clearly explained. And they're in place.'' (They did).
I was Comrade Baskin-Robbins that week -- at least 31 flavors of lefty. Blogger Tom Blumer of Pajamas Media called me one of "Obamacare's Useful Idiots'' -- flattering himself that he would be the only one who understood the reference to American supporters of Lenin and Stalin.
Blumer and I struck up a more-or-less civil email correspondence. The point he stubbornly, repeatedly refused to grasp was my point about Healthcare.gov had nothing to do with health care policy, let alone politics. That was his game, and it didn't occur to him that I was playing a different one -- not even when I explained it.