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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

October 25, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Vote: Is Obamacare fatally wounded?

The mess of HealthCare.gov, the $400 million portal for citizens to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, has many parents. Some two dozen private contractors were involved, especially CGI Federal, which has a checkered history in its work for the federal and state governments.

The government itself bungled the rollout, including the administration issuing rules late out of fear of giving Republicans ammunition against the program. The GOP-controlled House blocked funds. Now the White House says things should be running smoothly by late November.

To be sure, this is the “market-based” program originally cooked up by the conservative Heritage Foundation — which now disowns it — and was implemented on a state level by the GOP’s last presidential candidate. It is a windfall for the private insurance industry and would insure millions who are now without coverage.

Medicare works quite well and with much lower administrative costs than the private insurers. And some state exchanges are doing well. Perhaps most importantly, demand for Obamacare appears high.

Still…

Read on for some of the best business and economic stories of the week…and the haiku:

This Week’s Links:

More than meets the Fed’s eye on housing inventories | Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis

America’s top 25 tech hotspots (King County No. 7) | Richard Florida

The making of McKinsey: A brief history of management consulting in America | Longreads

Accounting world still resisting sunlight | NY Times

Cost of the financial crisis hits Americans harder than banks | Heidi N. Moore/The Guardian

Meet the private companies helping cops spy on protesters | Rolling Stone

Fiscal multipliers: Liquidity traps and currency unions | NEBR (wonkish)

Gambling with civilization: Climate change and economics for a warming world | NY Review of Books

Bad government software | Baseline Scenario

Assessing Alan Greenspan | Brad DeLong

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Talk about world class

Seattle trends on Twitter

All our characters

Comments | More in Health care | Topics: HealthCare.gov glitch

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