Larry Summers: Obamacare glitches won't help us "renew confidence in the public sector."

Larry Summers: Obamacare Glitches Won't Help Us "Renew Confidence in the Public Sector"

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 24 2013 11:34 AM

Larry Summers: Obamacare Glitches Won't Help Us "Renew Confidence in the Public Sector"

96262856
Not confident himself.

Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

I'm spending much of the day at the Center for American Progress's 10th-anniversary conference, a wonky-as-all-hell celebration of the think tank that began when Clintonite exiles decided to create an answer to the Heritage Foundation, AEI, etc. My colleague Emma Roller is simultaneously tracking the House's hearing on the problems of healthcare.gov. The split-screen is sort of dazzling: As progressives celebrate 10 years of policy success, their comrades literally a few blocks away are scrambling to explain why the exchanges' website doesn't work.

This is causing some agita. CAP President Neera Tanden made a small joke about the problems as the conference opened. Larry Summers, fresh off his exit from the Fed chairman campaign, spoke over Tanden as his panel ended to say "we can't think of things like that as glitches if we want to renew confidence in the public sector."

Advertisement

But—when a reporter followed Summers after the speech, the former Treasury secretary shook him off. The conversations I've had with progressives about Obamacare glitches have all been conducted in a sort of is-anyone-behind-me sotto voce way. One labor strategist told me that the president needed to keep changing the subject, to pick a fight on a new topic, like immigration. Indeed, moments later, the president was doing just that. Not that Republicans were bamboozled.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

  Slate Plus
Culturebox
Aug. 3 2015 11:48 AM Behind the Year of Outrage  Here’s how Slate tracked down everything we were angry about in 2014. 
  Health & Science
Science
Aug. 3 2015 3:29 PM We Don’t Really Care About Car Accidents Driving is horrifyingly dangerous. It doesn’t need to be this way.