Imagine that Jeff Bezos asked his vice-president for sales IT how many people had purchased products from Amazon the day before, and the veep said he'd get back to him "in a few weeks." How many nanoseconds do you think that hapless employee would last in his job?
But on today's Morning Joe, there was the Obama admin's David Simas, sporting the lofty title of Deputy Senior Advisor for Communications and Strategy, smiling insouciantly while saying that it would be a "few weeks" before the Obama admin would say how many people had signed up for Obamacare. Conclusion: either: 1. the Obama admin's information technology planning and implementation is grossly incompetent; and/or 2. President Obama doesn't want Americans to know just how few people have signed up for Obamacare--particularly in the young-and-healthy demographic, upon whose willingness to make the uneconomic choice of signing up the entire house of cards hinges. View the video after the jump.
So which is it: incompetence, deceit, or some combo thereof? You be the judge.
Note: credit to Gene Robinson for posing the question as to when the number of enrollees would be made available. A shame no one on the panel called Simas out on his evasive answer.
DAVID SIMAS: Here's another piece of this. We've essentially done 1.5% of the enrollment period. We've got another 178 days left to go. So I feel pretty good about where we are. [Ed: except he won't tell us where we are!]
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Gene?
EUGENE ROBINSON: David, when are you going to have some numbers about how many people have actually enrolled for insurance besides Barnicle?
SIMAS: So, you know, Mike Barnicle is a good validation point any day. I'd like to rest on that, but here's what we're going to do. We're going to spend the next few weeks accumulating data, probably do monthly reports like we do with other programs, you know, with medicaid, medicare, and others and then use that time also. I think this is an important piece, especially for me. To learn what's working in some places and what isn't in other places.