Are We Splintering the U.S. Healthcare System?

The fear that a two-tier healthcare exchange system would morph out of the disorganization wrought by Obamacare’s rollout is taking shape.

As Dustin Volz puts it, “The federally run exchanges are at a near-standstill thanks to a website so buggy that Jon Stewart christened it a “dot-turd,” while a handful of state exchanges are beating their enrollment goals handily. And barring a rapid turnaround in the federal exchanges’ fortunes, the splintering of America’s health-care system is underway.”

“The two-tier exchange system currently taking shape is all the more problematic because it creates a law in which the distribution of carrots is uneven while the presence of sticks—a system of mandates and penalties essential to making the law work—is universal.”

The good news: “As the law moves forward, many experts see reason to believe that the gap will eventually shrink.”

The bad news: “But between now and then, the political calculus is disastrous for Democrats.”