Obamacare is a mess.
When The New York Times tells you Obamacare is "ailing" and must change to survive, rest assured that the law is in serious trouble.
Then again, people who read The New York Times might be under the impression the only way to fix a collapsing state-run program is to pass another, more intrusive state-run program—in this case, a "public option."
In truth, it was probably something of a shock to most Times readers that the Affordable Care Act has struggled at all. For years, left-wing punditry has been churning our prodigious quantities of Obamacare fanfic, praising and hailing every ACA stumble as another unrealized measure of success. They made this denial loop possible by reframing Obamacare's expectations and reimagining its purpose.
Here's something worth remembering: If we evaluate Obamacare using the parameters Democrats themselves laid out when campaigning and passing the historically partisan reform, we have no choice but to view it as a debacle.