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Keller @ Large: Washington Pols Have Lessons To Learn From Boston’s Big Dig

By Jon Keller, WBZ Political Analyst
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From 2011, Transportation secretary Jeffrey Mullan points at the corroded mount of a light fixture that fell apart February in a Big Dig tunnel.  Highway supervisor Helmut Ernst and highway administrator Frank Tramontozzi stand next to him. (WBZ)

From 2011, Transportation secretary Jeffrey Mullan points at the corroded mount of a light fixture that fell apart February in a Big Dig tunnel. Highway supervisor Helmut Ernst and highway administrator Frank Tramontozzi stand next to him. (WBZ)

WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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BOSTON (CBS) — If I said it once about the Big Dig over the years, I said it a thousand times – while something needed to be done about our crumbling, outdated infrastructure, they should never have pushed ahead with a bloated, incompetently-managed project that produced some good results – the Ted Williams tunnel and the recovered Greenway land – and plenty of bad ones, most notably the wretched roads and bridges that ruin our tires on a daily basis.

Regrettably, the same thing is happening with health care reform.

Listen to Jon’s commentary

And our political leaders seem intent on making the same mistakes in response to problems that a previous generation did with the Big Dig.

Megan McArdle of Bloomberg News, a respected journalist specializing in health care coverage, reports that the feds are considering extending for the long-term what was supposed to be a short-term program to bailout insurance companies that lose money on the policies they offer in the early years of Obamacare, an increasingly likely prospect due to bureaucratic miscalculations of market response to it.

If they follow through, she notes, it would show that despite spin to the contrary, they believe the serious problems with Obamacare’s financial viability are here for the long-run, not short-term “glitches,” and that key promises they made about health care reform producing deficit reduction and cost control were at best unrealistic, at worst, a joke.

The promises made for the Big Dig were similarly bogus.

But what really infuriated the public was the way politicians and bureaucrats tried to hide the truth from us.

The pols in DC would do well to learn from that, and avoid making a bad situation much, much worse.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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