I caught the last part of President Obama’s press conference during lunch. It’s probably just as well that I didn’t see the whole thing because I probably would have lost my lunch. In any case, it’s a good thing I ate lightly.
Although Obama appeared chastened (no doubt by House and Senate Democrats), his petulance could not be suppressed.
So Obama is telling us that those who have had their health insurance policies canceled can get them back for a year. What company worth its salt would renew a canceled policy it has to cancel again in 12 months time?
Of course, this is nothing more than sleight of hand and Obama will point his finger with delight at the insurance companies who cannot feasibly re-offer their old plans. As Obama put it, “And so what we want to do is to be able to say to these folks, you know what, the Affordable Care Act is not going to be the reason why insurers have to cancel your plan.”
So while the president is pointing one finger at the insurance companies, he points another at the GOP accusing them of preserving the status quo. But if the status quo was so unpalatable then why were so many people satisfied with their health insurance?
Now it’s true that there is a critical mass of people who do not have health insurance. But for every person who has signed up for Obamacare; 50 people have lost their health insurance and climbing. If it is Obama’s goal for every American to have health insurance this is not the way to do it. Moreover, if Obama admits that the federal government “doesn’t do information procurement technology well” then why does he claim it will be better at it by November 30th or December 1st?
The question now is if this measure will be sufficient to mollify the public through mid-term elections. Obama got staggered back in May with the IRS scandal, but once Acting Commissioner Steven Miller fell on his sword the controversy receded. Well, nobody has lost their job during this sorry spectacle.
This is going to be a bigger hole for Obama to climb out. I suspect that most people who lost their health insurance in the individual market aren’t going to get it back. As mentioned earlier, Obama will blame the insurance companies and hope the public will follow suit. But Obama set all these events into motion. He cannot run away from this one so easily.
Despite his assurances that these cancelations only affects 5% of the population, the employer mandate hangs over us like The Sword of Damocles. If there is anxiety that a larger wave of cancelations will occur then this issue is alive and well and will be through the mid-term elections.
If this anxiety comes to pass then this won’t be the last time Obama holds a press conference to say that he’s frustrated that things haven’t gone as planned and to make things up as he goes along all the while insisting that the status quo isn’t an option. He will tell us that Obamacare will give us more choices all the while telling us Obamacare is our only choice.