On Tuesday afternoon, in yet another example of Barack Obama’s inability to start a presentation (much less a giant website) on time, the president defended the disastrous health care law that is colloquially named for him and asked for help to “spread the word” about the law’s purported benefits.
Obama began with the usual liberal talking points:
- A broken health care system was creating “anxiety” (but liberals never admit that the system’s dysfunction is entirely the result of government regulation, and that Obamacare just exacerbates that problem. How much anxiety do people have about their auto insurance or renters insurance, i.e. products which exist in competitive markets because of the relative freedom from federal over-regulation?).
- “Nobody should have to choose between putting food on their kids’ table or taking them to see a doctor” (but liberals won’t admit that now millions, perhaps tens of millions, will have to choose between feeding the kids and getting insurance because of the massive premium increases and policy cancellations that Obamacare is already causing).
- “We know that there are 41 million people out there without health insurance” (but liberals ignore the fact that most of these are illegal aliens, young healthy people who rationally choose not to have insurance, people in-between jobs and temporarily without insurance, adults who make more than enough money to buy insurance and simply choose not to buy it, or low-income Americans who are already eligible for Medicaid and similar “safety net” programs but haven’t signed up. For the relatively small number of truly uninsured, we could have found an affordable solution rather than destroy the nation’s health insurance system. The CBO concludes that we will still have at least 30 million uninsured after the implementation of Obamacare. Even now, more than a quarter of uninsured plan to stay that way.)
- Tens of thousands die every year because they don’t have health care (a bogus statistic taken from a poor-quality Urban Institute study of data which was at least 25 years old).
One wonders whether anybody but those who already kneel at the altar of Obama reacts to these platitudes other than with “Excuse me, but your ill-conceived law just…” (fill in the blank with any of the following):
A. Caused my insurer to cancel my policy.
B. Caused my insurer to massively raise my premium.
C. Caused my employer to drop my spouse’s coverage.
D. Caused my employer to cut my working hours.
E. Caused me to stop expanding my business.
F. (Any of the above plus) “But at least my 25-year-old adult child can stay on my policy while living in my basement because this law is so devastating to the job market.”
In front of a friendly crowd, nobody uttered even a sigh, much less a “You lie!” so the president moved on to spinning his rotting hay into gold: “We know the demand is there and that the product on these marketplaces is good.” And: “This law is working, and will work into the future.”
Unless by “working” Obama means “helping Republicans get elected despite their best efforts to be the stupid party,” it’s hard to know just how he’s using that word. And yet again, nary a chuckle from the assembled human shields.
While the president didn’t spend too much time on the politics of the situation — knowing as he must that his “signature legislation” is a noose tightening about the necks of Democrats — he did, as usual, try to portray Republicans (in perhaps the greatest ongoing instance of projection in political history) as spiteful hyper-partisans blind to reality: “Some of (Obamacare’s opponents) are rooting for this law to fail…. Some have already convinced themselves that the law has failed, regardless of the evidence.”
I admit it: I am rooting for this law to fail — in a truly spectacular implosion of national pain so great (think Detroit on steroids) that people learn for at least a generation not to again elect another leftist radical. Today, one cannot say that Obamacare has failed, only that it is failing. Still, it’s a good start.
You may wonder what the president sees as “evidence” of success. Here’s the answer: “After just the first month… about half a million people across the country are poised to gain health care coverage through marketplaces and Medicaid beginning on January 1st, some for the very first time.”
But in typically misleading Obama style, lumping together “marketplaces and Medicaid” is intended to mask the law’s failure to attract enrollees into private health insurance plans. According to one analysis, “During the first month of open enrollment, over 3.7 times more Americans were identified as eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) than signed up for private health insurance. Expect the numbers announced in December to show even higher Medicaid and CHIP numbers, though those figures will probably reflect less of the overall total than earlier.”
The huge increases in Medicaid enrollees will be a budgetary disaster for the federal government (which promised to insulate states from most of the cost), while the low number of private policy enrollees will be an actuarial disaster for insurance companies — which will then translate into a federal bailout of insurers combined with skyrocketing premiums for the rest of us.
Furthering the administration’s propaganda fog is that within their enrollment statistics they count people who have “successfully selected a plan” regardless of whether a consumer has consummated her relationship with her insurer (by which I mean one of several less polite terms for a similar physical act) by paying the increasingly exorbitant premiums for decreasingly valuable coverage.
Imagine the SEC charges that would be filed if an online retailer reported as revenue items that you had put in your “shopping cart” but not purchased. For you or me, deceptive reporting of key data would be a crime; for the Obama administration it’s SOP…or SSDD.
Even MSNBC understands what’s going on: “Obama needs 40 percent of enrollees to be healthy and under 35 to make the law’s cost structure work. But a new Gallup poll shows they know noticeably less about the law than their parents or their grandparents.”
Not only are young adults less familiar with Obamacare than those over 30, but Democrats are far less familiar with the law than are Republicans. Furthermore, as Gallup notes, “Those who are familiar with the healthcare law are significantly more likely to oppose it than those who are not familiar with it.”
This poses a quandary for the president, who concluded his remarks by saying “I’m going to need some help in spreading the word… tell your friends, tell your family. Do not let the initial problems with the website discourage you.” He needs more people — millions more — to sign up in order for the entire economic structure of Obamacare not to crash down within a shockingly short time frame, yet the more people learn about Obamacare, the more they “find out what is in it,” the more unhappy they are with the law. The president is in a no-win situation, and every extra twist of ridiculous propaganda (of which we will painfully see much more in coming weeks), tightens the Gordian knot around himself and his party.
Meanwhile, back on the technical front, as the administration trumpets website performance that would make Amazon.com or eBay management turn red with shame, you’re going to start hearing a lot about a new number: 834.
That is the name given to a file that is supposed to be transmitted from the Obamacare exchange to insurance companies, giving them the key details of those who are attempting to enroll. As the Washington Post noted, “Insurers report that, in some cases, 834s are coming in wrong. That’s a much more serious problem than the online traffic bottlenecks that have dominated coverage of the health-care law’s rollout. If people can’t get into the Web site, then they simply have to come back later. But if they believe they’ve signed up for a plan but their 834 is a garbled mess — or, even worse, clear but wrong — it could mean chaos when they actually go to use their health insurance.”
Additionally, the recent “fixes” of the Obamacare site have increased security concerns, making it even more unlikely that potential users — especially the tech-savvy young adults whom the Obamacare pyramid scheme relies on — will risk using the federal exchange.
Really, who other than the truly-desperate-for-insurance would jump into the technological cesspool that is Obamacare? And that’s just the point: the overweighting (if you’ll pardon the pun) of unhealthy enrollees as a percentage of the total number will make the entire system unstable and unsustainable — perhaps as soon as next fall, just in time for the 2014 elections.
During his Tuesday remarks, Obama said: “If I’ve got to fight another three years to make sure this law works, then that’s what I’ll do.” It seems likely that he will need to, in a battle that even this most Teflon of presidents will not be able to extricate himself from, as he sinks ever deeper into a role playing a low-rent “as seen on TV” insurance salesman. Well, it suits him better than pretending to be a leader.