ObamaCare bummer update
The fiery train wreck of ObamaCare rolled past a few more interesting stations of failure over the past few days…
Fox News points out that student health insurance has been absolutely devastated by the Affordable Care Act. It’s a form of popular, affordable insurance that is essentially ceasing to exist. Bowie State University in Maryland canceled all 5,500 of its policies after watching the cost of a plan skyrocket from $100 per year to… $1,800 per year, thanks to ObamaCare mandates. Universities in North Carolina, Iowa, and Washington State also reported premium increases of over 1,000 percent. Bethany College in Kansas canceled all of its policies after their premiums quadrupled from $445 to over $2,000. New Jersey colleges saw their premiums triple.
The young voters who put Obama over the top in his two elections feel understandably betrayed. ”We don’t have that money. We can barely afford books,” one student is quoted complaining in the Fox News story. Chin up, little kulak! Barack Obama knows what’s best for you. Weren’t you listening when he said, “If I like your plan, you might be able to keep your plan?”
Speaking of the Big Lie, a new ABC News / Washington Post poll, while generally pretty dismal for ObamaCare, includes the remarkable finding that 52 percent incorrectly believe Obama was not intentionally misleading when he pushed his fraudulent “keep your plan” promise. Since it’s a documented fact that the White House knew millions of insurance cancellations would be part of the plan – “We all knew,” an exasperated Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) admitted on Sunday, followed by an amusing attempt to spin the Big Lie by saying Obama could have been “more specific” when he promised that absolutely no one would lose their plans, period - this poll suggests the media shield that helps the President pretend to be a helpless spectator to his own out-of-control Administration is still functioning fairly well.
The White House must have been looking at similar polls when it decided to deploy the Incompetence Defense to protect Obama from fallout over the HealthCare.gov fiasco. Maybe there really is some meaningful constituency out there willing to believe Barack Obama never asked a single question about whether his trillion-dollar “signature achievement” was ready for deployment until several weeks after it had crashed and burned… and accept this extraordinary fantasy as an excuse that makes Obama look better.
Incidentally, there’s a growing mass of documentation to prove that Obama’s bizarre claim that he didn’t know HealthCare.gov was headed for trouble, because he’s not stupid and wouldn’t have made bold statements to the contrary if he was in the loop, is another Big Lie. The House Energy and Commerce Committee just released a fresh batch of documents that prove “key Administration officials at the White House and Department of Health and Human Services received briefings this past spring from McKinsey & Co., a private consulting firm that reviewed more than 200 documents and conducted interviews with HHS staff to identify potential problems before the Oct. 1 rollout,” according to Fox News.
The report was ugly enough to make it clear that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius repeatedly lied to Congress when she claimed the launch effort was proceeding on schedule in April:
A report prepared by McKinsey in late March discussed several issues that could hamper the implementation of ObamaCare, including insufficient testing and evolving requirements. The report also warned that the program relied too heavily on outside contractors.
In one page of the presentation, the company specifically warned about a “failure to resolve post-launch issues rapidly” — a scenario that ended up playing out last month. The company cautioned that a “compressed testing window and volume uncertainty,” coupled with the fact that response teams were not yet in place, would drag out the process of fixing problems after launch.
The ABC/WaPo poll also says 63 percent disapprove of how Obama has handled the health care rollout, while 57 percent now oppose the Affordable Care Act itself. Crucially, the level of strong disapproval has reached 46 percent. This is purportedly the first poll taken since Obama’s “Fumble” press conference last Thursday, so perhaps that little performance didn’t help much in the grand scheme of things.
One interesting result from the poll found that people claim to very strongly oppose the individual mandate in ObamaCare, and think it should be delayed or repealed… but they gave 60 percent support to the employer mandate, which “requires companies with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance or face a financial penalty.” And yet, that’s the mandate Barack Obama illegally delayed for a year! What do you make of that, folks? It sure looks like Obama cares more about politically connected business interests than he does about you. Or perhaps you’re ready to hear the ugly truth: the employer mandate is going to blow away 90 million insurance policies when it goes into effect, making today’s agonizing headlines look like a pleasant summer romp by comparison. That’s the major reason it was delayed. Imagine what the mood in the country would be if the Big Lie crisis was ten or fifteen times worse.
How’s HealthCare.gov looking now? Well, if you live near Washington, D.C., you might have felt earth tremors as the goal posts for the much-ballyhooed relaunch were moved several times over the past week. Remember those bold assurances that everything would be working by the end of November, followed by noticeably less bold promises that the “majority of users” would have a more-or-less successful experience with the exchange website? Well, now a bit more ballyhoo has been drained from those assurances, and the new re-lowered expectation is – I kid you not – that only about 80 percent of applicants will be able to use the system. White House spokesman Jay Carney labored mightily on Monday to prepare next month’s spin by claiming – again, I kid you not – that most of the failed application attempts will be coming from people who really aren’t comfortable using the Internet.
This perfectly captures the lowered-expectations zeitgeist of Obama’s New Normal, in which nothing really works, all bars are lowered until they touch the ground, and a dispirited populace is told it deserves nothing better. A sequel to the classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life” is reportedly in the works; I propose saluting the exhausted can’t-do spirit of the Obama era by naming the new movie “It’s An Acceptable Life.”
When December 1 arrives, and HealthCare.gov inevitably fails to meet even these reduced expectations, we’ll doubtless be told it came fairly close to clearing the lowered bar, and instructed to celebrate. ”Fully functional” will be redefined as “70 percent of the 80 percent fallback to our 100 percent guarantee can use the website without four hours of system crashes, and a lot of them are being given incorrect price quotes, but we can worry about that later.” Close enough for government work, right?
So 5 million people have lost their insurance due to ObamaCare, and about 1 million of them won’t be able to use the website to buy insurance. But at least the other 4 million have a shot at getting re-insured before the December 15 deadline to ensure coverage as of January 1, 2014, right? Whoa, not so fast. The Weekly Standard notes that the craptastic website Obama blew hundreds of millions of your dollars on creating includes this little warning, which of course you can’t read if you cannot get logged in:
If you enroll in a private health insurance plan any time between October 1, 2013 and December 15, 2013 and make your first premium payment, your new health coverage starts January 1, 2014.
So you not only have to enroll for insurance – you have to process your first payment. Which means big trouble for a lot of people, because the exchange website is having big trouble processing payments. Representatives for the People’s Glorious Health Care Takeover are actually telling consumers it would be better to contact insurance companies directly. Another Obama triumph!
It is alarming to note that this little tidbit of failure was not disclosed to the Weekly Standard until they specifically asked whether they could make payments through TrainWreck.gov, so it doesn’t sound like information they are volunteering. That means a lot of confused Americans could be in for a rude surprise when they discover their payments didn’t process in time to secure coverage effective January 1.
At least Obama supporters can take comfort in knowing their man is a master of deception and spin control. He’ll be able to smooth over all this bad news and get his poll ratings back up before Democrats get clobbered in the midterm elections, won’t he? Alas, early indications are not encouraging. The “Fumble” press conference didn’t go over well. The President tried to hold a conference call for his loyal drone army last night… but the website crashed. Those who were able to remain connected heard him claim that “100 million Americans” have signed up for ObamaCare, a gaffe this type of “activist” is likely to repeat verbatim, to great embarrassment.
And there is breaking news this morning that one of the few “success stories” Obama has been touting – Jessica Sanford, a woman who got a personal shout-out from the President after she wrote an ObamaCare fan letter – is now a disillusioned Affordable Care Act victim. It turns out the screwed-up exchange website incorrectly told her taxpayers would pick up most of the tab for her insurance. After she wrote her “fan letter,” she found out that’s not true, and she’s on the hook for most, or all, of a bloated premium that would give her inferior coverage with higher deductibles, compared to the plan Barack Obama killed.
She now says she is “embarrassed” that she wrote her fan letter, thinks the Administration should “own up to what is going on” and shut the system down until it’s fixed, and evidently plans to pay the tax/penalty and make do without insurance. Hopefully she’s not planning to hold her breath until Obama “owns up” to anything.