Obama's fallen and he can't get up
The tangled web Barack Obama has woven for himself and the Democratic Party, which passed his signature legislation in lockstep, has left him with no way out. The multiple deceptions inherent in Obamacare are becoming obvious, and because they affect the health, wealth and welfare of every American, they cannot be papered over by a supportive media haze.
The "you-can-keep-your" lies about insurance policies and doctors are only the first stage of deception. Obamacare was sold to the American people on the premise that it would not add "one dime" to the deficit, a lie that was perpetrated with the help of gaming the scoring rules used by the Congressional Budget Office. With Medicaid enrollments soaring and guarantees to make whole health insurance companies who might lose money spiraling into the stratosphere, the ten year cost to taxpayers will be in the realm of the t-word, trillions, if this abomination is not repealed.
Yesterday, the president announced his intention to change what Democrats only weeks ago were calling "settled law" without Congressional authorization, exempting health insurance companies from the mandates in that law. This doesn't pass the laugh test, as the toothpaste has already been squeezed out of the tube, and even if state insurance commissioners went along (the State of Washington commissioner has already announced he won't), there is no way that health insurance companies could re-do their paperwork in time for December 15th, the effective deadline for having policies in force on January 1st. The administration that couldn't make a website work with over three years of time and more money than has ever been spent on a website now expects health insurance companies and insurance commissioners in 50 states to go through complex calculations and review procedures in one month. The very industry Obama recently characterized as "bad apples" is now expected to pull his chestnuts from the fire and perform miracles.
It is already certain that on January 1st, 2014, people with sick and injured family members will be showing up in emergency rooms and told that they have no health insurance coverage. Bankruptcy, lack of treatment, and eventually, fatalities will result. Obama lied and people died. The slogan writes itself.
Congressional Democrats are now really in bind. The "fix" Obama attempted to craft yesterday makes their dilemma even more acute. It is obvious that it won't work at a practical level, and the attempt to shift blame to the insurance companies for failing to take advantage of the permission Obama gave them won't offer any cover if Democrats vote against the Upton Bill (which basically puts into law Obama's changes the way the Constitution requires). Votes against the Upton Bill, or the Landrieu Bill in the Senate, would be a gift to Republican opponents in 2014.
It is obvious that yesterday's press conference did nothing to stem the panic hitting Congressional Democrats. Some in the leadership have retreated into a fantasy realm.
"There is nothing in the Affordable Care Act that said that your insurance company should cancel you," said Minority Leader Pelosi. (via Weekly Standard) (hat tip: Ed Lasky)
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said at the time the statement was made, it was accurate. The problems with the messaging came when people interpreted Obama's comments "expansively." (via Politico) (Hat tip: Weasel Zippers)
There is now no good option left for President Obama and the Democrats. Even in the unlikely event the website problems are miraculously solved on November 30th (something nobody in the administration is promising anymore), Americans who pay income taxes and all along took responsibility for buying health care insurance are going to find themselves paying substantially more each month, in order to subsidize the policies of people who never took responsibility for providing their own health care insurance, and those who make too little to pay much in income taxes. This is because of the biggest Obamacare lie of all: that somehow providing insurance to people who never had it could be accomplished without adding to the deficit and saving the average family $2500 a year on their insurance. This is free lunch-ism of the highest order, nonsense on a stick. Yet buoyed by Obama's self-assurance and a supportive media, the American people bought it.
Now the nature of the con is evident. Starting January 1st, the people who find their family budgets strained by the extra cost of health care insurance are going to cut back drastically on their spending elsewhere. Say hello to plummeting retail sales, restaurant visits, and investments. The Obamacare recession will be upon us.
In the end, Obama is being undone by his hubris in a Greek Tragedy mode. But the crisis has been made much, much worse by his contempt for the discipline of management itself. It is obvious that the trigger event, the website fiasco which gave permission to everyone to think critically about the Obamacare lies, is the result of no management at all. The CEO, Obama, was detached, taking no responsibility to see that deadlines were met, contingencies addressed, and fixes put in place. HHS Secretary Sebelius, who at least has the experience of running the state of Kansas as governor, took a hands-off approach. So it was left to bureaucrats at the CMS to handle it, and they took the bureaucratic approach typical in government, dividing responsibility into fiefdoms, each working to its own imperatives, and nobody taking responsibility for the overall project.
That is exactly what management is all about: taking responsibility for the whole, sweating the details, riding herd on the troops.
Marxists and their descendants in the progressive movement are incapable of acknowledging the value of management. Their ideological blinders require them to insist that those who take responsibility for management are exploiters, seizing the "surplus value" created by workers. If management has value, then Marxism is dead wrong. That cannot be admitted by true believers.
Obamacare is going to continue to implode. People are going to suffer real harm. And they will be appropriately angry. It will not be pretty. Progressivism has created its own dialectic. It is generating its antithesis, and the resulting synthesis (check your Hegel if this sounds like gibberish) is not at all what Obama and his mentors Frank Marshall Davis and Saul Alinksy had in mind.