Obama Stars in The No-Name Law That Sank His Party
When the Pelosi-Reid-Obama troika triumphantly celebrated cramming through the ACA (Affordable Care Act) over majority sentiment, they crowed that this was the president's signature achievement and ACA soon took on the name of its creator, ObamaCare. Though not one of them, nor any of the Democrats in the Senate who voted it into law uni-partisanly had read it, they all assured us that we'd grow to really, really like it. Boy, were they wrong.
We've paid almost a billion dollars to a Canadian firm whose vice-president is a college buddy of Michelle Obama's from their black radical days at Princeton to create a webpage to enroll people mandated by this law to do so, Obama having turned down the U.S. firm IBM's offer to create it for free. It doesn't work. Moreover, the continuing problems with this webpage -- and law -- are so substantial and intractable that the White House propaganda machine has stopped referring to it as ObamaCare or even the Affordable Care Act. Everyone now knows that for most people, the plan loaded with mandated coverage to curry favors with privileged tranches of voters like college girls who want free contraceptives and abortion coverage and to permit anyone to sign up after they found out they need costly care, not before, is far more expensive than what they were previously paying for medical insurance. It's some kind of no-name thing. Either that or, to be an honest descriptor, we could call it the UCA (Unaffordable Care Act). Under any name it's dramatically swamping the president and his party's standing among voters.
Younger voters who passionately supported the president in both election shots are running away from UCA, a law which depends on them to foot a disproportionate share of the financial burden:
A new poll from Harvard University's Institute of Politics shows young people increasingly cooling to President Obama and his signature domestic achievement, Obamacare. Fifty-four percent of young people (ages 18 to 29) disapprove of the job Obama is doing. A total of 47 percent of young people, including 52 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 24, say they would choose to recall Obama if they could.
Obamacare is undoubtedly a major force in this change among so-called Millennials (61 percent say they disapprove of his handling of health care). The poll found that 57 percent of young people disapprove of Obamacare, with just 38 percent approving of the law. The numbers were not significantly different when those polled were asked how they felt about the "Affordable Care Act" as opposed to "Obamacare." A plurality said the law would make their health care worse (44 percent for "Obamacare" and 40 percent for the "Affordable Care Act") while a majority (51 percent for "Obamacare" and 50 percent for the "Affordable Care Act") said they believed the amount they would pay for health care under the law would increase.
As Ron Fournier at National Journal points out, younger Millennials (those under the age of 25) are in particular turning against Obama.
And each day we learn of new, more difficult to resolve, problems with it.
For one thing, there's no way to pay for the mandated insurance by December 23 as the law requires purchasers to do.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: People are receiving cancellations. They know they lost their insurance. There is no way to talk around it.
The other thing that the Obama administration, the White House, is pushing is the success of the exchanges because they got 30,000 people supposedly enrolled. Let's assume it's enrolled. They aren't enrolled.
BRET BAIER: There's nobody that really paid their premium.
KRAUTHAMMER: Exactly. Shopping and semi-enrolled -- aspirationally enrolled, let's put it that way -- in two days. Well, if you do the math on that and you continue that enrollment up until the deadline of the 23rd of December, you come out with a number, which means that of the 5 million people who have lost insurance, 6% will have it restored. All the rest will not have it. And that's without adding a single person who never had insurance in the first place. It is a disaster with the numbers that the White House is touting.
Hit and Run describes the payment issue's evolution on Just One Minute:
"In addition to fixing the technical problems with healthcare.gov, the significant 'back-end' issues must also be resolved to ensure that coverage can begin on January 1, 2014. In particular, the ongoing problems with processing "834″ enrollment files need to be fixed." AHIP President, Karen Ignagni said (via WaPo), December 1.
"The back end sounds like some obscure curlicue in the process," Krauthammer said. "It's the cash register! It's the point at which you make the purchase. And if you don't have correct information or any information, you don't have a purchase. You don't have enrollment. You don't have a plan, you have a catastrophe."-- stuff Krauthammer said, December 3
Dun dun dun!
"Now, this is like having a really good product in the store and the cash registers don't work... so we are working overtime to get this fixed."-- stuff Obama said,
...wait for it...
Requiring people to buy insurance when you don't have a cash register to take their money is typical of the law and website's conundrums and when you learn Obama apparently manages by telekinesis, you can understand why:
The Government Accountability Institute report found that since Obamacare was signed on March 23, 2010, Obama met with "various Cabinet secretaries a total of 277 times," but his presidential schedule did not "document a single one-on-one meeting" with Sebelius. There was, though, "one instance of Secretary Sebelius meeting jointly with the President and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner." Breitbart Big Govt
Obama shut down the federal government rather than delay UCA's individual mandate provision though he keeps exempting new favored blocs and delaying various provisions. Instead he's cranked up the propaganda machine, particularly the stuff aimed at the young. The efforts have been ridiculous, a clear sign, I suppose of how little regard he has for the intellectual capacity of those who voted disproportionately for him (a point on which he and I are in rare agreement}.
By way of example, HHS named as a winner of their video propaganda outreach one entry which is titled "Forget About the Price Tag."
In a White House Youth Summit, Obama "called on young people to do whatever they can to promote his signature health care law -- including plying their customers with cheap booze. "If you are a bartender, have a happy hour," Obama said as the crowd laughed. "And also probably get health insurance because a lot of people don't have it." Obama also encouraged young people who are student body presidents or workers at nonprofit organizations to help people get enrolled. "If you've got a radio show, spread the word on air," Obama added. Obama called on young people's sense of patriotism to join...."
Increasingly, more substantive problems with UCA were making themselves known. Many top hospitals were refusing to participate. Many doctors were retiring rather than go along with this quality care killer. Indeed, it was reliably reported by Washington Examiner's Richard Pollack that seven out of ten California doctors were refusing to participate in that state's health exchange. Reminds me of Sam Goldwyn's observation that when people don't want to come to the theater nothing can stop them.
So far, the law applies to a relatively small number of people -- when it expands to cover employer mandates and more millions are thrown into the UCA pool, the disaster will snowball. As my friend DoT notes: "Once the employer mandate kicks in they'll be hunting Democrats with dogs in this country."
Noemie Emery explains why Obama's "inverse genius" is causing so much voter angst and disdain:
By threatening their lives as well as their budgets, Obama has created a huge class of losers, who statistically overrun the small class of winners and outweigh them in savvy, no doubt. "A significant minority of losers or self-perceived losers and a few high profile bad outcomes are more than enough to cause real political problems," as Kaiser Foundation head honcho Drew Altman informs us. They're not a minority, and they have, and they will.
As National Journal's James Oliphant tells us, the plan will insure about 25 million, about half of the number serviced by Medicare, at the expense of almost everyone else in the country, who stand to lose something -- in anxiety, money, or care. Those helped "represent just a relative handful of people, many of whom sit at the lower end of the political spectrum, and engage little with the political process ... that's what's going to make any sort of renewed national sales pitch so difficult. Among the politically active, the damage is done."
Math is so hard for Democrats.
So, if Obama wasn't managing his namesake signature legislation, apart from ribbon cuttings, offending our allies, giving away the store to our enemies, firing our military officers, and blowing through the national treasure, what has he been doing? He's been acting as the star of his own production, Obama, the President and starring in a series of preposterous publicity poses the White House photographers then release to show, for example, that the meaning of the deaths of famous people and the commemoration of historical figures are really significant only as they reveal his reactions to these events.
So while Obama paid no obvious attention to the provisions in the 2,000-plus pages law or the thousands of regulations HHS churned out along with the inoperability of a critically defective, grossly overpriced website, what was he doing?
Ace of Spades explains that Obama and his most ardent fans, including, of course, the New York Times and Chris Matthews, see the presidency as a drama in which the hero, not his MacGuffin [object of the quest], is all that matters.
It's the Hero that the rapt fan is interested in, not the MacGuffin.
The left is just interested in the character, the Hero... [Ed: he fisks the NYT's sappy account of Obama's Christmas book buying]
President Obama has never visited the rugged mountains of Chechnya, but if he digs into one of the novels he bought last weekend, "A Constellation of Vital Phenomena," he will be transported to a land of unremitting violence and tragedy, where the innocent are caught up in war as often as the guilty.
Perhaps Mr. Obama is seeking a deeper understanding of the roots of the ethnic bloodletting after Chechnya vaulted back to the front pages this year with the Boston Marathon bombings. Or perhaps he is thinking about his troubled relationship with Russia.
Either way, the novel would give the president a more visceral feel for one of the world's most brutal conflicts than the graphic intelligence papers that cross his desk.
"I imagine someone in his position gets a lot of facts and figures," Anthony Marra, the author of the book, mused the other day. "But the novel is really about the experience, about the psyche and the soul."
A reading list offers a rare window into the presidential mind, a peek at what a commander in chief may be thinking about beyond the prosaic and repetitive briefings that dominate his days.
Yes who cares about those repetitive boring briefings. I mean, there's nothing interesting going on, certainly, apart from the intense drama of his signature policy initiative going up in flames.
I'm not sure if we can call a several-times-per-week [ed: of Obama's reference to "his journey"] occurrence rare.
In fact, I'm pretty sure it's the concern for Obama's actual record that's rare. The intense interest in Obama the Personality is the common thing.
The right has repeatedly belittled Obama as a "Celebrity." And indeed that is what he is. His fans are primarily interested in Barack the Man, Barack the Personality.
And not so much as Barack Obama, the executor of federal law.
[The books he purchased] are volumes about identity and reinvention, about what it means to be American, and about family, love, betrayal and redemption.
Yup -- movie themes. Book themes. Story themes.
The New York Times, like Chris Matthews, is not interested in policy. It is solely interested in the travails and triumphs of their Hero, Barack Obama.
Right now I, too, see Obama as star of his own movie, he's standing on the prow of the Titanic as it sinks beneath the waves.