Obama’s Obamacare: Diagnosis Incurable
Each day brings a fresh embarrassment for Obamacare and its architect President Barack Obama. This time, the president apparently knew nothing about the disaster in the making. In a press briefingThursday, Obama once again played the “I didn’t know” card.
“I was not informed directly that the website would not be working the way it was supposed to. Had I been informed, I wouldn’t be going out saying, boy, this is going to be great,” declared Obama.
What does the president know about exactly? First, he was unaware of the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups. Then he did not know about the National Security Agency’s massive spying on Americans. Now we’re supposed to believe Obama didn’t know about the massive problems facing the rollout of his signature policy? Really Mr. President?
“So ultimately, I’m the head of this team. We did fumble the ball on it, and what I’m going to do is make sure that we get it fixed,” promised Obama.
Fumble is an understatement. Since the official October 1st rollout of the law, the wreckage list includes: a non-functioning website, only 26,000 people enrolling in the federally run exchanges, millions of canceled policies, higher premiums, and government paid “navigators,” working without background checks, who are encouraging people to use fraudulent information to enroll in www.healthcare.gov to get subsidies.
Even Democrats, who bashed Republicans relentlessly during the government shutdown for seeking to defund, delay or repeal the law, are now singing the GOP’s tune. Democrats in both the House and the Senate are demanding Obama allow people to keep their cancelled plans and wait for it …delay the individual mandate until the website is fixed. P.S. Don’t forget not a single Republican voted for the Affordable Care Act.
More astonishing than Democrats’ massive retreat from the law they championed in 2010 is how Obama remains absent from the stage of accountability for the law he championed, or his entire presidency for that matter. He refuses to say he’s sorry for lying to the American people “if you like your plan you can keep your plan.”
During his Thursday press performance, Obama did everything he cold to avoid apologizing or taking full responsibility for the failure of Obamacare’s rollout.
“I’m not happy about the fact that the rollout has been wrought with a whole range of problems that I’ve been deeply concerned about.”
“I completely get how upsetting this can be for a lot of Americans,” Obama said Thursday. Yet understanding is not apologizing.
Doing what Obama does best, talking rather than governing, he announced the administration will allow Americans to keep their cancelled plans, he called “substandard,” but only for a year. The Affordable Care Act’s minimum standard of coverage turned out to be a government mandated maximum standard requiring more coverage than people needed. This is why people’s policies are being cancelled to force them out of the plans they like into more expensive exchanges they don’t like to subsidize the coverage of sick people, who can’t be charged more.
If Obama determined the plans didn’t offer enough coverage, why is he changing his mind? After all, he said repeatedly it was a bad idea to delay the individual mandate for a year, as Republicans recommended. Consequently, it would seem it is an equally bad idea to delay people keeping the plans they like for a year.
“I’m accused of a lot of things, but I don’t think I’m stupid enough to go around saying, this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity a week before the website opens if I thought that it wasn’t going to work. So clearly, we and I did not have enough awareness about the problems in the website,” exclaimed Obama.
Obama needs to cut the deniability act. If he is “leader of the team” (President of the United States), as he said Thursday, then he certainly was “aware” of the situation around Obamacare. What he really meant is he thought the American people would be stupid enough to buy into this law with all its warts. Now that the rollout is such a catastrophe, toppling his approval ratings to all time low, Obama is damage control, trying to rewind the story of Obamacare.
While Obama said he “feels strongly about fixing it,” everyday Obamacare looks more and more unfixable and “substandard.” And in the end, it’s the president who just looks stupid.
*Also published in the Washington Times Communities.