Thursday, November 14, 2013

ObamaCare and the World War (Update: Digging In, and Media Bias)

It is a common cliché, at least since 1969, to say, "Why is it that the country that put a man on the moon can't [fill in the blank]?" 

Leaving aside the fact that we are no longer capable of doing that, particularly since Obama shut down the manned space program, nevertheless historical comparisons habitually leap to mind when considering great endeavors, much the same way that people compare prices, as my wife thinks in terms of gallons of milk and I usually consider tanks of gasoline. 

The current story which grips our media and the national economy is ObamaCare.  (Note that the Democrats initially insisted on its somewhat official name of the Affordable Care Act, but even Obama picked up on the ObamaCare title when it still had a positive cachet enforced repeatedly by the press.  Now fewer and fewer of them are using anything which associates ObamaCare with the word 'affordable'.)
So think of it in these terms: ObamaCare was finally signed into law (the history of which is an entirely significant story all its own, but let's not digress) on 21 March 2010, with the planned implementation date of 1 October 2013.  That is a span of 3 years, 6 months, and 10 days. 

The American entry into World War II was thrust upon us by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.  We fought through to win the war in Europe which was marked by the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany on 8 May 1945.  After the mobilization of millions of Americans, building tens of thousands of tanks, aircraft, vehicles, ships of all kinds, and millions of tons of munitions, then after the invasion and sweep through North Africa, the invasion of Italy, the largest invasion in history on D-Day in France (and another one in southern France), the sweep through to the Battle of the Bulge, and then finally the race to Berlin and the final capitulation of the Nazis – all that was accomplished within 3 years, 5 months, and 1 day. 

And all that done while we were still fighting the Japanese in the Pacific.  (And while we're on the subject, the entire Manhattan Project which developed the atomic bomb took place between 18 December 1941 and the detonation of the first such device at Trinity Site in New Mexico on 16 July 1945.  That took 3 years, 6 months, 28 days.) 

Yet in the time allotted, the Obama administration can't build a webpage to kick this off, and the webpage is only the beginning of this fiasco. 

Obama's pronouncement today declared an "administrative fix" that will compel insurance companies to retain current insurance policies for another year while the administration figures out some way to make this all work, which is supposed to declare some kind of King's X on some 5 million policies that have been cancelled – so far.  "I completely get how upsetting this could be for many Americans," he deadpanned.
Not a good day
Left unexplained is how those insurance companies will accomplish this gargantuan turn-around, or whether he has the authority to compel private companies to do so.  If one wants to answer with his actions against the auto industry a few years ago, such as his firing of the CEO of General Motors, well, that isn't exactly considered kosher in some quarters.

Leave aside the unanswered question – or for that matter strangely unasked to a great extent – how the president can simply make declarations that change a Congressional law as if by imperial fiat, such as his exemption of Congress and its staff from ObamaCare, or his declaration that the employer mandate will be postponed for a year (if you think this is bad, wait until that disaster looms on the horizon).

(H/T to Posts from Blair)

Update: The House passed a bill today (Friday, 15 November) to let insurance companies sell the cancelled policies that resulted from ObamaCare, one day after Obama announced a unilateral "fix" to the problem. 

The final tally on the House bill, the Keep Your Plan Act, was 261-157, with 39 Democrats crossing over.  It would seem that Obama's hasty press conference yesterday gave cover for the Democrats who were faced with putting a vote for or against the unfolding ObamaCare debacle.  Without the president's declared "fix", possibly a hundred or so Democrats would have gone over to support the Republican bill.

The bill would not only allow the insurance companies to sell the same plans to those who had had them cancelled, but would allow them to sell to others as well.  Obama's concession would only permit the previous policy holders to retain their old policies.  Both cases apply the extension for one year. 

The Republican bill though, also questions Obama's "authority to make those changes on his own". 

Insurance companies were already questioning Obama's pronouncement about reversing the cancellations brought on by ObamaCare, and I expect that problem would be applied to the House bill as well. 

Obama replied, "What we want to do is to be able to say to these folks, you know what, the Affordable Care Act is not going to be the reason why insurers have to cancel your plan." 

Of course not.  Now the administration is going to blame the insurance companies for not being able to fix the mess that the administration and the Democrats in Congress foisted on them and the American people.  Remember that not one Republican voted for ObamaCare. 

Obama has threatened to veto the House bill, assuming of course that Harry Reid allows the bill on the Senate floor. 

In other news, this concerning an example of the media coverage of Obama (and yes, that is deliberately ambiguous), this morning's Good Morning America had this tidbit from Josh Elliott:
We're going to begin with the continuing battle now over ObamaCare.  The House will vote today on a Republican-backed bill that can dramatically undermine the President's health care law.  For his part, the President is vowing to help millions of Americans who had their policies cancelled by allowing insurance companies to offer their old policies for one more year.  But now it is up to the states to implement that change and one state – Washington – is already saying the President's fix is unworkable.
Catch that?  Republicans: "… dramatically undermine the President's health care law."  Democrats: "… the President is vowing to help millions of Americans …".  A good exercise in value-laden terms.


  1. The Democrats are always "vowing," while doing their actual business under-the-table. 2014 will tell the tale. If ObummerCare doesn't cost the Dems the senate and help the Reps keep the house, nothing will.

  2. The very first thing that Obama said he would do as president was to close Guantanamo. His success at that started a trend of like results, starting a downhill slide, and few people recognize the magnitude of its future impact.


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