Thursday, April 3, 2014

ObamaCare Suddenly a Success. Now Move On and Shut Up. (Update)

Obama spiked the football with the wonderfully appropriate April's Fool announcement of the down-to-the wire, over-the-top surge of enrollments in ObamaCare, despite lagging in all estimates through the initial sign-up period and after a humiliating start last October.

"Shut up!", he explained.

It was humiliating to anyone who has a sense of shame, that is, with estimates required because the government feigned ignorance of any numbers that were likely to show less than a sterling success.

Yet after months of blank smiles that expected us to believe that the administration was reasonable in claiming to have no idea about the churning numbers, when Amazon handles far greater volume routinely, we suddenly have the announcement that 7.1 million enrollees have leapt onto the ObamaCare bandwagon.  And what wonderful precision – not 7 million, but 7 point one million, which Charles Krauthammer picked up on as he expressed that we shall find this to be a "phony number".

The administration still remains dumb about how this number adds up.  How many of that number were signed up for Medicaid, all at taxpayers' expense? How many had to sign up because ObamaCare compelled the cancellation of their old insurance policies, the ones that Obama promised they could keep, along with their doctor?  How many are paying more for policies that Obama promised would cost less – "on average $2500 less per family"?  How many have seen their deductibles skyrocket so that their insurance will kick in only after they're bankrupt?  Add those to the accumulating pile of shovel-ready promises.

One factor that the administration touts in the total is the number of twenty-somethings who can still glom on to their parents' policies.  That's fine in a strictly numerical sense, but this sustained gratification ceases once they turn 26.  They may still live in the family basement, "staring up at fading Obama posters", but they will still have to be on their own for insurance and do more than Hope that things will Change.

Obama continues to issue decrees that suddenly and imperiously modify the law, extending the increasingly ominous changes just beyond the next election, and the next.  How can insurance companies run a business when they don't know how their industry will work tomorrow?  If there is this much disruption with just the effect on the individual mandates, how tectonic will be the effect when Obama finally allows the employer mandate to kick in?

It doesn't matter what's true.  Harry Reid can declare that the negative stories about ObamaCare are all "untrue", but have him tell that to Senator Tom Coburn whose cancer treatments have been cancelled.  They will ignore the RAND study that shows that barely 858,000 previously uninsured have paid for their new policies.

Obama thundered "The debate over repealing this law is over!  The Affordable Care Act is here to stay!"  The media will continue to paraphrase this attitude in terms of "'Shut up!', he explained."

And finally, the party atmosphere is stoked by the news of the giant surge claimed at the very end of the sign-up period, despite the non-deadline deadline which allows a perpetual pass.  (In that respect, Obama's deadlines carry as much import as his red lines.)  If this law were so popular, wouldn't you expect that there would be a surge at the beginning of the period, with people clamoring for this wonderful new benefit to their lives, instead of at the last moment?

By that logic, I expect to see by mid-month a spate of stories in the media declaring the enormous popularity of the IRS, when the annual crowds beat the last minute deadline of filing their tax returns.

Update:  Left unexplained by the White House is the simultaneous finding by Rasmussen that likely voters are even more disenchanted with ObamaCare than before, with "58% reporting that they have at least a somewhat unfavorable opinion of the health care law ... up from 54% two weeks ago."  The recent finding of unpopularity includes 43% who view it "very unfavorably".  These figures match the all-time high first reached last mid-November.


  1. Might as well get used to it. It sure ain't going away.

  2. Speaking of health "care," I hope you were never at Camp Lejune:

    1. Why, yes I was, thank you for asking, in the mid-70s. They've kept me abreast of the developments, which includes studies compared to a control population at Camp Pendleton during the same time frame.

      The recent result is that there is a correlation for some maladies at Camp Lejeune, but they don't include what the degree of significance is. The agreement is that they will pony up some med expenses should I develop something along those lines.

      Of course, I was exposed to every last one of the indicators for Desert Storm syndrome (or whatever the buzzword was) but I've developed exactly nothing along those lines either.

      So far, so good. Interesting that they've already written a book about it though. Thanks for the tip.


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