Barack Obama: Pitch Man
The big news circulating today is that yesterday, President Obama sat down with NBC lackey Chuck Todd for a one on one interview, in which the President apologized to Americans who are losing their health insurance because of Obamacare. That’s the spin, anyway. He didn’t apologize to anyone.
“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” he told NBC News in an exclusive interview at the White House.
So, according to the President, these people are finding themselves in this situation because of assurances they got from him? How did that happen? Because he assured them they could keep their plans (period), they did what, exactly? Expected that he was telling the truth? Well, that was a mistake.
Lesson learned. Assume everything the President says is a lie, and you will no longer find yourself in a situation again.
But the NBC spin machine doesn’t stop there.
That part of the law [that requires health insurance meet certain standards or it gets cancelled] does not impact the 80 percent of Americans who receive their health insurance through employers or through Medicare or Medicaid.
Of course it doesn’t impact Medicare or Medicaid as far as that goes. They have issues of their own. How many of that 80% number are on the government dole? The individual mandate will not affect those who are on employer insurance, but I am sure that when the employer mandate goes into effect, it will, and I think they will experience the same sticker shock as the rest of us. Only those on government funded programs will be shielded.
But the President never apologized for misleading people.
When asked by Mr. Todd if he felt he owed people an apology for misleading them (and even Todd threw him some cover by adding “even if you didn’t intentionally do it”), here was his response:
“I regret very much that what we intended to do, which is to make sure that everybody is moving into better plans because they want them, as opposed to because they are being forced into it, that we weren’t as clear as we needed to be in terms of the changes that were taking place, and I want to do everything we can to make sure that people are finding themselves in a good position, a better position than they were before this law happened. Keep in mind that most of the folks who got these cancellation letters, they’ll be able to get better care at the same cost or cheaper in these new marketplaces because they’ll have more choice, they’ll have more competition, they’re part of a bigger pool, insurance companies are going to be hungry for their business, so, the majority of folks are going to end up being better off, of course, because the website is not working right, they don’t necessarily know it.” (emphasis mine)
Where’s the apology, exactly?
The fact is, the President, instead of apologizing, started spinning like a Maytag.
- Everybody is being forced into it, Mr. President. Or did you not read the individual mandate from which this problem springs forth?
- “We weren’t clear” is the new euphemism for lying.
- Folks who are getting these cancellation letters are finding their costs increasing, not just premiums, but deductibles and out of pocket costs. This statement from the President is a continuation of the “if you like your plan you can keep it” lie. Some people who are receiving cancellation letters are Obama supporters. Here’s a hard fact for those of you who support the President, even if your policies are being cancelled. He doesn’t need you or your support anymore. He’s kicking you to the curb like last week’s girlfriend.
- Choice and competition. So why are companies like United Healthcare abandoning California, where they are having trouble competing? I’m a big believer of if you can’t compete, figure out how to compete or get out of the market. That’s the nature of competition. However, how does companies pulling out of specific markets create more choice? And by being part of a bigger pool, we are a) subsidizing great increases in health insurance profits, and b) using the pool to take the premiums from the young and less sickly to subsidize those who use health insurance the most.
“But the one thing I want to emphasize, Chuck, everybody is acting as if the existing marketplace was working, and the fact of the matter is, that, a whole lot of people who were in this individual market, who were buying health care on their own because they weren’t getting it through their employer, they might be happy with it this year, and then suddenly next year the costs got jacked up by 15% to 20%. The average increase on premiums in this individual market, for somebody who kept their health care for awhile, the average increase was double digits. If they actually got sick and used the insurance, they might find the next year that their premiums had gone up or their insurer had dropped them altogether, because now they had a pre-existing condition.”
Now the interview has devolved into an infomercial. Sadly, all this president knows how to do is sell things, give speeches and make public appearances.
But unless math has suddenly changed since I was in school, I could swear that an increase of 65% to 250% is a much larger increase than 15% to 20%.
Increase the consumer protections. Pass laws that say insurance cannot drop people because of pre-existing conditions. Pass laws that say the insurance companies can’t charge women more. Consumer protections can be put in place without requiring people to purchase a product that a lot don’t want, especially he young.
“Now, having said that, given that I’ve been burned already, with a website, well, more importantly, the American people have been burned by a website that has been dysfunctional, what we have also been doing is creating a whole other set of tracks, making sure that people can apply by phone effectively, making sure that people can apply in person effectively, so, what I’m confident about is that anybody who wants to buy health insurance through the marketplace, they are going to be able to buy it.”
That’s very telling. The President thinks of himself fist, and the American people as an afterthought.
According to ABC News, however, the same issues that have plagued the website have been plaguing the phone and mail application process as well. Of course, the president is confident. He doesn’t want to look a fool, but the reality is that none of it is working well. Oregon’s state run site has not enrolled a single applicant. Delaware has enrolled 1. North Dakota has enrolled 14, Alaska has 3. And the Federal exchange, a whopping 6. Of course, early on, enrollment would be lower than it will be later on, because a lot of people procrastinate and don’t do things until they have to. But one would expect the numbers to be higher than six. Did these states hire the same company as the Feds to create their websites as well?
“The same portal is used to determine eligibility no matter how the application is submitted (paper, online),” reads a Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight memo from Oct. 11.
“The paper applications allow people to feel like they are moving forward in the process and provides another option,” it says. “At the end of the day, we are all stuck in the same queue.”
Huh. That sounds effective to me.
It’s sad that our American president, the so-called “Leader of the Free World” has been reduced to an infomercial pitchman, like the late Billy Mays. The only thing he doesn’t say is “Hi! Barack Obama here for the Affordable Care Act!”
This is becoming so damaging to this presidency, that they are desperately trying to change the subject.
Okay. How about Benghazi?
Fast & Furious?
Solyndra and other failed government guaranteed taxpayer loans to struggling solar companies?
The ever widening, ever growing NSA scandal?
Using the IRS as your own personal thugs?
Influence peddling and selling access to the White House?
These are just a few, and right now, Obamacare is the least of your worries.