Look out, more trouble with Obamacare: It appears when Obama said “If you like your plan, you can keep it,” he wasn’t telling the whole truth. As the press reported this week, if your plan doesn’t meet minimum standards of coverage, and if it isn’t “grandfathered” or lost that status by changing its terms, then you will indeed lose that plan and have to get another one.
It seems odd to us that this would bother anyone because, in our experience, people don’t love their plans so much as having a plan — hence the big push toward universal insurance — and would benefit from moving to an alternative that included such niceties as hospitalization coverage.
But apparently there are a lot of people out there who love their bandaid-and-a-bucket-of-leeches plans, and are outraged that they have to trade them in for something that meets ACA standards. For rightbloggers, this was the End of Obamacare Redux Part Infinity.
As beneficiaries got letters saying their current plans were no longer an option thanks to Obamacare, notwithstanding that they were eligible for new plans under the same law, rightbloggers expressed outrage, and told us that millions of people, represented by a few they’d actually heard about, were going to be bankrupted by the Kenyan Pretender’s socialistic health scheme.
Illinois Review saw a news show about a woman who said her new plan would cost more than her old one, and another who said her coverage would “likely” cost more, and interpreted this to mean that “Illinoisans getting those [cancellation] letters are shocked by the skyrocketing costs that will change their lifestyles as they find the costs impossible to manage.” Well, the plural is technically accurate.
“Obama promised us that Obamacare would reduce the cost of health insurance by $2,500 per family on average,” explained Peter Ferrara the Heartland Institute. “But it is already doing just the opposite.” Maybe he and the Illinois Review guy saw the same news show.
“[Obama] knew that Obamacare would cost some Americans their healthcare by design,” cried Bryan Preston of The PJ Tatler, “but until forced to acknowledge that, he lied about it. Now he orders those Americans to shop around for more expensive healthcare that meets his arbitrary standards on a website that Does. Not. Work.”
“Another shocker has revealed that premiums under Obamacare go up, not down,” said Belle of Liberty. “So much for Affordable Health Care. ACA is simply another manifestation of redistributing the wealth.” She also told us that “it’s already a fact that patients over 75 will not receive care for terminal diseases,” which is a new one on us — maybe this refers to Rush Limbaugh’s analysis of the ACA (“In other words, somebody comes in, 75 years old, needs this operation, ‘Ah, no, it will be better spent if we spend that money on somebody 35.’ Hello death panel”).
Some beneficiaries came forward with what sounded like genuinely lousy Obamacare trade-ins. The Washington Examiner‘s David Freddoso found four complaints of this type, and concluded from them that “such stories abound.” Could be four, could by fifty million — probably the latter, right? Freddoso then told whoever was still reading that “you simply must pay more – and get less – to make Obamacare’s finances work,” because Obama was giving all the benefits to his best friends The Poors. Plus, said Freddoso, your Obamacare insurance won’t even work! “Obama chose to finance their care by making you pay more into the system and get less out of it whenever you eventually become sick,” he claimed. “Someone out there is benefiting from Obamacare. It just isn’t you.”
Others were just pissed that they got letters. Rightwing org Women’s Independent Voice got a bunch of people to hold up pictures of their cancellation letters and make frustrated faces, then put them up at My Cancellation.com. Most of the contributors didn’t bother to say why they were upset about this, but hundreds of rightbloggers copied and pasted the site’s tagline, “An Obamacare website that works,” and declared Obummercare through. “It seems that Americans can keep their plan, but only if Obama likes their plan,” reported The Weekly Standard.
Reporters checked out some of the cancellation sob stories and found that the plaintiffs had crummy plans of the sort the law was designed to reform, and often disdained to even check them against the Obamacare alternatives to see if a new plan would be better. But, said Reason‘s Nick Gillespie, representing the conservative niche brand known as libertarianism, these “professional truth-slingers” are just liberal [whoops, we mean statist] media types “here to tell you that Obamacare critics are all wet, that maybe the president went a wee bit too far with that whole you-can-keep-it stuff, but that the more important thing is that these aren’t the health plans you were looking for.” So it’s all a Jedi mind trick, only Obama is a storm-trooper, not Obi-Wan; non-canonical, but that’s what fanfic is for.
Now, you may have also been hearing about other people who also got cancellation letters, but wound up with new ACA-compliant plans they find better and cheaper than their old ones. Unpossible, said rightbloggers! Who are you going to believe — these obviously made-up positive stories that, Alex Jones assures us, were bought and paid for by White House flacks, or the negative stories picked at random by the honest brokers of National Review and Fox News?
All citizens required to get new plans were “sure losers,” asserted Allahpundit of Hot Air, and there’ll be “undetermined number of further losers to come once the law’s unintended consequences start flowing… Three percent of the population isn’t much, relatively, but it’s enough to swing close elections. Good luck, red-state Democrats.”
“Hey, 9 Million Eggs Have to Break to Make This Omelet!” headlined Jim Geraghty of National Review. He didn’t insist the new plans would all suck, but he’d heard that many of them would be “similar” to the beneficiaries’ old plans, and this too he found an outrage. “Obamacare fans shouldn’t count on these folks being cheerful and bursting with gratitude,” he warned, “because nobody enjoys having their insurance canceled and being forced to sign up again, only to end up with something ‘pretty similar to what they had before.’ It feels like a lot of needless stress and unnecessary aggravation.” Whereas when insurers unilaterally changed your policy in the old days, that was a breeze. Cursed Big Gummint!
National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg went further: What if people don’t want better plans? This is America, after all. “Say I like my current car,” posited Goldberg. “The government says under some new policy I will be able to keep it and maybe even lower my car payments. But once the policy is imposed, I’m told my car now isn’t street-legal. Worse, I will have to buy a much more expensive car or be fined by the IRS. But, hey, it’ll be a much better car! Why, even though you live in Death Valley, your new car will have great snow tires and heated seats.” And if you crash that car, you certainly don’t want Obamacare picking up any of your massive hospital bills. Freedom!
At Business Insider, David Vinik concurred: “By increasing the standards that health insurers must live up to,” he wrote, “Obama has decided what constitutes adequate insurance for Americans. He limited their choices by outlawing plans that do not meet those standards. Worse, the president lied about it.” As if setting minimum standards weren’t bad enough!
The upshot for rightbloggers was that Obama is a liar and would not be elected for a third term.
“Surely this is the clearest example of a broken presidential promise since George H.W. Bush’s ‘Read my lips: no new taxes,'” tsked James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal, but deeper in got to the real fun talking point: “We suppose another example of an unfortunate blanket statement was ‘I am not a crook,'” thus equating Obama’s ‘you can keep it” with Nixon’s breaking-and-entering coverup.
Rush Limbaugh had the same idea: “Richard Nixon resigned over a lie nowhere near this big,” he cried. Newt Gingrich, trying to distinguish himself in a crowded field, tricky-dicked Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary instead: “[Kathleen] Sebelius dishonesty in testimony this morning exceeds anything president Nixon was accused of,” he tweeted.
Going wide, National Review‘s Victor Davis Hanson compared Obama’s “you can keep it” not only to Nixon on Watergate but to LBJ on Vietnam, Clinton on Monica Lewinsky, George H. W. Bush on “Read my lips,” and Reagan on Iran-Contra. You will not be surprised to learn Hanson thought Obama worse than any of these: “The distortions and lack of credibility of the Obama administration have matched and now trumped those of its predecessors,” he said, because the economy sucks and, unlike previous presidents, Obama lies all the time, not just to prosecutors. “After nearly five years of scandals, untruths, and hard economic times, ” intoned Hanson, “a now-ignored Barack Obama has finally learned that even an iconic president can tell one too many untruths.” Ah, the old No One Left to Lie To approach! We expect years from now Hanson will be reminiscing over Obama’s relatively innocuous falsehoods as he declares Elizabeth Warren the most dishonest President ever.
“Forty years from now, the millennials who in 2008 and 2012 believed in and voted for the progressive ideal — limitless, mandated, state-led goodness — can tell their grandchildren they watched it fall apart in 2013,” said the Wall Street Journal‘s Daniel Henninger. In Henninger’s reading, while once there existed “a liberalism willing most of the time to coexist with markets, property and private enterprise” — back in the days of the Journal‘s old friends the Clintons — Obamacare proved the Kenyan Pretender had changed this to “you will participate in what we have created for you, and you will comply with the law’s demands,” unlike such voluntary programs as the federal income tax and the Clean Air Act — and that this liberal fascism was being dished out by “[Press Secretary] Jay Carney, the bland face of progressive coercion.”
Henninger also conjured images of ordinary Americans rising up against progressive tyranny, including “20,000 inner-city parents and students who marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to protest obliteration of their charter schools by New York’s progressive mayoral candidate, Bill de Blasio” — who, as it happens, is poised to win a landslide victory on Tuesday, notwithstanding. Still, Henninger ominated, “What Americans now riding through the ObamaCare hurricane of canceled policies, disappearing doctors and rebooted promises have to be asking themselves is: Do I want to live with this level of personal enforcement in the U.S.?” They might just put on the tricorns and knee-britches again and then, look out Obama!
In the same venue, James Taranto said, “the regulation of commerce is a necessary and vital governmental function. Consumers and honest businesses need protection from unscrupulous market participants.” This is a highly unusual admission from a conservative, so you will not be surprised to learn that Taranto had an angle: “That is nearly impossible when an industry is owned, or effectively controlled, by the government,” he went on. “To socialize an industry is to put it in a position to regulate itself.” The boards of the various insurance agencies who will reap massive profits from Obamacare would probably be surprised to learn they had been socialized — but then, so would be the car insurance companies now groaning under the yoke of government regulation. It’s clearly a false consciousness problem.
Others didn’t bother with all the analysis and simply told their readers that Obama was no good and shouldn’t have been elected, how did that happen WTF.
PJ Media’s Andrew Klavan claimed that in a “long-ago unpublished op-ed, I used my novelistic x-ray vision to look into the then-candidate’s soul and point out that this was not a man who actually wanted to do — or was even capable of doing — the work of a chief executive.” Klavan has been saying it ever since, but the cancelled policies gave him an opportunity to repeat it. “It is now apparent to any honest observer,” said Klavan, “that Obama is a rank incompetent too arrogant and foolish to alter his political philosophy even after reality has proven it false… he has no business in the Oval Office. He simply isn’t up for the job.”
Klavan didn’t seem secure that his wisdom had finally gotten through to the sheeple, though. “When his second term is over,” sighed Klavan, “[Obama] can look forward to a life of making speeches to students and waving at crowds and giving interviews to fawning journalists who will all be charmed into historical ignorance by what they feel was his Oscar-worthy performance as President of the United States.” The prophet is never acknowledged in his own time, particularly if he works for PJ Media.
“The fiction of Obama as a man three steps ahead has taken a terrible beating if you have eyes to see it,” claimed professor of liberal fascismology Jonah Goldberg, who claimed the proof that Obama is a dummy was that he didn’t allow the Congressional Republicans to use the shutdown to delay Obamacare. “The president desperately, urgently, and indisputably needed to delay the rollout of Obamacare,” said Goldberg. “…The only choice before him was whether he would get the blame for the delay or if the Republicans would.”
So Obama is not only incompetent and evil, he’s also stupid — and yet he managed to muscle through a national health care program that Bill Clinton couldn’t manage and despite the endless vituperation of Republicans and rightbloggers. Must just be lucky. Well, there’s always the next government shutdown in a couple of months. This time they’ll get him for sure. Meep meep!