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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em: #Obamacare gives smokers an exchange indulgence.

Well. At least the Obama administration is showing some creativity, somewhere. It’s a dang shame that it has to be in the field of How To Not Implement The Damfool Ideas That We Shoved Down The Collective Throat Of America. Ladies and gentlemen, the latest Obamacare never-mind*:

Some smokers trying to get coverage next year under President Barack Obama’s health care law may get a break from tobacco-use penalties that could have made their premiums unaffordable.

The Obama administration — in yet another health care overhaul delay — has quietly notified insurers that a computer system glitch will limit penalties that the law says the companies may charge smokers. A fix will take at least a year to put in place.

A ‘glitch.’ Yes, you may assume that I am making air quotes, there. As would Noelle Clemente, who neutrally quotes that “[s]ome see an emerging pattern of last-minute switches and delays as the admin scrambles to prepare the Oct. 1 launch.” Can’t imagine why people might see that.

Look, here is the situation. The Obamacare exchanges are supposed to come on-line on October 1st, 2013 – in other words, less than 90 days from now – and they will not be the same exchanges that the American people were promised. This is known, and conceded. But let me just spoiler the next fiscal quarter for you: the Obama administration’s sole, overriding concern from now until September 30th will be to get those exchanges up. If necessary, they will assign the entire federal government to the task of getting those exchanges up. Because if they do not get those exchanges up in 2013 then forget about 2014; Democrats in 2016 will be campaigning on repealing Obamacare. Including very possibly their eventual Presidential candidate. You may think that I am exaggerating; I think that I am not.

So expect more cuts, and tweaks, and jury-rigs, and all of the rest of the slapdash incompetence that has marked this government since January of 2009. Because they need to get those exchanges up. And expect that the Obama administration will display whatever pathetic Frankenstein’s monster of an exchange system that they’ve managed to galvanize by October 1st as being the veritable culmination of, and justification for, Western society. When that happens, look to see who’s applauding, because they’re probably the ones being subsidized on the sly. But don’t be too censorious: as least those people stay bought.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Strictly speaking, this is not an Emily Litella moment, of course: surely the Obama administration had thought this through ahead of time. …Right?

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