FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The never-ending lies of ObamaCare
There are many things about Barack Obama’s America which our grandfathers, and perhaps fathers, would not recognize. One of the most disturbing things is how we’ve grown comfortable with being lied to.
You might counter by saying that people have complained about the government lying to them for ages. Yes, and that’s the point: they complained about it. The Obama Administration is a billowing cloud of blue smoke rolling between skyscraper-sized mirrors, and American society largely accepts it. Scarcely a day goes by without a new story about records concealed, inaccurate statements revealed, or inquiries stonewalled. Our response is a collective shrug.
Of course the media has a lot to do with this. They’ve taken the concept of being “in the tank” for a favored Administration to a new level. It’s become a sensory deprivation tank. The press only got briefly riled up when they were the targets of the Surveillance State.
Nowhere is this comfort level with deception more obvious than with ObamaCare. Everything to do with ObamaCare is a lie, from Barack Obama’s fraudulent promises of the past, to today’s Health and Human Services data. Look at the continuing insistence by HHS that they have no idea how many people have actually paid for their ObamaCare policies.
That’s patently absurd. Of course they know. Even if the pile of software garbage Obama spent a billion dollars engineering at Healthcare.gov is still missing back-end reporting functions, it’s not that difficult to compile periodic updates on paid enrollment data from insurance companies. HHS has battalions of bureaucrats who could crunch the numbers. Maybe the total can’t be updated in real-time with the click of a mouse, but weekly or biweekly reports are still doable.
And there is considerable evidence that they are being done. It’s basically an open secret in the insurance industry. “They have a lot more information than they’re letting on,” an industry source told Politico this week. “They have real hard data about the percent that have paid… if they have not processed those yet and compiled the data, that is a choice they are making. But they have that data now.”
The reason they’re not making the “choice” to compile and release that data is that it would make them look very bad. Best guesses, based on data compiled by state ObamaCare exchanges, is that only 70 to 80 percent of ObamaCare “enrollees” actually complete the process, make the payment, and secure valid insurance. And not even ten percent of them are previously uninsured. We don’t know exactly how many uninsured Americans are buying into ObamaCare, because the geniuses who brought you Healthcare.gov just kinda sorta forgot to put a check box on the online application form, asking if the buyer was previously without insurance. Whoopsie!
So the titanic ObamaCare bureaucracy is deliberately concealing accurate information about how many valid ObamaCare enrollments there are, while giddly offering boasts of 4.2 million possibly-invalid enrollments. That’s still a horrific number, but knock of 20 or 30 percent unpaid enrollments, and it’s doubtful ObamaCare will make it halfway to its modest Year One goal of 7 million customers. And the bureaucrats are deliberately avoiding the collection of absolutely vital information about how many of these customers were previously uninsured – a data point that goes right to the heart of the Affordable Care Act’s mission. In fact, just about the only defense left to Administration flacks is their claim that all the suffering, expense, confusion, and wasted time the rest of us have been subjected to is justifiable because lots of people who never had insurance before will now experience the joys of coverage. They’re working very hard not to tell us the exact number of sales they’ve made to the uninsured community, so we know the number isn’t good.
“How can it be that HHS, in charge of the program, cites a number of 4.2 million people signed up, but has no idea how many people have paid?” asked Rep. Tom Price (R-GA). A fine question, which hardly anyone in the media seems interested in asking, at least not in a “NEWSFLASH: THEY’RE LYING TO US” way.
The answer is that it cannot be. And even if one was inclined to believe the Administration’s claims of ignorance…. how is that not one of the biggest scandals ever to rock American government? They’re dealing with a fraction of a very modest projection for signups, a volume of business that private enterprises across the land routinely handle every day. And they’re claiming they can’t produce the kind of report that private businessmen would go to jail for failing to provide on demand? If nothing else, this is a powerful argument for whittling Big Government to the bone and privatizing everything possible. At least the managers of even the most inept private industry have to worry about the government coming after them for false promises, fuzzy accounting, and failure to disclose vital information.
They’d be worried about the media, too. What would the media action line be, if some giant corporation reneged on its promises to millions of customers, went absurdly over-budget while producing sub-par results, lied constantly to customers during the botched rollout of a new product, pronounced itself unable to give vital information to federal regulators… and held absolutely no one responsible for any of it? ObamaCare, Inc. has behaved in every respect like the corporate villain in a left-wing paranoid fantasy. It does not speak well of 21st-century America that we’re just now passing “disappointed” on the outrage meters and entering “angry enough to flip the Senate” territory.