Everyone would like their work to be judged solely on its merits, without a single mention of its flaws. Politicians make this desire into an art form. ObamaCare turns it into an outright psychosis.
How else to explain a beaming President Obama taking a victory lap over supposedly reaching 7 million enrollments with a miraculous last-minute surge? No one takes that number seriously, not even the White House apparatchiks pushing it, or the media pretending to believe them. Everyone knows there's a huge amount of garbage data and unpaid insurance included in the total. Even Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted on Monday that only 80 to 90 percent of the new enrollees have actually paid their premium - a remarkably under-reported concession, because - pay attention, media - she's telling you right to your faces that over a million of the signups the White House is claiming are bogus. Somehow I suspect this point would be emphasized more frequently if we were discussing a Republican program.
"You are not fully enrolled - you're absolutely right - until you pay your premium," Sebelius told the lone Oklahoma reporter who thought to press her on the point. "But we also know that millions of people now have health care."
Well, yes, but millions of people had health care before ObamaCare, too. Another important fact the Administration refuses to disclose is how many of these ObamaCare tadpoles were previously uninsured. That's a rather important point, because insuring the uninsured was the point of the exercise. Furthermore, the people who did have insurance were expressly promised by President Barack Obama that under no circumstances would they lose their plans, period. Would at least one so-called reporter ask the smirking President how many signups he thinks he would be celebrating on April Fool's Day if the people who liked their plans had been able to keep their plans?
Industry analysts have been taking educated guesses at how many of the uninsured bought ObamaCare policies. Studies put that number at 23 percent, which would mean that even if White House claims of 7 million enrollments are taken at face value, only about 850,000 of them were previously without insurance. The remaining 6 million-plus are people who bought into ObamaCare because Barack Obama killed their insurance policies, and the IRS will fine the crap out of them if they don't buy something from the ACA exchanges. The Affordable Care Act created 70 to 80 percent of its own "customer base," then forced them to do business at gunpoint.
Obama used to claim that the broken HealthCareDotGov system was like a great store filled with terrific products, but the cash register was broken. No, it's more like a rickety cart selling hideously overpriced tires, right next to a line of spikes that blow your wheels off, with a cop car visible in the distance. Shame how your tires just exploded there, mister! Better buy a new set from Honest Barry's Emporium - you wouldn't want to drive on a flat and get arrested by that policeman!
Furthermore, there are studies suggesting that a very high percentage of the previously uninsured - some say over 50 percent - fail to make their first premium payment, so they end up without valid coverage. Imagine if Obama's Big Lie wasn't a lie, everyone who liked their plan got to keep their plan, only half of the uninsured paid for valid coverage, and the April Fool's "victory lap" was celebrating less than 500,000 enrollments.
Great job, guys! How much did that website cost again? How much are taxpayers shelling out for these subsidies? How much do you think those "risk corridor" bailouts for the insurance industry will set us back? All to bring insurance to half a million new people. Maybe a million, with luck.
And it's not as though the six million folks frog-marched into ObamaCare are generally happy customers. They tended to prefer their old coverage. Obama has been frantically, and illegally, rewriting the Affordable Care Act to keep their displeasure from boiling over into a political movement. What would today's press conference have looked like if the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed by the President had been actually, you know, enforced? Trick question: we all know the ACA would have been repealed long ago, by bipartisan supermajority, under those circumstances. It survives only because it's not a law.
If ObamaCare were a Republican plan, the media wouldn't have run a single report on April 1 without reeling off the horror stories from all the people who hate the law. Trumpeting enrollments without paying respect to those people is grotesque. So is letting Obama do a touchdown shuffle without recalling the botched website launch and the agony it caused. There was a high overall degree of public satisfaction with health insurance, before ObamaCare, but all we ever heard about were the problems, the hard cases, the 50 million uninsured...
Hey, wait a minute. Where did the rest of those people go? Not only are there plump subsidies waiting for them if they buy an ObamaCare policy, but in the new post-Constitutional America, it is literally illegal not to purchase insurance. Sure, Medicaid enrollment is way up - we could have honestly debated and passed a big Medicaid expansion without the rest of ObamaCare - and the President mentioned 3 million young people who get to stay on their parents' plans now, but add that to the best-case million newly insured, and you're still nowhere near 50 million souls. You're not even close to the lower figures Obama fell back to in 2009, when it was pointed out that his regular 50 million scare stat included illegal aliens. Spending hundreds of billions of dollars, and using tax/penalties to punish disobedience, they managed to sign up 2 percent of the total uninsured population as described by Barack Obama in 2009. Yay!
Anything can be made to look good, if everything bad about it gets ignored. Any end can be made to seem desirable, if the cost is not counted. Touting a program with a phalanx of smiling beneficiaries is easy, if the victims are kept muzzled and straitjacketed backstage.