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All Da King's Men

Live At The Improv: Obamacare

By David King Published: December 21, 2013

When a reporter asked President Obama about his "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan" lie being selected by fact-checker group Politifact as 2013's Lie Of The Year, the President dodged the question. No surprise there, but I think Politifact is wrong. Obama's "if you like your plan" claim about Obamacare, along with many other Obama claims about Obamacare, shouldn't be the lie of the year. They should be the Lies Of The Decade, because Obama has been telling these same lies all along. They didn't start in 2013. Obama and the Democrats lied to the American people almost every step of the way regarding Obamacare. They lied to get it passed, and they are still lying. You can't keep your plan. You can't keep your doctor. You can't even keep your hospital. The plans aren't cheaper. They are more expensive. Not everybody is going to be insured. The average family won't save $2500 in the first year. The problem with the healthcare.gov site isn't a "glitch". The problem is that it wasn't fully tested and it wasn't even fully constructed before it was launched. The website STILL doesn't work, despite administration claims to the contrary. I can testify to that fact, having wasted many hours trying to sign up myself.

Millions more people are having their plans canceled because of Obamacare than are being signed up to date. And even if one does manage to get through the error-filled website, endure all the mind-numbing "please waits", and manage to sign up, the payment portion of the website hasn't even been built. We discovered this in the middle of november during testimony from Medicare Deputy CIO Henry Chao, who estimated that 30-40% of the healthcare exchange's software has not been built. This begs the question, why in the hell did they launch a website that wasn't even finished yet ? The administration knew all this, and we now know that the Obamacare rollout SHOULD have been delayed to spare the American people all this confusion, frustration, and incompetence.

Given these facts, let's take a little journey back in time to September 30, 2013, the day before the 17-day government shutdown started, and the day before the Obamacare exchange rollout. At that time, House Republicans passed a plan to avert the government shutdown, as follows:

The latest House bill, which the chamber backed on a 228-201 vote, would have delayed the law's individual mandate while prohibiting lawmakers, their staff and top administration officials from getting government subsidies for their health care.

The Democrat-led Senate voted this last-ditch GOP effort down. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said of the GOP proposal, "They've lost their minds". Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated, “Senate Democrats have made it perfectly clear that they’d rather shut down the federal government than accept even the most reasonable changes to ObamaCare".

The Republicans came out on the wrong side of public opinion on the shutdown, and I also thought the Republicans deserved the lion's share of the blame. However, the public knows a lot of things about Obamacare now that we didn't know then, and given what we have discovered, that GOP plan to delay Obamacare was a great idea. Politifact should call it the Idea Of The Year. It would not only have spared us all from the Obamacare incompetence, it would also have spared Obama a ton of embarassment and plunging approval ratings.

Despite having inside knowledge of healthcare.gov's significant shortcomings, the White House couldn't admit that the Republicans were right back in September, and a government shutdown ensued. Therefore, I'd like to revise my previous assignation of blame to the GOP for the shutdown, and transfer it mostly to the shoulders of Barack Obama.

The punch line here is, Obama himself is implementing the GOP plan to delay Obamacare. Having already delayed the business mandate for a year, in november Obama told insurers they could still offer the old insurance plans in 2014 that were being canceled by Obamacare. And now, the adminstration is delaying the individual mandate as well:

...last night, the White House made its most consequential announcement yet. The administration will grant a “hardship exemption” from the law’s individual mandate, requiring the purchase of health insurance, to anyone who has had their prior coverage canceled and who “believes” that Obamacare’s offerings “are unaffordable.” These exemptions will substantially alter the architecture of the law’s insurance marketplaces. Insurers are at their wits’ end, trying to make sense of what to do next.

Truth really is stranger than fiction.

Seeing as how Obama is doing what the GOP wanted him to do all along, I'm wondering when the President will start calling himself an "obstructionist", and when Harry Reid will decide that Obama has lost his mind.

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