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IF AT FIRST… THEN PROBABLY NEVER

Blog From
February 27th, 2014

At least as far as Obamacare goes, the Dems have taken the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” to heart. In this mid-term election year, they’ve decided not to fix the law, probably because the only solution is to go back to the drawing board. They’ve also decided not to ignore it, probably because it’s too big to ignore.

So, Democrats in Congress have decided to stand united in support of the President’s signature legislation. This is the same strategy they adopted last November in the midst of the website rollout debacle. It didn’t work then and it’s not likely to work now. With a 39% approval rating based on Obamacare’s history of messy problems and worse consequences, Democrats united seems a particularly weak response.

Nevertheless, just this week, the all-for-one strategy was in full force. Yesterday, Harry Reid, taking to the Senate floor, stated:

“Despite all that good news, there’s plenty of horror stories being told. All of them are untrue, but they’re being told all over America.”

According to the Senate Majority Leader, the horror stories are found in ads funded by the Koch Brothers and statements in “Republicans’ stump speeches.” The statements include, of course, the real life impact of lost doctors, hospitals and policies, unwanted coverage, higher costs and fewer choices. Choosing to label these realities as lies is probably not the best strategy.

On Tuesday of this week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, referring to this spring’s projected number of Obamacare enrollments, stated in a Huffington Post interview:

“First of all, 7 million was not the administration. That was a CBO, Congressional Budget Office, prediction when the bill was first signed. I’m not sure where they even got their numbers. Their numbers are all over the board. The vice president has looked and said it may be closer to 5 to 6.”

They got their numbers from Sebelius herself. She set the 7 million-enrollee figure on at least two prior occasions. The first was on June 24, 2013. The second was on September 30, 2013 when she stated to NBC:

“I think success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of March 2014.”

Tuesday turned out to be a busy day for Obamacare proponents. The President claimed that the current number of Americans who have selected coverage is 4 million. He did forget to put that number in context, though. Like, how pathetically low it is, especially in light of the more than 6 million Americans who lost their policies last fall. However, it does explain Sebelius’s denial of the 7-million signup goal.

Also significantly absent from the President’s claim is the number who have paid their Obamacare premiums, a critical indicator that the Administration keeps to itself. The Administration also withholds specifics on the demographics of those who have selected coverage. In our Country, 20% of the populationconsumes 80% of healthcare dollars, which explains the need for healthy young people to buy Obamacare policies. But, are they?

In the same Tuesday speech, Obama claimed that working to enroll people in Obamacare was “God’s work”. But, bestowing Divine approval on his legislation won’t get him many votes unless, of course, the Heavenly Father is registered somewhere in the Country. We do know where this leaves the nuns of the Little Sisters of the Poor who are suing Obama over the law’s contraceptive mandate.

The day before Obama conferred the Almighty’s benediction, The Washington Post awarded him four Pinocchios for his February 20 statement that:

“We’ve got close to 7 million Americans who have access to health care for the first time because of Medicaid expansion.”

The real number, which won’t be finalized for a while, lies between 1.1 million and 2.6 million. Obama’s falsehood was an attempt to credit Obamacare with phantom signups.

The President is no stranger to prevarication. He won three of the Post’s top ten 2013 Pinocchios for a series of whoppers on different subjects. He also was awarded PolitiFact’s biggest lie of 2013 for his “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”  He, Reid and Sebelius also get this week’s Lame Spin Award.

The persistence encouraged in the “If at first you don’t succeed” adage is also the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. With Obamacare and its falling approval ratings, persistence in adopting the same support strategy seems very much like insanity, especially after this week’s performances. Someone should let the Democrats know.

Meanwhile, the Little Sisters are back at the Home drawing Pinocchio’s nose on Obama’s pictures.


 





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