Nothing to Brag About

Until today, this has been an Obamacare-free blog this week, but it’s important to keep in touch with what’s happening with the worst policy and worst website in American history, so let’s have a short update.

The website supposedly is better now. But that depends on one’s definition of the word. If by “better,” one means a site where you still cannot make a payment for the plan you think you’ve enrolled in, then this site qualifies. Or if you’re looking for a place to enter personal information that can be hacked and used by anyone who successfully navigates the virtually non-existent security, you have found a “home.”

The administration likes to tout the fact that people can now see what they might actually be paying. That’s a plus?

Sticker Shock

With premiums regularly higher than in their cancelled plans and deductibles through the roof, so that you wonder why you have insurance at all, this can hardly be something the Obama people would want to brag about. Of course, not everyone has to worry as much about those high prices because they won’t be pushed into the exchange:

Waivers

Yes, there are those who are more privileged than the rabble who are forced to choose one of the government’s options. But don’t despair; you may be able to get a subsidy:

Generous

After all, the government has a pile of money somewhere to help you out, right? Or maybe they have to get it from somewhere else?

Nothing is free. There is always a cost. With this Obamacare boondoggle, the cost will only keep rising. And you will pay for it.

Lampooning a Turkey

I didn’t really intend for most of this week’s postings to be about Obamacare. I mean, there are other things in life. But the cartoonists are doing such a wonderful job of lampooning this turkey that it’s hard to stop sharing the fruit of their labors.

For instance, we were assured that the exchange website was “fixed”; here’s one representation of just how “fixed” it really is:

Happy

Then there’s the fantasy world that Obamacare supporters live in; that’s come in for some skewering as well:

My Circle

That kind of reminds me of the New York City resident who, after Richard Nixon won 49 states in the 1972 election, was flabbergasted; after all, she said, she didn’t know anyone who voted for Nixon. Well, of course not; she needed to get around a little more and discover that New York City does not comprise the entire nation.

The whole Obamacare website experience can perhaps be summed up by this offering:

Seems Really Safe

Try it. You won’t like it.

Rhetoric vs. Reality

How closely are you following the Obamacare developments? If you are a low-information citizen/voter [of course, if you’re reading this, you’re probably not of that number], you might have seen the president’s mini-pep rally yesterday and assumed everything—website, plans, etc.—is now working admirably. This is what our president does: he holds pep rallies. That has been the essence of his presidency. He believes rhetoric will trump reality.

The reality, though, is quite stark and hard to ignore. Here are the latest tidbits:

  • For some reason, the administration thinks that a website that can handle perhaps 50,000 hits per day is superb. Never mind that real businesses like Amazon handle millions per hour.
  • The Obama pep rally ignored the fact that more than 5 million people have now lost their health insurance while maybe 100,000 have been able to enroll via the online exchanges. That’s quite a variance.
  • It’s now estimated that perhaps 30% of those who believe they have gone through the hoops and enrolled aren’t enrolled at all due to the glitches. They will be in a for a big surprise the first time they go to the doctor or hospital after January 1.
  • Those who actually did enroll may discover they no longer have their doctor or hospital.
  • The security measures for the Obamacare exchange remain a joke: any information fed into the system may be available to hackers. Untold headaches may ensue.
  • The payment feature of the website barely works, if at all. As a result, the government is simply going to ask insurance companies what they estimate they should be paid by those who enroll, and taxpayer money will flow to the companies regardless of the actual costs. The promise is that eventually it will all be settled out properly—as if any money that comes from the government will be refunded to the taxpayers. If you believe that, welcome to Fantasy Land.

So this is the “better” system, the “fix,” the “update”?

Getting Better

I omitted from that list the sticker shock that most will suffer upon realizing their premiums and/or deductibles will skyrocket. Democrats up for reelection are still in panic mode, as well they should be. Yet I have a hard time feeling sorry for them; they brought this on themselves. They are indissolubly linked to this lame-duck presidency that has three more years to go:

Tech Support

There are two honorable actions President Obama could take: the first would be to admit his mistake and support repeal of the Obamacare monster; the second would be to tender his resignation. After all, any CEO of a company in the private sector would be out of a job after a disaster of this magnitude. I don’t expect he will take either honorable route because only an honorable person would do so.

Obamacare: All Is Well?

All is well with the Obamacare website, according to the administration. Never mind that it still crashes regularly; don’t mention that no more than 50,000 users can be on the site at one time; forget about whether you can actually complete an enrollment and pay for it; hey, at least you can get on it—sometimes, if you are lucky. I don’t know when I’ve ever witnessed an administration that could lie so blatantly and think they can get away with it.

Oh, wait, there was Bill Clinton.

Regardless, even if that website were to work perfectly, it wouldn’t solve the deeper issues: higher premiums than promised, unbelievably high deductibles, loss of doctors and hospitals where you can get treatment. So what if you can get on the site? Maybe you don’t really want to:

Bad News

President Obama, in an interview a few days ago, said his approval ratings had nowhere to go but up. Well, that might be a nice line in an attempt to appear humble, but I have news for him—there’s an employer mandate looming that may throw untold millions off their current health insurance plans. If he thinks he’s weathering a chaotic storm now, wait until the earthquake hits:

Nowhere to Go

This has Democrats up for reelection in 2014 extremely nervous. What can Obama possibly tell them to assuage their fears?

You Can Keep It

No, I don’t think that’s going to do it.

Amidst all this confusion and constant consternation, we must not neglect another constitutional issue: this president’s penchant for ruling by administrative fiat. He thinks he can simply change laws duly passed by Congress by just declaring that certain parts of the laws no longer are in effect. He thinks he can continue to tinker with Obamacare by exempting certain groups and delaying what were considered mandatory deadlines and actions—all for political reasons, seeking to avoid a Republican tsunami in the next election cycle. A president is supposed to execute the laws, but that means to carry them out, not to kill them by arbitrary decree:

Laws Executed

As much as I want to see Obamacare dead and buried, this is not the way. It sets an awful precedent for the future. We’re supposed to be a nation of laws, and the rule of law should not be set aside. If it is, it will lead to tyranny.

All the King’s Horses . . .

Obamacare World, this new fantasy park created by the current administration, has more glitches than just a horribly inept website. The bigger problems will become obvious after the site is fixed eventually. That’s when those who are forced to buy their insurance through it will have to face a new reality:

Hunger Games

Not to mention the other boot dropping next year when employer-based plans begin to go belly-up. The millions to be affected by that will dwarf present miseries. If we protest, what will be the response from on high?

Off with Their Coverage

It’s really rather astounding that the administration keeps insisting it’s going to be a wonderful experience for everyone. On what basis can they make that claim, considering how it has begun?

Even Better

The optimism would be amusing if not for the dire consequences:

Land Ahead

Let’s be honest. Here’s the situation we face:

All the King's Horses

I’ll repeat what I’ve said before: our best hope now is that it truly is unfixable. This bad egg is fried. Then we can start again from scratch and do it right.

The National Joke

Obamacare has become “the” national joke. When even late-night comedians who have never brought themselves to make fun of this president put Obamacare in their sights, you know he’s hit an all-time low. Polls show the same, as Obama now is regularly under 40% in his approval rating. All this criticism, though, has obscured Obamacare’s greatest success:

Medical Miracle

Hey, you have to give credit where credit is due. The president’s “fix” for those losing their coverage, however, has been somewhat less successful:

Catch

The Democrat party, on the whole, is beginning a full retreat from its erstwhile leader. Mere politicians [as opposed to statesmen] are nothing if not focused on their reelection chances, and Democrats up for reelection in 2014 are showing the first telltale signs of all-out panic. Do they really want to tie themselves to this debacle? Of course, they are just as culpable for it as Obama, but they’re going to pretend it was all his idea and try to distance themselves from this policy disaster:

Not with Stupid

If Hillary Clinton, widely perceived as the heir-apparent in the party, attempts to paint herself as different somehow on this issue, she’s going to have a hard time convincing a lot of people. Not only did she serve as Obama’s secretary of state, and not only did she fully endorse Obamacare, but does anyone remember Hillarycare back in the 1990s?

Back Up Plan

That one crashed and burned before it ever got off the ground. She has no credibility on this issue. If “We the People” should put her in the presidency, we’ll only be repeating the reign of error we’re experiencing now.

Wake up, America.

The Narcissistic President

It takes a special kind of narcissism—a particularly virulent strain—to see the awful effects of one’s policies and continue not only to spout falsehoods about how wonderful those policies are, but to keep blaming someone else for the problems one has caused. Barack Obama has practically created his own brand of narcissism, a malady seldom seen in this strength.

Narcissism is really just another name for supreme selfishness, which is the root of all sin. The medical field, though, shies away from explosive terms like “sin”; that clear-eyed perspective is replaced with non-judgmental descriptions. If you turn something into a disease rather than a choice for which one is truly responsible, it eases the blame. You see, it’s not selfishness; it’s a “narcissistic personality disorder.” Yet even when they try to soften the blow, the description from the Mayo Clinic site is still pretty startling:

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. They believe that they are superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence, they are vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

The site goes on to say that treatment for this “disorder” centers on psychotherapy. God has a different remedy: recognition of sin, repentance, and forgiveness through the ultimate sacrifice of His own Son.

The current Obamacare debacle has brought Obama’s narcissism to the foreground for all to see. First, he refuses to acknowledge the long-term problem it causes for the economy:

Economy

Then there are the tragic consequences for individuals, consequences for which he doesn’t seem able to “feel” their pain. He’s “sorry” they are experiencing problems, but he can’t bring himself to take full responsibility. His so-called apology a couple of weeks ago was no apology at all. He has never, throughout his administration, shown any willingness to accept accountability for his actions. Even as his key piece of legislation is ready to crash, he continues to believe it can fly. As in the ancient Greek fable of Icarus, he heeds no warnings :

Crash

Then, when all evidence mounts that disaster is looming, he comes up with a quick fix, designed only for one purpose—to help his party retain control of Congress in the next election cycle. What is this fix? Bullying insurance companies to restore policies that he was responsible for canceling in the first place. Again, it’s not his fault; blame the insurance companies who were coerced into his plan. All experts in the field say this cannot be done, especially since it’s only a one-year fix, merely a delay of the inevitable:

The Fix

Then yesterday, at a meeting with CEOs, he gave his most bizarre explanation yet for why his landmark legislation is having so many problems: it’s those darn Republicans! How can one make any progress when they oppose his wise policies? Somehow, in his mind, Republicans are the reason why his website was a joke, why young people don’t want to pay double for insurance premiums, and why the entire program is simply unworkable. There’s really only one prize Obamacare ought to win, and it’s appropriate for the season:

Top Turkey

The president, meanwhile, lives in his alternate world, ignoring reality, and refusing to see any culpability on his part. This is not some disorder; this is just the self-centeredness that has been the hallmark of mankind since the Garden. Unfortunately, when the presumed leader of the free world is neck-deep in it, everyone suffers the consequences.