Quotes of the day

posted at 10:01 pm on July 8, 2013 by Allahpundit

Six months into his second term, the momentum that President Obama gained from his reelection win is a fading memory…

No achievement is more important than the Affordable Care Act, now more widely known as ObamaCare. This, in turn, explains why the recent decision to delay the requirement for employers to provide healthcare for their workers was met with such consternation, even from people who support the administration.

“Look, I know it’s a complicated law with many levers and buttons, but they should have had all this figured out before it appeared like it was ready to go,” one former administration official said. “It’s a good law, it will help so many people who need it, but it looks sloppy.”

The danger for Obama is that people’s faith both in him personally and in the more activist role of government that he favors will decline.

***

One of the biggest administrative hurdles facing Obamacare was the ambitious plan to verify the income and insurance status of applicants for federal health coverage subsidies. In theory, on Oct. 1 of this year, a prospective beneficiary of Obamacare was supposed to be able to visit a website like Orbitz, enter basic information, and wait as multiple state and federal government databases communicated with one another to confirm in real time the applicant’s income level, and then display the level of subsidy to which the applicant was entitled, if any. It was a level of technological sophistication unlike anything ever attempted by the government. Now, with less than three months to go before Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges are set to begin enrolling applicants, Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services is throwing up its hands. Just as it did with the employer mandate, the administration has announced it would delay the implementation of these anti-fraud procedures due to the administrative difficulty…

With this news coming after the employer mandate delay announcement, the Obama administration has now openly conceded that it is in way over its head when it comes to implementing this unworkable law. Thus, the new strategy is to simply set up a mechanism to feed taxpayer subsidies to as many Americans as possible so that even if Obamacare is a complete train wreck, it will make enough people dependent on government to make repeal politically impossible. Republicans should seize on this immediately, and force the administration to defend a policy that would open the floodgates to fraud.

***

The administration is trying to portray the change as a small adjustment in an otherwise inevitable implementation of the law when what was announced completely discredits what the administration had been telling everyone for months. The real story here is that the exchange roll-out has reached the point of administrative collapse, and the administration is doing everything it can to hide that fact.

Second, moving to the “honor system” is consistent with the administration’s larger objective at this point, which is to salvage Obamacare by shuffling as many people as they can into the subsidized insurance program. Hence the outreach to professional sports leagues, librarians, and others to help publicize enrollment in Obamacare. The abandonment of income verification allows the administration and the states to move to a “sign ‘em up now, answer questions later” approach, with the likelihood that erroneous payments made in 2014 will be gone forever. Why wouldn’t the administration find a way to waive collection of overpaid subsidies? They’ve waived everything else that is inconvenient.

***

Liberals are also now claiming that the employer mandate and these eligibility rules were never important parts of ObamaCare. This is revisionist history, not least because the mandate and eligibility limits helped reduce the cost as measured by the Congressional Budget Office.

The revisionism is also false because every provision of ObamaCare is supposed to “solve” a problem created by some other provision of the bill. Kick out one of the struts like the business mandate and the whole apparatus becomes even more unstable. In the case of the lawless decision to shelve any income or employer insurance scrutiny, HHS’s logistical challenges are real. But our bet is that the Administration is also using them as a pretense in a deliberate bid to make it much easier to join the exchanges.

That’s because the health planners are terrified that enough healthy, low-cost people won’t sign up and therefore the Affordable Care Act’s strict regulations on underwriting and risk-pooling will blow up insurance markets. As more and more of ObamaCare tumbles, the Administration is resorting to anything that can salvage the goal of permanently expanding the U.S. entitlement state.

All of this fits with ObamaCare’s entire bloody-minded history. Democrats were determined to make their rendezvous with the liberal destiny of government-run health care, so they imposed this debacle on the country on a partisan vote and despite public opposition. Now that they are discovering how difficult it is to remake one-sixth of the U.S. economy, they are rewriting the law as they go and telling Americans they have no choice but to live with the consequences.

***

So now we finally have the answer we’ve been waiting for about the failed implementation of the massive data verification system they have been building to serve the exchange model: never mind. The government’s inability to build a system which interfaces with states and takes the necessary steps to check for eligibility has led the Obama administration to just throw in the towel for at least the first year. And this serves their aims in multiple ways: first, it makes it much easier to sign as many people up as possible to avoid rate shock, which is what they’re worried about; second, it means the administration allies can target their sign-up efforts on the 16 states where no verification is necessary; and third, it creates as significant a subsidy constituency as possible prior to the problems we’re likely to see during rollout.

Of course, the incentives it creates are completely warped. A modest lie about your income can push people who would’ve been on Medicaid, most of whom don’t file tax returns, to the far more generous exchange subsidies. The resemblance to the “Liar’s Loans” approach to the housing market collapse is uncanny. Never mind that CBO never scored an “honor system” version of Obamacare, or that the authority for such a step is dubious at best. House Republicans are certainly going to come back into town yelling to high heaven that the delays of the employer mandate and any eligibility checks amounts to a remarkable rejection of the rule of law. And many Democrats are quietly admitting that this implementation effort has turned into a giant cluster. But I see no incentive on the Obama administration’s part to go along with efforts to delay the law for a year, even though such a step would be more responsible.

Here is where the technocrat’s mask slips, and the ideologue smiles through. If the Obama team can get away with picking and choosing what parts get implemented and when, flaunting the law to satisfy their electoral aims, why not do it? Who cares if it explodes so many of the promises made during the law’s passage? (Of course, don’t think too hard about what the press would be saying if a Romney administration was undertaking similar steps.) Josh Kraushaar argues that Obama’s facing a crisis of competence. But who cares about competence so long as the lights go on for the one major domestic policy of Obama’s tenure? Give me implementation, or give me death.

***

The administration’s contortions in implementing Obamacare have to be understood in light of the fact that only the administration itself really knows how implementation is going. No one else has anything approaching a complete picture, and particularly not regarding the development of the exchanges. The status of the federally-run exchanges, even more than those to be run by the states, remains simply a mystery. The administration has shared scant little information with the public, and even an investigation by the Government Accountability Office (an arm of the Congress) concluded last month that the likelihood that the exchanges will be ready to launch in October as required by law “cannot yet be determined.” The various delays and rule changes announced by the administration are responses to problems they are finding in the process of implementation, and the shape of those responses is among the only clues we have to the shape of the problems they see.

The delay of the employer mandate announced on Tuesday and the delay of the verification requirements for eligibility announced on Friday both suggest the same two kinds of problems: logistical difficulties with getting complex systems into place, and the fear of ending up with too few people in the exchanges…

Opening the door wide open to fraud could well increase the number of people in the exchanges, but it will also make that number far less meaningful—casting a shadow over whatever is achieved by the enrollment effort set to launch in the fall. It will also, needless to say, increase the cost of the exchange subsidies. The administration is clearly worried enough about enrollment to take that risk and bear that cost. It seems to be operating under the assumption that the way to secure Obamacare’s future is to get as many people as possible into the system and receiving subsidies. Maybe they’re right, and maybe they’re wrong, but they certainly seem increasingly desperate.

***

If Republicans were smart, they’d draft a bill based on the following mantra: “No Subsidization Without Verification.” That is, they should take a stand that nobody can receive subsidies through Obamacare before the government has a system in place that can independently verify the information as accurate…

Of course, Obama and his fellow Democrats would likely block such an attempt by Republicans. If they do so, they will be put into the position of explaining to the American people why they are willing to hand out a over a trillion dollars of taxpayer subsidies without proper procedures in place to prevent fraud. Preventing fraud in government programs can easily be a 70/30 issue with the American public. What makes this an especially indefensible position for Obama and Congressional Democrats is that they are already on record supporting tougher anti-fraud measures than the ones HHS just adopted, which is why they were originally a part of Obamacare. These anti-fraud measures are only being abandoned in the mad rush to shove as much taxpayer money out the door as quickly as possible.

If Republicans want to raise the stakes, they should consider making this a part of the fall budget battle.

***

Look. If there’s a law that should be delayed that people like, no politician is going to delay that law. I mean, I don’t care if you’re going to send a whole building underwater and have it disintegrate. If people like it, they aren’t delaying it before an election. That’s the whole reason–. The administration feels a lot of pressure here to get this right and why they’d rather delay before an election than end up with a lot of people extremely upset with the way this big huge piece of legislation goes into effect.

***

“You had even Democrats saying that implementing Obamacare has the potential to be train wreck,” Klein said. “Well, now you have the prospect of a slow-motion train wreck. Here’s the thing about this particular provision. This effects thousands of workers, maybe, not the millions of workers who are going to be impacted over the long haul on this. So if you couldn’t even even get this piece of it right, after a three year ramp-up period, just to put in this tiny slice of Obamacare?”


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

No worries. The death panels will getcha!

tommy71 on July 9, 2013 at 12:40 AM

To them, you are are just the ENTER button on the ATM.

shorebird on July 9, 2013 at 12:38 AM

A cog in an ever-perfecting machine.

Axe on July 9, 2013 at 12:42 AM

for Jackie: where ever you are.

Fred

jrsrigmvr on July 9, 2013 at 12:43 AM

QOTD is mighty slow today.

tommy71 on July 9, 2013 at 12:47 AM

The tables are turning.

Next, the Dems will complain the delay made the law unworkable and clamor for its overhaul.

The rift between the WH and Dems in Congress will grow. Pray for a full-scale revolt on the part of those who would rather be reelected.

StubbleSpark on July 9, 2013 at 12:49 AM

QOTD is mighty slow today.

tommy71 on July 9, 2013 at 12:47 AM

I’m playing it cool.

Axe on July 9, 2013 at 12:49 AM

And its Jeb Bush for the win. ;-)

tommy71 on July 9, 2013 at 12:51 AM

QOTD is mighty slow today.

tommy71 on July 9, 2013 at 12:47 AM

The NSA is watching. So bend over and give ‘em a proper salute.

John the Libertarian on July 9, 2013 at 12:52 AM

The Who – “Tommy, Can You Hear Me?”

Anti-Control on July 9, 2013 at 12:55 AM

I ain’t scared of the yennyesssay. ;-)

tommy71 on July 9, 2013 at 12:57 AM

Small Faces – “Here Come The Nice”

Anti-Control on July 9, 2013 at 1:03 AM

Signing up for an Obamacare subsidy can become an act of civil disobedience.

Do apply if a grassroots movement develops.

exdeadhead on July 9, 2013 at 1:05 AM

Twenty-two staffers of al-Jazeera quit in protest over orders from the brass to tilt coverage apparently in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood. This comes after reporters from al-Jazeera were kicked out of a news conference because of their sympathetic coverage of the Brotherhood. No word whether Al Gore will resign from the advisory board he “proudly” serves on. No doubt he’s been working tirelessly to reform the organization from the inside.

Resist We Much on July 9, 2013 at 1:06 AM

No doubt he’s been working tirelessly to reform the organization from the inside.

Resist We Much on July 9, 2013 at 1:06 AM

lol — doubtless. :)

Axe on July 9, 2013 at 1:11 AM

If making money is not AJ’s purpose, what is?

Al Gore thinks he knows. As you have doubtless heard by now, the former vice president is selling the Current TV cable network he co-founded to AJ. Estimated price: $500 million. That will make what is to be known as Al Jazeera America available in more than 40 million homes across the country. In a statement issued last Wednesday, Current TV co-founder Joel Hyatt said that he and Gore were “thrilled and proud” that their project was being acquired by Al Jazeera, which “was founded with the same goals we had for Current: To give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling.

If you don’t buy that explanation, Orville Schell thinks you’re an Islamophobe.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/337297/al-gore-al-jazeera-clifford-d-may

They can’t even hear themselves.

Axe on July 9, 2013 at 1:14 AM

I ain’t scared of the yennyesssay. ;-)

tommy71 on July 9, 2013 at 12:57 AM

I keep holding on to Yennyesssyay

John the Libertarian on July 9, 2013 at 1:14 AM

QOTD is mighty slow today.

tommy71 on July 9, 2013 at 12:47 AM

.
I’ll see what I can do about it . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.

ABORTION IS HOMICIDE, AND “PRO-CHOICERS” ARE MURDERERS !

ABOLISH ALL GUN CONTROL !

HOMOSEXUALITY IS ABNORMAL, SINFUL, AND SHOULD BE “STIGMATIZED” BACK INTO THE CLOSET !

JESUS IS LORD ! … MIKE GORBACHEV IS NOT … MAURICE STRONG IS NOT … GEORGE SOROS IS NOT ……. JESUS IS.

.
There, that oughta do somethin’.

listens2glenn on July 9, 2013 at 1:15 AM

There, that oughta do somethin’.

listens2glenn on July 9, 2013 at 1:15 AM

Bah!

Let me try:

Sarah Palin.

John the Libertarian on July 9, 2013 at 1:18 AM

moore

Adios: vaya con dios

Fred

jrsrigmvr on July 9, 2013 at 1:20 AM

Sarah Palin.

John the Libertarian on July 9, 2013 at 1:18 AM

Awfully specialized bait. :)

Axe on July 9, 2013 at 1:20 AM

George Jones – “Eskimo Pie”

You can talk about your frauleins and your pretty geisha girls
And about the one you got in the USA
But I found myself a sweetheart in Alaska way up high
She’s my Eskimo baby she’s my Eskimo pie

[chorus]
Well she’s my Eskimo baby she’s my Eskimo pie
She lives south of the North Pole and I know the reason why
She’s my Eskimo baby and I’ll love her till I die
She’s my Eskimo baby she’s my Eskimo pie

Crossing o’er the frozen river to a valley filled with snow
I had lost all my directions and I knew not where to go
When a warm hand fell upon me and a voice said with a sigh
“I would take you to my igloo, mister, I won’t let you die”

[chorus]

And there came the day of parting and we had to say goodbye
As I crossed back o’er the river I could faintly I hear her cry
I know that someday I’ll return I must before I die
Cause she’s my Eskimo baby she’s my Eskimo pie

[chorus]

Anti-Control on July 9, 2013 at 1:20 AM

Wait, wait, wait! Trigg is Liz Cheney and Sarah Palin’s love child!!1!!!1

John the Libertarian on July 9, 2013 at 1:21 AM

Awfully specialized bait. :)

Axe on July 9, 2013 at 1:20 AM

I call it the “nuclear option”.

John the Libertarian on July 9, 2013 at 1:22 AM

America Is No Longer the Most Obese Country in the World

Axe on July 9, 2013 at 1:22 AM

Too many tacos.

Besides, why doesn’t Samoa always win this contest? Them peoples are huge.

John the Libertarian on July 9, 2013 at 1:26 AM

Besides, why doesn’t Samoa always win this contest? Them peoples are huge.

John the Libertarian on July 9, 2013 at 1:26 AM

My network is still down; I can’t write; I can’t work; and all the physical labour of the last week has managed to pull a muscle in my ass that kept me from finishing today.

I’m in no mood for your racism.

There, that oughta do somethin’.

listens2glenn on July 9, 2013 at 1:15 AM

Or your misogyny. :)

I ain’t scared of the yennyesssay. ;-)

tommy71 on July 9, 2013 at 12:57 AM

And stop being so damned weird.

Leave me alone. I’m trying to enjoy RWM floating around the room.

Axe on July 9, 2013 at 1:34 AM

Too many tacos.

Besides, why doesn’t Samoa always win this contest? Them peoples are huge.

John the Libertarian on July 9, 2013 at 1:26 AM

“Weird Al” Yankovic – “Taco Grande” (feat. Gerardo)

Anti-Control on July 9, 2013 at 1:37 AM

pull a muscle in my ass

Axe on July 9, 2013 at 1:34 AM

Pics or it didn’t happen.

John the Libertarian on July 9, 2013 at 1:37 AM

Pics or it didn’t happen.

John the Libertarian on July 9, 2013 at 1:37 AM

R O T F

Axe on July 9, 2013 at 1:38 AM

omg — *wipes tears* — i did not see that coming

Axe on July 9, 2013 at 1:41 AM

love ya, Axe — gotta put my 7-year-old to bed, she’s got gymnastics in the morning — West Coast time so I’m not too horrible a parent.

John the Libertarian on July 9, 2013 at 1:44 AM

Tell her night. :)

Should wander away myself . . .

Axe on July 9, 2013 at 1:45 AM

maybe Boehner needs to read this to stiffen his spine

We are conservatives who have differed in the past on immigration reform, with Kristol favorably disposed toward it and Lowry skeptical. But the Gang of Eight has brought us into full agreement: Their bill, passed out of the Senate, is a comprehensive mistake. House Republicans should kill it without reservation.

There is no case for the bill, and certainly no urgency to pass it. During the debate over immigration in 2006–07, Republican rhetoric at times had a flavor that communicated a hostility to immigrants as such. That was a mistake, and it did political damage. This time has been different. The case against the bill has been as responsible as it has been damning.

It’s become clear that you can be pro-immigrant and pro-immigration, and even favor legalization of the 11 million illegal immigrants who are here and increases in some categories of legal immigration—and vigorously oppose this bill.

clearly the sycophantic obama voters like Brooks will do anything to please his boss, and i suppose the corporatist will in fact sell the rope with which to hang him

but it would be nice to have an opposition party. John B. may not like it…but he’s it. McCain and other progressives will sell out easily for just a few coins.

I don’t envy the job of the true Rs…standing up against a machine that not only has no moral compass…but demands every tactic to be used against the ‘haves’

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/kill-bill_738781.html

r keller on July 9, 2013 at 2:02 AM

Ken,

Please teach your stress reducing butt clenching exercises to Axe. He pulled a muscle.

SparkPlug on July 9, 2013 at 2:02 AM

There is no case for the bill, and certainly no urgency to pass it. During the debate over immigration in 2006–07, Republican rhetoric at times had a flavor that communicated a hostility to immigrants as such. That was a mistake, and it did political damage.

That’s a big load sh#t that only idiots like Kristol and Lawry could believe. It was the attempt to pass any sort of treasonous aid and comfort to illegal invaders that did political damage to the GOP. Period. These morons don’t even have 20/20 hindsight.

I’m glad that they have gotten their 12 brain cells together to fight the latest GOP suicide attempt by allying with illegals, but this sort of sh#t is uncalled for and just shows what total douchebags these two are.

I wish the GOP a quick, but very painful, death. That bunch needs to exit from the public stage as soon as possible, and never be heard from again. They are scum, as low as the America-hating dems they are colluding with.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 9, 2013 at 2:09 AM

You can do anything you want when you’re a Democrat because of the media. When is the American Right going to get serious about controlling mass media in this country?

Punchenko on July 9, 2013 at 2:16 AM

r keller on July 9, 2013 at 2:02 AM

I didn’t mean to stomp on your post. I understand that it’s nice to note that even some of the squishes are fighting against this idiotic bill … but it just infuriates me whenever the squishes try to pull their name-calling cr@p and revisionist history, even if it’s in arguing against the treasonous little worm Rubio’s bill.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 9, 2013 at 2:20 AM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 9, 2013 at 2:09 AM

yeah, well, i agree with you on that. Self-flagellation over imaginary thought crimes is a specialty of the DC Rs…i suppose it is a survival thing, with the cocktail parties and all

but all Rs and commentators should live by the old dictum…if you want a friend in DC, get a dog…and stand up against the Alinsky set

r keller on July 9, 2013 at 2:23 AM

67 were shot and 11 killed in just Chicago THIS WEEKEND.

Liberalism fails again. Causes Urban blight.

SparkPlug on July 9, 2013 at 4:34 AM

Not even a “tiny slice” is good for your health.

I still don’t think that the party that kept touting that “capitalism caused the recession” learned anything about what really causes economic stalls … heavy handed socialism. Let’s force banks do make loans to people who could never pay them back!

kregg on July 9, 2013 at 5:38 AM

Quite simply, federal laws already on the books aimed at stopping the flow of illegal immigration must be enforced. Furthermore, states must be given the resources necessary to confront the problem, which includes strengthening the border patrol.- Allen West Obama, Amnesty, and Vichy Republicans” “My take.

kingsjester on July 9, 2013 at 6:36 AM

67 were shot and 11 killed in just Chicago THIS WEEKEND.

What, no racist show trials for them?

PointnClick on July 9, 2013 at 6:47 AM

What, no racist show trials for them?

PointnClick on July 9, 2013 at 6:47 AM

This is Chicago. I’ll think you’ll find it tough to demonize one race in order to pander to another when most of the incidents do not involve two different races.

Happy Nomad on July 9, 2013 at 7:05 AM

I think I understand Obamacare now.
If you make money, the IRS takes it.
If you don’t make money, the IRS gives you some. Plus an Obamaphone.

justltl on July 9, 2013 at 7:25 AM

Do you smoke?:

For an older smoker, the cost of the full penalty could be prohibitive. Premiums for a standard “silver” insurance plan would be about $9,000 a year for a 64-year-old non-smoker, according to the online Kaiser Health Reform Subsidy Calculator. That’s before any tax credits, available on a sliding scale based on income.

For a smoker of the same age, the full 50 percent penalty would add more than $4,500 to the cost of the policy, bringing it to nearly $13,600. And tax credits can’t be used to offset the penalty. The underlying reason for the glitch is another provision in the health care law that says insurers can’t charge older customers more than three times what they charge the youngest adults in the pool. The government’s computer system has been unable to accommodate the two. So younger smokers and older smokers must be charged the same penalty, or the system will kick it out. [emphasis added]

http://www.mail.com/scitech/health/2201702-break-smokers-glitch-limit-penalties.html#.7518-stage-hero1-4

davidk on July 9, 2013 at 7:28 AM

Of course Boehner and the Elites in the R party won’t even think about taking the “I toldya so!” route and not fund Obamacare. Yeah, there is a law on the books.

There are laws on the books for border security, too.

Those aren’t funded to make the Nation secure.

And we still don’t have 100% verification of payloads coming into ports nor inspection of same. Be a helluva thing to wake up with a major port city missing some day…

So why not just take the Obamacare funding, move it down to, say, the percentage of what the border fence gets, and move the rest into actually checking to make sure some lovely WMD doesn’t wind up in a major port city? Or to ‘build the dang fence’? Or just not spend it AT ALL and cut the deficit and show there is an understanding that unfeasible laws that are fiscally unsound should NOT BE FUNDED?

The Elitists in charge of the R party will never, ever think those thoughts. They are part of the Establishment like so many of their ‘colleagues across the aisle’. They are all about doing anything except the right thing… which is why I hang up on the RNC and its minions when they try to call me and circular file all messages from the party. I spent $25 on them a few years ago… and it was blown on high-end trips going after mega-donors, not trying to see if there was an actual base to the party. Just like the DNC.

So, yeah, Obamacare is a train wreck, a bludgeon to destroy the Nation’s fiscal health and actual health.

I toldya so.

And so did a lot of other people.

For all the time that the Left tries to proclaim it is always on the ‘right side’, when they are on the wrong side and get it all wrong. They just shut up and walk away claiming they were not trying to do what the result was and they never, ever, not once, learn from their mistakes but, instead, look to better ‘activism’ and salesmanship with added lies, innuendo and baseless scurrilous attacks on the character of others while having NONE themselves.

ajacksonian on July 9, 2013 at 7:39 AM

http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2013/07/immigration-documentary-could-affect-this-weeks-us-house-vote.html

Time is running out! Besides calling your representative and Majority Leader Boehner, it would be productive to email your U.S. representative the following two links:

Trailers for the film “They Come to America” by Dennis Michael Lynch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTsidZAIFUE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU3BL8O5Gac

Hmmmm… too man links?y

Fallon on July 9, 2013 at 8:01 AM

3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510 58209 74944 59230 78164 06286 20899 86280 34825 34211 70679 ….

Bmore on July 9, 2013 at 8:33 AM

“It’s a good law, it will help so many people who need it, but it looks sloppy.”

Liberals will defend their stupidity till the very end!

cajunpatriot on July 9, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Comment pages: 1 2