What was the White House doing while it knew HealthCare.gov was about to faceplant?
posted at 10:01 pm on October 23, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham
Starting on Tuesday, every American can visit HealthCare.gov to find out what’s called the insurance marketplace for your state. Here in Maryland, I actually think it’s called MarylandHealthConnection.gov. (Applause.) MarylandHealthConnection.gov. But if you go to HealthCare.gov, you can look and they’ll tell you where to go. They’ll link to your state.
Now, this is real simple. It’s a website where you can compare and purchase affordable health insurance plans, side-by-side, the same way you shop for a plane ticket on Kayak — (laughter) — same way you shop for a TV on Amazon. You just go on and you start looking, and here are all the options.
It’s buying insurance on the private market, but because now you’re part of a big group plan — everybody in Maryland is all logging in and taking a look at the prices — you’ve got new choices. Now you’ve got new competition, because insurers want your business. And that means you will have cheaper prices. (Applause.)
So you enter in some basic information about yourself, what level of coverage you’re looking for. After that, you’ll be presented with a list of quality, affordable plans that are available in your area. It will say clearly what each plan covers, what each plan costs. The price will be right there. It will be fully transparent.
But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, all of that is changing. January 1, 2014 — 100 days from today –marks a New Day, when coverage will be more accessible and affordable. On that day, coverage begins for those who signed up in the Health Insurance Marketplace by December 15, 2013.
The Marketplace is a new, simpler way to purchase health insurance –all in one place. You can go online to find and compare options, see if you qualify for lower costs, and select coverage that meets your needs and budget.
The president dropped by a White House meeting with singer Jennifer Hudson and actress Amy Poehler, as well as representatives for Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys and Bon Jovi, an administration official said.
Other attendees included officials from the Grammy Awards and the Funny or Die website, which is a brainchild of actor Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay. Representatives for several other TV shows and entertainment companies also attended.
Sebelius made this video, with the perennially and appropriately face-planting Nationals mascot, Teddy:
HHS seems to think that first $3 million was a pretty good investment. The Hill reports that the agency just announced that it signed an agreement to spend another $8 million—with the option to spend more—further promoting the exchanges.
I’ll give the folks at HHS this: They could probably use some effective marketing. But maybe they ought to consider scaling back a bit, and work more on trying to raise awareness about the law’s benefits with Sen. Max Baucus? When you’ve already spent $3 million promoting ObamaCare’s exchanges, and yet the senator who claims to have written the bill on which the law was based thinks those exchanges are about to be a “huge train wreck,” you kind of have to wonder whether the agency is really getting much value out of its marketing budget.
Obama gave this speech:
So if these stories of hardworking Americans sound familiar to you, well, starting today, you and your friends and your family and your coworkers can get covered, too. Just visit healthcare.gov, and there you can compare insurance plans, side by side, the same way you’d shop for a plane ticket on Kayak or a TV on Amazon. You enter some basic information, you’ll be presented with a list of quality, affordable plans that are available in your area, with clear descriptions of what each plan covers, and what it will cost. You’ll find more choices, more competition, and in many cases, lower prices — most uninsured Americans will find that they can get covered for $100 or less.
And you don’t have to take my word for it. Go on the website, healthcare.gov, check it out for yourself. And then show it to your family and your friends and help them get covered, just like mayors and churches and community groups and companies are already fanning out to do across the country…
And, said this, while Republicans were offering to delay Obamacare as a foundation for negotiations:
So in that context, I’ll work with anybody who’s got a serious idea to make the Affordable Care Act work better. I’ve said that repeatedly. But as long as I am President, I will not give in to reckless demands by some in the Republican Party to deny affordable health insurance to millions of hardworking Americans.
Oh, and this:
Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. Thank you, all of you, for the great work that you’re doing. And thank you, Kathleen Sebelius, for the outstanding work that she’s doing making sure that millions of Americans can get health insurance.
Health and Human Services is still releasing ads like this, again with your money:
The Health Insurance Marketplace is an opportunity for the 15% of Americans who do not have insurance, and for people who are buying their own coverage and are unhappy with it, to obtain quality coverage.
It is a new, simpler way to purchase health insurance – all in one place. You can go online to find and compare options, see if you qualify for lower costs, and select from brand name plans that fits your needs and budget.
All for wanting to do, well, a version of what the White House just announced it’s doing.
If indeed Obama knew that HealthCare.gov was about to fail spectacularly, and he rejected Republican offers for the exact delay he’s going to need, that’s ideological malpractice, dealing a blow to liberalism to score a short-term political win over Republicans. I’ve got to believe that’s a situation where Bill Clinton would have taken a humbling hit by accepting some kind of ACA delay, but turned to take credit for ending the shutdown, and assured the American people “that we’re really committed to getting this to work just right for all of you, and now we’ll have some more time to work out the glitches you see in any big tech project. Apple comparison, etc., etc.” But Obama’s specialty is partisan boot-grinding, not long-term victories by taking short-term lumps. It was his priority to crush Rep. John Boehner, not get Obamacare anywhere near functioning before its launch date.
And, now a woman so delusional, she can get neither short-term politics nor long-term ideology right. She doesn’t think they lost 2010’s election because of Obamacare: