Quotes of the day

posted at 8:41 pm on October 25, 2013 by Allahpundit

A failure in the press coverage of the health-care exchange’s rocky launch has been in allowing people to believe that the problem is a glitchy Web site. This is a failure of language: “The Web site” has become a confusing stand-in phrase for any problem relating to the law’s underlying infrastructure. No one has a very good word to describe everything that infrastructure encompasses.

In brick-and-mortar terms, it’s the road that leads to the store, the store itself, the payment systems between the store and the government and the manufacturers, the computer system the manufacturers use to fill the orders, the trucks that carry the the product back to the store, the loading dock where the customers pick up the products, and so on…

If they just blow through the deadlines entirely it doesn’t mean the entire program unravels. But it does mean that it will do a much worse job helping people for years. It does mean that there will be fewer people on Medicaid and many more people paying premiums they can barely afford, or, in some cases, that they can’t afford at all.

***

With the supposedly state-of-the-art $600 million HealthCare.gov portal malfunctioning, President Barack Obama is urging Americans to go ahead and try to get health coverage by mailing in a paper application, calling the helpline or seeking help from one of the trained “assisters.”

But the truth is those applications — on paper or by phone — have to get entered into the same lousy website that is causing the problems in the first place. And the people processing the paper and calls don’t have any cyber secret passage to duck around that. They too have to deal with all the frustrations of HealthCare.gov — full-time.

POLITICO reporters who got recorded announcements earlier in the week — sometimes directing them to try HealthCare.gov — can now get through to the call center. Once they connect, staffers like “Justin” try to get people’s information into the online system…

“The site does not work for us either,” he said.

***

Despite the best efforts of President Obama and doting tweeters in Jersey City, government isn’t groovy. The standard rap on Obamacare is that it’s turned America’s health system into the DMV. If only. I had cause to go to the DMV in Twin Mountain, N.H., the other day. In and out in ten minutes. Modest accommodations, a little down-at-heel, nothing cool about it at all. But it worked just fine. Friendly chap, no complaints. Government can do that at the town level, county level, even (more sparingly) at the state level.

But a national medical regime for 300 million people? Not in a First World country. And, when you’re mad enough to try it, the failure is not the insignificant enrollment numbers, but the vaporization of the existing health plans of 119,000 Pennsylvanians, 160,000 Californians, 300,000 Floridians, 800,000 in that tech tweeter’s New Jersey . . . That’s the magic that happens when you disdain the limits of prosaic, humdrum, just-about-functioning government. Perhaps things will get so bad the coolest president ever will no longer seem quite so hip. But, alas, you’ll have to wait three years for a hip replacement. That’s government health care for you.

***

Via Enroll Maven:

m

***

An insurance death spiral is a feedback phenomenon — a bad risk pool in Year One causes drastically higher premiums in Year Two which causes an even worse pool that year and on and on. The key to it is that it causes consumer premiums to go up so that only people with high expected health costs (for whom the high premium is still less expensive than staying uninsured) stay in and drive the cycle on. But in the Obamacare exchanges, the subsidy system is intended to prevent people from feeling the effect of annual premium increases after the first year. The subsidies are designed to make sure that each recipient pays only a certain percentage of his income in premium costs. That percentage stays essentially the same year after year, so if premiums get more expensive the government covers the difference…

[T]he sort of severe adverse selection the exchanges may experience would dramatically increase federal spending and would drive unsubsidized exchange participants (other than those in very poor health) and many insurers out of the exchanges. It could also destabilize the portion of the individual market that remains outside the exchanges, since it will not be possible to keep the parts of the individual market that are inside and outside the exchanges quite separate (in no small part because Obamacare requires insurers to treat plans they sell in those two markets as drawing on a single risk pool). And it would be difficult to shield the employer-based insurance system from such effects too; if the exchange system were to become simply an ultra-expensive and poorly formed high-risk pool, the entire insurance system would pay the price.

***

Christopher Ruddy, founder and CEO of Newsmax, makes an interesting point about this: “The key to stopping Obamacare is for its opponents to win in congressional elections in 2014. Delaying Obamacare only helps the Democrats who support this boondoggle.”…

Experts like Laszewski are now talking about the possibility of 16 million people getting pink slips for their current insurance. That’s no insurance. No doctor. Nothing. Already, over 1 million people have lost their insurance, with cancellation notices actually soaring above Obamacare enrollment rates…

The mainstream media have in large part turned against Obamacare, and all these factoids are going to be reported. So that raises the question regarding 2014: Do Republicans really want to bail out Obama by handing him a year’s delay? If all the flaws in Obamacare do pan out, they may well overshadow the shutdown negatives suffered by the GOP.

I think I am lining up on Chris Ruddy’s side. There’s an old political adage: If your opponent is determined to hang himself, for Heaven’s sake, don’t take away the rope.

***

Why should we believe that the federal government is remotely capable of managing something as complicated as American health care? The complexities of the task make a mockery of the very notion of “expertise.” The disastrous rollout of the health insurance website indicates quite clearly the hubris of governmental experts who populate Washington, D.C., these days. Moreover, it is only a matter of time until perverse second-, third-, and fourth-tier effects of this law undermine its goals. Already, there is plenty of evidence that Obamacare, like the AAA and NIRA, invites political interference. Politically connected groups like unions and large businesses have received exemptions that average people simply cannot enjoy. And politics heavily influenced the implementation timeline, which was set to culminate almost at the midpoint between two national elections…

This is why conservatives—at the grassroots or inside the Beltway—cannot blithely assume they will be able to undo Obamacare. This is not simply a matter of individual freedom or efficiency in the provision of health services, as conservatives so often argue. This is a law that promises to do something the government has never successfully accomplished during peacetime. Even so, it will work for some people, and history shows that a motivated minority who receive direct benefits from Uncle Sam can prevent commonsensical changes to their precious programs, even to the detriment of the public good.

Obamacare, in other words, combines the worst bureaucratic innovations with the best political innovations of the last century. Conservative leaders have never faced a foe quite like this, and must rise to the occasion. So far, they have failed.

***

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said the troubled rollout of ObamaCare’s enrollment website, which has frustrated thousands trying to enter the site and bruised the administration, won’t hurt Democrats in next year’s midterm elections.

“Democrats will run on the Affordable Care Act and win,” Wasserman Schultz said.

***

BILL DALEY: [Secretary Sebelius] is being held accountable. She is the secretary, it’s under her watch. Some people are calling for her to be fired, to me, that’s kind of like firing Captain Smith on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg. It’s not going to do much right now. I think they’ve got to get it fixed, they’ve got to get it straightened out. And then there’s the question, obviously, whether there needs to be new leadership at that department. Not only with the secretary, but other things going forward.


***


***

Greenfield added that, if more Democrats and public policy professionals come out in favor of a delay, “this dooms Obama’s second term.”


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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkAzMiEUUQ8

going2mars on October 26, 2013 at 3:09 AM

If you like your lying, incompetent, delusional president, you can keep him.

Please.

profitsbeard on October 26, 2013 at 3:16 AM

i generally like Megan Kelly. she’s not straight hard edged right…but she has sympathy, which helps a lot. Most interviewers let a cra-cra like emanuel hang himself.
really, she intervened enuf to press the point that he is a nut case…a totalitarian nut case…cold as ice. she didn’t have to say that. Sadly, all two-digit iq people will think this whack job is smart…talking fast is often associated with smarts (in their world)
r keller on October 26, 2013 at 2:49 AM

I saw the interview when it aired last night. I kept expecting her to cut him off, since I’m so conditioned to expect that after watching lots of cable news interviews. The family member I was watching it with remarked that they liked how she doesn’t “interrupt all the time like O’Reilly.”

I think she sensed she was winning the exchange by staying calm. Her compliment to him at the end was just politeness. I wouldn’t read anything more into it.

She got in plenty of points challenging Emmanuel, who seemed kooky and rude, especially with his whining at the end. Also, her “well, that sure was an ‘interesting’ interview” at the very end said it all. She’s good with the little subtle verbal and body language cues like that. The audience of undecideds watching will definitely side with over the crazy screaming guy. The segment up: Obama said rates would go down and you could keep your plans. Now people are paying more and losing their plans. Obamacare architect says “oh well” and that people are better off paying more for the plans the government decides they need. Crazy guy raises his voice, whines some more and refuses to anyone should be held accountable for blowing hundred of millions of taxpayer dollars.

Anyway, I think Megyn is trying to be a place where all sides will get a fair shake, while still complementing Hannity’s and other Fox programming.

We know she can be feisty and confrontational (see her with Powers over the black painter story, or her battling with Bill Burton).

bluegill on October 26, 2013 at 4:10 AM

Her “that was an interesting interview” eyebrow raise facial expression said it all, I mean.

bluegill on October 26, 2013 at 4:12 AM

It’s not Sebiliuscare–fire the one who created this albatross.

Don L on October 26, 2013 at 5:05 AM

Obamacare is the mother of Cloward-Piven bombs.

Don L on October 26, 2013 at 5:08 AM

i hear what your saying..
ive been a caregiver for the last
year or so (my mom)…so tele is
an avenue outside…
i couldnt go to alaska…
but i could watch it…

note to self….go outside..

How is your mom doing?

I live in the heart of a major metropolitan area, in a blue-collar neighborhood which went for Kerry 89% in 2004. I took a walk immediately after my last post. I passed by over 100 houses. Guess how many of them have Halloween displays…3! (I saw just as many with Christmas decorations) Last year, there were more than 10, some of them elaborate (not one of the 3 is this year), and the years before that even more.

PC/leftardedness has depressed this country like some don’t realize…

Anti-Control on October 26, 2013 at 5:52 AM

I love Martha and Andrea.

bluegill on October 26, 2013 at 2:37 AM

Martha is my favorite Fox female, looks-wise and personality-wise.

And don’t forget good ol Greta!

bluegill on October 26, 2013 at 2:41 AM

Did you happen to catch her abomination of an interview with Shrillary Clinton in January? Scientologist Greta lost me permanently after that joke…

I saw the interview when it aired last night. I kept expecting her to cut him off, since I’m so conditioned to expect that after watching lots of cable news interviews. The family member I was watching it with remarked that they liked how she doesn’t “interrupt all the time like O’Reilly.”

I think she sensed she was winning the exchange by staying calm. Her compliment to him at the end was just politeness. I wouldn’t read anything more into it.

Anyway, I think Megyn is trying to be a place where all sides will get a fair shake, while still complementing Hannity’s and other Fox programming.

We know she can be feisty and confrontational (see her with Powers over the black painter story, or her battling with Bill Burton).

bluegill on October 26, 2013 at 4:10 AM

You wouldn’t, I would. She’s never been unfair, and I’ve seen much better interviews from her than that. She gave him too much rope, and let him avoid answering her questions. Why the change? It doesn’t serve her (or Fox) well.

You mention that KP confrontation from years back – I don’t think she’s been the same since then, and it looks like she is even worse now in her new time slot.

Anti-Control on October 26, 2013 at 6:11 AM

allowing people to believe that the problem is a glitchy Web site.

This is like saying that the problem with using chemical weapons on your own people is that it leave a bad aroma….

Don L on October 26, 2013 at 6:31 AM

Yuck, did you guys see Charles Krauthammer go on Jon Stewart and kiss up to liberals and say how great their achievements have been? And he was very dismissive about Ted Cruz.

bluegill on October 26, 2013 at 7:19 AM

Did you happen to catch her abomination of an interview with Shrillary Clinton in January? Scientologist Greta lost me permanently after that joke…

No what did she say??

bluegill on October 26, 2013 at 7:30 AM

No what did she say??

bluegill on October 26, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Ok here is a link to a video of the interview:

Hillary Clinton Talks Benghazi With Greta Van Susteren In All-Encompassing Foreign Policy Interview

Anti-Control on October 26, 2013 at 7:59 AM

I see what you mean.

You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Greta conduct a challenging interview. Once she got in a fight with Tucker Carlson, and another time got angry with Gloria Allred, and another time she got ticked off at a suggestion made by a spokesperson/lawyer of the Trayvon Martin family… And that’s really it.

Carlson got Greta mad when he talked about his softball interview with Mike Tyson.

I think all she does are softball interviews. :-(

Seems kinda like Ed in that respect.

bluegill on October 26, 2013 at 8:14 AM

I mean Carlson for Greta mad when he talked about her softball interview.

bluegill on October 26, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Ugh. I post from my phone. So many mistakes.

bluegill on October 26, 2013 at 8:18 AM

bluegill on October 26, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Don’t worry, we don’t see them, we know what you mean.

Cindy Munford on October 26, 2013 at 8:39 AM

If you like your lying, incompetent, delusional president, you can keep him.

Please.

profitsbeard on October 26, 2013 at 3:16 AM

I’d like their relationship to be more exclusive, you know, leave me out.

Cindy Munford on October 26, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Good Morning, Patriots! …And, Trolls.
My take: “The War Against Christianity: Obama and America’s Armed Forces”

Onward, Christian Soldiers.

kingsjester on October 26, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Great article:

What happens if the frogs do indeed realize they are being boiled to death, and start to jump? One or two leaping frogs may be ignored, or isolated as cranks and laughed out of consideration. But what if millions of frogs start jumping?

Fallon on October 26, 2013 at 10:20 AM

It does mean that there will be fewer people on Medicaid and many more people paying premiums they can barely afford, or, in some cases, that they can’t afford at all.

Really?

Maryland ACA enrollments are 96% Medicaid
posted at 9:06 am on October 26, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Akzed on October 26, 2013 at 10:20 AM

I feel bad for Obama.
Our poor beleaguered little tyrant needs a nice hot cup of tar and feathers.

justltl on October 26, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Tea.
A nice hot cup of tea.

justltl on October 26, 2013 at 1:30 PM

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