Just consider this another example of Barack Obama misspeaking. In the middle of last month’s Healthcare.gov rollout, Obama insisted that Americans had other ways of signing up for the totally awesome product in his Rose Garden pep rally. Americans soon discovered otherwise, though, as operators standing by actually couldn’t enroll them in plans, which consumers couldn’t browse and had no way of calculating their subsidies without the website.
ABC News reports today that the White House knew that well before Barack Obama’s Rose Garden speech:
A series of internal Obama administration memos obtained exclusively by ABC News reveal for the first time how dysfunction with HealthCare.gov has upended the entire Affordable Care Act enrollment process, including applications by paper and phone that officials have been pushing as more reliable alternatives.
While President Obama and other top aides have publicly reassured frustrated consumers that they can bypass the troubled website and apply by phone in as little as 25 minutes, those working most closely with the rollout acknowledged privately that even the nonelectronic avenues would be no more efficient or guaranteed, the documents show.
“The same portal is used to determine eligibility no matter how the application is submitted (paper, online),” reads a Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight memo from Oct. 11.
“The paper applications allow people to feel like they are moving forward in the process and provides another option,” it says. “At the end of the day, we are all stuck in the same queue.”
The Obama administration knew on October 11th that calling the toll-free ObamaCare number or filling out paper applications wouldn’t do consumers any good. When did Obama go out into the Rose Garden to assure Americans that they could still enroll in health insurance through the call center or through paper applications? October 21st, ten days after this HHS memo.
Did the President misspeak? Or was he still so disconnected from his own administration, even in the midst of a political crisis of huge proportions, that he had no idea how his own system worked — or more accurately, didn’t work? Or did he know, and just flat-out lie?
Just remember — these are the same people who will run health insurance in the future, and are way smarter than you about whether you need maternity-care coverage when you’re in your 60s. This is becoming an object lesson in why we need to limit government to just the bare necessities.