The obligatory follow-up to Ed’s post earlier. When they said O was planning to enroll today, I thought they meant he’d take a break from the links for half an hour to punch in his info on the D.C. exchange website. Upon reflection, though, that was silly. Of course the president’s not going to entrust his vital info to one of these tinpot online exchanges. He knows better than anyone how vulnerable they are; the one he built himself was so grotesquely flawed, his own security team wouldn’t sign off on it. Special procedures would be needed.
I think it’s fitting. By Team Hopenchange’s own admission, Obama signing up for coverage on the exchange is a publicity stunt, a “symbolic” act designed to show that he endorses the product he’s crafted with his own money. He’ll continue to get his health coverage through the military while president, but as a gesture of solidarity with Americans, he’s willing to sign up. Granted, he waited until the very last second to do it despite pleading with people for months not to wait. And sure, okay, his special status allowed him to bypass the website and delegate to his subordinates the aggravation of enrollment, unlike the millions of poor saps who had to be patient and keep trying during the Great 404 Meltdown of 2013. But there is one way that O’s walking the walk here: Now he’ll be paying hundreds in monthly premiums for coverage that he’ll never actually use, just like millions of “young invincibles’ who are being forced by the mandate to enroll. Their hard-earned money’s being expropriated to subsidize the sick; now a little of O’s hard-earned money is too. Why, he even bought the same type of plan — bronze — that’s likely to most appeal to young adults because of its relatively cheap premiums, even though the deductible is so high that it’ll discourage some of them from ever seeking treatment except in emergencies.
A perfect ending to an embarrassing three months.
Obama “was pleased to participate in a plan as a show of support for these marketplaces which are providing quality, affordable health care options to more than a million people,” the official added.
But Obama did not directly sign up for insurance. Rather, his staff went in person to sign him up, an official told POLITICO.
“Like some Americans, the complicated nature of the president’s case required an in-person sign-up,” the official said. “As you’d expect, the president’s personal information is not readily available in the variety of government databases HealthCare.gov uses to verify identities.”
As translated by John Sexton:
The President is there in the trenches with people who already have insurance and choose to buy more from Hawaii via staff.
— John Sexton (@verumserum) December 23, 2013
Meanwhile, here’s what the hoi polloi’s being told today about HHS’s new half-assed enrollment deadline of midnight tomorrow:
Within hours of that delay being revealed to the public, however, White House communications official Jennifer Palmieri informed MSNBC’s audience that it would be “dangerous” for consumers to consider tomorrow to be the new deadline, even though it now is. She stressed that the problem-plagued website may fail and leave uninsured users without coverage at the start of the 2014.
So that’s why the new deadline was supposed to be “secret.” They figured that even if the site went down today under the crush of deadline enrollments, it might bounce back tomorrow as some discouraged users peeled off, reducing the traffic load and making it viable for the most dogged would-be enrollees. In other words, they still don’t trust Healthcare.gov enough to issue any full-throated encouragement for people to use it. With good reason, as it turns out.
Exit quotation from Nancy Pelosi: “It’s worth the trouble, it’s going to be a glorious thing.”