The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky on Tuesday drew a faulty comparison between the rollout of ObamaCare and the 2005 implementation of President George W. Bush’s Medicare Part D program. The thesis of Tomasky’s article, titled, “Enough Already on HealthCare.gov. Don’t You Remember Medicare Part D?”, was that Republicans should try to help ObamaCare succeed just as Democrats, many of whom had voted against Medicare Part D, tried to help that law succeed after it was passed in 2005.
Following shocking revelations exposed by NBC News that the Obama Administration knew millions of Americans would lose their health insurance under ObamaCare, the folks at MSNBC have been doing their best to provide cover for President Obama and Democrats in Congress.
Despite this damning revelation, MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts sees private insurance companies as the real culprit, not ObamaCare which forces consumers to purchase insurance benefits they do not need. Roberts claims that the problem is:
Not so much about defending Igor [Volsky] to their constituents, but explaining to constituents that you had a subpar junk policy that does not meet a mandated requirement of quality care in our country. Basically, you were being boondoggled to pay for something worthless. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Now that the falsehood of President Obama’s sweeping claim that everyone who liked their pre-Obamacare insurance plan would be able to retain it under his healthcare law is beginning to sink in, the latest spin from the White House is to push the blame on “bad apple” insurance companies. Their “crime?” Offering health insurance plans deemed unaccaptable by Obamacare which customers wanted to purchase.
Time will tell whether the left-leaning “mainstream” press will begin challening the White House on this latest dodge but one person who was willing to do so was Fox News host Megyn Kelly who went after congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) on her program Wednesday night. “Why do you get to decide what’s lousy?” she asked during the heated segment.
ABC and NBC journalists on Wednesday and Thursday hailed Kathleen Sebelius as "falling on her sword" and "taking responsibility" for the ObamaCare website debacle. On World News, reporter Jim Avila complained about the Sebelius grilling as a "rude grandstand" and a "three hour circus of a congressional hearing." He dismissed it as "official finger pointing day on Capitol Hill."
Yet, on Thursday, Avila sympathized with the Democratic Health and Human Services secretary, praising, "...The woman in charge of the Affordable Care Act fell on her sword with her first full-throated apology." The Obama official "was reluctant to pass the buck, even when pressed." Over on NBC's Today, host Matt Lauer gushed, "Kathleen Sebelius went before Congress yesterday and she did something you don't see happen in Washington very often, she took the blame." [Video of both morning shows below. MP3 audio here.]
Tuesday evening (noted by Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters early Wednesday morning), CNN's Drew Griffin reported on Anderson Cooper's show that there is a "behind the scenes attempt by the White House to at least keep insurers from publicly criticizing what is happening under this Affordable Care Act rollout."
Such a report occurring during a Republican or conservative administration would spread like wildfire. Sadly and predictably, that hasn't happened with CNN's bombshell. Using search strings which should have surfaced relevant results if present, I couldn't find anything on the topic at the Associated Press, New York Times, the Politco, or Washington Post.
Wow -- to think that this man seriously considered running for Senate as a Republican, until it dawned on him that voters would hear his stump speech and assume he's a Democrat.
Geraldo Rivera starts every hour of his radio show with the tag line, "Not red, not blue, but red white and blue." Catchy line -- and more than a little reminiscent of oratory from a little-known Illinois state senator at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. (Audio after the jump)
Besides facing a "credibility death spiral" on the issue of ObamaCare, as political director John Dickerson recently put it, Sharyl Attkisson pointed out on Tuesday's CBS Evening News that the very structure of the so-called reform could encounter a separate "death spiral" due to the "enrollment fiasco" surrounding HealthCare.gov.
Attkisson cited unnamed health care analysts, who predicted a doomsday scenario for President's Obama's supposed signature achievement: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
While discussing the numerous ObamaCare failures on Wednesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd felt it necessary to gratuitously bash Republicans: "And suddenly you have the picture of two parties, a Democratic Party led by the President that apparently doesn't know how to govern, has a competency issue when it comes to this health care website, juxtaposed next to a Republican Party who apparently has no interest in governing." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd didn't bother to explain or justify his slam on the GOP, he simply stated it as if it were a fact.
CNBC’s morning anchors were troubled by the news that their own insurance plans will become more costly under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
On Oct. 30’s “Squawk Box,” CNBC Senior Correspondent Scott Cohn revealed details of NBC’s open enrollment, brandishing an official fact book outlining the process. He quoted the document, revealing that the ACA would increase employee premiums.
John Dickerson didn't mince words about the "bad launch" of ObamaCare in his Tuesday item for Slate.com. The CBS News political director invoked one of deceased tyrant Kim Jong il's most infamous saber-rattling tactics: "Healthcare.gov launched with the fanfare and success of a North Korean missile."
Dickerson also rephrased his recent contention that "the administration could get into, sort of, a credibility death spiral" on the issue of ObamaCare. He stated that "when the website doesn't work and the promises of 2009 and 2010 are revised, questions of credibility infect everything the administration says. This can lead to a death spiral as administration officials make bold assertions to distract from the current challenges."
43 months after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, another national establishment press outlet has called President Barack Obama's serially made promise that "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health plan" a lie. Specifically, Washington Post designated fact-checker Glenn Kessler has given it "four Pinocchios," the lowest possible rating on his scale reserved for "whoppers."
Kessler joins other press organizations admitting to the obvious way too late to matter. The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, with rare exceptions (and note that the linked analysis did not directly address the individual market), studiously avoided looking at the truthfulness of Obama's core Affordable Care Act promise for 3-1/2 years. Finally, on September 30, Calvin Woodward in Paragraph 15 of a multi-item "fact check," called Obama's pledge "an empty promise, made repeatedly." Kessler's work has one remaining hole that I will identify after presenting excerpts (HT Twitchy; links are in original; bolds are mine):
On Tuesday's NBC Tonight Show, host Jay Leno provided harsher criticism of President Obama falsely claiming that Americans could keep their current health insurance plans under ObamaCare than any of the network's reporters. Leno told the audience: "Well, it's being reported that the President has known for three years that people would lose their coverage. The press is now saying the President lied." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Leno setup a mock defense of Obama: "But today the White House said that's not true. He did not lie. And they released this tape from three years ago to prove it. Here's what he said three years ago." A comically dubbed-over sound bite followed of Obama saying people "cannot" keep their doctors and health insurance.
The journalists at Good Morning America on Wednesday conceded that Barack Obama may have "misled the public" on the health care law, that "some call it a lie." But at the same time, reporter Jim Avila helpfully told viewers that Americans would be only be losing "cheap, underperforming insurance." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Anchor George Stephanopoulos introduced the story on Kathleen Sebelius's testimony before Congress as the "latest firestorm over ObamaCare."
The co-host revealed, "All this is happening as we learn of a new report from inside the administration that warned these website problems were coming." Avila related that the Health and Human Services Secretary will blame the disastrous launch of "contractors who built the site" and take "none of the" responsibility. The journalist explained, "A document posted overnight by a congressional committee shows that the main contractor did warn the government more testing was needed before launch."
Yesterday, I reported that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and his Morning Joe guests refused to come out and explicitly state that President Obama lied when he repeatedly insisted that those who like their health insurance can keep it under ObamaCare. Well, on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Tuesday night, Scarborough finally allowed the L-word to escape his lips.
The conservative radio host played a clip of The Chicago Tribune’s Clarence Page saying Obama “probably” lied about his health care law. He then asked Scarborough, “Are you surprised that people like Clarence Page are admitting the president just out-and-out lied?” [Listen to the audio here.]
Jumping in to excuse President Obama for making the false promise (“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan”), ABC News on Tuesday night rationalized how ObamaCare is simply saving people in the individual market from being victims of awful policies forced upon them by insurance companies.
On World News, Jim Avila cited the case of Julie Prince, who has been notified her policy will be canceled. Avila turned to an ObamaCare advocate and asked: “Julie tells us that she doesn’t have hospital care on this cheap insurance plan. Is that dangerous?” Lynn Quincy of Consumers Union agreed: “Absolutely. That’s on enormous hole in her coverage.”
The Hindenburg? The Titanic? Hurricane Sandy on steroids? Any of those might have been a better analogy for the monumental mess that is Obamacare than the lame one Jon Meacham proposed on today's Morning Joe.
The presidential historian somehow sought to analogize the Obamacare fiasco to . . . the classification of ketchup as a vegetable. Huh? View the video after the jump.
You can give MSNBC’s Morning Joe crew credit for this much: they spent almost half an hour on Tuesday’s show discussing the NBC News report that President Obama knew that millions of Americans would lose their current health insurance plans because of ObamaCare. Host Joe Scarborough seemed appropriately outraged that the president knew about this even as he repeatedly insisted that those who liked their health insurance could keep it.
Curiously, however, neither Scarborough nor any of his guests ever accused the president of “lying.” They never called him a “liar,” said he “lied,” or used any form of the infinitive “to lie.” This gave the impression that they remain cowed by the Obama administration. This is MSNBC, after all. The former Republican congressman from Florida may gnaw on the hand that feeds him, but Scarborough knows not to clamp down and break skin. [See video below the break. MP3 audio here.]
CNN's Joe Johns wouldn't call President Obama's "you can keep your health care plan" promise a lie or a broken promise, on Tuesday. According to him, it "might have been an oversell."
This despite a report that the administration knew millions would lose their insurance under ObamaCare. Johns, in his deep benefit of the doubt for the White House, gave this ever-so-slight criticism of the administration's promises: "they do appear to have made some statements at the outset while they were selling the program that appear to have been over broad." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Tuesday's CBS This Morning repeatedly played up how "more than two million Americans are losing their current health care coverage because of ObamaCare". Jan Crawford outlined that "this is just the tip of the iceberg. And the people who are opening these letters are shocked to learn they can't keep their current policies, despite the President's assurances to the contrary."
Crawford underlined that "the White House is on the defensive, trying to explain how, when the President repeatedly" used his now-infamous "if you like your insurance plan, you will keep it" promise, "he really didn't mean it." She didn't disclose, however, that her featured "industry expert" is an alumnus of the Clinton administration. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Even after the White House admitted that some Americans would lose their health insurance – breaking multiple promises by President Obama that people could keep their health plan under ObamaCare – CNN's White House correspondent Brianna Keilar served a generous portion of White House spin on Tuesday that health plans would improve under ObamaCare.
"The White House now admitting that some people will see their health plans change. That does go against what we heard President Obama promise," Keilar reported, quickly adding that "the White House is also saying it might not actually be – or it will not actually be a bad thing for many people."
Near the end of the fourth story on Monday's NBC Nightly News, White House correspondent Peter Alexander managed to squeeze in a mention of the network's scoop that the Obama administration knew for years that millions of people would be kicked off of their current health insurance plans because of ObamaCare, despite the President's repeated assurances to the contrary. [Listen to the audio]
Alexander provided a mere twenty-one seconds of air time for the revelation: "That millions will lose or have to change their individual policies is not a surprise to the administration. NBC News senior investigative correspondent Lisa Myers found buried in the 2010 ObamaCare regulations, language predicting, 'A reasonable range for the percentage of individual policies that would terminate is forty percent to sixty-seven percent.'"
Monday night on her Fox News program, Megyn Kelly played a clip of President Obama going beyond the now-infamous "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan" promise. Earlier Monday, as Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted, Lisa Myers and Hannah Rappleye at NBC News revealed that the Obama administration knew three years ago that "more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them."
At the 0:59 mark of the video which follows (HT Mediaite), viewers will see Kelly introduce and then replay Obama's February 2010 promise that "any insurance you have will be grandfathered in," even if it's an "Acme Insurance, just a high deductible catastrophic plan":
On Monday, as Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted, Lisa Myers and Hannah Rappleye at NBC News reported that the Obama administration knew three years ago that "more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them." This of course directly contradicts President Obama's repeated promises that "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan."
I will get to the gambit the administration used to convince people that it wouldn't do what it originally intended to do in the runup to Obamacare's passage, a strategy which may have resulted from objections raised in a July 2009 Investor's Business Daily editorial, later in the post. But first, we have to look at tweets sent out tonight by three Obama administration officials in response to the NBC report, all of which dodge NBC's substantive point that the Obama administration knew policy terminations would occur, and claim that "the ACA" (the Affordable Care Act) is not to blame:
On Sunday's NBC Today, co-host Lester Holt wondered if Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had "successfully separated herself now from this trouble" with the ObamaCare website failure. He further asked: "Is her job safer than it was maybe a week ago?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A somewhat puzzled David Gregory, moderator of Meet the Press, replied: "Well, I think her job may be okay for the moment. But I don't think she's separated herself from it....all of these problems really do undercut the potential effectiveness of ObamaCare, whether it can be affordable to insure more and more people. If they don't achieve that, there are enormous problems....enormous problems for how it works for years to come."
PolitiFact's amazing double standard struck again as it rated President Obama's broken promise "Half True," that Americans would keep their health insurance under his health care law.
There are already stories of Americans being dropped from their health insurance plans, and PolitiFact's Louis Jacobson admitted that "In reality, Americans are not simply able to keep their insurance through thick and thin." He added that "the CBO figures suggest that the law could increase that rate, at least modestly" of "forced plan-switching."
On Tuesday's Fox News Special report, contributor Juan Williams lamely tried to excuse away the mind-boggling incompetence of the HealthCare.gov rollout by claiming that "massive opposition (to Obamacare) from the Republicans" caused fearful system architects to "roll it out and see how it works for now."
Juan's haughty huffiness was so absurd that the Fox News panel was caught slack-jawed and barely challenged him. That's not what happened Sunday morning on Chris Wallace's Fox News Sunday broadcast when Williams tried to claim that millions of people losing their individual health care coverage are going to be better off with Obamacare policies (video and transscript follow the jump; bolds are mine; HT to Mediaite via Twitchy):
The left has been ridiculing supposedly wildly overstated estimates of the costs of building the calamitous HealthCare.gov website, the fact is that the costs involved are certainly far higher than the figures most commonly cited: "over 500 million" at Digital Trends, "over $400 million" at the New York Times. The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler is claiming that it's really only $170 milion to $300 million.
In Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that Bloomberg Government's Peter Gosselin estimated that costs incurred and costs committed to outside firms alone are already north of $1 billion. Now let's look at how much additional taxpayer money the Department of Health and Human Services may have spent on the Obamacare exchange rollout.
The left has been ridiculing supposedly wildly overstated estimates of the costs of building the calamitous HealthCare.gov website.
Based on a look at one contractor, CGI, which he must have assumed was the general contractor (i.e., the lead entity through which amounts paid to subcontracting firms would be funneled), Andrew Couts at Digital Trends originally estimated a total cost of $634 million. Couts later backed it down to "over $500 million" after identifying non-Affordable Care Act-related work with which CGI was associated. The New York Times has until recently been working with a figure of "over $400 million." All figures just noted are almost certainly miles too low, for two reasons.
David Callaway, Editor-in-Chief of USA Today, is so upset by Republicans using the HealthCare.gov roll-out mess to discredit ObamaCare, that he penned an op-ed for Friday’s edition of the national newspaper to dismiss the problems as a blip with no relevance to the overall program.
Headlined “Obama’s Y2K moment,” Callaway unpersuasively equated the current situation of the ongoing dysfunctional HeathCare.gov with the concerns before January 1, 2000 about how that date change could cause computer havoc. But it did not, so he equated an actual technology mess with one that never occurred, contending the current situation is just like Y2K – a big nothing.