Though he didn't quite get to the "Shut up, he said" threshold, Politico's David Nather, in a Tuesday tome, argued that HealthCare.gov allegedly crossing the 7 million enrollment threshold leaves opponents blubbering, and supports the argument "that government can still solve big social problems" and is "a wake-up call for Republicans and conservatives."
It's as if Nather believes — and maybe he does, in which case he's woefully ignorant — that not achieving the enrollment target is about the only potential problem with HealthCare.gov. Uh, not exactly. Just off the top of my head, there's the lack of site security, the absence of back-office interaction with insurance carriers, miscalculations of subsidies, the system's outrageous cost, and the complete inability of enrollees to add, change or delete elements of what they submitted to correct inadvertent errors or reflect changes in their life circumstances. I'm sure that only scratches the surface. Excerpts from Nather's nattering follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
While ABC, NBC, and CBS all hyped President Obama slamming Republican opposition to ObamaCare during his Tuesday "victory lap" in the White House Rose Garden, the network coverage that evening and Wednesday morning did not include a single GOP sound bite on the topic. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Tuesday's ABC World News, White House correspondent Jon Karl proclaimed: "It looked like a victory celebration, and the beginning of a new campaign." A clip ran of Obama asserting: "The debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay."
“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon had some tough words for ObamaCare following the deadline for people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Speaking on Tuesday April 1, Fallon joked that regarding the 7 million Americans that have signed up for health insurance, “It's amazing what you can achieve when you make something mandatory and fine people if they don't do it and then keep extending the deadline for months.” [See video below.]
After President Obama announced that the administration's goal of 7 million ObamaCare enrollees had been met, comedian Stephen Colbert lampooned conservatives who criticized the law and said it would fall short of its goal, on Tuesday night's Colbert Report.
"Folks, tonight we're all happy and I wish I could come to you with some good news, but the worst imaginable thing has happened. Millions of Americans are going to get healthcare," Colbert sarcastically began, framing opponents of the law as opponents of the uninsured. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Our English-speaking media were very clear after the 2012 election that the Republican Party was demographically doomed, since all the voters "of color" were shifting toward Obama and the Democrats. They echoed the mantra of GOP moderates, stating the only way to political viability was through "comprehensive immigration reform."
What these analysts did not do was explore the messaging that Hispanic voters are getting from Spanish-language media. Has the conservative message been rejected by Spanish-language voters - or is something being kept from them?
It helps to be in the White House when a CNN host professes himself to be "card-carrying member" of the administration's health care law, or when the enrollment numbers are cast as a "major victory."
New CNN host Michael Smerconish touted the benefits of ObamaCare on Tuesday night, confessing he was a "card-carrying member of ObamaCare" and calling the enrollment numbers "quite an achievement." OutFront host Erin Burnett went even further, saying the enrollment was a "major victory." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
As the networks reported on President Obama's Tuesday "victory lap" over ObamaCare's new enrollment numbers, CBS played right into the administration's hands by highlighting the "peace of mind" of a young adult who signed up for health care.
In what could have passed for a White House commercial, CBS's Ben Tracy interviewed an uninsured 33 year-old who "felt like a ticking time bomb" before he signed up for ObamaCare at the deadline. He told CBS "now I have it, so it's – it's sort of a peace of mind thing for me." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After President Obama's victory lap Tuesday over the rollout of his health care law, ABC's Matthew Dowd told Republicans to let Obama celebrate and stop trying to repeal ObamaCare.
"You have to give the President ground to have some celebration," Dowd insisted. "A little bit of dancing in the end zone. I think Republicans would be really smart, let him have the touchdown, don't ask for instant replay." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Wrapping up an interview with President Obama's former White House chief of staff Bill Daley on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose wondered if it was "fair to say" that ObamaCare was "badly conceived." After a long pause, Daley replied: "I didn't hear you, Charlie." Rose let him off the hook, and was suddenly out of time: "I was asking whether it was badly conceived but I don't really have much time to consider that question. But thank you so much, Bill." Daley responded: "Good, Charlie." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Rose began the exchange by lobbing this softball to Daley: "Do you believe the President and do you believe he has it accurate when he says eight to ten years from now, health care, Affordable Health Care Act [sic] will be considered a monumental achievement?" Daley proclaimed: "I don't think there's any question that time is on the President's side."
NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham appeared on the Fox Business show Varney & Co. on Monday afternoon discuss how MRC research of evening news stories found next to nothing on the victims of Obamacare. (There was just one CBS story on a Saturday in February.)
Host Stuart Varney expressed amazement that the networks haven’t reported the many problems with Obamacare (video below):
"When 99 percent of women used birth control in their lifetime and 60 percent use it for something other than family planning, it's outrageous and I think the Supreme Court will suggest that their case is ridiculous." - Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on MSNBC's The Ed Show, March 25
Debbie Wasserman Schultz may have gotten two Pinocchios from Washington Post "Fact Checker" Glenn Kessler Monday for that statement above, but she got off easy.
The networks all hyped the new United Nations report on climate change on Monday evening, touting it as a dire call for action and an "urgent new warning."
NBC's Brian Williams gave by far the most dramatic take on the report, even starting the Nightly News with the story. "Good evening, the world has never been spoken to quite this way," he soberly began. [See video below.]
Hours before ObamaCare's enrollment deadline, the networks provided an overall positive take on the law and allowed the White House to defend its signature legislation, leaving no room for a Republican response.
CBS highlighted the last-minute rush to sign up on the exchanges but when it reported that the final enrollment numbers would fall short of the White House's original prediction, it turned to President Obama who downplayed the shortfall. At least NBC and ABC noted that questions still need answering, like how many enrollees actually paid their first premium.
The ObamaCare health care exchange website that Maryland designed is such a monstrous failure that the state government is pulling its plug tomorrow and replacing it with a website which essentially mimics the architecture of the actually-functional Connecticut state exchange. In the process, Maryland taxpayers have seen $125.5 million of their hard-earned tax dollars flushed down the drain by 2016 president hopeful Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and his protege, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, whom O'Malley tapped as his ObamaCare point man, and who is pursuing the Democratic nomination for governor this June.
While Monday's NBC Today began its 7 a.m. ET hour coverage of the ObamaCare enrollment deadline by noting the healthcare.gov website had crashed yet again, it took an hour for ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning to notice the malfunction and mention it in their reporting. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Good Morning America's initial coverage was particularly stunning in that it touted how well the website was supposedly working. Co-host George Stephanopoulos proclaimed: "After all those early problems with the website, the White House now saying things are now back on track." White House correspondent Jon Karl declared: "That's right, George. They say they saw a huge increase of traffic to the website over the weekend....And so far, the website seems to be handling it without any major problems."
The Associated Press has a breaking news update: If you want to apply for Obamacare at HealthCare.gov today and you've never set up an account, forget about doing so for the time being.
The update is is running under this morning's old headline ("HEALTH CARE WEBSITE STUMBLES ON LAST DAY"), begging the question as to when a "stumble" turns into "I've fallen and I can't get up" (HT to several tweeters):
Appearing on Monday's Today, NBC's chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd seized on ObamaCare hitting the six million sign-up mark by the March 31 deadline, proclaiming: "So at a minimum, the importance of hitting the six million....it means the law is unrepealable....It means that it's here to stay." Todd made no mention of only 26% of Americans supporting ObamaCare in a new poll. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Matt Lauer accepted Todd's declaration and wondered about the political impact of the health care law: "You can't repeal it, but does that mean seven months down the road, as the midterm elections come around, that this will be any less of an issue in terms of close races in congressional districts?" Todd admitted: "No, I don't think – at this point, the law is so embedded as sort of a – as a political negative for the Democrats and political negative overall, that I don't think anything's going to change by November."
The Obamacare-loving press spares no effort in excusing and minimizing the scheme's operational, systemic, and law-based failures.
Six months after launch, HealthCare.gov still isn't functioning as intended. In fact, as of 8:47 a.m. this morning, the time stamp on an Associated Press report (also saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) by chief wire service Obamacare defender Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, the web site wasn't functioning at all. Did the AP reporter tell readers the system had crashed, or was down? Oh heck no (bolds are mine):
It’s the bland leading the bland as Obamacare enrollment (sort of) ends. The front page of Monday’s Washington Post carries the headline “New fronts in health battle: Challenges after sign-up milestone.” (Yawn.) The pull quote inside on A-2 is “The unresolved issues mean it is far too soon to know how President Obama’s signature domestic achievement will turn out.”
In that case, why use the word “achievement”? Did they describe the Iraq War as Bush's "signature achievement"? In doing so, the Post sounds just like Obama adviser David Plouffe, whom they quoted from ABC saying “The law’s working” and it’s a “seminal achievement.” The Post account left out Bill Kristol’s response on ABC that Democrats aren’t saying “the law’s working” on the campaign trail.
Some of the worst liberal bias in America's media is coming out in Spanish. Kate Nocera at BuzzFeed Politics reports "For more than a year, the Spanish-language television network Univision has embarked on their own company-wide effort to get Latinos signed up on the exchanges, working through newscasts, special programming, advertising partnerships, and a dedicated health care website."
In an article titled "Univision Works Overtime To Get Latinos Enrolled In Obamacare," Nocera writes the network has not only been providing "newscasts" and ads to their viewers as to how to sign up but openly encouraging them to do so.
"The Navy has come up with a drone that can predict the weather several months in advance. Which is not to be confused with Al Gore -- a drone who says he can predict the weather a hundred years in advance."
On Thursday evening and Friday morning, ABC, NBC, and CBS all touted a "surge" in sign-ups for ObamaCare ahead of Monday's March 31 deadline. What none of the networks mentioned was that the percentage of young, healthy enrollees was still short of the minimum necessary to sustain the health care law.
On ABC's World News on Thursday, anchor Diane Sawyer hailed the enrollment numbers as an "achievement" for President Obama as she proclaimed: "ObamaCare has hit a new milestone. More than 6 million people have now signed up. That's almost the original goal of 7 million. They have seen a surge in this final sprint before the deadline on March 31st..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
An email yesterday from CNNMoney touted how fantastic it was that Obamacare enrollment has reached the six million threshold, even describing it as a "symbolic victory." Though the underlying article by Tami Luhby at least noted the problems with that 6 million figure, those problems should have been enough to negate that characterization. Instead, Luhby repeated it in her coverage (bolds are mine):
"Well, then," Jesus said, "give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God." (Mark 12:17 Living Paraphrase)
When considering what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God, what happens when the federal government seeks to replace God by defining "church" and when life begins to have value, the latter having been done in Roe vs. Wade and subsequent court rulings?
I've been thrown off my health insurance -- THANKS, OBAMACARE! -- and have spent hours and hours over the past month trying to figure out my options now that the Democrats have made my old plan, which I liked, "illegal." (I prefer to think of my plan as "undocumented.")
Whom do I bill for the hours of work Obamacare forced me to perform? How about you, Mickey? You're the smartest living liberal (faint praise), and you assured us that Obamacare was going to be fantastic.
In the latest of countless hate-filled smears, venom, and name-calling towards conservatives by his MSNBC colleagues, Ed Schultz accused right-wing radio on Thursday of launching a "jihad" against ObamaCare.
Announcing the new ObamaCare enrollment numbers, Schultz touted, "to me, I think this is amazing, when you consider the countless hours on right-wing radio, 600 stations across the country that basically did a jihad on Obamacare." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
This post builds on Geoffrey Dickens' post late this morning ("American Horror Story: Tales of ObamaCare Victims Untold by the Big Three Networks") about the virtual lack of any kind of coverage of the real people affected by Obamacare.
Perhaps some readers believe that little coverage is occurring because there are few if any local situations worthy enough to rise to the level of national coverage. There are two responses to that. The first is that the national outlets must not be looking for them, because they are out there, and they could find them if they wanted to (the British press often does a better job covering Obamacare than stateside outlets). The second is that local TV broadcasts have carried plenty of Obamacare-related horror stories. While some of the situations cited in the video from the Washington Free Beacon following the jump (50 States of Obamacare Victims) are of politicians delivering speeches, all of the rest of the 50 clips cite real people or groups of people with real problems caused by Obamacare:
Given how many young people say they get all or most of their news from Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show,” it’s too bad Stewart’s not more scrupulous about the truth of his comedy. Case in point: A six-minute segment Wednesday night in which Stewart mocked the family-owned Christian business Hobby Lobby, calling it “Jesus Christ Superstore.”
In the segment, Stewart misrepresented the case, saying Hobby Lobby was “denying its workers contraception.” Stewart also mischaracterized Hobby Lobby’s position, claiming that it’s owners, the Greens, believed any type of contraception was tantamount to abortion. “Contraception is not the same thing as abortion. That’s a scientific fact,” Stewart condescended.
If a government program signed into law by former President George W. Bush was causing cancer patients to go broke, brain tumor victims to pay more for their insurance, and was leaving HIV/AIDS patients in the lurch - you can bet the Big Three news networks would’ve packed their shows with these tragic tales.
But these horrific stories and more, all caused by ObamaCare, have yet to be given even one second of airtime on ABC, CBS or NBC’s evening and morning shows in 2014. [Video after the jump]
One of the odd things about the weekend pot-stirring by Matt Drudge over his stated inclusion of one-quarter of his estimated 2014 "Obamacare penalty" tax for not carrying health insurance coverage this year — calling it a "liberty tax" — is that few if any of those who criticized him seem to have bothered to consult with a tax practitioner for an expert take on the matter before what we now know were serious misfires. Either that, or they did, decided that they didn't like the answers, and crawled back into their holes. That list includes Jesse Lee, the White House's Director of Progressive Media and Online Response (yes, that's a real position), who didn't even understand that Drudge is paying this year's taxes this year, not last year's taxes.
Thus, I thought it would be useful to publish a note I received this morning from someone who works at a CPA firm in the Midwest who had a chance to read my NewsBusters post on Tuesday and two earlier technical posts (here and here) at my home blog (bolds are mine):