Potemkin Village, anyone? Joe Scarborough has offered a scathing simile for the new-'n-improved Obamacare website. On today's Morning Joe, he likened the site to the set of a Hollywood Western--pushing back the facade reveals that there's nothing behind it.
Even former Obama spox Robert Gibbs—proudly sporting an Auburn jersey—acknowledged that big chunks of the system, including the payment mechanism for subsidies, haven't even been built. So people can go to the site, receive the illusion that they have obtained coverage, only to find that there is no follow-through. View the video after the jump.
A report from the White House concerning the just-completed upgrade of Healthcare.gov declared, "The team is operating with private sector velocity and effectiveness."
On Meet the Press Sunday, NBC's chief White House correspondent surprisingly said, "[T]hat is an indictment on the whole idea of government as a solution" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Saturday’s Washington Post served up the Kool-Aid with this Obamacare headline on the front page: “Health Web site to meet deadline: Officials set to announce fixes.” The entire story by Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein is unanimously just Obama and his tech-helpers. There are no launch critics anywhere to be found.
“As of Friday night, federal officials and contractors had achieved two goals, according to government officials who spoke on the conditition of anonymity in order to discuss ongoing operations,” the reporters said. But by noon Saturday, they were updating to back away from the giddy optimism:
Being a leftist of the Obama ilk, you have to assume that Congressman Keith Ellison thought he was doing President Obama a favor in offering his interpretation of the president's "if you like your plan, you can keep it" line, as well as his subsequent non-apology apology.
But on today's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Ellison wound up putting words in the president's mouth that quite literally added insult to injury. Ellison first falsely claimed that Pres. Obama had said "if you like your decent insurance, your insurance that works, then you can keep it." Obama of course never said any such thing. Moreover, according to Ellison, by his apology Obama meant "if you misunderstood what I was trying to say, I'm sorry." So the fault lies not with Obama for having blatantly misled the American people. No, it's those ignorant Americans—too dense to dig the real meaning of the great man's words—who are to blame. View the video after the jump.
As has so often been the case since Barack Obama took office in 2009, the editorialists at a major national business newspaper are reporting facts that the wire services and broadcast networks should have relayed to the American people weeks or months ago.
In this case, it's the Wall Street Journal. A Friday evening editorial published in Saturday's print edition directly refutes the Obama administration's key Obamacare memes involving affordability, choice, and the nature of the once-free health insurance market (bolds are mine):
Media outlets are eager to dig Team Obama out and help the Democrat initiative to turn this nightmare around. The Christian Science Monitor online had a story headlined "Is Obamacare on the rebound? Media turn to positive stories. Linda Feldmann uncorked this lede:
“Bit by bit, the media narrative around the travails of Obamacare and its main enrollment vehicle, HealthCare.gov, is starting to look up. Or to put it more precisely, it is no longer so crushingly negative.” Cheer up, Obamabots, “a competing story line is starting to emerge.”
ABC’s Barbara Walters did another in a series of sycophantic gushing and fawning interviews with the Obamas Friday.
In the wake of the President’s fallacious claim that people could keep their health insurance plans if they liked them, the most preposterous part of the interview was when Michelle Obama said her husband “keeps his promises” without any pushback from Walters (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Even though the failure of Obamacare's launch is now legendary, media outlets are still eager to find the silver lining outside the dark cloud. On the front of Sunday's Washington Post, reporter Stephanie McCrummen traveled to a poor county in eastern Kentucky to find people saying "Woo-hoo! I can go to the doctor now!?"
In Breathitt County, McCrummen (the scourge of the Rick Perry for President campaign) sat and watched poor people get signed up for Medicaid and become pleased with the Democrats.
Don't be too surprised if you hear a liberal relative shout that out at the Thanksgiving table today if the topic of talk turns to Obamacare. Although Barack Obama himself has been urging members of Organizing For America to bring up Obamacare talking points at the dinner parties today, another liberal school of thought is that the President's signature program has fumbled so badly that it is now too embarrassing to defend. So when a gloating relative points out that conservatives have been right about the train wreck of Obamacare all along, one must change the subject entirely. Huffington Post writers Nick wing and Shadee Ashtari provide some helpful tips on what subjects a liberal can bring up to change the subject away from the embarrassment of Obamacare:
The Conservative Campaign Committee says on its "About" page that it is "a traditional Political Action Committee that works with grassroots conservatives across the country to make our movement more effective, hold Barack Obama and the liberals in Washington accountable and support important campaigns and outstanding conservative candidates for federal office." CCC clearly states that its ads and other efforts are "not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee."
Yet MSNBC's Ed Schultz has taken to Twitter to shriek (HT Twitchy) that "Ted Cruz is targeting Thanksgiving" because CCC is running TV ads during Thanksgiving thanking the Texas senator for "doing everything he could to stop Obamacare before it hurt the American people." Meanwhile, Organizing for Action, whose only mission is to promote the President's agenda and whose charter member list came over from Obama's 2012 campaign, is directly targeting Americans' Thanksgiving gatherings by coaching its members on how to talk up the wonders of Obamacare. Obama himself spoke directly to members to encourage them "to talk about the ACA at holiday parties."
CNN's Chris Cuomo called the legal challenge to ObamaCare's birth control mandate a "growing distraction from dealing with the problems of ObamaCare" on Wednesday's New Day.
"It also raises the question at what point do you stop challenging the law? At what point do you accept that this was passed, it was tested by the Supreme Court?" he asked. "To me, it's a growing distraction from dealing with the problems of Obamacare." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Hobby Lobby's complaint about infringement of religious freedom is deserving of scorn in the eyes of CNN, judging by the way the network's website treated news of the Supreme Court agreeing to take up a case in March which would decide if ObamaCare's ironclad contraception mandate is an unconstitutional intrusion on a business owner's religious liberty.
As NewsBusters has been reporting for almost two months, the disastrous rollout of Barack Obama's signature piece of legislation has made him the butt of late night jokes.
On ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday, the host repeatedly mocked the President's fundraising trip to California saying, "He basically turned the westside of Los Angeles into the traffic equivalent of the ObamaCare website" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
How shambolic of a smoking ruin is the Obama presidency? When Tina Brown surveys the wreckage, the best—the best!—thing she sees, the thing she believes will be Barack Obama's shining legacy, is his handling of Iran and Syria, which she declares to be "smart," and of course, "nuanced."
The Obamacare catastrophe? Not to worry. On today's Morning Joe, Brown assured us that those problems are "transient." No, look over here, at President Obama's masterful handling of foreign policy! Yes, years from now, when the minor hiccups of the Obamacare rollout will be long forgotten, people will still be marvelling at how well Barack Obama dealt with Iran and Syria. View the video here.
When former Alaska governor Sarah Palin famously said years ago that ObamaCare included death panels, the liberal media went nuts declaring her a kook while defending the law.
On Monday, Time magazine’s senior political analyst Mark Halperin, appearing on Newsmax TV’s Steve Malzberg Show, agreed that this was the case saying, “It's built into the plan. It's not like a guess or like a judgment. That's going to be part of how costs are controlled” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
One of the two sequences involved the Obama administration's announcement that it will delay Obamacare enrollment for 2015 by 30 days until November 15, 2014 and its optimism that the dysfunctional, insecure HealthCare.gov web site will be operational by the end of the month. In this sequence, Pace indicated blind acceptance of unsupported assertions combined with willingness to parrot long-discredited talking points about why the website initially crashed. Fortunately, as we'll see, Wallace did not let her website history rewrite slide (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC to promote his book,Double Down: Game Change 2012, Time magazine's Mark Halperin recounted that the media did not "scrutinize" ObamaCare before its passage or during the 2012 presidential election, although he also placed some blame on Republicans for nominating former Governor Mitt Romney who was known for pushing a health care plan in Massachusetts.
After substitute host Laura Ingraham complained that concerns about ObamaCare "were routinely dismissed" in the media, Halperin responded:
Chris Cuomo isn't the only CNN anchor helping with ObamaCare's PR. On CNN Sunday evening, anchor Martin Savidge teed up comedian George Wallace to stand up for the law and plead with Americans to "give it a chance. Let's get together instead of knocking it."
"I think everybody deserves great health care. And even prisoners get great health care, free health care," Wallace insisted. Savidge had noted that many "almost seem obsessed with" ObamaCare. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After NBC refused to even mention ObamaCare since November 18, Saturday's Today allowed left-wing MSNBC host Chris Matthews to actually blame Republicans for the program's ongoing failures: "I think the acid test here is participation, not efficiency. It comes down to whether young people who are healthy are willing to join up....There's a big scary thing, though, that if you look at all the criticism from the other side, from the Republican side, that's discouraging people from joining up." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Matthews proclaimed that if the young and healthy "join up in big numbers," then "the President wins." He framed signing up for ObamaCare as a matter of civic duty: "Will people join up and take their responsibility as citizens really to be part of a national health care program? That's a question that's still not answered."
You have to give the Kossacks over at the Daily Kos an A for effort. They try, oh how they try, to convince each other that Obamacare is a success despite all evidence to the contrary. The result of their effort is pure unadulterated comedy as you can see in the optimistic title of their thread, "Obamacare enrollments double in last three weeks." Of course the source of their optimism comes from the pretension that Medicaid enrollments count as ObamaCare enrollments and the looky loos who have yet to make an actual payment also count as part of the total. However, who are we to spoil their party so let us now watch the Kossacks try a bit too hard to bubble over with joy:
Enrollments have doubled since the end of October, from 106,000 to more than 200,000. That figure comes from the 14 states that have set up their own exchanges, and will be higher when the federal numbers are added in.
Anyone out there who still doesn't believe or won't admit that the establishment press is hopelessly biased in favor of the left, particularly the Obama administration, needs to have the establishment press's virtual failure to cover the Jessica Sanford story rubbed in their faces.
Ms. Sanford is the unfortunate victim of deception by Washington state's Obamacare exchange. When it was thought that she would get a significant Obamacare subsidy and a net monthly premium of $169, President Obama touted her story based on a letter she wrote to him in a Rose Garden speech. Ms. Sanford has since learned that the state exchange seriously erred, and that she will get no subsidy at all. Because she can't afford to pay the monthly premium, which now appears to be in the neighborhood of $600 a month (her original premium was said to be $169, and her original subsidy was reported as $452), she will go without health insurance coverage next year and pay the Affordable Care Act's mandated fine.
Earlier this month, NewsBusters reported on the "Healthy Ho's Party" in San Francisco where prostitutes signed up for ObamaCare.
On Thursday, Sacramento's ABC affiliate KXTV did a piece featuring "Hookers for Obama" that included a number of prostitutes at a Carson City, Nevada, brothel touting the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
After going 72 hours without even mentioning ObamaCare on its air waves, NBC's continued refusal to cover the disastrous policy on Thursday's Nightly News or Friday's Today brought that total up to 96 hours. Amazingly, Friday's Today had the audacity to include two segments about Vice President Joe Biden buying lunch at a Washington D.C. sandwich shop rather provide any ObamaCare updates.
Even ABC's Good Morning America, a morning show generally devoid of all substance, managed to find time for at least a few seconds on the topic: "Speaking of President Obama, more trouble this morning for ObamaCare. The Wall Street Journal says it has obtained documents that show some insurance companies are drastically cutting payments to doctors. Forcing those doctors to reconsider whether they want to participate in the new exchanges, which could hurt choice for consumers."
Looky Loo: A term for someone who looks at something with no intention of buying it.
CNN Money published an article trumpeting the fact that 10,000 per day were "applying" (also "registering") on the California Obamacare website, Covered California. Among the many statistics happily tossed out by the reporter, Tami Luhby, one is notably missing. The most important stat of them all: how many people actually paid for an Obamacare insurance policy. So let us now join Ms Luhby reciting the California Obamacare statistics...except for the most vital one:
Morning Joe sidekick Mika Brzezinski hurled a favorite liberal accusation at Republicans on Thursday’s episode. She started by presenting it merely as a question that she and Joe Scarborough received often during his book tour: “One of the points [Joe] makes [in his book] was illuminated in a question that we get everywhere we went, which is why do Republicans not want Americans to have health care? That’s what they think.”
Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush White House staffer, unfortunately accepted the premise that Republicans don’t want people to have health care. The supposedly conservative guest replied with just the answer Brzezinski wanted: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]