In January 2010, Robert Rector at the Heritage Foundation studied the draft language in what ultimately turned into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or what came to be known as Obamacare. His two most important findings: 1) Obamacare would encourage divorce while discouraging marriage; 2) Individuals and couples earning what most would consider to be nice but certainly not opulent incomes — especially those aged 50 and above — would pay disproportionately high premiums, while those making just a few thousand dollars less per year would, after subsidies, pay far less. Yours truly has made these points subsequently on several occassions (examples here, here, and here).
Well glory be, almost four years later, acting as if they're breaking some kind of new ground, Katie Thomas, Reed Abelson and Jo Craven McGinty at the New York Times have discovered that "the cost of premiums for people who just miss qualifying for subsidies varies widely across the country and rises rapidly for people in their 50s and 60s." Imagine that. Even then, the Times trio pegged the suffering Obamacare is inflicting to gross income and not net — and the difference is stark. Excerpts, beginning with a weak headline, follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast is still carrying a blazing torch for the president, defending him against all pessimists, in “The Obama Political Obituaries Are Way Premature.” He claims Obama just has “a really, really bad first inning.” Are we ignoring the first term now?
Tomasky insisted everyone should ignore the current conventional wisdom, “that a presidency that is already all but finished, unless John Podesta can somehow save it. The Washington Post reported this week that among second-term presidents in the polling era, only Richard Nixon had a lower approval rating at this point than Obama does now.” Turn that frown upside down, liberal friends, urges Tomasky:
Friday morning, CBS News's Sharyl Attkisson reported that Teresa Fryer, the chief information security officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), "told Congress there have been two, serious high-risk findings since the website’s launch." Further, Fryer "told congressional interviewers that she explicitly recommended denial of the website’s Authority to Operate (ATO)" in late September, "but was overruled by her superiors." Fryer's statements make sworn assertions by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that "no senior official reporting to me ever advised me that we should delay" at best difficult to believe.
While the press properly devotes attention to serious security breaches at leading retailer Target, the arguably more serious problems at HealthCare.gov continue to get scant attention. Searches on Fryer's name (not in quotes) at the Associated Press, the New York Times, and Politico all return nothing relevant. Excerpts from Attkisson's startling, read-the-whole-thing report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Just as cigars sometimes can indeed be just cigars, so too can jokes. Yet this is a point which seems to be lost on several left-wing media writers who have taken great umbrage at the mockery that has been had at the expense of one Ethan Krupp, better known as “PajamaBoy.”
The crew on MSNBC’s Morning Joeproved today that not everyone on the left has missed the absurdity of the Obama administration putting forward a grown man in children’s pajamas with a cup of hot chocolate as the public face of Obamacare to young people. Still, there appear to be many Democratic partisans out there who are outraged at the jokes and what they supposedly say about those making them.
On the Wednesday, December 18, All In with Chris Hayes show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes fretted that uninsured Americans are not a "potent constituency" during a discussion of the debate over extending unemployment benefits.
He did not mention a CBS News/New York Timespoll which ironically was released earlier in the day finding that ObamaCare is as unpopular among uninsured Americans as with the general population.
Speaking with MSNBC analyst Ezra Klein, Hayes posed:
Appearing on Charlie Rose’s eponymous PBS program Wednesday night, Thomas Friedman of The New York Times divulged some of his true feelings about President Obama.
From the comfort of Rose’s famous black-backgrounded studio, the veteran journalist revealed the one thing that disappointed him most about the president. Was it the botched rollout of ObamaCare? No, in fact, Friedman is an optimistic supporter of the law. Indeed, he told Rose, “I hope we do have national health care. I hope it works. I don’t know if it will, but I hope it works. I think it actually is the right idea for the right time.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
CNN's Carol Costello accused insurance companies of "preying on the most vulnerable people" in dropping doctors from health plans, even after CNN interviewed a doctor and an insurance representative saying that ObamaCare regulations made it harder for companies to keep doctors on insurance plans.
After the report by correspondent Chris Frates on an elderly woman who had to choose between higher premiums or the loss of her doctor, Costello lashed out at the insurance companies: "Well you know what's really scary, Mrs. Sabatino is well, right? She has the energy to fix the problem, but not all elderly people do. It's like they're preying on the most vulnerable people in our country." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Just how poorly has the rollout of ObamaCare gone?
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe Thursday, when the perilously liberal Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein said, “The Obama administration isn’t administering the health care itself,” the perilously liberal co-host Mika Brzezinski replied, “Thank god!” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Joe Scarborough highlighted a very important aspect of ObamaCare, one that has been too often overlooked by mainstream journalists, on Wednesday’s Morning Joe.
During a roundtable discussion of the federal health care industry overhaul, Scarborough told everyone what he had been hearing from small business owners about ObamaCare: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Liberal journalists were glowing and full of hope after Barack Obama won a second term. As 2012 drew to a close, there was the traditional hour of ABC’s Barbara Walters fawning: “Mr. President, Mrs. Obama. There is a photograph of you [hugging] that went viral, became the most shared photograph in the history of Twitter. How do you keep the fire going?”
As the second inauguration neared, Newsweek put out a cover image even though they’d stopped printing magazines. Over a picture of Obama, it read: “The Second Coming. America Expects. Can He Deliver?” He laid an egg.
On CNN’s Piers Morgan Live Tuesday, in a brief discussion about President Obama, Barbara Walters actually said, “We thought that he was going to be - I shouldn't say this at Christmastime, but - the next messiah” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Tx.) were in Richardson, Texas, Monday at a hearing to investigate allegations that ObamaCare navigators in that state were instructing applicants to lie about their income thereby committing tax fraud.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Issa at one point told Dr. Randy Farris, regional administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “You need to watch more Fox":
At long last. After weeks of unrelenting bad news, Obamacare supporters in the mainstream media believe the cavalry has come to the rescue in the form of increased advertising buys by insurance companies. Huh? How does increased ad buys translate into Obamacare success? Well, the talking point now being recited is that the promised increase in advertising by the insurance companies translates into their confidence in Obamacare which somehow means it's going to work.
Paul Krugman, who a couple of months ago was celebrating the "success" of Obamacare based on discovering one person in New Jersey who signed up, is now in a similar state of bliss because "The Big Money Bets on Obamacare":
Earlier this morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), in a post primarily about the Associated Press's whitewashing of President Barack Obama's quote of the year acknowledging that his multi-year guarantee — "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health clinic care plan, period" — was, ahem, "not ... accurate" (Obama's words), I noted that the related web page for NBC's "Today" show followed the AP's lead by claiming that Obama's original promise and not the admission was the quote of the year.
The video clip present at that same web page is both funny and sad. It's funny, because Tamron Hall began her report by ignorantly asserting that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is "everyone's favorite mayor from the Northeast." It's sad, because like the AP, NBC's video truncated Obama's actual November 14 admission and let it slide without further comment, effectively giving what Ford said about his drinking and use of drugs more weight than Obama's admission that he lied to the American people for years. The clip follows the jump:
In what appears to be a deliberate watering down of the significance of the statement a Yale University librarian has identified as the year's top quote in his eighth annual list, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, used the following headline in its Sunday morning "Big Story" coverage: "OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE PROMISE IS 2013 TOP QUOTE."
Uh, no. The statement tagged as 2013's top quote is Obama's admission that the guarantee he made dozens of times over a several-year period — "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan, period" — was, ahem, "not ... accurate" (Obama's words). The wire service also truncated what Obama actually said in his November 14 admission, yet didn't employ an ellipsis in doing so.
The new ABC News-Washington Post poll shows Obama’s approval rating stuck at 43 percent approve, 55 percent disapprove, very close to their last result. The Post headline was “Obama’s approval ratings plummet” – over the year. A year ago, it was 52 percent approve, 44 percent disapprove. Online, it was merely a "year of turmoil." But ABC put a happy spin on it.
The headline on ABCNews.com was “OPPOSITION TO OBAMACARE DECLINES.” Click on it, and the headline on pollster Gary Langer’s report? “A Drop in Opposition to Obamacare Helps Stabilize a Struggling Presidency.” So if you're just grazing on the Web, you might think Obama's poll ratings are on the mend. But that's not in the fine print.
I'm interrupting my series on Common Core State Standards for public schools to join the appeal to Iran and North Korea for the release of American hostages like imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini and missionary Kenneth Bae. And I'm also calling upon President Obama and Congress to step up their action, stand for religious freedom and fight for the release of these godly men, whose crimes were nothing more than exercising their faith.
For those who haven't followed the news on these men of the cloth, pastor Abedini was sentenced to eight years by an Iranian court last January for starting house churches in the 2000s, an era in which they weren't even regarded as a threat to Iran's security.
Democratic strategist and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus Angela Rye picked the wrong panel Sunday to accuse the Tea Party of being "racial."
When he heard this during his appearance on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry show, Republican strategist Ron Christie strongly objected saying, "Racial! I will not sit here and allow you to say that!” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer clearly was unhappy with the liberal topics being discussed on PBS’s Inside Washington Friday.
At one point, he looked into the camera after mentioning the new deadline changes to ObamaCare announced this week and said, “You won’t hear about this on this show, so try Fox” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Jay Leno took some more shots at the current White House resident Friday.
During his opening monologue, the NBC Tonight Show host likened Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III to President Obama saying, “He had a great first year in Washington, he showed incredible promise, then the whole thing fell apart” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Conservatives across the fruited plain are likely going to be shocked by this - and liberals extremely angered! - but the fact-checking website PolitiFact on Thursday named President Obama's "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it" promise the Lie of the Year.
Such was announced on CNN's The Lead (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Urging his viewers to "get your tapes rolling at home" to record his prediction, that great Nostradamus of MSNBC predicted on his Wednesday, December 11 program that come March 1, five million people would be signed up for ObamaCare.
"I mean, if we have got 3 million people who have been on to it already, where are we going to be in April?!" the MSNBC host pondered aloud, referring to the total number of visitors to the HealthCare.gov website. "This baby is going to be off the chart!" Dr. Schultz thundered as he gave his prognosis [WATCH video below page break; LISTEN to mp3 audio here]:
Polls have not been kind to President Obama or his health care law lately, and MSNBC has had no choice but to acknowledge that fact. However, on Wednesday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, NBC News political director Chuck Todd desperately fished for a silver lining in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll numbers on ObamaCare.
Todd told Mitchell that health care was the key to the president turning around his own low approval ratings. While acknowledging that 50 percent of poll respondents said ObamaCare is a bad idea, Todd found a faint ray of sunshine for supporters of the law. He told the host: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The New York Times is including all the Happy Talk That’s Fit to Print. Their latest poll came with the headline “Obama Sees a Rebound In His Approval Rating.” One might think it’s getting close to 50 percent.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Allison Kopicki wrote, “President Obama’s approval ratings, which hit his all-time low last month, have returned to where they were before the rollout of the health care law’s enrollment process.” Talk about your faint praise: Obama’s back up to 42 percent, compared to 43 percent in September....where it was right before the 2010 midterm elections.
Jay Leno took another shot at the President Tuesday night.
Early in his opening monologue, the NBC Tonight Show host commented about Kanye West wanting to be the Obama of clothing saying, “To achieve his goal, he's designing fashion nobody wants and offering it on a website that doesn't work” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):