Saturday, November 02, 2013
Lies on Lies on Lies
Obama was in Boston this week, attempting to deflect attention from his key O'Care sales pitch promise that Americans could keep their insurance and doctors, “period” – a remark even the Washington Post classified as a “WHOPPER.” Obama doubled down on the lie: “If you had one of these substandard plans before the Affordable Care Act became law and you really liked that plan, you're able to keep it. That's what I said when I was running for office. That was part of the promise we made.”
Analysts now believe that more than 90 million plans are at risk of alteration or cancelation, both individual and corporate policies, and that this information was known to the administration in 2010. The lie just keeps getting bigger.
Back in Washington, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the Obama bureaucrat directly responsible for the failed launch of ObamaCare, was planting prevarications before Congress.
Sebelius admitted that the Healthcare.gov rollout was “miserably frustrating” and said, “I'm responsible.” She then proceeded to deny responsibility, and even repeated her boss's lie about consumers being able to keep their health plan if they like it. Period. She argued, “[I]f a plan was in place in March of 2010 and, again, did not impose additional burdens on the consumer, they still have it. It's grandfathered in.” She complained that, before ObamaCare, the insurance market was “unregulated.” That's patently false, and, of course, those pesky “additional burdens” – like mandatory maternity coverage even for single men – were placed on insurance companies by HHS and ObamaCare regulations. So much for accountability.
Sebelius also told Congress, “The website [Healthcare.gov] never crashed. It is functional, but at a very slow speed and very low reliability.” But when she was asked to disclose the enrollment numbers, she replied, “The system isn't functioning, so we are not getting that reliable data.” Her flip-flop is hardly surprising, but concerning her original comment, the system's constant failure is one of the primary reasons she was on Capitol Hill, not to mention the reason that the majority of consumers have been unable to enroll. Additionally, her statement was made all the more ironic considering the site crashed moments before Sebelius began her remarks. Half an hour into her testimony, the exchange was still dead in the water. (For the record, CBS reveals that only 6 individuals successfully enrolled within the first 24 hours of the exchange's launch.)
Yet another laughable moment came when Sebelius insisted that it would be “illegal” for her to obtain insurance coverage through the exchanges. There are, however, just three requirements listed on Healthcare.gov for purchasing a plan on an exchange: Buyers “must live in the United States”; “must be a U.S. citizen or national (or be lawfully present)”; and “can't be currently incarcerated.”
The secretary didn't even know whether Healthcare.gov is a secure website. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a former FBI agent specializing in electronic security issues, chastised Sebelius and by extension, Obama, for the lack of security at Healthcare.gov: “You allowed this system to go forward with no encryption on backup systems. They have no encryption on certain boundary crossings. You accepted a risk on behalf of every user [and] put their personal financial information at risk because you did not have even the most basic end to end test on security of this system.” As The Patriot noted months ago, one of the liabilities that will plague Democrats who supported ObamaCare is the fact that it will be an easy mark for ID theft.
ObamaCare is also proving to be the biggest voter registration fraud scheme in our country's history. The Medicaid sign-up portal is not only signing folks up for subsidized health care, but to vote! Under current federal law (“Motor Voter”), when someone goes to the DMV for a driver's license, he or she is asked whether or not they want to register to vote. Under the ObamaCare application process, if you apply for Medicaid, you are automatically registered to vote unless you opt out (by completing a form designed to unduly complicate the process).
Finally, as we've said before, while Sebelius is indeed responsible for much of the current debacle, to suggest she should resign implies that a better HHS secretary might have made it work. Fact is, the failure of the rollout is but a metaphor for the reality that a government bureaucracy can't even effectively manage a basic commerce website for insurance comparisons – much less an enterprise that encompasses 18% of the U.S. economy.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).