Is Obama's Broken Health Insurance Promise a Matter of Fact or Opinion?

White HouseWhite HouseThe other day Matt Welch argued that the insurance cancellations triggered by Obamacare represent "a gut-check moment for the mostly left-of-center journalists who have made such a show these past few years of dropping false equivalence and calling out political bullshit at the source." So far The New York Times has risen to the challenge pretty well. A few days ago, reporters Jonathan Weisman and Robert Pear matter-of-factly stated that cancellation letters received by people who buy their medical coverage on the individual market "directly contradict Mr. Obama’s oft-repeated reassurances that if people like the insurance they have, they will be able to keep it." Meanwhile, in an article published the same day, Reed Abelson perceived a "debate" about "whether President Obama misled Americans when he said that people who like their health plans may keep them." Apparently Abelson no longer considers that proposition controversial. In today's paper, he and Katie Thomas write:

The Affordable Care Act was signed into law by Mr. Obama in 2010. Since then he has assured Americans: "If you like your insurance plan you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you. It hasn't happened yet. It won't happen in the future."

But it is happening.

Furthermore, Abelson and Thomas say "insurance companies are canceling millions of individual plans that fail to meet minimum standards," up from the "hundreds of thousands" estimated by Weisman and Pear on Tuesday. In other words, according to the Times, it is indisputable that Obama broke his promise and that millions of Americans are bearing the consequences.

That seems clearly accurate to me, but yesterday Obama implicitly argued that it's not:

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. But ever since the law was passed, if insurers decided to downgrade or cancel these substandard plans, what we said under the law is you've got to replace them with quality, comprehensive coverage—because that, too, was a central premise of the Affordable Care Act from the very beginning. 

Note that "substandard" means "below the standard I have set," which is another way of saying that you may like your health plan but the president does not. Still, Obama is not claiming that his personal distaste for your health insurance choices is enough to void his guarantee. Instead he is retroactively adding a caveat to his promise: If you like your plan, you can keep your plan—provided it is exactly the same as the coverage you had before the law took effect. If any of the terms have changed, all bets are off.

It will be illuminating to see whether the Times and other news outlets dignify this Clintonesque evasion by presenting it as a plausible alternative to the view that Obama has not delivered what he said he would. As Welch observed, "You can subject the policy and politics of Obamacare to truth-scans, or you can carry water for the president. You cannot do both, at least without a laugh track."

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  • sarcasmic||

    Obama lied! ... My policy died!

    Obama lied! ... My policy died!

    Obama lied! ... My policy died!

    Obama lied! ... My policy died!

    Obama lied! ... My policy died!

    Obama lied! ... My policy died!

    Obama lied! ... My policy died!

  • John||

    That wasn't a real policy. You are just too stupid to know what real insurance looks like. Obama made it clear, you should be thanking him.

  • ||

    There is no need for you to post this John. The sockpuppet explained it to us yesterday in great detail.

  • General Butt Naked||

    All I learned yesterday was where babies come from.

    See, when a bus and a woman really love each other...

  • Lord Humungus||

    full speed ahead!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I am really glad someone linked it in the PM links so I actually saw it. I am actually eagerly looking forward to the next abortion thread to pull it out there.

  • Brett L||

    I'm still angry about that in a way I usually don't get. How dare that motherfucker run down the policy I bought after doing about 3 weeks worth of research and met my needs exactly.

  • wareagle||

    face it, Brett. He's just smarter than you are. Top Men and all. There is a resaon you are in the evil private sector and not a noble govt employee.

  • ||

    You are just confused. Not to worry, there is hope for you. Buy a copy of Nudge and read it every night before bed.

  • Brutus||

    As if your needs mattered.

  • Brett L||

    Yeah, fuck me for having something that worked.

  • cavalier973||

    Sung to the tune "Londonderry Air"

  • John||

    The media are masters at lying about things people either haven't experienced, don't know much about, or are ambiguous and hard to understand. But their powers do have a limit. Even the New York times can't stand up and tell their readers that people are not losing their health insurance plans when their readers are in fact those people. Even as craven and awful as the people at the Times are, they know that. And they also know that unlike Obama, they will still be around speaking in public after 2016.

    Obama can tell people black is white. He has no choice and has nothing to lose. The New York Times can't. It is killing them and they are going to try as hard as possible to limit the damage from this. But they are not and cannot tell a lie this obvious.

  • sarcasmic||

    But they are not and cannot tell a lie this obvious.

    Just watch.

  • John||

    See above. They are not. They are admitting its true. In few years they will probably try to rewrite history. But for now they are stuck with this.

  • ||

    There is a good chance that a significant fraction of the NY Times's readership is getting the shaft right now.
    People who live in New York tend to make more than $47,000 a year.

  • Root Boy||

    Supposed to hit us all in 2014 when the employer mandate comes back from the grave. I'm reading 45-50% of employers will drop their plans.

    Schadenboner is when all the freelance lefty writers like Marcotte get hit with it. Should be happening now, like with Douchebag Frum.

  • John||

    Yeah, they didn't delay that mandate because it was going to work or be a good thing.

  • Killazontherun||

    unlike Obama, they will still be around speaking in public after 2016.

    I can't imagine Obama having the grace to keep his fucking mouth shut after leaving office. He will be the most busy body ex-president ever, unless, Cthulu willing, he is undone by the black man's bane, a debilitating stroke.

    I'm going to make a prediction. He put together Organizing for America to advance his post presidential agenda. By the time he is out of office, it will be OfA++, meaning that it will take root in the federal bureaucracy, and be used to undermine the authority of anyone holding office after he steps down.

    He and his cohorts are that power hungry. Look at this CNN report.

    cont.

  • Killazontherun||

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/30/.....-pressure/

    White House officials have pressured insurance industry executives to keep quiet amid mounting criticism over Obamacare's rollout, insurance industry sources told CNN.

    Sebelius: 'I apologize, I'm accountable' for Obamacare website flaws

    After insurance officials publicly criticized the implementation, White House staffers contacted insurers to express their displeasure, industry insiders said.

    Multiple sources declined to speak publicly about the push back because they fear retribution.
    Can people keep plans under Obamacare?
    Keeping Obamacare's promises
    Obamacare's messaging problem

    But Bob Laszewski, who heads a consulting firm for big insurance companies, did talk on the record.

    "The White House is exerting massive pressure on the industry, including the trade associations, to keep quiet," he said.

    If they can't keep the office, they are going to do everything they can to create a facsimile of it, including stacking the bureaucracies with loyalist for a generation to come.

  • John||

    He will still be out there. It is that his job won't depend on anyone but the faithful believing him.

  • cw||

    I'm curious what my professor will say when I take insurance law. Will he ignore ACA, sing its praises, or present an accurate picture of how shitty it really is?

  • Swiss Servator, Burn a Böögg||

    Ignore. Too new.

  • ||

    He will point out that it's not really insurance so it doesn't belong in his class.

  • ||

    According to the ACA's goons , any plan that doesn't cover substance abuse treatment, meantal health care, prescription drugs, maternity, and offer free birth control pills is "substandard".

  • GILMORE||

    You forgot pediatric dental care.

    I note that all these things that the ACA forces into every plan are the verysame things that insurance companies lose money on (maybe excepting contraceptions...which seems just like a sop to young wimmins)

    I mean, no one gets "mental health care" in advance unless they already suffer, and realize how (#*$@ expensive it is. sane with rehab. Fuck, I mean, who goes, "geez, I *might* decide to develop a severe substance abuse problem at some point!? better safe than sorry" Basically the only people who go for it area already going to cost more than they'll pay...

    (cont'd)

  • GILMORE||

    a footnote =

    I noted that my last job, which had GLORIOUS health benefits, allowed everyone to itemize & fine-tune their employee coverage... and offered 'substance abuse' coverage as a line item.

    A guy I knew who'd worked there for 20yrs, and who was a mentor of mine, mentioned he was getting treatment for alcoholism. I asked if the plan covered it and he snorted, "no one signs up for that: do you want your employer flagging you as an 'abuser'?" I can imagine that sentiment is pretty much universal. No one pays for the coverage because its a stigma by itself = ergo, shove it down everyone's throats and enable the services to make a profit, finally.

    Unless I'm missing something.

  • ||

    It's so they can jack up premiums so the healthy will subsidize the sick more. If they let healthy people sign up for only the things they really need, where the fuck would they get all the extra money to help finance the system?

  • jester||

    Pediatric dental care: cuz you don't want your baby to lose his teeth.

  • Swiss Servator, Burn a Böögg||

    *golf clap*

  • Enough About Palin||

    If men are forced to purchase policies that cover mammograms, then they should go to the doctor and get them. How can a doctor say no, given that men CAN get breast cancer. Imagine if thousands of men did this.

  • JidaKida||

    This makes a LOT of sense dude.

    www.PlanetAnon.tk

  • Enough About Palin||

    WHERE THE FUCK IS TIGGIFOO?

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    I don't like my substandard President. Can I please have him replaced?

  • BakedPenguin||

    They'd only replace him with Biden, and then stick everyone with a P tax increase.

    Also, the Reason writers should get on the ball. They need to start writing some new posts.

  • pmains||

    Everyone talks about Biden as though him being the president is the worst thing possible. Wrong. There is no way that empty-headed bucket of teeth could be any worse than our current president. The bureaucratic apparatus would continue to run without a sentient president. Only a malevolent yet sentient being would have the initiative to harass his political enemies using the IRS, create a monstrosity like Obamacare, etc. etc. etc.

  • John||

    I agree. Biden is a doofus. But Obama is a hundred times worse. What exactly would Biden do as President? Fuck up everyone's health insurance?

  • wareagle||

    at least Biden provides some comedic relief. And he's not the malevolent fuck that his boss is.

  • ||

    And pour thousands of guns into the hands of vicious drug gangs in the hopes of creating a river of innocent blood to justify gun control.

    I know you said etc, but that one deserves to be said out loud. I am still stunned that he got away with that.

  • wareagle||

    you mean that phony scandal?

    /prog derp

  • Killazontherun||

    Not me buddy. I get annoyed at anyone who advances the silly argument, Obama, a new low in our national history, certainly, is a better fit for the job than Biden.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Everyone talks about Biden as though him being the president is the worst thing possible. Wrong.

    Actually, I was just pointing out that at best, it wouldn't be much better.

  • BakedPenguin||

    50% tax increase

  • ||

    But out of network coverage is dispensable.

    Apparently, there isn't a single hospital in Concord, New Hampshire that will take ACA plans.

    So much for avoiding cost-shifting at the emergency room.

  • Zeb||

    There's really only one hospital in Concord, but I believe that is true.

  • ||

    So if you get hit by a truck and wind up at the wrong Hospital, your ACA bronze plan won't save you from a medical bankruptcy, but your "substandard" catastrophic coverage would have.

  • Thornton Melon||

    I think you mean hit by a bus...

  • ||

    Guys, this is just another example of Obama's Obi-wan Kenobi-like zen and wisdom: What he told us was true, from a certain point of view.

  • ||

    Proverbs 26:18-19

    18Like a maniac shooting
    flaming arrows of death
    19is one who deceives their neighbor
    and says, “I was only joking It was only hyperbole!”

  • ||

    Proverbs 13:3

    He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction a lap-dog media cover for him.

  • cavalier973||

    Wide lips? RACIST!!

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Or possibly in a parallel dimension.

  • ||

    "you're able to keep it....you've got to replace them..."

    More doublespeak from the liar in chief.

    I agree that the republicans needed to be punished in 2008, severely. Voting commie was not the way to do it. Replacing them with these fucksticks was insanely stupid. Anyone with half of a brain and any intellectual honesty could see what they were. If you voted for Obama you cut off everyones nose to spite your own face. Fuck you. Fuck you x1000.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Let us know when he lies us into a useless trillion dollar war that kills 4500 US soldiers.

  • ||

    I said anyone with half of a brain and any intellectual honesty. That excludes you, but fuck you anyway.

  • ||

    Buttplug has convinced me. I won't be voting for GWB in 2016!

  • jester||

    The Iraq War was not useless. It was much needed stimulus to our slow economy after 9/11. Explain to me how it is not? It built important infrastructure in the military and provided hundreds of thousands of jobs.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    I didn't think Krugtron the Invincible knew reason existed, let alone comment on HnR.

  • cavalier973||

    He's working on it.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSCH

  • Swiss Servator, Burn a Böögg||

    Nice passive voice - so the "war" killed those 3 soldiers at Talill, right after I got there. And stupid old me thought it was Jaish al Mahdi or AQ that fired those 122mms that fireballed their truck, with them in it. It was Boooooosh, and the "war".

  • AlexInCT||

    Obama has pissed away $6 trillion that has been added to the national debt under his tenure and is on pace to leave office after jacking that debt up to $22 trillion, basically doubling it from when he came in.

    He has crippled our economy, fucked over our healthcare system, made sure the trillion dollar war and the 4500 dead were for naught, and in general made us the laughing stock of the world.

    Boosh was a douchebag, but Obama makes him look decent. And that's saying something.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|11.1.13 @ 2:08PM|#
    "Let us know when he lies us into a useless trillion dollar war that kills 4500 US soldiers."

    You slimy turd, do you ever honestly deal with an argument? Are you even aware of how pathetic your posts are?

  • Acosmist||

    Tu quoque - not an argument, but a fallacy.

    :themoreyouknow:

  • R C Dean||

    Let us know when he lies us into a useless trillion dollar war that kills 4500 US soldiers.

    73 percent of all U.S. Afghan War casualties have occurred since Jan. 20, 2009 when Obama was inaugurated.

    http://cnsnews.com/news/articl.....amas-watch

  • ||

    More importantly, they could have voted him out in 2012, but didn't.

  • ||

    I blame that on the republicans. Their 2012 campaign was a breathtaking display of incompetence.

  • Brett L||

    I mean, its like watching the retards take on people with massive head injuries every election cycle.

  • ||

    Thank you for a much needed laugh.

  • AlexInCT||

    Never go full retard man...

  • ||

    They ran the godfather of ObamaCare against Obama. What the fuck were they expecting?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    It was a very weak field. What other person running would have beat Obama?

  • ||

    Let's not forget the breathtaking incompetence of 2008 as well. Poor old McCain fumbling about in a fugue wondering why the media, formerly so eager to tongue his balls over being a pro-gun control, anti-free speech "maverick" Republican concern troll, had turned against him.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    They've made up now, though. He's one of the go-to guys when a reporter's looking for quotes to slam the tea partiers and "extremists."

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    They've made up now, though

    Now that he's no longer in a position to do them any real damage, sure.

    McCain's obsequisness to the media is one of the most pathetic years-long displays I've ever seen. It's like he took all the wrong conclusions from Nixon's relationship with the press and assumed you had to kiss the media's ass to get them to like you. He basically ignored the entire 1980s when Reagan deflected daily javelins from hostile reporters with ridiculous ease.

  • Spoonman.||

    Unfortunately the Republicans nominated Vanilla Obama.

  • Lord Humungus||

    now with flavor!

  • Mr. Soul||

    Bachelor Chow?

  • ||

    I you voted at all, you are a fool. Your vote is statistically insignificant. If you want to vote your conscience and vote for Gary Johnson, fine, just as long as you realize that it's meaningless. But if you voted to punish any party or support any party? You are retarded and need to take a remedial statistics course.

  • Hugh Akston||

    You're wrong Epi. If only we had voted for Romany, this never would have happened. The country would be a golden paradise where men are men, other men dress up as women, and they can buy any insurance plans they wanted.

    I know it's true because Tulpa said it.

  • ||

    But if we voted for the Romani they would've come to steal our children in the night.

  • ||

    HE OFFERED THE WORLD ORDER! I MEAN ODOR!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "If you want a dog treat, Seamus, you're going to have to come down here. You're going to have... to come... down... here."

  • AlexInCT||

    Is that peanut butter?

  • waffles||

    I would never vote for a gypsy. You can quote me on that.

  • jester||

    Exactly. Kings aren't voted for, they are crowned. When will the hoi polloi understand this?

  • ||

    Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

  • Swiss Servator, Burn a Böögg||

    +1 moistened bint.

  • Bender Bending Rodriguez||

    "Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords" as a basis for a system of government is sounding better each day.

  • Zeb||

    I vote because it amuses me. Though I think I might give it up now that I have to show ID. I hate having to show ID.

  • Swiss Servator, Burn a Böögg||

    VOTE SUPPRESHUN!!!!!

  • Zeb||

    As a middle class white male, I demand my voice be heard! Help, I'm being suppressed.

  • ||

    God, Zeb, is Ben Folds not voice enough for you?

  • Killazontherun||

    I defended non voting as a rational choice for people with a value system that places it as a low to nil priority in their life earlier this week against, er, probably Cytotoxic, who was calling non voters idiots. As an 'idiot', to quote someone above, who votes to advance the Libertarian Party, I'm at the same cross purpose here. If the LP is not supported in my state and does not meet thresholds each election, it will be denied ballot access, it will be at a severe legal disadvantage when raising funds, it will go away. I saw what this was like in the first several years when I couldn't register as a Libertarian and I was forced to declare as an independent just to register. If we have to crawl tooth and nail just to get back to where we are now would be devastating to the party.

    No, we don't win elections. But making the impure people anxious in the close races that they may not have done enough to appease those that lean our way is pretty damn satisfactory at times. Like a Nader fan who really, really hates Gore must have felt when the democrats blamed them for their loss. That is what I value even if it doesn't comport with some primitive pre-Mengerian concept of rational choice.

  • Mr. Soul||

    we all react differently to false choices. Im not convinced anyone is an idiot.

  • Killazontherun||

    To make a false choice, I suppose the person making that choice must also be in possession of a false conscience as well, no?

  • Zeb||

    Certainly no one can be called an idiot simply for making one particular choice.

  • Tman||

    We talked about this last night in another thread, but it's hilarious that Sebelius was Kansas Insurance Commissioner from 1995-2003, and one of her claims of fame during that time is that she blocked the proposed merger of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, the state's largest health insurer, with an Indiana-based company.

    So the lady that used to be the one in charge of regulating these supposedly "substandard plans" apparently did such a shitty job of regulating them that she was appointed to.....Secretary of Health and Human Services.

    Genius!

  • Brutus||

    The Peter-less Principle at work?

  • Paul.||

    The question isn't whether Obama lied, but can the DemOp media create a defense and continue to sell the plan to the American people before the '16 elections?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Policies that existed in 2010 have been grandfathered and still exist unchanged.

    Technically, all policies change annually if nothing else but the effective dates change. So therefore he lied - no question.

  • Brutus||

    Shriek's pro-forma acknowledgement of the obvious. Back to sucking Obama's dick now.

  • Jordan||

    Holy fuck. Mark this date down.

  • #||

    Wow, something that even BP can't spin for Obama.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The NYTimes is going to get some phone calls.

  • Swiss Servator, Burn a Böögg||

    "You can subject the policy and politics of Obamacare to truth-scans, or you can carry water for the president. You cannot do both, at least without a laugh track."

    I got $5 on "carry water".

  • Rich||

    this Clintonesque evasion

    Nice band name.

  • BakedPenguin||

    To me, it sounds more like a Morrissey song/album.

  • Swiss Servator, Burn a Böögg||

    ^This^

  • Lord Humungus||

    random thought - what happens if a Republican (it could happen!) wins the next presidential election? Can they direct the Sebelius replacement to allow leaner insurance plans? Wouldn't that hasten the death spiral?

    I mean, politically speaking, the whole structure is politically unsound if the next fellow (sexist!) decides to destroy it from within. One could easily blame the law itself for its own destruction.

  • John||

    That is the depressing thought. The good news is that the Democrats are going to get murdered for this. Over the next couple of years we are going to watch these smug assholes squirm and scream and cry as they get lead to the gallows.

    The bad news is that the public is out of necessity going to throw the ball to the Republicans and tell them to fix this mess. That is not a good role for them.

  • sarcasmic||

    They've got a whole year to spin it before election time. Before you know it the media will be congratulating the Democrats for saving millions of people from substandard insurance, and blaming those obstructionist Republicans for anything that goes wrong.

  • John||

    Good luck with that.

  • sarcasmic||

    I hope I'm wrong.

  • Root Boy||

    He's right that the media will be on the hunt for more sob stories of how obamacare saved some little orphan from death (or a mere uncomfortable situation).

  • John||

    If you could just lie to people and convince them balck was white and that their lives were better when they are actually starving, countries like Cuba and the USSR wouldn't need to be terror states. They just rely on the magic power of the media to get everyone to believe things are great and to the extent they are it is only because the government doesn't have enough power.

    It doesn't work that way however. And thus the only way leftist governments ever stay in power is by bowing to reality and embracing things they claim to hate or by just putting a gun to everyone's head. But what they don't do and can't do is throw a magic spell on their population and get them to believe when failure becomes obvious.

  • sarcasmic||

    Let's say you're right and the Republicans sweep in. What next? These are the people who, last time they controlled Congress and the White House, expanded Medicaid. These are the people who abandoned free market principles to save the free market. They're not going to repeal anything. They may add to it, but they won't repeal shit.

    They may talk the talk, but when it comes to what they actually do, Republican and Democrat politicians are two sides of the same coin.

  • John||

    That of course is a different issue. At some point if the political system can't solve problems the people get a new political system. Revolutions do happen.

    If the Republicans don't get rid of this and give people something better, people will get rid of them too and there will be a new party or maybe a different form of government.

    The inside the beltway "just keep lying and fuck the public and make sure the game goes on" con does have a limit. And that limit is getting close.

  • ||

    "The inside the beltway "just keep lying and fuck the public and make sure the game goes on" con does have a limit. And that limit is getting close."

    You are 100% correct there. The anger on the street is palpable. I have never seen anything like it. I just wonder if the pols realize it. People who lie to others are often adept at lying to themselves.

  • sarcasmic||

    Revolutions do happen.

    As a general rule, people with full bellies don't revolt. In America poor people are fat. There won't be a revolution anytime soon.

  • John||

    As a general rule, people with full bellies don't revolt.

    No one was starving in the old USSR in 1989. And no one in Europe was starving in 1848.

    And by "revolution" I don't mean violent. I mean a total change in our political class, like what happened in 1932.

    If I honestly thought people were as dumb as you think they are, I would advocate for some kind of super police state. I can't see how a population as stupid as you portray the American public could morally be allowed to have autonomy on anything but the most basic things.

    We always have this argument. I guess all I can say is is that if the American people are so dumb that they are incapable of punishing governments who fail them in real and personal ways and in fact reward such punishment, then the debate really isn't about health care or taxes or much of anything. The debate is about how best to institutionalize most of America.

  • sarcasmic||

    We always have this argument.

    No. You have this argument with a straw man. I've got no part in it.

  • John||

    Sure sarcasmic. You just say things like

    They've got a whole year to spin it before election time. Before you know it the media will be congratulating the Democrats for saving millions of people from substandard insurance, and blaming those obstructionist Republicans for anything that goes wrong.

    And then claim that well you really don't think the American public is irredeemably stupid.

    Either admit the public has some brains and thus the Dems are in big trouble or admit you think that the public is retarded and this won't care. But stop claiming one and then yelling strawman when I point it out.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    You continue to make this a binary choice.

    Everyone isn't stupid, but so many people value the Team they're on that they will not blame the Dems.

    Then add the truly stupid people to that.

    Then add the free shitters who will be promised more free shit by the Dems to that total.

    Then throw in the millions of people that, while truly pissed, will just go along with things because they have lives to lead and lead pretty comfortable lives anyway.

    Then throw in how the left owns the media, the entertainment industry, and academia.

  • HellsBells||

    ^This^

  • wareagle||

    after the first Gulf War, Daddy Bush had 90% approval. About a year later, he was unemployed. The fat lady's not singing just yet.

  • Enough About Palin||

    I watched that happen.

    The media saw this and said, "The president's approval rating is 90%. The only way he doesn't get re-elected is if people focus on the economy."

    And from that point on, the MSM ran story after story about how shitty of a job Bush the elder was with regard to the economy. It's exactly what happened. With great interest and awareness, I watched it unfold.

  • jester||

    I would be afraid of that scenario if I thought the Republican Party really had a solution to the snafu. Same game, different team.

  • sarcasmic||

    It doesn't matter. In the end both teams have the same goal.

  • wareagle||

    seriously, how often did you hear "repeal and replace" during the campaign. Okay, replace with what? Hard to imagine that a govt-run plan is better becuase some Rs drew it up.

  • ||

    "Over the next couple of years we are going to watch these smug assholes squirm and scream and cry as they get lead to the gallows."

    From your lips to God's ear.

    I hope 'lead' means dragged by their scrotums.

  • wwhorton||

    Honestly I'm not even sure this will hurt the Dems that much. They'll spin it as an institutional failing in an otherwise good social project caused by greedy private contractors. If need be, individual Dems will shift the blame to the national party while portraying themselves as one of the good guys trying to fix the thing.

    As usual, the Republicans will assume their typical strategy: the circular firing squad. The "tea party" types will go after the Boehners and McConnells of the party as RINOs, and, in turn, will be portrayed as radical ideologues not interested in the mature and serious business of governing.

    Short of the release of a secret document detailing an agreement between each member of the Democratic Party and evil space aliens to donate Americans for hellish genetic experimentation, I just don't see the Dems losing much in 2014. The Republicans are just too good at making the Dems look responsible and reasonable.

  • John||

    Honestly I'm not even sure this will hurt the Dems that much

    Somehow passing this managed to hurt them very badly in 2010. And individual Dems can't shift blame to the national party WHEN THEY PERSONALLY VOTED FOR IT.

    Really? Maybe 2010 was the result of massive voter fraud. It couldn't have been real. Too many people on here assure me that voters love Democrats so much that failure makes them more popular.

  • Paul.||

    If I understand where you're going, there's a long and hallowed history of laws being passed designed to do a thing, and then when the process ends up not working well, the law is tweaked until it no longer represents what it was when it was passed, and the entire concept withers on the vine.

    Washington State's low-income healthplan is a good example of that. It death spiraled until they just rolled it back into Medicaid.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I guess I'm trying to say - in my usually clumsy way - is a Senate/House majority isn't needed to kill the law; just a president who has the cojones to give it a merciful death. Killed by its own market stupidity.

  • Paul.||

    I don't think you were clumsy, I just didn't want to make assumptions based on my understanding.

  • Lord Humungus||

    oh, I think I'm clumsy. ;)

  • Paul.||

    NPR has taken the stance that none of it is Obamacare's fault-- for now. So they dithered a bit.

  • Rich||

    none of it is Obamacare's fault

    This reminds me of that fucking Geico commercial -- "But it *can't*. It's a *wallet*!"

  • cavalier973||

    I like this commercial better. It represents the people's rejection of Obama and embracing [your favored politician here].

  • Raston Bot||

    Is NPR complete authoritarian propaganda crap or do they produce some good stuff once in a while?

  • SweatingGin||

    Complete crap, and covering stories from the stupidest possible angles.

    Example from earlier this week?

    National Flood Insurance program is falling apart and going bankrupt. Anyone with a quantum of economic knowledge can point out that it subsidizes people to live in flood prone areas where nobody wants to sell them insurance. What angle do they cover it from? GLOBAL WARMING! Flood insurance is going broke because GLOBAL WARMING! The ocean is a foot higher! That's why Hurricane Sandy (back to a hurricane now) flooded Manhattan!

    There's a perfectly good story in the financial situation of the flood insurance program, a good story in the redrawing maps, and a good story in the subsidies for people living in areas that flood often. No, let's go with the global warming angle.

  • Raston Bot||

    That's pathetic.

  • Paul.||

    They're improving. In 94, it would have just been Newt Gingrich's fault.

  • Root Boy||

    Pretty much, as SG says. I stopped listening to it when I realized Marketplace, their business show was just a bunch of socialists criticizing the free market.

    On a side note, Vivian Schiller, who fired Juan Williams from NPR, is now Twitters News Director.

  • Raston Bot||

    The only twitter account I goto for news is #crossfit... and stay for the hilarious bitching from their followers when they tweet econ.

  • SweatingGin||

    The thing is, too -- MarketPlace is the best program they have. It's by far their most intelligent program. Still, they manage to get about 4 or 5 minutes of actual good radio every two days, if you're lucky. The Freakonomics guy is usually worth listening to.

    Any commentators they have on are universally terrible (Robert Reich! Oh, we'll counter point him with David Brooks!). (they did have PJ O'Rourke once... just once).

    It should be a decent program. I even think that it used to be.

  • ||

    Almost entirely the former. Even the media/culture/human interest stuff tends to be slanted, if only slightly.

    I was driving a lot during the last debt ceiling brouhaha and the bias and baldfaced lies were constant. I can't imagine it was any different this time around.

  • SweatingGin||

    First five minutes after the hour, you might catch some news in. Maybe 7 minutes.

    After that, you've got maybe 15% chance of an interesting story. The rest of them will be red meat for progs (GLOBAL WARMING is why the flood insurance program is going bankrupt!) or bullshit human interest make their listeners sit in their Pius parked in their driveway crying.

  • Sevo||

    Paul.|11.1.13 @ 2:14PM|#
    "NPR has taken the stance that none of it is Obamacare's fault"

    Absolutely! The rethugs made him do it.

  • Blueman||

    As expected.

  • John||

    Meanwhile, Mother Jones tells the faithful this

    In Democratic districts, net incumbent approval has plummeted by 11 points, from +8 approval to +3 disapproval. In Republican districts, incumbent approval has gone down only 4 points. You see the same results when they ask a question about warmth of feeling toward incumbents: It's down 7 points in Republican districts and 9 points in Democratic districts.

    This isn't good news for Democrats. It's true that attitudes toward the Republican Party have taken a bigger hit than attitudes toward the Democratic Party, but attitudes toward actual incumbents are exactly the opposite. And in elections, that's what matters.

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/n.....z2jQ1aCSyi

    So it appears that a few voters at least are capable of thinking "I hate the Republicans" and "That rat fucker Congress creature from my District lied to me".

  • ||

    It's sad; they were really banking on the shutdown destroying the GOP and everyone loving Obamacare.

  • ||

    Sad?!? It's hilarious!

  • Lord Humungus||

    I have a hard time imagining a situation where the party of a low-40s approval rating president makes gains in the midterms.

    Anyone have any historical data on this?

  • John||

    It would be a first. Clinton gained in 1998, but I don't think he was in the low 40s.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    66%, with only 30% disapproving.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The GOP is at 24% approval.

    (source - Wall St Journal)

  • John||

    Which part of

    This isn't good news for Democrats. It's true that attitudes toward the Republican Party have taken a bigger hit than attitudes toward the Democratic Party, but attitudes toward actual incumbents are exactly the opposite. And in elections, that's what matters.

    Does your retarded griefer ass not understand?

    You are supposed to post a talking point about how people are going to grow to like this once they get used to their great new plans.

    Do I have to do your job for you? Is is that fucking hard to cut and paste talking points? How do you remember to breath.

  • Enough About Palin||

    Idiot Wind

    - Bob Dylan

  • Zeb||

    He's talking about the approval rating of the president, not the party.

  • KDN||

    You must have the coolest hair, what with so many points constantly whooshing past you.

  • Raston Bot||

    The idiot electorate is to blame...

    jheartney
    I wouldn't necessary reject the poll. Among the relatively apoliticals I know, there was a general disgust at all incumbents during the government shutdown. There's also a resistance to "pointing fingers" at one side or the other. This refusal to actually assess things comes partly out if ignorance, partly from the media "both sides do it" crap, and partly out of being off-put by the rancorous nature of modern politics.

    I bet the "apoliticals" this guy knows are actually quite political, they just don't tell him so he'll STFU once in a while.

  • John||

    That is going to be their answer after they get killed. It is going to be that the American public is evil and totally ungovernable.

  • paranoid android||

    Oh, please. I don't think anyone on the left would actually come out and say that, even if they did think it.

    I think it's much more likely to see a bold resurgance of the "something something false consciousness something because Citizens United" meme.

  • John||

    Sure they will. Politicians won't say that. But writers in places like Mother Jones will. They said that after they lost in 2004. And right now they are telling themselves that people are just too stupid to realize how bad their old insurance was.

  • Raston Bot||

    And why is the public ungovernable? Because of free speech.

  • Sevo||

    jheartney
    ..."There's also a resistance to "pointing fingers" at one side or the other."...

    Bullshit.
    When the rethugs do "it", it's the rthug's fault. When the dems do "it", why, 'they both do it'!

  • GILMORE||

    Its jounalists like this that truly highlight how out of touch Right-Wingers are and how much they truly hate Women, The Poor, and Minorities.
    (tm)

  • Anonymous Coward||

    If you like your insurance plan you will keep it.

    Contrast with...

    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.

    Notice the lack of a qualifier in the first sentence versus the second.

  • ||

    I am a little confused. The second sentence was vomited up yesterday by obama?

    It is in direct contrast to the truth, undeniable truth that has just smacked many hundreds of thousands in the head in the form of cancellation letters.

    Who was he talking to? Has he really become that removed from reality?

    My great hope is that he is finally gone completely insane.

  • paranoid android||

    I hear he met with Ezra Klein and Thomas Friedman beforehand and they told him it sounded like a great idea.

  • wareagle||

    yes, the second sentence actually came from him. One of numerous links: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-25.....your-plan/

    This is what you get from a bona fide sociopath who has never ever had anyone call bullshit on him. Ever. Plus, he's spent the past five years never being challenged on anything. When no one ever calls you on stuff, you start to believe you are infallible.

  • Brett L||

    5 years is way longer than the usual expiration date on any statement coming out of Obama's mouth. Still, I hope that this level of looking people in the eyes and lying is unacceptable. Just like Clinton survived, but basically as a moderate Republican for lying to the people about Lewinsky.

  • John||

    Obama will never moderate. Forget it. All he knows is fuck you that is why. He will never admit he lied or is wrong or ever agree to any compromise to fix this thing.

    Congressional Dems are either going to have to go rogue and work out some kind of fix to the major problems with this bill with the Republicans so they can go over his veto or they are going to have to go down with him. There will be no "I learned my lesson and now I am going to work with Congress to fix this". Not going to happen.

  • Brett L||

    I think you're right about him. I just want there to be consequences to the President saying, "fuck you, I lied."

  • John||

    See the poll above. The Dems in Congress have to be feeling the heat about this. So what happens when they have their constituents screaming about the need to fix this and Obama telling them too fucking bad, we are not gutting his signature accomplishment?

  • Brett L||

    Well, if CNN is reporting this, its going to be problematic.

    Senate Democrats voted unanimously three years ago to support the Obamacare rule that is largely responsible for some of the health insurance cancellation letters that are going out.

    In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it.

  • Enough About Palin||

    It was a substandard cherry tree, dad!

    /young George Washington

  • Brutus||

    You just need to be smart enough to read between Obama's line's, AC

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Which game are we playing? The "read between the lines/parse Obama's lies" game? Or the "polish the Obamacare turd to a high sheen" game?

    No matter how often you play, we all lose.

  • ||

    I can only imagine how obama supporters are dying inside.

    Gosh, that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling all over.

  • Sevo||

    Suthenboy|11.1.13 @ 2:55PM|#
    "I can only imagine how obama supporters are dying inside."

    I don't see it; they're not dying inside, they're making up new bullshit.
    A couple of days ago I noticed a claim that it wasn't a lie, since everybody already knew it wasn't true.
    So it wasn't a lie, since everyone knew it was a lie.

  • John||

    I don't see it; they're not dying inside, they're making up new bullshit

    Not every Obama supporter or even a majority of them is shreek or some idiot media hack. That is where you guys go off the rails. The majority of them are not brain dead progs. They are generally reasonable people who were and are woefully misinformed by the media and look at Progs as the side that cares and will make things better.

    They know they have been lied to. And they know this thing is a disaster.

    Political shifts do happen. Political parties of all strips disgrace themselves. Even leftist parties. Places like Canada and Australia are a hell of a lot more liberal than the US. And yet, leftist ruling parties have suffered unbelievable defeats in those places over the years.

    People are not zombies. They are not as dumb or as fanatical as you think they are. Voters hold politicians accountable if the fuck up is big enough and especially if it affects them personally. If you don't believe me about that, go ask the the Dems in Congress right now. They don't seem to excited about this. They don't look happy. They look pretty concerned. They clearly don't think their supporters are brain dead morons incapable of voting in their own interests. Maybe just know better than they do.

  • GILMORE||

    "People are not zombies. They are not as dumb or as fanatical as you think they are."

    Uhm, *excuse me*? I DID POST EXAMPLES FROM "FARK"?

    That surpassed my wildest imagination. This optimistic assessment of the population générale you have has yet to be validated by statistics or the quality of public discourse.

  • John||

    FARK is not the population. Yes, some people are even dumber than you think they are. But FARK is not representative of anything but the retards who post there.

    If your plan is to win elections by winning the support of the people on FARK, you need a new plan. Think of it this way, do politicians from anything but the most insane jurisdictions ever talk like the idiots on FARK? No. That is because most voters do not think that way.

  • GILMORE||

    "do politicians from anything but the most insane jurisdictions ever talk like the idiots on FARK?"

    If by Insane Jurisdictions, you mean Washington D.C., then YES

  • ||

    The TV is on here. Look at that. A distraction from obumbles lies. Imagine that.

  • Alice Bowie||

    For the record, the ACA sucks.

    However, I did go to the site, applied, and saw the the plans offered are NOT as good as my employer's plan. My company is very large and is self-insured.

    So, I do get to keep my plan.

  • John||

    Not for long.

  • Alice Bowie||

    And why ?
    We just had our annual enrollment.
    I'm enrolled for 2014.

  • tarran||

    Because the employer mandate hasn't kicked in yet, Alice, sweetie.

    2015 is going to be a bloodbath.

  • Alice Bowie||

    So then perhaps my employer will either get out of the insurance business (my employer is self-insured) or I will have to go with one of those ACA plans.

    I would take the BRONZ. $750/month with $10,000 max out of pocket.

  • Charlotte Falcon||

    The maximum OOP Max is $6,350 in 2014.

  • ||

    The employer mandate kicks in next year. So all your employers plans will have to comply with the ACA. I.e. they must offer substance abuse and mental health and prescription drugs and pediatric dental care and so forth. And be community rated. Which may substantially increase your employers premiums.

  • Alice Bowie||

    We have all that crap (substance abuse, mental health, prescription, dental). I pay $900/month.

    What will probably impact these self-insured plans is the MAX out of pocket in ACA. Which i believe really means MAX-out-of-pocket.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    I'm calling BS on that. No way are you paying $900 month for insurance provided by the large employer you claim to work for.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I think it's more than $900, it's 465 per pay period.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Family plan of four, by the way.

  • BladeDoc||

    I bet she's leaving out the employer contribution. Which somehow people forget is part of their pay package.

  • So Cynical||

    You may have a "Cadillac" health plan. If you do indeed have a "Cadillac" health plan ACA will soon tax that out of existence.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/2.....c-tax.html

  • Charlotte Falcon||

    Large Groups (up to 50 in 2015 and 100 in 2016) are not subject to community rating rules.

  • ||

    Like hell you do.

  • ||

    I cannot decide which is worse, that this "president" lies , unapologetically to Americans or that Americans knowing they are being lied to accept the lies because they believe they will get some of their neighbors' earnings. Sad, just sad.

  • wagnert in atlanta||

    You people have been deceived by your lying ears. What the Lightbringer actually said was, "If I like your plan, you can keep your plan -- and I don't like your plan."

  • Vincent Milburn||

    It's just a way to control people. Force everyone to buy insurance, but destroy the free market so it's unaffordable. Then offer them government assistance to make up the monetary difference and pretend that makes it the same thing as having a free market in the first place. Once they are on government assistance, the government has a "legitimate" interest in their lives since they are spending taxpayer money. We don't mind government assistance having strings attached until government actively creates scenarios that force everyone onto it.

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