Obama Takes an Obamacare Victory Lap

Whitehouse.govWhitehouse.govA day after the end of Obamacare’s first official open enrollment period, President Obama gave a speech on the White House lawn touting the latest Obamacare sign-up figures.

Some 7.1 million people signed up for insurance through the law, he said, a shade higher than the 7.04 million that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced earlier today.

Obama admitted that problems with the health care system would continue under the health law, with additional website glitches and rising premiums for health insurance to come.

But the president credited the law for both expanding health coverage and for slowing the growth of health care costs nationally. It’s still unclear, however, how much effect the law has had one reducing the number of uninsured. And experts are divided about whether the health law deserves significant credit for the recent slowdown in health care cost growth, which coincided with the recession.

President Obama also took a few moments to chide Republicans for their opposition to the law—and then declared the political battles over the law finished. "The debate over repealing this law is over,” he said. “The Affordable Care Act is here to stay." The latter may be true. I am certain the former is not. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The law is a fucking disaster, with much more pain to come, and he's out there telling the Big Lie over some not-very-relevant numbers that are misrepresented, anyway.

    Just to be clear, the law needs to be completely and wholly repealed.

  • RBS||

    Just to let me be clear
  • Pro Libertate||

    You're right. I hope that the editors will change my comment accordingly.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The debate over editing comments is over. Your comment is here to stay.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You know, I thought I hated the government before, but now I really hate it.

  • Sudden||

    As evidence of the complete and total lack of intellectualism on the part of this law's supporters, I offer this:

    I checked facebook at the start of lunch. I girl I dated in college posted the results of one of the dumb buzzfeed quizzes, "What Revolutionary Leader Are You?" Her post regarding her result of Kemal Ataturk was "never heard of this guy until now." At the end of lunch I check one last time and her latest facebook post was celebrating the "7 million people who no longer have to go through life without health care."

    I immediately posted my observation in a separate post:

    "With each passing day, I become further convinced that the raison d'etre for the internet is to discredit the Flynn Effect."

    Btw, this girl was both a political science major (and yet somehow never heard of fucking Ataturk?!) and a third year law student.

    Also a Berkeley alumni. Playa, look on your fellow alumni and despair!

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    So, not hot?

  • Sudden||

    She served as a viable enough flesh sheath in her nubile years between ages 19 and 21. She's not horrendous, albeit has packed a few too many pounds on in the intervening years for my taste. I met up with her shortly after my divorce because when she found out she began hitting me up fairly frequently looking for the D. Ultimately, I decided I'd rather not for fear of her developing feelings.

  • Sudden||

    Shorter Sudden: Not hot enough to get away with now knowing who Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is.

  • Sudden||

    with nownot

  • lap83||

    "So, not hot?"

    Btw, TIWTANLW. Hotness is like a free pass to be stupid.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    It was a bit of a dig on my alma mater. Lots of women of the hippy variety who cared not for hygiene.

  • lap83||

    Higher ed encourages students to form opinions at a much faster rate than they learn facts.

  • Sudden||

    I don't think I've heard it described quite so succinctly.

  • lap83||

    Thanks! I didn't learn to be succinct from school, needless to say.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    There was never any scenario where they wouldn't report hitting their target.

  • madamadam||

    ...and avoid any mention of how many of the signups are those who LOST their insurance cause of this damn law on Jan 1.

    Only in liberal media does 1 in 6 of the nation's uninsured signing up, as mandated by law, equate to success.

  • VoluntaryBeatdown||

    It's pretty convenient when the target homes in on the numbers, isn't it?

  • Sevo||

    VoluntaryBeatdown|4.1.14 @ 5:13PM|#
    "It's pretty convenient when the target homes in on the numbers, isn't it?"

    And there is no way of verifying them.
    And they come from a lying piece of shit.
    Slimy turd shreek will swallow them whole.

  • Loki||

    Slimy turd shreek will swallow them whole.

    He swallows a lot of Obama's stuff whole... innuendo intended.

  • DFG||

    They've had the goalposts on rollers for so long there was never a chance that they wouldn't split the uprights eventually. Now they can go from "We really don't have any idea of how many have signed up yet." to "Exactly 7,041,000 have enrolled as of 3 p.m. on 3/31/14."

  • Acosmist||

    Uh, wasn't the purpose to insure everyone? How far does 7 million fall short of that goal? By a lot? It's a lot, isn't it.

    Obama himself threw around the number 30 million in 2009. So, yeah, pretty bad, huh?

  • ||

    You don't understand because, like everyone else here, you're just a ratfucking teabagist who hates Obama cause you're racist.

    /progderp

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Hmmm.

    30m-7m=23m

    My fellow Americans, let me be clear. It is a travesty that, in a modern society, we can have 23 million people who don't have health insurance. That's why I'm proposing The Affordable Care Act part duex. It will ensure every American can get quality healthcare WHILE AT THE SAME TIME reduce healthcare costs.

    Please. Stop trying to help.

  • Juice||

    It will ensure every American can get quality healthcare WHILE AT THE SAME TIME reduce healthcare costs.

    It can be done. It's called open up the market to competition.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    NONSENSE! Only decisive government action will save us.

  • Pathogen||

    "NONSENSE! Only decisive government action will save us."

    Our beacon of HOPE™...

  • Loki||

    But I've been assured by many a Krugman-esqu libtard that the problem was caused by MARKET FAILYURE in the first place. Surely all those TOP. MEN. can't all be wrong?

  • kmc212||

    I call bullshit.

  • Number 2||

    So the "debate is over" about a law that is still chock full of unauthorized exceptions, exemptions, delays, waivers, revisions through "interpretation," and is facing at least two ongoing court challenges. And a law about which tow critical promises -- keeping your health plan if you like it, and a decrease in premiums -- proved false, with a third critical promise -- providing coverage for the uninsured -- likewise seems to be proven false.

    Yep, sounds like a settled issue to me.

  • Loki||

    TEH SYENSE IZ SETTELD!!!111!!11!!!!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    It’s still unclear, however, how much effect the law has had one reducing the number of uninsured.

    No alt-text and typos? You don't deserve EDIT BUTTON.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's hard to think straight when politics reaches this level of absurdity. Largely unquestioned absurdity, too.

  • Pathogen||

    That's because you are a knuckle-dragging simpleton, and a bitter clinger who simply cannot comprehend Obama's genius

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's a fair criticism.

  • Pathogen||

    I'm sorry if I othered you...

  • Loki||

    Did he pull out a football and spike it while he was at it?

  • Sudden||

    Have you seen him throw? I doubt the ball makes it to the ground at all. The man thinks he can defy the laws of economics, why not the laws of physics?

  • Pope Jimbo||

    A football made out of the skin of Osama Bin Laden!

  • Loki||

    +1 pigskin.

  • VoluntaryBeatdown||

    If his victory laps are anything as impressive as Obamacare enrollment numbers, maybe he should stick to basketball.

  • The Other Kevin||

    Every person I've talked to about this, every single one, regardless of political party, tells me the same story. They know of nobody who was helped by Obamacare, many that have lost their insurance, and many more who are paying a ton more for health insurance. But this clusterfuck of a law is successful because 7 million people visited a web site and filled out a form they were required by law to complete.

  • Loki||

    Every person I've talked to about this, every single one, regardless of political party, tells me the same story. They know of nobody who was helped by Obamacare

    Maybe you should talk to people aren't knuckle dragging TEATHUGLIKKKAN RACISTS! /prog-derp

  • Loki||

    *people who aren't...

  • PapayaSF||

    I have three Facebook friends who claim they were helped, at least two of whom I am willing to believe. But the bulk of the support seems to be from people who like the idea of the thing, and don't have to actually deal with it.

  • Timsmit||

    I have the exact opposite experience. I have met no one who says he lost his insurance. Zero. I have heard small business is having problems. Thus, the extension.

  • PapayaSF||

    And I do have one colleague who was shocked, shocked that his insurance got cancelled and that the new policy was much more expensive. Loyal Democrat voter. Said he was going to write to Pelosi. I had to resist a big "told ya so."

  • Not an Economist||

    Would anybody be surprised if in about a month or two, three things happen. One, the number of people who paid their insurance bill is far lower than the number that signed up. Two, over half of the people who signed up for Obamacare lost their insurance because of they didn't meet the new minimum standards HHS set. And three, a study will come out that says on average, the people who lost insurance due to Obamacare will end up paying up more per month and have a higher deductible as well.

    And one more prediction. None of the above gets heavily reported by the MSM.

  • Loki||

    None of the above gets heavily reported by the MSM.

    Except to derisevely dismiss it as racist teathuglikkkan propaganda.

  • Ivoted4KODOS||

    The Non-payment of the premiums (I am confident will occur) will simply be spun as evidence that more subsidies from the rest of us are badly needed

  • R C Dean||

    Let the DemOP media fellatio commence!

    We all know we're never going to learn the truth about so many aspects of this. Perhaps one question can cast some light on it:

    How many more (or fewer) people have health insurance now, compared to 2013?

    A simple question. Not super-duper easy to answer, but an answer can be gotten. Yet, I am willing to bet that we will never see that answer.

  • R C Dean||

    If you want to go to a second question, try this:

    How many newly eligible Medicaid enrollees are there?

    Note that the "woodwork effect" probably accounts for between 25% and 40% of new Medicaid enrollees. The term applies to previously eligible people who came out of the woodwork and applied due to all the hullabaloo.

    Add the newly eligible Medicaid enrollees with the number of people who have health insurance now compared to 2013, and you will have a number that falls far, far short of the number of "uninsured" being touted several years ago.

    Yet the law is still a smashing success!

  • Sudden||

    Lest we forget those who received subsidies without gaining full Medicaid enrollment.

    And I can't wait to see what the growth in Medicaid spending looks like a year or two henceforth.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    The reason for this law was to get health insurance for the the 30 million Americans without it.

    One simple question:

    Mr President, how many Americans are without health insurance today?

  • Pro Libertate||

    "That's a good question. I'll be sending the Secret Service to take you to a facility in an undisclosed third-world country to discuss this interesting question in far more detail."

  • Loki||

    "I'll also be sending an IRS agent to speak with you about your tax returns."

  • Pro Libertate||

    They did that when they learned that he wasn't registered as a Democrat.

  • Rich||

    Please keep pissing people off, Mr President.

    The Stupid Party needs all the help it can get in the midterms.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    As I said earlier - Obama should put on a codpiece and flightsuit and declare MISSION ACCOMPLISHED on a taxpayer paid junket.

    But he is not Dumbya! Too much class!

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    When you fellate the President, do you do a finger in the ass too?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Expressing amn ANTI-WAR policy preference is EXACTLY like fellating! Your fucking straw man has a hard-on!

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Hmm, did I misinterpret your obsession with praising everything Obama does? I don't think I did.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I criticize Obama plenty.

    But he is tons better than the Buchpigs ever were.

  • Pathogen||

    I cant see the difference, tbqh...

  • Loki||

    I criticize Obama plenty.

    CITATION FUCKING NEEDED.

    I've never seen you post anything critical of Obama. Ever. And when others get o bashing your mancrush too hard you usually pipe up with something irrelevant about BOOOOOOOSSSSSSHHHH!!!!!11!!!

    Case in point: bringing up the Iraq War in a thread about Obamacare. The two have nothing to do with each other. Dumbshit.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Obama is drone happy, is deaf to NSA spying on American citizens, has not culled the TSA at all, has not been good enough on MMJ, has lingered in Afghanistan too long, and has been too interventionist in the US economy.

    All small potatoes compared to 2001-09 though.

  • General Butt Naked||

    All small potatoes compared to 2001-09 though.

    Your previous paragraph is a fucking description of 2001-09, dumbass.

  • Pathogen||

    Ouch...

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Your previous paragraph is a fucking description of 2001-09, dumbass.

    Oh shit, I haven't gotten to the sins of the Bushpigs yet.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Small potatoes compared to 2001-9 because...? Let's see, Part D vs. BarryCare. The latter is the spending gift that will just keep on giving and getting betterer and betterer every year. At least as part of getting Part D passed we got enhanced HSA's which Team Blue despise but are a major factor in the slow down of health care costs, unlike the flat out lies about BarryCare. Incidentally, Part D is one of the few entitlements to actually run under predicted spending estimates.

    Iraq? Whatever. That budget wound heals, but nothing compares to the great entitlement state. Bush at least gets a little credit for trying to reform SS, but he wimped out and team Blue assholes like you guilt tripped everyone into postponing the day of reckoning for an even worse event down the road. This is the point where you lie about Bush doubling spending on SS with private accounts (hint: if it was truly double spending, then why were the Dems demagoguing about cuts?)

    Food stamps? Sure, Bush II sucked, but Barry takes it from both ends. Needz moar zpendingz!!

    Military spending? They both suck. Barry sure wasn't shy about doubling down on Afghanistan.

    Stimulus? Yeah, that was precious. The teachers' unions thank you every day for your contributions.

    Barry is at least as bad as Bush. Just because you love the smell of his ass doesn't change that fact.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Only because Congress wouldn't let him send troops to Syria.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    And the amazing thing is that many Americans are benefiting from the ACA (many are not as well).

    But no one benefited from Chimpy McFlightsuit's WAR IN IRAQ!

  • Tak Kak||

    "But no one benefited from Chimpy McFlightsuit's WAR IN IRAQ!"

    Many contractors did.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I stand corrected.

  • Paul.||

    So did Jihad, which saw unprecedented growth.

  • R C Dean||

    I think the Kurds are probably pretty happy with it.

    Most Shi'ite Iraqis are also probably happier being out from under a Sunni dictatorship, whatever the flaws of the current government.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Was it worth north of $1 trillion to US taxpayers? And 4600 US soldiers who lost their lives?

  • Tak Kak||

    Depends on who you ask. So yes, also no.

  • Pathogen||

    Name something that is.

  • Loki||

    You didn't say anything about the costs being worth it, you just said "no one benefited." Lift with your knees when you move those goalposts, you wouldn't want to strain your back.

  • AlexInCT||

    I am certain obamacare isn't worth the cost it is going to impose on us if that matters.

  • R C Dean||

    When Putin's SexToy has to go aaallll the way back Chimpy McHalliburton and the Iraq war to distract from ObamaCare . . .

    Well, you know ObamaCare must be really, really, bad.

  • PapayaSF||

    Yeeee-up.

  • creech||

    Yeah, I'll bet many Americans would benefit from an airdrop of 10 million $100 bills over, say, Peoria but that doesn't mean the government should do it.

  • Ivoted4KODOS||

    "AirDrop of 10 million $100 bills over Peoria"

    Sweet, then maybe Bradley University will stop calling me about fucking Alumni donations every Sunday night.

  • Loki||

    Which has fuck all to do with anything why, exactly?

  • Pathogen||

    Because, soul-searching and introspection are awkward and uncomfortable, and irony is all too often lost in translation...

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Peter Caca,

    And the amazing thing is that many Americans are benefiting from the ACA


    Yes - at least the Americans in the advertisement industry that landed the juicy Healthcare.gov accounts.

    But no one benefited from Chimpy McFlightsuit's WAR IN IRAQ!


    Ah, so the ACA is to serve as America's penance for invading Iraq. Got it.

    Ye all shall pay for your sins!

  • Tony||

    Nationwide calamity or you guys have to admit you were wrong. Even preserving the status quo is better than what you have predicted.

    But you never admit when you're wrong. You move on to the next shiny object [insert rightwing bullshit artist of choice] waves in front of you.

    Sure, you might be against, say, Medicare in principle, but that far-more-socialist program doesn't get the play of Ailes's current favorite chew toy. If you guys were halfway intelligent you might have embraced this market-based reform and sung its virtues as an example of a way to do healthcare that is much less socialist than the programs we already had. But nothing trumps ODS. As free-thinking independent minded nonpartisan libertarians, there is no greater principled concern than Obama is teh devil, thus so are his programs, even if they were invented by people like you.

  • R C Dean||

    What would you accept as a "nationwide calamity", Tony? Give us a definition to work with, here.

  • Tony||

    Any of the various apocalyptic scenarios you guys dreamed up, I don't fucking know.

  • Loki||

    I don't fucking know

    You finally got something right.

  • Sudden||

    I frankly don't think the man is the devil. I just think he is wrong. I don't ascribe malice to my political opposites when all too often simply incompetence will do.

    As for the impact this legislation will have, and the libertarian prophecy that this will result in market-distorting effects that serve to only increase overall health care costs is a long term view, it is premised on these new entrants entering into the marketplace. When they made acquisition of their approved health insurance plans compulsory, I figured most would acquire such a plan. The impact this legislation will have on health care cost, access, and effectiveness can only now be assessed with the new entrants into the market place

  • tres||

    Healthcare has been wildly distorted by gov't for decades. Costs have been ramping up steadily for the past 5 years in anticipation of the ACA (clusterfuck) roll out. The impact is that everyone involved gets boned hard and dry.

  • PRX||

    a lying affirmative action figure declaring victory doesn't make anyone wrong. just words.

  • Jordan||

    Obamacare does nothing to lessen government control of the healthcare sector. In fact, it ramps it up even more, so why would we embrace it?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Nationwide calamity or you guys have to admit you were wrong. Even preserving the status quo is better than what you have predicted.


    Tú no speakin Inglés

    But you never admit when you're wrong.


    We haven't been proven wrong yet, so...

    Sure, you might be against, say, Medicare in principle, but that far-more-socialist program doesn't get the play of Ailes's current favorite chew toy.


    Who the fuck is Ailes?

    If you guys were halfway intelligent you might have embraced this market-based reform[...]


    It's not a market-based reform. It is no more market-based than the car market in the old Soviet Union where you had the choice of shitty ZAZ cars or shitty LADA cars.

    The rest is nothing more than a disjointed rant you wrote from your nicely-padded room.

  • PapayaSF||

    This abortion was not "invented by people you," fool. And I think I've corrected you on this before.

  • FYTW||

    The mere fact that you can characterize the ACA as a "market-based reform" demonstrates conclusively that you're too fucking stupid to live.

  • Byte Me||

    ...embraced this market-based reform...

    government mandate =/= market-based

  • Tak Kak||

    Libertarians invented Obamacare?

  • The Last American Hero||

    Yep. That way when it fails, they can blame it on market failure.

  • Loki||

    Yep, Trolly et al are already getting their talking points ready. They'll be screaming "MARKIT FAILYURE!!!1!!!! WE NEED SINGEL PAYERZ!!!!1!!!!!11!" in a couple of years. It would be funny if it weren't so pathetically predictable.

  • Tak Kak||

    That does raise a good question: is it a grand conspiracy or do they really believe it'll work?

    Further still, what are the insurance companies behind the ACA thinking?

    I like to think the execs just know which way the wind's blowing and are trying to stuff their pockets as much as possible.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    It worked in MA, didn't it? You know, the state with some of the highest medical costs in the country. Why wouldn't you believe that we can replicate this nationwide?!

    The insurance industry doesn't have a choice but to go along with it, and they want to anyway. Any losses from the sick pool can be passed along to the government (What? You'd rather just let people DIE?), if if they put up too much fuss well there's always time for a visit from your friendly federal regulator.

  • Tak Kak||

    Did you read the questions?

  • Paul.||

    I still find it cool that the metric is "people clicked on a link on a website and it didn't crash".

    Like Massachusetts, I wonder how many people will actually, you know, get healthcare.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    That is not the "metric".

    One had to select a policy and hit ENTER to count.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Jesus.

    If you ever had a the slightest moment of self-awareness, I think your head would explode in a Scanners-ian pink mist.

  • Loki||

    We need Deckard in here to administer a Voight-Kampf test, ASAP!

  • LarryA||

    Selecting a policy and hitting "Enter" counts in ObamaWorld. At the hospital "insured" means that a company has written you a policy and received a payment*.

    That metric is still somewhere at the end of the ACA rainbow.

    * "What? I have to pay for ACA?"

  • Michael S. Langston||

    He didn't have a banner with Mission Accomplished on it?

  • Big Chief||

    That would have been so appropriate. He should have donned a flight suit, gone on a carrier and had the banner out. How fitting that would have been.

    I anxiously await the Photoshop version of this to show up online shortly...

  • scoutxlt||

    Maybe this idiot and his second banana have forgotten their math; last I checked 7 million give or take a few hundred thousand illegals surely doesn't make up even a small percentage of the population [living & breathing American's that is] of this Republic... taking this sort of victory lap is kind of like winning a contest when your the only one entered, these idiots just can't admit to themselves how badly they have failed. This whole Ponzi scheme of a 'law' needs to be repealed, rescinded, and those who wrote it & voted for it put up on charges. As a matter of fact the entirety of this Senate & House need to be removed from office; along with all those who they have inserted into the numerous government posts of opportunity; not forgetting Obama inc. and the ilk who have put him up as their shill. The tree of liberty is calling...

  • World watchers||

    Notice the date for new Obama lies!!
    Wow Obama is incredible the just made it claim 7.1 million people signed up for Obama care! Then he has to nerve to continue that it was not a hard sell they did not have millions of dollars to spend He should have finished his speech telling Americans that they all kept their own doctors !!!

  • Timsmit||

    See. There IS a Republican plan for reducing health care costs. Cause and maintain a recession. I'll be damned if Obama will get away with trying to steal credit.

  • Timsmit||

    "And experts are divided about whether the health law deserves significant credit for the recent slowdown in health care cost growth, which coincided with the recession."

    See. There IS a Republican plan for reducing health care costs. Cause and maintain a recession. I'll be damned if Obama will get away with trying to steal credit.

  • Duelles||

    ACA, AKA Obamacare sucks. It may take 50 years for it to kill our economy, but it will.

  • Duelles||

    We clicked , logged in , couldn't get through, never got called back. My insurance was cancelled and we got a conforming policy elsewhere, not The exchange. The ACA sucks. Supporters and spinners are idiots.

  • crazydaisy||

    Huh. This makes me nervous...
    atlas chiropractic software

  • ||

    Chiropractic is bullshit anyway.

    Letting people do it for themselves is like letting them them do homeopathy or tarot card reading on their own.

  • MSimon||

    Rising costs? Slowed the rate of rise? Maybe. Probably not.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement