Obamacare

Leaked Memos Reveal that Federal Health Officials Knew Exactly How Many People Enrolled During Obamacare's Opening Days, Despite Administration Claims to the Contrary

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Whitehouse.gov

In the opening days of Obamacare's October 1 launch, federal officials touted high web-traffic numbers, but repeatedly refused to provide enrollment data for the federally facilitated exchanges.

On October 3, White House spokesperson Jay Carney, pressed for enrollment numbers, said, "No, we don't have that data." On October 7, in an appearance on the Daily Show, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius repeated the claim when questioned about enrollment: "I can't tell you," she said, "because I don't know." 

But it simply wasn't true that federal officials didn't have enrollment numbers—at least not during the first few days.

Leaked meeting notes from high-level war room briefings inside the federal health bureaucracy on October 2 and October 3 report that federal officials were aware of the exact number of federal enrollees on the first and second days in which the exchanges were running.

And, as seemed likely at the time, it turns out that the numbers were very, very low.

According to the notes, which were released to the public by the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform and taken from daily briefings at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, the federal office directly in charge of the exchanges, there were just six successful enrollments across the 36 federal exchanges on launch day.

The second day was a little better. By the morning of October 3, officials reported that the number had reached triple digits on the second day of operation. "As of yesterday, there were 248 enrollments," it says, with the enrollment figure in bold. Later that same day, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters asking for enrollment figures that "we do not have that data."

It's possible that Carney didn't have the numbers at the time. And I suppose it's even possible that, four days later, HHS Secretary Sebelius hadn't seen the numbers either. But that explanation is not particularly believable, especially in the case of Sebelius, whose is the nation's top health bureaucrat and is therefore expected to keep informed of such things. And on the vanishingly small chance that it is true that neither Sebelius nor Carney were at all aware of the enrollment numbers themselves, then that reveals that both remained, perhaps by choice, clueless and out of the loop regarding crucial details about Obamacare's operations. 

HHS has attempted to drum up uncertainty about the figures in the leaked documents. "These appear to be notes, they do not include official enrollment statistics," an HHS spokesperson said in a statement, according to The Washington Post. But while the notes do mention that some insurers didn't get the enrollment forms they were expected to receive, they express no doubts about the specific enrollment numbers presented. Indeed, the notes from the first day's meeting list exactly which insurers have reported successful enrollments. 

The more likely explanation here is that Carney and Sebelius simply lied because the enrollment numbers were embarrassingly low.

These early denials came while  top administration officials were still suggesting that the problem with the exchanges was too much traffic, and major improvements in the exchanges were right around the corner. They hoped that the exchange problems would be resolved rapidly, and didn't want to reveal how poorly the launch had gone—which might generate more bad press, and perhaps scare more people away. It's possible, in other words, that the denials were a result of cluelessness and incompetence—but more plausible that federal officials knowingly lied because it was convenient for their purposes.  

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192 responses to “Leaked Memos Reveal that Federal Health Officials Knew Exactly How Many People Enrolled During Obamacare's Opening Days, Despite Administration Claims to the Contrary

  1. Another scandalous lie for which no one will be held accountable. (Except maybe the leaker.)

  2. Of course they did. Here is Ezra Klein explaining to the nutroots in the summer of 2008 how Obama was going to tell this lie and he had to tell this lie.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FElipqE_Dl4

    Everyone in Washington in the media and government who supported this thing knowing lied about it not affecting anyone’s existing coverage. All of them. We shouldn’t just pin this on Obama. He had a lot of help.

    1. Wow, and I thought that the idea this was a plot to destroy the insurance industry was just people being too paranoid, but wow. I’m actually angry now, when just before I was feeling nothing more than schadenfreude.

    2. They had to lie about it in order to pass it because they knew that if they told the truth they wouldn’t be able to get the blue dog dems to vote for it.

      My favorite part of the whole story is that Republicans almost bailed out the democrats from this “grandfather” mess back in 2010. Democrats voted it down on a party line vote.

      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……….

      http://politicalticker.blogs.c…..ellations/

      Too funny.

      1. That is funny as hell. Obama really is a cult leader. They couldn’t even act in their own self interest. All they knew was “this is Dear Leader’s signature accomplishment and must be protected”.

        Holy shit. There was no downside to changing that rule and it would have probably saved their asses on this thing. But they didn’t do it. Every time i think they can’t be any dumber than I think they are, the prove me wrong.

        1. We’re seeing the problem associated with a stringent party discipline.

          That’s how the Republicans became the party of stupid, but as the party becomes more heterogeneous and flexible it can better adapt to changing circumstances. The democratic party has gone from being much more diverse in range of politics to a singular, Obama controlled juggernaut. Obama, as the incompetent narcissist he is, is the worst man to implement a squishy ideology into practical governance.

    3. Klein said: “at some point you have to win.”

      Because the people are fickle and don’t know whether they want to keep their current coverage or to reform healthcare, progressives must lie to them to give them what they want.

      Or is it just possible that 85% of the people like their healthcare AND want to improve it? Is it possible that what the people see as improvement is different than what progressives want?

    4. “I would like to sign the insurance companies out of existence with my pen, it would be sweet…”

      What a fucking little fascist. And this little bitch gets invited to the White House on a regular basis…we are fucked beyond fucking reason.

    5. Whom is this “we” this little douchebag keeps referring to? The media? The Democrat party? Zoroastrians?

  3. Leakers must be found, prosecuted i.e. Imprisoned w/o due process immediately!

      1. You mean DRONEZ!

  4. Nobody puts baby bird in a corner.

    Nobody.

    Now back to reading the article.

    1. The beat boxing followed by “bird to your mother” was pretty good.

  5. You can bet your ass they would have been quite willing to release a “good” number.

    1. You can bet your ass there was no way in hell there could have been a “good” number.
      What’s not mentioned here is that even if the sites had worked, people are taking one look at the numbers and running for whatever cover they can find.
      Except, of course, for the few poster-kids the media has found.

      1. Have you seen a feel good “Obamacare saved my life” human interest story? I haven’t. Maybe I have missed it. But I haven’t seen a single story about the poor kid with cancer who can now get health insurance thanks to Obamacare or the woman whose bad old policy didn’t cover the meds she needs and now her knew Obamasurance policy does.

        I am totally dumbfounded that the Dem media are not going all in for such stories. I it the case that there are not any stories like that? That everyone is getting fucked buy this?

        I find it hard to believe that if there were people out there like that, someone wouldn’t be telling their story.

        1. The closest I can get is a “Im going to save $250 per month due to a pre-existing condition” story.

          Thats a pretty big deal, but isnt a life saving story.

          1. I’m going to save about -$1000 a month due to getting fucked by my own government.

          2. $250 a month? That is barely bigger than some people’s cable bill. They are going to have to do a lot better than that.

            1. Its one person I know, its a big deal for her, but yeah, its not a huge national story.

            2. To the vast majority of people, $250 a month is nothing to sneeze at. The fact that some people spend that on cable every month is not a comfort to those for whom that is a lot of money.

              1. People are not going to say “well okay I don’t mind seeing my rates double because it is worth it so this woman can save $250 a month”.

                The point is not that this woman is happy. The point is that whatever good this bill creates, that good is going ot have to be so good that people are willing to be okay with getting fucked. It is going to take a lot more than “a few people saved $250 a month”. It is going to take “kids who were dying can now live” kind of stuff.

              2. “To the vast majority of people, $250 a month is nothing to sneeze at.”

                $250 is just as much money to a woman who watched her rates double when her previous individual policy was cancelled.

            3. Doesn’t she also feel horrible that her costs have been shifted to someone else through Obamacare and that makes her a burden on society? I don’t know about other people, but 250 Dollars a month is not enough to sway my conscience.

        2. The local news was at Union County (NJ) Community College last night showing how Obamacare eliminated the discount insurance the college used to offer ($100 per year), thus forcing poor students onto the exchange and into policies that cost 2000% more, followed by ComSci kids failing to get through the website and failing to get through on the 800 line. Just the perfect storm of clusterfuckery.

          When you’ve lost CBS2 New York and the college students in a county that you won by 30 points, your signature achievement might be in trouble.

          1. Wow. Obamacare is truly the gift the gift that keeps on giving, at least for non-statists.

            1. I have to think that even die-hard statist will not appreciate their wallets getting lighter.

          2. …”thus forcing poor students onto the exchange and into policies that cost 2000% more,”…

            Did anyone think to ask for whom these poor students voted?

        3. John|11.1.13 @ 11:47AM|#
          “Have you seen a feel good “Obamacare saved my life” human interest story? I haven’t.”

          You guys are sooooooo Oct. 31st:
          “Sex workers embrace Affordable Care Act”
          “In the all-cash, off-the-books sex industry, workers can be particularly high risk and insurance is often out of reach.”
          http://www.kxly.com/health/hea…..index.html

          1. ….so I’m subsidizing whoring….this is why I’ve been trying to stay away from the news lately. This shit is infuriating.

            1. It’s a measure of how far the lefty press is reaching to find something good to say.

        4. This article lists a couple.

          I’ve no idea of their veracity.

  6. He didn’t “lie – lie”, he sorta made a, well, a mistatement. ‘Cause he wants to do good, it’s just those rethuglicans who make do those other things!

  7. Didn’t at least one official testify under oath before Congress that they didn’t have any numbers yet?

    1. Well, it wasn’t “oath – oath”. ‘Cause it was in front of those icky rethuglicans. No one has to tell the truth there.

      1. Lying in the service of a good cause is never unethical. How do we know it’s a good cause? Well, they had to lie about it, didn’t they?

      2. And lying to Congress is only a scandal when Republicans do it.

    2. Are you implying that lying under oath is punishable, somehow?

      I see no evidence of that.

    3. They don’t lie, you just have to parse their words in the right way. How many people managed to sign up in the first couple of days? I don’t know – the reports say 248 but you can be sure at least one or two people were not counted or mistakenly counted. It’s kind of like saying you don’t know when someone asks your weight, it varies by a pound or two so at any given time you don’t precisely know how much you weigh.

      This is the way they answer all questions they don’t want to answer, by giving a technically correct but highly misleading answer. As I’ve said before, they’re the kind of people that when you ask them if they stole a cookie out of the cookie jar will look you square in the eye and answer ‘No’ with a completely clear conscience – because they didn’t steal *a* cookie, they stole two cookies.

      1. “This is the way they answer all questions they don’t want to answer, by giving a technically correct but highly misleading answer”

        As in the answer to why all the old policies are being canceled; some admin mouth claimed the companies weren’t “technically” forced to cancel the policies, ignoring the additional costs forced on the companies to continue them.
        There is a limit to sleaze, and I’d thought Obo had already red-lined, but I was wrong.

  8. To be fair, it’s pretty easy to believe that the Obama administration doesn’t know something.

    1. The buck stops…somewhere with one of my underlings, I think. Let me get back to you. I’m pretty sure someone here is responsible for this, BUT when I find them HEADS WILL ROLL (or not).

      1. I’m sure when the mainstream players break this story, he’ll be the first to know.

        Meaning he’s never going to find out.

        1. You only want to take away his plausible deniability because you’re racist. Also, Bush.

          1. We kid about clich? racism allegations, but some in my family really do think I’m a benign, closeted racist for taking the Charles Murray line re: social programs and affirmative action. My contempt for this administration and its supporters hadn’t helped the image.

      2. No, Harry Truman said the buck stops with him and, dammit, Obama is holding him to it.

        1. lol!

      3. There’s no sugarcoating it. We have temporarily misplaced the buck. But once we find it, it will stop at a relatively high level.

      4. HEADS WILL ROLL (or not)

        AFAIK the only person to lose their job over the Obamacare disaster is a “navigator” who talked to Sean Hannity and said “nobody likes it.” She got canned the next day.

  9. man, Obamacare is just a “gift” that just keeps on giving.

    But still, I feel like we’re having a good time playing poker while the ship sinks a few more feet into the abyss.

    1. What else are you gonna do? We don’t have the connections to get a seat on a lifeboat.

    2. And the band played on…

  10. Leaked Memos Reveal that Federal Health Officials Knew Exactly How Many People Enrolled During Obamacare’s Opening Days, Despite Administration Claims to the Contrary

    Yes, but nothwithstanding that, those numbers cannot and will not be the official numbers until the administration has had a chance to spin them to mean something else, which is the current of the administration’s SOPs.

    1. You’re correct.
      The numbers will reflect the fact that the population was overwhelmed with gratitude for this wonderful Gift from Him that they were temporarily unable to type!

  11. Alright. We have numbers for the first 2 days. What about the other 29 days that have passed since then? Does anyone have that info? IIRC they need to average about 40,000 enrollments per day to hit their target of 7 million by April.

    1. They only have to get 79,971 on day two to get back on track.

      1. And how many will they have to get in month two to get back on track?

      2. Slow and steady wins the race.

    2. One point to remember on this is that, if normal enrollment patterns that we’ve seen elsewhere apply, the bulk of enrollments will be last minute. So if they’re not hitting their average early on, that does not mean they won’t get there.

      The flipside of this is that as enrollment deadlines get nearer, you can expect increased demand. Which means that if the federal system can’t handle big user loads by that point, there could be additional problems.

      1. If you can only process 200 per day, they are fucked regardless.

        And if this is like any other code base failure Ive dealt with, they are fucked regardless.

        1. They’re completely, totally fucked. Count on it.

          1. By “they” you mean “we,” right?

            1. By “they” I mean “you”.

              1. Well, no arguing with that.

          2. You called it dude. They are going to do it. They are going to try to tell people who are losing their health insurance after being assured they wouldn’t, that those policies were not really policies and were not any good and if you don’t realize that you are just stupid.

            They are really going to do that. And you know what is even better, all of the low interest, I am a liberal because it feels good and makes me feel smart and tolerant, people all now feel totally stupid and betrayed. Thanks to this, saying you are a Democrat means you were one of the people dumb enough to believe this lie. Suddenly supporting Obama is not such a good way to tell the world how smart you are.

            1. I certainly hope you’re right, John. I really do. TEAM BLUE partisans seeing the actual light, and not the Obama light, would be a really good thing. But I have my doubts. We shall see.

              1. I think it’s important to remember that all the stuff the liberals were reacting to before, it was just theory then.

                Now it’s happening in real life. People love stuff like ObamaCare in theory! It’s when they see it in action that makes everybody head for the exits.

                1. Do you think they will make the connection and realize that some people, usually the ones that have not been so bussy gobbling Obama’s cock like theya re prone to do, do understand how things work in the real world the next time we face another one of these “Trust me it will be good for you” progtard ideas being implemented?

                  1. People will still make the same mistakes again, but they might not be the exact same people.

                    As P.T. Barnum taught us, there’s new one born every minute.

                    1. Ken is right. Those people will some day be fooled by the Progs. But it won’t be this group of progs doing it. This group is fucked.

      2. “One point to remember on this is that, if normal enrollment patterns that we’ve seen elsewhere apply, the bulk of enrollments will be last minute.”

        In this case, it’s a good bet that curve is even more biased in time, since a lot of folks are taking a look at the prices and desperately looking for alternatives.
        Once they find none, they’re going to have to sign up.

        1. Or they will have been informed that the penalty for not buying is minor, 95$ or 1% of income. For the vast majority of uninsured people 1% of income is much less than they would spend on private insurance, even subsidized.

          1. And when you can get treatment for a monthly insurance premium, why just wait until you need it.

      3. if normal enrollment patterns that we’ve seen elsewhere apply, the bulk of enrollments will be last minute.

        But this is not normal Peter. This was kind of a big deal and a whole lot of people knew about this and wanted to sign up for it out of partisan loyalty if nothing else. A lot of people tried and clearly failed.

        1. nope, it’s not normal, and it’s going to continue to be Medicaid.

          1. Medicaide is not worth the hassle. People don’t sign up for it because it imposes all kinds of requirements and generally sucks to be on while not paying very much.

            Medicaide isn’t popular. It is medicare that is popular. But not medicade. The poor really don’t find it worth the trouble and thus only sign up for it when a hospital practically forces them to so it can get some of the cost of care back.

            1. did you see the post story this morning? 9 of 10 enrollments on the exchange are Medicaid.

              1. Holy shit.

              2. NoVAHockey|11.1.13 @ 12:09PM|#
                “did you see the post story this morning? 9 of 10 enrollments on the exchange are Medicaid.”

                Didn’t see it; I presume this is cost-driven?

                1. Post story

                  by cost, you mean income driven? then yes. when you put in your income into the system (assuming it works) it will push you into Medicaid if you apply.

                  1. did you see the post story this morning? 9 of 10 enrollments on the exchange are Medicaid

                    To be fair, these numbers come from State run exhanges like Maryland and Oregon, not the federal exchanges. Also Oregon doens’t even have a functioning private exhange yet, so sign-ups are Medicaid only at this point.

                    Still, it doesn’t bode well for the federal exchanges.

              3. Yeah. And those people are going to find it to be a total pain in the ass and not worth the hassle.

                Think about what that tells you. It tells it you that most of the people who are signing up are poor. And what do you think the poor are showing up thinking they are going to get? Free health insurance. But they are not going to get that. They are going to get the same crappy, “here are your four scheduled visits to your social worker” medicaid they didn’t think was worth signing up for.

                1. oh, i follow you, now.

                  yeah, they were promised “health insurance” and got a program that providers hate.

              4. I haven’t read the analysis or anything, but this is the kind of thing I’ve been hammering on for the past few weeks…

                This is how ObamaCare implodes.

                All those hospitals are going to be giving those people all that essentially free care, and there aren’t going to be enough people signing up for insurance because of the mandate to make up for those losses.

                And we’re not even talking about all the people who are getting onto the private insurance with preexisting conditions, yet. Those people are going to start showing up as charges the first month they’ve got insurance.

                That’s the way it implodes.

                1. Ken,

                  I think pre-existing condition is a bit over blown. But regardless, here is what is not overblown. A lot of people didn’t buy insurance because they didn’t have the money or didn’t think it was worth it. And as a result they put off all but emergency care. If you don’t have insurance you don’t go to the doctor or the ER unless you are really ill or just like sitting in waiting rooms. But if you are now being forced to buy insurance? Then you go a lot. I mean why not? You are paying for the insurance why not use it.

                  So to the extent that people who before didn’t have medicaid or insurance who now do, the costs those people are going to inflict on the system is going to be huge. The idea that forcing people who don’t have insurance to buy insurance was going to cut costs rather than encourage them to get care that they did not before is one of the more insane premises behind this bill.

                  1. “But regardless, here is what is not overblown. A lot of people didn’t buy insurance because they didn’t have the money or didn’t think it was worth it. And as a result they put off all but emergency care. If you don’t have insurance you don’t go to the doctor or the ER unless you are really ill or just like sitting in waiting rooms. But if you are now being forced to buy insurance? Then you go a lot. I mean why not? You are paying for the insurance why not use it.

                    So to the extent that people who before didn’t have medicaid or insurance who now do, the costs those people are going to inflict on the system is going to be huge. The idea that forcing people who don’t have insurance to buy insurance was going to cut costs rather than encourage them to get care that they did not before is one of the more insane premises behind this bill.”

                    This times a million. However, you thing they will blame Obama when they have to wait 2 weeks to have their blood pressure taken; I think they will blame greedy doctors.

                    1. This times a million. However, you thing they will blame Obama when they have to wait 2 weeks to have their blood pressure taken; I think they will blame greedy doctors.

                      Actually, the middle class will blame poor people for showing up and gumming up the system. They won’t blame the doctors. They will want the poor people kicked out and their doctors back to themselves.

                      Middle class liberals love poor people as long as they are spending someone else’ money to help them. If you don’t believe that, look how they vote and act when it comes to things like zoning laws and schools where helping poor people involves them making a sacrifice.

                    2. “Actually, the middle class will blame poor people for showing up and gumming up the system. They won’t blame the doctors. They will want the poor people kicked out and their doctors back to themselves.

                      Middle class liberals love poor people as long as they are spending someone else’ money to help them. If you don’t believe that, look how they vote and act when it comes to things like zoning laws and schools where helping poor people involves them making a sacrifice.”

                      Very true. Imagine if a poor person or smelly hippy showed up at the doctor’s office in Tony’s gated community?

                    3. The idea that forcing people who don’t have insurance to buy insurance was going to cut costs rather than encourage them to get care that they did not before is one of the more insane premises behind this bill.

                      This times 2 million.

                      This is the whole premise behind Obamacare – that low-risk people weren’t paying into the insurance pool and that by forcing them to buy insurance you would have them putting money into the pool from which they are currently taking none out and that once they started putting money into the pool they would continue taking none out.

                      It’s as if they’ve never met a human being before and have no freaking clue how they behave. If I’m going to be forced to buy $7,000 a year worth of insurance, you bet your ass I’m going to make goddamned sure I get $7,000 worth of health care. I’ll get a fucking sex change operation just so I can get a hysterectomy if I have to.

              5. NOVA,

                It also tells you most people who are not just looking for free shit decided the exchanges are not worth the money and are just going to pay the penaltax.

                I am not ready to cue the death spiral. But I will bet good money that a lot fewer people have health insurance on 1 October 2014 than had it on 1 October 2013.

                They are going to play hell lying and covering that number up. The whole plan was sold as a way to get coverage for everyone. When it results in fewer people having health insurance, a lot of people who supported this are going to feel betrayed.

                I wouldn’t be surprised if all of the sudden the media starts saying “it is just impossible to tell how many people actually have health insurance” or some such nonsense to avoid telling the country that this plan resulted in the exact opposite of what it claimed and tried to make up for it by taxing people who lost their coverage.

                1. “They are going to play hell lying and covering that number up”

                  I don’t think you can. at some point you lose control of the story.

                  1. at some point you lose control of the story.

                    Five years in, and this is the first time the DemOp media has even shown any signs of losing control of the story.

              6. did you see the post story this morning? 9 of 10 enrollments on the exchange are Medicaid.

                I thought it was medicare. At least that was the story I saw out of KY, where 80% of the enrollees were in the expanded medicare program.

                1. no — Medicaid. expanded medicaid.

                  Medicare didn’t really change from an enrollment perspective. by local press confuse the them all the time.

                  1. Medicaid pays 12.5 cents on the dollar billed–whether you need it or not.

                    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com…..g-US_n.htm

                    1. There are only 3 reasons to take Medicaid:

                      1: You are essentially forced to (ERs, etc.)
                      2: You have a soft spot for people who are suffering the consequences of their own irresponsibility.
                      3: You are a shitty provider who can’t compete when people have to buy your services with their own money.

              7. “did you see the post story this morning? 9 of 10 enrollments on the exchange are Medicaid.”

                I pointed this out to a lib and their response was that this was great! Now more people have health care!

                I swear, I don’t know how these people manage to get dressed in the morning and hold down jobs.

      4. Peter this is not exactly correct.

        I have worked on systems that do open enrollment and while it is true that the largest number of enrollments happen on the last day it is not a steadily upword sloping curve but rather it starts high falls low and then climbs higher.

        Typically if you divide the enrollment period into 3rds you will see roughly 35% of enrollments in the first 3rd, 20% in the middle 3rd, and 45% in the last 3rd.

        This means that as of this moment we should be slightly ahead of pace then fall off that pace through November and into December before the pace picks up in late December (basing this off the Jan 15 deadline to avoid the penaltax not the March 15 close of the OE period.

        1. Once the federal exchanges are “fixed” there is still time to see that curve. It will just be compressed into the Dec.-Mar. timeframe.

          Of course there is a really big assumption buried somewhere in there…

      5. “The flipside of this is that as enrollment deadlines get nearer, you can expect increased demand.”

        What deadline? Most people have absolutely no idea that the government has required them to go do something. So they won’t.

        This is emphatically not a normal enrollment situation. It’s basically as if the government moved Tax Day from April 15th to January 3rd and nobody knew. Or cared.

        Hundreds of millions of people are casually nullifying a bad law that they don’t want. It’s actually pretty awesome.

        1. “Hundreds of millions of people are casually nullifying a bad law that they don’t want. It’s actually pretty awesome.”

          If there is a saving grace, this will be it.
          The low-info voters are NOT going to accept they’ve been conned; they’ll blame the GOP first and then Obo only because he wasn’t ‘smart enough’ to get around the GOP.
          But when the low info voters get blind-sided by what cannot be blamed on the GOP, government shutdown, racist, Palin, SoCon, libertarian, etc, it will finally start sinking in.
          The key here is for the GOP to simply shut up, and the media is gonna help; they are not going to mention the line in the sand Obama drew…

  12. How could they not have known?

    The question is how you make them pay for lying.

    I don’t have the answer to that question. There’s impeachment.

    There’s congressional hearings, but the only negative consequences of that is public shame–and the Obama White House is completely immune to shame.

    1. They’re proud of their shameful behavior!

      They’d like to give medals to the people who lied to get this thing passed.

      Making sacrifices of your personal integrity shows how devoted you are to the messiah and his message.

    2. this is like a cop shooting someone. Nothing will actually happen. There will be some appearance of things happening but nothing of substance.

      Repubs won’t impeach, mostly because the bulk are spineless weasels but also because they want to use O-care’s twisting in the wind as campaign fodder next fall and in ’16.

      1. Republicans won’t impeach for the same reason cops don’t report on each other.

        They don’t want to be on the receiving end the next time they do something illegal.

        1. They won’t impeach because it’s political suicide at this point.

          And the Democrats are already set to hang themselves with this ObamaCare rope anyway.

          Why open themselves to charges of racism, etc. by trying to impeach the president? The risk analysis and the cost/benefit analysis both point to not impeaching him.

          1. And the Democrats are already set to hang themselves with this ObamaCare rope anyway.

            When your opponent is committing suicide, don’t interfere.

          2. A least get all the bloody details out there so Hillary has to either defend them or admit Obama et al were total fuckups.

          3. The winds may shift, Ken. We have at least three active scandals. The more that comes out the weaker the administration becomes and the more that emboldens people to spill the beans.

            1. The weaker the administration becomes, the less reason there is to impeach him.

              And strictly from a libertarian perspective, a massively unpopular President Obama is probably better than a President Biden.

              1. Can you imagine if they had swapped Hilary for Biden as VP in the last election? This fiasco may have totally torpedoed her chances in 2016, and then who do the Democrats have?

                1. There’s Lieawatha, the LearJet Liberal from Taxachusetts.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-P-CoSNYaI

                  1. Lieawatha just endorsed Hillary

                    1. From a marketing perspective, having two women on the ticket is probably too much.

                      I wonder what she got for that.

                    2. “I wonder what she got for that.”

                      I mean, I wonder what Liz Warren got for that.

                      Hillary didn’t give her endorsement away for free. She traded it to become Secretary of State.

              2. Yes too both.

                1. Damn. “to”

                  And that was supposed to be a reply to Ken ‘s 12:26.

      2. Republicans won’t impeach for two reasons: One, they’d be called racists for trying to impeach the first black president. And two, they know there is no chance of conviction by a Senate controlled by Democrats.

        There is also the fact that the ruling elite would find it unseemly to remove one of their own from power – ‘twould be a stain on the august honor, integrity, and history of the US Government. That was a factor in the failure of the only other two presidential impeachments in history.

    3. Impeachment works for me. I don’t think it’ll work, but it will make the Administration suffer for a while. And it’ll be fun.

  13. Remember how when GTA 5 debuted millions of people lined up to buy it on the first day, and when they took it home it loaded and ran the first time? Neither do I.

  14. That six number was leaked on opening day. I heard it and, like everyone else, spread the rumor. it just wasn’t believable. zero would have make more sense.

  15. They knew exactly what the numbers were just like they probably knew what was happening in Benghazi choosing instead, well, lie.

    It’s not a “lie,lie” like it isn’t “rape rape.”

    The left. Very sick intellectually.

  16. Did anyone really believe that they didn’t have the numbers? I mean who out there honestly believed it?

    1. Someone will use that as a defense, just wait. It wasn’t a lie because no one really believed it in the first place.

      1. Look, the numbers were unbelievably low unlikely, and so they ran another few passes to verify. And they needed time to furnish Carney and Sebellius and other insiders with a plausible timeframe for deniability check those numbers. Simple.

      2. LynchPin1477|11.1.13 @ 12:17PM|#
        “Someone will use that as a defense, just wait. It wasn’t a lie because no one really believed it in the first place.”

        Already seen this re: the ‘keep your policy’ lie.
        ‘It’s not a lie, since everybody knew is wasn’t true when he said it!’

    2. “Did anyone really believe that they didn’t have the numbers”

      Select count(patientId) from Enrollment where Enrollment.Status = “COMPLETE”

      Um, nope didn’t believe them for a second

      1. In their defense, we had no reason to think they were competent enough to write a valid SQL query.

    3. It’s really easy to believe that the Obama Administration doesn’t know what the fuck is going on.

  17. It’s like 1972 all over again.

  18. Did you guys read McCardle’s blog post that someone (I think John) posted yesterday? They didn’t didn’t report the numbers because they just assumed everyone else knew that they were crappy, too. Wasn’t it common knowledge?

    In all seriousness, this has descended into the absurdly and tragically hilarious. I mean, it started off that way from day 1, but the fact that it just keeps getting worse and worse amazes and entertains me. Unfortunately, one look at the headlines dominating CNN (someone drove across the country really fast and mac and cheese is getting yellower. HARD. HITTING) puts me in an angry/depressed mood again.

    1. Some of the people on here were defending her. I found that column insulting and loathsome. The Klein video above puts lie to it completely. They all knew he was lying and helped him get away with it.

      1. I don’t know how anyone could defend that. Even if you buy her reasoning (and I don’t, at all) she openly admitted to being too close minded to properly do her advertised* job.

        *Obviously, the job as advertised and the job in reality are two different things.

        1. Except that she wrote scores of columns in the run up to passing Obamacare about why she opposed it. The comments in response to her quoted all the bs policy arguments everyone is now claiming were common knowledge.

  19. You know what?

    Every day that passes makes Ted Cruz look smarter and smarter.

    I thought he let himself get hit by a train for no reason, but it turns out that it was “If you strike me down, Darth, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

    And I’m not happy about that, because I like Cruz just fine as a Senator but not so much as a Presidential candidate.

    1. I’m not sure why people ever doubted that. With the shutdown he simultaneously made himself a champion of the Republican cause and the face of the anti-Obamacare movement. Not bad for a first term Senator nobody had heard of, not so long ago.

    2. We will see what happens in 2016. But the flip side of that is how stupid were all of the Washington idiots who were convinced Cruz and the House Republicans were crazy and committing political suicide?

      The upside of this is more than Cruz being a real candidate. It is that his success tells every other Republican politician out there that the path to success is telling the Washington concern trolls to go fuck themselves and make an effort to stand for something and don’t just go along and get along and try to be David Brooks’ favorite Republican.

      1. Who’s going to vote for a Democrat who occasionally says unfortunate thing about gays? That’s what David Brooks wants, but it’s not a very electable position.

    3. Fluffy is right.

      Ted Cruz looks like a genius right now.

      And the Tea Party Republicans can look the electorate in the face and honestly say, “We did everything we could to stop this mess”.

      1. And more importantly, they look smart and everyone who believed it looks like a liar or a dupe. The Dems get a lot of mileage by convincing their supporters that being a Democrat is a way to show people you are smart. That brand just took one hell of a hit.

        1. And Peter Suderman spent two weeks talking about how stupid the GOP was being.

          And a lot of you joined in (not you John).

          I mean, they are the stupid party and they eventually showed it, but the initial effort by the GOP House was the right thing to do.

          1. I didn’t join in either!

            There may be a lot of people that want to jump on this bandwagon now. And I say–the more, the merrier.

            1. I agree, but I reserve the right to mock the late jumpers while also welcoming them.

      2. Ken Shultz|11.1.13 @ 12:39PM|#
        …”And the Tea Party Republicans can look the electorate in the face and honestly say, “We did everything we could to stop this mess”.”

        And the electorate will look right back and say ‘you obstructionist!’
        Remember, the electorate really doesn’t like it pointed out that they’re idjits who got sucked in by some slick-talking, lying con man.

        1. ^^^^THIS^^^^

          The freeloaders will all double down, in anger, for being played for fools, not by Obama and the donkeys, but by the evil few on the republican side whom issued the warnings and stood firm against Black Jesus.

          1. Obama’s 42% approval rating says otherwise. That is the national number. Considering that is probably still over 60% in places like California or New York, how low must it be in Ohio or Arkansas or worse still the deep red states?

            I really wish people would stop feeling sorry for themselves on here. This is a disaster. When you claim it is really great, you sound as stupid at the Obamtrons do.

            1. “I really wish people would stop feeling sorry for themselves on here.”

              John, I wish people would take off the rose-colored lenses.

            2. John|11.1.13 @ 2:46PM|#
              “Obama’s 42% approval rating says otherwise.”

              Oh, and, let’s see how ‘the electorate’ is distributing blame:
              “Obama approval rating: Nearly twice as high as GOP”
              http://www.examiner.com/articl…..igh-as-gop
              Yep, ‘the electorate’ is really pissed, and they’re gonna blame just about anyone who isn’t Obo or who doesn’t have a (D) behind their name.
              It’s nice to be optimistic, but it’s better to be realistic.

              1. Actually, there’s a new poll out indicating that Democrat Congressmen are in trouble. Posted on MotherJones of all places.

        2. There will be more tea party types next congress than this one. They might not take and D seats, but there will be more of them.

  20. apparently people aren’t as dumb as Obama thought they were. but he’s been hanging with morons his whole life so I can understand him getting the wrong impression.

  21. they lied? but…but..they’re from the government! how could they…

    1. Right here in the United States of America.

      It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?

  22. Ted Cruz looks like a genius right now.

    Ted Cruz is a grandstanding clown, and a vessel by which Republicans can snatch defeat from easy victories time-and-time again. Seriously, Republicans need to let Clown & Co. just do their thing if they want to accumulate political capital.

    Every time the wingnuts like Cruz get involved with their histrionics and personal promotion, it gives Clown & Co. an excuse for their own failures. Keep Cruz off the stage.

    1. I don’t think anybody said he was a genius, but he looks like one for standing in the way of ObamaCare right now.

      1. Taking the government to the brink with shutdowns and defaults over a vote he knew he could never win was a ruinous self-promotion of Cruz not for the nation at large, but for caucus Republicans.

        That’s stupid at a national level, and indicative of where that moron’s primary motivations are. After his comical filibuster, he should have packed it in and at least kept his powder dry until Clowncare went live.

        1. I don’t think that governemnt was “at the brink” since it was never “shutdown” and there wasn’t going to be a “default” but yeah, sure, cool story bro.

        2. We never missed an interest payment.

          The biggest mistake was paying all those employees while they were furloughed.

          Someday, I hope the government really does “shut down” like that–permanently.

          And all those furloughed government employees are unemployed and have to find jobs doing something productive.

          If slashing government spending caused a recession–by getting rid of all the dead weight in the government–for a while? Then that’s a recession I want to have.

          That’s the way it works with private companies, too, sometimes. Sometimes you have to make cuts and take a charge against earnings. Sometimes you have to cut your spending. And if you can’t even put pressure on the spenders to make those cuts (without even missing an interest payment) without people going all Budgetocalypse!!! on us, then American people are even more ignorant than I thought.

          1. Obviously the government never ‘shut down’ and any default would have been contrived by the administration itself. But that’s not the point.

            What Cruz and his ilk did was take the perception of such things to the brink, and let Donks proffer excuses – even now – about why Clowncare doesn’t work. It was horrible politics; President Clown has been incredibly lucky, his whole political career, in his opponents. Cruz is the latest chapter in that story.

            1. No one will remember any of the fearmongering stories about the government shut down in 6 months time when people are continuing to get screwed by a program that is a 100% partisan Democrat program.

              Ted Cruz will be remembered by Republicans as one of the lone voices who stood up to this thing and brought on a government shut down to try to stop it. He will keep scoring political points as the train wreck that is Obamacare continues to unfold.

          2. Some of the bastards are even suing the government because their paychecks for not working were delayed a couple weeks.

            A huge layoff is long overdue.

    2. Yeah, the GOP was demonstrating their usual icy resolve, mere moments from deploying their elaborate five-dimensional legislative genius to stop this whole Obamacare disaster.

      And then that bastard Ted F’ing Cruz popped up and spoiled their whole plan! Dagnabbit!

      “Seriously, Republicans need to let Clown & Co. just do their thing if they want to accumulate political capital.”

      They’ve been letting them do their thing for the last five years or so. Cruz tried to position the party to take advantage of this inevitable failure, and it worked. No matter how badly the other team screws up, you won’t win unless your team actually play the game.

  23. “Leaked Memos Reveal that Federal Health Officials Knew Exactly How Many People Enrolled During Obamacare’s Opening Days, Despite Administration Claims to the Contrary”

    If the Obama Administration uses the same game plan to address this situation as it has in the past, it’ll do the following:

    First, they will announce that Obama is going to give a major speech to address the situtation.

    Second, instead of the speech being about how terrible the government’s behavior was and making a promise to stop it, the speech will be about how Obama is going to do everything he can to prosecute the leaker to the fullest extent of the law.

    And, lastly, well, that’s it.

    1. “And, lastly, well, that’s it”

      Nope.
      You left out ’cause rethuglicans!’

  24. The Road to Serfdom is paved with unintended consequences. Progressive economics is just so wrong-headed that they will never achieve what they seek. And they will never understand why. They will forever get surprises while hoping for change. You just can’t go forward by taking a Left turn.

  25. I was originally under the impression that this would mostly only affect people like small business owners who are in the individual insurance market.

    But some of you have wised me up to how this will affect people on employer group plans. And with companies about to go through their annual open enrollments this month, maybe the shit will really hit the fan more than I thought.

    1. What happened was the original law said that all plans created before March 2010 were grandfathered and didn’t have to comply. That is how they got any but the craziest Dems to vote for the bill. Then HHS wrote the regulations. And regulations said that “grandfathered” means as long as your plan doesn’t change in any “material way”. Basically HHS made the grandfather provision a dead letter because everyone’s plans change a little bit every year. And besides that, the mandates are a money machine to the insurance companies since it allows them to charge people for coverage for things they will never need. So the insurance companies have every reason to change the polices so they can get them on the mandate gravy train.

      Tens of millions of voters are going to wake up on January 1st 2014 with health plans that are significantly worse and more expensive than they had after being assured that wouldn’t happen. We will what they do about it. But make no mistake. that is what is happening.

  26. “Con artists are using confusion over ObamaCare to sign people up for what they call fake health insurance. The scammers lure victims with false promises, they say stuff like, ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.'” ?Jay Leno

  27. “Leaked meeting notes from high-level war room briefings inside the federal health bureaucracy on October 2 and October 3 report that federal officials were aware of the exact number of federal enrollees on the first and second days in which the exchanges were running.”

    Obama assures us that he fully intends to get to the bottom of this and punish those responsible…

    for the leak

  28. Well, at least Obamacare is going to be fantastic when the website starts working. Hell, the employer mandate is gonna be SWEET when it kicks in.

    /sarc

  29. The whole administration knew they were wrong the whole time, but no one wants to admit it. We’re “led” by a gaggle of children too immature to rule their own expressions.

  30. My scenario:
    Carney and Sebelius asked officials “How are we doing?”

    Rather than giving numbers each day … allowing plausible deniability … they responded with a question:

    “How may toes do you have?” If they said 10, the response was “No, not that high.” … or …
    “How many days in a year? If they said 365, the response was “No, not that high.” … etc …

    So, either of them could say they didn’t know (exactly) how many people had enrolled in the program.

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