The lies that the president told to sell his defective product would land a CEO in big trouble


The Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last got a good grilling in Congress about the Obamacare debacle. But if she were the CEO of a company, she might have faced not Congress but a grand jury for launching an unsafe product without proper testing based on a fraudulent sales pitch and misleading information.

Sebelius has admitted that Healthcare.gov—the federal online shopping exchange that is the lynchpin of the program—required one year of successful testing before launch. Instead it got two weeks of failed testing. If an automaker had knowingly put a vehicle on the road without appropriate crash tests, this administration, the self-appointed guardian of consumers, would have taken it to the mat.

But just like a defective car, Obamacare's defective exchange is not just a nuisance; it will destabilize the health insurance industry and jeopardize coverage. Yet the administration's march to enforce its law continues unabated.

The "glitches" in the exchange, many fear, will accelerate Obamacare's insurance death spiral. The folks who'll take the trouble to sign up will be the sick and poor who qualify for subsidies. The rest—especially the young invincibles—will likely go elsewhere, forcing them to raise rates.

But because Obamacare bars participating companies from offering different prices to their exchange and non-exchange customers, these rates will go up for all their customers. This will allow non-participating competitors—that face no similar stricture—to bid away their healthier and wealthier customers.

The participating companies will then face this choice: Stay in the exchange and risk extinction or quit. Either way, exchange patients will have fewer choices and pricier plans compared to non-exchange patients—defeating the whole purpose of Obamacare.

To head off this dynamic, the administration has engaged in what can only be described as deception.

The exchange initially wouldn't let people even window shop without first submitting their income information so that it could offer them subsidized quotes and prevent them from walking away in sticker shock. But when this crashed the website, the administration switched tactics.

The exchange lumped all shoppers into two groups—those under 49 and those over 50. The first group got quotes based on what a healthy 27-year-old would pay and the older group what a 50-year-old pay. The actual prices for specific policies obtained from the websites of insurance companies were much higher, prompting an expert interviewed by CBS, which broke the story, to call this feature "incredibly misleading." 

But the administration's lies don't end there.

President Obama had been claiming till as recently as last year that his law would force no one to give up coverage. "If you like your plan, you can keep it." But the administration's own internal communication shows that it knew back in 2010 that 12 to 93 million policy holders might well lose their policies.

That's when Sebelius issued regulations grandfathering policies so long as they didn't change. If insurers so much as inflation-adjusted premiums, they lost their protected status, becoming subject to Obamacare's mandates requiring them to cover everything from maternity services for elderly couples to drug rehab for teetotalers.

All of this prompted even Washington Post's "fact" checkers this week to give Obama Four Pinocchios.

The whole point of Obamacare—aka the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—was to protect patients from greedy insurers who lure them when they are healthy only to use some arcane fine print to jack prices or dump them when they fall sick.

But the administration has engaged in similar subterfuge, showing that the profit motive is not the only corrupter in human affairs. Partisanship, ideology and—above all—a president's need to leave a legacy are even more so.

When companies put profits ahead of people, the government can go after them for fraud and falsehood. But what should people do when the government puts politics ahead of people?

Don't ask this president because Obama-don't-care.

This column was originally published in the Washington Examiner

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  1. OT: I have a great idea for a means to integrate pro-Obamacare propaganda into a popular ongoing television series.

    You know all those ghost shows (“A Haunting”, etc.) with terrified families and determined investigators? Well, maybe it’s time for voices beyond the grave to correct our libertarian ways. A family moves into a new house, and everything is hunky-dory until the little girl sees the Republican boogeyman living under the stairs! He told her she would never get government abortions, and that she’d probably be a slut at a liberal college! Fortunately, the demon is exercised by logging onto the obamacare website and obtaining free super-groovy happy panda healthcare.

    Or a new type of Republican poltergeist that beats up women, waging a war–from the grave!, because they so hated women in life, just like the leftoids on tv said!

    Or those one dudes visit a hospital and record EVPs saying things like “Get Obamacare”, or the bigfoot hunters find a libertarian living in a secluded cabin with drugs and a nuclear warhead lololz, the unpossibilities are endless!

    1. Here’s another: Just a simple website or blog that shows the evolution of healthcare.gov. A series of screenshots as the site has goes through its various stages of bland inoperation.

    2. All the Republican boogeyman needs to do is tell women it’s risky to get drunk and that they should pay for their own birth control. We know how horrible such anti-women statements are.

  2. Most of Lord O’s senior team would be up on charges if the rule of law applied in the US.

    OCare is fraudulent and in breach of dozens of regulations.

    Running guns to the Cartels in Mexico breached at least a dozen state and federal laws that would have sent everyone who touched that fiasco to prison for a long time. In the private sector. In the public sector its a big meh.

    Knowling filing false tax returns is fine if you are the Secretary of the Treasury but just try doing that and blaming TurboTax this April and see if you can get a cell next to Wesley Snipes.

    And the list goes on. We have a genuine ruling class propped up by a compliant media. They are literally above the law like the old Royal Families of Europe. Our government recognizes nothing so much as an Organized Crime operation. If ever there was a justification for the mother and father of all RICO cases, this regime is it.

  3. We have a genuine ruling class propped up by a compliant media.

    Compliant…accommodating…wet….and oh so willing! I’m sure some members of the media positively get “tingles” when they think about the president

  4. Who is the gullible fool in that photo?

    1. But he DOES care! Just not what that idjit thinks he cares about.

    2. He’s the guy whose job is hold up cue cards for Obama for his speeches.

  5. “Obamacare’s defective exchange is not just a nuisance;” It’s also a dessert topping!

    1. But is it also a floor wax?

  6. “The whole point of Obamacare?aka the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act?was to protect patients from greedy insurers who lure them when they are healthy only to use some arcane fine print to jack prices or dump them when they fall sick.”

    Incorrect. The whole point of PPACA was to give Top.Men. more ability to help us dumb sheep live our lives the right way.

    1. Obamacare was designed to save us poor, ignorant dupes from the horrors of junk Insurance. Surely, you don’t expect people to understand their own policies? There are, like, lots of pages to read and stuff. Best to let the Top Men do their job and weed through the fine print for us.

  7. The security thing.

    When Jeff Zients gives his rah-rah speech on November 30, can he personally guarantee the site users’ security? (Will anyone ask?) That seems to me like one of the upcoming nightmares for the Odministration. There’s an easy lawsuit there, an easy injunction to shut the website down until it satisfies federal privacy and security regulations.

    1. “(Will anyone ask?)”
      If they do, it will be considered in bad taste and the question will be ignored.

  8. How about the other big lie that everyone is forgetting: that everyone’s health insurance premiums will drop? I am still waiting for that to happen.

  9. Who’s the sad, useful idiot holding up that pathetic sign?

  10. After reading the headline, did anyone else picture a honey badger with Obama’s face, kind of like those Nicolas Cage cats?

  11. This is the part where the media in the US pretend that we really don’t care about honesty from politicians, as long as we’re choosing the right. Top. Men.

    Kinda goes against the whole “informed public expresses will through democracy to achieve greater good” fairytale, but, go figure.

    These are the same people who say that elections matter, and that they won, so deal with it.

    Well, since they lied to everyone to get their support, does it really count? Is the law still valid? Even though it’s all based on fraud?

    Because, if it is, then it’s just a big FYTW. Democracy and legitimacy are just fantasies.

    1. What will make this story last is that Obama can likely be pushed into having a ‘hell, yes, I ordered the code red’ moment in an interview, particularly an ostensibly friendly one. They love the President but love themselves as super-journalists more.

      1. “I am up there on that line, every day, defending you from evil Republicans who don’t want to pay for your free shit, and thus want to kill you!”

  12. I have a new denominative for the PPACA:

  13. My last pay check was 9500 dolr working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is what I do———- http://www.jobs53.com

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