Obamacare

Obama Relies on False Hope to Sell Obamacare

Even the statement that consumers can apply for insurance without using HealthCare.gov was deceptive.

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Whitehouse.gov

When the October launch of Obamacare's online insurance portals went disastrously awry, the Obama administration had a handy communications strategy ready: Distract people with false hope.

On Oct. 21, as the online federal exchange system at the heart of President Obama's health law entered its third week of widespread failures, the president gave a televised speech in which he admitted that there were "kinks in the system," but also insisted that the exchange problems could be worked around, because the online insurance portals weren't the only way to enroll in coverage.

"While the website will ultimately be the easiest way to buy insurance through the marketplace, it isn't the only way," he said. "I want to emphasize this … you can still buy the same quality affordable insurance plans available on the marketplace the old-fashioned way, offline—either over the phone or in person." The application process, Obama said, would only take about 25 minutes for an individual.

As workarounds go, it was appealing enough. It was also basically useless. The 25-minute application process he touted didn't actually provide way to avoid the problems of the exchanges. That's because the paper applications would eventually have to be submitted into the online enrollment system. And if the system didn't work, then neither would the supposed workarounds.

This was not exactly a secret to the administration officials managing the Obamacare rollout. They were well aware that paper applications filled out with the help of navigators or call center workers were still dependent on the functionality of the online system. Yet the president went on television to promote the phone and paper processes anyway, reading out the toll-free call-in number like a late-night TV pitchman. Kathleen Sebelius used a similar line in Phoenix a few days later. 

The reasoning behind the decision to make workarounds a focus of the president's message can perhaps be found in newly leaked meeting notes from the Obamacare "war room." Notes from a meeting held the morning of Oct. 11 show that when questions arose about paper applications, the discussion turned to their symbolic impact. "The paper applications allow people to feel like they are moving forward in the process and provides another option," the leaked document says. But that additional option provided no substantive benefit. "At the end of the day, we are all stuck in the same queue."

Similar thinking seems to have informed the decision by some navigators—individuals paid to assist with enrollment in coverage through the law—to encourage individuals to fill out paper applications. "Navigators are seeing people very frustrated and walking away," notes from the Oct. 15 meeting say, "so they are turning to paper applications to protect their reputations as people in the communities who can help, even though paper applications will not have a quicker result necessarily."

The motivation here was twofold: to try to keep people from being discouraged, and to protect their own reputations as purveyors of help. But let's be honest: The hope they offered wasn't real. It was a deception designed to hide the fact that they had nothing to offer.

Six days later, when President Obama stood on the White House lawn and made the same pitch to the entire nation, that was still true. Indeed, it's been true throughout the administration's health law sales pitches.

The president's promises that individuals could keep health plans and doctors were false, and his senior advisers knew it, but decided to mislead people anyway because it made for a better sales pitch. The administration's repeated assurances that the exchange system was on schedule and on track to work were either intentionally incompetent or deliberately misleading. Obama promised the exchanges would work fine despite not having run complete system tests; multiple senior administration officials claimed they didn't have enrollment data, even though it's clear that Obamacare's overseers had early numbers in hand. On health care, the administration has never had much to offer except distraction, deception, and false hope designed to bolster its own reputation and hide the empty promises it could not keep.

With this record of evasions and incompetence, it is impossible to trust anything the administration says about the health law and its implementation. The only questions that remain are how bad it becomes, for how long, and what deceptions remain to be revealed. What, in other words, are we being given false hope about now?

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    1. Can we get the SEC on ’em for anti-competitive business practices?

      1. It’s just funny. The whole “This website built for browser X” thing was always bad, but it disappeared about 10 years ago. It’s startlingly inept for a new website in 2013.

        1. PapayaSF|11.5.13 @ 5:17PM|#
          “It’s just funny.”

          I had my site re-done say 8 years ago. I sat with the guy doing the code and went through 4 or 5 browsers on different computers so my customers could find what they needed.
          But then I have competition.

          1. John Batchelor on his radio show last week “Load testing is something you do when working for a profit”

        2. But he must repay Bill Gates for all of his support.

      2. Can we get the SEC on ’em for anti-competitive business practices?
        —————–
        Why man, they were buying local!

      3. Can we get the SEC on ’em for anti-competitive business practices?

        If the SEC were actually intended to combat anti-competitive business practices, they would indict themselves and every federal agency that owes it’s existence to the Commerce Clause.

        1. Not to mention any congressmen who votes for tariffs.

  1. Distract people with false hope.

    And SWISH! Three points in a fadeaway jump shot! Biden 2016!

    1. ‘My intent was not to deceive anyone…For if it were, I would not have been so blatant.’- Joe Biden

    2. Just a replay of the 08 and 12 Obama campaigns.

  2. Obama Relies on False Hope to Sell Obamacare

    As usual, Suderman is being too diplomatic.

    Here’s how the headline should read:

    Obama Lies Through His Teeth to Sell Obamacare

    1. He’s hoping for the job in the Biden administration.

      1. Hilary 2016
        ____________

        What difference does it make?

  3. The only thing that matters is how many Obots continue to defend the lying piece of shit.

  4. Im making over $13k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.last month her pay check was $12712 just working on the laptop for a few hours. This is what I do,—— http://www.works23.com

  5. “Will it hurt?”

    No, of course not. I’m only going to put the tip in. Just the tip.

    “AAAAAAAAAAAA HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!!”

    1. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

      1. Told ya, Ballz: There is no sugarcoating it.

  6. Obama started with a promise of “Audacious Hope” but will end his tenure delivering little more than “False Hope.”

  7. “””
    With this record of evasions and incompetence, it is impossible to trust anything the administration says about the health law and its implementation.
    “””
    Stop trying to sugarcoat it Peter. Tell us what you really think.

  8. ‘I’m really good at killing people’-Barack Obama

  9. Yes, but FREE STUFF!

  10. How ironic that a simple scholar, with no ambition, beyond a modest measure of seclusion, should out of the clear sky, find himself besieged by an army of fellow creatures, all grimly determined to be of service.

  11. Obama didn’t lie. He said you could apply by phone or mail, and the process would only take 25 minutes or so. That is, the process of applying would only take 25 minutes or so.

    Sure, the application won’t go anywhere, because their system sucks. But it only takes 25 minutes of your life that way. That’s much better than banging against the website multiple times, for hours a day, day after day.

    Eventually, all those phoned in, mailed in applications will get processed (or, they should, so it’s a much better way to go about it right now.

    Obama was just helping people out by diverting them away from the website, which is a huge time sink.

    If you want to take him out of context and straw man him, claiming that he said you’d be able to purchase health insurance in 25 minutes or less, then you’re not arguing in good faith. And, your foisting your own high standards on the government. He means, what he says, people. he means what he says.

    1. That was the big fight between Jay Carney and Jonathan Karl, the difference between applying and enrolling. They were using the same word to describe two different things, Karl should have pointed out “No, you are using the word enroll, which to many means completing the process, when you should be using apply, the beginning of the process. A phone call may only take 25 minutes of your life, but you are not enrolled yet, if ever”

    2. Obama didn’t lie. He said you could apply by phone or mail, and the process would only take 25 minutes or so. That is, the process of applying would only take 25 minutes or so.

      This is a bullshit pedantic excuse. We all know that most people hearing this statement won’t parse it that way.

      This is the political equivalent to posting a sign in the Circus tent, “This way to the Egress”.

    3. I’m amazed you can type with your head so far up Obama’s ass.

  12. Suderman deserves a Pulitzer Prize for his illuminating reports on Obamacare. No one comes to close to both his quality and quantity of coverage, not even National Review, Weekly Standard, Cato, etc (I don’t touch most liberal sites). If I want to daily updates on the ACA situation, I read Suderman on Reason or listen to talk radio.

  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

  14. I have to say I’m pretty shocked about the LIES coming out of Obama. I mean, I knew everything would be awful with him and he would put the spin on anything. But bold-faced LYING–how he said “What we said was: ‘You can keep your plan if it hasn’t changed.'” I mean, how can he even bring himself to say that. It’s such a repulsive thought to think somebody would live like that.

    1. I’m not shocked at all – especially in light of the Reverend Wright fiasco of his first campaign. How could anyone attend a church for twenty years, listening to the same pastor’s bullshit week after week, and then seriously expect anyone to believe he didn’t know what that pastor’s views were? I would imagine Obama’s been a lying mofo like that ever since he was a kid.

      1. Obama must have slept through more sermons than I have. On the way home my wife asks “Tell me what the pastor talked about today”

        1. Does she sleep through the sermons, too?

          1. No, she’s busy poking me in the ribs

        2. Besides, I’ve seen video of Wright speak; no one could sleep through those harangues unless drugged.

  15. I have to say I’m pretty shocked about the LIES coming out of Obama. I mean, I knew everything would be awful with him and he would put the spin on anything. But bold-faced LYING–how he said “What we said was: ‘You can keep your plan if it hasn’t changed.'” I mean, how can he even bring himself to say that. It’s such a repulsive thought to think somebody would live like that.

  16. I think reform is needed in this time.

  17. How about when he tells us it’s secure? I’m kind of surprised that story hasn’t gotten big yet, but I guess a few thousand more people have to get some other guy’s file or discover that their bank account has mysteriously drained before the press gets so loud that Carney has to address it (i.e. lie through his teeth about it).

  18. “Obama Relies on False Hope to Sell Obamacare”

    This man relies on “false hope” got get through life is general. So why should his action in office be any different?

    He has lied and slipped through the cracks his whole life, and the Progressive love fest while cracking and falling apart on the edges will continue for many years to come.

  19. I am soooo looking forward to that point in January when the numbers get toted up and we found out that more people were insured before O-care took effect than after it took effect. Of course, he will lie that the decrease in enrollment is all due to bad apple insurers instead of a bad law badly implemented. But for the humanity, it will be interesting to see.

  20. OT: I’ve been desperately searching for a news story which came out shortly after the fall of communism regarding the conditions of heathcare of the mentally challenged in Communist Romania. If anything could make someone lose faith in state-managed care it would be that article. Anyone who may have a link to that here?

  21. It’s common for employer provided health insurance plans to make changes to provider networks, so being forced to change doctors or hospitals (or pay the difference) isn’t something new or tied only to “Obamacare” exchanges. It’s also common for employers to change the insurance companies from time to time in order to save money. I worked at a large company that left Blue Cross/Blue Shield after several years and switched to Aetna. The physician networks changed.
    The ACA may be deeply flawed, but I’m tired of so much attention being directed towards not being able to keep your doctor. It’s old news and it’s been happening for decades.

    1. It’s news when it’s 67% of the population at once, in response to federal legislation that promised to have the opposite effect.

  22. The only hope being delivered by Obama is that the 49 percenters will be getting more free stuff from the few that are still working for a living and trying to eek out an existence in the face of the massive transfer of their earnings to those who choose not to work.

  23. my neighbor’s step-mother makes $81 every hour on the internet. She has been out of work for 5 months but last month her income was $15044 just working on the internet for a few hours. hop over to here…….
    ==========================
    http://www.works23.com
    ==========================

  24. http://downtrend.com/robertgeh…..tions-etc/
    “Dan from Squirrel Hill” has a blog at WordPress where he regularly writes on conservative issues. His list is complete, authoritative and well-sourced. Learn, listen and decide. For example:
    1)Supported the $700 billion TARP corporate-welfare bailout just like Bush
    While Senator, Obama voted for the $700 billion TARP bank bailout bill. The bailout rewarded irresponsible and illegal behavior. It redirected resources from more productive uses to less productive uses. It punished the hard working taxpayers who had played by the rules and obeyed the law. It created horrible incentives, and sent the wrong message. The bailout was evil because it rewarded the bad people and punished the good people. No society that does this can expect to remain free or prosperous. Instead of bailing out these corrupt corporations, we should have let them cease to exist, like we did with Enron.
    A snippet of some 407 documented lies by this administration and its “Prevaricator-in-chief.” Pray. Amen. Join a Tea Party, urgently. Check out all 406 lies. Its educational.

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