“In 2003, when he was an ambitious Illinois state senator from a hyper-statist district, Obama declared: ‘I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health-care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. . . . Everybody in, nobody out. A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. That’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately.’
“That is the Obamacare scheme. It is a Fabian plan to move an unwilling nation, rooted in free enterprise, into Washington-controlled, fully socialized medicine. As its tentacles spread over time, the scheme (a) pushes all Americans into government markets (a metastasizing blend of Medicare, Medicaid, and ‘exchanges’ run by state and federal agencies); (b) dictates the content of the ‘private’ insurance product; (c) sets the price; (d) micromanages the patient access, business practices, and fees of doctors; and (e) rations medical care. Concurrently, the scheme purposely sows a financing crisis into the system, designed to explode after Leviathan has so enveloped health care, and so decimated the private medical sector, that a British- or Canadian-style ‘free’ system — formerly unthinkable for the United States — becomes the inexorable solution.
“Once you grasp that this is the scheme, the imperative to lull the public with lies makes sense. Like all swindles, Obamacare cannot work if its targeted victims figure out the endgame before it is a fait accompli.” —Andrew McCarthy, The Scheme Behind the Obamacare Fraud
“How are you enjoying that ‘new and improved’ Healthcare.gov experience? It looks like the sum total achievement from two months of expensive work by no-bid contractors was a modest improvement in traffic capacity – the $500 million federal exchange website can now handle about as many shoppers as the average custom T-shirt site – and a remodeled 404 Error page that pretends to be a ‘waiting room,’ where you can ‘queue up’ and leave an email address to be notified when Barack Obama’s boondoggle is ready to receive your business. You know, just like absolutely none of the private sector websites which have been successfully selling health insurance for years handle their traffic. …
“So there you were, enjoying the new ObamaCare waiting room – where the technology of 2013 is employed to re-create the nostalgic experience of using 1993 dial-up Internet – when the whole thing crashed yesterday, including the waiting room. Over the weekend, Team Obama claimed the extensively refurbished system could now handle 800,000 visitors per day; Monday morning they made sketchy claims of 375,000 visitors… and it was enough to crash Healthcare.gov again. Such is the magic of the Obama era of lowered expectations and curbed enthusiasm. Oh, well, at least the system can now provide instantaneous visitor counts. Remember when compiling that number supposedly required the robed monks of Health and Human Services to labor in windowless basements with parchment and abacus for days?
“While you were dealing with the latest round of crash bugs from a system that still hasn’t reached what any reputable software company would call ‘beta stage,’ you might have wondered if Healthcare.gov’s other problems will be magnified by the increased traffic passing through a front end that has at least evolved beyond the non-functional junk pile that Obama dumped on the American people at the beginning of October. That’s a valid concern, because much of the ‘back end’ of the site doesn’t exist at all.” —John Hayward, Obamacare: Hackers In, Garbage Out
“For the last half-century, Obama has simply had to be. Just being Obama was enough to waft him onwards and upwards: He was the Harvard Law Review president who never published a word, the community organizer who never organized a thing, the state legislator who voted present. And then one day came the day when it wasn’t enough simply to be. For the first time in his life, he had to do. And it turns out he can’t. He’s not Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos. And Healthcare.gov is about what you’d expect if you nationalized a sixth of the economy and gave it to the Assistant Deputy Commissar of the Department of Paperwork and the Under-Regulator-General of the Bureau of Compliance. …
“To say there is less private-sector experience in the Obama administration than in any other of the last century hardly begins to convey the particular pool of smarts on which this president has drawn. Nearly 60 percent of Eisenhower’s cabinet appointments had private-sector experience; Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes scored well over 50; FDR and Truman smack on 50/50; in Obama’s cabinet, fewer than 10 percent have real-world business experience. None of Obamacare’s begetters have ever created anything — certainly not a dime of real wealth.
“Instead, we have government by people who read Thomas L. Friedman and use words like ‘interconnectedness’ and give commencement addresses where they rave about how our world is changing so fast — and assume that just being glibly au courant is a substitute for being able to do, make, build. There are lessons here beyond the abysmal failure of one misconceived government program, lessons about what our esteemed (if not terminally self-esteemed) elites value as ‘smart,’ and about the perils of rule by a poseur technocracy. As for Obama, he’s not Jay-Z, nor even Justin Bieber: He can’t sing, or dance, or create a government bureaucracy that functions any more efficiently than a Soviet supermarket. He broke the lifelong rule that had served him so well — ‘Don’t just do something. Stand there’ — and for the first time in his life did something, terribly. It will bear his name forever.” —Mark Steyn, Those Who Can’t, Govern
“Obama is launching a new campaign to get people to buy into the ObamaCare system before the Dec. 23 cutoff for coverage beginning Jan. 1, especially the younger and healthier Americans whose comprehensive-coverage premiums will subsidize lower premiums for older and sicker consumers. No doubt the White House will encourage consumers to visit the website, use the newly implemented ‘queuing’ software that allows them to wait in line for lengthy periods of time while the site is unavailable, and then start shopping for those higher-priced plans in which the system may or may not enroll them.
“But those consumers will be taking a risk with their personal identity information, as former Marine Corps cyber-warfare and internet security expert David Kennedy warned. The new round of ‘fixes’ implemented over the holiday weekend made an already dangerous website even worse, Kennedy, now the CEO of TrustedSec, told the Washington Free Beacon. The fixes made over 400 changes to the code, none of which were reportedly tested for the security issues identified in the previous releases. ‘I’m a little bit more skeptical now,’ Kennedy said, ‘and I would still definitely advise individuals to not use the website.’
“None of these issues are near resolution, and yet Obama plans to spend the next three weeks attempting to sell this lemon. But now, it’s not just the product that’s at stake, but the salesman as well. Thanks to Obama’s mantra of ‘If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,’ offered as late as just before the Oct. 1 rollout, the president has lost his credibility on this issue — and likely on all others as well.” —Edward Morrissey, Would You Buy a Used Website from This Man?
“Let’s look at Medicaid because Obamacare is expanding this failed program. … Long waits and poor care are not exceptions in the Medicaid program but regular features. A recent Pediatrics study found that Medicaid/State Children’s Health Insurance Program patients were unable to get urgent dental appointments 64 percent of the time, compared with 5 percent for those with private insurance. It was similar for patients with severe asthma and juvenile diabetes. Roy highlights studies that show patients with Medicaid coverage not only have worse health outcomes than those with private health insurance, but also that they fare worse even than those with no health insurance at all.
“Medicaid reimburses physicians at roughly half the rate of private insurance. Some liberals want for doctors to be coerced into providing care, which is the logical extension of the Obamacare cram-down model. In fact, the program will add about 17 million new enrollees to Medicaid. This will increase wait times even further and put more strain on an already-failing system. Medicaid patients clog emergency rooms because they cannot get primary care doctors to see them. …
“‘It’s not wrong to spend a large sum of money on health care for the poor,’ writes Roy. ‘It is wrong to waste large sums of money on health care for the poor.’
“Or on anything else. It’s even worse to waste large sums of money on programs that make everyone, on balance, worse off than competing arrangements would. Let’s hope that the troubles of Obamacare open people’s eyes to alternatives. We’ve tamely accepted government failure to our sorrow.” —Mona Charen, Obamacare and Government Failure
“At some critical point, everyone makes choices based on incentives and his own perception of self-interest. Somehow the Obama administration has forgotten that natural law.
“A therapeutic sense of self-sacrifice is fine in the abstract, but in the concrete such magnanimity causes far more harm to the innocent than does a realistic appraisal of self-interest and a tragic acceptance of the flawed nature of man. The theme of the present administration is that it possesses the wisdom and resources to know better what people should do than they do themselves. From that premise arose most of catastrophes that have befallen this administration.
“Consider the logic of Obamacare — a protocol that we lesser folk were supposed to learn about only after the bill was passed, in the expectation that eventually we will surely like it, although we are not able to know that yet. If you use medical care infrequently, you supposedly will rush to sign up to pay more for it, so that those who will pay less can use it more. I wish such idealism were innate to the human character, but nothing suggests that it is. Does providing more coverage at less cost to more people somehow lead to lower costs for all participants? If so, the entire history of capitalism would have to be rewritten. Is it true that the more you try to get onto a website and are stymied, the more you will redouble your efforts to log on? If that were true, wouldn’t Amazon rig its website to fail 20 percent of the time?
“Would employers hire more full-time employees in order to up their health-insurance costs, or would they keep their work force small enough that the federal guidelines will allow them not to provide coverage? And how would those incentives affect overall job growth? Will employers decide to forgo more of their profits so that the nation’s unemployment rate will stabilize? …
“There is a difference between the way we wish the world would work and the way it unfortunately does. We should know that tragedy from our own often-selfish lives in which we make decisions based on our perceptions of advantage. The problem with ignoring the role of unchanging human nature is that usually someone other than the utopian gets killed, runs out of money, or must live with the chaos brought about by the actions of the better-off, who are permitted by their money, leisure, power, and influence to dream that we are something that we are not.” —Victor Davis Hanson, The War on Human Nature
“The big dream of Republican campaign professionals is to force the Democrats into the same circular firing squad that its own people keep collapsing into. That hasn’t happened yet, but there are signs that a stampede may be building.
“The Democrats swallowed their losses in 2010 instead of turning on ObamaCare because they still had the Senate and the White House. If they lose the Senate in 2014, suddenly having a lame duck in the White House and a program that everyone hates at the top of the news hour won’t seem like such a bargain.
“Obama knows all this and doesn’t care. He’s counting on the left to have his back while sacrificing the political fortunes of the Democratic Party for the sake of the progressive agenda. The Democrats might have held on to Congress, but Obama traded their political successes for his own success; weakening the Democratic Party while building his own image and power.
“Now the Democratic Party is beginning to bite back. If it’s going to get into shape for 2014 and 2016, it has to claw back donors from his OFA and undermine his political infrastructure. And then it has to turn ObamaCare’s problems into a HillaryCare opportunity. All this is going to mean an ugly political civil war with the left turning on the Democratic Party and the media caught in the middle.
“Obama carved up the Democratic Party for political spare parts. Now the Democratic Party is about to return the favor.” —Daniel Greenfield, The Democratic Party vs. Barack Obama
“Obama has depleted all his credibility capital. The entire nation now knows that he lied about O’Care just to pass it, assuring Americans they could keep their insurance and doctors if they wanted to. Period. Obama then repeated those lies often. Then it was discovered that Obama knew he was lying way back in 2010. Then he claimed that the 5.5 million cancelled policies were statistically insignificant. Then it was discovered that almost 100 million additional policies are subject to cancellation come January. Then he told new lies to cover up the old lies. Then he crowned those lies with another BIG lie.
“When Obama said, ‘You can keep your plan,’ ‘You can keep your doctor,’ and ‘Premiums will go down by $2,500 per family,’ he knew he was lying. Apparently this consummate pathological narcissist believes that if he says it, that trumps the truth and reality. Or maybe he believes, as his sycophants do, that ‘We can deal with the lies that President Obama tells us because we believe in his heart he has the best interest for the American people.’
“Got that? Even Obama’s defenders now admit he’s a liar.” —Mark Alexander, Memo to Demos: It Ain’t the Website
“Before October of this year, conservatives trying to make the case that state intrusion led inexorably to queuing and to inefficiency were forced to rely on local failures to illustrate their point. ‘Do you really want your healthcare run by the DMV?’ was a common refrain. ‘How about the Post Office?’ Nowadays, there is no need for hypotheticals. Critics can just say ‘Obamacare.’ In December of 2013, dissenters can point to the long lines, to the shoddy service, and to the reports of frustrated users waiting for hours to get onto the site — and they can say, ‘I told you so!’ It’s been two months since the website was launched, and swathes of people remain unable even to browse plans. Isn’t this exactly what we were warned about? …
“It is difficult to overstate just how dangerous to the progressive agenda the rollout of Obamacare has been. ‘HealthCare.gov has a lot of visitors right now!’ the site’s failure screen announces bluntly when the system is overloaded (which is always). ‘We need you to wait here so we can make sure there’s room for you.’
“As of yesterday, the site quite literally asks visitors to enter a ‘queue.’ This is the ugly language of the unemployment office or the understaffed hospital — not, suffice it to say, what advocates had hoped consumers would see. …
“Thus far, Obamacare’s principal achievement has been to kick millions of people off of plans with which they were happy while mandating that they buy replacement insurance through a government-run choke point that’s sometimes just closed entirely. I suspect that, if the website is ever truly ‘fixed,’ the law is going to become more, not less, of a liability for the Left. Either way, it is almost certain that next time somebody suggests a vast government program as the remedy to America’s ills, it will be more than just conservative critics who say, as one, ‘your heart’s in the right place, but remember how Obamacare went…” —Charles C. W. Cooke, The Return of the Queue
“[HealthCare.gov] provides a remarkably realistic user experience, but as of now it’s basically a video game. A really, really boring video game. Call it Sim Healthcare. This is because the so-called back end essentially doesn’t exist. That’s the part of the site that talks to the insurance companies, processes payments, and actually, you know, gets people enrolled on insurance plans.
“Reports vary on whether it needs to be ‘fixed’ or whether it still needs to be built. On November 19, Henry Chao, the administration official in charge of overseeing the site, told Congress that ‘the accounting systems, the payment systems, they still need to be’ created. Going by the rosy version of Chao’s estimate, that was roughly 30 to 40 percent of the system.
“‘It’s not built, let alone tested,” one insurance executive told the Washington Post last week. Meanwhile, the New York Times reported Sunday that the back-end systems ‘that are supposed to deliver consumer information to insurers still have not been fixed.’ I’m not clear on how you can fix something that hasn’t been built yet, but maybe in the eleven days between Chao’s testimony and the November 30 deadline, the ‘A Team’ President Obama deployed built the back end enough for it to be recognizably broken. Either way, it’s not working.” —Jonah Goldberg, Not a Good Enough Obamacare Fix
“Mr. Obama’s problem is that people think he is smart. They think, as they look at his health-care vows, that either he didn’t know how bad his program was, what dislocations it would cause, what a disturbance it would be to the vast middle class of America….Or he knew, and deliberately misled everyone.
“If they thought he wasn’t very bright, they might give him some leeway on that question. But they think he’s really smart. So they think he knew. And deliberately misled. They think he knowingly quelled people’s fears when he knew they had every reason to be afraid.
“Which makes him just another dishonest pol, just another guy hiding in the deliberately obscure paragraph on page 1,037 of the omnibus comprehensive reform bill. He has taken himself down, lowered his own stature.
“Commentators like to decry low-information voters—the stupid are picking our leaders. I think the real problem is low-information leaders. They have so little experience of life and have so much faith in magic—in media, in words—that they don’t understand people will get angry at you when you mislead them, and never see you the same way again.” —Peggy Noonan, Low-Information Leadership
“In an important sense, the American people have no political say in the health-care law, because Congress did not pass a law reforming the health-care system; instead, Congress passed a law empowering the Obama administration, through its political appointees and unelected time-servers, to create a new national health-care regime. The general outline of the program is there in the law, but the nuts and bolts of the thing will be created on the fly by President Obama and his many panels of experts.
“There are several problems with that model of business, one of which is that President Obama, and more than a few of his beloved experts, have political interests. The partisans of pragmatism present themselves as disinterested servants of the public weal, simply collecting the best information and the best advice from the top experts and putting that into practice. Their only political interest, they would have us believe, is in helping the public understand what a great job is being done for them. …
“But of course there is a good deal more to politics than that. For example, the president would very much like the unemployment problem to be somewhat abated by the time of the 2014 congressional elections, but he knows that this is unlikely to happen with employers struggling under an expensive health-care mandate. […] And so he has decided — empowered to do so by precisely nothing — that the law will not be enforced until after the elections. Neither does the law empower him arbitrarily to exempt millions of his donors and allies in organized labor from the law, but he has done that too.
“This is a remarkable thing. The health-care law gives the executive all sorts of powers to promulgate regulations and make judgments, but it does not give the executive the power to decide which aspects of the law will be enforced and which will not, or to establish a different timeline from the one found in the law itself. For all of the power that Congress legally has given the president in this matter, he feels it necessary to take more — illegally. There is no obvious and persuasive legal rationale for the belief that the president can willy-nilly suspend portions of the law or delay their execution. There is still less reason to believe that the president has the unilateral authority to overturn the law’s fundamental requirements, including the requirement that all health-care plans on offer meet certain federal regulations. Honoring the law meant breaking a key promise — ‘If you like it, you can keep it’ — which the president and his advisers knew all along would be the case. What they did not know was how unpopular breaking that promise would prove to be, and so the final breaking of it has been put off, along with the enrollment deadline, until after the midterm elections. The administration is transparently violating the letter of the law to see after its own political interests.” —Kevin D. Williamson, The Front Man
For further enlightenment:
Obamacare’s Next Problem: Doc Shock, by Debra Saunders
Obama and the Suspension of Disbelief, by Victor Davis Hanson
My Obamacare Cancellation, by Bruce Barcott
Thank You, Hobby Lobby, by Michelle Malkin
Obamacare’s Perilous Protection Plan for Debtors, by Michelle Malkin
#Obamacare Chronicles: So, You Think You Now Have Coverage, Eh?, by Phineas Fahrquar
ObamaCare’s Looming Land Mine, by Lewis Dovland
Videos for people with time on their hands: