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Political theater

Massive theater, smoke and mirrors desperately invoked to portray Obamacare as a success

Friday, April 04, 2014 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: political theater, Obamacare, enrollment figures

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(NaturalNews) The Obama administration and its friends in the press and public policy sector have gone all in to declare the President's signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act, a "success" now that 7 million people have allegedly signed up for coverage under the law's exchanges.

But there are a number of things which make this victory lap that the White House is taking seem foolish and inherently political; under further scrutiny, it becomes obvious that a number of claims being made by the administration about Obamacare are misleading, if not outright false:

-- What are the real coverage numbers? The administration is now claiming that 7 million-plus have signed up for Obamacare coverage through the federal exchange; not coincidentally, that was the figure the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said was necessary to make the program economically viable.

People who don't pay much attention to the news or to details about claims made by politicians up to and including the President may not remember that "magic number" prescribed by the CBO just a few weeks after Obamacare's disastrous roll-out, but now that you've been reminded, you can certainly see the irony of the 7 million figure being touted by the president (a figure that was magically reached just in time for the March 31 deadline, though enrollments had been lagging for weeks beforehand.

And about those numbers: Given the fact that Americans were incessantly reminded pre-Obamacare that something like 48 million of us were uninsured (and the promise that the law would see these people -- finally, thankfully -- insured), begs the questions: Where are they now, and how come they aren't flocking to enroll for coverage?

-- Signed up, but paid up? Okay, so assuming that the President isn't fibbing this time, enrollment through Obamacare's exchanges has reached 7.1 million. Leaving aside the fact that just a few weeks ago no one in the administration could give an accurate account of of how many uninsured people had actually enrolled (and why wouldn't you want to know that figure, if you were the administration?), we also don't have an accurate accounting of how many of these enrollees have actually paid premiums (again, wouldn't you want to know that)?

Guess who does want to know who's paid? The insurance companies who are supposed to be providing the coverage, and the doctors and healthcare providers who are providing the services.

In February, The New York Times reported that only about one in five enrollees had actually paid their premiums.

-- False starts? A number of industry analysts point out that, of the Obamacare site's many failures, one is that it counts dual enrollments and enrollments that were begun by someone but never completed (maybe because of the site's habitual downtimes). As Washington Post columnist Ed Rogers notes, "the official HHS numbers still include duplicate enrollments." Does the administration simply not know, or is it just not saying because doing so would lower the "official enrollment figure" now being touted by the president?

-- Lost coverage? Obamacare was supposed to insure the previously uninsured and uninsurable -- not make those who were previously insured suddenly uninsured. But that's what the law did (and yet Obama says his political opponents are the ones who want to "take away people's health insurance"). The White House is carefully dodging the fact that, because of some of Obamacare's inane coverage requirements, insurance companies were forced, by law, to drop those customers whose plans did not meet the government's mandated coverage requirements.

-- Political 'poison'? Regardless of what the President says -- and really, it is fantasy to expect him to either criticize his signature legislative achievement or admit that it was wrong for the country -- the proof of Obamacare's political fallout is in Democrats' warning that Obama himself is political "poison" this election season, due to the rising unpopularity of the law (http://www.breitbart.com).






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