American Elephants

Obama Delivers an Infomercial In the Rose Garden by The Elephant's Child

Oh dear. President Obama’s spirited defense of ObamaCare today in the Rose Garden didn’t exactly go well.  He had a group of people behind him who supposedly had successfully become insured under ObamaCare, but they actually turned out to be people who intended to sign up really soon, rather than those who had completed the process.

The government won’t release the numbers of people who have succeeded in signing up until the numbers are big enough to actually look good. That’s not what anyone said, but the inevitable conclusion. The president was intent on putting a good face on the problems, but not his face. Not his fault, and he’s really disappointed with the problems.

But the problem has been that the website that’s supposed to make it easy to apply for and purchase the insurance is not working the way it should for everybody.  And there’s no sugarcoating it.  The website has been too slow, people have been getting stuck during the application process.  And I think it’s fair to say that nobody is more frustrated by that than I am — precisely because the product is good, I want the cash registers to work.  I want the checkout lines to be smooth.  So I want people to be able to get this great product.  And there’s no excuse for the problems, and these problems are getting fixed.

This is the usual Obama response. It is not his fault, he minimizes the problems, joins with you in disapproval — but  it’s a great product, will save you money, and preexisting conditions, affordable and preexisting conditions.

The commentary from across the media has been devastating. Maureen Dowd said “he assumed his favorite role of the shining knight hectoring the benighted: Sir Lecturealot.” James Taranto called it “Vaporcare” and said Obama delivers an infomercial when an accounting is due.” And the parodies and mockery are on the rise and growing. I loved this one.  Just click on the Apply button.

The administration would do much better to just admit that they have a giant fiasco, and tell the people what they are going to do about it. They should have taken the Republican offer of a year’s delay, but they didn’t recognize a good offer when it was presented to them.


2 Comments so far
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Yay! Another Rose Garden photo-op with human props! Byron York did a breakdown of many of them, based on – get this – the White House’s own publicity release!

Essentially, none of them have really gotten anything tangible out of Obamacare or the website… but they’re hopeful!

Yeah, in the long run it would be better for the administration to fess up and admit the whole thing was a poorly thought out failure. But that won’t ever happen, for the reasons we were discussing earlier: The Republicans have been saying all along how bad this was going to be, and under no circumstances will Obama ever admit that one of his opponents could be correct, even a little bit. Remember: Politics before Policy.


Comment by Lon Mead

I suspect it would result heavily in his favor if he just said “we blew it, it’s a mess” and shut it down till they got it fixed instead of continuing to have people encounter the mess on their own, but that would mean admitting an error, and that is just not done. I loved that the “fainters” (or a fainter) were back. That quit being believable a long time ago — as did the “I love you” from the audience.

I don’t think we’ve even touched how bad it will be. I’ve been following the National Health Service for several years, and it is now reaching the point where it is close to going broke. All the incentives are wrong, and incentives make a difference. Obama’s original bunch of advisers, Orzag, Dascle, Berwick, Hacker, Emannuel, and whoever I’m forgetting, were all great admirers of the NHS, and that was clearly what they wanted, not Massachusetts Care. They saw the long reign of Labour as a result of single payer medicine and, as you’ve said Politics before Policy. They also seemed to admire the way NHS was dealing with their old people. And that’s how we get to Solyunt Green, isn’t it?


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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