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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The high cost of ObamaCare deception -- By John Hayward, RedState

President Obama’s Rose Garden press conference on the ObamaCare disaster featured a group of 13 human props, lined up on stage behind him to put a face on the alleged virtues of his health care scheme.  It turns out none of them had actually purchased an ObamaCare insurance plan, and only three of them had even completed the application process.

What a perfect summary of the disastrous incompetence and fundamental dishonesty of Barack Obama’s “signature achievement!”  Three weeks in, his gigantic political team couldn’t find any actual “happy customers.”  They had to settle for a couple of people who look forward to maybe doing some shopping on the exchanges one of these days.  They might not like what they find, assuming they can cudgel anything but a stream of error messages from the system.

Adding to the grim humor of the day, Obama waved off the $400 million website catastrophe – which he rather bloodlessly claimed he was “as angry about as anyone,” although he sounds a hell of a lot angrier when describing Americans who are reluctant to pay higher taxes or let him run up more debt – and suggested calling the ObamaCare phone number instead.  This phone number is easy to remember, because it spells out 800-F1U-CKYO on a keypad.  A few conservative journalists immediately tried calling the number – not many so-called “mainstream media reporters” seem terribly interested in calling Obama’s bluffs just yet – and were either told that health care options couldn’t be discussed over the phone… or ran into recorded messages telling them to use the non-functional website.  Then the entire phone system dissolved into a brick wall of busy signals.

All of this ridiculous crap is happening because Obama and his allies can’t bring themselves to be honest with the American people about anything.  One of ObamaCare’s central flaws is its pervasive dishonesty.  You don’t need thousands of pages of legislation and an eight-foot stack of regulations when you’re on the level, respecting the populace enough to offer them true equality under the law.

Among the major reasons Healthcare.gov is a useless mass of frozen windows and error messages is that the designers placed a high priority on concealing the true cost of insurance plans from American voters.  The system won’t let you browse through health care plans until it has collected a ream of identifying data from you, accessed various government databases, computed your eligibility for subsidies, and backed out the amount that will be covered by your fellow tax serfs.  Many of the prices this bug-riddled system does cough up are inaccurate, and will have to be somehow corrected later.

Much of the talk about ObamaCare enrollment and applications is deceptive, because it’s lumping people interested in buying insurance policies with those who get shunted into the greatly expanded Medicaid welfare system.  The number of people who have actually bought policies is falsely portrayed as an impenetrable mystery that won’t be resolved until sometime in November.  But this was not supposed to be nothing better than a Medicaid recruitment drive, and if it was, it wouldn’t have cost over a trillion dollars to implement it.

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