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Thursday, November 14, 2013

New York Times Editorial, "A Health Care Fix": "Misspoken" Becomes "Wrong"

Observe the beginning and the end of a New York Times editorial entitled "A Health Care Fix" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/opinion/a-health-care-fix.html?_r=0). It begins:

"President Obama has come up with a modest fix for a self-inflicted political wound: his repeated — and wrong — assertions that Americans would be able to keep their health insurance plans if they wanted to under the health care reform law."

And so, prior use by the Times of the word "misspoken," causing guffaws throughout the blogosphere, has become "wrong." Or, as the Times would continue to have you know, Obama's repeated assertions that Americans would be able to keep their health insurance plans amounted to a mistake, not a lie.

The editorial ends:

"If a relatively small population of people get extensions, as some experts think likely, the effect on premiums in the overall health insurance market may be minimal. Even so, this disturbing reversal is caused by the incompetence of the administration in ushering in reforms that millions have been waiting for."

"Incompetence"? I think the editorial board is being kind.

The "fix"? Forget it. As uber-liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus concludes today in an opinion piece entitled "Obama’s political malpractice" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ruth-marcus-political-malpractice-of-the-highest-order/2013/11/14/e6b95abe-4d69-11e3-be6b-d3d28122e6d4_story.html):

"Belatedly, with congressional Republicans pouncing and Democrats threatening to bolt, Obama on Thursday proffered a supposed (it depends on the kindness of insurers and state insurance commissioners) and temporary (one-year) fix. By then, the exchanges should be functional, but will premiums climb higher as healthier people stick with existing plans?

Listening to the president Thursday was painful. He acknowledged the need 'to win back some credibility.' He 'fumbled the rollout' of health care. He is 'letting . . . down' congressional Democrats who took the risk of supporting Obamacare. Although he’s sometimes been 'slapped around a little bit unjustly,' the president said, 'This one’s deserved, all right? It’s on us.'

Can he recover? I’m sorry to say: I’m not at all confident."

Obama is counting upon the kindness of insurers? Why not count upon the kindness of Attila the Hun? As reported by The Washington Free Beacon (http://freebeacon.com/cbs-obamas-suggested-fix-could-destabilize-market-increase-premiums/):

"Also, [CBS correspondent Carter] Evans reported, reinstating those dropped policies will be more than a headache. Insurance companies will have to contact policy holders, explain coverage options, get state regulators to approve new premiums and then process those policies. Also, a one-year extension could keep the young and healthy out of Obamacare, and those missing premiums won’t be there to pay for patients with expensive health issues."

Or stated otherwise, you might as well coax the genie back into his bottle. It's over. If someone in the private sector had rolled out a new product in this manner, they would be filing for bankruptcy, but the federal government can print money, and according to the rules of the Obama administration, no one is ever to blame.

By the way, where is Hillary as this disaster unfolds? Rumor has it that she is preparing her acceptance speech for the 2016 Democratic presidential convention, which begins, "I didn't do it."

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