Jewish World Review Nov. 21, 2013/ 18 Kislev, 5774
Obamacare-speak fails to mask an evolving fiasco
By Victor Davis Hanson
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Obama administration once gave us "man-caused disasters" for acts of terrorism and "workplace violence" for the Fort Hood shootings. Now it has trumped those past linguistic contortions by changing words to mask the Obamacare disaster.
The president and his advisors apparently knew long ago that millions of the insured would face cancellations or premium hikes once Obamacare would be fully implemented. Yet to get the 906-page bill passed, they had to convince the public of the very opposite scenario. So they repeated ironclad guarantees that no one would lose their coverage or doctors -- "period!"
Now the administration explains the deception by going after both the ethics of the insurers and the intelligence of the previously insured. That task required language to be altered. The newly canceled health plans are suddenly rebranded by the administration as "subpar." Only in autumn 2013 is the supposedly unaware public told that, years ago, "bad apple" insurance companies sold them "substandard" plans.
According to Obama, millions of Americans were once ignorant or uninformed, and thus will soon be pleased about their cancellations: "So the majority of folks will end up being better off. Of course, because the website's not working right, they don't necessarily know it."
By that logic, the legions of Obama supporters who desperately sought and won exemptions from Obamacare are not "better off" now, but those stuck with it will be?
The president was not through reinventing history. If Obama spoke untruths on more than 20 occasions in selling Obamacare, he also made a post-facto attempt to sneak a qualifier into his serial false promises: "What we said was you can keep it if it hasn't changed since the law passed."
But there is no record that Obama or his lieutenants had ever publicly said such a thing. The president's attempt to airbrush history is similar to the commandments on the barn wall in George Orwell's "
The administration has also downplayed the disaster by claiming that the more than 30 million who lost their coverage represent only "5 percent" of the insured. But even if that number is not far too low, try using that minority percentage argument on issues like gay rights. If millions of gays represent only about 5 percent of the population, is federal policy that affects gays negatively not really that important?
A national website that has completely failed and for nearly two months denied millions of applicants the chance to sign up for health insurance is dubbed a mere "glitch." Had the website been down for only a day or two, would that foul-up be called a "glitch-let"?
From the very beginning, Obamacare defied the laws of common sense and basic logic. Providing more coverage for more people cannot result in radical reductions in costs, as promised -- unless a shopper normally can buy more and better groceries for cheaper prices. How logical was expecting indebted young people to voluntarily pay more for insurance they would rarely use in order to pay for others to use it a lot?
Not a single Republican voted for Obamacare. Some skeptical Democrats had to be bought off with the promise of special deals. Pet businesses, unions and congressional staffers were given exemptions not available to the public from coverage that was supposedly wonderful.
The freebie provisions of keeping kids on parental plans until they turn 26 and ensuring coverage for those with pre-existing conditions were cynically frontloaded before the 2012 election -- while the painful details and higher costs were backloaded after the president's expected re-election.
An architect of the bill, Sen.
To square that huge circle, words had to change their meanings to fabricate a reality that did not exist.
So what takes away patients' insurance and costs more was declared the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Keeping your existing plan was "substandard" coverage. And Obama had warned us all along that it might be canceled.
All that is now there on the barn wall.
Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.
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