The Democrats are in disarray…digging themselves into one huge credibility hole.
Yesterday, with the help of their leader, they dug the hole even deeper.
Frantic congressional Democrats stormed the White House the past few days giving the president an earful over the train wreck that is the ACA rollout. As always, their concern was not about the American people or the affects this flawed rollout may be having on their constituents’ lives. Their concern, of course, was all about the manner in which the ACA mess was negatively impacting their chances of keeping their jobs.
The president unfortunately responded to their hysteria. Looking all the worse for wear, a beleaguered Obama went before the public to apologize once again for the problems with the ACA. He deflected blame from his hysterical Democrat colleagues and then announced a wrongheaded solution that will only cause more problems for him down the road.
You undoubtedly recall that the president had promised the nation that under the ACA: “If you like your current health care plan you can keep it.” Faced with the uproar from the millions of Americans who were receiving cancellation notices because their health plan did not meet the minimum coverage standards under the ACA, the president attempted to fix the problem. He announced a plan that would allow policyholders and insurers to maintain their policies for one year even if they didn’t meet the ACA minimum requirements. The “fix” also requires insurance companies to explain to policy holders the deficiencies in their policies as compared to the minimum coverage required under the ACA.
It comes as no surprise that Speaker Boehner derided the president’s effort; saying that the only way to fix the problems caused by the ACA is to scrap the law in its entirety.
Where oh where do we begin?
First of all…the White House needs to stop putting the president out there to say: “I didn’t know!”
“I didn’t know we were tapping the phones of AP White House reporters.” “I didn’t know the NSA was eavesdropping on Americans’ phone calls and emails.” “I didn’t know the ACA website wouldn’t work.” If he is being truthful, that he really didn’t know these things, then he needs to find people who will tell him what he needs to hear not what he wants to hear. In his remarks yesterday he sounded as if he were exasperated by his lack of forewarning about the ACA website. Let’s hope his exasperation results in some changes in the White House. He might start by including in his inner circle and outsider who understands the intricacies of the insurance industry.
Next, the president needs to get his chin off his chest and fight for what he believes in. Mr. President, if you believe in the ACA fight for it. Those junk insurance policies that you are waffling on undermine the very core of the ACA. Let them be cancelled. These policies cost next to nothing because they provide next to nothing.
ACA detractors say that people should be able to choose the coverage they want. We agree in principle. But in reality the same people who buy those low cost “catastrophe” policies will still be going to the doctor when they become sick or injured. And we will be the ones paying the freight when their “catastrophe” insurance carrier says, “sorry no coverage” or when they can’t come up with their huge deductibles. If you want to fix the cancellation problem, Mr. President, fix the damn website. Then those folks will be able to find something that suits their needs and doesn’t place a financial burden on the rest of us.
As for your “fix” to the problem…it has no teeth. Your decree that those individuals who had their contracts cancelled should be reinstated and allowed to keep their coverage is unenforceable. You can’t force the insurance carriers to reinstate the policies…and if they do reinstate them…you can’t force the carriers to do so at the same premiums. The insurance industry has spent the past three years figuring out how they were going to handle this roll out and how they were going to account actuarially for all the changes required of them under the ACA. You can’t just wipe all that out with a wave of the hand and a simple “Never mind.”
Finally, with regard to Speaker Boehner and his cadre of detractors, your response should be short and simple. “I’m not going to respond to those who have nothing constructive to say. If you don’t like this law then show the American people a detailed alternative. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize. Pass a bill for once.”
There is a very real chance that the ACA rollout will mark the beginning of the end for the Obama presidency. That will certainly be the case if the administration continues down its current path.
Set politics aside Mr. President. End the insular bunker mentality. Seek out those who will tell you the truth…
…and fix the damn website!