When Ezra Klein and friends launched Vox as an "explanatory journalism" site this spring, conservative catcalls and ridicule began promptly. The project's critics have been vindicated time and again. Though the site sometimes produces solid content, it's run by hard-left ideologues who lack the capacity to present "just the facts, ma'am"-style reporting. Over the last 24 hours or so, Vox has beclowned itself on four separate occasions. First, see Mollie Hemingway's brutal take-down of co-founder Matt Yglesias' stupefyingly ignorant attack on conservatives and religious liberty. His asshattery was so acute that even a junior Vox colleague publicly rejected Yglesias', er, "point." Confronted with facts, Yglesias retreated into the realm of non-sequiturs and snark. A separate Vox post suggested that even though Hamas is using human shields to protect their terrorist arsenal and leaders -- a point conceded by the author, and again confirmed by very recent events -- Israel "doesn't have to bomb them." This sharp take demands that Israel lie back and endure a terrorist bombardment, while rewarding its enemy's inhuman tactics with pointless, suicidal "restraint." On healthcare, Yglesias was back at it with a piece whose title I quoted in the headline. It's only partially tongue-in-cheek, a riff on one of his most infamous Obamacare tweets:
Laying down the marker—Obamacare implementation’s going to be great and people will love it: http://t.co/itm6J3BixD— Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias) July 17, 2013
In yesterday's "anaylsis," Yglesias congratulates himself for having been "pretty much right." His evidence is Gallup's finding that the US uninsured rate has dropped under Obamacare, plus a poll showing that most people with subsidized coverage through Obamacare's exchanges are at least "somewhat satisfied" with their plans. Ahem. At the Weekly Standard, Jeffrey Anderson explains how the law "misses its original target by half," and we've run through the reasons why the enrollment numbers are artificially and significantly juiced. Beyond those details, though, reducing the uninsured rate by passing a hugely expensive law that requires people to buy health insurance, and uses taxpayer money to buy it for a lot of people, doesn't qualify as a grand success. By a double-digit margin, more Americans were hurt by the law than helped by it. The "satistfaction" chart Yglesias presents fails to mention that people who were booted off of their existing coverage (in violation of a core political promise) are much, much less likely to be pleased with their new deal. And his "people love it" happy talk entirely ignores widespread and enduring public disapproval of the law. Some people, a very specific subsection of the population, do love Obamacare. Most people do not, thanks in large part to the shattered promises and lies employed by people like Yglesias in the selling of the law. By no reasonable definition has the implementation of Obamacare been "great." Indeed, Reason's Peter Suderman reports that major portions of Healthcare.gov still aren't built, and won't be until sometime in 2015:
The back end of Obamacare’s federal exchange—the guts of the system designed to communicate with and manage payments to health insurers—still isn’t finished, despite explicit promises from the administration that it would be finished months ago. A document posted by the administration yesterday lists requirements for the next tech contractor to work on the federal insurance portal, according to Politico, which reports that whichever company wins the next contract, which would begin when the administration’s current contract with Accenture, the company that replaced the original contractor CGI earlier this year, runs out in 2015, "is also slated to help construct major back-end components of the site that insurers need to get paid accurately." It’s the latest indication that the administration is having a serious problem completing work on the federal exchange’s crucial back-end payment systems.
Those incomplete back-end payment systems have resulted in millions of data discrepancy snafus, which in many cases will force enrollees to pay more, or even threaten their coverage. Major errors continue to occur at the state level, as well. "Great!" Meanwhile, Obamacare's higher premiums summer drumbeat continues to play out across the country. Take Louisiana, where insurers are seeking double-digit hikes for many consumers. During the Obamacare debate, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) called conservative predictions that the law wouldn't drive down costs "a pathetic lie." She also pledged to take "100 percent" responsibility for the law's outcomes. Strangely, she hasn't yet resigned in humiliated disgrace. Recent local news reports have chronicled additional instances of sticker shock slamming average Americans:
These increases are directly due to Obamacare's costly coverage mandates and the older, sicker insurance risk pools the law has generated. "People love it." I'll leave you with this. He's on a roll, folks:
The math on this adds up to 116 percent. pic.twitter.com/oX9NsPWXpW— Ryan Teague Beckwith (@ryanbeckwith) July 17, 2014