Yeah, that's the ticket:
Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday suggested a simple fix to the “bad brand” of Obamacare — change the name. “I think we may need to call it something in the future different, but it is working,” Sebelius said at POLITICO’s “Lessons from Leaders” event. Sebelius, who resigned in April following the botched roll out of President Barack Obama’s signature health law, said that current issues involving the Affordable Care Act have to do with its commonly used name. “Obamacare, no question, has a very bad brand that has been driven intentionally by a lot of misinformation and a lot of paid advertising,” Sebelius said. But she insisted the law is working. “Not only are people getting coverage, [but also] the largest drop in uninsured rates in this country, the lowest healthcare cost growth in this country ever recorded,” Sebelius said.
Sigh. It is quite the galling spectacle to witness people who endlessly and intentionally peddled "a lot of misinformation" in passing and promoting Obamacare whine about others' supposed dishonesty. This is a woman who testified under oath that Healthcare.gov "has never crashed," while news outlets cut to a live, split screen image of…the crashed website. As for her claim that the law is working, we've dealt with that fantasy pretty comprehensively. Yes, some people are getting coverage who didn't have it before. Millions were also stripped of their existing coverage because of the law, in violation of a core promise. Furthermore, many 'beneficiaries' are now faced with the unpleasant choice of changing their new plans again, or paying more out of pocket, in 2015. And a very large chunk of the uninsured population is taking a pass on the law, mostly due to unaffordability. The drop in the rate of uninsured Americans is actually (at best) unimpressive, as the administration has negatively revised both its previous enrollment figures and future projections. Also, expanding the ranks of the insured isn't exactly a great success story, considering that the law requires people to get insured or face a penalty tax. As for the "lowest cost growth" story, two points: (a) We were promised lower costs, with the national cost curve bent downward, which is not happening; and (b) even the government's own actuaries primarily attribute the slower rate of increase to the weak economy, not Obamacare. But by all means, keep moaning about "misinformation," Kath. Meanwhile, CNBC reports:
Santa Claus is going to be bringing lots of presents in a couple of weeks, but lower health-insurance costs for most Americans won't be one of them. People with insurance through an employer—that is, most people with health coverage—are paying "more in premiums and deductibles than ever before" as those costs outpace the growth of wages, a new report finds...despite a recent slowdown in costs that coincided with the adoption of the Obamcare health-care reform law in 2010, the price of job-based coverage is still rising faster than incomes, according to the report.
Wait just a second. Wasn't Obamacare supposed to stop, and actively reverse, this trend? Wasn't the law going to save the average family $2,500 per year in health care costs, with "everybody's" rates dropping? The same people who advanced those claims are angry that average people aren't willing to label this law a success. On another Obamacare front, both the Associated Press and New York Times have stories on the law's "access shock" problem, especially among Medicaid recipients. Proponents of the law routinely bash Republicans who've refused to expand that failing program under an Obamacare provision made voluntary, not compulsory, by a 7-2 Supreme Court ruling. These ideologues apparently believe. millions more Americans should be dumped into a foundering, creaky entitlement program in which many existing consumers can't even see a doctor. I'll leave you with one of the most cringe-worthy exchanges from yesterday's Gruber hearings, via Allahpundit -- who tallies Gruber's lies in his post:
Gruber is now trying to cast himself as a tangential figure in the Obamacare saga, denying that he was an 'architect' of the law, or a crafter or the policy. As we've noted, a 2012 New York Times profile detailed how intimately involved he truly was in the process. But what better rebuttal exists than yet another video clip from the man himself?