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Good News From HHS: Obamacare is Right On Schedule!

Even the Washington Post's lefty Wonkblog can't keep a straight face while presenting this piece of propaganda, disdaining it a product of dramatically "lowered expectations."  This might actually be amusing if taxpayers didn't pay for it:  


This calls for a good old-fashioned fisking:

(1) The clip's opening "fact" is really an opinion, albeit one that's widely-held enough that we'll let it slide.  (Though we'll also point out that the vast majority of Americans were satisfied with their own healthcarearrangements prior to Obamacare, which is why the "you can keep your plan" lie was so integral to the president's sales pitch).

(2) HHS boasts that once Obamacare goes into effect, it will ensure "that all Americans have access to affordable, quality health coverage."  False.  CBO estimates that 30 million Americans will remain uninsured under the new law.  That's right, we're spending $2 trillion to reduce the uninsured population by roughly one-third.  We've also discovered that several loopholes in the law will leave some middle class families and low-wage workers (who are ostensibly "covered" by the law) simultaneously unable to afford coverage and ineligible for subsidies. We are only eight seconds into the video so far.

(3) The ad touts the "medical loss ratio" rule, which requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of patient premiums on care.  Sounds great -- except that insurance companies compensate for this burdensome regulation by...raising premiums.

(4) Did you hear about the government's "simpler" insurance application?  Very exciting.  But how could a "new" one already exist, when the program hasn't even started yet?  This is how.

(5) The government excitedly informs us that they've spent a lot of money on "outreach" -- and that even bigger grants are on track for Obamacare's thousands of "navigators," who will guide people through the enrollment process.  Say, would those be the same navigators who are about to gain access to Americans' private financial and healthcare records without having cleared a robust screening process to weed out criminals, fraudsters and identity thieves?  Yes, indeed.  California's Democratic Insurance Commissioner tells the Associated Press his state may have "a real disaster on our hands" due to these shortcomings.

(6) The video asserts that "the marketplace" -- ie, Obamacare exchanges -- will be "open for enrollment" by October.  The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office recently flagged substantial exchange-related delays at both the federal and state levels:

The report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) said U.S. officials have missed deadlines and remain behind schedule on key parts...GAO found that states have also failed to complete many of the tasks assigned for implementation and that the administration has conducted only initial testing of the computerized system that will link the exchanges with states and federal agencies including the Internal Revenue Service.

(7) Which brings us to a glaring final point: The HHS ad simply fails to mention Obamacare's delayed small business exchanges, the delayed employer mandate, and the delayed anti-fraud standards for determining subsidy eligibility.  How convenient  It's much easier to claim to be "on schedule!" when you've altered your route midstream.  Sorry, but if you're driving from Chicago to Dallas for an important meeting and find yourself running terribly late, you can't credibly change your destination to St. Louis and declare yourself "on time."  That's not how things work.  With the law crumbling around them, and allies offering blistering criticisms of its provisions, it's no wonder that the administration has resorted to unserious propaganda to assure themselves that everything's "fabulous" and "wonderful."  They can kid themselves all they want, but they're trying to fool you, too.  Don't be. 


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