How Liberal Media Obfuscate Obamacare’s Individual Mandate

A knowledgeable reader points out that Obama administration shills in the press are peddling misinformation about how Obamacare’s individual mandate works, or doesn’t:

Kabuki dance, or just stupidity? I often cannot tell when it comes to the Obama administration and their MSM flacks in discussions of Obamacare. In particular, the focus on the individual mandate has taken on a surreal character both among the pols and in the MSM. The controversy about “delaying” the mandate to purchase insurance has got the left in a tizzy — because, in theory at least, the individual mandate forcing the young and healthy into Obamacare exchanges at premiums well above their actual health care risk and costs is essential to making the exchanges economically feasible. The young and healthy, by overpaying, subsidize the low premiums charged to those with preëxisting conditions. That’s the whole point; without the mandate the whole scheme falls apart.

This is a key aspect of all government health care schemes; Hillary Clinton acknowledged as much in 1993.

So today two supposedly “wonky” MSM mouthpieces, one in the New York Times, the other in the Washington Post, write detailed explanations of all this. But wait — don’t they know that by the terms of the ACA law, the mandate to buy insurance canNOT be enforced? The law itself specifically forbids any enforcement action to recover the mandate’s “penalty”!! In effect, there is NO mandate at all — it’s a pose, a trick, a sleight-of-hand built into the law. Power Line readers certainly should be aware of this: PL was on top of this point 3 ½ years ago!

And yet today’s MSM “wonks” fail to mention that the law already “guts” the mandate!

For a liberal, the “wonk” bar is set low. If you can add and subtract, you’re in.

This is a continuing pattern…this feature is never mentioned. But it is intentional, we can be highly certain of that. The plan all along was to create the exchanges to serve a powerful constituency, entice them into them…and intentionally make them fail, to create the political pre-conditions for nationalizing health care through single payer.

Now it is possible that many in the MSM do not understand this point. But the two “wonks” writing today have no excuse. Eighteen months ago the original MSM “wonk,” Ezra Klein, let the cat out of the bag by openly revealing that the mandate is unenforceable:

…the Affordable Care Act doesn’t include an actual enforcement mechanism for the individual mandate. If you refuse to pay it, the Internal Revenue Service can’t throw you in jail, dock your wages or really do anything at all. This leads to one of the secrets of Obamacare: Perhaps the best deal in the bill is to pay the mandate penalty year after year and only buy insurance once you get sick. To knowingly free ride, in other words. In that world, the mandate acts as an option to buy insurance at a low price when you need it.

[Emphasis added] The logic is impeccable, except that you don’t even have to “pay the mandate penalty year after year”…and they can’t make you!

But here’s what’s surprising: Sarah Kliff of the Post is Klein’s colleague on “Wonk Blog”…and even more surprising? Annie Lowrey of the Times? She is his wife!!!

So they MUST know about this aspect of Obamacare, yet choose to obscure it.

Unbelievable. But then, everything about Obamacare, and, indeed, anything this administration touches just reeks of dishonesty, disingenuousness and fraud, and the MSM propaganda wing is only too glad to go along.

Ill-informed or mendacious? The perennial question, when it comes to the liberal media. In any event, the evidence is persuasive that Obamacare was designed to fail.


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