Barack Obama delivered a speech this afternoon that was intended to stir up enthusiasm for Obamacare; you can read it here. The speech evidently was driven by concern about the problems that have made Healthcare.gov a laughingstock, and Obama talked about the web site at some length. He also ticked off the familiar talking points that were used when the law was first debated:
[W]e took up the fight because we believe that, in America, nobody should have to worry about going broke just because somebody in their family or they get sick. We believe that nobody should have to choose between putting food on their kids’ table or taking them to see a doctor. We believe we’re a better country than a country where we allow, every day, 14,000 Americans to lose their health coverage; or where every year, tens of thousands of Americans died because they didn’t have health care.
But wait! Every single person who heard Obama’s speech knows that Obamacare itself has caused millions of Americans to lose the health insurance they already had–far more, in fact, than have signed up for Obamacare. Not only that, well-informed listeners know that the administration itself predicted that Obamacare would cause more than half of all of those who buy individual insurance, and more than half of all those who are covered by an employer-sponsored group plan, to lose the insurance they already have. And that’s not the worst of it: most people believe that Obama lied when he promised, dozens of times, that under Obamacare, if you like your health insurance plan you can keep it.
Obama surely knows that his lies have been exposed, and that Obamacare’s unpopularity is in part the result of that exposure. There is something downright weird about his giving a speech–one in which he talked about how terrible it is when people lose their health insurance–without even mentioning the elephant in the room. He is like a trial lawyer whose client is damned by one horrible fact which has been emphasized repeatedly by the opposing party, and who delivers a closing argument in which he fails to mention the key evidence in the case. You just can’t do that. In some fashion, you have to deal with it. Today, Obama didn’t even try.
…or where out-of-pocket costs drove millions of citizens into poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth. We thought we were better than that, and that’s why we took this on.
Again, it has been widely reported that many of those who have managed to sign up for Obamacare have found that they are paying more, not less, for worse, not better, coverage. Their out-of-pocket costs are increasing as a result of the law. This fact has been well publicized and has caused a great deal of consternation, especially since it negates another of Obama’s blithe promises–the average family will save $2,500 per year. In fact, it is blindingly obvious that with its proliferating mandates–it effectively bans cheap health insurance–Obamacare will drive costs up, not down. Yet once again, Obama talks as though the American people know no more about the law today than they did when it was passed. Nancy Pelosi said Congress would have to pass Obamacare so we could find out what is in it. That happened, and most people don’t like what they have learned.
Since it failed to address the concerns that are driving Obamacare’s deep unpopularity, Obama’s speech was ineffective. It was also contemptible. He falsely claimed that Republicans “sure haven’t presented an alternative,” when in fact Republicans have come up with any number of proposals, most of which Harry Reid has refused to allow the Senate to vote on. And then there is this, on preventive care. Which one of these things is not like the others?
That’s the difference that the Affordable Care Act will make for many of Dr. Weir’s patients. Because more than 100 million Americans with insurance have gained access to recommended preventive care like mammograms, or colonoscopies, or flu shots, or contraception to help them stay healthy — at no out-of-pocket cost.
Disgusting. Does Obama seriously believe that there is a single woman in the United States who couldn’t afford contraception, and is now coupling happily–and for free!–because of Obamacare? I saw this earlier today on Twitter:
Refuse sex unless the man provides birth control. He will. Problem solved.
Happily, Obama was not just contemptible today. He was ineffective, too.