Monday November 4, 2013
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A Mullster wrote to ask me whether I was ready to admit I was wrong about Obamacare; that my chastising the House GOP for shutting the government down while demanding that the ACA be repealed, defunded, or delayed was in error.
I was not wrong. Everything that has happened with regard to the health care law actually makes my case.
My point was, and continues to be, if Texas Senator Ted Cruz and the House Cruzettes had chosen a different path, they could have escaped the ire of the American people by letting Obamacare take the spotlight and fall right on its legislative butt.
Nothing about Obamacare is good news for the President or Democrats in Congress. You know the litany:
-- The web site doesn't work (it was shut down for 12 hours over the weekend)
This thing is never going to work. Even if they get the website fixed.
-- Millions of Americans - middle class Americans - will be paying far more in premiums with far higher co-pays than they have before.
-- The President lied about our being able to keep our current health care plan if we liked it.
Apple began selling its new iPad Air tablet at 12:01 AM Pacific Daylight Time in its on-line store. That was 3:01 AM Eastern.
You had to make a number of choices: Color; amount of memory; Wi-Fi-only, or Wi-Fi and LTE; and, if so, which Telecom service you wanted.
I had practiced all afternoon so I could click quickly in case the system crashed under the weight of a bunch of Californians trying to be the first in the digital line.
I set my alarm for 2:50 AM. I logged into the Apple site at about 2:58. The site still said it was under construction, but I just kept hitting the "refresh" key.
At 3:01 AM � nothing happened.
At 3:02 the site went live. By 3:06 I had spent nearly $1,000 - and that included about one minute going back and forth over whether I wanted it engraved. In the end, I didn't.
I'm pretty certain that Apple sold more iPads before dawn last Friday than the whole federal government has gotten people signed up for Obamacare over the past month.
In fact, it was reported, by CBS News over the weekend that on the first day of Obamacare six people were able to get signed up.
At six people per day, the Obama Administration will meet its target of seven million people by the year 5209.
But, back to the website issue. A remarkable bit of reporting by Washington Post Reporters Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin, in a front pager point out that from the very beginning of the process - just after the bill became law in the Spring of 2010 - the bureaucratic tugging combined with the political pulling meant there was no way this was going to be ready by October 1, 2013.
That has resulted, three-and-half years later, in "casting doubt on the administration's capacity to carry out such a complex undertaking."
They quote a Harvard professor and health advisor to Obama's 2008 campaign, David Cutler, as saying:
"They were running the biggest start-up in the world, and they didn't have anyone who had run a start-up, or even run a business."
The blistering coverage of the failing Obamacare roll-out didn't begin until after the Cruz and the Cruzettes shut up and allowed the government to re-open. Even with that the President's job approval rating has dropped to just 40 percent according to the latest Gallup three-day tracking poll.
Congressional Democrats, most of whom voted for Obamacare without the benefit of a single Republican vote in the House, have so far escaped being roasted along with the Administration.
I haven't seen this question anywhere, but I'm willing to bet that if a pollster asked a representative sample of Americans whose fault the early failure of Obamacare is, a whole bunch would blame Congressional Republicans.
So. I was correct. If the GOP had allowed the new fiscal year - October 1 - to start without all the shut-down drama, they would have been in a much stronger position to say to the American people about Obamacare:
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to that excellent Washington Post story, to the six-people-on-the-first-day story, and to the Gallup tracking poll. And, if you missed the subscription drive and you'd still like to get in on it, the info is there.
Also a topic-appropriate Mullfoto.
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