Barack Obama did his best today to allay concerns over the star-crossed website of his star-crossed health care law. He had three (count ‘em, 3) actual living and breathing Obamacare enrollees join him in the Rose Garden, where he said with a straight face:
You probably heard the new website where people can apply for health insurance and browse and buy affordable plans in most states hasn’t worked as smoothly as it was supposed to work. The number of people who visited the site has been overwhelming which has aggravated some of these underlying problems.
From there, his spiel devolved into an honest-to-Pete infomerical. “Let me remind everybody that the Affordable Care Act is not just a website. It’s much more,” adding to the delight of Twitter cut-ups everywhere:
So the fact is, the product of the Affordable Care Act for people without health insurance is quality health insurance that’s affordable. And that product is working. It’s really good. And it turns out there’s a massive demand for it. So far, the national website, healthcare.gov, has been visited nearly 20 million times.
Enter the photoshopped image of Vince Shlomi (aka, the fast-talker who promotes ShamWow) with Obama’s face grafted in, the inexhaustible parade of tweeted quips, and even a nod from The Onion, which promises a “New, Improved Obamacare Program Released On 35 Floppy Disks.”
Suffice it to say that the speech by the world’s best speechifier ever didn’t do much to quell the unrest. Which led the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake to ponder the new eternal question this afternoon: Will the problems with the health-care law’s Web site lead to a delay in the individual mandate?
Blake goes on to quote Obama straight man, Jay Carney, who said, when asked this afternoon about a delay:
We’re way still early in the process. So you’re talking about a Feb. 15 and a March 31 deadline. It is Oct. 21 today. So let’s be clear about that. We’re three weeks into this.
Whatever conclusions you draw about the way the law is written, I think you can draw. The law is clear that if you do not have access to affordable health insurance, then you will not be — being asked to pay a penalty because you haven’t purchased affordable health insurance.
In other words, Carney answered a question other than the one he was asked (repeatedly), which means either (1) he doesn’t know, or (2) he’s not saying because admitting the delay makes his boss look bad.
- Obamacare success stories trumpeted in confused (and confusing) Rose Garden event
- Leaked memo shows WH expected 500,000 would enroll in Obamacare by Oct. 31
- Under Obamacare, premiums for young healthy people will rise in 45 states
- Traffic at Obamacare website falls off 88% since Oct. 1 rollout
- Under Obamacare worse is the new normal
- Buggy, crash-prone Obamacare site also includes option to register to vote, further gumming up works
- Obamacare website glitches were purposely baked in to deter sticker price shock
- To sign up for Obamacare, dial 1-800-F**KYO: A bridge too far
- Sticker shock: Californians suddenly discover why Republicans are shouting about Obamacare
- Obama supporter: ‘I now get why GOP is so ticked off over Obamacare’
- A reminder: Warnings about premiums going up under Obamacare were correct
- When playing for time, think big and strategic
- Sticker shock from Obamacare rates as big a snafu as sign-up glitches
- Obamacare will double my monthly premium (according to Kaiser)
- Kentucky allows dead people to sign up for Obamacare
- Models stripped down to their skivvies take to Denver streets to hawk Obamacare
- Day 1 Obamacare sign-up horror stories
- Firm sued for fraud 18 months ago is back … signing up Obamacare applicants
- How unaffordable will the Affordable Care Act be? By the numbers