In a move worthy of a Third World banana republic, President Obama used his extraconstitutional lawmaking wand and secretly extended the Dec. 23 Obamacare enrollment cutoff by 24 hours, usurping the authority of Congress.
This is only the latest in a long series of capricious, imperial, impeachable, ad hoc adjustments that the 44th president has made to his creation. Each and every unilateral abridgment or abrogation of the Affordable Care Act, as monstrous as the statute may be, is an affront to the rule of law that is supposed to prevail in our constitutional republic. This rule by presidential decree creates legal and business uncertainty for insurers and the insured, as well as for employers and all health care market participants.
Not surprisingly, public support for Obamacare continues to fall, dropping five whole percentage points in a month to a new record low, according to a CNN/ORC poll. Barely a third of the public -- 35 percent -- now supports the law, down from 40 percent late last month, and just 16 percent of respondents said they expect their families will be better off when most of the law takes effect in 2014.
The completely unnecessary, mandated chaos of the Obamacare rollout is business as usual for embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who continues struggling to put out fire after fire in what seems destined to be a futile effort to make an unworkable program somehow work.
The Washington Post reports that
"Over the weekend, government officials and outside IT contractors working on the online marketplace’s computer system made a software change that automatically gives people a Jan. 1 start date for their new coverage as long as they enroll by 11:59 p.m. on Christmas Eve."
The Obama administration apparently rationalized the one-day extension away, claiming it was needed in case the perpetually malfunctioning website strains under the weight of a sudden traffic boost from last-minute enrollees.
“Anticipating high demand and the fact that consumers may be enrolling from multiple time zones, we have taken steps to make sure that those who select a plan through tomorrow will get coverage for Jan. 1,” an HHS spokeswoman said yesterday.
In the nightmarish swirl of Kafkaesque arbitrariness that surrounds President Obama's much touted signature legislative achievement, insurance companies reportedly won't be able to refuse late registrants. Last week the administration decreed that individuals whose insurance plans were canceled may receive an exemption from the individual mandate imposed by the Affordable Care Act.
It's abundantly clear that President Obama is making this up from finely manicured golf courses and vacation spots as he goes along. Obama reportedly was briefed on HHS's latest efforts to keep the Obamacare website operational.
News of the latest presidential diktats came as the Obama administration claimed that the HealthCare.gov website was experiencing a “record day” for visits yesterday.
A spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) said approximately 850,000 people had visited the website as of 2 p.m. on Monday and that the alleged crush of web traffic was expected to continue the rest of the day. "About 60,000 people were instructed through the system to provide an email address so they could be notified to return at a later time," The Hill newspaper reports.
Is the visitors figure true? The administration has been caught lying over and over and over again about Obamacare's so-called successes so there is no way to know if the figures are accurate without conducting a forensic cyber-audit or issuing congressional subpoenas (which the administration would probably ignore anyway).
And when the administration hasn't been lying outright, it has been known to carefully parse, calculating its statements to mislead the public. That nearly a million visits to the website were reportedly recorded doesn't provide any indication of how many individuals actually applied for or succeeded in obtaining health insurance coverage.
President Obama claimed on Friday that more than a half million people had signed up at HealthCare.gov in the first three weeks of this month. According to The Hill's reckoning, this would bring the total number of individuals enrolled in Obamacare to a bit over 1 million, far short of the 3.3 million people the administration hoped would jump aboard the sinking ship by year's end.
Deluded administration officials continue to insist that they will hit their goal of 7 million enrollees by the conclusion of the second signup deadline on March 31.
"The administration also needs consumers who have enrolled for coverage to make their first premium payments to finalize the process," according to the newspaper. "Those payments were due by Jan. 1, but many insurers, at the request of the administration, are now accepting payments as late as Jan. 10."
Accepting payments as late as Jan. 10 at the request of the administration? Interesting choice of words, isn't it?
There was a time when mainstream media reporters thought it was their job to cut through word smog in order to tell their readers what was actually going on in the world.
The above phrase could be translated as, "nice insurance company you have there. You wouldn't want anything to happen to it, would you?"
But in the Obama era reporters think it's more important to advance the mission of the president than to report the truth.
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