President Obama’s apology to the millions of people who are now forced to search for new insurance despite his repeated assurances that this would never happen . . . period . . . was quite painful to watch.
He kind of sounded like a guy apologizing to his wife for cheating on her after he’s been caught. He’s sorry. He never meant to hurt her . . . blah . . . blah . . . blah.
The true test of how “sorry” he really is will be shown by what he intends to do to correct the problem. My guess is the answer is nothing.
There are several reasons for this. First, there is the legal question of whether he can simply mandate that private insurance companies reinstate coverage they’ve given notice that they’ve cancelled. More importantly, though, the numbers simply don’t add up.
The law is structured something like a Ponzi scheme. You need a certain number of people to pay for other people. In this case, the people who are paying for this law (in addition to all the new taxes) are individuals who make more than the amount Congress deemed either too poor to afford insurance or people whose income makes them eligible for subsidies. Those who earn a dollar more than the statutory threshold for subsidized health insurance will pay through the nose. It’s these middle and upper middle income Americans who are complaining the loudest about losing their insurance and having their premiums triple. They simply can’t afford the new premiums. If Obama lets them off the hook, however, the country can’t afford this law.
Since its passage, the Obama administration has already granted numerous waivers and exemptions to friends. Most recently, the administration announced it’s prepared to grant another waiver to labor unions. If the president actually finds a way to honor his pledge to allow people to keep their insurance plans if they like them, he will in effect be gutting one of the primary funding sources of the law.
What he will do is anyone’s guess. Naturally, Democrats in the House and Senate up for reelection in 2014 are panicking and signing on to proposed legislation allowing people to keep their insurance. This creates a conundrum for the president. If such legislation passes, and he signs it, he will be further assuring that the law will ultimately fail. If he vetoes it, he will be signaling that his “apology” was really all for show.
Clearly, we won’t know what he’s going to do until it’s done. That’s because if there is anything we’ve learned in the past several months, it’s that Obama himself either isn’t always sure what’s really happening or he oddly believes that he can bend reality with his words.
As a citizen, this is not comforting.
In fact, it’s a bit disturbing.
Think about it. For years, he said if you liked your insurance plan and doctor you can keep it. Period. For most people, the word “period” indicates finality. Evidently, that doesn’t apply to the president. Once those words proved not to be true, he tried to make us all believe that we were just too stupid to understand what he meant all along. What he really said is that we could keep our insurance if certain events didn’t happen which were bound to happen because the way the law was structured there was no way they couldn’t happen. Makes sense? Well, if it doesn’t, he’s sorry.
It would be one thing if this was just one disturbing ongoing event. Unfortunately, it’s not. There is a pattern here. Remember the “red line” in Syria. It’s pretty commonly understood what a red line is and that he warned the Syrians not to cross it. Still, when he found himself boxed in on that one, he claimed he never said what everyone heard.
“I didn’t set a red line,” he explained, “The world set a red line.”
Yes, folks, it’s going to be a very long three years.