Obamacare Gets Worse

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I didn’t really need another reason to deplore Obamacare. The almost daily litany of fraud and failure, from the Oval Office to the Healthcare.gov programmers who apparently got their IT training from the back of a matchbook, has taken my confidence in Obamacare out behind the barn and put a bullet it in its head. Nonetheless, President Barack Obama’s signature achievement coughed up more reminders late last week that it would probably work just as well had it been implemented by whoever writes all those kicky one-liners for Vice President Joe Biden.

As it turns out, the incredibly lucky few Americans who have managed to navigate the byzantine Obamacare enrollment process might not be so lucky after all. Washington Post reporter Sarah Kliff posted a story delivering all-new bad news for nearly 15,000 applicants who beat the odds, error messages and web glitches for a spot on the business end of a scam that makes the average Ponzi scheme look like a Faraday cage full of Krugerrands. Their Herculean display of endurance was all for naught. Somewhere between Healthcare.gov and the insurer from which they planned to purchase coverage, their information fell down the memory hole. What’s worse, thanks to one of the many peculiarities of the Obamacare disaster, the Federal government has only a general idea of how many applications disappeared into the data gulag; they don’t have any idea who those 15,000 or so taxpayers might actually be. Since the poor saps who stood in the digital line for this legislative crap sandwich can’t be warned, they may not know they’re in violation of Obamacare’s regulations until they get fined. That’s Federally mandated “double secret probation.”

But wait; the hijinks don’t end there. One of the Democrats’ favorite defenses of Obamacare involves blaming the States that refused to set up their own exchanges for complicating the system. By itself, that’s the logical equivalent of blaming a convenience store for hurting tax revenue by not selling lottery tickets. The State of Washington did set up its own exchange: Washington Healthplanfinder. And it works almost as well as everything else connected to Obamacare. The site, which is routinely down, has reportedly begun debiting some customers’ bank accounts on the wrong dates, creating even more severe financial hardships for people already victimized by the cancellation notices, premium hikes and provider restrictions Obama promised would never be a part of Obamacare. Others report that the system has double-charged them. Unfortunately, they can’t contact the State for relief because that would require going through the site, which doesn’t work. According to a report by Seattle’s KING 5 News, one family had to resort to posting a complaint on the Healthplanfinder’s Facebook page following the failure of both the website and the telephone helpline.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website PolitiFact.com announced last week that Obama’s infamous “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” promise had earned its dubious “Lie of the Year” honor. In “winning” the award, the statement outran other Obamacare nuggets, including Obama’s almost comically ridiculous: “What we said was, you can keep (your plan) if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” “Pants on fire!” was the tag PolitiFact gave that whopper.

These latest horror stories, combined with the insane asylum’s worth of nightmares that Obamacare has already thrust upon us, force me to ask one question: Why the hell do we still have Obamacare? I’m aware the Democrats consider the survival of Obamacare, from which they’ve conveniently exempted most of themselves, more important than life itself. But I’m seriously perplexed as to how we’re still having a national discussion about a clumsily executed enterprise that is as unpopular as the man for whom it’s named.

Not long ago, I joked that if a private citizen were to try to defraud a few hundred million people out of more than $2 trillion, he’d be facing hard time in a Federal penitentiary. I now realize I erred. If someone tried a scam as embarrassingly inept as Obamacare, we wouldn’t lock him up; we’d laugh him off the porch. With the government behind him, Obama didn’t bother to wait on the porch. He’s downstairs, stealing the Krugerrands from the Faraday cage.

–Ben Crystal

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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