The Obamacare Blame Game
Health insurers should defend themselves against Obama’s lies and intimidation.

President Obama campaigns for the ACA in Dallas, Texas, on November 6.


Deroy Murdock

Beyond the relentless lies, paternalistic arrogance, and show-stopping incompetence that now define Obamacare, it now sports two new features: an assault on free speech and the severe scapegoating of a law-abiding industry.

“White House officials have pressured insurance industry executives to keep quiet amid mounting criticism over Obamacare’s rollout,” CNN’s Drew Griffin and Chris Frates reported October 30. “After insurance officials publicly criticized the implementation, White House staffers contacted insurers to express their displeasure, industry insiders said. Multiple sources declined to speak publicly about the push back because they fear retribution.”

While White House press secretary Jay Carney calls this accusation “preposterous and inaccurate,” the health insurers’ silence in this controversy is chilling. According to insurance consultant Bob Laszewski, “The White House is exerting massive pressure on the industry, including the trade associations, to keep quiet.”

There should be no need to remind anyone in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave that health-insurance companies and their employees should enjoy a little something called freedom of speech under the First Amendment. They should feel perfectly relaxed about saying whatever they want about Obamacare, or anything else. The fact that they are scared to open their mouths, lest they suffer Washington’s wrath, speaks bookshelves about the federal government’s morbid obesity in general and the near-criminal ethos of the Obama regime in particular.

In frightful contrast, Obama has been anything but taciturn in his latest tactic: vilifying health insurers.

“Before the Affordable Care Act, these bad-apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received or used minor pre-existing conditions to jack up your premiums or bill you into bankruptcy,” Obama bellowed last week. As if prosecuting a product-liability case, Obama decried the evil insurers’ “cut-rate plans that don’t offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident.”

Some 4.2 million Americans with canceled medical policies now recognize that Obama lied last September 26 when he said, “If you already have health care, you don’t have to do anything.” As outrage grew, Obama unveiled a new lie on Monday to conceal at least 23 previous ones: “If you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.”

“No, no, no, no, no,” the National Journal’s Ron Fournier protested. “That’s not what the Obama administration said.”

As usual, Obama points his finger at everyone but himself. People are losing plans, Obama claims, because wicked insurers changed and, thus, invalidated them.

But why would insurers suddenly cancel coverage for 4.2 million clients, and counting? Is this the latest innovation in customer service?

“The health insurance companies are required to offer their customers new plans that comply with all of the new federal benefit and regulatory requirements,” explains Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute, a health-policy think tank. “It is reckless for the White House to blame the insurance companies simply for complying with this law.”