The Campaign Spot

Obama and His Fans Laugh It Up Over Obamacare Rollout

What does a president say when his biggest domestic policy is falling flat on its face?

The truth of the matter is, is that while ultimately,, the website, is going to be the easiest place to shop for and buy these new plans — and it’s getting faster and more stable — it’s not where it needs to be yet.

Don’t be so hard on yourself, Mr. President.

I’m not happy about it, as you might imagine. (Laughter.) I’m not happy about it because I know that people need health care and this is the right place to get it.

Notice how the terms “health care” and “health insurance” have become interchangeable to this administration. I guess they’re hoping we’ll ignore the CBS News headline, “Affordable Care Act Could Be Further Hamstrung by Shortage of Doctors.”

I know you’re not happy about it because as long as the website is not working the way it should, it makes it harder for you to help them get covered. And that’s unacceptable and I’m taking responsibility to make sure that it gets fixed. And it will be fixed. We’re working overtime to get it fixed. (Applause.)

Notice there’s no indication in his statement about when it will be fixed.

But in the meantime, as you go back to your home states, I just want to remind everybody that they can still apply for coverage by phone, by mail, in person. There was a time when the Internet didn’t exist. (Laughter.) It wasn’t that long ago. A lot of programs like Medicaid still don’t operate electronically. And so there are ways for us to still work to make sure that people are getting the opportunity to buy affordable, quality health care.

Paper applications aren’t moving any faster, Mr. President. “The paper applications allow people to feel like they are moving forward in the process and provides another option; at the end of the day, we are all stuck in the same queue.”

This also dodges the question of how a purchaser evaluates and compares the details of multiple plans over the phone.

And remember, we’re only one month into a six-month open-enrollment period. Everybody who wants to get insurance through the marketplace, they’ll be able to get it. It’s not as if this is a one-day sale or something. (Laughter.) So we’ve just got to keep on working.

I’m glad the president and his fans can find a lot to laugh about in this situation.

Finally, the whopper, a giant revision of the president’s oft-stated, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” promise:

Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really like that plan, what we said was you could keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law was passed.

No, Mr. President, that’s not what you said. You said, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan, period.”

Most Popular


Cold Brew’s Insidious Hegemony

Soon, many parts of the United States will be unbearably hot. Texans and Arizonans will be able to bake cookies on their car dashboards; the garbage on the streets of New York will be especially pungent; Washington will not only figuratively be a swamp. And all across America, coffee consumers will turn their ... Read More
National Security & Defense

The Warmonger Canard

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is — a crawl to peace, maybe — America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame ... Read More

The Merit of Merit-Based Immigration

Having chain-migrated his way into the White House and a little bit of political power, Donald Trump’s son-in-law is shopping around an immigration plan. And if you can get past the hilarious juxtaposition of the words “merit-based” and “Jared Kushner,” it’s a pretty good one. As things stand, the ... Read More
NR Webathon

We’ve Had Bill Barr’s Back

One of the more dismaying features of the national political debate lately is how casually and cynically Attorney General Bill Barr has been smeared. He is routinely compared to Roy Cohn on a cable-TV program that prides itself on assembling the most thoughtful and plugged-in political analysts and ... Read More
Film & TV

Game of Thrones: A Father’s Legacy Endures

Warning! If you don't want to read any spoilers from last night's series finale of Game of Thrones, stop reading. Right now. There is a lot to unpack about the Thrones finale, and I fully understand many of the criticisms I read on Twitter and elsewhere. Yes, the show was compressed. Yes, there were moments ... Read More