During today’s press roustabout at the White House, ABC’s Jon Karl and Jay Carney got into a weird argument over what happens to people who enroll for Obamacare by phone. President Obama has pitched the obscene hotline number to people frustrated with using the highly dysfunctional Healthcare.gov website. But there’s a problem with that: Phone operators have to use the same crappy website. So the president’s advice is useless.
Karl brought all this up today, prompting Carney to act like even more like a condescending jerk than usual.
KARL: “But Jay, I want to go back to exactly…”
CARNEY: “Now we see that tone I’m talking about…”
KARL: “I want to go back to exactly what the President said. He said you can bypass the website and apply by phone or, in person, and that it could be done in 25 minutes. But these memos say that at the end of the day we are all stuck in the same cube, because they all have to go through the same portal.”
CARNEY: “John, I get it, but the person who calls isn’t the one who continues to wait after the paper application is filled, right?”
KARL: “Your mocking is entertaining but, the president said that you can apply within 25 minutes, that was not true.”
CARNEY: “That’s right, the work you do…I think everyone else is looking quizzically because there’s a reason to be quizzical here. You call up, you give your information, you get the questions answered that you need answered, and then they take over from there, and then you find out what you’re eligible for, and the process goes forward.”
KARL: “In 25 minutes?”
CARNEY: “No, once your application is processed. The point was to relieve some of the frustration that Americans were understandably experiencing.”
In that last line, Carney runs straight from one lie to another. Sending Americans to the phone bank was never going to work, as Obama always knew, because his phone operators depend on the same website — which isn’t working. That’s not going to help them at all. But he sent them to the phones to “relieve some of the frustration,” not of Americans trying to use his crappy website, but from himself for having to keep defending that website, the Obamacare insurance cancellations, the sticker shock, etc.