November 13, 2013

JAMES TARANTO: The Carter Administration: Shop till you drop (your insurance carrier).

The press release doesn’t say if it includes Oregon, but that actually doesn’t affect the result one way or another. The Beaver State’s website is completely nonfunctional, so that its total enrollment is zero, zip, zilch, nada, nil, naught–in other words, a big goose egg.

The Associated Press has one of the all-time great look-on-the-sunny-side quotes, from Amy Fauver, chief communications officer for Cover Oregon: “We stuck to the vision, and we’re experiencing now the bumps that go along with having a grand vision that doesn’t work out exactly the way you hope it will.”

If she were good at math, she might have added that Cover Oregon’s enrollment has been growing exponentially.

Another state excluded from the Avalere study is Massachusetts. You might think that’s because Massachusettsans are old pros at running a health-insurance exchange, having set one up way back in 2006 after Mitt Romney’s reform. But no. As the Boston Herald reports, the old, functional Commonwealth Connector had to be scrapped and replaced with an ObamaCare-compliant exchange.

The new Massachusetts Health Connector is beset with “embarrassing glitches,” the Herald reports, and little wonder, since the state hired CGI Group, the same Canadian firm that designed the beglitched federal exchange. Result: “Only 549 applicants–out of the 150,000 Bay Staters forced to switch their health plans to comply with Obamacare rules–are poised to receive insurance.”

“Poised” turns out to be the local dialect for what the Obama administration calls “enrolled”; in Massachusetts, at least, the latter word retains its earlier meaning. “No, nobody’s enrolled,” Scott Devonshire, the exchange’s chief information officer, told the Herald, “because enrollment . . . doesn’t happen until a [health plan] carrier receives payment. It’s a semantics issue, I guess.”

Which seems like a perfect segue to Bill Clinton. The Weekly Standard’s Daniel Halper notes that the 42nd president said in a recent interview that Obama ought to keep his most infamous promise: “I personally believe, even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got.”

So a couple of weeks ago he was being called incompetent by Jimmy Carter. Now he’s being lectured on commitment by Bill Clinton.

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