The PJ Tatler

Pelosi's Alfred E. Neuman Defense of Obamacare

Nancy Pelosi had a very interesting appearance on Meet the Press this morning. She channeled Alfred E. Neuman by saying that Democrats would “stand tall” behind Obamacare in the coming mid term campaign. She also claimed that she and President Obama did not mislead the American people about Obamacare and that Democrats were not losing confidence in the ACA:

The Hill:

Pelosi told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that her members will “stand tall” behind the law during next year’s mid-term elections. Her comments follow the disastrous rollout of the government’s insurance web site and millions of health insurance plan cancellation notices sent to Americans despite Democrats’ pledge that they would be able to keep their policies.

“I don’t think you can tell what will happen next year [at the polls],” she said, “but I will tell you this: Democrats stand tall in support of the Affordable Care Act.”

“This is an issue that has to be dealt with. But it doesn’t mean, oh, it’s a political issue, so we’re going to run away from it. No. It’s too valuable for the American people. What is important about it is that the American people are well served, not who gets reelected.”

She downplayed the significance of the 39 Democrats who on Friday joined a Republican bill allowing insurers to continue offering plans that don’t meet the law’s requirements. She said that number is similar to the number that has voted on bills delaying the law’s mandate on employers and individuals.

“When the Republicans put forth a political initiative,” she said, “people respond to it politically.”

Pelosi called the rollout of the insurance web site “terrible,” but promised it will be fixed. She said jobs would dominate the election, “as it always does.”

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), interviewed right after Pelosi, said Republicans would continue to press for overhauling the law.

“No matter how congresswoman Pelosi tries to spin this, this is a mess,” Ayotte said. “It’s time for a timeout … so we can go back to the drawing board.”

Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Newman’s motto is, “What? Me Worry?” And the laughable image she paints of panicky Democrats ducking for cover — equating that with “standing tall” — is the ultimate denial of reality.

In her defense, what else could she say? Her best bet is to attempt a snow job that the low information voter will believe and the press will faithfully report as fact. But, like trying to hide a wart on your nose by growing a mustache, all she accomplishes by talking about Obamacare is to draw attention to its failure.

The line from the White House on the president’s lies about Americans being able to keep their insurance is apparently “stay the course” or, “What I really said was…” Can’t admit to lying about what everyone knew — it would make the GOP look like soothsayers. Byron York points out that Republicans nailed Obama’s promise 3 years ago. This exchange between Rep. Tom Price and Christine Romer during a committee hearing on Obamacare in June of 2009 shows that Republicans had no illusions about who could “keep their plan if they liked it”:

REP. PRICE: I’m asking about if an individual likes their current plan and maybe they don’t get it through their employer and maybe in fact their plan doesn’t comply with every parameter of the current draft bill, how are they going to be able to keep that?

MS. ROMER: So the president is fundamentally talking about maintaining what’s good about the system that we have. And —

REP. PRICE: That’s not my question.

MS. ROMER: One of the things that he has been saying is, for example, you may like your plan and one of the things we may do is slow the growth rate of the cost of your plan, right? So that’s something that is not only —

REP. PRICE: The question is whether or not patients are going to be able to keep their plan if they like it. What if, for example, there’s an employer out there — and you’ve said that if the employers that already provide health insurance, health coverage for their employees, that they’ll be just fine, right? What if the policy that those employees and that employer like and provide for their employees doesn’t comply with the specifics of the bill? Will they be able to keep that one?

MS. ROMER: So certainly my understanding — and I won’t pretend to be an expert in the bill — but certainly I think what’s being planned is, for example, for plans in the exchange to have a minimum level of benefits.

REP. PRICE: So if I were to tell you that in the bill it says that if a plan doesn’t comply with the specifics that are outlined in the bill that that employer’s going to have to move to the — to a different plan within five years — would you — would that be unusual, or would that seem outrageous to you?

MS. ROMER: I think the crucial thing is, what kind of changes are we talking about? The president was saying he wanted the American people to know that fundamentally if you like what you have it will still be there.

REP. PRICE: What if you like what you have, Dr. Romer, though, and it doesn’t fit with the definition in the bill? My reading of the bill is that you can’t keep that.

Make a campaign commercial out of that byplay and Pelosi will still be saying, “What? Me Worry?”