For either the 34th or 35th time, depending on how you count, the Obama White House has again delayed an aspect of the implementation of Obamacare. The White House confirmed Tuesday evening that the sign-up deadline of March 31 will be delayed by at least a couple of weeks.
The White House also confirmed that the delay will be subject to the “honor system.” Americans can take advantage of the delay, avoiding the deadline, just by checking a box on Healthcare.gov indicating that they tried to get insurance coverage before March 31 but couldn’t. The Obama administration has previously said that the “honor system” will be used to determine who qualifies for subsidized health care. Stealing a page from how the Washington Post covers this story — you’ll see what I mean shortly — I’m going to just make something up and attribute it to unnamed angels: Taxpayer advocates warn that using the “honor system” to obtain money from the government is an open invitation to fraud.
Because it is.
Let’s watch the Washington Post’s Amy Goldstein set up a false conflict to make Republicans look bad due to lawless behavior exemplified by Democrats:
The change, which the administration is scheduled to announce Wednesday, is supported by consumer advocates who want as many people as possible to gain insurance under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. But it’s likely to be criticized by Republicans who oppose the law and have denounced the way the administration is implementing it.
What “consumer advocates” support this? The Post’s Goldstein couldn’t find any? She didn’t quote any. Is there any substance to Republican criticisms of Obamacare? There must be, else the administration wouldn’t have delayed it dozens of times and about six million Americans would not have lost their healthcare. But the Post just doesn’t bother to go there. It just sets up Republicans as meanines for criticizing stuff. Even if it’s very much worth criticizing.
Goldstein does quote Julie Bataille, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Service’s communications director:
We are . . . making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment — either online or over the phone,” said Julie Bataille, director of the office of communications for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency overseeing the federal health-care exchange.
Goldstein doesn’t Google the last relevant quote that Bataille gave on the subject of delaying Obamacare, which was all of two weeks ago.
On a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon, officials at the Department of Health and Human Services insisted that March 31 is the firm deadline to sign up for Obamacare. “We have no plans to extend the open enrollment period,” HHS official Julie Bataille said. “In fact, we don’t actually have the statutory authority to extend the open enrollment period in 2014.” (emphasis added)
Did Congress pass a new law between March 11 and March 25 (the delay was confirmed last night) while no one was looking? Or has Bataille gone out and found some new statutory authority that she didn’t know about? Bataille was quoted for this story, but evidently the Post with its approved reporters and its layers and layers of fact-checkers and editors didn’t bother to look up what Bataille last said in public about delaying the sign-up deadline. Which was way back in the Dark Ages of mid-March, 2014.
Obamacare has been about two things: The raw assertion of power, and the raw assertion of power. That’s how it was passed and that’s how it is being implemented.
Is it possible for a Washington Post reporter to actually generate a fair and factual report about that, or anything?
More: The Post also couldn’t find this. It’s two weeks old; perhaps their search capabilities don’t go back that far. Check next page to see.