“Sorry” Seems to Be the Hardest Word

 

This latest Obamacare update features a semi-apology from the president of the United States:

President Obama said Thursday that he is “sorry” that some Americans are losing their current health insurance plans as a result of the Affordable Care Act, despite his promise that no one would have to give up a health plan they liked.

“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” he told NBC News in an exclusive interview at the White House.

“We’ve got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.”

[. . .]

“Obviously we didn’t do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law,” Obama said in the interview Thursday. “And, you know, that’s something I regret. That’s something we’re gonna do everything we can to get fixed … We’re looking at a range of options.”

I call it a “semi-apology” because the president only apologized after he tried everything he could possibly think of in order to distract from the fact that he broke his promise to the American people. One such attempt to distract, of course, was the attempt to blame insurance companies for lost plans. Glenn Kessler gives this bit of spin three Pinocchios. He likely was too kind:

Blaming the insurance companies can only go so far. First of all, the administration wrote the rules that set the conditions under which plans lose their grandfathered status. But more important, the law has an effective date so far in the past that it virtually guaranteed that the vast majority of people currently in the individual market would end up with a notice saying they needed to buy insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.

The administration’s effort to pin the blame on insurance companies is a classic case of misdirection. Between 75 and 95 percent of the problem stems from the effective date, but the White House chooses to keep the focus elsewhere.

As Ron Fournier notes, the Obama Administration’s disastrous management of the implementation of health care reform will likely have political consequences if the mess is not cleaned up  quickly. The Administration, its congressional allies, and all those who support Obamacare deserve the political pain for the way in which the law has thus far wreaked havoc upon the lives of millions of Americans.

Meanwhile, Kathleen Sebelius–who still has a job!–has informed us that there will be no delays in the implementation of Obamacare–apart from the parts of Obamacare that have been delayed in order to ensure that the Administration does not suffer politically  (see, e.g., the delay in implementing the employer mandate). In the same story, we see this:

. . . the Obama administration disclosed that the chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would retire. His office supervised the creation of the troubled website.

The official, Tony Trenkle, will step down on Nov. 15 “to take a position in the private sector,” according to an email circulated among agency employees. He has supervised the spending of $2 billion a year on information technology products and services, including the development of the website.

Mr. Trenkle, reached by telephone on Wednesday, declined to discuss his plans. “I can’t speak with you,” he said.

His retirement is part of a management shake-up announced by Michelle Snyder, the chief operating officer of the Medicare agency, who was herself deeply involved in major decisions about the insurance marketplace.

Even as Ms. Sebelius testified about progress in repairing the website, HealthCare.gov, agency officials were reporting new problems on Wednesday.

“The site is performing slowly,” said Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “Some users have difficulty logging in and receive error messages.”

This is what passes for accountability these days. I guess that if you want some breaks from this Administration when it comes to Obamacare, you have to be part of an approved political class.

That political class, mind you, does not include Obama supporters who do not wield political power. I do feel badly for Lee Hammack and JoEllen Brothers; they put their faith in the president and they are being rewarded for their loyalty by having their health care plan, “a plan that offers solid coverage, not one of the skimpy plans Obama has criticized,” canceled because the plan still does not meet Obamacare requirements. The couple now needs to find a new plan, and “[t]he cost would be around double what they pay now, but the benefits would be worse.”

Charles Ornstein, who wrote the piece covering Hammack’s and Brothers’s woes, fact-checked their story and found that it holds water. Despite the fact that Ornstein had “been skeptical about media stories featuring those who claimed they would be worse off because their insurance policies were being canceled on account of the ACA,” he is now forced to conclude that without some kind of fix for the law, people like Hammack and Brothers are in trouble. They are going to have to pay a lot more for their health insurance, and they are going to get a lot less coverage in return.

I wonder if the president will apologize personally to Hammack and Brothers anytime soon.

There are 18 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @ChrisCampion
    Totus Porcus

    mizzoujgrad

    “Now that– you know, having said that–given that I’ve been burned already with– a website–well, more importantly, the American people have been burned by– a website that has been dysfunctional.”

    This statement from the President in his “apology” with Chuck Todd reveals everything we need to know about whether this was an actual apology.  It’s always about President Obama and how things affect him.  No matter how many people lose their coverage.  No matter how many people’s health and lives could be lost due to this law, it’s first, last and always about how things affect President Obama. · 17 minutes ago

    He is the First Victim.  · 2 hours ago

    We have an Infant-In-Chief whose didies might need a changin‘.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member
    @tigerlily

    Geez, what a hard-hitting interview by Chuck Todd. He makes Larry King look like Torquemada.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Member
    @Larry3435

    I’m surprised that the non-apology apology didn’t include that great and popular phrase “I apologize to anyone who might have taken offense…”

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @AlbertArthur
    Totus Porcus

    mizzoujgrad

    “Now that– you know, having said that–given that I’ve been burned already with– a website–well, more importantly, the American people have been burned by– a website that has been dysfunctional.”

    This statement from the President in his “apology” with Chuck Todd reveals everything we need to know about whether this was an actual apology.  It’s always about President Obama and how things affect him.  No matter how many people lose their coverage.  No matter how many people’s health and lives could be lost due to this law, it’s first, last and always about how things affect President Obama. · 17 minutes ago

    He is the First Victim.  · 9 hours ago

    He’s a better victim than the victims of his flawed policy.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TotusPorcus

    Funny that he apologized because “we didn’t do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law.” 

    Not “because I repeatedly misled the American people.” 

    As if it were a drafting error. 

    Obviously, he will be reprimanding the staff and Democrats who put together the “we have to pass the bill for you to find out what’s in it” law while he was out promising to everyone that they could keep their plans and their doctors.  Period. 

    Wonder if he thinks this is going to be good enough.  Obviously they are feeling a lot of heat for him even to come out and acknowledge the possibility of error. 

    I also think this is a tactic to shut up NBC and others with another “we’ve already addressed that” dodge. 

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Inactive
    @NickStuart
    Pejman Yousefzadeh: I do feel badly for Lee Hammack and JoEllen Brothers; they put their faith in the president, in his campaigns, in his administration and in his policy agenda, and they are being rewarded for their loyalty by having their health care plan, “a plan that offers solid coverage, not one of the skimpy plans Obama has criticized,” canceled because the plan still does not meet Obamacare requirements. The couple now needs to find a new plan, and “[t]he cost would be around double what they pay now, but the benefits would be worse.” 

    Very charitable of you to burn emotional calories feeling badly for Hammack and Brothers. 

    I wouldn’t micturate on them if they were on fire.

    They’re still loyal love slaves of the president. They can deal with the consequences of the mess they helped make.

    Their mess is going spread over all of us, and there’s not the remotest possibility they’ll feel bad about that.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Listener
    @FricosisGuy

    Heh…I posted on this with quotes from the Big Book. About 60 million Obama voters better call Al-Anon.

    DocJay: Personality disorders are characterized by this type of behavior. · 8 hours ago

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Member
    @ScottWilmot

    What the President said was pathetic. If he had sorrow over people losing their health care he would apologize for lying repeatedly to the American people. If he had any virtue he would call for repeal of the law and then resign. But neither of these will happen.

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MothershipGreg

    All I can think of is this South Park clip.

    Obamacare == Cthulhu

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @AlbertArthur

    This is no apology. NBC is just spinning.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Inactive
    @mizzoujgrad

    “Now that– you know, having said that– given that I’ve been burned already with– a website– well, more importantly, the American people have been burned by– a website that has been dysfunctional.”

    This statement from the President in his “apology” with Chuck Todd reveals everything we need to know about whether this was an actual apology.  It’s always about President Obama and how things affect him.  No matter how many people lose their coverage.  No matter how many people’s health and lives could be lost due to this law, it’s first, last and always about how things affect President Obama.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TotusPorcus
    mizzoujgrad

    “Now that– you know, having said that–given that I’ve been burned already with– a website–well, more importantly, the American people have been burned by– a website that has been dysfunctional.”

    This statement from the President in his “apology” with Chuck Todd reveals everything we need to know about whether this was an actual apology.  It’s always about President Obama and how things affect him.  No matter how many people lose their coverage.  No matter how many people’s health and lives could be lost due to this law, it’s first, last and always about how things affect President Obama. · 17 minutes ago

    He is the First Victim. 

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Member
    @DuaneOyen
    Pejman Yousefzadeh: This latest Obamacare update features a semi-apology from the president of the United States:

    ……………………….

    I wonder if the president will apologize personally to Hammack and Brothers anytime soon.

    I appreciate irony and humor.  But my real best guess is that, if they don’t shut up about this ASAP, they will get an audit notice from the IRS.

    The fact that you were a loyal supporter and volunteer does not excuse disloyalty to His Blessedness.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DocJay

    Personality disorders are characterized by this type of behavior.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Member
    @DuaneOyen

    The prize here goes to Avik Roy, who thus explained the “apology” as the equivalent of  “a husband caught in flagrante delicto (who) said, ‘I’m sorry that you’re hurt that I cheated on you. I’ll do my best to reduce the number of affairs I have in the future.’”

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Inactive
    @PejmanYousefzadeh

    That’s very good indeed.

    Duane Oyen: The prize here goes to Avik Roy, who thus explained the “apology” as the equivalent of  “a husband caught in flagrante delicto (who) said, ‘I’m sorry that you’re hurt that I cheated on you. I’ll do my best to reduce the number of affairs I have in the future.’” · 3 minutes ago

    • #16

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