For claiming to be the “party of science”, the Democrats (and their media stenographers) sure seem to have trouble with basic math.
It’s finally time to analyze the Obamacare enrollment numbers that ironically arrived on our doorsteps on April Fools’ Day. To evaluate anything you need to start with a baseline, and my guess is this is one you’ve heard before. For 20 years now it’s been the mating call of some of the most familiar political species of our time, including the Hillary Clinton (Shrillus presidentius wifus), the Barack Obama (Economus wreckus) the Edward Kennedy (Drownus girlfriendea) and the wily N. American Rank and File Democrat (Lemmingus ignoramus). You’ve heard it shouted from the rooftops at NetRoots conventions, blasted out of Volvo speakers by NPR, and feted at vegan BBQ’s hosted by Sanjay Gupta:
“46 million uninsured!”
It’s the number that just won’t die. For going on 20 years now we’ve been fed the falsehood that America is some kind of dastardly, Dickensian dystopia, in which one out of every eight people is involuntarily uninsured and turned away from the hospital to die a slow, painful death in the fetid streets. Never mind the fact that the 46 million number was never fully vetted, but rather pulled from the deep recesses of Hillary Clinton’s sphincter in the early 90’s. Never mind that it has been totally and thoroughly discredited as absurdist hyperbole, along with medical bankruptcy. I say we go with it! After all, if it’s good enough to go completely unchallenged by the mainstream media for two decades, then it’s good enough for me!
46 million it is!
Thankfully the Democrats found a solution to our non-existent problem: They’d force us, under penalty of law, to buy a product we didn’t want mandated by a bill they didn’t read. It’s what Democrats call “tradition.”
So 46 million Americans were forced to buy insurance before the employer mandate kicked in. Here we are — 4 years and 12 million exemptions later — measuring the results. The “most transparent administration ever,” which brought you such Top 10 Hits as The IRS Scandal, The Benghazi Boogaloo, and If You Like Your Plan You Can Keep Your Plan, tells us the number is 7 million. In a stroke of pure coincidence, that’s exactly what they predicted on exactly the day they predicted it to happen! (After 17 revisions of course.) To a thinking man this would sound a little too convenient, but I say we go with it.
7 million it is!
“But what about Medicare?!” scream the delusional harpies of the media Left. “Look at how many people signed up for that!” Um – that’s lovely, but there’s only one problem: Medicare isn’t Obamacare – it’s Medicare. For those of you who just landed on Earth yesterday, I’ll explain: Medicare (and it’s obnoxious little brother Medicaid) were founded in 1965, right around the time our current president was enjoying a nice, medium-rare fillet de Fido under the hot Indonesian sun.
Medicare was there before Obamacare, it would be there without Obamacare, and it will be there long after Obamacare is gone. We didn’t need to dismantle the entire American health care system, cancel millions of perfectly good insurance policies, and rip Americans away from for their beloved doctors, just to moderately expand a program we already had in place. Giving Obama credit for Medicare is a little like giving him credit for the Paris Peace Accords or the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. (In an ironic twist, Bryon York notes that it was Republicans who advocated for an expansion of Medicare instead of the full dismantling of our health care system). Naturally Obama was right there to take credit for their idea – a la Clinton and his “welfare reform.” The next thing you know Al Gore will be taking credit for inventing the internet.
In the end, there’s only one pesky little problem with the Obama administration’s ACA enrollment numbers. It’s the dirty little secret his media cheerleaders don’t want you to know about:
Anyone who has ever worked in a field outside of community organizing (let alone run a lemonade stand) knows that while the gross is nice, success is about the net. I bet I sound pretty impressive when I tell you I sold $12 million worth of widgets. I bet I sound markedly less so when you find out they cost $15 million to produce. The net is all that matters: With your business, with your bank account, and with Obamacare – and that’s where cancellations come in.
Cancellations were all the rage last Fall, but miraculously they just don’t seem to matter anymore! As Liberal talking heads fly into fits of sanctimonious parsing, they’re ignoring a simple fact: A health insurance cancellation is a health insurance cancellation – period. Most importantly those cancellations need to be subtracted from the gross Obamacare sign-up numbers. It doesn’t matter if your cancellation was delivered by fax, e-mail, snail-mail, smoke signal, or carrier pigeon. It doesn’t matter if your insurance company offered you a new ACA exchange plan, you had to find one on your own, you went on the government dole, or you opted to see a Witch-Doctor who only takes BitCoin. You were cancelled – plain and simple. Any media organization attempting to do a fair and honest analysis of Obamacare’s final enrollment numbers simply must take cancellations into full account.
Yet somehow, in the age of smartphones, Google and Lexis/Nexis, even casual mentions of Obamacare cancellations have become harder to find than a wayward Malaysian Airlines jetliner. Since the NBC News research staff seems to be on vacation this week, I’ve provided a link to the definite study on Obamacare cancellations, released last December. Naturally it was commissioned by the far-right, Koch-funded, goose-stepping, Tea-Party extremist media organization known as … the Associated Press!
According to the AP, before Christmas alone over 5.7 million people lost their policies due to Obamacare. Yet it gets much worse: The AP’s analysis only included the 28 state exchanges that were keeping track of cancellations. Their data is short by 22 states, including populous ones like Texas, Ohio, and Arizona. What about the vast numbers of “undocumented,” “disenfranchised” cancellation victims “living in the shadows” in megalopolises like Boston, Houston, Cincinnati, Phoenix, Dallas and Milwaukee? Who’s counting them?! With almost half the nation uncounted, even the most conservative estimate would place Obamacare’s real cancellations well over the 7-10 million mark.
So where is the media coverage on cancellations? It’s not that the data doesn’t exist, it’s that reporters seem about as interesting in finding it as they do Lois Lerner’s emails. For 99 percent of the media, the alleged “7 million sign-up” figure is where the story ends: “The Obama administration met its goal, Obamacare is a resounding success, the critics are embarrassed, and ‘shut the door — it’s Miller Time!’”
A prime example is my local fish-wrap: the Los Angeles Times. Shining up their pom-poms, the LA Times – by citing “surveys” – triumphantly reported that 9.5 million previously uninsured got insurance under Obamacare as of April 1st. Yet instead of using the AP’s solid numbers, the LA Time’s voodoo-economists preferred to use a secret, “as-yet unpublished Rand Foundation study” based on … wait for it … a “phone poll!” Because everyone knows there’s nothing more dependable than a phone poll! What’s next? Proclamations from the forehead of Carnac The Magnificent? Why not go with AP’s actual cancellation numbers reported by the exchanges themselves? Instead it’s, “Obamacare’s doin’ great folks! We’re the LA Times, so you’ll just have to trust us on this one!
Naturally, within two days, the LA Times cut their number in half. Move along! Nothing to see here, folks!
You don’t need to have an advanced degree in calculus to do the math: 7-9 million signups minus 7-10 million cancellations. Don’t forget to carry the one. Now divide by 46 million to get your percentage. (You remember negative numbers from Ms. Nuttal’s 3rd grade math class, don’t you?) Ouch – this isn’t penciling out so well!
Even the most optimistic of data – including the Medicare signups – starts to make the Bay of Pigs look like D-Day.
So – in the face of the biggest disaster since Hurricane Katrina — what are the media’s headlines?
“Obamacare Hits Target In Final Days.” – Washington Post
“Obamacare Has Led to Health Coverage For Millions More People.” – Los Angeles Times
“The Affordable Care Act is Working: Helping People…Coast to Coast.” – NPR
“Obamacare Hits Enrollment Goal With 7.1 million sign-ups” – CNN
“Health Enrollment Numbers Lift Democratic Hopes” – New York Times
Talk about putting lipstick on a pig. Perhaps no “news organization” has been more suck-worthy on Obamacare than Mike Allen’s Politico. In a truly dumb-founding piece full of math that would make a Second Grader cringe, Politico called Washington state’s Obamacare exchange a “no frills success.” Politico boasted that the Washington ACA exchange signed up 191,000 people – which sounds impressive – until you looks at the AP data that shows 290,000 people were cancelled.
Only the pro-Obama media could call a net loss of 99,000 people a “no-frills success.”
So what is the net result of Obamcare’s first milestone? A few million more Americans without health insurance, millions more with higher premiums, even millions more on the same government program that’s bankrupting our treasury, and our private insurance companies in utter shambles. But what’s the one thing those new ACA signups have in common? They’ve all been registered as newly minted Democrat voters. I think we’re starting to get the picture.