November 7, 2013

3 Pinocchios for "The White House effort to blame insurance companies for lost plans."

From WaPo's Fact Checker Glenn Kessler, who, you may remember, gave 4 Pinocchios (the max) to Obama's "if you like your plan, you can keep it." Why did he back off a Pinocchio on this but not that? The official distinction between 3 and 4 is: 3 means "Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions" and 4 is "Whoppers."

What Kessler says today about blaming the insurance companies is:
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.

61 comments:

Seeing Red said...

He just can't bring himself to admit another whopper, the dominoes would fall and bury him.

chuckunderscore said...

4 Pinocchios to Glenn Kessler

RecChief said...

one thing I have noticed about these 'fact checker' columns and web sites, is that they always try to explain further what was said. yes, they claim that they are adding context, unless they are rating a conservative, then of course they are lying liars.

Another thing, why does WAPO have a 'fact checker' website? isn't that what, y'know, reproters are supposed to be doing?

Unknown said...

Seeing Red said...

"He just can't bring himself to admit another whopper, the dominoes would fall and bury him."

He never admitted even one whopper.

Sorun said...

"Why did he back off a Pinocchio on this but not that?"

Treading lightly. WaPo readers are largely Obama supporters.

PB Reader said...

Democrats don't care. The more I read and listen to them, the more I'm convinced they have become a cult. While they use words from the English language, each word and how they put them together has meaning only they understand. Key in this "Democrat English" is an inherent flexibility to change the meaning of words and phrases on the fly but in a way that they all immediately understand. This they call "nuance".

PB Reader said...

In Democrat English, what we observe to be a lie or misstatement is merely our inability to understand what they are saying. Our inability to perceive the nuance.

Key to nuance is that it changes over time and this change is a necessary and good thing.

PB Reader said...

Last year I had a speaker of Democrat English say to me, "If the minimum wage were adjusted for inflation to 1938 levels, today it would be $118/hr."

Pointing out that
-the minimum wage in 1938 was 25 cents and that adjusted for inflation to 2012 dollars it would be $4.07, and
- the $7.25 minimum wage in 2012 corresponds to 45 cents in 1938, so
- the minimum wage has more than kept up with inflation comparing 2012 with 1938.

I asked if this meant that they felt the minimum wage should be $118/hr today. They said that it needed to be to keep up with inflation.

To us they sound bizarre, but to them they seem perfectly rational.

Bill R said...

I have an idea.

The President seems to believe that the people who run insurance companies are stupid and evil.

He, on the other hand is both brilliant and good.

Why doesn't he just set up a medical insurance company in his spare time and put all the evil and stupid companies out of business?

Then he can run the entire medical industry all by himself as a sort of hobby sideline.

Sort of like Obamacare, actually exactly like Obamacare, but without the fines and prisons.

tim in vermont said...

I don't see how you can say the first one was a "whopper." Those who "liked their plan" were suffering from false consciousness, err, I mean "self deception." Nobody actually "liked" their plan.

As for the issue of forcing the changes, then blaming the wreckers, err, I mean kulaks, ummm, no, I mean "bad apple insurance companies." That is just politics, ignore the lies and carry on.

Shouting Thomas said...

All this shit doesn't matter.

Obama and the Dems have their hands on a shitload of graft, and they intend to keep it.

Obama is untouchable because he's black. The "You're a racist!" bit is political gold for graft, corruption, kickbacks and campaign slush funds.

What are you going to do about it? Answer: Nothing.

Strelnikov said...

Kessler (Leonard) to Obama (Sheldon):

His movements are so life-like that sometimes I forget he's not a real boy.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The President seems to believe that the people who run insurance companies are stupid and evil.

And yet his health-care plan is founded on the assumption that they'll be nice. Go figure.

Bruce Hayden said...

Where is Freder when we need him. Remember a couple of days ago when he was asserting that the cause of that CA plan was not proven to have been a result of ObamaCare? And, then, I think, mentioned greed on the part of the insurance companies.

Jim Howard said...

It doesn't matter. The Blue State parasites are too stupid to even know that they are the suckers at the table.

They'll always vote blue against their interests.

Archie said...

Let's call a spade a spade. Obama's statements are the very definition of a Whopper. He is a lying sack.

Archie said...

Let's call a spade a spade. Obama's statements are the very definition of a Whopper. He is a lying sack.

Larry J said...

PB Reader said...
Last year I had a speaker of Democrat English say to me, "If the minimum wage were adjusted for inflation to 1938 levels, today it would be $118/hr."


Showing that person is ignorant not only of history but also of basic economics and simple math. That's ok because ignorance is the natural state of everyone. Their insistance that they were right in the face of evidence to the contrary shows they are willfully ignorant.

Gahrie said...

Someone remind me of when the last time President Obama admitted he made a mistake, or anyone in his administration actually was held accountable for their actions?

drozz said...

lying about a 4 pinoccio lie is only 3 pinocchios

Gahrie said...

Someone remind me of when the last time President Obama admitted he made a mistake, or anyone in his administration actually was held accountable for their actions?

Henry said...

drozz wrote: lying about a 4 pinoccio lie is only 3 pinocchios

It should be 12 pinnocchios. And the next 3 pinocchio follow-on lie gets us to 36.

Really, what I think Kessler is dealing with is the Nadia Com─âneci problem. His scale only goes to 4. Where does he go when the lies become even more awesome? So Kessler has to back off. With Obama on message, he needs the wiggle room.

Shouting Thomas said...

Let's call a spade a spade.

Fuckin' A!

If this guy ain't a spade, who is? Well... he's really only half a spade!

Rumpletweezer said...

Remember those press conferences where reporters tried repeatedly to get Bush to admit that he'd made mistakes?

Good times. Good times.

Tank said...

How many lies about this major new entitlement program before we have a high crime or misdemeanor?

Althouse herself has noted the "moral obligation" to undo it given the totally fraudulent way it was sold and enacted. Isn't this what the founders meant when they spoke of impeachable offenses (I don't know, I made that up, but it sounds good, no?)?

Levi Starks said...

If it's acknowledged that everything Obama says is a "Whopper" then you've left yourself no place to go when it gets worse, and it will.

Shouting Thomas said...

How many lies about this major new entitlement program before we have a high crime or misdemeanor?

Lies don't count because a spade is a spade!

jacksonjay said...


Has Pinocchio Boy rated the latest lie about the lie? The Bad Apple Insurance Company Lie was last weeks lie! This week Saint Barry added the "if" addendum.

"What I said WAS, blah, blah, blah .... IF the policy didn't change after the law was passed!"

Kessler needs to figure out if this lie is a 3 or a 4!

Brennan said...

Democrats cannot lie. My union teachers told me so in grade 4-12.

Brennan said...

Another thing, why does WAPO have a 'fact checker' website? isn't that what, y'know, reproters are supposed to be doing?

The reporting I read in most mainstream papers comes up like a replica of a press release. Technically it is "reporting". They are just taking at face value everything that is documented in the press release.

Then the reporter mixes in some quotes from their chosen experts or goto folk for statements. The best quotes will be buried in the last paragraph that is within the fold. New media still has the same issue where they bury the best details below the fold.

Brennan said...

How many lies about this major new entitlement program before we have a high crime or misdemeanor?

Good luck with that. PPACA was written by Harry Reid ceding nearly all authority to the Executive branch at the discretion of the HHSSEC.

John Cunningham said...

"Liberalism" is a mental illness.

William said...

Technically three pinocchios is just the compound interest on the original four Pinocchio lie. All subsequent lies will accumulate lesser pinocchios. Further proof that Democrats don't understand how the interest on cumulative debt works.

tim maguire said...

The claim was not, you can keep your insurance if you get grandfathered in, the claim was you can keep your insurance, period.

Curious that Kessler himself lies to remove just one Pinocchio. Why not go all in and give Obama a clean bill? After all, he's a Democrat and Democrats deserve every benefit of the doubt. Every good fact checker knows that.

David-2 said...

re: Minimum wage.

Here in Seattle the socialist candidate Kshama Sawant just lost her run for a city council seat. Wikipedia says of her:

"Kshama Sawant is a former software engineer, part-time economics professor, activist and socialist candidate in Seattle, Washington. She holds part-time teaching positions at Seattle Central Community College and Seattle University and was a visiting assistant professor at Washington and Lee University."

Pity her students. Her main campaign promise was a $15 minimum wage. No wonder she's a former software engineer, with brains like that.

Meanwhile, just south of us, the "city" of SeaTac is possibly about to pass an $18 minimum wage.

It is a "stick it to the man" kind of situation: They're a really dinky "city" which largely consists of the airport, where a lot of low-wage workers work. I guess they figure the airport employers are stuck: they're gonna have to hire a bunch of people so they may as well be forced to do it at $18/hr. (But then, why not $25/hr? Or more?)

I imagine they'll be shocked and surprised when all the small food/magazine/gift shops in the airport close.

And I imagine they'll be even more surprised when higher wages leads to airline ticket prices out of SeaTac rising leads to fewer people taking those flights leads to fewer flights scheduled leads to fewer baggage handlers and TSA drones needed.

Time to nationalize the airport!

Bob Boyd said...

"Why did he back off a Pinocchio on this but not that?"

We're 5 years into the Obama Administration. He was out of fucking Pinocchios. Its that simple.
There were two in his desk and one in the glove box of his car. That was it.
He would love to order some more, but Geppetto won't call him back because his books would never stand up to an audit.

David-2 said...
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David-2 said...
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Bob Boyd said...
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David-2 said...

Oops, my mistake! SeaTac is voting on a $15/hr minimum wage, not $18/hr. I got confused somewhere.

Still, it is a distinction without a difference: How many $15/hr baristas are you going to hire for your coffee shop, even with the forced customer base of an airport? I think high end coffee vending machines will be making a comeback!

n.n said...
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n.n said...
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n.n said...

David-2:

Yeah, raising minimum wage is a funny "solution". More money chasing the same amount of goods and services. That seems to be ignoring the problem and limitations, but at least it provides good optics of the proponent. It's a solution comparable to Obamacare, which focuses on progressive taxation and subsidies.

That said, a large minority likes emotionally appealing solutions. They dream of instant or immediate gratification. Let's hope they never enjoy a consensus for their support of out-of-sight and out-of-mind "solutions".

cubanbob said...

It's all pious lies in the service of the revolution. Did any sentient and sane person ever think Obama and the Democrats would intentionally be truthful?

Alex said...

That said, a large minority likes emotionally appealing solutions.

We're significantly better off now as a nation then in 1930 when no safety net existed. FDR wisely constructed the modern safety net to avoid a Communist takeover.

Henry said...
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Henry said...

Hell, why not a $100/hr minimum wage? Why do progressives think so small?

During James II's exile in Ireland he solved his financial problems by striking new coins from brass. At one point Louis XIV helped James over a budget shortfall by sending him an old cannon.

If you can do it with brass, you can do it with paper.

Michael K said...

The problems we see are just the tip of the iceberg. The real problems are still to come.

Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius assured her inquisitors at a congressional hearing that her department has brought in experts that have a handle on the problems the site is facing. How confident should we be in Sebelius’ assurances?

Charette: Not very. They’re talking about dozens and dozens of items on their punch list—both in terms of functionality and performance issues. They’ve got just over 30 days to get through the list. Let’s just say that there are 30 items on it. What do you think is the actual probability of getting through testing them, making sure that the system works end to end and that there are no security holes all in a single month? How do you expect to get that done, knowing that every time you make a fix, there’s a high probability that you’re going to introduce an error somewhere else?


By October next year, 67 million people will have lost their health insurance. As Phil Gramm once said about another bad Democrat idea, "They'll be hunting Democrats with dogs."

That was after the Clinton tax increase in 1993. The NY Times thinks that tax increase was what caused the 1990s prosperity. They don't mention the 1994 election that turned Congress over to the GOP.

In fact, the prosperity began AFTER the Congress flipped in 1994. It won't be so easy this time. A tax increase can be reversed but this will not be reversible. What we are going to see is analogous to the effect of the CRA on housing and mortgages.

Somebody needs to be thinking about where to go when the insurance market for health care collapses.

damikesc said...

FDR wisely constructed the modern safety net to avoid a Communist takeover.

Given that they got virtually no votes in 1932, there was basically no chance of that. FDR was just an economics imbecile.

Original Mike said...

@Bob - Funny!

grackle said...

Somebody needs to be thinking about where to go when the insurance market for health care collapses.

Somebody is:

http://tinyurl.com/mnrxur3

It's called single-payer. It's socialized medicine. It's totally politicized healthcare, as opposed to the partially politicized Obamacare. It's the next, relatively small step. After single-payer is instituted decisions on treatments and medications will be made from a political perspective instead of a medical perspective. Those doctors that remain in practice will have to be solicitous of their bureaucratic minders.

Rusty said...

David-2 said...
Oops, my mistake! SeaTac is voting on a $15/hr minimum wage, not $18/hr. I got confused somewhere.

Still, it is a distinction without a difference: How many $15/hr baristas are you going to hire for your coffee shop, even with the forced customer base of an airport? I think high end coffee vending machines will be making a comeback!

The same people who are patting themselves on the back over this legislation will be whining over robots taking over jobs.

Econ is hard because it involves numbers and filthy money.

Rusty said...

Lanny Davis is on Fox now making excuses for Obama.

Michael K said...

I don't think single payer is an issue.People are going to be so angry about this they will not let any lefties near the issue. I suspect we may see some dismantling of the regulations allowing cash practice and catastrophic insurance. Medical IRAs and high deductible will cushion the shock for many. The poor and the lefties can bumble around with Obamacare. Just let the rest of us alone.

It will be an interesting year, to say the least.

chrisnavin.com said...

SeaTac airport regularly advertises on the radio, too, with funding no doubt.

Makes a lot of sense to spend your Sunday hanging around the local airport and buying pricey CInnabons to make sure we're all equal.

pm317 said...

How many pinos for Obama is sorry?

n.n said...

Alex:

Out of the pot and into the fire.

His "safety net" provided short-term relief with a aide-effect of progressive corruption, where the latter could be reasonably mitigated when the former is properly purposed and strictly limited. At least overt communists would have forced people to work, thereby limiting corruption to a minority.

I distinguish, with cause, between contributory entitlements and unearned welfare. I suggest that the latter, especially, should focus on rehabilitation rather than sponsor progressive decay and corruption of both the provider and beneficiary. A civilized society cannot normalize schemes of involuntary exploitation or confiscation of the fruits of other people's labor.

That said, why not charity or loans between family, friends, and neighbors? Why does the Left prefer intelligent or coordinated design in lieu of normal human relations?

Hyphenated American said...

"We're significantly better off now as a nation then in 1930 when no safety net existed. FDR wisely constructed the modern safety net to avoid a Communist takeover."

Putting things in perspective, America grew much faster, and living standards improved much faster from 1847 to 1930, then from 1930 to 2013. this proves that "safety net" made our economy much worse off.
But this is math, it's difficult.

Hyphenated American said...

Sarah Palin prediction of death panel was declared "lie of the year" in 2009 by Politifact.

Mitt Romney's claim that Chrysler will be sending jobs to China was declared "lie of the year" in 2012 by Politifact.

Same Politifact rated Obama's claim "if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance" as half true.

Putting things in perspective - next time someone asks about liberal bias in the media.

MadisonMan said...

Someone remind me of when the last time President Obama admitted he made a mistake, or anyone in his administration actually was held accountable for their actions?

Well, it's as close as I've heard of an admission from him: Link. Right up there with I'm sorry you were offended.

Rusty said...


We're significantly better off now as a nation then in 1930

Yes we are! I can watch movies on my ipad in the unemployment line. How cool is that!
At least you admit out economic situation is the same as in 1930 and our current president, like FDR, is doing his best to prolong it.