November 1, 2013

The Obamacare website doesn't show which plans cover abortion.

NPR reports:
The issue came up Wednesday when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified on Capitol Hill.

"If someone, a constituent of mine or someone in this country has strongly held pro-life views, can you commit to us to make sure that the federal exchanges that offer that is clearly identified and so people can understand if they're going to buy a policy that has abortion coverage or not?" asked Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill. "Because right now, you cannot make that determination."

Sebelius appeared to be caught off guard by the question.

"I don't know," Sebelius replied. "I know exactly the issue you're talking about — I will check and make sure that is clearly identifiable."
So she knows the issue. She'd have to know that. She knows people care intensely about this. But she purports not to know whether the website discloses this information? Why didn't she attend to the responsibility to enable people to avoid policies that cover abortion? NPR reminds that that it was "part of the deal that got the law passed."

Let's remember that the law just barely passed. Go back in time and replace the assurance about this one point with the truth about what would happen, and would the law have passed? Continue this thought experiment, replace each point of encouragement — e.g., the $2,500 savings, the promise that you can keep what you have — with what we now understand to be true. This law only passed because of a profound violation of democratic principles. At this point, I'd say that the congressional Democrats and the President have a moral obligation to reopen the legislative process.

89 comments:

TosaGuy said...

"At this point, I'd say that the congressional Democrats and the President have a moral obligation to reopen the legislative process."

Scott Walker will carry Dane County in his reelection first.

Broomhandle said...

The idea of a "moral obligation" has been alien to the Democratic Party since at least 1980.

St. George said...

"This law only passed because of a profound violation of democratic principles," writes Professor Althouse.

Of course.

That defines all aspects of the Obama Administration.

DanTheMan said...

It's. the. law.

Except for those parts that Obama wants to waive.

Then. it's. not. the. law.

So, it HAS been relegislated.

But without all the fuss and bother of involving Congress.

F said...

We're celebrating Halloween, not April Fool's Day.

EDH said...

The Obamacare website doesn't show which plans cover abortion.

It's the plan offered with this avatar next to it.

exhelodrvr1 said...

This lack of honesty has been painfully obvious with Obama and his team from the very start - yet you ignored that. But at least we got a black president.

Michael said...

What is this word "moral" that you use?

jr565 said...

Good point Althouse. Its so obvious that Obama deliberately lied to get this passed. If Obama were even moderately truthful with his talking points, like the idea that you might not be able to keep your insurance, would it have passed?

of course not.

Jane said...

Obama's on record about one thing more: "I won." Do you really think he cares about the Machavellian lies that produced the win? -- of course they never cared about allowing people the opportunity to chose to have, or not have, abortion coverage.

The bigger question is: what now? How does the exposure of these lies (to the extent they've reached ordinary people) make a difference in anything going forward?

prairie wind said...

Now begin all the proposals to fix this mess instead of repealing it. The GOP is too polite. They need to hammer this enough so they can override a veto.

Maybe they need to abolish the IRS first so that other Congressmen and Senators can stop worrying about an IRS audit. Without that worry, perhaps they could convince more to oppose the president.

MadisonMan said...

If Obama were even moderately truthful with his talking points, like the idea that you might not be able to keep your insurance, would it have passed?

I marvel at people's naivete.

Is any piece of Legislation being passed ever truthfully described? No.

MadisonMan said...

And I repeat: It's a total mistake for the Republicans to fix this.

They should do everything they can so that everyone has to deal with Obamacare, and witnesses, first-hand, the result of the Democratic Party being in power.

Then, when they've swept into power, they can play savior and repeal the thing. And in the future, when someone suggests doing it again, people can say Look, we tried this with Obama and it failed.

It's justice that Obama's name is tied to this Legislation.

Strelnikov said...

Yeah, well, good luck with that.

The Left views this Trojan Horse as its Great Leap Forward to the Socialist Utopia. They are never going to relent on any part of it.

PB Reader said...

Oh what a wicked web we weave...

Strelnikov said...

"Is any piece of Legislation being passed ever truthfully described? No."

Perhaps, but should that be the standard we live by? 'Everybody does it'?

Rhetorical questions only.

Tank said...

It's almost like ... a con.

Com man.

Lying liar.

Whatever.

The Repubs should do nothing but daily trot out people to "testify" about how the law is hurting them. When Dems ask about fixing or changing the law, they should respond, that would make them a "terrorist" like that evil man Ted Cruz who tried so hard to stop this law.

Tank said...

Ooh, I called him a "com man."

Freudian.

RecChief said...

all promises have an expiration date with this administration. It was clear then, and it is clear now, that any 'accomodation' made to the Catholic church, or anyone else with a pro-life stance, was simply a lie told at the time to mollify them in order to get what the administration wants. Negotiating in bad faith. Perhaps it is time for folks to remember what civil disobedience is all about.

El Pollo Raylan said...

I assumed that all the plans cover abortions (even late term ones) because that's what Obama wanted. Is that incorrect?

Titus said...

Pathetic. She and many others that worked on the website need to be fired now.

Completely and totally incompetent.

Titus said...

Pathetic. She and many others that worked on the website need to be fired now.

Completely and totally incompetent.

Strelnikov said...

Gee, do you think there might be other things we don't know about this Trojan Horse?

PB Reader said...

I think of all the people who still mindlessly support this president and his cronies who think the socialist utopia will somehow benefit them.

Someday, they'll all be standing in line for government cheese.

Shouting Thomas said...

Pathetic. She and many others that worked on the website need to be fired now.

You're kinda missing the point. The incompetence was intentional.

This is the funniest bit Althouse has ever written. Obama and the Dems deliberately lied and deceived to get their hands on a huge sector of the economy, and, now that they've got their hands on a virtually endless source of graft, they're gonna repent!

Paul said...

Obamacare passed with ONLY DEMOCRAT SUPPORT (with a few libertarians and a Rion or two.)

Keep that in mind when voting.

This is a pure Democrat progressive scheme and should be treated as such. Only way to reverse it is to take the Senate away from the Democrats and RINOs.

Then pass a repeal and if vetoed impeach Obama (with both houses in Republican and Tea Party hands it can be done.)

Remember folks, Nixon left cause he faced impeachment and Clinton was impeached but the Dems would not vote for it. Hence take over the Senate.

Hope for change in 2014.

RecChief said...

I wish everyone would stop focusing on the website portion of this. What happens when the website is fixed, as it assuredly will. In this example, the composition of the plans has nothing to do with how the website works. As Sebelius said the other day, policies contain provisions that you never use. That will be the answer here, they will just say, "All policies cover abortion, but you don't have to use that provision." Remember, even President Obama said that Obamacare is much more than a website

Marshal said...

MadisonMan said...
And in the future, when someone suggests doing it again, people can say Look, we tried this with Obama and it failed.


This thought should go a step further. Republicans should be telling the public that the Obamacare effects are a completely normal outcome of all Democratic programs. Every "regulation" Democrats have ever enacted created a similar mess with a similar complete failure to achieve its stated goals. You just don't know about it because it didn't directly effect you. But you're paying that same premium increase as a result; you're just paying it to the big corporation the Democrats partnered with.

jacksonjay said...

In the words of the most articulate of Obama sycophants, Jan SchaCOW, "Get Over It!"

We now know why the employer mandate was postponed! That 93 million estimate looms large for next year, huh?

El Pollo Raylan said...

Hope for change in 2014.

Here's what you should do: broach the topic among adults who can vote. It's hard at first because you don't know which side they're on. Talk to everyone you know — your friends, your neighbors, that cousin you haven’t seen in a while, that person sitting next to you at work. You know he’s kind of a knucklehead. You know the one.

Tank said...

Paul

Which libertarians voted for this?

Hardly seems like a libertarian law.

Freder Frederson said...

Hardly seems like a libertarian law.

Actually, the plan as it stands is substantially the same as one proposed by the Heritage Foundation.

Beldar said...

Those who are shameless cannot be persuaded by invocations of "moral obligations."

Shamelessness is the defining quality of the Obama Administration and, especially, Obama.

Matthew Sablan said...

The consequ... it isn't fun any more.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Actually, the plan as it stands is substantially the same as one proposed by the Heritage Foundation.

Freder, the Heritage Foundation isn't a bastion of libertarianism.

Bob Ellison said...

"moral obligation" is an interesting term. The left refers to morality mostly internally, thinking that their policies are the feeling, moral ones. The left sometimes uses morality shamefully, asking "what would Jesus do?", as if they gave a crap about Jesus's philosophy.

I don't think "moral obligation" is a suitable test of the left. Obama doesn't seek morality; he seeks power. His wife doesn't seek morality; otherwise she wouldn't have accepted that $273k job as "Vice President for Community and External Affairs" in Chicago. These are not moral-seeking people.

They want power, and money. It'd be nice if they worked within a moral framework, but they don't. So don't go using moral language on them.

PB Reader said...

As open enrollment for employer sponsored plans is happening now, and employer sponsored plans have been adjusted to be in compliance with Obamacare, we should start to see the employees screaming bloody murder soon!

1. Increased employee contributions.
2. Increased deductibles and out of pocket caps.
3. Reduced HSA limits.
4. Restricted provider networks.

Chris said...

This law only passed because of a profound violation of democratic principles.

Yes. This is what has been so discouraging about the whole affair.

A glitchy web site isn't the problem. A trillion dollar policy fiasco isn't the problem. Even the loss of a little (more) liberty isn't the real problem.

We no longer seem to agree on, even recognize, what our shared principles are. Or we treat them not as principles, but as suggestions.

At this point, I'd say that the congressional Democrats and the President have a moral obligation to reopen the legislative process.

If they're willing to dispense with democratic principles in the first place, I doubt moral obligation will give them any pause. They are nothing, if not utterly convinced of the moral purity of their cause.

And now that Democrats have established the precedent, I expect it's only a matter of time before Republicans take advantage of the new standard.

What does it say about America?

PB Reader said...

To Obama and his fellow leftists, morality is just words. To them the end always justifies the means.

Alexander said...

The left views morality as a 'living value system' that can change from person to person, culture to culture, and time to time. All of which are equally valid. Beyond the ridiculousness that such a group would intentionally lie, come into power on the wave of those lies, *and then repent*, it is impossible for the liberal to even contemplate that they have done something that is inherently and universally *wrong* in the first place.

Bob Boyd said...

a moral obligation?

This is the dawning of the age of non-ideological pragmatism.
We are the technocrats.
We don't argue in endless circles about what is right and wrong. That's a trap set by defenders of the status quo.
We take an engineering approach. We have a moral obligation to do what works.
Democratic principles? Show business.
If we needed to hear what you have to say, you'd already be on our team.
Don't misunderstand. Of course we care what you think. We devote tremendous, results-oriented resources to that side of the project.


St. George said...

Meanwhile, on the Left, the Most Read story on Slate today is....

"One Strap or Two?

The strange story of how one-strapping a backpack became uncool."

Obamacare isn't an issue over there, but, then again, who is reading Slate? Middle-schoolers?

B said...

PB Reader said...s open enrollment for employer sponsored plans is happening now, and employer sponsored plans have been adjusted to be in compliance with Obamacare, we should start to see the employees screaming bloody murder soon!

This happened with my wife's plan. Her company says they are absorbing most of the increase but what she pays will go up $130 a month the first of the year. She has already been informed that more changes will be implemented when open enrollment starts in April.

The shit is going to hit the fan for a huge segment of taxpayers and voters long before the fall elections.

At this point there is very little meat to the talking points on leftist/progressive sites. Even they are coming to the realization that they were used, abused, and lied to. Which is why Inga and Somefeller et al have been absent the last few days (and why the discussions have been so informative and aboveboard as a result). There are no talking points left that even they could spout without complete derision thrown her way.

Chris said...

"One Strap or Two?

The strange story of how one-strapping a backpack became uncool."


You know what's uncool? Letting someone tell you how many fucking straps to use.

AJ Lynch said...

Repubs should throw Obama's familiar taunt back into his face with "The Dems and Obama drove the healthcare reform car into the ditch and now he wants the Repubs to help him get it back on the road".

Rusty said...

This law only passed because of a profound violation of democratic principles. At this point, I'd say that the congressional Democrats and the President have a moral obligation to reopen the legislative process.

That is exactly what they wanted. They are no longer obligated to do anything other than to see that you obey.
The fundamental transformation is nearly complete.
The constitution now means whatever they want it to mean.
That will certainly make your job easier.

jacksonjay said...


AJ sez:

Repubs should throw Obama's familiar taunt back into his face with "The Dems and Obama drove the healthcare reform car into the ditch and now he wants the Repubs to help him get it back on the road".

And then Barry said,

"We're down there. It's hot. We were sweating. Bugs everywhere. We're down there pushing, pushing, pushing on the car. Every once in a while we'd look up and see the Republicans standing there. They're just standing there fanning themselves -- sipping on a Slurpee."

Hagar said...

That and 5 bucks will get you a cup of coffee at the truckstop.

And did you not watch any of his speech in Boston?
He is just very angry and frustrated that you cannot seem to see and understand the larger truth that is Obama.

(Did you not once have teenage sons in the house?)

Stephen Reynolds said...

Freder please, that "just like Heritage" line is not nearly as accurate as you're implying, on some very fundamental issues, nor takes into account the context of the proposal. You're better than that.

Larry J said...

RecChief said...
I wish everyone would stop focusing on the website portion of this. What happens when the website is fixed, as it assuredly will. In this example, the composition of the plans has nothing to do with how the website works.


Exactly right. The website is just the public user interface to the systems in the background. Those systems are required to implement a goat's breakfast 2000+ page piece of crap legislation and perhaps 20,000 pages of enabling regulation. You can kludge the website enough to make it appear functional but there's no way you're going to get an efficient system based on crappy legislative and regulatory requirements, especially when the requirements keep changing.

AJ Lynch said...

Jacksonjay- yeah I forgot those parts- your quotes were even better!

MadisonMan said...

The strange story of how one-strapping a backpack became uncool

I see people on Campus here wearing backpacks on their front.

It looks ridiculous, but I suppose for access to a phone or whatever is in the pack, it works.

But should I call it a frontpack?

Drago said...

Freder: "Actually, the plan as it stands is substantially the same as one proposed by the Heritage Foundation"

LOL

Stuart Butlers article was about 4 pages long and he was just one thinker working at the Heritage Foundation.

This was not a "Heritage Foundation Plan".

Again, to recap:
1) Butlers doc was about 4 pages long
2)The Obamacare law and regs are up to about 35,000 pages now, and still growing

Perhaps Freder can provide an answer to this question:

Given points 1) and 2), if these 2 "things" are "substantially the same, what precisely is on the 35,000 (and growing)pages - 4 pages = 34,996 pages the dems "added"?

LOL

DavidD said...

"At this point, I'd say that the congressional Democrats and the President have a moral obligation to reopen the legislative process."

Yeah, good luck with that; thanks, by the way, for voting for Obama, Ann.

Original Mike said...

It's the immorality of this whole sordid deal that depresses my so.

Original Mike said...

Freder: "Actually, the plan as it stands is substantially the same as one proposed by the Heritage Foundation".

It escapes me what this thin reed, lately repeated ad nauseam, is supposed to prove.

Original Mike said...

"Freder please, that "just like Heritage" line is not nearly as accurate as you're implying, on some very fundamental issues, nor takes into account the context of the proposal. You're better than that."

Thanks for the laugh, Stephen.

RecChief said...

so you are saying that the Democratic party couldn't come up with an idea of their own and had to poach one from a Republican think tank?

One that wasn't pursued by Republican lawmakers?

Please go on about the dearth of ideas spawned by the Democrat Party. Beyond totalitarian technocracy I mean.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Same as Heritage" is a lot like "You had crappy insurance anyway" or "She was wearing a short skirt." An excuse made by a shallow thinking idiot to try and make a terrible thing less bad.

Hagar said...

I think I also heard the President state that "Obamacare" is just like "Romneycare," so why do the dastardly Republicans oppose it so?

But I have read that what happened was that the Massachussetts legislature substantively revised Governor Romney's proposal before sending it up as a statute for his signature, so he vetoed it, and they overrode his veto.

So the mystery here is why Romney has not forcefully protested his name being attached to this legislation. Probably has to do with Massachussetts politics and advice from his "expert" advisers, but it is most unfortunate given the later developments in national politics.

Matthew Sablan said...

"So the mystery here is why Romney has not forcefully protested his name being attached to this legislation."

-- He did. But it was complicated, so people didn't listen.

RecChief said...

And the GOP decided not to pursue the Heritage Foundation idea, because they don't want a ton of crossover voters and a "plan that works" to keep them in the majority for 40 years like the New Deal did for Democrats?

I'm not saying that, just trying to follow Freder's logic to its endpoint

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Levi Starks said...

"moral obligation"
I'm sorry, but I looked up that word combination in my post modern style book, and it doesn't appear.

Unknown said...

In the text of the Obamacare law are dozens of instances of the phrase "the Secretary shall".

That means that said Secretary has a huge amount to do with the interpretation and implementation of the law that will direct a big part of our economy, our health and very lives.

When, three plus years after the law's passage, I read stuff from Secretary Sebelius like, "I don't know. I know exactly the issue you're talking about — I will check and make sure that is clearly identifiable", I tremble for my country.

Original Mike said...

"Freder, the Heritage Foundation isn't a bastion of libertarianism."

We all look the same; don't we Freder?

gregq said...

"Go back in time and replace the assurance about this one point with the truth about what would happen, and would the law have passed"

Of course it would have passed. There are no, none, zero actual Democrat moderates in either the House or the Senate. Their are liars, and their are publicly out leftists.

The Party said "you must pass this", so they did. Principles be damned. Because every single one of the "pro life Democrats" who voted for ObamaCare KNEW that they were voting for public funding of abortion. And despite the fact that they all publicly swore they wouldn't vote for publicly funded abortion, when it came time to pass the bill, enough of them "defected" in order to pass the bill.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Under cover of darkness, sacrificial rites will not be denied. The right to regression is firmly implanted in a minority's mind.

Anyway, we have advanced from treating human labor as a mere commodity, to treating human life as a mere commodity, and we will suffer the progressive consequences that this evolution engenders.

gregq said...

RecChief said...

"What happens when the website is fixed, as it assuredly will."

No, it's not assured that it will get fixed any time in the next six months. Or even the next year.

CMMS isn't competent to do software integration. But they're in charge of it. Think the Obama Administration is going to admit they screwed that up, and give the job to someone else?

CGI built the Canadian gun registration DB. IIRC, it came in at over 10x the predicted cost. That was a much simpler job than this. And time is money. You go over like that in cost, you're also going over like that in time.

But once next year rolls around, and people have to start USING those plans, they're going to run into all the other problems.

And then this stink will look like a quiet little tea party.

n.n said...

Shouting Thomas:

Exactly. Communism, socialism, fascism, or whatever minority control scheme is practiced, only cares and need care about controlling substantive aspects of a society, economy, etc. They neither need nor desire universal control, since that offers only incremental return on their investment.

Oso Negro said...

Aside from the morality of the thing. it remains amazing to me that four short weeks ago, OBAMA COULD HAVE GOTTEN A YEAR'S DELAY AND BLAMED THE REPUBLICANS.

gregq said...

Freder Frederson said...

Actually, the plan as it stands is substantially the same as one proposed by the Heritage Foundation.

I'm going to pile on on this one. :-)

1: So what you're saying is that Democrats are such mindless buffoons that they can't come up with any worthwhile ideas on their own, and thus they need to use ideas that the Republicans discarded 20 years ago was worthless?

2: The idea of the individual mandate was proposed in 1989. It was brought up again in 1993. It was pretty quickly shot down in 1993, for all the reasons we're seeing now.

3: Community rating isn't a Republican idea, or even a Heritage idea. Neither is forcing insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions at the same rate as everyone else. Neither is expanding Medicare. Neither is the employer mandate. Neither is the tax on medical devices. Neither is mandatory abortion coverage, or mandatory "free" contraceptives.

IOW, your claim is the rather pathetic lie of a partisan desperate to rescue his party from the utter stupidity and incompetence of their actions.

Unknown said...

prairie wind says, "Maybe they need to abolish the IRS first so that other Congressmen and Senators can stop worrying about an IRS audit".

They'd better also abolish the NSA, because that agency likely has enough juicy stuff in its databases to wreck the lives and careers of a good many legislators and officials.

Drago said...

RecChief: "I'm not saying that, just trying to follow Freder's logic to its endpoint."

Snort!

RecChief used "Freder" and "logic" in the same sentence......

RecChief said...

gregq said:

"RecChief said...

"What happens when the website is fixed, as it assuredly will."

No, it's not assured that it will get fixed any time in the next six months. Or even the next year."

My point is, there are an awful lot of people talking about the website, and losing focus on all the machinery that website connects you to. And all of it bad. how about the majority of people signing up are signing up for medicaid? and so on and so forth........

Rae said...

I'm going to make a prediction: all of the plans available cover abortion.

Hagar said...

And while Lloyds of London would happily write me a lifetime policy covering any abortion I might have for the cost of writing the policy plus $10, these policies will have to cover the cost of abortions any women in the United States and its territorial possessions, citizens or not, might or might not have plus overhead and legal fees.

gregq said...

RecChief said...

My point is, there are an awful lot of people talking about the website, and losing focus on all the machinery that website connects you to. And all of it bad. how about the majority of people signing up are signing up for medicaid? and so on and so forth........

Patience young padawan. :-)

Right now, let's focus on the website, and point out what it shows about government, esp. "Progressive" government, competence.

Next year, when people have to actually USE those plans, will be time to bring up their stories about how much worse things are now that they're stuck with ObamaCare.

Kirk Parker said...

No, Stephen, Freder is not better than that. Alas. Try him on the War on Terror sometime...

RecChief said...

gregq,

I'm just laughing 'cause you called me "young"

Hagar said...

and I am sure Lloyds of London would be happy to throw in any work I might need on my milk teeth as freebie.

Jason said...

Friends don't let friends vote with their vaginas.

Skookum John said...

The idea of a "moral obligation" has been alien to the Democratic Party since at least 1980.

The 60's at latest. The LBJ daisy picking commercial, Chappaquiddick, blaming the decent conservative citizens of Dallas for the actions of a deranged Communist.... Completely amoral hunger for power is all they have....

Hagar said...

You may also have to consider the possibility that he simply does not have any understanding of how things work, and he still feels his car insurance company stiffed him when they refused to replace his car because he only carried the legal minimum of libility insurance.

Jupiter said...

Maybe you should have investigated Obama's susceptibility to feelings of moral responsibility before you voted for him for President. At this point, the more relevant question is whether there is any way (legally, I mean) to compel a sitting President to obey the law when his party controls the Senate. Thus far, the answer appears to be "No".

n.n said...

Rae:

Of course they do. The key to establishing a left-wing regime in an otherwise successful society is to promise an open dissociation of risk. What greater burden is there than the fear that your sex, career, social, etc. life will be disrupted by the conception of a human life. They are rationalizing that a human life is a commodity, and that is an incredibly enticing selling point for their ideology.

Well, that, and they are normalizing dysfunctional behaviors, which calls to mind that evolutionary fitness is not intrinsically a requirement of a species as a whole. Perhaps they are thinking in 50 shades of population control.

Archilochus said...

Effectual truth.

Stephen Reynolds said...

Well he is capable of doing a "better" job of trying to argue badly.