December 30, 2013

"The White House, Democratic lawmakers and advocacy organizations will launch a campaign this week to highlight real-life experiences under the Affordable Care Act..."

"... tales so compelling that they help drive up enrollment, marginalize Republican repeal efforts and erase memories of this fall’s HealthCare.gov debacle."

Shouldn't that just be the internal memo about the campaign? Saying that's what you're about to do is practically the opposite of doing it. And I think the story only came out in that form — over at Politico — because actually doing it is not possible, not with the raw material they have. Perhaps they expected the media to do it for them, in which case the question is, why isn't the media doing their work for them, as usual? And I'm guessing the media can't do it either, because even if you are inclined to sift through the raw material and find the good things, you can only cherry-pick where there are some cherries. Politico needs to write about something, and this was all they had, the desperate fantasy of launching a campaign that can't possibly happen.

It's like a sad scene from an old melodrama:
“Go on,” said Lennie. “How’s it gonna be? We gonna get a little place.”
“We’ll have a cow,” said George. “An’ we’ll have maybe a pig an’ chickens . . . an’ down the flat we’ll have a . . . little piece alfalfa——”
“For the rabbits,” Lennie shouted.
“For the rabbits,” George repeated.
“And I get to tend the rabbits.”
“An’ you get to tend the rabbits.”
Lennie giggled with happiness. “An’ live on the fatta the lan’.” 

72 comments:

virgil xenophon said...

And we ALL know who the "mice" are in this, our current melodrama. don't we? Except they aren't really mice, are they? More like a much larger sized species of the same family of rodents, n'cest-ce pas?

Hagar said...

Considering the front page(?) publication of the NYT Benghazi article, it is not beyond the imagination that their will to believe will overcome their loose grip on reality.

Michael K said...

CMS has announced almost two million have "signed up" for Obamacare but there are no figures on how many have actually paid. A big Medicaid (none paying) is expected, however.

Wonderful !

SGT Ted said...

They will cherry pick and then lie if there isn't anything useful for their paid propagandists they call "advocacy organizations" to pimp.

Brando said...

When has any federal government program needed this much PR to be viable? I wasn't alive when Medicare was passed, but did the government have to spend this much time and money trying to convince the people of the virtues of the law that was already passed?

Bob R said...

@Brando - the drug war.

betamax3000 said...

Seems Like They Wouldn't Nearly Have Such a Hard Time Picking the Cherries of the Now Uninsured. They Always Return to Their Favorite Cherry Tree.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "erase memories"

The Media as the Big Eraser. All the News Fit to Erase, etc.

PB Reader said...

Team Obama has advanced the cause of democrat hallucination. it used to be that if democrats believed something to be possible then it must be possible to achieve. Now, if democrats believe something possible, then it must already exist. This kind of thinking allows them to move through their agenda quite quickly, if only in their fantasies.

Skookum John said...

The Democratic Party these days remind me of Lennie. Simpleminded, and deserve the benefit of the doubt that their hearts are in the right place, but by their bungling misse of government power, they are harming the public they profess to love so much.

grackle said...

The White House, Democratic lawmakers and advocacy organizations will launch a campaign this week to highlight real-life experiences under the Affordable Care Act.

"This week"? I'll bet they've been frantically looking for a legitimate beneficiary for some time now. Obama can't manufacture a phony case. It wouldn't do to be caught doing that. The "trust factor" for him is already low – another obvious lie and his polls numbers REALLY tank.

The Politico article is more of a call to arms to Obama's media arm, otherwise known as the MSM. They can create all the phonies they want without harming Obama's perceived veracity. They lie, doctor audio tapes, videos and photos all the time. A few phony Obamacare successes should be easy to fabricate.

Roy Lofquist said...

In my college days the au courant authors were Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Bellow, Kerouac, Faulkner, Updike and Steinbeck. Steinbeck was the only one of the lot that I found readable. The rest I found "look at me" contrived.

Henry said...

The tech surge couldn't save the ACA. Now we have the schmaltz surge.

Upworthy has placed its adjectives on red alert.

betamax3000 said...

RE: "A few phony Obamacare successes should be easy to fabricate."

I Don't Think They Will Need to Fabricate: There Is No Doubt a Few Heart-Warming Stories Out There that are True (or 'True-ish'), and They Only Need a Few at Fifteen Interview Minutes a Pop.

I Think it is Key Not to Denigrate these Stories When True -- It Opens the Door for the 'Mean-Spirited' Ornament They Always Want to Hang on the Right's Tree.

There Are Far More Stories Ranging from People Losing Insurance, Lost Insurance With Current Health Crises, and Good Ol' Sticker Shock of Inflated Rates for Less Coverage. The MSM Will Not Cover These Stories -- They have to Be Pushed Up to the Surface.

My Point is Being Careful in What We Put Our Shoulders Behind.

(Of Course, if the Story is Fabricated: Fair Game).

MadisonMan said...

Wouldn't it be refreshing if the press covering these presentations by politicians of people populating the roles of the Obamacare insured asked the politicians if they themselves had signed up?

sinz52 said...

Brando asked: "When has any federal government program needed this much PR to be viable? did the government have to spend this much time and money trying to convince the people of the virtues of the [Medicare] law that was already passed?"

No--but ObamaCare is the first entitlement ever created that depends on voluntary compliance.

Medicare and Social Security work because they are funded through forced taxation. The government doesn't have to sell those programs to you; you are legally required to pay for them.

Whereas ObamaCare does give you a choice of sorts: You can opt out and pay the penalty. You can even obtain private insurance from sources other than the ObamaCare exchanges.

But if you do any of those things, that reduces funding to ObamaCare plans, which jeopardizes their viability.

Hence, the public must be sold on the idea of going with Obamacare.

PB Reader said...

They are crowing that 1.1 million people have "signed-up", forgetting that the original "issue" was that tens of millions were without insurance, then the target was 7 million people to sign-up, then the target was 3 million people to sign-up, so even at their latest revised "target" they've only achieved 35%.

CWJ said...

We already had a fake success story. Remembar the young democratic actvist who signed up both he and his father, though not really?

Or how about the score of people standing behind the President who had been positively affected by Obamacare but whose names we can not divulge.

Or perhaps our own Inga could come forward. Didn't she say she signed up with no problems on the first day or so, and saved $100 a month? How did they miss her?

If 5MM people losing their individual health policies was supposed to be only a few people in supporters eyes, how are we supposed to get excited over 2MM sighing up?

CWJ said...

Sighing up? Boy, that's a Freudian slip on my part!

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm sure there are many who would be willing to tell their real life stories about living under Obamacare, but these stories would tend to have the opposite of the intended effect.

Seeing Red said...

Either Drudge or Insty linked to an article that debtor's prisons are coming back.

Vodkapundit linked to an article that said depending on your state's forfeiture laws, if you're on Medicaid & get Obamacare, it could be a "loan," so when the Medicaid/Obamacare recipient dies, the state is 1st in line for the deceased' assets.

If the "loan" is larger than the "assets" will the beneficiaries of the estate be on the hook?

MadisonMan said...

Vodkapundit linked to an article that said depending on your state's forfeiture laws, if you're on Medicaid & get Obamacare, it could be a "loan," so when the Medicaid/Obamacare recipient dies, the state is 1st in line for the deceased' assets.

If the "loan" is larger than the "assets" will the beneficiaries of the estate be on the hook?

I have no problem with this. If someone wants a lot of medical work done to prolong life, why shouldn't they have to pay for it? Isn't that what personal responsibility really means? Won't the members of the estate ("Families") be happy to have great-grandpa Joe around for a couple of extra celebrations?

Plan the end of your life well.

Bob Boyd said...

Your car is recalled because it doesn't meet new standards.
The manufacturer comes and takes the car.
He tells you are required to buy a new model that does meet the standards, but it costs a lot more and isn't available yet.
He can't tell you when it will be.
You go the dealership to complain and find a line of angry people out the door and down the block who have the same problem.
The dealer comes out and to calm the crowd, tells the angry people that one of his salesmen bought the new model for his college bound daughter and she loves it.
The salesman stands next to the dealer. He smiles and nods

virgil xenophon said...

Obama thinks he can always hype the natives--at least long enough for enough of them. Right now Obama is operating under the rubric of just "Get-BY." Being from New Orleans I can say without fear of contradiction that the natives of the Crescent City are WELL acquainted with that concept..

Scott M said...

Is it just me? My recollection of all of their "poster children" thus far, ie, those "real people" with "real positive experiences" have all turned to so much ash in their mouths after the truth comes out?

elkh1 said...

The biggest obstacle for propagandists to overcome is reality. No fairy tales propagated by propagandists to scam low-info voters can overcome actual horror stories experienced by said low-info voters.

"why isn't the media doing their work for them, as usual?"

Because of Benghazi? NYT's airbrush cannot brush off the Americans' blood.

Scott M said...

Plan the end of your life well.

The only problem with that, MM, is that I don't recall them mentioning one iota of this during ACA's passage through Congress.

The fact that there is so much shit hidden in that massive onion of fail should give any concerned citizen the heebie-jeebies.

Hagar said...

And the big question about Benghazi still is not so much what happened there that night, but what caused them to panic so over it?

Bruce Hayden said...

The big problem that I see is that there is a race of horribles on each side, and those who have lost coverage are likely to win over those who just got such. We have already seen people with late stage cancer losing their doctors and hospitals, and maybe even affordable insurance. People are dying because of the new law, and they are going to have to trump that with people who would have died otherwise, but won't do so now nearly so early. And, that is going to be hard to find, since most such people were already insured over covered by Medicaid, Medicare, etc. And, even then, if they do find such, will their cancer, etc. be far enough along to really compete.

And, in the end, they are going to lose, because many more people had coverage than didn't, and most likely many more will lose coverage than will gain it, who need coverage (i.e. ignoring those who were voluntarily uninsured because they were young and healthy).

Michael said...

A man who wrote two autobiographies before he was fifty will let you in on the good news. So, if he had great grades you can believe we would know that. If he had great SAT scores we would know that.

Two books about himself before he was fifty. Use that fact as a guide in all things Obama.

cubanbob said...

"Plan the end of your life well."

Yes indeed. It's called a Medicaid blind trust.

Michael said...

A man who wrote two autobiographies before he was fifty will let you in on the good news. So, if he had great grades you can believe we would know that. If he had great SAT scores we would know that.

Two books about himself before he was fifty. Use that fact as a guide in all things Obama.

Charles Austin said...

Cherry rations increased to 20 grams!

cubanbob said...

No worries Ann. The Democrats will invent virtual cherries.

Charles Austin said...

Cherry rations increased to 20 grams!

richard mcenroe said...

Wait until this new year, when all those people who have "signed up" but not paid one red cent yet, as well as the ones who thought they were getting free s***, start getting shuffled into Medicaid and finding out there are no doctors in their area taking Medicaid patients, or that the major health providers are not participating in the exchanges. Shiny happy success stories!

richard mcenroe said...

MadisonMan -- the survivors didn't sign on to the plan; they contracted for nothing; they should not be legally responsible for any outstanding debts pertaining thereto, beyond the value of the estate itself...although that particular obligation is about as well-known as a car makers small print in the commercials.

XisDshizL said...

No cherries? Somebody should make a parody video about that.. oh wait.. I did!

A Day In the Life (under ObamaCare)

EMD said...

Marketer-In-Chief

Bob Boyd said...

@XisDshizL

Awesome!

SeanF said...

Their problem is that the PPACA is a wealth transfer. The way it "works" is by getting the young and healthy to pay more than their insurance is worth so that the old and those with pre-existing conditions can pay less.

How do you sell that with "compelling" real-life stories? Playing up the people who are benefiting from PPACA will only serve to inspire sign-ups from other people who would benefit from PPACA. Death spiral.

Martin said...

It won't work, because this really touches people, and slick P.R. will not convince people that what they or their friends and relatives are living through doesn't exist. Plus, at this point everyone will just discount the stories as lies, because it's already been established that the Administration and its supporters lie about this issue.

Martin said...

It won't work, because this really touches people, and slick P.R. will not convince people that what they or their friends and relatives are living through doesn't exist. Plus, at this point everyone will just discount the stories as lies, because it's already been established that the Administration and its supporters lie about this issue.

SeanF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

I like Instapundit's description of this post of Ann's: “You can only cherry-pick where there are some cherries.”

Phil said...

Ahh, but the cherries that's... that's where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with... geometric logic... that a duplicate key to the health care system DID exist, and I'd have produced that key if they hadn't of pulled the Congress out of action. I, I, I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow tea partiers...

Joe said...

12/30/2013 - NOBODY is actually covered by the ACA, so how can anyone have real life stories about how it has helped them?

Why not launch a counter campaign to highlight real-life experiences under a truly free market health care system?

Or one where Obama becomes a doctor and runs around the country healing people?

the wolf said...

I'm sure there are many who would be willing to tell their real life stories about living under Obamacare, but these stories would tend to have the opposite of the intended effect.

How many will live to tell the tale?

NotquiteunBuckley said...

I don't usually comment on other commenter's links, and only then if that link is exceptional will I lose whatever opportunity cost existed and comment on it.

XdifFrisX's link above fits that bill.

MadisonMan said...

MadisonMan -- the survivors didn't sign on to the plan; they contracted for nothing; they should not be legally responsible for any outstanding debts pertaining thereto, beyond the value of the estate itself...although that particular obligation is about as well-known as a car makers small print in the commercials.

Waitaminute -- if you're saying that, say, my kids would be liable after my death for debts I run up (beyond the amount of my estate) because of something I signed up for, well that's nonsense and I question whether that's really in Obamacare.

My first comment above assumes only that the entire estate can be consumed by medical costs.

cubanbob said...

MadisonMan said...
MadisonMan -- the survivors didn't sign on to the plan; they contracted for nothing; they should not be legally responsible for any outstanding debts pertaining thereto, beyond the value of the estate itself...although that particular obligation is about as well-known as a car makers small print in the commercials.

Waitaminute -- if you're saying that, say, my kids would be liable after my death for debts I run up (beyond the amount of my estate) because of something I signed up for, well that's nonsense and I question whether that's really in Obamacare.

My first comment above assumes only that the entire estate can be consumed by medical costs.

12/30/13, 11:24 AM

Your kids aren't liable to reimburse Medicaid. Your estate is. So therefore to be sure you have an estate to give to your kids your assets have to be gifted in to Medicaid blind trusts or gifted to your heirs before you take the Medicaid benefits. The potential bad joke on the young and subsidized is that later in life they maybe subject to a clawback for their earlier subsidies. Another murky area of ObamaCare to yet be discovered.

Clyde said...

You can't make chicken salad out of Obamacare.

fit2post said...

Life is just a bowl of cherries.
Don't take it serious; life's so mysterious.
- songs of The Great Depression (revisited)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc6RS9e3Dhw

Koblog said...

Only Democrats could crow about thousands of people signing up for guv'ment insurance after the same law made millions uninsured.

"We had to destroy the village to save it."

Bandit said...

They're going to interview Pajaama Boy wearing some Oshkosh overalls.

Micha Elyi said...

I like Instapundit's description of this post of Ann's: “You can only cherry-pick where there are some cherries.--Bruce Hayden

Heh.™ Ann wrote that. Insty simply quoted her.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

if you're saying that, say, my kids would be liable after my death for debts I run up (beyond the amount of my estate) because of something I signed up for, well that's nonsense and I question whether that's really in Obamacare

Medicaid or the welfare arm of the Medicare program, California allows the State to go back and collect on the debt Medi-Cal Estate Recovery program. Many poor and marginal people who haven't had the foresight to buy a long term care policy are stunned to find out when Grandma dies, the State is going to swoop in like a vulture and take what they can.

Probably most States have similar programs.

So.....by more people signing up for Obamacare and then being shuffled against their will into welfare Medicaid, and NOT being informed by the so called Navigators.... more people are going to be very sadly surprised when the tax man commeth.

This whole thing is one gigantic clusterfuck.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The Medi-Cal program pays for medical care for some people whose savings and income are too low for them to be able to pay for their own care. The cost of the recipient’s medical
care, or the cost of the premiums paid for care may be required to be repaid to the Medi-Cal program. Repayment is never more that the
value of the assets the recipient had at the time of death.
The amount repaid can then be used to pay for medical care for others who need it.


Isn't that nice. California is only going to take everything that you own at the time of death. Big of them isn't it.

Wonderful to know that your Grandpa's meager estate and belongings, everything he has worked for all of his life will go to other people. Doesn't that bring a tear to your eye?

This is why even poor people need some financial planning advice. There ARE ways around this confiscation.

Original Mike said...

"Or perhaps our own Inga could come forward. Didn't she say she signed up with no problems on the first day or so, and saved $100 a month?"

I'm sure glad 6 million plus had their health insurance taken away so that Inga could save $100.

Joe said...

Here's a sincere question for anyone who actually knows what the law says.

If someone signs up for an ACA plan and receives a subsidy, but in, say, June 2014 has an increase in income which makes them ineligible for the subsidy. Do they have to reimburse the government for the subsidy from January through May?

This may seem like a silly question, but the tax code has several provisions where even one day of something affects the entire year (for example, I had a job in 2013 for which I became eligible for a 401k shortly before I was laid off. I'm not eligible at my new job, but because of those few months in 2013 where I was eligible, I am considered covered and can't deduct money I put into my IRA because my income is higher than the 401k eligible threshold.)

Kirk Parker said...

MadMan,

"I have no problem with this"

Me neither, with the first part ("state being 1st in line", though I wouldn't say they should be automatically first, any prior creditors should perhaps go first, depending...)

Let's go through the scenario step by step.

1. A person is fairly cash/cash-flow poor. BUT they have a large amount of wealth tied up in a very illiquid asset (made more so by the fact that the assett is their primary residence, and they do after all have to live somewhere.)

2. The government takes money from the rest of us to pay some of the current expenses of this person.

3. When the person dies, that assett should flow to the heirs without the taxpayers having any claim on it, to be reimbursed for the money involved in #2.

Why????

khesanh0802 said...

While I am sure there are many that are legitimately able to pursue medical treatment now. I am suspicious that many who have become insured under Obamacare could have become insured or paid out of pocket for treatment - how much does a checkup cost? - if they had been willing to. They had better things to do with their money, or were not willing to pay the rates of the "high risk" pool. I agree with others that many of these feel-good stories are going to collapse when the background is checked.

I don't know why people keep saying that only the young and healthy are being asked to overpay. My wife is in her fifties and had her premium for equivalent coverage increase by over 40%. She does not need nor will she use maternity coverage, pediatric eye care or many of the other coverages she is now required to have. Based on last year's premium she is paying $1800 more per year for services she will never use.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

When the person dies, that assett should flow to the heirs without the taxpayers having any claim on it, to be reimbursed for the money involved in #2.

Why????


The issue is

1. People are not fully informed of the consequences of getting "free" medical care through MedicAID, or the welfare arm of Medicare. The so called Navigators are a fucking joke. They don't understand the first thing about insurance or even the law that they are supposed to be navigating people through. Those people that are so very poor that they have nothing anyway: it doesn't matter.

2. Those people who DO have assets to protect might make a different choice and decide to not take the "free" option or make other arrangements before reaching end of life care or if they suspect that they are going to be needing catastrophic care without private insurance.

3. Many people are being forced onto the welfare state against their will through mandatory Obamacare coercion and through the cancellation of their existing policies that were perfectly adequate. They have no idea what they are being channeled into.

4. There is a difference between insurance and medical care.

5. With just a small amount of foresight and planning people can be informed, make better decisions and possibly be able to salvage something at the end of their lives.

Kirk Parker said...

DBQ,

Yes, I understand all that. I just am bothered by the "put your house in a trust and then live in at at the same time you know qualify for Medicaid" advocacy that you see from some.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Kirk.

Loopholes are for everyone. Not just the rich. The working poor deserve to game the system just like anyone else.

I'm not bothered by it at all. I am more bothered by the billions of dollars doled out to generations of people who have never worked and who are a giant sucking drain on society.

khesanh0802 said...

I think DBQ's point is extremely important.
The early sign up numbers were composed primarily of those who were "deemed eligible" for Medicaid. Without any discussion or planning at all a lot of these folks have put at risk whatever assets they have been able to acquire.
Talk about big government asking you to bend over and hold your ankles, etc.

Joe said...

In answer to my own question: you have to pay back the subsidy, with caps depending on your final income.

So, if are unemployed for half the year and then get a fantastic job, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars. In some circumstances, you may be better off waiting until the next year to take that great job!

(An even worse case: your unemployed/underemployed, you get divorced halfway through the year AND get a better job and your college student dependent living away from home suddenly decides to not go to college in the fall. You are fucked.)

David-2 said...

You guys are missing the point about the clawbacks from your estate due to your Medicare benefits.

You can read about this on the web, but here's the short form:

a) It was initially intended to be for repayment of costs due to long term nursing home stays and such.

b) A recent change in the rules, and interpretations by some states, means that the states will claw back from your estate for ANY Medicare expenses, not just long term nursing home stays.

c) AND: Many states do not pay providers for actual costs. They calculating an average cost for the average patient, so many dollars per month (usually a few hundred) and they pay the provider that for each individual in their region whether or not that individual uses any services at all!. (The idea is that the provider uses the money as it sees fit to optimize medical care over the entire population.)

d) In these states, that use this procedure, and follow this rule change, they claw back that monthly payment for the entire time you were signed up for Medicare whether or not you used any medical services at all!

Finally,

e) Not only do they not tell you this when you sign up for Medicare, or once you're on it (even though the rule interpretations have changed) ... as we now know some people are signed up for Medicare by the Fed exchange just because they're old enough and because the exchange isn't sophisticated enough to handle situations where you're income-poor but house-rich.

Thus in these states, you can lose your house to the criminals in government just for signing up - involuntarily, via the exchange! - for Medicare.

To stay on top of the massive clusterf**k that is ObamaCare you've really got to keep up with your reading.

RecChief said...

isnt' that the scene right before Gary Sinise shoots John Malkovich in the head?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

David-2 has the right idea. It is a total clusterfuck...However, I believe he means Medicaid. Not Medicare. You can only be on Medicare after age 65. People who are channeled through the Obamacare exchanges are put on MediCAID which is welfare

Medicare Part A is free, for the minimal amount of the nothing it covers. Part B is a monthly fee, of about 97$ and if you don't take it the fee goes up every year as a penalty. That covers something, but not much more. Most seniors buy a supplemental plan, IF they can afford it. Most medical providers are cutting back on the patients that they will take with Medicare. Medicaid? who knows. Maybe your local Veterinarian will see you.

We are so screwed.

RecChief said...

how is forcing you to pay for a product you may not want "voluntary compliance"? And that "you can choose to pay the penalty isn't noncompliance either. that is the stick, but I don't see a carrot anywhere.

Kirk Parker said...

DBQ,

Don't get me wrong: I'm not advocating "unilateral disarmament", I would just prefer a simpler, flatter system w/o all the opportunities to game it.