During his conference call with OFA supporters, yesterday, a weary sounding Obama claimed that “there has been misinformation” on ObamaCare, and then went on to declare that “in the first month alone, we’ve seen more than 100 million Americans already successfully enroll in the new insurance plans.’
That number is at odds with reality, but Obama didn’t skip a beat or make any effort to correct himself, and his next comments did little to clear up the mistake.
‘You’ve got a million Americans who’ve completed an application for themselves or their families,’ he continued. ‘And that represents about a million-and-a-half people.’
‘And of those million-and-a-half people, you’ve already got a whole bunch of folks who have successfully signed up to get coverage, and you’ve got almost 400,000 folks who could gain access to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.’
‘So effectively, in a month,’ he said, ‘we’ve already got half a million Americans who will likely have the security of health care – for the first time, in some cases, in their lives – as soon as January 1.’
It’s likely Obama meant to initially take credit for 100,000 success stories, rather than 100 million. But his mangling of the statistics put him off-track by a factor of 1,000.
And even the smaller number relies on a flexible definition of what counts, and what doesn’t, as an Obamacare subscriber.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Nov. 13 that 106,185 Americans chose health insurance plans through public exchanges between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2, including the headache-plagued healthcare.gov and the more stable marketplace websites run independently by 14 states and the District of Columbia.
But the Obama administration included in that number everyone who had identified a health care plan and placed it into a virtual online shopping cart. HHS hasn’t said how many of them have actually made a purchase.
Jon Carson, executive director of Organizing for Action, led the conference call and claimed that 200,000 people were listening
The president’s claim that ‘a million Americans … have completed an application for themselves or their families’ is also up for debate since that number refers to people who the government acknowledges ‘have not yet selected a plan.’
Time to increase his Paxil dose, huh?
Joel Pollak at Breitbart called it the worst pep talk in history.
Though Obama’s weak address provided fodder for his critics, it also provided ample reason for concern that the president may struggle to lead the country on other matters. If he had addressed the nation about something more pressing than a failed website–a new terror attack (God forbid) or an economic crisis–Americans might have panicked.
What more, numerous reporters complained that they had difficulty logging into the call on the OFA website.
So, not only does the Obamacare website itself not work, but the site that hosts the conference call to discuss the non-functional site also doesn’t work. Of course, that didn’t stop the grandiose claims about how many OFA loyalists were on the call. Just as predicted by Josh Lederman of the Associated Press, they led off with a claim about so how many people were clamoring to get into the call.
Incidentally – just so you know – it’s no longer cool to call Obama’s signature legislative achievement “ObamaCare”. The term has been stricken from Democrat lexicon.
President Barack Obama and loyal Democrats once embraced the term Obamacare to sell the American people on health care reform.
With the president’s approval ratings at record lows, a broken website and Obama under fire for his pledge that people could keep their plans, the “Affordable Care Act” has returned.
The president didn’t say “Obamacare” once during his nearly hourlong news conference last week, while he referred to the “Affordable Care Act” a dozen times. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi went so far as to correct David Gregory on “Meet the Press” Sunday on the proper terminology. And White House talking points distributed to Democrats and obtained by POLITICO repeatedly refer to the Affordable Care Act in suggested sound bites, not Obamacare.
Calling it the Affordable Care Act has advantages for Democrats seeking to defend health care reform while still criticizing the bungled White House rollout. The phrase polls better than Obamacare — and people have responded more positively to the law’s benefits when they haven’t been told they come from Obamacare.
“You want the law to have approval rating higher than POTUS has,” a Democratic official said Monday.
True to form, Democrats have to rely on the lowest of the lo-fo voters (people who don’t know that ObamaCare and the ACA are the same thing) to help them limp forward.