Rightbloggers Say Obamacare Website Can't Ever Be Fixed, Might's Well Give Up Right Now
"Most persistent will be those with health problems and no insurance. Insurance for a pool comprised chiefly of the sick and indigent would be prohibitively expensive. That's the 'death spiral,'" wrote Jack Kelly at Real Clear Politics.
"AN INSURANCE DEATH SPIRAL?" headlined Jack Mirengoff at Power Line. "Is Obamacare in a Death Spiral?" dittoed Megan McArdle. "Death Spiral," more forthrightly headlined Ed Driscoll. The term became more fungible over time; AJ Strata, referring to a poll that had "nearly half [of respondents] saying [the launch is] not going well and nearly four in 10 saying they can't evaluate the signup process at HealthCare.gov," interpreted it as "Survey Says! Healthcare.gov To Launch ObamaCare Death Spiral."
Followers of the conservative niche brand known as libertarianism were, as you would expect, hard on the case. When the state of Ohio accepted the Obamacare Medicaid arrangement made optional by the Supreme Court -- as many states, including some extremely Republican ones, have also done, presumably with an eye toward their self-interest -- Reason's Nick Gillespie announced that Ohio had made an "unfortunate and expensive mistake." Sure they were getting billions from the feds, but Medicaid "is expensive," said Gillespie, so they'll actually have to spend that money on taking care of poor people, instead of redistributing it to the wealthy through tax breaks as Ayn Rand intended.
Come to think of it, the Social Security website isn't doing much for me. Maybe it's time to get rid of that, too.
In case that wasn't convincing, Gillespie added that Medicaid treatment sucks. In support of this assertion he threw up a couple of academic studies popular with less closeted conservatives. If you wonder why this major libertarian thinker didn't instead offer market-based evidence that Medicaid sucks by pointing to the number of U.S. states that voted with their feet and refused to participate in Medicaid, it is probably because the number is zero. The marketplace never fails the people, but sometimes the people fail the marketplace.
When Obama announced that the website would have to be fixed, and agreed to align the enrollment penalty date with the enrollment end-date of March 15, rightbloggers took it up a notch lest anyone get the idea this was a reasonable response to a broken website.
Commentary's Peter Wehner went on Fox News to tell the seniors that Obama "really was detached from reality. It was very odd saying it was a really good program. It's an exceptional program. It's not." Doesn't Obama watch Fox News?
"President Obama is facing the abyss," said Fred Barnes at The Weekly Standard. "It's that moment when a president's plans are overwhelmed by his problems, and he's relegated to playing defense for the rest of his White House term... His speeches are full of alibis and accusations... More likely than not, Obamacare will be the dominant issue in the final three-plus years of his presidency. From that, there's no recovery. Years on defense--impotent years..."
Barnes also said the broken website meant "the collapse of Obamacare on its launching pad," and one of the reasons was that, as more people got health care, "patients will be forced to endure longer waits as a result of a doctor shortage." Left alone, doctors would embrace the free market solution of not treating paupers. How far we've strayed from conservative principles!
Some of the brethren focused on smaller, healthcare.gov-related controversies. For instance, it was revealed that an executive at one of the site's tech companies went to Princeton at the same time as Michelle Obama. "Michelle Obama's Princeton classmate is executive at company that built Obamacare website," said The Daily Caller. No word about whether the two women even hung out together, but The Caller did have this important intelligence: "Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni." "Toni McCall Townes-Whitley, who was in Michelle Obama's class at princeton, is a Senior VP at CGI. From the Association of Black Princeton Alumni," boldfaced Citizen Wells. God, do we have to spell it out for you? OK: O-o-g-a-space-b-o-o-g-a.
It worked on Scared Monkeys: "ARE YOU KIDDING ME: More Obama lack of transparency and in this case an outright conflict of interest, cronyism and quid pro quo, oh but its just a coincidence... Yup. no quid pro quo or cronyism here, EH?" "C'mon, I'm sure the no-bid contract was just a coincidence. No cronyism there," wrote Doug Brady at Conservatives 4 Palin. "White House Cronyism?" asked Vicki McClure Davidson at Frugal Cafe, before answering herself, "There are no coincidences in politics. But, there is cronyism... The tip of the iceberg is just now revealing itself."
We can fit the Toni McCall Townes-Whitley hearings in between the Benghazi hearings and the ones about Obama making the Marines wear girly hats.
When the website gets fixed, there'll be something else to yell about. But let's be fair: Some of the brethren may take the opportunity to advance positive solutions for an Obamacare replacement. At American Thinker, after denouncing "the nightmare of ObamaCare," which is "apparent now to even the left's most slavish toadies, like Big Labor," etc., Bruce Walker announced his "alternative free-market health care reform." How does it work? It "lowers costs by allowing interstate health insurance competition," said Walker, "allows any drug which has been in use in other modern industrial nations to be cleared for use in America, and taxes 95% of all medical malpractice legal fees above $500,000." That's bound to work, right? Well, at least it's not as crazy as trying to fix a website.