Going door-to-door for Obamacare Dec 9, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 13 • By MATT LABASH
Standing here on the streets of Hollywood with two comely Obamacare cheerleaders by my side, I’m feeling fired up and ready to go. I’m feeling like the change I’ve been waiting for. I’m feeling like whatever Obama cliché you can think of. And all I want to say, like the late Todd Beamer before me, is, “Let’s roll.” Or more like, “Let’s enroll.” Because much as Beamer, God rest his soul, took on the terrorists who tried to take down America, we are now in a similar cataclysmic fight: the fight to guarantee that every American has the right to buy overpriced health insurance on a glitchy website, under threat of punitive tax penalties.
I’ve come to Florida to go door-to-door with the foot soldiers of Get Covered America, the boots-on-the-ground division of Enroll America, which bills itself as a “nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to maximize the number of uninsured Americans who enroll in health coverage made available by the Affordable Care Act.” These Obamacare evangelists are very serious about the “nonpartisan” nature of their business. Nearly every Enroll America staffer I speak to emphasizes it, often repeatedly. And while it might strain credulity that an organization is nonpartisan which seeks to make sure people are Obamacared for by setting $100 million fundraising goals for itself, and conducting $5 million ad campaigns, and targeting 10 different states, 9 of which are coincidentally run by Republican governors, I choose to take them at their word.
After all, Enroll America boasts all manner of nonpartisan credentials. Most of its staffers seem to have worked in the nonpartisan Obama presidential campaigns of 2008 or 2012, often both. Its president, Anne Filipic, served as deputy executive director of the nonpartisan Democratic National Committee, and came here straight from the nonpartisan White House Office of Public Engagement. The nonpartisan Obamacare czar, Kathleen Sebelius (whom Filipic also worked for), has admitted putting the arm on companies to make donations to Enroll America, sparking several nonpartisan congressional investigations.
And after decidedly partisan conservative gadfly James O’Keefe and his undercover Project Veritas crew caught Texas Enroll America communications director Chris Tarango on tape conspiring to help obtain a private list of potential Obamacare enrollee data for political purposes, a national Enroll America spokesman told me again: “Enroll America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization,” it doesn’t technically enroll people “so we don’t have any sensitive personal data,” and though the video “does not show any violation of our nonprofit status,” even the suggestion of any violation is “inappropriate” and the “employee seen in the video has resigned from his role with Enroll America.”
With my nonpartisan concerns allayed, we’re ready to roll! At the Hollywood public library, I meet up with Get Covered America’s Katie Vicsik and Rhianna Hurt, 2 of 28 Florida staffers (they also have nearly 1,800 volunteers on the ground in the state). They are twentysomething, earnest, clipboard-carrying, and as adorable as speckled pups. They’re the Platonic ideal of Obama campaign staffers (which they both were) from back in the salad days, when the winds of hope’n’change blew across the prairie, and there was still dew on the world.
To be sure, these Obamacare evangelists are not insurance saleswomen. They’re not closers. They don’t actually sign people up for policies in the Obamacare marketplace, but rather, direct them how to do so. They sing the attractively anodyne highlights of the program—“financial help is available,” no discrimination for preexisting conditions. They give phone numbers and information to help people meet in person with a Navigator (a contractor paid to guide enrollees through the process) and circumvent the plagued website. They are goodwill ambassadors. They are, in a sense, storytellers. And it’s a hard gig to be an Obamacare storyteller these days, because for the last two months, there have been so many stories told. Not good stories, either. In fact, if Obamacare threatens to bankrupt any industry, it’s the liberal-media-bias-watchdog industry. Since now, news outlets across the spectrum are falling over each other to tell Obamacare stories, mostly about how lousy Obamacare is.
9:06 AM, Sep 6, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
One industry badly hit last month was "the motion picture and sound recording industry," according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. From the jobs report released this morning:
Within information, the motion picture and sound recording industry lost 22,000 jobs in August, following a gain of 8,000 in July.
11:14 AM, Jun 28, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
According to a recent Gallup poll, 42 percent of Americans believe that the Affordable Care Act will make their family's financial situation worse. Almost half of those surveyed believe that it will make the nation's overall health care situation worse.
4:58 PM, May 13, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Via the pool report:
Pool was ushered into Harvey Weinstein's 5 story West Village town home for POTUS's remarks to the assembled donors. The ground floor room contained 8 tables of 8, covered in white linen with roses as a centerpiece.
Several White House staffers were seated at the tables including Dan Pfeiffer and Jay Carney. Patrick Gaspard was standing in the right side of the room (POTUS's) right.
Will White House release guest list?7:34 AM, Apr 9, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
On Barack and Michelle Obama's schedule for today, this event is listed:
6:26 PM, Jan 8, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Barack Obama will tomorrow host a screening of the sitcom 1600 Penn, according to the White House.
"Later in the afternoon, the President will host cast and crew members of the television show 1600 Penn for a screening at the White House," reads Obama's schedule. "This screening is closed press."
1:39 PM, Dec 31, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Barack Obama was so impressed with Anne Hathaway's performance as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises that he described her as "spectacular… the best thing in it." Hathaway was "leather-clad" in the movie, according to the Telegraph
12:22 PM, Dec 25, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Actor Jackie Chan has committed to visiting the rogue Iranian regime, according to a report from the Iranian outlet ISNA. The story is headlined, "Jackie Chan: I will definitely come to Iran."
"International action superstar, Jackie Chan said he would definitely visit Iran," the report reads. "In his short interview with Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reporter in Malaysia, Jackie Chan said he had tried so many times to come to Iran in past years."
Makers of Zero Dark Thirty scrutinized. 12:15 PM, Dec 18, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
In response to a report that classified information had been leaked to the makers of the Hollywood movie Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, Congressman Peter King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, says he's concerned.
12:38 PM, Dec 11, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
At a candlelight vigil for Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in Bolivia, actor Sean Penn offered great praise for the sick strongman:
9:38 AM, Oct 8, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
We learn from the Times that:
Mr. Obama made clear to advisers that he was not happy about debating Mr. Romney, whom he views with disdain. It was something to endure, rather than an opportunity, aides said.
4:24 PM, Oct 7, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Thank goodness the everyday Americans of Main Street, U.S.A. have someone to run on their behalf against the out-of-touch rich guy.
9:33 PM, Aug 24, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Joe Biden was mocked at a fundraiser he held this evening with donors in the Hamptons. “Welcome to Joe Biden, unchained,” the person introducing Biden said, mocking the vice president for his recent controversial comments.
The person introducing Biden was actor Nathan Lane, famous for his part in the Producers and other acting jobs.