12:33 PM, Mar 28, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
In school, a child who gets a 67 percent will generally get a D. But for Obamacare, 67 percent is apparently grounds for an A. Talk about grading on a curve.
In 2012, the Congressional Budget Office projected that 9 million people would get health insurance for 2014 through Obamacare’s government-run exchanges. Two days ago, the Obama administration announced that 6 million people had gotten insurance for 2014 through those very same exchanges—and the administration could barely contain its glee. So, what gives?
In the summer of 2012, the Supreme Court issued its Obamacare ruling, holding that Obamacare’s individual mandate was clearly unconstitutional under the commerce clause but not clearly unconstitutional under the taxing power. Shortly thereafter, the Congressional Budget Office released a document entitled “Estimates for the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act Updated for the Recent Supreme Court Decision.” In that document, the CBO estimated that 9 million people would get health insurance for 2014 through Obamacare’s government-run exchanges.
Last February, the CBO downgraded its estimate. It wrote that, in part, this downgrade reflected its judgment about “the readiness of exchanges to provide a broad array of new insurance options.” In other words, over a year ago, the CBO could already read the writing on the wall: Obamacare’s government-run exchanges weren’t going to be dazzling anyone with their technical competence or their product line.
Sure enough, they haven’t. Indeed, last month, the CBO had seen enough of the Obamacare rollout to downgrade its projection still further, to 6 million. Less than 2 months later, that lowered estimate has now reportedly been hit—and the Obama administration is claiming victory.
This is a lot like a college football team that, in the immediate aftermath of the previous season, is projected by sportswriters to win 9 regular season games (out of 12) the following season and go to a good bowl game. Then, after watching spring practice, the sportswriters decide that 7 wins is probably more realistic. Midway through the actual season, they drop their projection to 6 wins—and the team finishes 6-6 and doesn’t go to a bowl. Where this analogy breaks down is that the teams’ players would likely view their season with disappointment, while the Obama administration acts as if its 6-6 team has won the national championship.
Moreover, even the figure of 6 million is based on the number of people who have “signed up” for insurance. But people don’t “sign up” for insurance; they buy it—and it’s not clear how many of these 6 million have yet bought anything. From reports, it appears that about 20 percent—or more than a million people—have “signed up” for something that they haven’t yet bought and likely have no intention of ever buying. Only an administration with as little business experience or acumen as this one would count such people as confirmed customers.
In reality, it appears that the Obama administration knows how many people have paid for these plans but is refusing to release those numbers to the public.
What happens when a political messiah fails?Mar 3, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 24 • By JAMES W. CEASER
Every student of American religious history has heard of the event known as “the Great Disappointment.” In 1818 William Miller, a former naval captain turned lay Baptist preacher, developed a new method for calculating biblical chronology to arrive at the conclusion that the millennium would take place sometime between 1842 and 1844. Finally published in 1832, Miller’s thesis quickly drew attention. A sect began to form, spreading from Miller’s home region in Eastern New York to New England and beyond. Millerism was born.
Congress prepares to undo one of its few worthy reforms. Dec 16, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 14 • By ELI LEHRER
After a decade-long run of bad weather that included Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, and Ike, and a host of other river valley and storm-surge floods, the 45-year-old National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) owes taxpayers about $25 billion that no analyst believes it will ever pay back. Meanwhile, by keeping rates far lower than the private market ever would for some flood-prone properties, the program encourages development in ways that endanger lives and harm the environment.
7:36 AM, Oct 8, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Eugene Robinson makes the case for Obamacare by writing, essentially, that it is a done deal. Time to get over it and move on. This is a corollary of the "law of the land" argument, which asserts that the thing has been written in stone and those who are still opposed and favor repeal should quit and acknowledge their defeat in its utter finality.
Rumors of Barack Obama’s political skill have been greatly exaggerated.Oct 10, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 04 • By NOEMIE EMERY
5:00 PM, Sep 2, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Via Greg Hengler, it's always fun to watch when when one of America's most disingenuous commentators mans up and admits the guy he's been defending for years is kind of an empty suit. Mmm, that's some tasty crow:
We were lucky Shahzad’s bomb fizzled. Next time we might not be as lucky.5:50 PM, May 4, 2010 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES and THOMAS JOSCELYN
On Sunday morning, Janet Napolitano twice suggested that the attempted attack in Times Square was a "one-off" event during an interview with ABC News. ABC's Jake Tapper had asked Napolitano directly about the possibility of international involvement, given the similarities (superficial, at least) between the crude bomb discovered in the Nissan Pathfinder in New York City and those used in attempted bombings in London and Glasgow in 2007. "Well, right now, we have no evidence that it is anything other than a one-off, but we are alerting state, local officials around the country, letting them know what is going on."
Calling the attempted attack a "one-off" wasn't directly responsive to Tapper's question. But it's clear that Napolitano, who also described the bomb as "amateurish," wanted to downplay the seriousness of the attack.
We can’t keep relying on Lady Luck.12:48 PM, May 4, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Faisal Shahzad, a 30 year-old naturalized American citizen from Pakistan, has been arrested as the chief suspect behind the failed car bomb attack on Times Square this past Saturday. The good news is, of course, that the bomb was fairly unsophisticated (showing a low-level of expertise), it failed to detonate (sparing the lives of New Yorkers and tourists), and the man believed to be responsible for assembling and deploying the car bomb was apprehended in short order. Authorities were able to pinpoint the would-be terrorist in impressively little time.
It is not all good news, however. Law enforcement and intelligence officials failed to stop the perpetrator from placing his bomb in the first place. We were simply lucky that onlookers weren’t killed. If this was truly the work of a rogue individual, a “one-off” event as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano suggested on Sunday, then that failure would be somewhat understandable. As law enforcement and intelligence professionals have repeatedly lamented, it is exceedingly difficult to stop a “lone wolf” terrorist.
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