Obama's celebration of failure
President Obama announced this week that 7.1 million Americans enrolled in the Affordable Care Act. Whatever that means.
First, let's go over the administration's dishonest history of that 7.1 million number.
On June 24, 2013, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters 7 million enrollees by March 31, 2014, was the goal. She reiterated this goal in September during an interview with NBC News: “I think success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of March 2014.”
The goal of 7 million enrollees had been set, twice, and it was time to get the job done. But as the months flew by, it started to look more and more like the administration wouldn't be hitting its magic number. In response to the slow trickle of sign-ups, White House press secretary Jay Carney, at a January daily briefing, declared that the 7 million enrollee figure was never the White House goal.
Fast-forward to April Fools' Day 2014, less than 24 hours after the original open-enrollment period for ObamaCare ended, and Barack Obama arrogantly entered the Rose Garden with his head held high to announce: “Last night, the first open-enrollment period under this law came to an end. And despite several lost weeks out of the gate because of problems with the website, 7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through these marketplaces — 7.1.”
The crowd cheered. Nancy Pelosi clapped and Barack Obama smiled. Joe Biden did weird things with his face.
To recap, when it looked highly unlikely the White House would meet its enrollment goal, the White House denied ever having one. Then, after a bogus “surge in enrollment,” which came only after the administration redefined and extended the enrollment period with no accountability for actually signing up for a plan, the administration wildly celebrated the original enrollment goal it claimed it never made.
In socialist systems, mediocrity and failure are celebrated. Propaganda and changing stories by government are also tolerated. This is exactly what we saw happen this week at the White House.
Americans are paying trillions of dollars to keep ObamaCare from dying in the bureaucratic system. The projected cost has gone from $900 billion in 2010 to $2.3 trillion in 2014. The administration has spent $600 million on a website that was not only down for weeks when it launched, but crashed on the final day of the enrollment period. Further, team Obama has spent $648 million in taxpayer money on advertising to bring some positive PR to the legislation and to get young people enrolled. When you break down these numbers, the federal government has spent millions of dollars per person in order to enroll 2 percent of the country in a massive government program.
To make matters worse, just 53 percent of Americans are paying federal taxes funding this boondoggle.
The website failed. The advertisements failed. But that didn't stop Democrats and the White House from celebrating 7.1 million ObamaCare enrollees, which amounts to just 23 percent of the uninsured population in America and just 2 percent of the entire American population.
Finally, with the recent “good” news about enrollments, President Obama is back to personally calling the Affordable Care Act ObamaCare.
Katie Pavlich is the news editor of Townhall.com. Her exclusive Trib columns appear the first and third Fridays of each month.