“Its only 5 percent, and those are sub-par.” That’s the new theme the so-called mainstream media choir is singing to help the administration spin President Obama’s "apology" in a way they hope will save his beleaguered ObamaCare. In doing so, they are willfully covering old lies with new.
On November 7 President Obama was forced to “apologize” to the millions of Americans who are losing their health insurance because of ObamaCare, something he repeatedly promised would never happen — “no matter what.” “Period.” He was forced into a public display of faux contrition by a convergence of political realities, including a panic in his own party, led especially by the 21 Democratic senators who are facing reelection battles next year, in the vortex of the growing ObamaCare maelstrom. Sixteen of the particularly vulnerable senators converged on the White House on November 6 and emerged to make statements that were harshly critical of the administration’s disastrous rollout of ObamaCare. They are attempting to distance themselves from the disaster they helped create that is now responsible for cancelling the health insurance policies of millions of voters — voters that next November are likely still to be very angry over “finding themselves in this situation,” as President Obama put it in his “apology.” The day following his litany-of-excuses-disguised as-an-apology, President Obama spoke to a small gathering at the Port of New Orleans. Conspicuous by her absence was Louisiana Senator Mary Landreu, who, under ordinary circumstances, would be expected to be present, basking in the glow of her party leader.
President Obama was forced to “apologize” by the unpleasant fact that one year into his second term, the bloom is definitely off the rose. The Gallup poll released on November 5 revealed that Obama’s approval rating was one point worse than George W. Bush’s at the same point in his presidency (following his disastrous handling of Hurricane Katrina). Yahoo News reported:
In the first week of November in the fifth year of their presidencies, Obama and Bush have nearly identical approval numbers, according to the latest Gallup polling. In fact, Bush comes out one point ahead, 40 percent to 39 percent, respectively.
The Gallup daily tracking poll for November 5th 2013 puts Obama’s approval at 39 percent, with 53 percent disapproving of his job performance. By comparison, polling for the first week of November in 2005 had Bush’s approval at 40 percent, with 55 percent disapproving of his job performance.
President Obama was also forced to apologize because even his most ardent mainstream media (MSM) supporters were finding it impossible to continue concealing the numerous lies imbedded in his promises concerning the so-called Affordable Care Act. As millions of Americans began receiving cancellation notices, the MSM reporters and pundits were forced to acknowledge what they could no longer ignore and cover up. They were forced to acknowledge what ObamaCare critics, including this magazine, had been saying for years, if they hoped to retain even a shred of their tattered credibility. On October 30, Glenn Kessler’s “Fact Checker” column at the Washington Post awarded President Obama a “Four Pinocchio” rating concerning his repeated pledge that “no one will take away” your health plan. Four Pinnochios is the highest (meaning worst) rank of deception or prevarication, in Kessler’s famous rating system. That the Post, one of the biggest cheerleaders for Obama and ObamaCare, finally publicly recognized what was screamingly obvious for months, could not have been missed by the White House.
So, on November 7, President Obama went on NBC to say he is “sorry” — and then to follow it up with several more appearances that — kind of, sort of — offered apologetic crumbs to the abused public.
“I am sorry that they, you know, are finding themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me,” Obama said in an interview with NBC News’ Chuck Todd. “We’ve got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and that we’re going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.”
“I’m Sorry You’re Upset Because Your Eye Ran Into My Fist.”
The president’s supposed contrition was far from convincing. It was more along the lines of, “I’m sorry you’re upset because your eye ran into my fist.” Or, “I’m sorry you’re offended because I called you a fat, stupid slob.” The “situation” he referred to is a fiasco he intentionally created. He offered no genuine mea culpa, assumed no responsibility, and offered no restitution. And no retreat, no back-off. His message: We’re going to continue to ram this down your throats and, you’ll see, we know what’s best for you; you’re eventually going to love it, once we get the kinks worked out.
“The majority of folks will end up being better off," Obama said. "Of course, because the website is not working right they may not know it."
“It’s Only Five Percent”
In his story accompanying the NBC interview Chuck Todd said:
Consumers who buy insurance on their own — about five percent of the population — are at risk of being forced off their current policies because their plans have changed and don’t meet the new standards of the Affordable Care Act.
However, Todd then offers another misleading statement that can have no other point than to assist the administration’s continuing deception concerning the horrendous impact the ACA will have on virtually all current health care plans. Todd states:
That part of the law does not impact the 80 percent of Americans who receive their health insurance through employers or through Medicare or Medicaid.
True, “that part of the law” does not affect 80 percent of Americans, but other parts of the law definitely will. As we have reported, millions of people are already getting notices that their employer-sponsored insurance is being cancelled, and numerous employers have already announced that they will be forced to drop their company-sponsored coverage.
Todd was again channeling the administration’s talking points, in this case parroting White House spokesman Jay Carney’s October 28 press statement, to wit, there was no cause for great alarm because: "Eighty-plus percent of the American people already get insurance through their employer, through Medicare or through Medicaid."
Carney also again floated another of the administration’s false claims that has been repeated over and over by the MSM echo chamber: The policies that are being canceled are “substandard” and “sub-par” and the people whose plans are cancelled will find cheaper plans with better coverage on Healthcare.gov — once it is finally fixed and up and running.
Those are some of the false claims and deceptions running daily in the MSM universe: “It’s only five percent,” “It doesn’t affect the 80-plus percent of employer-sponsored insurance,” and “The folks who lose their sub-par plans will get better policies under ObamaCare.”
“On balance, the cancellation notices are affecting a relatively small group of Americans — those who purchase insurance in the individual market,” wrote columnist/commentator Cynthia Tucker the day after the non-apology. “They represent about 5 percent of the population,” she averred, dutifully echoing the White House media directives. “To be fair, many of them will be better off,” Tucker continued. “Obamacare has virtually abolished their old ‘bare bones’ policies, some of which didn’t even pay for hospital stays. With subsidies, many consumers will be able to buy far superior health insurance policies for less money.”
Some of the president’s apologists go even further, declaring — against all evidence to the contrary — that Obama has been entirely truthful in his claims that no one would have their healthcare plans taken away from them. Egberto Willies, over at the leftwing Daily Kos, is one of the over-the-top ObamaCare defenders in that category. According to Willies, Obama’s apology “was a very big mistake.”
It is true that the president said, “If you like your insurance, you can keep it.” Within the letter of the law pre March 23, 2010, that is an absolute truth. Plans before March 23, 2010, are grandfathered. Post March 23, 2010, the statement is incomplete for those buying substandard policies.
Willies then proceeds to provide a rationalization for President Obama’s lies that is worthy of the Bill Clinton ("It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is”) School of Linguistic Prestidigitation. According to Willies:
If a journalist asks a professor in Houston what is the boiling point of water, he is likely to say 212 degrees Fahrenheit. If one asks Google what is the boiling point of water, it returns 212 degrees Fahrenheit, 99.98 degrees Celsius. Is that a true statement? It is not if you are in Denver. It is not if you are under a very high pressure atmospheric dome. The statement is absolutely true only under the specific conditions of one atmosphere (and other conditions beyond the scope of this essay). If the journalists asked the professor if the statement was absolute everywhere under every instance, and he replied yes, then it would be an untruth.
Not all of Willies’ cohorts in the fourth estate are willing to stretch the credulity of their audiences that far, but like Tucker and Todd, most of the MSM choir appear fully content to continue providing cover and running damage control for the White House on ObamaCare.
Photo of President Barack Obama: AP Images